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News Archive for: 9/28/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 9/28/2001:

Unreal Tournament for OS X Public Preview!
" Today Westlake Interactive, in cooperation with MacSoft, released a public preview of Unreal Tournament for OS X.

This early test version of the native version of UT is a free download for the brave gamers willing to give it a try. It requires the full version of Unreal Tournament or Unreal Tournament Game of the Year. The file is currently hosted by MacGameFiles (www.macgamefiles.com), and can be mirrored if anyone chooses to help with distribution."

The download page at macgamefiles is here. That page has a list of known issues with this version.

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OS X 10.1 and Firewire Drive Mount/Sleep Issues? Results with my VST and Oxford 911 Drives:
Jamie Dresser of OWC called me tonight to let me know Apple has a TIL titled
Mac OS X 10.1: FireWire Drives Do Not Become Available (Mount) When Connected that says:

    " Third-party FireWire drives do not appear on the desktop or otherwise become available when you connect them to the computer.

    Products affected
    Mac OS X 10.1

    Solution
    Check the drive vendor's Web site to make sure the FireWire drive's firmware is up to date. "

Jamie mentioned Oxford 911 bridge based drives were affected, saying he had seen the problem personally after putting the system to sleep with the drive connected and then waking the system from sleep. (Error reported on waking from sleep, the TIL above seems to imply this is a general drive mounting issue, not just waking from sleep.)
I asked Jamie if the drive in his Oxford911 bridge based case had Apple drivers, and he said yes. He also said an older case with a pre-911 bridge did not have the problem.

I have seen zero problems mounting my portable VST 12GB drive (firmware v56) and my AC powered Oxford911 bridge based case kit drive with onboard IDE formatted IBM 75GXP 60GB drive (the one used in my review and build guide posted here on the Firewire articles page.) used with my G4/500 DP system running 10.1. No problems with them after waking from sleep either. (I repeated these tests over half a dozen times.) The drives were still mounted and usable.

However I did see a problem with a portable/bus powered Oxford911 bridge based case with 48GB IBM Travelstar drive (the one used in this build guide) after putting the system to sleep and then waking it with the drive connected. A dialog box popped up with a warning the drive had not been put away properly, etc.. Once this happened I had to restart the Mac to get OS X to mount any Firewire drive. (Even Apple System Profiler "beachballed" in limbo trying to launch). For more details on my tests see this article.

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iMovie Plugin Pack 2.1.1 for OS X:
One of tonight's updates to the Software Updates, Apple TILs and Other Net News listing from Barney is an OS X iMovie 2.1.1 plugin pack. See the linked page for install info and a list of plugins included.

Tonight's TILs listing has several on the OS X 10.1 DVD player.

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TombRaider Chronicles 1.01 Update:
Aspyr has posted a TombRaider Chronicles 1.01 update with the following fixes:

    " This update fixes two locations in the game where freezes can occur - in the Labyrinth when pulling the second lever (see FAQ), and under Mac OS X only, when fighting one of the Guardians. "
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Mac Quake3 v1.30 Update Posted:
ID has a 26MB Mac Quake3 update file at their FTP site today. (The server is busy so it may take some time to get access.)

(There's no readme with this update and I see no real gains on my Dual G4/500 with Radeon card as far as FPS rates, but it may have other improvements/fixes. And since the PC version is now at 1.30 also, it may be needed for online multiplayer.)

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Optimizing OS X 10.1 Disks with Norton's Speed Disk:
Even though I have used my Systemworks Speeddisk to optimize 3 Mac's 10.1 disks without any apparent problems seen so far (read on however for important details), a reader called with a real horror story from doing so on his Pismo's 10.1 partition. (He had to reformat and reinstall OS X 10.0.x and start over.)

Again I cannot suggest others try this, even though I did so on a Cube, PowerBook G4 and DP G4/500 and the systems seem to be running fine and boot in both 10.1 and OS 9.2.1 with no apparent problems. What concerned me most was that on two systems there were "leaf record" errors on the 10.1 volume after the update, even though they seemed to be working fine. Here's the procedure I followed to optimize the disks using another Mac and firewire target disk mode. (This only works if the OS X volume is on a Master IDE position. I have not tried this with any SCSI drives, but Target disk mode will only mount the master IDE drive on the host Mac's desktop.) For the full story on how I did this, see this article which also comments on disk errors I saw on two modern G4 Macs after the 10.1 update.

