News Archive for: Wednesday Nov. 28, 2007 (later added items first)
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Xserve Lights-Out Mgmt Firmware Update 1.1
Xserve Lights-Out Management Firmware Update 1.1
"This update includes changes to the Lights-Out Management environment of the Intel-based Xserve. It addresses the intermittent issue that causes the LOM port to be unresponsive. This update is strongly recommended for all Intel-based Xserve systems."

Related doc: About Xserve Lights-Out Management Firmware Update 1.1

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Apple mail reminder on Boot Camp Beta Expiring
This isn't news to most of you and I linked to the Apple doc on Boot Camp beta expiration months ago (on the Boot Camp Beta Info/Tips/Feedback page) but Apple sent an email today with a reminder to those that haven't bought Leopard that the last Boot Camp Beta expires Dec. 31st:

" Subject: An important message regarding your Boot Camp Beta license.

Dear Boot Camp enthusiast:
We hope you've enjoyed the opportunity to preview an exciting new feature of Mac OS X Leopard. With the introduction of Leopard, the Boot Camp Beta program has ended. The Boot Camp Beta software will expire on December 31, and Apple won't offer further updates of Boot Camp Beta for Mac OS X Tiger.
If you'd like to continue using Boot Camp, Apple invites you to upgrade to Mac OS X Leopard."

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FYI for anyone with Soundsticks/Leopard problems using PCI USB 2.0 card
Not that anything seems a universal fix (or problem) anymore but some readers previously had problems with Soundsticks in Leopard after waking from sleep but I can't recall now if they used onboard USB or PCI USB card connections. (See a later reply)

"Harmon-Kardon USB Soundsticks were working intermittently with Leopard. I saw the same results as others: boot up, they're fine; sleep for a little while, they're fine; sleep for a few hours, they're not recognized at all. Until I tried something:
I unplugged the Soundsticks from my PCI USB 2.0 card and plugged them directly into one of the computer's own USB ports.
Viola. No problems since.
(For the record, I'm also having intermittent trouble with printers attached to that card; haven't tried switching them yet.)
-Jeff
Power Mac G5 (Rev A/dual 2GHz)
USB PCI card info:
Vendor ID: 0x1033
Device ID 0x0035
Subsystem Vendor ID: 0x1799
Subsystem ID: 0x0001
Revision ID: 0x0043

(he later wrote)
No, I don't own an ("Apple") iSub per se; the Soundsticks include a subwoofer that looks exactly like it but is apparently not exactly the same (according to something I read years ago; can't remember where). In other words, it's all or nothing. "

A later reply from a G5 tower owner - he's still seeing an issue after long periods of sleep even with a direct connection:

" Leopard and USB Soundsticks
I am using a direct connection on onboard USB (rear one on G5 2.5). It happens only after a longer sleep.
Never had a single problem with Tiger and Soundsticks. Don't fix what's not broken Apple!,
Best, Davor P. "

A Mac Pro owner said he's seen no problems with his soundsticks in Leopard with a direct connect even after waking from hours (overnight) sleep.


Regarding PCI USB 2.0 cards w/Leopard - there were several mixed reports on PCI USB 2.0 cards with Leopard here in the last month - in some cases cards that worked fine (with native support) in Tiger (typically 10.2.x and later) had problems in Leopard.
Also an earlier post said the iSub didn't work (even w/PPC Macs) in Leopard and caused problems with Apple Pro speakers (non-USB) for a DA tower owner. (Didn't say if he was using a USB 2.0 PCI card connection for the iSub though.) And the old tip for Intel-cpu mac owners w/iSubs no longer worked either and I assume they used the onboard USB 2.0 present in all Intel-based Macs.

