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Just Updated 12/22/2003

I hope you all enjoy the holiday season :) This has been one challenging year for me. I'm now in my third position in as little as 6 months at my current job. They are the number 2 growing company in Arizona so it looks like I may have a place to stay for awhile.

By the end of this semester I will be a certified Microsoft Products Specialist. Boy, talk about a conflict of interests :) The sad truth is that most all IT jobs require PC knowledge. My Mac background will be a big plus to those companies dealing with both platforms though.

Lots of things going on in my family as well. My sister, my cousin, and my wife's brother all just got married. My family came to our house for Thanksgiving and after that my wife and son went to CA to have a belated Thanksgiving with her family. I was unable to go because I ran out of days off. One drawback to starting a new job.

I've been running OSX 10.3 Panther since it came out and Apple really has a winner with this release! The speed of the Finder is much improved and the overall look and feel is great. And I though Jaguar was an improvement :) The only draw back is that whenever they upgrade the OS they change so much that drivers for things like printers get broken. Now it seems each new OS upgrade is a completely new OS and not just an upgrade. So much of the underlying stuff gets changed that its no wonder why things are breaking. This makes it tough for third party guys to keep up. I just hope they don't get upset enough to stop upgrading their drivers for new OS releases!

Well on to 6400 news :)

Latest Sonnet L2 G3 drivers working fine: Sometimes when Sonnet releases a new driver for their G3 cards it may cause issues for us 6400/6500 owners with the L2 G3 card installed. Mike sends word that the latest version is working fine on his system. Thanks Mike.

[I got a new Sonnet G3 card for my 6400 last month. Newest extension for them is now 2.0.3 and I have had no real problems at all. Mine is pretty much stock with 132 megs RAM At first it seemed as if my OS 9.1 was starting to use excessive RAM (93 megs one time) but I turned on Virtual Memory for the first time in 2 years and set it to 160 megs and everything has been great.
Just checked now and OS is using 43 megs

Painted Mac, Black Stripe: Patrick sent me some pictures of his Mac that he painted. Thanks Patrick.

[Well here are the pics, I thought I'd send them all so you can pick the best one's. As you can see, I was going for understated, but still very awesome, style. It was originally just one long black stripe, but that really wasn't enough! The Power Mac logo is cut out of a PM G5 brochure, as the original Performa 6400/200 badge both didn't agree with the computer(a 6500/300), and was the wrong color. Enjoy! :)


USB lights by Elijah: I had posted about a year ago I posted some instructions from Elijah on how to make a string of little lights work off of the power of a USB port. Now he sent me some more detailed instructions on how to do this. Thanks Elijah. Click here for more info.

Partial Solution to audio skipping with USB drivers enabled: Combo card owners have had lots of issues with audio skipping due to the USB drivers being installed. The previous solution was to disable the USB drivers and reboot so you could listen to music without skipping but that's not the best solution. Simon may have come up with a better solution for those of you that have non-Apple CDROM drives attached. Thanks Simon.

[I have a potential partial solution for audio skipping on a 6400 with USB drivers installed. I'm unable to use an iMic. After about 30 seconds, the USB bus just shuts down (Sonnet Tango USB/Firewire) and I need the USB ports (Brother laser printer, Epson Stylus printer, and USB optical mouse). I have an internal CD ROM drive and an external CDRW on the SCSI bus. I noticed that each time the green access light on the CDRW flashed, sound skipped. I disabled the Apple CD driver (in both OS 9.1 and 9.2x) and sound skipping virtually disappeared. I still have the Toast driver installed and the CDRW drive works as both a writer and reader. The only time I get significant skipping is if a scroll through a long document, move windows around, or open and close programs. While I'm typing or reading an Internet page, there is no skipping. Using OS 9.2.x was better in terms of skipping then OS 9.1 but this fix reduces skipping to a tolerable level in both versions of OS 9 on my Performa 6400. This may help users who can't afford to give up USB. If I need to mount a CD with the Apple drivers disabled, I use Silverlining Pro that came with the CDRW drive. Turning off virtual memory does not make a big difference so I leave it on.]

I believe the issue is the way Apple polls all the drives every now and then. This causes enough of a CPU lag to make audio skip. It sounds like Toasts CD driver does not poll the drive as often as Apples does or may do it in a less CPU tasking way?

