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Just Updated 8/12/2000

The 6400 Zone Forums!: Yes you read it right. I have just created my own forums at

It is a free service and it looks very similar to the old Apple style, so I love it :) It will take me some time to learn how to use its advanced features but it is working right now so go on and give it a try.

Formatting floppies in OS 9 more serious then first thought!: Last time I mentioned that I was unable to format floppy disks under OS 9.0.4 on my 6400. Well, I am not the only one with this problem and it may go back to OS 8.6! Several users sent me letters stating their problems. Mike found that OS 7.6 fixed it for him. Thanks guys.

    [Hi Tom,
    I read your blurb about formatting floppies with OS 9. I've been having the same problem for quite a while. After cycling for a long, long time I get a "Disk initialization failed because the disk is defective" error message. I even bought another floppy drive off of eBay, thinking my old one had died, but I get the same message. Actually, I was having problems formatting floppies with 8.6 too. My solution is to switch over to a small partition running OS 7.6!!!, which formats the floppies just fine.

    This hasn't been a huge problem since I rarely use floppies these days (Apple's right on this one, I think) and software updates are readily available through the internet. But I have to be careful not to insert a disk with information I need when I'm running off of the OS 9 partition because the disk gets corrupted and I have to use Norton's to recover the files. Mike]

    For starters, one must prioritize his time to ensure "quality" time with his family. Having just turned 55, I can identify with your time restriction I had with my family ten years ago. I only wish I could have spent more time with mine.

    With regard to the floppy problem, I too am having the same difficulty. After de-installing MacOS 9; the problem still occurs on MacOS 8.6. Basically, the drive will copy about 40% of a file, up to 600K, and then give the same error message you referred to in your 7/29/00 update for any amount beyond the 600K.

    I remember reading about a fix for this problem somewhere. However, one of the qualifiers was that you had to have MacOS 8.7 or later. Was this a beta version for MacOS 9?

Yes, I read your post and tried to format several disks on my 6400 G3 L2.

Same result. I can format an 800K floppy, but the 1440 floppy initialization fails during the "updating disk" or "verifying" stage.

Had never noticed this before...shows you how often I format floppies.

Concerns me, though.
I just tried formatting some of the same disks on my other 6400 that is running 8.6 and all worked fine.

Definitely seems to be some sort of glitch with 9.0.4's formatting ability. I'll take this to the 6400 Discussion Forum if it is not already there.

OK, I did my own testing and found this. First I had to zap the PRAM and then OS 9 would format my floppies (somewhat?) again but not write to them. Then I tried OS 8.6 and it had the same problem. Then I tried my OS install CD's from OS 9 down to OS 7.6 and found that 8.5 and down worked fine! I mean they even recovered floppies that OS 9 and 8.6 told me were beyond repair. I don't know why 8.6 is not working on this 6400 but is on the other 6400 of mine? OS 8.5 works just fine. This is very confusing? I've read a little about this on Apples OS discussion forums as well. It seems Beige G3 owners are having trouble where the floppy drive is not seen at all. Anyone remember this problem on the 6400! I do, with RamDoubler and OS 8.0 if memory serves me. Well I don't think its an extension conflict as booting with extensions off did not help. Something in OS 9 and note as severe but also in OS 8.6 is not allowing the floppy drive to work. Right now I have OS 8.5 installed on another partition but this is not a good fix for me! I will be posting a message on Apples forums about this. We need to let them know.

Apples New discussion forums: Well , it looks as if Apple has been tinkering around with their web site :) They have stopped the old discussion forums for most all of their previous products and created some new forums to bring them into the future! Or at least they would think so :)

The new forums need cookies activated in your browser because they track when you access the forums and require some personal info on you and a password. All this only need be entered once be system (unless you drag your cookies file from computer to computer) so no need to log in again after the first time. It also helps auto fill your posted messages. You can fake most of the data if you wish as there is no real need for Apple to know this. I did find one strange thing though? They seemed to have my data even though I don't remember giving it? Very odd! Maybe they took it form my iTools data? I was trying to use the same user and pass. I just did some tinkering around on their site and found out that the info may have also come from my sending in some product registration cards previously. I guess that data came in handy for them finally :)

Here is a link to what I consider the new location for 6400/6500 info. It is now called Legacy Hardware and has all of Apples older systems posted in here. There is no longer a specific thread for our computers anymore :( Please let me know if the link works for you? It may not?

Dues EX: here is a link to a demo of a new game based on the UT engine. Its called Dues EX and looks very interesting. just thought you might like to know :)

Also, here is a link to an updater for the retail version.

First impressions of the Voodoo5 in a 6500: Tiong just received his V5 and installed it in a 6500. He sent some initial findings for us. Thanks Tiong. Expect more to follow :)

    [my first impressions so far:
    1) 2D is much faster than V3. Macbench 5.0 shows a big jump, even at millions of colors! From 23xx to 29xx.

