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Just Updated 4/14/2000
Voodoo3 Beta12 drivers out!: I just got the word that the latest Voodoo3 drivers are out. Go get them you game freaks! I already got mine :)
My experiences with OS 9.0.4 on my 6400: Well I finally did it. I installed OS 9.0 then updated to OS 9.0.4 on my 6400/180. The install went very smooth and everything seems to be working ok. Now I can't test most of the issues that were found with SCSI devices or the Geo modem as I don't have the Geo modem on this 6400 and I don't have a scanner connected but my zip drive and my TEAC CDR seem to work well. The OS feels rather snappy compared to OS 8.6 which was previously installed. I did a clean install if that may have made any difference?
OS 9.0.4 fixes OS 9.0 SCSI issues: Paul writes that when he updated to OS 9.0.4 his UMAX scanner worked again. Thanks Paul.
[For those of you with scsi ID problems and Umax scanners working with OS 9 and the 6400's......................(scanner driver not recognized)........Good News! OS 9.0.4 fixes the problem. Now if we can just get Apple to update the CSW 4000 series print drivers! Paul]
OS 9.0.4 CD/DVD drivers not compatible with all 6400 CD Rom drives: John writes that when he updated to OS 9.0.4 his computer kept crashing. Then he remembered reading that OS 9 had issues with some CD Rom drives that came with 6400's. Now this does not affect every CD drive that came with the 6400 as mine is running fine and no one has mentioned this to me until now. Could anyone with this problem please give me some more info on the type of SCSI drive that came with your 6400? Thanks.
[Tom, I upgraded my 6400 from OS 9 to OS 9.0.4. After a few failed attempts during startup, I recalled that OS 9 installs the Apple CD/DVD Driver which is incompatible with the CD ROM Drive on the 6400. The 9.0.4 upgrade reinstalls that incompatible extension. The problem is easily solved by copying a pre-OS 9 Apple CD-ROM extension to the system folder. The MAXpowr G3 L2B extension loads. Even that pesky Astra 1200S scanner works just fine.
As John mentions, reverting to an older version like the ones from OS 8.6 should work fine.
Quake II not running on OS 9.0.4?: Derek writs that since updating to 9.0.4 his Quake II game will not work. He gets 2 CD's images mounted when the game is inserted. Audio and Data? Could this be related to the issue noted above. I asked him to try an older CD extension and see what happens.
[First. Your website is great. I rely on it as THE authority of my computer. I really appreciate the obvious time and effort you expend keeping the site current and accurate.
Mixing OS components to get a more stable system!: Paul writes that he extracted the files from the OS 9.0.4 tome with Tome Viewer and then dragged them to his OS 8.6 system folder to make a OS 8.6/9.0.4 hybrid system. This is not something new as I suggested a similar approach when OS 7.6.1 was released. I swapped the System file with OS 7.6 to get rid of the issue that 7.6.1 created till OS 8 came out. Anyway this may or may not cause problems depending on how many files get updated in OS 9.0.4? The more that get updated the better so you don't have to much of a mix of old and new. Thanks Paul.
[Just thought I'd drop you a note about the current blend of 8.6 & 9.04 that I have been having some real good luck with. I have not been tempted to move up to 9.XX because 8.6 has been real good to me so far.
I have OT 2.6 posted for download to fix just these issues with cable/DSL modems. Now OT 2.6.1 is also.
OS 9 and Apples TV/Video player: Bill writes that he had issues with Apples TV/Video player that came with his 6500. The Sound source keeps reverting from the CD-TV-Video setting so no audio will play. He was able to get it working if he switched it before launching the video player. Thanks Bill. I guess 9.0.4 did not fix this since he has it installed :(
Speaking about the sound system with the 6400 and OS 9.0.4. Did anybody notice how impressive the new Sound Control panel is! I didn't play with it very much so I can't say how well it works but it looks awsome! Apple did a lot of work on this one. It also lets you setup right and left volumes for the speakers and headphones. Nice touch :)
Also I hope my home page is fixed so it no longer is cramped to the left. Keeping my fingers crossed again :)
Major issues with OS 9.0.4!: Frank writes that after he updated to OS 9.0.4 from OS 9.0 that he now get illegal instruction errors and bus errors? This even happens with extensions off? I suggest he try a clean install of OS 9 and see what happens. I don't think it is a compatibility issue with the Sonnet as it will not be used with the extensions off. Also the Voodoo3 should not be a problem with the extensions off?
