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Just Update 1/19/2002

Hello Everyone, I'm back :)

It certainly has been a long time hasn't it! A lot has happened in the last few weeks, so lets get started.

What do you all think of the new iMac? Pretty awesome if you ask me! I would get one but I am a few $1800 short and my wife says we have one to many computers already! She doesn't understand :)

Since most all the other web sites are adding their wish lists for the new iMac, I will do the same. My only wish is that it had monitor spanning instead of just mirroring. Or, to not trounce on the Power Mac systems, how about at least the composite video out like the iBook had. I think that would be nice for watching DVD movies on a TV. Now you have to get an ugly video converter box :( But spanned video would be nice for people with desktop space for dual monitors. The only point I see for the VGA out it comes with is for video projectors at schools. I mean it is a consumer model so it won't be for presentations at work right? Since it only shows the same resolution on the external video as the LCD then its pretty useless to have a very large 1024x768 monitor and a normal 1024x768 LCD right next to each other.

Anyway, on to the news!

Sonnet is using lower speed CPU's and clocking them up!: I have read on the web and received a few letters about this. It seems Sonnet has released a few G3 upgrade with CPU's marked slower then Sonnets advertised speed but clocked up as to hide the fact. From what I have read it goes something like this

  • 266Mhz CPU's used on 300Mhz products
  • 333Mhz CPU's used on 400Mhz products
  • 466Mhz CPU's used on 500Mhz products

You will see the correct speed with any utility as Sonnet has clocked them up to the advertised speed so the only way to check is to remove the heatsink and read the label on the CPU itself. But of course this will void your warranty :( The issue was first brought up to OtherWorldComputing and they checked their inventory and found the some of theirs to have this issue! They have since stopped selling Sonnet G3 upgrades for the moment.

Sonnet has commented to a few people on this. One response was that they are using high temp tolerant CPU's from IBM which can handle the over clocking and another response was that a few bad cards got through and it was not supposed to happen. Well I think more then a few got through and they are not bad but blatantly misrepresented! I mean how can a run of L2 G3's, PCI G3's and ZIF G3's all have a bad run? And each at different CPU speeds? I hope to have more soon but I suggest that if your card is out of warranty already that you check to make sure you got what you paid for. I would like to hear from anyone that got the wrong CPU on their upgrade. Thanks

By the way, the user who informed me that the L2 G3 upgrade was affected said he used the Sonnet Clocker to reduce the CPU speed from 400Mhz to 300Mhz (CPU was marked 333) and now his Mac runs very stable. Maybe all the issues people are having are related to these cards? If you are having serious stability issues and your card runs hotter then 40C, I would verify the CPU speed.

UPDATE 1/19/2002: I found more info on this issue at Accelerate Your Mac's web site. I also found a response from Sonnet on MacMinute's web site. Basically Sonnet feels they have every right to do this as they have chosen chips that where either marked slower to be sold to another company for a cheaper price or they are high temp chips and can handle the stress. OWC has stopped selling any Sonnet 500Mhz upgrade for the time being. I am not sure how far reaching this is? I mostly hear about the 500Mhz cards being 466 but one reader told me he had a 400Mhz L2 G3 that was marked 333 and I see on the links above a 450Mhz card marked 333. Yikes!

If you want to remove your heat sink to check, you will need some heatsink compound to replace it when complete. The compound can be found at Radio Shack and many other electronic stores. The heatsink itself is screwed onto the card in the four corners. Take care removing it and do not place to much heatsink compound back on as it will conduct electricity so keep the stuff off any circuitry!

BeOS on a G3 upgraded 6400: Henry sent me some info on his experience on getting the BeOS to work with his G3 upgrade! Thanks Henry. Basically you need to do the same trick as with Linux in which you boot at least past the G3 enabler in the Mac OS before switching to BeOS. This may mean a full boot into MacOS and then switching but it does work for him.

