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News Archive for Friday, July 9th, 2004Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

News stories of July 9th, 2004: (later posted items first)
Tweaked Canon Digital Rebel/300D Firmware Unlocks some 10D Features
As an owner of a Canon Digital Rebel (aka 300D), I'd always hoped that someone would find a way to tweak the firmware to unlock some features of the more expensive 10D model. (Either Canon in response to later Digital SLRs in the same price range, or some individual.) I hadn't searched the web for any firmware tweaks since last Xmas when I got the camera, but today a reader sent a note that there is a modified 300D/Rebel firmware to unlock some of the advanced features of the 10D model (like IS0 3200, custom functions menu, button remapping, Flash Exposure Compensation, mirror lockup and more). Details.
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Mirror Drive Door HD Bay CPU Heatsink Cooler Mod
Matt Vaughan sent an article w/photos of his Mirror Drive Door HD Bay CPU Heatsink Cooler.
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Review of DVD Studio Pro 3 has a detailed (5 page) review of DVD Studio Pro 3.
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Apple $200 rebate on PB/iBook + iPod purchase for Students/Faculty on
Apple has a Cram And Jam $200 mail in rebate offer for college students/K-12 and higher ed faculty that buy an iPod and a PowerBook or iBook. See the linked page for more details.
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Reader Report on Dension ICELINK Car Adapter for iPod/iPod Mini
Jim Prete sent a long mail with installation comments (and praise) for the Dension ICELINK iPod 3G/iPod Mini adapter for autos (including but not limited to BMWs) that supports DSP and NAV equipped cars, which the Apple/BMW adapter doesn't.

" Hi Mike, ...I have a tip that I wanted to share with our community..
I just completed the install of the Dension ICELINK for a 40GB 3G iPod and wish to share the results with our community.

Dension makes adapters that allow your iPod or iPod Mini to be controlled and played via your car's existing radio if such radio was originally equipped with the ability to control a remote, multi-disc changer (most modern cars). Please see the link for more info (instead of me repeating it!).

Please be aware that I am not associated with Dension in any way, rather that this info is valuable to our Mac community.

I installed two kits, one in a 2002 Mini Cooper S and another in a 2000 BMW M5.

The kits are complete with everything you need, the instructions are a little obtuse but the tech support was excellent.

The kits are based on the specific car you own in addition to the type of sound system in the car. For example, if you have a Premium Sound System, it might include a DSP (Digital Sound Processor) which requires an additional adapter from Dension. After selected the correct kit for your car, you also need to purchase a mount for the dock that works for your specific car.

It took about 15 minutes per car to install everything, the BMW was longer as I had to run a short cable to the battery to supply power to the DSP converter that was part of the kit.

Two calls to tech support (one for each car) and everything worked perfectly.

When you start the car, the iPod starts up (if your radio is set to the CD Changer), when you turn off the car, the iPod turns off. You can advance the track using the track button on your radio (or your steering wheel if your car is so equipped). The dock also charges the iPod.

This is a much better system than the Apple offered solution. Why? First off, Dension supports many brands, not just BMW. Two, the Dension system has options for DSP and NAV equipped cars, Apple does not. Three, the dock allows the iPod to be positioned for easy access (and quick removal when leaving the car), the Apple version hides in the glove box (don't try to select additional music while driving!).

Sound quality is excellent, the improvement over the iTrip (in the mini) and the tape adapter (in the M5) can not be overstated.

As I said earlier, the tech support was friendly, helpful and spot-on in diagnosing the issues I had. They also have excellent recommendations as to how to route the wires for the various cars supported so call them first in any case.
So there is my two cents! Enjoy!
Jim P.
Innovate or Die! "

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M-Audio Transit (USB) Latency Settings Tip
A reader replied to the Transit owner (w/PB G3 wallstreet using a USB PCCard) problem report yesterday with a tip he said helped with problems he'd had with the device:

"I also had problems with occasional kernel panics and (more often) just lack of sound after few minutes of normal use. I had to restart the system to use Transit or switch to internal sound output . I'm using both 10.3.4 and newest beta driver from M-Audio.

