headgapstore.com - buy used macs here, refurbished macs on sale 

Update OS | Firewire/USB | ZAP Pram | Rebuild Desktop | CUDA | Memory | CDRW or DVD | Cleaning |
Printers | Virus | OSX Tips | Battery Replacement | Modem | Network | Monitors | Hard Drives | Reset |
What About Leopard/SnowLeopard? | What About Lion? | What About Mountain Lion? | What About Mavericks? |
What About Yosemite? | What About El Capitan? | What About Sierra?

Bob's Mac User Tips - help with your Apple Macintosh Computers BOB'S MAC USER TECH TIPS

I did a bit of editing and organizing of Bobs Tech Tips! Any part in RED means you should "Read and Heed" these Mac Tips. Do this or else type topics are covered. Purple highlights important tips.

I do apologize in advance since the tips page continues to grow like a fungus. It is not the best organized to say the least. You can use your browsers find command and type in a keyword of interest. Command F and type in the keyword should find what you need if the index links at the top of the page don't get you where you want to go. Just because you have looked at this once you may want to reread it again. I frequently add new material as I learn new things or get reminded that not everyone knows something that I do. I hope you find the answers you need here. If not use the form to Contact Us and we will be happy to help. Visit our online store. Want to know a bit more personal information on me? http://headgap.com/~Bob_Nunn/ brings up my personal homepage. I write down random thoughts and stuff about me at http://headgap.com/bobsrandom.html Just a quick note. I am no longer using the old headgap@headgap .com address due to the large amount of spam coming through it. Please use the contact button on the web site.

It is just me and Cheryn these days. We are usually always a bit behind. Thank you for your patience and continued patronage. Best times to reach us are between 10 am to 3 pm Central Time Mon-Fri. We never catch up on messages so if you don't reach us please try again later. I daily check and answer all emails. Use the Contact Us links for the email address. Thanks! Bob.


We include a yellow sheet in every OSX system order we ship. It explains about your system password, regular Maintenance you should be running and AppleJack if you are having problems getting your system to boot. You can download the file in PDF format if you lost yours here.

If you add a password to your system it is VERY important you remember it. Your system will be useless without it. OSX Daily has tips on resetting your password even if you don't have a startup disk. You can download the article here. It is not simple but if you strictly follow the instructions it does work.


We now have dedicated lines for technical support for your Mac. We love this business and live, breath and eat Macs. We thank you in advance for using the tech support line for out of warranty or systems and equipment you have bought elsewhere, or if you just need some purchasing advice. 405-601-5288 9-6 Central Time Monday - Friday is our tech support line. Thanks for paying for the call. We need you to help us with this as our toll free lines expenses are rising far faster than our sales are. We are always happy to help and we pay for the calls on in warranty products. Use our email anytime you don't need immediate response or after hours. Make sure you identify the system you are on, the OS you are using and any other pertinent hardware facts. We can help you identify your system if you don't know what it is but prefer you find that out before calling or emailing. There is generally a tag on the back or bottom of the machine with specifications of your system as it came from the factory. Apple System Profiler under the Apple Menu in 8.6 up through X will also tell you about how fast your machine is, how much ram, how large the hard drive is currently.

Toll Free ORDER line 877-639-1543 9-6 CST, M-F (405-601-5288)
TECH SUPPORT Line 405-601-5288
NEW FAX 405-445-0796

UPGRADING THE OFFICE? We buy quantities of Mac systems & components. Email your list: cheryn or use the online form.

OSX notes Beige G3 Systems! | OSX Notes B&W G3 Systems | OSX Notes G4 Systems 

4th Quarter 2017 Edition
SUPER Kitchen Sink

Just Finished and IN STOCK NOW! Install the latest updates. I added all the goodies you asked for. Now you can simply load them from the DVD. Categorized, Indexed and Described and most all include links to the download site and the authors web site so you can read more about them. ORDER NOW! Software section of the online store. If you haven't bought one in a while this is a good time to update. Have an iPod, iPad, or iPhone? We now have a directory that has all the utilities in one directory. We also created a Virus,Trojan, Worm directory to make it easier for you to feel safe and even added some Adware removal tools. Partial High Sierra compatible software now identified.

We separated the Apple Updates DVD disks to allow you to order only the updates you need. While the updates are free from Apple some are quite large and take a long time to download. Having them on disk saves you time especially if you have more than one Mac. There will likely still be some hardware specific updates you will need to download from Apple to complete your installation.

APPLE UPDATES DVD's! These DVD's allow you to update to the latest version of the OSX version you have installed. We are now selling them separately. The only DVD's that got updated this quarter are the AppleUpdates 10.10, 10.11 and 10.12.

If you want to buy a complete set call and speak to Cheryn and she will make you a group deal price. From now on though we will be offering each disk separately at a good price and of course our pricing always includes shipping.

4th Qtr UPDATE

OSX SUPER Kitchen Sink DVD - Mac shareware and freeware collection features everything but the Kitchen Sink

OSX SUPER Kitchen Sink DVD 2017!

IT'S HERE! 4th Quarter 2017 Edition OSX DVD! This SINGLE OSX DVD contains the very best freeware and shareware. Each section is categorized, indexed and includes a nice description for each program with links to the source and author. Chock full of the best shareware and freeware utilities, games, Internet goodies, music, graphics and multimedia, emulators, diagnostics, hard to find drivers, and more, all for OSX (everthing but the Kitchen Sink). I carry this one in my toolbox. This Mac software collection makes it easy to set up your new system or simply update your old one. Quarterly we review all programs and update them. REQUIRES: OSX 10.2 through 10.12.x, DVD Player ONLY $9.99 including domestic shipping.

The Updates DVD's are now separated and available each for $7.99 shipped

  • AppleUpdates10.2-10.3-10.4-10.5
  • AppleUpdates10.6
  • AppleUpdates10.7
  • AppleUpdates10.8
  • AppleUpdates10.9
  • AppleUpdates10.10- updated
  • AppleUpdates10.11- updated
  • AppleUpdates10.12- updated
OS8 or 9 2017 Kitchen Sink (1 CD) - $7.99


 Bootable MacOSX Flash Drives - Thumb Drives
Most all of you are aware Apple no longer produces install disks for their systems. Some of the newer systems don't even come with an Optical drive. Not everyone in the world is blessed with fast Internet connections. So downloading the OSX installs can be daunting and time consuming.

Also many folks would like the ability to boot there machine and run repair or replace a password. We can make you up a backup install complete with updates and extras like we install on the system we sell. Call to order.

Another option is we can sell you an inexpensive external drive preconfigured. These can be useful if you upgraded a version one too far and still need older software on your system. Call to order.

I am so impressed by the performance of these new Solid State Hybrid FireCuda Hard Drives I have begun replacing them in all of our systems. Is it time to replace your old hard drive? This is the one.

New Seagate FireCuda Solid State Hybrid Drives in stock
Starting at
$84.77 shipped!

SATA Internal Drives! Both Desktop and Laptop Sizes
Seagate FireCuda Solid State Hybrid Drives
Ferocious Performance. Superior Storage. Tireless Durability.

We can install these in most units we sell. Call for pricing and availability! FireCudaTM solid state hard drives blend SSD technology with an HDD platform for the instant-on performance and capacity you need. Performs up to 5X faster than a traditional 7200-RPM HD. Lets face it hard drives have a limited life. Adding a new one is the quickest way to insure your data is safe and these new hybrids seriously improve the performance of most all computers. Installs and works like a typical hard drive &endash; no special device drivers or software needed. Utilizes solid-state NAND flash and hard drive capacity for unmatched data integrity and reliability. Performance optimized by Seagate Adaptive Memory™ technology. The cutting edge never felt so safe 5-year factory limited warranty is best-in-class for hard drive warranties.

See the IntDrivesSATA section after entering the store.


use new SATA mechanisms that come with a complete factory warranty.
Thermally cooled via the housing & external power!

Black Bullet

Top quality external hard drives for Mac

All New
7200 rpm
Hard Drives!

Black Bullet Aluminum
External Hard Drives
Firewire 400 & USB2

HIGH SPEED! Brand new 7200 rpm mechanisms and they are in stock now! Our Black Bullet Aluminum Drives feature an all aluminum housing with external power supply to keep the heat out of the housing. We build our external hard drives to be a fast, but affordable high capacity storage solution. They come with Firewire 400, as well as high-speed USB 2.0 ports for the widest possible range of compatibility. We install a new Seagate hard drive mechanism. Includes 2 Firewire 400 ports so you can daisy chain them. Includes the cables, USB 2.0 A-B cable, IEEE 1394 6p-6p cable. REQUIRES Mac OS8.6 or later, OSX compatible (comes Mac HFS Extended formatted for PPC, can be GUID formatted for INTEL on request) Sierra tested, Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7, Firewire 400, or USB Port. Our SPECIAL $129.77 includes domestic shipping! We can install new Seagate Hybrid +$20 call. Note that Firewire Drives are getting rare these days. Best order now while supplies are available. For $15 more we will install a FireCuda Solid State Hybrid (call to order).

1 TERABYTE $129.77 includes domestic shipping! See the External Drive section!

Mac OSX 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8 WEB BROWSER COMPLAINING?


Apple has stopped supporting systems earlier than 10.9 Mavericks. Firefox and Google has stopped updating web browsers for anything under 10.9 Mavericks. But you still have software you want to run that won't go any higher or your old hardware won't make the leap. My suggestion to you is to try this web browser instead. It is called Roccat and it has been around a while.

Roccat has a selection in its menu that let you tell the world you are running Safari 10 or any late model browser including Windows browser and it keeps the setting you select. It is amazing that the systems all stop complaining and work just fine with your old Snow Leopard (or other) machine simply by using this web browser. It may not be exactly like what you are used to but it is quick to set up and learn and it will even import your bookmarks from your old web browser.

Roccat is FAST!

You can set up for no caching and asks that you not be tracked. Probably a good thing since our government has seen fit to let your ISP sell your tracking data. Deny them the privilege or set it up like normal if you like. You have the option.

Roccat Browser 7.6 Free Universal Fast Web Browser with a variety of features
Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later.
My favorite thing is I can select a later or different browser as my user agent. This stops those annoying you are not worthy to visit our web site BS. Roccat Browser is an fast and powerful browser. It has lots of great and unique features, Horizontal VisiTabs have been completely redesigned, now by default Roccat with VisiTabs provides around the same browsing space as other browsers. The tabs are also longer now making them harder to accidentally close. A truly innovative web browser.
Click to Download 4.7 MB

Did I mention in runs on Leopard 10.5.8 on the old PowerPC G4 and G5 systems?

ON A POWERPC G3, G4 or G5?

SAFARI, FIREFOX and sites like Flicker are telling me my browser is not current and giving me annoying reminders. Are they telling you that you are not worthy of using their web site?

TenFourFox has a setting that allows you to report you are on the latest version of Firefox for Intel. Just go to the TenFourFox Preferences and choose TenFourFox and Change the User Agent to Firefox 52ESR (Intel). It is amazing how many problems go away.

It doesn't matter that you are running a DUAL 2.7 Ghz G5 computer. When Adobe stopped upgrading Flash for Power PC processored systems that doomed a lot of people to using older web browsers. Now these annoying browsers like Firefox tell you to download the latest version that will not run on your system. I have stopped using them. I know my present computer more that meets my needs and is more powerful than many new systems. Try TenFourFox. We include it on PPC OSX capable systems we build and on our Super Sink DVD software collection.


TenFourFox Freeware Harness the power of a more modern version of Firefox on your PowerPC Mac.
Are you looking for a web browser for Mac OS 8.6-9.2.2 (and compatible with 10.1.5-10.3.9)? Try our sister project,
Requirements: Mac OS 10.4.11 or later Optimized for G5 PPC and for G4 and G3 optimized versions.
TenFourFox is a fast, efficient web browser based on Firefox, but compatible with 10.4 and 10.5 on the PowerPC based Macs. We love Mozilla software. We love Firefox and Camino. We think the new hot Mozilla has every possibility of kicking WebKit back into the margins where it belongs. But we were horrified when Mozilla delivered the one-two punch of dropping both support for Tiger and our beloved Power Macs from Firefox. A quad 2.5GHz G5 isn't worth using to surf the web? Really? And you guys still support Windows XP? And, of course, Apple's been giving us Power Mac users the proverbial middle digit since 2006. Remember: think different.

You can of course download it now from the link.


Ever wonder why it takes 10 minutes for your system to boot and your screen refreshes have slowed down to a crawl? I am working on a system now that has over 16GB of items on the desktop. Of course the system no longer boots. I added a COD (Crap on Desktop) Folder to the main drive and put all the things in it and made an alias of the COD folder and added it back to the desktop.

All Mac users, even myself will drag a few files that we are working on to the desktop. The trick though is NEVER DRAG FOLDERS and put the files away after you finish the project. Learn to use ALIASES. Select the item you want out and use the make alias command from the file menu. You can then safely drag the file or folder ALIAS to your desktop leaving the real file or folder where it belongs. You can simply discard the aliased once you complete your project and the files will be safely store away on the hard drive.

NEVER pull an Application from its folder. That changes the paths and things like dictionaries, plugins etc stop working. Use an alias instead. Still not clear on using aliases. Type alias in the Mac Help menu and read on. It will teach you.

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We had an Apple Engineer visit our local Mac User Group a long while back. He said that SARC.com reports that there are over 71,000 known computer viruses. Of those 26 affect the Macintosh (all of those 26 only affect classic mode or the older OS versions), and of those only 3 do anything significant, most are simply nuisances. I am glad that I don't have to download virus updates and system updates every other day. I wonder when a PC user has time to do anything other than work on getting the viruses off or updates loaded to his system. Wouldn't you rather buy music in the iTunes store (or whatever you enjoy doing) instead of spending money on antivirus software?

Modern Macs are virus free! I don't run Virus software on my systems as they interfere with most normal work flow.


Do I need anti-virus software? If so...what's my best bet? 7/19/17

I still get people who want to argue about this. Look it up! Still no viruses for OSX. There were and still are viruses for the earlier classic OS versions and of those only 3 were significant. You can use the old free program Disinfectant 3.7.1 (Kitchen Sink CD for OS8/9) to catch most all of them.  Trojans (also called Malware) are always around but you have to give it your name and password to install.  Just don't.  If you have any doubt about something go investigate at snopes.com or securemac.com I hear rumors of drive by problems (a drive by is something you catch just by looking at a web page) with flash but have yet to see it.  Always it ends up that someone installs it.  Do keep your flash updated (only from the Adobe website) it still has the biggest potential for trouble.

No AntiVirus software can protect you from whatever someone is cooking up. Especially if you download and install it. It is always after the fact and usually there is a free fix.  Trying to catch something up front is a waste of your system resources.

The best and smartest thing you can do is visit: https://blog.malwarebytes.com/ periodically but do know they discuss PC Malware and Trojans as well and most do not apply to the Mac.

I do admit these hackers are getting more diabolical in the way they convince folks to install there software. The last one I saw recently tried to convince you that you had a virus and that the free software you would download would fix it. They then try to convince you to pay them for the full version. If you do you just gave your credit card to criminals. Some are now installing Malware in a legit program. You install the program you want but you also install their malware or trojan when doing it. Limit your downloads to Apple or MacUpdate or other trustworthy sites.

Lastly if you must install something the ClamXav $29.95 (SuperSink TrojanVirusWorm Folder) is still supported and updated regular.  It will clean out the PC only viruses that are sometime attached to emails that do your system no harm.  Some mixed PC-Mac shops insist that something be run since a Mac user can accidently pass on a PC virus to a PC user.  Personally I don't worry about them since their machines are already infected. PC users still can get viruses just by visiting a web site. This runs on command and not all the time making it the least invasive.

There are several things in the Utility section of the SuperSink for the most common trojans (malware).  If you worry you can install and run them. Anti Flashback is one.  Boonana Remover is another, DNS changer, and lastly Mac Defender killer.  If you are on a later INTEL Mac Malwarebytes is free and the best. It updates its file before it runs. Run these if you are worried but after proving to yourself you don't have any you can simply delete them. See my notes on other software you may want to use. You can also download these from MacUpdate.com


ALERT! If you downloaded and installed Handbrake between May 2-6 you may have installed a trojan!

Trusted site distributes malware that steals keychains, admin passwords and more. While it is unlikely this happened to you do be aware. Handbrake is one of the most popular DVD Ripper programs. See the article below for more information.


CHUMP ALERT! Don't download or open attachment named Dokuments.zip

OSX dok is new piece of chumpware you have to install. Just don't do it. Read more about it and how to remove it. They are using a signed certificate to get around GateKeeper. Thanks Brian Akey for the tip.

If you see this screen stop and immediately shut down.


Here is another article about it. Getting more diabolical. http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/04/28/new-dok-malware-targets-macs-using-signed-apple-developer-certificate

CHUMP ALERT! If your browser gives you this pop up. STOP! STOP! STOP!

If your browser tells you that you have a virus and to call this number immediately don't do it (THERE ARE NO MAC OSX VIRUSES PERIOD!!). They are criminals waiting to take your money and give you nothing in return. They may want you to wire tranfer funds so they can provide extended AppleCare and may want you to give them access to your computer. NEVER NEVER RESPOND TO THESE! Force quit your browser or push the power button until your system shuts down.

Never type in your name and password into these pop ups. You are giving criminals access to your system.

ScamZapper 2.0.7 freeware Stop bogus technical support pop-ups from locking up Safari
OSX System 10.6.8 or later Download ScamZapper
ScamZapper is an application which mainly functions as a way to install our Safari extension. After it's installed, you can run the application again if you want to report a new scam website, or to help you get rid of a pop-up that ScamZapper doesn't catch. The ScamZapper extension targets a specific kind of pop-up: the worst kind. These pop-ups will usually claim that your computer has been infected with a virus, and you need to call a number for assistance. That's bad enough as it is, but there is usually no way to close out of the pop-up, as they usually lock up your browser. ScamZapper prevents the pages from loading, and is updated constantly as the scammers register new domains. If you encounter a pop-up that won't go away and is not currently in ScamZapper's database, you can just run the application, select "Troubleshoot Pop-up," and ScamZapper will run through a series of automated troubleshooting steps to get rid of it.
ScamZapper 2.0 for PPC (OS X 10.5 or earlier, Intel32/PPC32)

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INFO FROM KIM KOMANDO story: This shoddily made piece of malware is distributed via BitTorrent channels and goes by the name "Patcher." Three versions have been reported to be floating around; one pretends to be a cracking tool for Adobe Premiere Pro, the second one masquerades as an Office 2016 cracking tool and a third appears to be an app called Prova.

This is just one more good reason why everyone should stay away from sites that offer pirated and cracked software. They're like a box of chocolates,"You never know what you're gonna get." This shoddily made piece of malware is distributed via BitTorrent channels and goes by the name "Patcher."

Her article covers how to defeat it if you were stupid enough to install it.


Did you know this crap changed the way your web access works. To top that this turd is being taken advantage of by hackers. Not sure why but I guess people have $40 burning a hole in their pockets and don't know any better. Don't fall for the Slick Ads everywhere or the popups and other crap. Don't fall for the 50% off deals and think you need this software. If you install the demo it is hard to remove and nags you (ransomware) until you purchase. Download DetectX and have it remove it now.

It sickens me that MacUpdate.com still offers this software and has ads up on the web site. Read the comments section if you really want to learn about this software.

There is a wiki up, read the lawsuits section. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacKeeper

No one needs this. Use the free Maintenance program you can download from http://www.titanium.free.fr/maintenance.html It does all you need, and beside being free you can easily remove it by discarding the app. You don't know how much time I spend removing CrapKeeper from our customers computers.


Most of you know to avoid MacKeeper but some new ones are around and you will want to avoid them as well. I had a Facebook friend stop by with her system and she had some new to me Malware programs on her system. I noticed this article did a good job explaining why you want to avoid these. I had not heard of MacBooster but I guess it has been around a while. http://www.soundsupport.biz/2014/08/25/avoid-apps-like-mackeeper-tuneupmymac-and-macbooster/


I had a customer send his hardware in and was concerned that his system was slow and that he might have Trojans on his system. Luckily there were no Trojans. What was slowing his system down were the dozens of folders on his desktop (remember to use aliases instead of pulling folders). The other problem though was his system was full of adware.

Want to avoid adware. Download programs from MacUpdate or Apple. Anyone else be careful. Softonics is a common download source that are in partnership with Genio. NEVER USE SOFTONICS OR GENIO.

Here is a list of the adware I found. To remove any of them just go to malwarefixes.com and type in the name. leperdvil, listchack, portsayd, perfetnight, swissfist, otwexplain, genio, fozhand, manroling, golden boy, asistents, jakeview, lexside, quitelex.

More crap out there than I could ever imagine and I have no idea how you get that much crap on your system but each of those had to have a name and password to be installed. They may have come within a legitimate download and they chump you the user to install this adware. Download from legit sources only.

To be able to spread adware, authors of potentially unwanted program uses Leperdvil (or whatever) to bundle their software into legitimate ones. In most cases, users are not aware that installing desired programs may contaminate their computers with various adware. Leperdvil (or whatevver) are commonly linked to freeware and third-party software.


 If you recently downloaded and installed a program called Easydoc Converter you may have installed Malware. http://bgr.com/…/…/06/mac-malware-backdoor-eleanor-warning/

 Install and run the MalwareBytes program listed below to remove it.

 Malwarebytes Free Adware removal tool (was AdwareMedic). ADWARE REMOVER
REQUIREMENTS Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (was AdwareMedic) helps you get your Mac experience back. Is your Mac running slow? Annoying adware--such as pop-ups, or malware--could be the problem. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scans for and removes code that degrades system performance or attacks your system. Making your Mac once again your Mac. Malwarebytes safely removes adware from your system. (Users of Mac OS X 10.6.8 or older should use my manual removal instructions.)

CNET.com has another article up. http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-find-out-if-your-mac-is-affected-by-backdoor-mac-eleanor/


Good question and you made me look. This is just crap again. You have to install software to have anything happen to your Mac. Just don't be a chump and you are safe.

The virus (not a virus by the way), which Reuters first reported, was detected in a downloadable Mac program called Transmission, which is used to share data through BitTorrent's network. Researchers have nicknamed the ransomware "KeRanger."

This is what is called payloadware by some since you download a legit program or update and give it your name and password and install it.

I still either use the Apple Store or MacUpdate for my software downloads. If you download a program from some odd site and install it you can indeed add a TROJAN to your system. There are still no viruses for the Mac and unfortunately journalists are ignorant about what a virus is.

If you downloaded the program Transmission between March 4 and March 7 and installed it is indeed possible you installed a trojan that may allow the hackers to hold your files for ransom. Of course if you have a backup of your system before that time you can always go back to the backup and erase and reinstall your system. Highly unlikely you are a candidate though as most of the world.

You can read the Time article here http://time.com/4249413/apple-mac-ransomware-hack/


Something becoming more of a problem on the Mac scene is Adware. A group called Genieo tricks users into installing legit software and loads their system up with tracking software and other crap. Read more about them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genieo I have added the free Malwarebytes and DetectX. Run both periodically. Yes they give you free web space but in exchange they install crap all over your Mac.

DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANYTHING FROM SOFTONIC. The installers from their web site may purposely include adware. Softonic is a Genieo Partner

DetectX 2.7.8 $10 Detect hidden files belonging to MacKeeper and other apps. ADWARE REMOVER
REQUIREMENTS Mac OS X 10.7 or later
If you were foolish enough to install crapware called MacKeeper use this. DetectX is a dedicated search tool to help you find apps or files that you may want to remove. There are generally 3 categories of things it looks for: commercial apps, adware/malware and blocked files. More info is available on the support page. Download v2.01 for Lion and up 2.4 MB

 Malwarebytes Free Adware removal tool (was AdwareMedic). ADWARE REMOVER
REQUIREMENTS Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (was AdwareMedic) helps you get your Mac experience back. Is your Mac running slow? Annoying adware--such as pop-ups, or malware--could be the problem. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scans for and removes code that degrades system performance or attacks your system. Making your Mac once again your Mac. Malwarebytes safely removes adware from your system. (Users of Mac OS X 10.6.8 or older should use my manual removal instructions.)


If you were paying attention you won't need this but it is free and perhaps it will give you peace of mind that you don't have any Trojans on your system. Remember you had to give these programs your name and password to install.

 MacMalwareRemover 1.1.4 Free Rid your Mac of common Malware CHUMPWARE REMOVER
Requirements: OSX System 10.6.8 or later 64 Bit.
MacMalwareRemover (MMR) will detect and remove all current Trojans for the Mac and will be updated to support new Trojans as they come out. MMR has already helped many Mac users get rid of the threat of Flashback Trojans. Besides protecting Mac from Flashback Trojans, it could also detect and delete MacKontrol, Sabpab and Olyx from your Mac. In each update, it will enable users to check and remove more Trojans. And since it only checks for the exact signature of each Trojan, there is no need to scan every file on your mac; therefore, it can scan you mac in seconds. How do you check if your Mac is infected by Trojans? You will find that MMR is very easy to use. All you have to do is click "Start scan" and "Clean" (if needed), and then the whole process will be finished in seconds. If you feel that your Mac is infected by something, then you can choose MMR to check whether your Mac is infected by Trojans. This free anti-malware app will keep updating to protect the security of your Mac. (Requires 64 Bit Intel Processor) Mac Malware Remover ... We are proud to announce that Mid Atlantic Consulting, Inc. in conjunction with Magican Software has released Mac Malware Remover (MMR). If you are a parent you know of the MMR Shot (measles, mumps, and rubella) that all children in the USA are required to get. So why not give your Mac some MMR too?

I had someone ask about the Koobface Trojan. Never heard or seen it and as far as I can tell it is the Boonana Trojan by another name. Either way the MacMalwareRemover gets rid of it and you can also run the free Boonana Removal Tool if you need it for peace of mind. I have NEVER found a system infected with this. You can download it for free from this link: http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/35633/boonana-trojan-horse-removal-tool


The trojan is spreading through social networking sites, including Facebook, disguised as a video. The trojan is currently appearing as a link in messages on social networking sites with the subject: Is this you in this video? When a user clicks the infected link, the trojan initially runs as a Java applet, which downloads other files to the computer, including an installer, which launches automatically. When run, (it asks for your password) the installer modifies system files to bypass the need for passwords, allowing outside access to all files on the system. Additionally, the trojan sets itself to run invisibly in the background at startup, and periodically checks in with command and control servers to report information on the infected system. While running, the trojan horse hijacks user accounts to spread itself further via spam messages. Users have reported the trojan is spreading through e-mail as well as social media sites. There is a free removal tool from securemac.com http://www.securemac.com/boonana/ It requires OSX 10.5 or later - UPDATE v1.1 now available for Tiger 10.4 and above

Never give a message with a video your password to install anything. You already have everything installed to play most video's. Don't be a chump.

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K-9 MAC OPTIMIZER? "Turdware"

What there is another piece of crap program that interferes with your systems normal operation and they only charge $50 save $10 today? You can do a google search form removing this turdware. Then see my notes below on what you really need and how its free.

CLEANMYMAC? - "Turdware?"

While perhaps this one is legitimate you should send me the $30 and download Maintenance for free. If you really want more features the same company makes ONYX and they give it away for free. The reason I like and recommend Mainenance is that it is a do no harm utility that checks your drive each time you run it and it does a good job of keeping your Mac clean. You can run it weekly. An online reviewer made the same observation. By the way both programs are on our Super Kitchen Sink DVD. If you do like and continue to used them they do accept donations. If you need to remove applications use the free AppCleaner 2.3 FREE Uninstall your apps easily.

Maintenance freeware universal OS X maintenance utility. A MUST HAVE UTILITY
Requirements: Mac OSX - Versions for Tiger through Sierra on our SuperSinkDVD.
Maintenance is a System Maintenance and Cleaning utility. It allows you to run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance: repair permissions, run periodic scripts, reset Spotlight's Index, rebuild the LaunchServices database, delete Application, Font and System cache, and check the status of the hard disk. We recommend and install this on all systems. Run weekly!!

ONYX freeware universal OS X maintenance & optimization tool. MORE ADVANCED MAINTENANCE TOOL
Requirements: Mac OSX - Versions for Jaguar through Sierra on our SuperSinkDVD.
THIS iS BY THE SAME FOLKS WHO MAKE MAINTENANCE. It has some of the same features but allows you to change things in how your system operates. OnyX is a multifunction utility for Mac OS X. It allows you to verify the Startup Disk and the structure of its System files, to run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance, to configure the hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock and of some of Apple's own applications, to delete caches, to remove a certain number of files and folders that may become cumbersome and more.


Another group of trojans for the Mac is called Defender (or Mac Security or Mac Protector, and more recently Mac Shield). It is another that you have to install on your system to get. You visit a web site that says it has detected a virus and offers to allow you to download a free antivirus program. You then install the trojan disguised as an antivirus program on your system giving it the system password. It then says it has detected viruses and takes you to a web site where you give them YOUR CREDIT CARD to purchase the software. You then install the software which supposedly fixes the viruses. YOU JUST GAVE CRIMINALS access to your credit card and computer. There is a YouTube video showing what it looks like if you are curious. Do remember there are variations.

Apple now has a support page up http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4650. If you use Safari you should select preferences under the Safari Menu and under General uncheck Open "safe" files after downloading. This won't stop you from downloading the trojan but it will prompt you to load that program which obviously you should not install.

There are free tools (MacDefenderKiller1.1) to remove the trojan you yourself installed, but all I can say is you are a chump if you fell for this. There are still no viruses for the modern Mac. Visit sites like securemac.com if you ever worry about such things and at least keep yourself a bit educated. A little knowledge keeps you from being a chump.

I tried the free tool after downloading a later version. We had a guy bring his system by. He had Mac Shield installed on his system. It didn't see it. He got an email with a link from what he thought was Apple. He installed the attachment and what saved him was that he was cheap and he didn't want to spend the money buy the program. Really annoying little program that puts itself in your startup items and runs noisily. The other thing that really bothered him though was that it kept typing in the url to a gay porn site into Safari.

I went to the Apple support page and followed the instructions and was able to remove this new variant "Mac Shield".

I don't run any Anti Virus software on my Mac. Even if you did it will not likely protect you from you. There are still NO VIRUSES for OSX. There is CHUMPWARE like this trojan and you have to install it for it to do anything. BE SMART!

Still no viruses for OSX. Why would anyone use a PC?



They say that 600,000 people have installed this trojan on their Macs. I somehow doubt that number. I have never seen it although I have tested a few dozen machines. I did have one of our club members say he had it. They say you can get this by viewing a web page (called a drive by) but I don't know that for a fact and suspect you still have to install something. If you recently installed a Flash upgrade from some link other than the one on the Adobe Web Site you may have installed a trojan called Backdoor.Flashback. Apple has released JAVA updates for Snow Leopard and Lion (there are several, make sure to install them all) to remove the problem. Run the software update from your Apple Menu pr Preferences or download it from http://support.apple.com/downloads/ . It won't run on the PPC Macs so if you are on an older Mac you probably needn't worry. Just don't install crap you don't know where it came from. If you do that makes you the chump with the infected machine.

Just don't install crap you don't know where it came from. If you do that makes you the chump with the infected machine. Do make sure you install the JAVA updates from the Apple Web Site or from the built in software update.

YourDailyMac.net has a set of instructions for testing and removing the trojan at: http://www.yourdailymac.net/2012/04/how-to-remove-the-backdoor-flashback-trojan-from-your-mac-os-x-system/. Do know though that it requires some use of terminal.

Norton has released a free removal tool. http://us.norton.com/mac-flashback/promo. This runs from terminal automatically on 10.5 and up.

Download and run this program if you are on a qualifying system

Anti Flashback Trojan 2.1.1 - Free - Checks for the Flashback Trojan.
Anti Flashback Trojan a free application that checks for the Flashback Trojan. Flashback is a variant of the Tsunami Trojan for Mac OS X, and has so far infected over 600, 000 of them. Now you can check whether your Mac is infected with the Flashback-Trojan without resorting to manual removal in Terminal. For more information what Flashback does, including manual removal instructions, see the F-Secure website. Incidentally, all my apps are free, so any donation would be very much appreciated.

Oh yes. Know now that any antivirus software you are running didn't catch this initially. You are the one who installed this Trojan. Do keep your Flash updated but only do it from the real Adobe.com website. http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html Also do understand the latest flash versions are for INTEL Macs only. The lastest PPC version Flash Player is on our SuperSink DVD available from our online store or free to download from http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/archived-flash-player-versions.html

These updates and Trojan remover tools are on the Super Sink DVD.


FOR OS9 AND BELOW MACHINES ONLY. I picked up nvirus-a the other day (very very old) from a machine we purchased or repaired. It wrote itself to my diagnostic and set up hard drive I use to boot systems from. I didn't catch it immediately. I usually do a quick check before we ship a system, but have been lax since it has been years since I had one. One of our customers let me know that a machine he had received from us had it. Once I discovered it I ran my old copy of Norton Antivirus from the Norton System Works we sell. It cleaned it off quickly. I had to remember to check all zip and floppies that I may have used. I made up a few bootable disks with Disinfectant 3.7.1 on it as well as a system folder and locked the disk. Disinfectant is in the Anti Virus folder of the 8/9 Kitchen Sink CD and does a good job of removing "classic" viruses like the nvirus variety. You need to boot from another CD or Floppy for it to thoroughly clean off a system. You can run it from your utilities folder though just to check to see if you are safe. The virus probably came from a school computer by the way. If your kids bring home media and use your system you should be more diligent. Disinfectant is a small program and while not completely up to date it is fairly fast to run and takes care of many virus types. Keep a copy in your utilities folder and run it every once in a while, especially if you recently get files on disk from others. If you run disinfectant and have no way of booting your machine to clean it off give us a call on our tech support line and we will help you find a solution. Click here to download Disinfectant 3.7.1 . The program will not run from classic mode and requires you boot from 9. It only effects older systems. If your machine doesn't boot into 9 and you use X only and have never booted into 9 you don't have to worry. Nvirus simply duplicates itself over and over to applications and system files and thereby slows down your system. It causes no permanent damage and can be quickly cleared up. It is high on the nuisance factor since it infects all writeable media and works over networks.

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We had some problems with our network slowing down this past week. I called our service provider and of course the person who answers for COX is probably in another State and generally tells people all day to restart their cable modems. Or course we had already done this twice as well as restarting our switches, and internal routers. She said she couldn't see the modem and was dispatching a service tech. The guy calls and he is across town so it will take a while to get here but he is on the way. While we pay a premium for our business service they are indeed serious about calls. The guy gets here and everything appears okay again. I told him the problem was intermittent. He replaces the modem and things seem to improve so he leaves after leaving us his number (he explains the number will self destruct in 24 hours). He adds my IPs to his ping list. Less than an hour later he was back on his own. Nice when a guy sees and takes initiative without the customer having to call. Thanks Roy. Roy was the name he gave but I think his real name may be John McClain for he is heroic in my book.

All during the problems I couldn't get speed test to load. If you want to check your network performance I like and use http://speakeasy.net/speedtest

We unplugged one server and a time and we discovered our biz.headgap.com box was causing all the problem. It seems that someone or many ones were targeting us using our NTP server to stage a denial of attack on someone else. The Mac Server itself is never compromised. What they are doing is spoofing the IP of who they are targeting and send a request for the directory of the Network Time which is fairly good size. That ends up being sent to the target tying up their bandwidth. Diabolical in its simplicity but it was keeping our network tied up with the requests.

I now block UPD port 123 on all of our servers. This stopped our problem. The new modem they installed was evidently an upgrade as it performs substantially faster than before. Thanks again Roy from Cox Business Technical Support if that is truly your name.

If you want to learn more about the NTP exploit: Attackers Wage Network Time Protocol-Based DDoS Attacks -- Dark


Since there are 3 or more new Windows PC viruses released everyday, and you can pick up a virus on your Windows PC simply by viewing one of over 100,000 infected web pages yes you do need to clean up your PC. Better yet get a Mac, still no viruses. For the life of me I don't understand why people use WIndows PC's. I guess they don't mind criminals having their credit card numbers and bank information, or someone using their PC to send out spam and more viruses through your contact and address book. That being said, I get folks asking for advice. Since I don't use a PC and gut any we do get I really may not be the one to ask. Here is my two cents though after discussing this with the smartest people I know. There are free Microsoft versions of antivirus software Security Essentials, and antispyware software Windows Defender. NEVER DO A GOOGLE or anyother type of search to find these. There are twits out there that mimic the pages and give you malware infested versions. Here are the direct links directly to the Microsoft site. Make sure you stay there by checking the URL.



