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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 9/21/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 9/21/2001:

Beta 7 of Return To Castle Wolfenstein MP Test Posted:
Two updates in one day it seems, as the Beta6 I downloaded earlier today has now been replaced by a new Beta7. Get it at ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/wolf/osx/. (Server is very busy now, having problems getting in.) Thanks to Sheer and Martin-Luc Girard for the tip on beta7 being posted.
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$749 18.1 Inch LCD Display with DVI and VGA Interfaces:
" Mike:
Just wanted to let you know that http://www.ibuypower.com is selling SCEPTRE PT18W 18.1 inch TFT display for $749. I saw the same display several months ago for over 2 Grand. Dell is selling the same display for $1,350 right now.

I have heard that this display is one of the brightest around, brighter even then the offerings from IBM and Sony. In addition to its brightness, the display has dual inputs (DVI and Analog). The SCEPTRE website has all of the specs you need.
Check it out. I bought two: one for myself, one for one of my clients. Can't wait to hook this thing up to the DVI connector on my Matrox G550! [PC]
Gene Shekhtman "

Sceptre's product page with full specs and resolutions (1280x1024 native/max) for the P18W is here, which today shows a list price of $2199 (?). (A local Costco store here had a 17" LCD for $599.xx, but it was VGA only.) It and the Sceptre have only a 1 year warranty, where many IBM and Sony LCDs have 3 year warranties. However even Apple's expensive Cinema display has only a 1 year warranty.
If anyone buys or already owns a Sceptre 18" display, let me know what you think of the quality (image and otherwise).
Note: ADC card owners could use an ADC to DVI adapter ($39 list from the Apple store or Belkin; also sold in some retail stores).

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Itunes/Discburner Support File for Sony CRX168B 16/10/40 CDRW:
" Hi. I have a B&W G3 and I installed a Sony CRX 168B IDE CD-RW to replace the stock CD-ROM. This drive is not supported by iTunes. I read the instructions on how to modify the authoring support files within the extensions folder and went ahead and tried on a copy of the Sony CDR file. I followed the instructions on this link: www.xlr8yourmac.com/feedback/itunes/itunes_disk_burn.html
Well, I now have a SUPPORTED drive. I tested it right away and, sure enough, it burned. The only thing is that iTunes, for some reason, seems a little slower than Toast. But, nevertheless, it burned, it played back, it WORKS. Thanks.
Pedro Valentin"

iTunes has always been slower than Toast at burning in my experience, even with 12x drives.
I don't own a Sony 168B to test this personally, but Pedro sent a copy of his modified Sony support file for other Sony CRX168B owners to try. (I've added this info to the FAQ's CDROM/CDR section for future reference.)

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Que 24/10/40 IDE CDRW $99.99 Sale (after rebates) at CompUSA
I just got an email today from CompUSA noting they again have the Que 24/10/40 IDE CDRW drive on sale for $99.99 after rebate. The email's linked specials page noted the price, but the product page it links to does not list the $70 off in rebates. (A reader later noted there's a $50 rebate at http://www.qps-inc.com/rebates/rebate3993.pdf that expires 9/29/2001, but that still makes the $169.99 price $20 short of $99.99.) I'd call the store to verify they have the rebates there before driving down. I don't know the duration of the current rebates since they are not listed as I'm typing this at the CompUSA site (that I can find from their links on the specials page). The email notice said to
"Simply click here, print the Advertised Specials and visit the CompUSA store nearest you. You won't find these in-store offers anywhere else!".
The drive box does not list Macs as compatible nor does it include any Mac software as noted here previous. There are reader reports on the drive in Macs in the Drive Compatibility Database here and also a page with some feedback/reports on this drive noted earlier this month when it was first offered at $99.99 (after several rebates). That article is one of many on the IDE topics page here. As a reminder to those that don't read the news here daily, the FAQ's CDROM/CDR section also has the modified Sanyo support file to enable iTunes. (The Que drive is a Sanyo mechanism based on owner reports.)
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OS X 10.1 Released by Monday? Reader Notes Install Tip:
(Note - another QPS Firewire CDRW drive owner reported he had no problems with 10.1/Build 5G64, perhaps he had a different model/mechanism/firmware version.)

" Hi Mike,
Just wanted to let you know, we have been told by apple that OSX10.1 build 5g64 will be the public release as early as Monday of next week and will be the one sent to customers.

