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Subject: Introductory Macintosh frequently asked questions (FAQ)

This article was archived around: 19 Aug 1997 10:15:36 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: macintosh
All FAQs posted in: comp.sys.mac.apps, comp.sys.mac.misc, comp.sys.mac.system, comp.sys.mac.wanted, comp.sys.mac.printing, comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc, comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage, comp.sys.mac.hardware.video
Source: Usenet Version

Archive-name: macintosh/general-faq Version: 2.4.1 Last-modified: June 23, 1996 Maintainer: elharo@shock.njit.edu URL: http://www.macfaq.com/generalfaq.html
MACINTOSH FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ==================================== comp.sys.mac.faq, part 1: Introduction to the Macintosh Newsgroups Copyright 1993-1996 by Elliotte Harold Please see section 5.8 below if you wish to distribute or revise this document in any way. Version: 2.4.1 Last-modified: June 23, 1996 Address comments to elharo@shock.njit.edu What's new in version 2.4.1: ---------------------------- Primarily this is a maintenance release to reflect changes in various ftp and World Wide Web sites, particularly the official FAQ site which has moved from rever.nmsu.edu to ftp.macfaq.com and the revised filenaming scheme at ftp.support.apple.com. 2.6) What is .bin? .hqx? .cpt? .image? .etc.? StuffIt is now at version 4.0.x. 3.5) Reinstall the system software This step has been updated to take reflect the various updates to System 7.5. 3.6) Isolate the Problem I've improved the procedure for finding corrupt fonts. 4.7) Disk Utilities 4.10) Reformatting and partitioning your hard disk Drive Setup is now mentioned for those Macs that need it. Table of Contents ================= General FAQ ----------- I. I have a question... 1. How do I use this document? 2. What other information is available? 3. Which newsgroup should I post to? 4. How should I answer frequently asked questions? II. FTP, Gopher and the World Wide Web 1. Where can I FTP Macintosh software? 2. Can I get shareware by email? 3. Where can I find application X? 4. Where can I find an application to do X? 5. Can someone mail me application X? 6. What is .bin? .hqx? .cpt? .image? .etc.? 7. How can I get BinHex? StuffIt? etc.? 8. How can I get BinHex, StuffIt, etc. from a PC? III. Troubleshooting. What to do when things go wrong 1. Identify the problem. 2. Read the READ ME file. 3. Check for viruses. 4. Reinstall the application and all its support files. 5. Reinstall the system software. 6. Isolate the problem. 7. Contact technical support. IV. Preventive Maintenance 1. Trash Unneeded Files 2. Reevaluate Your Extensions 3. Rebuild the desktop. 4. Zap the PRAM and Reset the Clock 5. Resize the system heap. (System 6 only) 6. Reinstall the system software. 7. Disk Utilities 8. Backing Up 9. Disk Defragmentation 10. Reformatting and partitioning your hard disk V. Meta-FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions about the FAQ) 1. There's a mistake in your FAQ. 2. Why don't you include this complicated/payware solution? 3. Would you please include my software in your FAQ? 4. Why don't you post the FAQ more often? 5. Can you help me with this problem I'm having with my Mac? 6. Will you send me the FAQ? 7. Why don't you format the FAQ in Word? Digest? HTML? etc.? 8. Can I repost, revise, publish or otherwise use this document? comp.sys.mac.system ------------------- I. Memory 1. Why is my system using so much memory? 2. What is Mode 32? the 32-bit enabler? Do I need them? 3. Cache and Carry (How much memory should I allot to my cache?) II. System Software 1. Why does Apple charge for system software? 2. What does System 7.5 give me for my $35/$50/$99 that System 7.1 doesn't? 3. Where can I get System 7.5? 4. How can I use System 6 on a System 7 only Mac? 5. Non-US scripts and systems 6. What is System 7 Tuneup? System Update 3.0? etc.? Do I need them? 7. Why do my DA's disappear when I turn on MultiFinder? 8. Do I need System 7.0.1? 9. How can I get System 7.0.1, 7.1 or 7.5 on 800K disks? 10. Is there a Unix for the Mac? III. Hard Disks, Filesharing, and the File System 1. Help! My folder disappeared! 2. Why can't I throw this folder away? 3. Why can't I share my removable drive? 4. Why can't I eject this SyQuest cartridge? CD-ROM? etc.? 5. Why can't I rename my hard disk? 6. How do I change my hard disk icon? IV. Fonts 1. How do I convert between Windows fonts and Mac fonts? TrueType and PostScript? 2. What font will my screen/printer use when different types are installed? 3. Where should I put my fonts? V. Miscellaneous: 1. What does System Error XXX mean? 2. What is a Type Y error? 3. What is A/ROSE? 4. Easy Access or One Answer, Many Questions 5. How can I keep multiple system folders on one hard disk? 6. How do I access the programmer's key? comp.sys.mac.misc ----------------- I. Viruses 1. Help! I have a virus! 2. Reporting new viruses II. Printing and PostScript 1. How do I make a PostScript file? 2. How do I print a PostScript file? 3. Why won't my PostScript file print on my mainframe's printer? 4. Why are my PostScript files so big? 5. How can I print PostScript on a non-PostScript printer? 6. How do I make my ImageWriter II print in color? 7. Why doesn't PrintMonitor work with the ImageWriter? 8. Why did my document change when I printed it? 9. How can I preview a PostScript file? 10. Can I use a LaserJet or other PC printer with my Mac? 11. How can I print grey scales on my StyleWriter I? 12. How can I edit a PostScript file? III. DOS and the Mac 1. How can I move files between a Mac and a PC? 2. How can I translate files to a DOS format? 3. Should I buy SoftPC or a real PC? IV. Security 1. How can I password protect a Mac? 2. How can I password protect a file? 3. How can I password protect a folder? 4. How can I prevent software piracy? 5. How can I keep a hard drive in a fixed configuration? V. Sound 1. How can I copy a track from an audio CD onto my Mac? 2. How can I extract a sound from a QuickTime movie? 3. How can I convert/play a mod/wav/etc. file? VI. No particular place to go (Miscellaneous Miscellanea) 1. Are there any good books about the Mac? 2. How do I take a picture of the screen? 3. How do I use a picture for my desktop? 4. Can I Replace the "Welcome to Macintosh" box with a picture? 5. What is AutoDoubler? SpaceSaver? More Disk Space? Are they safe? 6. How do they compare to TimesTwo, Stacker and eDisk? 7. Where did my icons go? 8. Where can I find a user group? 9. Where can I find the 1984 Quicktime movie? 10. Do RAM Doubler and Optimem work? 11. I'm greedy. Can I triple my RAM? 12. How do I run software that needs an FPU on a Mac that doesn't have one? comp.sys.mac.apps ----------------- I. What's the Best... 1. Text editor 2. Word processor 3. Genealogy software 4. TeX/LaTeX 5. Integrated application 6. Spreadsheet 7. JPEG Viewer 8. Electronic publishing software 9. Drawing application 10. Typing tutor? 11. OCR software? II. Microsoft Word 1. How can I assign styles to characters? 2. How can I automatically generate cross-references? 3. How can I change a Word document to TeX? and vice-versa? 4. How can I depersonalize Word? 5. Where can I get more information? III. TeachText 1. How can I change the font in TeachText? 2. How do I place a picture in a TeachText file? 3. How do I make a TeachText document read-only? comp.sys.mac.wanted ------------------- I. Buying and Selling Used Equipment 1. Should I buy/sell on Usenet? 2. Where should I buy/sell used equipment? 3. I've decided to completely ignore your excellent advice and post my ad anyway. What should I do? 4. I've decided to completely ignore your excellent advice and buy something offered for sale on the net anyway. How can I avoid being ripped off? II. Fair Market Value 1. How much is my computer worth? 2. What is used software worth? 3. Going prices? III. Where Should I Buy a New Mac? 1. Authorized Dealers 2. VAR's 3. Superstores 4. Performas 5. Educational Dealers 6. Direct From Apple 7. Auctions 8. Does anyone know a dealer in New York City? 9. New Equipment Prices IV. When Should I buy a New Mac? 1. Macrotime 2. Microtime 3. When will I get my Mac? V. How Should I Buy a New Mac? 1. Know what you want 2. The dealer needs to sell you a mac more than you need to buy one 3. Have a competitor's ad handy 4. Cash on delivery 5. The sales tax game 6. Leasing 7. Be nice to the salesperson. VI. The Gray Market and Mail Order 1. What is the gray market? 2. Are gray market Macs covered by Apple warranties? 3. Does anyone know a good mail-order company? comp.sys.mac.hardware --------------------- I. Maintenance 1. How do I clean a keyboard? 2. How do I clean a screen? 3. How do I clean a mouse? 4. How do I clean a floppy drive? 5. How do I clean the inside of my mac? II. Problems And Repairs 1. How do I open a compact Mac? 2. Now that I've opened my Mac how might I electrocute myself? 3. Where can I get my Mac fixed? 4. Can you recommend any good books about Mac repair? 5. The screen on my compact Mac is jittering. III. Upgrades 1. What Macs will be upgradeable to the PowerPC? 2. Can I increase the speed of my Mac by accelerating the clock? 3. Can I add an FPU to my Mac? 4. Can I replace the 68LC040 with a 68040? IV. Thanks for the Memory 1. What kind of memory should I use in my Mac? 2. Can I use PC SIMM's in my Mac? 3. What vendors have good prices on memory? 4. Do SIMMdoublers work? V. Video 1. What's VRAM? 2. All monitors are not created equal. 