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Just Updated 10/6/2000

5400 upgraded to a 5500: Here is some info from Justin who swapped 5400 mother board with a 5500 mother board to get some needed CPU and video acceleration. Thanks Justin. For more on mother board swaps click here.

Just thought I would let you know I have successfully upgraded my 5400 with a 5500 logic board. I picked up a used 5500 board for around US $165 from a company called Microseconds (www.microseconds.com.au) in Sydney, Australia. The install was easy...slided out my 5400 logic board..moved my 64meg of RAM, video in card, comm slot modem, PCI USB card, Sonnet G3 L2 240/250 upgrade card to the 5500 board...slided in the 5500 board. I then restarted, install the necessary ATI graphics drivers and reinstalled the Sonnet G3 drivers (to account for the new bus 50mhz bus speed etc). Everything seems to be running well (I also have an Apple TV tuner card, IR remote control, 13 Gig Quantum IDE Hard Drive, HP 4100C USB scanner). Best thing about the upgrade is that I now have 2D/3D graphic acceleration, higher resolutions (and millions of colors), full screen quicktime video play back etc. with the on-board ATI RAGE II chip set....without having to use my single PCI slot and a second monitor. I am running Mac OS 8.6.
Regards Justin]

Update on EasiExpansion T35 PCI case for Macs: Well I didn't get much of a reply to my question on whether the IDE and USB controllers built in to this PCI expansion chassis would work with older Macs but I did get that only 1 IDE controller works on the G3 and none on the G4? This is strange? I wonder why? I still haven't received any good feedback from them yet :( Click here for more on PCI expansion chassis for Macs.

Sonnet to support OSX on G3/G4 upgrades and maybe even the L2 G3???: Sonnet sent out a press release last week about concerns people have with their just bought G3/G4 upgrade and compatibility with OSX. And they have every right to be concerned since these people just put down a lot of cash for an upgrade that may not have a full life expectancy they once thought! Sonnet does mention they will support their CPU upgrades in every Mac that Apple says OSX is compatible with, and here's the interesting part, that they will also try to get the L2 G3 systems to run OSX! Now I know this sounds hopeful but I don't want to get every ones hopes up as Sonnet would seem to be doing. I believe it will take a lot of hard work for them to make this happen since the 6400/6500's don't seem to even like the System Disk utility which customizes the PRAM to allow the Mac to boot into OSX. Without this OSX will never run :( I will continue with my efforts to get it working and maybe with lot of luck we'll be running OSX by next year :) Below is a letter a MacWeek reader received when questioning Sonnet on this very topic.

I seriously doubt we will be able to make OS X work on L2/PCI upgraded machines. Our programming team is real pessimistic about their chances for success. This doesn't mean we're not going to try.

Also, one big inhibiting factor is the amount of RAM that you can get in your machine isn't much more than the minimum amount of RAM needed for OS X. This would make for a fairly useless machine if all you can run is the OS and not any applications.
-- Neal Sonnet Customer Service support@sonnettech.com]

As a side note, don't think just because OSX is right around the corner that OS9 is dead. OS9 has many years left in it as developers can produce apps in Carbon form to run on both OS's. Not only is this easier in the short term for them, it also allows all of Apples customers to run their software. Even for those of you still running some form of OS 8 or 7, obviously you never found a need to upgrade in the past, so why now?

Sonnet says they are not compatible with QT in OS 8.6 and up?: I found this info on MacsOnly web site. It appears that Sonnet has found an issue with QT that causes problems with their G3 upgrades and that Apple needs to fix it? I'm not sure if this is true but it may explain issues people have been having with sound apps and Sonnets L2 G3 cards. OS 8.5.1 is not affected.

[ Sonnet G3 CPU Card Problem: Steve Seiden posted to Apple's Knowledge Base Discussion forum. He simply requested that Apple fix a problem with QuickTime in Mac OS 8.6-9.0.4 that causes crashes with Sonnet G3 CPU upgrade cards, i.e. according to Sonnet. Apple replied "Your post has been removed from the PowerBook discussion forum. ... This area is intended to address technical issues. Discussions of Apple policies and procedures, speculations about future Apple decisions, questions about unreleased products, and issues with repair procedures are not appropriate." Of course, Steve clearly had raised a technical issue that deserves a reply. However, since this is a known issue to Sonnet it seems that they should be clearly informing customers before they buy that Sonnet's G3 CPU cards do no work with Mac OS 8.6-9.0.4 and QuickTime regardless of whether or not Sonnet believes that the crashes result from a bug in the Mac OS. After a complaint Sonnet does advise that the customer downgrade to Mac OS 8.5.1 according to a note posted on MacFixIt.]

