News Archive for: Friday, September 22nd, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Parallels Desktop for Mac Internal Build 1910
Paul sent a note that Internal Build 1910 is now available:

" (from http://forum.parallels.com/thread4536.html)
Parallels build 1910 (Unlimited RAM Mac Pro/Core 2 Duo) Update

Hello everyone,
We are continuing our efforts to deliver a Parallels Desktop for Mac version that fully supports Mac Pro and iMac Core 2 Duo.
There's an updated internal build that is available for early testing which can be downloaded from here. Please don't forget to backup any sensitive data on your Mac before proceeding to evaluation.
This version introduces a number of important fixes:
* VM crash on restart on huge memory MacPros in VT-x mode.
* Several VMs simultaneous work.
* Win98 guest 100% CPU usage
* WinNT not being able to start fix
* Several other fixes

We're still extremely interested in your feedback about this build and any issues you might face."

Paul's comments from earlier Friday on the previous internal build 1908 follow:

" I just installed the latest Parallels internal build - 1908 - as specified on a post on their Forums. (Their blog, PR and RC update pages had no info on the new build but I checked Parallels' forums and found a post there titled Internal build 1908 for Mac Pro and iMac Core 2 Duo - Mac RAM is unlimited with a download link included, although some user replies to it noted problems.-Mike)

This new build allows for use of full RAM on the Mac Pro without having to artificially limit RAM and then reboot to use the program. (You basically limit the program's RAM using it's preferences menu, which does not effect the whole machine.)

I tried it out, making sure all my 4GB was available. It worked. In fact, it is still running now on my other screen.

Due to a bug in the firmware, you still have to sleep/wake the machine to get the VT-x support to work. Parallels notes that is a known Apple firmware bug. That bug was not fixed in the latest EFI firmware update because that's what I am running under. (He's referring to the 2 Mac Pro owners that reported they didn't need to do the sleep/wake workaround anymore after applying the recent Apple Mac Pro EFI/SMC firmware updates, although some others like Paul said it wasn't fixed and the sleep workaround still had to be done.-Mike)
But sleep/wake isn't a big deal, and you only have to do it once.
(several minutes later he wrote)
OK, update:
I rebooted. I don't have to sleep/resume anymore to get VT-x to work.
Sorry about that. :)

Others on the forums are reporting crashes and problems, so obviously this build isn't ready for prime time. But I think it has some notable merit that I finally have a working Parallels install (even having to tweak nothing), which is a first for me among two different Mac Pros.
-Paul "

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Review of SilverSATA IV SJ 4-Bay eSATA enclosure
" Mike, AMUG has posted a review of the WiebeTech SilverSATA IV SJ 4-Bay eSATA enclosure. This ultra small 4-Bay SATA hard drive enclosure uses the same hard drive tray system as all of the SilverSATA enclosures. It provides a power light, drive activity lights and four hot swap trays. The article discusses design, interface, hot swap capability, cooling, acoustics and performance. At 8.25" deep, 6.6" high and 4.8" wide, this is the smallest 4-bay ATA enclosure AMUG has tested.
Have a great weekend,
Michael Bean
TEAM AMUG "
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Notes on Random Shutdown Repaired MacBook (Apple serviced)
"Subject: random shutdown serviced macbook
I just wanted to share with your readers that my MacBook (Black) just got back from AppleCare because of the random shutdown problem. Thought others might be interested in what they fixed/replaced.

According to my AppleCare Service Details - Product serviced by replacing the following:
APP-630-7871 PCB, MLB, 2.0GHZ DC, SMS/KIONI APP 655-1285A DA SEAGATE 2.5 MERC-2 5400RPM APP-60700142 ASSY, HEATSINK, M42

So far no shutdowns so I'm happy about that but the huge bummer is the technician who worked on my MacBook apparently did not re- assemble my MacBook correctly so the ethernet port is not aligned with the outside of the case properly preventing ethernet cables from snapping into place as well as creating a very unreliable physical connection. I tried taking it down to our local Apple Store but was told they could not open the MacBook and I would have to send it back to AppleCare. Makes me wonder what the heck is happening to Apple's quality control?
Regards, kahlo "

Sounds like my luck lately (I fix one thing and damage another doing it). iFixit has a MacBook take-apart guide if you wanted to try doing it yourself.

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RocketRAID 2322 and 2320 update for Mac Pro compatibility
" Mike, Just noticed that the RocketRAID 2322 and 2320 seems to be Mac Pro compatible now, according to the driver page (the RR 2320 and 2322 use the same driver).
http://highpoint-tech.com/USA/bios_rr2322.htm
http://highpoint-tech.com/USA/bios_rr2320.htm
I asked someone at Highpoint-Tech if existing RAIDs created on a G5 could be used on a Mac Pro without reformat. I'll let you know of the answer. (Apple mentioned in a tech doc that Intel macs use a different disk format than PowerPC Macs, at least for their bootable volumes. However I don't think rocketraid cards can be booted from IIRC.)

Great news, I've been waiting for this - now I can reconsider buying a Mac Pro to replace my Quad G5... (though I'll probably wait a bit, since I recently upgraded the G5).
Cheers, Oliver "

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More on Internal Dust Cleaning Lowering Temperatures/Fan Speeds (Xserve G5)
Yesterday's news had a G5 Tower owner's notes/article on cleaning out the dust inside the case to lower temperatures. An Xserve user wrote on the same subject:

" This tip works on XServe G5's too. Ours had gradually increased fan speed over the years to where it was averaging 10k rpms on the system fan and I was starting to get frequent "overspeed" (14k rpms) fan warnings when Retrospect would launch and compare 500,000 files to see which needed backing up. I decided to see if dust was an issue and blew the insides out and now the fans average only 7k rpms again!

The interesting thing to me was that visual inspection did not reveal the insides to be extremely dusty! However the little dust that was in there was apparently very strategically placed...

I have since added a yearly calendar reminder to dust out the XServe. :-)
HTH, Eric. "

In the past a couple cpu upgrade owners also found cleaning the heatsinks helped with overheating problems (didn't realize how much dust had accumulated in the heatsink ridges). Preventative maintenance (including backups) is often forgotten until a problem crops up. (I'm as guilty of that as anyone as it seems there's always something more urgent that has to be done.)

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Ambrosia's Redline 3D auto racing game
Eddie sent a note that Ambrosia has a new 3D auto racing game available for download called Redline, with support for network play.

"Redline features a dozen racing challenges such as acceleration, slalom, graduating you to real-world tracks with a variety of racing conditions. With each progressive challenge, your performance earns you new challenges, and new cars to drive. Your performance is also ranked among other Redline players from around the world via an Internet leader board"

Requires OS X 10.2 or later and is universal binary. Shareware price is $25.

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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates
(later added items first)

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