Ramblings, by Doug Corbett

Only a couple of comments this month, the first regarding the Mac OS 9.1 update.

We had periodic lockups after we installed the update so I disabled most of the extensions including speech. I added back in most of the extensions and we have not had any lockups recently but I have not put speech back.

Coincidentally, I just read in MacWorld that the newest of the Mac G4's that are being delivered come without audio input. Could this be an indication of where my problem is coming from?

Both myself and the reviewer in this article were very shocked to see speech (or at least, built-in audio input) going away.

I am at a loss to understand what Apple is doing, introducing voice recognition passwords in 9.1 and then removing the ability to get those passwords into the newest computers that it is delivering. A partial quote form the January 2001 Mac OS 9.1 data sheet follows: ".... Personal files remain private because users each get their own folder. You can log in by typing your password or by using your voice. Mac OS 9.1 analyzes your voiceprint to prevent others from logging in as you."


On other topics:

(Or how did I start to troubleshoot the problems with the system locking up after I installed 9.1?)

The following are from the AppleCare Recommendations Apple Hardware Test (if you have this CD, dc) is one of several tools and procedures you can use when your Macintosh is having trouble. Here are some steps you can follow to help resolve problems. Please back up your data before performing any of these steps.

1. Turn the computer off and on. You can often eliminate problems by selecting the "Shut Down" option from the Special menu to fully shut down the CPU, then restarting your system.

2. Check cables, peripherals, and user controls. Shut down your computer. Then disconnect and reconnect all cables. Disconnect all peripherals (such as printers, scanners, cameras and external mass storage devices) to see if they are causing conflicts with your system. Adjust user controls on your monitors and other peripherals to see if this helps.

3. Turn off system extensions. Restart your system while holding down the Shift key until the following message appears: "Extensions disabled." Then release the key. This turns off system extensions that often cause conflicts. If this solves your problem, use the Extensions Manager to turn off extensions that may be causing the problem.

4. Rebuild the desktop. Restart your system while holding down the Option and Command keys. Click OK when asked if you want to rebuild the desktop.

5. Start up from the system CD that shipped with your computer. Start your system from the system CD by holding down the C key until you see the smiling Mac face. If the system works properly when started (booted) from the system CD, you can generally assume that the problem relates to the software which is installed on your computer.

6. Start up from the Apple Hardware Test CD (see below regarding this CD), and run the Quick and Extended Tests. If the system does not work properly when started (booted) from a known-good system CD (Step 5), you can generally assume that the problem relates to your computer's hardware components. The Apple Hardware Test CD can often be used to start up your computer even if it will not boot into the Mac OS. If Apple Hardware Test passes both the Quick Test and the Extended Test, the problem may be software related. If Apple Hardware Test detects a problem, make a note of the error code and contact Apple (Step 9).

7. Refer to Mac OS Help Center and the Internet for assistance. The Mac OS help system under the Help menu in the Finder includes a wealth of technical information. Apple's Knowledge Base, and other resources for technical help and support are available 24 hours a day at www.apple.com/support.

8. Re-install Mac OS. In many cases, a clean installation of the Mac OS will fix recurring problems. Back up any data before reinstalling. Please follow the instructions in your user manual or on your Restore CD to reinstall the Mac OS.

9. Contact Apple Service and Support for assistance. If these steps don't help resolve the problem, please review the service and support material that accompanied your computer for information on how to contact AppleCare for further assistance. Apple reserves the right to change telephone hours at any time.

Note: The Apple hardware test CD is available with the AppleCare Protection plan.

With your AppleCare Protection Plan purchase, youĂ­ll get easy access to extensive online information to help you keep your system running smoothly and includes a CD that contains TechTool Deluxe software from Micromat. This versatile product tests the major components of your Apple system, including processors, RAM, and hard drives. It also checks your software and can help you diagnose and fix many software conflicts yourself.

The AppleCare Protection Plan can be purchased only while your computer is still under its original one-year warranty, so sign up today and get a total of three years (from the date of your Apple hardware purchase) of peace of mind for your Apple system.

Apple Hardware Test does not check your computer for issues with the Operating System (OS) or other software related issues such as application or extension conflicts.

For more information, see Apple TIL (Tech Info Library) Article ID: 88048, Apple Hardware Test: Read Me

Having mentioned the TIL, if you have not used it, here is some additional info from Apple regarding the TIL:

What Is The Technical Information Library?

The Apple Technical Information Library (TIL) is Apple's official technical support database. The TIL database contains over 15,000 articles related to product specifications, reference documentation, and Apple and third-party product technical issues. It is updated daily with new information and is the same database that Apple employees use to answer support questions.

Searching the TIL

The TIL is a full text indexed database which means that every word in every article is indexed for searching. This provides a high likelihood that your search will return a hit or hits, however, very broad searches can return more hits than are useful. To reduce the number of hits you need to narrow your search to a specific topic or issue.

The TIL uses boolean operators for searching rather than natural language. This means that rather than typing "Why won't my PowerBook battery charge?", you would type "PowerBook and battery and charge". The word "and" in the search query tells the search engine to find any articles that contain the words PowerBook, battery, charge.

Additional boolean operators are listed in the following table: Note: AND, OR, and AND NOT are treated as operators by default. If you want to use them as literal words, place them in quotes. Capitalization does not matter for the operators. Examples using these operators can be found in TIL article 58444: "Tech Info Library: Advanced Search Techniques".

The above is a TIL article, and can be found at: http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n22104


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