News Archive for: 11/3/2004 Wednesday's News
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Aspyr announces Mac Doom3 (notes 10.3.6 and G5 CPU required)
(updated) Although it's been known for many months there would be a Mac version, finally Aspyr has posted a Mac Doom3 page with system requirements:

    Preliminary System Requirements (these may change before the game's release):
  • Mac OS X 10.3.6 or later
  • PowerPC G5 1.5 GHz or faster
  • 384MB RAM (512MB recommended)
  • 2.2 GB free disk space
  • ATI Radeon 8500/nVidia GeForce 3 or better
  • 32MB of Video Ram (VRAM)
    (8500 and GF3 have 64MB and even the (non-EDU) iMac G5 has more than 32MB Vram onboard so that must be a typo. You'll want a 128MB or better graphics card IMHO and I'd suggest 512MB of ram as the low end, preferably more.)
  • DVD drive required to install and play

Their Doom3 page also links to an amazon.com preorder page with a $49.99 list price and mentions an (estimated I'm sure) December 20th 2004 release date. (Note: Refreshing Aspyr's project status page now shows Doom3 listed there with an estimated release date of Feb. 2005. Ouch... They should update the amazon pre-order page, maybe by the time you read this)
I'm hoping the actual released game will also run on a G4 system (not just a G5) as Doom3 has several levels of detail/quality as options (based on using the PC version). Of course ideally you'd want the fastest mac and graphics card possible.

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Another iPod Photo review (w/comparison to iRiver H320)
The WSJ has a review of the iPod Photo titled Sizing Up the Latest iPod Iteration that compares it to the lower cost 20-gigabyte iRiver H320.
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Warning from iMac G5 owner on blown MacAlly FW+USB Hub (same issue as G5 Tower)
Back in August I posted warnings on damage to some specific FW + USB Hubs from MacAlly (HUB-UF) and Dlink (DFB-H7) when connected to a PowerMac G5. (Too much info to repeat again here so see the G5 Firewire and USB feedback page, FW Hub section), reportedly caused by the hubs not being rated for the bus voltage of the G5 - which although higher than some older macs, is still below the firewire spec. of up to 30V (and there should be a 10% margin in the design).
An iMac G5 owner wrote he also saw damage to a macally hub (due to the same issue I'm sure)

" I purchased a MacAlly USB2.0 + Firewire hub from Amazon.com recently.

I connected it to my new G5 iMac and connected the external power supply. Connected a USB printer to the hub. No problem at first.

Later, I was upstairs and one of my children told me they smelled plastic burning.

My wife said it seemed to be the new computer. I thought maybe the iMac was running hot. It felt a little warm, and I didn't notice the smell being strong.

Later I tried to connect another USB device to the hub and noticed that the new device did not power up. Then I noticed that no lights were showing on the hub. Unplugged the power supply to the hub and then noticed that the lights came on? Looking more closely at the hub, I saw that it was severely melted on the side to which the Power Supply connected. I quickly removed it from my system,

No apparent damage to my computer or peripherals.

The serial number on the hub is 4143000863.
I mailed the hub back to amazon.com and then, later, wondering if this was a common problem, I searched with google and found this article. (there were several news page posts on this earlier this year, also added to the page of G5 Firewire and USB feedback.-Mike)

I feel lucky that it didn't damage my computer or set my wooden desk on fire!
Todd R. "

I've added the above to the G5 FW/USB page for future reference.

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Updates to Graphic Converter X and VLC Media Player
There's an update to the popular (and frequently updated) Graphic Converter X (v5.3) with a long list of new and updated features.
MU also lists VLC Media Player 0.8.0:

    What's New in Version 0.8.0:
  • Audio equalizer.
  • Vobsub support
  • Multichannel audio downmixing
  • New plugins cache system to speed up launch time.
  • Improvements to the subtitles/OSD subsystem.
  • Vastly improved DVD support.
  • Re-write of the input layer. (better, faster, more extensible - eg. allows multi-input support).
  • Re-write of the transcoding layer. (everything VLC plays can now be transcoded).
  • New screen capture input plugin (to stream your desktop).
  • Windows Media Server RTSP support.
  • Multipart JPEG webcam support
  • Multipart JPEG muxing. (for video streaming to a Mozilla Web Browser)
  • DVB subtitles decoding/encoding.
    Requirements: Mac OS X 10.2 or later.

Still trying to catch up after staying up all night watching the election returns so I've not updated to this version yet.
Note: The Nov. 4th, 2004 news page has a reader report on slow performance with VLC 0.8.0.

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Comments on Vendetta Online (MMORPG)
(from a reader post yesterday)

" The game was officially released yesterday (Nov. 1st) after being in beta for quite some time. Overall I am pretty impressed with it and it *might* just pull me away from Neverwinter Nights
It's kinda like Escape Velocity meets TradeWars meets X-Wing, all in a MMORPG. sorta... anyhow, is anyone else from xlr8yourmac playing it?

Check it out, it's free to download and you get 8 hours of free play time too! w00t!
http://www.vendetta-online.com

They have an Intro page with more info on the game and a page of Screenshots.

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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 (entries from Tuesday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,634. Here's a summary of the reports added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Daystar G4/433 in Powerbook G3 lombard (rated 9)
  • Fastmac G4/450 in B&W G3 (rated 10)
    (listed under 'Other Brand')
  • Sonnet G4/1GHz in G4/AGP (rated 8)
    (includes notes on OC attempts via bus speed mods)

    (For full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. - see the CPU upgrades page. 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 5 new reports added today. (Entries from Tuesday, entries today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, 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, USB, adapters). Current total 13,816 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE LG 4521 (didn't note speed rating) in Beige G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (using modified LGCDR file from the FAQ here for os 9.x itunes burn support and patchburn 3 for 10.3.x burn support. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers Beige G3 MT model)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE LG GSA-4160B in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn3 for OS X iApps burn support.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-108DX in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn3 for OS X iApps burn support. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT and B&W G3 Macs)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-108 in G5 Tower (OS X 10.3)
    (also using patchburn 3)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Seagate ST3120026a-rk 120GB in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (mentioned kernel panics after waking from sleep when accessing the drive.
    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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