5400/6400 Disk Tools image: I should have made this available a long time ago! This Disk Tools image can be copied to a floppy disk using disk copy and then you can boot your 5400/6400 from the floppy if you are having HD trouble. You won't have CD or network capability but it may come in handy some day.

Instructions on making your own bootable CD with your favorite utilities and L2 G3 drivers installed: John sent some instructions on how to make a trouble shooting CD that will activate your G3 while booted to a CD. Thanks John!

After I sent you the info about the SMC ethernet card I happened to check the forums. I saw a complaint about booting from the TechTool CD being so slow because it boots off the 603 cpu instead of the G3 upgrade. Here's something I've done so I can boot off an emergency CD with the G3 card. Since this may be of general interest I'm sending it to you instead of posting in the forum.

With a CD burner and Disk Copy you can make your own troubleshooting CD that will boot with the G3 card. Using Disk Copy create a disk image the size of a CD. Now run your system installation CD and create a basic operating system on the image. Next run the utility installer (TechTool Pro, Norton's etc) and install the program on the image. Now copy the Sonnet enabler to the extension folder in the system on the disk image. If you need to update your utility program you can do it to the program in the image. Burn the contents of the disk image to a CD and you'll be able to boot from the CD with the G3 card active.

You can even make an emergency CD with multiple system versions and several utilities. I made an emergency CD with TechTool Pro, TT-lite, Norton's Utilities and DiskWarrior and OS 8.6, OS 9.04 and OS 9.2.2 on one disk. Along with the Sonnet enabler I added the iDock drivers for my iMac. I've used this CD on everything from my 6400/G3 and iMac to TiBooks and G4 towers. If you try this be sure to use the program installers, if you try to drag a copy into the image you don't get the preference and registration files you need.]

Bad experience with the D-Link 530TX+ ethernet card: I don't know if this will happen to many people trying this ethernet card but Gregg wanted to warn us about what might happen. Thanks Gregg! Read on to find out what happened.

[I spent many unhappy hours with a D-Link DFE-530TX+ NIC and mucking about with a binary editor with the extension that came with the card, the latest version downloaded from D-Link and the Realtek 8139 extension.

The problem is neither of the extensions from D-Link has a PCI ID that matches the card like the instructions say it's supposed to! That doesn't speak well of their programmers. :P

Never got anything to work and for now my 7300/200 is sitting with the lid off and a corrupted System thanks to this so-called "Mac Compatible" card. So it's not a 6xxx, but you wanted experiences with this NIC!

I tried clean installs of both 9.1 and 9.2.2 fixed up using the latest OS9 Helper and the result when booting with any of the three NIC extensions was always a corrupted System.

Fortunately I picked up the card on a $10 clearance at Office Max and it works great in PC box with Windows, so eventually it'll find a permanent home in one.]

Another cheap ethernet card for 6400 users: John sends word that he didn't have much luck with the D-Link 530TX ethernet card (you need the 530TX+ for our Macs) but did have success with an SMC 1255TX ethernet card. Thanks John.

I thought I'd add to your ethernet card report. My first attempt was with a D-Link 530TX, and like your other writer it was a waste of time. Not only did the card not work but I hosed something in the system and had to reinstall from a backup. I learned from that and began to search company web sites to be sure Mac drivers were available before I dropped any more cash. Eventually I found that SMC makes two cards with Mac drivers, called EZ PCI Card 10/100, models 1244TX and 1255TX. I opted for the 1255TX because it has drivers for systems 7.53 through 9.2.2. I'm using FU-8.6. The 1244TX driver is for 9.1 or above. Both cards also have drivers for various OS X versions but that's not a factor for the 6400.

After the card was in I ran the driver installer and rebooted. The card was recognized and after changing the configuration from modem to ethernet I was on my LAN and into the internet. The only glitch was that the TCP/IP panel shows that the card has two ports when it only has one. Either port setting works on my 6400.

