Magix for iMac Update
Updated Sep 4, 1999
Magix Carpet Ride
Sep 4, 1999
LET'S SEE NOW... Over the last few days, I've sat in on Wednesday's Steve Jobs' Seybold Seminars '99 keynote which was streamed 'live' via QuickTime TV, and watched probably a dozen or more movie trailers. Thanks to SingTel Magix and QuickTime technology, all were delivered via an ordinary phone line to my bondi iMac in stunningly crisp and pristine T1/LAN quality. You really have to experience QuickTime content this way to fully appreciate where the Internet is headed in the coming years.
From Apple's QuickTime Movie Trailers Theater alone, there are currently "Deep Blue Sea", "The Haunting", "Eyes Wide Shut", "South Park", "Wild Wild West", "The Astronaut's Wife", and "Toy Story 2", just to name some.
And then there's the hilarious Weird Al: The Saga Begins — QuickTime and It's All About the Pentiums, as well as the "Lethal Weapon G4" ad. But most of all, there's the mega-trailer that's basically synonymous with QuickTime 4: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
The list just goes on. And who could resist the urge, when you can download videos at such exhilarating speeds (in this day and age, at least), which doesn't merely mean you can get content off the Web a whole lot quicker, but that you can now choose to access rich media content — top-of-the-line stuff — that's usually reserved for broadband connections. Why settle for just postage stamp views, when you can have the whole postcard? And for free, too, for another 6 weeks at least.
So while you may still be locked out of SingaporeONE's VOD services or miss watching Jill Neubronner deliver the latest reports on Channel News Asia just because you happen to prefer a Mac, no big deal. There ARE better options, believe me.
Despite some minor hiccups in the first two days (including a few incidental freezes and the dreaded paperclip restarts), the Magix client software has — magically, it seems — become much more stable now. As well, I'm no longer getting those irritating "unable to connect to gateway" and "unknown error occurred" messages that plagued my iMac initially. If need be, trashing your 'ST Client Access Prefs' file might help, and it does little harm anyway, aside from you having to log in your userid and password again. You'll find it tucked inside a folder named 'FoxWorks ƒ' that's located in your Preferences folder.
After just a week, I've only one caveat to offer: Signing up for the ADSL service could well be a one-way Magix carpet ride for most, because The Law of Relativity extends even to the Web. Once you've gotten used to its truly superhighway speeds, going back to a 56K modem might well seem like trailing behind a tow-truck.
Got to run. I've got another movie to catch. Whoosh!
Magix and PhoneMail
Sep 3, 1999
WILL SINGTEL MAGIX and SingTel's PhoneMail service conflict with each other? That's the question I'm hoping to find the answer to very soon.
SingTel's PhoneMail service, essentially a call-answering and voicemail service that you could subscribe to, gives off a unique dial tone to alert you that someone's left a message on your answering service. This alert tone CANNOT be disabled, according to the SingTel operator I spoke to, and it confuses ordinary dial-up fax-modems which listen for the standard dial tone before dialling up your ISP or sending out a fax. One solution for ordinary dial-up modems is to simply go to your Modem control panel and check the 'Ignore dial tone' box. However, I doubt that will have any bearing on the Alcatel ADSL modem which comes with Magix.
If you currently have PhoneMail on the same line as your Magix connection, or have some input on this matter, please let me know.
Sep 1, 1999
TODAY'S MAGIX TREAT comes to you courtesy of iMac user Raymond Kam of Vancouver. This is a QuickTime recording of the CNBC interview with Apple iCEO Steve Jobs right after his keynote at the Seybold Seminar. Comes in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2.
And forget that obscure VDOLive format that SingaporeONE uses — catch this Star Wars spoof in QuickTime 4 instead: Weird Al: The Saga Begins — QuickTime — Go Really Fast! But don't overlook the hieroglyphs on the left.
Aug 31, 1999
SINGTEL MAGIX Multimedia Division representative David Hanley is slated to make a presentation to the Singapore Mac Users Group during its next meeting on Sep 8. Hanley, who first announced that Magix was coming to the iMac back in late June during the Print & Web Publishing Seminar, will hopefully provide new insight and offer more good news to Mac users about Magix. QuickTime support, perhaps?
Video On Demand
Aug 31, 1999
JUST FOR THE RECORD, Video On Demand is currently unavailable in this iMac trial, or for Macs for that matter. Virtually all of the video content on SingaporeONE, be it news or entertainment, requires the Oracle Video Client, which is conspiratorially Windows-only. As for movie clips, they're all in VDOLive format, and although a Mac version of the VDOLive Player (ver 3.0) can be downloaded free, it is ancient. Using the required MacOS 8.6 for Magix, you can listen to what's going on in say, Runaway Bride, but you can't see a thing except for the VDOLive logo. Whatever happened to QuickTime, the cross-platform industry standard? you might ask. Oh well, give it time and hopefully things will improve.
