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Mac Software/HW | Mac OS X | Scanners | Networking & Misc.
Misc. Software/Hardware Related Articles Tips, Troubleshooting, How-To Guides for Mac/OS X/iOS Users (2013) Listing of Apple's "Mac Basics" Guides to OS X from the Finder to File Sharing. And guides on importing/migrating data from another Mac or PC and articles for those switching from a PC to a Mac.
Plus useful FAQs/Guides on WiFi, AirPlay, AirPrint, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt, HDMI, Audio, TVs, USB 3.0, Apple Display Adapters, Home Sharing, iTunes, iCloud, iOS and much more.
Apple TV Restore Tips using a USB Cable with iTunes (2013) Guide/Info from Apple with USB cable tips for restoring an Apple TV that seems bricked after an update and/or has Problems/Errors or doesn't appear in iTunes. Freeware VM VirtualBox Mac OS X user feedback (2013) This page has Mac/OS X (host) user reports on freeware VM VirtualBox, a free alternative to Parallels Desktop and Fusion 2. (Used to run Windows, Linux or OS X server as "Guest" OS's in OS X on Intel-based Macs.) Mac Pro OS X 10.8 Upgrade problems due to old Atheros WiFi card conflict with SATA HDs (Oct 2012) FYI on a conflict with an older Atheros (a/b/g) wifi card causing no SATA drives to be seen during an OS X 10.8 upgrade attempt. (2nd person to note this issue but not common as most DIY upgraders used an 802.11N card such as the Broadcom model that Apple OEM'd with Mac Pros.) Feedback on Sonnet Echo ThunderBolt to Express/34 card Adapter (Jan 2012) 2011 iMac owner notes on his experience with the Sonnet Echo Thunderbolt adapter used with a Sonnet eSATA (6G) Expresscard. Includes notes on eSATA compatiblity/booting and more. (Comments in reply to another site review of the Echo.) Sheepshaver in OS X Lion (run Classic/OS 9 apps w/Intel-based Macs) (Jan 2012) Reports from newer Intel-based Mac owners on using SheepShaver in OS X Lion (10.7.x) to run an old Mac OS 9.x/8.x programs that they had no replacements for or preferred over any current alternatives. (Reports added to the original article from 2006 on SheepShaver, used to run Classic/OS 9 apps on intel-based Macs as apple dropped classic app mode.) Reader Feedback on Remote AC Power Switches (Jan 2010) Page with replies to a reader's request for feedback on Remote AC power switches (for his company server) in the Jan 5th, 2010 news page. LightScribe Burning/Tips for OS X Snow Leopard Reader feedback on Lightscribe burning in Snow Leopard - including a tip/fix for problems someone had after SL upgrade. (Labeler app has to be in Apps folder w/Snow Leopard.) OS X Browser speed tests w/PeaceKeeper Benchmark Peacekeeper benchmark test results comparing scores/relative performance of iCab 4.6.1, Safari 4.0.3, Firefox 3.6 alpha, Firefox 3.5.2 and Opera 10.0. Reader's test system was a PowerMac G5 1.8GHz running OS X 10.4.11. (Also includes a sample score from an 8-core 2009 Mac Pro w/Safari 4.0.3.) iLife 09 User Feedback, Tips & Troubleshooting iLife 09 user comments, complaints and tips - including iPhoto Face Detection Training Tips. Also includes info on iMovie 09 edits for running on a G4 Mac and workaround for GarageBand 09 lessions with PPC Macs. (Bottom of page also has a listing of links to iLife 09 related Apple support/How-To/Troubleshooting docs.) More Feedback/Tips on Parallels v5 upgrade (Nov 2009) Mac user reports on Parallels Desktop v5 for Macs, including Tips/Fix for the BSOD problem many upgrading from version 4 had. Toast 9 HD/BD (Blu-Ray) Authoring Plug-in A page with reader reports on using Toast 9's optional Blu-Ray/HD authoring support Plugin. If you've used this plugin to burn at video disc (either to BR disc or HD video on a std DVD disc), use the email link on the page to send a report. Thanks! Excel 2008 vs Excel 2004 Performance tests A MacBook (running OS X 10.4.11) owner sent results of a series of Mac Excel 2008 vs Excel 2004 tests and notes "I have found that creating and editing charts is over four times slower in 2008 as opposed to 2004!". (Excel 2004 runs under Rosetta, Mac Office 2008 apps are Native/Universal.) Encoding Speed Tests w/Elgato Turbo.264 Hardware Encoder Reader tests of ElGato's Turbo.264 USB 2.0 Hardware Encoder vs standard Quicktime H.264 export speed with an iBook G4, Quad G5, Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro and iMac Core Duo. DiskWarrior 4 User Reports Reader Feedback on Alsoft's DiskWarrior v4, the first Universal Binary version that also includes other new features. CoolBook Utility
