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Archive for September, 2008

File Migration From iMac to Mac Pro

Software / 0 Comments

I’m currently setting up my new Mac Pro, transferring from my old iMac. The amount of memory on my new HD shows it transferred all the data but I can’t find or run Final Cut Studio or any of its other programs. I was gonna remove the transfer, remove Final Cut off the old iMac and re-transfer over the info – then install Final Cut. Can you help me find the files on my Mac Pro before going through that step?

The Migration Assistant that first runs on new Macs can be configured to grab user files, settings, and applications. It also can sometimes skip some of the data, which could have happened during your migration. If you are sure that all the items were selected for the migration, try using the Spotlight search to find some of those application files. Perhaps they are in a unexpected place. If you can’t find those files then try reinstalling the full Final Cut Studio on the Mac Pro and see if you can find your FCP project files from within the applications. Even if the applications were not moved over, your preferences and media most likely did make it over.

If you find that nothing moved over as you expected, you could always rerun the Migration Assistant from your Utilities folder.

Software Update Throwing Errors, What Now?

Software / 0 Comments

When I try to use software update to download updates, I get back a message: “A network error has occurred. Cannot open file (-3001). Make sure you can connect…..”

Can you help me w/ this issue?

While it’s possible for some networks to block the use of Apple’s software updates, it’s not too likely. It’s also possible that you have a software error that is causing the problem, but I also think this is unlikely. It is far more likely that Apple is having a server error and that is causing your problem. If you have been able to use Software Update before and only now it is giving you this error, then it is probably not a problem on your end. Try downloading the file you want directly from the Apple downloads page.

There are a few others who have had similar issues as documented in this Apple Forum discussion thread.

Resoving A Sleep Issue Through PMU Reset

Hardware, Software, System Settings / 0 Comments

I am having trouble with the sleep feature. Recently I am not able to sleep the computer by any command means then if it sleeps from time, under system prefs. It will not wake, have to restart. Can the PMU be reset on this model? If so where is it located?

Resetting the PMU is a good first step in trying to resolve a system sleep issue. Here is the link to the Apple’s support site PMU reset procedure for most of the PowerPC Mac towers.

If resetting the PMU fails to resolve your problems you should then remove any added PCI cards you have installed. Some USB/Firewire cards will prevent a computer from sleeping properly. If you still have issues with your system sleeping, try removing all non-Apple RAM and peripherals, as this may interfere with the system’s ability to go into the low power mode of sleep.

G3 Mac Hardware or Software Failure?

Hardware, Software / 0 Comments

I have a beige G3 (sidecar) Mac that used a SCSI bus for the internal hard drives. The system will currently not boot, although the raster comes up on the display but no icons. I would like to access data on the hard drives. Do I need to try to get a replacement motherboard, or is there a way to connect the internal SCSI drives to my newer Macs, via USB or Firewire.

It’s not certain that you have a hardware failure that would require a new logic board. You could just as easily have a operating system issue that can be fixed. If you have a Mac OS install CD, then you can boot up off of that and see if the Disk First-aid can fix your boot drive. Also a reinstall of the OS could help resolve your issue. It is a safe bet that if you computer will not startup from a Mac OS X CD that it is a hardware failure. At that point you will need to find a new system that supports PCI cards so that you can move your drive over to the new system. You will need to determine what kind of interface your SCSI drive uses.This Adaptec SCSI card has both types of connectors but it may be more than what you need.I have never used this Startech SCSI card before but it could be an economical solution.Unfortunately I do not know of a good USB/FireWire SCSI drive adapter. Internal is probably your best option.

Troubleshooting Display Issues On a 17″ Apple Cinema Display

Displays, Hardware / 0 Comments

I have a 17″ studio cinema display and it seems to have an “off and on” power problem, USB ports work sometimes. Could it be a bad cord or what?

The Apple Cinema Displays have many cables combined into one connector. Each has DVI, USB, and power wrapped together in a single cable and plug. Although it is a wonderful reduction of clutter, this can create problems.

The first place to check for problems is with the pins in the connector. Look and see if any pin is bent or missing… with that many pins it is possible for one to get misaligned. Provided that the pins look intact, you should next reseat your video card by removing it and then reinserting it. Every feature that runs through the ADC connection also goes through your video card and its connection to the logic board.

