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News Archive for Tuesday, Nov. 18th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!


News stories of Nov 18th, 2003: (later posted items first)
PowerMac 8500 w/Sonnet G4/800 owner report on running 10.3 using Xpostfacto 3.0 alpha
Yesterday's news had a note about the 3.0 alpha release of Xpostfacto (utility for installing OS X on unsupported macs). Version 3.0 adds Panther support and although the first reader report (Umax S900 w/Powerlogix G3/375, Radeon PCI, and UltraTek ATA/66 IDE card) said he saw an issue (hang) due to the cache config/enabler, a PowerMac 8500 owner wrote he's running Panther OK on his G4/800 CPU upgraded system using the 3.0 alpha release:

" Hi Mike,
I installed Panther on PowerMac 8500 with sonnet G4/800 using XPF 3.0a7 today. I've been playing around with expose and upgrading apps for most of the night. One thing that is noteworthy about running Panther is that Quartz Extreme hack on Radeon 7000 PCI (see QE PCI Radeon mods article) runs smoother than Jaguar.
I no longer get visual artifacts playing quicktime movie while having another window open in front. However, momentary and minor stall with dock pop up still exist, but it is less noticeable on Panther. All of other Quartz Extreme functions run even smoother and fluid, and even the quick user switching is enjoyable to watch.
It seems that Panther did make my old PM8500 little bit faster since xbench 1.1.3 showed about 10% overall improvement.
Jun "
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Reader reports on Bluetooth 1.4.1 Update/Performance
(Updated) Here's the first reader reports on performance and issues with the Bluetooth 1.4.1 update noted in yesterday's news. (For 10.2.8 users, Apple has a Bluetooth 1.3.3 update)

"I have had long-standing problems with built-in Bluetooth on a PB G4 12", going back to 10.2.x. The most consistent symptom is a hang of the "blued" process, which shows in "ps" as an unkillable state "U" and causes ALL menu extras to beachball. Rebooting was the only fix when it got into that state. I dealt with it by turning Bluetooth off in the menu extra before I logged out or put the machine to sleep. A functional but annoying workaround.

Around the time of 10.2.6 or 10.2.8, things got a lot worse and I would get failure of the machine to wake from sleep. The Bluetooth firmware updater fixed that.

Then in Panther I couldn't keep Bluetooth turned off -- the menu extra would stay on or would crash SystemUIServer altogether. I had to remove the menu extra and always leave Bluetooth turned off.
Now with this update I have turned it back on and I appear to be back to square 1 -- unkillable blued process from time to time.
Tim M."

A G5 owner w/D-Link (rev A2) Bluetooth adapter noted problems after the update:

"After upgrading to Bluetooth 1.4.1 I lost connectivity to my T68is via a D-Link USB bluetooth adapter.
Mac G5 1.6 - Panther 10.3.1
Mike P.
(I asked Mike for details on the D-Link Bluetooth adapter)

The Bluetooth adapter is a Dlink DBT120 HW: A2
I've been using it now for 6 months prior to upgrading to the 1.4.1 without any issues. Phone is a T68is that I've also been using/synching for 6 months with iCal and iSynch. Only change today was the Bluetooth upgrade. I tried enabling the old phone support in the Bluetooth preferences panel without any results.
The iSync is the same since upgrading to Panther. Using iCal 1.5.1 since it was available with iSync 1.3

It may not be related, but I remember the last Bluetooth firmware update from Apple mentioned in the requirements a rev B2 or later DBT-120 (his is an A2)
"A D-Link USB Bluetooth Adapter (DBT-120, rev. B2 or later)"
But if the Bluetooth 1.4.1 update required the firmware update, they should have said so. (May not be a factor at all though.)

" Mike, Last night's Bluetooth update brought back a bug on my PM G4 Sawtooth which had been fixed earlier. Starting with the 10.2 upgrade, the bluetooth menu bar list would show Bluetooth as always on, without the option to turn it off (I use a Belkin USB Bluetooth module). Otherwise everything functioned normally.
On my PowerBook G4 12-inch, however, everything has always been OK with the OFF/ON. Then about 6 months ago, as I recall, along came a Bluetooth update and it (the Sawtooth/Belkin adapter issue) was fixed.
It continued being OK through my recent upgrade to 10.3, then 10.3.1. However, with yesterday's update, its back to always ON. The PowerBook again continues to be fine. I'd like to know if any of my fellow readers have any thoughts on this.
Thanks and best regards,
Istvan F. "

I don't currently own a bluetooth adapter (or devices) but if any readers have a suggestion (or experience using the update with a Sawtooth with other brand/model of Adapter) let me know.

This reader said he saw reduced transfer speeds with the update:

" Hello from Down Under,
The new bluetooth update (V 1.4.1) does seem to improve stability, browsing devises is a lot quicker and more fluent, but transfer speed seems to have suffered enormously.

