Monday, December 05, 2011

My Mac Pro's Radeon X1900 XT Is Retired To My Computer Grave Yard

My Mac Pro's Radeon X1900 XT is retired to my computer grave yard, in my basement, but going back to the OEM Apple nVidia GeForce 7300 GT, which shipped with my Mac Pro, brought some encouraging results.

When I first got the 2007 Mac Pro, in 2009, I was running it in Mac OS Tiger and Photoshop CS4 (11.0.0) would disable Open GL Rendering when it detected the stock nVidia GeForce 7300 GT card, which was on Adobe's list of unsupported graphics GPUs. So, I purchased a refurbished Apple Radeon X1900 XT. This card allowed Photoshop CS4 and Bridge CS4 to enable Open GL Rendering. Over the last year, the Radeon X1900 XT graphics card has been creating stripes on my screen when it is running hot and sometimes the dual displays would just shut off while I was working. Also, the computer was doing hardware freezes about once a day. This morning the Mac Pro shut down it's dual displays, while I was working, and I had to do another cold shut off in order to restart. I then manually shut the computer down and did a manual boot-up so that Snow Leopard would employ disk maintenance.

I shut the computer off and pulled the Radeon X1900 XT card and re-inserted the OEM Apple nVidia GeForce 7300 GT card. Now I'm running Mac OS 10.6.8 Snow Leopard with Photoshop CS4 (11.0.2) instead of Photoshop CS4 (11.0.0).

Now, the updated Photoshop CS4 under the newer OS, is enabling Open GL Rendering instead of disabling it. This graphics card's hardware limitation is now fixed so, I see no reason to buy the ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade Kit for my Mac Pro:

Some who have purchased the Apple ATI Radeon HD 5770 say they still got the striping on their display when the Radeon HD 5770 card was running hot, just like with the Radeon X1900 XT.

So far, the OEM Apple nVidia GeForce 7300 GT is working fine and I'm not getting any striping on my displays with no display shut-offs or hardware freezes.

I'm glad to have Adobe's Open GL Rendering enabled with an OEM graphics GPU that runs cool and requires no imbedded cooling fan. Apples OEM nVidia GeForce 7300 GT, for the Mac Pro, is now actually on Adobe's updated list of supported GPUs for Open GL Rendering under Photoshop CS4, so why is it supported now? Is that just one of the benefits of the Photoshop CS4 11.0.2 update? It turns out that the card is supported by Adobe's Open GL Rendering in some limited ways as long as my Mac Pro is running an OS that is later than Mac OS Tiger, like Leopard or Snow Leopard.

Maybe, some day, I will still need to upgrade to the ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade Kit for my Mac Pro, especially if I upgrade to Photoshop CS5, because the old Radeon X1900 XT and the old nVidia GeForce 7300 GT is not supported in Photoshop CS5's OpenGL Rendering engine but the Radeon HD 5770 is.

The main net benefit of going back to the stock OEM Apple nVidia GeForce 7300 GTis that my Mac Pro is now "rock solid" and stable, running for weeks and months without freezing up or crashing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Visiting The Henry Ford Greenfield Village

When on vacation in Michigan, in July, I enjoyed visiting The Henry Ford Greenfield Village, in Dearborn, MI. I loved taking a 13 minute ride in a model T that was smooth and quiet, with low RPMs. My Model T driver looked like the 1940s actor and singer, Danny Kaye. He shared some insights about Henry Ford and the Model T, which was manufactured from 1908-1927, with over 15 million produced. Greenfield Village is a very charming place and at the end of the day, you don't want to leave.

My Model T driver, pictured above, said that Henry Ford liked to talk to small-town farmers and businessmen and explain to them how switching from a horse & buggy to a practical automobile will expand and enlarge your familiar world, exponentially. When I finished my Model T ride, I had a full-feeling inside.

Watching and listening to a Model T go by creates a warm feeling inside. (pictured above: a 1917 Ford Model T Woody Wagon)

Map of The Henry Ford Greenfield Village

Two days after visiting Greenfield Village, I saw a 2011 Ford Focus in downtown Saugatuck, MI. After being charmed by the Model Ts, the all new Ford Focus seemed to be charming, as well. I have never been a Ford fan but visiting The Henry Ford Greenfield Village, in Dearborn, MI, kind of gets you into the mood. :-)

Friday, July 22, 2011

The New 2011 Mac Mini Loses the Optical Drive and Moves the Power Brick Inside the Encloser

Does anyone archive finished projects to CD-R and DVD-R anymore? I still do. For this reason, I see no need to lose the optical drive on the new July 2011 Mac Mini. But if Apple is abandoning the optical drive, they could at least use the gained extra space, inside the enclosure, to make a 3.5" 7200 RPM SATA drive standard instead of using a 2.5" 5400 RPM mobile drive. I know Apple is proud of the low power consumption specs on their Mini but this is a desktop machine that plugs into your wall and does not need to give up a 3.5" internal drive for a 2.5" drive to save on power consumption.

It looks like Apple is using that extra space in the Mini to move the power supply brick inside the enclosure and Apple prefers the 2.5 mobile drive in the Mini for portable durability. Apple is also allowing you the option to buy the Macbook Air external SuperDrive with the Mini.

So, the Mini still can be a practical desktop with the 2.5" 7200 RPM internal mobile drive option and the external optical drive option. Without the internal optical drive built in, this new Mac Mini might be more practical than ever as a media server for your family room TV.

If anyone knows what technology is replacing the optical drive for project archiving, please let me know.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

13-Year-old ClearGraphics Logo Receives Full-color Treatment

In 2010, my 13-year-old ClearGraphics logo received the full-color treatment.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Time Machine is up and running . . .

I got Time Machine set up on Friday. It does not seem to slow my system down and keeping a FireWire 400 External Drive attached to my Intel-Mac workstation, all the time, does not appear to make my system buggy, like it did with my old Sawtooth G4.

After my entire workstation was backed up a few times, I launched the Time Machine app and was visually blown away by what I saw.

Speaking of my old 400 MHz Sawtooth G4, I pulled it out of the grave yard in my basement and inserted an old 7200 RPM 80MB drive that had a clean install of Leopard (installed through my Dual G4 back up server), and I added some extra RAM, pulled from our old decommissioned G3 iMac.

This old G4 works pretty good with the unsupported install of Leopard. It's old 2002 Radeon 8500 retail graphics card, with 64 MBs of DDR RAM, helps it to perform OK with Leopard along with having 1.5 GBs of RAM. It has enough horse power to allow my son to play some of the web-based games on the Lego web site. Aaron has "Pack The Man" and "Snood" on the old Sawtooth and they both work fine. Some of the iLife '09 and iWork '09 apps work fine as well. So my 1999 G4 is now my 9 year old son's computer. He is playing on a system that is older than himself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

An Interesting Commentary About Steve Jobs' Third Leave Of Absence

Shawn King, of Your Mac Life, shared an interesting commentary about Steve Jobs' third leave of absence, for health reasons. Here is the URL to listen to Shawn's commentary, by audio stream:

Apple's Jobs Takes a Third Medical Leave but Remains CEO - CNBC

Apple's Jobs Takes Medical Leave but Remains CEO - CNBC

I hope Mr. Job's finds good health in the future and is able to return to the work that he loves, at Apple.