What actually solved my problems was to change latency in Transit's settings (System Preferences). After switching from low to high latency I can't hear any significant difference in sound or any delays but all Transit related problems are gone.
Maybe it helps.
With best regards, Grzegorz L.
(I asked if he was using a USB PCCard and for system details)
I'm connecting Transit to built-in USB ports (or sometimes powered USB hub) of my PowerBook G4 1Ghz.
One additional comment: I'm not using UCB PC card, and my Transit related problems were not solved by 10.3.4 upgrade only (as other are reporting) until I tried to switch latency settings. So I hope same thing could be useful in case of PC Card adapter. At least it's worth to try.

It seems to me, that all Transit problems are related to data transmission on USB bus: the driver is not able to recover if there's not enough throughput or processing power. With high latency setting driver is using larget buffer I suppose. "

I asked Johannes, the PCcard/Wallsteet user below (via email) if he could try this tip to see if it helped, but he later wrote he was already using the highest latency setting. If anyone else with Transit USB problems tries the latency change tip, let me know.
(I've added this report/tip to the previous page of M-Audio Transit owner reports.)

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Some Linksys BEFSR41 owners still reporting problems with later firmware
(updated 6PM for several more Linksys owner reports)
Although some noted the recent Linksys firmware update (see Wednesday's news) fixed their problems, several reader have written to say they're still having problems with the latest 1.46 firmware and having to revert to an older firmware.

" Everytime Linksys posts a firmware update for the BEFSR41, I download and install it, hoping it will clear up the dropped connection problems. However, every time I update the firmware, all my Macs (running OS X) lose the ability to browse the web. All http requests to the outside time out. It is not a DNS problem, I can ping the remote host, but http and ftp access times out. If I use curl (to see if I get anything back), I get a packet or two, but then stall. The Windows machines have no problem browsing the web.

Eventually, I give up and reinstall firmware version 1.42 (.44.2z he later said) to the router and resign myself to resetting the router a couple of times a day when it drops the connnection.

Has anybody else encountered http timeouts on the Mac with newer versions of the Linksys firmware? Have you found a solution to the problem? I would really like to keep this upgrade if it fixes the dropped connection problems.
-Brett J.
(I asked what Linksys BEFSR41 version he had, still don't know if the MTU/settings tip was tried)
It is apparently a version 1 BEFSR41 (by lack of any identifying version number). And I made a minor error in my post: I downgrade to firmware version 1.44.2z (not 1.42) to get things working. "

As I mentioned previously, I don't use a Linksys router/base personally but if anyone that does has a tip for him, let me know. (One past tip for previous firmware problems from a v2 BEFSR41 owner was to change the MTU setting to 1492. See June 16th news page item)

Several other Linksys owners have written today to report similar problems with firmware updates:

"The issue with the Linksys BEFSR41described by Brett J. is exactly the same problem I have. I too have had to revert back to 1.42 to get the network up and running again.
-- Jared M.
Deep Fried Software"

" Have the same trouble with my BEFSR41 version 2 firewall/router combo going "deaf" -- using version 1.45.7 (Jul 31, 2003) of the Linksys firmware. HTTP and FTP connections will cease until I unplug the router, wait 20 seconds, and repower the router.

This event WAS occuring once every other day, on an average. Don't have any PC boxes on the network, only two OSX 10.3 machines, and one OS 9.2 Mac. Have an AppleTalk enabled Apple LaserWriter 630 on the network, also. I also have a Gen-II Airport unit (two ethernet ports, 802.11b) connected, with its DHCP LAN server turned off, and its IP address manually assigned. I recently (four days ago) turned the AirPort unit OFF, thinking that it was somehow negatively interacting with the Linksys box, and causing it to become "deaf" -- since disconnecting the AirPort, the Linksys seems to remain online and available -- hmmmm.

