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News Archive for Tuesday Oct. 28th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of Oct. 28th, 2003: (later posted items first)
10.3 user reports loss of all Audio after Diablo II 1.10 update gameplay
(Update: - they later released a 1.10b update via to fix issues with software mode on some systems. Below are two early problem reports from the first 1.10 release - not common however but posting as a FYI on the tip/fix that solved both issues.)
I don't have Diablo II installed to verify this, but a 10.3 user said after applying the Diablo II 1.10 update (noted earlier today) he's lost all system audio:

" Here's one guy's experience with the new Diablo II 1.10 update. What a nightmare. I use a G4 "Sawtooth" Mac with a stock audio card. (onboard Audio I assume) I recently upgraded to Mac OS X 10.3. I was glad to see LOD 10.1 update out and connected to Battlenet to download. After several crashes, I learned from the Blizzard site that the Open GL video option MUST be used (although slower than software in OS X on older machines) to avoid the error message I was getting.

Upon first successful load of the game, I used a waypoint to change acts and immediately lost all sound. I checked options>sound and the sliders didn't work. I quit the game to find that I now have NO SYSTEM SOUND AT ALL. I have checked the speaker connection, checked the system volume, checked the system prefs. I get no sound - not even a startup chime(!) I ran the boot disk CD first aid and nothing was fixed. So I am writting you this on a slient Mac. (as a note, the last Diablo version would ocasionally set the system volume to zero while loading, for which I woud have to quit the game, turn back up the system volume, and go back to the game.)
This is a Mac. These things aren't supposed to happen.
I hope others are having better luck than me.
M D Miller
(I asked if he had applied the previous OS X patch)
Yeah. I did. I've used Diablo II under OS X for months. "

I asked if zapping the pram or resetting/clearing NVRAM via Open Firmware (I sent him the commands for that) would help - he later wrote it did. No other reports of losing audio to date but I did have a Powerbook G4 owner report video/LCD problems after the update that were also solved by resetting the NVRAM. Here's the steps needed to do so (on new world rom macs.
Here's how to reset the NVRAM on new world ROM macs:

  • boot the mac with the Command + option + O (not zero) + F keys held down to get the the console
  • Enter the following commands (press enter after each)
  • The mac will reboot after the last command entered. This clears settings like startup disk so you need to check control panel settings, etc. (X key at boot will usually boot to the OS X system)

Here's his mail noting resetting the nvram fixed the problem:

" Hi Mike, Thanks for the great advice. Resetting Open Firmware/Nvram solved the problem. Nasty little bug there.
You saved me the cost of a support incident with Apple. I Really appreciate the responses. Steve Jobs would be proud. (I see him regularly driving around here in Palo Alto...)
Have a good one,
M D Miller "

I suspected the NVRAM/PRAM may have gotten corrupted, although not sure why.
Here's only the 2nd report of a problem with the first 1.10 update (also fixed by resetting nvram):

" Mike,
I too had a problem with the Diablo II update on my PowerBook G4 running 10.3, however not with the audio, but the LCD screen. With update completed, the screen immediately dimmed. This was not the same as when the energy saving prefs shuts off the screen, but in this case the back light for the LCD dimmed or switched off.
I could just see the screen via the ambient light coming through the Apple symbol on my PowerBook G4. Restarting fixed the problem during start up, but as soon as it was complete the screen dimmed again. Luckily I had read the report about the audio problems, and sure enough after setting the pram everything was fine. Weirdest thing I have ever seen.
Robert "

Here's a sample of the more common feedback on the 1.10 update, most didn't see any problems:

" Hi Mike,
I've been running Diablo II 1.10 all night with no trouble. 10.3, Dual 800, 1 GB RAM, GF3.
Also, it had been a while since I played, but at some point the performance in OpenGL mode has GREATLY improved. I used to play with software rendering because the GL performance was so bad. Now it works great in GL mode, never any slowdowns.
Mike C.
System Administrator "

I've gotten over a dozen reader reports on the Diablo II update overnight, noting no problems and improved performance over v1.09.

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OS X 10.3 and 10.3 Server Security Update 10-28-2003
Available via Software Updates. Here's the info from the SU panel:

" Security Update 2003-10-28 addresses a potential vulnerability in the implementation of QuickTime Java in Mac OS X v10.3 and Mac OS X Server v10.3 that could allow unauthorized access to a system. "

(Thanks to Matthew for the heads up.)

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Diablo II 1.10 Update released
(Update - see later news item for a 10.3 user report on losing system audio after his update. hopefully this isn't typical. I do not have this game installed to test the update.)
Blizzard sent a press release that the 1.10 update for Diablo II is available via

" ... the day has finally come for the Diablo« II 1.10 patch! This patch is our largest to date in terms of game changes and offers many new things for Diablo II players worldwide, including seasonal ladder characters, more-challenging gameplay, enhanced skills, new items, new anti-cheat measures, a new game-world event, and much much more! We'd like to thank the Diablo II 1.10 beta testers for helping us test the patch, and we'd like to thank everyone for their patience while the patch was completed. We hope you enjoy this special upgrade to Diablo II. Simply connect to« to download the patch (5.5MB). We will post the standalone version on our FTP site as soon as it's available. See you on! "

Note - Macupdate now lists downloads for the Diablo II X 1.10 update and Diablo II X LOD expansion update with an editors note that you must have applied the previous OS X patch.