If the problem persists, then it could be a short in that ADC cable. See if you can cause and then fix the problem by manipulating the monitor’s cable. If moving the cable has no effect, it is most likely a faulty USB hub in the display. I have seen this before but not too often. In the case of a bad USB hub, it is best to use an available USB port on the computer or get a desktop USB hub

iBook Wireless On The Cheap

Hardware, Networking, Wireless / 0 Comments

I have a iBook (circa 2002) and I would like to get it wireless capable. Is there anything I can do short of paying $1,000?

All iBooks, and most PowerBooks can go Wireless with a simple upgrade card. What you need is an Apple Airport card. There are two versions of airport card for the iBook – you’ll need a G4 iBook Airport Extreme card, or a regular G3 iBook FastMac Airport card.With iBooks, you just flip open the keyboard and plug in the card. Inside your iBook there is a built-in Airport antenna that attaches to the back of the Airport card. After the battery, Airport is the most user-accessible installation on the iBook.

Is there signal booster available for a wireless iMac?

Hardware, Networking, Software, Wireless / 0 Comments

Is there a range extender (or signal booster) available for the iMac wireless computer? I have the Time Capsule connected to a PC in an adjacent room and occasionally lose the internet connection. I have a Westell 2200 modem.I see two on your site but would like to know which one, if any, would help with my iMac connections.

As I understand your network, you have a Westell 2200 DSL modem plugged in through Ethernet to your Time Capsule router/Drive’s WAN port. Your PC is connected by Ethernet to the Time Capsule’s LAN port and your iMac connects wirelessly to the Time Capsule.

The problem you have is that the iMac is too far away from the Time Capsule to get a good signal. The best option for you would be an added Airport Express. You can wirelessly link your Time Capsule to the new Airport Express Via the WDS feature of Airport. This will let you place your new Airport Express halfway between your Time Capsule and iMac to create that boosted network range you wanted.

Protecting Your Investment With The Best RAID Solution

Backups, Hardware / 0 Comments

Glad to see there’s a well-informed person out there who’s willing to help people out with suggestions. I don’t know much about what I’m asking – I was assigned to research and find out the best way to store the images, so I found out about RAID, then immediately started looking for the best kind, and skipped all the steps in between there. So I apologize if I seem way out of my league.

I work for a successful photographer based in Seattle, WA, and we’re having a bit of a storage dilemma. Right now, we’ve got about 1TB of images, worth well over $1 million total, sitting on two cheap drives, and our trust in them is starting to falter. We’ve decided that a RAID system is probably the best way to go. With that, we’re looking for a large level of redundancy in order to store the images, something along the lines of what the ProStudio RAIDs by EZQuest do. At this point for us, cost is no object, we’re just looking for the absolute best, most reliable way to store (and mirror) the images many times over. What do you suggest?

Working with RAID storage systems is a complex subject. The way you interface with the storage is just as important as what RAID type you are using for redundancy. It is essential to note that RAID 0 (zero), also know as a Striped RAID, offers no data protection and should not be considered as a viable backup / long-term storage solution. You are looking for a guarantee that the files your studio makes its income from will survive a drive failure. For that you need to look at a RAID 1 or other complex RAID system.Many RAIDs are selected for Speed, Capacity, and Redundancy. The first two concerns are less of an issue for your needs, this is more important for a video editor or database server. What you really are interested in is the redundancy to protect your files, which makes the available selection much wider. In your situation you have to limit the large list of options down, so connectivity is a great way to do this. The ProStudio RAID by EZQuest is a fine RAID solution for the Video editing crowd but it requires being tethered to a Mac Pro. Depending on how you process images in your studio it may make more sense to have a variety of connections that all systems can connect to when depositing files or retrieving them.

If what I am suggesting is appealing to you, then try looking at one of the LaCie Biggest Quadra 4TB. You would want to run it in a RAID 5 or RAID 0+1. With this setup, practically any computer you use will be able to connect to the drive, freeing you up from system downtime affecting your ability to access your files.

The one thing missing in this setup is concurrent access to the files. This setup is aimed at one computer at a time connecting to the drive. If you have many computers needing to access these files, you will want to look at a file server instead. A custom ordered Mac Pro with an internal RAID and OSX Server installed would work well for that purpose.

I hope this gets you started, as you can see it is much more than a simple “this is the best RAID” conversation. It may be worth talking about your options with one of our sales consultants. Anyway, I hope this helps!

Is it possible to transfer a virus on a zip drive?

Software / 0 Comments

Is it possible to transfer a virus on a zip drive? We have a client who has brought in a zip drive with records on it but we want to make sure that we wouldn”t be inadvertently acquiring a virus?

