News Archive for: 11/30/2004 Tuesday's News
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Patchburn 3 beta update
There's an updated beta of patchburn3 available now. (utility to install burn support profile for iApps burn support for unsupported drives in 10.3.x) , but if you've already applied a previous version OK, you don't need it really. Here's a clip from the patchburn home page:

" 29.11.2004: I just compiled a new beta version. No major changes are made. If you already installed PatchBurn 3, there is no need to download and install the new beta. Changes I made should make it easier for me to track down problems during installation process under certain circumstances."

The updated beta (and patchburn 1.1 fo 10.2.x use) is available at and there's also a FAQ page. (Thousands of readers are using patchburn as noted in many drive compat. database reports.)

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More comments/tips on Maya 6.0.1 problems w/Nvidia 6800 card
The 6800 owner that sent the previous comments on Maya 6.0.1 problems in Friday's news with an Nvidia 6800 card sent a follow-up:

" Hey Mike,
I wrote you back on 11/26/04 with some problems I am experiencing with 6800 card. I just wanted to report that I've solved two of them.

- The flickering white/green flashes are being caused by Maya's Heads Up Display. When I turn that on to display poly counts, I'll notice that the flickering begins. Shut that off, and the incidents reduce to nearly zero. It must be some kind of overlay problem.

- As for the texture maps turning white on the geometry they're mapped to, there seems to be an upper resolution limit to the max size of the texture map. This affects any Mac user regardless of which card they're using. Right now, I've found texture map sizes exceeding 1536x1536 cause the problem. PC users don't seem to suffer from this limitation. I am curious to see if users with video cards with less than 256mb of VRAM have an even smaller upper limit.

- As for the hardware render buffer...well I still can't use multipass rendering, motion blur, or anti aliasing. I really hope this can be fixed. ATI's cards don't seem to have a problem with it. If a user absolutely needs to have 100% compatibility with the hardware render buffer, I'd suggest purchasing an ATI card.
Brian P. "

I've added the above to his previous report on the Mac Nvidia 6800 card owner feedback/tips page. I welcome other Mac 6800 owner comments or tips. (Please include your system/OS version and details on apps/games, etc. you used in reports. Thanks.)

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FirmTek shipping Dual-Bay Hot-Swappable Serial ATA External Enclosure
Firmtek sent an email copy of the press release that their SeriTek/1EN2 Dual-Bay external SATA drive enclosure is available now, with an MSRP of USD$169.95, or USD$259.95 bundled with FirmTek's SeriTek/1SE2 PCI adapter.
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Duke Nukem 3D for OS X
MU today lists Duke Nukem 3D 1.0 for OS X (port by Ryan Gordon).

" Duke Nukem 3D includes an installer that will install the game from either the PC "Atomic Edition" disc, or the MacSoft disc from the Mac Classic version of the game. If you don't have a retail disc, the installer can give you the free shareware episode.....

TCP/IP networking and an OSX version of the level editor are included, but are intentionally hidden. Use at your own risk. :)

Do not contact 3DRealms or MacSoft for tech support; they will not help you with this version of the game...but might.
Requirements : Mac OS X 10.2 or later, Duke Nukem (retail purchased) CD."

Now where is my old Duke3D CD...

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New OWC FireWire 250GB pricing, Blue/White G3 systems from $145
(from site sponsor OWC)

"New OWC FireWire 250GB pricing
All OWC Mercury Elite Pro and Neptune 250GB solutions operate at 7200RPM with 8MB data buffer and include all connecting cables, Dantz Retrospect Backup(Mac/PC), Intech HD Speedtools, Pretested & Preformatted with free software installed.
OWC Mercury Elite solutions all feature a 2yr Warranty, Neptune solutions feature a 1yr Warranty.

250GB OWC Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 400+USB2 was $249.99, now $229.99

250GB OWC Mercury Elite 800 Pro FireWire 800/400 was $269.99, now $249.99

250GB OWC Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 800/400+USB2 was $289.99, now $279.99

250GB OWC Neptune FireWire 400 was $209.99, now $199.99

Free UPS Ground or 2nd Day Air delivery for $5 available on all above listed models.

New B&W System deals
Added more Blue&White PowerMac G3/350MHz units to the clearance page. Now have complete 128/6GB/CD/ZIP/ATI Rage configs from as low as $145.00!
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing"

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Source and Driver download for USB to Ethernet Adapter
Yesterday's news had a reader report (in reply to a request) on a USB to Ethernet adapter with OS 9 and OS X (10.1.x and 10.2.x) drivers. I asked David to stuff the drivers up to a .sit file for mirroring here and he later did that. Here's a download link drivers for OS 9.x, 10.1.x and 10.2.x, (not 10.3.x apparently) and the associated install instructions. (I've also added this info to the FAQ's Networking and USB topic areas.)
Also a reader wrote he found another source for the adapters at
If anyone tries this adapter with OS X 10.3.x (Panther), let me know. Thanks.
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Latest feedback on 2004 G5 Firmware Update 5.1.8f7
The latest reader mail on the 2004 G5 firmware update released on Nov. 17th.

" I just wanted to add to the list of people who have had problems with the recent firmware update. Ran the update earlier last week and had no problems with the process at all. My machine is setup to run all the time for remote access with only the screen dimming after a period of time.

