News Archive for: 11/22/2004 Monday's News (later posted items first)
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MTX Mototrax Demo available / Rainbow Six: Athena Sword shipping
Ken sent a note there's a demo version (128MB) of Aspyr's MTX: Mototrax released today.
Also there's a press release they are shipping Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword expansion for the Mac. ($29.99 list, requires Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield to play.)
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Mac Unreal Tournament 2004 v3339 update released
From the programmer's news page at http://icculus.org/news/news.php?id=2246

UT2004 3339 for MacOSX and Linux (posted 2004-11-22 06:07:07 by icculus):

An official 3339 patch for UT2004 is now available for all platforms. The Mac version will install the Editors' Choice Bonus Pack with the patch (it's okay if you previously installed it, though).

The Linux version needs 3339 installed AFTER the Editors' Choice Bonus Pack, since it fixes issues in the BP. If you install the Bonus Pack after 3339, you'll break your installation...in such a case, just reinstall 3339 over top of it. You must apply 3339 after the Bonus Pack. The Editors' Choice Edition disc (on sale now!) installs the Bonus Pack by default, so you can just drop 3339 on top of that without fussing."

The page includes links to Mac OS X and Linux (x86 and amd64) downloads (appx 86MB). If you see any improvements/fixes (or if it breaks anything including any mods you're using) - let me know the details. Thanks.
(Not finished downloading it yet, but readers say it still has the disc check... which was removed from the PC verison long ago.)

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Request for feedback on Virex 7.5.1 (.Mac edition)
I'm still running v7.2 and a reader (like me) is leery of the 7.5.1 update after apple pulled the first 7.5 update some time back due to problems. Matthew asked I post a request for reader reports on 7.5.1 from anyone that's tried it. Versiontracker's page on the Virex 7.5.1 .Mac update already has some reports on it but if you've tried v7.5.1 let me know if you see any problems. (Update: See Tuesday's news page for reader reports on virex 7.5.1 in reply to this post.)
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iCal 1.5.4/Security Update
iCal 1.5.4 showed up in software update today (7.7MB). Here's a clip from the SU info/window:

" iCal 1.5.4 includes security enhancements to help protect your computer when importing events with alarms that open files or applications. "
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More comments on (AL) Apple Cinema Display Color Consistency
(updated at 5:25PM)
Here's the latest mails on the subject - this one from the author of the web page linked here back on Oct. 21st, in reply to some comments on these displays from owners in Friday's news page.

" Just thought I would copy you my post to Apple discussions:
A courier came today to pick up the 23" ACD that I bought on Thursday last week. Immediately apparent pink bleached out vertical band on the left hand side, which at first I tried to remedy by re-calibration. Obviously this wasn't going to do it. I regret now not doing my usual vigourous research before buying this, and investigating these forums where it would have become instantly apparent that I should tread carefully!

I have a 17" Studio display, which although not so bright, is infinitely better that the monitor that I have just sent back. I also felt that my powerbook 17" screen is superior to what I have just bought. I am a graphics professional, and colour matching is critical to me, as is an even display. I totally took for granted my previous experience of excellence with apple products, and bought this monitor on faith.

I am getting another sent to me, but on reading of other peoples experiences, have little faith that I will see any improvement. I certainly hope that there are some good monitors out there, and that I can get one, but I dont know how far I will go if this second turns out to also have the same problem.

The 30" is too much for my needs & the 20" is too small. The 23" is Just Right. I suppose that I will consider other manufacturers if there is no sign of Apple acknowledging the problem soon, although if this was an issue I knew would be dealt with, I would be happy to hang on.