3. There's a horizontal line across my monitor. VI. Floppy Disks 1. What kind of floppy disks do I need for my Mac? 2. Why can't my Quadra (SE/30, Iici, etc.) read the disks from my Plus? 3. Does punching a hole in a double-density disk make a high-density disk? VII. SCSI Troubles 1. How do I put my old internal hard disk in an external case? 2. What's the cheapest/fastest/most reliable/most common removable drive? 3. What's the best CD-ROM drive? VIII. Printers 1. What's a good printer? IX. Miscellaneous hardware FAQ's 1. What power adaptor do I need to use my mac in another country? 2. How can I fix the sound on my IIsi? A. Models RETRIEVING THE ENTIRE FAQ ========================= This is the FIRST part of the this FAQ. The second part is posted to comp.sys.mac.system and features many questions about system software. The third part answers miscellaneous questions about Macs and is posted every two weeks in comp.sys.mac.misc. The fourth part covers frequently asked questions about Macintosh application software and appears in comp.sys.mac.apps. The fifth piece covers buying and selling Macintosh computers, software and peripherals and is posted in comp.sys.mac.wanted. The sixth part answers many questions about Macintosh hardware and peripherals and appears in comp.sys.mac.hardware. Tables of contents for all pieces are included above. Please familiarize yourself with all six sections of this document before posting. All pieces are available for anonymous ftp from <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/macintosh/> Except for this introductory FAQ which appears in multiple newsgroups and is stored as general-faq, the name of each file has the format of the last part of the group name followed by "-faq", e.g the FAQ for comp.sys.mac.system is stored as system-faq. You can also have these files mailed to you by sending an email message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with the line: send pub/usenet/news.answers/macintosh/name in the body text where "name" is the name of the file you want as specified above (e.g. general-faq). You can also send this server a message with the subject "help" for more detailed instructions. For access via the World-Wide-Web use <URL:http://www.macfaq.com/faqs.html> I HAVE A QUESTION... (1.0) =========================== Congratulations! You've come to the right place. Usenet is a wonderful resource for information ranging from basic questions (How do I lock a floppy disk?) to queries that would make Steve Jobs himself run screaming from the room in terror. (I used ResEdit to remove resources Init #11, WDEF 34, and nVIR 17 from my system file and used the Hex Editor to add code string #A67B45 as a patch to the SFGetFile routine so the Standard File Dialog Box would be a nice shade of mauve. Everything worked fine until I installed SuperCDevBlaster, and now when I use the Aldus driver to print from PageMaker 5.0d4 to a Linotronic 6000 my system hangs. P.S. I'm running System 6.0.2 on a PowerBook 170.) Since the Macintosh newsgroups are medium to high volume, we ask that you first peruse this FAQ list including at least the table of contents for the other pieces of it, check any other relevant online resources listed below in question 1.2, especially the FAQ lists for the other Macintosh newsgroups, and RTFM (Read the Friendly Manual) before posting your question. We realize that you are personally incensed that the System is taking up fourteen of your newly-installed twenty megs of RAM, but this question has already made its way around the world three hundred times before, and it's developing tired feet. Finally, before posting to any newsgroup (Macintosh or otherwise), please familiarize yourself with the basic etiquette of Usenet as described in the newsgroup news.announce.newusers. Usenet can be a real nerd-eat-nerd world, and it's a bad idea to enter it unprepared. HOW DO I USE THIS DOCUMENT? (1.1) ---------------------------------- comp.sys.mac.faq is currently divided into multiple pieces, a general introduction which you're reading now, and specific lists for the newsgroups comp.sys.mac.system, comp.sys.mac.misc, comp.sys.mac.apps, comp.sys.mac.wanted and the comp.sys.mac.hardware hierarchy. This introductory document is posted to all of the concerned newsgroups. The tables of contents for each of the specific FAQ lists are at the beginning of this file so you should be able to get at least some idea whether your question is answered anywhere else in the FAQ even if you don't have the other parts at hand. It's not always obvious, especially to newcomers, where a particular question or comment should be posted. Please familiarize yourself with the FAQ lists in all the major Macintosh newsgroups before posting in any of them. Which questions appear in which FAQs can serve as a basic guide to what posts belong where. To jump to a particular question search for section-number.question-number enclosed in parentheses. For example to find "Where can I FTP Macintosh software?" search for the string "(2.1)". To jump to a section instead of a question use a zero for the question number. This document is in "setext" format. Akif Eyler's freeware application EasyView can parse this document into a hierarchical outline view that makes for easier browsing. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/EasyView.sit.bin> Files available by anonymous ftp are listed here in URL (Uniform Resource Locator) format. To retrieve a file you can paste the URL into Mosaic's Open URL dialog or Anarchie's Get dialog or you can retrieve it manually. A typical ftp URL looks like <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/UUTool.sit.bin> If you don't have Mosaic, Netscape, MacWeb or some other World Wide Web browser this reference is easy to decode for use by regular, manual ftp. (In fact it's easier to use than the form I used to use which didn't include directories.) Ignore the "ftp://". The next part, "ftp.macfaq.com" is the site. The last part, "UUTool.sit.bin" is the file itself. Everything in between is the directory. Thus to retrieve this file by ftp you would ftp to ftp.macfaq.com, login as "anonymous" using your email address as your password, switch to "binary" mode (since the .bin on the end of the file indicates this is a binary file), change directory to pub/macfaq and get the file UUTool2.3.2.sit.bin. Directory URL's are similar except they end with a / symbol. A typical directory URL looks like <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/> Here ftp.macfaq.com is the site and everything after that is a directory. WHAT OTHER INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE? (1.2) ------------------------------------------- comp.sys.mac.faq provides short answers to a number of frequently asked questions appropriate for the comp.sys.mac regions of Usenet. Five other FAQ lists are worthy of particular note. All are available for anonymous ftp from rtfm.mit.edu [] in the directory pub/usenet/group-name (where "group-name" is the name of the group in which they're posted) as well as in their respective newsgroups. You can also access these and other FAQ lists from <URL:http://www.cs.ruu.nl/cgi-bin/faqwais> Jon W{tte maintains a public domain FAQ list for comp.sys.mac.programmer which is posted about every three weeks. See <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/macintosh/programming-faq The FAQ list for comp.sys.mac.comm answers many frequently asked questions about networking, UNIX and the Mac, telecommunications, and foreign file formats. See <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/macintosh/comm-faq/> Norm Walsh has compiled an excellent FAQ for comp.fonts that answers a lot of questions about the various kinds of fonts and cross-platform conversion and printing. See <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/comp.fonts/> Finally Jim Jagielski maintains a FAQ for comp.unix.aux covering Apple's UNIX environment, A/UX. It's posted every 2 to 3 weeks in comp.unix.aux. See <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/comp.unix.aux/> Much other information is accessible via the World Wide Web by pointing your favorite browser at The Well Connected Mac, located at <URL:http://www.macfaq.com/Macintosh.html> Among other things this site contains hypertext versions of many of the above FAQ lists, lists of Macintosh FTP and Web sites, a directory of vendors doing business in the Macintosh market, many reviews of hardware and software, and much more. If you only have a dialup UNIX account and can't use a graphical browser, see if lynx is installed on your system. If it is, use it. Otherwise if you can telnet, try telneting to www.njit.edu which offers a publically accessible text-based browser for the Web. WHICH NEWSGROUP SHOULD I POST TO? (1.3) ---------------------------------------- There are no stupid questions, but there are misplaced ones. You wouldn't ask your English teacher how to do the definite integral of ln x between zero and one, would you? So don't ask the programmer newsgroup why your system is so slow when Microsoft Word is in the background. Ignorance of basic netiquette is not an excuse. If you want people to help you, you need to learn their ways of communicating. Posting questions to the proper newsgroup will fill your mailbox with pearls of wisdom (and maybe a few rotten oysters too :-) ). Posting to the wrong newsgroup often engenders a thundering silence. For instance the most common and glaring mispost, one that seems as incongruous to dwellers in the Macintosh regions of Usenet as would a purple elephant to Aleuts in the Arctic, asking a question about networking anywhere except comp.sys.mac.comm, normally produces no useful responses. Posting the same question to comp.sys.mac.comm ensures that your post is read and considered by dozens of experienced network administrators and not a few network software designers. Please post to exactly *ONE* newsgroup. Do not cross-post. If a question isn't important enough for you to take the extra minute to figure out where it properly belongs, it's not important enough for several thousand people to spend their time reading. For the same reason comp.sys.mac.misc should not be used as a catch-all newsgroup. The breakdown of questions between different newsgroups in this document can also serve as a reasonable guide to what belongs where. Questions about productivity applications (software you bought your Macintosh to run, not software you bought to make your Macintosh run better) should go to comp.sys.mac.apps unless the application is covered in a more specific newsgroup. Communications programs, games, HyperCard, compilers and databases all have more topical comp.sys.mac.