News Archive for: 12/02/2004 Thursday's News (later posted items first)
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OS X Security Update 2004-12-02 released
Running Software Update in 10.3.6 today shows the update. (Also appeared on a 10.2.8 machine here, don't have any 10.1.x macs handy to check.) Here's the info from the SU window in 10.3.6.

" Security Update 2004-12-02 (12.7MB) delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components:


For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: "

The same update appears in 10.2.8 SU with a slightly different list of changes. The linked apple security page above has more details and notes there's server updates also. I'm applying it on a PB G4 now.

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Reader Tips on installing/running FCP 4.5 on a G3 Mac
I've updated the previous page of Tips to install Final Cut Pro 4 on PCI/pre-G4 macs to include a reader's reply to the earlier request today from an iMac G3 owner for tricks to install FCP 4.5HD on that system. (Thanks to Jeff H. for the detailed guide.)
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Apple launches Canadian iTunes Music store
Apple's news page has a link to their press release on the Canadian iTunes Music Store launched today.
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G5 Optical Audio reports page updated
I've updated the previous page on G5 optical audio reports to include comments from an owner of Logitech's Z-5500 surround system that mentioned some issues with the volume keys and DVD playback.
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SoftRAID 3.1.1 Update released
Last night I received an email from Mark James of SoftRAID on the 3.1.1 update (which was a dealer release note, but today there's an update for end users also):

" We have released another update to SoftRAID, to version 3.1.1....
This 3.1.1 release is primarily a bug-fix release. Read the release notes for information on what was fixed.
We expect to release another update, to 3.1.2 in about a month, to address a few remaining issues. We also expect to release a "retail" boxed version of SoftRAID in January, 2005
Mark James"

The SoftRAID news page now has info on the 3.1.1 update also which notes:

" ...Version 3.1.1 adds the capability of creating Bootable SoftRAID DVDs and fixes several bugs related to the manipulation of Mirror volumes....
SoftRAID 3.1.1 is available for $129.00 and may be purchased through SoftRAID's website, All registered users will receive a free upgrade via email. "

There's also a page with a download link at MU.

(FYI - I updated the earlier post below on AL Cinema display owner comments to include a link to the page for checking Apple S/Ns as the reader's original URL was to the cgi script only.)

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Comments from Blizzard on Mac WoW Performance/Graphics Cards and Updates
After several reader reports on Mac World of Warcraft Performance in yesterday's news page, I received this email from Rob Barris of Blizzard's Mac team:

" Hello - I work in the Mac software group at Blizzard.

We'll be releasing patches to World of Warcraft in coming weeks that will start to unlock the full shader capabilities of various video cards on the Mac. Getting to the point where we can do that reliably, has required a lot of cooperation between Blizzard, Apple, ATI and NVIDIA. We encountered a number of bugs and interactions when running WoW on OS X 10.3.5, that necessitated releasing Mac WoW 1.0 with the shader features initially disabled.

A lot of progress has been made, and in fact a number of fixes that we need for shader support have shipped already in 10.3.6, and more are on the way. However our own patching schedule for WoW is not exactly synchronized with Apple's OS patch schedule. What this means is that even though these vendors have already shipped some fixes, the patch from us to take advantage of them won't be immediate. Apple has more fixes that have not yet made it out into the wild, these things can take a bit of time to get right. What we are going to do is examine each new Apple point release and determine which features we can unlock and on which configurations. My gut feeling is that we will have 95% of these issues resolved in the next 5-6 weeks.

As has been the case with past Blizzard products (most recently Diablo II and Warcraft III) the Mac team continues to improve performance and profile the game in real world situations long after the 1.0 release. It's all too easy to quickly assign blame for slowdowns on GPU drivers or on Apple; suffice it to say that WoW is not always a game that is limited by GPU speed alone, and we will be closely examining our code's activity in city scenes on NVIDIA cards to see if there is a uniquely slow path holding us down.