CoolBook (registered version) allows an Intel CPU Mac (MacBook Pro, MacBook, etc.) to change the CPU's core voltage setting for cooler running and less CPU Throttling. But there's some doubts about the claims and test results (and who they actually were from...) Info/Guides/Feedback on Sheep Shaver for Classic OS w/Intel Macs Reader reports, guides on using Sheep Shaver for Classic OS support for Intel CPU Macs. (Posted 2006, updated in 2012) Apple Boot Camp User reports and Tips Reader reports and tips on Apple's free "Boot Camp" utility to run Windows XP (SP2) on Intel CPU Macs. Apple's XGrid Reader report on using Apple XGrid (clustering software) Drive Genius owner feedback on this disk utility, including defragger. Reader reports on using Prosoft's Data Rescue utility to recover files from damaged disks. AppleJack (OS X troubleshooting/repair tool) User feedback on AppleJack, a repair/troubleshooting tool for OS X 10.2.x and 10.3.x. iWork/Pages User Reports/Tips Reader feedback and tips on using Apple's iWork (Pages and Keynote 2 bundle) iDefrag reader feedback Reader comments on using iDefrag disk optimizer for OS X. Review of
Linux on iPod
Detailed review of installing and using Linux on the iPod. Covers audio, games, file browser and more. Feedback on the Airport Extreme 7.3.1 firmware update (that added Time Machine Airdisk Support) - also includes tips for initial Time machine backups to USB drives connected to the AE base. Reader reports on Micromat's Techtool Pro 4. Includes tips, notes on use and problem reports from various mac model owners. Ryan answers questions on current and future features of his Xpostfacto utility for installing OS X on 'unsupported'/legacy Macs, programming on the Mac and other topics. Mike answers questions on current and future features of his very popular Carbon Copy Cloner, OS X 10.3/panter and other topics. Reader report on the changes in 10.3/Panther (dev. release) for support of recordable optical drives. (Unlike 10.1.x and 10.2.x, there are no individual "brand" device-plugin files. For info on editing 10.2/10.1/OS 9 burn support plugin files, see this older article. Feedback/Tips on AAC
Reader reports/tips on AAC encoding sound quality. Hack to Enable Quartz Extreme
on PCI Radeons
Reader feedback on the hack to enable Quartz Extreme support for PCI Radeons in OS X 10.2/Jaguar. Final Cut Pro with Pre-G3/
Upgraded Older Macs
Reader reports on Final Cut Pro running on older (Pre-G3) PCI Macs. Final Cut Pro 3 Realtime Effects Performance Tweaks Reader report on Final Cut Pro 3 script tweaking for improved Real-Time Effects performance. (Interesting) Firmware Update 4.1.7/4.1.8
"Lost RAM" Issues/Tips
(From 2001) A page with feedback on the spring 2001 Firmware updates from Apple that caused some DIMMs to not be recognized. Includes links to a utility that may be able to fix the problem. (Reprogram the SPD chip on the dimm to add CL3 timing that is required by the firmware update, even for CL2 dimms.) Operating System Related Articles Read These Notes/Warnings BEFORE you Install OS X 10.9 Mavericks (Oct/Nov 2013) OS X 10.9 Mavericks Tips, Warnings, Info on new features, Software updates & more. (Apple released OS X Mavericks Free from Mac App Store but before you upgrade see these notes on changes, warnings on older software/drivers/utilities including WD drive software, reports of data loss with external drives, Cloud-Only Syncing, notes on Expresscard support & more.) Some OS X 10.8.5 Update
(Sep 2013) Notes, tips and links on issues some reported with OS X 10.8.5 and USB Bluetooth adapters, External Drives ejecting during sleep, Skype/MBA Cams, drive sleep/wake problems, Audio problems, Mac Pro/PCIe SSD card Sleep Kernel Panics on wake and unsupported Nvidia Quadro graphics card. (See page for driver info.) OS X 10.8.5 Update Info
Updaters & Troubleshooting Tips
(Sep 2013) See page for info on changes/fixes/security and Download links for Delta and 10.8.5 Combo updaters. Also tips for common update problems and links to Apple forums (OSX/Desktop/notebooks) for feedback/problem reports and tips. OS X 10.8 Installer sees no Mac Pro Hard Drives if old Atheros WiFi card installed
(Conflict with WiFi card & SATA)
(Oct 2012) An SATA conflict with an older Atheros (a/b/g) WiFi (Airport) card caused no Hard Drives to be seen when trying to install OS X 10.8. (2 reports of this problem with an 802.11 a/b/g Atheros card. Not a common problem as most use a 802.11N Broadcom based card like Apple OEM'd with Mac Pros.)
OS X Mavericks: Similar problem reported with OS X 10.9 installer failures due to WiFi card conflict.
