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More technofailure

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Further evidence that we've been in a region of space where technology doesn't work so well:

  • Kam's Mac laptop has been experiencing weird and unstable behavior, to the point that she had to erase the hard drive and reinstall the OS.
  • Last week, my bicycle's gear-shifting system suddenly failed on the way to work. On the front gears, everything was one gear off, and I couldn't shift into the highest set of gears at all. That evening, it fixed itself and started working again, but I don't trust it to stay fixed.
  • My Mac laptop at work suddenly crashed on Monday, for the first time ever. Screen dims, message appears saying I have to hold down the Power button to restart. I don't appear to have lost any data--but the same thing happened again on Tuesday. I suspect it's 'cause I recently installed OS X 10.4.10--but I installed that on my home machine months ago and have seen no problems. Tuesday after restarting, I ran System Update, and installed a firmware update; I'm hoping that'll fix things. We'll see.
  • My iPhone's battery worked fine until Sunday. From Sunday through Tuesday, it was draining completely in less than a day; it even drained significantly overnight while in Airplane mode. As of yesterday, it seems to be fine again.

There were two other items I was going to put on this list, but Kam tracked down the causes. I mention these in case they're helpful to others:

  • After reinstalling the OS, she found that she couldn't install Dreamweaver--it said she had the wrong version of the OS. Some poking around online revealed that the problem was that during her hard disk wipe, she'd said to use the case-sensitive version of the filesystem. Note to Mac users: Don't do this unless you really need to. Unfortunately, various Mac applications just won't work in a case-sensitive filesystem. Minus points to the DW installer for not explicitly saying that this is what the problem was; the error message inaccurately made it sound like DW didn't work with 10.4.10.
  • At one point on a different Mac laptop, the Firefox dock icon suddenly started sticking to the mouse pointer. It was as if the mouse button were stuck in the down position. Nothing Kam or I could do could dislodge it. Weird and disconcerting. Eventually, Kam figured out that her new wireless mouse was somewhere nearby and that the button on that was being pressed down (by something lying on top of the mouse, I guess). Spooky action at a distance!

All the problems we've been running into probably have similarly rational explanations. But it nonetheless continues to feel like technology's not quite up to even its usual stability levels.

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Note to Kam: check message boards to confirm that your version of DW will run under Leopard before installing Leopard (if you're thinking of upgrading). Some software (eg, Photoshop 7) will not, and this is unlikely to change (CS[123] will work, but of course those upgrades aren't free). This one caught me flatfooted.

I've occasionally thought about setting up my Mighty Mouse as a Bluetooth device on visiting friends' laptops when they're not looking, and then going into an adjacent room and using the Mighty Mouse.... Haven't tried it yet, but I'm assuming this would work :-) (Of course, it'd be more fun, and far, far less potentially detrimental, if I could see their screen while doing it. Hmm, if they're running Tiger or Leopard themselves and also have sharing set up, I could view their screen remotely from my Leopard PB....)


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