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Relief from a Mac Panic Attack

For those not surviving a Mac Panic Attack, this is the page for you. On this page we will be giving some tips, pointers, suggestions and answering questions related to Mac problems as well as pointing you to some other Mac Sites that may be able to help you with your Mac Problems.


Making an Alias - How to create an Alias and why 

No More Memory - What to do when your application has run out of memory

Battery Basics -

Care And Feeding of Your Battery.


How Inkjet Operate

What Is A Zip Drive


questions/tip/bugs! - http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/6048/MacQuestions.html

Mac Repair Page - http://www.academ.com/info/macintosh/

Browsers.Com - For all of the Mac and PC Browser plug-ins. http://www.browsers.com/

Questions on Memory - Check out the frequently asked questions here at http://www.buymemory.com

Apple Tech Support - Apple Web Site - http://support.info.apple.com/tso/tso-home.html

If you know of a sit that has been helpful to you or have a question to ask or would like to add an article to our list please contact the webmaster.

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Making an Alias

An Alias is a copy of your program, folder or document's icon. By clicking on the icon you open the original program, folder or document. If you have items you open frequently, you could create an alias of it and place it in your apple menu items folder in the system folder or drag the alias to the desk top. This reduces the hassle of going through a number of folders looking for your favorite program. I keep an Alias of several programs on my desk top. Aliases have become even more exciting now that System 7.5 uses drag and drop. I have a small, fast word processor called Scorpio (faster than a speeding bullet and simple text combined). I take text documents and drag them over the top of my Scorpio alias and it opens it. I use Stuffit Expander the same way.

Creating an alias is easy to do. Click once on the icon you want to make an alias of. Then find "Make Alias" in the file menu. ((Poof)) you have an alias. Drag the alias to where ever you want it to go.

You could place the program in what ever folder you want or on your desk top. What is the big deal? An Alias only takes a couple of k, where as the program may take several hundred K. Many programs have extra files you need to drag along for it to work. An alias has no extra baggage to worry about.

How can you tell if it is the real thing or the alias. If it is an alias, it will have alias in the name, Scorpio Alias. I remove the Alias from the name so this doesn't work for me. Another way to find out is click once on the icon and click on the command and I keys, or go to the Get Info in the file menu. Under the name of the program, in the kind line, it will say alias.

If you trash the file or program that you made the alias from, what happens? The Alias won't work. You will get an error message indicating that the alias can't find the original item. On the other hand, if you trash the alias, nothing happens. You can create as many alias as you would like or need.

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No More Memory

You are working along in one of your favorite programs and you start getting a warning indicating you are low on memory. How can this be, you have 32 MB of RAM and a 2 Gigabyte hard drive. You can't be running low on memory. What does this warning mean?

The programer indicates how much RAM memory your system needs to make available to the program he has created. Programers tend to be conservative. When you use that much memory, the program thinks that is all the RAM available.

You can adjust the amount of RAM available to your program. While the program is not in use, click once of the programs icon and click on the command and I keys or go to the Get Info area under the file menu on your desktops menu bar. This window will show you a number of important pieces of information. At the bottom you will find the Memory Requirements Box, and three sets of numbers. The Suggested size xxxk is a number you can't change. The minimum size xxxk is a size that the programer feels is the least amount of memory needed to be used by the item. The Preferred size xxxk. This is the number you need to change to add more memory for the program. If the preferred size is 1640K for example, you may want to add an additional 1,000K and see how that works. I usually double the amount set in the Preferred size. The Preferred size needs to be larger than the Minimum size. Just highlight the number you want to change and type in the new number. If there is no box around the number or you can't highlight the number, your program is probably active. Quit from the program and try again.

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(Help Captured From The Net by Phil Cutrara)
All inkjet systems have a means for holding the ink supply in reserve, a means for moving the ink from the reserve to the printhead and a method for very precisely positioning carefully measured amounts of ink onto the paper.

All of the systems are essentially open systems that have a way for air to enter the ink reservoir in direct proportion to the amount of ink that has moved out through the printhead. Because the systems are open the ink must be held (i.e. not allowed to flow) until there is a need to put some of it onto the paper.

Various methods are used to hold back the flow of ink until electrical pulses cause the ink to leave the printhead. One of the most common ways that manufacturers use is to have a sponge-like material in the ink reservoir and a venting system that includes an opening small enough to provide a resistance to the ink's flow. This is necessary to prevent the ink from spontaneously moving through the printhead. Some HP cartridges use a system that consists of an automatic venting system at the bottom of the cartridge. It is normally closed by a snorkel-like ball. As ink leaves the cartridge the air pressure inside becomes less than the ambient air pressure outside. The ball then changes position, briefly opening the vent until the pressure has equalized again.