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G4 Tower Clear Case Conversion
Stephen Barta sent comments and photos of his G4 Tower Clear Case Conversion.
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Root Cause of Printing Problems/Permissions Issues with 10.3 Upgrades (CreateSystemUsers script not executed)
(NOTE: Running this script is also reported to fix some mail problems - including problems with non-apple mail services. See the Wednesday news item for more info- but see below for how to execute the script.)
Although deleting the printer and reinstalling it (and rebooting) got my printer (and some other readers) working after updating to 10.3 over 10.2.8 and running Repair Permissions from the hard drive's Disk Utility (which 'corrected' some printer/cups permissions/ownership to 0 vs 26) - the root cause of the problem seems to be that the CD installer is not running a script "CreateSystemUsers" in the essentials.pkg resources directory. (Running Repair Permissions from the 10.3 Install CD shows it corrected permissions on printer/cups files back to "26" which is the "lp" user/group - this user/group does not exist on any of my 10.3 updated systems)

After a reader tip about the script not being run by the installer (at least with updates over 10.2.8 - I have not done a clean install to check if the same thing happens) - I used the terminal to execute the script as root user (sudo). It added several missing users/groups (note the path used below is for the Update CD (part of the 10.3 up-to-date program - not the full 10.3 CD which has a different CD name)

sudo /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Upgrade\ Disc/System/Installation/Packages/Essentials.pkg/Contents/Resources/CreateSystemUsers / / / /
Validating and creating system users...Cyrus user added.
niutil: User 'eppc' added.
niutil: User 'lp' added.
niutil: Group 'lp' added.
niutil: User 'mailman' added.
niutil: Group 'mailman' added.
niutil: User 'postfix' added.
niutil: Group 'postfix' added.
niutil: Group 'postdrop' added.

The sudo command must be exact (spaces, etc. - a web page may break the lines) and again the path above is for the Update CD, not the full 10.3 install cd.
I believe that this is the path/command for the full 10.3 CD:

(Command/Path Tip: If you're having problems with the command/path - in the finder navigate to the Essentials.pkg file and "show contents" (right click w/2 button mouse, control+click otherwise) - then type sudo (and a space) in the terminal, and then drag the CreateSystemUsers icon to the terminal window.)

sudo /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ Disc\ 1/System/Installation/Packages/Essentials.pkg/Contents/Resources/CreateSystemUsers / / / /

After executing the script/added users/groups (which now appear in Netinfo manager - were missing before), I can still print (and could before actually - even after running RP from the installer CD) but the missing user/groups may cause other problems down the road that I have not seen. I hope Apple fixes this soon in an update. BTW - As a test after running the script, I ran the "verifiy" permissions option from the hard drive's disk utility and it showed no corrections needed.

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WindowShade X updated for 10.3
Unsanity sent a note they've updated WindowShade X:

    New in Version 3.1:
  • Compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther
  • Japanese localization by Akira Ikeda
  • Misc bug fixes and code tweaks
  • Free for registered users
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Rogue Amoeba Announces Nicecast Preview
Rogue Amoeba sent a press release on their preview/trial version of Nicecast internet radio broadcaster software. The Preview version will expire on December 7th, by which time a full release will be available they say. Nicecast has an introductory price of $30 ($40 after December 31st, 2003).
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OWC adds $199 G4/700MHz model to Mercury Extreme CPU Upgrade line
Sponsor OWC sent a press release on a new low cost ($199 G4/700MHz model) addition to their Mercury Extreme CPU Upgrades for Sawtooth to Quicksilver G4 towers.
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Reader comments on 10.3 install with Slave set Superdrive (removed DVD Player)
" Mike,
I installed 10.3 Panther the other day on my (MDD) dual gig G4. Overall I love it. However, I have my Superdrive set as slave (Yamaha master in top optical bay,) and upgrading to Panther deleted my DVD player app from Jaguar, and left me with no replacement. I was able to get the 10.3 version of DVD Player from another machine copied over and it works fine now.
- Justin"

I suspect the installer looks for master set drives, (which is typical for all shipped macs - even CS mode in the MDD makes the top drive a master). All my superdrive macs have the superdrive set to master so I have not seen this personally but posting as a FYI to anyone else that may have a Superdrive set to slave.

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports this morning (reader entries from yesterday; entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,839. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Daystar G4/550 in (pismo) PowerBook G3 2000 (rated 10)
  • Giga Designs G4/1.4GHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G3/900 (at 850MHz) in B&W G3 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix Bluechip G4/500 in PowerBook G3 lombard (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/1GHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
    (noted kernel panics solved by thermal paste reapply to HS)
    (My reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades w/apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked here. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

(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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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 3 new reports added (reader entries from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday 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, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 11,589 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Liteon LTR-52327S (52x32x52x) in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (problems with toast burns, OS 9/classic, not bootable from CD)
    (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Hitachi GCC-4320B (32x10x40x + 16x DVD-ROM) in 8500 using IDE PCI card (OS 9.1) (problem noted with burns - may be due to the Acard IDE card not supporting ATAPI drives well. Suggested trying the Intech drivers)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Hitachi MK4019GAX 40GB in Powerbook G3 wallstreet2 (OS X)
    (noted magnetic sensor issue as seen before in WS models. See my PB G3 wallstreet illustrated HD install guide here for notes/shield tips)

You can find full owner reports (latest shown first) 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.)
(Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update today included another review of Warcraft III. Total Reviews (all titles): 1051. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long listing, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago
(These older pages in some cases have off-site links that may no longer work. Remember comments were accurate only on the date posted regarding producs/availability/pricing, etc.)

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