News Archive for: Thursday, Feb. 9th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Daily Guitar Jam Widget released
(from site sponsor OWC)
" Free "Daily Guitar Jam Widget" Launched By OWC and Roger Adler
Interactive Tool Delivers Daily Resources to Computer Users

Other World Computing (OWC) and four-time Emmy nominated musician Roger Adler announced today the launch and immediate availability of the Daily Guitar Jam Widget, a free interactive informational, educational entertainment desktop device for musicians, songwriters, producers, MCs, home recording enthusiasts and individuals interested in the entertainment industry.
Available for free download at, the cutting edge tool delivers a unique musical riff directly to the user's desktop each day 365 days a year, and helps to foster individual musical knowledge and skill growth.

"All great musicians are life-learners, continually dedicated to expanding their knowledge and talents while appreciating the different influences available. The Daily Guitar Jam Widget was created to be an influential piece of daily entertainment and the links provide access to a world of ways to expand ones own talents," stated Adler, whose credits include performing in Washington D.C. for the Presidential Inaugural Ball.

The Daily Guitar Jam Widget and corresponding webpage provide links to endorsed product lines and to highlights of Adler's latest release, "The Garage Album."
Also enabled by the Daily Guitar Jam Widget and is the indispensable opportunity for users to network with other musicians, music enthusiasts, and entertainment industry professionals via a dedicated OWC Audio Forum. "

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More Feedback on World of Warcraft 1.9.3 update
Yesterday's news had the first Intel CPU iMac user report on the 1.9.3 Univ. Binary update and a couple of PowerPC reports on it (one noting problems). I've added 7 more reports from PowerPC Mac users with the 1.9.3 update to the Mac WoW Performance page as they're too long to post here. Most noted no problems with the 1.9.3 update, although a couple users did. (I've gotten several more reports today (OK) but it may be tomorrow before I can add them to the page.)
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Another Vector Drawing App for OS X (inkscape)
(In reply to yesterday's post on the Xara OS X open source project)

" Mike, There is another vector drawing app I have used successfully in Mac OS X, called inkscape ( There is a precombiled binary (in a .dmg container) on their download page. Probably not universal yet, as the last update was fall 2005.

It requires X11 (available from Apple) to be installed, and upon first launch it will offer to install some extra fonts (answer yes). It takes a little while to come up with a drawing pallet on an old iBook 900Mhz G3. But once it was up and running, it was responsive enough.
- Paul "

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Another report on USB 802.11g Adapter with Mac drivers
At first I thought this report was for a Broadcom chip based USB adapter as in the rush this morning I somehow missed the comment on Mac drivers on the CD. (Sorry... I need a vacation)

"Hi Mike- Your readers might like to know about my experience connecting two old Macs (7600/120 and G3 minitower, both "xlr8ed") to my wireless home network. We recently got a Verizon fiber optic connection and hooked up a Netgear RangeMax wireless router. PCI slots in both Mac desktops are maxed out with SCSI, USB, and video cards so a PCI card wasn't an option for me.
I bought a Linksys WET54G ethernet bridge which works great on the minitower but it cost around $150 and I couldn't justify purchasing two of them. I was just about to give up on connecting the second Mac when I located an 801.11g USB adapter specifically for Mac, with Mac drivers on CD, for $44. It was described as a low-cost alternative to an Airport card. It shipped from Spain and arrived in 10 days. The brand name on the device is "Conceptronic"; it carries a 3 year warranty. I had it set up in a matter of minutes- the Read Me guide is in English (also French and Spanish) and is very well written- and I have been using it for several hours without any dropped connections.
I ran Software Update and let it install two Airport updates, then restarted the computer with no problems. I also let the hard drives spin down and the monitor go to sleep several times- when I woke the monitor and drives the connection was still active. (Although these older macs do not support "deep" sleep) The adapter has caused my graphics to slow down a little (pushing too much stuff through the PCI slots I guess); I don't see this issue on the other Mac with the ethernet bridge.

This isn't a promotion for eBay or an advertisement for the device so I'm not naming the seller or posting a link for purchasing the adapter, but anyone who's interested could easily find it by searching eBay for "Mac +wireless +USB".

My machine specs: PowerMac 7600/120, Sonnet G4 800 MHz, 1 GB RAM, ATTO SCSI controller with Fujitsu 15K SCSI drive, Radeon 7000, Belkin USB 2, OS X 10.4.4.
Thanks for maintaining xlr8yourmac! I check it weekly and have gotten valuable and reliable advice. Most of my upgrades were done only after researching your database of user reports. I didn't find anything on this adapter in your Networking FAQs so maybe this info will be interesting to some of your other readers.
-David C." "

There's been previous reports here on USB 802.11g adapters that may be lower in price (for instance the reports on RALink chipset models). Here's a couple of the most recent posts on USB adapters w/RALink drivers in 10.4.x in the last week:

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BitTorrent Version 4.4.0 incompatible with 10.3.9?
(I don't use bittorrent but posting as a FYI)

" Subject: BitTorrent Version 4.4.0 incompatible with 10.3.9
Hi Mike, I'm seeing kernel panics with the latest version of BitTorrent, and I wrote to the developers. Here is a response I received, which I don't know where to put the blame. I quote the Mac developer, Drue Loewenstern:

    "Thank you for sending a report about the latest BitTorrent 4.4.0 causing your Mac to crash (kernel panic.) Unfortunately, the new version of BitTorrent triggers a bug in the Mac OS X 10.3 kqueue implementation. Only Apple can fix it, unfortunately, and they are unlikely to release another update to Mac OS X 10.3.

    I see two options right now for users of Mac OS X 10.3.9 One option is to stick with BitTorrent 4.2.0. The only feature you lose is Universal Plug and Play support. If you are not firewalled, have already forwarded ports on your NAT, or you use an Apple Airport which doesn't support UPnP then you don't lose any functionality.
    The other option is to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.4. Apple has already fixed the bug in Tiger."

Some reasons I haven't updated are cost, and because I haven't gotten around to finding out how to get the Cisco VPN working.
For now I'm just back to using 4.2.0 which occasionally crashes (curiously always after the torrents have completed) I could live with that, but a kernel panic is definitely unusable.
-Ben. "

BTW - despite the comment above from the developer - a reader said he's used v4.4.0 in 10.3.9:

" I used Bit Torrent 4.4.0, or 4.2.0 for that matter, in 10.3.9 without any crashes, or kernel panics. I upgraded from 4.2.0 because if you set global settings and then change a torrents settings it would grind to a halt, which was a bug that was fixed somewhere between 4.2.0 and 4.4.0. Unfortunately I still had some issues with 4.4.0 so I switched to Azureus.
(I asked what he meant by "some issues" with 4.4.0-Mike)
There are some weird graphical issues with the 4.4.0 in Panther. Plus, although it might have been something messed up with my preferences, I was still having some of the same problems that I had with 4.2.0 with the torrents all dying if changing individual torrent settings. But I never had it crash, or cause a kernel panic, with either version.
-Erik "
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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,182. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Designs G4 1.8GHz (7447A) in G4 Cube (rated 10)

    (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).

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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 1 new report added this morning. (Entries later today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 15,543 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) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE (SerialATA onboard) Western Digital WD3200JD 320GB in G5 tower (OS X 10.4)
    (reported he'd seen no problems with it in months of use, unlike the problems seen with the WD4000KD model.)

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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