News Archive for: 9/20/2005 Tuesday's News
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iTunes 5.0.1 released
Matthew sent a note it's available via Software Update. Here's a clip from the SU window:

" ... iTunes 5.0.1 features several stability improvements over iTunes 5."

It wasn't online when I first posted this but Apple now has a download page for the iTunes 5.0.1 update.
For those that reported problems in iTunes 5.0, if the 5.0.1 update helps let me know.

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Apple revises .Mac Features/Increases iDisk/eMail space
(from apple's news page)

"Apple Introduces Major Enhancements to .Mac
The membership-based online service .Mac now features the following: .Mac Groups, a service that helps members communicate, coordinate schedules and stay in sync with private groups of friends or colleagues; an updated version of .Mac Backup software that makes it easy for members to archive their iLife and other important files; a four-fold increase in combined iDisk and email storage to 1GB for individuals and 2GB for families; and full French and German localization"

I'd still like to see a lower cost/email-only option.
A reader sent a note about the increased storage:

" My iDisk is still not showing the increase to 1 gig. I went into my account and changed the setting to reflect a new proportion between mail and iDisk space. That seemed to trigger the registration of the 1 gig space.
I now get credit for 1 gig space when accessing .Mac from the system preference panel. My iDisk icon on the desktop however still registers the old amount. I may need to restart the computer. Haven't tried pushing the currently displayed limit on the iDisk to see if I get a disk full error.
-W. Robarge "
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What's New in Apple Backup 3.0, First reader feedback
Matthew called to say Apple's posted Backup 3.0 for .Mac users. Here's a clip from the readme file on what's new (thanks Matt.)

"What's New in Backup 3
This new version of Backup adds many powerful features that make protecting your important files from accidental loss even easier.

  • One-step iLife backup. Backup comes with preset backup plans for your iLife content (iPhoto and iTunes Libraries, and iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand projects) and other Mac essentials (personal settings and your home folder). Each plan has a destination and schedule already set up, so with a click of a button, your backups will be set to run automatically.

  • Flexible backup plans. You can customize the preset plans or create completely new ones for particular files and folders you want to back up. QuickPicks make it easy to add hard-to-find files, like your Address Book data or your Mail messages. Using built-in Tiger Spotlight, you can search for particular files to add?or you can just browse files and folders on your hard drive.

  • Multiple backup destinations. You can create different backup plans for different backup destinations, or choose to back up the same plan daily to one destination and weekly to another. Schedule regular daily backups of small files like preferences to your iDisk, and monthly backups of large files like your iTunes library to CD, DVD, or an external FireWire drive such as your iPod. You can set a schedule for any backup destination, including CD or DVD.

  • Incremental Backups. Backup 3 now saves new versions of files that have changed every time it performs a backup. The result is an efficient use of storage that saves you time and media costs if you use disposable media like CDs or DVDs. And you can always find an older version of a file if you need it.

  • Advanced file restoration. If you ever need to restore a file that's been lost or damaged, Backup 3's Restore pane makes it easy to find the backup you're looking for. Backup 3 also comes with new restore options such as restoring to an alternate location and restoring only files that are missing from their original location.

  • Better backup management. Keep your backups on track with Backup 3's new main window summary of all of your backup plans. You can see the status of recent backups and the next scheduled backup. If you need to know more, the History pane tracks detailed information about each backup that occurs. In addition, anytime you miss a backup because your computer is asleep or turned off, Backup 3 prompts you to run the missed backups when your computer is available again.

  • Shared backup to iDisk. You can now back up more than one Macintosh computer to the same iDisk. If you need to restore data, you can restore files to either Mac or to a different location entirely.

    System Requirements
    To use Backup 3, you need:

  • Mac OS X version 10.3.9 and later or Mac OS X version 10.4.2 or later.
  • A PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor

    To create backup CDs or DVDs with Backup 3, you must have a CD/DVD drive supported by Mac OS X. All internal Apple-supplied drives except DVD-RAM drives work with Backup 3. You can find a list of supported devices at www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/devices.html"

  • Here's the first reader feedback on Backup 3.0:

    " I'm not sure if this is a bug or a poorly implemented feature - when I use Backup 3 and go to backup my iLife data to a DVD I get errors stating that I'm out of disc space on my main drive. Evidently, Backup requires free disc space equal to the amount of data being backed-up, even if you're backing that data up to a DVD with plenty of space! (I never use Apple backup, but Finder disc burning also images the disc to be burned to the hard drive.-Mike)
    What's worse it wouldn't even let me choose another external drive or internal partition to serve as the scratch disk.... - it's essentially ruled-out my using Backup.
    -Mark C."
    From Backup's help pages:
    "To back up files from your hard disk to a CD or DVD, you need at least as much free space on your hard disk as you are backing up or as the destination disc can hold, whichever is less.

    For example, if you're backing up 500 MB worth of data to a CD that holds 650 MB, you need 500 MB of free space on your hard disk. If you're backing up 800 MB of data and your first destination disc holds 650 MB, you need only 650 MB of free space on your hard disk.