It is always possible to get a computer virus from any form of writable media, whether it is a download or a Zip disk. In-fact the first viruses were transmitted via floppy disk. That being said, it is highly unlikely that the disk is infected, being that most modern viruses are made for the Windows OS. It is very difficult for a Mac computer to get a virus without the user intentionally installing a malicious program. Make sure that you open any file on the Zip disk via the application you are going to use it with, don’t just double click on the file on the disk. Also do not enter your system password unless you are intentionally installing something or editing your settings.

Upgrading From OS 9 to OS 10

Mac OS X, Software / 0 Comments

I have a G4 quicksilver 733 with 10.2.8 that I bought from PowerMax. It only has the built in Ethernet and no PCI card. It will not connect to the Internet no matter what I do. There are no components anywhere in the networking setup. I’ve downloaded every patch, driver and update from Apple and none have helped. If I boot up in 9 I can get on line. I would upgrade to a newer version of OS 10, but I’m using a protocols 001 and don’t know how much I can upgrade and have the software still work. Can you help?

Some DSL accounts require you to use special PPPoE settings to activate the DSL Modem’s connection to your ISP. With a PPPoE connection you have to enter in a user name and password into your Network System Preferences. Here are Apple’s instructions on adding your PPPoE settings.

How does this wifi thing work, anyway?

Networking, Software, Wireless / 0 Comments

Let’s say I’m in Kindergarden when it comes to computers.

I have an iBook G4, 3 1/2 years old and am looking to buy a new (or refurbished maybe) iMac. I have a lot of questions. First question is: should I ask one question at a time or is it ok to ask several questions in one email?

Question #2 ~ how does the wifi thing work? I mean, we pay Comcast every month to have internet service here which is cable, not DSL. If we have wifi which I understand comes with a new iMAC, do we still pay Comcast? Please explain so that I can decide whether this is a feature that is advantageous to me or not.

Don’t worry, there is a lot of common confusion as to what Wi-Fi is.

It may be helpful to think of Wi-Fi as a drinking glass. Your Comcast Internet connection is similar to the water connection to your house. If you want to drink it you have to fill your glass with water. You could drink right from the garden hose but it will not reach everywhere you want to go. A glass lets you drink water everywhere in your house without having to install new plumbing throughout your house. So, similar to the glass, Wi-Fi lets you get your Comcast Internet connection any place in your house. You still have to pay Comcast for the Internet connection if you have Wi-Fi, the same as paying the water bill even if you don’t have a drinking glass.

One more consideration is that you need to have a Wi-Fi adapter on both ends of your connection. The iMac has one built-in but not all Comcast modems have Wi-Fi adapters built-in. You need to call Comcast and ask if your Modem has Wi-Fi. If it does not, you can buy one to add to your modem. Apple calls its Wi-Fi connections “Airport” and you can buy an Apple Airport base station to get your Comcast connection turned into a Wi-Fi connection. Think of an Airport Base Station as a special faucet for your drinking glass.

The Airport Express Base Station is a good budget option and it is easy to use with your Mac.

Is The G4 Suitable For Home Audio Recording?

Hardware, Software / 0 Comments

I want to do some home studio recording. Would a G4 be suitable for this? I’m not sure how fast the processor would need to be, but I would definitely upgrade the RAM.

A G4 will work fine for most audio editing projects, as long as you keep the number of tracks reasonable, and budget for some extra wait time while working on the Pro Tools / Logic projects. A dual processor MDD G4 would be a good choice with its full 2GB limit of RAM. Also consider two extra drives in a RAID 1 configuration to store your project files on. If this is work for a paying client, you”re going to want to make sure it”s backed up.

iDVD Limited To 99 Images?

Software / 0 Comments

I have a G4 eMac 800 MHz with OS 10.4.11 running iPhoto 6.0.6 & iDVD 6.0.4.

I am being limited to (100) photos when burned to DVD. iDVD accepts all of the photos and when “burned” to an image file, they will show when played back on the computer. However there is a break in the music at the 100th photo. When burned to DVD, the playback cuts off at the 100th photo. Earlier versions were limited to 100 photos in a slide show, but that was changed on the more recent versions.

There is a known issue with the DVD play specification that has to do with the 99-image limit. Although the newer iDVD lets you make larger slideshow DVDs, not all players can play back more then 99 images.

