News Archive for: 11/29/2004 Monday's News (later posted items first)
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More AL Cinema Display owner comments/complaints
Here's the latest Apple 23in Cinema display owner comment/complaint:

" I too have the same problems with 23" display.
Im just going to copy and paste a post added to the Apple Discussion forum today ( it will probably be deleted soon ) Also, i am tired and a bit stressed out right now so i don't want rewrite another long email :) (some typos corrected)

My battle with Apple continues ....
I purchased a G5 2.5 and new 23" display back in September. From the first day of using the 23" display i noticed that the colour was not consistent across the display. It also got worse over time, the edges look dirty and yellowish. Basically all the same problems that everyone else has been describing.

I had Apple Care, so i though the problem would be resolved quickly. Firstly they kindly sent me a loan display to use while the 23" display was taken away for repair. The loan display was an early cinema display, which is fine but they forgot to send the power pack ! After days of sending the wrong cables and numerous phone calls i got the loan display working. So my 23" alu display went on a trip to Holand for repair.

It came back a few days later, they said it had no faults and passed all the tests. Ummm, i was not happy as you can imagine. Anyone i showed the display to could see the problem. Ok. so i asked Apple to replace it, which they did.

2nd Display, the same problems. PINK and dirty yellow edges. Hardly a display worthy of it's price tag. so i rang Apple again, explained i was not happy. They sent an Apple engineer round to look at the display and take it away for repair. ( the 2nd display ).

Days past, weeks past .... Then i get a call from Apple, they tell me problem solved. The display has been fixed and passed all the tests. Someone will be round the next day to drop off the fixed display and take away the 1st one and loan display. This guy turns up and within seconds says he can see the fault and says the display does not look good. So he signs a form to say so and takes the display away.

This guy turns up ( a really nice guy actually, does not work direct for Apple but for a Apple centre in Barcelona ). He has no display with him !! I ask what is going on. He says that the display could not be fixed because no problem could be found, it passes all the tests.

At this pointy i am fairly stressed out and angry. I was told the display has been fixed and nothing has been done. So i call Apple ( this guy is waiting in the house ), they tell me that there is no problem with the display i have and it is PERFECT, no problems at all. There is nothing more they can do, they suggested if i need a really accurate display i should buy a different display !!

I said i could not believe what i am hearing. She told me all the 23" displays are the same, that the colours are not consistent and that they all pass Apples tests so there is no problem. I was told they pass a different test than the 20" and the 23". (I assume he means 30in.-Mike)

I then asked could i have a full refund or the possibility of upgrading to the 30". I was told that she did not think a full refund is possible because i have a replacement display and not the original !! I explain that you had forgotten to return my original display. So it looks like i am stuck with this display. It is not a bad display but it is not perfect and for the price i paid i expect better. Much better.
Oh. I was sent an iSight for free. Maybe apple feels that is fair compensation for a less than perfect 2K display. I was sent this more because of all the mistakes and errors made whilst dealing with this case rather than for a less than perfect display.

I am angry, upset and feel conned. I also know i am not alone. Apple said to me " ALL THE 23" DISPLAYS ARE THE SAME, THAT IS JUST THEY WAY THEY ARE. IF YOU WANT A BETTER DISPLAY BUY A DIFFERENT ONE"
I would also like to add a few quotes from the Apple website.

    " What's more, Apple uses the best technology in the industry to minimize color shift at wide angles, which ensures that a color on a pixel in the center of your display looks the same as that color on a pixel in the corner. "

    "...These issues fade away with an all digital signal. DVI transmits a distortion-free digital signal from a digital location in the graphics card to a digital location on the display's screen. This digital connection gives you the full clarity and stability of liquid crystal technology - with sharp, clear pixels from edge to edge. "

    "... This gives you the peace of mind that an Apple display will integrate perfectly into your color workflow, ensuring accurate color from capture to screen to print. "

