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News Archive for: 10/12/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!


Top stories of 10/12/2001:

DVDs Playing on my B&W G3 with OS X 10.1 Player Mod! - Here's How:
I can now say that the mod noted earlier today does work, at least on a B&W G3. I have a B&W G3 with a PCI Radeon card and the original DVD-ROM drive. As I'm typing this a DVD movie is playing on it with OS X 10.1's DVD Player. See this page for how I did it and reader feedback on the mod.
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OS X 10.1 DVD Player Hack for Unsupported Macs:
As noted by Apple and articles here, the OS X 10.1 DVD player will not install (or run) on a Mac with the hardware DVD decoder options (B&W G3, Lombard G3/400, Yikes G4/PCI). A reader post in the forums linked to this tip on a hack that one user said worked to enable DVD on a B&W G3. (The same info was posted in a thread at Apple's forums.)

" Get your DVD player by copying Essentials.pkg.gz [I could find the Essentials.pax.pkg, but not a "Essentials.pkg.gz" file-Mike] to your disk, gunzip, and read the man page for the pax command line to get the DVD directory and contents extracted.

Grab a Hex editor from version-tracker. [i.e Hexedit-Mike]

Boot your mac into open firmware using Command option o f.
[Command+Option+O+F keys held down at boot. -Mike]

Read your id. PowermacX,X X.Xx blah
The important part is PowermacX,X (i.e. B&W G3 Powermac1,1)
Search for the string in the DVD Player application. Then change anything after Powermac2,1 I believe to your ID string and save the application... be sure to make the application executable by all. [check file (permissions) info-Mike]
NOTE: Compatible machine list is checked first and if a match is made, it doesn't matter if the machine is listed twice.
Hopefully this will work for everyone.
Andrew Weiss

one of the replies on the above tip noted:

"Works for me.
I have a B&W G3.

I had to copy /Applications/DVD Player to my home directory in order for Hex Edit to be willing to open it (don't know why HexEdit won't actually go down into any Apps it seems)...
[may be a file permissions issue-Mike]
I replaced the Powermac 2,2 with 1,1, and while I'm not in front of the machine to put a DVD player in (I did this remotely over a VNC connection), I can verify the DVD player now launches.

(See this page for an easier way if you have access to the DVD file.)
If this mod works for you let me know (Include your system details, etc..)

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More Test Results with Western Digital 8MB Cache 100GB IDE Drive:
I've posted a page of initial benchmarks comparing the 8MB Cache WD 100GB drive to an OEM 60GB IBM drive in a G4/733 Digital Audio system in some limited tests last night. The page with yesterday's first reader tests has also been updated with graphs of his (text) numeric data for the Maxtor 60GB drive and the 100GB drive.
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Rumors of New PowerBooks Soon - perhaps in the next week:
The Other Net News page here has linked to articles at the Register and others that have reported rumors of new portables from Apple. Everyone expected a new PowerBook G4 at Seybold, but that did not happen. However a friend from overseas said he is hearing from reliable sources that there may be new Powerbooks announced this weekend. Only time will tell. It will be interesting to see if the new models have faster CPUs and my wish for a ATI Radeon Mobility graphics chip with more video RAM. (Which as noted here in the past based on PC notebook tests, used less power than the Nvidia GeForce2GO as well as having much higher performance.) I'd really like to see a 32MB version in an Apple notebook (the chip supports up to 64MB of DDR RAM as noted in past news here.)
Every rumor post I've seen mentions a PB G4/550 and G4/667 model - what they don't mention is that if those were really the two CPU speeds, then the 550mhz model would be running a 100mhz bus and the 667 a 133mhz bus. I'd doubt they would offer two bus/memory speed models. (Going either with all PC133 SODIMM based systems (i.e. 533, 600, 667mhz speeds) or staying with the current 100Mhz bus (i.e. 550, 600, 650mhz speeds).
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OS X 2D Video RAM Compression/Speed-Up Trick:
Back before OS X retail was released, during a discussion about Powerbook graphics controllers a graphics card programmer mentioned that there were features of OS X (compression) to help with the smaller amounts of video ram in notebooks. A reader sent a note and link to a forum post from Ambrosia (famous for shareware games and utilities) regarding how to enable compression in OS X:

" Hey Mike!
Thought you'd like this tip from Ambrosia's Andrew Welch on enabling window compression in OSX 10.1 (posted here)

On machines with low RAM and slower CPU, it makes a world of a difference! That and I suspect it will save battery power (on 'books) by reducing disk access...