* newsgroups. Questions about communications software and some hardware questions belongs in comp.sys.mac.comm. However detailed questions about Appletalk belong in comp.protocols.appletalk. Questions about modem hardware belongs in comp.dcom.modems. Questions about web browsers belong in comp.infosystems.www.browsers.mac and questions about web servers should be directed to comp.infosystems.www.servers.mac. Questions about the Internet in general and not about specific Mac based software like MacTCP do not belong in comp.sys.mac.comm at all. Questions about MacOS system software belong in comp.sys.mac.system with a few exceptions. Most notably all questions about printing and printing software belong in comp.sys.mac.printing. Questions about third party utilities and extensions normally belong in comp.sys.mac.misc. Questions about A/UX go to comp.unix.aux. Posts about hardware are split as follows: Anything at all about printers belongs in comp.sys.mac.printing. Posts about hard drives, tape drives, removable media like Zip and Syquest drives, and CD-ROM drives and the driver and utility software required to make these items work belongs in comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage. Posts about displays, monitors, video cards and the driver and utility software necessary to make these items work belongs in comp.sys.mac.hardware.video. All other hardware related posts including those about CPU's, memory, scanners and other peripherals should be directed to comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc. Please try to restrict posts to comp.sys.mac.hardware to ones that actually involve the metal and plastic that modern computer hardware is made of. Just because a game comes on CD-ROM does mean you should review it in comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage. (On the other hand a review of the drive itself would be appropriate.) Software questions in comp.sys.mac.hardware should be restricted to the bare minimum of non-standard software required to make a device work, e.g. hard disk drivers, special extensions, and the like. Programming questions and questions about development environments belong in the comp.sys.mac.programmer hierarchy. ResEdit questions may be posted either to comp.sys.mac.misc, comp.sys.mac.system, or comp.sys.mac.programmer; but generally the netters who inhabit the darker recesses of comp.sys.mac.programmer are considerably more practiced at the art of resource hacking. A general exception to the above rules is that any *very* technical question about an application that actually begins to delve into the how's of a program as well as the what's (Recent example: How does WriteNow which is written entirely in assembly compare to other word processors written in high level languages?) might be better addressed to the programmer newsgroups. For Sale and Want to Buy posts should go to comp.sys.mac.wanted and the misc.forsale.computers.mac hierarchy *ONLY*. We understand that you're desperate to sell your upgraded 128K Mac to get the $$ for a PowerBook 540c; but trust me, anyone who wants to buy it will be reading comp.sys.mac.wanted and misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.portables. Although comp.sys.mac.wanted is a fairly catch-all group, misc.forsale.computers.mac is a little more hierarchical. misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.cards.video contains for sale and want-to-buy ads for Macintosh video cards only. misc.forsale.computers.mac.mac-specific.cards.misc features ads for other Mac-only cards, audio cards, data acquisition cards. misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.portables is for sale and want-to-buy ads for Macintosh PowerBooks, Portables, Duos and other complete portable systems. misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.software is for all Macintosh software. misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.systems is for buying and selling complete Macintosh systems (no parts). Finally misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.misc is for buying and selling Macintosh specific items not covered in the above newsgroups. All of these newsgroups are for initial posts only. All inquiries, discussion and negotiation should be kept in private email. They're also all intended for individuals selling one or two systems. Dealers of new or used computers and software should post to biz.marketplace.computers.mac. Many items of computer hardware work on multiple platforms, particularly memory, monitors, external modems, hard drives and other SCSI devices. If you're selling any of these items please post to the appropriate cross-platform, peripheral group, i.e.: * misc.forsale.computers.memory * misc.forsale.computers.modems * misc.forsale.computers.monitors * misc.forsale.computers.printers * misc.forsale.computers.storage Posting to these groups will give your message a much broader distribution than posting it to the Mac specific newsgroups. Political and religious questions (The Mac is better than Windows! Is not! Is too! Is not! Is too! Hey! How 'bout the Amiga! What about it? Is Not! Is too!) belong in comp.sys.mac.advocacy. Anything not specifically mentioned above probably belongs in comp.sys.mac.misc. Finally don't be so provincial as to only consider the comp.sys.mac newsgroups for your questions. Many questions about modems in comp.sys.mac.comm are much more thoroughly discussed in comp.dcom.modems. Questions about Mac MIDI are often better handled in comp.music even though it's not a Macintosh specific newsgroup. Posts about the Newton belong in the comp.sys.newton hierarchy, not in *ANY* of the Macintosh newsgroups. Look around. Usenet's big and not everything relevant to the Macintosh happens in comp.sys.mac. HOW SHOULD I ANSWER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS? (1.4) ------------------------------------------------------ Mostly through private email. Frequent answers are just as boring and uninteresting as frequent questions. Unless you really have something new to add to the traditional answers (such as the recent discovery that fonts in System 7.1 could eat memory in a way that mimicked the symptoms of not having 32-bit addressing turned on) private email is a much better medium for answering FAQs. You might want to add a mention of this FAQ list in your email response and a polite suggestion that your correspondent read it before posting future questions. FTP, GOPHER, AND THE WORLD WIDE WEB (2.0) ========================================== WHERE CAN I GET MAC SOFTWARE? (2.1) ------------------------------------ The two major North American Internet archives of shareware, freeware, and demo software are Info-Mac at sumex-aim.stanford.edu [], and mac.archive at mac.archive.umich.edu [] Unless otherwise noted shareware and freeware mentioned in this document should be available at the above sites. Unfortunately these sites are extremely busy and allow very few connections. Thus you should try to connect to a mirror site instead. In the United States Info-Mac's files are available from grind.isca.uiowa.edu [] in the directory mac/infomac or mirrors.aol.com [] in pub/mac. mac.archive files are available from mirror.archive.umich.edu and mirrors.aol.com. Scandinavians should try connecting to ftp.funet.fi ( or ftp.lth.se [] first. In the U.K. look to src.doc.ic.ac.uk []. Continental Europeans can try nic.switch.ch [], ezinfo.ethz.ch [], and anl.anl.fr []. In Australia check out archie.au []. Japanese users will find sumex mirrored at ftp.center.osaka-u.ac.jp [] in info-mac. In Israel try ftp.technion.ac.il [] in the directory pub/unsupported/mac. In Taiwan nctuccca.edu.tw [ or] mirrors both sumex and mac.archive. <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/info/Mac_FTP_List.txt> U.S.: <URL:ftp://grind.isca.uiowa.edu/mac/infomac/> <URL:ftp://mirrors.aol.com/> <URL:ftp://mirror.archive.umich.edu/> Finland: <URL:ftp://ftp.funet.fi/> Sweden: <URL:ftp://ftp.lth.se/> <URL:ftp://ftp.sunet.se/pub/mac/> U.K.: <URL:ftp://src.doc.ic.ac.uk/packages/info-mac/> Switzerland: ftp://nic.switch.ch/> <URL:ftp://ezinfo.ethz.ch/> France: <URL:ftp://anl.anl.fr/> Taiwan: <URL:ftp://nctuccca.edu.tw/> Israel: <URL:ftp://ftp.technion.ac.il/pub/unsupported/mac/> Australia: <URL:ftp://archie.au/> Japan: <URL:ftp://ftp.center.osaka-u.ac.jp/info-mac/> A more complete and current list of mirrors is available at <URL:http://www.macfaq.com/software.html> Two other very useful sites are ftp.info.apple.com [] and ftp.support.apple.com []. The