If you are a user that feels you are not getting the best out of your system, keep an eye on us for the next patch or two. WoW on the Mac is not going to be sitting still, we will be unlocking those aforementioned features and tuning up speed in other areas of the code. If you have more detailed reports that you would like to share with us directly, we welcome your feedback at The best way to get us to focus on something is a nice detailed report with a specific location and server (screenshots and system profiles are also helpful items to include).
Rob Barris - Blizzard Entertainment (Mac Team) "

I've added this to a page with all the Mac World of Warcraft Performance reports received as of 6AM this morning.

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More AL Cinema Display owner comments (including a theory on the cause of color problems)
Here's the latest Apple 23in Cinema display owner comments (updated at 2PM w/another report)

" I had originally post(ed) this on Apple discussion boards.
I am a professional hi-end color retoucher and have been battling on my own with this uneven color, pinker and brighter on the sides. I thought it was just me until yesterday when I took the monitor to the Apple store and another customer saw my box and remarked "Oh you must have the pink problem".
I demonstrated the problem to the Genius guy who agreed that he could see the color shifts from center to sides.
I used a 50% gray filled 8in PhotoShop document and slowly moved it across the screen.
I have already set this monitor back to Apple once and had it returned to me with the comment that the color was within Apple specifications. The SoHo Apple Store said they would send it in for repair. One week later the momitor returned with no repair and as uneven color as before.

I have tried to calibrate this monitor with the "Eye One" hardware device.
Depending on where I place the device completely different profiles are created based on the uneven color.
I have work(ed) in many shops on the clear 23in. The problem is not present there.

This is a very SERIOUS ISSUE!!
I want to get what I paid for!
Below is a quote from Apples own promo pdf

    "Consistently accurate colors. Supports a wide color gamut; maintains true color from edge to edge and over time; "

Malcolm T."

Here's a report from a reader that finally got one he's happy with:

" About a week ago I sent you a letter expressing my dissatisfaction with my new 23" ACD. This was the culmination of four months of "bitching" about the new displays. So I wanted to send this update as it is my first chance to say something positive about these units.:

I recently acquired another (new) 23" display which has now been up and running for several days. Out of the box, this unit is orders of magnitude better than the first one. For one thing there is NO PINK!!! None. Nada. And this with the "default" profile which I presume was installed with 10.3.6. The edges look good, just a hint of darker tone at the extreme left side but nothing like the 1.5 - 2" wide yellow band the "old" one has. I think this has to do with the matte finish on the hard coating as, when viewed head on, it disappears, even with a pure white desktop.

The backlighting is also very even. I have a gray JPEG that represents about a 60% screen. When used as the desktop image on the old unit, the gray was full of noise in the form of green "speckles" On the new one the gray is so even that you would think it was painted on. The gray image also showed the uneven backlighting of the old screen, noticeable to the point that you could see where the tubes were based on the "hot spots". The new one shows no variation at all.

I also had problems with my computer having kernel panics and freezes with the USB breakout connected. Happened any time the computer attempted to enter sleep mode. This problem has disappeared with the new display.

I would have to say that it's not "perfect" due to the very slight (and I do mean slight) darkness at the extreme left edge but, if my first display had looked this good, I would have never have had a complaint. Please bear in mind that I know what to look for and I've done all of the tests. I have to say that I am very pleased with this unit. It's hard to believe that this is the same panel because the overall quality is so much better than my first one. No one will tell me if the "new" units use different panels but if this is the same one, someone has done some serious "tweaking"... Another thing is that the new unit does not get nearly as hot as my "old" one. It gets very warm but not really hot even with the brightness at full (do not try this at home!).
Praise de Lawd!
FWIW the serial # is:2A4441G2PKL
Checking here:
(that's just the CGI script and it expects a S/N string to be passed to it
but I found the page where you can enter the S/N-Mike
Serial number: 2A4441G2PKL (cleaned up from '2A4441G2PKL ')
Model: Mxxxx Cinema Display HD 23 inch
Factory: 2A
Production year: 2004
Production week: 44 (November)
Production number: 1702 (within this week)

Since I had this unit on 10/30 I have to wonder about the 11/'04 production date but this is obviously a recent production "model".
Thank You, David D "

Another reader sent comments on what he thinks is the cause of the color consistency problems many have reported:

" 23" Cinema AL non-uniform screens
Dear Mike, Maybe it is of interest to your readers:
The discoloration (pink/magenta corner or blueish corners) of TFT is an often mentioned problem for larger than 20" displays. If you look at the incoming inspection routines of these displays it's obvious that they look good, but during the inspections they are not mounted in an enclosure. The enclosure is the problem. The whole prolem can be figured down to what the manufacturers call: panel distortion. The Panel does not fit - or better is not 100% even mounted in the metal face that keeps the panels inside the enclosures. It's not only Apple that suffers from that problem. Eizo's CG21 is also a well known victim of this. If one pushes the upper corners of a display you can see how the colors change. A neutral gray in the area becomes visibly colored. It looks a bit like an old tube that gets to much magnetic smog. But with a TFT you don't have the chance to make a high power degauss.

I've personally tested countless 23" apple cinemas and other 23" displays so have a very good overview and i can tell you that - reviewed with colorimetric approaches - the older 23" in acrylic housing has a far better uniformity.

So basically, it's not the panel's problem, it's a problem with the housing. I think that the older acrylic housing was not that stable. The AL housing in oposite is very stable and forces the panel to follow it's shape. Someone at Apple should think about slight change of the enclosure design. I know companies that have changed the inner housing due to customer complaints.
My compliments for your webpage
Joern S.
Editor of MACup Magazine, germany "

I've seen a similar problem with several Dell notebooks in the past - where the plastic panels (lid structure) was applying undue pressure (most often in the center for those I saw) and it affected the display uniformity (but the pressure on those was from the back side and the effect was a noticeable difference in brightness usually.).

" Hi Mike, I noticed someone wrote you about the Burlingame, CA Apple store and their big bad pink displays. (from the previous reports here) I was there too and it's not that bad. All the stores I've been to have the same 23inch "problem" but some are worse than others. The Burlingame store in particular has it the worse I've seen so far. I've seen some near perfect ones also but if you look real hard you can find something wrong in all monitors. I've seen CRT's that cost thousands that had a red tint in corners, tops and sides (you name it). (being analog/tube based, they can be affected by many things, even magnetic fields and often have a large number of user adjustments like my FW900 Sony has. But still almost impossible to get a perfect display from edge to edge, even using the adjustments in my experience-Mike)
As for the Burlingame store they still didn't update to 10.3.6 yet and they probably didn't even bother to calibrate their monitors either. They are very busy at that store and they're too busy trying to sell, sell, sell. I went as far as hanging out in that store with my cup of coffee and asked several people what they thought about the displays, none of them noticed and two of them were graphics professionals! They did notice after I pointed the areas out.
They admitted that they would still buy the 23 over the 20 just for the size. Also, it's not uncommon to be calibrating a monitor every 10-14 days anyway. I'm not saying these displays are OK and nothing's wrong so let's just hug Apple and forgive them. No, you have to look real hard to find this issue on some of them and others it's pretty obvious especially when they're right next to a different display.
Anonymous "

" Mike,
I'd like to add to my previous email explaining that the 20" aluminum displays have the same issues as the 23" except for the pink coloration.

I got my 3rd replacement display today and this one also has the color discoloration issue and the sides are yellow/dirty. My past 2 monitors only had issues with he left side, this last monitor has issues with both sides being brownish. Plus this last monitor has a black dead pixel so I'm even more frustrated.

My experience:

  • Bought and received my first 20" early July
  • Brought it for testing at Apple Store in October and sent for repair. Came back 3 weeks later with a note saying that nothing was repaired because nothing was found to be wrong (Genius at Apple Store did see the problems). Got a replacement display after painful fight with Store Manager who said their system said I had a refurbished unit (Called Apple care who said my display was bought new, I had paid full price). I finally got a replacement mid-November.
  • Brought the replacement for testing at Apple Store on Nov 30, genius sees problem after I show him what to look for. Store Manager (another one) gave me attitude and didn't want to refund my money. Since the genius told him my monitor was defective, I got a replacement. Replacement is worst, right side is brownish in addition to left side being brownish and having color discoloration issues. This monitor has 1 dead black pixel.

I've paid so much for Apple products and it's not the first time that I feel so frustrated for buying something that to my opinion is not worth its price tag because of being defective.