The printhead has a number of very small openings that allow the ink to pass through to form characters or graphics. The very small openings in the printhead hold ink until an electronic signal causes the ink to move onto the paper. There are two different methods that precisely move ink through the printhead and onto the paper.

The bubble jet method selectively heats the ink in the small openings which causes very small drops of ink to be fired down onto the paper. The other method currently being used is the piezoelectric method. It utilizes the principle that certain crystals can be made to expand or contract when subjected to an electric field. This movement of the crystal is utilized in a way that allows a precise amount of ink in a selected printhead opening to be put down on the paper. Epson and others use this method.

Another variation in inkjet systems is the ink cartridge versus the print cartridge. The ink cartridge only acts as the ink reservoir. When the cartridge is put into place its exit hole docks with a receptor that carries the ink through a channel or tubing to the printhead.

The print cartridge on the other hand is the complete delivery system. Its upper portion is the ink reservoir and the lower portion contains the printhead. The print cartridge has a distinct advantage in that a blocked or damaged printhead that can't be fixed can be corrected by replacing the cartridge. On the other hand, a system that uses ink cartridges and has the same problem, must have the printer service

Problem: No printing with re-inked cartridge but new cartridge prints normally.

Possible solutions: (Does not apply to the HP-51626A, 51633M or 51629A pressurized print cartridges). In the case of a print cartridge (i.e. ink reservoir and printhead in one assembly), there might be an air bubble or a series of air bubbles immediately above the printhead. This condition can usually be corrected by using centrifugal force to break the bubbles. You can accomplish this by holding the cartridge between your thumb and fingers, being careful not to touch the printhead or exposed electrical contacts. Then with your arm raised up high and with the printhead pointing down, rapidly swing your arm down and stop suddenly.

You must do this above a receptacle that can accept any ink that might come out of the printhead. Do this same process several times. If ink comes out of the printhead each time, it probably means you have corrected the problem. If no ink comes out after the first or second try, it might indicate that the venting path or the printhead is blocked. If something is covering the vent hole, remove it. In doing so you must not create a larger vent hole than the original design. If the vent hole is not causing the problem, then all of the printhead orifices might be blocked. Often this condition will be difficult or even impossible to correct with the means at your disposal.

You can also try cleaning the printhead by vigorously scrubbing it with a cotton swab that has been wetted with distilled water. If that doesn't work, try scrubbing the printhead with a toothbrush that has been wetted with distilled water. Again, if that doesn't work try exposing the printhead to live steam for about 1 minute. If the above problem involves an ink cartridge instead of a print cartridge the fault could be caused by a blocked vent as explained above or by an inadequate seal at the point where the ink cartridge docks with the receptor that carries the ink down to the printhead. Such an inadequate seal could be caused by an improperly installed ink cartridge or foreign material on any of the parts that dock together. Blockage in the printhead is likely to involve only some of the orifices. In this case use the printer's printhead cleaning function (refer to the manual for your printer). If that doesn't work the printer must be serviced.

Problem: HP 51626A, 51633M or 51629A print cartridges leak.

Solution: The above cartridges will leak if they are not properly pressurized. This condition can occur if there is a faulty upper vent hole valve or if our instructions have not been followed correctly. In some cases the top vent hole is larger than usual, causing the air being pumped in to leak out before the fill hole is sealed. In that case, we recommend that you cover the vent hole with 3 layers of Scotch tape, pierce a hole in the tape and then insert the short needle that we supply through that hole. When you have finished doing the re-inking remove the tape.

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WHAT IS A ZIP DRIVE & why would I need one??
by Ted Evans - Member, SJIBMPCUG

To do away with a lot of technical jargon & mumbo jumbo it is simply an inexpensive and easy way of storing data.

It is a convenient way of backing up your important files and eliminating floppy disk clutter. It fact it's a lot like having a mega floppy or mini hard drive hooked up to your computer, without tearing your machine apart to install it! (More on this later in the article).

You can use it on different machines. You can use it to transfer those big files that won't fit on a floppy, or to transfer files from work to home computer. You can use it to back up those important files, you can't afford to lose. It comes with software which allows you to use a guest computer without installing all the software on the 'guest' computer. You just disconnect it from the office computer and take it home and hook it up there. Neat, yes?

Unlike a floppy drive the ZIP drive is faster, and stores a whole lot more information on its disk, which is just slightly larger than a 3.5î floppy disk.

In fact, a ZIP disk holds 100 megs of information (or about 70 floppies worth of data). That's a lot of floppies you can eliminate & won't have hanging around and getting lost anymore. And it's much faster than a floppy. In fact it's about as fast at transferring data, as a hard drive.