Here are two links talking about the problem you have experienced:
iDVD ’08: Slideshow audio playback briefly drops out after 99 images

iDVD ’08 After 99 images in a slideshow, set-top DVD player will reset to chapter 1

Printing in Classic

Mac OS 9 / Classic, Mac OS X, Printing / 0 Comments

I’m wanting a new iMac. I’ve about decided the new G5 will do for me. I want a faster processor with greater bus speed, more memory, and USB 2.0 ports. I’m also ready to go to a 20″ screen. I also want a good internet experience, which I have not been getting lately. I don’t think I’m ready for Leopard and glossy screen, although the new iMacs video in and out options sound intriguing, as does the ability to use a second monitor to expand the desktop. The Apple MAO64LL/A, 2.1 GHz PowerPC 970fx iSight 20″ is the one I have tentatively decided on, running Tiger. (I understand that I could later install Leopard.) I can’t make a good final decision until I get a few issues addressed.

I have an 800 MHz PowerPC G4 iMac with 17″ screen and a partitioned hard drive. I have installed Panther OS 10.3 and Mac OS 9.2.2. The Mac is dual-booting. That is, all my Mac system software must be on the same partition. When i want to switch to the other OS, I go to Startup Disk and select an operating system to start up in, then Restart the Mac. I use PageMaker and MacWrite Pro, and SuperPaint. All of these work great in Classic, while I am still booted up in OS X.

BUT I have not been able to PRINT any of their documents without actually booting up in OS 9.

New Epson printers do not support OS 9 at all. My printer is a refurbished Epson CX 6600, which Epson no longer supports and refused to repair. I did find a local authorized repair shop, and I feel like the printer is on borrowed time. When I try to print an OS 9 document while running in Classic mode, it acts like it will print OK. It spools the document, then gives an alert “Printer is not responding. Make sure it is online and ready to print.” I look at the Chooser. It allows me to select the printer, but it never offers a printer port in the box on the right side of the window.

This printing issue is troublesome. I have a fear that Tiger will behave the same as Panther. Is my best option to keep two computers, or will I be able to Print from Tiger in Classic mode? You have made some comments about HP printers. I’ve never used them, except a little Deskjet C30 that I borrowed one time. It ran like a charm, printing OS 9 without hesitation. Would an HP offer me some solution?

P.S. Do you know of any good substitutes for Hoyt Mah Jongg Tiles and Eric’s Solitaire? I’m addicted to both.

Printing in Classic has many problems because it is an emulated environment, but not in a traditional way. There is a good chance this will not work and also any new printer you buy may not have OS 9 print drivers; even HP, which are still great printers. In those situations you have another option. Open Chooser from the Classic Apple Menu. If you do not see the rainbow-colored Classic Apple menu, just start an OS 9 application and it will appear. In the left side of the Chooser window double click on LaserWriter 8 and close the window. Now when you go to print from your OS 9 applications you will get the LaserWriter 8 Print screen. Change the Destination pulldown menu to “File” and then the Format pulldown menu to “EPS Mac Standard Preview.” Click on the Save button and save the EPS file to your desktop. The Preview application that is included in OS X will open that EPS and let you print it from there. It is an extra step but works with 90% of the hard Classic printing jobs I encounter.

Hope that helps. In regards to the game recommendations, a desire for continued employment has kept me from discovering such things. I have know many people who have Dashboard Widgets that will give you your Mac mini-game fix.

Restoring from Time Machine

Backups, Hardware, Software / 0 Comments

I want to upgrade the HDD in my MBP. Once I’ve replaced the HDD and have formatted it, can I use Leopard Time Machine from the external HDD to just port over all of my information from my Old HDD that was being backed up by Leopard? Or is there another program that I can use to migrate my information over?

Leopard will import from a Time Machine backup. After you install Leopard on the drive, you will be asked if you want to import the data from an old Mac or a Time Machine backup. It is nice and clean way of moving your data to a new drive or computer.

CD Burning Question

Hardware / 0 Comments

I have a mirror G4 with a PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-104. At first, I had trouble trying to figure out how to burn a cd. MacHelp lead me to the DiskUtility, but I still couldn’t burn. I might have erased something I shouldn’t have, because now the drive won’t mount any cd’s. How do I get them to mount again?? Please help!

Burring a CD or DVD requires some software. Apple is good at building in this software, but it does depend on what version of the Mac OS you are using.