[I had the good idea to install the update on my wife's Performa 6400/200 running the Sonnet 300/1M overclocked to 320. The machine was rock solid under OS9.0, even with the VooDoo3 and Faralon 10/100 T Ethernet and maxed out RAM. Mark's report is accurate. Installing the update will cause dual illegal instructions and bus errors, EVEN WHEN REBOOTING WITH EXTENSIONS OFF! Tonight I will reboot from a MacOS 9.0 CD, and see what I can track down. I would suggest holding off on this update until the cause is better understood. - Frank]
Frank replied that he found a fix for him. He removed any USB and Firewire extension he found and it is now working. Interesting since the installer should not install any USB drivers on the 6400 because the native OS drivers are only for Macs with native USB ports. Not for PCI cards? I updated my USB drivers from 1.3.5 to 1.4.1 as OS 9.0.4 did not install any on my system?
In my last Just Update I wrote that a 5500 user had similar issues but disabling the extensions at boot worked for him? This user later wrote that removing the 9.0.4 CD drivers fixed it. I guess there are more problems with OS 9.0.4 then I thought!
Apples TA manual links broken again!: Well it looks like Apple moved all their Take Apart manuals again :( None of my links work even the links directly to the files? sigh! If anyone can find them again please let me know. Thanks.
Tiong wrote me with some info on the new installer. Thanks Tiong.
[BTW, Sonnet Crescendo 1.4.3 is out. Much improved installer with a more polished look as well! Also, it loads much later now as it has been renamed Sonnet Processor Upgrade. And there is no longer an automatic Desktop rebuild on the restart either (I had like that feature). No problems with it so far.
Christopher wrote to let me know that you should remove the older driver before installing the new one because Sonnet changed the name and it doesn't delete the older driver. Thanks Christopher.
Mark found that he still needed to change the file type to "scri" to make it load first to fix a conflict with SpeedDoubler. It seems that if SD loads first the system will crash. Thanks Mark.
[Hi Tom: I have a Crescendo 300/1 M upgrade 6400/200. Since changing the Sonnet Processor Upgrade 1.4.3 extension File Type to scri, I have had no further problems with startup hangs. I am not using the G3/G4 Profiler INIT. I believe that my previous startup hangs were due to Speed Doubler loading before Crescendo. My system has not been this stable since before I installed the upgrade. Every time I boot, I get a warm fuzzy feeling instead that anxious "will it or won't it" feeling.]
PCI Timing extension update: I'm still getting letters from 6400/6500 users that adding Apples PCI Timing extension cures many issues these people had. G3 upgraded or not! This sounds like a must install for all of us :) I just installed it on my Vimage G3 upgraded 6400. Lets see how it goes.
6400/6500's Avid Cinema and QT 4.x?: I have recieved in the past some letters from Avid users that were able to get it working with QT 4.x on their 6400's. The info I have posted on my Avid Cinema help page though does not seem to be sufficient enough for me to help others. Could anyone that has Avid working with QT 4.x please write me so we can help others out. I would really appreciate it. Here are 2 example letters I recently got from Avid users unable to get it to work with QT 4.
[Well Tom, I really needed a newer version of the Avid extension? The download was just the Application? I currently had tried "°Avid Cinema Extension U3" but this is version 1.1.4 1997 This one doesn't work on my 6400 w/ OS 8.6 ? Do you have an extension newer than this one? Thanks]
Reply from Vu on using Premiere LE with QT 4: Vu, who wrote the letter above gave me some more info on using Premiere and the Apple video card with QT 4. Seems this works much better for him then the Avid software. Thanks Vu.
[Good news. I tried Quick Time 4 and Premiere LE with success.
Netscape 6 preview and the 6400?: I received this letter today from a 6400 user that cannot get NS6 to run at all? I didnot try it on my 6400 but it ran fine on my B&W G3. I really didn't care for it so I won't be trying it again till the final version is out but if anyone has it running on their 6400 could you please email me. Thanks.
More on cooling the 6400: Tim wrote me with some possible helpful tips on cooling your 6400 for the summer heat if you live in places like us (Arizona) and can't afford a $300+ airconditioning bill :) Some of these tips seem a little far fetched but they can't hurt to try. Thanks Tim. Just cleaning the dust out of your system as Tim mentions will really help a lot!
Next, I took out the motherboard from the tower and noticed quite a bit of dust that had accumulated in the unit. After a thorough cleaning of the inside of the tower, I made a pretty neat discovery. Underneath the motherboard is a metal perforated plate that the air is drawn in from outside the tower and used to cool off the motherboard & CPU. This screen was 100% clogged with dust particles. Just by blowing it off, from the inside out, I was able to clear out all the holes (didn't even need compressed air). When I put the unit back together, it not only fixed the whining noise, but cooled the system temp down dramatically.
Then I was wondering how I could set up the layout of my system to minimize this dust from clogging the screen so quickly, and prevent me from having to take it apart and clean it too frequently. When someone moves the tower from its original place after a while, they will notice a thick layer of dust underneath it. I think that this heavy accumulation sucks clots of dust into the screen, instead of just particles, which clogs it very quickly and cuts of the air circulation. So I used a kitchen towel to lay under the tower. This has the effect of trapping much of the dust before it gets drawn into the tower. Then all one has to do is periodically shake the towel out.