Install these programs and keep them updated but know now you are likely still infected since they haven't updated to handle what came out today. That goes for you Mac users who are running Windows on your Mac.

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AppleJack INSTALLED? We install AppleJack and Maintenance on every Mac!


AppleJack Version 1.6 is on OSX Kitchen Sink. We preinstall AppleJack on ALL OSX systems. This little utility (Kitchen Sink OSX Diagnostics Folder or downloadable from http://AppleJack.sourceforge.net/) allows you to repair your disk, repair permissions, validate the system's preference files, and get rid of possibly corrupted cache files. In most cases, these operations can help get your machine back on track. The important thing is that you don't need another startup disk with you. All you need to do is restart in Single User Mode (SUM), by holding down the command and s keys at startup, and then typing AppleJack, or AppleJack auto (which will run through all the tasks automatically), or AppleJack auto restart (which will also restart the computer automatically at the end of the process). Version 1.6 should be installed on all Tiger and above systems (10.4, 10.5. and 10.6). The older version 1.4.3 also on the SuperSink is still available for Jaguar and Panther (10.2-10.3)

The only gotcha in the older 1.4.3 version I have found so far is on Beige G3 systems. If you had to borrow someone's monitor to install X, then your other adapted monitor probably will show you a black screen at startup. Since you simply need to type AppleJack auto restart, I do just that blindly and then leave the system alone. It runs through the cycles and then restarts usually getting you back up and running. There are some other warnings in the documentation so read through them thoroughly before using on your system. This is an emergency repair program and I really would not run it all the time, but it has saved me more than a few times from the hours of reinstallation.

Using AppleJack on later OSX versions

 Applejack continues to work on later versions of the OS but you have to do a few things differently. Believe me when I say you should have this installed on every Mac you own. It fixes problems that nothing else does. On later versions I strongly recommend you manually run it instead of auto. Do skip repairing permissions.

10.7 Lion through 10.12 Sierra Notes: Still works from Lion through Sierra! Run it manually by just typing AppleJack at the prompt. Select each item one at a time. SKIP the repair permission step. You must enter path yourself at prompt: /private/var/root/Library/Scripts/applejack.sh and then hit "return".

Any earlier versions and it works straight up just use it. On 10.6 and below I just type applejack AUTO restart at the prompt. The upper case AUTO does a deep clean.



Maintenance for MacOSX 10.4 thorugh 10.12 is now available! https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/maintenance.html  is the link to the main website. Go to the Downloads area and choose Maintenance for your OSX version. We recommend this program for ALL MAC users for systems running OSX 10.4 Tiger and up. Do make sure you choose the correct version for your OSX version. Run this program weekly! It checks your hard drives hardware via SMART status and verifies your directory before you begin running it. This lets you know if you are hard drive is in good shape before it runs. It forces your daily, weekly, monthly maintenance to run and dumps logs and caches keeping your OSX system clean. It also has selections to rebuild your mailbox and spotlight indexes among other things. The main thing though it is a simple to use program that will do no harm and can help keep your system healthy. Besides all that it is free!

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If you get the following error message:

System extension cannot be used. The system extension "/System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBEthernetHost.kext" was installed improperly and cannot be used. Please try reinstalling it, or contact the product's vendor for an update.

This problem is apparently the result of an iTunes update and it shows up on some systems.

Follow these instructions to fix the problem:

  1. Disconnect your iPad, iPod, or iPhone from the computer.
  2. Download the latest iTunes software (that works with your version of the MacOS)
  3. Using Finder, navigate to the System folder, then Library, then Extensions and find the AppleUSBEthernetHost.kext file. Move it to your desktop. This will remove it from Extensions.
  4. Reinstall iTunes
  5. From the Utilities folder in Applications run the Terminal program.
  6. Enter the following command to update the extension. This should all be typed on the same line and then press enter/return. There is a space between kextload and /System…

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBEthernetHost.kext

Restart the computer just to make sure all changes are saved.

Solid State Drives for Your G4!

Cheryn tells me we are having trouble finding 80 or 120GB refurbished hard drives for our older Mac customers. There haven't been new ones available for years. We know you depend on us to help keep your old gear running efficiently. These brand new digital solid state drives have no moving parts making them not only faster but more reliable. We still think you should keep your system backed up but running from these super fast brand new drives only make sense. We haven't carried SSD drives much before but we think now that the prices are more affordable now is the time. We found the right kind of adapter that allows you to configure it for Master, Slave or Cable Select depending on your needs. That makes these more compatible and easily configurable with an included jumper. We can set these up for your system or you can use copy software to move your old data. Let us know how we can help speed up your G4 system. I tested these on our servers so you know they are fast and dependable.

Solid State 120GB Drive Kit - G4

Speed up your G4 • Faster Data Access • No Moving Parts

Operator Headgap tested and approved! Improve Performance! Now more affordable you can move up to the latest technology on your G4 and still run OSX or OS9.2.2 and boot from either. This 2.5" SSD comes with an adapter that features the ability to be set to Master, Slave or Cable Select for maximum compatibility. The 128GB Size is the largest size most G4 can run. FASTER DATA ACCESS! This speeds up almost everything you do on your Mac! More reliable than the old conventional drives, no moving parts, no noise. We include velcro so it is simple to mount anywhere that is convenient. WORKS in ALL G4 Macs and connect to a standard IDE connector. We preformat these and can preinstall call for custom configuration. Reg.$119.77, SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICE $99.77 includes domestic shipping. See the G4 Category in the online store.

Boot 9 or X

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MacOS 10.12 Sierra - more systems left behind

I never suggest that anyone who works for a living to run out and immediately install the latest Mac OS. I suggest you wait until version .2 or .3 are released as there are always problems in the first release. There are substantial changes to the underpinnings of this upgrade so you need to make sure the versions of your software will run properly before making the upgrade.

I installed Sierra on an external drive and migrated my El Capitan setup over to it with no issues other than it taking hours to install and migrate.

You should also have a bootable backup of your old system just in case.

I always recommend a clean install and then to use the migration utility to move your programs, user folders and settings etc. to your system from the fresh bootable backup you made. I ALWAYS RUN REPAIR and REPAIR PERMISSIONS before migrating from a backup.

Many El Capitan capable Macs were left behind with this upgrade. the macOS interface itself (the GUI) now runs "on top of" Apple's "Metal" graphics technology introduced by OS X El Capitan rather than OpenGL, as well. It is worth noting that macOS Sierra does abandon a good number of systems that were supported by the previous version of the Mac operating system, OS X El Capitan. Specific feature support also varies.

Install it on an empty drive and migrate your settings etc. back to the system from your backup!

In Apples press release, they boasted that macOS Sierra is "a major update to the world's most advanced desktop operating system" and more specifically noted: Siri is now on the Mac with brand-new capabilities to help with the things users do every day on their desktop. With Siri, users can look up information, find documents, pin or drag and drop search results, and even adjust system preferences. Seamless integration with iCloud makes everything from your Desktop and Documents folder available on your iPhone and iPad so you always have access to the files you need. Universal Clipboard allows you to copy content, including text, images, photos and video from one Apple device and paste it in another. Apple Pay comes to the Mac in Sierra so it is even easier to shop securely and privately online. And Photos now helps you rediscover your meaningful memories, organize your library and perfect shots like a pro.

System Requirements for Mac OS 10.12 Sierra - remember you have to be booted from 10.7.5 or later to install!

In addition to being one of the categories of Mac listed above, it also needs to be running OS X 10.7.5 or higher prior to installation and have 2 GB of memory installed as well as 8.8 GB of available storage. It will barely run with 2GB and I strongly recommend 4GB of RAM or more.

I would highly recommend you not install this unless you have a bootable external copy of your old OS version.

EveryMac.com has a good article up with more specifics. In fact I did borrow some of the material from them (just click their name).

El Capitan OSX 10.11 System Requirements and initial thoughts after installing

I just installed OSX 10.11 El Capitan on a test drive. If you are running Yosemite you will probably have no problems updating. I always run repair and repair permissions before installing anything and make sure you have a good backup. I always install on a clean drive and them import my settings from the bootable backup rather than install over the top of an old installation. Your mileage may vary. I set up a test drive to install on one of our capable iMac 2.4 units. It does require a fairly late model unit to run. Do keep in mind that it is a 64 Bit OS and if you are still back on Snow Leopard 10.6.8 many of your programs will not work on the newer OS. They say you must have at least 2 GB of RAM and 8GB of space available. I think you will find it sluggish with only 2 GB of RAM and suggest 4 GB or more. If you already have Yosemite installed and have migrated to Photo from iPhoto this isn't much of a stretch.

Some folks as usual are having problems. This is a good link to troubleshoot the most common ones. http://www.gottabemobile.com/.../common-os-x-el-capitan.../

Install it on an empty drive and migrate your settings etc. back to the system from your backup!

El Capitan OSX Requirements: Intel, 64-bit processor, One of the following Macs:

I would highly recommend you not install this unless you have a bootable external copy of your old OS version.

I would highly recommend you not install this unless you have a bootable external copy of your old OS version. I would also not run it if you use your machine to make a living as it may break some of your older software. The migration assistant in the utilities folder will move all of your files and settings over from your backup automatically to your new install.

See everymac.com which has more information about system requirements and you can look up your Mac to see if it qualifies.

Apple.com of course has more information about how to upgrade.

Yosemite OSX 10.10 System Requirements and initial thoughts after installing

I set up a test drive to install on one of our capable iMac 2.4 units. It does require a fairly late model unit to run. Do keep in mind that it is a 64 Bit OS and if you are still back on Snow Leopard 10.6.8 many of your programs will not work on the newer OS. They say you must have at least 2 GB of RAM and 8GB of space available. I think you will find it sluggish with only 2 GB of RAM and suggest 4 GB or more.

I did a dirty install over a Mavericks 10.9.5 install which resulted in an unstable computer. I would not recommend you do this.

Install it on an empty drive and migrate your settings etc. back to the system from your backup!

Yosemite OSX Requirements: Intel, 64-bit processor, One of the following Macs:

I would highly recommend you not install this unless you have a bootable external copy of your old OS version.

I would highly recommend you not install this unless you have a bootable external copy of your old OS version. I would also not run it if you use your machine to make a living as it may break some of your older software. The migration assistant in the utilities folder will move all of your files and settings over from your backup automatically to your new install.

This install disabled my iPhoto and suggested I upgrade my iPhoto.

I would recommend you wait a while until 10.10.1 or .2 come out and when they have an iPhoto solution in hand.

See everymac.com which has more information about system requirements and you can look up your Mac to see if it qualifies. Apple.com of course has more information about how to upgrade.

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Mavericks OSX 10.9 System Requirements and initial thoughts after installing - updated 5/5/14

I have been running Mavericks on my Mac Mini that is hooked to our big screen TV. It does require a fairly late model unit to run. Do keep in mind that it is a 64 Bit OS and if you are still back on Snow Leopard 10.6.8 many of your programs will not work on the newer OS.

Mavericks OSX Requirements: Intel, 64-bit processor, One of the following Macs:

I would highly recommend you not install this unless you have a bootable external copy of your old OS version. I would also not run it if you use your machine to make a living as it may break some of your older software. Check the software manufacturers web site before installing.10.9.2 is out now and it is indeed a stable OS.

I have since installed this on a few of our newer iMacs and played with it a bit. Seems very responsive and I saw no issues. You will want to run the Software Update to add all of the latest bug fixes. If your Mac Laptop is capable I would consider moving from Mountain Lion to this now since it apparently extends battery life with the new efficiencies Apple has added. If you are on Snow Leopard do consider you will lose Rosetta emulation which enables much of your older software to run. If you have already made the change to Lion or Mountain Lion then Mavericks is no big leap.

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We can help you if you cannot find Mountain Lion. Only the later Macs will run 10.8 but I wouldn't be too disappointed if yours won't. Snow Leopard 10.6.8 is a stable environment or even Lion 10.7.5 is okay. You may need to find a later web browser and Roccat may be the solution you are after. If your system meets your needs you probaby are best served leaving things alone, and if your needs are changing them perhaps you need to consider a new computer. Apple specifies that the systems that will be able to run Mountain Lion are the following: In the System Information tool you can check the exact model of your system, and also see the graphics processor it is using.

You also have to be running 10.6.6 or later before you can install. You also must have 2 GB of RAM or more but really at least 4GB of RAM and preferably 8GB.

The problems with the older systems that are not included in this list are twofold, and revolve around the fact that OS X 10.8 will be a 64-bit-only operating system that will not boot in 32-bit mode. This means you may have to replace most all of your software. If you have an Application that is older and necessary for your business then do make sure it runs properly before upgrading.

If you are still determined to install this on your qualifying Mac and have sufficient RAM etc. Then the first thing you should do is run a backup using Carbon Copy Cloner and then boot from the backup to test it. Nothing worse than backing up and finding out your backup is bad if you need to reinstall it.

Personally before installing I would run the free program Maintenance and boot from the backup and run repair (using the disk utility) on your main drive to make sure it is in good health.

I understand that the latest version of Carbon Copy Cloner does support Mountain Lion and a new Mountain Lion Version of Maintenance is now available and I would download it so I had it available for backing things up once I had the install completed. I still use the 3.4.7 Free Version and it works fine even with the warning. I also suggest you install AppleJack even if some of the features don't work properly it can still save you if you have trouble. Simply run it manually and skip the repairing permissions step. Use the disk utility for that.

CNET has a page up that tells you how to make a Mountain Lion install drive. Here is the link:


If you are still using 32 bit programs and your old Mac is getting tired give us a call or visit our store at http://headgapstore.com. We specialize in refurbishing and upgrading older Mac units and may have just what you need. I can't tell you how many folks have called us after spending thousands only to find out that their brand new Mac couldn't run their software. We are here to help.


First let me tell you that you probably wouldn't want to do this on a mission critical system and that you will need to plan on a clean install and perhaps migrate your settings and apps from an earlier install backup. Secondly you have to have a Core 2 DUO machine capable of 64 bit computing. The MacBook Pro 2.4 Core 2 Duo was certainly a very capable machine but the installer has the circle with the line through it when I start to install.

The trick is to right click the installer and Show Package Contents. Drill down to the InstallESD.dmg. Simply mount the disk image and begin the install on your cleanly formatted drive. The unit I tested had 2 GB of RAM and seems to work perfectly although I haven't tried everything yet.


I am not sure if they are going to call Mountain Lion 10.8 or not. It is hard to believe to me that they are coming out so soon behind Lion. I expect that the integration of the iCloud and more of the IOS features are the big priority. Making the desktop more like the iPad and iPhone probably has a lot of appeal to folks who cut their teeth with Apple using these devices. Since the developer package has just been released anything that anyone says at this point is conjecture.

Lion left behind the Rosetta emulation which doomed a lot of PowerPC based software behind. I know many folks who were saddened to leave AppleWorks behind. The biggest controversy though was the loss of Quicken and Quickbooks. Now I undertand that Intuit has stepped up and is offering Lion versions.

We still configure most of our Intel processored systems with Snow Leopard 10.6.8 since it still supports Rosetta allowing you to use older PPC based program even though almost all of the items we sell are Lion compatible. Mountain Lion promises to leave all but the most recent system behind.

When considering a new Mac you will have to consider what software you are going to run. Buying a used machine because it can run your older software is sometimes a smart thing to do since the hardware may be the cheapest part of the equation.

OSX 10.7 LION Installation and my thoughts


I always have to give my two cents worth. You will need to download and install 10.6.8 and all updates which will set you up to download 10.7 Lion. For now that is the only way it is being sold and the $29.99 price is okay. I can't help but feel for all the people out there on Satellite or dialup or have limits on their downloads imposed by their ISP. I can understand why Apple wants this. No expense for packaging, artwork, DVD mastering, shipping and so on. For the consumer though its all good if you have a big bandwidth connection. Lots of you don't unfortunately. You will need an iTunes or App Store account to purchase and download the 4GB Lion install. I would wait until late at night to download Lion.

Do make sure you have a qualifying INTEL based Mac Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor, 2 GB RAM installed, and 7 GB of drive space. Personally I would boot from a backup or install DVD and run disk repair and repair permissions before attempting to install. I would also have my backup updated in case you have to move back. If you need a good affordable way to back up give us a call we can help.

You can check this link to see if your Mac qualifies: http://www.everymac.com/systems/by_capability/maximum-macos-supported.html but you won't know for absolute sure until it is released. Apple says: Your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion. Find out if your current Mac has one of these processors by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then choosing About This Mac.

If you want to see roughly what Applications you will be losing go to Apple System Profiler and select applications and then sort by Kind. If it doesn't say Intel or universal it doesn't have a chance. I would also guess it would need to be 64 bit but only time will tell.

Known issues with Adobe Products and Lion - http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/905/cpsid_90508.html. If you are still using CS3 or CS4 you had best plan on updating before moving to Lion. While Lion is less than $30 the software you have to upgrade could cost you $1000's. Do a little research before you make the plunge and have a backup you can restore from before starting. If you need a good affordable way to back up give us a call we can help.

AppleJack 1.6 works perfectly on Lion. My favorite maintenance program is not yet available for Lion but coming soon according to the web site. Carbon Copy Cloner has been updated for Lion and is much improved even if you are using Tiger.

Make a bootable flash drive for Lion - now you can boot from a flash drive to run repair.

Leopard OSX 10.5.8 - Snow Leopard 10.6.8 (is Leopard with the PPC code removed).

As usual I recommend you review the MacFixit.com Website about the trouble folks are having with the update before installing. The link to Apple's download page is here. I have downloaded and installed with no adverse reactions. As usual I ran repair permissions before and after my install. Some may say this really isn't necessary but it doesn't take long and a botched permission can keep software from installing and I never take pleasure in reinstalling from scratch. Better safe than sorry. If you have good bandwidth it is always better to manually download the COMBO UPDATE. This one is a whopper.

I can make any Sawtooth or later G4 Leopard Compatible - not anymore. No processor upgrades. You need at least 800 mhz. Of course Snow Leopard ONLY runs on INTEL based Macs.

I sometimes hear of a computer sales person telling a customer to forget that old machine it can't run the latest operating system. Granted these days the little $599 Mini looks real attractive. Of course you have to add a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, to the price plus tax and shipping. But it is still a good buy for many folks. For some though that need to run the odd older Mac app or already have investment in their old G4 tower like lots of ram and larger hard drive or processor upgrade. I still like to boot into OS9 to run an application or two, and that is something none of the new Macs can do at any price. REMEMBER NO CLASSIC MODE ON THE INTEL PROCESSOR MACS. ALSO REMEMBER LEOPARD DOES NOT HAVE A CLASSIC MODE. If you are on a dual bootable machine you can still boot into OS9 if you have it installed.

What Leopard needs that most don't have is an 867 mhz or faster G4 processor. The Sonnet 1 Ghz G4 Processor upgrade (no longer available new) meets that need and at less than $175 shipped it makes short work of not having fast enough processor and of course for a bit more you can go even faster. The second thing is a Quartz Extreme support Graphics Card. Most all early G4's have the 16 MB ATI AGP Graphics Card. Our NVIDIA 5200 128 MB Graphics Card not only supports Quartz Extreme, its 5200 GPU also supports core video and is only $99.77 shipped. Of course you may need to add a bit more ram, perhaps a DVD burner, USB2 Card, Wireless Card etc. You can easily extend the life of your old trusty G4 for less money than buying new and run the latest operating system if you choose. You can do this yourself but if you would rather you can ship your unit here and have us install the upgrades for only a few dollars more, plus get your machine thoroughly cleaned and tested.

Do you have less than an 867 MHz G4 and want to run Leopard?

I recently added a program to our OSX Kitchen Sink called Leopard Assist. It allows you to install Leopard on some earlier G4 systems. I know that Leopard would run okay on a iMac G4 700 or 800 for example with enough ram. Click on the link to go to the web site and download it yourself. Personally I am still running Tiger and will for the immediate future.

DO NOTE THAT LEOPARD REQUIRES A G4 PROCESSOR and will not run on an iBook G3, or iMac G3 no matter what you do. If you are on one of these systems plan to run Tiger OS10.4.11, which is still currently supported by Apple and a better OS in my book for the older machines.

Leopard doesn't understand Apple 2930 SCSI cards DRIVER INSTALL TRICK

If your 2930 SCSI card doesn't mount your drives under Leopard the driver (OS9 Kitchen Sink/Updates) will not install under 10.5. The trick is to boot from a Tiger drive and run the installer on the 10.5 drive. Works like a peach then.

Why I don't run Leopard on my personal machine

I think many of the new features Leopard offers are wonderful and now that it is up to the 10.5.4 level it is a fairly stable and reliable operating system. The gotcha for me though is there is no classic mode. I still use a few older software programs that use the OS9 emulation mode and booting into 9 takes too long. I rarely boot into 9 these days unless I am going to be using a classic app like Pagemaker for a large job. Tiger OSX 10.4.11 is very stable, and leaner that Leopard. Tiger is still currently supported by Apple which is a good thing for us folks that still use older software. It also runs on older slower machines including systems with G3 processors.

Leopard OSX - Testing in Progress! Apple's Leopard requirements

I got my copy of Leopard OS10.5 Saturday morning and installed and began testing it on our equipment. My first surprise was that it wouldn't install on a QuickSilver 800 I had on the bench (yeah I read the requirements but I thought it still would let me install). The installer refused. I installed a FastMac 1.5Ghz and tried again. It installed perfectly from our Pioneer A18 SuperDrive unit we sell which recognizes it straight up with no patches. I installed it on the Seagate 120 GB drives we sell. I tested our NVIDIA 5200 AGP card and it reports Hardware Accelerated and Quartz Extreme. Our USB 2 5 port card also reports as a USB 2 High Speed Bus and gives good transfer rates. I have since ran Leopard on a 533 MHz Digital Audio w/768mb of ram. It ran okay but was sluggish.

Leopard actually runs okay on processors slower than 867 MHz as long as you have sufficient ram. Apple put a gotcha in the installer. Get someone with a qualifying system to connect your system in Firewire Target mode and install that way, or use Carbon Copy Cloner from a Firewire drive with an installation on it.

"Do know that Leopard is a new version of Mac OSX and it will likely not be as stable as Tiger, nor quite as fast on older equipment." Do weigh the benefits and consider some of the disadvantages before upgrading! Since we run older software we will not be upgrading for a long while.

I put back the 800 MHz Processor after some initial testing and once installed Leopard runs just fine on it. Apple put a gotcha in it that really is unnecessary in my opinion. Someone will come out with a hack soon enough (Leopard Assist) to let you install it on older slower machines. Performance wasn't bad with 1 GB of memory. I guess they want to force us to buy new hardware. The Sonnet 1 Ghz and above or the FastMac processor is a great upgrade and it works okay with the installer. They set the minimum processor install at 867 mhz and I guess it looks for that speed of processor. Do note the problem with DVD playback noted below on systems with 16 MB video cards.

Password and Keychain Grief?

Download the Login and Keychain Update from the Apple web site. This has been superseded by the 10.5.1 update.

What No Classic Mode in Leopard? Keep Tiger if you have older software you need.

One other major gotcha for many folks is that Leopard does NOT HAVE A CLASSIC MODE. If you must run an older program you can boot back into 9.2 on dual bootable machines and use your program. If your computer is not 9 bootable then you had best keep Tiger around a while longer. I think some folks will probably keep a second drive with Tiger and classic installed if they must run a classic application and they have a system that only boots in X. Of course if you are on one of the systems with the Intel Processors you have no classic mode either.

We recommend that you install a second drive and install Leopard there. This will allow you to boot back and forth and still use your old classic software. We can help you with this.

No DVD PlayBack?

Unless you have a 32 MB Quartz Extreme qualified Video Card, the DVD Player refuses to work. I tested a 16 MB stock ADC ATI Radeon Card and the DVD player failed. It works fine with our NVIDIA 5200 Upgrade Cards or a stock 32 MB NVIDIA or RADEON Card as long as they qualify for Quartz Extreme. It is kinda cool with visual image chapter markers. There are alternative DVD players if you choose not to upgrade your graphics card right now so you can work around this.

I will not list the G4 Sawtooth, Gigabit Ethernet, or Digital Audio systems on our web site as Leopard compatible though many of them will run it just fine if they have faster than 867 MHz processors. The DVD playback will not work on these models without a graphics card upgrade. Any of the models with the faster processors will run Leopard and with the addition of the NVIDIA 128 MB Upgrade Card will run great and allow DVD playback with the newer player.

Leopard's Time Machine requires a high capacity second drive or an External

I tested our Silver Bullet Hard Drives during the install and successfully cloned the install using the more advanced version 3.0 of the Carbon Copy Cloner program. The Time Machine recognizes the drive straight up. We do recommend you reformat the drive using Leopard's disk utility. If you are on an INTEL Mac make sure you are using GUID format and for PPC use the Apple Partition Map. A large internal hard drive would also work but the early G4's have the 120 GB limit. You are better off with a large capacity external Firewire Drive like our FAN COOLED Silver Bullets, or consider adding a SATA Card and one or two drive up to 2 Terabyte in capacity. I still would want to have a bootable cloned backup. You may want to partition your backup drive to allow a cloned backup of your install. This will be bootable and save you time if you have to reinstall and use Time Machine to restore your work.

Can I use Leopard's Time Machine with my non-Apple network drive?

One of our customers gave us this tip.

James Buttle writes: Time Machine
Here is the full how to and why it can work on this link

To make a long story short you simply open terminal and type or copy and paste in the following:
defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

As you can see it simply shows the "unsupported" Network Volumes. You can even use a FAT32 volume for Time Machine using this command. Thanks James!

Leopard Precautions - archive and install when upgrading!

Make sure you read MacFixit.com notes before installing. They recommend strongly new install or archive and install rather than upgrade. Also remember to backup any crucial data (or better yet keep a cloned copy of your old install). Run drive repair and repair permissions before starting the install.

Leopard INCOMPATIBLE PROGRAMS - You best check first if you work on your Mac

Before you jump out there and install Leopard, if you use your system for work, you might want to note that more than a couple of programs will not run under Leopard until the software manufacturer releases an upgrade. Adobe CS3 problems may put a cramp in a lot of peoples ability to work, as may QuickBooks Pro 2007, or Adobe Acrobat 7 users not being able to print. MacRumors.com has thoughtfully put up a list of incompatible programs as well as listed some programs that just have certain issues. They also include links for many of the software manufacturers statements page. You probably will find this page helpful and you may want to hold off updating to Leopard if you are a heavy user of these incompatible programs until the companies release an update.

Bob's Prediction: LEOPARD OSX 10.5 REQUIREMENTS? Will your old machine make the grade?

How did I do? Apple posted the Leopard requirements today 10-16-07. The G4 867 MHz requirements did surprise me a bit. Everything else is as expected. My bet though is that it will install on a slower G4, but perhaps not run so sprightly and of course lots of ram helps OSX a lot. Processor upgrade time for a few of you if you expect to run Leopard. We will have tested and qualified our upgrade parts as soon as we can.

THIS WAS MY PREDICTION: Are you concerned your old system won't meet the specifications to run the new Leopard 10.5 OS? Keep in mind this is my speculation but go back and read this after the release. Today's date is 9-16-07. Anything you read anywhere at this point is speculation since Apple is keeping this under wraps for now. I will go on the record saying that it will require a bit faster G4 processor (probably in the 700 MHz range or better). G3's probably won't qualify and have been left out of in version 6 or later iLife packages already for some pieces. They will probably require a Quartz Extreme capable (32 MB or more) video card. RAM will probably be 384 or 512 MB but you will need at least double that since you already really do to run Tiger well. How can I guess what the requirements will be with any confidence. I look at the currently supported machines. The QuickSilver 2002 model is listed at that is the hardware installed on that model from the factory as well as the iMac G4, eMac, PowerBook G4 DVI. It stands to reason that current Apple supported hardware will meet the requirements. One thing I am not sure about though is the iBooks. Any of the iBooks that have 16 MB of VRAM or more are listed as currently supported and many of these had G3 processors and of course had less than Quartz Extreme video cards in them. If my logic is correct that currently supported machines will run Leopard may not apply to these or Apple may indeed have much lower requirements than I am speculating.

"Even if the processor requirements are higher the Upgrade Processors for your G4 AGP machine will likely far exceed those requirements." Remember the new Intel based Macs do not offer classic or the ability to boot into OS9.

One thing we already know of sure is that while some of these models only had a CD, we already know Apple has went to DVD install disks. I will guarantee that a DVD will be required to install the new software and that Apple will not likely release a CD version.

Can your old G4 make the grade. Yes is my quick answer. You may have to install and upgraded processor, more ram, perhaps a larger hard drive, and likely a better video card, as well as a DVD drive if you don't already have one. Most of you need that now if you want to run the new iLife packages. We have the items you need to upgrade. They will be compatible and we will test them thoroughly when Leopard comes out. Anything that has any gotcha's we will list in the product description.

Some of you will own older systems that can not be upgraded sufficiently to meet the new specifications. If your machine is still meeting your needs with the older OS versions I wouldn't worry about it and suggest you continue to use it until it doesn't. I still use hardware and software daily that the latest OS it will run is OS8.6. It serves my needs and if not I install faster hardware so that it can. Let us know if we can be of assistance.

BASH PROBLEMS - We added this fix to the SuperSink 4th Qtr DVD

BASH is part of the OSX operating system. There are some security issues with BASH. This patched BASH version has both the recent patches included in it. The bash these steps will install works on 10.4 all the way to 10.9 on 32-bit Intel, 64-bit Intel and PowerPC. It requires no other dependencies. WARNING: If you are not comfortable with the Terminal, get someone to help you and it is always good to have a bootable backup. Apple issued bash patches for Lion and up with an easy installer. This allows you to manually patch yours if you are on older now unsupported OS versions. It also allows you to test to see if your version is patched. Download the bash file here. 4.3.27

This information was downloaded from: http://tenfourfox.blogspot.dk/2014/09/bashing-bash-one-more-time-updated.html

The bash these steps will install works on 10.4 all the way to 10.9 on 32-bit Intel, 64-bit Intel and PowerPC. It requires no other dependencies. The idea is to replace your system bash. This is designed to accomplish that. WARNING: If you are not comfortable with the Terminal, get someone to help you and it is always good to have a bootable backup.

You can skip down to the tests first if you want to check your vulnerability.

First put the upgraded bash in your home directory. If necessary, double-click to decompress it so that you have a file in your home directory called bash-4.3.27-10.4u.

In that terminal window:

Tests to see if you are vulnerable and to run after to see that you have installed the new version properly.

Test it by trying the statements in terminal:

Second Test in terminal:

Third Test in terminalt:


If you ever have trouble installing a program on your system here are a few tips.

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Apple Partition Map only allows partitions of 2.2TB. That means if you attach a 3 or 4 TB drive to your G5 it will not work properly although it might appear so. Once you fill that drive above that 2.2 TB level the drive will lose its mind. You can simply partition the large drive into multiple partitions less than the 2.2TB limit. You can use 3 or 4 TB drives in a single partition on a G5 as a DATA only drive by simply partitioning it as GUID. The GUID partition doesn't have the limitations of the Apple Partition Map setup. You will not be able to boot from the drive however.


The new SATA drives don't require any jumper setting changes on your Macintosh (MOST OF THE TIME). If you are on an iMac G5 and install a new SATA drive you will need to slow down the drive by adding a jumper. If you are using a drive from an iMac G5 and putting it in a later machine you need to remove the jumper. Your drive should be recognized by the disk utility and allow you to format it. If it doesn't suspect jumper settings. The regular tower Power Mac G5 systems had the faster bus. PC's may require it depending on your motherboard. Why you should check a SATA drive's jumper settings - YouTube.

Some of the early White Intel iMacs and MacBooks, MacBook Pro's may have trouble talking to the new 6GB/Sec drives that are now available. If your unit has the 1.5GB drive bus you may want to install the jumper. Another article I found useful was from Accelerate Your Mac. It has a diagram for setting the Seagate drives down. Yes we do have the jumpers in stock should you need one.

One of our other websites is DriveJumper.com - it includes useful information and diagrams when working with hard drives of various vintages.

I can install OS9 on INTEL systems now, SHEEPSHAVER 7-21-2014

I finally figured out how to get OS9 to run on INTEL systems using Sheep Shaver. There are limitations though. You cannot print to anything except print to PDF, but the resulting file can be printed directly from OSX. The version of 9 that runs is 9.0.4 so some programs that require 9.1 or 9.2.2 will not worik. I have experimented a bit and have programs like Pagemaker, Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand etc working. I use an old TeleFinder client and it works great allowing me to contact my TeleFinder server directly from my Mac Mini running Mavericks.


I have recently starting installing web browser homepages on systems we sell from Google to DuckDuckGo.com. Their vision is simple. Great search results without tracking you. There searches are encrypted. You can read more about them and their goals: https://duckduckgo.com/about

Server Failure 7-11-2014 and again 8-1-2017

I had our main database server fail the other day. I could smell it, so I know the heat had gotten to it. While I have the room sufficiently cooled and fans blowing everywhere it sometimes just happens. Fortunately I had another unit set aside just in case. I simply transfered the drives, RAM, and processor over and was back up and running quickly. I have always installed better fans than come from the factory. On newer systems with INTEL processors there are programs that allow you to set the internal fans to a higher rate. On our SuperSink DVD we now have two programs. One is called smcFanControl 2.4 Free Control Intel Mac fans to make them run cooler. I recommend this for all INTEL Macs! Another one that is more sophisticated and you may want to consider is Macs Fan Control 1.1.11 freeware Monitor and control your computer's fans.  Both are free programs and will allow you to run your fans at a higher than factory rate. Yes it does wear the fans out quicker but they are cheaper than a processor, GPU, or power supply. We also carry a 120MM fan that works well in G4 Macs up to the QuickSilver. The Mirror Drive Door has a very special fan inside and we don't have a better than factory fan for it. Do keep under the front foot clean on all MDD G4s. I would also suggest you clean the understand of your iMac and the vent in the back. They build up dust. A little work now may save you a load of heartache later. Small desk fans are okay as well especially if you have your air up to save a bucks. Just don't set them too close to the display.

Desktop Messed Up After Restart?

One of our customers, Mike Z., has a MacBook Pro running Mac OS 10.6.8.  Every time he would restart his machine, the desktop icons would lose their place on the desktop and reposition themselves over on the right hand side of the screen.  Turning on Snap to Grid didn't help. Doing research, he found it was most likely the DS_Store file that was corrupted. DS_Store is a hidden file. Normally you'd have to use Terminal Mode to do anything to a hidden file. He found a program called DS_Store Remover 1.5 on http://mac.softpedia.com/get/System-Utilities/DS-Store-Remover.shtml that worked great. Freeware, works on Mac OS X 10.5 and later. A program that works on earlier OS versions and PPC is AppleOff 1.2.4 http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/18885/appleoff

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We are already stocking up on power supplies, ethernet cards and modems! Avoid having to buy them by reading a bit more. I wan't to personally thank the state of Florida for all the business.

If you don't have your system on a new surge suppressor you are asking for it. We sell low cost and better quality surge supressors that help protect your system. If you have a modem you should buy a surge suppressor that allows you to run your phone line through it since these are probably the most sensitive item on your system. Even with a high quality suppressor unplug your equipment (including the modem from the phone line) during strong thunderstorms. No suppressor will protect you if the strike is strong enough. Take no chances. Our warranty doesn't cover damages caused from lightning or power surges. If you have frequent black outs and brownouts do be aware that the little MOV gizmo's in the surge protection units wear out. You should replace them periodically. How often I can't say but I replace mine about every 2 years in our area which has a pretty stable grid and infrequent storms. The manufacturer of your surge protector may have a recommendation.

REMEMBER that the little MOV capacitors inside these units wear out and give you no warning when they are about to go. Buy a new one each time you replace your equipment.

BATTERIES ARE BETTER - If you are bucks up or have very expensive equipment add a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and this is really what you should do. This not only gives you spike protection it keeps your system from going down due to low power brownouts. It also gives you time to shut down if you should have a power failure. Because these weigh a lot you are going to get your best price at the local discount stores most often. Check out Costco our Sam's Club if you are a member. Watch the sale papers for the discount stores. They are getting really affordable. We don't stock these because they are heavy and best bought using truck shipping. We have larger ones on our servers and they last about an hour keeping us online during short blackouts.

