News Archive for: 9/20/2004 Monday's News
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ATI Displays 4.4 Update and (Multiple) Radeon Card Firmware Updates
(email from Bruno of ATI)

" The new ATI Displays version 4.4 (www.ati.com/support/drivers/mac/macosx-ATI-displays-4-4.html) has just been posted to the driver download pages of all RADEON products, both in Panther and Jaguar sections.
This new version adds new features to all RADEON products, both retail and OEM. 3D Overrides are now supported on all RADEON chipsets: Retail, BTO/CTO, Built-In and Mobile. Some new features (for retail) require a ROM Update. The new Mac2TV controls now work on all cards equipped with TV out support - this includes the Apple-supplied 9800 and 9600 cards when used with the Apple G5 Video Output adapter.

A new ROM update package has also just been released for all RETAIL RADEON products. This single installer will update all Built-By-ATI Retail RADEON card products to support the latest features exposed in ATI Displays. They also add support for a wider variety of LCD products and for some boards fix incompatibilities that had previously been reported, along with an assortment of bug fixes. Notable highlights: VERSAVISION display rotation for RADEON 8500 and 9000.
http://www.ati.com/support/driver.html
Bruno "

www.ati.com/support/drivers/mac/atimacromsept2004.html is September 2004 ATI RADEON Universal ROM Update for ATI Retail Mac Cards.

    " Requirements
  • Bootable Mac OS X 10.1.5 or newer system
  • Retail RADEON Mac Edition graphics card (installed in AGP and/or PCI slot)
  • Firmware Update application file (included in download)
  • The computer MUST NOT be interrupted (shut down or power failure) during firmware update.

    Supports
  • RADEON MAC EDITION (PCI)
  • RADEON MAC EDITION (AGP)
  • RADEON 7000 MAC EDITION
  • RADEON 8500 MAC EDITION
  • RADEON 9000 MAC EDITION
  • RADEON 9200 MAC EDITION
  • RADEON 9800 PRO MAC EDITION
  • RADEON 9800 PRO MAC SPECIAL EDITION

I asked if there was any hope of an update for OEM card owners. (Apple controls the release of OEM card firmware.) and got this reply:

" Updates to Apple/Mac OEM installations of RADEON technology come in the form of updated run-time driver files. Collectively, the updates are included with OS updates from Apple in the ATIRunTimeDriver.bundle. Not every update will affect every card. And not every OS update will revise the bundle contents. Updates are provided as needed and as requested by Apple.

At this time, the advanced features present in ATI Displays (namely VERSAVISION and the display-related overrides) are not available for BTO/CTO, Built-In nor Mobile RADEON products. "

I welcome feedback from readers on these updates. (Include card details, firmware versions before/after and OS verson used in reports. Thanks.)

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Updated Motorola 7457 CPU Specs Doc
(from a reader mail today)

" For your tech savvy G4 fans - an updated Motorola MPC7457 Hardware Spec is available from Motorola's site (updated 9/14/04)
www.freescale.com/files/32bit/doc/data_sheet/MPC7457EC.pdf
-- Regards, Paul "
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Powerlogix Comments and PDF doc on recent Lawsuit
Powerlogix has posted a press release (link removed after PL went RIP) on the lawsuit filed last week against WayPoint Distribution, Inc., GigaDesigns, L.L.C., MicroMat Computer Systems, Inc., MicroMat, Inc., Soft 77, L.L.C. and Virtex Assembly Services, Inc.. Here's a clip from the PR:

" PowerLogix, a recognized technology leader in the Apple Computer market place since 1996, filed a thirteen-count Federal lawsuit on September 15, 2004 seeking in excess of $1,500,000 in actual damages, statutory damages and punitive damages for what it alleges was a conspiracy by former business partners and competitors to unlawfully appropriate its software, trade secrets and drive it out of business. "

If you've not already seen it, the PR page also links to a PDF doc of the filed complaint. (again link removed after their site went offline. I've not had time to check the web archive for copies.)