latter is mirrored at ftptoo.support.apple.com. <URL:ftp://ftp.info.apple.com/> <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/> <URL:ftp://ftptoo.support.apple.com/> These are Apple's official repositories for system software, developer tools, source code, technical notes, and other things that come more or less straight from Apple's mouth. Some material at this site may not be distributed outside the U.S. or by other sites that don't have an official license to distribute Apple system software. Please read the various README documents available at these sites for the detailed info if you're connecting from outside the U.S. or if you wish to redistribute material you find here. All software mentioned in these FAQ lists which may be freely posted is available for anonymous ftp from ftp.macfaq.com in the directory /pub/, i.e. <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/> Ftp.macfaq.com is NOT a general archive site like info-mac or mac.archive and does not endeavor to store every piece of shareware in the Macintosh universe. However it should have most software mentioned here, and should be easily accessible. Finally if you have one flavor or another of Gopher available, Apple maintains an astoundingly useful gopher server at <URL:gopher://info.hed.apple.com/> This site contains gobs of PR, technical specs for Apple products, and pointers to sumex and mac.archive. It's often much easier to browse mac.archive and sumex through gopher rather than directly by ftp. Much of this is also available on the World Wide Web at <URL:http://www.apple.com/> CAN I GET SHAREWARE BY EMAIL? (2.2) ------------------------------------ The info-mac archives at sumex-aim are available by email from LISTSERV@RICEVM1.bitnet (alternately listserv@ricevm1.rice.edu). The listserver responds to the commands $MACARCH HELP, $MACARCH INDEX, and $MACARCH GET filename. Mac archive files are available from mac@mac.archive.umich.edu. Send it a message containing the word "help" (no quotes) on the first line of your message for instructions on getting started. You can retrieve files from other sites by using the server at ftpmail@decwrl.dec.com. For details send it a message with just the text "help" (no quotes). WHERE CAN I FIND APPLICATION X? (2.3) -------------------------------------- If you can't find shareware you're looking for at one of the above sites, archie will help you find it. If you have a MacTCP connection to the net, you should use Peter Lewis's graphical archie client Anarchie, available from <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/Anarchie.sit.bin> Otherwise try telnetting to your nearest archie server or sending it an email message addressed to archie with the subject "help." Archie servers are located at archie.rutgers.edu (, America), archie.mcgill.ca (, Canada), archie.au (, Australia), archie.funet.fi (, Scandinavia), and archie.doc.ic.ac.uk (, the U.K. and the continent). These sites index the tens of thousands of files available for anonymous ftp. Login as "archie" (no password is needed) and type "prog filename" to find what you're looking for or type "help" for more detailed instructions. For instance you would type "prog Disinfectant" to search for a convenient ftp site for Disinfectant. If the initial search fails to turn up the file you want, try variations on and substrings of the name. For instance if you didn't find Disinfectant with "prog Disinfectant", you might try "prog disi" instead. If you have access to the World Wide Web the Virtual Software Library at http://www.shareware.com/ is often quicker to respond than archie although it doesn't index as many sites. Most common payware is stocked by MacWarehouse and featured in their catalog which you can request from MacWarehouse at (800) 622-6222. Apple brand software not stocked by MacWarehouse and not available on ftp.support.apple.com is often available from APDA, the Apple Programmers' and Developers' Association. Call (800) 282-2732 in the U.S., (800) 637-0029 in Canada, (716) 871-6555 elsewhere, for a catalog. Finally most third party programming tools with too small a market to be advertised in the MacWarehouse catalog are advertised in every issue of MacTech along with information on how to order. Please check the above catalogs and archie personally BEFORE asking the net where you can find a particular piece of software. These sources provide answers much more quickly than the net. WHERE CAN I FIND AN APPLICATION TO DO X? (2.4) ----------------------------------------------- Most archives of shareware and freeware have index files which briefly describe the various programs available at the site. At anonymous ftp sites these files typically begin with 00 and end with either .txt or .abs. Lists that cover the entire archive and topical subdirectories are both available. For example if you're looking for a program to play MOD files, ftp to sumex-aim and look in the directory Sound/util for any files beginning with two zeroes. You'll find 00Utility-abstracts.abs. Get it and then browse through it at your leisure. Then when you've located a likely candidate in the index file you can ftp it and try it out. The best source of information about payware programs is the MacWarehouse catalog. You'll occasionally find it on sale at newsstands for about three dollars; but if you call MacWarehouse at 1-800-622-6222, they'll be happy to send you one for free. Unlike many other catalogs almost all common software is advertised in the MacWarehouse catalog. A quick browse through the appropriate section normally reveals several products that fit your needs. CAN SOMEONE MAIL ME APPLICATION X? (2.5) ----------------------------------------- No. Nor will anyone mail you a part of a file from comp.binaries.mac that was corrupt or missed at your site. Please refer to the first questions in this section to find out about anonymous FTP, archie, and email servers. WHAT IS .BIN? .HQX? .CPT? .ETC? (2.6) -------------------------------------- Most files available by FTP are modified twice to allow them to more easily pass through foreign computer systems. First they're compressed to make them faster to download, and then they're translated to either a binhex (.hqx) or MacBinary (.bin) format that other computers can digest. (The Macintosh uses a special two-fork filing system that chokes most other computers.) BinHex files are 7-bit ASCII text files, while MacBinary files are pure 8-bit binary data that must always be transferred using a binary protocol. How a file has been translated and compressed is indicated by its suffix. Normally a file will have a name something like filename.xxx.yyy. .xxx indicates how it was compressed and .yyy indicates how it was translated. To use a file you've FTP'd and downloaded to your Mac you'll need to reverse the process. Most files you get from the net require a two-step decoding process. First change the binhex (.hqx) or MacBinary (.bin) file to a double-clickable Macintosh file; then decompress it. Which programs decode which file types is covered in the table below. Also note that most Macintosh telecommunications programs will automatically convert MacBinary files to regular Macintosh files as they are downloaded. ******************************************************************************* Suffix: .sit .cpt .hqx .bin .pit .Z .image .dd .zip .uu .tar .gz Extractors ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ StuffIt 3.0| X X X X X X X X X X X Compact Pro| X X Packit | X UUTool | X MacCompress| X SunTar | X X X X BinHex 5.0 | X X BinHex 4.0 | X DiskDoubler| X X ZipIt | X X X DiskCopy | X macutil | X X X X MacGzip | X X ******************************************************************************* A few notes on the decompressors: StuffIt is a family of products that use several different compression schemes. The freeware StuffIt Expander will unstuff all of them. Versions of StuffIt earlier than 3.0 (StuffIt 1.5.1, StuffIt Classic, UnStuffIt, and StuffIt Deluxe 2.0 and 1.0) will not unstuff the increasing number of files stuffed by StuffIt 3.0 and later. You need to get a more recent version of StuffIt or StuffIt Expander. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/StuffItExpander.sea.bin> StuffIt 4.0 (available in Lite, Deluxe, DropStuff and SpaceSaver flavors) consistently makes smaller archives than any other Macintosh compression utility. To allow maximum space for files on the various ftp sites and to keep net-bandwidth down, please compress all files you send to anonymous ftp sites with StuffIt 4.0 or later. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/StuffItLite.sea.bin> UUTool, MacCompress, MacGzip and SunTar handle the popular UNIX formats of uuencode (.uu), compress (.Z), gzip (.gz) and tar (.tar) respectively. The UNIX versions are often more robust than the Mac products, so use them instead when that's an option. <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/UUTool.sit.bin> <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/MacGzip.sit.bin> <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/MacCompress.sit.bin> <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/SunTar.sit.bin> StuffIt Deluxe or the combination of the freeware StuffIt Expander and the shareware DropStuff with Expander Enhancer can also decode these four formats in a relatively reliable fashion. However be warned that the registration dialog in these products is more than a little annoying. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/DropStuffInstaller.bin> Macutil is dik winter's package of UNIX utilities to decompress and debinhex files on a workstation before downloading them to a Mac. Since UNIX stores files differently than the Mac, macutil creates MacBinary (.bin) files which should be automatically converted on download. It can't decompress everything. In particular it can't decompress StuffIt 3.0 and later archives. However, if you need only one or two files out of an archive--for instance if you want to read the README to find out if a program does what you need it to do before you download all of it--macutil is indispensable. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/MacUtil.shar> A few notes on the compression formats: .bin: These are MacBinary files. Always use a binary file transfer protocol when transferring them, never ASCII or text. Most files on the net are stored as .hqx instead. Only rascal stores most of its files in .bin format. Most communications programs such as ZTerm and Microphone are capable of translating MacBinary files on the fly as they download if they know in advance they'll be downloading MacBinary files. .image: This format is normally used only for system software, so that on-line users can download files that can easily be converted into exact copies of the installer floppies. Instead of using DiskCopy to restore the images to floppies, you can use the freeware utility ShrinkWrap to treat the images on your hard disk as actual floppies inserted in a floppy drive. ShrinkWrap sometimes has problems when doing installs, so you should have some blank floppies and a copy of DiskCopy handy just in case. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/ShrinkWrap.sit.bin> .sea (.x, .X): .sea files don't merit a position in the above table because they're self-extracting. They may have been created with Compact Pro, StuffIt, or even DiskDoubler; but all should be capable of decompressing themselves when double-clicked. For some unknown reason Alysis has chosen not to use this industry standard designation for self-extracting archives created with their payware products SuperDisk! and More Disk Space. Instead they append either .x or .X to self-extracting archives. HOW CAN I GET BINHEX? STUFFIT? ETC.? (2.7) --------------------------------------------- By far the easiest way to get these programs is to ask a human being to copy them onto a floppy for you. If you're at a university there's absolutely no excuse for not finding someone to give you a copy; and if you're anywhere less remote than McMurdo Sound, chances are very good that someone at a computer center, dealership, or user group can provide you with a copy of StuffIt. Once you have StuffIt (any version) you don't need BinHex. If you're such a computer geek that the thought of actually asking a living, breathing human being instead of a computer terminal for something turns you into a quivering mass of protoplasmic jelly, you can probably download a working copy of StuffIt from a local bulletin board system. If you have religious objections to software gotten by any means other than anonymous ftp, then I suppose I'll mention that you can in fact ftp a working copy of StuffIt though this is by far the hardest way to get it. Ftp to ftp.macfaq.com and login. Type the word "binary." Hit return. Type "cd pub/macfaq" and hit return. Then type "get StuffItExpander.sea.bin" and hit return. If you've ftp'd straight onto your Mac you should now have a self-extracting archive which will produce a working copy of StuffIt Expander when double-clicked. If you've ftp'd to your mainframe or UNIX account first, you still need to use a modem program to download it to your Mac. Just make sure that the Mac is receiving in MacBinary mode and the mainframe is sending in binary mode. If you need more details on the last step, consult the FAQ list for comp.sys.mac.comm and the manuals for both your mainframe and Macintosh telecommunications software. HOW CAN I GET BINHEX, STUFFIT, ETC. FROM A PC? (2.8) ----------------------------------------------------- Paul Thomson's shareware DOS utility Macette can transfer MacBinary files like the ones stored at ftp.macfaq.com from a DOS file system onto a Macintosh high density diskette, translating from MacBinary into a standard two-fork executable Macintosh file in the process. It can even format the diskette for you. Thus once you've gotten StuffIt Expander from <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/StuffItExpander.sea.bin> you can use macette to move it from the PC to your Mac. I've made macette available at my ftp site. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/macette.zip> TROUBLESHOOTING: WHAT TO DO (BEFORE POSTING) WHEN THINGS GO WRONG (3.0) ======================================================================== While the various FAQ lists cover a lot of specific problems, there are far more problems that aren't covered here. These are a few basic techniques you should follow before asking for help. You should probably also perform the ten-step preventive maintenance routine described in section four, especially rebuilding the desktop (4.3) and zapping the PRAM (4.4). Following these steps may or may not solve your problem, but it will at least make it easier for others to recommend solutions to you. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM. (3.1) ---------------------------- "Microsoft Word is crashing" doesn't say much. What were you doing when it crashed? Can you repeat the actions that lead to the crash? The more information you provide about the actions preceding the crash the more likely it is someone can help you. The more precisely you've identified the problem and the actions preceding it, the easier it will be to tell if the following steps fix the problem. For example, "Sometimes QuarkXPress 3.0 crashes with a coprocessor not installed error." is not nearly as helpful as "QuarkXPress 3.0 crashes when I link two text boxes on a master page when copies of those text boxes already contain text." The former diagnosis leaves you wondering whether the bug remains after a given step. The latter lets you go right to the problem and see if it's still there or not. READ THE READ ME FILE. (3.2) ----------------------------- Many companies include a list of known incompatibilities and bugs in their READ ME files. Often these aren't documented in the manual. Read any READ ME files to see if any of the problems sound familiar. CHECK FOR VIRUSES. (3.3) ------------------------- Run Disinfectant or another anti-viral across your disk. Virus infections are rarer than most people think, but they do occur and they do cause all sorts of weird problems when they do. <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/Disinfectant.sit.bin> REINSTALL THE APPLICATION AND ALL ITS SUPPORT FILES. (3.4) ----------------------------------------------------------- For half a dozen reasons (external magnetic fields, improperly written software, the alignment of the planets) a file on a disk may not contain the data it's supposed to contain. This can cause all types of unexplained, unusual behavior. Restoring from original master disks will usually fix this. Check to see if the application has a preferences file in the Preferences folder in the system folder and if so trash it. This is often overlooked when reinstalling. Since the preferences file is often the most easily corrupted file in an application, reinstalling it alone may be sufficient to fix the problem. REINSTALL THE SYSTEM SOFTWARE. (3.5) ------------------------------------- Bits are even more likely to get twiddled in the system file than in the application, and the effects can be just as disastrous. See question 4.6 for a detailed procedure for performing a clean reinstall. If the problem continues to occur after you've taken these steps, chances are you've found either a conflict between your application and some other software or a genuine bug in the program. So it's time to ISOLATE THE PROBLEM. (3.6) --------------------------- You need to find the minimal system on which the problem will assert itself. Here are the basic steps of isolating the cause of a system or application crash: 1. Run only one application at a time. Occasionally applications conflict with each other. If the problem does not manifest itself without other applications running simultaneously, begin launching other applications until you find the one that causes the crash. 2. If you're running System 6, turn off MultiFinder. If you're running System 7, allot as much memory to the application as you can afford. Sometimes programs just need more memory, especially when performing complicated operations. 3. If you're running System 7, turn off virtual memory and 32-bit addressing in the Memory Control Panel. There's still an awful lot of 32-bit and VM hostile software out there including some from companies that really have no excuse. (Can you say Microsoft Word 5.1, boys and girls? I knew you could.) Some of this software only expresses its incompatibilities when certain uncommon actions are taken. PowerMacs always run in 32-bit mode. Try turning the modern memory manager off instead. 4. If you have a 68040 Mac, turn the cache off. Many older programs don't work well with the built-in cache of the 68040. 