|The 6400 Zone
Just Update 10/5/2001
Apple releases OSX 10.1 update!: I know must of you cannot run this OS but I just wanted to say that this release, being a huge improvement, has still yet to address my issues with moving fully into OSX. Here is just a short list of what I would like.
So once issues like these are fixed, I could finally leave OS9 behind. I think it will take another year before that happens :(
6400/6500 needs PRAM zapped after OS 9.2.1 install or they might not boot!: Well this letter I got from Chris pretty much says what most 6400/6500 are going through.
It seems most people are having to zap their PRAM after the update to boot their Macs! I just wanted to emphasize this so you're not left thinking the install destroyed your Mac :)
Update on trashing OSX to do a clean install: Patrick sent me this info on what files need to be trashed to completely remove OSX. You will need an application that can see and trash invisible files to do this. Thanks Patrick.
ATI USB TV software install may remove OpenTransport extensions!: Vash emailed to let me know of his issue with installing ATI's new USB TV tuner on his 6400. For some reason it removed his OT extensions? (They are needed for networking) Thanks Vash. Has anyone else tried ATI's USB TV system yet? If so please email me if it worked OK or not. Thanks. I suggest you make a backup of your system folder or at least the extensions folder incase this happens to you!
Apples File Exchange control panel needed for USB camera and card reader support: Charlie had issues with his USB camera and then bought a USB camera card reader to try and fix the problem. It turns out that he had removed the FileExchange control panel which is needed for reading DOS formatted disks which camera cards are formatted with . Thanks Charlie.
I must say that it never crossed my mind to make sure the FileExchange control panel was enabled either :)
There is no VRAM on the 6400 mother board!: This might take some of you some time to ponder but it has come to my attention that the 6400 has no dedicated VRAM on the mother board. Now before you think I have gone crazy check out this link I found on EveryMac.com. The reason I searched for this info is because Endymion started a very long discussion on how the 6400 has more audio issues then the 6500 because the main memory is being accessed by to many subsystems at the same time. I didn't believe him at first until he sent me the below message which got me searching the web for more info.
Thanks Endymion for not giving up on my doubts :) Most all other info I found, even on Apples web site states there is 1M of "dedicated" VRAM in the 6400. I can only assume that they really mean that there is 1M of the onboard 8M main memory dedicated to VRAM. Could this be why the 6500 has no onboard main memory? It has 2M of SDRAM for VRAM on the mother board so there was no reason for Apple to place the standard 8M chip on the mother board also. This really makes the differences in the 2 mother boards a bit more clear as to why they are different.
Main memory being used for VRAM causing the audio issues on the 6400?: Endymion also states that just by upgrading to a 6500 mother board fixed all his audio issues and that it was due to the way the main memory is used as VRAM on the 6400. I personally still disagree with this for basically one reason. The issue does not manifest itself the most until you install an ATI Rage128 card. Yes there are other reasons for the audio issue but the Raeg128 card (and specially with a G3 upgrade) causes audio issues almost 100% of the time. So this throws out the VRAM issue in cases where you have a video card since you are not using the main memory for VRAM anymore.
Causes of audio issues on the 6400/6500: I thought I would compile some of the issues that I have gathered as causing audio issues to help you make better upgrade choices.
As you can see, we are pretty limited to what may work 100% but even I won't guarantee that as I am sure there a some people out there with one of the above in use and not having any issues. The above are mainly some suggestions on things to look out for when upgrading your 6400/6500. I know this severely limits your upgrade ability (specially in OS's) so just remember that if you use one of the above items that you could introduce audio issues in games and audio apps like MP3 players.
The 6500 is less prone to audio issues but it has its own problems with some of the above items. Rage128 cards may not work period on the 6500 and FW/USB combo cards need a PRAM patch to work or the FW ports or the entire card may not function. From what I know, Sonnets FW/USB card and OrangeMirco's FW/USB card comes with this patch. And VM can affect any Mac not running OSX as I have found :(
5400/5500 may not be able to use Sonnets L3 G3 without some modification: Stuart has found a hardware issue with installing a L2 G3 card in a 5400/5500 without removing some little piece of plastic. Thanks Stuart.
