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News Archive for: 9/17/2001 Monday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

Top stories of 9/17/2001:

Two IBM 60GXP 60GB Drives Arrive DOA:
I was shocked to see not one, but two IBM 60GXP drives (same shipment) that were DOA. Shipping box was perfect (no damage), still sealed from the factory, but not only would they not be recognized, but even if they were added as slave drives to existing working computers their presence prevented even booting from another master drive.
Click, click, click... sound at power up. I've never seen a drive that would make a system completely ignore a working boot master disk if even connected to the bus as a slave. (Booted from CD - no master or slave drive seen with either of these two new drives connected - remove the drives, system booted fine.)

I know there's a chance of getting a bad drive from anyone of any brand, but to get two that were DOA in the same shipment makes me leery of 60GXPs at least from this source for awhile. Both were made in Thailand in July 2001. I've heard of some failures of 75GXPs (in some cases mass failures) but never heard of a bad 60GXP. to see two DOA ones in one shipment really surprised me.

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Paris Apple Expo Cancelled:
Cnet is reporting that Steve Jobs announced today the Apple Paris Expo originally scheduled for later this month has been cancelled due to the recent tragic events and security concerns . (Update - Apple now has their own press release on the cancellation.)
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Register Article Notes Motorola Completes 1.6GHz G5 CPU:
A reader post in the forums notes that the Register has a story claiming that Motorola has taped out the PowerPC 8500 (aka G5) with production speeds of up to 1.6GHz expected. The article claims the 8500/G5 will have 10 pipeline stages and twice the transistors of the 7450, as well as being a full 64bit chip with a 400MHz front-side bus. The article also speculates that Apple may announce systems using the new CPU at Macworld S.F. in January 2002. (This is all just speculation of course, but interesting.)
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TDK 24/10/40 CDRW Retail Box + 10 CDRW Discs for $134.99 (no rebates reqd.)
Although Costco's web site does not list it currently, the Costco store in Harrisionburg had about a dozen retail TDK IDE 24x/10x/40x CDRWs for $134.99, the lowest price I've ever seen on this drive. These boxes also included a bonus 10-pack of 24x rated CDRs (for a total of 12, since the retail box already includes 2 CDRs and 1 CDRW disc.) As with any Costco item, they may sell out at any time and not be repeated. Some stores here still have this drive listed at $249.95, although as noted here a week or so ago, CompUSA did have the drive for $149.99 recently (w/o the 10 bonus CDRs) and still lists it today at that price on their web site. (Prices and availability can change at any time, so check your local stores.)
To see TDK owner reports on this drive, you can search our drive database (omit the mac model selection option to see all reports regardless of mac model used, and omitting the interface option will show reports used with the IDE interface as well as with the drive installed in a Firewire case.) If you've installed one of these drives in your Mac or a Firewire case, post a report for the database.
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Sony 12x/8x/32x IDE CDRW for $69.99 (after $30 rebate):
A reader's drive database report noted that CompUSA recently has a sale on the Sony IDE CRX-160 (12x/8x/32x) CDRW drive. The drive sells for $99.99 with a $30 mail-in rebate good until 9/30/2001 according to the CompUSA product page today.
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Comments on Clock Time Drift on 100MHz Bus Speed iBook even with OF Patch:
Tycho, author of the 2001 iBook overclocking article sent an email this weekend that even with the reader's open firmware patch, he's still seen some drift in clock time in OS X. (Before the OF patch was applied the clock was 50% faster than normal however.)

" Mike, after using the iBook in X for extended periods following the OF programming, I have noticed that the clock still drifts a little bit...I'd say 10 minutes/day ...this is not a problem for me as my clock auto syncs online every 24 hours...but I do notice it late at night before the morning sync."

I seem to remember reports of clock time drifts on non-overclocked Macs in the past but can't remember specifics or how severe it was. (A reader wrote in reply to this to say he's seen appx. 5 minute drifts per day in other Macs.)

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More Dual G4/800 Owner Reports of Processor Error at Boot:
After the post in Friday's news regarding 3 reports of a processor error noted at boot ("The Built-in processor test found a problem with one of your processors. Please contact a technician") on some Dual G4/800 systems, I received several more emails from owners of DP800 systems saying they had seen the same thing. Every report of this so far said they had seen it happen only once, and that the Apple hardware test CD showed no errors. I suggested any owners seeing this error should still call Apple to report it, just in case there were issues seen later that there was a documented case number on record. For the page with owner comments on the error, click here.
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OS 9.2.1 Install on Umax S900:
Digging throught he backlog of email this weekend I found this report from a reader on installing OS 9.2.1 on a Umax S900. (There was a previous page here with tips on how to install OS 9.2.1 on unsupported macs, which I'll be adding this report to later today.)

" Mike-
Well, the install of OS 9.2.1 on my old S900 (w/G3 500MHz upgrade) actually went smoother than on my G4! (I'm the one who had the machine where all my OS X apps and utils moved to the OS 9 folders for some reason).

Gestlab kept crashing every time I tried to launch it on my machine, so I downloaded MachID Wannabe [direct download link] , installed it and rebooted. The machine's primary hard drive is a DiamondMax Plus on an Acard, with the stock 2gb SCSI drive as a spare. After setting the Machine ID in MachID Wannabe to 510 (Beige G3), I copied my active system folder to the 2gb drive, started up the 9.2.1 updater without a complaint and installed onto the 2gb drive. At the conclusion of the installation, I simply quit the installer, then fired up one of the patchers that is linked on the 'Reader Guides to Installing OS 9.2.1 on Pre-G3 Macs,' and ran the patch (Link: http://homepage.mac.com/cywong/FileSharing.html ). Before committing my main hard drive to the change, I used System Disk to choose the 2gb SCSI drive (OS 9.2.1) as the startup drive (which still listed the OS on the drive as 9.1 for some reason) and hit restart.