The card cost $28.95 Canadian (about $20 USD) at a local store and was listed at the same price at Macwarehouse Canada. Some things to note: there is no Mac documentation available, the included diskette is pc only, and the Mac drivers from the website come compressed in pc formats so you'll need a compatible expander. Also, don't confuse the 1255TX with the 1255TX-PF. The extra features of the PF card don't work on Macs and the drivers are OS X only. The website for SMC is

Thanks for all the years you have kept this site up for the 6400 community.

The drivers can be downloaded from this location.

Has anyone tried Apple QuickTime MPEG 2 component on a 6400/6500: Corry would like to know if anyone has tried installing the MPEG 2 component for QT on their 6400/6500? If you have please email me your experience. Thanks.

[Hiya, I just discovered that Apple has an mpeg-2 component (for 20 bux ugh), but the requirements are kinda steep I think. Have you (or any of your visitors) had any experience with it on a 6400? I would like to use it to watch DVDs. I've tried the hack for Apple DVD player 2.7 and only managed to get dvds with no area encoding to play, but it was enough to show that my 6400/G3-320 with a Radeon Mac Edition was capable of it (slot loading Pioneer SCSI DVD drive btw). Apple's site says a 500mhz G4 with 128 mb ram was required. I think we can do better hehe :)

Thanks for your site, I've gotten much more life outta my 6400 because of it!

Not sure this will help with DVD movies but you never know?

Issues with Belkins wireless USB ethernet adaptor: John sends word that he was unable to get their wireless adaptor to work on his 6400. Thanks for the info John. Not sure which OS version he was running but Belkins web site says it requires 9.2.x. Click here for more info on wireless USB devices for our Macs.

[I was just reading your post on the 6400 zone re USB Wireless and the 6400. I had the same problem with a Belkin USB adapter and their OS9 drivers. My 6400 would hang just as the desktop was loading. Same song and dance with Belkin Tech support. Mostly clueless, then they offer to exchange the adapter as defective. I even tried a different USB interface card with no luck. Anyway, I was wondering if you were successful and if so, what trick did you use.


L2 G3 Info

Spec Comparison Page
L2 G3 reported temps

user letters
install review
Vimage drivers, latest

Sonnet Tech
user letters
install review
hack for stability
Sonnet clocking
Mac OSX support
Crescendo 1.4.2-1.4.5

Newer Tech
user letters
Newer MaxpowerG3 drivers

Power Logix

Misc Info

6400 Clocking Info
6400 TA manual
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USB/Firewire cards
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6400 Icons
ColorStyleWriter4000 OS 9
Disk Tools 8.5 with CD extension
Farallon 10BaseT
Farallon 10/100BaseT
Geomodem Shutdown
Geo drivers for OS 9
MicroConversion video card
Newer MaxpowerG3 drivers
OS 9.2.1 install hack
OS 9.2.2 install hack
OT 2.6 and OT 2.6.1
OT 2.7.9
SetVolume to 1 script
Sonic 10BaseT
Sonnet Clocker
Sonnet Clocker II
SonnetCrescendo 1.4.2-1.4.5
TV/FM drivers v1.5
UK Telecom software
Vimage drivers, latest
Voodoo2 beta drivers
Voodoo3 beta 12 drivers


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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 $10 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 money orders and personal checks but I won't mail out the CD till it clears. I can now accept credit cards through PayPal as well!, 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 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.

TW Computing Business sites 11/2/2002

This page lists TW Computings Business Account holders web sites. I am placing them here on my site for two reasons. Many people visit The 6400 Zone and some of you may be interested in the products or services that these businesses deal in. Second, The 6400 Zone is visited by many web crawlers or robots that scan the internet looking for new sites. By placing links to sites hosted by TW Computing here, I can help them increase their chance of getting listed on most popular search engines. I figure that's the least I can do since I own TW Computing and it hosts The 6400 Zone :)

Also, if anyone is interested in having a web site hosted or maybe you want to your own domain name for your email, please consider using TW Computing.

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. At one time I referred 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 other 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 and I will check it out.

I use a Performa 6400/Vimage G3/320 OS 9.2.2, PM 6500/300 OS 9.2.2/OSX10.1.5, two B&W G4/500's OS 10.2.2 Server, iBook Dual USB OS 9.2.2 / OSX 10.2.6, PM 6100 G3/240 OS 9.1, Dual G4 800 OSX 10.3.2, 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 12/22/2003

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