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Toshiba R1102 Combo DVD/CDRW Drive - Burns at 4x vs 8x in Toast 5?
(Update - I just timed tests on OS X 10.1 discburner with my R1102 drive. I had Disc Copy set to 8x burn rates and a 642.2MB folder burned to CDR took about 9 Minutes to complete the "Burn" phase (9:55 including closing the disk). This clearly shows it's not burning at 4x speeds in OS X Disburner. The CDR passed the verify, so there were no problems with this drive burning at 8x speeds in OS X. I'm still waiting for a reply from Roxio on the slow speeds seen in OS 9.2.1 w/Toast 5.02. I've not tried the beta version of Toast for OS X with the drive. )
After a reader post on this drive in the database noted that it seems to burn at 4x instead of its rated (and reported) 8x speeds, I also ran a test in Toast 5.02 (OS 9.2.1) and also found that it appears to be writing at 4x (not 8x) speeds. (At least with buffer underrun support enabled, I have not tested it with that feature disabled.) Based on timed tests of the burn phase of Discburner in OS X 10.1 (which it works flawlessly with as noted in my OS X 10.1 first impressions article yesterday) the drive is burning at 8x rates in 10.1. The reader said this has been reported as a firmware issue, but there's no later update I can find than my drive's v1012. I have written Roxio about this and will post their comments when received.
Regardless, I am still very pleased with this drive in my DP 500 - it's bootable, works with iTunes/Discburner in both OS 9 and OS X 10.1 and plays DVDs in both flawlessly so far.
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OS X 10.1 vs 10.0.4 Performance Tests (Updated):
I've updated my article on OS X 10.1 vs 10.0.4 performance tests to include results of iMovie 2 and PShop 5.5 tests from a DP800 owner. (The article has other tests also from my DP500 system.)
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More Comments on iMovie 2.1.1 Update:
Yesterday's news had a post on iMovie 2.1.1 incompatibility with 3rd party plugins (like Toast`5's VCD export plugin which causes problems with QT exports) and a note from a reader that the installer would not work if the iMovie 2 folder was moved from it's default location. Another reader noted via email tha4 the updater would not work if you had renamed the iMovie application (he had renamed it "iMovie 2" since he had the original version 1 installed and wanted to identify the different versions.)
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Reader Comments on Dual G4 Macs and Latest OS X Mozilla:
Yesterday's news had a reader's comments on the tabbed interface in the latest builds of Mozilla for OS X (a nice space saving feature rather than having multiple separate browser windows). Another reader replied to that post with a comment on improvements in the latest builds running on dual processor Macs:

" I checked out the nightly build of Mozilla after reading yesterday's comments. It appears that the longstanding problem with dual-processor G4s has been ameliorated. I am running OS 10.04 on a 500 MHz dual-processor G4. While I haven't done any benchmarks yet, my early experience is that the performance is at least tolerable for casual browsing. If your readers with dual-processor configurations have been avoiding Mozilla-X (like me), I would encourage them to check it out.
Steve Chu"

Satoru Murata noted yesterday you can download the latest builds at http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla/nightly/latest/

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 7 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 4,854 reports. Here are today's additions:

    Combo DVD/CDRW Drive Reports:
  • IDE Toshiba R1102 (8x8) in G4/AGP 2001
    (commented only 4x burn rates?)

    IDE CDRW Reports:
  • Lite-On LTR-16102B 16/10/40 in Beige G3
  • Que 24/10/40 in B&W G3

    Firewire CDRW Reports:
  • Que Fire! 16x10x40 used w/Beige G3

    SCSI CDROM Reports:
  • Pioneer DR 506S 32x slot loading in 6400
    (noted not bootable)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM Travelstar 48GB in PowerBook G3 2000
    (noted using my illustrated HD upgrade guide)
  • Seagate Cheetah 15K RPM 18GB in Dual G4 (800)

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 3 new reports today (total to date: 6,252).

  • Newer Tech G3/300 in 6115CD Perfoma (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in 7100/80av (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in PowerBase 180 (rated 10)
    (noted conflict with USB PCI Card/drivers)

(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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