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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 10/30/2001 Tuesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of the day:

Acard's A/V Utility for Stuttering Audio Issues w/PCI IDE cards:
If you have an older (pre-G3) Mac with Acard PCI IDE card with stuttering audio problems, try Acard's A/V Optimizer (FYI: The Acard (IDE PCI card mfr) AV Optimizer (for OS 9.x use) download link from 2001 was removed, after the source file no longer at that URL. Acard may have moved the file or removed it. I checked Acard's site (June 2009) downloads page and found a new URL that notes OS X in the filename however - http://dl.acard.com/download/mac/AV_Optimizor_OSX.zip.). A reader with a 7500 and Acard ATA/66 card reported it solved his problems. Acard notes it lowers performance (as does Sonnet's ATA/100 card utility noted in past tests here).
The readme file with the download has information on using it. The Sonnet ATA/66 cards were made by Acard, but the readme says the utility is only for Acard models. (I'd suspect it would work with Sonnet Tempo ATA/66 and RAID cards, but welcome any reports from owners trying it). Sonnet's ATA/100 card is made by Promise and comes with their own A/V utility.
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OS X Utility for Unsupported Macs Updated:
Yesterday Ryan Remple released v2.0 of his utility for running OS X on "unsupported" legacy Macs. See the links on that page for more info and also read the info/links at Ryan's page at OWC's OS X Center for additional info, tips and a FAQ.
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PB G3/400 Owner Comments on Aliens vs Predator (Full Version)
A reader sent comments (long) on playing the full version of AvP from Macplay on his Pismo.

" Mike,
...Pismo 400 in OS X 10.1. It ran very well, I played for about an hour and a half last nite, just tried the beginning of each scenario. Rather disappointed all in all though. I haven't tried the multiplayer and that might be better but of the single player game my expectations were higher.

Lighting is horribly dark in all three scenarios, Predator, human, and Alien. Basic player control is good, my Macally USB scroll mouse is recognized, scroll wheel and all. Objectives are generally unclear and/or exceedingly meaningless. The Alien objective of defend your home makes sense and the information given to the human character that this is taking place three years after hadley's hope and that everyone is being evacuated makes sense but as far as where you are and your relation to the rest of the game it is lacking. I haven't fooled with any systems settings in the game yet but the defaults worked great as far as performance is concerned, no frame drops or skipping.

The human scenario is worst as far as lighting goes, makes sense for the scenario being stuck on the alien planet but u end up tossing flares EVERYWHERE. Far cry from the Predator scenario where you take a step forward and almost step on an enemy soldier. Here you wander the compound for at least 10 minutes without seeing anything more than the occasional blip on the motion detector. And when you do contact the aliens, the motion detector is useless because they seemingly come out of no where and move so fast by the time you here the blip you'd better be shooting. Strange thing is in both the human and Alien scenarios the enemies each seem much smaller than you, almost shrunken. Weird since the Aliens in the movie were much larger than humans.

Objectives in the Predator game are the most straight forward, all in all the Predator scenario is the best at least in my short play of the game. The Predator character also seems best suited to the game layout. As a rouge fighter it seems much more natural wondering through the base camp alone. The objectives are still rather meaningless as no initial storyline is given in the game itself other than "here you are go do this ..." The Predator also has the best weapon assortment by far. His shoulder cannon recharges over time, he can cloak, heal himself with enough energy built up, has the widest arrangement of viewing modes making seeing and navigating terrain and enemies a much more natural feat. The Predator game alone is not a good enough reason to buy this game, but it is by far the best scenario presented and is adapted well to the game's playability.

The Alien scenario is very confused, you are given various objectives "temple has been invaded, destroy the intruders and seal all entrances" but you are not given any knowledge of the layout that you are defending. Adding to this is the fact that at least 70% of your time is navigating through the levels' walls and ceilings, which for me was a great frustration, with no layout and no frame of reference based on moving along a standard surface it is VERY easy to get confused as to where you are and end up back where you started, also the Alien moves incredibly fast. While both these aspects are true to the character, combined they make directional control through low lighting rooms and intertwining tunnels very hard. Spending most of your time climbing along the walls and ceilings is a great concept but mostly it resulting in me becoming confused about my POV, location, and giving me a headache. About 15 minutes in I came in contact with my first human intruders. Seeing them hard enough but once they counter attack the Alien is basically blind as being burned affects your vision to the point that movement in any controlled way is almost impossible. I think I lasted about 20 seconds after I attacked them, not exactly what I was looking forward to. 15 minutes of frustrated movement to find an enemy that kills me 20 seconds into combat.

Well I didn't really mean for this to turn into a review of the game but I guess it kind of did. Overall the Predator game is fun but I don't think I could justify buying the whole thing just for that. I bought Tropico this past weekend, if you are looking for impressions on that I would be happy to send you some but it wouldn't be till next week. my Mac is as follows:
PowerBook 2000/FireWire/Pismo, 400MHz G3 with 1MB, 320MB RAM, 10GB IBM OEM hard drive, Mac OS X 10.1 Build 5L14, Mac OS 9.2.1.
David E."