Now Sonnets web site does not mention this and they do sell their upgrades to 5400/5500 owners. The manual I have that came with my Sonnet G3 upgrade shows instructions for 5400/5500's and does not mention this either. Can anyone with a 5400 or 5500 and a Sonnet L2 G3 verify this issue? Thanks
Apple TIL on EDO and FPM memory and which Macs can use them: Here is a TIL I copied from Apples web site that has very good explanations of each type of RAM and what makes each better then the last.
General info from Sonnet about the 603e CPU and the Avid Cinema card: Chris wrote to sonnet about these topics and he sent me their replies. Thanks Chris.
iMovie 2.1.1 update kills dragging the preview window to add transitions!: Ever since iMovie came out, I had always added transitions and titles to my movies by picking what I wanted and then dragging the little preview window to the point on the time line I wanted to add it. Well, under v2.1.1, this is broken. Now the only way to add a transition or title is to drag the name of the transition or title you want from the list to the point on the time line you wish to add it. I think this feature worked in older versions of iMovie as well but now its the only way yo do it. This is for the 2.1.1 version in OS 9 and OSX.
Version history files from Apple or any OS company, to much to ask for?: Is it just me or do Apple and Microsoft not release version histories of their applications ever unless some big change is made that we notice and then release a TIL article on it which are hard to find? Most all other publishers release a version history so you can see what was changed before you try the update. It just makes sense to do this so people know what they are getting into. I understand that OS's are very large and come with many changes all the time but is making a history file released at the time of the OS update to much to ask for? I know that this info gets released several months after the update is out and TIL's trickle out daily, but if you don't read Mac news sites or visit Apples site everyday, you will miss them and be left in the dark! Even developers have to wait till after these updates get released to the public before they can fully test them. And they don't even know what's changed until they try it themselves.
Using the example of v2.1.1 of iMovie that just came out. Would it have been to hard for Apple to say that you can no longer drag the preview window and now you must drag the names of transitions and titles or for us iBook 2001 users that upgraded to OS 9.2.1. Would it have been to hard for them to add in the readme that we can no longer run the iBook in clamshell mode (lid closed with external keyboard and monitor)! These are major changes that could have easily been noted but they aren't. Apple gets so much backlash due to this which could be adverted if they just told people what changed and let us make the decision to upgrade or not. Now we just upgrade to find out what changed and then downgrade if it breaks a feature we liked :( Will it change? I doubt it and I was just using this space as my personal rant! Thanks for listening :)
Just Updated 9/29/2001
I wanted to have more posted but I have been very busy the past week. I will hope to make up for this by making a post next week instead of waiting the normal 2 weeks. Thanks for understanding :)
OS 9.2.1 user letters: Here are a few letters I have received from 6360-6400 owners that have installed OS 9.2.1 with one of the hacks available. Thanks for the info guys :)
from reading these letters, it appears that your mileage may very with the patches. Some worked and some didn't? Also some reported having to zap the PRAM to get their Mac to boot after the install? I don't know why that is needed but remember this if you try and your Mac gets a black screen at startup.
Another thing I noticed is that Newer MaxPower owners are having issues getting their G3's to work under OS 9.2.1? Sonnets G3 seems unaffected and I have not heard from any Vimage users yet. It seems that the MaxPower installer or extension itself sees your 6400 with OS 9.2.1 as a real G3 and will not load at startup :( I asked several people to try and remove the MachID extension (which was used to fake the installer into thinking you had a real G3) to see if that would help. At least one person wrote back saying it did not help. Another suggestion would be to try MachID but type in "58" which represents a 6400. Maybe this will allow the MaxPower extension to work again. That is if it does not break OS 9.2.1 now?
Update on Firewire/USB combo cards causing audio issues: Well it seems for sure now that Apples USB drivers cause audio issues with these combo cards. I have heard nothing but success in fixing audio issues once the USB drivers are removed. I had read through my old info and found that some readers had audio issues once they upgraded to OS 8.6 and that turning off VM may fix it. Mike replied to me that indeed disabling VM had an affect but did not cure the issue. Only removing the USB drivers fixed it. Thanks Mike.