In Mac OS X there is burning support built into the Finder, often it is called “Desktop Burning.” This allows you to insert a blank disc and it will appear as a writable volume on the Desktop. You Drag files to it until it is full and then drag it to the Trash to burn the disc. Rewritable CD-RW/DVD-RW disks have to be erased in Disk Utility first, but then they act the same as the plain CD-R/DVD-R discs. It is also possible for other applications to burn discs. A common application that people burn CDs with is iTunes. Because there are a few burning options, most times the Mac OS will ask you what application you intend to use. You can also set a default burning application, and never be asked the question again. Perhaps this is what has happened to you. You could have set a default action of “ignore” for the inserting of blank discs.

To fix this, go to System Preferences under the Blue Apple menu. Click on the CDs & DVDs icon. Change the popup menu for “When you insert a blank CD:” to show Ask what to Do. Then Change the popup menu for “When you insert a blank DVD:” to show Ask what to Do. Close the window and then insert a blank CD-R. Set the Action popup menu to “Open In Finder” and click the OK button. It should now be on your desktop ready to have you add files to it. When you are ready to burn it, just drag the disc over to the Trash. The Trash icon will change to a burn icon and you will be asked to confirm the burn.

In OS 9 Desktop Burning was not available. A non-Apple program was needed called Toast, but the OS 9 version is discontinued. The OS 9 version of iTunes will burn music CDs, but for modern disc burning, OS X should be used.

Setting up Skype on a G5

Hardware, Software / 1 Comment

I have what I’m sure qualifies as a dumb question. I bought a G5 Power PC 1.8 GHz from PowerMax three years ago.

I would like to install Skype on my Mac, so I can make overseas phone calls. A friend who has Skype says you just need to yell at your computer once you connect Skype, and the computer acts as a phone transmitter and receiver.

My dumb question: do I have a microphone built in? Or will I have to buy one and hook it up to a USB port?

Or do I do something else.

Rest assured, a person can’t know what they don’t know, so your question is as fair as they get.

Unfortunately for your Skype ambitions, no Mac computer tower, including the Mac mini, comes with a built-in microphone. You will need a USB headset or desktop microphone for your G5, of which we sell a wide variety. Only the iMacs and Mac laptops come with the built-in microphones. The good news is that practically any USB microphone will work on your Mac without extra software. You just have to select it in the System Preferences upon install.

Need Help Buying My First Mac

Hardware, Intel Macs, New To Macs / 0 Comments

I’m a student that’s looking into my first Mac computer. I’ve always owned PCs and get frustrated because within a year or two they’re slower, less reliable, and for whatever reason act up and it costs a fortune to secure them against viruses and every other technological threat. So I’ve heard that a Mac can avoid these problems…is this true?

Also… as I said I am a student, and if I can I’d like a refurbished Mac laptop (to help save a little money) and I have a few other questions. Why is it these Macs are refurbished? Was something wrong in the first place? Also, what sort of computer would be appropriate for me? I like music and my iTunes so music storage would be important, and other than that just normal document storage and fast Internet browsing would be the only other things I’d need. So what type of computer would fit me? Do I need a dual processor and how much memory…all that. I don’t know much about it so anything you can tell me would help.

It’s true that Mac computers are far less prone to viruses and other junk that makes for a frustrating experience on Windows machines. This is not to say that Macs are impervious to attack, but it rarely happens. Macintosh computers are great for any user who has no interest in becoming a computer security expert or continuing to invest in repairing and reconfiguring a computer.

Macs are refurbished for a legion of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with anything having gone wrong with the machine. A computer could have been refurbished simply because it was returned by a customer who found it not the right fit. Maybe it was a display machine or a loaner system. Those are often refurbished too.

It is also just as likely, however, that a refurbished Mac had some problem, real or perceived, and was returned. Those systems are repaired and re-boxed as refurbished by Apple. Be aware that computers are really modular, so if a component goes bad, simply replacing that component will restore the machine to factory-level conditions. However, it is always a good idea to include AppleCare with a Mac purchase, which gives you three years of hardware protection and worldwide service coverage (you know, for that trip to Spain you always wanted). If a computer has any lingering issues they’ll become evident within those three years and you should be able to get it fixed at no cost.

For your specific needs, if you’re looking for mobility, I think a MacBook laptop with 2GB of RAM will work perfectly and is a quality starting point – and they’re stunning little notebooks. If you want a bigger screen and don’t plan to take your computer out of the house, then the iMac is my favorite choice.