I move my older surge protection to cheaper and cheaper equipment. It may be too old to risk protecting my LATEST MAC, but it may offer my clock radio some protection. If you have ever suffered some hits you know what I mean. The last storm that did damage took out my garage door opener. I now have a new one and a new surge supressor on it. It probably saved me a few hundred dollars to put a low buck single surge suppressor on it to start with.


If your system works fine otherwise but the Ethernet port is fried then simply buy a 10/100 Ethernet card or Gigabit Ethernet Card. You can get away with the cheaper Realtek card but have to install drivers. The Apple card requires no drivers in 9 or X and is easier to install but it does cost a little more. I personally like and use the Gigabit Ethernet Cards we sell on all older systems on our network. They definitely provide a speed advantage over 10 base T in the old Beige boxes and even over the 10/100 in the Blue and White and early G4's, they do require driver installation but we supply them with your unit purchase. Apple's built in Gigabit ethernet however is best if yours works (later G4 and G5 systems and up). Add a network surge protector.

Tripp Lite DNET1 is a low cost ($20) Ethernet Surge Protector it is limited to 10/100 networks. If you need Gigabit 1000base-T protection APC makes one stock number pnet1gb You can find it online, we don't stock them. If you live in an area with frequent thunder storms or frequently lose power you should really invest in one. Make sure you connect the little pigtail to a good ground. Some of the new UPS units include Ethernet protection and you should use it if you have one.


Hopefully not. First try my Reset listed below on this link Reset. If indeed your unit won't start and you don't get any light from the start button, we do stock power supplies in the online store and include pictured instructions for your model when requested.

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When I realized they would stop making IDE DVD drives I bought up all the Pioneer and eventually the Hitachi LG drives that we could find. Many of you know that the day would come when no more IDE DVD drives would be available. We fretted over this but did manage to find a good adapter allowing us to use the SATA versions of the drives. We found a FASTER LG SuperDrive and bought a large quantity. They are even faster in the DVD Burning at 24X and CD Burning department at 48X. We are offering a special introductory low price! Upgrade your G4, G5 or MacPro Tower DVD Drive Today! These are bootable drives.

Mac compatible 22X Dual Layer SupeDrive for your PowerMac
Mavericks Tested!
EZ Pictured Instructions Included
New LG SuperDrive

Burn DVD's and CD's! Tested in OS9.1 up through Mavericks! New model supports DVD burns at up to 24X! Dual layer support. These make great replacements for G4 Towers Yikes through Mirror Doors, G5 Towers, G4 iMacs, and even eMacs! At $59.77 you can't go wrong. We include pictured instructions, Toast Lite CD burning software and patches to make it OS9 and X compatible. Close to twice the capacity (Dual Layer Capable)! Apple Bootable allows you to boot from emergency disks and any Apple install disks etc. Only Headgap offers compatibility patches and complete pictured instructions. Toast Lite Burning Software, You must supply your own version of Toast for Lion and above. Our $59.77 includes domestic shipping. See the DVD,CD,CDRW section.

Bob, why don't you sell or recommend the new SSD type drives

Well if you haven't noticed they are still expensive for my pocket. If you do decide to buy one I would recommend OWC since they have units designed for the Mac and stand behind the product. We can special order one and install it on any system we build with your request. WE NOW CARRY AN AFFORDABLE MODEL FOR THE G4!

That being said we have started installing Seagates NEW Solid State Hybrid Drives on a few of our frequent customers custom system builds.

Seagates NEW FireCuda Solid State Hybrid Drives offer the best of both worlds

If you haven't see these they offer the best of both worlds. A good size SSD is built into a conventional size hard drive giving you SSD performance and regular drive capacities. Seagate has 1 Terabyte, and 2 Terabyte capacities in a standard 3.5" full size capacity for both G5's and Mac Pro Towers or your older G4;s if you have a SATA card installed. Seagate also offers 500 GB and 1 & 2 TB capacities in the 2.5" Laptop sizes. The larger one will not fit in some units since it is the taller size. Do remember we can do our installs (extra fee) that will get you up and running immediately and we have the G5 mounting screws in stock. DID I MENTION THE LONG 5 YEAR FACTORY WARRANTY?

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WINTERTIME COLD - how not to damage a perfectly good piece of electronics

When pulling a system in from an unheated room (or UPS or FedEx Truck) let the machine come up to room temperature before firing it up for the first time. You see moisture condenses on the little electronic components. When the unit has warmed up to room temperature that moisture evaporates. You can damage or destroy a hard drive by being impatient. I too have to wait sometimes as our storage facility isn't as warm and toasty as our office is. Carefully unpack the unit (this lets it warm up faster when you get all of those insulating peanuts etc. off of it.) and let it sit for an hour or two before plugging it in. Opening the door on Tower units help speed up the process.

The older Beige systems we have been shipping lately are more frequently arriving damaged. It seems the combination of the cold and the old brittle plastics are a very bad combination. We are packing more carefully but do be careful with your older system when it arrives especially if it is still cold. Give it a chance to warm up to room temperature before messing with it. Oh yes and the old floppy drives don't like cold at all. You may try formatting a few disks before sticking in your good disks. 

Using your iPad or iPhone with your older PPC Mac

While it is true you can no longer Sync your devices with the older iTunes you can still access the contents of your device. If you are on iOS5 on your older iPad or iPhone and want to use it with your old PPC Mac then don't update. If it is already too late or you recently received a iPhone or iPad with the later IOS versions you can still access the files on your device using your old Mac assuming you are running 10.5.8 Leopard.

DeTunes v1.0.9 is a free program that lets you. Click the links below to review and download the program.

DeTune 1.0.9 FREE universal Browse the contents of your iPod, iPhone or iPad from your Mac.
Requirements: OSX System 10.5 or later
Since you can't iTunes sync from your older system you can still use your old PPC Mac. This program that will let you view the contents of your iPad or iPhone. DeTune is a powerful, easy to use tool to browse the contents of your iPod from your Mac. What DeTune does: Supports all iPods, iPhones and iPads, Copy your music back to your Mac, Includes support for music, movies, tv shows, ringtones, books and more, Simple, iTunes-like interface, Copy files to and from your iPod's file system.
Still on
10.4? You can try expod 0.7.3 


Have you lost access to your hotmail account because you are on an old web brower? Safari 4 has the ability to emulate other web browers. In the Safari preferences choose Advanced and select the Develop Menu (you must be logged in as administrator to activate this menu). Now that the Develop Menu shows up choose User Agent and Opera 10.6.2 for Windows. Next add the Flash Plugin from the information below and you will be good to use your Outlook Mail. Amazing that the little Microsoft Programmer Turds did this on purpose. There was no reason you could not continuing to use your old trusty Mac they just put a gotcha in their code.


I had all but given up on finding a solution for many web sites that use later flash code and my trusty G5 PPC Mac. I had taken to using a Download Helper Add On for TenFourFox. That way I could download the .MP4 versions of many of the files I wanted and add them to my iTunes library. But still many of the news sites had content I couldn't view since they only offered a flash version.

I stumbled across a web site that has a hacked version of the flash plug in. Instead of the old 10.1 version you had to run on Tiger and Leopard on the PowerPC G3, G4, and G5 Macs you can now run 11.5. Not the very latest but still a substantial upgrade. You have to manually replace the flash plug in from your library but the instructions are included and easy. Save your old plugin in case you want to go back. This plug in will be used by Safari and Firefox or other Mozilla based Web Browsers automatically.

Download this file from my server: http://headgap.com/AdobeFlashPI11_5_PPC.zip

Lastly to use the plug in you need a Mozilla Firefox version that uses plugins. I hated to think of using the old Firefox 3.6.28 when the code is much advanced of where it was.

MACINTOSH GARDEN - Looking for older OS8 & 9 software?

My favorite website I recently discovered after the guy called me is http://macintoshgarden.org/. These folks are maintaining a database of what they call abandonware for the Macintosh. If you run older equipment and OS versions you will want to look these guys up. Many useful progams are now available for free download.

Operator Headgap has moved! That was over 4 years ago now!

After 26 years in Memphis Tennessee we have moved to new facilities in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We are back in operations and shipping again Wednesday January 2nd, 2013. Our toll free number will remain the same 1-877-639-1543. Our direct phone lines will be 1-405-601-5288 and you will need to use this line for technical support or if you are in Canada. Our new fax line will be 1-405-445-0796. Please make a note of these changes. It will take us a while to change the dozens of web pages we have with the old numbers so bear with us.



In January 2013, we were able to upgrade and are now offering our services at a higher rate of speed. We are now at 20+ MBPS down and 5+ MBPS up via Cox.net business in OKC, OK. Much thanks to WorldSpice.net who still handle our DNS and mail. They are without a doubt the best service provider in Memphis, Tennessee.


GIMP has always been attractive since the free price is right. The problem was it was always an X11 app and was not a native Mac application. Well no longer. They have a version for Snow Leopard 10.6.8 32 BIT and most current version is for Mountain Lion 10.8 is 64 BIT, Lion version on main site. This makes it an INTEL only app. There are Tiger and Leopard versions available on the main web site but they still require X11 be installed.

GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching, image composition, and image construction. GIMP has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc. GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/14597/gimp to download. It is a sizeable file of about 87 MBs. Do make sure you are downloading the version for your OS. http://gimp.lisanet.de/Website/News/News.html takes you right to the developers web site. If you have trouble finding the proper version for your system or it is too large for you to download we can make you a CD up. Call to order.

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Need to open and save Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files and don't like spending the bucks required to buy the new software, and perhaps even have to purchase a new machine to run it. Give LibreOffice a try. It is my new favorite over NeoOffice. It is a FREE download. It is a very large file and you probably only download it if you have good Internet bandwidth. We do have a disk made up in the store for $5 for those of you who don't have the fast net connections. It requires 10.4.11 Tiger and above (works all the way up to 10.12 Sierra). There is both a PowerPC version and an INTEL version to match your machines processor. http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/35446/libreoffice

LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and maintenance of this OpenOffice.org fork. Free office suite by members of the former OpenOffice.org community. If you have trouble finding the proper version for your system or it is too large for you to download we can make you a CD up. Call to order.

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SOMETHING NOT WORKING? Resurrection may be possible

Many of you may already know this but if you don't you will find it useful. Sometimes electronic items appear dead. The new LCD monitors are a good example. Sometimes the power goes off and then when it comes back up the monitor no longer works. Try unplugging it from the source and then hold down the power button for a slow count of 10. Then plug it back in and it works again! This works on just about anything electronic you can think of. If it still doesn't work unplug it and hold in the power button again and leave it sit overnight. Try it again. If it still doesn't work it may indeed be dead but you will be amazed at how many computers, displays, printers, fax machines, etc. that we get that are dead that come back to life for us.

REPAIR PERMISSIONS WARNINGS - warning suid file has been modified

I get questions regarding these types of messages. They are true but not a problem. When you get a message like this during the repair permissions process, the smart thing to do is to type that message into Google. Generally what you will find that there is nothing to be concerned about. Apple even discusses this on there page at: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1448. This page covers OSX Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permission messages you can safely ignore. These messages show up more frequently in OSX 10.5 or 10.6.

If you install and run Maintenance weekly like we recommend it will automatically run repair permissions assuming you have the box checked and you should and you can avoid seeing these messages. http://www.titanium.free.fr/index.php  is the link to the main website. Go to the Downloads area and choose Maintenance for your version of the Mac OS.

What really is important about running maintenance weekly is that the program checks your hard drives smart status and verifies the directory. This will let you know early if your drive is having a problem so you can get it fixed before it fails. JUST DO IT!


You probably have been getting spammed from your Yahoo using friends these days or perhaps your friends are getting spammed by someone saying they are you. Yahoo has a serious problem and they may not be able to fix it without making major changes. That means you will likely be pissed no matter what happens. You should begin migrating yourself away from Yahoo mail if you aren't already. You should change your Yahoo mail password and make it a good one. You should delete your Yahoo address book immediately since those folks are going to be getting mail from spammers soon if they haven't already. If you do leave it up put yourself in it so you can see what kind of spam you are sending your friends and relatives. You can leave people you don't like in your address book since you don't care probably anyway. If you are a Yahoo groups quit using it. Do send Yahoo spam that apparently is created by you and complain because if they don't know they can't fix it.

Pretty embarrassing when your pastor, mother, father, daughter, son, friends, business associates, etc. receives porn sites recommended by you.


Probably the most misunderstood feature of the OSX is the keychain. The keychain saves passwords you enter on other systems so you don't have to remember them. To access your keychain it is usually your system login password. Once open it automatically enters passwords for other programs. For example if you use gmail it automatically logs you in. If you change that password in the future sometimes the old password is kept in the keychain. This causes you to get a prompt for the correct password for whatever it is you are logging into. If you don't remember it then you are screwed.

In the Applications Folder/Utilities is Keychain Access Utility from there you can run repair on each of your keychains. The login keychain is the most important. If you get yours so fouled up it doesn't work correctly you can delete it and start over. Do remember that any of the web sites you log into will require you enter the password manually after you do this. Your browser may prompt you if you want to save this password and when you say yes it places it automatically in keychain.

To delete your login keychain go to your user folder and enter the library and find the keychains folder. Rename the login.keychain file something different like login1.keychain. The system will automatically create a new login.keychain file that will be empty and you can start using it again. This time though remember the passwords you use especially when you change the passwords on sites you visit.

Read more about keychains and how they work in the Apple help files.


No I am not talking about the UPS drivers although I avoid getting close to them in the summer. My experience with them is that they do their best to stay clean and fresh.

We run 4 servers in our office, all Macs of course. We have 4 large UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) that provide backup power and surge protection. An important thing in this stormy season here in the South.

After lunch yesterday I mentioned an odd odor to Cheryn. She took to cleaning up the kitchen of our lunch dishes. She left but I still noticed the odor. I felt of the UPS units since we had seen this before. One was a bit warm. I called her back to our dining room and server farm. It was indeed very very hot. I shut down the servers and moved all of them to the other UPS and unplugged the offending unit. I took it outside since it didn't seem to be cooling off, it of course eventually did once the power was removed. I already had a rebuilt one on standby and we installed it. We will order replacement batteries for the defective one.

The only reason I am telling you this is that I am not sure if that unit would have caught on fire or not. This is my second experience with this. I hope never to find out that they will. I expect there would be more information about it happening if it was a common thing. I would however recommend that you check your UPS by touching the exterior of it to make sure it is not running hot every so often and take notice if something smells bad.


This morning Cheryn was looking to restock our quickly dwindling supply of hard drives. Not only could she not find our favorite brands and sizes the prices on what was available had escalated substanially. I did a google search "what happened to caused hard drive prices to escalate" and quickly found out. http://www.techspot.com/news/46128-flooding-causes-spike-in-hdd-prices-asus-might-run-out-this-month.html is the article that showed the massive flooding in Thailand closing both the Seagate and Western Digital plants. We will be scrambling to find hard drives and our prices will reflect the increases we are having to pay. Wish I would have known this last week. I don't think this shortage will last long as manufacturers in other countries will likely up their production and let us hope that Thailand recovers quickly.

STEVE JOBS DEATH - October 5th 2011

As we were eating our usual Chinese dinner and our favorite restaurant (every Wednesday) Cheryn's cell phone rang. Our daughter told her that Jobs had died. I think I will always remember where I was when I heard it. I feel like we should all be wearing black arm bands today. If we had an Operator Headgap business flag it would be at half mast.

I can't say I always agree with what Apple does but their tenacity to keep moving things up has given us a decent income. You see each time they update their hardware and software they leave behind the old software and hardware. Many people like the software they are using and have an investment both in time and money. The new Lion OS that just came out killed all the PowerPC programs. Many thousands of folks who use Quicken, QuickBooks, Corel products, and older versions of Adobe products etc. cannot use a new Mac. Good for us. Thanks Steve for leaving us alone to sell your old computers and old software. Also thanks for building long lasting and well built products. We enjoy giving them second or third lives. We will miss your "Oh Yes and One More Thing" that you always added to your product introductions. You indeed changed the world as I type this listening to my iTunes music library.


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When a hard drive is quit improperly the next time you turn it on it goes through a validation process. When drives were 40 or 80 megabytes this was not a problem since it happened so quickly. Nowadays with drives that are in many Gigabytes or even Terabytes that process takes longer. Directories can have millions of files. An OS backup for example has between 300,000 and 500,000 files. If you turn it off or plug and unplug it while it is live it starts the validation process all over again.

Leave the drive alone until it finishes. It usually will mount right up if your connection is good.

The other problems is cheap cables. If you don't get a consistent connection spring for a better quality cable. The ones that came with the drive are usually crap.

Before you turn off or unplug a hard drive drag it to the trash and wait a few minutes so it can shut down properly.

If you don't the next time you start it up you will have to wait until it runs its validation processor before it will mount again.

If you end up having to hard shut down your computer or force quit finder do let the drive work a while before shutting down. It doesn't hurt to run the disk utility and repair the drive if you have had to force quit recently.

You probably know what happens if you pull a thumb drive out without dragging it to the trash. Sometimes you lose the entire contents. Even after you dump it to the trash in preparation to remove it you have to wait a bit for it to finish up. Now imagine how much longer it takes your Terabyte external.



A long time back when I first started using Macintosh computers I learned that the reason that Windows machines were so easy to hack was the name of the hard drive in every country no matter what language you spoke your main drive name was C: Anyone knowing your drive name also knew the paths to all parts of your system since they were the same world wide making your system easy to hack and easy to write virus files. The Mac allowed you to name your drive whatever you wanted so unless someone could guess the exact name of your drive they would never know the paths to your system components. I named my first hard drive Macintosh512KEBubba. I later added external drives and I would always pick names that had Bubba in them such as Bubba40 or BackupBubba80 etc. When the larger drives came out I name my first Gigabyte Drive GigaBubba. I now have TeraBubba and 2TeraBubba and so on. I never had a drive that was named Bubba fail by the way. I hope your system drive never fails and that I have managed to pass along my Bubba luck. If you bought an iMac from us it was named iMacBubba for example and I continue that tradition. You are welcome to change it to whatever you like just remember the luck you may be removing.

REPAIR PERMISSIONS WARNINGS - warning suid file has been modified

I get questions regarding these types of messages. They are true but not a problem. When you get a message like this during the repair permissions process, the smart thing to do is to type that message into Google. Generally what you will find that there is nothing to be concerned about. Apple even discusses this on there page at: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1448. This page covers OSX Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permission messages you can safely ignore. These messages show up more frequently in OSX 10.5 or 10.6.

Help Me! I can't find an OS9 capable printer - PrintToPDF is your solution

If you are running a machine that boots into OSX and you have a compatible OSX printer you can use the program called PrintToPDF. It shows up in chooser under 9 or classic and allows you to send your print output to a PDF file. OSX will load these files in Preview and allow you to print them from your OSX printer. PrintToPDF version 2.4.5 appears in the Printer Util folder on our OS9 Kitchen Sink CD or you can dowload it from the author at: http://www.jwwalker.com/pages/pdf.html. Also check the printer section of our online store. We buy older printers when we can find a supply.

Mac OS X 10.4: "Mail cannot update your mailboxes because your home directory is full" alert

While opening Mail, you may see this alert message even if your Home is not full.

Solution: quit mail, go to your user home folder and open library and then mail and pull out the "Envelope Index". When you re-open mail it will alert you that your mail messages need to be reimported. Once it finishes and your mail is working again you can discard the old index.

My favorite little utility maintenance has an option to rebuild your mailbox. If you get lots of mail you may want to run it periodically to keep this problem from occuring.

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I love this much improved Archiver/Unarchiver program that once installed gives you much improved capabilities over the built in BOMARCHIVE system and Stuffit. The 2nd Qtr SuperSink DVD has a bad version (2.7) of this program on it. You need to download and install the later version. http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/22774/the-unarchiver
Version 2.7.1 corrects a problem that kept this program from working properly in Tiger.

Administration Account Hosed?

Once in a blue moon my personal system after a hard lockup would lose the admin account. I would run AppleJack and or repair from the disk utility and everything would check out fine, but it still wouldn't boot up. I would then format the partition and reinstall from my backup. Well this takes time and isn't fun. I figured there ought to be an easier way to recover but after numerous searches I never could find a solution. Well a friend (Brian Akey) was by after we had a middle of the night power outage and my system was again hosed. He kept running at the problem until he found a solution that didn't require a new install. Here it is. You do have to start in Single User Mode (Apple S) and run this from there.

First open the correct directory and fire it up

/sbin/mount -uw /

FOR OSX 10.4

rm -Rf /var/db/netinfo

FOR OSX 10.5

rm -Rf /var/db/dslocal

rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

If all goes well you will see the startup screens that let you go back and add in your admin account. You need to enter the information as you did the first time. Once I set up my admin account the system booted and I had my complete original access restoring all my prefs, apps and files. I did have to go back into Account s and set up my other account since the above commands kill all the users allowing them to be reinstalled but my Bob account is back again with all my stuff as well. Certainly less time than having to reclone my system back.

I converted a web page that OSX Daily created with even more tips including later OS versions. You can download the article here

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A lot of folks buy external hard drives to make backups of their Mac systems. Not enough though and that gives us a lot of our work. One thing that is really common place is that people go down to the discount store and buy an el cheapo external hard drive. The big mistake they make though is they come home and hook it up to their systems and simply copy files to the drive. The BIG mistake is the first thing you need to do is properly format the drive for your system. You see most hard drives come formatted for use on Windows machines. Macs read these drives just fine. BUT you cannot boot from a drive that isn't properly formatted for your machine. If you are on a PowerPC machine (G5 and below) you need simply format it for Mac OS Extended Journaled (Apple Partition Map). Do remember that PPC systems require Firewire to be bootable. If you are on an INTEL based Mac (Mac Pro, MacBook etc) you need to use format the drive the same but with GUID for the partition map. If you don't do this you will not be able to make a bootable backup. Also if the drive should ever require recovery you will have to take it to a PC shop, since the Mac Tools that are used only work on Mac formatted drives. You can of course copy a single file manually to the drive but to make a bootable backup I recommend you use Carbon Copy Cloner. It is free (donations accepted) and on the SuperSink DVD. CCC lets you set up schedules for backups. Periodically though you would boot from your backup to make sure it is indeed working. When you do use the disk utilitiy to run repair on your main drive. I do mine about once a quarter but more often if you are having problems.


Cheryn found us a source of nice clean Mac Pro Towers. Need to run the latest Adobe CS5 Suite, or just need to run the latest software with the Snow Leopard OS? Our refurbished Mac Pro Towers are fully cleaned and test and upgraded with a new Seagate 1 Terabyte Hard Drive, and SuperDrive for burning up to dual layer DVD's. Tested units are in good condition (cases may have scuffs and scratches from normal wear). We outfit them with MORE RAM, Larger FAST 1 Terabyte Hard Drives with 32MB Caches, nicely configure them. See the Intel. after entering the store. We can add up to 32GB of RAM and up to 4 - 2 Terabyte Hard Drive, plus a second optical drive. Phone to order custom configurations.


We have demand for Mac IISI, Mac IICI, Centris or Quadra 650, Quadra 800, PowerPC 7100/80. We will send you a check for your working and non working units. We will pay a bonus for extra clean, working systems. Call or use the online form for price. Let us know the unit specs and if it in working condition or not. Units should be complete. Missing parts will discount the price we pay. WE ARE ALSO BUYING Beige G3 Desktop Systems in good condition. Send us your list of old Mac products and we will let you know what we are buying. The information we need is mainly the Mac Model and Processor Speed, and if it is working or not. Other details are also welcome.

LAPTOP RESET - did yours just die and now won't restart?

More than a few times I have had people bring their iBook, PowerBook, or MacBook over for repair. They started right up to their amazement. What happens is the laptop sort of loses its mind (sometimes after going to sleep, but not always). It won't start up and doesn't respond to repeated attempts to push the start button. What you need to do is an SMC reset. If you had easy access to the little internal button you would simply press it. On laptops that isn't so easy. What you can do though if very simple and works 95% of the time. Unplug the laptop, remove the battery, push the powerbutton for slow count of 5. Return the battery and plug in back into power. It magically will start again. I generally follow up by shutting down the computer from the menu and then I zap the PRAM several times before continuing to use the system. The reason it worked when it got to us though is if you simply let it sit for a while unplugged it will usually start working again on its own. But now that you know this you wpn't have to wait.

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We get a fair amount of request about running the Adobe CS Suites on older equipment. Listed below are the last 3 versions. Perhaps this will help you determine which system you need. Older versions of CS are many times available used from RetroSoftware.com If you don't need the latest and greatest or can't afford it this perhaps will help you determine what software you need to run on your system.



Yes you can use your PowerPC G5 with some limitations. The minimum processor required to effectively run Adobe CS4 for Mac differs according to the version of CS4 that is being installed. Basic versions such as CS4 Design Standard can use either a PowerPC G5 processor or any of the Intel multicore processors. More advanced versions, including the CS4 Master Suite, are unable to use the PowerPC G5 and require an Intel multicore processor. RAM 1 GB, 2 GB or more for the Master collection. Requires 10.4.11 or later. A graphics card that is compatible with Shader Model 3.0 is required for all versions of Adobe CS4 for Mac. Additionally, support for OpenGL 2.0 is required in Design Standard, Design Premium, Web Standard and Web Premium. As with all CS versions you need lots of RAM and a DVD player to install.


PowerMac G4 and G5 friendly. G4 users may need to add a better video card for some features. Adobe has raised the requirements to run CS3 applications. The biggest change that effects most people is the 64 MB VRAM. We now stock 3 different Video Cards for your G4 system so that you can meet or exceed the requirements. Our new best selling 128 MB card features the NVIDIA 5200 Graphics Engine and supports CORE imaging and both DVI and VGA out. At a delivered price of less than $100 it makes it quite the buy. Of course your system will probably exceed the processor and memory requirements but from practical experience I can tell you that you will also want as much ram and you can afford and as fast a processor as you can get. These are all easy upgrades for you to perform. We generally send pictured instructions but you can always call our tech support line and we will walk you through any problems that may arise. As with all later CS versions you need lots of RAM and a DVD player to install.

If you are planning to upgrade any software on your Mac to a later version I recommend you do a Google search to find out the new versions system requirements. If your system doesn't meet these then upgrading or replacing your machine should come first. Personally I run versions much older than any of the CS versions and am perfectly happy with what it does and how it works. It is amazing how fast older versions run on G5's and I have yet to see any new features that I needed.


I knew it was coming. It just caught us by surprise. We were down to our last few Seagate 80GB IDE Hard Drives. Cheryn went to order and was unable to find any from our usual sources. We did a thorough search and they are not be found. We will be selling refurbished drives unless we are able to locate some new units. If you are able you probably need to consider purchasing a SATA PCI card and new SATA drive. While this is more expensive you can get new larger capacity and much faster drive mechanisms giving you increased performance. See the IntDrivesSATA section of our online store for solutions. These also allow you to use larger capacity drives in older equipment as well.


I get a lot of calls like this. What I ask first is are you running the maintenance program regularly? This free program from Titanium Software http://www.titanium.free.fr/download.php (Tiger and above) validates your drive before you run it, letting you know that your drive is healthy. Running it weekly lets you catch a hard drive directory problem hopefully before it becomes unrepairable. I use the disk utility that comes with your OS install. Quarterly boot from the install disk or another hard drive and run the disk utilities repair. I also do this before I install any large new program or upgrade the operating system.

Do reboot your machine every so often. ZAP the PRAM if it has been a while. I usually do a deep level reset while I am zapping the PRAM.

If you run widgets turn off those you aren't using regularly. Install Dashit to cut off your widgets when you aren't viewing them (SuperSink Widget Folder).

Quit putting all those files on your desktop. Move them to a folder on your hard drive and make an alias of it and drag it to the right side of the dock. You could also put ithe alias on the desktop of all of these items. Almost all Mac users do this so don't fell guilty. Just clean them up. I make a COD folder and date it. COD stands for crap on desktop.

Make sure your background screen image is sized appropriately. It should be screen size by 72 dpi. For example my screen res is 1440x900 and a nice picture sized to 72 dpi will give you a filesize around 300 to 400k. If you have a new camera that takes large photo's and you have your background selected from your photo folder you have messed up. Sizing down your image will give you back a good chunk of your graphics memory. That 8MB shot of your kitty (or whatever) may look pretty but it is killing your computers performance. Size down kitty and use that or just use the ones that came with the system.

Another thing to look at is how full your hard drive is. If you don't have a minimum of 20% of your hard drives space free then it is time to upgrade or at least clean some of the files you don't use up. Your hard drive is slowing you down since it is taking time to move data around everytime you do anything. Less than 10% is suicidal. Not only are you working slower you will end up damaging the drive and perhaps losing everything.

If you have done all these things and it is still slower try creating a new user. Sometimes we collect so much garbage in our user account that we have little bits and pieces of programs running that we aren't aware of. If you don't know how : go to the system preference panels and select accounts. Give it your password after clicking on the lock and click the plus button. The help file would explain more clearly if you need additional assistance. Just type in "adding a new user account". Log in as that new user and see if your system is still slow. Do make it administrator. If you decide to use your new account you may have to move a few things to have access.

If you are still running slower I unhook all non-essential hardware items. Everything but the keyboard, mouse and monitor. See if that helps. If it does hook things back up one and a time until you identify the culprit. Sometimes devices fail, cables get crimped etc. I rolled a cart across one of my network cables the other day and while it still worked the performance was pitiful. Replacing those old Ethernet cables with CAT5E or CAT6 might help a slower network access. Also ask yourself what was the last piece of hardware you installed. Sometimes new RAM or that PCI card that worked fine initially may be failing. Try removing those and check your performance again.

Finally if everything is still slow I install a replacement hard drive with a fresh OS install and use the migration feature to move all my programs and components to a new drive. Drives are cheap these days and this is good insurance, leaving you with a good backup copy on the old drive. If you have room you can leave the old drive installed as a backup or remove it and place the drive in a ziplock and store it with a label just in case. I always try to upgrade to a larger faster drive when possible. We can help make the drive replacement a more pleasant experience. Give us a call.

You can always send your system to us if you still can't find the problem. Give us a call on the Toll Free order line.


Oh yes, did you see that ad in the paper for some whopping big drive for next to nothing. READ THE FINE PRINT. They are sometimes advertised as green drives. All I can tell is they make me turn green when I try to use one. The slower 5900 rpm isn't probably the worst of it. What really irritating is that the drive spins completely down very often. I don't like clicking on a link and having to wait for the durn hard drive to wake back up and come back up to speed. You probably spent good money to get a fast computer, don't add a drive that will slow it down. I took the one I tried out of my personal system. I guess if you don't work from your system or do anything you think important you might actually save some juice. I personally find them unacceptable and will not be stocking them. I expect these drive probably would better survive a complete plastic enclosure with no fan. Just remember what you are trading. I found a program called keep my drive spinning on MacUpdate that seems to alleviate some of the problem.


One of our regular customers called in distress after buying his new iPad. The sales person told him it would work with his older system. When he called back to complain after trying to hook it up the person on the phone pointed out it says right there on the box 10.5 required. We were able to install a second drive in his system with Leopard and he can now use his iPad with the help of an installed USB2 card and the upgraded OS. If he wants or needs to though, he can boot from his old drive and run Tiger with classic mode to use his old software. We are here to help. Give us a call if you find yourself in this position, we may be able to help find an affordable solution for you. I too have gotten a new iPod as a gift and had to update my system to use it. Sometimes you may not have to replace your entire system.

It seems the new iPod line recently released require iTunes 10 or later. That means you must be running Leopard 10.5 or higher. If you are running IOS7 you will need an INTELbased Mac with 10.6 or later.


Lots of folks with older Macs would like to be able to visually chat, use Skype etc. We use to stock a few but these days it is harder and harder to find a Mac compatible one especially if you are running Tiger on a PPC. These days we simply suggest you visit you visit the ECAMM folks http://www.ecamm.com/mac/icubiewebcam/. They offer a 10.4.3 and above compatible web cam for less that $30. If you don't have USB2 ports built in and have PCI slots our 2 Port USB 2.0 card is just $12.77 including shipping.

If you need a Microphone and Headset be prepared to pay a bit more. The cheap PC style mics don't work with the Mac. We sell a nice USB Logitech ClearChat Pro Headset that will do exactly what you want for less than $40. See our Audio section of the online store. These are perfect for use with your PowerMac G5, G4, iBook or MacBook, or iMac.

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The fact is most people don't use the applications they have to anywhere close to its full capabilities. I had someone call recently that had a G5 Tower. Someone had told them they need to be running Aperature for there photos. Well that would be an expensive upgrade for them since the system requirements for Aperature are high as would any Pro Level Application is. They would need to replace their equipment for the latest INTEL processored Macs and fatten them up a bit with more RAM. What someone should ask themselves when making a decision like this is there a more affordable less sophisticated program that will do what I need. iPhoto fills the needs of most people and if you aren't using Pro Level Camera equipment then you would first give iPhoto a try. It is low cost (or free as it comes installed on many systems). Aperature does indeed handle RAW photo's, and is better at organizing and editing large quantities of high quality images. Lastly what you learn using iPhoto translates easily to Aperature if indeed sometime in the future decide you do need Aperature.

Other examples of this are Photoshop. If you don't know what CMYK is then try the much less expensive Photoshop Elements. Again the skills you learn translate directly to the more expensive and sophisticated full version of Photoshop. There are even free or low cost programs that do the same things like Graphic Convertor , Acorn, Pixelmator, etc. that do the same basic things you would do with Photoshop. Most have free trials so you can see if they meet your needs before spending any cash, and most all have lower system requirements allowing you to use your older equipment.

If you want to create music give Garage Band a try before you run out and plop down big bucks for Pro Tools.

The list goes on, but look at what you have and learn to use those tools before deciding you need the latest and greatest piece of software. The lower cost versions usually are easier to learn and have lower system requirements which translates to being able to work faster with your existing equipment.



Yes you can buy it now for $279.99 plus shipping from Microsoft or Apple online. Once installed it has to contact Microsoft over the Internet or you have to phone for registration before it will work. You can only use it on one machine. For many people who live breath and eat with Microsoft Office it may be a must have upgrade. Personally though I would rather use something that only asks for a donation and doesn't require any registration and I can use it on any machine I want.

LibreOffice (OSX) really does work well and if you are a casual Microsoft Office user this should work just fine for you.

Lately my wife and I along with quite a few other folks out there that actually use the software suggest LibreOffice It is donationware and is a sizable download. It works great and the price is right. I have started installing this on all Tiger and above equipped systems. It really does work well and if you are a casual Microsoft Office user this should work just fine for you. It opens and saves Word, Excel, Powerpoint files etc. It allows you to save it in the newer format or even older Office formats. You do have to do a save as and select the filetype you want if you are sharing the files with others but I don't mind doing that when I save $280 bucks. I don't like software that contacts the manufacturer via the Internet. If you don't have the ability to download NeoOffice we do make up a CD. See it in the software section of the online store. We charge $5 to cover the disk manufacture and shipping and handling.

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It is disturbing to me when I see lots of dough spent on TV and Web Advertising by obvious crooks. You have seen these. Joe Smo got a new Mustang for $11 or somesuch. These sites charge for each bid you make. With thousands of bids per item you can quickly run up quite a bill for nothing. You really don't know if Joe got the Mustang or not but you will get the bill for all the bids you made not to get anything. I simply can't understand how gullible people are but they must be since the companies manage to keep paying for expensive advertising. I understand what pumpkin eaters are. They are people who are so gullible they will swallow anything.


I think Speakeasy.net has one of the best and simplest testers going and it allows you to check our upload and download times to different parts of the country. http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/.


We sometimes have folks call who have bought a wireless card or wireless USB device and need help setting it up. If you are on an unprotected network we can walk you through the setup easily. We can also walk you through installing the software and getting the device recognized but we cannot help with your encrypted network anymore than we can guess your login password. If your router is set up with encryption then you will need to password or key. We can't guess this. You will need to talk to whoever set up your router and hopefully they do know your networks passwords.

