News Archive for: 9/15/2005 Thursday's News
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Pioneer DVR-110D Firmware Update 1.17
I'm late posting this but 2 readers with DVR-110 drives recently sent word of the 1.17 firmware update. It's available at the Pioneer (AU site) DVR-110 firmware page and also at this Pioneer USA page. One reader mentioned it helped with DVD burn problems he had with older v1.08 firmware. Here's the change listing for v1.17:

    Firmware Ver.1.17
    New 16x DVD-R Media: DAXON
    New 16X DVD+R Media: DAXON
    New 12X DVD+R Media: RITEK
    DVD-ROM Readability improved
    DVD-/+R Writability improved
    DVD-R/+R DL Writability improved
    DVD-RW/+RW Writability improved
    CD-ROM Readability improved
    CD-R/-RW Read and Writabiity improved

As usual it's a PC flasher/exe download and unfortunately owners said that DVRflash 2.1.1 doesn't support the 110 model yet, so you'll need a PC to update the drive. (VirtualPC and a USB cased drive might also work, as some have used that method in the past with other models.)

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Blue and White G3 ATX Power Supply Swap
A reader sent an article w/photos on swapping in a 300W ATX power supply in his B&W G3. (He didn't have an ATX PS extension cable for an easy swap mentioned in an older B&W G3 ATX case conversion here and instead swapped entire wiring harnesses, which is a lot more work.)
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Another iPod Nano/USB 2.0 PCI card report (Visioneer)
" I have had a old Visioneer PCI USB 2.0 card lying around for a couple of years. It has a NEC chip. I plugged it into my MDD with dual 1GHz, 1.25GB of memory and it works great. It shows up as a High Speed USB Bus. No driver download, just installed and it worked.
(readers have reported native support for NEC USB 2.0 chip cards since OS X 10.2.8. There were some notes here a few years ago that an Apple MDD later model also had an USB 2.0 NEC chip onboard (even though the system was spec'd as USB 1.1)-Mike)
I've been using it with my Nano and it works great. No issues...
(Just for the record I asked if the card supported deep sleep with or without anything connected to the card.-Mike)
I had not tried to sleep my system with the Nano attached. I tried it and the system went to sleep, drives kept spinning and wouldn't wake up. I had to cycle power.
Without the Nano attached, it works just fine. "

FYI - As with wireless cards, vendors can (and often do) change chipsets over time so if possible check that before buying or buy from a store that allows returns. Previous iPod Nano/USB 2.0 card reports are in Wednesday's and Tuesday's news pages.

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More Tips for Stuffit 10 problems (Disable version checking)
Yesterday's news had a couple of reader tips for problems running Stuffit 10 apps which rang a bell here but it wasn't until later that I remembered the same issue (apps launching problem) in the past that was fixed by disabling the version check in the apps. (In the past at least this often required disabling a net connection to get the apps to load and not hang on the check).
The reader that mentioned disabling internet sharing wrote back with more info:

" ... the problem exits even with the free StuffIt Expander. Allume said in their support forum it's a problem with the update check ( Hopefully they fix it fast...
Best regards, Matthias "

" I stopped (disabled) version checking in Expander 9, and after that, expander 10 works fine!
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Question/Answer on iPod Nano and Alpine KCA-420i Menu Navigation speed
A reader replied to a post from Kevin on using his iPod Nano with an Alpine KCA-420i (car stereo) in Yesterday's news, asking about the menu navigation speed:

I read with great interest Kevin C's report about his experiences with the iPod nano and the Alpine KCA-420i. I, too, have a KCA-420i (my head unit is a 9851) and a 3G iPod (mine's 15 GB) and have a question for Kevin: Is menu navigation speed with the nano any faster than with the 3G iPod? I'm interested to find out whether the lack of hard drive spin-up and head positioning delays afforded by the flash memory has an impact....
-Alan S. "

Kevin replied:

" I have last years model head unit CDA-9833 with the KCA-420i iPod interface. I read that the slow navigation problem is with the head unit, not the iPod or adapter
. They (Alpine) were supposed to fix it with this years models, like yours.To answer your question, No, the Nano seems no faster than the 3G iPod. They do seem to hot swap with no problems.
-Kevin C. "
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Audio-only streaming under QuickTime 6.5
(from a reader mail)

" When I went to view Steve Job's recent keynote, I first chose the low speed QuickTime 6.5 compatible MPEG 4 stream since I'm using a modem and don't yet have QuickTime 7. (Not wanting to lose the pro key, I think I'll hold off for awhile.) Thankfully the stream gave reliable audio all the way through unlike other earlier streams which could stutter, or worse yet be totally silent for minutes at a time despite a steady, reliable, and sufficiently fast connection . The "video" was practically useless having given me only several brief updates which resulting in occasionally not staring at the same frozen picture for more than 20 minutes at a time. After listening to the entire keynote, I out of curiosity clicked on the low speed H.264 stream. Not being a QuickTime 7 user, I of course couldn't view the video but I was pleasantly surprised that I did get the audio - and even better - since the video stream wasn't even attempted, all of the bandwidth dedicated to just the audio. The required bit rate was so low that the buffer filled to several seconds, the quality was 100%, and the packet loss stayed extremely low. I suspect this audio-only stream could have worked on a 28.8 modem, maybe even less. Though for this particular keynote Apple appears to have finally made the streaming usable for modem users, with the H.264 option I have an unintended low bitrate audio-only stream that I've been wanting for years. I'm gonna hate losing it when I finally upgrade to QuickTime 7.
-Kevin "
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Other Net News
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 3 new reports added. (Entries today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 15,083 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    Tape Drives:
  • Firewire to SCSI adapted Lacie DDS3 (Sony SDT-9000) used w/G4 Cube (OS X 10.4)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-K05 in Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.4)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Samsung SpinPoint P80 120GB in G4 Cube (OS X 10.4)

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.)
(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 with 1 new report (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,057. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple G3/233 ZIF (at 333MHz) in Beige G3 (rated 5)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

(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).

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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