Lost Photos After Importing To An External Drive

Hardware, Mac OS X, Software / 0 Comments

About a month ago, I imported images from my Sandisk Extreme III CF Card to my G-tech external hard drive.

Now that I have time to look through the photos, I went back into the folder on my drive and only 10 of 200 images are available. The other 190 show up as files (“cmd-i” even shows some metadata, but Zero KB size.) but I cannot open the files to view the image. When clicking the image file, I get a Mac warning that the file cannot be opened.

What happened here? Is it the CF card, the drive, the card reader…I am a photographer and my stomach is turning just thinking if this was to happen to images for a client.

Is there any hope for me Jacob, or should I close shop now and form a new relationship with disposable cameras?

This problem has all the tell-tale signs of an interrupted copy.

Sometimes in the process moving files, the device connection is broken or interfered with, and only filenames are imported as empty placeholders. Whenever you move files from one source to another, double-check that all the files are accessible at the new location.

Using photo management software, and not the Finder, to move the files is probably your safest method for this kind of work. That is the value of Apple’s Aperture and even iPhoto. The simple act of organizing the photos gives you validation that the pictures are intact.

It sounds like investing in some photo management software might keep you from jeopardizing your client projects.

Lost Firmware Password

Hardware, Mac OS X, Software / 0 Comments

I own a MacBook 2.16 Duo Core. My problem is that I have forgotten my Admin Password. I also have Firmware protection activated. I have tried everything that I know to gain access, only find disappointment. Is there anything that I can do which would allow me to regain access? Or would I have to send it to Apple for repair? Thanks you thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

When is comes to misplaced Admin Passwords, there are some steps outlined on Apple’s support site:

Lost Firmware Password

If the Firmware password is lost, follow these steps. This procedure works on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macintosh computers.

Important: ESD Precautions – To avoid damaging components, be sure to follow Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)-safe repair practices.

  • Shut down the computer.
  • Gain access to the computer’s RAM slots.
    (Detailed instructions by product are available from the CIP page)
  • Add or remove a RAM DIMM to change the total amount of installed RAM.
    For example: If the computer has two RAM DIMMs (128 MB DIMM and 64 MB DIMM) for a total of 192 MB of memory, remove the 64 MB DIMM. This changes the total memory of the computer to 128 MB RAM. If the computer has a single RAM DIMM, you can change the total memory by adding a DIMM of any compatible size.
    Note: Removing a computer’s only DIMM is not an option and will prevent the computer from starting up.
  • Turn on the computer and immediately reset PRAM by holding the Command-Option-P-R key combination. Press the keys until you’ve heard two successive startup sounds.
  • Open Firmware password protection is now disabled. Shut down the computer and return it to its original RAM configuration.

Then use the Password reset utility when booted from the OS X install DVD and reset your admin password.

Convert Movies to iPod Format

iPod / iTunes, Software / 0 Comments

Is there a way that I can get a movie from my video library onto my iPod Classic without having to repurchase the movie?

Yes, there is a easy way to convert DVDs into iPod-ready formats. Handbrake is a perfect tool for what you want to do.

Make sure to only download the appropriate version for the OS you are using. There is an OS X 10.5 version and an older 10.4 version. It is simple to use and free.

Applications Slow to Launch at Boot

Mac OS X, Software / 0 Comments

My new Intel iMac 24″ 2.8 GHz is maxed out with RAM (4 GB), yet apps launched from the dock right after I boot up all launch like “molasses in January” with the spinning rainbow beach ball. Then, after a few minutes, the same apps (Office 2008, and Safari, etc., for example) begin noticeably launching a little quicker, but still aren’t as snappy on launch as they were when the iMac was new and before I installed Leopard and Office 2008. What should I suspect as the culprit for these longer launch times especially right after booting up?

There can be a few things at the root of a slow loading applications problem, some of which may be more difficult to hunt down than it’s worth.

First, you should examine the hidden applications that start up behind the scenes of the Mac OS. Start in the “Accounts” System Preference, and look in your user account’s “Login Items.” Make note of what they are and try removing them one at a time. Restart each time after you delete one item. If the problem persists, use Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder to examine all the processes running after you first start up. Look for processor or hard drive hungry applications.

You can also try booting up in Safe Mode by holding down the Shift key on startup. If applications launch fast in Safe Mode, then it is probably a non-Apple software conflict. Finally, the most thorough way to fully resolve this kind of issue by doing an Archive and Install of OS X. This should replace all the system software, without harming your user info and applications.