Aug 30, 1999
SO FAR, it's been slightly over a day since I first attempted getting online via Magix on my iMac. I had collected my kit from the Singnet shop in Raffles City (very friendly staff!) but only got around to fixing the whole thing up after dinner last night. I'll try to be brief, as this is a quick-and-dirty report to point out all the trouble spots I encountered before I finally got my Magix connection to work as well as it should. (I suspect some of the other 99 guinea pigs are still jumping through hoops just to get the connection going.)
My first evening with Magix is best left forgotten; I spent the greater part of it trying to figure out why Magix was running SLOWER than my iMac's built-in 56K modem, and with stalls every other few seconds. It was frustrating, but I kept on tweaking everything I could think of till about two in the morning before I finally nailed it and Magix began to show its stuff, reaching transfer speeds upward of 55 kilobytes (not kilobits) per second at some points.
As my best benchmark for evaluating Magix's sustained data transfer rate, I picked the Star Wars Phantom Menace trailer (the 640 x 288 pixel version, at exactly 26.482324MB) to download in the background as I was writing this report. I had to stop writing midway, as the 2-and-a-half minute trailer began streaming at the 70 per cent mark and carried on till the end of the download, which took all of 8 minutes 26 seconds, averaging upwards of 52 kilobytes per second (1 byte being equivalent to 8 bits). That's about 420 kilobits per second (kbps) against the maximum downstream rate of 512kbps which I thought was pretty decent progress after a day's worth of cajoling and tweaking.
Pitfalls To Avoid:
Use only UPPERCASE for passwords. More specifically, it appears that if you change your password from the one assigned to you by Magix, you will need to key in any letters in UPPERCASE. I inadvertently blundered on this one, and keyed in a new alphanumeric password for my account in lowercase. Fortunately, after a brief spell of post-twilight trauma trying to hack into my own account, I eventually discovered that I was able to regain access using my lowercase password by entering it in uppercase. (Phew!) And don't bother with trying to change your password on the suggested smtp.magix.com.sg site via dial-up PPP; you can't.
Magix doesn't use a proxy server. So set your browser preferences to connect directly to the Internet. (The user guide doesn't mention this at all.) If you're juggling between your regular dial-up service and the Magix trial, you'll need to remember which connection you're using each time, and disable or enable the proxy server accordingly.
(Note: Magix's performance appears to be little affected even if my Singnet proxy settings are enabled, but I can't say for sure if it will work as well if your browser is set to connect to some other ISP's proxy server.)
Watch your TCP/IP configs. When installing and starting up the Magix Access Client for the first time, a new preference setting for the Magix connection (using DHCP Server via Ethernet) will automatically be created in your TCP/IP control panel. (A folder called 'FoxWorks' is created in your Preferences folder, which contains your Magix Log and your ST Client Access Prefs files.) However, you will need to go back later to the TCP/IP control panel to switch between configurations for Magix and your dial-up PPP account (assuming you have one). Good thing is, no restart is required when toggling between the two.
Remember to change your QuickTime 4 connection speed settings. Both T1 and Intranet/LAN options will work splendidly. Try it on the Macworld NY keynote as a dry run for Wednesday morning's webcast of the Steve Jobs Seybold keynote 'live' from San Francisco.
Beware of parallel connections. This was my biggest oversight: Make sure you've got a microfilter connected to EVERY telephone that shares the phone line your Magix account has been assigned to. All it takes is one parallel line without the microfilter to totally degrade the Magix service. However, at the same time, SingTel Magix recommends only a maximum of 4 microfilters to be used in your telephone network. This point is mentioned in page 4 of the user guide, but really needs to be emphasized much more, considering its impact on the connection quality. I reckon if I could miss that one point after an entire evening of troubleshooting, so could anyone else. Also look up FAQ 5 (website?), the user guide suggests, for the most efficient way of connecting microfiliters.
Your ADSL modem doesn't need a microfilter. Connect the supplied telephone cord from your modem directly to the telephone socket. Use the RJ11 coupler (which splits the line two ways) only if the modem is sharing the socket with a parallel phone line, and use the microfilter for THAT parallel line. Feedback to SingTel Magix: Show a clear diagram in the user guide of the overall hardware setup, and avoid the ambiguity that written (technical) instructions will often lead to.
Short of a diagram, here's the best I can do:
To connect Magix to your iMac without sharing the phone line, do this:
From phone socket —> phone cord —> Alcatel ADSL modem LINE port.
To connect Magix to your iMac on a shared phone line, do this:
Between phone socket and ADSL modem:
Phone socket —> 1st line coupler outlet —> phone cord —> ADSL modem LINE port.
