News Archive for: 10/26/2004 Tuesday's News
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Quicktime 6.5.2 (security update/bug fixes) and iPod Updater 2004-10-20
MU lists the Apple QuickTime 6.5.2 updater:

" Version 6.5.2 is an important release that includes a security update and bug fixes. This release also includes enhancements in the Apple Lossless Encoder and AAC codecs, as well as improved support for iTunes and other QuickTime-based applications.
Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.2 or later. "

They also list the iPod Updater 2004-10-20 but according to Apple's page the only changes are for the new Photo iPods.

" iPod Updater 2004-10-20 includes iPod Photo Software 1.0 for use with iPod Photo. iPod Updater 2004-10-20 also contains the same iPod software included in iPod Updater 2004-08-06 for all other iPod models. "

Neither of these or the iTunes 4.7 update (see below) have appeared yet in software update here. (MU and VT now list that update also.)

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iTunes 4.7 adds support for new iPod Photo model
While at Apple's website at about 2PM ET today I noticed a banner image mentioning iTunes 4.7 although there was nothing yet at the hotnews page or any info on iTunes 4.7 as far as what was new. (didn't appear in software update yet and I checked MU and VT - not listed there yet as of 2PM.) I downloaded it and checked the readme file which had a note about iPod photo support:

What's new in iTunes 4.7
iTunes 4.7 includes support for copying photos to an iPod photo, the ability to show duplicate songs in your library, and other performance improvements."

And just as I was posting this a reader sent a mail about the new iPod Photo models:

" Just up on the Apple web site:
40 and 60 GB iPod Photo with color screen.
$499 and $599.
New U2 iPod, 20GB in a Black w red dial $349. Back side has the band members autographs.
-Can B. "

I saw the U2 iPod but they must have just put the iPod photo online as I was typing this. www.apple.com/ipod/ now has a link to the iPod Photo page.

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More info on $199.99 Seagate 100GB/7200rpm Notebook drives (box marked incorrectly, drive is 5400rpm)
Yesterday's news had a reader report on a "100GB/7200rpm" Seagate notebook drive (per the box marking), which was quickly updated with a note/link to a Seagate website page that listed the model number as a 5400rpm model. Later info from owners of the drive included a PDF file (and link to a press release in the past) for the "Momentus 7200.1" 100GB/7200rpm model. I then asked Don what info was on the drive label, but he said he didn't notice and it was already installed now. I asked a 2nd owner of the drive about the label marking and he said it was a 7200rpm drive (must have misread my comments - I meant label on the drive, not the box marking).
To settle this, today I drove into the city to the Best Buy there and personally examined a drive from these retail boxes - both drives they had left were marked on the drive itself "Momentus 54.2" (5400rpm) - although the box clearly listed 7200 RPM.
I then called Seagate tech support to ask about this mixup and was told that the box printing is in error and they are being recalled (his word) because of it. The 7200rpm model was still in testing (not yet in retail production) he said and suggested that anyone that bought one should return the drive to the store. (If you're not satisfied with a 100GB/5400rpm notebook drive for $199.99 - which is a pretty good deal IMHO.)
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Giga Designs announces Dual 1.4GHz G4 CPU Upgrade for Mirror Drive Door systems
Although being sued by Powerlogix , John Highhouse sent a press release that Giga Designs has announced a dual 1.4GHz G4 CPU Upgrade for MDD systems. Here's a clip from the email PR:

" Giga Designs, a manufacturer of high performance processor upgrades for Power Mac computers, is proud to announce the industry's first G4 processor upgrade for Mirrored Drive Door (MDD) Power Macs. The new dual processor upgrade uses two Freescale (Motorola) 7455B (G4) CPUs clocked at 1.42GHz for 167MHz bus systems, and 1.4GHz for 133MHz bus systems with 2MB of L3 cache per processor. Compatible Power Macs include the original MDD (2002), FireWire 800, and MDD 2003 models.

The upgrade features a copper cooler with a quiet 80mm fan which allows the Power Mac's 120mm system fan to run in low speed mode and provide quieter operation. No software or firmware updates are required, and the installation can usually be performed in less than 10 minutes. The upgrade will be available November 2004 at a retail price of $699. "

Based on past history this year, I asked what the -rated- CPU chip speeds were. (I wish giga went back to selling upgrades with clear indications of the rated CPU chip speeds as they used to do.) they do list their model number decoding info (rated speed/tested at speed) for currently sold models at the bottom of their product page - i.e. a XXX-1214 model means a 1.2GHz rated CPU 'tested at' 1.4GHz.
(John later replied that "Initial run is 1.25GHz" (rated cpus).

Other MDD CPU Upgrade Options:
Some readers have posted reports in the CPU upgrade/OC database they have gotten a good buy at auction sites on OEM (original Apple) Dual 1.42GHz MDD CPU modules. Back in June I posted a guide to swapping in a dual 1.42GHz OEM module from a MDD single G4 owner and you'd also want to install a copper OEM MDD 1.42GHz model heatsink.

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Price cuts on Mercury Elite 400GB Drives
(from site sponsor OWC)

" We have new pricing on our 400GB Elite FireWire solutions:
All OWC Mercury Elite Hard solutions include Dantz Retrospect Backup (Mac/PC), Intech HD Speedtools (Mac), all connecting cables, preformatted/pretested, and covered by a 2 Year OWC Warranty.