Sonnet Crescendo 1.4.5 drivers fixes freeze problem: Eric had sent some info awhile ago on an issue when playing some games that the system would appear locked but if you plugged and unplugged some headphones, everything would run again. Well now he says that the 1.4.5 driver fixes whatever caused the problem! Thanks Eric.

[Hi Tom, I was the original person who told you about using the headphone pluggin to unfreeze an L2 sonnet upgrade. I recently got the sonnet driver 1.4.5. I have had it for a couple days now and the freezing has stopped. It seems sonnet has finally fixed the sound problem. I knew they would get it sooner or later. Just wanted to let you know. Eric]

On a sad note, Jen says that the 1.4.5 version breaks the Sonnet Clocker app :( DOH!

Sonnet G3 400Mhz card in a 6400: Here is a happy letter from Scott, who just wanted to say everything is working well. Thanks Scott.

Just wanted to give you another update. I got in my G3/400 512k card today. Installation was a breeze and the card absolutely smokes!!!! I love it.

So far I haven't run into any problems with the CDR and the G3. If I do I'll let you know so you can let everyone else know.

Also, Do you know if any of the clocker extensions you have posted will work with this card? GagePro does say I have v.3.0 of the processor.

The answer to his question about the clocker working is no. The 6400 is maxed at 400Mhz with todays 10x bus ratio G3 CPU's. I don't think they will be making any larger ratio CPU's either :)

Getting a broken subwoofer volume knob to function again: Rett found an interesting way to get his broken subwoofer knob to work again. He melted a slot into the remaining plastic which can now be turned with a small screw driver. Thanks Rett.

[Thanks. I had already read your entire site, and was hoping for a "magic bullet" solution. Replacing or deconstructing in this instance is not indicated because of the expense and time involved, and there being no "upgrade" part (ie; a knob with a durable shaft) available. So, even though heat and computers don't mix, I took a VERY small jewellers screwdriver, got it very (red) hot, and gently melted a slot where the volume knob broke off. Now I can dial the volume, a rare necessity, with a screwdriver. Thanks for your reply. Rett]

TAM HD size limits: Well it seems that the Twentieth Anniversary Mac may have some HD size limits not known by many? Here is some info I found at Accelerate Your Macs web site.

[Important Note on 20th Anniv. Macs and Large Hard Drives: - Several readers replied to the OS X install problem report from a 20th Anniv. Mac (aka TAM) owner in the 9/25/2000 news with an important note regarding drive size limits with the TAM.

I saw mentioned (by no less than Steve Wozniak) on the PowerList that TAMs have a firmware bug that doesn't allow them to handle drives bigger than 4GB. He did mentioned that he had partitioned a 5GB drive to 2 and 3GB sections before installing it in a TAM, but a >4GB volume was a big problem, making the computer appear dead in short order (though not always right away). The TAM/OS X disaster was after the guy put an 18GB drive in it. That may be the true source of the problem. Phil]

I'm pretty sure this is not a problem for 6400/6500 users but if anyone has had this issue please email me. Thanks.

Another Geo modem (non-user) getting reimbursed: Russ sends word that he was able to get $50 from Apple after jumping through a bunch of email hoops. Good to hear Apple is reimbursing some people still. Also Russ posted his own 6400 web site. The link is below. Thanks Russ.

