News Archive for: 10/27/2004 Wednesday's News (later posted items first)
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OS X Security Update 2004-10-27 (Remote Desktop)
Running software update in 10.3.5 today shows the update (I've not checked with 10.2.8 but per the linked page it's not for 10.2.x). Here's the info from the SU panel:

" Security Update 2004-10-27 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following component:
Apple Remote Desktop
For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n61798"

That page has more details:

" Security Update 2004-10-27
  • Apple Remote Desktop
    Available for: Apple Remote Desktop Client 1.2.4 with Mac OS X 10.3.x CVE-ID: CAN-2004-0962
    Impact: An application can be started behind the loginwindow and it will run as root.
    Description: For a system with these following conditions
    • Apple Remote Desktop client installed
    • A user on the client system has been enabled with the Open and quit applications privilege
    • The username and password of the ARD user is known
    • Fast user switching has been enabled
    • A user is logged in, and loginwindow is active via Fast User Switching

    If the Apple Remote Desktop Administrator application on another system is used to start a GUI application on the client, then the GUI application would run as root behind the loginwindow. This update prevents Apple Remote Desktop from launching applications when the loginwindow is active. This security enhancement is also present in Apple Remote Desktop v2.1. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X 10.3. Credit to Andrew Nakhla and Secunia Research for reporting this issue. "

  • No reboot is required. (The iTunes 4.7 and QT 6.5.2 updates also finally showed up in SU today although i had already downloaded them from last night's news page links.)

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    XPostFacto 3.0b9 Update (Util to install OS X on Legacy Macs)
    Stephen sent a note that Ryan Rempel posted an update (dated yesterday) to XPostfacto 3. Here's the changes listed there:

      " What's new in 3.0b9
      Here is a quick summary of what's new in version 3.0b9. I am expecting this to be the last beta version before officially releasing version 3.0. So, I am particularly looking for two kinds of problem reports at the moment: (a) things that used to work in a previous version of XPF but do not work now; and (b) things which do not work and are not sufficiently documented as "known problems" below.
    • Will now set a default input-device and output-device, unless the user has specifically chosen to have none.
    • Added a menu command to save the log file.
    • Show an error message when there is a problem reading from a volume, rather than just leaving it out of the volume list.
    • Show a warning rather than an error when XPF fails to detect a G3/G4 CPU upgrade, since there had been some cases where XPF was not detecting the CPU type properly."

    See the linked page for a list of known issues and tips. (Another thanks to Ryan for his continuing work on Xpostfacto.)

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    iPod-Linux Installer 0.2a
    I've not tried this personally but MU today lists iPod-Linux Installer 0.2a:

      " The goal of this project is to create an easy to use GUI program that enables Mac OS X user with iPods to install linux on HFS+ formatted iPods. Currently this project supports all but the 4g and Mini iPods however this could change according to what developments are made on the iPodLinux kernel.

      Version 0.2a:

    • Includes the newest iPodLinux Kernel and podzilla as of Oct 26, 2004.
    • Corrected a bug that caused the installer to think the device the user was installing linux on was not an iPod.
    • Modified method by which the installer determines the dev path of the iPod to give a speed boost to the install and uninstall process.
    • Added Localization support.
    • Updated the installed podzilla and iPodLinux kernel."

    Not surprisingly, the homepage for the project is at sourceforge.net - http://ipodlinuxinstl.sourceforge.net/.

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    Elite USB 2.0 Hard Drive Price Cuts
    (from site sponsor OWC)

    " Elite USB 2.0 price drops
    All OWC Mercury Elite Pro USB 2.0 solutions include Dantz Retrospect Backup(Mac/PC), Intech HD Speedtools (Mac), USB Connecting Cable, Preformatted/Pretested,and covered by a 2yr OWC Warranty:
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    Notes on G5 PCI zone fan control (regulated by temperature or card wattage?)
    I've updated the Mac Geforce 6800 Card Owner Feedback page to include a reader's comments on PCI fan control (which might be governed by card power use, not zone thermal temperature). Here's a copy of the update:

    I mentioned in my review of the Mac 6800 Ultra (as others have noted since) that the G5's PCI zone fan runs faster after the fan control firmware update (on the cd with the 6800 kit, for owners of 2003 G5s, apparently later G5s already have the later firmware), even with the 9800 Pro card installed (noticeable even during long document scrolling tests; during game tests the game audio tends to mask it depending on the volume level of the game). An earlier 6800 owner report (on the 6800 feedback page) mentioned replacing the stock fan/heatsink on the 6800 with an artic cooling NV5 model which he said was quieter than the stock 6800 fan (on my sample and some other owners, the 6800 fan was not noisy - see reports on the 6800 feedback page, most complaints are from the pci zone fan).

    (added 10/27/2004)
    "hello mike
    on your GF 6800 (feedback) page you write:
    (in reply to a complaint on the PCI zone fan speed, since a NV5 owner said it lowered fan noise and he didn't complain on the pci zone fan. His complaint was on the 6800's fan, although I wondered if he really verified that by stopping the 6800's fan temporarily as I did, which showed the PCI fan was the source of the noise. The NV5 exhausts hot air outside the case, although with the gap between the blower tube and the vented PCI bracket, it's not totally efficient at that.-Mike)
      ...I mentioned a NV5 cooler to Jonathan after getting a mail on it and wondered if that would lower the PCI zone temperature and keep that area fan at a lower speed. He said he'd try one and report back."

    AFAIK the G5 fan controller regulates the PCI zone fan by power/wattage consumed by the PCI cards, hence the increase in noise when putting in a GeForce 6800 Ultra. So, replacing the GF fan will not make the PCI zone fan quieter.

