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News Archive for Wednesday Sept. 23, 2009     Goto Current News Page

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Firmtek SeriTek 2SM2-E/2SE2-E Driver update (5.4.1) for Snow Leopard
Firmtek's download page has updated (v5.4.1) drivers for their Expresscard and PCIe SATA cards. (v5.4.0 released Sept. 4th).

Mac OS X 10.6.x "Snow Leopard" Drivers
FirmTek Driver version 5.4.x is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit modes offered by Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard". Version 5.4.1 is also backward compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.6 or higher.
  • FirmTek SeriTek/2SM2-E 5.4.1 Snow Leopard Compatible ExpressCard Driver for MacBook Pro
  • FirmTek SeriTek/2SE2-E 5.4.1 Snow Leopard Compatible PCI-Express Driver for Mac Pro
  • The Sept. 4th news page had a positive report on the 5.4.0 release in SL/64bit (OS X 10.6 (64-bit) feedback on Firmtek v5.4.0 Drivers (Seritek/2SE2-E in Mac Pro)). Their press release today included a reminder these drivers are not compatible with other brands of Sil3132-based cards. (I mentioned on Sept. 4th that my tests with their 5.4.0 expresscard driver KP'd with a $24 Dynex Sil3132 based Expresscard in 10.6, although a reinstall of 1.1.9 drivers (32bit) did work.)
    BTW - as mentioned here many times over the years (on pages about eSATA cards, etc.) Firmtek's support page has notes about 3rd party enclosure compatibility as well as troubleshooting tips.

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    Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3 Update
    Bombich Software has released Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3. Here's info from the CCC 3.3 release notes:

      Version 3.3:
      Snow Leopard-specific improvements
    • Added support for HFS+ filesystem compression that was introduced in Snow Leopard.
    • To correspond with how the Finder and Disk Utility report these values on Snow Leopard, CCC will now use base 10 for reporting MB and GB on Snow Leopard. CCC will continue to use base 2 to report these values when booted from Leopard or Tiger.
    • CCC now manually updates the dynamic link library cache after cloning an OS because the OS no longer does this automatically.

      Improvements for everyone:
    • Improved the performance of backing up a large number of files with extended attributes.
    • It is no longer a requirement that CCC be installed on media that supports the setuid bit.
    • Added a bootability notification that will notify users when a target volume's underlying disk is partitioned with the MBR partitioning scheme (rather than the Apple-recommended GUID partition scheme).
    • CCC properly excludes filesystem index databases (e.g. Spotlight and FSEvents) that will be rebuilt on the target volume anyway. Additionally, the .metadata_never_index cookie is now preserved on the target volume if you had manually set it there to prevent Spotlight indexing of your backup volume.
    • Increased the increment value of the disk image segment size stepper from 1 to 25. Now it takes mere seconds to get from 650MB to 4.6GB.
    • Fixed a bug in which CCC would incorrectly report that it was unable to delete a conflicting item on the target when using the "Archive modified and deleted items" option.
    • CCC now properly excludes the Time Machine database when backing up a hard drive using the "Backup everything" cloning method in file-level mode.
    • Addressed an issue in which the source and target menus would not be properly updated if a disk disappears unexpectedly in the middle of a backup task.
    • Enhanced the bug reporting feature.
    • Much like the Snow Leopard update, this release includes hundreds of tweaks and adjustments to improve performance and reliability.

    Although I had used CCC for years (since it was first release literally) a few months ago I had some problems with CCC 3.2.1 (cloning 09 Mac Pro HD to another drive inside the Mac Pro) as I mentioned in the news page here back then. It cloned the drive w/o errors reported, but saw problems running some apps from the clone and was not able to reinstall Q4 (tried cloning twice - both times same problems seen). So I just used Disk Utility's Restore feature to clone the drive, which worked fine. (Although it clones the entire drive/all files w/o any options for omitting files/folders.)

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    ATI Radeon HD 5870 reviews/comparisons, will there be a Mac version?
    ATI's now shipping their new Radeon HD 5800 Series graphics cards and of course mac owners are asking if there will be a version for us soon. I'm sure a new mac card is in the works (for some time now), but IMHO nobody inside ATI is going to comment on any specifics yet. (I hope it isn't, but if it is tied to the Apple store or a new Mac, Apple usually wants to be the first to announce it. Since Apple's the largest customer/source of revenue from Mac GPUs, often they control the show unfortunately.) But I hope any Mac 58xx card will be offered at more than just the Apple store.
    I hope we'll see a Mac 5870 before the end of the year, but that remains to be seen. And (again) I hope Apple realizes this is one area where even their flagship Mac Pro sorely trails the PC competition. I also hope (like the 4870), it will be compatible with PCIe 1.x Mac Pros. (And a full-spec model comparable with the PC 5870/1GB, not a watered down (less vram, lower clocks, etc) version.) Of course I'm sure they're testing new GPUs (from ATI and Nvidia) in other Mac models as well, but being a PCIe card I hope they don't wait for the next revision of the Mac Pro to offer this card.
    The PC 5870/1GB cards are selling for $379 (although with limited stock some dealers may want a premium) and uses less power than the GT285 per the reviews.
    Anyway, I'm sure readers interested in the 5870 have already seen many of these already, but here's a listing (in no particular order) of some recent reviews/comparisons of the PC models:

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    Updated Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting docs

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    Other News/Reviews/Articles, Misc. Software Updates

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    Recent Articles and Reviews
    Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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