For the readers who would like to test their monitors, this is what I do:

  1. Open a finder window and place the top left edge of the window in the middle of the screen. Pay special attention to the darkness of the grey on that left edge. Then move the window so that the left edge travels from the middle of the screen to the left side of the screen. Do this back and forth between the middle and left edge and see if the grey color remains consistent or becomes brighter once the window is on the left.
  2. The second test is with iTunes. iTunes uses light blue stripes as background. Move the iTunes window across the screen. See if the blue stripes become washed out on the left side of the screen.
  3. As for the yellow/dirty edges, just put a white background (or open an empty word window) in a dark room and you can see if the white becomes brownish on the left/right sides of the monitor. Pay special attention to the corners of the monitor.

I am hoping to hear that many people have perfect monitors but I doubt a lot of people can say so. This is just based on my experience with 3 monitors over a 5 month period.
Olivier B. "

There's also some testing method notes on the previously linked page w/23in AL display samples. Another reader sent suggestions for testing:

" ... Set the desktop to solid white and look at the far right/left sides, they usually appear yellowish...
Set the desktop to solid gray and look at the area just to the left of the center, it usually appears slightly darker/cooler or bluer than the rest. Sometimes the left side also looks pink, on the gray desktop.
Thanks, MikeS
Fifteen Years of Award-Winning Multimedia "

A 23in display owner sent a report about ghosting:

" Hi Mike,... as a new Apple user, I just bought an Apple Cinema Display 23" Alu, and...well it has an evident ghosting issue... so evident, that Apple decided to remove my message on the official discussion board. :(
anyway, you can see it here:
. it happens whenever I hope a high-contrast document and I keep it open for 5 minutes. then I minimize it...
and, as you can see, it leaves its ghost for 20 seconds (depending on desktop color settings)
I'm so sad, it's the second bad display that I get within 7 days... the shop assistant told me they won't give me a third display because the "testing period" lasts 7 days, then I must stick with what I bought or call AppleCare.
I called Apple Care, and they told me I must send the display to Holland, they'll evaluate it and they MIGHT send me a brand new display, but they added: "it takes'd better know it before sending".
So, now I don't know what to do. I need this display, I need it because I'm a graphic designer... In the meantime, I'd like to let ppl know that this series is BAD, because it is right, they must know. Before being an Apple user I knew that Apple meant quality stuff, but I'm starting to feel tricked and betrayed.
greetings from Roma!
Manuele "

I can't say was I've tried this sort of test on LCDs (although ghosting is common for high-persistance phosphor CRT displays and there's been a kbase doc from apple I think on menu bar 'burn in' (so to speak) on LCD displays as I recall.) For previous reports from owners of AL Cinema displays (of all sizes), see the Nov. 29th news page, Nov. 22nd news page, Nov. 19th news page, Nov. 18th news page (here and here), Oct. 29th news page, Oct. 27th news page and as well as a reader articles on a Mini-Review of the 30in AL display and another reader's page w/23in AL display samples.

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More reports/tips for AirTunes Volume Fluctuations
A couple of readers replied to yesterday's news page Airport Express owner comments on Airtunes volume fluctuations.

" I just got one of these buggers and was noticing something kind of similar to what was described. I'm only using an analog connection.
The receiver was set on surround mode, so the sound steering was causing it to sound strange, since it isn't a 5.1 signal. When I turned the surround off, it was normal. May not be the same problem, but it's worth a shot!
-David H. "

" I had a similar issue and hard resetting the airport express and reprogramming it solved it for me.
J. "

I've added these to the previous page of Airport Express owner reports and tips.

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Reader Request for mods to install FCP 4.5HD/FCE on older Macs
*Update* - I've updated the FCP 4 install tips for PCI/Pre-G4 macs to include a reader's reply to this request. Thanks to Jeff H. for the detailed guide.
(from a reader mail - the past tips on editing to get FCP to work on older macs no longer works)

" Mike, ... I tried hacking FCP 4.5HD and FCE 2.0.1 to run on a G3 iMac. The problem I have is that I don't have enough money to purchase two new Macs for my 5-12 grade multimedia program, and kids switch from computer to computer, so installing an earlier version means it won't read on the newer computers.

