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News Archive for: 9/25/2001 Tuesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!


Top stories of 9/25/2001:

Reader Tip for those that lost Speaker Audio after Firmware Update:
[Update - Apple later pulled the G4/AGP 4.1.9 firmware update due to audio issues with OS 9.1 - which are solved by using OS 9.2.1's Audio extension based on reader reports]

I've had close to a dozen reports on the G4 firmware update today so far, none reporting a problem until just now (two reports). One reader affected by this sent a tip that worked to restore his audio and why some and not others have seen this issue.

" The lost audio issue is easily fixed by extracting the Apple Audio Extension v1.4.3 from the OS 9.2.1 Upgrade using Tome Viewer and placing it in your extensions folder.
After performing the update to v4.1.9 firmware on my DP533, with my external speakers plugged in, sound would come through the internal speaker, and with nothing plugged in, there was no sound (except for the startup chime, which worked as it should...) I extracted the v1.4.3 Audio Extension from the 9.2.1 Updater files, and replaced my existing Audio Extension v1.3.3.
This was a little odd because I have 9.2.1 on my system already, so I am somewhat perplexed as to why the latest version was not already there; but hey, it works now. I have attached the Apple Audio Extension v1.4.3 if you would like to post it for those without Tome Viewer or the Updater files. I donĚt see any reason why the update wouldn't work with people still on 9.1 as well.
-John B. "

I don't think I can legally post Apple software, but for those without it, you can download TomeViewer here.
I checked some OS 9.2.1 systems here and all had v1.4.3 of the Audio extension.

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Apple PR on OS 10.1 Availability, Some Mail Order Dealer Confusion
[Update - for Performance tests, articles on DVD player/CD burning, etc. in 10.1, see the Thursday and Friday news pages.]

It's official now, Apple has posted a press release on OS 10.1 which notes in addition to the $19.99 S&H version that "A free Instant Up-to-Date upgrade kit for existing Mac OS X users will be available through October 31, 2001, or while supplies last through Apple's retail stores and at participating retail outlets".

The "Full Upgrade" package includes the following according to Apple OS Up-To-Date page which has the PDF forms and ordering details.

  • Mac OS X version 10.1 CD (upgrade install)
  • Mac OS 9.2.1 CD (upgrade install - not a full OS CD)
  • Developer Tools CD
  • User guide and electronic documentation

The Up-To-Date page also details the "Instant Up-To-Date Program" available from Apple retail stores and participating Apple resellers which includes "a Mac OS X v 10.1 Upgrade CD, a Mac OS 9.2.1 Update CD, and a Mac OS X manual" (no developer tools CD).

Reader Matthew Cullmore called to say he had bought the retail 10.0 version from Macwarehouse and when trying to order the upgrade from Apple, he was told to contact the dealer that sold him the copy. Matthew said they knew nothing about this but were contacting their sales rep. to get more details. I suspect some dealers don't have the latest info on the update. (I was not clear if existing owners got the update free from mail order dealers or not for instance - I bought my 10.0 copy direct from the Apple store.)
If you see the free update at a CompUSA, etc. - let me know.

Apple also announced a 10.1 update to OS X Server.

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Feedback on Today's G4 Firmware Updates:
I've had about 6 reader reports on the firmware updates noted earlier today (see below for links). So far no negative feedback and no speaker/audio issues that someone noted at Versiontracker. Although I plan to wait a day or so before updating personally, I welcome reader feedback on the firmware updates.
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Test Drive of Word for OS X 10.1 Available Now:
Apple notes there's a Word for OS X test drive (requires OS 10.1) download at their Office vX for Mac page. To download the test drive version go to this Microsoft page. Not all features are enabled in this test drive version they say. Apple stores will have demos of Office X also, based what was said at Seybold today.
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Apple Firmware Updates for G4/AGP, Cube and iMac Slot Loading:
(Note: You can also use OS 9's Software Updates Control Panel to get the firmware updates.)
Versiontracker today lists these updates. Get them at:

The readme file coments for the update sounds like a repeat of the 4.1.8 firmware version comments. Here's a clip:

    " must start up from a local Mac OS 9.1 or later writeable partition (not a CD or network disk) before following the update instructions.

