News Archive for: 1/25/2005 Tuesday's News
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OS X Security Update 2005-001 released
Appears in Software Update tonight (10.3.7 used here).

" Security Update 2005-001 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components:

at commands

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

Thanks to Matthew and Alan for the heads up. I've not installed it yet but Matthew suggested running Repair Permissions after the update.

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First feedback on iWork's Pages
(from a reader mail today - updated with notes on the cause of printing problems)

" I didn't see a user comment area for iWork so just in case you were interested here are some comments about Pages.

I used Word X/2004 for basic letters, tables, lists, etc. and have found Pages imports everything I've ever used with no problem (again, these aren't very complicated documents). Everything works well and it's very simple and easy to use. The design philosophy differences between Apple and Microsoft are SO evident it's really interesting.

With my limited experience so far I've noticed one anomaly. Pages takes forever to print... A simple one page bullet list with a graphic header (the entire file with the graphic header embedded is 250K) takes 3 minutes to print from a Dual 2.5GHz G5 to a LaserWriter 16/600 PS (with 24mb), and all the text is antialiased with artifacts visible around the text. If I make a PDF using Acrobat 7 Professional, even the PDF looks awful, and it's enormous (376K). If I export the PDF from Pages or use "make pdf" from the print dialog the text looks fine and I have a small file (96K). This small PDF still prints with the poor text with artifacts however, and still takes 3 minutes to print.
(he later wrote)
... I just found out what causes this problem. If you have an object on your page and change the opacity to something other than 100% this problem occurs. Example: If you have a black line on your page and you want to make it 50% gray, doing so with the "opacity" slider introduces this problem. If you change the actual color to 50% gray, the problem is solved and printing looks great again. "

I welcome other feedback on iWork (Pages or Keynote 2).
(Update - I've posted a page with iWork user reports, including one from another reader that could not duplicate this printing problem.)

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Apple cuts Prices on BTO Mac Mini Options
Out all day (shopping for a used car for the wife) and just got back in to see several mails on this:

"Hi Mike
I was pricing out the Mac mini at the Apple Online Store and I noticed that Apple has lowered prices on the options.
New 8x Super Drive is $100.00 (price was always $100 burn speed rating was listed as 4x)
(Update - the next day the BTO superdrive was changed to show 4x again, not 8x.)
Blue Tooth + Airport Extreme is $99.00 (was $129)
1GB Memory has dropped to $325.00 (was $475)
Douglas T."

Another reader said the BTO 80GB drive option price was also cut by $30 to $50.

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More iLife 05 Feedback and reports on iDVD5/FW DVD Burner Support
I've updated the iLife 05 reports page with more reader comments, including more reports on tests with external/Firewire DVD burners with iDVD5. Most noted native FW DVD burner support in iDVD5, although they were usually from owners of systems w/o internal DVD burners. A G5 owner (w/internal DVD burner I assume) said he had to use the easter egg trick from the past to select the Firewire DVD burner. (Not sure how you'd select the external drive as the target if there's an internal DVD burner - don't own iDVD5 yet to test. The easter egg trick pops up a dialog box to select the target drive.)
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Mac Mini (1.42GHz) Quake3 benchmarks/First Impressions
(from a reader post yesterday)

" will keep this simple.
I was at the Tyson's (Virginia) store when they opened on Saturday. There were a few people in line (I didn't count....but 30 to 50 maybe). I ran in and grabbed a Mac mini. Ended up with the 1.5 (1.42GHz) with 80GB drive and 256MB RAM.
I have been having a ball with it. Anyhow...because I have yet to see anyone else do it, here are some Quake 3 ver 1.32 timedemo results!

ALL DEFAULT SETTINGS....all I did was start and change the SYSTEM settings to the following:

  • HIGH: 95.6 FPS
  • NORM: 115.5 FPS
  • FASTEST 135.6 FPS

Nothing very technical. Just to give the people unsure of the video card an idea about how fast the Mini is.