So far (as of yesterday) the only place I've seen with the game in stock is Mac-O-Rama. ($28 plus shipping)

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Comments on Epson UK Site OS X Printer Drivers (Photo 870, 900N, 1270)
Several readers commented on using various drivers at the UK Epson site [ftp://ftp.epson.co.uk/pub/uk/drivers/printers/inkjet/mac/] that are not listed at Epson's support site yet. Mixed reports on how the various drivers worked. See this page for the reports.
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Reader notes OS 9.2 Slowdown when using ADB Keyboard:
(Note - I've received at least a dozen replies to this post - I'll try to have those reports on a page in tomorrow's news.)

" Mike,
I don't know if I am the only one who noticed that but Os 9.2 is really sluggish after a few minutes after a restart when an ADB keyboard is used with a B&W G3. It's painfully slow when typing in SimpleText or any word processors. VPC gets also so slow also it is impossible to use it.

I was about to give up and return to 9.1 when I thought of unplugging the ADB keyboard and to use the USB keyboard that comes with the B&W G3.
Well...that did it. OS 9.2 is now really fast like 9.1. I will test tonight if the speed improved with OS 10.1. I would not be surprised if it would also.
Frank"

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How to install X Server onto Sonnet Upgraded PCI Macs (Updated)
A reader sent a long detailed guide to installing OS X 10.1 Server on a older PCI Mac with Sonnet CPU Upgrade. (Updated to include a Sonnet Tech Support employee's comments on an easier way to install OS X Server.)
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Reader Tip for Users without a Keyboard w/Eject CD Key:
" Hi Mike,
A little tip, (for pre-OS X users)
For all the users (like me) who have a keyboard without the Eject key and need a way to open the CD door from this keyboard (which is the case with some burners that prevent the door from opening/closing), there is a little program called EJECT included in the Apple Extras folder of the new Quicksilvers. You can simply map it to the F12key (a la OS X) and presto, you have an Open/Eject Key on your keyboard...
Guy Casavant"

I've not checked to see if this utility is on any other CDs.
(A reader later wrote that if you're running Mac OS X 10.1 the F12 will eject all CDs.)

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Reader Tip for Toshiba R1002 Combo Drive Support File Mods:
"I tried this hack yesterday with DiscBurner (haven't attempted it on iTunes) and although it took a few attempts.. I managed to figure it out and it works great!
Very important to remember that when you change
"TOSHIBANONE" to "TOSHIBADVD-"
that you remember the hyphen at the end or it won't work! Recognises the 1002 no problem and burns the discs pretty quickly.
BBuckley "

I don't own a R1002 (4x4 combo drive model), only the 8x8 R1102 model which works plug and play in both OS 9.2.1 and OS X 10.1 without any support file mods. (However there have been reports of problems with the R1002 as far as getting mods/support in the drive database. The R2002 notebook model and R1102 have iTunes/DB support with the latest updates, but not the R1002 model.)
Our previous article on iTunes/DB support file mods has more comments on editing files (using Resedit with Forker data fork extension.)

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Dr.Bott Offers Adapter + Graphics Card bundle for PC Users with Apple ADC LCD Displays:
Dr.Bott sent a press release about their new DVIator bundle for PCs that includes their DVIator and a PC GeForce2MX graphics card.
For those that want more performance than the GeForce2MX card delivers, as noted at the bottom of the older DVI Cinema display review here, the Gainward Cardexpert Geforce3 (includes DVI port) works flawlessly with a DVI Cinema display and should also work with the DVIator for use with Apple ADC LCD displays.
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 18 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 5,244 reports. Here's a list of the reports added this morning. [Entries after midnight are added the following newsday.]

    Firewire DVD Recorder Reports:
  • Pioneer DVR-A03 in Firewire case used w/G4 Cube (OS 9.1)

    Combo DVD-CDRW Reports:
  • IDE Samsung 308B (8x4x32x + DVD) in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)

    IDE CDRW Reports:
  • NEC NR7700A 12x/10x/32x in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (NEC listed under "other brands")
  • Teac W516EB 16X10X40 in Beige G3 (OS X)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports:
  • freecom Traveller CD-RW (no speed listed) used w/G4 Cube (OS 9.1)
    (listed under "other brands" - no itunes/discburner support)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports:
  • APS (Matshita CW-7502) used w/PB G3 2000 (using Firewire/SCSI adapter)
  • Lite-On LTR-12101B 12/10/32 used w/G4 AGP (OS 9.2)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Western Digital WD800BB 80GB in G4 no AGP [Yikes] (OS 9.1)

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM 40GB (OWC Mercury Elite external pro) used w/G4 AGP (OS 9.1)

    SCSI Hard Drive Reports:
  • Digital 424MB in 6150/66 (OS 8.5)
    (listed under "other brands")

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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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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