News Archive for: 11/17/2004 Wednesday's News (later posted items first)
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Apple G5 (June 2004) firmware update 5.1.8f7
Matthew Culmore called to say there was a G5 firmware update released so I ran software update on a (2003) Dual G5 but nothing showed up. I then checked apple's support/download page and saw nothing. However versiontracker tonight lists an Apple G5 (june 2004) Firmware Update 5.1.8f7. (When I first posted this I wondered if it was another uniprocessor only update, but a dual 2.5GHz owner replied to this posting saying the update appeared in software update and applied ok.) No info at VT's page on what the changes are but if any readers know what is supposed to be changed/fixed, let me know. Thanks.
(Update - Ross sent a link to an Apple page at that says its for improved system stability.)

BTW: It's not always up to date (for new releases) but Apple has a page with firmware update info/links for many mac models and includes firmware updates to OEM SCSI cards also. See Mac OS X: Chart of Available Firmware Updates. (Some links may not currently work, for instance the G5 Uniprocessor Firmware Update 5.1.5f1 link there doesn't as I'm typing this.)

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Apple Xserve RAID Admin Tools v1.3.2
VT also lists Apple Xserve RAID Admin Tools v1.3.2. See the page for a list of changes.
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Keyspan comments on Express Remote differences/Airport Express support
(In reply to an earlier post/reader question)

" Hi, Just saw the request for info regarding the AirPort Express and the Digital Media Remote. (an earlier reader report today said it didn't work.-Mike)

The Keyspan Express Remote is the only remote that will work with the AirPort Express. Internally, the Express Remote has hardware and firmware changes that specifically support the AirPort Express.
Also, These changes cannot be added to the Digital Media Remote.
Hope this helps!
Jose Arellano Keyspan"

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Firmware for Apple ROM Pioneer DVR-103 to -107 drives
Although many readers may have already flashed their DVR-103 to 108 drive with the latest firmware (or tweaked/region-free firmware) already (from links in the past news pages and FAQ's DVD section) a reader sent a note about an forum posting on firmware update download packages for apple rom/apple shipped pioneer DVR-103 to DVR-107 models.

"I've put together FlashIt Kit packages for all of Apple's Pioneer OEM Superdrives (except the DVR-117)! These packages have been fully tested and will upgrade or downgrade either Apple branded Superdrives or Pioneer drives to Apple OEM drives. Both the original firmware and RPC1 (Region Free) versions of the firmware are in each package. "

Apple's oem firmware typically lags the standard OEM/retail versions so I don't think I'd want to flash my (non-apple rom) OEM drives with Apple's version.

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Comparison of OS X Dock Alternatives
Ars wrote they've posted a Comparison of OS X Dock Alternatives including Dock-It, DragStrip, DragThing, Drop Drawers, LaunchBar and QuickSilver.
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OWC announces new G4 Upgrades (PNP w/adjustable speed option)
(from site sponsor OWC)

" OWC is pleased to announce new OWC Mercury Extreme G4 Processor upgrades. These three new models feature a redesigned heatsink/fan and Smart-Bus technology that automatically configures itself for any PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics/Sawtooth, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, or Quicksilver model. As shipped, these Mercury Extremes are ready for plug and play -no adjustment needed, although optional speed adjustment toggle switches do allow different speeds to be attempted. As always, units are brand new with a 3 Year OWC Warranty and a 30 Day 100% Money Back Guarantee:
OWC Mercury G4 @ 1.0GHz (933MHZ guaranteed to 1GHz) 2MB L3 Cache $229.00
OWC Mercury G4 @ 1.2GHz (1.0GHz guaranteed to 1.2GHz) 2MB L3 Cache $299.00
OWC Mercury G4 @ 1.4GHz (1.3GHz Guaranteed to 1.4GHz) 2MB L3 Cache $389.00
Original Mercury G4 @ 1.467-1.5GHz (1.4Ghz Guaranteed to 1.5GHz) 2MB L3 Cache Mode remains available for $479.99.
Free Delivery is available on all four models or $5 for 2nd Day Air.