I tested transfer speed before the update between a 12" PowerBook and 15" Powerbook and and speeds were around 40Kb/s. After the update speed has dropped to 6Kb/s max. No encryption was used. Also, at times, after transfers have finished the Bluetooth menu item disappears.
Jeremy. "

If any other readers have seen performance drop (or not) let me know.

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Performance tests of OS X 10.1.5 to 10.3.1
" We have updated our series of Mac OS X benchmark scores. The results span from OS X 10.1.5 to 10.3.1, where we measured the time required for booting and logging in, for launching and relaunching some apps, ripping a song from an audio CD, the framerate of iTunes' visualizer in fullscreen mode and behind a transparent terminal window, the framerate in Quake 3 and the Pentium processor emulation in Virtual PC. In most tests, the new 10.3 "Panther" system is in quite good shape.
Sven Negrassus
Editor in Chief"
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More info on 9800 Pro Replacement Coolers
Yesterday's news had info/links on replacing the stock ATI 9800 Pro fan/heatsink with a G1 GPU cooler model for reduced noise in a G5 system. I talked to Cris, the USA Verax dealer yesterday who contacted Germany about using the G1 fan to cool the 9800 Pro. The reply today from Germany said the G1 wasn't adequate to cool the 9800 - they suggested the G3 model instead. (They sent a data sheet on the G3 as I did not see the G3 listed yet at the website.) macsonly said they ran the 9800 w/G1 fan/HS for a week without problems, so perhaps in the G5 system (with isolated card and CPU zones), the G1 is adequate.
Verax Germany said they knew a 9800 owner using the G3 and the data sheet also notes it's for ATI 9xxx series of GPUs. (The G1 data sheet lists ATI 8500 series GPUs.) The G3 (radial heatsink) model also appears less tall than the G1 model but it still may block the adjacent PCI slot like the G1 model does. If it's any taller than the stock 9800 Pro heatsink it will prevent use of a PCI card in the adjacent slot. The G3 spec sheet noted a 68x24mm fan - assuming it's 24mm high, then that is taller than the stock heatsink. (Two G3 cooler users wrote to say that like the G1, it is tall enough to block access to the adjacent PCI slot.) As soon as I can I'm going to test one on an OEM 9800 Pro card here in the Dual G5 which has a very loud fan. (Louder than the retail 9800 Pro card here although perhaps my retail card fan is quieter than is typical.) The noise reminds me of a Dremel tool set to max. RPM.
Verax Germany also said the fan should be powered from the Power Supply, not the ATI card (Tennmax said the same thing about their coolers, claiming the ATI card didn't source enough current for proper fan operation.) I'm going to get a G3 for use with the OEM 9800 Pro here and will post more info later.

As I told another reader, I had looked for a passive cooler like the Zalman heatpipe models, but the orientation of the card in the G5 rules them out (plus there does not seem to be enough space between the back of the card and the G5 case).

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Apple updates Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Shake for G5 optimizations, more
Apple's hotnews page links to their Pro Apps page and notes:

"New versions of Final Cut Pro 4, Shake 3 and DVD Studio Pro 2, all fine-tuned to take advantage of the performance and architecture of the Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X version 10.3 Panther, are immediately available. Version 4.1 of Final Cut Pro delivers simultaneous playback of seven fully uncompressed standard definition video streams with real-time effects on a Power Mac G5 Dual 2GHz and Xserve RAID. Final Cut Pro 4.1, Shake 3.0.1 and DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2, with the new Compressor 1.1 update, are available for current customers as free software updates.

  • Edit 7 SD Streams with Final Cut Pro
  • Encode 55% faster on DVD Studio Pro
  • Render 45% faster on Shake "
  • The sidebar lists/links to these updates:

    Final Cut Pro 4.1 (form requires S/N)

      " What's New in Final Cut Pro 4.1
      This update includes many fixes and performance enhancements, including:
    • Performance optimizations for Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X 10.3
    • Frame Offset for synchronizing NTSC/PAL display with computer display during playback
    • Support for XML Interchange format
    • A new Create Support Profile option in the Help Menu for AppleCare
    • A source selector that lets Audio Mixer follow Canvas or Viewer
    • 3-perf film support in Cinema Tools"

    DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2/Compressor 1.1 Update (form requires S/N)

      " New in DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2 Combined Update
      This update is strongly recommended for all users of DVD Studio Pro 2 and is the only update available for DVD Studio Pro 2.
    • Includes DVD Studio Pro 2.0.1 and DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2
    • French, German and Japanese localizations
    • Other additional improvements

      New in Compresor 1.1 Update
    • Dramatically improves MPEG-2 encoding performance
    • Presets optimized for DVD Studio Pro 2
    • Enhanced reliablity of Submit button "

    Shake update (Note - the pro apps page sidebar link lists Shake 3.0.2, but the linked page shows 3.0.1.)