Most routers allow you to log into them from a computer that is wired into the network. Again though if whoever set it up did so properly it is password protected. If it is not you can access it usually from an IP address like with no user and admin as a password (your router manual should contain info on setting it up). God forbid the person who set yours up, left it as that since any 12 year old can change your settings and take over your network. You should always put in a user name and password.

You can reset most routers by holding down the reset button for 30 seconds or so (see your routers manual or look online). Doing so puts you back to defaults. You will need to set it back up again so that it connects to your ISP. You may also have to set your other systems on the network back up again. While this isn't hard, you still have to know how to do it or find someone that does. If you do have to go through setting it up again, do make sure you write down the information you need and your passwords and key information.

TIP: I usually use the screen capture command and make images of all of my routers settings. I store those images in my personal folder and even keep a copy on a thumb drive. That way I can simply pull up those images and know what to enter on each screen of the router setup for my network. Lightning does indeed strike twice in the same place and you may have to replace your router.

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There is now a version of AppleJack for SNOW LEOPARD. Version 1.6 is now on the new version of the LATEST OSX Kitchen Sink. We preinstall AppleJack on all OSX systems. This little utility (Kitchen Sink OSX Diagnostics Folder or downloadable from http://AppleJack.sourceforge.net/) allows you to repair your disk, repair permissions, validate the system's preference files, and get rid of possibly corrupted cache files. In most cases, these operations can help get your machine back on track. The important thing is that you don't need another startup disk with you. All you need to do is restart in Single User Mode (SUM), by holding down the command and s keys at startup, and then typing AppleJack, or AppleJack auto (which will run through all the tasks automatically), or AppleJack auto restart (which will also restart the computer automatically at the end of the process). Version 1.6 should be installed on all Tiger and above systems (10.4, 10.5. and 10.6). The older version 1.4.3 also on the SuperSink is still available for Jaguar and Panther (10.2-10.3)

The only gotcha I have found so far is on Beige G3 systems. If you had to borrow someone's monitor to install X, then your other adapted monitor probably will show you a black screen at startup. Since you simply need to type AppleJack auto restart, I do just that blindly and then leave the system alone. It runs through the cycles and then restarts usually getting you back up and running. There are some other warnings in the documentation so read through them thoroughly before using on your system. This is an emergency repair program and I really would not run it all the time, but it has saved me more than a few times from the hours of reinstallation.

Using AppleJack on later OSX versions

 Applejack continues to work on later versions of the OS but you have to do a few things differently. Believe me when I say you should have this installed on every Mac you own. It fixes problems that nothing else does. On later versions I strongly recommend you manually run it instead of auto. Do skip repairing permissions.

10.7 Lion through 10.11 El Capitan Notes: Still works from Lion through El Capitan! Run it manually by just typing AppleJack at the prompt. Select each item one at a time. SKIP the repair permission step. You must enter path yourself at prompt: /private/var/root/Library/Scripts/applejack.sh and then hit "return".

Any earlier versions and it works straight up just use it. On 10.6 and below I just type applejack AUTO restart at the prompt. The upper case AUTO does a deep clean.


When I hooked up my new Flat Panel TV, Satellite Box, and DVD Player I realized I was short a cable. I went down to the local discounter and they wanted $39 for a 4 foot cable. Granted it was in one of those security plastic carton (you know the ones you have to open with a chainsaw) with a big label telling all the features.

I buy the same or better HEAVY DUTY cable in an easy to open plastic bag with no label. It has the same gold plated connectors, same quality wiring etc. We sell them for $10.99 and include shipping. Buy ours and take back the overpriced cables. See the Miscellanous Cable section of the online store.

Top Quality HDMI Cable $7.99 including shipping
Gold Plated
6' HEAVY DUTY HDMI Cable - $10.99 including shipping!

The local discounter wanted $39 per cable. I like to have crapped my pants when I needed a couple of HDMI cables to connect up our new HDTV and DVD Player. We now sell the same high quality cables for $7.99 including shipping. I use these same cables to connect high definition components with this 6-foot Dynex HDMI (M) to HDMI (M) Video/Audio Cable! This male to male cable is designed for use with high-def devices with HDMI connectors including HDTVs, Blu-ray DVD players, cable or satellite boxes, A/V receivers, game consoles, even some of the new LCD monitors, and more. Plus, it features gold-plated connectors for maximum signal transfer! Our $10.99 price includes domestic shipping

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DIRECTV - you will never go back to cable once you have this!

I don't usually talk about personal things of a non Mac issue. After using Comcast for cable for several years (no digital boxes) but a couple of digital sets. I finally got fed up when they went up $5 and the last channel scan I did I had 3 less channels that I did not long before. We only got a few high def channels so I found myself switching to antenna to pick up the local channels in high def for our favorite shows and then having to switch back shortly after. I had to rescan the channels each time.

We looked at AT&T's Uverse offering since we can get it in our area and having a wire connected appeals to me. We went to the AT&T Store to give the system a look and to compare. The demo system they had set up had all the channels I wanted to view locked out. I guess they really aren't serious about their customers yet. I suggested to the sales lady that she mention to her boss they should at least have TBS, TNT etc. so their customers could compare not that it will do much good.

After looking up the DISH network in the yellow pages and finding no place I could view their systems and hardly any listings at all I decided not to look any further although their TV ads are compelling.

I went to Best Buy to look at DirecTV. They had the boxes for sale but no demo set up. The salesman apologized but then asked if he had mentioned that all of their sets were on DirecTV for display. He also said he had DirecTV at home and loved it. He said the only problem he ever had was under severe weather conditions the signal sometimes dropped but the system was trouble free. Comcast doesn't do much better in bad weather.

If you live in what they call a green belt with heavy woods around you this may not be a good choice for you.

We ordered and had installed a DVR system and a regular system. The installer was late but called to let us know he was behind schedule. He installed the antenna on a pole rather than our roof and explained that he wanted a clear show (no trees) to the satellite. He stayed past 6 to insure we were installed properly and instructed on using the system. I have been very pleased with the quality of the connection and selection of channels. The DVR is wonderful and we can even connect a 2 Terabyte ESATA drive if we decide we need more space in the future. We recently added a wireless connection that allows me to download the Video on Demand for later playback. I will never go back to cable.

Once you have a DVR system you won't often watch live TV. I find there are shows that I used to watch although I really didn't care for them. Well no longer. I can record all my favorite programs automatically and watch them on my schedule. More importantly that little 30 second jump button allows me to easily skip the commercials. Amazing how you can watch your hour long program in about 45 minutes. I can watch four of my favorite 1 hour programs in 3 hours with the commercial skip.

One minor thing about DirecTV and perhaps all satellite oriented systems is that there is a delay when you change channels. It makes surfing a little less enjoyable. With the DVR though I don't surf as much as I use to since I can select and record any program I want. Another limitation is that you can only record two channels at a time and you have to watch one of the shows you are recording when that happens. Many times though the show is rebroadcast later so I simply manually select the later scheduled show.

Perhaps the only real problem is for folks who live with total tree coverage. If you live in an area with dense full size trees you may have to look for other solutions but perhaps you should consider chopping down a tree or two. I think it is worth it.

One thing I did and I am not sure if it really helps or not. I cleaned the dish with that glass treatment you use on windshields. It causes the rain drops to sheet off rather than bead up and sit there. I do think keeping it clean probably helps and it doesn't take much time.



Some of you unfortunately are stuck using modems. Apple discontinued their modems a while back so you may have trouble finding a decent modem. Zoom makes a 56K USB Modem Model 3095, that will work with your system. It works with older classic OSes from 9.2 (and probably 8.6 if you manually install the CCL) up to 10.6 although you will have to likely manually install some components. They use a CCL file that resides in the System Folder. They are available at the discount stores so we don't carry them. They have install instructions on their web site for 10.5 and 10.6. This may be the solution you have been searching for.

This information is now slightly dated since the latest technology is now 802.11AC- Look for LinkSys Routers and gear that support this later technology.

Cisco-LinkSys E3000 Wireless N Router


While my servers have been connected via a LinkSys Gigabit Switch and CAT5E cables to our T1 since we installed it (October 2006 thanks to WorldSpice), our regular internal network has been routed through an old LinkSys 10/100 router and switches. We have now replaced that gear with all new latest LinkSys Router (E3000 Dual Band Wireless N Gigabit Router) and Switches (EG008W, and EG005W). We also installed a LinkSys WET610N that will enable my old Beige G3DT to connect at Wireless N Speeds (worked perfectly). We don't stock any of these since every discounter (like Best Buy or New Egg) in the world already carries them.

One of my goals for installing this equipment was to connect our DirectTV DVR to our network wirelessly. This will enable me to download the Free Video On Demand programs and movies. I dedicated the higher dual band to the wireless connection to the WET610N attached to my DirecTV DVR and downloaded a few free movies and a few episodes of programs I like. It works just fine. While fast the High Def movies and shows are large. I just select them at bedtime and let them download while I sleep. You can indeed stream materials wirelessly for immediate playback. Just not the HD stuff. I am very satisfied with the combination.

We did end up having to pull new CAT 5E cable for upstairs. It seems the exterior cable we used over 10 years ago was CAT 3. Now our upstairs network leg is also Gigabit speed.


Later model LINKSYS WES610N-NP Dual-Band N600 4 Port Wireless Universal Media Connector

While not inexpensive I bought a LinkSys WET610N Wireless Video and Gaming Adapter (about $100 delivered from a discounter). It is now on my DirectTV Box and allows me to download Video On Demand. Once you set one of these up to access your network on a modern Mac with a modern browser you can hook it to pretty much anything with an Ethernet Port. In my case I hooked it to may bench G3 Desktop machine running 9.2.2. Set the TCPIP control panel up and loaded up a browser. I have been using ClassZilla for OS9 as my web browser of choice these days. I was able to surf the web and connect to my network at Wireless N speeds. I do have a Gigabit Ethernet card installed on this unit that I plugged into but the stock 10baseT port would work although slower. Performance was excellent. What this may mean to you though is you can indeed hook up older Macs to a Wireless Network. Anything that runs TCPIP and has an Ethernet port or card should work. Just be prepared to set the unit up on a system with Tiger and Safari. The included manual tells you how to set up the unit via a web browser and you have to disregard the Window Install Disk.

With the LinkSys WET610N you can pretty much hook up any ethernet capable Mac to a Wireless-N network.



We had a local customer stop by. She says she had spent more money having her HP Laptop repaired than she originally paid for it. She was sick of it. We set her up with a MacBook and rather than install Windows on it we set it up with CrossoverMac. This allows you to run many PC programs without having Windows. It worked perfectly for the class she was taking that required she run an old 32Bit custom PC app. This little program doesn't work on everything but it is cheap and leaves you without having to buy a licensed copy of windows. I would try it if you have the one app or so you can't live without and want to get virus free and dependable. It does require an Intel Processored Mac. Crossover is free to try and about $60 if you decide to keep and use it.

NO MORE IMATES -Griffin's ADB to USB Adapter is a thing of the past

We sold our last one around the first of March 2010 and Griffin has no more available and will not likely produce any more. If you need one of these beasties the prices are already climbing on Ebay. Want to sell your old one that you are no longer using. Drop cheryn an email or use the online form.


I had lost my mother and my brother years ago. My Dad was our main anchor and the reason we visited Oklahoma City at least at Christmas time each year. On Wednesday February 10, 2010 Robert W. Nunn Sr. passed away at 81 years of age. We had posted a notice on our site and shut down our business for the first time in many years other that our small Christmas vacation. I want to thank everyone for the kind words. I also want to thank everyone for their patience. We got bit behind on shipping. We will still be spending time going back to Oklahoma to settle the estate and hope that you will continue to be patient with us for the next few weeks. Our part time employees will be running the operations for us and can help you with orders etc. but you may have to wait a day or two before we can provide more advanced technical support.

UPDATE: Here it is the first week of December 2010 and we finally have most things settled out of my Dad's estate. My friend in OKC and his wife remodeled the house and we are now renting it out. Cheryn closed the last of Dad's accounts.


Most of you probably don't have DNS numbers setup in your Network settings. Heck it says its optional. Enter the Network Settings and tap the configure button and add and then
Google has taken on the task of being the worlds Internet phone book. You see when you type in a URL address like headgap.com your system goes out to a DNS server and looks up the numerical address since computers don't understand headgap.com. Perhaps your ISP's DNS is faster but if you haven't ever set it up you might find that your lookups are faster. It is worth trying.

MIGRATION ASSISTANT UTILITY - move your old systems setup to your new system

With OS10.4 and up Apple added a utility called the Migration Assistant. What it allows you to do is to connect another drive, or another Mac via Firewire and import all your settings and applications to your new system. It requires that you have a valid OSX bootable partition on the drive you want to import from. If your OSX is badly damaged do not attempt to use this feature. I usually start the old system up in Firewire mode by holding the T key down at bootup with the unit attached to the new machine (the machine must be Firewire bootable) via a Firewire 400 6 pin to 6 pin cable. The drive from the old machine will show up on the desktop of the new machine. BEFORE YOU BEGIN THE MIGRATION: run the disk utility and repair the hard drive. Once it passes run it again just to make sure. Then run repair permissions. I would never try to migrate from a drive that failed disk repair.

If your drive does fail try moving the contents of the user folder one folder at a time. You can then manually integrate those materials into your new systems user folder. I would not recommend moving the library contents though unless you know what you are doing.

One thing that is nice about the Migration utility is that it even moves your old OS9 set up automatically if you are still using classic.

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Finally a Blu-Ray Player program for Macs!

Macgo Blu-Ray Player Commercial Demo $39.95 Blu-ray media player


Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or Later, Blu-Ray Drive

Mac Blu-ray Player is the first universal media player for Mac&PC in the world. It supports all models of mac, including macbook pro, air, mac mini, imac and mac pro. It can not only play blu-ray HD movies on Mac or PC, but support any movie, video, audio, music and photo you have ever seen.Bring your PC or Mac with the most popular Blu-ray HD video enjoyment, and this is what Mac Blu-ray Player can do.

You can't install one internally on anything except a LATER MODEL Mac Pro Tower since the drives are SATA based (you could hook one to our SATA PCI Cards Internally, and we now have a working IDE to SATA adapter available, CALL). Early on they made ATA models but there are no current models with the ATA bus and my bet is that they would be too slow. They would install nicely in one of our new style housing that would give you eSATA, Firewire 400/800 and USB2 connectability in a FAN COOLED housing, but we don't make any up yet, since you really can't do anything but burn and read data. Let me know though if you are interested. I would happily put one of the new Pioneer Blu-Ray mechanisms in our new Fan Cooled housing and would suggest that if you want good longevity this one would be the one to buy.

Toast Titanium 10 supports the format for data reading and burning and you may want to consider this for backup purposes. Toast is the only blu ray burning sottware Mac that I know of. I personally don't think it is a valid solution right now for most folks though. Cheaper and better to have an external hard drive. I also understand the latest version of Final Cut Pro will let you author movies but you will have to watch them elsewhere.

ONE ADDED NOTE: Recently I added MakeMKV to the SuperSink collection. On INTEL Macs only it lets you capture Blu-Ray Movies to your Mac and then you can play them back with VLC or MPlayer. You of course would need to have a Blu-Ray Optical connected to your Mac to do this.

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Jaguar 10.2.8 - Anything earlier was Apple chump practice. Runs even on Beige G3 systems up to the last of the G4's. Allows you to open classic applications if you have 9.2.2 installed. I suggest Firefox 2 as a browser for this version. This is a decent OS for earlier hardware assuming you can live with the limitations of the dated web browsers and limited software availability. You can run the Classilla Web Browser in classic mode.

Panther 10.3.9 - Nice stable version with reasonable system requirements. Long in the tooth these days since it won't run the later browsers and flash. Will not run on Beige boxes without a hack. Allows you to open classic applications if you have 9.2.2 installed. I suggest Firefox 2 as a browser for this version. I would upgrade to Tiger if your hardware is capable.

Tiger 10.4.11 - no longer supported but runs later browsers, Ten Four Fox is current code!. Required build in Firewire and G3 Processor. I wouldn't run this on anything slower than a 500 mhz G3 (although it will) and would recommend at least 1 GB of RAM. Allows you to open classic applications if you have 9.2.2 installed and a PowerPC processor. No classic mode for Intel at all. This is what I run personally on a souped up QuickSilver. We still sell the mac os 10.4 CD and DVD versions.

Remember that Leopard and Snow Leopard OS DO NOT SUPPORT CLASSIC MODE! No new Mac models will either, since they come with Snow Leopard and INTEL Processors. CLASSIC REQUIRES a PowerPC Processor.

Leopard 10.5.8 - still currently supported and runs latest browsers, iTunes version and Flash. Requires an 867 mhz G4 Processor and a Quartz Extreme 32MB Video Card. DOES NOT SUPPORT CLASSIC MODE. Has Intel Support. Next to impossible to find. Call Apple and complain if you have a qualified PowerPC G4 system and wish to upgrade. We can find no Leopard software for Mac.

Snow Leopard 10.6.8 - greatest OSX version. Only runs on Intel based Mac systems. DOES NOT SUPPORT CLASSIC MODE. This "upgrade" may cost you since you may have to replace a lot of your software. Sheepshaver allows OS9 Emulation. Rosetta allows PPC encoded programs like early versions of Adobe CS 1 and 2, as well as Appleworks still work. While Apple has stopped updating the software for the most part you can still use the Firefox Web Browser which is current software as well as the latest version of Adobe Flash allowing you to continue to use this OS for the Internet.

Lion 10.7.5 - remember this will require INTEL coded 64 bit programs. Some of your old programs will not work. Like Appleworks.

Mountain Lion 10.8.5 - remember this will require INTEL coded 64 bit programs

Mavericks 10.9.x - remember this will require INTEL coded 64 bit programs - Last OSX version to work with Sheepshaver

Yosemite 10.10.x - remember this will require INTEL coded 64 bit programs. Sheepshaver doesn't work. No iPhoto - Photo

El Capitan 10.11.x - remember this will require INTEL coded 64 bit programs. Sheepshaver doesn't work. No iPhoto - Photo

Sierra 10.12.x - remember this will require INTEL coded 64 bit programs. Sheepshaver doesn't work. No iPhoto - Photo

High Sierra 10.13.x - still in beta.

AppleWorks 6.2.9 will run on all of these systems with up to 10.6.8 installed but does require Rosetta on 10.6 and will load any of the older ClarisWorks and AppleWorks files. If you are converting to Lion or above save all your AppleWorks Document files in RTF format. You can run it in Sheepshaver on Lion thru Mavericks.

iLife 05 was the last iLife package that would run on a system with a G3 Processor. iLife 06 runs well on Tiger systems. iLIfe 09 for Leopard. iLife 11 for Snow Leopard.

We now recommend Libre Office. NeoOffice our old fav is still available but both opens and saves Word, Excel, & PowerPoint files and is donationware. Versions are available for Tiger 10.4.11 and up. It does what we need when dealing with Microsoft Office files. I normally use AppleWorks for word processing however. With its much lower overhead, it is lightning fast compared to anything else and it does all that I need.

Firefox will run on Macs with 10.2.8 and 10.3.9. Tiger and above will run version 3.6+, Leopard is required for 5.+. Our SuperSink collection has the proper versions on it. TenFourFox for G3, G4 and G5 is a modern web browser and the best choice.

Like and use the old Netscape for mail, news and web page construction? Sea Monkey is what you need and they are still updating it.

Graphic Converter is available for almost all versions of the Mac OS including early machines. It handles lots of different graphic file formats and will open and convert formats. It even opens and repairs damaged image files. I use Photoshop for fancy stuff but find Graphic Converter invaluable and it will allow you to perform most things you would want to do with images files. It is shareware but the program works in demo mode until you decide to pay up.

Roxio Toast 6 Lite or later works with all versions of OSX before Lion and allows CD and DVD burning. Toast Titanium (full version 6 or later for OSX) allows video compressions and many other things you may want to do. Toast 5.2 Lite for OS9 systems and Toast 4 for 8.6 and perhaps earlier.



Every so often someone writes to me asking how I can charge $39.77 for an item they found on Ebay for $20. Most of you already know this so I may be singing to the choir so to speak. The person offering that price has one good used one. If you get this one and it works, good for you.

We generally buy the items new wholesale except for systems. We include shipping in our prices and you can buy that same item in quantity from us. We warranty the product and the manufacturer may offer even longer warranty. That isn't the case if you buy from Ebay most times. Don't get me wrong there are good buys to be had, and I too sometimes pick up an item or two especially if the item is no longer made.

On the downside, I can't tell you how many folks have called me trying to get parts or repairs to what they just bought. Well it only had 64 MB or ram, or it had the original hard drive that is worn out, or the optical doesn't read CD's well, and they really need a DVD anyway. By the time you buy the replacements or upgrades you end up spending sometimes more than a warranted system from us sells for. Oh yes how much shipping did you pay. Our units include domestic shipping in the price. Yes there are bargains to be had. Ebay works if everyone is honest. I guess you know that everyone isn't. Keep in mind the used system or item you are buying may be cleaned up a bit but it is not usually professionally tested and has no warranty on the majority of items you buy. Many overcharge for shipping. Many don't pack properly so your merchandise arrives damaged. Try getting a refund from PayPal. Ebay owns them you know. Sometimes penny-wise is pound foolish, to coin an old English phrase.

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I use the newsgroups to keep up with a few things, download a few binaries, etc. When my access stopped working, I called my ISP Worldspice Technologies here in Memphis (Best ISP in Memphis). I asked the young fellow that answered the phone to have someone reset the newgroup server since that is usually what is wrong on the rare occasion I couldn't access it. He asked "whats a newsgroup". It caught me by surprise at first but then I thought, folks who haven't used the Internet since its inception would not have ever been exposed. He quickly asked and I talked to someone who knew a bit more. The fellow said they were looking at trimming expenses and since only 3 users were regularly using newsgroups and they were paying a substantial fee for their feed each month, they had sent out notices that they were discontinuing the service. Evidently I missed the list since I hadn't used them in a while.

There are services out there like Giganews, Thundernews and dozens more. They provide newsgroups access for a fee, starting at a few dollars a month up to about $50 for unlimited access. Like all things on this earth some things get passed up by new technologies and I guess newsgroups are one. If you want to try newsgroups http://www.newsgroupreviews.com is a portal that has reviews and links to the providers. Some offer a free trial period if you want to find out a bit more.

I still like and use MT-Newswatcher 3.52 which is on the Kitchen Super Sink for OSX.


Brian Akey (an old friend of mine) ran across a different browser for OS9. As many of you 9 users know the browsers are all pretty long in the tooth. I have been using Mozilla 1.3.1 as a primary browser and iCab as a backup for sites that don't work in Mozilla. These are both better than Explorer which hardly works these days. While it is a project and isn't finished you might want to give it a try. I have and am impressed with it. It will be on later versions of the OS8/9 Kitchen Sink CD and is available free for download at: http://www.floodgap.com/software/classilla/

Classilla is a free, open source browser for Mac OS 9

Classilla is bringing back web browser support to your classic Macintosh -- built on WaMCom, a port of Mozilla to classic Macintosh systems, using the same technology underpinning the popular Firefox browser. It's completely free and it's open source, and it's standards-compliant. Use it without cost or restriction; or, if you've got the skills, hack it and make it your own. Classilla brings your wonderful old Power Macintoshes back to life and back online.



Cheryn recently decided she needed to run Leopard OSX 10.5 since the new version book keeping software she uses is Leopard only (QuickBooks). Of course I could set her up a dual boot system that would allow her to change back to TIGER10.4 so she could use classic mode for the older OS9 apps she still uses. LEOPARD HAS NO CLASSIC MODE if you didn't know. Rebooting to a different OS is a bit inconvenient since she frequently accesses QuickBooks in our day to day operation.

I set up one of our bench G4 machines with OS9.2.2 and the Applications she uses on our internal network. I installed a free program called Vine Server (OS9 Kitchen Sink Internet Folder) that allows itself to be run remotely using VNC. On our current 10/100 network (soon to be Gigabit once I can find some cheaper switches). Leopard has the built in ability to access a machine since it has VNC client technology built in. She can now access OS9 applications from her Leopard desktop. Perhaps not quite as fast as before but it certainly works well and costs nothing if you have an older machine you can run OS9 on. I did reduce the colors to 256 to speed up access, but with the Gigabit Switch I think you could easily run full color without too noticeable lag in performance. You do have to use File Sharing to move files around.

We can help you do the same. We sell Gigagit Ethernet Cards even for older Beige G3 machines and many of the other items you may need to add an OS9 server to your network.

I can install OS9 on INTEL systems now 7-21-2014

I finally figured out how to get OS9 to run on INTEL systems using Sheep Shaver. There are limitations though. You cannot print to anything except print to PDF, but the resulting file can be printed directly from OSX. The version of 9 that runs is 9.0.4 so some programs that require 9.1 or 9.2.2 will not worik. I have experimented a bit and have programs like Pagemaker, Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand etc working. I use an old TeleFinder client and it works great allowing me to contact my TeleFinder server directly from my Mac Mini running Mavericks.


I know a lot of folks who really were excited when OSX Tiger added Widgets. Now you can have all these goodies installed again like years ago. Most of the Widgets I have seen though were really not that useful and you had to leave your desktop for the Widget environment. The other problem is that once installed most Widgets continue to run and tie up your processor even when you aren't using them. Some are pretty hoggish. Well on the SuperSink is a Widget called Dashit. Because of the name it doesn't show up one many shareware sites. It shuts down your Widgets when you our not in Dashboard. While you have to wait a second for your Widgets to update when you enter Dashboard having your processor back the other 99% of the time you are using your computer is worth it.

The second Widget I want to mention still continues to surprise me when I install it on systems. Maintidget 151 tells the date of the last time your daily, weekly and monthly maintenance was run. Many systems that come in to us have not had all of the maintenance run for years. You can run the maintenance right from the Widget. There is a gotcha in Leopard. It seems if you have no passord installed you can't run it from the widget. Just use Maintenance instead. It still comes in handy letting you know if your built in maintenance scripts are running as they should.

On the latest Super Sink I added a nifty little program that lets you "tear off" widgets from the widget dock (Widget to Desktop 4.0) and use them on your desktop. Handy if you have lots of screen!


It seems that most all drive makers are stopping production on IDE hard drives. We can only buy refurbished units at this time. Since most all new computers have moved to the SATA standard it may not be too long before your only choice will be to install a SATA card and run the larger faster cheaper SATA drives. Some of you don't have that choice if you or on machines like the iMacs that don't have a PCI slot to put a SATA card in. Hopefully some of the adapters out there will allow you to keep those older machines running. If you have been thinking about upgrading your hard drive in your older machine now would be the time while you still have some good choices.

I now have adapters available that allow configuring the SATA drives for master, slave or cable select and work just fine on G4 and up systems. Call to order.


I have had several times over a period of years, had folks send me systems that had odd freezes. Some describe it as the mouse locking up and not moving. In every case it was caused by the energy saver settings. If you install a USB2 card and many other types of accessories you need to disable sleep. You can keep your screen saver active, just don't let the CPU sleep or the hard drive spin down. If you come back to your machine after a while and find it locked up you may need to trying turning off the energy saver.


See our accelerator section for new and used processors. The Sonnet 1 Ghz Single Processors are now sold out and they aren't being made any more. We are now out of the Mercury 1.5 ghz Singles. Freescale (was Motorola) is the manufacturer of these chips. Once they are gone they will not likely run the production line again. We do get a few processor upgrades in trade and may have a used one at a good price. Have one you aren't using anymore? Sell it to us.

I still have the Gigameter 1.01 program on the Super Sink DVD Collection. This bit of code enables 7447 processors to be properly recognized. I may also have the old enabler you are looking for. Send me an email.

WIRELESS N - Back In Stock! Lower Prices!

I thought it would be a long while before I upgraded my Wireless G components to N. Cost keeps me from running out and adopting new technology quickly and I am certain that many of you are like me when it comes to parting with cash. I have had my eyes out for a low cost alternative that would enable me to install the much faster and longer range N. Well I finally located some market USB Devices that we could get drivers for. I replaced our trusty LinkSys Wireless G Router with a Wireless N Router (LinkSys) unit and have started using these new dongles.

You get more bars at even marginal locations with the Wireless N USB Adapters and the transfer rates are astounding.

I can now see how video can easily be shared. Perhaps shortly I will have a Mac permanently attached to the TV. Makes it better to watch those shows I missed from online and all without stringing CAT 5E across the floor. The USB Lan Adapter we include the drivers on our latest SuperSink DVD which is also chock full of updates and the best freeware and shareware available (a $16.77 value all by itself) included with your purchase. Oh yes if you need a Wireless N Router just watch the sale papers for Best Buy, Office Depot etc for the LinkSys Wireless N. They sell them so cheap (about $50) we simply don't bother to stock them. We use the little wireless N USB Adapters on our own iBook when we travel. It has better ears and gets a better signal even on older slower non N networks. We stock USB 2 cards for your G4 if you don't already have one. While these work on the USB1 ports they work faster and better plugged directly into a USB2 card. I have installed these on the older iMac G3 units with USB1.1 and they work fine and a lot better than the old Airport cards.

Make any Mac with USB Wireless!
N Speeds!

Make your Apple Mac USB Wireless N speeds
Requires OSX 10.4 up

Wireless USB 2.0 802.11N Mini LAN Adapter
Special $34.77 shipped

Provides Faster Wireless N networking on iMacs, Mini's, iBooks, Powerbooks, and MacBooks or any Mac with a USB 2 Port!

New Mini SIze! Finally a reasonable cost USB Wireless solution for the Mac! Mac OSX 10.4 to 10.6 compatible! Extend your wireless coverage and experience greater speed with this Wireless N USB 2.0 Adapter! Based on the 802.11n 2.0 standard, this Wireless N USB Adapter delivers the highest wireless data rate so you can enjoy uninterrupted data streaming. This Wireless N USB Adapter features integrated antenna and is backwards compatible with 802.11b/g networks! With WPA2, WPA, 802.1x and WEP security encryption, the Wireless N USB Adapter helps keep your wireless connection secure from intruders. Transmit: Up to 150 Mbps, Receive: Up to 300 Mbps. Frequency Band: 2.4 - 2.5 GHz. REQUIRES: USB2 Port, 10.4 . 10.5 or 10.6 & a compatible wireless network. Includes our OSX Super Sink DVD ($14.77 value) with drivers from us DOES NOT WORK WITH OS VERSIONS EARLIER THAN 10.4. Our $34.77 price includes domestic shipping. See the Wireless section of the store.

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QuickSilver Dual 1 Ghz shutting down by itself

One of our customers sent in his QuickSilver Dual 1 Ghz G4 systems for us to repair and upgrade a bit. He was having all kinds of odd problems and could not get his Leopard install to work. His graphic card was bad (if you see artifacts in the screen and your monitor is plugged in solidly it is the card) and he had a Crucial Memory 133 Stick of RAM that reported itself as PC100 in profiler (I have seen this a lot) and so I replaced both. With those fixes Leopard installed just fine.

The worst of the problems was the machine would run about 3 hours from sitting cold and then it would shut itself down. I just knew one of the processors was not getting cooled or going bad. I swapped processors with a known good dual and it would still shut down. I installed a bit more thermal paste and a full time high velocity 60MM processor fan in place of the stock unit. I got about the same. I finally put my original dual back together and let it run all night with Leopard installed under load. It ran fine.

I finally replaced the power supply on his unit and that fixed it. Oh yes I did all the usual things, like deep level resetting the system, installing known good ram, checking all the fans etc. There was nothing wrong save the power supply would get warmed up good and shut down. I probably will install a high speed fan in the "bad" 3 hour power supply and put it in one of our units we use around here to see if a better fan was all it needed but I bet some of the capacitors are going bad. I Googled the problem but only got a hint at the power supply. I have seen many systems that run only a few minutes and shut down and know to replace the power supply right off. Never one that runs for hours.

I like to have tore my hair out on this one. With the 3 hours lapses between shutdowns in took several days to finally nail this problem. I hope my notes save you some time.


So you go to the yellow pages and pick out a company to come repair XYZ appliance. They send a guy out in a truck. He comes in and gives you an estimate about $100 more than the appliance cost. So you pay them the $75 service fee. These guys never really do any work. They just go around collecting $75 from the chumps. I suspect if you told them to fix the appliance at the jacked up price they either wouldn't or couldn't do it. DON'T PAY THEM. Better yet find a name of a reputable dealer to start with. If you don't know who to ask try a local Realtor, especially one who has rental properties.


Last night I ran the Maintenance routine on my personal Tiger system in preparation for the latest round of Apple Updates. The routine repairs permissions (as well as a lot of other things) which I always do before I install software. The updates I needed for my system were the Security update 2009 - 001 and the Java Release 8. I never got to the Java Release as the Security update killed my system. After rebooting the system just sat with a blue screen and the little watch dial. After waiting 20 minutes I rebooted trying Safe Boot Mode by holding the shift key down. Still blue screen. I then started in Single User Mode by holding down the command and s keys and ran AppleJack (you do have AppleJack installed don't you?). I expecting this to get me back on track since it validates the drive, repairs permissions and prefs and dumps caches. Still no luck. I ended up booting from my backup (hold down the option key at startup) and using Carbon Copy Cloner to copy over the System and Library Folders only. I am back up and running this morning thanks to the backup. I checked to see where my backup was and it had everything except the security and java updates and the quicktime 7.6 update which for now I am leaving off. I checked MacFixit.com by the way and they had some reports of users having this problem but no real advice for a fix. You may not have a problem and I probably will take a run at the updates again this weekend when I have time. My point in sharing this with you is that you need to have a sound backup of your system period. If you don't plan on a lengthy reinstall process and perhaps losing lots of data. Since I only had to replace my Library and System files none of my Applications or User files were affected. I have since went back and updated my system with no problems. I am glad I keep that backup though.


It upsets me to see equipment come in for repair that has been damaged by some "expert" upgrading a hard drive or installing an optical. We have had many of these over the years and more recently. The correct size screws must be put back in the proper positions. Certain screws are grounding screws and if not put back in place then the unit will not work. Using the wrong tools causes screws to be stripped and jamming a flatblade in a hex screw is absolutely the wrong thing to do. Heavy handed nitwits also break frames, damage cases and otherwise cause the unit to be expensive to repair properly. Anyone using both hands to tighten up these tiny screws should be shot. The teenager at the discount store may be a genious on full size hardware, but he may not have the tools or the training for laptops. I personally know my limitations and do not work on laptops except for the ancillary things like RAM upgrades and Wireless Card installs. We have people that have the training and the tools to do proper repair work. For board level repair we send the units out. Oh yes. Leaving screws out is bad. You can't imagine what the replacement screws cost and how hard they are to find, but I guess leaving them out rather than forcing them into the wrong size hole or through a cable is better. As Dirty Harry says "A man has got to know his limitations".


I have been fixing a lot of hard drives for folks lately. I think I need to repeat a few things. If you don't know, buying an external hard drive at the discount store is okay if you don't use the drive all the time, and format the drive for the Mac OS. If you send me a DOS formatted drive I will send it back untouched and wish you luck getting someone to fix it. I have good tools but they are Mac Tools and repair Mac formatted and partitioned drives. I will not work on LaCie External drives at all. I am not happy about working on the new Maxtor housings since many have to be destroyed to get at the mechanisms. If I sold crap like this I don't think I would want people seeing it either and I guess gluing the housings together keeps people from seeing the cheap hardware inside. I was able to recover all the drives sent to me recently and move the data to better quality hardware.

ALWAYS buy good quality drive mechanisms with FAN COOLED housing if you care about your data and run the drives all the time. The OXFORD chipsets for Firewire are a must since that is the only chipset guaranteed to be daisy chainable. (See if the kid at the discount store can tell you what chipset is used in the hard drive you are buying). You also won't have the mounting problems and less drive errors with Oxford chips. Do shut down your external drives when they are not in use. Every so often run the disk utility and run repair on the hard drive. That insures your directories are healthy and will fix small problems before they become big ones. You should also unmount external drives before turning them off but your computer probably has told you that. 


I had a tech support call. The guy said he wanted to know why his email had lipstick covered lips on his emails (Tiger Mac Mail) and wondered if it was a virus. I did a Google search for lipstick mac mail and a few other variations without success. You should really never search anything with the word lipstick in it by the way. I finally got to thinking and remembered a pair of lips was a user icon. Whoever set him up as a user initially had chosen the smack.tif from the user icons and they were appearing on his mail. A quick click of the Accounts system preference and a user picture change fixed him up.

