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Old 04-12-2005, 10:08 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default Macatastrophe!

My Mac had gotten kind of sluggish. I attributed it to running it for weeks on end with 20 or more apps open all the time. But last Saturday things got worse, so I restarted to see if it would perk up.

When I restarted it did seem a bit speedier but iData (sort of contact database that I live by) didn’t launch automatically even though it is set to. And when I opened it manually, the file wouldn’t open, and it wouldn’t let me create a new one, either. Worse, when I looked at a couple of the files with a text editor, I found gibberish, as if they had been encrypted — or, more likely, corrupted. Yikes!

So I did all the usual things: Fixed permissions, deleted preferences, deleted the app and replaced it with a fresh copy, then with a freshly downloaded copy, and so on). Finally, I wrote to iData tech support.

Robin Casaday (and Mike Wright, indirectly) was fabulous, replying several times over the weekend and on Monday. Unfortunately, though, despite all his workarounds, I still couldn’t get iData running. Finally, he said the only possibility remaining was my system. My system? But Mac OS X is supposed to be encased in glass, impervious to the blows of use. Right?

So I installed a new copy of Panther (the original, from CD) in a separate volume, then updated it all the way to 10.3.8. Then I installed a fresh copy of iData. And it worked, perfectly. The files were okay and available. Everything was as good as new.

Furthermore, some aspects of the OS now work better. Before, when I used Find, when I selected one of the files from the list, I would get a row of icons in the bottom of the pane. They had titles — if I hovered long enough they would show up — but otherwise it was a half dozen or more little pictures of no meaning. Now I get icons plus text every time, and can easily find the file on the desktop.

Everything is much faster. No slowness at all (I keep whizzing past things in lists because the system is so quick). This thing must have been slowly drowning for months.

Anyway, Robin Casady was the rock of Gibraltar, and it wasn’t even an iData problem.

And now I get to recreate my whole setup, which is so much fun! But at least the stupid machine goes!

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