Linksys is set to seek DHCP assigned WAN IP address from Comcast, while the LAN DHCP server has been disabled, and all internal LAN IP addresses are manually assigned to each LAN device (LaserWriter uses AppleTalk, not IP)

Up until one month ago, I WAS having this problem two or three times PER DAY. My complaints to Comcast resulted in them replacing my old Docsis cable modem box with a brand new RCA cable modem unit. Apparently, the old cable modem box had developed an intermittant ethernet (to the Linksys) port. Old cable modem box was nearly four years old, and had worked flawlessly until this past spring -- makes me wonder if some sort of lightning power surge had come in through the Comcast cable modem feed and somehow zapped the cable modem ethernet port (and possibly the Linksys box's ethernet port?)

Meantime, I have downloaded the latest 1.46 firmware into the BEFSR41. I have also reset the MTU to the recommended 1492, and DISABLED the "Block WAN Request" to see if the dropped connection/deafness issue is resolved. (this was a tip noted in the June 16th news page by another Linksys owner) I am also continuing to keep the AirPort offline for the next few days, to see is the Linksys connection remains stable and available. If I can go one week without interruption, then I will add the AirPort unit back into the mix, to see if the Linksys connection remains stable.
Will keep you and your readers appraised.
Regards, Rod "

" I was having similar connecting problems after the last firmware upgrade, mostly timing out when signing on to AOL webmail.

I reinstalled the firmware update via MacTFTP and that corrected the problem. Originally I thought Safari had installed installed it fully since the default page showed the current firmware number.
Good luck!
Frank M. "

" Regarding the Linksys firmware "debacle" I'd like to add that since I updated to the latest firmware I wasn't able to send e-mails any more. Reverting to the 2002 firmware fixed the outgoing email bug but I guess the DHCP one will be creeping up again.
Outgoing emails were stuck at 100% sent, but were never released for delivery ( I use Mail).
Well I guess it's back to the drawing board for Linksys and unfortunately for me it seems a "forced" upgrade to a new router if it isn't fixed.
On the plus side, it will push me to go wireless, a move I wanted to do for a while now. Great site BTW, always a lot of usefull info.
David J.
Methane Design inc. "

" Mike, I also tried updating the firmware on a 1st gen BEFSR41 from 1.42 to 1.46 and found only some web sites to function such as CNN, Google News, and Yahoo (large graphics seemed to stall). Most smaller sites did not load at all. After several power downs and restarts with no improvements, I reverted back to 1.42 - all was back to the prior working status w/ having to reset the router for dropped connections...usually once or twice a day. Dual 2Ghz G5 OS X.34
Thanks for your efforts to maintain communication and support issues with-in the Mac community.
Tim F.
(I asked if he tried the MTU/WAN settings tip)
No, I thought the MTU 1492 fix applied to higher versions of the firmware. Will try it on version 1.42 tonight and let you know if it helps. "
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Commentary on Increasing Apple market share
Erik of IT-Enquirer wrote he's posted a reply to Mr. Salkever's 6 Step Plan for Apple to increase market share.
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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 (entries from Thursday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,453. Here's a summary of the report(s) added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple OEM G3/300 in Beige G3 (rated 1)

    (My reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades w/apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked on 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. (Reader entries from Thursday-Friday 9AM ET, entries today are added the next newsday morning. Entries with no comments, missing info etc. are not posted). 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 13,277 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 Sony CRX215E1 (48x24x48x) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (no itunes burn support, using Toast for burning)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Samsung SM-348B (48x24x48x +16x DVD-ROM) in Dual G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn II for Panther 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 Macs)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) NEC ND-2500A used w/iMac slot-loading (OS X 10.3)
    (Notes he flashed the drive with the 2510 Dual Layer burner firmware. Using Patchburn II for Panther iApps burn support.)

    Multi-Format Card Reader:
  • Firewire Belkin Media Reader used w/G4 AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (listed under "other" brands)

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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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update this morning included a review of TRON 2.0. (Someone entered AA comments, but didn't complete the CPU, graphics card used, etc. info, so it could not be posted.) (Looking for more reviews from owners of new Mac games.) Total Reviews (all titles): 1166. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long listing, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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