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AppleJack Released for Leopard

My favorite system maintenance tool, AppleJack, has finally been released for Leopard.

AppleJack down and dirty, but user-friendly troubleshooting tool for Mac OS X.  It runs in Single User Mode and runs as a menu-based app for ease of use.  This allows you to troubleshoot a computer even when the GUI isn’t available and without using a boot CD. 

comment on this | posted in: Mac News Troubleshooting Unix

Settings for Microsoft Office: Mac 2008 Compatibility

Many users are having compatibility problems with the latest version of Microsoft Office.  This version introduced a new file type for the first time in 11 years.  These new documents can only be natively opened by the latest version of Office on both Mac and Windows.

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My recommendation is to “save down” to the older version in order to minimize problems with sharing files with other users.

Below are instructions for doing this in each of the Office 2008 applications.


In Word:
———————————————
Go to the “Word” menu
Choose “Preferences”
Click “Save”
And in the “Save Word files as:” dropdown, choose Word 97-2004 Document (.doc)
Finally, click “ok”

In Excel:
———————————————
Go to the “Excel” menu
Choose “Preferences”
Click “Compatibility”
And in the “Save files in this format:” dropdown, choose Excel 97-2004 Document (.xls)
Finally, click “ok”

In PowerPoint:
———————————————
Go to the “PowerPoint” menu
Choose “Preferences”
Click “Save”
And in the “Save PowerPoint files as:” dropdown, choose PowerPoint 97-2004 Document (.ppt)
Finally, click “ok”

comment on this | posted in: Mac Tips Troubleshooting

GMail for my domain server error

Caught a GMail for my domain 502 server error for the first time today.

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We’re sorry, but your Gmail account is currently experiencing errors. You won’t be able to use your account while these errors last, but don’t worry, your account data and messages are safe. Our engineers are working to resolve this issue.

Please try accessing your account again in a few minutes.

comment on this | posted in: 404 News Troubleshooting Webdev

iPhone 2.0 to 1.1.4 downgrade

A post by BigBoss detailing steps for a successful 2.0 to 1.1.4 downgrade for “those of you that updated to 2.0 and realized what a mistake it was.”

comment on this | posted in: iPhone Tips Troubleshooting

Dealing with a crashed, frozen or hung iPhone

As much as I enjoy the iPhone 2.0 software, I’ve been shocked at how often it crashes, freezes and hangs.  This simply wasn’t the case with 1.0.

When I first updated my original iPhone to 2.0, I chalked these problems up to the fact that I’d tweaked that iPhone in innumerable ways and probably needed to wipe it clean and start fresh. 

But, having just started using a fresh out of the box 3G model, I’m seeing the same thing.  Here’s the four crashes, freezes and hangs that I’ve seen most often and how I’m dealing with each-

Application crashes-

Many times an application will just bomb out and drop you to the home screen.  This is likely due to bugs in the application.  Most of the time the application can just be restarted and you can go about your business (or gaming).

Application fails to launch-

This one is a bit more frustrating and seems to be triggered more often with larger or more complex applications. 

I had to smile when I bought a the $10 de Blob application and it wouldn’t start.  When this happened a second time after I’d just finished installing Pinball RC, I though to myself: “What are less technically minded people doing?  Throwing their iPhones out the window?”

The not-so-obvious solution is to reboot the phone.  To reboot, hold down the Power button until the “slide to power off” option appears.  If that doesn’t work, continue to hold the Power button with the Home button and it will trigger a forced reboot.

Phone OS crash and reboot-

This one is really fun and I trigger it at least twice a day when I launch Twinkle (my favorite Twitter client).  Yes, you heard that right- tap and app icon and the whole iPhone OS crashes and reboots.  Usually, the reboot clears up the trouble except for when this turns into the…

Apple logo and spinning wheel of death loop-

This misfortune has struck me twice so far.  The first time, I had to restore the iPhone in iTunes to fix it (essentially reloading the OS).  The second time, I was able to power off the phone and plug it into iTunes.  Instead of the full restore, a backup began and soon I could hear the “bing” of the mail coming into the phone.  I let the backup complete and the phone worked normally. 

2.1 can’t come soon enough, but in the meantime Apple isn’t fooling anyone with the unobtrusive crash to the homescreen with no alert message.

comment on this | posted in: iPhone Tips Troubleshooting

Apple posts iPhone Enterprise Support Page

Apple has posted the iPhone Enterprise Support Page.  Included is the 58-page iPhone and iPod touch Enterprise Deployment Guide.  Something tells me this is going to get a lot of traffic.

comment on this | posted in: iPhone iPod Mac News Troubleshooting

About that “Huge, Crazy, Ridiculous OS X Security Hole” (updated)

So what about this “Huge, Crazy, Ridiculous OS X Security Hole” that has been making the rounds on the news sites? 

Well, it’s very simple.  There is no security whatsoever in place to prevent AppleScript messages between users on a local machine.  This means that any user can tell an app running as root to do something malicious. And, according to Charles Srstka, author of the popular Pacifist program, this security hole was reported as early as 2004! Wow.

Rixstep has an excellent writeup on the issue entitled “Huge, Crazy, Ridiculous OS X Security Hole.”  It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the issue.

update: Rixtep’s followup article has even more gory details.

comment on this | posted in: Mac News Troubleshooting

Mac OS X 10.5.3 adds “Back to My Mac” diagnostic messages

One of the numerous Mac OS X 10.5.3 changes is the addition “Back to My Mac” diagnostic messages in the .Mac preference pane.  The indicator is visual with green, yellow, or red status lights.  Seems useful, but it would be nice to see more technical information presented (even if it was logged in the console).

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comment on this | posted in: Mac News Troubleshooting

Getting Firefly Media Server working

Awesome tutorial on getting Firefly Media Server working on the 1.1.4 iPhone by Rupert Gee.

The problem boiled down to the fact that it was built pre-“mobile” user and a simple configuration line needs to be updated.  I’ve got fresh music streaming for the weekend now directly off my iPhone.

(2) comments | posted in: iPhone Music Troubleshooting

Quit iTunes Gracefully

Something about the latest build of Last.FM is causing trouble in my iTunes-land.  I’m getting a lot of spinning beach balls.  I wrote this quick applescript to “Quit iTunes Gracefully” and avoid having to force quit the application and potentially corrupt the iTunes Library file.

tell application “iTunes”
with timeout of 10000 seconds
quit
end timeout
end tell

Download Quit iTunes Gracefully

comment on this | posted in: Mac Tips Troubleshooting
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