Skip to Content
Skip to Table of Contents

← Previous Article Next Article →

ATPM 3.03
March 1997



How To


Wishful Thinking

Download ATPM 3.03

Choose a format:

MacMan to the Rescue

by Mike Shields,

We May Have to Change the Name of This Here Rag

Let me explain. First, for those that don't know, "rag" is a slang expression meaning "newspaper or magazine." I guess this comes from the fact that, before paper was invented, news was printed on oily and discarded rags.

The point is, for those that have been blessed with MacOS 7.6, or Harmony (if you're keeping up with the code names), a subtle change has taken place. If you open the Apple menu whilst in the Finder and scroll down, the "About This Macintosh" box has become the "About This Computer" box.

I feel like part of my identity has been taken away. For those of you who are "founding readers," you know that our name comes from that box. If this trend keeps up, we'll have to change our name to "About This Particular Computer," or ATPC for short. I hate to associate with anything having to do with PC's (and I'm sure some of our readers feel the same way).

The phrase reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw recently (Allow me to paraphrase and steal.), "PC's ¨ Another reason the criminally insane shouldn't be allowed to make hardware purchasing decisions." Now, I know we have some PC-afflicted among our readers, especially now that we're available on the web. I don't mean to offend you, I'm just expressing truth from my perspective.

Random Huge Happenings...

We have a bronze statue in the lobby of the building I laughingly refer to as our home base. It's a life-size sculpture of a beautifully naked woman, with the head and left foot cut off, and the arms extended into the air. When I first started here, a friend and I named this statue "Discordia," after the Goddess of Confusion. It seems she's been working overtime here lately.

Within the past month, some strangeness has been going on.

I was asked to go to a Huser that supposedly just had his hard drive replaced. He was cranking along fine with his 6100 and his Bernoulli Drive (or is that Brunelli?). Anyway, he wanted the latest and greatest OS installed on to the hard drive, and planned to then ransfer everything himself from the Bernoulli. Or so he thought.

Now, the latest and greatest OS is not the aformentioned 7.6. We can't install that on-site yet (another fine example of your tax dollars at work). They're studying whether or not 7.6 will be viable for this site. Of course, no one knows who "They" are. By the time "They" OK it, 7.7 will be out, and we can repeat the whole process. Technically, we can't even install 7.5.5 either, but all the Mac techs (myself included) are doing it anyway. But I digress.

I arrive at the Huser's machine, connect to our server from whence the install will be done. When I run a SCSI probe, there's no hard drive. I reboot. Still no hard drive. Then the Huser informs me that the hardware tech was instructed to install the new HD, but not to connect it. To which I replied, "Huh???" Fortunately, said hardware tech had left his pager number which I immediately dialed. Now, I know what you're thinking, "Why didn't he do it himself?" Well, I wanted to. However, CSC policy forbids it. Twenty minutes later the tech arrived, hooked up the HD, and the Huser was ready to go. The install went seamlessly from there. That is, he hasn't called back to report any problems yet.

Just last week, a secretary who has become dependent on me for all her Mac needs opened a trouble ticket stating MS-Mail was looping. You heard right. MS-Mail, now QuarterDeck Mail, which we no longer support. She was still using this archaic program, as if we were still installing it. I think it has to do with the forward-thinking nature of higher ups, but I'm just MacMan. I fly where I'm told.

To top it off, this trouble ticket came in as a "Priority 2," which elevates it from an annoyance to, "We've gotta have this fixed in four hours or less!!!!" You see, she knows someone who knows someone else who works for a VIP. I have yet to see a priority one ticket. I think that would mean the problem would have to be fixed before it even occurred.

I arrived at her office and she demo'd the problem. I sat down and couldn't re-create it. Problem solved, right? Well, let's ask the musical question: "How many out there with a Kensington Turbo Mouse (the four button, trac-ball version?" It turns out our fearless secretary had assigned double-click to a button and then forgot. Instead, she was thinking it was a single-click. Now, if you have overlapping open windows, and the close boxes line up just right... Well, you get the idea. When you hit the button, the mouse dutifully obeys and sends two clicks. In a row. No breathing room. Try it yourself. Or, do it to a friend's computer (It'll be more fun that way.).

My favorite recent example of chaos theory in action comes from our good friends at Symantec, makers of Symantec Anti-Virus for Macintosh, or SAM. It turns out that the latest version of the defs file, causes a segment loader error on boot up. Now, I've been assured that the patch available on their web site, provided by those fine in[duh]viduals at Symantec, fixes this problem. However, that didn't help the fifty or so people for whom we had to install an earlier version of the defs file on their systems.

Several of you may remember the original title of this column. Recently, I got assigned a trouble ticket that stated, "Mac freezes on startup." A quick check of the ADB cord that had been stretched to the limit, causing the plug to pop out, fixed this problem. Cost: $90. Time out, seven minutes. I'm still trying to figure out how to collect that money myself.

It's been quiet here recently, however, just today I was asked to go set an IP address on a computer that didn't exist. Go figure.

MacMan to the Rescue!!!

Well, another user out there chimed in on the Eudora question. To wit:

Showing Headers in Eudora

I'm using Eudora Pro 3.0, and I can look at full headers without making that view the default (which is what happens if I turn on "Show all Headers" in Settings, as you recommend in ATPM 3.02). It's very simple:

Underneath the title bar at the top of the window for any incoming e-mail message (not the composition window for outgoing messages) are a number of icons, as well as the Subject: of the message. One of those icons looks like the words "BLAH BLAH BLAH" written very small; clicking once on this icon brings up full headers. Click again to go back to partial headers. I've just looked at a co-worker's copy of Eudora Lite 1.5.3, and the icon is there, too, so I'm assuming this works for all version of Eudora that your readers are likely to have.

You should remind readers that sometimes spammers forge lines in the headers of their messages. The From: line is trivially easy to forge (I've done it myself, in this very message, just because I'm writing this at work, but would rather receive personal mail through my home account), and some of the more resourceful spammers can forge the Message-id: and Received: lines.

Avram Grumer

Thanks for the info, Avram. (Your name in lights! Just like I said!) It turns out that the fine folks at Eudora have tweaked this feature with each successive version, and I only claim my answer to be correct for Lite version, 1.4.3. Sorry for the confusion this caused.

Disk Doesn't Appear On Desktop

Recently, I installed a floppy into my Quadra 605, and it didn't appear on the desktop. What should I do?

Mike Shields

Recently, I went through this exact problem. Here's what I did. I was able to take a paper clip and eject the floppy manually. That's what the little hole below the floppy drive is for. Then I unplugged my Mac, strapped on my static wrist strap, and went to work. Sliding the top off a Quadra 605 is simple. I immediately grounded myself by clipping the strap to the hard drive carrier. I opened the floppy door and used tweezers to pull out the popsicle stick my two year old daughter had inserted. Problem solved. I didn't have the heart to punish Amanda. However, she wants pancakes for dinner tonite. As it turns out, so do I.

Well, that's it for this month. Next month, I want to do another "all question" column. So, I need more user questions. Here's a thought: if your Mac is working, sabotage your friend's Mac, and then have them send a question.

[apple graphic] Mike Shields is a perspiring Screen Writer who needs $600,000 to produce his recently finished screenplay. He can be reached at Or, if you just have a Mac question, that's ok, too.

Also in This Series

Reader Comments (0)

Add A Comment

 E-mail me new comments on this article