    2) Some games do look better with FSAA but FSAA doesn't seem consistent in terms of looks. Example: UT looks superb with FSAA, yet Deus Ex (a game that I really think needs FSAA) doesn't seem to be as "jaggie free" with 2X FSAA than UT or even Unreal (DE is based on Unreal). This is in contrast to the PC version in which I feel that the PC Deus Ex with FSAA is nicer than the Mac's.

    3) Can't run 4X FSAA at any resolution! 3dfx says there are problems with V5 and legacy Macs. : ( But not too big a loss since I'd be playing with 2X FSAA anyway.

    4) While trying to get 4X FSAA to run, I tried using Micro Orange's PCI Bridge patch in the hopes that maybe it was something to do with our PCI? Turns out to be worse than I thought as with that patch applied, I can't type anything at all in any application! Good thing it needs only a PRAM zap to get rid of it! <whew!>

    5) The Y-cable (power connector) 3dfx supplied is way too short! Good thing I got my extra fans in my 6500 and I used one of those connectors to help "extend" it.

    More to come later with benchmarks and what games I have tried that are compatible.

PCI IDE card comparisons: Here is a link to Barefeats page on PCI IDE cards for the Mac. It shows performance comparisons between the competing cards on the market now.

Update on OS 9 and UMAX scanners: Bob sent me some info on his experience with OS 9 and UMAX scanners. Also a tip to remove Apples font fix for OS 8.6 when upgrading to OS 9. Thanks Bob.

    [I read on your site about problems related to the Umax S-6E. I think some people are downloading the wrong version of software for the S-6E, and getting negative results. The Umax S-6E for SCSI only runs on Vistascan 2.43. I did a system merge of my Vistascan 2.41 software using Conflict Catcher, and the scanner was detected and ran - so my experience tells me there are no updates required for the Vistascan software for the Umax S-6E (unless users feel they must download the 20MB file).

that's Great, that you were able to get OS 9 running with no problem. Because if there were one, I would have reminded you of the OS 8.6 Font Update file, which I inadvertently merged into my OS 9 System Folder, and seemingly corrupted my System File. It was a minor setback, and I was back on my feet soon.

Just another hint related to the 8.6 > 9.0 conversion.Bob]

MacWorld photos from Ralph: Ralph created a web site with pics and QT videos of his experience at this years MacWorld expo in NY. Man, must have been nice to be there :) Thanks Ralph.

More ATI Rage128 user letters: Here are a couple more G3 upgraded 6400's user experiences with ATI latest video cards and all is well. Thanks guys.

    [ I just wanted to drop you an email thanking you for the valuable resource that is The 6400 Zone. It has provided me with a wealth of information regarding Linux (running YellowDog CS 1.2), G3/L2 upgrade cards (running a Sonnet Crescendo 400/1MB - very nice), and video cards (ATI XclaimVR 128). I'll be able to get several more years of use out of this machine thanks to the information on your page.

    Just a note to say that my

    (well actually my partner Sara's, but I do the techie stuff for it)

    6400/180 with a Sonnet Crescendo 320/1M upgrade card and now an ATI Orion graphic card is working perfectly for 2D and 3D graphics

    (I've only tested Tomb Raider III and Myth)

    The card was got to give decent resolution for a 19" screen and I only saw the warnings on your site after ordering it so I was a bit nervous, but there was no problems at all, except I had to download the latest OpenGL version to get Tomb Raider working (but ATI had said as much in the card instructions)

    Thought I'd post this as a weight to all the negative experiences people were having.

Looks like the latest offerings from Sonnet are more compatible with ATI's Rage128 line now. Great!

DV can export on the 6500 but not import?: Steve wrote to let me know he can export DV over firewire with no trouble but gets many dropped frames on import. This has been stated before on my site and Steve was wondering if perhaps a PCI IDE card with a faster 7200rpm IDE drive might help? Please email me if you have been able to import over firewire and not lost any frames. Thanks.

    [Might be worth a look Tom - I've had a nose around the Apple TIL and the Apple forums re firewire/iMovie/Final Cut Pro and found that it's standard to use 7200 rpm drives when working with AV. Although I optimized my drive, it's only a 5400 rpm, 20 gig Western Digital Caviar EIDE drive - I don't know off hand if it's an ATA33 or ATA66. The fact that I've managed to export DV though suggests to me that the CPU was able to handle the firewire demands but the main problem was the slowness of my drive. Be interesting to see if anyone has any success with a 7200 rpm drive or above.


    [Success in exporting DV has been followed by failure in importing DV. Dropped frames. I'm not sure whether it's the CPU or the hard drive speed this time as I'm only using a 5400 rpm ATA drive. Here's a challenge for all the problem solvers who visit the zone: if anyone has a 7200 rpm drive hooked up to their 6500 and can import DV give it a whirl - if it works we'd better call Guiness because you may be the first in the world to get iMovie to work on a Power Mac! Good luck.


