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News Archive for Friday Nov. 6, 2009     Goto Current News Page

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Apple alert to Apple TV 3.0 users - Update ASAP to Apple TV 3.0.1
Posting this as a FYI to other Apple TV users - from an Apple email Saturday night:

"Dear Customer, If you've installed the Apple TV 3.0 software update, you should immediately update to version 3.0.1. This prevents content from temporarily disappearing until it is resynced.

To update your Apple TV software:
1. Reboot your Apple TV (unplug the power cord and plug it back in)
2. Select Settings > General from the main menu
3. Select Update Software
4. Select Download and Install

Note: Your Apple TV will conduct a restart, which is followed by the Apple logo and a status bar.

For more information, please refer to this article:
("Apple TV 3.0: Update to Apple TV 3.0.1 or later to prevent content from temporarily disappearing until re-synced")

If you need further assistance with your Apple TV, contact AppleCare.
Apple TV Team"

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Lightscribe burning in Snow Leopard

"Lightscribe and Snow Leopard
I just wanted to let you know it's impossible to use lightscribe applications anymore under SL :(
I'm using the latest drivers from and the latest LaCie Lightscribe Labeler. I had to write my labels using an old Leopard partition...

(later sent info/comments)
At first I tried to use my brand new Samsung SH-S222L 22x ide Lightscribe writer on my macbook pro 2,5 GHz 6gb ram under latest SL and didn't succeed to write any label though it was possible to write audio and video data with it. The media was ejected just after the beginning of the writing process.

Then I moved the writer (enclosed in a firewire external box) onto my old G4 MDD Dual 1,25 GHz under latest Leopard and it worked without any problem ... I have to say I also have an older Samsung SH-S182M Lightscribe writer installed inside the tower and it always worked fine.
Then I came back to my macbook pro except I now booted on an external usb drive under latest Leopard os .... using this os it worked perfectly ...
In both cases I installed the latest Lightscribe driver found here:
As labeler I'm using the latest LaCie LightScribe Labeler 1.2.2
(I definitely am not alone -

[Update/FYI: On Nov. 24th he wrote it was due to the LightScribe Labeler app not being in the Applications folder. That wasn't a requirement he said for 10.5.x but was in 10.6.x.]
Snow Leopard LightScribe problem - solution found!
It seems I have found the solution for my LightScribe problem. Nowhere you can find such an information BUT - If your LightScribe Labeler copy is not in the Application folder under Snow Leopard, it simply won't work.
I reinstalled the thing without moving it after installation and now it works perfectly. Amazing it works from another location under Leopard.
Regards, Jo"

I've seen other cases (not SL specific) in the past (even Apple App updates) that didn't work properly if the app was moved from the default install location (i.e. apps folder). Also reminds me of Handbrake expecting VLC to be in the root of the Apps folder - I originally had it in a VLC folder inside Apps folder.
Here's replies to the original post (on Nov. 6th) from other LS/Snow Leopard users that didn't see any problems:

"No problem here after installing the last LaCie LightScribe Labeler...
Before nothing worked on a Mac Pro (Quad 2.93) nor an Mac Mini (1.5 CoreSolo) with 10.6.1. I tried LaCie, SimpleLabeler and Disc Cover. After the update I didn't try the Mac Pro again. But with the LightScibe Labeler the Mac Mini worked as expected with an external LG in an firewire case.

"I have a LaCie Lightscribe drive (asked what actual drive mechanism brand/model) and I am using their "Simple labeler" which works perfectly under OS X 10.6.1.
Richard P."

"I have downloaded the latest drivers from ( and the latest LaCie software. I can burn on 10.6.1 with no problems.
Best, Mike D."

"LaCie issued an updated Labeler app in October v 1.22, which I used in Snow Leopard yesterday. It worked fine.
Also Discus RE and DiskLabel 6.0.2 do LightScribe in SL.
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Another GTX-285 Pro Apps (Maya 2009) user's experience
(Update/FYI: 2 user reports say these problems are in OS X 10.6.2, released Nov. 9th. See posts on 10.6.2 feedback page which includes Scott's follow-up after 10.6.2 update.)
Over the last few months I've gotten replies like this from users of Pro 3D apps - still hoping that eventually an update (OS X update typically - we very rarely get graphics driver updates separately) will address these common complaints:

"I can confirm that I too am experiencing viewport issues with the GTX-285 under OS X. I have experienced identical issues (as earlier reports here) in OS X 10.5 and 10.6.
(After a reader said the (June 12th released) 18.5.2F16 update should have fixed Maya 2009 issues w/GTX285 in OS X 10.5.x - I asked to confirm he had installed that update, which as noted earlier was _required_ before updating to 10.5.8 (otherwise the system Kernel Panics on boot)-Mike)
Yes I was using the update to the driver, no improvement over the old one. (earlier driver on CD) Funny bit of info though... The ati 2600 didn't give me any viewport issues a little sluggish but at least no viewport artifacts or vanishing menus.