    Firmware Update 4.1.9 includes improvements to starting up Mac OS X from the local hard disk, FireWire target disk mode, network startup, gigabit networking (on systems with gigabit hardware), and system stability. This update also adds support for additional security options that allow the Open Firmware to be password-protected."

There were some audio/speaker issues noted by two readers at the Versiontracker G4/AGP update page, so I'm going to wait for more feedback before applying these personally. (There's no going back in firmware versions.)
[Update: Within the first hour or so of posting this two reports on Dual G4/450s, a Dual G4/500, a G4/533 (digital audio) and a G4/400 owner replied they have not seen any audio issues with the update.]

I sincerely hope these firmware updates have no negative effects and welcome reader feedback on them. (the previous update disabled some memory dimms that did not have CL3 timing, even if they were CL2 dimms, as noted on our firmware update/lost ram page which links to a utility to repair some affected dimms.)

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(Untested) Wavelan PCcard Driver for OS X 10.1:
[Update - two readers so far have replied that this did not work.]
Yesterday's news had a note that a reader sent a notice that the (unofficial) wavelan PCcard driver for OS X didn't work with build 5G64 (said to be OS X 10.1). A reader replied he's recompiled the original driver (I posted the source code link yesterday) :

" Hey Mike, i compiled the latest wavelan wireless drivers on 5g64 system with 5g64 devtool, it can be found here :

However i haven't tested this at all since i have an ibook/2001 with airport, so use at your own risk. Just decompress it and drop it in your /System/Library/Extentions/
justin "

I've asked the reader that reported the problem if he was willing to test this and I'll post his results when received.

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Refurbished OEM Radeon Graphics Cards for $149.99
Mark Neal sent a note that MacResQ has refurbished (90 day warranty) Radeon graphics cards for $149.99 (plus shipping). The photo on that page is of the retail model however (noted the video out port). They don't say if they have a fan or not but comment that by removing your original graphics card bracket they could be used in the Cube. (The Cube's bracket is not the same was the tower model which these apparently are - and for Nvidia Cube card owners, note the VGA/ADC ports are swapped compared to the Radeon, so that bracket may not be usable on the ATI cards.) They're noted as having an ADC port so I assume they are OEM versions made originally for the towers.
As noted in my OEM Radeon AGP review, the first models at least of the tower Radeons had no fan, but the Cube version did. Some Cube owners that bought the last of the Cube versions of the card noted it had no fan, but many reported high temperatures (see our page on this). My Cube has an OEM Radeon w/Fan and I don't find its noise objectionable personally and would rather have a fan cooled version for the Cube.
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Article on Macs as Next-Gen Home Systems:
ZDnet has an article today titled Mac, Unix make Apple tops for next-gen home machine. The author comments that Apple is "the only company with all the skills--and the incentive--needed to make this happen. "
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Unofficial Comments on SoundBlaster Live Driver Status:
" I had an occasion to talk to a Mac support rep at SB yesterday and the plan for OsX support is still alive. In fact they are planning to bring 5.1 ability to the OsX version. Though unofficial, this is indeed encouraging.
John Oswald"

Last Wednesday's news has info and an email address to send Creative Labs your comments and suggestions on the SoundBlaster Live.

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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 includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, 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 4,833 reports. Here are today's additions:

    DVD Recorder Drive Reports:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-A03 in G4 no AGP (Yikes)
    (noted wake from sleep issue)

    Combo DVD/CDRW Drive Reports:
  • IDE Ricoh RW9120A (12/10/32 + 8x DVD) in Dual G4

    IDE CDRW Reports:
  • Philips CDD4801 8x4x32 in Beige G3
  • Plextor PlexWriter 24/10/40 in 2001 G4/AGP
  • Que 24/10/40 in G4/AGP

    Firewire CDRW Reports:
  • Que 24/10/40 used with PowerBook G4

    SCSI CDRW Reports:
  • Sony CRX-140S 8X/4X/32X in 7500

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Maxtor 40GB in G4/AGP
  • Maxtor 40GB in B&W G3

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports:
  • Maxtor 80GB used w/Apple Dual G4
    (noted drive failure)

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 4 new reports today (total to date: 6,241).

  • Newer Tech G3/300 in 7500/100 (rated 5)
    (noted cache failure after about 1.5 years of use)
  • Other World Computing G3/333 in Beige G3 (rated 9)
  • Other World Computing G3/350 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Apple Quicksilver G4/733 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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