OWC Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 400/USB2 featuring 2 FW400 Ports and 1 USB 2.0/1.1 port: 400GB 7200RPM 8MB was $529.99, now $479.99

OWC Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 800/400/USB2 featuring 2 FW800 Ports, 1 FW400 Port, and 1 USB 2.0/1.1 port: 400GB was $559.99, now $509.99

OWC Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 800/400 featuring 2 FW800 Ports and 1 FW400 Port: 400GB was $549.99, now $499.99
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing

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Free Mac EverQuest 30 Day Trial Keys
(I'm really late posting this - from a reader mail last Friday)

" Free Mac EverQuest 30 Day Trial Keys!
This is just a heads up for all interested. Due to the lack of availability of Mac EverQuest in stores, Hobart from SOE is giving out free MacEQ 30 day trial keys. Link for more info:
http://www.eqmac.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4639

You'll still have to download 2GB of game files, but at least you won't have to pay for a retail box!
Ash "

I never played the game (don't have the free time) so I've not checked into this personally but assume it's still valid.

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More Mac Geforce 6800 Card Owner Feedback
I'm updated the Mac Geforce 6800 Card Owner Feedback page to include more notes (and a tip) on the 6800's kernel panics when booting from pre-10.3.5 disks, notes on QuarkXpress issues, and a dual 2.5GHz owner report on fan noise and performance.
I welcome other Mac 6800 owner comments - please include your system/OS version and details on apps/games, etc. you used in reports.
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More comments on G5 front Dust Filter
Last Friday's news page had a G5 owner's comments (and picture link) on using a foam front filter on his G5 (although I've not had any problems with dust inside the system personally). Another G5 owner replied he'd also done that but suggested an alternative if you have a dust problem (due to your environment)

"re: My comments on dust cover, done it
Per this remark (quote/link from Friday's news, omitted here to save space)

I've tried exactly that foam for about two months and this is my experience.

1: Picked the foam because of it's rather high air passage rate, any finer or thicker would result in quick blockage of air flow.

2: It discolors slowly, so you don't realize it's getting clogged, your fans and CPU temp monitors will hopefully warn you or worse you don't notice the change. You really have to wash it at least once a week, something easily forgotten and quite a pain, just like air conditioner filters.

3: Fine particles of dust still get through, so instead of big ones you just get a finer layer of dust.

Better solution:

1: Take the PowerMac outside and blow it out with a can of compressed air once a month. Don't use a air compressor as this has oil in the tank.

2: Elevate the PowerMac slightly so the power supply fans are not vacuuming the floor.

3: Keep PowerMacs away from highly dusty places, like construction sites, dirt roads and from open windows near major used roads. Brake dust, smog and soot is very hard to clean, it builds up on the fan blades first.

4: Keep room temperatures below 75*F, air conditioning is best as it filters the air too.

If you want to try the foam anyway, you can get it where air conditioner filters are sold. It comes in a roll and designed for "U-cut to fit" purposes.
-Sailfish "

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Non-beta version of Tweaked Pioneer DVR-108 firmware
" hey mike, i am not sure if this is newsworthy, but NiL has released the Final version of the hacked DVR-108 1.14 firware. previous files were beta. here is the link to the web page: http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?t=29958, here is the direct link
as you may recall FlashIt (2.0) was released for OS X about two weeks ago (info/links in the Oct. 15th news page here,also added to the FAQ's DVD section w/tips on use.-Mike), which makes it really, really simple and care-free to flash the drive (but always read the documentation, of course.). I have updated successfully, but probably won't do any burning until tomorrow. however, the beta hacked firmware worked flawlessly and even unlocked the ripping speed so that i could rip at 12X.

i noticed one reader noted that after installing the hacked firware, he could now burn at 16x speed, but i think this is impossible. it is true that both disk utility and toast let you select 16X DVD to burn, but the speed as I timed it was identical to 12X burn speeds, on a variety of disc sizes. as you have said elsewhere, i am pretty sure the optical drive bus speed limits it to 12X regardless of what drive or firmware you have. (i am running on dual 2 Ghz G5 with 4.5 GB of ram).
thanks...,
scott "

I had commented some months back here about older mac optical drive interfaces being ATA/3 (16.6MB/sec max interface) and a 12x DVD burn rate is appx 16.62MB/sec., but the 'max' rating on these drives is only for the outer tracks, avg burn rate across the disc is less. The powermac G5 has an ATA/100 optical drive bus. The MDD tower apple dev docs note ata/3 for the optical bus, although the logic board is stenciled 'ata/33' on that bus. Even the source drive (fragmentation, etc.) can affect burn rates as well as media used and drive firmware (and interface used of course). Cdrinfo.com is a popular pc site with tests of high speed burners using nero to report/graph the avg and max burn rates seen in their drive reviews.

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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 (entries from Monday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,620. Here's a summary of the reports added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Sonnet Crescendo/WS G4/500 in Powerbook G3 wallstreet2 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 G4/450 (at 500MHz) in B&W G3 (rated 9)

    (For full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. - see the CPU upgrades page. 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 5 new reports added today. (Entries from Monday, entries today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, 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, USB, adapters). Current total 13,790 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports)

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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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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