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News Archive for: 10/05/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 10/5/2001:

Epson Posts OS X 10.1 Driver Updates Release Schedule:
Damien Sorresso sent a note that Epson has updated their Support page to show the following schedule of projected driver release dates.

    " Scheduled Web Posting Date

    Monday, October 22
    Stylus C40
    Stylus C60
    Stylus C80
    Stylus Photo 820
    Stylus Photo 785EPX

    Monday, October 29
    Stylus Photo 780
    Stylus Photo 890
    Stylus Photo 1280
    Stylus COLOR 980

    Monday, November 5
    Stylus Photo 870
    Stylus Photo 875DC
    Stylus Photo 1270
    Stylus Photo 2000P
    Stylus COLOR 900

    "We will be announcing in a few weeks the release dates for drivers for the EPSON Stylus Color 740, 760, 860, 777 and 880, as well as our Perfection scanners and professional graphics printers that will be supported. We regret any inconvenience you may have experienced during this time. But we believe that by taking time to wait for the more fully featured operating system and subsequently taking time to properly develop and test each driver to our exacting standards, our printers will continue to provide the best image quality with OS X, as they do with other operating systems. "

The comments on the 740 confuse me a bit - the 740 (USB) model works in OS X (even before 10.1) - it's the only Epson printer I have that works in OS X to date. Not sure about the other models in that sentence, but a reader said in the forums the 880 model was also currently supported by OS X. Perhaps they mean improved drivers with more features?
As an owner of an Epson Photo 870, I'm one of the many readers with various unsupported Epson printers chomping at the bit for OS X drivers.

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Reports on Dazzle DV Bridge in OS X 10.1, including PB G3 user with PCcard Firewire:
In reply to a problem post from another brand of DV converter earlier today, several owners of the Dazzle DV Bridge (Analog video to DV/Firewire) worked fine in OS X 10.1. One reader noted it also worked in 10.0.4, but a PowerBook G3 owner (pre-firewire model) with CardBus Firewire controller noted OS X 10.1 worked with it where previous versions didn't:

" Hi again Mike,
I have the Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridge and it never did work under OS X. Until now anyway.

The system is my Powerbook 333 Bronze keyboard with a Newer firewire 2 go pcmcia card. Until I just tried this a few minutes ago, OS X 10.04 wouldn't even recognize the firewire card. Now after upgrading to 10.1, it sees the card and captures video into iMovie through the DV bridge pretty good. I need to fool around with the compression settings (a little grainy).

Good news for people with firewire cardbus's, and the Hollywood Bridge.
-Kelly"

The Firewire2Go cards are pretty cheap now at some sources. OWC has them for $29.97 on the site specials page.

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Myst III Exile Update:
Ubisoft has released a Myst III Exile 1.22 patch today. I didn't see any details on the 7MB patch at their main page or the download page. I don't own the game but assume there's a readme in the download with more info on the 1.22 update.
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Tropico Game Demo (170MB) and 3Dfx Cards:
A reader with a Voodoo5 noted he could not run hardware 3d support with the Tropico 170MB demo, even though OpenGL is supported by that card. A Voodoo3 card owner also noted similar issues. I assume the same applies for the full game, but welcome other 3dfx card owner reports on the game.
From forum comments I gather that software mode may actually run better/smoother even for other card brands. The Voodoo5 Mac PCI card was reviewed here last year and does support OpenGL, but there have been reports here previously that OpenGL 1.2.2 doesn't work with the card. I've not run a Voodoo3 card for some time, so it may also not work well with OpenGL 1.2.2.
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Diskwarrior Saves My Bacon Again...
I've said this before many times in the past, but again tonight Diskwarrior recovered a disk that was unreadable at boot. Attempting to check mail at my cable modem ISP locked the PowerBook solid - a forced restart resulted in a flashing question mark. Booting from the Diskwarrior CD had the Finder prompt to initialize the hard drive since it wasn't readable. However Diskwarrior repaired the disk with no apparent data loss.
I've used Diskwarrior since it was first released, and several times it has recovered my disks, paying for itself many times over.
There are two primary computing rules I have:
  1. backup your data often and
  2. make sure you have a Discwarrior CD.