Well, that's really just the 'cut to the chase' version of the story. I am so angry at the moment. It looks like i will be stuck with a faulty display, its never nice to see hard earned money wasted.
Anyway, i would like to know your reaction on this. My real worry is that Apple will quietly fix the problem and all of us who have a faulty display will be forgotten. What should i do, fight for a refund ? just keep quiet and wait till Apple fixes the problem then fight them for another replacement display ?
Cheers, Stuart "

I looked at Cinema display samples in a Richmond Apple store and a Richmond CompUSA store (20, 23in and 30in models) on Sunday while some friends were Xmas shopping and to be honest, they looked good to my eyes. (But then they were store demo models and I'm not a graphics professional. But I'm not blind to display details either.) From what I saw - those store displays did not appear (to me) to have the problems some owners have mentioned.
A reader replied to this post saying he's seem some store demo displays with the problem:

" I noticed your e-mails about discoloration on the 23" Cinema Displays. I just happened to be at the Apple Store in Burlingame, CA today and noticed that their store model 23" cinema display hooked up to a G5 system has pink discoloration in the corners. It's very obvious, even in the less-than-perfect lighting conditions where the monitor was placed. I don't think you need to be a rocket scientist to know something is wrong with the display.
...there is no way that Apple can deny there is a problem with some of these displays after seeing it in the store. The corners were so pink there is no way even a consumer would accept that monitor for regular use, let along someone who works with exacting color. -Steven M "

Even though the demos I saw at the Richmond stores looked ok, after all these reports from owners that saw problems with them (and the trials they went through) would make me lerry of buying one. (Although that's a moot point now, I couldn't afford one of these right now regardless.) The 30in model was impressive though (first time I had seen one in person). They had one 20in model in their 'refreshed' section (demo/refurbished items) and I wondered if it had either bad pixels or the color consistency problem.
For previous reports from owners of AL Cinema displays (of all sizes), see the Nov. 22nd news page, Nov. 19th news page, Nov. 18th news page (here and here), Oct. 29th news page, Oct. 27th news page and as well as a reader articles on a Mini-Review of the 30in AL display and another reader's page w/23in AL display samples.

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Apple Ethernet Driver 1.1.10 (Xserve/Apple PCI card)
VT lists the Apple Ethernet Driver 1.1.10 for Xserve & Macs with Apple PCI ethernet card
" This update provides improved connection stability. This updater is recommended for all Xserve systems and PowerMac systems with the Apple PCI or PCI-X Ethernet card installed.
Mac OS X 10.3.3 or later"
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More comments on FCP/10.3.6 Blurry Video
Earlier today an Nvidia FX5200 owner mentioned a problem with blurry video in FCP w/10.3.6 (but not in rendered output). I mentioned I had not seen the problem in simple tests w/10.3.6 and a Nvidia 6800 card, but here's some additional comments on the problem from those that have:

" Mike, I imagine what John is talking about when he says "blurry video" is the low-res display of DV video tracks w/ FCP 4.5 (HD) and 10.3.6. QT by default handles DV by displaying it in low-quality mode instead of high-quality. This was done because on G3s and lesser processors, DV video at high quality would often skip frames (at least when FCP 1 was introduced).

It does appear that since the 10.3.6 update, that when you preview DV source clips in FCP, they look a lot "blurrier" than previously. I have a nVidia GeForce4Ti btw. As john mentioned, this is not a real indication of how the (final/rendered) video looks, and indeed one should never rely on their computer display for accurate video representation, but it is odd.
Before 10.3.6, DV video had a slightly lower-res quality about it when previewing in FCP (this was normal), but not this much. It is almost distracting at this point. But, when I apply a DV track to my timeline and edit, the display of it from there is fine and as it was previously. As I said, this is a very odd issue.
-CS "

John replied to my request for more details on the problem:

" Open a clip in FCP so it's in the viewer (double-click a clip from the browser area). Drag the playhead so it's resting over something visual in the clip. Look at the difference between how it looks when the playhead is stationary and when you click PLAY. Most people are discovering the image goes blurry during playback and looks crisp when paused. I only looked this up in the Apple FCP discussion area when I thought I was losing my mind seeing blurry playback. Here's the thread.
-John "
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More reports on PB G4 black spots/pitting
I've updated the earlier post on PB G4 black spots/pitting with 2 more reader reports on the problem.
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More Reports on Bluetooth Module 1.2 Firmware Update/Lost Bluetooth Tips
I've updated the previous page here with Bluetooth firmware update reports and tips with mails from readers in the last week. Several noted the tip for disappearing bluetooth (zapping the pram) helped and one reader said the tip from Oct. 2003 (force flash update using the option key) also worked on a failed 1.2 update. Two iMac G5 owners also wrote regarding USB/Hub problems (a known issue per a thread at apple's forums). Also included are some reports noting no problems.
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Feedback on USB to Ethernet Adapter w/OS 9 and OS X Drivers
Last Wednesday I posted a reader request for a Mac compatible (with OS 9.x and OS X drivers) USB to Ethernet adapter. (I couldn't remember any past posts on this since I didn't add them to the FAQ's networking section as I usually do for other adapters like wireless ones). A reader replied there was a past post here from fall 2003 on one:

" Hi Mike!
A while back you mentioned the Farallon PN796 USB-to-Ethernet adapter on your site and gave links to drivers for 9.x, 10.1.x and 10.2.x. (I finally found that post - from the Sept. 9th, 2003 news page, but the links to the drivers page no longer works.-Mike) I've used the adapter successfully with an iBook running 9.2.2 and 10.2.6, but haven't tried it with Panther. Unlike the Jaton and D-Link adapters your other correspondent Philip mentioned, the PN796 seems to pop up frequently on eBay.

The links you provided no longer work, but I still have copies of the drivers. I don't have the bandwidth to make them available for download but would be happy to provide the drivers to anyone who can do so -- and I'd certainly be willing to email them to you or to Philip. Let me know.
Thanks, - David "

I asked David to stuff the drivers up to a .sit file for mirroring here. (Update - I've now added the above info and a download link for the drivers (OS 9.x, 10.1.x and 10.2.x) to the FAQ's Networking and USB sections.)
If anyone tries this adapter with OS X 10.3.x (Panther), let me know.

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More comments on freeing up OS X Disk space/De-Localizing OS X
(in reply to a post in Friday's news to an article that mentioned Mike Bombich's Delocalizer, as well as other tips on saving disk space in OS X.)

" Mike
To remove localized files in Panther one can use Macaroni, an $8.99 piece of shareware which also automates maintenance tasks. It can be found at
-Ken "

A reader from Denmark also wrote in reply to that articlce that he's posted a page with his list of Indispensable Mac OS X software.

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Nvidia FX5200 user comments on FinalCut Pro/10.3.6
(from a reader mail this weekend. I don't see this problem in simple tests w/FCP HD and 10.3.6 w/6800 card - see the later reports on this above)

" This is regarding "Nvidia 6800 owner report on Maya 6.0.1 Problems." (from Friday's news page)
The problem is likely the fact that Brian upgraded to 10.3.6. Many people are experiencing problems with various nVidia cards after applying the 10.3.6 upgrade. In Final Cut Pro you wind up with blurry video playback. It only affects display, not the actual image you get in the end. But, Apple has been mute on this problem so far. Most users agree that this wasn't a problem in 10.3.5.
G5 DP 1.8 / 1gb RAM / nVidia 5200 "

I asked for more details on the blurry video comment. (I'm a total newbie with FCP, but I imported some small DV movie files into FCP HD in 10.3.6 here on a G5 w/6800 card and don't see the blurry video problem.)
Not sure the Maya problems he mentioned were due to 10.3.6 or not, but 10.3.6's updated nvidia drivers fixed some 3D game problems with the FX5200 (like the terrible performance in homeworld2 w/10.3.5).

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Reader report on black spots/pits on PB G4 (updated w/more reports)
(from a reader mail this weekend - updated with more reports.)