I have also noticed that moving the tower itself to a more open space, as opposed to a closed-in shelf or something, doesn't constrict the air flow to the system as much. Also, I have moved all peripheral devices away from the tower itself, to prevent them from warming the air that the system draws in.
Finally, as the temperature warms up in the room (during those hot summer months), it is a problem to keep the system cool if all it is doing is drawing warm (or hot) air into the system. What I did was take a ceramic coffee mug, filled it with ice, and placed it next to side of the tower that the vent screen is closest to. They system then draws this cooler air in from the mug. I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but I think it works very well. Even better, a frozen ice pack would work. The towel absorbs any condensation from the mug too.
The reason I think this works is because I use Virtual PC 3.0 with Windows 95 (an outstanding cross-platform application that is perfect for having the best of both computer worlds). On it I sometimes play a game called Bard's Tale. The other night, I noticed that after about an hour, the game would freeze periodically for about 5 seconds, while processing the commands. I determined that it wasn't the application, because when I would switch over to the Macintosh finder, the same thing would happen. Even after minimizing the extension, it would still have the same problem, meaning it was the CPU that was hanging up. If I shut the system down and let it cool for about half and hour then reboot, it would work just fine for another hour. Yet, after I used the cooler air set-up with the ice, I was able to fix the problem.
Anyway, I hope this letter hasn't been too long. These are just some personal observations that I have made as a die-hard Mac user. They may or may not work for all, but maybe they will help stimulate some thoughts in other users, for cheap fixes to these problems. They are certainly cheaper than a CPU fan and those not too confident about messing with their motherboard. Let me know what you think.
Just Updated 4/8/2000
6400 Zone remodeling: I have started a major overhaul of my web site. I was getting upset with how unorganized it had become! I'm trying to move info around and make it more user friendly so if you find stuff missing or links broken can you please email me so I can either identify the new location or fix the missing info. Thanks.
The link to My Reviews page will be broken on all pages except the home page till next week hopefully. I am reorganizing the locations of my files on the server as well. This page also has been renamed to Misc Mac Info as that is what I have been storing there :) It never had reviews of mine?
My site viewed in new web browsers?: With IE 5 and NS 6 preview out my site may become broken in appearance? I already found in IE 5 that from the solid bar just past the gray link pane till the end of my page became all cramped to the left margin? I hope I fixed it? It looked ok in NS 6 preview after the text was reduced to 12pt size! Man what are these new browsers thinking? Who looks at this stuff so large? Please let me know if there are still any appearance issues. Thanks :)
Linksys help page: Here is a page with good setup info for the Linksys Cable/DSL modem router.
OS 9.0.4 released!: Apple finally got the next release to OS 9 out. 9.0.4 hit made its debut this week. I downloaded it but have not tried it on my PB G3 yet (my only Mac with OS 9 installed). I hope it fixes all the SCSI and sluggishness issues people have had? Let me know how it works for you guys. Thanks.
OS 9.0.4 not compatible with 5500?: Mark sent word that on his 5500 with Sonnets L2G3 card he could not get it to boot unless he held the shift key to disable extensions? This was with the Crescendo active or not! OS 9.0 worked fine. Anyone else having issues with OS 9.0.4? Thanks Mark.
USB 1.4.1 released: Apple also released there third party USB drivers this week. Version 1.4.1 is supposed to not steal so many CPU cycles speeding up your system. Sounds good. Let me know how it works if you try it. Thanks.
New Sonnet L2 G3 temps?: I have had several people write asking me about the temps of their Sonnet L2 G3's. They are reporting higher temps then I posted in my reviews. Two things can be going on here. I heard the new heatsink is smaller so it no longer touches the nearest RAM chips. This will increase heat. Also Sonnet told me awhile back that they might use non-copper G3 CPU's if their heatsink could handle it. This to would explain higher temps. But to set you all at ease, I wouldn't worry unless the temp readings were over 100C degrees as they were built to withstand very high temps. Even higher then 100C but I don't know of any running this hot except for maybe in a PowerBook?
More good news about Apples PCI timing extension: Well it seems this little extension is getting rave reviews from many L2 G3 upgraders and non-L2G3 owners! Papa writes that he has had a very stable system since installing this extension. Thanks Papa. I suggest if your having any issue then give this extension a try.
[The PCI Timing Extension may not have been prepared for the 6400, but it sure has reduced my crashes and lockups. The only thing that locks up on me now is Microsoft Office products, but then they lock up or"unexpectedly quit" on any Mac I've used them with.