    Backup uses the free space on your hard disk to assemble the backup before it copies files to the recordable disc. If your hard disk is almost full, you may need to make room on it before you can back up files. "

    Again I've never used Backup (i.e. I don't know if older versions did the same thing) but I take the above to mean that if you're backing up to a single layer DVD disc for instance you'd need to have at least 4.4GB free on the boot drive. (Actually I'd try to keep more than that much space free on the OS X boot disk personally... as swap files grow, other apps like iDVD and Toast can create large temporary/encoding files, etc. As a drive fills up, performance takes a nosedive.) Still it would be nice to be able to select a different drive for the temporary/image files.

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    Installing Bluetooth USB dongle inside PB G4 Ti
    " Hi Mike, I just wrote an article on my website explaining how to put a bluetooth USB dongle inside a DVI titanium Powerbook, using a hidden USB port on the motherboard.
    The page is in french, but here is the english translation
    (original page : http://www.macxtrem.com/articles.php?article=116)
    Hope you'll find this interesting for your readers.
    Thanks, Gamoul. "

    FYI - The FAQ's iBook section has a link to a past article on adding internal Bluetooth to an iBook G4 using the Apple internal Bluetooth module.

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    MDD owner comments on Radeon 9600 Mac/PC Edition
    A Mirror Drive Door tower owner replied to a post in Yesterday's news on an infant failure of one of the new Mac/PC edition Radeon 9600 cards, noting he's seen no problems so far.

    " I received my 9600 Pro PC/Mac Edition AGP card on Sept 9th and installed it immediately and there have been no issues with it so far. It was installed into my Dual 1.25Ghz MDD (running 10.4.2) which used to have a GeForce4 Titanium in it which had died a little while ago.

    The only issue that I had with the whole thing was that the documentation that came with the card was for the regular 9600 Pro, which according to the docs requires an extra power connection and it shows the card as having a fan. The 9600 Pro PC/Mac Edition does not have a fan on it and does not have a connector for extra power, so at first I thought I might have the wrong card. The card does show on it that it is a 9600 and shows up properly in System Profiler with the 256 MB of ram.
    I don't know how to test the card to see how well it performs, but it does seem to work really well. When I tried Warcaft 3 the other night, it looked spectacular and was very responsive.
    -Alan "

    I don't own one of the Mac/PC 9600 cards but the Video articles page, graphics card section has links to past graphics card reviews with examples of game tests, benchmarks, etc. The Mac system/video card benchmark database also has info on tests you can run, although the reviews have more examples of actual game and apps tests (including Apple Motion tests).

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    EyeTV 1.8.3 Update (adds new hardware support, Toast 7 integration, bug fixes)
    MU today lists EyeTV Updater 1.8.3 with a long list of changes:

      " Version 1.8.3:
      New Hardware
    • New Hardware Support
    • EyeTV EZ USB 2.0 TV Tuner (TerraTec Cinergy 400/450). Miglia TVMini DVB-T USB 2.0. This device ships with EyeTV software.
    • Miglia EvolutionTV USB 2.0 TV Tuner. EvolutionTV owners can purchase an EyeTV activation key at www.elgato.com.
    • Enhanced MPEG-2 Picture Quality
    • Seamless Toast 7 Integration
    • A random crash with EyeTV 500 has been fixed.
    • Auto tuning and software activation now work correctly when running in a non-administrative user account.
    • A problem where EyeTV╠s player screen would flash white during low signal conditions has been corrected.
    • An audio/video synchronization problem with EyeTV 500 and analog sound output has been corrected.
    • The Teletext TOP soft buttons now work correctly in all cases.
    • EyeTV 310/410/610: a spurious crash when the video aspect ratio changed during initialization of the CAM module was fixed.
    • EyeTV 610: improved behavior after temporary loss of signal. "

    I've added this to the previous page of EyeTV user reports/tips.

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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 4 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 - 15,107 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.

      DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
    • Firewire (cased) HP dvd640i used w/iBook G4 (OS X 10.3)
      (Using Patchburn 3 for 10.3.x burn support.)
    • IDE Pioneer DVR-110D in G4/AGP (OS X 10.4)
      (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT and B&W G3 Macs)

      DVD-R + DVD RAM Drives:
    • Firewire (cased) LG GSA-4165B used w/Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.4)
      (Using Patchburn 4.)

      Hard Drives:
    • IDE SerialATA PCI card connected Western Digital Raptor (10K RPM) 74GB in G4/AGP (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 2 new reports (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,068. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • PowerLogix G4 dual 1.3GHz in (Sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 2)
    • Powerlogix G4 1GHz in (Sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 1)

      (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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    Mac Game Reviews Database Updated
    The Rate Your Mac Games database update this morning included another review of World of Warcraft. Total Reviews (all titles): 1238. To read game reviews use the search page.
    If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review (reviews of newer titles encouraged). Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long list of titles, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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    Recent Reviews and Articles:
    Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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