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Posts Tagged ‘problems’

Mac OS X 10.5.6 Update Goes Smoothly

December 19, 2008 2 comments

The Register (http://www.theregister.co.uk) and other sites such as Macfixit, Mac in touch and others are showing a number of problems.

I’d like to report updating five systems without problem:

  • Mac Mini (Intel 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo) – Mac OS 10.5 Server – 10 client edition
    • Server version of Mac OS X
    • External Firewire storage
    • USB Memory Card Reader
    Combo Update without issue. ~ 10 minutes
     
  • iMac 24″ (Intel 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo)
    • Vista under Boot Camp
    • Various large video and graphical editing packages.
    • MS Office
    • Firewire 800 RAID storage
    • USB Card Reader
    • Firewire Scanner
    • Graphical Pen Tablet 
    Software Update (Delta) without issue. ~ 5 minutes
     
  • 12″ Powerbook (PPC 1.5GHz)
    • MS Office
    Software Update (Delta) without issue. ~ 15 minutes
     
  • Power Mac G4 Cube (PPC 1.4GHz) 
    • MS Office
    • Zend Studio for Eclipse
    • Entropy PHP on Apache Package
    • Scanner
    • Printer
    • Graphical Tablet
    Combo Update without issue. ~ 15 minutes
     
  • iMac 15″ (PPC 700MHz, dome shaped effort)
    • MS Office

Combo Update without issue. ~25 minutes

 

Of course I have yet to use the systems in anger, so I will report if I notice any further developments.
I’ve been especially hacked off at 10.5 server which dispite having some of the finest administrative tools in the business has so many bugs that I really can’t recommend it over a standard linux server unless your company really DOESN’T have any IT knowledgeable staff.
It is without doubt the buggiest ¥40,000 I’ve ever spent.
Here’s looking at 10.5.6 server… (sigh)…
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Another stupid Office 2008 (Office:mac) Formatting Bug

September 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Check this one out. I’ve been using change tracking to make sure I know who’s doing what to which file.

I had some text in a small box at the top of the page and wanted to colour that box’s text in red to make it stand out.

A simple enough request, you’d think.

Unfortunately, change it to red and the Whole Flipping Document (TM) turns red!

I’ve found several bugs while in change tracking mode. It’s far easier to return to regular editing mode, make the changes and then come back. You’ll not have those changes recorded, but at least the changes will be applied properly.

Office 2008 really isn’t ready for prime time.

The Microsoft Office 2008 disaster (Office:mac 2008 buggy as hell)

September 20, 2008 9 comments

What is it about Microsoft that makes them incapable of releasing software packed to the rafters with show stopping bugs?

What I mean to say is that Office 2008 is as buggy as Hell! Come on Microsoft, this is your flagship suite on the Mac, often the only exposure to your company diehard Mac users ever get. And what do you give them? Shit on a plate.

We’ve got this project on at the moment, and I’ve been trying to get it done, but Office:mac 2008 just doesn’t seem to want to let me.

Let’s start with the good stuff:

  • Excel 2008 on my Intel Mac Mini scrolls noticably faster than Office 2004 on the same machine. So although my 2.4GHz iMac 24″ is fast enough to handle the Rosetta translation from PPC to Intel without noticable performance issues, my Mac Mini clearly struggles with 2004. Exel 2008 is, once up and running, smoother on this limited machine.
  • Entourage 2008 is better than 2004. It’s faster, cleaner and stalls less often when syncing my Hotmail. Enough said. Way to go Microsoft.

OK, that’s the good stuff out of the way, now the bad stuff.

  • No Visual Basic. WTF?

Excuse me? But HTF am I supposed to run my spreadsheets without Visual Basic? Don’t give me some cock and bull story about “Applescript is the standard script on the Mac, so we changed to Applescript.”

Since when have you ever cared about standards, Microsoft?

Put VB back in and we’ll talk some more.

  • Less stable than Naomi Campbell

Excel crashed twice last night, in three hours. That’s just a joke. It would stall for a second and vanish without a trace. And not just last night, but often.

  • It’s fat, flabby and slow

Why is it that my copy of Office 2004 running in emulation on an Intel Mac is faster than Office 2008 running native (bar the aforementioned scrolling) on the same machine?

Excel 2004 takes less than 10 seconds to boot, Excel 2008 takes almost twice as long! Come on! This is not acceptable. This is native code and it’s being trounced by emulated code!

