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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 9/4/2002 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!


News stories of September 4th, 2002:

M-Audio Replies to Reader Comments on Sonica
(an email from M-Sonica)

    " Hi there,
    I noticed the letter you posted [see August 16th news page-Mike] from a reader about the M-Audio Sonica and wanted to correct a few errors and misconceptions within the e-mail.

    1. The reader notes that Sonica pulls 500mA from the USB Bus. This is correct. The USB spec allows devices to pull up to 500mA and this power is needed to drive the features in Sonica. We thought customers would be more put off by having to travel with a required power supply than by simply using power already provided by the bus.

    Because of the limited bandwidth of USB, most manufacturers of USB audio devices recommend not connecting through a hub with shared bandwidth. While Sonica should work fine through any powered hub, we can't control what else is connected and stealing bandwidth from the bus, hence we recommend connecting in a "known" state...directly to a built-in port. BTW, Griffin's "Audio USB Hub" technology won't help here unless they can magically speed up a USB 1.1 bus. (of course not) I'm not sure how a hub could be specially designed for audio any more than a plug strip can be specially designed for all your big kitchen appliances. You either have enough juice (or bandwidth) to drive what's connected off the same connection or you don't.

    2. The reader stated that TOSLink cables are "usually 1-3 feet," which is not necessarily correct. Larger lengths are EASILY found. We sell a 15 foot cable on the M-Audio website and you can find them up to 50 feet long ( at decent prices.

    3. Great to hear that he's seeing improved audio performance over build-in audio.

    4. Perceived sound quality may depend on one√s ears and your other audio equipment (speakers, etc.). Sonica is a 24-bit/96kHz audio adapter (vs. 16-bit/44.1 for built-in) with MUCH higher signal-to-noise ratio and much less distortion than built in Quicksilver audio. Based on specs, lab tests, and objective listening tests, Sonica clearly is a huge improvement from built-in QS audio. There's no comparison.

    I simply have no idea why the user is saying that TruSurround XT features don't work/aren't intended for analog output. All of the TruSurround features work great in analog mode. Perhaps the user has the wrong speaker settings chosen in the Preference Panel? The heavy distortion is probably caused by setting the system volume too low and overdriving his amp for volume (or something similar).

    6. I'm not yet aware of any issues with Jaguar and VLC, but VLC was posted before Jaguar was released, so it's possible that there are some minor changes needed. The latter statements about source and GPL are simply erroneous. Source WAS provided to the original VLC authors well before we posted VLX. Also, the GPL doesn't state that source must accompany the program if source can be shipped to the user on request for no more than the cost of media/shipment/distribution (see option B in GPL). We will try to make this more obvious in our documentation if it's not been self-evident. We have already sent source to handful of individuals who have already it.
    Jason Ivan
    M-Audio Consumer Division "

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Formac Announces 20.1 inch LCD
Formac sent a press release regarding their new Formac gallery(tm) 2010 with ADC or DVI interface. Here's a clip from the press release:

    "September 4th, 2002 - Formac Electronic Inc.... today announced Formac gallery(tm) 2010, a new generation 20.1" flat panel display with Fujitsu's Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment (MVA) Premium technology. Formac gallery(tm) 2010 joins Formac's award winning line of flat panel displays, a line of high-quality LCDs that conform to the PANTONE® display standards. The large active matrix TFT with an effective diagonal length of 20.1" features a high-definition UXGA resolution of 1,600 by 1,200 pixels, and corresponds to a 23-inch CRT. Formac's latest display development is designed for professionals working in color-critical applications, such as desktop-publishing, pre-press, video editing and digital imaging. The gallery(tm) 2010 is equipped with ADC or DVI interface, and is Macintosh or PC compatible.

    Pricing and Availability
    Formac gallery(tm) 2010 is available at the end of September 2002 through Formac Certified Resellers and Shop Formac! ( The display has an estimated retail price of U.S. $1,699 and comes with a 3 year limited warranty. Formac is taking pre-orders starting Wednesday, September 4th 2002."

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Performance Tests w/WindowShade X 2.1.1 Update
Yesterday's news had an early story with reader reports of reduced performance with Windowshade X installed. Later in the day I noted the Windowshade X 2.1.1 update that was to fix the performance issue and the Toast 5.1.4 conflict. I asked for readers feedback on performance tests (esp. those that originally reported slower performance in benchmarks with the previous version). I received several reader reports that the 2.1.1 update seems to have solved the performance slowdown. (One reader however noted screen artifacts, but that apparently isn't typical based on other reports.)