      " What's New in Shake 3.01 Update
      The Shake 3.01 update includes fixes, enhancements, and improvements to the stability of Shake on all platforms. This release has also been optimized for improved performance on the Apple Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X 10.3.

      Additional enhancements have been added to make it easier to manipulate shapes created with the RotoShape node. These enhancements include individual transform control over each shape in a RotoShape node, selection-based RotoShape transforms, the ability to move the center of transformation for any RotoShape, a shortcut menu which allows the visibility of individual RotoShapes to be turned on and off, and the ability to select individual points in a RotoShape that fall within a user definable region around the cursor.
      For additional information on performance improvements in Shake 3.01, see the Shake 3 product page. "
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    Apple announces Dual G5 1.8GHz for $2499, reduces price of single G5/1.6GHz to $1799
    There's been rumors of a Dual 1.8GHz G5 that proved true - Apple now lists the Dual G5 1.8GHz for $2499 (only $100 more than the price of the original single 1.8GHz which has been dropped). They also reduced the price of the single G5 1.6GHz to $1799. The Powermac G5 page has been updated for the changes and it's listed at the Apple store.
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    Apple announces 20 inch LCD iMac
    Another rumor come true - Apple today announced the 20in LCD display iMac. The 20in, like the 17in has a 1.25GHz G4, PC2700 RAM, Geforce FX5200 (64MB) and Superdrive. Price for the 20in model (256MB RAM, 80GB HD) is $2199.(Airport extreme card and bluetooth adapter extra). The 17in (same ram/HD/superdrive) is $1799, the 1GHz 15in model (256MB/80GB/Geforce4MX 32MB) is $1299.
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    Unsanity releases ShapeShifter OS X Themes utility
    Unsanity sent a press release earlier today announcing the release of ShapeShifter 1.0 ($20 shareware) for customizing Mac OS themes.
    (I'll be honest and say that I've always avoided these sorts of things (even in OS 9), as sometimes in the past they have been the source of compat. problems with OS updates, etc...)
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    Ars reviews Adobe InDesign CS
    Ars technica sent a note they have posted a full review of Adobe InDesign CS.
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    Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
    The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports this morning (reader entries from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,901. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • Daystar G4/550 in B&W G3 (rated 10)
    • Giga Designs G4/1.25GHz (at 1.4GHz) in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
    • Giga Designs G4/1.467GHz in (quicksilver) G4/AGP (rated 10)
      (My reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades w/apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked here. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

    (Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) You can find the full reports by searching the database selecting the indicated Mac model and upgrade card brand/type. If you've upgraded the CPU on your Mac, please post an entry in the database. Search the database for entries from most every upgradable Mac model *before* you buy. (Searchable by mac model/upgrade brand). For detailed reviews with performance tests and install tips, see the CPU Upgrades page.)

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    CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
    The Drive Compatibility Database had 11 new reports added (reader entries from Yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 11,755 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

      CDRW Drives:
    • Firewire Iomega CDRW2304F 40x12x48x used w/B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    • Firewire Lacie 52x32x52 (liteon LTR-52327S) used w/B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    • IDE Liteon LTR-52327S (52x32x52) in in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    • IDE I/O Magic 52x24x52 in Beige G3 (OS X)
      (listed under "other" brands, using modified plugin for burn support)
    • IDE Micro Advantage IDE5224 (52x24x52x) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
      (listed under "other" brands, no itunes burn support)
    • IDE Samsung SW-252B (52x24x52) in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
      (no burn support, noted mods not successful)
      (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs)

      Combo DVD+CDR Drives:
    • Exp. Bay Liteon LSC-24081K (didn't note drive speed rating) in Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X) (didn't note OS X version, no native burn support, drive set to slave, didn't report on booting from CD)
    • IDE LG GCC-4480B (48x24x48x + 16x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
      (native burn support in 10.3)
    • IDE Samsugin 52x24x52 (didn't note model number of DVD read speed) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2) (no itunes burn support, using Toast)

      DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
    • IDE Pioneer DVR-106D in Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
      (native burn support in 10.2.8 and later)

      Hard Drives:
    • IDE WD1200JD (serial ATA) 120GB in B&W G3 using IDE SATA card (OS X)
      (Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here in B&W G3 rev2 and G4 towers up to the QuickSilver models.
      IDE articles page RAID section has an illustrated guide for adding 2 more drives in the side bays.)

    You can find full owner reports (latest shown first) by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches). For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
    If you've added a IDE, SCSI, Firewire or USB hard drive, CDRW, tape drive, etc. make sure you add a report to the database. (If you post an updated entry - make sure you use the same name, etc. as you did before so I can find your past entry. Thanks.)
    (Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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    Recent Reviews and Articles:
    Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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    News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago
    (These older pages in some cases have off-site links that may no longer work. Remember comments were accurate only on the date posted regarding producs/availability/pricing, etc.)

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