Between phone socket and parallel phone line:
Phone socket —> 2nd line coupler outlet —> Z-Blocker microfilter —> phone cord —> telephone*.
*Alternatively, you could connect the phone cord to your iMac's phone port, so you can use the same phone line to switch between Magix and dial-up access or faxing with your iMac's built-in V.90 modem.
In all of the above cases, simply connect the ADSL modem to your iMac using the fat white Ethernet cable supplied, from the modem's 10BASE-T port to your iMac's Ethernet port (marked <•••>)
Put away your Alcatel ADSL modem manual. Chances are, you won't need it.
For another ongoing report on the Magix for iMac trial, you can visit Vernon Lee's site to read about his experiences.
Aug 25, 1999
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, here's something that came through the grapevine regarding iMagix (so shoot me, I'm trying plug the service every which way I can). From an anonymous source:
Just a note which you guys might like to feature on your websites. SingTel Magix Access Clients have been tested to work on the following machines:
• PowerBook G3 Series (WallStreet Series I and Lombard)
• iMac 233, 266, 333Mhz
• PowerBook G3 Kanga (first series of PowerBook G3's)
• iBook :)
It is believed to be able to work on any PowerPC machine with Mac OS 8.6 installed. It is rumored a newer version is in the works with optimized codes and better UI.
So there you go. Now, all that's needed is to see if the Magix ADSL modem will plug into an AirPort Ethernet port and... you get the picture.
Aug 23, 1999
SINGTEL MAGIX will begin its Magix for iMac trial from Aug 28 thru' Oct 15. This was announced in an email sent to the 100 selected AppleClub iMac users earlier today. All iMac users can therefore expect the launch of the service from as early as Oct 16, 1999 (almost to the day the first anniversary of the iMac's launch in Singapore).
At the end of the trial period, trial users who opt to continue with the service will get to keep their Hi-Speed Internet kits for free and will be offered a monthly subscription package of $60 for 30 hours of use for the first 12 months (5 cents per minute thereafter), and $60 for 20 hours of use from the 13th month on. It is possible (though not absolutely certain) that a similar deal will be offered to all iMac users when the promotion is officially launched.
Magix for iMac:
The iMac NewsPage joins the trial
Aug 22, 1999
AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, I made the cut for the Magix for iMac user trial, which will probably begin from as early as tomorrow for a whole month. I was informed of this last Friday afternoon by a Magix authorized reseller on behalf of SingTel Magix. Those of you who have been shortlisted for the free trial would probably have also been informed by now regarding the arrangements to collect your kits and to have your phone lines checked.
I will be logging my experiences occasionally during the period of the trial on this website so other readers may gain some insight into the ADSL service. So if you're keen to find out more about whether the Magix for iMac deal suits you, or if you want to share your own trial experiences when it begins, write to me.
Upgraded Twice Over — And Grateful [Oct 10, 2001]
Welcome To The Future [Mar 21, 2001]
iM2 — Incredible Milestones of The iMac NewsPage [Jun 1, 2000]
What's to like about Netscape 6? Quite a bit [Apr 17, 2000]
Dealing with IE5's font and resolution settings [Mar 28, 2000]
Free Internet Arrives in Singapore [Dec 12, 1999]
Mac sales in Japan (Dec 1999) [Dec 9, 1999]
Mac sales in Japan (Nov 8-14) - iMac DV SE, iBook still #1 [Nov 23, 1999]
Adding Movies To QuickTime Favorites [Nov 23, 1999]
Black Magix: Try saying hocus-bogus [Nov 19, 1999]
Mac sales in Japan (Oct 25-31) [Nov 11, 1999]
QuickTime Live! Conference Keynote Highlights [Nov 10, 1999]
Apple tops October PC sales in Japan [Nov 7, 1999]
About that mysterious Magix freeze [Nov 7, 1999]
Magix Miscellany [Nov 7, 1999]
Make Kihei while the Sun shines [Nov 3, 1999]
Apples in Eden — The Singapore iBook Launch [Nov 1, 1999]
One Country, Two Systems — The Apple Store (Hongkong) Opens [Oct 28, 1999]
Apple Store Singapore Opens — Right On Time [Oct 20, 1999]
Mac sales in Japan remain strong [Oct 26, 1999]
Magix For The Mac — The Unofficial FAQ [Oct 25, 1999]