(reader reports on v2.1.1 - most recent first)

" Hi Mike
Ran a let1kwindowsbloom test comparing windowshadeX 2.1 and version 2.1.1 on my cube 450, OSX 10.2, stock ati rage card, 640 megs of ram.

Both tests conducted after a restart
2.1 = 83 secs
2.1.1 = 53 secs

Quite a difference really. I am running 10.2
Dale "

" Hello,
I had a major slowdown with WindowShade X 2.1, and removed it. I then installed version 2.1.1, and the slowdown is gone. They found a bug, and fixed it. They also fixed a bug that was the fault of Toast and patched how their haxie treats Toast to work around it. I'm glad I registered WindowShade X - those guys are great!
Daniel S. "

" Running 10.2 on a B&W G4/500 mhz with 576mb of ram and the stock 128 Rage video card. With the previous version of Windowshade X, Let1kwindowsbloom took almost 89 seconds to run. And overall the Jaguar seemeed sluggish.

With the new version of Windowshade X, Let1kwindowsbloom takes only 71 seconds to run and now the entire system seems much more responsive.

Since Windowshade was the first thing I installed on Jaguar last week, I was really disappointed in how slow 10.2 seemed in every respect. With this bug fix, 10.2 is much more likeable!
Bryan "

" Hi mike:
I just want to let you know that although the latest version fixed Toast 5.14 startup crash problem, however, It has induced screen redrawn problem on internet explorer 5.21. I double click the browser window to active windowshade, when I reclick the same broswer window, the scroll bar will disappear and a large white blank space will cover up the content. Also, when I drag the finder window, sometimes it will go underneath the finder menu and cannot be dragged out, the only way to escape is to minimize to the dock and maximize it afterward.
B/W G3-300, Newer Tech G4-400 upgrade, ATI Rage Pro 128
OSX 10.2
Tinkertook, Maxmenu, ASM installed "

" The latest version does fix the glitch as I just tried it, I get 29 seconds with it enabled and 29 seconds without it enabled :)
Sandy "

" Hi Mike,
I retested with the new version and got:

No Window Shade X = 70s
Window Shade X enabled set to no shadows = 70s
Window Shade X enabled with Apple default shadows = 71s

Much better, but I would still expect to see the no shadows setting be faster then with drop shadows. Weird.
Andy "

" Just installed WSX 2.1.1 on my B&W running 10.2 with a Powerlogix 550 G4, 896 ram, Radeon(mac) video card and Quartz Ex. enabled.
I get 45 sec. with the new WS upgrade, my old time was 57 sec. Has any one heard any thing on the Sonnet tempo 100 card, I can't use mine with 10.2 and have gone back to the native IDE port. Since I like to run 2 40 gig Diamond Max's, I've got a Siig pro 133 ata controller on order. Sonnets tech support was not very helpful so I'll try the Siig card. Thanks for the site it's been very helpful to me over the years.
thomcarl "

I hear that this issue (noted previously here a week or so ago) is to be fixed in a future OS X 10.2 update. (I can't post comments owners sent me including copies of tech support replies since they had a confidential disclaimer in the email...)

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OS X 10.2/iTunes3 Support file for Lite-On 32123S (32x) CDRW Drive
A reader sent a modified plugin file for the Lite-On 32123S (32x) drive, (since our previous one in the FAQ was made for use w/OS X 10.1.x/iTunes2.)

    " Mike,
    I've updated the LiteOn plugin file to add disc burning support for my LiteOn 32123S drive. (for OS X 10.2/iTunes3) Apple System Profiler now recognizes my drive for burning, as does iTunes (I haven't actually burned a disk in iTunes yet, though, but it does see it as a burning drive). Oddly enough, in 10.2, the Finder couldn't burn the disk, but Disk Utility could erase a CD-RW disk.

    BTW, as a tip to users trying to edit a plugin file, I first tried it with BBEdit, but that didn't work. Instead, I edited it in the terminal with 'vi'. Just find the codes for a supported drive, and replace the drive name with your drive's name (as pulled from Apple System Profiler).
    Steve W. "

Hexedit has been popular in the past for editing the files also.
You can download Steve's modified plugin file here. I've updated the FAQ's CDROM/CDR item on the 32x Liteon drive with this info (now lists both the 10.1.x and 10.2 files).
Note These files replace the existing (original) file. You may want to boot into OS 9 to search/replace the file to avoid any permissions issues or having to use the terminal. Like all 'unofficial' mod. files - they are provided as-is with no warranty or guarantee.

