News Archive for: 10/26/2005 Wednesday's News
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Report on SIIG 4-Channel SATA Card not compatible with OS X Tiger
" Thought I'd give your readers a quick tip regarding the SIIG 4- Channel Mac PCI SATA card (#SC-SA4M12). The card is NOT compatible with OS X 10.4.
My machine sporadically fails to boot using this card. The website and sellers of this card state 10.1.x OR LATER compatibility, but this is not the case, and IS stated on SIIG's website if you know what link to press. When using the "Is this product compatible with my operating system?" link on the product page, and choose 10.4, in small print it will post that it is NOT compatible with 10.4.
I have contacted the company regarding a Firmware update, and have not received any confirmation that an update is in progress or is a future priority. Your readers should know that if they buy this card, they may experience the same problems that I am experiencing.
Mark D. "
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Interview with Pioneer on the future DVD writers, Blu-Ray support
Erik wrote he's posted a short Interview with Pioneer's product planning engineer on future DVD burners, drive speed limitations and Blu-Ray support. (I suspect I already know the answer but I'd have also asked them if they ever plan to release a firmware updater for Mac users of their drives. They released an OS 9 updater for the old DVR-103/104 drives years ago but nothing for Macs since then that I have seen. Granted there's some Mac OS X flash utilities like DVRflash but it currently doesn't support the DVR-110 drive. Hopefully it will in the next update.)
I mail Erik about the question for Pioneer above and the replied with the same thing I'd heard before:

" Hi Mike, I called Brendan Sheridan and he told me they don't offer Apple-based firmware updaters because Apple OEMs their drives and has their own firmware installed on these. Hence, Pioneer reasons Pioneer-branded drives will only be installed in non-Apple machines, and so they don't need to provide a frimware updater. Personally, I even think the agreement with Apple forbids them to offer an updater of their own.
Cheers, Erik "

That's the same story I expected (and heard in the past). But the point is that
A) although it's tiny compared to the PC market, many mac owners buy their OEM or retail drives and do not have apple firmware drives.

B) Haley's comet appears about as often as Apple Pioneer firmware updates (they have never kept up with the standard firmware releases - not even close, as you know Apple's Pioneer updates are very very very very rare.)

I realize the real issue is that for them it's not worth the costs (forsupport, doing the updater, answering calls/mails etc.) for such a small market - but their official explanation doesn't make any sense.

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Price cuts on Elite-AL RAID FW800 Drives
(from site sponsor OWC)

"Elite-AL RAID FW800 price drop
OWC Mercury-AL 800 PRO RAID Solutions come pre-configured with hardware RAID 0 enabled. May also be used for RAID 1 mirror config. Units are standard with two FireWire 800 9 pin ports and one FireWire 400 6 pin port - include FW800 9 to 9 cable, FW400 6 to 6 cable, EMC Dantz Retrospect Backup, Intech HD Speedtools, and a 2 year OWC Warranty. Drives come preformatted for Mac, pretested, and have about 1GB of free software installed as well. Fully compatible with later versions of Windows and Linux too.
160GB RAID 4MB Cache 7200RPM Solution remains $239.99
320GB RAID 16MB Cache 7200RPM Solution was $299.99, now $289.99
400GB RAID 16MB Cache 7200RPM Solution remains $349.99
500GB RAID 16MB Cache 7200RPM Solution remains $359.99
600GB RAID 16MB Cache 7200RPM Solution was $449.99, now $439.99
800GB RAID 16MB Cache 7200RPM Solution was $649.99, now $599.99
1TB RAID 16MB Cache 7200RPM Solution remains $949.99
Free UPS Ground and $5 2nd Day Air available for all above models.
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing"
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Nvidia 7800 GT now a BTO Option on new G5 towers
Derek sent a note that the Nvidia 7800 GT (256MB GDDR3) is now a BTO option on new G5s at the Apple Store. At the USA Apple store the 7800 GT option adds $400 on Dual 2GHz and $350 on the Dual 2.3GHz and Quad 2.5GHz models.
The PowerMac G5 graphics page has a table of feature comparisons on the various cards. (The 7800GT has one single-link and one dual-link DVI port, the latter compatible with the 30in Cinema Display.)
Still no official word on any future ATI Mac PCI-Express cards but I'd expect there will be offerings eventually.
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PB G4 owner report on Powered USB Hub solving iPod Sync Problems
" I e-mailed previously commenting that I had the same problem Chris describes (see page here from last month on Chris' iTunes/iPod sync problems, which I could not replicate here although another reader also saw the problem.-Mike) when sync'ing a Video iPod with a 15" Powerbook G4 1.25GHz (using latest iTunes (6.0.1) and Tiger 10.4.2).
On a hunch, I purchased a $20 powered USB 2.0 hub and connected the iPod through that. Now it sync's perfectly.
My hunch came when I noticed that the iPod didn't charge when connected to USB on the computer (I normally charge with the USB power adapter).
I have had two other iPods prior to this and never had trouble but I always ran those on Firewire (which supports up to 60W I believe in relation to USB's 5W max).
-Jon-Eric E "
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Other Net News
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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 4 new reports added. (Entries later today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 15,207 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) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Liteon SOHW 1693S in (MDD) Single G4 DDR (OS X 10.4)
  • Firewire (cased) NEC ND-3540A used w/G4 AGP (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-K05 in iMac G5 (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Samsung TS-552U in Dual G4 (OS X 10.4)
    (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT and B&W G3 Macs)

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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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,103. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Powerlogix Dual G4 1.3GHz (7457) in (Gigabit Ethernet) G4/AGP (rated 9)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at 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).

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
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