    I can't find this at Apple right now, but I may know this from a Powermac G5 tech presentation at Apple Switzerland headquarters last year. (Or maybe I read it on the web, I'm not sure)
    For now i only found this vague info at Apple: (G5 developer docs) then go to > Architecture > Fan Controller

      "Fan Control Unit (FCU) controls the fans and pumps in the Power Mac G5 and regulates the speeds to run each fan. The FCU derives fan speed from sensors in each thermal zone. Some of these sensors are thermal while others monitor power/wattage used in a particular area."

    best regards, oliver "

    If they are monitoring wattage/load and not temperature, then the NV5 won't help. (One 6800 owner said the fan default speed was 50% after the update compared to 30% before.) But as I mentioned before, even with the 9800 Pro installed, the PCI zone fan runs faster/louder than before the fan control firmware update (even though that card draws less power than the 6800). The fan control seems very sensitive now to GPU load, so maybe it is monitoring power usage, not temperature of the area. One way to test that would be to force cool the area and see if that affected the PCI zone fan speed. If anyone is able to test this, let me know.
    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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    Article on Aluminum 23in Cinema Display color consistency problems
    (from a reader mail who has a display that shows this effect, as have others per discussions at Apple's forums)

    " Mike,
    Rather than re-create the wheel (he was going to write up an article for posting here w/phtotos), here is a link I found in the Apple Display Discussion's that shows the problem with some (new AL model) 23in Apple Displays.
    http://dreamlight.com/insights/bugs/hd23.html
    Please post the link to show other users what to look for when purchasing a high end monitor as Apple's.
    I might also suggest they use PiXel Check V1.2 before they leave the store to check for dead pixels.
    Thanks Mike!
    -- William R. "

    I mentioned in the past that when buying a display, I like to see it first if possible (esp. an LCD to see if you can spot any bad/stuck pixels), although many stores won't let you run any software on their computers, perhaps if you brought in your own powerbook (with LCD test utility on it) they'd let you connect it to the display for a test. (Not all stores may allow this but it's worth asking them.)
    I don't own one of these displays personally so I'm not sure how common this issue is, but welcome other Apple AL display owner feedback on this. (From 20in, 23in or 30in display owners.)

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    No Hardware Video Acceleration on Nvidia 6800s?
    I recently found an article on the net at the inquirer claiming the hardware video processor in the Nvidia 6800 (AGP version at least) is broken, although other/later Geforce6 based models are OK (like the 6600, etc.). The article links to a post at nvnews.net's forums titled GeForce 6800 onboard video processor functionality that claims a call back from Nvidia UK support said
    "The video processing functions will never work on the 6800, this is due to a hardware failure within the processing unit. The later cards will work fine, e.g. 6600 series, 6200 series and soon to come 6700 series."
    I wrote a contact at Nvidia for comments on this last night but no reply yet. I'm going to try and confirm this with some additional testing of Mac 6800 ultra vs an ATI 9800 Pro. (But even 2D is done in OpenGL now on the Mac.) I noted in the 6800 review that CPU usage was relatively low (under 10% typically during full screen dvd movie playback) and cpu usage is low during large/scaled playback of some captured home movies in the QT player. However unlike when even scrolling a large appleworks doc (w/images), full screen movie playback does not cause the PCI zone fan to increase in speed. (One of the tests in the linked thread above was high cpu usage for some codecs and no increase in GPU temperatures over idle, as on the PC you can monitor the 6800's GPU temperature in the nvidia control panel.)
    If this is true, I hope the delayed Mac 6800 Ultras have a revised stepping of the 6800 GPU that is OK. If any 6800 card owners (maybe pro video apps users) have tested for this, let me know. (But to be honest I'm not sure how to best test for this since even the desktop 2D on the mac uses OpenGL. I'd welcome comments from someone more knowledgeable on this.)
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    Another tweaked Firmware for Pioneer DVR-108
    (In reply to yesterday's news item on non-beta tweaked firmware for the DVR-108 to use with flashit 2.0)

    " I just wanted to let you know there is another/alternative firmware for the DVR 1.08. It only unlocks the drive to make it RPC-1 (Region Free) and unlocks the ripping speed but does not touch the burning speed options. I find this to be preferable to the one that unlocks all ripping speeds since 16x burning speeds on some media will resulting unusable DVDs that can only be used as coasters. 8x is plenty fast enough for me.
    http://gradius.rpc1.org/
    Scroll down to the bottom of the page and download the firmware titled "v1.14 (RPC-1 + unlock ripping speed only)".
    Also note that this page has similar modified firmware for other models of Pioneers drives such as the DVR-103, DVR-104, DVR-105, DVR-106 and DVR-107.
    -Jack S."

    I've linked to that page in the past here as one of the sources of tweaked firmware for various models. (In fact it was the site linked to in Oct. 14th news page as a source of tweaked DVR-107D v1.20 firmware.)

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    Ampede Updates LayerLink Plugin for Apple Motion
    Last night Ampede sent a email copy of their press release on LayerLink v1.1, a software plugin for Apple Motion that brings native multi-layer Adobe Illustrator support to Motion. The 1.1 update "adds full support for Illustrator CS and contains numerous usablity enhancements". LayerLink is available through the end of October for $99 ($119 thereafter) and can be downloaded and purchased at http://www.ampede.com/layerlink/
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    Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
    The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report this morning (entries from the last 24hrs, entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,621. Here's a summary of the reports added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • Apple Dual G4 1.42GHz module in (MDD) Single G4 DDR (rated 10)

      (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 2 new reports added today. (Entries from Tuesday, 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 13,792 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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