MaxPower 2.0.3 final release: Newer released the final version of there universal G3/G4 driver. It is supposed to fix issues with OS 9.0.x. I have a friend with OS 9 on a 6100 upgraded with the MaxPower PDS G3 and the beta driver boots under OS 9 but if you try to restart it will hang at the MaxPower driver. Only a shut down and cold boot works fine?
Update: Wow this was fast :) I just tried the new 2.0.3 driver on my friends 6100 and it still hangs if you try a restart? I did notice one new feature in that the icon is no longer displayed during boot. Newer copied Sonnet by adding a splash screen just under the MacOS splash during boot. Very cool even if it is a copy. They also removed the feature of displaying your CPU speed :( I wonder if OS 9.0.4 will help? This is my next test.
CD audio cable hack for non-Apple CD drives: Yee-Wie sent me illustrated instructions on how to make the stock 6400 audio cable work with non-Apple CD drives. Thanks Yee. I have posted this with my 6400 Manual.
PowerLogix Cache utility slows HD access?: Keith who wrote before saying that the PL cache utility fixed issues with his Sonnets G3 and Avid Cinema now reports that the PL utility slows HD access. Thanks Keith. I haven't heard of this before and I wonder if he had Cache Write Through enabled during his tests? this will slow down HD access and most other functions as writing through the cache is similar to just writing only to the main memory and not having a cache.
[Tom, The Powerlogix utility seems to have introduced a new problem in opening files. I am using the new PL G3/G4 cache utility, OS 8.6 and I have an 8.4 GB Seagate drive (hence the good disk results in MacBench). With the PL extension present I noticed some considerable waiting to open documents (up to 15 seconds to open a PDF or 10 seconds for a simpletext file). So I ran MacBench 5 and have a look at the results in the attached PDF - the PL utility has stomped all over the disk access !!!
Mac Equipment for sale list updated: I haven't been posting that I updated my list in awhile but I thought I would this time as there is a pretty cool offer listed. Eric has 6 old Mac IIcx's running UNIX NetBSD to serve as a network firewall/router for home networks. Very cool idea for an old Mac. Go check it out plus all the other nice things for sale :)
CD containing the 6400 Zone plus past history for sale 9/3/1999
I was wondering if anyone would be interested in purchasing a CD with my entire up-to-date site as well as my 6400 Take Apart manual plus many of the past Just Updates included? I think this would be a great idea for anyone who hasn't been able to keep up or never saw my site until recently. Also for those of you with Sherlock the CD is even better cause you can tell Sherlock to index the CD and then you can do a search on any topic and if I ever talked about it, you'll find it! I have info as far back as mid 1997. I'm asking $15 which includes shipping for US residents (not sure what the price for international shipments would be yet?) and I will even include a few surprises! To make this offer even juicier I can add some download that you've been trying to get but just couldn't for some reason. Lets put my cable modem to work :)
amazon.com, books and more 7/2/98
I found a great way to earn some money while getting great deals to you on Macintosh books and software plus they have all kinds of other books, music, and more. Please click on the amazon.com link on the top of this page whenever you feel like purchasing something to help sponsor this site. If you're unsure of what you want and wish to get a list of Mac related items, just type Macintosh in the search field on their home page and you will be presented with many choices to select.
Link to my site that gets rid of AOL's ads! 9/16/98
Jeff did some digging in to the new code that displays the frames on my site with AOL ads and found a link that can be used which will not show those annoying ads. Here is the address. http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/TMK12v/home.html
Thanks Jeff, for sending this info. PS don't let AOL find out :)
Here's an even better link http://members.aol.com/zone6400 I like this one better :)
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The 6400 Zone is created to help you gain access to useful software updates and great shareware programs that add functionality to your system. It is also a one stop road map to other informative sites for answering your questions. Most of the info here is geared towards the 6400, but it is useful for all PCI Performa models and even the 6500 and all-in-one Macs based on the same. It's even useful to other MAC systems. I will be referring to my 6400/200 clocked to 220Mhz as just 6400/220, OK.
I will keep it updated as often as I can but I don't have much free time to work on it, so I suggest you check back at least once a week. That should be sufficient. If you don't see something you would like to see here or have your own software / web site that would benefit the MAC community, please write to me at TMK12v@aol.com and I will check it out.
I use a Performa 6400/180 OS 8.6, Performa 6400/220 OS 8.6, B&W G3/350 OS 8.6, PowerBook G3/233 OS 9, PM 6100 G3/240 OS 9, and a PowerBook DUO 270c OS 7.5.5. All of the software updates posted here are currently running on one or the other with minimal problems. If I do encounter a problem, I will post it for all to read and respond to. If you are having any problems and would like help just email me and if I can answer it I will, or I will post it here for others to read and respond to.
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This page last updated 4/14/2000
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