Macs outsell all other computers in Japan [Oct 21, 1999]
Asia Apple Stores to open in Singapore and Hongkong [Oct 20, 1999]
Magix Broadband for Macintosh — for just $48! [Oct 20, 1999]
Asia Apple Store Update [Oct 18, 1999]
New iMacs as quiet as Jobs claims [Oct 12, 1999]
New iMacs quieter than Jobs claims? [Oct 10, 1999]
Asia Apple Store Seeks Tech Support Temp [Sep 23, 1999]
G4 — the Real Story? [Sep 17, 1999]
Sorenson Broadcaster™ Press Release [Sep 15, 1999]
Magix for iMac Update [Sep 10, 1999]
Magix for iMac Update [Aug 30, 1999]
PC Fairy Tales: Jobs And The Binstock [Aug 20, 1999]
AirPort Delays: More Revelations [Aug 12, 1999]
Stand Up For Macintosh [Aug 12, 1999]
AirPort Delays: What's Not Causing It [Aug 11, 1999]
Dumb iBook Remarks [Aug 9, 1999]
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The IEEE 802.11 Standard — in English [Jul 29, 1999]
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AirPort Fallacies [Jul 24, 1999]
iBook and iMac: Sibling Rivalry? [Jul 23, 1999]
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Hooray for AirPort — But Remember the McPiper? [Jul 21, 1999]
Additional Notes on Magix ADSL [Jul 20, 1999]
Apple, SingTel Magix team up to bring ADSL to iMacs [Jul 20, 1999]
DuoPen & e-Pad coming to the Mac [Jul 9, 1999]
Macworld is out, Publish! World is in [Jul 5, 1999]
Discovery Channel giving away iMacs [Jun 28, 1999]
TIME Asia giving away Apple computers [Jun 28, 1999]
Diamond Rio makes a play for iMac [Jun 26, 1999]
Magix for iMac [Jun 25, 1999]
Why would Apple want 30,000 McPipers? [Jun 24, 1999]
Singapore Macworld Expo Cancelled [Jun 20, 1999]
The Sunscreen Song [Jun 20, 1999]
Coming Soon: A USB Cordless Phone For Your iMac [Jun 19, 1999]
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Taming Your Round Mouse: What The Manual Doesn't Say [Jun 4, 1999]
UniTrap: Contour Enhancement for the iMac Mouse [Jun 1, 1999]
iMacs to ship in Taiwan with free Chinese software [May 31, 1999]
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QuickTime 4: New Features Added [May 8, 1999]
QuickTime 4: The Beta Just Got Better [May 5, 1999]
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Griffin Revs Up iMate, iPort, and gPort [Apr 26, 1999]
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Tales From The Dark Side [Mar 31, 1999]
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A Solution For The iMac's Mouse: Simple As A Dimple [Mar 24, 1999]
Steve Jobs Interview on Channel NewsAsia [Mar 14, 1999]
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Tokyo Tidbits: Carbon iMacs and Cool Colored Speakers [Feb 27, 1999]
The iMac Book [Feb 26, 1999]
iCab: Readers Views [Feb 25, 1999]
Review: iCab Preview 1.1 (US) [Feb 24, 1999]
iCab: Why Bloat When You Can Float? [Feb 22, 1999]
Disney Rumor Echoes Blast From The Past [Feb 19, 1999]
Disney Blast and the iMac's Circular Mouse [Feb 18, 1999]
HAL Freezes Over [Feb 1, 1999]
Another Look at Internet Explorer 4.5 [Jan 19, 1999]
Old Wine In New Bottles? [Jan 16, 1999]
The Unofficial iMac Web Ads [Jan 15, 1999]
AroMac Therapy [Jan 12, 1999]
Theft of an iMac: A Victim's Story [Jan 8, 1999]
Multi-Colored iMacs A Reality [Jan 2, 1999]
Yosemites spotted [Dec 25, 1998]
Time's Man Of The Year? [Dec 15, 1998]
Another Reset Button Solution for iMac Owners [Dec 9, 1998]
2,000 in 2 days - and then what? [Nov 1, 1998]
Product Review: iMacFloppy.com [Oct 24, 1998]
Brace Yourself! [Oct 16, 1998]
Singapore's iMac Pre-Launch Bash [Oct 15, 1998]
iMac to launch with Mac OS 8.5 in Singapore [Oct 15, 1998]
Steve Jobs October 14 Event [Oct 14, 1998]
Dances With Wolves in Sheep's Clothing [Oct 4, 1998]
iMac: Thinking Different in Asia [Sep 22, 1998]
An Open Letter to Steve Jobs [Sep 17, 1998]
Mac-bashing: An American sport? [Sep 10, 1998]
Steve Jobs Seybold Keynote '98 [Sep 1, 1998]
One day more! [Aug 28, 1998]
iMac to be released in Singapore in October [Aug 22, 1998]
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iMac says G'day Australia: 31 days and counting! [Aug 5, 1998]
Famous Myths Revisited [Aug 3, 1998]
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Four Great Programs? [July 26, 1998]
MacWorld Expo Singapore - Day 2 Report [Jul 25, 1998]
MacWorld Expo Singapore - Day 1 Report [Jul 24, 1998]
Enter The iMacGotcha [Jul 16, 1998]
iMac's for the rest of us, not just US [Jul 1, 1998]
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