The machine was working just fine during the holiday weekend until I arrived home Sunday night. I came home to a jet engine test facility. I could hear the fans going off at full speed from clear across the house. I hurried over to the machine to find out that it was unresponsive. I held the power button and turn off the computer. Waited a couple of minutes and then turn it back on. It just sat there at the grey apple screen stuck in a loop.
After a period of time at this screen the fans would start to speed up slowly until they reached full speed again. (since the OS didn't load there's no fan control so it defaults to a fail-safe mode - i.e. high speed)
I repeated the process about 10 more times, then tried single-user mode. Under single-user mode I found that there was an error with the AppleUSBPort. I forgot to write down the exact error, but even in single user mode I was unable to get past this error and was not able to run any tests that way. I assume this error is the also the reason for the lockup during normal boot. I popped in the Hardware Test Disc and ran the extended tests. No errors found. I gave up after about 2 hours of testing and figured I would sleep on it. Came back in the morning to the same issue. I tried unplugging all devices and still came to the same conclusion.

So my assertion at this point is that one of my usb devices locked up the usb kernel drivers and corrupted them. I will try an Archive and Install this evening to get my machine back up and running. This is the first major issue I have come across with my computer and have not had any serious lockups like this before that a simple reboot would not solve. I have a HP 2410 AIO, Epson R200, and Logitech MX Duo on the usb chain and have used them in this setup for several months without incident. I find it too conveinent for so many other users to display the same symptoms and Apple to say that it's not the firmware.
I hope this is an isolated issue and the re-install resolves this.
Brian D "

For previous reports on this update, see the Nov. 24th and Nov. 18th news pages. (I don't have a 2004 G5 so I can't comment on this, but like any update, although most may be fine, that's little consolation to those that do see problems. Often there's some 3rd party device or software that's involved, but not always.)

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Pioneer DVR-107 1.21 Firmware Update
Late in posting this but a reader said the Pioneer usa site has a (pc version) download of the 1.21 firmware update (PC .exe file) for the DVR-107 model. I've not used this update and he didn't include a link to any change info page. (Unless you use a pc, you can uncompress the .exe file using Stuffit 8 or later and then use the 1.21 firmware file with the Flashit 2.0 download mentioned in past news pages and the FAQ's DVD section.)
Links to the previous 1.20 firmware for the DVR-107D (including a tweaked version) are in the Oct. 14th news page.
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Reports on iBook G4 Hissing Noise, Failures just out of warranty
(from a reader mail, I don't own an iBook G4)

" Have you ever heard reports of an iBook hissing from the right internal speaker? I just got it back from service after they replaced the case top and now it has a nasty hissing noise. I plan to bring it back tomorrow. I'm assuming that they must have pinched a cable or something.
Anyways, if you want to check out the iBook in action I posted a movie at:
(I wrote Jeff that as of 8AM ET this morning, the download link there doesn't work-Mike) -Jeff "

I don't know if this is a common problem or not (suggested he check apple's discussion forums) but a reader recently noted his iBook G4 had a failure shortly after the warranty expired. (clips from his post last night)

" iBook logicboard replacement strikes again
Though not listed on their page exactly (doesn't mention iBook G4 as part of the program), my iBook does fall within the serial number range for the program, and it looks like they are covering every single white iBook once warranty period expires. Since mine was bought in November (2003), they'll likely be adding it to the official list wednesday. At least, I hope so, as it failed last night in the manner described.

While using, for no reason I could tell, the screen froze. On reboot, freezes at grey apple with birth control pills (they stop spinning). Started in FW target mode. Froze after a while. Restarted in FW target mode and was able to get files off, etc. Reinstalled OS that way, with no issue.
Reboot, freezes at Blue Screen (BSOD, apple style). Booting from CD does the same thing at the same place.
Pulled AE card and extra RAM and battery, still same issue. Unable to install OS, and fits in criteria for damage, plus falls within the serial number range. According to the phone person, this program "only covers iBook G3s." I have the same symptoms, I have a qualifying logic board serial number, but right now, apple will not fix it.

I am sure in a few months, they will add my model specifically to the list. Until then, they want me to pay $49 to open a trouble shooting session, pay $50 for a phone support call. Then pay to have it repaired. Eventually, Apple might decide to refund my money like they've done in the past to other iBook owners....

I checked the apple forums, and someone had the exact same problem happen on the same day, nov 28th, with the same symptoms (though he can boot into safe mode, while I can't do anything but target disk or single user). I am in target now, and getting all my files off. then I am going to try acomplete reformat, then an HD swap if that doesn't work.
this is the same sort of machinations the other iBook owners had to go through before Apple admitted there was a problem.
could it be something to do with bad glue? this happened when the computer was a little hot, and laptops get hotter than other machines. over time, that glue could go...

hardware test CD says nothing wrong. but won't boot with FW drive, internal drive, or install CDROMS. Anything that requires loading and using the graphics driver.
Completely wiped internal HD, but still nothing works. Sounds like the video subsystem went bad, which is what the logic board replacement program is all about...
Michael K."

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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 1 new report this morning (entry from Monday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,671. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple G4/500 (OEM) module in (sawtooth) G4/AGP

    (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 3 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 13,907 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 Fantom 12x10x32 (TEAC CD-W512E) used w/iMac slot-loading (OS X 10.3) (noted native burn support in 10.3.6)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) Pioneer DVR-108 used w/B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (noted using Toast 6.0.5 for burns (not sure why he didn't update to 6.0.7.) And remember that Patchburn 3 can be used for 10.3.x iApps burn support with this drive.)

    Removable (media) Drives:
  • IDE Imation Superdisk LS-120 (120MB) in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)

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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