5. If you have a PowerPC turn off the modern memory manager. Some software doesn't get along with it. 6. Restart your Mac and hold down the shift key (or boot from a virgin system floppy if you're using System 6). If the problem disappears you likely have an extension conflict. You need to progressively remove extensions until the problem vanishes. System 7.5's Extensions Manager lets you decide at startup which extensions to load so you don't have to spend a lot of time moving files into and out of the System Folder. In earlier systems you can use Ricardo Batista's freeware Extensions Manager 2.0.1 on which System 7.5's Extensions manager is built. See <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/Utilities/Extensions_Manager_2.0.1.hqx> Use a little common sense when choosing the first extensions to remove. If the problem occurs when you try to open a file, remove any extensions that mess with the Standard File Open procedure such as Super Boomerang first. If the problem remains after the obvious candidates have been eliminated, either remove the remaining extensions one at a time; or, if you have a lot of them, perform a binary search by removing half of the extensions at a time. Once the problem disappears add half of the most recently removed set back. Continue until you've narrowed the conflict down to one extension. When you think you've found the offending extension restart with only that extension enabled just to make sure that it and it alone is indeed causing the problem. Although performing this procedure manually can be fairly quick if you have a pretty good idea of which extensions to check, it can take quite some time when you really don't have any strong suspects for a conflict. In that case consider using Conflict Catcher to help isolate the offending init. A fully functional timed demo can be had from <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/ConflictCatcherDemo.sit.bin> 7. Remove all but the required fonts (Chicago, Monaco) from your Fonts folder. If the problem disappears then one of your fonts is corrupted. Open the Fonts folder in your System folder and open each font suitcase until your Mac crashes. The last suitcase opened is probably corrupt. Restart the machine, remove the allegedly corrupt suitcase from the Fonts folder and check the remaining fonts. (There may be more than one corrupt font.) This procedure may not always isolate the corrupted font, so if no corrupted fonts are found or if the symptoms do not disappear, you can use the binary elimination procedure described above to find the corrupt font. 8. Remove all external SCSI devices. If the problem disappears, add them back one at a time until the problem reappears. Once you've isolated the SCSI device causing the problem check its termination and try moving it to a different position in the SCSI chain. It's also possible a SCSI cable's gone bad, so try replacing just the cable. 9. Turn the Mac off and unplug all cables: power, ADB, modem, printer, network, SCSI and anything else you've plugged in to the back of your Mac. Then plug everything back in and try again. Loose cables can imitate malfunctions in almost any hardware or software. I recently spent a day in panic because I thought my analog board had died before I could back up the latest draft of the hardware FAQ. I even went so far as to email my favorite repair shop (Tekserve, 212-929-3645) before I thought calmly for a few minutes, unplugged all my cables, and plugged them back in. My Mac booted up immediately. The power cable had been loosened when I moved my desk the previous weekend and a few days later random motion finally disconnected it enough to cut my power. To all appearances this was an expensive analog board or power supply failure rather than a cheap cable problem that I could fix in about a minute at home. CONTACT TECHNICAL SUPPORT. (3.7) --------------------------------- By now you should have a very good idea of when, where, and why the conflict occurs. If a tech support number is available for the software, call it. If you're lucky the company will have a work around or fix available. If not, perhaps they'll at least add the bug to their database of problems to be fixed in the next release. PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE (4.0) ============================= You wouldn't drive your car 100,000 miles without giving it a tune-up. A computer is no different. Regular tune-ups avoid a lot of problems. Although there are Mac mechanics who will be happy to charge you $75 or more for the equivalent of an oil change, there's no reason you can't change it yourself. The following ten-step program should be performed about every three months or when you're experiencing problems. TRASH UNNEEDED FILES (4.1) --------------------------- Many of the operations that follow will run faster and more smoothly the more free disk space there is to work with, so spend a little time cleaning up your hard disk. If you're at all like me, you'll find several megabytes worth of preferences files for applications you no longer have, archives of software you've dearchived, shareware you tried out and didn't like, announcements for events that have come and gone and many other files you no longer need. If you're running System 7 you may also have several more megabytes in your trash can alone. Throw them away and empty the trash. RETHINK YOUR EXTENSIONS (4.2) ------------------------------ Some Macintoshes attract extensions like a new suit attracts rain. Seriously consider whether you actually need every extension and control panel in your collection. If you don't use the functionality of an extension at least every fifth time you boot up, you're probably better off not storing it in your System Folder where it only takes up memory, destabilizes your system, and slows down every startup. For instance if you only read PC disks once a month, there's no need to keep Macintosh PC Exchange loaded all the time. Cutting back on your extensions can really help avoid crashes. REBUILD THE DESKTOP (4.3) -------------------------- The Desktop file/database holds all the information necessary to associate each file with the application that created it. It lets the system know what application should be launched when you open a given file and what icons it should display where. Depending on its size each application has one or more representatives in the desktop file. As applications and files move on and off your hard disk, the Desktop file can be become bloated and corrupt. Think of it as a Congress for your Mac. Every so often it's necessary to throw the bums out and start with a clean slate. Fortunately it's easier to rebuild the desktop than to defeat an incumbent. One warning: rebuilding the desktop will erase all comments you've stored in the Get Info boxes. Under System 7 Maurice Volaski's freeware extension CommentKeeper will retain those comments across a rebuild. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/CommentKeeper.sit.bin> CommentKeeper also works with System 6 but only if Apple's Desktop Manager extension is also installed. To rebuild the desktop restart your Mac and, as your extensions finish loading, depress the Command and Option keys. You'll be presented with a dialog box asking if you want to rebuild the desktop and warning you that "This could take a few minutes." Click OK. It will take more than a few minutes. The more files you have the longer it will take. If you're running System 6 you may want to turn off MultiFinder before trying to rebuild the desktop. If you're experiencing definite problems and not just doing preventive maintenance, you may want to use Micromat's freeware utility TechTool. TechTool completely deletes the Desktop file before rebuilding it, thus eliminating possibly corrupt data structures. Furthermore it doesn't require you to remember any confusing keystroke combinations. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/TechTool.sit.bin> ZAP THE PRAM AND RESET THE CLOCK (4.4) --------------------------------------- All Macs from the original 128K Thin Mac to the PowerMac 9500 contain a small amount of battery powered RAM that holds certain settings that belong to the CPU rather than the startup disk, for example the disk to start up from. Unfortunately this "parameter RAM" can become corrupted and cause unexplained crashes. To reset it under System 7 hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys while restarting your Mac. Under System 6 hold down the Command, Option, and Shift keys while selecting the Control Panel from the Apple menu, and click "Yes" when asked if you want to zap the parameter RAM. Alternatively you can use MicroMat's free utility TechTool which doesn't require you stretch your fingers across the keyboard like a circus contortionist. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/TechTool.sit.bin> Zapping the PRAM erases the settings of most Apple Control Panels including the General Controls, Keyboard, Startup Disk, Mouse, and Map. It also erases the Powerbook 100's non-volatile RAM disk. Thus after zapping the PRAM you will need to reset these Control Panels to fit your preferences. One setting that zapping the PRAM does not erase is the date and time; but since the internal clock in the Macintosh is notoriously inaccurate you'll probably want to reset it now anyway. RESIZE THE SYSTEM HEAP (System 6 Only) (4.5) --------------------------------------------- Even after rethinking their extensions as per step two, most people still have at least half a row of icons march across the bottom of their screen every time they restart. All these extensions (and most applications too) need space in a section of memory called the System Heap. If the System Heap isn't big enough to comfortably accommodate all the programs that want a piece of it, they start playing King of the Mountain on the system heap, knocking each other off to get bigger pieces for themselves and trying to climb back on after they get knocked off. All this fighting amongst the programs severely degrades system performance and almost inevitably crashes the Mac. Under System 7 your Macintosh automatically resizes the system heap as necessary, but under System 6 you yourself need to set the system heap size large enough to have room for all your extensions and applications. By default this size is set to 128K, way too small for Macs with even a few extensions. The system heap size is stored in the normally non-editable boot blocks of every system disk. Bill Steinberg's freeware utility BootMan not only resizes your system heap but also checks how much memory your heap is using and tells you how much more needs to be allocated. If you're running System 6, get BootMan, use it, and be amazed at how infrequently your Macintosh crashes. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/Bootman.sit.bin> REINSTALL THE SYSTEM SOFTWARE (4.6) ------------------------------------ System files can become corrupt and fragmented, especially if you've stored lots of fonts and desk accessories inside them. Merely updating the System software will often not fix system file corruption. I recommend doing a clean reinstall. Here's how: 1. Move the Finder from the System Folder onto your desktop. 2. Rename the System Folder "Old System Folder." 3. If you're installing System 6, 7.0, 7.0.1 or 7.1 shut down and then boot from the Installer floppy of your system disks. If you're installing System 7.5, quit all running applications and launch the installer on the first installer disk. 4. Double-click the installer script on your System disk. Then choose Customize... Select the appropriate software for your model Mac and printer. You could do an Easy Install instead, but that will only add a lot of extensions and code you don't need that waste your memory and disk space. If you're installing System 7.5 type "Command-Shift-K" which is the magic code to get the installer to do a clean install.. A dialog will pop up. Select the radio button that says "Install New System Folder" and click OK. From this point on just follow the installer's instructions. Mostly you'll just need to swap disks. After installation is finished the installer will ask you to restart your Mac. You don't really have any choice so go ahead and restart. 5. If you installed System 7.0 or 7.0.1, you should now install System 7 Tuneup 1.1.1, available from <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/System_Software/Other_System_Software/System_7_Tune-Up_1.1.1.hqx If you installed System 7.1, 7.1 Pro or 7.1.2, then you should also install System Update 3.0, available from <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/System_Software/Other_System_Software/System_Update_3.0_1.4MB).hqx> If you installed System 7.5, 7.5.1 or 7.5.2 then you should also install System 7.5 Update 2.0, available from <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/System/System_7.5_Update_2.0/> This will bring you to System 7.5.3. Finally you should install the System 7.5.3 Revision 2 update, available from <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/System/System_7.5.3_Revision_2/> 6. Copy any non-standard fonts and desk accessories out of the old System file into a temporary suitcase. 7. Trash the Finder file on desktop. Now go into the Old System Folder and trash the System, MultiFinder, DA Handler, and all other standard Apple extensions and control panels. These were all replaced in the new installation. If you were running System 7.x, move everything left in the Extensions, Control Panels, Apple Menu Items and Preferences folders into the top level of the new System Folder. 8. Now move everything from the Old System Folder you created in step 2 into the new System folder. If you're asked if you want to replace anything, you missed something in step 7. You'll need to replace things individually until you find the duplicate piece. Also reinstall any fonts or DA's you removed in step 6. 9. Reboot. You should now have a clean, defragmented System file that takes up less memory and disk space and a much more stable system overall. DISK UTILITIES (4.7) --------------------- Much like system files hard disks have data structures that occasionally become corrupted affecting performance and even causing data loss. Apple includes Disk First Aid, a simple utility for detecting and repairing hard disk problems, with its System disks. It's also available for anonymous ftp from ftp.support.apple.com in <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/Utilities/Disk_First_Aid_(7.2).hqx> If you have an earlier version than 7.2 (and many people do) you should get version 7.2 from ftp.apple.com, make a copy of your Disk Tools disk, and replace the old Disk First Aid on the copy with the new version. At the same time you should also replace the old version of HD SC Setup on your Disk Tools disk with HD SC Setup 7.3.5 (or newer) from the same directory. See <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/Utilities/Apple_HD_SC_Setup_7.3.5.hqx> Certain late-model Macs require a new formatter called Drive Setup instead. Drive Setup requires System 7.5 or later and is only should only be used with PowerMacs, PowerBook 190's and Macintosh 580 and 630 series 68040 Macs. As of June, 1996, the latest version is 1.0.5 which is available from <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/Utilities/Drive_Setup_1.0.5.hqx> Several companies sell payware disk utilities that detect and repair considerably more problems than Disk First Aid though, interestingly, none of them detect and repair everything that Disk First Aid does. The most effective for general work are Symantec's MacTools 4.0 and Norton Utilities for the Macintosh 3.2. A department or work group should have both of these as well as Disk First Aid since none of them fix everything the others do. For individuals MacTools ($48 street) is about half the price of Norton ($94 street) so, features and ease of use being roughly equal, I recommend MacTools. All of these products occasionally encounter problems they can't fix. When that happens it's time to backup (4.8) and reformat (4.10). BACKING UP (4.8) ----------------- This is one part of preventive maintenance that should be done a *LOT* more often than every three months. The simplest back up is merely to copy all the files on your hard disk onto floppies or other removable media. If you keep your data files separate from your application and support files then it's easy to only back up those folders which change frequently. Nonetheless every three months you should do a complete backup of your hard disk. A number of programs are available to make backing up easier. Apple included a very basic full backup application with System 6. Apple ships the Apple Backup utility with all Performas that can backup the entire disk or just the System folder onto floppies. The previously mentioned Norton Utilities for the Mac and MacTools Deluxe include more powerful floppy backup utilities that incorporate compression and incremental backups. Finally the usual ftp sites should have Diversified I/O's $35 shareware SoftBackup II, a full featured backup program that will do full, image and incremental backups to floppies, tape drives, WORMs, Syquest drives, hard disks, servers and other media. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/SoftBackupII.sit.bin> About the only thing thing SoftBackup II can't do is replace old versions of files in a backup set with newer versions. If you want to do that, check out the more flexible payware utilities Redux ($49 street, doesn't support tape drives) and Diskfit Pro ($74 street). DISK DEFRAGMENTATION (4.9) --------------------------- As disks fill up it gets harder and harder to find enough contiguous free space to write large files. Therefore the operating system will often split larger files into pieces to be stored in different places on your hard disk. As files become more and more fragmented performance can degrade. There are several ways to defragment a hard disk. The most tedious but cheapest method is to backup all your files, erase the hard disk (and you might as well reformat while you're at it. See question 4.10.), and restore all the files. A number of payware utilities including Norton Utilities and Mac Tools can defragment a disk in place, i.e. without erasing it. Although the ads for all these products brag about their safety, once you've bought the software and opened the shrink-wrap they all warn you to back up your disk before defragmenting it in case something does go wrong. If you use any of these products, be sure to run a disk repair package on the disk you wish to defragment before defragmenting. Defragmenting will almost certainly make any existing problems with a disk worse so it's important to make sure a disk is in good health before using a defragmenting utility on it. Fast Unfrag is a $10 shareware disk defragmenter by Kas Thomas. See <URL:ftp://ftp.macfaq.com/pub/FastUnfrag1.0.sit.bin> It appears to do the job it was designed for; (defragmenting the files on a hard disk) and my brief tests didn't reveal any glaring bugs or trash any files. Nonetheless, I'm a bit nervous about this product because the programmer and his skill level are unknown to me, and writing a disk defragmenter is not something I'd trust to a novice. The interface is flaky; the program only works on the disk where the application resides (very unusual behavior for a disk defragmenter); it's unfriendly to background applications (not so unusual for any disk intensive app); and neither documentation, online