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News Archive for: 10/09/2001 Tuesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

Top stories of 10/9/2001:

Reminder: SuperDrives CAN use DVD-RWs:
Regular readers here know that you _can_ burn/erase DVD-RW disks with a SuperDrive (or retail Pioneer DVR-A03/103 drive) in OS X 10.1 as well as with Toast5 in OS 9, as noted here before, despite Apple not listing that disc type as supported. Apple sells DVD-Rs only and iDVD, etc. doesn't have the ability to erase DVD-RWs, but 10.1's Disk Utility can based on owner reports here. (Toast 5 also notes DVD-RW support - has since its release.)
I found it interesting that after yesterday's repeat article on this that today there would be a web site with a story about DVD-RWs not being supported, but the comments there are just verbage from Apple, not hands-on reports from users of DVD-RW discs.

As noted here repeatedly over the last 6 months, Apple does not list DVD-RWs as supported at their site - but the Superdrive does work with them with Toast5 in OS 9 and with OS X 10.1's disc utility. See owner reports in the linked article. I have no reason to doubt the reports from 10.1 users, or the info Roxio notes on DVD-RW use with Toast5 and the Superdrive. Apple may not officially support it - but DVD-RWs have been noted as used by readers here with OS X 10.1 Disk Utility and Toast5. (iDVD and DVD Studio Pro 1.x do not support DVD-RW discs however.) Pioneer notes 1X DVD-RW speeds however, where DVD-Rs burn at 2x rates. (My comments on the rates are in italics in the linked article above.)

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Reader Comments on MCE DVD Decoder PCCard with Matshita Combo Drive:
The reader that noted MCE's $99 DVD Decoder PCMCIA card he pre-ordered (noted in Friday's news) sent comments after receiving the card . (See the update below on a price increase since Friday.)

" Mike,
Happy Happy, Joy Joy!
The DVD pcmcia card arrived today from MCE and I'm happy to report it works flawlessly. I just watch a whole movie with no skips or pauses. As a reminder, I'm referring to my powerbook 333 bronze keyboard with the Matshita UJDA 710 combo dvd/cdrw drive, under Mac OS 9.2.1 using Apple DVD Player version 1.3.

Compared to the prices for these cards on ebay ($135-$150) the $99 MCE is charging is a real bargain. Yahoo!
Later---Kelly "

OS X 10.1's DVD player does not support hardware decoders currently. (There's many B&W G3, Lombard, etc. owners that hope there's an update to add support in the future.)
Update: Bob F. says their site today notes the $99 price is only if ordered with the combo drive - $129 if ordered separate. As noted in Friday's news post, I called (non-toll free) MCE personally that day to verify Kelly's previous email comments before posting a news item Friday, since I did not see the card listed there at that time. I specifically asked if the price was $99 or $99.99 and was told $99. No mention was made of it being a bundle only price and as Kelly noted above - he has the Matshita combo drive (not MCE's). The Matshita drive he's using is the one noted here in past build articles that were sold on Ebay. (The same drive mechanism may be used in MCE's expansion bay drive.)
I called to verify the story and price personally, but it seems MCE has raised their price on the card alone now. Perhaps the $99 was a pre-order only sale, but that is what I was told by MCE as the price last Friday. (I'm not going to call on my nickel again today, but Bob noted the $129 price/$99 bundle price is now listed at this MCE page.)

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Reader Comments on Firewire CDRW Problem in OS X 10.1:
So far I've only used my internal IDE Toshiba R1102 combo drive which works fine in OS X 10.1 (as I noted in this article a week or so ago). A reader sent an email recently on problems he and others have seen with Firewire CDRWs in OS X 10.1.

" Hi,
Hopefully, I'm sending this to the right place...and I did a search of your database, but didn't come across this particular problem.
Basically, over at Apple's discussion boards, there are a number of posts concerning problems burning in 10.1 with external firewire burners. (here) is one example.

