News Archive for: 11/26/2004 Friday's News (later posted items first)
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Apple store Friday-only sales (discounts on iMac G5s, iPods, Accessories)
Several readers sent a note that the Apple store has some Friday-only (11/26/2004) discounts on iPods, iPod accessories, $101 off list on iMac G5s, as well as discounts on some accessories like Airport Express ($98). A few other items are listed with today-only discounts like JBL's On Tour Speaker System, Canon ZR80 camcorder, S500 digital camera, ip6000D photo printer, Office 2004, Photoshop Elements 3.0 and .mac for $68.
(I've been offline most of the day today dealing with some personal matters, so updates have been light, sorry.)
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Blizzard posts another Frozen Throne Bonus Map
Eddie sent a note that blizzard's Bonus Maps page has a new map download titled "Ruins of Stratholme".
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Article on freeing up Disk Space in OS X
RTmac posted a note about an article on OS X: Free up Hard Disk space by removing localization files using DeLocalizer by Mike Bombich (author of Carbon Copy Cloner, although the Delocalizer page says it's not been tested with 10.3) and removing iPhoto duplicates (but the iPhoto Diet Download and Home page links are not working at MU tonight) as well as some other disk space saving tips. Although many Macs have very large drives, saving disk space is really a plus for older Macs (like the Beige G3/Wallstreet/iMac 233-333 that are running OS X on the onboard IDE drive/partition of 8GB or less).
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Nvidia 6800 owner report on Maya 6.0.1 Problems
(from a reader mail)

"Hey Mike,
I have a new dual 2.5 with 2.5 GB of RAM and a 6800 Ultra Card. My primary 3d application of choice is Maya 6.0.1. My OS is 10.3.6. I've also upgraded my firmware.

Generally I find the combination of hardware and software acceptable with the following exceptions.

  • When working in any of the perspective or orthographic windows, I'll see white or green flashes that occur whenever I'm tumbling around in the scene. This is just slightly annoying because they happen so fast. I'm figuring there's definitely a driver issue going on. They are infrequent, but when they happen its apparent.

  • Activating the Hardware Render Buffer window is also possible, but there seem to be issues with certain preference attributes that prevent hardware rendering from occurring. If you activate multi-frame rendering option box in the Hardware render buffer's attribute window, the resulting test render will result in a blank white window. Multi-frame hardware rendering is important if you wish to utilize hardware motion blur or anti aliased edges. Deactivating multi frame rendering corrects the problem and rendering occurs as normal. (sans blur and anti aliasing)

  • Another hardware display issue also occurs within the orthographic or perspective windows when polygons are assigned a material with RGB based image map. A simple test is to take a default poly sphere and assign it a simple lambert shader. Once that's done, assign a "normal" texture map to the color channel. Any jpg will do. Once that happens, the geometry will turn white in perspective window rather than displaying the image map on the poly sphere. (Make sure you're in shaded / texture mode "6" on the keyboard).
    The only fix for this bug is to change the Hardware Texture Quality from "Default" to "Low, Medium, High or Highest".
    This will at least allow you to see the texture, although it will appear somewhat blurry. The hardware texture quality settings in Maya are a bit of a joke since the "Default" mode usually produces cleaner OpenGL textures than the "highest" setting. The only time those additional settings work better than default is when you are deforming the texture map through its 2D or 3D placement nodes.

    This is rather troubling for me because I make my living in previsualization. I bought the 6800 under the perception that it would speed up my hardware rendering. Now, it seems, I'm gonna have to downgrade to on of the Radeons in order to get those features to work again. Although I haven't tested it on my G5, none of these issues occur on my G4 with a Radeon 9800 Pro (128MB). We Need New DRIVERS!
    Brian P "

  • I've added this to the previous page of Mac Nvidia 6800 card owner feedback and tips.
    I don't own Maya personally but welcome other Mac 6800 owner comments on it or other apps. (Please include your system/OS version and details on apps/games, etc. you used in reports. Thanks.)

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    Tip for Ford Racing 2 Demo startup problems w/Nvidia 6800
    The other night I tried running the Ford Racing 2 Demo v1.0.1 on a G5 w/6800 card installed (running OS X 10.3.6) but the game would not run (quit to the desktop with an error). I tried disabling some advanced features, etc. but that didn't help. Finally I tried running the game at the same resolution as the desktop and that solved it. I've not tried the full version of the game but posting this as a FYI in case anyone else saw the same thing. (I was using a Sony FW900 CRT.)
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    ATI 9200 PCI Radeon reports page updated
    I've updated the 9200 Radeon PCI reports page to include a MDD owner (w/8500 AGP and ATTO SCSI card w/4 drives) report on stability problems after installing the card. (If any other MDD owner is running a 9200 PCI Radeon let me know if you see any problems. Also include notes on any other PCI cards installed.) Also included in the page update are some Beige G3 owner problem reports (usually involving cache enabler sofware in OS 9.x or a Sonnet ATA/133 PCI controller card).
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    Hardware Monitor 1.3 Update (adds support for iMac G5, more drives +)
    I missed this update on Wednesday, but versiontracker listed a v1.3 update to Hardware Monitor, the utility that can report on temperatures, fan RPMs, etc. in modern macs. See the page for a long list of changes in v1.3 including complete iMac G5 sensor support and additional hard drive temperature reporting support.
    (Note - I'm still getting the warning about the fan control driver / platform support driver versions that i mentioned in the past when running this on a 2003 G5 w/6800 card and the fan control firmware update. For previous comments on that and notes from the author of Hardware Monitor, see the Mac Nvidia 6800 card owner feedback/tips page.)
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    Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
    The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report this morning (entries from Wednesday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,668. Here's a summary of the report added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • Other World Computing G4 1.4-1.5 GHz (at 1.5GHz) in (gigabit) G4/AGP (rated 10)

      (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 3 new reports added this morning. (Entries from Wednesday-Thursday, 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 13,894 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)

    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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