Now, it may run faster, but what am I doing that needs the speed? It’s not like I’m running any cunning VB scripts… ’cause they removed it! And who in their right mind is going to develop ultracomplex Applescript macros when Microsoft themselves said they’re going to put VB back in in the next release…

Sounds like they used the same programmers that made Vista.

  • Bugs

There are just too many. Really. I’m not going to bore you with any but these two which have cost me considerable productivity time.

I saved a file as an XLSX (Excel XML format) and was completely unable to open it in office 2004 and Office 2003 on the PC, even with the Version 11.5 update and the Compatibility pack installed! I had to connect to my iMac at home, resave the file as an Excel 97~2003 file and try again. Strange though, only a couple of files have showed this bug… But then, that’s the nature of bugs, isn’t it.

Display issues is currently a real annoyance.

Check out these screenshots:

View a sheet at 100% and all is well. 

Zoom in to 125% and everything turns into hashes.

It doesn’t matter if you expand a column out, the hashes just multiply to fill the gap!

It’s only when you SHRINK the column that the hashes disappear and text appears.

Twiddle the width of the column a little and the text comes back.

Come ON Microsoft, this is NOT production quality software.

Solution

  • There is no solution at present.

I recommend sticking with 2004, which while being a foible laden application suite is stable, predictable and reliable; three concepts I’ve started to take more seriously the older I’ve got.

I’m going to wait for a couple of service packs and try it again later. In the meantime and for the first time ever, I’ve reinstalled an earlier version of Office!

Difficulties installing Boot Camp 2.1

September 17, 2008 2 comments

I have an iMac 24″ running Vista under the Boot Camp that came with Leopard (v 2.0)

The next software update after installing Vista advised me that Boot Camp 2.1 was available, so I downloaded it but I couldn’t install it because an error appeared:

Error applying transforms. 
Verify that the specified transform paths are valid

The problem in my case was that I was using a localised version of Vista.

The Boot Camp software is stupidly American only. It expects to find a key in the (Windows) registry with the value 1033 (American English).

Instead, it found 1041 (Japanese) and the installer stalled!

The solution is simple:

<Now for the patronising bit>

First. Back up your Windows Registry.

Read through this post entirely before starting. If any of the terms are unfamiliar, write a comment asking for assistance.

If you don’t know how to backup your Windows Registry, or don’t know what a Registry is… or heaven forbid, what a backup is, you should stop reading this post right now, do a bit of googling and come back.

<OK, end of disclaimery patronising bittage>

  • To open the Registry editor click the start button and type regedit into the search field.
  • Select Edit and Find from the regedit menu and type “Boot Camp Services” then press enter.

Note that Services may be localised to the language of your system. In my case, it was

Boot Camp サービス

since I’m using Japanese Windows. You can search just for Boot Camp” if you’re not sure, but it may throw up lots of hits.

Edit the Language D-Word entry and change it to 409 in hexadecimal (should be 1033 decimal)
Re-run the installer.
Now you should be able to successfully installthe Boot Camp update.

iMac 24″ just stops short of catching fire

August 14, 2008 Leave a comment

I contacted Apple Support and got straight through to an operator. Within ten minutes, we’d talked our way through the explanation and he put me on hold and transferred me to a “specialist”.

I had explained the temperature of the case and the funny, plasticy smell that was emanating from the back of the machine. I also explained SMC Fan Control and Temperature Monitor, two programs which he’d heard of.

I explained that within 30 minutes of using the computer, the temperature of the PSU went up to 80 degrees and the surface aluminium of the iMac became too hot to touch.

Here’s the output from Temperature Monitor, an excellent utility that does what it says on the tin.

I started a full disk backup with Time Machine and after 30 minutes, here’s the list of temperatures:

If you’re wondering what all the lines mean, here’s the legend.

And there it is, an ambient temperature of roughly 30 degrees pushes the computer to 80 within 30 minutes. As I’m sure you can understand, having my hard disk threatening to reach 60 degrees was a bit too much to takes, so I throttled up the fans to about 3000 RPM for the main CPU fan and HDD and 2000 for the optical drive, pushing the temperature of the PSU down to about 60. Very high, but less likely to set fire to my house.

I think there may be a hidden recall going on, since I spoke to the guy on the phone yesterday at 3pm and he told me he’d send someone over this morning!!!

Now that’s a fast response time.

I’ll keep you posted.

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