I too feel that Apple is a good company that makes excellent products that have always served me well, but if this quality control issue is not properly & swiftly dealt with, I think I may change my mind.
I'll keep you all posted on No: 2
Dan "

" Hi Mike, I'm the one with the page at:
http://dreamlight.com/insights/bugs/hd23.html
Which shows pictures from the first and seconds ACD 23" that I had problems with (and testing procedures to show the problems). (I wish there were some larger photos) I have not yet returned the second unit (but do have an open AppleCare #), since I don't yet have any confidence that another replacement would be any better. Most of the users that complained on the Apple discussion boards have had the exact same issues, all replacements had the same exact problems, though to varying degrees... So far I don't know of anyone that got a replacement that was "good"... Some have given up and downgraded to the ACD 20" or have gone to other manufacturers... (some AL ACD owners wrote they had 'good' displays and didn't see any color problems or backlighting problems/inconsistencies to their eyes-Mike)

The color shifts are subtle, as seen in the photos I posted at the above URL, and some users just don't notice it. So far there have been a few threads on the Apple boards of users claiming to have good ACD 23" monitors. I usually ask them to post photos of their monitors showing both solid white and solid gray. When they do post such photos, it's usually apparent that their monitors also exhibit the same problems, though some are worse than others...

My personal feeling at this point in time is that most of the owners that are happy with these ACD 23" monitors probably haven't noticed the problems. Sometimes it can take about a month for it to really become obvious and if your not a trained graphics professional, the slight color shifts from left to right across the screen may not be a problem for you. Unfortunately, it's trained graphics professionals that this monitor is aimed at...

I'd be interested to see solid white and solid gray desktop photos from anyone that claims to have a "good" aluminum ACD 23"... I'd be much more encouraged to return my second unit for replacement if I did see proof that there were indeed "good" units out there... I still have hope that Apple will eventually acknowledge and resolve this issue, I've been a solid Mac customer since 1984...
-MikeS "

I bought my first mac in 1984 also, the first model 128K Mac. (I still remember the arguments back then about "who needs color". LOL.)
Here's the most recent mail from a lucky owner of the 30in model:

" Hi mike:
Been playing with my new 30inch ACD for a week or so now. No dead pixels, see no pink tinges or other color variations, but continue to see my usual pink elephants...
Seriously, this is a very serious monitor and I am well pleased. Have to admit to a fair amount of trepidation before I pulled the trigger. I am happy.
Bill H. "
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More reader reports on Roxio's Popcorn (DVD copy/compression utility)
(updated w/another report at 3:45PM ET.)
Friday's news page (updated Sat. morning) had reports on Roxio's new Popcorn app for the Mac and notes on getting the $20 discount for Toast owners. Here's more reader mails on Popcorn:

" I got Popcorn first thing Friday, based on how much I liked Roxio Toast. While Popcorn looks great (if you think Toast looks great), compared to DVD2OneX, it allows almost no customization compared, takes longer to compress or just to copy, and makes oddly sized files when making disc images. Still, I suppose if you don't have Toast and want a burning solution, Popcorn is for you. I think it's a major rip.
-Andrew W. "

" Mike, I downloaded Popcorn today and successfully made a copy of The Return Of the King, my purchased disk was messed up. Since in is a copy protected disk, I used Mac The Ripper to extract the files and remove protection, about 30 mins. I then brought the Video TS file into Popcorn and it compressed it down about 45%, about 90 mins. Then burned o external Pioneer 108. So far the copy is recognized by my set top player and looks great.
(he later wrote)
As a followup, I just watched the copied version of Return Of The King. The quality was quite good, actually, outstanding considering the compression. My hats off to Roxio for this product, and it is only at a 1.0 release.
Bill "

" Mike, My Toast Titanium 6 registration code did not allow me access to the $29.95 discounted Popcorn download. (see the later reports on this in Friday's news page where some noted entering their already registered CD key/email address allowed them to log in and get the discount.-Mike)
However, my Toast 5 code did bring up the offer--which is odd since the offer is supposedly only for Toast 6 users. Maybe Roxio will straighten things out once the special offer email is sent later this week.
Drew "

I posted Roxio's mail to me on Friday saying there would be offers sent via email to previously registered toast owners this week.

"Hi all. I just purchased Popcorn, and if you like Toast, you'll definitely like Popcorn. It's got the same simple interface, and so far, I've not had trouble with playing any of the 5 DVD's that I've done so far on any of my DVD players, including the DVD player in our mini-van. I cannot say the same for other products, like FastDVDCopy.
I was eligible for the $20 discount, which made the purchase a bit sweeter.