The street price right now on a ZIP drive is $149 with Iomega's $50 rebate figured in. If you buy the ZIP disks in pack of 10 the cost is around $15 each.. I just recently bought some in a 10 pack for $13 each. Now that sounds expensive, but remember it holds up to 70 floppies. So the cost is about the same. A ZIP drive is a 'pass through' device, which means it's hooked up to your printer port and the printer is hooked up to it. And everything works, with no slow down! Pretty neat, huh? (More on this later).

The ZIP drive is essentially a blue plastic box, (I don't know why they picked blue??) with an opening in the front just like your built in floppy drive. It is approximately 7 inches long, 5 inches wide and about 1 and a half inches in height. And it's surprising lightweight.

It'll fit just about anywhere you have space. On your desktop next to the monitor or keyboard, or on top of the tower case if you have one. You are only limited in placement by the seven foot cable that comes with it.

You can also lay it flat or on stand it up on its side. It has little pads built into the case for utilizing both ways. It has two lights on the front. One glows when it is turned on, the other flashes when data is being transferred.

Easy to install?? You betcha. It comes with one of the best installation guides I have ever seen. It's simple, easy to understand and entirely graphically illustrated! It would be easy for a beginner or an old pro to install a ZIP drive. You should be up and running in 10 to 15 minutes.

All you do is follow the 10 simple steps. Simply put, it is just a matter of turning your computer off, following the easy instructions on how to swap the printer and ZIP cables and plugging in the power supply and you're ready to install the software & start using your ZIP drive.

Editor: Ted Evans is the owner & operator of Cape Printing located in Cape May New Jersey. They have been printing Bits & Bytes for the past two years.

Bits & Bytes - Newsletter of the South Jersey IBM PC Users Group. Contract sjibmpc@intserv.com or visit http://www.intserv.com/~sjibmpc for additional items.
Dave Schubert, Editor <schubert1@usa.net>

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Battery Care and Feeding
By Lynn L Kauer

Every computer has a battery connected to the motherboard. It provides the power to allow the computer to remember what kinds of hardware is installed and how it is configured. If the computer forgets, it stops operating. Its whole life depends on a little battery and, every battery will eventually fail.
The purpose of the battery is to provide sufficient power to the motherboard to maintain the memory information in the CMOS (Compatible Metal Oxide Semiconductor) when you unplug or turn the computer off. The CMOS information keeps track of the date, time, memory, type of hard drive and all other hardware requirements.
If your battery fails for any reason, and the CMOS loses the system information, it will not be able to boot from the hard drive. You will be required to run the Setup program and re-enter the information CMOS stores. This is why it is imperative to save the CMOS information on paper, or on a floppy, so that you will know what information to enter if the CMOS must be updated.
Some batteries are rechargeable and last about two to three years. Some look like little barrels soldered directly on the motherboard. Others are attached to the computer case away from the motherboard to lessen the danger of a leaky battery. All batteries leak, even good ones. If the battery leaks on the motherboard it will be ruined.

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Battery Basics

If the original motherboard battery had previously died, and was replaced with a rechargeable battery, the system is probably good for another three years depending on the type of battery installed. If you replaced a failed battery with an alkaline pack, you will have to replace it every year, but it will last a full year provided it continues to be recharged. (The computer recharges the battery when it is turned on.)
If you leave the computer turned off for extended periods of time the batteries can become discharged, or develop a retained memory as being discharged, causing CMOS to lose system information. If this is your practice be prepared to change it every 2-3 months
It's best to use replaceable alkaline batteries in a sturdy holder mounted on the outside of a desktop computer located near the bottom of the case. The wires connecting the pack to the motherboard are usually long enough to pass through an opening in the back.
If a four battery pack is mounted, using a cheap battery holder, the plastic on the holder will eventually fail even if the batteries are still good. If it falls on the motherboard, reach for your wallet.
For a tower case, the pack can be mounted inside in a position where it cannot leak or fall onto the motherboard. The only danger then would be if the battery should explode, quite unlikely. Be prepared to record the CMOS information for your machine. You will see it displayed each time you start the computer. Write it on paper and store in a rememberable place. You have about 10-15 minutes of time to change the battery without loss of CMOS information. Use reasonable judgment toward maintaining the battery and your system will maintain itself.

Lynn L Kauer, President/Editor
Compuserve 73450,3007 or AOL LLKauer
User Groups should feel free to reproduce this article in their publications. All we ask is that proper credit be given to the Author of the article, the Blue Chip News and/or the Saginaw Valley Computer Association. We would appreciate receipt of a copy of the newsletter that carries an article from the SVCA and participation in a newsletter exchange program.
The above is for your records of the SVCA address and contact person if necessary.

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