Sometimes I forget to do #1 so having #2 handy can be a lifesaver. Diskwarrior is a must have utility for every Mac owner in my opinion, and countless readers have noted the same thing.
Diskwarrior has not only saved my desktop/portable Macs data several times, it's also done so for my servers. I had a server crash last year and even though the disk would mount, any attempt to copy database files, etc. from the disk resulted in a read error (I prefer to make a copy of important data files before running any repair utility if possible). However Diskwarrior repaired the disk without one byte of lost data. It paid for itself 10 times over with that recovery alone.
If you're not familiar with Diskwarrior, visit Alsoft's product page. I'm told version 2.1 can repair OS X disks also and the included PlusOptimizer v1.3 can optimize OS X disks (in both cases booted from another volume or from the CD).
[Note: A reader noted he had a major problem with OS X 10.1 after using DiskWarrior 2.1 on the disk. He did not save the disk report so Alsoft could not offer any support on the problem. For now I'd suggest caution on using any 3rd party disk utility on OS X 10.1 volumes.] (I've not personally used PlusOptimize or Diskwarrior on OS X disks because my DW CD has an older versions, but I have used the latest Norton SpeedDisk to optimize OS X volumes on 3 Macs as noted in this previous article.)

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Formac 17.4 Inch LCD Display Offered in ADC and DVI Models:
James Drury sent a note that Formac has the first non-Apple LCD display with ADC (single connector) I've seen. They also offer a DVI/VGA model.

" I see Formac have a new 17.4" TFT LCD Flat-Panel Display 1280 x 1024 resolution. 2 options available

  • ADC for Power Macintosh G4 and Cube
  • DVI / VGA for other Macs and PCs

www.formac.co.uk/html/sets/1740_set.htm
It does not show up in US website ??
and cannot see any pricing.
James"

I've written Formac to ask for more details and pricing.

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Using PC Formatted IDE Drives Inside a Mac:
I had forgotten about the "Mount PC SCSI Disks" option in File Exchange's control panel (at the bottom), which combined with the fact that MacOS (before OS X) see IDE PCI Cards as SCSI (noted in the first 1998 IDE card review here and the IDE RAID setup guide using Softraid) - this will allow IDE PC disks to be mounted on a Mac.
After a thread in the forums here noted the Mount PC SCSI disk option, I tested a Win98SE formatted IDE drive in my G4/AGP with Acard IDE card and it worked well. I had completely forgotten about that option in File Exchange.

I've used PC formatted IDE drives in firewire cases for over a year without problems (in OS 9 - requires File Exchange control panel to be enabled). They won't mount in OS X 10.1 in my tests however. If you have a Mac IDE PCI card (and not a Firewire case), this is one option to consider if you need access to data files on a PC IDE hard drive.

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ATI ROM Update Reports Page Updated, Tip for Lost Video Out:
I've updated the page of reader feedback on the ATI ROM update with more reader reports on the ROM update released Monday
One of the latest reports noted zapping the pram restored the video out function. ATI has also posted a page on the issue of some seeing corrupted screens after waking from sleep in OS X 10.1. (I did not see this on my PCI Radeon in the 66mhz slot of a B&W G3 connected to a 15" Apple LCD running 10.1.)
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MCE has $99 PCcard DVD Decoders for PowerBooks:
Kelly sent a note he has pre-ordered one of these cards from MCE to use with a DVD/CDRW combo drive. (I called MCE and they said it would work with the Apple 1.x DVD player - OS X 10.1's DVD player however does not support hardware decoders). As of yesterday I could not find any info at MEC's site where they were taking orders yet, but Kelly sent a link to their Expansion bay CDRW and DVD/CDRW Combo drives page which has a comment at the bottom that says:

    "* PowerBook G3 1998 and 333MHz version of PowerBook G3 1999 require the separate DVD Decoder PC Card (expected to be available in mid-October) to decode DVD video."

Kelly promised to report back on the card when it arrives. MCE told me today they have the Decoder cards in stock and they started shipping yesterday.

