Mac: use a Windows ATi Radeon 4870 in your Mac Pro

The price for Windows 4870 cards is substantially lower than Apple’s.
The Canada Apple Store currently
lists one for $420,
Canada Computers has one for $210.
this MacRumors forum thread
people are discussing how to do this and what the pitfalls are.

Basically, download and flash the ROM from

One person said:

I just tried it on my Sapphire HD4870 (the 1st gen one, based on
ATI’s ref design).

I flashed using freedos and the following command line:
atiflash.exe -p -fs -fp 0 4870.rom
note: -fs and -fp are used to ignore SSID and P/N mismatches

And it works!

EFI driver is initialized correctly, (I don’t have the leaked MacOSX
drivers for this card, so I can’t tell if this one works too), and
bootcamp stil works (currently writing from GNU/Linux on my 2006 Mac

Only problem is : only one output is active, no dual-head, it seems
(at least using ATI’s linux driver)

I should note that doing this seems to make the analog output (SVGA) not work. DVI is fine, though one person reported the “top” port as only going up to 1024×768.

Be careful out there. Read the thread for info on which cards work, and what possible side effects there are.



hard drive prices

Bought a new hard drive today; a 1½ terabyte drive for $160.
Thats only 10?¢ per gigabyte!

Scott showed me
a site
that says the first hard drive was $10,000 per megabyte!
So over 50 years, the price of hard drive storage has dropped by a factor of a BILLION.

At this rate, by the year 2059, the lowest cost of storage should drop from the current cost of $100,000,000 per exabyte to 10¢.


I’d like to record a podcast with one or more other interested individuals, using some sort of software that allows both a multi-party voice chat, *and* records each person’s audio locally in a high-qality format suitable for remixing in post.

I think I remember such software being mentioned somewhere, but I’m not sure where.

Any volunteers? … Bueller?

Mac OS X command-line of the day

sudo xattr -d *

This removes the “This file was downloaded, are you sure…” warning when dealing with downloaded files.

There are attributes other than, such as:

  • com.macromates.caret

I like that last one.
I guess it’s how TextMate
remembers its position in a text file.

If you want to see what extended attributes your files have, you can either use “xattr -l filename” or just “ls -l@“.