Because a good Video card can be every bit as important as a Fast Processor, from now and until 12/31/2004 - When you order any OWC Mercury Extreme G4 and an ATI Radeon 9000, 9600, or 9800 G4 AGP Video Card from OWC, use coupon code 'RADG4' at checkout online or with your sales rep to get an instant $20 off that order! Qualifying Video Cards found here
And if you already have a quick G4 or even G5 PowerMac - don't miss out on our killer ATI/Apple Radeon 9600 Deal that is from just $99!
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing"

The new models also have a different/larger heatsink design.

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XPostFacto 3.0b10 Update (Util to install OS X on Legacy Macs)
Stephen sent a note that Ryan Rempel posted another update to XPostfacto 3 (3.0.b10). Here's the changes listed there:

    " What's new in 3.0b10
    Here is a quick summary of what's new in version 3.0b10. I had been hoping that 3.0b9 would be the last beta version before releasing 3.0, but there turned out to be a couple of problems that seemed possible to fix within a reasonable time.
  • Make sure the XPostFacto updates all the kernel extension caches when installing extensions. Also, check for several problems which can affect the caches.
  • When synchronization fails, set the computer to reboot in Mac OS 9 for safety, and do not proceed with the restart.
  • Hopefully fix an error which caused XPF to sometimes stall when an network drive was mounted. "

See the linked page for a list of known issues and tips. (Another thanks to Ryan for his continuing work on Xpostfacto.)

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Airport Express tests w/Keyspan Digital Media Remote (not the Express model)
Yesterday's news had a reader request to see if the Keyspan digital media remote would work with an updated Airport Express. (the recent Airport 4.1/firmware update noted support for the Keyspan Express Remote). A reader replied the older model remote didn't work.

" Just tried my Keyspan Digital Remote with my updated Airport Express - no go. When the receiver is hooked into a hub on my G5, a red LED lights up, but nothing happens when I plug it into the Airport Express. So maybe there's hardware changes in the receiver.
-Jack "

Keyspan later wrote with info on the Express remote - see the later news item above.

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Ampede Introduces ProPack for Final Cut Pro and Motion
Ampede sent a press release on their ProPack ($169) plugin bundle for Final Cut Pro HD and Motion that gives users the ability to work with Illustrator files in both applications.
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CHUD Tools 4.01 released
Joel sent word that CHUD Tools 4.0.1 is available now at Apple's developer FTP site (also listed at MU with a list of changes from the readme).

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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 Tuesday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,659. Here's a summary of the report added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Sonnet G4/800 in (yikes) G4 no AGP (rated 1)

    (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 7 new reports added this morning. (Entries from Tuesday, 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 13,874 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)

    Tape Drives:
  • Firewire Ecrix VXA-1 (33/66GB) used w/Dual G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (includes notes on firmware updates and retrospect)

    CDRW Drives:
  • USB ASUS CRW5232AS-U used w/iBook (OS X 10.3)
    (listed under 'other' brand, using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support. Problems noted)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE NEC ND-3500A in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support. Problems noted)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-108 in Dual G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support. )

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Hitachi Travelstar 40GB in iBook 2001 (OS X 10.3)
    (see FAQ's ibook sectio for links to drive upgrade guides)
  • IDE Maxtor 160GB in iMac G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (iMac G4 take-apart article here)
  • IDE to serialATA adapted Maxtor 160GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.3)
    (problems noted w/sleep using sonnet adapter - early reports on adapters like this from g5 owners mentioned similar problems but the most recent report on an abit adapter didn't mention any problems)

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 another review of Battlefield 1942. (noted problems w/online play/CD key.) Total Reviews (all titles): 1188. (Looking for more reviews of new mac games.) 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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