Seconds later I was greeted with the Mac OS 9.2 startup splash screen! After running through the motions, I found that all was well, so I copied the 9.2.1 system folder from the 2gb SCSI drive back over to the primary drive on the Acard (saving a copy of my old 9.1 system folder for storage if there are problems in the long run), selected it as the startup volume in Startup Disk (which again, said 9.1 until after restarting from that volume, even though it was the version of Startup Disk that was installed with 9.2.1) and away we go. We'll see how it does in the long run once it's been put to daily use...
-Jarod Wilson
(he later wrote)

Just a bit of additional information about OS 9.2.1 on my S900... Well, actually, it's more about the version of Apple System Profiler that was installed with 9.2.1. Apple System Profiler now correctly lists what my startup device is (a drive hooked up to an Acard ATA/66 card), which it did not do under previous versions. Previously, I got a message that said that a startup device was chosen in System Disk, but ASP was unable to determine what it was.

On top of that, ASP now comes much closer to correctly identifying the PCI cards installed. Earlier versions wouldn't correctly display information about PCI slots 4-6, listing only a PCI slot C for the four (since all are controlled by a PCI bridge chip, rather than a second PCI controller chip as in the 95/9600), with card information for only one of the cards. Now, in addition to saying slot C, there is a number in parentheses (in the case of my system, a 3), for the number of cards installed in those lower 4 slots. When you click the triangle to expand the information for the slot, you see multiple listings for each category (in my case, 3 lines of card type info, 3 lines of card name info, etc.).

On top of all that, as I mentioned earlier, ASP also shows correct information for various RAM types (like the PC-133 CL3 RAM in my G4/500 MP). The ASP team has been hard at work... "

I also noted here some time back that the incorrect reporting of PC133 CL2 timing I noted last month seemed to be fixed with the OS 9.2.1 update's version of ASP. However I may have been premature - as I saw the same "CL2" reported if there was a mix of the original 333 dimm (from Apple) and a CL2 PC133 dimm installed in that system.

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Reader Reports 74C Heatsink Temperature w/Fanless Radeon Card in Cube:
Last month there was a page here with Cube owner comments on very high temperatures with fanless Radeon cards in Cubes. As noted previously here, the original Radeon Cube card had a fan on the heatsink, but according to several reports, some of the last cards sold had no fan, which from the comments on temperatures make me think this was a mistake in manufacturing.
While trying to catch up on the email backlog, I found an email sent by a reader that included a photo showing a 74.1 C temperature reading on the heatsink of a fanless Radeon card in a Cube. I've added this photo to the page on Fanless Radeon Cube Cards. My Cube has a fanned Radeon installed and I'd personally not use a fanless Radeon card running that temperature in a Cube.
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Still Waiting for Return to Castle Wolfenstein MP Test For OS X:
Friday's news page had comments from a plan file post by ID's Graeme Devine that indicated he has WolfMP test running under Mac OS X, with the installer "all wrapped up and standing by". However as you already know I'm sure, there was no release of a Mac version over the weekend (that I could find at least). The PC version was released and mirrored at several sites linked at the Official RTCW website.
As one reader noted in the forum, even if there is not a retail box version of this game released for the Mac, I hope ID will make a Mac executable available that will allow using the PC pak files to run the game.
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 16 new reports added this morning. The database has reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 4,746 reports. Here are today's additions:

    IDE CDRW Reports:
  • Matshita UJDA330 in iMac
    (noted not bootable)
  • Sony 160E-A1 in G4/AGP
  • Sony CRX140E in G4/AGP
    (noted skipping on burned audio cds)
  • Sony CRX-160E (12/8/32) in Beige G3
  • Teac CD-W516E (16/10/40) in B&W G3
  • Yamaha CRW 2200 - 20x/10x/40x in G4/AGP

    Firewire CDRW Reports:
  • Ricoh MP7200A 20x/10x/40x used w/G4 AGP

    IDE DVD ROM Drive Reports:
  • Hitachi GD-8000 16x/40x in Beige G3

    IDE CDROM Drive Reports:
  • Sony CDU5211 52x in Dual G4

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Hitachi 20GB in PowerBook 3400
  • Maxtor 30GB in G4/AGP
  • Seagate 20GB in iMac Slot Loading
  • Western Digital 30GB in Beige G3

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports:
  • VST 10GB used with PowerBook G3 2000

    USB Hard Drive Reports:
  • BusLink ls-20 20GB used w/Powerbook G4
    (buslink reports listed under "other brands")

    SCSI Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM 2GB in 7600

You can find full owner reports 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.]

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 7 new reports today (total to date: 6,217).

  • Newer Tech G3/466 in iMac (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G4/450 in Beige G3 (rated 6)
  • Sonnet G4/400 in 9600/233 (rated 2)
    (data corruption noted)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 8600/300 (rated 9)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF MPe w/XLR8 G4/400 in Powerwave (rated 10)
    (noted dual CPU option is not supported on the Powerwave)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3 400 ZIF (OWC bundle) in 8500/120 (rated 10)
  • G4/AGP 2001 (Digital Audio 667Mhz) OC report

(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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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work, and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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Software Updates and Other Net News

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