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Stuffit Deluxe 9.0 / Macromedia Shockwave Player Update
I'm still using version 7.x, but MU lists Stuffit Deluxe 9.0 today with a long list of what's new.

Matthew mentioned the Macromedia Shockwave Player 10.1.0.11 update (no info on changes) and suggested running repair permissions after the update which showed some corrections he said. (not applied it yet here.)

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ESPN.com announces ESPN Motion for Mac
(from the press release)

" ESPN.COM LAUNCHES ESPN MOTION FOR MAC
Version Of Popular Video Tool Now Available For Apple Platform

ESPN.com announced today the availability of ESPN Motion, its popular video tool, for Apple Macintosh users. Previously available only for computers running on the Microsoft Windows operating system, ESPN Motion delivers high-quality video content to sports fans multiple times daily on ESPN.com. Created through cooperation with the Walt Disney Internet Group, the proprietary and patent-pending tool allows more than two million active users per month to view original content, highlight and clips from ESPN studio shows without buffering or streaming....
With the availability of ESPN Motion, sports fans using Mac's will also have access to the ESPN Motion Showcase - the online destination where fans can create custom video playlists from a clearinghouse of all the ESPN Motion video content available at a given time. Using an interface that allows for either single click or drag-and-drop control, the user creates a fully flexible playlist in which they can stop, start, shuffle, reshuffle and add or subtract video clips. Clips are played in an enlargeable video screen, and both the individual clip duration and total duration of the playlist are shown. Fans can pause the clips and control the audio volume with a single mouse click.

ESPN Motion for Mac operates optimally in the Safari, Netscape/Mozilla and Firefox Internet browsers, but also operates on a limited basis in Microsoft Internet Explorer for Macintosh. Unlike the original version of ESPN Motion for PC's, ESPN Motion for Macintosh requires no initial application download, needs only the Flash 6 plug-in for operation and will appear to all Macintosh users visiting ESPN.com."

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Massive Assault strategy game now Shipping
Freeverse sent a press release that Massive Assault for the mac is now shipping. A Quicktime trailer of the game is available on Apple's Games Trailer page.
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Resurrecting my old 5GB iPod (Hi-Capacity 2100mAh battery swap)
Last week I posted a note from OWC on the new 2100mAh iPod battery for 1st and 2nd Generation iPods ($39.95 w/tool set and installation guide. If you order an iPod battery you can also get the NewerTech RoadTrip FM Transmitter device for only $9.99 by using coupon code 'HIGHROAD' when you checkout.)
I own a first model iPod (5GB) that I bought about 2 months after they were first introduced years ago that still had the original battery. After years of use and many charges, the OEM battery had about 4 hours of runtime in a test of continuous running (no button presses) instead of the 8-9 hours when it was new. (Runtime would typically be less in normal use changing settings, songs, etc. frequently, but the constant run test was used since it's easily duplicated for tests with the new battery.)

Installing the new battery was easy (took about 5 minutes or so) using the printed guide and tools included with the battery. (I had taken some pictures for posting a page on the install, but had forgotten you can just download OWC's install guide PDF doc for a complete guide w/photos.) After charging the 2100mAh battery overnight, I ran the same runtime test (no button presses) and the 2100mAh battery ran for 21 hours and 3 minutes. Quite an improvement and really added new life to this old iPod. I had considered trying to sell the iPod before but figured it wasn't worth anything with the original battery, but now I'm going to hang onto it for awhile. This was a great 'upgrade' for this iPod and the cost was well worth it - definitely the most bang for the buck I've seen. (And even if I do decide to sell it later the cost of the battery was money well spent.)
I'd basically given up on using my iPod 5GB before the swap due to the old/original battery - although it ran 4hrs on the continuous play test, in typical use it seemed shorter and within a few days of no use, the battery was dead usually. Frustrating. Now it's like having a new iPod again (only better, with amazing runtime).
This really is one of those rare products that has a huge price/perf. ratio for those of us with older iPods.

