News Archive for: Monday, September 25th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Mac Civilization IV Demo
There's a Mac Civilization IV Demo (444MB, Universal Binary) avaiable. Demo allows 100 turns of play (per session).
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Apple announces Aperture 1.5
(from Apple's news page)

" Apple today released Aperture 1.5, a major update to the all-in-one post production tool for photographers. Aperture 1.5 delivers a powerful new open library, seamless iLife '06 and iWork '06 integration, XMP metadata support, powerful new adjustment tools and an export API that makes it easy to extend the Aperture workflow to third party applications and services. "

See the What's New in Aperture 1.5 page for more details. (Later this week, you can download the free Aperture 1.5 update they say.)

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CenterStage (Mac Media Center) Developers Wanted
" CenterStage - Developers Wanted
I am the webmaster and founder of CenterStage - The Mac Media Center.
We have launched a recruitment drive to help push the project along, there is now a Developers wanted section on the main site - including what we need and a contact form.
I hope you can mention our worthy cause.
http://centerstageproject.com/index.php
Thanks, Neil (aka Mr Zippy) "
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iChat Image Quality Tip
Late posting this but last week a reader sent an odd tip for better iChat Video image quality (adding a third party to the conference, then disconnecting them) and included some before/after samples. If anyone else sees an improvement from this let me know.
(Page updated with a reader's reply the tip did improve image quality with the Apple test sites, but not otherwise. The reader that sent the tip said he also used Apple test accts.)
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Core2 Duo iMac owner comments on Seagate Drive Noise
(Updated several times with replies)

" I just received a 17" Intel Core2 Duo Imac (2.0) to replace my 17" Intel Core Duo (no Core2) 1.83. I do a lot of Mpeg2 rendering so the 20-30% speed increase I believe will make quite a difference (at least that is what I tell myself.) Regardless, the internal hard drive in the new iMac is a (250GB) Seagate ST3250824AS Q (Barracuda 7200.9) and is comparatively very loud compared to the to theMaxtor 6L250MO that came in the original Intel Imac. The Maxtor is extremely quiet - I strain to hear it.
The Seagate however is making a good deal of noise as it seeks and writes - especially as the iMacs themselves are so quiet. Anyone have a suggestion? I mean, I am really considering returning this machine because of it.
-Doug "

If anyone else with a new Core2 iMac let me know if you have a similar complaint or not. Apple often uses several sources for OEM drives - you can check Apple system profiler to see what model is installed in yours.
Not sure Apple would do anything about this (if it's just drive seek noise) but it's still worth contacting them if it's really that bad. (The ambient noise levels in an Apple store may make it hard to notice this, but not heard it personally to know how loud it really is.)
Here's replies from other iMac owners:

" I've got a 24" iMac with a Seagate ST3500641AS (7200.9 SATA 500GB) drive. It is absolutely dead silent. I have to put my ear up to the back of the Mac to hear it at all.
OTOH, I also have a 500 GB Western Digital WD5000KS which according to silentpcreview is supposed to be an extremely quiet drive. However, it is significantly louder than the Seagate when seeking (although the external case may have something to do with it).

It is possible there is variation in drive noise due to manufacturing tolerances. However, I would suggest the OP complain to Apple. Part of the appeal of an iMac is its quiet (and having owned a Quicksilver G4 dual-1Ghz and a first-generation G5 dual-2Ghz, I am finally at peace).
-Jay "

" I noticed the exact same thing with the iMac I bought back in January, but it never bothered me too much. This is true of just about all Seagate 7200.9 drives. Since the iMac is so quiet you notice the noise, but in a Dell the system fans would drown it out, so I guess Seagate doesn't see it as a problem.
I recently bought a 24" iMac that has a 250GB Seagate drive, and it too makes those sounds, and the whole computer seems to buzz a little. Not sure yet if I'll exchange it.
-Holland "

" Similar situation here. I have a 24" iMac Core 2 Duo with a 500GB Seagate HD. My previous iMac 20" had a 250GB Maxtor, that was very fast and quiet. The new Seagate drive is not offensive, but the chatter of the drive while accessing is noticeable compared to my previous silent 20" iMac.
I have a pair of Seagate 500GB 7200.10 drives in a Power Mac G5, and they also chatter, while a pair of 500GB Maxtor drives in a third G5 are virtually silent even under heavy read/write.
-Kurt "

Another 24in iMac owner said he had no complaints with his 500GB Seagate drive:

" Noise is not an issue AT ALL with the 500GB Seagate drive in my 24" iMac. The HD model I have is a ST3500641AS Q (Barracuda 7200.9 series per Seagate search) and it is barely audible. In fact, the whole iMac is barely audible.
Under stress the CPU cores will heat up to about 145° F, but they cool off (and very likely throttle down) to about 100° F when just doing web browsing or spreadsheets. In my first 5 days with this guy I have yet to hear the fans ever really spin up. The whole machine is whisper quiet.
-Joe "

There's more Core2 iMac owner comments on drive noise (or lack of) in the Sept. 27th news page.

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

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New/Updated Apple Knowledge Base Docs
(from apple's weekly list)

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