Corry tried removing only the Firewire drivers without success. Thanks for the info Corry.
He does bring up a good point though. How would audio be affected on a firewire or USB attached HD? Assuming the issue may be related to HD access. Anybody with a combo card and Firewire or USB HD care to test this? Please email me your results. Thanks.
Update on Farallons v2.4 driver causing shutdown problems: VRic wrote me back to say he now can confirm that the v2.4 of Farallons drivers does cause a shutdown problem but only if no network connection is made to the card (at least on his system). Thanks VRic.
Click here to read more on Farallons drivers and the 6400.
Customer Installable Parts site from Apple: This only pertains to newer Macs like the iMac and up but I thought I would post it for all as many people with 6400 may one day want a new Mac :) This site has nice QT movies and PDF files on all the parts Apple says customers can install ourselves. Thanks Apple! To bad they won't do this with their older Macs :(
General OSX info - trashing the system folder and resinstalling is not a completely clean install?: I know most of you aren't running OSX because it doesn't work on our Macs but for those that do have a Mac that can, and is, running OSX, here is some interesting info I found out the other day.
I was trouble shooting an issue I have on my B&W G3 running OSX 10.0.4 build 4Q12 where no 3D game would run. They all crashed on launch but did not bring my Mac down. The funny thing was that these same games (Q3A, CroMag Rally, and Return to CastleWolfenstein beta) worked on my new iBook with the same OS setup. I thought that perhaps some of the third party OS tweaking utilities I had used on the B&W may have caused this so I wanted to remove any damage they may have done. I could not easily find away to remove what they did so I thought I would just reinstall the OS to get back to square one. This both worked easily and did nothing?
I booted into OS 9.2.1 and then trashed the OSX System folder, Library folder, Mach.sym file, and Mach file. I left the User folder so I would not lose my user settings since they are shared with OS 9.2.1 users and I also did not trash the OSX Applications folder so I would not have to reinstall any apps I had recently downloaded.
I then inserted my OSX install CD and ran the installer. After the install was complete and it rebooted, I was shocked to see that nothing had changed? All my settings were intact right down to who the admin user was and TCP/IP settings! Its like I didn't trash anything? I thought this was very odd and tried my games again which none worked still. So the next thing to try was to trash the Preference folder for the admin user which is found in the Library folder of the admins User folder. Yes this is complicated till you can see what I am saying. I then rebooted and it still remembered who the admin user was and still retained all network settings but this time it did default my Finder settings which is a good start. So I tried my games again and they still failed?
I then went to several Mac help sites to read up on OSX issues and on www.xlr8yourmac.com's forums, I found that OSX does not have hardware support for my Radeon card yet. This would explain why no 3D game worked as there is no 3D support for my video card. I then tried an older Rage128 VR card and each game now works just fine :) I hope that OSX 10.1 has hardware support for the Radeon or I won't be switching OS's anytime soon!
The main reason I wrote all this was to say that OSX is going to be a very rugged OS once its fine tuned and supports more hardware. I mean how many operating systems can you completely trash and still retain all their settings on a clean install. But then if you want to do a real clean install, how would you? I think there must be many invisible files, which are also invisible in OS 9, that store network settings as I am sure I trashed everything I could find that should have had OS preferences stored in. So either finding and trashing invisible files or initializing the HD will be needed to do a really clean install. This may be a good reason to install OSX on a separate partition from OS 9.x as some have suggested. Then you only need to lose data that pertains to OSX and not everything.
Click to view The 6400 Zone Archives
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 :) 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 email@example.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, iBook Dual USB OS 9.2.1 / OSX 10.1, PowerBook G3/233 OS 9.1, 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.
If any of the links do not work properly, please send an email to me the Site Master
This page last updated 10/5/2001
This page and all the others in The 6400 Zone web site are the sole property of Thomas Koons and The 6400 Zone
Any duplication must have prior consent from Thomas Koons