We have been playing with it for a few days and it is rock solid. The only things we have seen is that one if you have not updated your firmware it absolutely will fail during install with a kernel panic and two, the very first time you reboot you will also get a kernel panic if you have a QPS firewire CDRW connected. Once the machine has booted and optimized, there is no problem with having the drive connected.
I was watching close encounters [DVD] this morning."

(Another reader that claimed to have a friend at the mothership said that the release may be at the end of the month - only Apple knows for sure.) I can't wait to get OS X 10.1 and was hoping it might be available this weekend, but it's anyone's guess when that will happen.
As far as the comment on the firmware updates, that is in reference to the G4/AGP, PowerBook G3 firewire, iMac (slotted) and Cube firmware updates (4.1.8/4.1.7 depending on mac model). There's a page here with previous feedback on the firmware updates which include links to DimmFirstAid for those that have RAM disabled after the firmware update. A friend yesterday updated his Pismo and had a 256MB SODIMM fail to be recognized afterwards, but DimmFirstAid fixed it by reprogramming the SPD chip to include CL3 timing.

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Beige G3 Owner Notes Issues with OS 9.2.1 and Sonnet G4 ZIF:
[Update - Bryan later noted my suggestion to try Powerlogix's software solved the problem.]
" I'm using a Beige G3 MT (rev.1, with Rev. 3 ROM), upgraded with a Sonnet Encore G4/ZIF. Upon upgrading to OS 9.2.1, I noticed increases in instability and an overall feeling of "chopinees". It seemed as if my system was both slower and less stable.

Upon checking Gauge Pro (v1.1b2), I found that AltiVec was improperly supported. I never had such a problem running OS 9.1.

I contacted Sonnet regarding this, and this was their response.

    " This may have something to do with your running OS 9.2.1 which we aren't really officially supporting just yet. Given that the vast majority of machines that are upgradeable by us aren't compatible with 9.2.1, the QA/Engineering guys aren't making 9.2.1 a huge priority. They're busy working on OS X 10.1 issues right now and then they'll be working on 9.2.1 issues (since we know that 10.1 will ship with 9.2.1).
    However, I'll pass your email on to our programmers just to see if they have anything to say."

The programmer's response?

    "Did they install 'Crescendo/Encore Install 1.4.6' into the new Mac OS 9.2.1. That is required to enable the L2 cache (for speed) and the AltiVec support."

That was done, so I'd assume that if it isn't just my problem -- and you'd know better than anyone -- we should expect a fix with any X.1 updates.
-Bryan B."

There have been notes/reports on the OS 9.2.1 installed SDAP Authoring support extension causing some problems with 3rd party CD/CDRW drives (and even the factory DVD ROM drive of the Pismo) but this is the first report I remember from a Beige G3 owner with a G4 upgrade running OS 9.2.1.
I suggested he try using another cache enabler perhaps, such as Powerlogix's free cache profiler (they used to have an altivec enabler extension also) until Sonnet has an update to address this (assuming it's a common issue). XLR8's cache enabler software isn't free anymore, but was used in the past by some Sonnet G4 owners to solve altivec enabling problems noted earlier this year (before the last Sonnet software update).
I'd also suggest searching the CPU upgrades database for other Sonnnet G4 owners using a Beige G3. In the past there have been problem reports/tips noted there. (One report there in June noted using XLR8's software for proper Altivec support, but that may have been addressed by the later Sonnet software update, which I think also fixed the issue with PShop 6 requiring VM for stability reported by some other Sonnet G4 users.)

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Driver For Pioneer SCSI DVD ROM Drives:
I've noted about a year ago in the Wired4DVD card review that I had some trouble getting a SCSI Pioneer DVD ROM drive to reliably play DVD movies. A reader sent a note about a driver he found and how it solved a problem he had:

"I recently acquired an upgraded Power Macintosh 8600 with an internal Pioneer DR-706S CD-ROM. The computer has been upgraded with a XLR8 Mach Speed G3 /300MHz (the Apple System Profiler says it's a 9600) and is running Mac OS 9.1. The CD-ROM is on the same SCSI bus (0) with an Iomega Jaz drive. It is the first device in the chain; the Jaz drive is the second and last device in the chain. Each has a unique SCSI address. I think the jumpers are properly set for the CD drive, but Pioneer's instructions are none too clear.