I can also confirm that once I loaded Maya 2009 off the boot camp drive with windows 7 and the latest drivers installed, it ran fine.

I have also recently installed Fusion 3 with Windows 7 running Maya 2009 even though the performance in the virtual machine window is sluggish, I don't have any marquee artifact issues.

So as for me I can only confirm that I am only experiencing issues within OSX.
I wish their was another solution so that I wouldn't have to remain in Windows to handle my 3D needs but at least it works without issue. Thanks for listening...
-Scott T."

Although the ATI 4870 had better pro app user reports previously (OS X 10.5.x) than Nvidia cards, a reader replied it also has problems with Maya in 10.6.1 and that 10.6.2 should solve those (and hopefully the Nvidia 285's/FX's as well). I won't repeat my comments on wishing for more frequent graphics card driver updates, etc. as I know long-time readers are already tired of hearing it. I'm still using the EVGA Mac GTX-285 in my Mac Pro but primarly for the benefits in Bootcamp/windows and I don't own/use Pro 3D apps. (And have tried to be totally up-front from day 1 about the pros and cons - unlike some others... I kept hoping OS X/driver updates would bring the OS X performance up to the same level it shows in Windows.)

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Another Leak Damaged PowerMac G5 owner hits the jackpot (new Mac Pro replacement system)
Although most readers with leak damaged G5 towers over the last couple years have reported getting repairs covered (sometimes after repeated attempts, but even years out of warranty in some cases) only a few have been fortunate enough to get a Mac Pro replacement system. I've updated the (now huge) page on PowerMac G5 Leaks/Repairs with another case of that. (I had one reader earlier this year complain about me posting updates to that (now very long) page since 2007 but my reply was that page has saved many readers/affected owners a lot of money on repairs (often repair quotes were $1000+) and I've had over 100 readers write with thanks for the info there. I know some have not been so lucky but of those that have written about leak/damage I'd say over 90% were successful.) As I've said for years however, I wish apple would post some official policy on leak repairs but I have to admit I'm impressed at the % they have covered overall. (Try calling dell or other PC mfrs on a leak/damage years out of warranty.)
For those that don't want to load that large (250KB+) page and have already seen the info/notes/repair tips, etc. there he's the latest report to save you some time:

"Hi Mike, This is an update. I am so glad that I found your site (it wasn't hard as it is at the top of a search for G5 coolant leak!). After reading your site I had decided to go to the Apple store and p/u my G5 turn it on its side and then bring it to the university Apple store and show them the leak since they seemed more responsive to one person on here. Instead I decided to cut to the chase and call tech support and tell them I have an unresolved issue with a repair and that I wanted to talk to Customer Relations. I was connected and spoke with someone there. I told him my problem nicely and asked him what should I do after 3 Geniuses looked at the G5 and found no leak.
I mentioned the safety issue and said that I felt like asking the geniuses if I brought it home and plugged it in I can be sure that I wouldn't get electrocuted because they are sure there is no coolant in there. I told him I also asked if they checked the power supply and they said no it is sealed. I asked if they ran the coolant system or checked the levels -no. Asked what they checked and they couldn't say. He put me on hold and then came back and told me they would extend my warranty and cover any repairs needed.

Shortly after I got a call and was told that the leak and damage was so bad that they decided to give me a quad-core Mac Pro. Wow! Unbelievable. I have no problem obviously with how they handled this in the end, but it was a foggy course. I hope this helps someone else. And again thanks Mike.

Glad it turned out so well. (Wish it did for everyone.)

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UniBody MacBook Pro eSATA Expresscards/Windows problems revisited (Windows 7 notes)
This subject/problem came up in the past a couple times on the MBP/Expresscards page here since late 2008. (2 reports from Unibody MacBook Pro owners that tried 5 and 6 different eSATA cards w/o success in Windows (32bit and 64bit)) and again recently (pre-Unibody owner running an Expresscard to PCI-X expansion chassis - no longer worked w/Windows after he switched to a Unibody MacBook Pro - same code12/resources error.) Since I now have a Unibody MBP (thanks to someone ripping off my PB G4 and DSLR) to try with a recently installed Windows 7/Bootcamp, I decided to see if the problems reported in the past with this combo (using earlier windows versions) were still a problem with Windows 7.
I'd posted earlier that I was very happy with the $19.99 single port Jmicron 360 chip eSATA Expresscard in the early 2009 MBP 17in here - native support in 32bit and 64bit Snow Leopard, good performance with my eSATA HD Dock, etc., but so far I've had no luck getting it to work in Windows 7. (64-bit Home Prem. installed, but I don't think that matters.)
I inserted card with connected eSATA HD Dock (w/SATA HD inserted) - no response. Checked Device mgr - not shown. Selected Computer in Device Mgr, then properties and 'scan for changes' - card then detected. Auto-installed driver, said restart reqd. Rebooted - opened 'Computer' - Dock HD not shown/mounted. Opened Device Manager - selected (under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers) Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA controller - General tab shows (deja-vu) the same error as previous Unibody (Vista/XP, 32bit or 64bit) owners have reported here since late 2008:

"This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use (Code 12).
If you want to use this device, you will need to disable one of the other devices on this system."