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MacPlay notes Mac Soldier of Fortune II is Shipping
Henry Price of MacPlay sent a note that the Mac version of Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix is now shipping.
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Powerlogix Announces Dual G4 CPU Upgrades for AGP Macs and Cube
(Repeated today for those that missed last night's news page update)
As noted in my review of the PowerLogix 1GHz CPU upgrade, the board was designed for dual G4 7455 CPUs. Powerlogix has now officially announced a Dual CPU version of their G4 800MHz and 1GHz models.

    Estimated Street Pricing:
    PowerForce Dual G4 Series 100 @ 800MHz $799
    PowerForce Dual G4 Series 100 @ 1 GHz $1199

    PowerForce Dual G4 Series 133 @ 867MHz $799
    PowerForce Dual G4 Series 133 @ 1 GHz $1199

    Availability: PowerForce Dual G4 models will be available within 2-3 weeks.

Note they mention a Dual G4/800 is possible with the Cube (but not the dual 1GHz)

    " **The PowerMac G4 Cube has a lower capacity power supply and therefore we conservatively recommend installing at most a Dual 800MHz. As Motorola introduces faster processors with lower core voltages, this recommended clock speed limit may increase. The kit for the Cube includes a high-output fan which does mean the Cube is no longer silent but the trade-off is significantly more speed. Cube owners who prefer silent operation should opt for a single processor upgrade up to 1GHz. "

The single G4/1GHz Cube upgrade comes with an 80mm fan as mentioned in my review, but apparently the dual G4 model comes with a higher speed fan.

Note to early G4/AGP Sawtooth owners:
As noted in the FAQ here and a spring 2001 update to the Dual G4 CPU module swap article (as well as Sonnet's Duet errata page), the early G4/AGP motherboards had a Uni-N chip revision not compatible with dual CPUs. Uni-N rev 7 or later is compatible (some early models had Uni-N rev 3. I never saw a shipping mac with Uni-N 4, 5 or 6). If you missed the notes here on how to check your Uni-N revision using Apple System Profiler, Powerlogix also notes how to do this in their product notice page.

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Jaguar Battery Run-Time Reports Updated
I've updated the previous page on OS X 10.2 Battery Run-Time comments from PB/iBook owners with more reports.
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 15 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, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 8,335 reports. Here's a summary listing of today's new reports. (Does not include updates to previous entries)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Reports:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-104 in G4/AGP (OS X)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-104 in B&W G3 (OS X)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drive Reports:
  • IDE LG GCC4120B (12x8x32 + 8x DVD ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X)
  • IDE Ricoh MP9120 12x10x32x +8x DVD ROM in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (no itunes 3 support)
  • Expansion bay MCE (Toshiba) SD-R2102 in PowerBook G3 2000 (OS 9.2)
    (didn't note drive speed rating as requested)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Lite-On LTR-40125S in Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
  • Lite-On LTR-32123S 32x12x40x in Dual G4 (OS X)
    (required modified support file. Adding to FAQ later today)
  • Sony CRX175A1 24x10x40x in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (using modified plugin/support file )
  • Que 40x12x48x (no mech. brand listed) in G4 no AGP (OS 9.2)
    (problems noted)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Mitsumi 40x24x48 (IDE drive in FW case) used w/8600 (OS X)
    (no itunes3 support)

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Yamaha 8424 S (8x4x24x) used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
    (notes after 10.2 update seen only as CDROM)
  • Yamaha CRW8424SX (8x4x24x) used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
    (notes 10.2 update broke support for the drive)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM Travelstar 60GB in PowerBook G4 (OS X)
    (Reader FYI - PowerBook G4 illustrated Hard Drive install guide here)
  • Western Digital 80GB in iMac slot loading (OS X)
  • Western Digital WD1200JB (8MB cache) in iMac (OS X)

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.]
(Entries today will be added the following newsday. 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 today with 6 new reports. Total to date: 7,413. (Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning.)
Here's a summary of the updates:

  • Newer Tech Pismo G4/500 in PowerBook G3 2000 (rated 8)
  • Newer Tech G4/400 in Beige G3 (rated 2)
  • Other World Computing 550 in B&W G3 (rated 1)
  • Powerlogix G4/533 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet Harmoni G3/500 in iMac (rated 7)
  • Sonnet G4/450 in 7500 (rated 10)

(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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