Although FastDVDCopy is convenient in that it performs the extraction, compression, and burn all in one step, it seems very buggy, and I haven't had much luck with compatibility and certain DVD players. It's also very expensive. The combination of Mactheripper (free) and Popcorn is better IMHO, and with Tiger coming soon, I'll just use Automator to "one-step" everything. ;)
John D. "

I've not bought Popcorn (yet at least) but welcome feedback from anyone that's used it.

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Speedtools Device Tuner Update (to fix iPod problems in 10.3.6)
Saturday a reader wrote there's an update to Speedtools' Device Tuner that fixes the problem in 10.3.6 where the previous version prevented iPods from mounting via Firewire. (Problem noted here in the Nov. 8th news after a report on the 10.3.6 feedback page, and Intech's comments on why it happened in the Nov. 9th news.) The reader that sent the note on the update/fix hadn't seen those posts and wasn't aware the Device Tuner was the cause of the problem, but said the update solves it:

".... I finally tried the SpeedTools Utility. Once inside of SpeedTools, there was a notice about updating the SpeedTools Utilities. The update check found an update for the Device Tuner component (2.0.1), which tunes Firewire data transfer.
After install and restart, my iPod now mounts, reads, and writes as it had before.
-Jman"
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Lightwave 3D Modeler Tip/Fix for Wireframe view problems w/Nvidia 6800 Cards
This weekend I updated the 3D apps page of the Mac Nvidia 6800 Ultra card review to include notes and a screenshot showing a tip for fixing the problems of blank viewports in Lightwave 3D (7.5d and v8 tested) with wireframe display modes. Checking (enabling) the 'Simple Wireframe Edges' and 'Simple Wireframe Points' options in the Display/Interface Tab fixed the problem.
I welcome other 3D applications (LW3D, Maya, Cinema4D, etc.) user comments on the 6800 or other Mac graphics cards.
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ATIcellerator II Overclocking Utility Update/Reports page updated
I've updated the Reader Feedback on ATIcellerator II Overclocking Utility to note the recent 1.05 update and a report from a B&W G3/Rage128 PCI card owner.
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Other Net News
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 4 new reports this morning (entries from Friday-Sunday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,665. Here's a summary of the report added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Sonnet G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/800MHz in 7600/120 (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G4/1.2GHz in (Digital Audio) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4 Dual 1.27GHz/1.3GHz in (Digital Audio) G4/AGP (rated 8)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at 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 7 new reports added this morning. (Entries from Friday-Sunday, 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 13,886 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)

    CDRW Drives:
  • USB Philips "JackRabbit" JR24CDRW (24x12x40x) used w/B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support.)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • Exp. Bay Matshita UJDA-720 in (pismo) Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X)
    (using Patchburn 1.1 for 10.2.8 iApps burn support. Systems page, Powerbook section has articles from 2001 on expansion bay combo drive installs/swaps.)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Exp. Bay Pioneer DVR-K12A in (pismo) Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support. Systems page, Powerbook section has articles from 2001 on expansion bay combo drive installs/swaps.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-106 in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (using modified os 9.x burn support file from the FAQ, native iApps burn support in 10.2.8 and later. 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-107 in Dual G4 (OS X)

    (using Patchburn 1.1 for 10.2.8 iApps burn support. 10.3.3 and later have native iapps burn support for the DVR-107.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-108 in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support. Noted dvd player problems in 10.3.6, although dvr-108 drive plays dvds fine in my G5. not sure what is the root cause of the dvd player problems more than a few noted in 10.3.6. VLC player should work but isn't as slick as apple's dvd player.)
  • Firewire (cased) Pioneer DVR-108 used w/Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (using toast 6, but patchburn 3 will add iApps burn support)

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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Video card/System performance database updated
The Video card/system performance database has been updated to include another Quake3 benchmark result (Dual 2.5GHz G5 w/Nvidia 6800 GT at 1024x768)
. You can post your own system/video card results of the various tests listed there or search to compare results from other systems/CPU/graphics cards combinations.
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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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