Avoid Current Firmware Updates -- Apple's just-released firmware updates (4.1.7 and 4.1.8) for recent iMacs, plus the iBook, G4 Cube, Power Mac G4, and PowerBooks with FireWire ports have caused much gnashing of teeth. The firmware updates, which were released both on the Internet and on the Mac OS 9.1 CD-ROMs that come with Mac OS X, claim to make improvements to FireWire target disk mode, network booting, gigabit Ethernet networking, and overall stability. They also enable password protection of Open Firmware booting to increase the security of Mac OS X (which can protect its files via user privileges, but can't do so when booted from Mac OS 9). The significant problem with these firmware updates is that something in them can prevent the Mac from recognizing some RAM modules from third party vendors. Apple has yet to make an official statement about the situation. Our advice: don't install these firmware updates until there's word from Apple. [ACE]
iMovie '09: Speed Clips up to 2,000%
iMovie '09 brings back the capability to speed up or slow down clips, which went missing in iMovie '08. Select a clip and bring up the Clip Inspector by double-clicking the clip, clicking the Inspector button on the toolbar, or pressing the I key. Just as with its last appearance in iMovie HD 6, you can move a slider to make the video play back slower or faster (indicated by a turtle or hare icon).
You can also enter a value into the text field to the right of the slider, and this is where things get interesting. You're not limited to the tick mark values on the slider, so you can set the speed to be 118% of normal if you want. The field below that tells you the clip's changed duration.
But you can also exceed the boundaries of the speed slider. Enter any number between 5% and 2000%, then click Done.