News Archive for Wednesday Sept. 16, 2009     Goto Current News Page

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Reminder on Snow Leopard and Sil3132 PCIe/Expresscards
Digging thru my inbox and have had several mails from readers that missed all the previous posts (in Aug 27th, 28th, Sept. 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th news pages ) here on this subject. (As noted in the Apple doc from Aug 27th, the 10.6 installer removes Sil3132 drivers, but since Aug. 28th some have reported reinstalling the 1.1.9 drivers (usually sonnet's 1.1.9v2B download) seems to work - although YMMV.) Rather than repeat all those posts/links, here's a link again to a page with my OS X 10.6 Tests w/Cheap eSATA PCIe and ExpressCards (using eSATA HD Dock), including updated tests using OS X 10.6.1 and natively supported eSATA expresscard. (After getting that card I removed the 3132 drivers from that MBP, as I preferred that card with native 32bit/64bit support.)
Of course for those using current 3132 drivers other than Firmtek's (which in my experience only work with their PCIe/Expresscards), the 1.1.9 drivers are 32bit only. The Sept. 4th news page here had posts on Firmtek OS X 10.6 drivers for SeriTek eSATA Expresscard and 2 port PCIe SATA card and First OS X 10.6 (64-bit) feedback on Firmtek v5.4.0 Drivers from a Mac Pro owner with Seritek/2SE2-E card and their ext. 2-bay enclosure.
And for readers that don't check here often, the Archives page, Saturday news pages (for years) have links to the previous week's news page items (including other 10.6 related SATA card posts/reports, 10.6 compatibility lists, related apple docs, software/utility updates, and more).
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My impressions of Bose vs Philips under $75 (2.0) Speakers
As 'thanks' for helping a friend move recently, I was given his (not series II) Bose Companion speakers which are $69.xx online, but have been $59.xx at a local sam's club store (FYI - as of late Sept. their price is $69.xx now) that he recently replaced with Philips Multimedia Speakers 2.0 ($74.95 locally). Although my hearing is damaged, especially on the high end (due to age, plus years of IPSC when I was in my 20s/30s), I definitely think the Philips have more clarity/high end. But compared to my previous cheap-o speakers, the Bose Companion's are definitely a step up. (They feature "Truespace®" signal processing for an "impression of spaciousness".) Downsides of the Bose are no Off switch (not tested if 0 volume is really 'off') and no adjustments except for volume. But at least they have a 2nd input jack (handy for iPod use, etc.).
Unlike the Bose, the Philips MM 2.0 speakers do have an Off switch as part of the almost flush mounted (i.e hard to grasp) Volume 'wheel' and more than one driver per speaker (see pix below). They don't have another input jack and the (claimed 80W output) power brick is huge (appx 6in x 4in x 2in thick) compared to typical speakers like this, but IMHO they have more range and clarity. (Although at high volume their bass can literally rattle the speakers on their stands and they are easy to tip over.) They're proud of those drivers, so no grilles are included.
Below are some pix of the Bose (left) and Philips (right). I'm happy with the Bose Companion's personally, although I think the Philips have better sound overall (at least to my ears). Not surprising they had more range I guess considering the Bose have only a single driver (although that's not always the case especially with cheap speakers).
Bose Companion2 speakersPhilips MM2.0 speakers

My first experience with Bose speakers was in my 20's (a friend had a set of Bose 901's) - but prior to these "Companion" speakers, my previous experience with Bose audio was in an automobile - which IMHO justified the nickname "Blose". But despite having only 2 speakers total, these sound better than I expected and IMHO worth the $60. (For where I'm using these I didn't want a set w/subwoofer.) But if you can find the Philips locally (and don't need a 2nd input), they are worth checking out. (The advantage to local stores are easy returns.) About a month ago I tried a local BB store sale "Creative" 2.0 Speakers ($80 on sale - $99.xx list) that were returned - one of the speaker's tweeters was rattling around in the case. (They did have on-speaker bass/treble adjustments, off switch and 2nd input however.)
BTW: In October I picked up a set of Logitech X-540 (5.1) speakers on sale for about $80. ($20 off list.) Considering the price, I'm happy with them. Mounted the 2 rear speakers on some adjustable height (telescoping tube) metal speaker stands I bought at a local Thrift shop for $5 each. (The stands look like clones of a "Sanus" model that sold for over $70 a set at a local BB store.) Granted they're not Klipsch's but for the money I'm very satisfied with them. (Used downstairs with a homebrew computer (motherboard audio has 5.1 analog outputs) primarily for gaming and BR/HD-DVD movie playback. No room for them upstairs to use with the working Macs.)

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More Zune HD vs iPod Touch articles/reviews/commentary
I know you've likely seen these (or already made up your mind) but here's some links:

Personally I'm waiting for a video camera enabled iPod touch 64GB, but I have to admit the Archnos Android 5 Tablet has some appeal to me. (The other news listing today has links to some articles on it and BB is carrying it - but if apple offers a tablet, of course I'd prefer that.)

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Patcher to revert Snow Leopard drive capacity reporting back to Base 2
Personally this hasn't affected me, but Snow Leopard changes disk capacity reporting to base 10 (decimal - i.e. 1KB=1000 bytes) vs previous OS's base 2 (1KB = 1024 bytes). However today I had an email from a SL user complaining about that - so here's a download link Eddie sent of a MR forums user's command line utility (switchDiskSizeBase.zip) that will modify the foundation framework to use base 2 again. Of course the usual disclaimer applies - use at your own risk, have a backup, etc. and the author also suggests it may be a good idea to rerun it to change the foundation framework back to base 10 before installing any software updates.
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Prosoft Data Backup 3.1 update (adds SL support, bug fixes)
FYI to readers as Prosoft Data Backup 3 is bundled with many OWC (site sponsor) hard drives. Here's the change/fixes listed for the Data Backup 3.1 udpate:

  • Snow Leopard compatibility
  • Uninstaller and release notes are now integrated with the application
  • Fixed issues with backing up network drives to CD/DVD
  • Improved CD/DVD burning with very large numbers of files
  • Fixed problem with USB/FireWire drives being unmounted when user is logged out
  • Fixed problems with file systems that do not support "chflags" but appear to
  • Fixed some problems with scheduled backups to remote volumes
  • Fixed issue with GUI not launching when launch on completion was set to "Always"
  • Creating a new backup set using an existing encrypted destination now properly imports the old encryption keys
  • Fixed a problem where volumes could be unmounted after certain errors occured
  • Fixed problems with burning/restoring to large numbers of CD/DVD"s
  • Fixed error messages with multiple sources to a single destination
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For owners of new iPod Nano and Classic w/problems - did you apply iPod software updates?
I don't own either of these new iPods but after seeing some recent complaints on the web, I wonder if any buyers of the new models have checked (in iTunes 9) for a software update?
(I posted a FYI last Thursday here on iPod Software Updates for new Nano and iPod Classic 160GB that were mentioned in a couple apple docs that day.)
FYI - the apple doc on the 5th gen Nano mentions a 1.0.1 software update, however a sample from a local Walmart already had v1.0.1 from the factory. (Perhaps some early shipments didn't.)-
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Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc Updates

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Other News/Articles, Misc. Software Updates

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