News Archive for: 11/7/2005 Monday's News (later posted items first)
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Reviews of Carrera 5 Pro Beta and Sony DRU-810A
Erik wrote he's posted short reviews of Carrara 5 Pro beta and the Sony DRU-810A burner. (I asked if he could update the Sony review to include more details, including the OS version used, what ASP reports for the drive support (no Dual Layer iDVD 5 support unless it's reported as "Apple Supported") and what version firmware was in the DVR-110D comparison drive - as firmware 1.22 fixed some problems/media issues with the 110D readers said.)
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DVRFlash 2.2 notes on flashing Pioneer DVR-110D to 110
LasVegas sent a note on cross-flashing a DVR-110D to 110 using the new DVRflash 2.2 (see previous news item below)

"More info about DVRFlash 2.2
Because I know it's going to be asked, over and over and over. I'm going to answer this question now. Yes. I know it's not going to stop the question being asked, but now here's a post to point the query to.

Yes. It is possible to cross-flash a DVR-110D to DVR-110 (or visa- verse for that matter). Because it actually changes the Generation of the drive from 0011 (DVR-110D) to 0010 (DVR-110), there is an extra risk involved. DVRFlash will refuse to make this change normally even with the Force (-f) parameter.

While it has been done successfully, the risk is entirely on the person doing this cross-flash. Do not come crying when your drive doesn't work anymore! To do this this with DVRFlash you need to administer a "Superforce" command by entering the Force parameter twice. IE:

    DVRFlash -ff PIONEER RB1XX010.XXX RB1XX110.XXX

The filenames are to be replaced with the actual firmware and kernel names being flashed.
(he later wrote with info on the differences in the 110D vs 110)
The DVR-110D was released prior to the DVR-110. The only apparent difference is that the 110 adds the ability to read and write DVD-RAM media (at 5X speed). The DVR-110D can only read DVD-RAM discs.
-LasVegas"

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DVRFlash 2.2 for OS X (adds support for DVR-110, more drives)
(from the author's email this weekend)

" Mike,
Just a quick note to alert you that DVRFlash 2.2 has been released!
This new version adds support for Pioneer DVR-110, 110D, K04, K14, K05 & K15. The Mac version is now a Universal Binary which should allow it to work with the Intel based Macs when they're released.
There's now an official page for DVRFlash at http://lasvegas.rpc1.org.
Thanks for a great and useful site!
-LasVegas "
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Daystar announces Powerbook G3 Lomboard G4 CPU Upgrade
Daystar sent a press release on their PB G3 Lombard G4/433 CPU Upgrade service:

"The XLR8 433 MAChSpeed G4 Lombard Upgrade Kit includes all components and tools needed for completing the upgrade onsite:

  • XLR8 Upgraded 450 G4 CPU Card with 250 MHz Cache
  • XLR8 MAChSpeed Control CPU Software.
  • Daystar Modified High-Performance Metal Heat Sink.
  • Flat-Head and Philips Screwdrivers.
  • Arctic Silver Premium Thermal Compound.
  • Instruction / Installation Sheet.
  • Daystar $55 Rebate Form
  • Free Telephone Installation Information

Customer rebate for sending old components to Daystar:
The kit includes a rebate, form which allows customers to send the old CPU, EMI Shield and Heat Sink back to Daystar. In return, Daystar sends them a rebate check for $55 US.
The Total Cost of the Upgrade, Before the Rebate is $ 299 (Users can take advantage of the $55 rebate after upgrading... a net cost of $244). "

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Info on new SoftRAID 3.3 Update
" SoftRAID 3.3 ships; Faster mirror rebuilds and Disk Warrior compatibility

SoftRAID, LLC is pleased to announce the shipping of SoftRAID version 3.3, with full Mac OS 10.4.3 compatibility. With this release, SoftRAID 3.3 improves its Mirror rebuild technology, moves towards Intel compatibility, and fixes several minor bugs including a conflict with Disk Warrior.

Mirror rebuilds are significantly improved under SoftRAID 3.3. Volume optimization algorithms have been changed to make Mirror rebuilds faster and more transparent. Volumes optimized for Workstation and Server now get higher rebuilding priority from the OS, allowing faster rebuilds regardless of other disk activity.

SoftRAID 3.3 fixes a conflict with DiskWarrior 3 under Mac OS 10.4, which prevented users from using the popular diagnostic and repair utility with the SoftRAID 3.2.x driver.

SoftRAID 3.3 improves compatibility with third-party SATA cards, enclosures, and drives. SoftRAID 3.3's main window now assigns each SATA bus a unique bus ID. If you have a third party SATA card we do not properly identify buses on, please let us know.