What happens, with Toast 5 pr2 or Apple's disk burning program, is that the burner is recognized, but after a few seconds of burning, both programs just hang. Roxio has this in their read me:

    On Power Macintosh G3 (Blue and White) computers, FireWire recorders that use the Initio FireWire bridge (as shipped by many vendors including QPS) will cause the computer to hang after a minimal amount of activity. We are working with Initio and Apple on a solution to this problem.

While I do have a Blue and White, I'm assuming from reading the various posts at Apple, that this affects other machines.

Have you heard anything about this problem? Or do you know of any work arounds. While I like OS 10.1, the lack of DVD support and this CDRW problem on the Blue and White takes some of the fun out of X. Thanks,
Bryan Goesling "

My Sony 10/4/32 FW CDRW (bought before OS X was released) had a note about Firewire port issues with the B&W G3, but I can't remember the details now (It may have dealt with having more than one device on the FW bus with that model, but I can't remember specific details in the flyer with the drive.)

If anyone has a problem with a supported drive burning in OS X 10.1, please post a Drive Database entry describing the problem. (OS X is an option on the entry page - I'm working to have it added as a search criteria on the database search page.)

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Page listing Lexmark Printers/Drivers for OS X:
Recent news here listed printers supported in OS X 10.1 and notes on Epson's schedule of 10.1 drivers, etc. but I found no easy way at Lexmark's site to show a list of all their printers that had OS X drivers. (The one I searched for, the X83, had only 10.0.4 and earlier drivers, not 10.1 versions). A reader replied to that post:

" Dear Mike, I currently maintain a list by OS of compatible Lexmark printers at: with links ot the driver pages of each printer.
I also have a list I've built of all Mac OS X compatible printers at

Since Lexmark may add/update drivers at any time, I'd still check the site for the latest drivers. I'll have to add the lexmark links to the FAQ's OS X and Printers section (which has a list of all printers supported with the OS X CD installed files.)

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Western Digital's Special Edition 100GB IDE drive with 8MB Cache:
(Update: Later in the week there were benchmark test articles posted on this 8MB cache/100GB drive.)
For those that missed last night's update, Western Digital has announced a Special Edtion of their fast 100GB IDE hard drive with an 8MB cache. (2MB has been the largest cache previously offered in an IDE drive.) See their press release for more details. The drive carries a premium over the 2MB cache 100GB model which is $299 list (but available for less at places on the Web and at Sam's Club) - the 8MB cache version lists for $379 (retail box).
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 13 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 4,992 reports. Here's a list of the reports added this morning:

    DVD Recorder Reports:
  • Pioneer DVR-A03 (retail) in G4/AGP

    Combo DVD/CDRW Reports:
  • IDE Ricoh 9120A (12/10/32 + 8X DVD) in B&W G3
    (problems noted)

    IDE CDRW Reports:
  • Que 24x/10/40 in B&W G3
  • Sanyo SW-408 in B&W G3
  • Sony CRX140E/CH2 box had CRX0811 inside
    (this issue was reported several times in the past here - the 0811 drive is not supported on the Mac)
  • Yamaha CRW2100EZ (16/10/40) in B&W G3

    Firewire CDRW Reports:
  • Formac 24/10/40 used w/PB G3 2000
    (formac listed under "other brands".)
  • Que QPS-1640SL 16/10/40 in ADS Pyro case used w/Dual G4
    (problems noted)

    USB CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Sony CRX10U-A2 4x4x6 used w/iMac Slot Loading
  • Sony CRX100E/X2 used w/iMac Slot Loading
    (no drive speed listed, noted no support in OS X 10.1)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Fujitsu MHL2300AT 30GB in 20th Anniv. Mac
  • IBM 75GXP 45GB in Umax (didn't note model) using IDE PCI Card
    (noted drive failed)
  • Maxtor 80GB in iMac

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 4 new reports today (total to date: 6,287).

  • Powerlogix Bluechip G3/466 in PB G3 Wallstreet2 (rated 9)
    (noted 4th card working well)
  • Powerlogix Bluechip G3/500 in PB G3 Wallstreet2 (rated 10)
    (3rd updated report, this one on OS X 10.1)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in 8500/150 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 G3/466 in Beige G3 MT (rated 10)

(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, Apple TILs and Other Net News Links

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