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News Archive for Friday Oct. 31st, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

News stories of Oct. 31st, 2003: (later posted items first)
OWC posts partial fix for GeForce4MX card problems in 10.3
OWC has posted a page with an interim partial fix for Geforce4MX issues with OS X 10.3 seen with older G4 towers. See the page for details and driver file download that won't enable quartz extreme, but should help get the card functional until another update/fix is available. (Hopefully from Apple in a 10.3.1 update.)

Although I haven't seen a problem with an OEM (Apple shipped) Geforce2MX in my Cube w/10.3, I had a couple of GF2MX owners (some flashed PC models) note a problem so if you're one of them and need basic functionality, it might be worth a try also but I can't guarantee anything.
Note: Several readers said the previous tip of removing RAM (to 256MB or less) also solved the problem (and quartz extreme still enabled they said), but as I said when posting that tip - having only 256MB of RAM for OS X isn't good for performance.
(Update - a Geforce2MX owner said it did help with problems he had)

" Hi, this is to let you know that the OWC fix for Geforce 4mx cards also works for 2mx cards. I have a Nvidia Geforce 2mx Twinview from a Quicksilver in my Sawtooth G4/350. As highlighted by OWC it is a partial fix with no QE.
Theo "
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Photoshop 7.0.1 out of RAM errors with Radial Blur Filter
During testing in 10.3 with Photoshop 7.0.1 (w/G5 update) on the Dual G5 with a large image file (appx 100MB) and running an action script with a long series of filters, I kept getting out of memory errors before the script completed. (Even with Pshop's max memory preference set to use literally all of available RAM in the 1.5GB system, and even with history settings at 1.) The boot drive/swap file drive had nearly 100GB free space, so that wasn' t the problem. (testing in 10.2.8 shows the same thing when large image files are used.)
The out of RAM error always happened at the Radial Blur filter test (which is one of the last ones in the script). A contact at Adobe said he can also reproduce this error and that the Photoshop CS version fixes it.
(I also asked about the 2GB RAM limit with Photoshop and was told that's still a limit in CS. (Currently only the G5 supports more than 2GB of RAM so it's not a limit for other Mac models.)
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Interview with Ryan Rempel, author of Xpostfacto
I've posted an Interview with Ryan Rempel author of the popular Xpostfacto utility for installing OS X on unsupported/legacy Macs. Ryan answers questions on present and future features of Xpostfacto, the effort to support booting from Firewire PCI cards on old world rom macs, his favorite/least favorite Macs, programming and more.
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Patchburn author comments on burn support mod limitations with 10.3
As most of you know, OS X 10.2.x and 10.1.x used individual "brand"CDR.device-plugin files which could be modified for different drive models to add burn support for many models of drives that were not supported by Apple's standard file installs. (Many modified files in the FAQ here since 2001, articles on editing the files, etc.) -- but 10.3/Panther doesn't use that scheme as noted in this Panther burn support article here from late June. The PatchBurn utility was a great way to automate this process in 10.2.x, but doesn't work with 10.3 of course due to the changes in the file structure. Many of us were hoping there would be workaround to allow a 10.3 compatible Patchburn utility, but that may never happen. Gary Minato wrote the author of PatchBurn (Chris Moeller) about the likelihood of a 10.3/Panther compatible version and he replied:

"...PatchBurn doesn't support 10.3 (Panther) and it probably never will.
Why? Because in 10.3 Apple has changed the way CD/DVD writers are recognized. There aren't special drivers any more, now there is an XML file instead. Unfortunately Apple has implemented some kind of security mechanism, preventing this XML file from being patched. Any patch will render the file to be corrupt and not loaded by the burning framework.

Currently there is no known way to get around this. Please direct your complaints to Apple. (Apple's OS X feedback page is http://www.apple.com/macosx/feedback/-Mike) Maybe they will change it in 10.3.1 then.
Sorry again.
Chris"

So far there's been a tip for discburner/disc copy support (the one posted at Macbidouille and repeated at macosxhints later) but it does not work for iTunes burn support. Granted Toast is faster and more flexible but having iTunes burn support (and iDVD for DVD burners) is still a plus and doesn't require buying software that can cost more than a new 52x IDE CDRW drive. Personally I consider this a real negative of 10.3 that I hope can be addressed in an update - but I'm not holding my breath.
I'm sure Apple has their reasons for this - but for those of us doing the mods we don't expect Apple to guarantee they will work flawlessly - just don't lock us out from even trying. Not everyone owns an Apple supported drive and many that do want the option to upgrade to better/faster drives.
As I said when iTunes for Windows was released, it's almost ironic that PC iTunes users will have far more burners supported than Mac iTunes users. (Windows supports literally all DVD and PC burners.) This is another case where PC users point to Macs as being non-standard and limiting their upgrade or expansion choices. And in this particular case - I really have to agree with them.
I wonder if companies would submit their latest drive models to Apple if that would help with increasing the number of drives supported natively. But with the Mac retail drive market so small (compared to sales to PC owners)- 99% of drives sold don't even list Macs on the box. (They don't want the cost of support calls/emails should any problems arise.) And I wonder if they would even bother to submit samples for certification/testing even if Apple was willing to do so. There's not a lot of incentive for Apple to do this really - unless enough customers asked for it and avoided buying OS upgrades until there was more broad drive support perhaps. (But most won't do that or even take the time to send Apple a request that they either open up the OS for more drive support to allow others to do their own mods as was done in 10.1-10.2.x - or test/include support for more drive models.)