First user report of a Voodoo5 in a 6500: Tiong sent me some great info on his V5 in his 6500 with Sonnets 500Mhz G3 upgrade. Thanks Tiong. I have posted it on my V 4/5 info page. Just scan down to the 8/11/200 update :)

DVD info for the 6400/6500: Ralph found some DVD info searching around the web and wanted to share it with us. Thanks Ralph.

    [Hi Tom, the cheapest DVD-RAM I have seen is the PC-DVD-RAM 5.2GB (fast SCSI interface, internal drive) at: http://www.americas.creative.com/pc-dvd/pc-dvdram-5.2gb/ It seems to be the most versitle of the drives. It costs about $270, but I could not get clear info from the company on if it will work with Macs. Since its SCSI it should work. They said they did not provide Mac software but that didn't mean it wouldn't work with Apple or other vendor software. It can read/write DVD-RAM at 1.35MB/sec, it can not write CD-R or RW. It can read DVD-ROM at 2.7MB/sec and CD-ROM at 2.4MB/sec(16X). It can read DVD-R but not write to it. It claims it can record MPEG-2 video.

    The Toshiba SD-W1111 DVD-RAM (SCSI ext) costs about $400 maybe less now. http://www.toshiba.com/taecdpd/products/features/SDW1111-Over.shtml They have an internal (SD-W1101) that looks like it takes the Apple CD-ROM drive adapter on older PM models.

    I got this searching around their site: Q: Can I install a DVD-RAM in an Apple Power Mac G3? A: Yes, but you must have a SCSI card installed (i.e. Apple Ultra SCSI PCI card) and a SCSI software driver. You will also need DVD software. We recommend Software Architects, Inc.'s (SAI) "CD/DVD Drive TuneUp" software package which can be purchased at SAI's website. The SAI site is at: http://www.softarch.com/us/products/drtu.html It says it supports Mac drag and drop and is listed at $99. Additional info is at: http://www.softarch.com/us/support/mac/drtu.html

    First things, MacOS 8.6 and 9 may support the SCSI DVD-RAMs as is. So it may not be necessary to buy the SAI software. But a video burner software many be needed to make DVDvideo disks. I'll check the Apple Tech site.

    It comes down to what do you want to do with it. If you need fast storage backup, a USB or SCSI HD is cheaper and a lot faster. If you need to replace a failed CD-ROM a DVD-RAM might me cool, if you can get it to boot with system CDs. If not, it could be a real pain if something goes wrong. If you are adding it to watch DVDmovies and maybe write them than that is an option if you can hack the AppleDVD player and find DVDvideo burner software.

    Issues: Drivers for Mac, DVD-RAM type 1 is a double sided disk in a sealed cartridge. Type 2 is single sided and must be in a cartridge to record, but can play back in another DVD-ROM drive without the cartridge. So now your fooling around with cartridges. Not all DVD-ROMs can play back DVD-RAM. It can not write to a CD-ROM standard, so compatibility is an issue. It needs a decoder card to watch DVDvideo(or maybe Mac Software solution). Also, the write and read speed is slow compared to a cheap 5400rpm hard drive, almost 7.5 times slower. For compatibility with CD-ROMs it would be better to go with a CD-R/RW (CD-ROM can not read CD-RW either only CD-R).

    Hope this isn't too confusing. R.]

iBook, USB, digital phone modem info: I know this is off topic but Ralph also sent me a lot of info on trying to get an iBook to work with a Cell Phone over USB. If you have any info on this please email him. Thanks.

MacBench 5 no more?: Well it seems that Ziff Davis has done away with MacBench 5.0 and created a new benchmarking software called SpeedMark. Now SpeedMark has been out for some time but MB5 is no longer available on their web site and SM is not either? We are now left with no way to test our own systems :( I did find a link to their FTP site which still has MB5 posted (the link is on my Software Links page) but I don't expect it to work much longer?

Just Updated 7/29/2000

Interested in getting a 500Mhz L2 G3 for the price of a 400Mhz L2 G3?: Terry got a 500Mhz G3 for his 6400 by a stroke of luck and because it will only run at 400Mhz on the 6400, wants to trade for a 400Mhz card! Any 6500 owners interested :) Just email him for more info.

    [I installed a Sonnet G3/500 L2 1M in my wife's 6400/180. I had ordered the g3/400 but they were out of stock.

    After installing it and seeing that it was only doing 400 I contacted sonnet to find out that it max's out at 10 times the 40MHz bus.

    Well I have more than I need but don't want the down time for the swap.

    If you know anyone that can use a 500 and is interested in swapping me a 400 for it, let me know.

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From Apple-
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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 :)

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 9.0.4, Performa 6400/220 OS 9.0.4, B&W G3/350 OS 8.6, PowerBook G3/233 OS 9.0.4, PM 6100 G3/240 OS 9.0.4, 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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