I tried the 'update driver' option (as info showed it's using MS drivers, not Jmicron specific) and searched online for drivers but windows reported existing driver is up to date, etc..
So I searched the web and found the Jmicron Driver FTP site which had an XP/Vista/Win7 Directory (as well as OS X) and downloaded the latest (Oct 14, 2009 IIRC) 1.17.51 WHQL eSATA drivers (ZIP) and installed them. (Restart required after install.) Rebooted and the connected eSATA Dock HD wasn't shown/mounted. Opened Device Mgr - card no longer in IDE/ATA section, now appearing in the "Storage Controller" listing as "jMicron JMB36x Controller" but (sigh) with the infamous yellow "!" icon and the same error message (code 12/resources).

So I tried again with a low-cost 2-port Sil3132 eSATA expresscard I had tested with SL back in late August (after removing the JMB36x driver and rebooting.) Same dance, same result (exact same error) - windows installed a Silicon Image 3132 driver v1.0.15.3 (dated 8/22/2008) - update checks didn't find a later one but I'll do some manual checking at the SI drivers page later tonight or over the weekend and report back if I have better luck.)

Regardless of the windows problems, I'd still not trade the natively OS X supported card eSATA expresscard for any other model I know of currently. The lack of windows support isn't a big deal for me - the native OS X support is far more important, as it will be used in OS X most often. (I've been using it for TM backups to an HD in the dock - fast and flawless so far...)

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Bought the Magic Mouse (and now understand why some used the faster tracking tip)
I finally bought a Magic Mouse a couple days ago but didn't get a chance to use it until yesterday. (I was hoping to be able to try one at a local store before buying but the local BB had only one left and no store demo unit.) I installed the wireless mouse update for 10.5.8 on the main work mac here (2007 AL iMac 24in/2.4GHz C2D) and immediately saw why several readers had used the Tip for faster tracking that Pete posted here on Oct. 30th. (Some owners were happy with tracking as-is but many wanted faster tracking - see Magic Mouse feedback page.)
I realize there's a rate/acceleration curve, but with the 24in display I just couldn't tolerate the difference in tracking speed vs my old USB Logitech mouse (or a RF MS mouse I'd tried), even with the tracking speed prefs set to max. (Forceful swipes increase acceleration but are extra/unnatural efforts for me personally - although I know some have felt otherwise.)
So I downloaded/installed the (free) MouseZoom pref pane and eventually set it to max before I was able to get close to my preferred cursor tracking speed/response feel (without forcefully swiping the MM). A big thanks to Pete for sending that tip.

After seeing comments in some earlier reviews about the Magic Mouse ergonomics (feel/fit in the hand, etc.) I had been concerned about that compared to the std shape/profile mice I'd used for years. (I guess I'm like an 'old dog' that doesn't easily learn new tricks and a creature of habit for things like this.) But I'm glad to say that hasn't been an issue for me - the 'feel' of the Magic Mouse (to me) is fine and I could easily get used to the touch interface (vs buttons and scroll wheels).
However despite MouseZoom and (prefs) adjustments I still feel like it's not quite as responsive as my wired USB mice or an RF wireless mouse. (Hard to describe but it's almost like some micro-lag that I've not noticed/felt with RF wireless mice or wired mice. I know that sounds strange, but that's how it feels to me. Maybe with more time using it that feeling will fade.)
I've not been a fan of Bluetooth mice or keyboards in the past after a bad experience years ago (but I know they're much improved now) however I still prefer the response/feel (and simplicity) of a wired or RF mouse. And the Magic Mouse was the wake-up call I needed to at least start looking again at wireless mice as the cord has been a pain at times.
I'm going to try the Magic Mouse with a Snow Leopard Mac and spend more time using it but if I had to do it over, I think I'd have bought a Logitech or other brand RF wireless mouse. (I liked the Microsoft Arc that I tried recently, but for the same price or less you can get a standard profile (shape) RF mouse from Logitech or others that feels better in the hand IMHO.)

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Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc Updates

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Other News/Articles/Reviews, Misc. Software updates
(Light today, sorry)

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