I also wish Roxio would incorporate better DVD authoring features in Toast, or that some other vendor would step in with a quality, easy to use CD + DVD authoring package with at least the features and ease of use of iDVD, which would make depending on Apple burn support (limited drive model support) a thing of the past. I think there's a market out there for an affordable/consumer priced product like this on the Mac.

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Firmware Updates for Firewire 800 drives
(Updated with link to Lacie released firmware update)
In response to the Apple FW800 drive warning page, OWC wrote just after midnight last night that they've posted a v1.05 Firmware update page (includes illustrated guide to applying it) for their FW800 drives. Wiebetech also sent a PR email that they have posted a firmware update (v1.05 also), but only included a link to their base website URL (clicking on the red note in the sidebar of their main page just downloaded a PDF copy of the press release... Their Tech Support page has the download link for the updater.)
Lacie also has posted an update for their d2 Firewire drives at http://www.lacie.com/support/drivers/ but from the label it requires booting to OS 9 to apply.
Note: According to Oxford Semiconductor comments, the 1.05 firmware should solve the problem for FW800/Oxford922 chipset users but indicated the problem may not be limited to the 922 chip, hinting that even FW400 owners should apply any future Panther updates.
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(Huge) Unreal Tournament 2003 Community Bonus Pack UMOD
Get the 142MB+ Download ZIP file (unpacks to a UMOD file) at http://www.gamershell.com/download_3943.shtml. (Fileplanet has it also but requires registration to download - didn't see it yet last night at 3dgamers.com but I suspect it should appear there soon.)
You'll need the "UModUnpack" utility on the UT2003 2nd CD (extras folder) to install it. (Leo also said to put the download to the same directory as the UT2003 app to avoid an install error.)
See the readme file for info on all the maps it adds. My first use of it resulted in UT2003 quitting after about a minute of play in the "blackjackal" map (instant action/bot play) - but after a restart and trying again it seemed ok. (thanks to Leo for the link)
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PL releases CPU Director v1.3 (10.3 compatible)
Powerlogix wrote me last night that they've released v1.3 of their CPU Director control utility (allows on-the-fly CPU speed adjustment with their G3/800 and G3/900 CPU upgrades).

" We posted CPU Director 1.3 tonight, it fixes problems with 10.3. Specifically, it turns out that Apple changed the size and location of some kernel memory structures (mainly to accommodate storing some registers as 64-bits for G5 instead of 32-bits for previous PowerPCs), and we were writing to that structure using the 10.1.5-10.2.x layout. Thus, we were stomping on some random kernel memory locations, causing the kernel to hang shortly thereafter. "
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PL announces 1.4GHz 7457 CPU based Cube Upgrade
Yesterday Powerlogix sent a press release announcing their first 7457 G4 based 1.4GHz Cube CPU upgrade they estimate to ship in 1-2 weeks. The 7457 CPU is lower power/cooler running than previous G4 versions (PL notes 40% less) and has 512KB of L2 cache vs 256KB. The upgrade has 2MB of L3 cache. List price is $599 but PL notes 'street prices' may be less.
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 2 new reports this morning (reader entries from yesterday; entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,850. 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 Powerbook G3 2000 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G3/900 in B&W G3 (rated 9)
    (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 10 new reports added (reader entries from yesterday until 4AM ET today; entries later 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 11,615 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    Tape Drives:
  • SCSI HP SureStore DLT 30e 15/30GB used w/Apple G5 Tower (OS X 10.3)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Liteon LTR-52327S (52x32x52x) in Dual G4 (OS 9.2)
    (didn't test for booting from CD, no itunes burn support - FAQ has modified LiteonCDR file for this drive)
  • IDE Liteon LTR-40125S (40x12x48x) in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (native iApps burn support)
    (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 Sony CRX 300E (48x24x48x + 16x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (no native iApps burn support)
  • IDE Toshiba SD-R1312 (32x12x40x + 12x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (said it had burn support in 10.3, but could not erase CDRWs in Disk Utility)
  • IDE Toshiba SD-R1312 (32x12x40x + 12x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)
    (no itunes/db burn support)
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) Samsung SM-352B (52x24x52x + 16x DVD-ROM) used w/Apple G5 Tower (OS X 10.3) (no native iApps burn support)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Maxtor 120GB in iMac slot-loading (OS X 10.3)
  • IDE (SATA) Maxtor 250GB in Apple G5 Tower using (Acard RAID) IDE SATA PCI Card (OS X 10.3) (running RAID1 mirror set)
  • IDE Maxtor DiamondMaxPlus 160GB in Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.3)

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 Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Total Reviews (all titles): 1052. 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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