The small user pictures are in the Library/User Pictures. In this case the one chosen was smack.tif. You can easily add your own using the graphics program of your choice. Make an image 48x48 pixels and save it out as a .tif file type and add it to one of the category folders. You can then choose it as your user picture.

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NO MORE OS 10.4 TIGER (also works on most other OS versions)? MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR INSTALL DVD

I am sometimes frustrated by the fact that Apple quits producing older software versions. Generally after a new version of the OS is released their is enough old software in the pipeline to keep folks happy for a good while who are using older equipment. Not in the case of Tiger. Since there are more than a few folks who either are still using G3 or other slower G4 equipment, or still need classic mode from running older software. I personally will be running Tiger for a long time since I still have several unreplacable pieces of software that need classic mode to run.

You can't buy a genuine Tiger DVD install these days. Ebay is filled with overpriced used and or possibly bootleg disks selling for far more than the software did originally. We have been selling legit copies of Panther with legit Tiger Upgrade disks for a price much higher than I would like at a margin that is too low. This will not work for some models of G5 for example and we have no alternatives. I guess many folks are left to either buy bootleg copies or borrow someones copy. It is a shame that Apple doesn't make a small production run to supply the pent up demand instead of forcing folks to break the law. By the way if you are not using your old original Mac OS Install CD's or DVD's (NOT machine specific) and they are in good condition check with cheryn as we buy good working copies of 7.6, 8.1, 8.5, 8.6, and 9.1 as well as OS 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4.

I think it is a good idea to make a backup of your Tiger DVD and use the backup to reinstall or run repair. Keep your original in a safe place. You need a DVD burner for this to work as well as some good DVD-R blank media.


Making a DVD Image

  1. Insert the retail Mac OS X Install DVD into your drive.
  2. Launch Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities).
  3. In Disk Utility, you will notice a white pane on the left hand side. In the pane, select the Mac OS X Install DVD by clicking on it once.
  4. Click New Image on the Disk Utility toolbar.
  5. A dialog box will appear. Give the new image a name. I used 'Mac OS X Install DVD'. Select the destination where you wish to save it. Leave Image Format at Compressed (default) and Encryption at None (default).
  6. Click Save to begin creating the image.
  7. Once your image has been created DO NOT mount it. Leave the image alone and proceed to the next section.

Burning the Image

  1. Launch Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities).
  2. Click Burn on the Disk Utility toolbar (upper left).
  3. Navigate to where you saved the DVD image created in the previous section. Click on the image file, then click the Burn button. Do not drag and drop the image file into Disk Utility during this step.
  4. Insert a DVD when prompted and proceed to Burn it. (use good quality media)

 This procedure also works for bootable backup CD's if you bought the CD version to start with. There is a program called Clone X 3.2 that will build you a bootable copy on CD or DVD of your system. I have not used this program personally but if it works as advertised some of you may find it useful. http://mac.softpedia.com/get/System-Utilities/Clone-X.shtml is one of many places you can find it if you want to learn more about it or download it. It is a $49 program. Let me know how you do.


You may not care, but if you run an older PowerPC system or Rev A. G3 Desktop or Tower the readily available and inexpensive USB2.0 cards will not work in them. We have searched the entire world looking for a source for the 1.1 USB cards that work in the older PCI based Power Macs. There are none. What we offer these days is an extremely limited quantity of used tested pulls. If you are scrapping an old Mac make sure you pull the USB 1.1 card. We pay $15 each for working units. Please let us know if you locate a dealer with quantity.


You may notice the term " nicely configured" in the description of systems we sell. Well what does that mean really and why don't you send me a list of all the stuff you put on it? If I did I would never have time to build your system. We update our Kitchen Sink Quarterly but when I am working on your system other updates may have come out. I try to always have the latest versions of our installs on each of our systems and we frequently make improvements.

I put many freeware, shareware and open source programs on each system we sell to make it easy for you. I don't know of any other dealer out there who does this. Most install an old version of the basic OS if they even do that. I have bought "configured" machines from many of our competitors over the years, to be totally unimpressed. I am impressed by how much time I would have to spend to get a machine into a useable state. They mostly are clean but have the original battery, tired old hard drive, nearly worn out optical and some odd group of RAM. Okay it does work okay but not good enough for me. You could have to spend hours just locating and updating the OS components alone. Not one system had the scuffs and scratches buffed down and none were waxed.

Even older systems that we install older OS versions on have improvements in the OS. I use the USB components from the Apple SDK for example to update it past the 9.2.2 install and use them even on the older OS8.6, 9.1 systems. I also use the later Firewire components, networking parts and pieces, etc. This allows the system you purchased to work properly with most modern USB and Firewire devices and allows you to use even an older system on your modern cable or dsl network. I also try to make sure you have a good assortment of the basic Applications and Utilities you need. All of our systems have de-archiving softwore preinstalled for example. That way you can open most attachments and files that you may download over the net. I also make sure you have a couple of web browser choices in case one doesn't work properly with the site you are accessing. We also include our Kitchen Sink Collections appropriate for the OS you have installed with our systems. That allows you to easily locate and install many other Apps and Utils for your specific needs without having to spend time searching the net and downloading files.

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ALWAYS RUN A BACKUP WITH OSX! Lots of words here but worth reading I think.

If there is one thing I could convince folks of when they buy a system and plan to run OSX it would be this: Run a second drive or external Firewire drive with a cloned backup of your OSX install. We can do this for you with your purchase, and certainly help you install a second or external reliable hard drive. While I find OSX generally very reliable and hardly ever have to use our backups I am glad I do when it does happen.

 OSX had been out a good while before I started using it. Why you ask? I will not run an operating system I can't make a bootable backup from. Until Carbon Copy Cloner became available running OSX was a crap shoot. After 10.2 came out it finally was a stable and reliable operating system, that I could run a backup for.

 We operate our business with 6 systems and 4 servers and most of them have X on them these days. On each OSX system I either run a second drive or an attached Firewire Drive. I keep a cloned copy of the OS on that second or attached drive. If and when we have a system go down, we simply boot from the second drive by holding down the option key at startup and choosing the alternative drive. We are back up and operational in the time it takes to boot. I think all Mac OSX users should do the same. While I have ran for years on my personal systems with little or no problems (OSX Tiger is indeed stable), things do happen and being prepared keeps you from going through the grief many of you do when something does happen to your system.

 You can then take the time to troubleshoot and repair the problem or simply replace the original install using Carbon Copy Cloner (or send it to us). I also use a program called RSYNCX to do any periodic updates to those backups, since it only updates the files that have changed. We all run weekly maintenance on our systems either using an old program called System Optimizer for Jaguar and Panther machines, and Maintenance for Tiger, Leopard & Snow Leopard (all are on the Kitchen Sink for OSX). While OSX is supposed to take care of these chores automatically I find that you will do better if you use these programs to do this at your command. They also do other things that the built in routines don't but should.

 Oh yes, don't forget to boot from your backup every once in a while to make sure it is indeed bootable and in good condition. The time to find out it isn't working is not when your main hard drive just died. You can then run the disk utility from your backup and run a full repair on your main drive.

 I recommend to anyone running a Mac system that you replace your main work hard drive every 3 to 4 years (more often if your are a heavy user or run servers). They are not expensive these days, but having one fail with all your hard work, music, video, and photographs, can be. I relegate the old hard drive to back up duties then. We will preformat the drives if you ask so all you have to do is pop it in along with your old main hard drive and clone it to your new drive. I store my old backup drives in my underwear drawer (sealed airtight), just in case.

 You may also want to start thinking about off site storage. Not too many years ago we had a break in and thieves stole some of our systems. Fortunately they left the drives in my underwear drawer alone so I was back up and running quickly albeit from dated data. I now store another copy of our important data off the premises in case of breakins, fire, tornadoes, or other disasters. It usually is a month or so old and we have started using "thumb" drives. With sizes from 1GB up to 8GB commonly available it isn't expensive to keep a copy of your really important stuff. While not bootable it is fairly simple to restore your data from these units. Periodically I will retreive them and run update the data. I don't trust online storage at all having been on the web longer than most of these outfits. I see them come and go with no warning far too often and no one really knows if they are secure or not. 

Some people say well I have the software on DVD or CD so if something happens I will just reinstall. Well I personally don't have that kind of free time. An OSX install takes several hours when you consider all the updates that also have to be ran. Keeping a cloned backup is a much better use of your time in my book. A clone will usually finish while you are at lunch and RsyncX finished generally in the time it takes to pour yourself another cup of coffee. Be safe, run a backup. Do make sure your backup drive is formatted properly for the systems you are running. Apple Partition Map and Firewire connections for PowerPC units, GUID Partitions for INTEL and USB or Firewire if your machine offers a Firewire port it is faster.

Looking for a Good List of Open Source Software for Mac OSX?

One nicely done web site has a good list of open source software for Mac OSX is http://opensourcemac.org Of course a good bit of the programs appear on our Kitchen Sink for OSX but a few are a bit large and more special interest. This is simply a list of what is available but a good one. Most programs are Freeware or Shareware. I like and use NeoOffice these days in place of Microsoft Office and have recently added Seashore which gives you Photoshop type editing for free. I also like and use the program Unarchiver which adds itself at to finder and extends the types of files you can compress and uncompress in place of Stuffit or the built in. Before you go spending big bucks to add a program to your system, I would give some of the open source programs a try. We preinstall some of these programs when you have us configure your system with OSX and include many on the Kitchen Sink CD OSX version.

New Headgap.com System - Was Beige Minitower, Now G4 Yikes Tower - 7/6/2008

I recently retired our last Beige G3 Minitower Server. There was no real big reason and I still use my trusty G3DT for a main bench machine. The old Beige Tower I had set up is sturdy and reasonably fast with the upgrades we made. It had a G4/800 Sonnet Processor, and a 10/100 card so it was fast enough for the traffic we have on the box. I still need 8.6 (which keeps me out of the more modern G4's) to run TeleFinder Server efficiently and TeleFinder still has features not available to any OSX Server. I have moved my graphics and much of my business traffic to the new OSX Tiger Server G4 DA running 1.467 Ghz which is now handling the bulk of our traffic. When I retired a special G4 Yikes System (running 8.6) recently I had set it aside. I had used it as our business server running TeleFinder but now it was sitting dormant. I had installed one of the new IBM G3 GX 1.1 Ghz ZIF Processors in it. This one has a full megabyte of backside cache running the full processor speed. This made it lightning fast and unlike the Sonnet processors the 100 mhz bus speed of the Yikes box stays 100 mhz. TeleFinder doesn't take advantage of the Altivech processor a G4 chip offers so there was no disadvantage to the G3 chip. I added one of our Gigabit Ethernet Cards and it is plugged into our LinkSys Gigabit Hub attached to our T1 via the ADTRANS Router. I had trouble until I notices the old cable was CAT3. I replaced it with a CAT5E and will soon have everything replaced with the 5E cables. 512MB of RAM has always been enough for the TF Suite. We did install a new 80GB 7200 Seagate Drive and I left the Hitachi 80GB that was in the Beige Headgap in as a backup. I had installed one of our 120MM cooling fans in place of the stock one to help keep the system which runs 24/7 as cool as possible. It also has an ATI7000 32MB Video Card plugged in the shared LCD. I am very pleased with the new server that has now been up a few days. When you go the headgap.com and any of the BBS features, you are on this system. Not that the system was ever slouchy the new system does appear much snappier and the unit has been extremely stable. You can read a bit more about what hardware and software I run at http://headgap.com/features.spml I still have a few things to fix like automatting the backups via Retrospect again and automatting the Newsgroups downloads.


UPDATE: Tim Matheny an Apple Engineer told me about a program called Calibre http://calibre-ebook.com/download. It is an all in one package open source for all of your eBook needs. It requires Tiger and above, but may be what you need. It does conversions and has a decent reader built in.

I ran across a program called Stanza for OSX recently and Sophie for both *9 & X. It allows you to download and read books. Granted you could just use a text reader for most of the books but bookmarking and other functions are not there. This program lets you bookmark and even change fonts or the size of the text. Cheryn my wife has a bit of tendonitus and loves to read so much but gets pains in her hands from holding the paperbacks. This reader takes away all of that allowing you to move to the next page withthe touch of a button. She can now read books from her laptop or computer. How do you get the books. Well there are tons of free ones we were happy to find. Try the Baen Library for starters. Then try the Gutenburg organization. There is also an Ebook Wiki for more information. While it will be a while before I give up my paperbacks I anxiously await a really great solution for a portable reader and sorry Amazon the Kindle is not it. I do imagine books one day being purchased and downloaded much like music is and used on devices like iPhones and iPod Shuffles. The iPod Touch is awful close to a reader and I understand there are book reading apps available.


Many of you that own the 1/2 Basketball iMac G4 with the screen on a swiveling neck, may have experienced the droops after using the machine a few years. I heard rumor that there was a special neck tool but could never find anyone who owned up to having one. I mentioned this to one of our customers and he shared his home grown solution.

Jim Sulanowski writes: over the weekend I discovered a great Tim Allen solution. I took a small C-clamp and put it on both sides of the loose joint and tightened it down a bit. Viola! It now stays where I put it.

APPLEWORKS 6 - A PROGRAM THAT RUNS ON OS8 all the way up to Snow Leopard 10.6.+

Many of you have AppleWorks 6 installed on your 9 or OSX System. Apple put it on many of their systems and I still like its simplicity and speed for basic word processing. It does much more and many folks don't realize that the built in draw program is really an advance copy of the old MacDraw program but it will not open your old files. It will allow you to recreate them and will open any saved out in .pict format though not editable. It will also run on systems with X installed in native mode without having to have OS9 emulation running. This means it will even run on the newer Intel based systems (although they are slow since they run in a PPC emulation). This gives you a bridge for your older ClarisWorks files as well as the even older MacWrite, MacDraw and MacPaint files.

If your AppleWorks SpellChecker isn't working, choose the dictionaries from the AppleWorks Essentials Library!

Some of you have complained that the built in spellchecker doesn't work on your system. Some of you have a nasty habit of dragging the Application from its folder rather than using an alias (stop it). You simply need to take the time to link the dictionaries. For some reason under OSX it does not automatically link those and you do have a choice of what dictionary you want. In Word Processing mode select the Edit Menu and Writing Tools. Use the Choose Dictionaries to locate AppleWorks Essentials/Dictionaries and select the appropriate files. Continue this with the user, hyphenation and thesaurus files. It even highlights which choices you have and most of you will want to select the English versions. Once done it will remain linked until you change it.

It is unfortunate that Apple discontinued this program and its support. They have come up with replacement programs that in my opinion are excellent but beyond the scope of many users and their needs. For Microsoft compatibility I still like and use the FREE NeoOffice in OSX. It opens and saves in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint file types and that allows me to open those file types on my system.

Before converting your system to the new Lion do convert your old files to something you will be able to read on the new system. Appleworks will not work in Lion 10.7 since it will not run the needed Rosetta.


If you are moving up to a G5 and think you can still use your old SCSI Scanner or drives you may be in for a surprise. The PCI-X bus requires a 3.3V SCSI Card keyed properly for the slot with the proper ROM. I have boxes of SCSI cards we have pulled from systems we have bought over the years and none of them will work. There is no such thing as a cheap one and prices are around $300 and up. The ATTO ExpressPCI UL4S seems to be the card of choice for the G5's. We carry the adapters if you aren't using ultrawide devices. You are on your own though in finding the card. It probably will be cheaper for you to replace whatever it was you were going to run or to keep an old G4 around with a SCSI card just to use the device. If you must though the new cards that do work are lightning fast.

Unless you have a very expensive SCSI device to attach, it is best to replace the device with something more modern that to spend several hundred dollars for a SCSI card.

power mac g4 mirror door

G4 MIRROR DRIVE DOOR FAILURES - Keep your vent clean!

If you are on a G4 Mirror Door system (G4MDD) the one with the Mirror Front and 4 Buick Roadmaster Vent Ports, shut down your system and look up under the front foot (you will have to pick the unit up). This is where your machine draws cooler air and it probably is packed with dust. Every unit I have checked had more lint on it than a dryer screen after drying a load of new cotton towels. No air flow means parts heat up and the fans run all the time. Eventually your processor will fail and it is even worse on the dual processor units since one is not cooled as the other. Keep it clean or suffer the consequences. Failed power supply, processors and ram are what happens. I use a dampened rag and brush all the lint and dust out and then a can of air to blow out the dust. Thanks to reader David Joern who writes: ....thank you Bob for that article detail....good god, no wonder the fan was so loud earlier today....Real quiet now.

The Mirror Drive Door G4 are of the age these days that the thermal paste installed at the factory is now completely dried up. I see folks buying the replacement power supplies and if I speak with them I encourage them to buy a tube of thermal paste. If the processors are overheating then you will ruin the replacement power supply is short order. If you have one of these units and have not check under your heat sink you need to do this now.

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MAKING INCREMENTAL BACKUPS OF OSX (PowerPC Only but works in Rosetta with Snow Leopard)

For my servers I use a small program called RsynchX 2.1. It has a decent and fairly uncomplicated interface. The scripting is a bit daunting but you can automate your jobs. I simply just do it each evening. You simply drag your source and destination to the graphic interface and select what you want to do from the buttons. They can even be a network drive you are connected with. It is free to use but I think they take donations. You can choose to make the drive or partition you are backing up to bootable and it even handles the older OS9 files if you have them on your system. It has proven reliable to me. It requires OSX 10.1.5 or later and I have used it personally all the way up through Tiger. I haven't tried it with Leopard but suspect it will work as well since it calls to the built in rsync that normally is only available to terminal users. It is on the OSX Kitchen Sink in the utilities folder, but can be downloaded from the link above or your favorite Mac Shareware site. The newer version of Carbon Copy Cloner will also do this, but I still like and use RsynchX.


Cheryn said something is not right as we were about to retire last night. She noticed an odd smell in the server area. I noticed the black screen on our FileMaker server and noticed that same aroma. We quickly unplugged the unit. For some reason the power supply thought it was a good time to die. I pulled the machine down to the test bench and noticed that the power supply was extremely hot. Other components in the system were quite warm as well. I pulled another G4 DA and moved my old components over one at a time. I was back up and running in about 1/2 hour and hope it was just the power supply. Since we were on a good quality UPS I am fairly certain a power fluctuation was not the reason it decided to die. I always tell folks replacing a power supply to make sure their other components are responsible. I have been doing this long enough to have learned that sometimes dual processor systems sometimes have one processor starting to go out and they take the power supply out. Putting a new power supply in will only fix it for a while and the same problem will occur again if you don't fix the problem. I hope the processor on my unit was not responsible and it was just a fluke. In all these years this is the first time I have ever had a power supply go out. I added an upper level fan to our server rack. It has started to warm up here and perhaps that may have contributed.


A couple of times now I have had folks describe their machines as shutting down or locking up (freezing). I eventually figured out that they had USB2 cards installed and had turned the sleep feature back on. What happens is the machine goes to sleep and cannot wake up. You sit there with a black screen and have to force a power down by holding in the button before the machine will restart. If you are running OS9 you can't just turn off or discard the Energy Manager parts it leaves the preferences that were already set. You need to go into the energy manager and swing the slider to the off position. In OSX the same holds true. Turn off the sleep totally. You can use the screen saver mode on most units but do pick something simple. The more complex the screen saver the more likely you are to have trouble. A few of you may not have trouble with sleep mode in X. Apple did fix a few problems with the later software. Do be aware though that a USB2 card or even perhaps a device you have plugged in can cause sleep related issues. I choose to turn mine off totally and shut down the machines when they are not in use, since I will not do without the device or USB2 card.


Do you remember the little stickers they use to sell to extend the range of your cell phone? Those people should have been put in jail but nothing ever happened. I have talked with what I thought were intelligent people who though the little stickers actually worked. Well now there are companies selling gizmo's to extend your wireless computing range. Be wary of anyone making outrageous claims. Adding a higher gain antenna is sound science. Adding another wireless access point is also sound science. People who make networking equipment like LinkSys, Netgear and Dlink would be in this business if real improvements could be had and do make products that work. If you travel look for a directional antenna (like a cantenna) that will hook to your existing setup and enable you to point directly at the wireless source where you are at. Like anything else on this earth though look for the misdirection, there is no real magic.

OSX Tip - Stool Softener For Your Constipated OSX System?

Personally I handle all the maintenance on my system with an Automater App called Maintenance (10.4 and later). OSX is supposed to perform maintenance automatically. They improved it in Tiger so that it supposedly runs even if your computer was off or asleep when it was scheduled but it doesn't always. You certainly want to do this if you are on Panther or Jaguar, but folks on Tiger or Leopard systems may benefit from running it regularly.

This forces the daily, weekly and monthly maintenance to run on your system. Do this about once a month or get system optimizer off the Kitchen Sink CD (Tiger and below) which does more and run it weekly. NOTE THIS MAY TAKE SOME TIME IF YOU HAVE NEVER RAN IT, BE PATIENT. Prepare to be amazed on how much better your system runs if the maintenance hasn't been running!

Apple does have an Automator Script that will do this for you without terminal. It is called Maintenance. The version is for both Tiger and up. It works well and should be safe to use since it only runs the built in maintenance. Of course it is also on the Kitchen Sink for OSX.

It's hard for me to think that way?

It sometimes helps if you understand how things work. This sometimes surprises me, but I guess it really shouldn't. I had a customer call recently and say they were disappointed with their purchase and that many of the applications were not working. After a bit I finally figured out they were using the recent applications folder from the OS9 menu bar. Of course when I configure a system I load various test applications from attached hard drives as well as a few applications from the actual hard drive but not very many. I hope they understood but am not sure they really got it. The recent application folder (from the OS9 Apple Menu) is up to the last 10 applications loaded on the machine. I guess I should clear this folder out but in all these years this is the only time it was ever a problem. Most people have been taught to open an application you open up the hard drive and then the applications folder. Of course it is a shortcut once you have recently loaded an application and that is what makes the Mac OS great. They give you easy ways to do repetitive work. The correct way though to open an application though is to find it in the actual applications folder and open it from there. I guess the last computer they had someone had used it a bit and luckily the recent application folder was fairly populated. Unfortunately for them they may have missed dozens or more programs that may have resided on their hard drive simply by looking in the applications folder on the hard drive.

Since I use dozens of programs regularly I never go into the habit of looking for them in the recent applications folder. I do use it though when I know I was just in the application recently and it saves a step.

I also see folks pull the application out of its install folder and move it to the desktop. Then they wonder why the plugins stopped working or they lose their bookmarks or the dictionary breaks, etc. You must leave the applications in the install folder, there may be other parts that load and when you move the actual app you change the path to the accessories breaking them. You can make an alias and drag it to the desktop or in the case of OSX and the dock you can drag the app to the dock and it will automatically make an alias in the dock. Oh yes, the ? mark symbols in OS9 stand for the help files and are not a motherboard problem.

Bad News for us Mac G3-G4 users - no more new 120 GB Hard Drives (we do have good refurbished units).

I had a hunch that this day would come. Most of you know that the largest hard drive you can install on a G4 prior to the 2002 QuickSilver was 132GB's. Practically that means that the largest drive you can install on the stock bus of the G3 or G4 is 120 GB's. We have sold many hundreds of this size drive over the past years. It seems that everyone has stopped producing them moving up to the 160 GB and larger. These of course do not format properly. We can still get 80 GB drives and a pair of them will do most people nicely but if you really needed that extra space, then your affordable option is to go to the SATA card and drives that do not have the limit problems. We are working on a lower cost solution. Watch our feature pages and store. In the meanwhile we were able to find a small supply of 120 GB Refurbished Hitachi Drives. I would use these as data drives and put in a new 80 as my main drive. Oh yes, let me add that formatting a 160 or larger to the 128 GB it ends up is a bad idea. The drives don't last long set up that way. I am not sure why. We sometimes have good used that we refurbish using our Drive Erazer Device which thoroughly wipes and tests. Call for availability and pricing.


We recently added a gizmo to our small arsenal of tools that allows us to automatically format drives to Department of Defense (DOD) level security. If you format lots of drives like we do then you might want to look into one. It is called the Drive eRazer and is available from Wiebtech.com. It really doesn't do anything you can't do on your computer using the Mac disk utilities, except that it doesn't tie up a computer to do it. If you ever trade in equipment you don't have to worry if it comes here. Every hard drive we receive gets the once over from this gear, assuring complete erasure as well as the great job it does checking the drives hardware. If you buy a used drive from us it has been formatted and tested on this device.

Do you need the CD version of Tiger?

Give us a call when you are ready to order and we will supply the CD version of OSX Tiger at your request.

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I had someone ask about Journaling. If you run a server you already probably know about this and have it on your server since it gives you a bit of extra protection and reliability. If you hadn't noticed it became an option for your Mac Extended Hard Drive starting in Panther. Next time you repair permissions using the disk utility in Tiger look at the screen and you may noticing the Journaling option button. I have a rule of thumb about Journaling. I turn it on my boot drive and off on my data drives. What it does is keep additional information as you use your hard drive. In the event of a power dip or crash when you power back up it uses this info to restore the drive. Some folks think that everything should have it turned on but it costs speed. If you use your data drive for video project work for example it slows down the drive access enough it may cause you problems. Burning large amounts of data to an optical may be slowed down enough you may have a failure is another reason you may want to turn it off. Since the drive utility makes it easy to turn on an off you may want to use this to your advantage. Turn it off when you need max performance and on the rest of the time for safety.

GUIDO MY DRIVE - If you are on an Intel based Mac you need to format your external drives using the GUID format to make them bootable. Use the partition feature options in the Disk Utility. This makes them potentially a bootable drive. All Macs can read and write DOS, APM and GUID. OLDER PPC Macs must have APM formatting to be bootable.

Sonnet's new Encore/MDX G4 Duet 1.8 Ghz Dual Processors in a Mirror Door G4 (sorry no longer avail.)

I finally got around to installing one of Sonnet's new Encore/MDX G4 Duet 1.8 Ghz Dual Processors in a Mirror Door (G4MDD). The unit in question had a dual 1 Ghz processor originally and it would work about 10 minutes before the fans would start roaring and about 5 minutes later would shut down. The guy was working by leaving the door open and laying a small 6 or 8" desk fan on the processor. The new processor went in easily with the detailed pictured instructions that Sonnet is famous for. I like to not got the firmware updated since the stock processor kept shutting down until I used his fan trick. That is definitely one gotcha in this unit. Since they use a cooler faster 7447 series processor the firmware must be updated before the Sonnet processor can be installed. Once installed the cooler and faster running Sonnet is a joy. No more roaring fans!! The fellow has been back working several weeks now and is very happy. Worth every penny he says. This may be a fix for your noisy Mirror Door and will substantially improve performance for you as well. You can order them online from the accelerator/G4 AGP section of our online store.

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WORTH REPEATING - HAVING TROUBLE GETTING A USB ITEM TO SHOW UP? Large size thumbdrives, cameras etc. not working?

Some cameras, scanners and newer printers (and even some of the larger thumb drives) seem to draw more power than can be supplies via the PCI USB Card or even the built in port on some models. Some even say they will not work with a card and require "native USB". Most times it is because the device tries to draw more power than the bus can supply. The card keeps itself from damage by shutting down. Unplugging the device and restarting the machine usually fixes it but sometimes zapping the pram is required to restore a shut down port. The solution is a GOOD POWERED HUB. The hub we carry is good for both USB 1.1 and 2.0 devices and supplies 2.+ AMPs of additional power. This makes many problems go away. Don't be suckered into buying a lower powered hub at a bargain price. 450 milliamps is not enough for many high demand items.

If a device doesn't work with one of our USB2 cards and you have tried a high powered hub, most likely the problem is software related or device related. If your iPod isn't mounting make sure you have the latest iPod software installed before looking for other problems. It is amazing how well things work when the proper software is installed. See the Firewire/USB area for more tips.


They don't work. Okay well they don't work well enough to suit me anyway. I don't like things that skip and delay. They are probably okay for the net browsing etc. but if you use your system for work, I don't think you will like them either. If you find one that doesn't hiccup let me know. I would like it if they worked as well as wired. Also remember that wireless drivers have to load so if you want to start in SAFE BOOT MODE by holding the shift key down at startup, or if you need to ZAP THE PRAM, or startup in Single User Mode for any reason, you must first reattach your wired keyboard.

StanStodden writes: I have been using the Microsoft Wireless 4000 set/system for about 2 months. The keyboard shortcuts and all work with a Mac and flawless I might add. The set sells at Sam's Wholesale for about $70. You should have someone test it out. It really works great!!

Bob: Unfortunately we don't have a deal with Microsoft so I don't carry their products, but most folks can probably buy them at the local discounter. I take it Stan is using them in OSX. I wonder if they work at all in 9 or if you can hold the shift key down and use Safeboot mode etc. Thanks for the tip, Stan we appreciate it.

I have since worked with Bluetooth Mice and Keyboards and find them acceptable (they still skip sometimes but not as often). See the Input section of our online store. We sell an inexpensive USB dongle that will add bluetooth compability to any OSX system. See our wireless category.

Add Bluetooth to any USB OSX Mac compatible bluetooth

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BlueTooth 1.1 Class 2 Dongle- $12.77 includes shipping

JUST PLUG IT IN TO ADD Bluetooth wireless technology to your Mac! This Bluetooth adapter from Solteras features USB connectivity and Bluetooth v1.1 Class 2 support, giving you a range of up to 33 feet. Works with Bluetooth compliant devices such as: PowerMac, PowerBook, iBook, PDA, Handheld PC, Digital Camera, Printer, or Mobile Phone. REQUIRES: OSX 10.2.8 or later. Uses Apple's built in bluetooth support, no drivers to install. Must be plugged into a root port. Our Low Price $12.77 includes domestic shipping. See the Wireless of the store.

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I assume all of you are running with a second drive or external bootable and have a cloned copy of your install. Lets say you just updated to 10.4.15 and stuff stopped working or the system is munged up period. A fast fix that won't interfere with your current files in the User or Applications folders is simply to boot from your backup and use Carbon Copy Cloner to ONLY REPLACE the Library and System Folders. You will be back up with the older working version of the OS in short order and you won't lose any changes. Make sure you run repair permissions after you complete the clone.

OSX Update (or any major version update for that matter) WAIT!

I just manually downloaded the COMBO UPDATE and will be installing it in a few systems. Remember about my rule of running the disk utility and repairing permissions before and after a major install! Also download the COMBO UPDATE rather than let the system update itself, when you decide to attempt this install or any major update. This looks like a fairly major install after reviewing the changes. I will be watching MacFixit as usual to review what problems are having before I jump in. One of our techs installed it on his personal Sawtooth G4 machine and have had no problems. I did read through the problems folks were having on MacFixit.com. I will be waiting a while before installing it on machines that we are selling. perhaps 10.4.11 will be coming soon. Too many bugs in this one.

TIP: If you aren't keeping a bootable backup of your system, you are asking for trouble. Add a second hard drive either internally or externally and make a bootable backup of your system with Carbon Copy Cloner.


One of my servers processors failed a while back. The symptoms were odd leaving me to think the hard drive was corrupted but after replacing the file with a backup I had the same problems. Changing out the processor fixed those problems even on the earlier system folder. The room this unit resides in was getting over 76 degrees. While I have many fans in place I can't help but think this may have contributed. With things running a bit warmer, make sure your computer has plenty of ventilation around it, and move any objects that may block airflow. A small desk fan nearby (but not too close) blowing over the system is a good idea especially if you are turning up the thermostat to save a buck or two. If you are on a G4 Mirror Door system (G4MDD), shut down your system and look up under the front foot. This is where your machine draws cooler air and it probably is packed with dust. Keep it clean.


When we installed our T1 for our network one of my goals was to also install a digital phone system. I can't say I did much as Cheryn picked out the phone system, figured out how many lines to add to meet our increased needs and contacted the folks at WorldSpice (Best Memphis Service Provider). We ran CAT5 cable from our rack (they split them into multiple lines) and in less than 30 minutes they had us connected. We have added a dedicated tech line with its own phonemail at 405-601-5288, but otherwise our phone numbers stayed the same. You will now get our phone mail if you call after hours. We still only answer 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday Central Time. I did like the answering service but they are expensive. I always though it was better to talk to a human whenever possible but the price these days is such that we really can't afford to. These new phones have a bunch of new buttons so forgive us if we accidentally hang up on your while transferring calls etc. for a few days. We will soon get use to them. 5.8 Ghz Wireless remotes with a wired base phone on UPS backup and now with more lines to take your calls.

One note of caution: Qwest our existing provider received notice of our changeover weeks in advance. They delayed our Toll Free line rollover for 24 to 36 hours and as I understand it they are about the only ones who practice this policy. I hope you were not inconvenienced by this and thank you if you dialed our regular long distance number and paid for the call during this time.


In March of 1986 Operator Headgap BBS went online in Memphis TN for the first time. We have been online for 31 years continuously. We have always had dial up lines to access our systems. After the Internet in about 1995 we gradually began cutting down our dialup lines as many more of you started visiting via the web. After reviewing our phone bills and system I have finally decided to take down our last dialup line. At about $25 a month only 2 or 3 folks a month are using the dialup line, and even then only once in a while. It saddens me a bit but the world does change and we have to also. I am sure most of you probably didn't know you could use dialup to access most of the system features and hope you will continue to visit via TCP/IP over the Internet or via the Web.

Sonnet Encore/ST G4 Duet - DUAL (or single) G4 1.8 or 1.6 Ghz Processor Upgrade for QuickSilver G4 OS9 ISSUES? (sorry no longer available).

I recently installed a 1.8 Ghz DUAL Sonnet G4 Processor in a QuickSilver G4 system. I had problems with OS9.2.2. The system would load about 90% and then lock up. I replaced the system folder with a fresh install etc. but to no avail. I finally got to thinking about where it was locking up (it worked great in X though). I know that they use the 7447 Freescale and I used to have trouble with the GigaDesigns chips in 9. They recommended you remove the multiprocessor folder from the 9 Extensions and only run the unit as a single processor. That is one of the reasons I quit buying them. I did pull the MP folder out and sure enough the system booted normally. I finally gave Sonnet a call and the tech told me that the install CD doesn't always upgrade the MP folder on some models. He sent me the modified file and once I put it in the extension folder in place of the old one the system worked fine with both processors once again. If you need the file download it from me at: http://resale.headgap.com/AppleCPUPlugins.sitx. Since it only affects a few models they are not going to fix the installer and wait for you to have trouble and call in. Sorry about the SITX compression making you boot into X to uncompress to install it in 9 but that is the way I received it. I had previously sent back several processors rather than mess with them for credit costing both Sonnet and me. You would think a quick note in the box might be in order but I guess it may be fairly rare.

P.S. This also applies to any Sonnet processor that requires their firmware update including the Single 1.8 or 1.6 processors.


We just got a good buy on some ATI Radeon 7000 PCI 32 MB Graphics Cards. These are great for adding a second monitor in any Mac with a PCI slot including PowerMac 7200's up to the early PCI based G5's. In the G4 and early G5's these cards are great for adding a second pallet monitor. In the Beige G3 and Blue and White G3 they are a great card for your primary monitor. They work straight up with the built in ATI drivers in the classic OSes and perfectly well in all versions of X. There is a patch program on the OSX KS that allows you to take advantage under X of Quartz Extreme. Worth doing on your souped up G3 or Yikes G4. They can be set up to display DVD movies with the appropriate DVD drive and drivers even on the older Beige G3's. The ultimate Graphics PCI Graphics Card for the Beige, Blue & White or early Yikes G4 si the ATI9200 Radeo Mac Edition. We do get used ones infrequently. See our monitor/video section or call and ask.


With Tiger Apple introduced Core Support. Not many older graphics cards have Core Support even if they do have a lot of memory. It takes one of the newer Graphics Engines to handle it. We now stock a few replacement cards that offer this feature and they really make a big improvement in high end programs. OSX offloads its graphics handling to the GPU of these cards allowing the processor to do its job and letting the graphics card do what it does best. See our monitors/video section or give us a call.

Another lower level of graphics support is called Quartz Extreme. They say that OSX speeds up 10-15% with a Quartz Extreme enabled graphics card. The requirements are much less (32 MB of VRAM) in a normal AGP Graphics Card will do the trick. Unfortunately there were lots of G4 machines sold with the 16 MB card. These work fine but for less than a $100 you can pick up a bit of speed in OSX if your card is enabled.