Here's the problem: the CD-ROM drive will not mount either a data CD or an audio CD no matter what, but otherwise works normally. It is receiving power. It will accept a CD, spin up, and eject a CD, and the 'busy' light flashes when the CD is first installed, but that's it. I've tried using MacCLDAccess software (from Pioneer's download page), Pioneer CD-ROM Device Driver ver. 2.20, Apple CD/DVD Driver 1.4 (both original and hacked version), CD-ROM ToolKit, and CD/DVD SpeedTools, but in all cases the start-up icon(s) is/are labeled "unfound" or are Xed out. The Search and Load feature of these software cannot load or locate drivers even after they have been installed. Utilities such as SCSI Probe, Transoft SCSI Director, Peripheral View, etc., do not find the CD drive on bus 0, but do find the Jaz drive on the same bus.

[he later wrote]

I contacted Pioneer (don't know why I didn't think of that in the first place?) and they steered me to the place to download the correct driver. That turns out to be Pioneer Australia's web site! Go figure. Thanks for your help. URL is
www.pioneeraus.com.au/multimedia/software/software.htm#DRIVERS.
Look under "Single Drives" for Macintosh. The one you want is MACDVD.HQX. It turns out to be CD-ROM Device Driver ver. 2.27.
Mike M. "

I need to update the info on the FAQ's DVD section for this link (I had some previous ones) as well as adding a note in the Wired4DVD review.

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Reader Solves Problem with Combo DVD/CDRW Drive and Netscape Lockups:
Reviewer's Name: Warren Stapf
Date Submitted: 9/17/2001
Drive Type: Combo DVD-CDR
Drive Interface: IDE
Drive Brand: Toshiba
Drive Model Number: SD-R1102 (8x8x32x + 8x DVD)
Drive Size: N/A
Driver Used: Apple Standard
Mac Model: Apple Beige G3
CPU Upgrade Brand: Newer Tech G4
CPU Upgrade Speed: G4/450
Mac OS Version: OS 9.1
Reader Comments: Mike, What I was trying to report is a follow-up to an eariler post. My 1102 has been humming along since i installed it without incedent. there is one problem you may be able to assist with. If there is a disk (any type) in the drive NetScape (Communicator v4.7 and 4.6) locks up at a seemingly random time after connection. This requires a restart (will not accept force quit.) Any one else seen any thing like this?

[he later wrote on 9/21/2001]

Mike, It appears I have a software conflict not hardware as previosly reported. Sorry for the "bum dope" but it takes a while to get through more than 180 extensions. This is a great drive. FYI the conflict was between Fair Use and Netscape (4.6, 4.7, and 6.1).

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 10 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 4,800 reports. Here are today's additions:

    DVD Recorder Drive Reports:
  • Firewire EZquest (superdrive) used w/G4 Cube

    Combo DVD/CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Expansion Bay Matshitia UJDA710 in PB G3 2000
    (2 different owner reports added)

    IDE CDRW Reports:
  • Plextor 16/10/40 in B&W G3
  • Sony CRX1611 (16X10X40) mounted externally w/iMac slot loading
    (Noted trying one of the past reader noted hacks of extending an IDE cable out of the case for a 2nd/External drive. The slot loading iMacs have only one IDE interface which is already used up by the stock HD and CD/DVD drive. iMac 233-333mhz models had two IDE cables, one for the HD and one for the CD. )

    Firewire CDRW Reports:
  • Lacie 24/10/40 used w/2001 G4/AGP
    (noted no iTunes/Discburner support, suggested trying the sanyo mod file here that was posted for Que 24/10/40 which uses a sanyo mechanism. Also suggested trying ituneshelper)
  • Plextor 24/10/40 used w/G4 AGP

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Fujitsu 40GB in B&W G3
    (noted having the Quantum as slave not master was required for best performance. Assuming he has a rev 2 B&W G3)
  • IBM 60GXP 60GB in G4/AGP 2001
  • Toshiba 20GB in PowerBook G3 wallstreet1
    (there's an illustrated guide to Wallstreet HD installs on the Systems and IDE articles pages here.)

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 5 new reports today (total to date: 6,234).

  • PowerLogix BlueChip G3/466 in PowerBook G3 wallstreet1 (rated 1)
    (noted problem flashing the rom on a Wallstreet that had OS X installed already)
  • PowerLogix BlueChip G3/500 in PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (rated 10)
    (updated report after months of use)
  • PowerLogix BlueChip G3/466 in PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (rated 1)
    (noted failure)
  • PowerLogix BlueChip G3/500 in PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (rated 10)
    (same owner as above, noting 500mhz model worked)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3 366 ZIF in 9600/300 (rated 5)
    (problems noted, but xlr8 replaced the card)

(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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