The hack ideas (tips noted in the past here, still listed in the FAQ's Older Macs section on how to install FCP v4.0 on a PCI mac last year, added to the article on tips to install FCP on PCI Macs.-Mike) don't work with the new software. I was wondering if anyone has successfully hacked FCE 2 or FCP 4.5 to run on a G3 iMac or any G3 Mac.
Jason M. "

Apple notes for FCP 4.5 and FC Express that a G4/350 or faster CPU and AGP graphics are required (the old trick was to edit the install check to change AGP to PCI), but if it requires a G4 CPU, nothing may help it run on a G3 mac. (There are G4 upgrades for iMacs of course, but I'm sure Jason doesn't want to spend more $$$ on upgrades.)

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Another Airport 3.x compatible 802.11g PCI Adapter report
(from a reader mail - the FAQ's networking section has notes/links on broadcom chip based/airport 3.x compatible 802.11g compatible PCI cards/PCcards and USB adapters as well as some 802.11b compatible models)

" I've just gone Wireless with my Beige G3, Panther 10.3.6 (courtesy of XpostFacto 3,0b10), Sonnet G4-1Ghz,

My DSL Wifi Switch/Router is a D-Link DSL-G604T and I got a Trendnet PCI Wireless 802.11g adapter TEW-403Plplus. That card worked out of the box as an Apple Airport Card. You do not need any software or driver installation (Apple airport software had to be present).

Before the install, I enabled Airport on the D-Link. Then I shot down my Beige, removed the Ethernet 100 PCI adaptor and installed my new Trendnet PCI card.

After startup, i went to the Network panel and made the necessary setup. There is a pull down under the menu bar Airport Icon . I just had to select my D-Link wireless network as source and go on the Net.
I hope this news can help you.
Marc B. "

I'll add this later to the FAQ's item on airport 3.x compatible adapters. (Hopefully unlike linksys, they won't change the chipset used over time.)

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report this morning (entry from Wednesday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,675. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Sonnet G4 1GHz in Beige G3 (rated 7)
    (long report on heavily upgraded system that noted problems in 10.3.x using XPF.)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

(Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) You can find the full reports by searching the database selecting the indicated Mac model and upgrade card brand/type. If you've upgraded the CPU on your Mac, please post an entry in the database. Search the database for entries from most every upgradable Mac model *before* you buy. (Searchable by mac model/upgrade brand). For detailed reviews with performance tests and install tips, see the CPU Upgrades page.)

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 8 new reports added this morning. (Entries from Wednesday, entries today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD+R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total 13,919 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Liteon SOHR-5238S (52x32x52x) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (no itunes burn support so using toast for burning.)
  • IDE Sony CRX230ED (52x32x52x) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (using modified burn support file but still having problems with itunes burns finishing. perhaps authoring support not installed properly or some other system/drive issue.)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) Sony DRU-710A used w/Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support )
  • IDE NEC ND-3500AG in dual G4 (OS x 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for 10.2.x iApps burn support . Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MiniTower and B&W G3 Macs)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-108 in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)
    (assuming he used toast or other 3rd party burning software in OS 9.x)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Fujitsu 60HDD5400 60GB in PowerBook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (PowerBook G4 Ti 15in. LCD illustrated Hard Drive install guide here
    PB G4 15in (Aluminum) Disassembly guide.
    Powerbook G4 12in LCD illustrated Hard Drive install guide here)
  • IDE (SerialATA PCI card connected) Hitachi 7K250 250GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4) (noted the Firmtek SATA card prevented 10.4 beta/dev version from booting)
  • IDE Hitachi 5400rpm/80GB in iBook 2001 (OS X 10.3)
    (complained about shorter battery life and humming noise even when in sleep - so something is not right. if the system was in deep sleep the HD should not be spinning.)

You can find full owner reports (latest shown first) by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches). For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
If you've added a IDE, SCSI, Firewire or USB hard drive, CDRW, tape drive, etc. make sure you add a report to the database. (If you post an updated entry - make sure you use the same name, etc. as you did before so I can find your past entry. Thanks.)
(Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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