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ATIcellerator II (ATI Radeon Overclocker) 1.0.4 Update
There's an update with bug fixes to ATIcellerator II (Radeon overclocking utility). Here's the changes listed for v1.0.4:

  • Support for the Radeon 9200 Mac Edition.
  • Pressing Option when opening ATIccelerator II ignores frequencies saved in the preferences file (useful in case of a too high frequency). - Uninstaller (sort of).

    And a few bug fixes:
  • Set custom frequencies at startup option works again for everyone (bug introduced in an earlier version...).
  • Real and displayed frequencies no longer get out of sync (an alert sheet appears should a frequency change fail); note that changing core frequency of some chips, like some Radeon 7000, still won't have any effect.
  • Frequency changes should no longer fail with a 10000003 error logged on the console.
  • Frequency changes failed when the ATIccelerator II preferences pane was selected for the second time or more without quitting System Preferences.
  • Erroneous percentage calculation in some cases.
  • Wrong decimal separator character in some cases.

If you send a report for posting here on the feedback page, please note what version you're using. Also include system/graphics card/chip details and OS version used. Thanks. (I'm behind on mails from users of this utility in the last week - sorry.)

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Source for PL B&W G3 firmware patcher/restorer
(From a reader mail - this util was used in the past for sonnet G4/700-1GHz owners to restore their previously patched (by XLR8, etc.) firmware so that the Sonnet patcher for that 745x G4 would run. See FAQ for past notes on this. PL removed the software from their USA site earlier this year, hopefully they will not remove it from their Japan site.)

" I recently required the Powerlogix firmware updater to revert back to the Apple 1.1 firmware for an B&W machine. Your web site stated that powerlogix.com no longer had the updater available for download (at their USA site). After searching the internet for quite sometime, I was able to locate the software at powerlogix japan web-site. www.powerlogix.co.jp/support/latest_soft_g4fu.html Of course you need the firmware updater and Apple's G3 firmware in the same folder to update. Just thought people would like to know.
-Jeff R"

Another reader had written last month he found it on the PL japan site, but didn't include a URL.

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Ralink RT2500 Wireless Chipset OS X driver
(from a reader post this weekend - edited a bit for clarity/spelling)

" Ralink RT2500 Wireless Chipset OS X driver
Ralink chipset is used in many new wireless cards (a lot of them, this chipset seems to be cheap), there are macosx drivers for this chipset directly from ralink. anyone tried this?
is this driver/chipset ok in osX, any crashes, kernel panics? with this driver can you use apples airport software?

Driver Page Link (Macintosh 11g-RT2500 PCI/MiniPCI/CardBus Dated 2004/06/11, version 1.0.0.0)
http://www.ralinktech.com/supp-1.htm
http://www.ralinktech.com/drivers/Mac/CardBusWirelessDriver.zip
or (same driver at different link
at e-tech.nu)

some PCI/PCMCIA cards that use Ralink Chipset RT2500:

  • Asus WL-107g [RAlink Chipset] Cardbus Card
  • MSI WIFI 802.11g PCI Ralink chipset MSI [PC54G2]
  • MSI WIFI 802.11g PCMCIA Ralink chipset MSI [CB54G2]
  • E-Tech Wireless 54Mbps PCI card Model: WGPI02 RT2500 Chipset
  • E-Tech Wireless 54 Mbps PCMCIA adapter Model: WGPC02 RT2500 Chipset
  • ALFA AWPC036 802.11g PC Card Ralink chipsets
  • A-Link WL54H Chipset: RaLink RT2500 (rev 01) "
  • Of course there are proven Airport 3.1 and later compatible PCcards/PCI cards (802.11g/broadcom chipset based) so they'd be a safer choice and often are cheap also (see FAQ for info on examples from many previous news posts in the last year.)

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