help, nor an email address are provided with the program. Since this is still a relative unknown I *STRONGLY* recommend that you backup your files before using it. I'd appreciate hearing any experiences you have with it. REFORMAT YOUR HARD DISK (4.10) ------------------------------- Just as a floppy disk needs to be initialized before use, so a hard disk must be formatted before it can hold data. You don't need to reformat every three months; but when your system is crashing no matter what you try, reformatting is the ultimate means of wiping the slate clean. Reformatting your hard disk may even gain you a few extra megabytes of space. Not all hard disks are created equal. Some can hold more data than others. To facilitate mass production and advertising without a lot of asterisks (* 81.3 megabytes is the pre-formatted size. Actual formatted capacity may vary.) Apple often formats drives to the lowest common denominator of drive capacity. When you reformat there's no reason at all not to reclaim whatever unused space Apple's left on your disk. Unlike floppies hard disks need a special program to initialize them. Most hard disks come with formatting software. Apple's disks and System software ship with either HD SC Setup or Drive Setup, minimal disk formatters which will format Apple brand hard drives *ONLY*. See <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/Utilities/Apple_HD_SC_Setup_7.3.5.hqx> <URL:ftp://ftp.support.apple.com/pub/apple_sw_updates/US/Macintosh/Utilities/Drive_Setup_1.0.5.hqx> Most hard drive manufacturers ship appropriate formatting software with their hard drives. Normally this is all you need to reformat your hard disk. This software installs a "driver" onto the hard disk. Most formatting software includes an option to update the driver without reformatting the entire hard disk, and this can fix some hard to diagnose problems without going to the trouble of reformatting and restoring an entire hard disk. (Do backup before updating a hard disk driver though, as a failed driver update can leave a disk unusable.) A number of general-purpose formatters are also available which go beyond the bundled software to include features like encryption, password protection, multiple partitioning, faster disk access, System 7 compatibility, and even compression. Two of the best are the payware Drive7 and Hard Disk Toolkit Personal Edition ($49 street for either). While there are one or two freeware formatters available, none are likely to be superior to the ones bundled with your hard disk. PowerBook owners should be sure to turn off Sleep and processor cycling before reformatting their hard drives no matter what software they use. Otherwise disk corruption, crashes, and data losses are likely. META-FAQS (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FAQ) (5.0) =========================================================== Since posting the first version of my FAQ list a little over three years ago I have noticed a precipitous drop in the frequency of certain questions. Most notably: Why is my system using 14 of my 20 megs of RAM? Though that still shows up occasionally, it's no longer at the twelve times a day level that induced me to start writing. I count that as some measure of success. However, I have experienced one unexpected phenomenom. Certain questions began appearing frequently in my mailbox so I've composed this little list of meta-faqs, that is frequently asked questions about the FAQ. Please familiarize yourself with this list before mailing me comments or questions. THERE'S A MISTAKE IN YOUR FAQ. (5.1) ------------------------------------- Thanks for pointing this out. Since I maintain several documents of about 300K total size, it would be helpful if you would reference the specific document where you found my error and the question number. WHY DON'T YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLICATED/PAYWARE SOLUTION? (5.2) --------------------------------------------------------------- When there are multiple solutions to a common problem, I try to pick the one that is achievable with the simplest and cheapest tools. Chances are I do know about that undocumented feature of WhizzyWriter 1000 that lets you download PostScript files. Call me crazy, but I suspect that most people would prefer to download a free utility from ftp.support.apple.com rather than shell out $995 for WhizzyWriter just to solve their PostScript problems. Similarly if a problem can be solved with the tools that are bundled with every Mac, I'll choose that solution over one that requires downloading some shareware. Space in the FAQ is limited; (mainly by brain-dead news software at some sites that restricts files to 32K) and I can't give comprehensive lists when they're not needed. WOULD YOU PLEASE INCLUDE MY SOFTWARE IN YOUR FAQ? (5.3) -------------------------------------------------------- As explained above space in these documents is limited, and I simply can't mention every imaginable software that conceivably falls somewhere within the purview of the Macintosh newsgroups. If, however, you feel your software answers a frequently asked question, for example a _working_ PostScript previewer (GhostScript doesn't count.); or it provides a solution to a common problem superior to what's already available, then I'll be happy to consider it for inclusion in the FAQ. WHY DON'T YOU POST THE FAQ MORE OFTEN? (5.4) --------------------------------------------- The FAQ is posted automatically about every two weeks, give or take a day. Normally it doesn't change more frequently than that; and I want to avoid wasting bandwidth since Usenet is not, contrary to popular belief, free. The FAQ includes an Expires: header to insure that one version doesn't disappear from your news spool until the next one arrives and a Supersedes: header so multiple copies won't waste everyone's disk space. This is all accomplished automatically via Jonathan Kamens' faq server. If the FAQ is ever not available at your site, then your news software is BROKEN and should be fixed. Complain to your news administrators about their broken software that ignores Expires: headers, not to me. CAN YOU HELP ME WITH THIS PROBLEM I'M HAVING WITH MY MAC? (5.5) ---------------------------------------------------------------- Certainly! I negotiate consulting fees on a case-by-case basis, but they tend to average about $120 an hour with a four hour minimum. If you're outside the metropolitan New York area (roughly Philadelphia to New Haven) the minimum is seven hours and you'll also be expected to provide airfare expenses. Quantity discounts and support contracts can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Oh, you meant free help? Sorry, that's what Usenet is for. Post your question to the appropriate newsgroup, and you'll probably get a lot more advice than I could give you. WILL YOU SEND ME THE FAQ? (5.6) -------------------------------- No. I have neither the time nor the inclination to act as a mail-server for people who can't be bothered to use the mail-server at rtfm.mit.edu as outlined in the introduction. I reject all such requests. WHY DON'T YOU FORMAT THE FAQ IN WORD? DIGEST? HTML ETC.? (5.7) ----------------------------------------------------------------- While I get about one request per month to adhere to some imagined "standard" format, I have yet to receive two requests for the same format. The FAQ has recently been redone in HTML. See: <URL:http://www.macfaq.com/faqs.html> Sometime in the future I hope to release a much improved HTML version with lots of pictures, sounds, and movies. I am exploring the possibility of publishing that version for profit on the net. The basic FAQ list posted to Usenet will of course remain free for the foreseeable future. I'm also interested in Common Ground, Adobe Acrobat, and MIME based news. However none of these are particularly high on my priority list. CAN I REPOST, REVISE, PUBLISH OR OTHERWISE USE THIS DOCUMENT? (5.8) -------------------------------------------------------------------- This work is Copyright 1993-1996 by Elliotte M. Harold. Permission is hereby granted to transmit and store this document as part of an unedited collection of any newsgroup to which it is posted by myself. I also grant permission to distribute *UNMODIFIED* copies of this document online via bulletin boards, local file servers, online services, and other providers of electronic communications provided that no fees in excess of normal online charges are required for such distribution; i.e. if the FAQ is available on a system, it must be available at the minimum charge for accessing the system. For instance you may post it to most BBS's that charge either a flat monthly fee or a per hour rate. However if there is an extra charge for downloading files over what is charged per normal access, either per hour, per kilobyte, or per month, then the FAQ may not be posted to that system without my explicit, prior permission. Portions of this document may be extracted and quoted free of charge and without necessity of citation in normal online communication provided only that said quotes are not represented as the correspondent's original work. Permission for quotation of this document in edited, online communication (such as the Info-Mac Digest and TidBITS) is given subject to normal citation procedures (i.e. you have to say where you got it). Due to prior licensing arrangements this FAQ list may not at this point in time be republished in a modified form, or redistributed on disk or paper. -- Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo@shock.njit.edu ..