Are Glossy Screens Frustrating?

Displays, Hardware, Intel Macs / 0 Comments

Recent reviews of newest generation Apple iMacs make mention of one of it’s “cons”: that the screen’s glossy appearance (and angle?) is “frustrating”…

What do you make of this assessment? Is the screen angle fixed? And what is frustrating about a glossy screen?

This is personal taste at its purest.

I like a matte screen and my wife loves glossy. We have had many an argument about it when buying a monitor. In the case of the iMac, it is not a big issue, and I have not been disappointed with the glossy iMac. A nice option with the iMac is that you can have both matte and glossy. The iMac supports two screens, one internal (glossy) and one external. If you bought a 20″ iMac and a 20″ Apple display together, you could use both displays side-by-side. One would be matte and the other one glossy, but it’s really mostly a matter of personal taste (and probably just getting used to one or the other as well).

Reset Username and Password

Mac OS X, Software / 0 Comments

I have an iMac (OS X 10.4.7).

Repeatedly, they send information about updates to my system and the opportunity to download. However, when I attempt to download, I am asked for my password. I have completely forgotten what it and my user name are. The suggestion is given that I re-use the start-up disk and establish new user name/password. But, lo and behold, when I attempt to do that, I am asked to first give my original password (which is the one I forgot) before I can set up a new one. HELP, Jacob!!

The solution is easier than they make it seem.

With the disc in the drive, restart the iMac and hold down the “C” during the start up of the computer. That tells your Mac to boot up off any bootable disc in the CD drive. After you get to the installer, one of the menu items along the top will contain the reset password utility.

Malfunctioning OS9 iBook

Hardware, Laptops & Notebooks, Mac OS 9 / Classic / 0 Comments

I recently bought an iBook G4 from the web. I needed a computer that works in Classic 9, that runs software and hardware used in a middle school classroom. It worked for about an hour (long enough for me to do a migration from one computer to another). Since that time, however, it stalls and the message you need to restart your computer keeps appearing. I’ve been told that the logic board is shot. Unfortunately, I missed the 30-day return period. Is this something that can be fixed without spending an arm and a leg? Is there something I can do to get the machine up and running?

Unfortunately, if the diagnosis is correct and your logic-board is no longer working correctly, then it is an extremely expensive repair.

Sometimes even faulty equipment can still work under light loads. I have my father’s old iMac on life support just for his writing and emailing. He uses his much newer MacBook for all his big projects.

It may be a good idea to get your iBook reinstalled from the factory-restore DVDs. Then use the iBook for only classroom work. If you do not migrate data, it may continue to work. You may also want to get a second opinion about the logic board. Just like with medicine, fails-positives happen.

And, um, next time… buy a used Mac from PowerMax… we provide a 90-day warranty and more (including answers to questions). But I’m guessing you’ve kinda figured that out by now.

Inverted Colors on a User Account

Mac OS X, System Settings / 0 Comments

My wife has a Mac mini. This is strange. When she’s on her “user” side, the colors of everything are inverted, wrong, screwed up. However, the user account that my son logs into is fine. I can’t figure this out. Any ideas?

It is possible that one of the Mac Mini assisted settings in OS X was turned on. There is an option to invert the color of the screen to help people with visual difficulties. When logged into her account, you need to go to System Preference and select Universal Access. Look in the Display section and make sure that “Black on White” is selected.

Apple RAM vs. Non-Apple RAM

Hardware / 0 Comments

It appears that some RAM has an Apple Logo, but others I’ve seen, are Hynix and Samsung, among others. Which brands do come installed in Macs.

Recently, a dear friend, who happens to be impulsive, decided he needed a MBP (sorry he went to Santa Monica, CA Apple store) so, then he shipped me his virtually new iMac Aluminum previous generation 2.0GHz, 20″. I decided to put in another 1GB to make total of 2GB. I had this one, 1GB Samsung, from an identical iMac 2.0GHz, which does not have the Apple Logo, which my Apple refurbed, white iMac, 2.0GHz does have.

I installed this and it did not work!

Not all Apple-installed RAM has an Apple logo on it. In fact, most do not because Apple buys RAM from many different vendors and does not make any RAM on its own. The RAM you have should work, as long as it is still in good working order. If it was stored outside of an anti-static bag, the RAM could have been damaged. Also, you need to be certain that the RAM was fully seated in the slot. To test the RAM chip, a good idea is to remove the original chip and put this extra chip in its place. If the iMac boots up with your chip in it, then add the original chip back in the 2nd slot.

iPod Video Options

iPod / iTunes / 0 Comments

I just want to know before buying an iPod, which one delivers digital video. I have TV with HDMI, can I watch video through the iPod in HDMI or digital mode.