" I've recently noticed a rash of small dark spots to the left of the trackpad on my June 2004 Aluminum 15" PB - right where my palm rests when I type. These spots don't come off with soap and water, or isoprophyl (rubbing alcohol). A little searching on Apple's Discussions turned this up:
(link doesn't work as of this morning)
Discussions > Powerbook > 15" Aluminum > Usage > "If you have the black pits on your palm rest"
Have any of your readers experienced this? Any luck with Apple? Maybe a cleaning solution that works? Change of diet?
-Paul H. "

If it's actually pitted (and not just surface discoloration), then cleaning won't remove pits in the material. There were more than a few reports from PB G4 Titanium owners on paint problems (wearing off, flaking, etc. - which I saw myself o a PB G4/800 Ti model.) I've not seen this problem here (yet at least) on a 2003 PB G4 17in, but some other readers replied to this post saying they have:

" Hi Mike, I have the same issue on my 2003 15" 1.25GHz Al. PB G4. There are about 20 tiny pits that look like pinholes (or even pores) on the palmrest, located about midway between the trackpad and the left of the PB's edge. However, there are no pits on the other side, so i'm not convinced it's because of my hands. I haven't tried cleaning it because it's hardly noticeable and i haven't worried about it, but yes, i know what Paul H. is talking about.
-Matt "

Flaking, paint wear, etc. isn't that uncommon on PB G4s since they were first introduced (especially with the Titanium models - and much more common were complaints of the painted trim ring flaking off, etc. - see my comments on my PB G4/800 paint and trim ring from 2002.) Knock on wood I've not see any problems yet with this AL Powerbook.

" I am experiencing the same thing, and close examination makes it look like they are pitted. Perhaps a combination of natural hand chemicals and the heat generated? Any chance of a warranty repair?
Joseph "

I don't know - I suspect apple will consider it "wear and tear".
If any reader that has had this problem got it repaired under warranty, let me know. Thanks.

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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 and 1 update this morning (entries from Friday-Sunday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,670. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Sonnet G4 Dual 1.27GHz in (digital audio) Dual G4 (rated 9)
    (includes before/after performance tests)
  • Sonnet G4 800MHz in Beige G3 (rated 9)
  • Updated previous Sonnet G4/500 in Beige G3 report (of Nov. 19th)

    (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 10 new reports added this morning. (Entries from Friday-Sunday, 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 13,904 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:
  • Firewire Lacie 52x32x52x (actually Liteon Liteon LTR-52327S) used w/iMac slot-loading (OS 9.2) (The FAQ's CDROM/CDR section has an OS 9.x burn support file for the LTR-52327S drive.)
  • IDE Sony CDX-140e in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (didn't note drive speed rating, if bootable from CD or if any itunes 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)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Mad Dog Dominator 4-in-1 (52x24x52x + 16x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (listed under "other" brands. Using patchburn 3 for iApps burn support)
  • IDE Philips CDD5101 (OEM apple rom model from MDD mac) in G4/AGP (OS 9.1)
    (didn't comment on itunes burn support, but if not try copying the OS 9.2.x authoring support folder files from the MDD mac)

    DVD-R Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) LG LG GSA-4120B used w/Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support.)
  • IDE Matshita UJ-815 in Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3)

    Hard Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) Hitachi 128GB (?) used w/Dual G4 (OS X)
    (some problems noted)
  • IDE (serialATA onboard) Maxtor Diamondmax 10 200GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.3)
  • IDE Maxtor Diamond Max Plus 160GB in B&W G3 using IDE PCI Card (OS X 10.3) (PCI card required for big drive support in older Macs. He noted some problems with the sonnet tempo card in his config.
    Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here in B&W G3 rev2 and G4 towers up to the QuickSilver models.
    IDE articles page RAID section has an illustrated guide for adding 2 more drives in the side bays.)
  • IDE Western Digital (8MB cache) 80GB in Beige G3 (OS 9.1)
    (used Beige G3 MT illustrated HD upgrade guide here)
    (Reader FYI - review of this drive on the IDE and Firewire topics pages.
    PowerBook G4 Ti 15in. LCD illustrated Hard Drive install guide here
    PB G4 15in (Aluminum) Disassembly guide.
    Powerbook G4 12in LCD illustrated Hard Drive 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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