News Archive for: Monday June 2, 2008 (later added items first)
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.Mac Mail problems (again...)
.Mac mail problems most of the day today but at around 11PM Eastern it's working again. Lots of posts in Apple's .mac discussions forum from angry customers over this (again). I hope the rumors of a .mac makeover has better support and reliability.
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Reports on iSub working again after 10.5.3 update (Not Intel-CPU Macs)
From a reader mail this weekend. (Updated w/notes (not working) on Intel-based Macs)

"iSub now works again with 10.5.3!
Hi Mike, This is just a followup to an earlier message. The iSub usb now works in 10.5.3. It shows in the system profiler as Harmon Kardon iSub, and works great on my iMac G4 1GHz. There are many of us who kept our iSubs hoping for a fix. I hope this information gets around so they do not get tossed!

BTW: Another iMac G4 owner later said to make sure the iSub was connected/powered -before- booting the system (rather than hot-plugging it). However like anything related to OS X updates, YMMV.
If any Intel-CPU Mac owner is using OS X 10.5.3 with an iSub, let me know if 10.5.3 helped - so far nobody with an Intel-CPU Mac has an iSub working w/10.5.3. (I also added a note to the previous page here on iSub Problems with Intel-based Macs (and workaround) in OS X Tiger.)
(Update: After several owners of Intel-CPU Macs (including me) had no luck with the iSub I asked Don to verify his friend's Mac Pro report of it working - he later replied it wasn't really producing sound. (No KP as before, but no sound output either))
An iMac 1.8GHz (Intel) owner wrote his iSub (still) isn't working with 10.5.3. Tonight I dug out an old iSub (original model from 2000) that came with a used iMac G4 I bought several years ago (never used it before) - I tried it with the (2007) AL iMac here running 10.5.3 - didn't work (no sound output) using a direct connect or via a powered USB Hub - shows up in Apple System profiler under USB, but no sound output from the iSub (tested w/iTunes playback, etc.)
I then tried the old iSub with my (PPC) G5 tower running 10.5.3 with a direct connect to one of the rear USB ports. Booted up, ran iTunes and the iSub did produce sound but it wasn't good (intermittent, noisy/distorted, etc. - this one may have a hardware problem, almost sounded like a bad speaker connection). Nothing shown for it in the System Prefs>Sound controls either.

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Price Cuts on On-The-Go FW800/400+USB2 Portable Drives w/software bundle
(from site sponsor OWC)

"OWC Mercury On-The-Go FW800/400+USB2 Portable solutions offer extremely convenient, interface flexible, and high-performance data storage in the palm of your hand. Great for Audio/Video, Backup, and fully bootable too - it's no wonder Mercury On-The-Go solutions continue to be recognized with top reviews that include 'Gear of the Year', Editor's Choice, and EMC Backup Certification. All models are bootable via FireWire and/or USB2 interfaces (system must support such boot option), bus power with no external power required, utilize Oxford custom bridge solutions (FireWire) and the best qualified HD mechanisms for optimum performance and reliability. Shock Absorbing design further protects drive and valuable data from external forces. All connecting cables, Carrying Case, Intech HD Speedtools utility suite, retail Prosoft DataBackup III for OS X (a $59.95 value), retail NovaStor NovaBACKUP® for Windows (a $49.95 value) and a 1 Year OWC Warranty included.

OWC Mercury 2.5" SATA HD Based FireWire 800(400)+USB2.0 Portable Solution pricing is as follows:

  • 60GB 5400RPM w/8MB Cache now $117.99
  • 80GB 5400RPM w/8MB Cache now $122.99
  • 120GB 5400RPM w/8MB Cache now $129.99
  • 160GB 5400RPM w/8MB Cache now $139.99 (*$129.99 after $10 Hitachi Rebate*)
  • 250GB 5400RPM w/8MB Cache remains $169.99 (*$149.99 after $10 Hitachi Rebate*)
  • 320GB 5400RPM w/8MB Cache now $199.99
  • 500GB 5400RPM w/8MB Cache now $347.99

    7200rpm Models
  • 100GB 7200RPM w/16MB Cache Remains $157.99 (*$137.99 after $20 Hitachi Rebate*)
  • 120GB 7200RPM w/16MB Cache Remains $174.99 (*$154.99 After $20 Hitachi Rebate*)
  • 160GB 7200RPM w/16MB Cache Remains $189.99
  • 200GB 7200RPM w/16MB Cache now $199.99 (*$179.99 After $20 Hitachi Rebate*)

    Special Rebate Qualified 320GB 5400RPM using Hitachi Mechanism:
    320GB 5400RPM w/8MB Cache is available for $215.99 (*$185.99 After $30 Hitachi Rebate*)
    See all rebate qualified solutions + rebate info in extended descriptions here.

    And - New 500GB Model that uses Samsung 2.5in SpinPoint M6 (9.5MM high) Drive inside available for $349.99

    OWC On-the-Go 2.5" Case Kits 'add your own drive' from $29.95.
    Best Regards,
    Lawrence O'Connor
    Other World Computing"

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    More on Adaptec SCSI cards and OS X 10.5.3 (read-only HD issue fixed)
    Just a follow-up to Friday's post from an Adaptec 2930 card owner that said 10.5.3 fixed the connected SCSI hard drive read-only issue. I've had replies from several readers using 39160 and 29160 PCI cards as well as a SlimSCSI 1480 PCMCIA card user - all confirming the read-only SCSI hard drive issue with previous Leopard versions was fixed with those controllers also.
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    OS X 10.5.3 Graphics Driver bugs/notes
    (From recent Apple open-gl developer mail list posts)

    • Corrupt textures (shadows) on X1600 with 10.5.3 ("we only see this on non-mipped, driver-compressed RGBA images") - ATI is aware of the issue and noted working on a fix
    • One developer wrote "the hard lockup our NVIDIA 1.5.24 users were getting is now lessened to a pause/freeze and other erratic blocking behavior for what one of our users is calling "10 seconds" and then resumes. The system.log clearly shows low level graphics exceptions being emitted (NVChannel(GL): Graphics channel timeout and repeating "Graphics channel exception... Fifo: Unknown Method Error" messages)

    I also had a reader last week (the day 10.5.3 was released) say he could not run Diablo II after the 10.5.3 update. I wrote to ask he was running the last update for it and if he tried trashing any prefs/cfg file for the game but never got a reply (to date).
    If anyone else has seen any Graphics/GL/Game issues with OS X 10.5.3, let me know the details (graphics card/chip used, mac model and app/game info/version, etc). Thanks.
    (Update: I've posted a page with the initial replies here.)

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    Mac CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
    The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has another report added this morning. Total to date: 10,349. Here's a summary of the latest addition (search database by upgrade brand, mac model, etc. for a complete list/comments of all user reports on matching criteria - latest reports first).

    • Newer Tech G4 2GHz (7448) in (Digital Audio) G4/AGP tower (rated 9)

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

    If you've upgraded the CPU on your Mac, send a review with your experience (performance/stability/installation, etc.), Mac Model/Upgrade brand info and overall rating (1= worst to 10=best). If you can, please run some tests with the original CPU vs the upgrade (for example time some tests with your favorite app, game, etc. - see full reviews here for example tests with common apps/games/benchmarks.)

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    Other News/Articles, Apple Support Docs, Mac Software Updates

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    Recent Articles and Reviews
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