Unfortunately for Mac users there are not too many choices out there when it comes to these cards. You might be able to find a good used pull from a later model G4 that meets the Quartz Extreme requirements but they aren't usually cheap. Finding a Core Enabled Card means you shell out over $250 for an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition which are in short supply. Check with us we may have alternatives that are more affordable and will meet your needs.


If you don't have a SuperDrive you can get one from us. I have been doing this in OSX 10.4+ since the best tools these days are for OSX. I am not sure how far back you can go but suspect this would work well even in Jaguar. I use a program called Mac The Ripper 2.6.6. This version might even be on the OSX Kitchen Sink in the Utilities folder. Run this program to pull your movie to your hard drive in what they call a Video TS folder. Once you have that done load up Toast Titanium 7 or later and select Video (one gotcha on Toast 7 is that it requires a G4 processor). Make sure you select compress to fit. I recommend you use DVD-R media. The +R media doesn't work on many of the older DVD players. The -R is better supported.

You can also play the ripped Video TS folder on Apple's DVD Player via File - Open Video_TS Folder and then navigate to the ripped folder. This is great if you want to leave a video on your PowerBook so you don't have to risk carrying the DVD's around.

Handbrake is another DVD to MPEG-4 ripper/converter for OS X 10.3.9 and later. You can use this to rip MP4 files and use them in the movie section of your iTunes. Since you can compress the devil out of the files using this program it would enable you to store a library of Movies on your system. My tech Scott tells me that he doesn't like Handbrake since there are too many options and it is difficult unless you are an expert on how to set them up. Instant Handbrake is suppose to be setup for us less brainy types but he says he prefers iSquint. After using it I have to agree and particularly like the help file. Believe it or not you can get full length movie down to a gigabyte or less and still have decent viewing quality.

Since your Video TS folder has multiple VOB files you may want to join them all in one file (after compressing them with iSquint) so that you can place your movie in your iTunes Movie Library. I use Ajoiner http://www.digicowsoftware.com/detail?_app=AJoiner

Just imagine having all of your kids favorite movies in your iTunes library so all they have to do is point and click to play there favorites.

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If you are running OSX you likely downloaded the update to take care of the early daylight savings time issue. For OS8 and 9 you will need to turn off the set daylight savings time automatically and turn it on manually from the Date & Time Control Panel.


My favorite new processor and I think the best value for the money is the 1.5 Ghz Fast Mac Processor. It is a 7455 series chip (same as Apple used in many later models only faster). It has 2 MB of Level 3 Cache making it almost as fast as Sonnet's 1.8 Ghz which only has Level 2 cache. The gotcha though is some programs like Final Cut Pro actually call to the built in reporting software to check the processors speed to insure it qualifies to run the program. The Fast Mac and some other processors sometimes do not report their speeds properly even though they are running it. Apple System Profiler may show 0 or some odd number. This keeps Final Cut and other software from running. If you download GigaMeter 1.01 for OSX and run it this problem will go away. http://biz.headgap.com/Giga-Meter1.0.1.dmg.tgz

Another patch available that lets you circumvent this if the above solution doesn't work for you. http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/Framework.cfm?page=/Tips/fcp/fcp.html will give you the skinny on the patch and a download link for it. This may also be causing other high end software programs not to work properly and is worth trying before giving up on a processor upgrade.

IN OS9: To view the processor type, processor speed, bus speed, Level 1 cache size, L2 cache size/speed, and L3 cache size/speed (displayed only when L3 cache is present on processor upgrade card) I like and use a utility from Sonnet. It is called Metronome and I usually place it in the Apple Menu Item folder inside the system folder for easy menu access. http://sonnettech.com/downloads/software/metronome_v30.sit

If you install the G4 Firmware Update from the Encore install software it will even report the clock speed properly in Apple System Profiler. There is a bug however and you will have sound problems on Digital Audio Systems when you have more than 1 GB of ram in which case I wouldn't install the Firmware update. It doesn't bother any other G4 system and works just fine even on the digital audio units if you keep your ram under 1 GB.

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Most of you know what PHISHING is. If you don't you may be a victim. Mostly they work by email and it may look like bank or credit card company has sent you an important notice about your account. The link takes you to a web site that looks your bank or card company, but that is the deception. The site is hosted most likely on some out of the country server. They ask you to confirm your information. Your real card company or bank would never do this.

The latest phishing scam I have seen is a bit more diabolical. Say you are in a discussion group, or chat and are discussing a piece of software or hardware you have been eyeing. Someone in the chat sends you a link to where you can save 15 or 20 percent on the purchase (sounds reasonable doesn't it). Again the link goes to a place that has nothing to do with legit sales. They get your card data and you get nothing but a lot of illegitimate charges to your account. Don't be a phish. Always be suspicious if you don't know the person giving you the link. Even if a friend sends the link, it doesn't hurt to do a bit of additional checking before making a purchase. Sometimes infected PC's use the owners address book to send information to you and while you may think it is your friend, because it is from his address, it may be from a scammer.


If you just got one of the new iPods you might notice they don't have Firewire connectivity. I got an iPod Shuffle and I can't use it with my older version of OSX. It requires Panther 10.3.9 or later and you really need a USB2.0 connection unless you have a lot of spare time to wait for your files to transfer. The good news is we sell a couple low priced USB2.0 cards that will work in any open PCI slot on B&W G3 and G4 Towers, and it works perfectly with your iPod. We also sell the OSX software should you need to upgrade your version. Let us know if you need to upgrade your system and we will be glad to help.

We now have lower prices on all PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and MacBook Pro Batteries

Amanda found us a new source for top quality iBook and PowerBook batteries. We reviewed and discounted all of our pricing! We have also added replacement batteries for all sizes of the Aluminum PowerBook G4's. All of our battery inventory is factory fresh! Click to see a breakdown page.

If your Mac is still under warranty you should seek out genuine Apple Batteries. Not because they are better but they may keep your warranty intact. We prefer aftermarket batteries for older systems since they use newer technology cells that supply more power.

BURN DVD's IN OS9 (Oh Roxio why haste though forsaken us?):

You need the full version of Toast Titanium 5 if you can find a used copy. It is also required for making VCD's and other exotic formats. This runs in both 9 and X but obviously doesn't have some of the advanced features and support the 6 through 8 versions does which is OSX only. They appear to have removed the link, and I cannot find any information at all about version 5 any longer. It seems Roxio has abandoned the OS9 market. I think Retrosoftware has a copy or two left.

It looks like Charismac's Discribe is the only OS9 compatible DVD burning software available these days. http://www.charismac.com/Discribe/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=79&Itemid=62 You can download a free demo and it costs $69.95

iTunes 7 Tip

I have heard that if you have aftermarket Visualizer's installed in your iTunes you need to remove them before upgrading to iTunes 7. If not you may have to reinstall your X.


WHEN BOOTED FROM 9 do not throw away or move the little files that OSX puts on the desktop! I thought most folks knew that you should not mess with those files, but we have had several neatniks decide that it would be a good idea to put all of that stuff in a folder named OSX. Imagine their surprise when OSX failed to boot and they had to reinstall X. We named the problem after the first person to do it that we had to fix. Chucking your OSX install is now part of our vocabulary.


Many times when you are ready to upgrade your old system may not be worth much, especially to a dealer who is used to buying in quantity at wholesale prices and has the units shipped in bulk truck freight. Boxing and shipping your old system costs a few dollars. Here lately we have been having more trouble locating older systems people are still buying. We will begin offering trade-ins for certain older systems. The following are on the list: PowerMac G4, iMac G4, QuickSilver G4, Blue & White (REV 2 Only), PowerMac 7300, Quadra or Centris 650, Mac IICI's, and IISI's. The units need to be cosmetically in good condition and working (at least chiming). Trade in value will vary from the top price for extra clean, that exceed stock configurations and down for less that prime units. Email: cheryn or use the online form for quotes.

We are also purchasing good used working StyleWriters, and Zip Drives.


If you have Mac items and hate to throw them away but figure they have little or no value in today's market, rather than dumping them to a landfill, write us with a list. Email: cheryn or use the online form. Any of the items we can use we will pay your shipping. You can rest assured that we will put your old Mac items back into circulation either using them to repair old equipment or including the items with systems. All hard drives are thoroughly formatted so have no fear about any data left on a hard drive. We properly recycle any items we end up having to discard. Sorry we can't take everything as I wouldn't know where to put it. We don't take CRT Style displays.


Lately my wife and I as well as quite a few other folks out there that actually use the software suggest Libre Office. It is donationware and is a sizable download. They say it works great and the price is right. I have started installing this on all Tiger equipped systems. It really does work well and if you are a casual Microsoft Office user this should work just fine for you. They regularly update the program suite and there are versions to work with OSX Tiger up to the latest.

TIP: - you can open the .doc file using LibreOffice and then save it out to .rtf format if you want to use the information in other word processors like AppleWorks.

Libre Office (OSX) really does work well and if you are a casual Microsoft Office user this should work just fine for you.



On the Intel Chipped Macs of today running OSX you can of course run Boot Camp (now part of Leopard 10.5) and install Windows. Personally I wouldn't. I really don't want to send Bill any of my money if I can help it. Try Crossover. This little Application lets you run many Windows applications without having Windows. It won't work for everything but they are constantly improving it. It may just do the trick and you can do it all from within OSX.

The other program out there that lots of folks are using these days is called Parallels. You can download a demo but it requires you to install Windows.

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We have had so many folks ask why we didn't carry any of the new Flat Panel LCD type monitors for Macs. Frankly the Sunday Ads should tell you why. There are dozens on sale with rebates every week at most of the major discounters. What we didn't really think about though is that many of you don't have easy access to the discounters and also you don't have the knowledge on which one is a decent quality unit that will work with your Mac. When we needed to replace some of our aging CRT monitors we checked the wholesale market and found several with decent specs at reasonable prices. We presently have picked out two units that I consider deluxe models. We are pleased with our selections, and both units exceeded our expectations. We have priced them sharply and include shipping in our price. Some of the bargain units out there are dim and or fuzzy and have slow response times. These units are sharp, bright and fast and we think they are a good value for your dollar. They both have standard 15 pin HD15 VGA connectors so they work straight up with Blue and White G3's and later. With our adapter they will even work with the early PowerPC's although you may want to up your video ram.

Cheryn chose the 19" WIDE SCREEN model to use with her system. The extra real estate lets her have several applications open at once and she can easily display program pallets along with her work. If you have the scratch we think you can't go wrong with this unit. I originally chose the more conservative 17". I got jealous of how much room on the screen these Wide Screens offer and 1440x900. While not as sharp as when running under OSX I am very happy that I made the switch and I know Cheryn is.

One of the other benefits of these units over CRT is that they draw MUCH LESS POWER and don't generate near the heat. Since we leave our systems on 24/7 it may not take so long to recover our investment in power savings not to mention how much cooler they run. You don't really think about that until you have 3 monitors on your server rack with a small fan blowing the hot air out during the summer. What also pleases me is that I will now have more battery backup time should our power drop.

Sonnet Encore/ST G4 Duet Dual Processor Card GOTCHA! - and fix?

We have built a few systems with the new and lightning fast Sonnet Encore/ST G4 Duet dual processor card. If you are installing one you realize quickly that the Sawtooth motherboard screw near the socket is too tall and interferes with the cooling fan connectors. Initially I just left out the screw since the motherboard is in there pretty solid, but after a problem or two I realized the extra weight of the processor causes a lot more pressure on the socket. I have since learned to replace the screw with a flat head variety. I think Sonnet should include this with the processor.

The real problem though is that the heat sink of the processor contacts the optical housing. I learned to remove the zip screw and cover the aluminum of that section with a small strip of packing tape. It insulates if the heat sink should make contact with the housing with the door closed. I spent a lot of time testing the systems with the doors open and would have no problem. After closing the door the system would refuse to chime. For whatever reason I expect it is not a good idea to ground the heat sink against the chassis. The tape solves the problem. Sonnet could have helped if they would have shaved a 1/16 off of the heat sink, but I expect having a little more mass for cooling is a good thing. Maybe they will send a little vinyl label or something to insulate the housing. I have only experienced this in the Sawtooth, and Gigabit Ethernet G4's. I have installed one on both the Digital Audio and Quicksilver and there are no contact problems on those units.


Not only can you not boot into 9, you cannot even use classic mode with the new Intel Macs. If you are using old software you will want to pass these systems up. If you are new to Mac or never use old software then they may be the system for you. Keep in mind while Apple says they are 2 times faster that is only true if you are using Applications that are optimized for the Intel processor. Most Pro Apps like any Adobe Product will be slower, until they release an Intel optimized version. If you work for a living you may want to avoid buying one until the software catches up or locate one of the remaining real G5 processored systems. It is kind of cool that you can run Boot Camp beta and boot into XP, if you have a need to gather PC viruses and spyware and don't mind that it expires forcing you to update to the new OSX version when Leopard arrives if you want to continue to use it.


Has your bank software quit working with your old browser, or is there some sites you like to visit that just don't work right? iCab is a browser that complies with the new JAVA and other security features that many banks and other sites are requiring. It has been around a while but I haven't looked at it lately. It has taken me a while to get used to and it is a bit slower than my favorite for 8 and 9 Mozilla. iCab is the name of the browser and it is a free download but costs $29 to register it. Cheryn tried it on our bank, which had recently forced her to switch to X when she was accessing our files. It worked perfectly, but she had some problems logging into the UPS site (so it is not perfect either, but we haven't experiments with the settings). It has the built in ability to emulate most browsers including the Explorer 6 for Windows, which lets you use more of the features on web sites you may have been denied access since you were on a Mac. Go to http://www.icab.de/dl.php to download a copy. It is a bit larger than 3 MB for the new Beta. This program is a bit sluggish so I don't use it as my first choice but load and use it if a web site doesn't work properly.


I don't like Outlook Express. It keeps all of your messages in one file. If you save all of your old messages this file gets humongous, and then it craps itself. When this happens you probably are going to lose everything. Your prefs and the files you need to back up are in the Microsoft Folder inside the Documents folder. Most people don't know this and end up without a backup. If you get into trouble try starting Outlook Express and hold down the option key. It should ask you if you would like to rebuild the database. Say yes. This may fix it. If you would have done this periodically you may not be having this trouble. I like and still use Eudora which keeps its messages separate.

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Way too many of you call after you have munged your OSX system up by running the automatic updater. You can get away with this if you have a second drive with a cloned backup that you can use to restore. Most of you don't, so heed my warning.

ALWAYS RUN THE BUILT IN DISK UTILITY , MAINTENANCE or ONYX AND REPAIR PERMISSIONS BEFORE & AFTER INSTALLING UPDATES. I never do a major OS update from the built in updater and always download the COMBINED UPDATE instead. Even at that I wait a few days and visit MacFixit to see what problems folks are having. If you do this you will have less trouble. The small Application updates, security updates etc. are fine to run from the updater, but again always always run repair permissions before and after installing software. If you do kill your X then be prepared to reinstall from the installer disks. Run the Disk Utility from the Apple Menu of the installer disk and run Disk Repair first though.

Do be aware that there will always be some permissions that will show up as not repaired. There is a link here http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1448 to show you which ones you don't need to be concerned with.

The guy who wrote System Optimizer has "upgraded" the program. He now calls is SOCKS. While it has many more features it expires quickly and you will have to judge if you want to pay the shareware fee. I will continue to use System Optimizer for the foreseeable future and prefer its simplicity. SOCKS has a much more elegant interface and it has the same functionality and more.

There are still no active viruses or spyware for OSX. There are only rumors of possible ones. If you must send $50 to someone send it to me instead of these lying, cheating virus software producers. Sure the programs find viruses in your email but they are PC viruses and none effect the Mac. I personally don't worry about PC users since they are already infected anyway. There is an average of 3 new PC viruses/spyware/Trojans a day. No matter how up to date the PC virus software is, they are already infected. Not too long ago CBL.ABUSEAT.ORG reported a bot army of over 300,000 infected machines sending out alarming numbers of pump&dump and pharmaceutical spam. You can thank your PC brethren for the majority of crap in your mailbox. Check http://www.securemac.com/ the next time you start worrying about it.

As far as I can tell the only way to keep viruses and spyware off your Windows PC is to never plug it in. The less you use it the better off you are.

Apple's new iLife and iWork 06 REQUIRE a G4 Processor and a DVD Player

Before buying the new iLife 06 package for your trusty old iMac you may want to just stick with your 05 version. It seems the new iLife won't let you install it on a G3 system. The new software is also on DVD which leaves out a few folks as well. If you have a G4 Tower, iMac G4 or G4 PowerBook that is otherwise qualified but without a DVD drive and would rather have an external DVD drive call Cheryn and tell her you want the FireWire External DVD Drive for $69.77. We will build you one using a good new Firewire housing and a genuine "Apple" 8X DVD refurbished drive. You will be able to boot from your Tiger OSX Install DVD. This only works on Firewire equipped systems. This will not work for the Blue & Whites or early Yikes G4's which have a known boot problem with Firewire. Check our software section, I asked Cheryn to stock a few of the iLife 05's for those of you with G3 processors.


I recently install a 1 Ghz Sonnet G4 Processor in a Sawtooth G4 system. I had problems with it. After a short period of warm-up time the machine would make a small hash noise (phfffft) and freeze at random. We do this all the time so I was stumped, trying different processors, ram, etc.

We finally tracked it down to the MACOS rom file. We were installing a version of 9.2.2 that had the MACOS ROM version 9.01. When I went back to my older 8.7 versions the problems went away. The later version of the file works fine with the stock processor. Somewhere in the later rom is a gotcha. If you are having trouble get with us for a fix.


I am not a prophet and Apple doesn't check with me all that often for my opinion these days. That being said I think the conversion to Intel will be much like when Apple went from the 68K processor chips to the PowerPC chips. The operating system changes will be gradual. For a time there will be both types of code in the operating system (they used to call them fat binaries). Eventually though as the line completely changes to Intel the code will be leaned down at some point to only support the new style processors. When this happens classic mode will most likely be gone. If you haven't noticed Apple is already moving this direction not installing classic mode for you on the new machines these days leaving it as an optional install you have to make. Eventually they won't even include the software and the new machines will not even support classic mode.

Apple sure did make a big deal about the G5 being 64 bit and didn't mention the new Intel chips are only 32 bit.

Rumor has it that at some point the new Macs may be able to run both the OSX and Windows as well as Unix all on the same computer allowing you to use most any software package on one machine.

So should you buy a new machine or wait? I think of computers a lot like cars. If your old one is getting you there then why change. If your old car isn't getting you there, you look for a new one or at least a later model in good condition.

When you buy a new Mac these days you have to make choices on what technology you want to leave behind. I can't tell you how many folks have written or called me asking how to make there LaserWriter 300 or their StyleWriters work with their new $1300 to $3200 Mac. To me that's like pulling the old floor mats from your 10 year old car and putting them in your new one. Doesn't make sense to me. You can do it if you spend $70 for a serial port adapter and can find a driver or find an old discontinued adapter that allows you to put your printer on the network but you still need a driver and the price for that gizmo many times is almost as much as a new printer. Brother makes new affordable USB Laser Printers. Many others make nice Inkjet's. Buy one when you get your new computer. Sell me your old one and I will refurb it for someone who needs a serial printer to use with their old system.

Not being able to run your old software is why we are still in business. From us you can get a fairly late model Mac that has been nicely refurbished and many times updated with faster processors, faster hard drives and better optical drives so it runs close to what a new one will and yet it still allows you to run your old software as well as the new. Of course these same systems can run the new software as well when installed.


I just spent two over 2-1/2 hours reburbishing a Mac IICI. The little things take the most time. You have to pull the power supply and drive housing to replace the battery. While you have that out you need to clean the dirt from the power supply and lubricate the fan, rebuild the floppy drive and otherwise clean the years of gunk that has accumulated beneath it. RAM Slots have to be cleaned of oxidation. RAM chips have to also be deoxidized. Finding a good small SCSI drive, low level formatting and having it test out is getting harder. Not sure we will be doing this much longer without charging higher prices.

We are talking about the old compact Macs, II's, LC's Quadras, and Centris models. While it is true you can many times find a really old Mac in a garage sell for a few dollars or sometimes folks just give them away, we have to charge for what we do. Consider that most older systems run slowly. That means to install an OS on them make take up to an hour. Perhaps you have forgotten how many disks you have to put in and out of an old Mac IICI to install an OS. Many times the cases are dirty and covered with stickers and magic marker. There is enough dirt in some of these you could grow corn.

We take the time to clean them up as close to new as we can. We replace any worn or missing parts (when we can find them), put in a fresh battery, and include a new or refurbished power cord, and mouse. We then thoroughly test the units to insure they function as they should. We also include shipping, packing, and your transaction fees every time you order. Cheryn says the way she figures it any computer under $100 is nonprofit for us. But you know us, we just can't stand to see an old Mac go to waste when we know some of you can use them. If you have bought systems from us before you know we send out clean nicely configured working systems and if it is your first time we think you will understand why we charge a few dollars more when you get your unit.


If you just got one of the new iPods recently you might notice they don't have Firewire connectivity. I got an iPod Nano and I can't use it with my older version of OSX. It requires Panther 10.3.4 or later and you really need a USB2.0 connection unless you have a lot of spare time to wait for your files to transfer. The good news is we sell a couple low priced USB2.0 cards that will work in any open PCI slot on B&W G3 and G4 Towers, and it works perfectly with your iPod. We also sell the OSX software should you need to upgrade your version. Let us know if you need to upgrade your system and we will be glad to help.


One of our customers needed one of our BigSisterG3DT models with OS8.6 installed. I don't normally like to install earlier OS versions since some things aren't well supported. With the Pioneer SuperDrive the version 5 of Toast Lite allows CDR burn speeds of 40X. With 8.6 you have to settle for burn speeds of 18X under Toast 4 Lite. They also wanted one of our SCSI scanners installed and tested on the unit. Well as things usually go our tech building the machine could not get it to work. After opening a second scanner and trying it, Cheryn got involved. She tested one of the scanners on her old 7600 desktop and it worked fine. Back to the G3 no soap. Well last night I noticed that ColorSync hadn't been installed. It took me a while to find an earlier version of ColorSync since v3 (on the Kitchen Sink CD) will not work on anything less than OS9. When I finally installed ColorSync 2.62 (in the headgap.com download library) the scanner immediately started working. Of course no where in the instructions do it say you must have ColorSync installed and it was indeed an optional install on OS8.6 boxes.


On November 6th, 2006 between 10:30am and 3pm we upgraded the headgap.com main server. It had been just over 2 years for any major changes on 3 of the 4 servers we run. We installed a new Hitachi 80 GB and replace our old backup drive with a good used IBM DeskStar 30 GB. The old Maxtor backup had completely died. We kept the same overclocked 450 MHz stock Apple processor that runs 500 MHz day in and day out for over 2 years now.

On October 29th between 3 and 4 pm we upgraded our biz.headgap.com server which handles our graphic serving as well as many of our business sites and mail. We replaced it with a Beige G3MT with a 1 Ghz Sonnet G4 Processor, a new 80 GB 7200 rpm Hitachi Main Drive and a 30 GB 7200 rpm IBM backup drive. If you notice the pages popping a bit quicker that is one reason. It replaced a 500 MHz G3MT with a 6 GB stock hard drive which had been online 2 years.

On October 23rd late evening we finally made the plunge from a 1 Ghz processor upgraded Beige Tower to a PowerMac G4 Digital Audio Tower. I am sure you may have noticed that sometimes during peak demand the server was sluggish or would downright stop if traffic was really high. Hopefully this 1.2 GHZ G4 FAST MAC Processor upgrade with fast 7200 rpm 80 GB Hitachi drives will keeps things running a bit faster.

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Sweet Multiport makes a great addition to your Power Mac G4 System

Sweet Multiport no longer available open stock but we will install it in with your system purchase! Add the convenience of ports at your fingertips. The Sweet Multiport installs in the second bay of your G3 or G4. Add these ports and have them available at your fingertips, 2 FireWire ports, 1 USB port, 5-in-1 memory card reader, PLUS 2 more ports Firewire and USB available in the rear! Works in 9 or X! Fits in the second front bay (in place of the zip drive if you have one). This kit includes: Sweet Multiport front panel card, Sweet Multiport PCI card, Sweet Multiport interconnect cable, Mounting bracket and screws, Front faceplate, FireWire and USB cables. The Memory Card Reader supports: CompactFlash, IBM Microdrive, Memory Stick, Secure Digital, Multimedia Card. This works in Blue & White, G4 PCI or AGP, and Mirror Door. We will install one in your G4 purchase for $30 with your phone in order.

We found out the front USB port will run USB2.0 speeds under X when patched into a USB2 card. Sure makes it convenient when using it with one of the new USB iPods or even the Thumb Drives! Of course you may have to disable your systems sleep functions. If you have wanted one of these cards order it soon. This will probably be the last of the inventory and they are no longer being made. We still have inventor on the G4 Sweets and MDDG4's but no longer have the pieces for the QuickSilverG4's.

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External Firewire & USB Drive Formatting

When you buy external hard drives from us we always format them for Mac OS Extended. This does keep you from connecting to a PC. If you want to use a drive both on a PC and a Mac you need the drive formatted for DOS. I don't recommend this unless you have to work back and forth. The reason is there are not good drive recovery utilities for DOS FireWire/USB Drives (some of you may argue that but our experts can't fix them easily). A photographer friend of mind recently picked up an External Maxtor FireWire Drive at one of the discounters. He put his entire photo shoot on the Maxtor. As things sometimes happen the drive refused to work after he got it back to his studio. He brought it by since I usually recover his drives if he has a problem. I couldn't help him. You see all the Mac drive utilities are for MacOS formatted drives. He took it to a PC shop and spent some money and if anything they probably made things worse. Our resident PC expert was out but when we reached him he was unable to recover it either. He ended up using one of our Silver Bullet Hard Drives and had to reshoot the entire job.

I am fairly certain that if he would have formatted the drive Mac OS Extended before using it I could have easily and quickly fully recovered the data. You see programs like Norton Disk Doctor and Disk Warrior or even Tech Tool Pro can work magic on these external units. If you don't need the PC compatibility make sure you format your external FireWire and USB drives with the Mac OS before you start using them.

If you have an INTEL Mac make sure you use the GUID formatting to insure you can boot from your external. Choose Partition and then custom from the disk utility to reformat and partition it properly.


Firewire/USB drives used in OS8.6-9.2 should simply be formatted by choosing the erase command from the special menu. They should always be formatted HFS+ if they are to be used exclusively on Macs. If you wish to partition a Firewire Drive, I recommend you do it by using the disk utility is OSX. If you aren't running X ask a buddy to do it for you. I have never tried to format one that had different types of partitions but it probably is possible. Again I would use the OSX disk utility to set it up. Keep in mind if you have it DOS partitioned none of the drive recovery programs that work on the Mac will work to fix it.

Why Don't You Carry an External DVD Burner? WELL WE DO NOW!

HEY CAN'T A GUY CHANGE HIS MIND? We found a DVD Movie Player patch that allows you to play back movies in OSX. The new version of iLife's iDVD allows you to burn to a disk to an image so you can now use iDVD with an external burner. The main reason though is the Pioneer or Hitachi/LG SuperDrive bare mechanisms have come down in price so that we can now offer them in our Firewire Housing for less than $99.77 including shipping. This ain't a bad deal even if you use it mostly for CD burning.

You will want to buy a full version of Toast 5 if you can find it for DVD burning (for OS9 & X) or Toast 6 and up for X only. The lite version of Toast we include works natively in both 9 and X but allows CD burning only. Charismac's Discribe works allows DVD burning under 9. As always we include compatibility patches and other needed software on a CD including with your unit. Toast 6 Lite for OSX (and up) fully supports up to dual layer DVD burning with this unit.

You still are better off installing the SuperDrive internally whenever possible (we include pictured instructions for G4 and G5 Towers and if you can handle a Phillips screwdriver you can do this). For Firewire iMacs this isn't a bad deal though since it is cheaper and faster than anything you can install internally. Movie playback does require the appropriate graphics card to work even with the patched player however and that goes for external or internal.

While these units have USB2 connectivity and will burn under USB2 with the appropriate USB2 connection in OSX, Firewire is best. USB1.1 is not suitable for CD or DVD burning. USB2.0 is not available in OS9.


Recently we have had a rash of calls from different folks across the country asking about why their Cable or DSL service providers are requiring OSX. What the deal is if you have to configure your own cable modem or the one they provide, they don't have software or instructions to configure the DSL or Cable Modem that works in the earlier OS. If you are like us and the company sets up your modem you can run anywhere from OS7.6 and above and use the installed network. The Cable or DSL Modem once connected to the company doesn't care what OS or brand of computer you use. It just sits there waiting for someone to ask for an IP address so that it can start communicating with the attached system. If you are in the situation to where you need to set up a Cable or DSL Modem that requires OSX perhaps you can borrow a friends laptop or iMac and configure your Modem. If the instructions are browser based you can use any late model browser most likely from OS9 even if the instructions are for a PC or OSX. Once set up you can attach any system capable of TCPIP over Ethernet. Some may offer to set up your modem for you for a fee. I would recommend this if you can afford it.

We have been running DSL for several years now and before that ISDN. Our modems came preconfigured. We hooked our own Routers up and none of this ever used OSX. Only a few of our systems on the network are running X. Most are on 8.6 through 9.2.2.

Dan Imler writes: The instructions that the DSL providers give for modem and DSL account setup sometimes give basic instructions for OS9 users. The gotcha here is that the old Explorer or Netscape browsers for OS9 are sadly out of date and won't execute java scripts correctly. The issue isn't the OS, but the browsers. I worked my way through this with a G4 laptop from work and Safari.

From BOB:

That's true, and I do need to add that sometimes the latest Netscape 7 version for 9 works well enough to allow you to set up without resorting to X (if not try iCab or Classilla). It still is symptomatic of the twits who write the interface being totally unaware of the consumers they serve. The real pro outfits still manage to write supporting software that works even with older software. I try to consider before I do something that may reduce the amount of customers who deal with me, I am not sure why they don't. How can anyone run a business that fails to serve their customers?


We have sold many of our upgraded G4 units that folks use with Final Cut Pro. Keep in mind though that the later versions of Final Cut require a Video Card that supports Quartz Extreme. That means if you buy one of our units and plan to use it for this program you need to replace the Video Card. We can special order the more expensive ATI9800 or see what we are offering in the Monitor/Acces category (we usually have a higher end NVIDIA or two). When you order one of our cards with your system we preinstall it (they require a driver upgrade both in classic and X). We also flash the cards to the latest ROM update if they require it. We then thoroughly test the card to insure it is performing at top levels.

It is amazing how well software performs when your system meets and or exceeds its requirements.

BOB'S SOFTWARE RULE: If you plan to use a piece of software on any computer you should first check the system requirements of the software and make sure your system has the qualifications. If it doesn't upgrade it so that it does.


I don't like to carry anything that won't boot into OS9 at least for now. Some of these units of course will boot into 9 (Firewire 400 only models). My experience with them so far has not always been good. If you want one that boots from OS9 make sure you read the description carefully They added a faster bus (ATA100) that doesn't have the drive size limit that earlier machines had and have a faster system bus and use faster DDR ram. It does require a special version of 9 to see those drives however so if you buy one of these make sure you get the original install disks. I also learned that to boot from OS9 the partition size can be no larger than 190 GB.

They call this one the Wind Tunnel, an appropriate name once you hear some of them. Apple had a deal where you could get the power supply swapped out for ones with quieter fans but that is only part of it. Many of the units coming out of the educational markets and were never updated. I now carry a few units and none have the noise problem. There was also a firmware update that helped. Make sure your firmware is current. That being said though I have worked on a few systems that were quiet and worked great. If you got a good one I guess you got a good one. Do make sure you have updated it to the latest firmware as Apple fixed some noise issues via the firmware update.

Make sure you clean up under the bottom of the case. Air is drawn from under the front foot of the system and I have seen systems so clogged they overheat and shut down. You have to pick up the machine to see this, and most I have found look worse than our dryer vent after drying a new wool blanket.

Install a PCI slot fan in the last slot if you own one of these. It will draw heat that collects in the top of the case and exhaust it.

If you happen to install a second optical in the other bay available you use the option key and the eject button to get the second device to open its tray.

One oddity (from the early Macs that is) that the MDD and everything after the QuickSilver 2002 model (Firmware 4.33 or later) G4 share. Apple recommends you use Cable Select on the drives. The drive first on the chain them assigns itself as master. You should never use Cable Select on any of the earlier systems (before the QuickSilver 2002) choosing the standard master and slave settings for the devices on the IDE buses. One other exception is the later QuickSilver 2002 models. They came with firmware that allows large than 132 GB drives and you should use Cable Select on these units.

One additional note. I set up the hard drives cable select and all was well on a recent Mirror Door 1.25 Ghz we recently bought and sold. I didn't think about the new Pioneer Optical I put in. The system wouldn't boot until I changed the jumper to cable select and it started working.

These units also use a special version of OS9.2.2 to work (assuming yours is OS9 bootable as some units were not). I would expect to add 9.2 for use in Classic Mode from X you would need this same special install disk. I have never seen one of these disks for sale. If you buy a used unit make sure you get the original install disks or expect trouble. I do have a copy and install of the OS9.2.2 install disk for these units and we use it on the units we service. I can make you one up if you need one for a small fee.

We recently had a customer who kept having trouble getting his MDD OS9 install to work. He finally reduced the amount of ram he had installed and everything began to work. He then reinstalled the ram and it continued to work. Sometimes a bit of Voodoo is necessary to get something to work. I generally simplify the system anytime I have trouble. Pull PCI cards, leave only one stick of ram and only plug in the keyboard, mouse and monitor. Zapping the PRAM or deep level resetting the machine sometimes helps as well and as a last resort press the PMU switch near the battery.

The GOOD NEWS IS: I have been told there is a fuse in the power supply (ONLY ON SOME MODELS). Check it first before replacing. Thanks to Don King. The specs on the fuse: 20mm, 250 V (volts), 8A (amps). Paul Discher writes: The best match I found was at Grainger: COOPER BUSSMANN Fuse, Glass, 8 A, Pk5 Length 20mm, Diameter 5mm Grainger Item #1CD03.

GIGADESIGNS GOTCHA? - Out of business now (this applies to the current Newertech processor however).

I had been very happy with the price and performance of the GigaDesigns Processors we have been installing in our upgraded G4's. The new 2.0 Ghz Single Processor gave in excess of 6000 in the CPU section of Norton's SysInfo program in OS9.2. The machine averaged over 4000 in the combined tests making this the fastest G4 we have ever sold. There is one gotcha though that I didn't expect. Under OS9.2 when booting up you get an error message about a cache error and it tells you to notify your service technician. Come to find out it is looking for an L3 cache that this chip doesn't offer and you can really simply disregard the message. It doesn't do this in OSX 10.4 or when running 9.2 in classic mode.

The other gotcha on their Dual 1.8 GHZ based on the 7447A Freescale processor is that they will not support dual processor mode in OS9 or in classic mode. It needs 10.3.5 or later to operate which means you can't boot from a 10.3 install disk. We are now only selling these chips on systems with 10.4 preinstalled.

One other gotcha is that if you zap the pram or deep level reset the system you have to boot back into X and run the 9 patch again before 9 can be booted again. If you were booted in 9 last and you zapped the pram, simply hold down the option key and select X to boot from or boot from the original install DVD.

If you want fast dual mode (with no gotcha's) order the unit with the GigaDesigns 1.4 GHZ Dual. These run dual in both 9 and X and don't require any special operating system. Recently one of our Photoshop using customers discovered that his system would not use the filters properly if the dual processor mode was enabled in 9. We tried several units with several processors, so if your dual isn't working in 9 with your software you can simply disable the dual processor mode by pulling the multiple processor folder out of the extensions. They work fine in X in dual mode.

I have found the best way to eliminate these problems is to buy a Sonnet Processor instead. The new Newertech processors have the same issues.