We are also happy that a SoftRAID 3.3 "Intel compatible" version is in internal beta, and we are confident that we will have a Mac-Intel compatible version of SoftRAID ready to go whenever Apple releases Intel-based hardware.
The SoftRAID 3.3 release is a free electronic upgrade to all 3.x owners. The SoftRAID 3.3 electronic download is $129 and the retail CD is $149, both available from the SoftRAID website www.softraid.com and retail outlets worldwide. "

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SnaZio Net DVD Cinema HD (High Definition Networked Player for Macintosh)
(clip from V One Multimedia's email PR - see below for later reader report on this device)

"Singapore's own V One multimedia ("V One"), a worldwide designer and manufacturer of Snazzi* and SnaZio* consumer electronics and home video capturing & editing products, today announced the release of its latest Award Winning Networked DVD Player, SnaZio* Net DVD Cinema HD. The first ever fully integrated player for Macintosh (Mac) allowing users to access the digital contents stored on their Mac through home entertainment system and play it remotely on their TV, HDTV or Plasma either using Ethernet or Airport Extreme or Net Plug Powerline network tranceiver.

SnaZio* Net DVD Cinema HD ($349 US) is designed to provide a seamless integration with a complete suite of Digital Media Applications including iTunes, iPhoto, Garageband. With support for iTunes6, Net DVD Cinema HD becomes the first ever media player to give you an ultimate companion for your best jukebox to stream and play music, audio Podcasts, video Podcasts, audio books, home movies and above all music videos with the world's most popular online music store built right in. Net DVD Cinema has the ability to synchronize with your iTunes library. Not only this, Net DVD Cinema can give your recorded TV shows a new life. It works flawlessly with EyeTV to allow Mac users to watch all of their recorded EyeTV contents (SD & HD) on the TV with the astounding High Definition quality up to 720p and 1080i.

Comes with a remote control, so you can navigate your digital media files on remote TV in the same way as you organize on your Mac. With its unprecedented file format support including MPEG-1/2/4, MPEG-4 HD, DivX, DivX HD, WMV9 HD, SnaZio* Net DVD is definitely a next generation networked DVD player for Mac. "

I asked them if this supports playing Apple iTunes music store protected AAC files (I didn't think so since it's not in their list and a reader replied it doesn't - see below). If any reader buys one of these, let me know what you think of it.
A reader replied to this post:

" I saw your Snazio* Net DVD Cinema HD news...
I have one of the unit(s), and no, it does not support protected file. I don't think Apple opens up their Fairplay DRM to anybody (besides Motorola), so how is it going to be possible?
(Since they didn't mention it specifically, I wanted to note that here in case someone assumed it did after the reference to iTunes support - as has happened before with some of these networked/media players (like EyeHome and others). Of course there's always workarounds...-Mike)

But everything else, like iTunes 6.0.1 support, iTunes sharing, podcast, etc, are supported. iPhoto and Safari RSS are also supported, of course.

There is a review of SnaZio* Net DVD Cinema HD in current issue of HWM magazine (http://www.hardwaremag.com/). Damn cool to see such a product coming to Mac market.
-TC "

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Notes on Handbrake 0.70 update
"Handbrake updated to 0.7.0
http://handbrake.m0k.org/download.php
changelog:
Multithreaded H.264 encoding with x264
Added option for H.264 Baseline (suitable for iPods)
(Very) experimental queue support
Fixes for some DVD titles HandBrake would not recognize
Fixes audio gliches when encoding from LPCM tracks
and the funniest line..
No, there is no version of HandBrake for Windows, please stop asking.
please support the writer with gift certificates - http:// handbrake.m0k.org/contribute.php
fyi - the link to the forked iPod version (mentioned in last Wed's news page) at homepage.mac.com/gsf is down now that this version is up.
-don "
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Apple Knowledge Base Doc Updates
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Other Net News
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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 9 new reports added. (Entries later today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 15,243 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) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) LG GSA-5163D used w/iMac G5 (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Liteon SOHW-1693S in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (Not bootable from CD he said. Using Patchburn 3 for 10.3.x iApps burn support. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers B&W G3 model.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-107D in eMac (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-110D in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for 10.3.x iApps burn support. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 models up to the Digital Audio.)
  • Firewire (cased) Sony DRU-800A used w/iMac slot-loading (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for 10.3.x iApps burn support. Some problems noted.)

    DVD-ROM Drives:
  • IDE NEC DV-5800A (16x/48x) in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Hitachi Travelstar 5K80 60GB in (Pismo) Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X 10.3)
    (PB G3 Pismo illustrated HD install guide here)
  • IDE Maxtor DiamondMax10 300GB in iMac G4 (OS X 10.4)
    (iMac G4 15in take-apart article here. Unlike other iMac G4 users, he reported problems with big drive support - limited to 128GB formatted)
  • IDE Samsung MP0603H 60GB in (Pismo) Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X 10.4)

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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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,107. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Designs Dual 1.8GHz (7447A) in (sawtooth) 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).

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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