Buster Busts PowerBook Disappointment -- In response to our article about the 7.5.3 Update Revision 2.0 (codenamed Buster), Zac Imboden <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in with this happy ending: "Upgrading my 520 with the 5300 100 MHz daughtercard was probably the biggest disappointment of my life. The ensuing dispute between myself and my favorite local Mac repair shop ended in a bitter separation. They wouldn't take the card back, despite its dismal performance. However, one of their technicians called recently to announce the impending release of System 7.5.3 Revision 2.0. Overall performance has very noticeably improved, especially the access speed of our 4D client/server configuration. Zowie!"
Apple Tester for PowerPC Performas - As part of its repair extension program for 5200, 5300, 6200, and 6300-series Macintosh Performa and LC models (see TidBITS-331), Apple has released a utility that identifies machines with known logic board issues. Previously, logic board problems in these machines were only characterized by frequent system freezes, which can be caused by any number of things not covered by Apple. This utility should let owners of affected machines accurately identify known problems and, if necessary, contact an Apple dealer for free repairs. Please note the information this utility provides is only relevant to specific Macs; check Apple's summary for details. [GD]
LaserWriter 8.3.4 Unleashed -- Last week, Apple released LaserWriter 8.3.4, a version that has been anxiously awaited by many PCI Power Mac users who have been plagued with crashing problems when trying to print, particularly when using print spoolers or third-party printers, such as GCC's XL 808. Although it remains to be seen whether this driver solves all such problems, early reports that I've seen have been encouraging. Although Apple recommends that anyone running a PCI Power Mac or running System 7.5.3 use the new version of the driver, it also says that people using older Macintoshes or system versions shouldn't upgrade.
If you download and expand LaserWriter 8.3.4 , you'll end up with a disk image, which you can use with the help of a utility such as DiskCopy or ShrinkWrap. The download consumes about 450K of disk space. [TJE]
Put RAM on Your Shopping List -- If you'd wanted to purchase a 32 MB DIMM four months ago, around Valentine's Day, you probably would have paid around $900. Last week that same DIMM would have cost you around $320, maybe lower if you shopped carefully. Memory prices have plummeted across the board. These prices should still be low when this issue of TidBITS goes out, but the word on the street suggests they won't go much lower or stay low for all that much longer. If you wish, check out DealBITS for RAM deals and links to several hardware vendors. [TJE]