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We on occasion have trouble finding some of the older Mac items for our customers or to build and repair systems. We sometimes buy from other Mac dealers if they have them at a fair price. We found a few items we needed. The ticket was roughly $110 for a few dozen items that would have fit into one small box. The company is just south of Memphis where we used to reside. As we finished the online order shipping showed at $39. We called but they wouldn't budge. I guess if you show low retail prices you make up for it by sticking people on the freight. If you know us at all you know we hate that type of operation and our online store is just the opposite. You know what you are paying up front from us including shipping. Needless to say they can keep their goods and I hope for a long time. We will find them elsewhere and deal with decent folks with better business practices.


Recently I heard a rumor that someone is offering our products in a yahoo auction. If you see any product that looks similar or even exactly like the items (the ones that are unique to us, especially with our copyrighted system names like PattyCake, we describe in our online store I would recommend you not participate. There is a very strong possibility that you are about to get ripped off. We sell to no one at a lower price that we offer on the web site. We do offer pick up discounts if you are in Oklahoma City, and we do offer discounts for volume buys from legitimate dealers. We also offer educational discounts for quantity purchases. Rest assured when you buy from us you won't get our prepped equipment somewhere else for less. We work hard to keep our prices as sharp as possible and to give you the best value for your dollars. I personally don't think much of the auction concept for retailers, since most put in their price as a minimum and many stick you with any difference in price with inflated shipping. I sell you our product everyday at the best price I can. I guess some folks get a thrill out of paying too much just for the pleasure of supposedly outbidding someone else. Remember also we offer 90 day warranties on our systems and customer phone support.


If you have a G4 Tower, DV iMac or Notebook that is otherwise qualified but without a DVD drive and would rather have an external DVD drive call Cheryn and tell her you want the FireWire External DVD Drive for $69.77. We will build you one using a good new Firewire housing and a genuine "Apple" 6X DVD refurbished drive. You will be able to boot from your Tiger OSX Install DVD. This only works on Firewire equipped systems. This will not work for the Blue & Whites or Yikes G4's which are not Firewire bootable.


It took 35 minutes to install Tiger on one of our SuperBubbaG4 1 Ghz Models. The Sonnet processor was no problem during or after the install. While Sonnet supplies a Tiger patch it really isn't necessary since the processor and both caches are recognized straight up. WE ARE NOW RECOMMENDING THAT YOU RUN PATCHBURN 4 on Tiger. While they drive functions properly with most software there are some exceptions and Patchburn fixes the problems.

I had an opportunity to preview Tiger live with an Apple Engineer a while back. Spotlight, Dashboard and some of the other features are really nice. Spotlight in particular will probably revolutionize the way many work with a computer and Windows has nothing like it (and likely never will unless they start over again, although something that looks like it may appear).

One thing I heard is that the Iomega Zip mechanisms are not working under Tiger. When I checked he drives in my systems mount disks just fine. I am not sure what they were going on about.

Will you be able to run Tiger? If you have a system that will run Panther with a minimum of 256 MB of ram (really you should have double that) and 4 GB of drive space, the answer is yes. You can check Apple's listed system requirements here.

Apple has stated it does not support aftermarket processors but that is really kind of goofy since the aftermarket processor chips are made by IBM and Motorola (now called FreeScale which has to be the biggest marketing blunder in history) and are the same chip series that are in the stock systems. Apple never really supports products installed that didn't come with the machine so don't get tense.

Folks like Sonnet (they already have a patch up), FastMac, and GigaDesigns will be testing there products with Tiger you can bet. There may be a new patch or two but my bet is that most of them will run straight up with no other changes.

If you have a heavily modified system, or any system for that matter, my suggestion is that you wait a week or two after Tiger is released before installing it. Stop by web sites like MacFixit.com and see what problems others are having and if there are any tips and tricks that may help your install go smoothly.

Before beginning your install check with any of the aftermarket devices you have installed on their web sites. ATI for example already has updated drivers for Tiger for most of their Radeon Graphics cards.

We have Tiger and have checked it with our systems. We have Tiger available in the software section of the store and can custom install on any properly equipped system you order.


I know that to most folks who read this, I am singing to the choir. Someone I know applied to work at a firm in Memphis that does a bit of graphics for advertising and web sites. They sent their portfolio over in PDF attachments. The personnel person at the company could not receive the attachments, because they were blocked by their security software. They went through and resent with the PDF's archived and tried again. The person could not receive the attachment again. Fortunately the firm had a Mac user who could download them from a web link and print them. When will people get a clue. If they were all on Macs that could turn all that CRAP protection software off and use the Internet as they should. Having your users so protected they can't receive PDF's is absolutely nuts. Half the world uses PDF's to transmit graphic oriented material these days. Forrest's mom was right. Stupid is as stupid does.


I completely recovered another Firewire Hard Drive today, over the years I have probably recovered thousands of hard drives. Want to know one of my secrets? For external mechanisms, Zip, Jazz, and other removable mechanisms there is nothing better than Disk Warrior. The TRICK to using it is to load Disk Warrior before turning on the mechanism or inserting the media. Wait for it. Eventually it will show up in the menu allowing you to rebuild the directory. NEVER LEAVE A ZIP DISK IN THE DRIVE IF IT IS HAMMERING THE HEAD. UNPLUG the drive or whatever you have to do to stop it. If you leave it hammering be prepared to order a replacement mechanism since you will have trashed your old one. Oh yes, once you have recovered the hard drive backup the data and reformat the drive before using it again. If the recovery was on external media move off the data and discard the media. We can and will recover your old media and burn the data to CD. Call us for pricing. It is no charge (except for return shipping) if we are unable to recover the data.


We run 4 servers in our office, all Macs of course. We have 4 large UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) that provide backup power and surge protection. An important thing in this stormy season here in the South. The other night I noticed something that smelled like a permanent (you know those kits that women put on there head to make there hair look frizzy). Since Cheryn's hair is too short to perm, I really couldn't think of why someone would be giving a permanent in our server area anyway. Later on Cheryn grabbed me and asked me if I noticed a strange odor. The "it probably is your upper lip thing never works on women". I mentioned the permanent. She said she didn't think that was it. I turned off the ventilation fans and finally pinned it down to one of the UPS units. It was very very hot. I shut down the servers and moved all of them to the other UPS and unplugged the offending unit. I took it outside since it didn't seem to be cooling off, it of course eventually did once the power was removed. The next day we ordered a replacement battery for the unit and a few days later I pulled the old leaking one out (we shipped ground those things weigh a ton). Of course a thunderstorm took the power down the very next day after I removed the unit and we only got about 45 minutes backup on the single unit. Fortunately the power was only off a little over an hour, so we were not offline for long. I am hoping for about 90 minutes of backup power from the units since this is about what they did in the past. Rarely do we have an outage any longer than that.

The only reason I am telling you this is that I am not sure if that unit would have caught on fire or not. I hope never to find out that they will. I expect there would be more information about it happening if it was a common thing. I would however recommend that you check your UPS by touching the exterior of it to make sure it is not running hot every so often and take notice if something smells bad. Also the good news is that most name brand units have replacement batteries available. I Googled up a few and found one that was pretty reasonable. It was less than 1/2 the cost of a new UPS. They also include drop off points for recycling the old ones.

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NO LONGER AVAILABLE - Try Ebay. Need to hook up a dot matrix printer to your G4 or any PC printer to your Mac? Try Strydent software's PowerPrint program. They offer both a serial and USB version. Includes drivers for many PC printers. http://www.strydent.com/strydent-software-products/powerprint-products.html

Is UltraWide SCSI Faster Than IDE?

We are in the process of adding an additional server and I was prepping the G3 Beige Box. I am running a G3/450 MHz processor overclocked to 466. I need two drives in the unit one to serve and one as a backup drive. I have been using UltraWide SCSI drives 10,000 rpm Cheetah models to serve and a simple Hitachi 7200 rpm IDE drive as a backup. I decided to using Norton's Sys Info to see which one was the faster. I started with an Adaptec 2940 and the Cheetah and got a score of 747. I then tested the Hitachi IDE drive on the stock G3 bus and got 1489. That meant the IDE drive was roughly twice as fast at performing the Sys Info drive test. I also tested a JackHammer UW Card, and an ATTO card and got roughly the same results and even tried a different SCSI drive. The ATTO UW Drive was fastest with 839 on the SCSI side. From the results in the future the SCSI drives will be the backup drives and the Hitachi 7200 drives will be my main server drives. I had suspected this but didn't have any real numbers to back it up. A higher performance SCSI UW Card may have performed better but the built in bus with a new high speed Hitachi does the job and the drives are ultra dependable and long lasting, not to mention more affordable. These results may not mirror what would happen on a faster bussed machine like a Blue & White, but perhaps someday I will get around to checking the performance levels on them as well. Of course the Sys Info test may not be the ultimate in drive tests either. I have been told by a few expert types that maximum sustained rates while writing and reading multiple files would be a better test for SCSI since Servers frequently see that type of action. For the home user though good news. High speed drives even on an older slower bussed machines like the Beige G3's give you great performance boost.

I hear that accelerated Macs aren't as dependable?

I will answer that simply. Our companies entire livelihood comes from web servers. Our web servers are Apple Power Mac computers. We have 4. One of them is running a stock Apple processor overclocked (450's bumped to 500). A second is running a G3/500 Sonnet Processor. Our database is run on a system with a 1 Ghz Sonnet Processor. If they were unreliable would I be running them? We not only serve our business but many other business web sites, online stores and mail all on accelerated or overclocked (optimized) systems. They are online 24/7 and have been for years. Even our daily work machines are either accelerated or run stock bumped up processors. Why do slow if you can dependably run faster. Could Sonnet and FastMac stay in business with a liberal 3 year warranty if their products were shoddy? I think not and I suspect most of you don't either but you know how rumors are, usually started by some salesman trying to get you to part with a lot more money on something new rather than upgrade your existing or buy a much less expensive upgraded system from us.

One thing about accelerating any system though is a machine with bad or questionable ram or otherwise has problems will have those problems accelerated. A system in good condition with good ram and a good system install though will run fantastic though once bumped up.

A little further down read about optimization.

QUESTION: Is there any way I can get a bare bones Mac system from your company?

Sure but I will not ship anything that will not run. We can't warranty a non working unit. I get requests sometimes for units without hard drives, ram etc. because the user wants to put in their own. I repeat I will not ship a non working unit. On the other hand I will put in the original HD size, original ram etc. and price out a unit. Keep in mind whatever we do will not be that much less than one decked out. The parts are usually fairly inexpensive. What is expensive is labor and all machines get time spent on them. We put a lot of value in the units we sell by buying parts wholesale and using them to refurbish. It actually is cheaper many times to use a new part than to test the old parts. You can save money (maybe) on buying someone else's untested and uncleaned unit. Let me know what system you are looking at and I will price out a minimum spec unit. Even on our stock spec systems though we clean and thoroughly test all of it. Also remember the extra's we include like new mice etc. and the freight is always included in our bottom line prices.


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 refurbished and custom upgraded mac systems

OSX Tips for All Users - updated 12/22/15

I have rewritten these tips since much applied to the earlier OS versions and the problems involved with upgrading.

Since OSX is a user based system designed around BSD Unix, the system is based on users and administrators. Understanding this and the use of permissions will help you. When you install software or fonts that you intend for everyone on your system to use you need to install them from the main user which is sometimes called Admin or Administrator account. It was the first account you set up when you first installed your software. If you install it from one of the user accounts it will only be accessible by that account.

Remember if you are using OSX 10.6 and below the operating system is 32Bit. A 32 bit machine can only access 4GB of RAM. Don't waste money buying more. 10.6 Snow Leopard was a hybrid which was both 32Bit and 64 Bit. It also had something called Rosetta that allowed you to use PPC encoded software extending the use of a lot of software (like Appleworks and early Adobe CS). When you move to 10.7 Lion or above you are using true 64 bit operating system for the Mac and many programs will no longer run. Also any PPC encoded programs will also no longer run.. Lion is a true 64 bit operating system and that leaves all 32 bit programs in the dust but does allow the machine to put in and use as much RAM as you can afford and the machine will take.

BEFORE AND AFTER YOU INSTALL SOFTWARE and on a regular basis run the Disk Utility (in the Utilities folder) and repair permissions (or run the Maintenance program. You have to boot from the first install CD or DVD to run the disk repair feature (you should do this several times a year) or before any major updates. Newer machines (10.7 or later) may have an emergency boot partition that allows you to do this. Hold down the option key at startup and select it to boot up and run the disk utility and other features.

ON OLDER PPC Dual Booting systems WHEN BOOTED FROM 9 do not throw away or move the little files that OSX puts on the desktop! I thought most folks knew that you should not mess with those files, but we have had several neatniks decide that it would be a good idea to put all of that stuff in a folder named OSX. Imagine their surprise when OSX failed to boot and they had to reinstall X.


A list of required firmware updates is listed on Apple's web site. Do this before installing X.
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1395 (machines running 9 up to 10.2)

If you are installing OSX for the first time:
  1. Read the installer notes and make sure your system has the qualifications for the upgrade.
  2. BACKUP all important work. Better yet have a bootable backup of everything.
  3. Run Disk First Aid or the repair utility of your choice. Rebuild the desktop on OS9 Systems Only.
  4. Make ABSOLUTELY sure your firmware is up to date (not a problem on later INTEL systems)
  5. Know how to zap the pram.
  6. Know how to push the reset switch on your motherboard or how to reset your laptop.
  7. If you don't know how on any of the above don't start.
  8. If you have trouble and have to try again, unhook everything except the keyboard, mouse, and monitor, and remove all but one stick of RAM. Zap the PRAM and try again.

I consider this program for all Mac System indispensable: Tiger 10.4 and up I now recommend a program called Maintenance ). It is on the OSX Kitchen Sink in the Utilities folder. It runs all of the maintenance on your system on demand, checks your drives smart status, validated the drives directory and repairs permissions among other things. Make sure you have the correct version for your OS installed.

If you are planning on updating to a later OSX version consider that you may have a problem with the upgrade and can possibly lose everything. While it may be unlikely pretend the worse can happen and take actions accordingly. ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP OF YOUR CRUCIAL WORK!

If you are updating OSX to a later version:

  1. Read the installer notes and make sure your system has the qualifications for the upgrade.
  2. Check Applications that are important to you to make sure they work with the later OS version!
  3. Backup all important work. Better yet have bootable external drive with a complete copy of your system.
  4. Run Disk First Aid from the install disk or thumb drive and run repair and repair permissions.
  5. I personally unhook everything except the keyboard, mouse and monitor during OS upgrades.
  6. If you have a bootable backup of everything that you have tested it is best to erase the hard drive and do a clean install.
  7. Once you have completed the install run Apple Updates and complete any needed updates.
  8. Run the Migration utility to import your old settings and applications.
  9. Once everything is complete run the Maintenance program.

TIP: Don't be the first to install a new OS, what until the .1 or .2 version come out!



There is now a version of AppleJack for Tiger OS10.4 and later. Version 1.6 is now on the new version of the LATEST OSX Kitchen Sink. We preinstall AppleJack on all OSX systems. This little utility (Kitchen Sink OSX Diagnostics Folder or downloadable from http://AppleJack.sourceforge.net/) allows you to repair your disk, repair permissions, validate the system's preference files, and get rid of possibly corrupted cache files. In most cases, these operations can help get your machine back on track. The important thing is that you don't need another startup disk with you. All you need to do is restart in Single User Mode (SUM), by holding down the command and s keys at startup, and then typing AppleJack, or AppleJack auto (which will run through all the tasks automatically), or AppleJack auto restart (which will also restart the computer automatically at the end of the process). NOTE: Typing AUTO in uppercase invokes a deep clean command.

The only gotcha I have found so far is on Beige G3 systems. If you had to borrow someone's monitor to install X, then your other adapted monitor probably will show you a black screen at startup. Since you simply need to type AppleJack auto restart, I do just that blindly and then leave the system alone. It runs through the cycles and then restarts usually getting you back up and running. There are some other warnings in the documentation so read through them thoroughly before using on your system. This is an emergency repair program and I really would not run it all the time, but it has saved me more than a few times from the hours of reinstallation.

Using AppleJack on later OSX versions

 Applejack continues to work on later versions of the OS but you have to do a few things differently. Believe me when I say you should have this installed on every Mac you own. It fixes problems that nothing else does. On later versions I strongly recommend you manually run it instead of auto. Do skip repairing permissions.

10.7 Lion through 10.12 El Sierra Notes: Still works from Lion through Sierra! Run it manually by just typing AppleJack at the prompt. Select each item one at a time. SKIP the repair permission step. You must enter path yourself at prompt: /private/var/root/Library/Scripts/applejack.sh and then hit "return".

Any earlier versions and it works straight up just use it. On 10.6 and below I just type applejack AUTO restart at the prompt. The upper case AUTO does a deep clean.

Lose Your X Password or Need to Change It?

Boot up from the first OSX install CD(DVD) by placing it in the drive and holding down the C key. On later INTEL Macs hold down the option key and boot from the emergency partition. After choosing language (when applicable), stop and go to the menu at the topof the screen, when it comes up choose Reset Password from the Menu and follow the instructions. OSX Daily has tips on resetting your password even if you don't have a startup disk. You can download the article here. It is not simple but if you strictly follow the instructions it does work.

X and Norton or other utilities? NEVER USE NORTON ON AN OSX SYSTEM FOR ANYTHING!

Norton for 9 and below, I love. REMOVE Norton Utilities if you have OSX installed on your drive immediately. If you run it you will scramble your drives directory. I have used Tech Tool X and Disk Warrior for X, but my best advice at this time is the use the disk repair program when booted from the original X install disk at this time. Do this periodically and it will help keep your drive healthy. Disk Warrior is the only OSX utility I ever use these days and then only for recovery. Never as maintenance. DISK WARRIOR (Alsoft) is the best tool going for repairing a damaged hard drive director. Just keep in mind that it is a recovery program and not a maintenance program. It is also a one trick pony that only is good for rebuilding a damaged directory. I find Tech Tool to be more flash that content. Looks pretty and sometimes works but mainly overpriced.

OSX - To Journal or not to Journal

I had someone ask about Journaling. If you run a server you already probably know about this and have it on your server since it gives you a bit of extra protection and reliability. If you hadn't noticed it became an option for your Mac Extended Hard Drive starting in Panther. Next time you repair permissions using the disk utility in Tiger look at the screen and you may noticing the Journaling option button. I have a rule of thumb about Journaling. I turn it on my boot drive and off on my data drives. What it does is keep additional information as you use your hard drive. In the event of a power dip or crash when you power back up it uses this info to restore the drive. Some folks think that everything should have it turned on but it costs speed. If you use your data drive for video project work for example it slows down the drive access enough it may cause you problems. Burning large amounts of data to an optical may be slowed down enough you may have a failure is another reason you may want to turn it off. Since the drive utility makes it easy to turn on an off you may want to use this to your advantage. Turn it off when you need max performance and on the rest of the time for safety.


Carbon Copy Cloner (http://www.bombich.com/software/ccc.html) is on the X version of the Kitchen Sink. This puppy allows you to backup your OSX drive to an internally connected drive or an external Firewire drive. This will make a bootable backup! It can also be used to recover parts or all of your X install. This solved one of the main objections I had to X and why I was not an early adopter. The Free Version 3..4.7 runs in Tiger and above and work up to Sierra (gives you nag screens in later OS versions you can disregard). It has more features and is more flexible if you are on Tiger or above. I still use the earlier version on everything except Leopard. The later version features the ability to program automatic backup. I think for most people this is a better solution than Time Machine since it makes an exact bootable copy of your system. If your Mac is a G3, G4 or G5 you must have a Firewire Drive or an internally installed drive for it to be bootable.

If you don't have an internal second drive or an external Firewire drive consider purchasing one. We will talk you through the install if you need help.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR INTEL MAC USERS: Later INTEL based Macs can boot from a USB Drive but only if it is appropriately formatted. The bargain you got at the box store comes DOS formatted. While the Mac will read and write to DOS formatted drives they will not boot from them. You must prepare your new drive by partitioning it using the GUID selection under the options in the disk utility. Use Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.7 (yes it works all the way through 10.12 even though it nags you to get the pay version).


What good is a backup you can't boot from if your drive dies? Yes you can indeed go back a version on a job you were working on. If that is important to you then by all means setup and use a Time Machine drive. I prefer running Carbon Copy Cloner to a backup drive. While it takes a good while the first time you run it, it only copies the files that have changed since the last backup. I run mine weekly on my personal system and daily on my servers.

BEIGE G3 CLONER TIP: On older systems like your Beige DT and MT's and early iMacs you have to use a command in the menu of Carbon Copy Cloner V2.3 called Bless Old World Target Drive. This is not well documented and is absolutely essential. If you don't bless it your drive will not appear and will show up as damaged under repair programs. Remember on older systems it has to be LESS THAN 8 GB partition for X to recognize it.


I assume all of you are running with a second drive or external bootable and have a cloned copy of your install. Lets say you just updated to 10.4.11 and stuff stopped working or the system is munged up period. A fast fix that won't interfere with your current files in the User or Applications folders is simply to boot from your backup and use Carbon Copy Cloner to ONLY REPLACE the Library and System Folders. You will be back up with the older working version of the OS in short order and you won't lose any changes. Make sure you run repair permissions after you complete the clone.

My OSX JUST SITS THERE SPINNING THE BEACH BALL AND NEVER FINISHED BOOTING? or maybe you get the Kernel Panic Screen (charcoal gray panel with printing).

ANYTIME YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE BOOTING UNPLUG EVERYTHING FROM THE BACK OF YOUR COMPUTER except the keyboard and monitor, and of course the power plug. Fix one thing at a time. If you just installed hardware remove it.


kernal panic Mac OSX


Anyone running OSX may eventually see this appear on the screen. The first thing to do is try following the instructions. If it restarts and everything works again it may just have been time for you to restart your machine. If it does it again, I usually zap the pram and try it again. Some times machines get a bit crazy and zapping the pram restores their minds. If that fails I then simplify the machine by unplugging everything save the keyboard, mouse and monitor. If it repeats again, I go a step further and remove all but one stick of RAM, and all PCI cards. I then do a deep level reset.

If that fails I startup in single user mode by holding the command and s keys down at startup. If I get that far, I then run AppleJack and set it to Auto and Restart. If you don't have AppleJack installed (you really should) then you can type in FSCK and it will do a file system check on your hard drive and may allow you to get back up and running. Typing the word AUTO in all uppercase does a deeper level of cleaning in AppleJack. NOTE: you want to run Applejack manually on OSX later OSX versions and skip the repair permissions step. Use the disk utility or Maintenance to repair permissions.

If that fails I restart from my backup. Once I identify the problem I start putting things back. Many times it appears to be nothing more than your computer punishing you for some unknown reason. Once I have everything running again I run Maintenance..


Run Repair Permissions before and after installing software. Run Repair Permissions anytime you have trouble with an Application or just any problem in general. If permissions are fouled up it can really munge up a system.

Periodically and before any major upgrades boot from the original X install disk and run the disk utility from the menu and run REPAIR. If you are having odd crashes or strange behaviour from an application you should also run repair after booting up from the install disk.

I highly recommend you install this free program called MAINTENANCE and run it weekly. It checks your hard drives smart status and validates your drives directory letting you know everything is okay. Not to mention forcing the regular built in maintenance routines to run. A clean machine runs faster.

Maintenance freeware universal OS X maintenance utility. A MUST HAVE UTILITY
1.1.8 Tiger version, 1.27 Leopard, 1.4.1 for Snow Leopard, 1.5.6 Lion. 1.7.1 Mountain Lion 1.9.1 Mavericks 2.0.7Yosemite, 2.18 El Capitan, 2.25 Sierra
Maintenance is a System Maintenance and Cleaning utility. It allows you to run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance: repair permissions, run periodic scripts, reset Spotlight's Index, rebuild the LaunchServices database, delete Application, Font and System cache, and check the status of the hard disk. We recommend and install this on all systems. Run weekly!!


Way too many of you call after you have munged your OSX system up by running the automatic updater. You can get away with this if you have a second drive with a cloned backup that you can use to restore. Most of you don't, so heed my warning.

ALWAYS RUN THE BUILT IN DISK UTILITY, or MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR PERMISSIONS BEFORE & AFTER INSTALLING UPDATES. I never do a major OS update from the built in updater and always download the COMBINED UPDATE instead. Even at that I wait a few days and visit MacFixit to see what problems folks are having. If you do this you will have less trouble. The small Application updates, security updates etc. are fine to run from the updater, but again always always run repair permissions before and after installing software. If you do kill your X then be prepared to reinstall from the installer disks. Run the Disk Utility from the Apple Menu of the installer disk and run Disk Repair first though.

The guy who wrote System Optimizer has "upgraded" the program and I no longer recommend it. Use ONYX on Jaguar and Panther.

There are still no active viruses or spyware for OSX. There are only rumors of possible ones. If you must send $50 to someone send it to me instead of these lying, cheating virus software producers. Sure the programs find viruses in your email but they are PC viruses and none effect the Mac. I personally don't worry about PC users since they are already infected anyway. There is an average of 3 new PC viruses/spyware/Trojans a day. No matter how up to date the PC virus software is, they are already infected. While the program do catch PC viruses in your mail they are worthless and some actually slow down your machine scanning all inserted media etc. DON'T BUY OR INSTALL THEM! Okay so you work in a mixed office and your techs insist you run virus software on your Mac. Download ClamXav software (SuperSink Utility Folder). They regularly update the definitions so your Mac can kill the PC virus attachments. There is no better virus software in my book and the price is right. It runs on demand rather than all the time.

There are active Trojans and Adware but all require you to download and install giving them your user name and password. I call them chumpware since they sucker you into installing them. Now who you are downloading from and never click on an email or message link to download anything. See my notes listed on the index.


If you ever have trouble installing a program on your system here are a few tips.

One other thing prevents some folks from installing software. Sadly they fail to read the system requirements of the program. Do make sure what you are installing is supported for your system. Sometimes older versions are available or you can check with us. We have a large archive of older software and may be able to help.


Once in a blue moon my personal system after a hard lockup would lose the admin account. I would run AppleJack and or repair from the disk utility and everything would check out fine, but it still wouldn't boot up. I would then format the partition and reinstall from my backup. Well this takes time and isn't fun. I figured there ought to be an easier way to recover but after numerous searches I never could find a solution. Well a friend (Brian Akey) was by after we had a middle of the night power outage and my system was again hosed. He kept running at the problem until he found a solution that didn't require a new install. Here it is. You do have to start in Single User Mode (Apple S) and run this from there.

First open the correct directory and fire it up

/sbin/mount -uw /

FOR OSX 10.4

rm -Rf /var/db/netinfo

FOR OSX 10.5

rm -Rf /var/db/dslocal

rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

If all goes well you will see the startup screens that let you go back and add in your admin account. You need to enter the information as you did the first time. Once I set up my admin account the system booted and I had my complete original access restoring all my prefs, apps and files. I did have to go back into Account s and set up my other account since the above commands kill all the users allowing them to be reinstalled but my Bob account is back again with all my stuff as well. Certainly less time than having to reclone my system back.

I converted a web page that OSX Daily created with even more tips including later OS versions. You can download the article here

OSX notes Beige G3 Systems! | OSX Notes B&W G3 Systems | OSX Notes G4 Systems

If you call with an OSX related question please do us the courtesy of dialing on your dime. Please use the tech support line 405-601-5288 number. You can also always drop us an email.

Early iMac Black Screen of X - OSX iMac WARNING: Make sure your older Slotload or Trayload iMac's ROM is updated to the latest version before installing OSX. What you get is the iMac Black Screen of X (also called the iMac Black Screen of Death). I have repaired this for many people now. If you have installed the OSX software and only have a black screen to look at you know what I mean! v4.1.9. Use Apple System Profiler under product information to identify what version you have installed on Slot Load iMacs. Trayload iMacs should be at v3.0f3 (the 1.2updater).

I know how to fix iMac's (iMac Black Screen of Death) with this particular problem. If you installed OSX on your iMac and no longer have video display call us about getting it repaired (without having to buy an analog board most likely). Our flat rate (not including parts) is $85 plus return shipping and insurance. We do a thorough cleaning and tune-up included in this price.

iMac Trayload systems will hold up to 512 MB of ram. I have seen information out that says it will not. If yours doesn't your firmware isn't updated or you have bought ram from someone who doesn't know about iMacs. It takes two chips, one 256 MB in the bottom and one in the top slot. I recommend you fill them up if you are going to install X.


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LaCie - Case Design by Porsche, Electronics by Mickey Mouse (this article is dated but I still don't recommend them).

A fellow brought his 400 GB LaCie Firewire Drive in. He was very upset since all of his commercial clients' images were on this drive. I was able to get the drive up and got Disk Warrior to rebuild the directory. He was very happy. The next day he brought it back saying he couldn't get it to mount on his system. I couldn't either. I had about given up and was preparing to take the drives out of the housing to mount in one of our bullet housings. When I opened his up both Firewire ports fell out into my hand. They were surface mount soldered with no other support. Once you see how they are fixed to the board it is hard to believe anyone could keep from tearing up the plugs simply by using them. I couldn't believe something as shoddy as this was in this expensive housing. After I showed the guy the problem I micro soldered one of the two ports back on and put tape around it to support it. We were able to move all of his files to two new 250 GB Silver Bullets. After I moved his files over I pulled the two Maxtor drives and formatted them in two separate Silver Bullet housings. He is happy as a clam. I asked him what he wanted to do with the LaCie housing. We both knew where it belonged. Out in the trash. Ask him how much he saved buying what was supposed to be the best. If you own one of these overpriced pigs be extra careful plugging and unplugging the Firewire cables. I have since worked on several more of these unit but never again. If you need material recovered from one of these pigs good luck. I will never again work on a LaCie product.


When I am out of them my price is 1/2 of what theirs is ...

Every so often someone will call and ask if I will match prices on an item. The latest item is the Pioneer SuperDrive. The prices are being footballed a lot. He said they had the same drive for about 1/2 what I sell them for. Of course the price he was quoting was before shipping, transaction fees, and possibly taxes. Many of the vendors have some rinky dink store front and only take PayPal. On top of that while it may have been the identical drive it was just the bare bones unit with no software and for all you know he just pulled it out of his computer after burning a few thousand disks. I told him if he was going to buy or already had all the software and drivers needed then it was probably a good buy and that he should order it. He said that was the problem, they were out. Well when I am out of something my price is 1/2 of what their out of stock price is ;-)

We work hard to keep our prices sharp but also we want the items to include what you need to make them work with your system. We also understand you may have to call or email us a question or two. That bargain price usually ends up costing you many times since you may have to pay someone to help you install it or buy the software and drivers that were not included with that bargain unit. I know more that a few of you have bought that bargain and ended up sending it back and had to pay excessive restocking fees. Also remember Operator Headgap has been in operation for 22 years, and our retail Mac store has been online over 11 years now. You can call and talk to us during business hours and email us 24/7.

TIP: Many external devices like USB hard drives etc. as well as programs like QuickBooks and many more, use the Carbon Lib for operation. Make sure you have Carbon Lib 1.6 installed on all 8.6-9.2.2 systems. This is on the Kitchen Sink CD in the Apple File Folders. The Carbon Lib resides in your extension folder. Remember even if you are running OSX this is used by programs in classic mode.

Our G4 Towers a good buy or not?

I had a fellow write me that he had recommended us and that they had responded we were a rip-off. That we took old G4 Sawtooth Systems and put upgraded processors in them (of course that is exactly what we do). I hope that you read the descriptions on the products we sell. I NEVER WANT ANYONE TO THINK THAT COMPUTERS YOU ARE BUYING ARE NEW. They are used refurbished units. If you want new then go to Apple or one of the authorized dealers out there. Folks like MacMall, CDW etc. are all happy to sell you a new Mac. What we do sell and I hope is apparent to all is a thoroughly reconditioned system at a good price. We, unlike most others usually install brand new hardware into these USED REFURBISHED COMPUTERS. We warranty our systems for 90 days. For example all of our G4 Towers we sell have new Hitachi 80 GB Hard Drives in them. They have a full 1 year manufacturers warranty. All have SuperDrive DVDRW/CDRW unit installed that carry their own 1 year mfgs warranty. If they have the Sonnet processor in them, it has a 3 year factory warranty. These components far exceed the original performance and we even advertise the systems SYSINFO ratings on our chart. These systems also all still run the older OS version. For many it keeps you from having to upgrade a lot of additional hardware and software.

Most of you know that you could chase down an older G4 Tower and could buy a new drive, a new optical, new ram, new clock battery, new processor, install all these things and could you yourself could thoroughly clean the system and polish and wax the case and you might save a buck or two if you are able to do this type of work. We think it is nice though that you are willing to pay us a bit to do this work for you. Since we buy in bulk and at wholesale prices and price our units as sharply as possible I think it would be hard for anyone to build a system and offer the performance for the delivered price we do with a warranty, phone and email support. Apparently most of you do as well as we have been hard pressed to keep up with demand on these units.

We appreciate your business and support and thank you for recommending us to your friends.

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This week a local customer of ours brought in his kids slot load iMac. He said the CD/DVD Player wasn't working. After pulling two DVD's out using forceps I had Cheryn order a new DVD mechanism. When we pulled the mechanism out a penny fell out. I am not exactly sure what killed the drive. It probably was the two DVD's at once but it could have been the penny. Always remember to eject by pulling the DVD icon to the trash before putting in a second CD or DVD in the drive. If it fails to eject and you tried restarting then using a paper clip to push the almost invisible button on the right side of the CD/DVD slot. Get out your drug store glasses, it really is there. Never put pennies or other items in your optical slot. As far as I know the iMac doesn't make change although you can do almost everything else with one. If you have two CD's or DVD's in your drive plan on buying a replacement mechanism as this always trashes it. We do this type of repair should you need it and even with shipping probably a lot more reasonable than your local shops.


When I was 16 I bought my first car. It as an old Ford 6 cylinder. I was tuning it up putting in new plugs and points and a friend stopped by. He said we need to check your pedal. I didn't know what he was talking about. He told me to hang on to the throttle cable and got in the car and pressed the gas pedal to the floor. The throttle as about a 1/4" from being totally open. He helped me optimize my carburetor. He said that most car makers never give you all the pedal. I never did know why but perhaps they had their reasons or maybe the carpet stood up further than it should. From then on each new or used car I bought got optimized. I want all the pedal.

Computers have processors and that equates to an engine in a car. The manufacturers have to make sure your computer runs under a wide ranges of circumstance and that sometimes they compromise reliability over performance. Now I don't know about you but I don't run my computer in a 100 degree room. If I did I might have problems bumping up the processor speed. Some of the units we sell have had their processors optimized. We note them in the descriptions if this is so. We test them to insure that they are reliable at the higher speeds.

Motorola, and IBM manufacturer the processors. Apple many times set the speed levels at a very conservative level. We sometimes bump those processors one notch and thoroughly test them and check temperatures at the next higher rating. If they aren't rock solid we don't sell them. Many very possibly would be stable at even higher ratings. We also make sure that your heat sink is in solid contact with the processor and in some cases use a silver heat sink compound to insure your unit is running as cool as possible and many times cooler even at the higher ratings than the stock unit was running. Some of our servers and many of our work stations which run 24/7 for years have done so with optimized processors.

I think you deserve to have all the pedal your computer has to offer without sacrificing reliability.

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We just installed a SONNET G4/800 ZIF Processor in our Beige G3 Tower FileMaker Server. I had to change out the 256 MB stick of ram that failed shortly after we restarted and began testing the server as it quickly failed. (Sonnet warned that some low quality ram would not make the grade). I am impressed by the quality and speed of the new processor. If you have been considering upgrading your processor the new Sonnet series of upgrades looks like a real winner.

I have already been asked about why they slow down the bus speed to 66 MHz in the Blue and White units. An unofficial discussion with one of their techs told me they weren't happy to do that but it still gave a great performance boost even running at the slower bus speeds. It seems the older machines just won't handle it and stay reliable. I think they are still a great upgrade value and you should consider it for your Blue and White if you haven't. Lets face it, running at 800 or 1 GHZ with a G4 processor@66 MHz Bus speeds beats a G3or4/500@100 MHz bus speeds. Up to now other than the Powerlogix upgrades it is the only choice you have had. I have already installed several of the 800's and more recently the 1ghz model and the customers are really pleased. Cheryn runs one daily.


