 Apple fans since 1982

Minutes 4/1/2004

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Stan Kline shared information about several items he gleaned from TidBITS (All the News that’s fit to Byte, #724/01.) TidBITS can be accessed at http://www.tidbits.com. “It’s a newsletter well worth subscribing to.”

Apple has released a public beta of iChat AV 2.2, the instant-messaging and audio/video conferencing application. The update fixes several bugs and incorporates support for Microsoft’s MSN text messaging network.

Hormel is getting into the anti-spam business. Hormel will print the phone number, email addresses, and other information about unsolicited email senders on cans of Spam along the lines of “Have you seen me?” photographs published on milk cartons. Canned Spam buyers who help to can spam by canning spammers can receive cans of Spam as a reward.

Stan stated that Apple has announced the beginning of ProCare, a new level of service and support at the local Apple Retail Store. ProCare will be $99 per year with the first year free for Pro Card members. Additional benefits will include rapid repairs, “Reserve a Genius,” complete setup, test- drive, custom workshops, etc.

The June Developers (WWDC) will likely include new Mac OS X networking and Speech capabilities, Quicktime audio architecture enhancements, Xcode updates and a new and easier ways for developers to manage user interfaces in Cocoa applications. Mac OS X 10.4 is rumored to be demonstrated at the conference.

In MacFixit article on 10.3.3, it was noted that there was a tool available to extract firmware. Also, there was discussion of re-applying combo updater that could resolve USB 2.0 issues, Firewire problems and more. Stan suggested that we add Version Tracker to our Personal bar in the browser. MacFixit Pro and Version Tracker Pro can be purchased as a bundle for $59 per year.

The main presentation for the evening was Bob Shayler and John Mitchell providing a review of their recent training class at Apple covering Mac OS X Help Desk Essentials v10.3. This intensive three-day training class can lead to Apple Certification (ACN = Apple Consultants Network).

Bob Shayler enthusiastically stated that “the class was wonderful.” He left home at 6 a.m. and returned at 5:30 p.m. There were 8 in the class. They received 4 books: X Clients, How To, Panther, Typing in Terminal Mode (Bob held up each for us to see). He stated that we should have 2 administrator accounts (discussed importance at previous club meetings). He then had us go to our computers and led us through the following:

Go to http://www.apple.com/support/ (bookmark it) [tabs in support include: Guided Search, Downloads, Manuals, Specifications, Discussions, Training, Products & Services.] Click on Search and pick an article, then note in “Document Information” the keywords (k = knowledge base.) Click on the tab: Discussions. Note that there are many Apple discussions available. One can subscribe to updates to Knowledge Base. It was suggested that we make notes of Bob and John’s comments, go home and try out the items.

Apple Support gives a lot of info for solving problems. “The instructor gave the students a program designed to corrupt their machines,. Then the class members tried to solve the problems and repair their respective machines.” Bob had us close Safari, click on the HD icon, column mode, apps, utilities, then ‘activity monitor’ (a key program!). We checked it out: ?s, enough Ram, free space, free memory. The System memory and Free memory should be at least 20%; the CPU idle no less than 20%; Disk Usage: at least 2 GB of free space, 20% of the HD. Then we went to applications/ Utilities where the tabs were First Aid, Erase, Partition, RAID, and Restore. We discovered what they can do.

Instructions for setting up a second account are as follows: Click on System Preferences icon in your dock, then on Accounts, Unlock if needed, Password if needed, +, then fill in name, password, verify password, picture, but do not set FileVault. When trying to solve a problem, if both accounts are screwed up, then you have an OS problem.

John Mitchell suggested that we keep a pad on desktop to track what we have done: installations, problems, fixes. This will help when getting help with problems. John explained what happens in the Boot process.

Power on: black screen.
Still black: computer checking hardware as to what is functioning, beeps and lights, opens firmware.
Hear chimes: hardware okay. If no chimes, count the # of beeps.
Boot X: Apple icon appears and the Kernel is loading.
Kernel loading: you will see a circle like the ends of spokes rotating.
System initializing: Blue screen appears.
Log in: login window with progress shown.

If this process hangs up, note at what specific point did it hang. This will assist Tech support is solving the problem. If you have a journal system, 10.3 will automatically restart the computer. You will witness the steps of startup.

Thanks for an excellent presentation of your experience, Bob and John! Thanks for spending to attend the training and move toward certification.

[Note: some of the notes under Bob may have been shared by John]

Dayle Scott, Secretary

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