Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lots of action lately

Microsoft FINALLY released the converter so users of Office 2004 will be able to read the .docx and other -x documents created in Windows 2007 Office and Mac 2008 Office. Go get it here: http://tinyurl.com/4z2bfa and follow the instructions. I have not tried it myself because I already have 2008 (slow, dysfunctional turd that it is).
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The notable exploit for Apple Remote Desktop has a couple of other solutions, which you can find on macfixit.com. Otherwise just wait for Software Update to announce a new security update, then wait a couple of days in case they screw it up badly and have to replace it, then install it.
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This past week I have run into two Macs with dead FireWire ports. Nothing would show when plugged into them. In both cases, I was able to fix by resetting the PMMU chip. One was a G4 tower. On the motherboard there is a little button, about 1/3 inch square, with PMMU printed just below it. Get a flashlight and carefully scan over the board. The button is not covered up by anything, unless you have an AirPort card installed, which you should slide out part way if you can't find it elsewhere. Press this button for five seconds and then close up your Mac. Reset the PRAM by hitting the power button and immediately holding down the keys P, R, Command and Option. Keep holding down for three chimes, then release and let it come up normally. If that doesn't fix the port, then it is truly dead.

The other Mac was a MacBook and it was simpler: shut down, remove the battery and power cord, press the Power button briefly, then put the battery and cord back and reset the PRAM as described above.

There was a MacBook that also had the problem and nothing fixed it, so it was off to a Mac dealer to have it fixed under AppleCare. That fix will necessitate a new motherboard, which costs twice as much as the AppleCare contract. If your Mac is less than a year old and you haven't purchased AppleCare yet, do it now. Not only will Apple help talk to you for the entire three years, you will save major bucks if anything goes wrong with the computer.

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