Friday Feature: Crazy Apple Help Desk.
Every Friday, the staff at Crazy Apple Rumors Site answers common help questions based on our vast experience with Apple products and our fervent belief that we know more than you do.
Every now and again, the Help Desk gets the wrong mail. We don’t know why. But would it kill you to play along? No. I don’t think so.
Anyway, not only was today’s mail delivered to the wrong place, it was answered by the wrong guy. Yeah. J. Hobbs was apparently a MacUser help columnist back in 1993 until he got hit in the head with an LC II. He was never the same again after that.
On the bright side, it’s nice to see him working again after so long.
Q: My father has been getting on in years and I’m worried for his safety as he moves around the house. I’m concerned he might fall down and hurt himself. As he’s moving into my house in October, are there any steps I can take to “elderly-proof” my house?
A: After startup, look for a file called “PowerTalk Preferences” in your System Folder’s Preference folder. Drag that file to the trash (don’t worry, it’ll be recreated!). Now open up the “File Sharing” control panel. Option-click on the title bar and voila! Andy Hertzfeld’s name in the San Francisco font will pop up in a Balloon Help bubble!
Q: I’ve been dating the same guy for almost four years now, and he just won’t make the commitment to take things to the next level. He just tells me that he feels that things are perfect the way they are. Is there anything I can do to help my man feel comfortable enough to make the leap?
A: This doesn’t mean your Performa is dead; it just means the battery has died, and as a result you’re getting no signal out of video port . The long-term fix is to get a new 3.3V lithium battery (available at Radio Shack or your local Apple dealer), but the short-term fix is to zap the PRAM. Hold down P-R-option-command at startup until you hear the chime, and keep holding the keys down until you hear the chime three times. Then, unplug your Apple Geoport Adapter and reboot. After the desktop appears, open the OpenDoc preferences and shift-click on the “O” in OpenDoc and it will turn into an 3-D rotating cartoon head of Jef Raskin while “Yellow Rose of Texas” plays via QuickTime. Now summon Gorto to exorcise the Raskin presence, or your extensions will not load.
Q: My grandmother has been collecting bleach bottles for the past twenty years and the sheer size of the collection has become unwieldy. When it was just one or two bleach bottles, it was a charming little hobby. But now that the collection has taken over most of the basement, it’s less amusing. We’ve tried suggesting arts and crafts she can use the bottles for, but she stubbornly insists the bottles are “her legacy”. How can my wife and I make it clear that the bottles are no longer welcome?
A: Publish and Subscribe is a very powerful new technology, but not all applications can take advantage of it. An alternate method of accomplishing this might be via AppleScript, Apple’s scripting technology that allows you to pass “scripts” to your applications to tell them what to do, without using the mouse. However, writing AppleScripts can be a difficult process. So, in this case you should probably first try rebuilding your desktop — hold down “option” and “command” (also known as “Open-Apple”) after your extensions load. After this process completes, hold down “option” while you double-click TeachText and truck like the doo-dah man. Instead of the standard new blank text page, you’ll hear MacinTalk list off the names of the original Lisa developers while you see a bit-mapped MacPaint image on a brick wall texture that reads “Bill Atkinson Rulez”.