[I am sure you rather busy right now but I thought you might find this of interest. I managed to get Apple to give me $50.00 toward the purchase of a new external modem to replace the ailing Geoport. I bought a BestData 56k got $69.99 (including shipping) and what a difference! Not only are the connection speeds better, I can listen to audio files, and the computer is faster now. Worth the effort! All I did was sent an email to Apple and they agreed to help me out rather quickly. Better than any Wintel machine thats for sure. I also have a 6400 site up and running now. The name is Performa 6400 Haven. Hope it isn't too similar to yours. If so let me know and it can be changed easily. The url is as follows... http://www.angelfire.com/ga3/camarohaven/computer/index.html

Hope all is well. Off to download OS8.1 from Apple a bit quicker than before : )


Reader Requests updated: I have added 2 emails from 6500 owners having trouble with Oranges Firewire/USB combo card. Jose can't get it to work at all and Mike looses the ports 7 out of 10 boots? Click here to read more and email them if you have any suggestions. Thanks.

It seems that several others are having trouble with Oranges Combo card as well with 6500's! There are as few postings on my forums on this very topic and Mikes is one of them. 6500 owners may want to take some caution in deciding on this combo card?

Jose just updated his issue saying it works without the Newer G3 enabled. Mike is also using a Newer G3 which is probably his problem as well. I'll make a note of this on my NewerTech and Firewire/USB pages

Also Ralph is having issues with Apple Works and OS 9.0.x. Click here for more info.

CNET OS 9 vs. WinME dual: Here is a link to CNET's article on OS 9 vs. WindowsME. Its about as unbiased these guys can get with Mac stuff I think :) Still reading the cons for OS 9 from their PC guy leaves me wondering how much he really knows about the Mac? I mean the 2 major points in favor of WinME was powerful features and easy access to cheap hardware upgrades. That's it? And guess what the one "powerful feature" was missing on the Mac that gave ME the plus? Right mouse button! I about dropped my jaw!!! You mean PC's are better because they have a right mouse button? Doesn't he know that Apple has a control key contextual menu which with the addition of FinderPop can make it a click and hold popup. And with FinderPop that I get many, many more options then his puny ME contextual menu has. I guess from a stock point of view yes but not with add ons which they say are abundit for PC's so why can't Macs do that? Oh and by the way I have a 3 button mouse with right clicking and scrolling so there :) I was getting flustered reading it as you can see :) And my PC IDE HD and PC SCSI CDR are working just fine also :)-

Update on Voodoo5 and older Macs: I read awhile ago that 3dfx released some new drivers (1.0.8?) that allow the 2nd CPU to work now on the card! This is great because previously people reported that the 2nd CPU was not doing anything. I don't think it will make the card go any faster, but the FSAA features shouldn't take as much a frame rate hit anymore? The only 6400/6500 owner that had one of these sold it before the update came out so I don't have any reports of how this change performs on our systems? Still I think the V4 will be a better buy and with the Radeon almost out, I would wait!

On a side note I hear that using these drivers with a Voodoo3 will make QT and other features work a little better but 2D gets a big slowdown! Hopefully a fix for that will be out soon.

Choppy QT playback fix?: Ralph sends word that he found a way to make QT run more smoothly on our 6400/6500's for people have issues of choppiness in the playback. Thanks Ralph.

[What I though fixed the QT playback was actually this, if the ATI TV player is active (you can turn the TV window off and still leave the ATI TV software on) QuickTime plays fine, even with Virtual Memory on. But only if the ATI TV software is active in the background. If you quit the TV viewer the QuickTime choppy sound comes back.

I was starting to give up figuring I could live with using QuickTime with the ATI TV software active in the background.

Than I remembered the ATI extension on startup also puts a little red ATI icon next to the Finder menu. If you pull its menu down it give convenient access to the ATI control panel and its bottom most command toggles between "graphics acceleration" on/off by either putting a check mark next to that menu item or not. Well this turned out to sort of fix the QT playback sound issue. If you uncheck the graphics acceleration menu, and even with the ATI TV software off, QT now plays fine. As a double check, and even during a QT movie in play, if you re-check the graphics acceleration menu, QT once again has choppy sound.

So I can live with a menu click for now. The prior method of getting QT happy by turning off the ATI Memory Manager extension and restarting was very disruptive and would not have been an option that I could live with.]

I do not have choppy playback but I also do not have that icon in the upper right corner of my menu bar to turn off acceleration. I removed the "ATI Extension 2.6.6" which says it adds functionality to the ATI Display Control panel which I also removed. I have no degradation in my 2D/3D and no QT issues that I am aware of? Maybe this is the fix?

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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 9.0.4, 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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