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Director's Cut DV Converter and OS X 10.1
"I've been reading about the different Firewire problems with OS 10.1 and thought I'd chime in with my own. I use a Director's Cut DV converter (from PowerR) and iMovie doesn't seem to see it under OS 10.1. I have e-mailed PowerR about it and will email Apple also.
Otherwise OS 10.1 is great.
Shane"

If any other readers have problems in 10.1 with Firewire devices, let me know the details. (I'm especially interested in owner reports on the Dazzle DV bridge.)

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PowerBook G3 Owner Comments on OS X 10.1 Battery Life:
The latest reader comments on OS X 10.1 battery life/power management:

"Not really a comparison to OS9 sleep times, since I never really worried about them, but just as a test last night I unplugged the AC adapter from my 1999 Bronze keyboard (Lombard) and put it to sleep. Six hours later, I woke it up and the battery monitor estimated that I had 83% remaining. With 10.0 - 10.0.4, an overnight sleep would have probably drained the whole battery.

Gotta say, I'm impressed with that number, especially since my battery's starting to get old and I can't even get two hours of it while watching a DVD in OS9. BTW, here's my config: 192 MB RAM, 10 GB IBM Travelstar, Newer Firewire-2-Go PC card.
Eric Lehto"

Another reader wrote:

" One data point. I'm running 10.1 on a Wallstreet with 192 MB of RAM and 2 batteries. I left it sleeping overnight and came back to find 1 battery completely drained. (The system itself reported 44% charged in the menu bar.)

This is much improved from 10.0.0; I recall that both batteries would be drained overnight. But under 9.x, there would be barely any drain at all.
-- Larry R."

That still seems to be a very high drain rate for sleep.

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Article on Faster Response Time LCD Displays:
ExtremeTech has a story on Mitsibushi's new "feed forward driving" (FFD) technology for faster response time LCD displays.
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 19 new reports added this morning. The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 4,947 reports. Here are today's additions:

    Combo DVD/CDRW Reports:
  • IDE Toshbia R1102 (8x8+DVD) in G4/AGP 2001
    (See my OS X 10.1 DVD player, CDRW burning, etc. article for my experiences with this drive)
  • IDE Toshiba SD-R1002 (4x4 + DVD) in B&W G3

    IDE CDRW Reports:
  • Sony CRX1611-82U 16/10/40 in Beige G3
  • Sony CRX160 in G4 no AGP (yikes)
    (noted problems)
  • TDK 24/10/40 in Beige G3
  • Yamaha 2100 16/10/40 in 85/8600 w/IDE PCI Card

    Firewire CDRW Reports:
  • Acer 8x in ADS Pyro case used w/G4/AGP
    (noted that it doesn't work in OS X 10.1)
  • Que 24/10/40 in ADS Pyro case used w/G4/AGP
    (Noted authoring support 1.1.3 update supports the drive)
  • TDK 24/10/40 in ADS Pyro case used w/G4 AGP

    USB CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Pacific Digital U-30098 used w/iMac
    (no itunes/discburner support)

    DVD ROM Drive Reports:
  • Cyberdrive DM126D 12x/40x in G4/AGP
    (filed under "other brands")

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports: (See my prev. OS X/FW Drive tests article for more info on the issue with 10.1 and some FW drives)
  • Que 60GB used w/Beige G3
    (not running OS X to test for issues)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM 75GXP 60GB in G4/AGP - noted failure after 3 months.
    (used the illustrated install guide here)
  • IBM 60GXP 40GB in Beige G3
  • IBM Travelstar 10GB (OEM) in PB G3 2000
  • Fujitsu MPG3409AH-E 40GB in Dual G4
  • Toshiba 1.3GB in PowerBook 3400
  • Western Digital 40GB in 9500 w/IDE to SCSI adapter
  • Western Digital 20GB in 85/8600 w/IDE PCI Card

You can find full owner reports 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.]

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports today (total to date: 6,278).

  • MetaBox G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 2)
    (noted cache failed after several months of overclocking)
  • Sonnet G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 8100/80 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF MPe w/G3/400 ZIF in 9600/300 (rated 10)
  • Apple G4/400 AGP OC report

(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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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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Software Updates and Other Net News Links

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