  • [BeOS will run on the G3 upgrade, but in order to enable the G3, you need to boot MacOS first, then use the Mac utility to boot into BeOS. Booting directly to BeOS leaves the 603 running and the G3 disabled. I don't know of any BeOS native G3 enabler. BTW, this makes one of the fastest PPC Be systems you can get, since Be doesn't run on the B/W G3s or later Macs. The 4 x 604 / 200 BeBox prototype might have been as fast, had it ever seen the light of day. Interesting link to Be's one and only hardware engineer:



iTunes Apple Scripts: Here is a link to Apples site where you can find some Apple Scripts that may help speed up some tasks. I believe they work with the classic version of iTunes as well as OSX?

6400/6500 Linux user info: Endymion sent me a bunch of info on his experience with several of the Linux Mac installations out right now. Click here to read more. Thanks Endymion

Internet Explorer 5.1 on a 6400: Anyone try this update yet on your Mac? It works fine on my B&W G3 and iBook. Its much faster at launching as well as being pretty stable for me. Just curious to see how it is on a 6400/6500. Thanks.

6400 service manual link found again!: I received this link from a reader that has a bunch of Apples Service manuals posted. Thanks. Better get the 6400/6500 manual before its closed!

Setup wireless network with non Apple equipment: Jarrod sent me his instructions for setting up a wireless network with an SMC router and Lucent PCMCIA cards and Apple Airport cards. Thanks Jarrod. Click here to read more.

ATI Radeon video card may not be immune from audio stuttering for all?: There is a thread on my forums started from a 6400 user who says his Mac is having audio issues even with a Radeon card. Also a 6500 owner says he was completely unsuccessful at getting the Radeon card to even work as long as acceleration was turned on! Seem there just might not be any cure at all for the 6400 regarding audio stuttering and high end video cards or USB cards :( One user swore that just installing a 6500 mother board would fix it. But if the 6500 cannot run a modern video card, what's the point :(

Audio issues - something to think about: I read on a Mac help site the other day that OS 9 and up use a different path for audio CD's then traditionally used on older Macs. They now take the audio right through the SCSI bus (or IDE if you have a Mac with an IDE CD-ROM) instead of using the audio cable directly to the mother board. This is supposed to keep the audio cleaner before it gets to the amplifier. But this also means the CPU is doing work it never did before. Here is a snippet from what I read.

  • [Yes. The traditional path for audio CD playback was as follows:

    CD-ROM reads data off disc -> converts it to analog form -> signal goes over a wire to the Mac's motherboard -> Mac sound chip uses an analog mixer circuit to combine the CD audio with its own output

    These days, the Mac uses the CD-ROM in the same mode used to "rip" audio CD tracks to a file, which simply means the drive sends the digital audio out the IDE/SCSI interface instead of playing it back through its built in DAC. Instead of writing the data to disk, the OS plays it through the sound chip.

    There is a drawback to this: the CPU is now required to do work in order for audio CDs to play back. The performance hit isn't large, but some system load conditions can cause skips and stuttering. The old analog audio CD playback cannot be interrupted that way because it doesn't depend on the CPU at all.

    If you install OS 9.something or later, you always get the new digital playback technique -- older Macs already had all the required hardware. On the other hand, the G4 (Digital Audio) cannot do audio CD playback the traditional way, since Apple removed the analog audio cable between the CD/DVD drive and the motherboard. ]

Is it possible that this is the entire problem for us? Since not everyone sees the problem could it be those games that use CD audio tracks that cause the biggest problem. Does it even work this way on older Macs that where upgraded to OS 9? One way to check is to remove the audio adaptor from the back of your CD-ROM and see if audio CD's still play. Maybe the answer is to downgrade to an older OS? But that means only OS 8.6 as that is the only older OS that can run USB devices and barely at that! I would like to hear from you if you test this theory or have your own opinion. Thanks

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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 US which includes shipping, 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 :) I will accept personal checks but I won't mail out the CD till it clears.

Please include your shipping address and email so I can let you know the CD is on its way.

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.

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 every 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 zone6400@mac.com and I will check it out.

I use a Performa 6400/Vimage G3 320 OS 9.0.4 and ASIP 6.3.2, B&W G3/350 OS 9.2.1 / OSX 10.1.1, iBook Dual USB OS 9.2.1 / OSX 10.1, PM 6100 G3/240 OS 9.1, and a PowerBook DUO 270c OS 7.5.5. If I encounter any problems, I will post them for all to read and respond to. Likewise, 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 1/19/2002

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