News Archive for: Tuesday Dec. 11, 2007   Goto Current News Page

Systems | CPU Upgrades | Video | Storage | Audio/HT | Apps/OS/Networking

Running prev. version/deleted apps from Time Machine volume
" Running previous versions of programs or deleted programs from Time Machine volume
Don't know if anyone else has talked about this, but you can run programs off of the Time Machine volume without restoring them to your main drive. Just right click the file you want to open and select the "open with" option from the menu and you will be presented with a list of possibilities which includes previously installed versions or deleted programs resident on the Time Machine volume which were installed in the Applications folder. Here is a snapshot showing multiple versions of VLC player. See screenshot. (link no longer valid) Only version 0.8.6d is installed on the main drive. Useful for some, but confusing for others.
(He later wrote)
Apparently, it is a bug of some sort. My computer runs 24/7 (DP G5 2.5 GHz) and had been running for several weeks without a restart. The effects accumulate until the computer is restarted. I restarted my computer this evening after installing Intego Virus Barrier and the old versions disappeared from the drop down menu.
(and another later mail)
The restart only solves the problem for a while, several hours later all of the previous versions have reappeared in the drop down menu.
-Jim D."

I need to get a large external drive for Time Machine. I may get a MiniStack V3 for the built-in FW and USB hubs in addition to the FW800/400/USB2.0/eSATA ports.

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Refurb iMac 24in/2.4GHz first impressions (updated)
Just a few quick notes on a refurbished 24in iMac (2.4GHz, WD 320GB HD) I had ordered last week after finally giving up on (repeatedly) fixing a failing older G4 model. (Normally I'd never buy a mac this close to a MW Expo but I needed a replacement machine ASAP and every time I put off a purchase something comes up to take up the $$$ I had set aside.)
I spent most of the day yesterday using it, copying GB's of files over, configuring it (finally setup the 802.11n AE base I bought a couple months ago), installing updates, etc.. Software update showed several updates including 10.5.1, the iMac graphics firmware update, etc. - all installed OK.

The display looks good IMHO and due to the frame I guess appears larger than the Dell 24in LCD I use with my G5 Tower. Today I ran LCD test 2.0 beta (from 2005) No bad/stuck pixels but some slight variation in backlight uniformity on the solid color tests although that improved after about an hour or so of warmup. I've not done a custom colorsync profile yet (I've never tried Supercal on an intel-based mac (Yet), nor under Leopard but I preferred SuperCal over the included utility since I first saw it in 2001.)
This is the first "new" Mac I've gotten since the Dual 2GHz G5 tower in 2003. It came with only the base 1GB (1 sodimm) so I Installed a pair of 2GB SODIMMs from OWC I bought last week (under $100) and used some 3d games (UB updated UT2004 and First to Fight) to see if this refub would have any 'freezing' issues some have reported - no problems seen so far. No benchmarking done but overall I'm satisfied with the performance in general - only the Superdrive (Matshita UJ-85J, firmware FMOS) seems a bit slow but then it's a notebook model and only 8x max rated. (I realize the limits of the 2600HD graphics but it wasn't bought as a gaming machine.)
I was also glad to see no insufficient power warnings when connecting my (old) Kodak multi-format memory card reader into the AL keyboard. (I get that warning with the AL keyboard on my G5 tower despite apple's notes about the AL keyboard power sourcing.)

I ditched the included mighty mouse for a Logitech LX3 ($26) and after a mail today saying many had disc burn problems in Leopard I burned a DVD from the Finder and a CD in iTunes OK (and I also burned a DVD in Toast 6.x w/10.5 on my G5 tower). But then I'd be rich if I had $1 for every OS X update/upgrade problem that wasn't 100% common (although for those with problems that's little consolation). Knock on wood so far my experience with this refurb iMac would make a great Apple commercial, although not everyone has been so fortunate.

I do really wish the iMacs had an access bay for hard drive replacement (not just for upgrades which would be a *huge* plus but also for easy replacement when a drive fails, which all will eventually). At some point I'll tear it apart and upgrade the hard drive (I'd pick a 1TB Hitachi) but for now I've got no complaints with this refurb 24in iMac. It's light-years better than the iMac G4 it replaced. I wanted a large screen AIO and so far this iMac fits the bill well.

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OpaqueMenuBar for Leopard
I'm not sure when this was released but posting as a FYI for those that may not have seen it. There's a OpaqueMenuBar for Leopard available from the author of HierarchicalDock for leopard. (Not tried it personally yet though...)
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2GHz Mini owner comments on WoW performance
"WoW performance - new Mac Mini
One of my concerns when I decided to purchase a mini over the MBP while I decided if a mac was for me or not was 3D performance, specifically in WoW.

I'm running OS X 10.5.1 on a Mini Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz with 1GB of memory here. Starting with the basic settings at a resolution of 1344 x 840 (one of the wide options) and with terrain distance turned down and refresh at 60 Hz I was getting a steady 30 fps tonight over a period of a couple of hours. This included activity in Exodor, SW, IF, several zones, and DM. Very nice visually and highly playable, even coming from a 2.8GHz P4 with 1GB PC2700 and an Asus N6600 with 256MB RAM.

With the same mini system running at 72 Hz refresh and a bit higher settings on some of the visual settings I was seeing 5 fps in Shat (fairly crowded area) with max of about 12 fps in EOTS BG. This was brutal and I would have sent the box back and bought the MBP if that is all I could have gotten.

Personally, 30 fps over that period is plenty for me to keep this box and throw some additional memory and an external drive on it. And this box only draws 23W - 110W? And it's this quiet? Consider me a convert.
-John L."

I added this to a previous page with reports on Mac WoW Performance.

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G5 Tower owner notes on misreported FW800 connection speeds
" I discovered this yesterday, and since then I'm up to just under a dozen confirmations of it:
On my G5 Quad, with -nothing- plugged into any firewire port, the system profiler shows an "unknown device" rated at 400mbs.
The problem with that is that when I plug in a FW800 drive, it only communicates at 400mbs, since the bus runs at the speed of the slowest device.
For example:
FireWire Bus:
Maximum Speed: Up to 800 Mb/sec
Oxford ATA Device 00:
Manufacturer: Other World Computing
Model: 0x0
GUID: 0x1D202EEA50833
Maximum Speed: Up to 800 Mb/sec
Connection Speed: Up to 400 Mb/sec

Note that last line: "Connection Speed: Up to 400 Mb/sec"
That's because a firewire bus will only work at the speed of the slowest attached device. The "unknown Device up to 400 Mb/sec" (my Phantom device) is slowing down the whole bus.
(he later wrote)
Update: The phantom device is the PHY repeater, which Apple says:

    "The PowerMac G5 computer provides front and rear port repeating when the computer is powered on or asleep, and rear port repeating when the system is powered off. The repeater will always appear to be an active device even though nothing is plugged into the port."

So the Phantom device is solved... but the question is whether that's responsible for the drive being throttled back to 400.
(and finally)
I just found the answer.
It's the repeater that is showing up (that's part one.)
part two is simple: the system profiler is wrong. Pure and simple.
Despite it saying it's communicating at 400, it's not - it's communicating at 800...
sigh... Took me two days to chase down that little error...
Best wishes, Tracy"

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