1) My keyboard often produces double strikes like thiis. In System Preferences, setting Delay¬†Until¬†Repeat to Long doesn’t solve the problem!

2) Apple Mail: Point, press, drag and release the mouse cursor over the messages. This action will sometimes move one message, and at other times simply select a batch of messages. It seems there is NO consistency, but eventually, with patience, persistence, and experimentation, I figured out what is going on. So, my complaint now is that this message-selection-move process isn’t covered in the Help menu.

3) Spotlight: Yeah, cool, shows everything and then some, more than needed. It’s infinitely configurable, of course, but I just want to simply find the file I happen to know the name of. How do I make it work like the straight-forward Find utility of yore? And why should I even have to ask that question? Shouldn’t a simple file-name find be the default configuration until I actually need all those bells and whistles?

4) As long as I’m on this tirade, remember in those days of yore when inserting a diskette of an unrecognized format provoked a dialog box asking if you wanted to REFORMAT! Who’s the blankety-blank who came up with that stupid idea? I know it’s ruined some lives!


Mac OS X passwords

The three to concern yourself about:


The primary user’s password. Gives access to the entire system, except the private areas of any secondary users.


Makes it possible for hapless secondary users to reset their own passwords. Note: Don’t forget this one because it can’t be re-created!


Secondary users need their own password to log on, giving them restricted access to their part of the system.

Incoming Caller-ID Information Monitor

Jon’s Phone Tool (JPT) is the app I’m now testing and using to display caller-id. It has scripts to dial the phone from within FMP, but I’ve yet to figure a way to extract, from incoming calls, the data displayed.

JPT is a lot too fancy for my taste. If I had the raw code, I’d make the caller-id data append directly into a simple tab-delimited text file. Because JPT also has extensive AppleScript support, that may yet be possible. However, the 14 day free trial period is enough to convince me to look elsewhere.

Hello, you’ve reached MotorolaSM56K

Just signed up with AT&T for caller-id. Plugged the phone line into the modem on back of the computer and installed Silica.

The first few times I called from another line, to test the connection, Silica operated as specified: Little window pops up on desktop showing name and number of caller. Then it got inconsistent, followed by non existent. What was the problem? There are rumors about Mac internal modems being not of the highest quality because hardly any one uses them anymore, but I did see it working, at first.

Going to Terminal, I used the screen command to view the modem session:

screen /dev/tty.modem

It replied “Resource busy. Sorry, could not find a PTY.”

Oops! I went back to Silica’s Settings, stopped the service, then re-entered the screen command in Terminal, and got the expected blank screen.

Calling from my other phone, I saw the modem detect the call:



So, it’s not a hardware problem. To be continued (I’ll figure it out)…

BTW: To quit (kill) the screen window manager, use Cntrl-a k.

Off Like A Jet!!!

After doing Software Update to take it from 10.4 to 10.4.9, the Mac went into the spinning-daisy-icon mode for a long time. I just walked away from it for an hour. The screen was blank when I got back to it, presumably in sleep mode. Clicking the space bar sounded familiar, like it was coming to life, but the screen remained black and the fan started running faster and faster and louder and louder until it was a scream! I held down the power button to shut it down.

Back on again, the first thing I did was look in the log:

Applications > Utilities > Console

It said mdimportserver crashed(?). Maybe it’s something to do with Spotlight Indexing.

Sighting the Tiger

Upgrading to 10.4 went smoothly, the whole process taking about 20 minutes. It started by checking the installation disk, then verifying the destination volume before copying lots of files from the Mac OS X Install DVD. After Optimizing System Performance, it restarted automatically from the new system’s boot partition.

The first thing I noticed was that new files (screen shots I took during the registration process) weren’t going automatically into the lower right corner of the desktop. Also, there was a new icon inserted into the dock, Dashboard.

I had to check email first. My DSL connection worked fine. Mail was just as I left it.

Next I had to see if it would recognize a blank DVD, and it did! That was one of my problems in Panther. Another problem was Help in Terminal, and that was okay. I’m going to bed now, it’s 1:51 AM.