2006 Mac Pro (1,1)
owner report/tips on
Mountain Lion Install
(Aug 2012) Reader's notes on installing OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on an 'unsupported' EFI32 2006 Mac Pro 1,1. He had other hardware upgrades also (video card, 16GB RAM, SSDs) and included Geekbench scores before/after the 10.8 install. (Includes links to two articles with tips/info on 10.8 installs on Mac Pro 1,1 and running 64bit kernel on EFI32 2006/2007 Mac Pros. OS X Lion on 2006-08 Mac Mini
with Core 2 Duo CPU Swaps
(July 2012, often updated) Our page of early core duo Mac Mini info on Core 2 Duo CPU upgrades (socketed CPU model) and OS X Lion install guide/tips. Also includes links/notes on firmware update to 2006 Mac Mini (mac mini 1,1) to 2007 Mini (mini 2,1) EFI firmware update for 3GB RAM support. (3GB is max usable even w/4GB installed. Mini 1,1 limited to 2GB usable.) How to get 10.6.4 client working on 2010 Mac Mini Server Model (Aug 2010) Tips (required) to get OS X 10.6.4 client working properly (w/ethernet and SDcard slot support) on a 2010 Mac Mini Server model. (Posted after a reader failed to get correct answers from several trips to Apple Genius bars.) OS X 10.5.8 Feedback, Tips/Problems Info/Reports on Problems, Tips and fixes related to OS X 10.5.8. Reader Feedback and Tips
on OS X 10.4.10
Compatibility notes, docs, tips, reports on the OS X 10.4.10 update. Includes links to downloads of the standalone and combo updaters. Scanners Scanners with OS X Tips
Info on Twain SANE Drivers
Feedback from OS X users on scanner support (including some working despite not being listed as supported) and troubleshooting tips plus notes using the alternative "Twain SANE" drivers for OS X.
(FYI: Updates to Twain SANE includes support for OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 & 10.9/Mavericks.)
Epson 1200U vs
Reader report comparing these two popular scanners. Includes important information for those needing to scan 3d objects, not just flat originals. Networking and Misc. Hardware Articles Mac/OS X Compatible 802.11ac adapters/cards Info/Links/Reports on Mac OS X compatible USB (3.0/2.0), PCIe and Mini-PCIe 802.11ac adapter cards with mac drivers (OS X 10.4-10.8) or native OS X (10.8.x and later) support. Mac user reports on 802.11n (bases/routers, adapter/cards) Mac user reports/performance tests/tips/info on 802.11n Base/routers (Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n, Linksys and D-Link 802.11n models), 802.11n enabler, chipset info on new Macs 802.11n adapters, 3rd party 802.11n adapters (one with mac drivers promised) and more. Also has links to Apple tech docs on 802.11n/Airport Extreme, USB drive support and more. (Includes link to Airport Extreme 802.11N take-apart/internal photos.) (Feb 2010) Reader reviews/feedback on various PowerLine network adapters and includes my short review of Netgear's XAVB1004 "Home Theater Internet Connection Kit" that includes a 4 port Ethernet switch. Feedback on the March 2009 Airport Extreme/Time Capsule 7.4.1 firmware update. Some of us have seen problems with this update, with some users reverting back to the previous firmware version. Feedback on the Airport Extreme 7.3.1 firmware update (that added Time Machine Airdisk Support) - also includes tips for initial Time machine backups to USB drives connected to the AE base. Mac user reports on the Edimax 802.11n PCI card First reader feedback on using the $59 (site specials page) Edimax 802.11n PCI card in Macs. These cards are RAlink chip based with OS X 10.4.x and 10.3.x drivers and utility available. Utility also shows signal strength of the 3 antennas used for MiMo (Multiple-In, Multiple-Out). Mac user reports on NAS & Wireless connected NAS Mac user feedback/tips/performance notes, features, etc. with many brands/models of NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices. RAlink chip based 802.11N PCI and USB 2.0 Adapters Now that there's OS X 10.3.x and 10.4.x drivers for RAlink 2800 series 802.11n adapters, here's a few examples of PCI cards and USB 2.0 adapters based on their chips. One of the PCI cards has a nice triple-antenna "pod" that allows the antennas to be positioned for better reception (not limited to being attached to the PCI card). These are also priced at up to 1/2 the cost of rebranded cards sold as "Mac" models. Airport Express Review Review w/photos of Airport Exress and links for esp ghostscript and hpijs printer drivers a reader used to share his HP Deskjet 3325. (Most USB printers should work with existing OS X drivers.) Airport Express/AirTunes Owner Reports and Setup Tips Airport Exress owner reports and step-by-step setup guides for Airtunes and WDS with 3rd party bases like Linksys 56G models. Also includes a listing of Apple kbase docs on Airport Express setup and troubleshooting. OS X Compatible PCI Network Cards Reader reports PCI network cards that work in OS X (and those that don't work). Includes links to driver downloads for several low-cost 10/100 or GIgabit Ethernet cards. Networking Speeds
(10/100 vs Gigabit,
OS 9 vs OS X)
Reader reports on performance tests with 10/100 vs Gigabit ethernet and various OS versions. File Server Performance:
Quantum Snap 1000
VAR Rod Paine of ASTEC sent a comparison test report of AppleShare versus Quantum's Snap! Server 1000 (NAS). (See links in the article to later updates on performance as well as a 2nd opinion on other than the low end 1000 model of Snap Servers.)
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