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FYI, in addition to publishing Low End Mac and doing some Mac consulting, I'm working a third shift job 2 to 4 nights a week, so replying to emails and phone calls may take some time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MacDraw II files

Just finished an interesting project - 4 MacDraw files on an 800K floppy. Fortunately my WallStreet PowerBook has a floppy drive module (thanks, Dave O.), as USB floppy drives can't read the old 800K disks.

I learned that a fair number of programs can open MacDraw 1.x files, but the ones I had and the ones I downloaded ran stuck. So did MacDraw 1.0, when I finally located the install disk. Must be MacDraw II or MacDraw Pro format, both proprietary ones that few programs can touch.

ClarisWorks 3.0 and 5.0 couldn't touch them, and if I have ClarisWorks 4.0 somewhere, I haven't been able to locate it. GraphicConverter, the ultimate Mac program for converting graphic files, was also unable to open these files. I downloaded a few promising apps (even one that required me to reboot from Tiger into Leopard), and finally found one that worked.

Mission accomplished. Files saved with the new app, saved as PDF and EPS, and on the way to the client via email. A real learning experience - and one very happly client!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Good-bye, original Mac mouse

I shipped out my only working M0100 beige mouse - the version that only shipped with the original Mac and the Fat Mac. The connector to the computer is squared off. With later Macs, it was rounded off. It's going to someone with a Mac 128K whose mouse stopped working in one direction.

I received an inquiry today about transferring some old MacDraw files from floppies, as well as possibly converting them to a more modern format. Tools at the ready....

Looks like I've been stiffed by the guy who wanted to know why Photoshop CS4 wouldn't work on his Power Mac G5 (unsupported video card). He seemed surprised that I'd send a bill for my work.

Friday, August 7, 2009

High Photoshop CS4 requirements

Living on the trailing edge of technology (my Digital Audio Power Mac is from 2001, my Mirror Drive Door from 2002), I wasn't aware of the steep hardware requirements for Photoshop CS4 - until this morning. Someone with a Power Mac G5 (the 2003 version) installed CS4 and got a message that his video card wasn't good enough.

It turns out that Photoshop requires OpenGL 2.0 and Shader 3.0 support these days, which the G5's old video card doesn't support. Of course, nowadays AGP is old technology, so finding a more modern card that's supported may be a challenge. Funny thing is, Adobe says CS4 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.11, but OpenGL 2.0 is only supported in 10.5 and later [on PowerPC Macs].

See http://developer.apple.com/graphicsimaging/opengl/capabilities/ for a huge chart listing which video cards/graphic processors support what levels of OpenGL - but with no indication if those cards are AGP or PCI-e. Sigh.

Another day, another learning experience. :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dead End with Damaged Word Files

Frustrating. Someone wondered if I could recover some corrupt Word files, so I said, "Send me one, I'll see what I can do." Text recovery I could have done, but no luck with images in the document, which was important to him.

Frustrating thing is, there are a host of Word document recovery utilities for Windows - so many that you'd think this might be a common problem. If I had a Windows machine, I could have helped. One more plus for Intel-based Macs, but I'm not there yet.

The client with the dial-up notification problem downgraded to 10.4.4 and the problem went away. Upgraded to 10.4.11, and it was back. I'll be mailing him a disc with all of the OS X 10.4 updaters, since he's on dial-up and downloading them can take forever.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Getting Started with Low End Mac Services

Launched Low End Mac Services this afternoon - already 2 clients.

One phoned, uses dial-up with his two PowerPC Macs (a G4 'Book and a G5 desktop) running Mac OS X 10.4.11. Both stopped notifying him of incoming phone calls about 1-1/2 weeks ago. Gave him a list of things to look into. I'll check back tomorrow to see if we solved the problem.

The other emailed, has an original Macintosh and needs an Apple M0100 mouse. Fortunately I have two beige M0100 mice - and one of them works vertically and horizontally. Fairly clean and ready to ship.

"Well begun is half done." old Dutch proverb