My iBook 366 + 128 megs of RAM pages a lot less often, and now generally has 13-16 megs of free RAM as opposed to less than 2...

Haven't tried it on my G4... I suspect that I won't notice much of a difference anyways, having 768 megs of RAM there... perhaps I'll experiment tonight...
Take care!
Martin-Luc Girard"

The tip involves using the Terminal to edit a file and notes this setting may be enabled on a future OS X update. (He said it was disabled due to kernel panics, which were fixed in the GM release of 10.1 but not enabled in the final release.) I tried this on my PB G4 and for some operations it does seem to boost performance, even with that machine's 1GB of installed RAM. For users with less RAM, the benefits may be even more noticable.

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Another Report on Zapping PRAM Solving ATI ROM Update Issues:
The ATI 9.1 ROM Update Feedback page had a past report from a PCI Radeon owner that zapping the pram (a good tip for video card issues in the past when changing cards) fixed his "loss" of video output. Another reader replied it also solved his problems:

" Mike,
After zapping the PRAM 3 times in a row I'm happy to report that up to now the problem seems to have been cured. :)) Don't really know whether it's been fixed for good though, so don't take my word for it, I'll let you know asap on any progress on that front.
Regards, Jim"

With over 1000 emails received since the ATI update, I asked Jim to send a note on his system, card and problems he saw with after the update.

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Reports on NAI to sell off PGP Products:
If anyone will buy it, that is....

This has definite implications for OS X - I was holding off upgrading to OS X partly because I was waiting for the OS X-native version of PGP from NAI. Obviously that's not going to happen now. So I'll have to start looking at GPG or just run the latest version of PGP in Classic. Either alternative is probably not going to be as easy as PGP would have been running natively in OS X.
Julian Koh "

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 14 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 5,043 reports. Here's a list of the reports added this morning:

    IDE CDRW Reports:
  • LG CD-RW CED-8120B in B&W G3
    (LG filed under "other brands")

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Sony CRX-140S in G4/AGP
  • Yamaha 4416 (4x/4x/16x) in Beige G3
    (noted audio CD DAO burn problems in toast5 but not toast4)

    DVD-ROM Drive Reports:
  • IDE Toshiba SD-M1612 in Beige G3

    CDROM Drive Reports:
  • SCSI Plextor PX-40S 40x used w/G4/AGP

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports:
  • Firewire Direct RAID 120GB used w/G4 AGP
    (noted not working with OS X 10.1)
  • Other World Computing 60GB used w/G4 AGP
    (noted working with OS X 10.1)
  • Western Digital 60GB used w/PowerWave

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM 60GB in B&W G3 w/PCI IDE card
    (noted odd problems with some startup disk control panel)
  • IBM 60GXP 60GB in iMac Slot Loading
  • Maxtor 40GB in B&W G3 w/IDE PCI Card (sonnet tempo)
  • Western Digital 100GB in G4/AGP

    SCSI Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM 18ES / DNES-318350W 18GB in B&W G3

    Removable Media Drive Reports:
  • SCSI Syquest SyJet 1.5 GB SCSI in G4/AGP
    (noted works under OS X 10.0.4)

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 7 new reports today (total to date: 6,304). [Entires from the previous day are added each morning.]

  • Metabox G3/400 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Other World Computing G3/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Other World Computing G4/400 in B&W G3 (rated 1)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in 8600/200 (rated 10)
  • Vimage G3/240 in 6400/180 (rated 4)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3 400 ZIF (OWC bundle) in 9600-233 (rated 9)
  • B&W G3/300 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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