No iPod provides digital video out. The video output of an iPod Classic, iPod Nano, or component AV cable to connect these iPods to the component connections on your HDTV. Although this is a HD connection, the iPods do not deliver true HD video. Also it is not digital and will not look great on a larger TV. The better option for you would be an Apple TV, which is all-digital, through its HDMI port. Take a look at the Apple TV for a digital iTunes connection to your television.

Monthly Fees for the iPod touch

iPod / iTunes / 0 Comments

Are there monthly fees for an iPod touch with web internet??

There are no additional fees with the first generation or 2G iPod touch. It uses Wi-Fi to get an internet connection just like a laptop. You will, however, need to have access to a wireless access point in order to use the web browser or email features of the iPod.

Connecting an iPod to your Car’s Aux Input

iPod / iTunes / 0 Comments

I have a new Honda Accord with a Aux input – suppose this is for iPod, dealer told me. I want to know what cable should I use to connect my iPod to this Aux input?

Typically Aux in port on a car’s stereo come in two flavors. The most useful is a 1/8th inch jack on the face of the unit. With this kind of connection you just need a cable that plugs into the headphones of your iPod and the Aux jack on the face of the unit. This ethernet cable will do the trick. The cable plugs are the same on both ends.

The other common kind of connection is via RCA connects on the back of the car’s stereo. Those types require that you remove the stereo and plug in the cable to the back of the unit. The other end of the cable needs to be fished behind the dashboard to an accessible place. It will again plug into your iPod’s headphone jack. This can be a little harder to install and use. Here is the audio adapter cable you would need.

Normal Mac Pro Operating Temperature

Hardware, Intel Macs, Mac OS X / 0 Comments

I recently installed the iStat widget on my Intel Mac Pro (2×2.66GHz dual core Intel Xeon with 3 GB RAM, running 10.4.11. It has the NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics card). I was surprised to find that the “Northbridge temp” normally is at 150°F which seems hot to me. The CPUs are at 80°F or so. This is when the ambient is about 65°F. Do you know what the optimal operating temp ranges should be for these?

The Northbridge chip is under the black heatsink in your PCI-e compartment of the Mac Pro. It is common for that chip to have readings up to 83°C or 182°F. Some people have taken to replacing the Northbridge heatsink in their Mac Pros to get things cooler, but I would not advise it unless you start to see temperatures above 170°F.

.dmg File No Longer Requires Password

Mac OS X, Software / 0 Comments

I have a few disk images (.dmg) which I have password protected to protect sensitive information. After working OK for a couple of years, one of my .dmg’s has suddenly stopped requiring a password to open it, while my other .dmg’s remain as they were i.e., still require passwords to open. I have my Macs connected via a home Wi-Fi network as well as synced by .Mac. The peculiar thing is that the .dmg that has suddenly lost the need for a password has done it on both my Macs.

I have rebooted both machines but the problem persists. Any ideas?

This is often caused by an inadvertent selection of the “remember Password in Keychain option.” Also .Mac supports Keychain syncing, so if you had one computer’s Keychain remember the password, both computers will have the same info. The fix should be simple. Go to the application “Keychain Access” in your Utilities folder. Search for your disk image’s name or just browse through the “All Items” category. After you find your password for the disk image, select it and then delete it. You will then be prompted for the password again when mounting the disk image. You may have to repeat this process on all your computers to avoid the password being recovered from .Mac syncing.

Opening the CD Door on Startup

Hardware, Mac OS X / 0 Comments

I have been needing an interior hard drive for some time. This one was almost full, and I have been deleting images and files constantly to keep the drive less than full. A friend was going to help me install a larger one, but I am still waiting. So, today, I received a software update and when the computer restarted, that fan came on and the apple came up but then all froze. So, what do I do now? I can’t install the hardware test DVD as it will not open the DVD door. Can you help me? Or suggest what I should do?

You can access the eject function two ways in this situation; boot up holding down the Option key and then use the eject key to eject the drive when you get the boot loader screen. Also, you can hold down the mouse button on startup, that will force the CD to eject. After that, you will have to use Disk Utility to repair the drive or do an Archive and install of the Mac OS.


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