BTW - I remembered a used iMac G4/800 I bought a couple years ago came with Apple pro speakers and an 'iSub' in the box (assuming the 'Apple' iSub, only brand info I can see is Harmon Kardon on the power brick). I dug through the garage boxes and found it.
I tried it with OS X 10.5.1 on my G5 tower using a direct connect to the rear USB 2.0 port. I was using external (cheapo) speakers connected to the headphone jack on the front of the G5 tower. No sound from the 'iSub' and iTunes song playback was horribly stuttered when I first tried it with the iSub connected.
I disconnected/reconnected the iSub to the USB port - no audio from iTunes at all during song playback... Checked System Audio prefs, Audio/Midi Setup utility settings, etc. - nothing out of the ordinary. Disconnected the ext. speakers from the Headphone jack - still nothing from iSub.
Finally got audio back OK (no stuttering) but never got the iSub to work. (Green power LED lit, but no sound output at all from it.)

I'd never used the iSub before but it's not working here on my G5 tower with 10.5.1, even with direct USB port connection. Maybe I'm missing something... I've not tried booting from the other drive w/OS X 10.4.10 on it and likely won't as I was never fan of USB audio from day one, and always tried to avoid using anything that moves a lot of data over a USB bus in general. (I much prefer FW (even FW400) over USB 2.0 whenever possible.)

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Reader bitten by MacBook drive failure (same drives used in some MBP and Minis)
Follow-up to the recent stories on certain Seagate SATA Notebook drives (reportedly 60GB, 80GB models ST96812AS and ST98823AS, with drive firmware revision 7.0.1).

" Mike, My wife's failed last Friday night. We were visiting family in Houston. Fortunately, it waited that long. She defended her dissertation 2 weeks ago!

We went to one of the 3 Apple stores in the Houston area. Judging by the reaction of the Genius bar personnel (feigned surprise), they had already seen the problem before, but didn't have as much information as I had from reading on the web. I gave THEM the hard drive model numbers.

They did replace the drive, but it was a total catastrophic loss of data. None of the wife's dissertation materials were lost, but wedding photos, vacation stuff, and of course movies and tunes from iTunes were lost. That, and the days of reinstallation it takes to get the machine back up and running. A lot of lost time there.

When I returned to work Monday, a colleague had suffered the same fate on Saturday. This machine however is a Mac Mini (which shares the same components and other reports have said they are suffering the same fate).

(I asked him when the MacBook was bought)
The MacBook is a first gen Intel model, I don't remember exactly when she bought it. It had a 60GB, and Apple actually put an 80GB in it as a replacement. I'm a bit concerned about the replacement drive as it is a Seagate as well, we will be backing it up very regularly!
(BTW - Another reader later wrote wrote his August 2006 purchased MacBook Pro has one of these (ST98823AS w/firmware revision 7.0.1) and it's been used 6+ hours a day without a failure so far - but he's backed it up regularly just in case. One article from a UK site I read questioned if system shocks (jolts) before the safe sleep finished writes to the platter was a factor in the head crashes/platter contact that has been seen in some examinations of failed drives.-Mike)

And yesterday I read that Apple has finally acknowledged the problem... and that it includes MacBook Pros as well. This is huge. And sad. I have always loved Seagate drives, but this is enough to make me wary for good.
-John G. "

I've personally not been a big fan of desktop (SATA) Seagate drives at least due to some past history of drive firmware/performance issues in some models but I have used several of their notebook (Momentus) drives in portable FW cases (PATA models). Using one now (a 120GB) for about a year (replaced a 100GB momentus that was trashed after I dropped the FW drive down the stairs last fall...) And BTW - the most reliable hard drive I have ever owned (in over 20 years of computer use) is an early 4.5GB Seagate Cheetah SCSI drive - running 24/7/365 for 7 years with literally constant access (server).
If there was a large batch of these drives in the suspect production run/order, they could have been used in other models like the MBP and Mini also. Definitely something to check if you have a 60GB or 80GB MB/MBP or Mini with the original drive. (And another good reminder on why having a backup is important...)
I checked Apple's support pages this morning and didn't see anything there yet on this problem (i.e. no recall or repair/exchange program, etc. listed there)
FYI Thursday's news has replies from a (Aug 2006) MacBook Pro and (refurb May 2007) Mini owners with 'Flawed' Seagate drives still running OK.

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Other News/Software Updates
(later added items first)

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Apple Support/Troubleshooting Doc Updates
(later added items first)

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