Cheryn and I both have observed over a long period of time most problems and solutions occur somewhere between the keyboard and the chair when it comes to Macs (thanks to a recent Reader's Digest). If you wondered what Operator Headgap means, well if it is not a hardware problem, or a software problem, then it is operator headgap. We chose that name for our BBS over 20 years ago (we used Commodore's back then) because we felt like a lot of folks struggled to learn this technology just like us.

If you purchased a system from us we include a Troubleshooting Guide in .PDF format on most systems. Check there first. Mac systems have a powerful help system built in that even includes tutorials on how to do different things. Give it a try. It is in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Try typing in your question. It will try to give you an answer and does a good job most of the time.

When you need us try using the email form: Contact Us first. You will get your answer faster most often as we answer emails frequently and off hours. Make sure you include what system you have and what OS version you are running. We accept technical calls during business hours on equipment that we sell and if your system is down we realize this may be your only way to reach us. 1-877-639-1543 Toll Free 9-6 CST Mon-Fri. If you want advice please call on your dime. Our tech support number is 405-601-5288 and we answer this phone 9-6 Mon. - Fri.


Rom updates should be kept current on all Macs that use them. Check Apple System Profiler/Product Information/ROM Revision.

Other rom updates are listed at Apple: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1395

The updates are available on the Apple Web Site or of course on the Kitchen Sink CD. Follow the directions. One note of caution: Don't do this during a thunderstorm. If the power goes off before flashing is complete you can ruin your computer. On the trayload iMacs you must install OSX on the first partition and it must be less than 8 GB's (like the Beige Boxes). I have not installed Panther on a trayload iMac. I would check the read me before installing.

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Under the Apple Menu resides a great little utility on OS versions 8.6 and above called Apple System Profiler. Load it up and you will see a breakdown of what processor, how fast, how much ram and what size chips and a whole lot more. It also tells you about what devices and volumes you have connected. If you are having trouble with something check the profiler. If for example your new USB card isn't working it will tell you if it is plugged in properly and by using the menu selections it will also tell you why it isn't working in some cases. This is the best way to check to see if you got what you paid for when purchasing a system.

It will also tell you what rom version you have. In the beige boxes this is hardware but it later versions it is updated via software. You should always have the latest Boot ROM version update installed on your system. Read the instructions carefully when installing. Older Slotload iMac's should have 4.1.9. G4 Tower units should have 4.2.8 or later (QuickSilver 4.2.5 or 4.33 or 4.4.8). Blue & White units should have 1.1f4.

COLD (applies to Winter):

Please let your computer warm up to room temperature before turning it on. Sometimes problems incurred immediately after receipt of a machine go away when the unit is warm. A floppy drive in particular is sensitive to cold. The grease they use for lubricant thickens in the cold and causes perfectly good disks to ask to be formatted. Allowing things to warm up a bit usually fixes this problem. I used to think I was perfect, but as many machines as we ship I have missed plugging in the floppy drive during assembly of your machine. Hopefully I will never miss another. If your CD doesn't work after warming up then pull the cover and check the connectors on the drive and on the motherboard. These sometimes are stretched tight and when opening the case they pull loose.


We on occasion get a complaint about the noise a CD makes in a G3 Desktop (I guess the Tower cases dampen the sound better). If you are used to a 4X or 8X drive, the 24X mechanism makes more noise since it spins much faster. Apple had the same complaints when these units were originally sold as new and actually engineered a metal vibration damper that hooks to the plastic tray. Pull the drive part way out if (lift up on the plastic latch after removing the computer housing) and bend the metal legs a bit so that it contacts the housing a little more firmly and push the drive back in until it catches. You can also stick a rubber foot or a shaved down eraser above the mechanism wedging it in. It will help dampen the vibration noise created from these early 24X mechanisms. You may find some disks make more noise than others. I don't notice them so much since they all consistently are louder than some mechanisms. It doesn't mean they are mechanically bad, they generally function well. You can of course replace them with a new 52X SONY CDRW mechanism. (These days I like the Pioneer Optical Drives better) While even faster SONY engineered them well and these are brand new modern mechanisms and you will have the benefit of being able to burn your own CD's. Even those make more noise than the older slower mechanisms. We also have a different drive model that is a bit less noisy. You can call in an order and get a 24X replacement mechanism for $14.77 including shipping. Tell the order taker you need a quieter 24X CD for your G3.

I think the early iMac CD patch actually slows down the mechanism to fix the problem. While the patch does make things quieter I am quite sure the mechanism is now running at a slower rate.

Sometimes a CD will be slightly out of balance. If you have one that is noisier than others this is probably the case. Make a backup CD if you are able. The copy should run quieter.

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If you purchased a system from us, we put three sets of system extensions on your system besides the factory ALL and BASE settings. When you install programs on a Macintosh many programs install their own system extensions. They sometimes conflict with other extensions that are already installed. Should you experience freezes or crashes after installing a program, going to the backup extension set and then adding the newly installed extensions one at a time after restarting is a good way to troubleshoot problems. Remember not to update the set since this will place all of the problem extensions into your backup set.

TO START WITH EXTENSIONS OFF: hold down the shift key while rebooting. Choose Control Panels under the Apple Menu and select extensions manager, use the pull down to choose an alternative set.

Once you have identified the problem extension, you may be able to live without the features it adds. If you can't try to find a newer or older version and see if you can get things working. Lastly try adding a z to the front of the name of the extension. By making it load later in the startup sequence problems can sometimes be averted, conversely you can add a space to the front of the name to make it load first.

Once you get your new items installed and working properly, why not create your own backup extension set that you can return to if things get fouled up?

OH GOD, nothing seems to help.... Boot from a back up and go into the system folder down to the preferences. Discard the Finder Preferences and restart your system. This sometimes fixes stubborn booting problems.

ANYTIME YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE BOOTING UNPLUG EVERYTHING FROM THE BACK OF YOUR COMPUTER except the keyboard and monitor, and of course the power plug. Fix one thing at a time.

The last set of extensions we install are locked. When you select that set it will ask if you want to make a copy. Saying yes will create a set of extensions exactly as it left us. Make sure not to let the system update the set as it will add the extensions installed after delivery, which may be causing the problem.

NEVER remove anything manually from the System Folder. Use the extension manager (under control panels) to turn things on and off. Discarding a corrupt preference file is okay.

NEVER NEVER NEVER install Conflict Catcher. I know people who swear by, and a lot of books and Mac "experts" think it the best thing since sliced bread, BUT I will not work on a machine that has it installed without first wiping the hard drive to remove all traces of it. I will never use software that MODIFIES the system files. Learn to test extensions by using the built in extension manager. Maybe there is a reason these guys are no longer in business?

What other Disk Utilities are good? I run the Apple Disk First Aid utilities periodically. It sometimes catches are repairs problems others miss. I use Disk Warrior to repair removable disks like Zips and Opticals (and the X version for recovery in X). I also use Tech Tool but prefer their hardware diagnostic features over their disk repair. While some people swear by Disk Warrior I have recovered more damaged drives using Norton. Drives that Disk Warrior wouldn't even see. I do however use all of these utilities. If I had only one it would be Norton for OS9 and earlier. For OSX Disk Warrior pretty much exclusively.

(OS8-9 only) Never DEFAULT install Norton Utilities on your system. The default install puts what I consider crap all into your system. Crashguard, Filesaver, Live Update, and Disklight cause far more problems than they are worth. If you did a full install disable them. I love Disk Doctor and Speed Disk but I run them from the CD when needed.

NEVER RUN NORTON Disk Doctor 6.0.2 or earlier on an OSX system. Norton 6.03 or later for OSX systems was supposed to be okay and it has to be run from OS9 or by booting from the CD (IT IS NOT). Use the Get Info from under the file menu after selecting the Disk Doctor icon to see what version you are running. TAKE MY ADVICE, if you have X installed forget running NORTON AT ALL. Use the Disk Utility that comes with X by booting from your install disk. Run the repair. If that doesn't fix it buy Disk Warrior.

NEVER RUN NORTON 3.5 or earlier on an HFS+ Formatted Drive. "Where have all my file gone" is the results if you do. It will destroy the contents of the drive. You may be able to recover it with the patch someone put out for Norton called drive fix 1.1. A proper version of Norton 5.0 or later (preferably 6 or later on OS9 systems) will probably fix it as well. If you are using PowerPC and 8.1 or better on your systems discard this old Norton. It is fine for older 68K machines and the older OSes.

"Where have all my file gone" will show up on a drive that has been formatted HFS+ when being read on a system that doesn't support HFS+. Your files are still there most likely. You simply need to boot back up on a PowerPC with 8.0 or later to view the files. HFS+ saves space on a hard drive. It does require a PowerPC processor or better. Your old 68K Macs can't use HFS+.

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Insert the CD. Open the Norton System Works Folder from the CD. Inside open the Norton Utilities Folder. Inside that folder open the Norton Tools Folder. Launch Disk Doctor and run it. It takes a while. Once it comes back with no errors (you can run it several times if need be and you can tell it to skip the Checking Media since once it has checked for bad blocks it is not necessary to keep doing it over and over. That will speed things up a bit. I do a quick check by having it skip the Checking Media. Once finished load Speed Disk and tell it to optimize the drive. (NEVER RUN NORTON ON A HARD DRIVE THAT HAS OSX ON IT).

In Disk Doctor, If the drive doesn't show up that you are wanting to repair:

Open the Disks menu and select show missing disks. If this fails try adding custom disks and click the arrow and select the disks partition name.

If the drive is not spinning up or is making the click or clack of death, move on. We have hard drives in stock.

To check viruses: Open System Works and find the Norton Antivirus. Tell it to Scan/Repair. I would be really amazed if you ever found one.

Live software updates have bitten me on the butt often enough that I now manually download and install any updates I need. I highly suggest you not enable the software update features of any package including Apple. I generally wait a few days after the release of any major OS update and review the MacFixit.com web site to see how the installs are going and what trouble people are having.

If your Mac doesn't wake up from sleep you have an extension conflict most likely. Turn off all extensions except the base and then manually put your computer to sleep from the pull down menu. If it goes to sleep and wakes again you can then start going through the extensions a few at a time until you find the culprit. Some Beige G3 units came with a CD drive that caused this problem. Apple released a patch to update your 24X CD's rom (G3 CD Update 2.0.smi) on the Apple Web Site. Some hardware combinations may keep the machine from coming back up. Scanners, zip drives, CDRW's etc. USB 2.0 cards may cause this issue. Having them is obviously better than not. In this case don't use the sleep features, and disable them from the control panels.


Go to the extension manager in the control panels select energy saver. Turn it off!!! Problem solved!

Oh yeah, if your computer doesn't wake up politely don't put it to sleep from the menu either.

Sometimes you can have it turn off the display but leave the hard drive running. You have that option in the later energy saver versions. Just click the show details button and change the settings.

What the real problem is, is you have installed software or hardware that isn't compatible with the sleep function. If you really want to fix it then try the following. Unhook everything but the keyboard, mouse and monitor. Manually put the computer to sleep using the sleep selection in the menu under special. Wake it up. If it wakes back up okay then it is one of the pieces of hardware you unhooked. Add one back at a time until you find the culprit. Internally it could be a card. You may have to pull all the cards and test it that way.

If it fails to wake backup with the hardware test, then it is a software conflict. Turn off half of the extensions and try it. If it fails try the other half. By process of elimination you can eventually discover the culprit. Most likely it is something you want so you should have just turned off the energy saver selection off to start with. You can then either leave the computer running all the time like we do or you can simply shut it down until you need it again.

The USB2.0 cards we carry including the Combo card do not allow full sleep in OS9. They generally allow full sleep in OSX, but certain USB2 devices may not. If you want a USB2 card then live with it, nobody else's cards do either.

Different models and hardware combinations make this a tough thing to troubleshoot. I personally don't waste time trying to figure it out. I have spent a few hours only to discover it was the CD Rom Driver on one unit for a guy that insisted that he needed it. I eventually found a patch for a G3DT 24XCD mechanism from Apple that fixed it. Generally though it will be something there is no fix for and is caused by something you can't live without.

John Kasper writes that the Apple support site recommends this: I trashed the Energy Saver and Finder Prefs and that has fixed the problem. At least it seems so.

Try deep zapping the pram. Don't know how. Type zap pram in the Mac OS help menu.

NEVER plug a PC Serial Printer into the SCSI port (I didn't even know it would fit!). It certainly keeps the computer from booting and may physically damage your system. Abuse like this is not covered under warranty.

Check to make sure things are plugged in. Sometimes in shipping the units get banged around. Open your computer and make sure the hard drive and CD are plugged in, both directly to the drive and where it plugs into the motherboard. If you need help doing this give us a call.

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INSTALL X PROGRAMS FROM X, INSTALL OS9 Program booted from OS9! If your system doesn't boot into OS9 then you have no choice but to install from classic mode. Not all installers will work in classic mode. The older the program the more likely you are to have trouble.

Use the Get Info command after selecting the Application and assign double or more memory. 9 apps need more RAM assigned when running in classic mode in X.

There is no need to be afraid to add programs to your system. When I add a new program I run Disk First Aid from the utilities folder and get a clean bill of health on the drive before proceeding. If you are installing from the Kitchen Sink or one of our other CD's it is a good idea to copy the archive to your hard drive before unarchiving and installing. The program will install faster from the hard drive. You would not do this for OS or large program or game installs however since the components may take up most of the available hard drive space. READ THE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS if they come with the program. Make sure your system meets the requirements, and that they apply to your system.

When installing printer drivers make sure they are current versions FOR YOUR OS. Don't assume the latest version if the one on the CD that came with the printer you just bought either. Check the manufacturers web site. Don't stick a 5 year old disk in your drive and install a printer driver unless you are sure it will work with the version of the OS you have installed. I can't tell you how many systems I have fixed that the only thing wrong was an OLD incompatible printer driver.

WHEN THE INSTALLER WON'T INSTALL - If you try to launch the installer but after starting it simply hangs up and does nothing, you most likely have something running that the installer can't quit. Try restarting the machine and then installing. If that doesn't work try installing after restarting with the extensions turned off. If you have an HP printer and have installed the drivers for it an extension called HP Background may be causing your hang-ups. Disable it from the extensions manager. On some programs you may simply want to copy the installer from the CD and place it on the desktop. Some programs will not install from a CD. I sometimes notice folks trying to install TO THE CD. The CD is a locked volume. You must select a hard drive to install to.

Remember if you use Adobe Type Manager (ATM) that versions earlier that 4.5.2 will not work with OS9 and will lock up your system on reboot if you do.

We presently only play in OSX, and test our components to insure they function properly. In case you haven't figured it out yet it is a Candied version of BSD Unix. It is a whole different operating system that looks and works differently. It looks great but requires 256 MB of RAM (really more) and 3 GB of storage space available (and that's just for the OS), and a G3 or better processor or better (I recommend a 400 MHz or better). There are HACKS that allow you to install it on older hardware but they are just that, HACKS! While many folks may swear by these I find them to be less than reliable. Before you install it on your system keep in mind that it may foul the machine at a deep level if things go wrong. Many of your existing accessories may not work including printers, graphics cards, scanners, floppies, and more. You will need to upgrade your software in most cases and some old favorites like PageMaker will not run under OSX. I am not saying that OSX is not the future it is, but go into upgrading with your eyes open. Study up before you make the move. Booting back into 9 and OSX's present ability to do that has saved a few folks.


OSX notes for Beige G3 Systems! | OSX Notes for B&W G3 Systems | New! OSX Notes for G4 Systems

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If you select Help from the Mac Center in the menu bar at the top at type CONTROL STRIP it will tell you to move the control strip use the option key and move it by the tab at the end as well as a bit more information about using it. Always try Help from the menu bar anytime you have a problem.


We are not your ISP. You pay them for Internet service and they are responsible for helping get you set up. If you bought the machine from us, it was thoroughly tested to insure that the hardware functions as it should. Because there are so many ISP's and each with a different way they hookup you will have to depend on them for getting connected and any troubleshooting. Find one that doesn't make a face when you say Macintosh. If you are using Cable or DSL then they will probably come out and install a cable modem. Most Macs have built in 10BaseT and some even have 100BaseT built in or it can be added with an optional 10/100 Ethernet Card (we keep them in stock). If your ISP seems to be unfamiliar with your Mac show him the TCPIP Control Panel (in the Apple Menu/Control Panels). That is where you enter the IP addresses and DNS numbers for Internet connectivity. Most PC users can't believe how easy it is to set up a Mac. Some require special software for connecting your system. When you order your connection make sure they know you will be using a Macintosh and let them know the version of the operating system you are running.

I don't think much of EarthLink by the way and they only support OSX nowadays. If you have OS8.5 through 9.2.2 their software doesn't work properly with it. Their web site does have instructions for setting up FreePPP and we include the program in your Internet Folder or on the Kitchen Sink CD. It is what we use for dialup connections and find it works as well as any method. Don't look to them for phone help.


If you get totally fed up with ISP's who don't support older Macs try http://www.fastermacs.net/ They are Mac only and have local dialup numbers in most areas and are less than $10 a month with 24/7 support with folks that know what a control panel is.

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Some of you unfortunately are stuck using modems. Apple discontinued their modems a while back so you may have trouble finding a decent modem. Zoom makes a 56K USB Modem Model 3095, that will work with your system. It works with older classic OSes from 9.2 (and probably 8.6 if you manually install the CCL) up to 10.6 although you will have to likely manually install some components. They use a CCL file that resides in the System Folder. They are available at the discount stores so we don't carry them. They have install instructions on their web site for 10.5 and 10.6. This may be the solution you have been searching for.

If you are using AOL simply install the software and follow the directions. I put AOL 5.0 on most systems in the Internet folder which is the latest Mac version that will work with system 8 and 9. Don't go downloading or installing from their CD what you already have. If you have trouble call their support line, they have a good one and usually the folks who answer can help. Their installer puts the right pieces on your system automatically. Once you are connected to AOL you can then launch a REAL BROWSER like Classilla or iCab and use the AOL connection to surf the net.

If you are using other software be aware that Apple Remote Access is preinstalled on most systems we sell. You may need to turn on the components in the Extensions Manager since we usually disable it.

IF YOU ARE USING ARA (Apple Remote Access) to connect with your Service Provider you may need to turn on these extensions in the extensions manager. On many models we ship the units with them disabled. There are several control panels and several extensions (usually 3 of each). Simply open the extensions manager from the control panels and click the appropriate box to select them and turn them on. Restart.

ARA conflicts with FreePPP and some Fax software. If you decide to use FreePPP or your Service Provider requires it you may have to disable ARA extensions and control panels.


If you are having trouble getting your modem configured try the built in help file! It will walk you through setting up Apple Remote Access (ARA) and configuring TCPIP for your Internet Service Provider. It has tips for helping you work through any problems you may be having.

We like and use FreePPP to connect to the Internet via modems. It is usually in the Internet folder though not installed and it is on the Kitchen Sink CD. If you decide to use it make sure that the Apple Remote Access extensions and control panels are turned off. Check with your ISP though to make sure they support using FreePPP. FreePPP is pretty dated and most folks these days are using ARA.


I thought everyone in the world knew by now that if you have call waiting on your line to add a *70, before the prefix on the numbers your modem dials. This temporarily disables call waiting so someone won't call you while you are cruising the web and knock you offline. Dialing manually *71 reenables it if you think it got hung while using your modem. It normally resets itself.


No I am not talking about the 1-900 lines. If you pick up your phone and hear someone talking to their Aunt Jessie or pops and clicks in the background you have a dirty line. Your telephone service is required to give you a clean signal up to your box. I never tell them I am using the line with a computer. Just tell them you have interference on your voice line if you call to complain. You are responsible usually from the box into your home. I check my box a couple of times a year and clean out the creepy crawlers and make sure it isn't full of water etc. You might also check the connections in the box to make sure they are clean and tight.

Not too long ago I had someone buy a system from us and they could not get the modem to work although they could hear it dial and it would ring a voice line. We shipped a second modem and that modem would not work either. The guy finally took the system to another house and it worked fine. While they could not hear any trouble the line was dirty enough to keep them from getting a good connection with their ISP. Sometimes you just have to call the durn phone company.


USB MODEMS: Some devices need to reset with the computer. If you plug them into a powered hub they do not reset properly since the modem maintains power from the hub. At least for troubleshooting purposes plug the unit directly in one of the USB ports on the computer. The hub may work fine once you get things working properly.

If you bought one of our open box units, we took that modem and thoroughly tested it before we repackaged it. I doubt seriously that the modem itself is defective, your odds would have been higher of receiving a bad one on sealed unit. All things are possible though, but usually it is a configuration problem.

Are you able to select the proper modem driver from the modem setup? You should have copied the modem script into your modem scripts folder from the CD. I usually recommend running Apple Disk First Aid and rebuilding the desktop after installing software.

If you are using Apple Remote Access (ARA) I would recommend you make sure all the components are turned on in your extension manager. There are 7 pieces. 3 control panels, 4 extensions. To eliminate it as a source of problems I recommend you disable any fax software and its extensions while troubleshooting.

If you are using a USB modem you also need to make sure that all USB related extensions are turned on. I know yours probably are but I have to ask.

Sometimes discarding the modem preference file (from the System Folder/Preferences) and any associated prefs (like TCPIP etc.) and restarting will allow you to rebuild those preferences. Sometimes these get fouled. If you do this you will need to reselect the modem script and reset any preferences for the files you discarded.

One way I test a modem on a system is to use ZTERM (on our Kitchen Sink in the Telecom folder). Holding the shift key down immediately after launching the program allows you to choose the port you want to use. Once the terminal is up you can type in ATDT and any phone number and it should ring the line and try to connect (I make mine ring the wife's cell phone or connect with our BBS line). That lets you know the modem is functioning. This uses its own built in routines bypassing other system software. If it works then the problem is elsewhere, most likely software.

Fortunately not often but does sometimes occur for folks replacing a damaged internal modem is that sometimes the internal prevents you from using the modem software. Removing it may be necessary since it may be interfering with the software you are using. Because this involved partially disassembling your Mac I try everything else first.


Did you take your system to the office and plug your modem into the companies digital phone line? Had to buy a new modem didn't you? I almost hesitated to tell you this because we sell more modems this way..... '-)


If you own FAXstf then install and use it with your modem. If not we include ValueFax (under Telecom) on the Kitchen Sink CD. It is a shareware program that works well and it is easy to use. We paid the shareware fee and it is the fax program we use in our daily operations. If you like and use this program make sure you register and pay the shareware fee. We all benefit if the author can profit from spending time keeping the program updated. OSX has faxing built in.

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If you are hooking up an internal network spend a few dollars more and get 10/100 SWITCHES rather than hubs (GIgabit Switches these days if you can afford them). They look the same but a SWITCH handles the traffic like a stoplight rather than a stop sign. If you are on a budget and speed is not a real issue we have some bargain 10BaseT products available and these will work as fast as the internal Ethernet on most PowerPC or older systems.

We like and sell a 10/100 PCI Ethernet Card (8139C or D Chipset) that fits into a PCI slot on any 7200 and up PowerPC. These also work in PC's and are OSX compatible when you install the required driver! If you are on an internal network or a cable or DSL modem and have a PCI slot open you really should invest the less than $20 bucks it takes to upgrade your machine. Our genuine Apple 10/100 Ethernet Cards require no driver in 8.5-OSX. Your iMac and Blue & White G3 or better have 10/100 Ethernet built in. The Ethernet cards are simply to install, simply place it in an open PCI slot, and add the driver (from the Kitchen Sink CD/Ethernet Drivers folder into your systems extensions folder after unstuffing it. Restart your machine and choose the Ethernet slot in your TCPIP control panel and you are now working at 100BaseT speeds!

We recently added low cost Gigabit Ethernet Cards. They work in Beige G3 with the 45F roms, Blue and White, G4 Yikes and Sawtooth units to give the ability to those units to run 1000 base-T. Not a whole lot of folks will need 1000 base T for home networks etc. but I would still use this card anytime you could. Even on 100 base-T networks it is faster than 100 base T cards apparently due to a decrease in latency (they respond faster even if the pipe is smaller). These have the Realtek 8169 chips and we include the drivers for 9, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 on CD. When we first found these cards we didn't have the 9 drivers available but I eventually ran it down and tested it down to OS8.6. These also are good replacement cards if you have a Digital Audio or later G4 to replace the built in 1000 baseT if it gets damaged. Every spring we have a rash of folks who lose their built in Ethernet due to lightning damage. Two of my servers that still run on OS8.6 have these cards installed.

Lastly buy on CAT 5 E or CAT 6 cables. While a good CAT 5 cable will support Gigabit speeds on short runs you will benefit in the long run by using these slightly more expensive cables. I have recently replaced all my old cables and added Gigabit cards, switches and routers.


If you have no need for a regular network but just want to hook up two Macs that both have Ethernet connections, to move files or whatever simply purchase a CROSSOVER CABLE from us. We also carry a CROSSOVER COUPLER that allows you to use two normal Ethernet Cables to hook two Macs directly to each other. Set up File sharing and have at it. If you don't know how the Mac OS Help includes a tutorial and will actually walk you through setting file sharing up. We also stock an item called a Dayna Print-T that allows you to use a PhoneNet connector to hook up an AppleTalk capable Printer (or small PhoneNet network, including your old classic Macs) to your Ethernet network to share resources. If your old Mac doesn't have Ethernet you can use this with a PhoneNet connector to hook up to an Ethernet network. We also carry the PhoneNet connectors, terminators and phone cables for connecting older equipment together. Turn on file sharing and start moving files etc. Turn it back off when finished.

TIP: Turn Filesharing off when you are not using it. There is a bug in the 8 and 9 software that causes occasional lockups. Apple knew this and chose not to do anything about it and now that they are not supporting the classic OSes anymore it will never be fixed. Besides that, it slows down rebooting the machine depending on how much you are sharing. Also Filesharing only has to be turned on the host machine. The other machine(s) that are used to access the host does not need Filesharing turned on. It is best to share a folder rather than the whole hard drive and will actually speed up your operations if you learn to work this way.



If your PowerBook has an HDI-30 SCSI connection (almost square with lots of pins) you are very lucky. By using our SCSI BUDDY you can use this to connect a 25 pin to 25 pin cable (like a zip drive uses) from your PowerBook to your Desktop system (as long as you have SCSI out). Your PowerBooks hard drive will appear on the Desktop when in buddy mode after you connect and restart both machines. This allows you to synchronize files easily or to run Norton Repair , or Speed Disk, or backup, or install new software using the horsepower of your desktop unit to drive it. We use this to set up and test PowerBooks. If you have a Firewire connection you can simply press command T at startup after hooking up your Firewire cable to your Desktop Firewire port and the PowerBooks hard drive will mount in the desktops window allowing you to run utilities, installs etc.

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Go for the Wireless N, they start at about $50 on sale at most discounters. Check the discount store ads in the Sunday paper. Find a LinkSys 4 Port Cable/DSL Router (about $39-$60 after rebate, Radio Shack actually carries them as well). You can also use the slightly more expensive Wireless LinkSys 4 Port. It will work in place of an Airport for much less if you think you might want Wireless access down the road or already have an Airport enabled machine. Other router brands may work but we know these work reliably. It is what we use! Order your Ethernet Cables from us. The discounters stick you on them after saving you on the LinkSys. Follow the instructions that comes with the LinkSys. Set your LinkSys to serve DHCP and then change your TCPIP settings on your Mac to DHCP. Your router will automatically assign your machines IP addresses then. This router has the added benefit of providing some protection against hackers (built in NAT firewall). Install 10/100 Ethernet cards for faster access. By the way NETGEAR sucks. I am not real happy about DLINK either but you already know this if you tried to get product support from them. LinkSys probably doesn't have any better support but you won't need it since the product works. UPDATE: Go ahead and spring for the Wireless N! Even if your current systems are B or G the N is substantially faster and it won't be too long before you want it.



I Sometimes things get fouled up and all you get is an assigned self assigned IP address or perhaps your Airport stops working. When this happens you might want to write down the needed info before blowing away the files and recreating them.

When you are ready do the following:


LinkSys Wireless Router - works well with Mac's and offers Airport Extreme speeds

I like and use Linksys Routers for my Mac network. They are relatively cheap these days and since even Radio Shack carries them, we don't bother. I keep expecting to see an endcap of them any day in the Walgreens. Buy the LinkSys Wireless N. Hard connect via Ethernet one of your systems to set up the unit. First thing put in a password. The default password will result in every 12 year old on the Internet taking over your router. Second put in a network name. Make it simple so you can remember it but not too simple. No spaces. You will want to enter that name on each system you have wirelessly accessing your network so that it doesn't try to roam. That way your connection is solid since you have told your unit to hook directly to that network.

Wireless 802.11AC is the latest, Wireless 802.11N is earlier but certainly decent and 802.11G is equivalent to Airport Extreme and is the faster than the old B. 802.11b is your regular Airport connection and are sometimes available or even necessary for older equipment running older software. The older Airport B cards will not use modern encryption so be prepared to downgrade your routers software if you plan to use B.

Airport cards for older Macs are no longer produced. That is why the price is higher today on those units than they were new. I never used Airport choosing instead industry standard items where possible (I'm cheap). For iBooks though you really don't want something hanging on the back that you have to plug in, so the Airport card is about the only option.

I hate DLINK. While some of their stuff is advertised as Mac compatible I have always had trouble. Perhaps you haven't and I guess good for you.

We have both N and G solutions at value prices. They do require 10.3.9 or later. ALWAYS CHECK OUR WIRELESS SECTION FOR THE BEST LOW COST SOLUTIONS!

ADD WIRELESS G TO YOUR OSX DESKTOP VIA PCI SLOT (hard to find the Broadcom chip these days).

Ben Dittman (a Headgap reader) writes: If a person uses a PCI based wireless card that uses the Broadcom chipset in a Sawtooth G4, it will often work using Apple's Airport Extreme drivers since Airport Extreme cards are based on the Broadcom chipset. One card in particular that I know works is the Buffalo WLI2-PCI-G54. I have personally seen it in action in a Sawtooth. Theoretically, any Broadcom based card should work, but I definitely can't guarantee that since I haven't tested them all. 802.11g speeds for less money than an Apple Airport (802.11b) card. As long as you have a free PCI slot this is a great option. That is a tech tip from me.

I might add that Sonnet makes a card that we sell that works great. The above tip should save you some money though since the Sonnet item is a bit pricey.

Finding these Broadcom chipsetted cards is becoming increasingly difficult since most manufacturers are using a newer cheaper chipset. If you buy a card to try pick a retailer who will let you return it. Check our Wireless section of the store to see if we have a cheaper solution.



I think many people leave their network connection roaming instead of using the networks name. Once you determine what network you want to connect with enter the networks name and it will substantially improve your connection speed.

If you have an internal card you can take off the little pigtail antenna and add a high gain external antenna that allows you to place it up higher and away from the system assuming it has the correct little connector and most cards do. These same antennas 's work great on many routers in place of the pigtails as well extending your service range. Buy a pair for your LinkSys Wireless G Router and spread them up and out.


But why would you want to? Yes you can hook up your PC and your Mac using an Ethernet network or CROSSOVER CABLE but the PC won't talk to the Mac or vice versa. DAVE from Thursby is software that enables your Mac to communicate with a PC. It is expensive however. Check their web site http://www.thursby.com for a demo version. You also might try http://retrosoftware.com for older versions. OSX Panther and Tiger RENDEZVOUS allows to see and connect to PC networked systems and printers.

We used to stock and item that allows a USB capable Mac and PC to communicate and exchange files. We don't stock it anymore but can special order it. It runs about $35 or so and comes with the software for Mac and For PC's. You can send data to and from any combination using this connector. I had someone email and remind me of this and it certainly is an easy and affordable way to exchange files. Give us a call or drop us an email if you are interested.

Remote Desktop Connection Client 1.0.3 and up for Mac OS X

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Shut down your machine immediately. If you let the drive head continue to damage itself your chances of recovery are substantially reduced. Send us the hard drive. We will see if we can recover the data. If so you pay a $39.00 bench charge (large full drives may be more) and we will put your data on a replacement drive (you pay for of course). If we can't recover it you only pay return shipping for your drive back. You can then deal with the high end drive recovery people. Be cautious though many are worse than Automatic Transmission Repair Shops. They charge you $XXX.XX and then after you pay they say it will be $XXX.XX dollars more to get your data and drive back. Best you have backups. We are careful with your drive but we cannot guarantee results. We simply do the best we can. It is always best to have backups. One other note. I will not work on LaCie drives at all.


If you have data that absolutely must be recovered, for Mac HD recovery we suggest a place called DriveSavers. Tell them we sent you and get a 10% discount by giving them the number DS20072. They have a no data, no charge, policy on single drives. I would get an estimate. Call them toll free at 1-800-440-1904. To request an estimate by e-mail, log on to our website at http://www.drivesavers.com/estimate

Remember here at Headgap we do what is called level 1 recovery. If the drive isn't making bad noises and is just not mounting we can likely get your data back and possibly simply restore the drive.


The G3 and G4 prior to the QuickSilver 2002 model has a limition on drive size. 132 GB is the maximum drive size for units made prior. Practically speaking an 80GB or 120GB is about all you can find.

NEVER INSTALL A 160 GB or Larger Drive internally and format it to a smaller size. This will bite you on the butt, guaranteed. I don't care if you did get it for a nickel after rebate.-

WARNING: If you are planning on buying a large-capacity 3.5" internal hard drives above 128 GB, you need to be aware of this issue, in case you are not already:

The ATA controllers in Macs up through the PowerMac G4 Quicksilver 2001 models cannot properly format a drive larger than 132 GB, and entire drive will not be recognized. For example, when upgrading a G4 Quicksilver 2001 with a 160 GB hard drive, only 128 GB of storage will be recognized if using the native ATA controller. We stock an ATA card that solves this issue but better yet install a SATA card.

All ATA133 controllers allow large capacity hard drives to be formatted for their full capacity, even in systems where this was not natively possible (Quicksilver 2001 and earlier). We or course keep the 133 Cards in stock.

If you are looking for the ultimate and have a few more bucks to spend search out the new Serial ATA drives and the new Tempo ATA150. These are probably a waste of money for anything but the fastest hardware though. They do offer convenience.

External Firewire drives do not always have this limitation but you should check with the manufacturer before buying a housing with plans to put in a larger drive. Some el cheapo housings may not support large drives.


Most of you probably know about the limit on the size of drives installed in PowerMacs. Only the QuickSilver 2002 and Mirror Door G4 or above can handle drives larger. That is why we normally only carry up to 120 GB drives for internal installation. One way around this is with the Sonnet Tempo ATA133 card. You can install any size drive internally with the Tempo installed in one of your PCI slots. THE GOTCHA though is you can't have a partition any larger than 190 GB's and expect to boot from OS9. Of course I never run across this before since the affordable 160 GB drives don't have this problem. I just installed a 250 GB drive with the Tempo and while the machine booted nicely into X, I could not get it to boot into 9. After tearing out my hair and a few reinstalls, I finally dug down into Sonnet's tech notes and they pointed this out. Would have been helpful if they would have added this little gem in the product description since drives up to 400 GB's are more affordable these days don't you think? They do advertise breaking the 137 GB barrier but they don't mention that 190 GB OS9 barrier until you hunt it down.


Some folks would say wait until your hard drive dies to replace it. With drives as inexpensive as they are why not replace your hard drive before they die and you lose your work. I take good care of my drives running repair at least quarterly and optimize them a few times a year. Even so I replace my drives about every 3-4 years (think of them as a car battery in terms of longevity). Usually I am about ready to have more space anyway and some times the new drives are substantially faster than the old ones. Retire the old drive or relegate it to use as a secondary drive. It is a lot easier and usually cheaper to move your data from a working drive. Don't misunderstand, I have Mac drives here that are over 10 years old running just fine. It is just that economically it is cheaper to replace them early and keep your data safe. Remember that old car battery. It worked fine all the way up until that one cold morning and I bet you were in a hurry too.

DRIVEJUMPER.COM = Links to the manufacturers sites to find out more about your hard drive and how to set it up

I set up http://drivejumper.com to make it easy on myself to find the links to the hard drive manufacturers web sites to find out how to set up your hard drive. I also have the links to the G3 overclocking which also use the jumpers, along with the G4 overclocking sites. I just added charts for IDE drives so you don't have to bother going through the rigmarole of looking through the web site.

get mac system information at every mac
Our friends at EveryMac.com have valuable information about legacy Mac Systems including the original specifications of many of the machines we sell. Click the button to visit their site.

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