For the record, I have an OLD PowerMac G4 (was a Sawtooth with 350MHz CPU). I have since upgraded it with a PowerLogix 1.2 GHz CPU and an ATI Radeon 8500... Framerates in Quake 3 are similar....but the drops are not as dramatic in the Mini. Needless to say I am VERY impressed...

The mini is really cool...I was hesitant....but have fallen in love with it. It is connected to a Princeton 19 inch LCD monitor. It just looks so small. It makes VERY little noise. It is so small it makes the external firewire and usb 2 enclosed HDs look HUGE!
Asmodeus "

He'll be posting other tests (as modern 3D games are more demanding than Quake3). Of course it's not the best choice for Mac gaming (wasn't designed to be), but the Mini is selling like wildfire apparently.

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More reports on HDTV Over the Air Antennas
(updated) In reply to a post in yesterday's news from a Radio Shack antenna user.

" Mike, Just a link and "reserved speculation" on the validity of no artifacts with OTA digital broadcasts... (link has some great Outdoor antennas).
As for quality of the signal, I would ask that one checks their location (Yesterday's post was updated with info that the reader that raved on the RS antenna performance lived in Sherman Oaks, CA. and includes a link to where you can enter your location (you can enter just the city, state and zip code) and it will list HDTV OTA stations in your area.-Mike)
Depending on your market, and other interference issues (microwave towers, cell towers...) you can get a great or not-so great reception. Station list (as of 5/04):

My brother had purchased a 34" HDTV and put the db8 in his attic (will mount on roof in Spring weather). Granted, I was impressed there was so much available for free. We had watched the Olympic opening ceremony in HD, and since then, many sport and CBS shows. But not all was free of digital artifacts. The HD cameras used by the big studios have some issue with flaring. Sound my drop off quickly like a cellphone conversation. And with weather and other anomalies, you can see the artifacting (compression) from such interference. Still, its better than regular broadcasts.

Terk also has indoor HD antennas...some very cool looking.
-Ed S. "

Another reader wrote about a low-cost Zenith antenna:

" Upon reading a reader's review of the $50 RadioShack HDTV OTA antenna, I would like to add another one. The Zenith ZHDTV1 HDTV OTA antenna. It does the same thing and can be had for half the price. I have two of them and they are very good for an un-powered antenna. The only downside is that: Since HDTV signals are very very directional, one might need to adjust the direction the antenna is facing to get the best strength. I was able to get 90% signal with it during this past weekend for the NFC/AFC football games.
*Just my $0.02.
Jia L. "

Another reader sent a comment on Terk antennas:

" I saw someone mention Terk, so I have to put in my $0.02 worth of warning. My experience with Terk is that their antennas don't work very well. I have also read other reports on the web of $5 rabbit ears outperforming expensive Terk amplified antennas. So I would stay away from Terk.
I have read many glowing reports on the Zenith or Gemini (rebranded) ZHDTV1 that was mentioned. I have one on order from Amazon. I'll try it out before getting on the roof to rewire and amplify an old outdoor antenna that I am currently using with mixed results.
Thanks. - Paul "
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Roxio Popcorn reports/Tips page updated
I've updated the Roxio Popcorn feedback/tips page again with 2 more reader reports.
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Other Net News
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 2 new reports this morning (entries from Monday-early Tuesday, entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,769. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple B&W G3/400 OC report (at 450MHz)
  • Sonnet G4 1.25GHz in (QS G4/733) G4/AGP (rated 8)

    (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 4 new reports added this morning. (Entries from Monday, 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 - 14,149 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)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Teac DW-224E in iBook 2002 (OS X 10.3)
    (noted medium errors in toast 6. suggested using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support.)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Plextor PX-716A in Dual G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT and B&W G3.)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 (7200 rpm) 60GB in iBook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (noted an apparent logic board failure after the install.)
  • IDE Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 (7200 rpm) 60GB in (Pismo) Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X 10.3)
    (PB G3 Pismo illustrated HD install guide here)

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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