Here's Some Mac Fans

        "How do you use your Mac?" is always a good question to ask because our PMUG members and friends have unique and interesting info, and they like to share. David Passell innocently mentioned about a choral production coming to Trinity Presbyterian Church on December 4.  After a few questions we found out what good Mac fans he knows at TPC.
        "Joe Place, our facility manager, is a real Mac fan. All the computers at TPC are Macs, except some that had to remain Windows for compatibility with older Church software, and (I think) our telephone system.
        "I operate the video camera and record all the services and special events on DVD. Joe also duplicates the sound on CDs from a digital Edirol recorder. He uses an iMac (now running Lion), and we have a stand-alone CD duplicator.
        "Spike Foley, a professional sound engineer (Sound on Site Arizona), runs the main services. We have a 36 channel board, and orchestral-choir presentations are multi-miked. A MacBook Pro is sometimes connected to the board for mixing editing for audio CDs. I also run the sound board and record Memorial Services."
        And, about that choral production, David?  "Here's the link."

House Fire vs iMac

        Maybe you saw this in the latest TechTails, but I couldn't resist emailing the Apple technician who wrote it.  RJ Murphy wrote back and sent these photos.  His article went as follows:
     "A 24-inch iMac was recently dropped off at the service department because it would not power on.  This problem arose after the system sat through a house fire.  At first glance, we figured there was not much hope for it, as it was completely charred from top to bottom.  The plastic housing on the rear of the system had been badly damaged, with melted plastic around the intake and outtake vents.  However, the vents remained unobstructed.

        After a quick SMC reset, the system powered on and started up just fine.  I've since run our suite of diagnostics and stress-tested the iMac with no unfavorable results.  How much more resilient can a computer be?  I can't say, but surviving a house fire definitely tops the list — though the smoke smell can be quite sickening."
       (He took the photos with his iPhone!) Click to enlarge photos.

Problem with iMac Detailed

An email making the rounds hit David Passell's inbox.  David wonders if anyone else with a iMac or MacBook with an ATI X1600 GPU is having these types of problems.  A list of links on Apple Forums discussing this situation is listed below, in the event you are concerned.

The problem is described by an Australian long-time Mac enthusiast: "I am a long-time Mac enthusiast who feels a bit more "down under" than usual. I have spoken to the Australian Apple Support regarding my white Intel iMac which has had issues with the graphics card/logic board since three months (!) out of factory warranty. I purchased the machine, which had been used very little, from a friend (a fellow Mac User Group member for many years) in February 2008. It was then two months out of warranty. When I realized he hadn't taken out Apple Care I called Apple and was told that to take out Apple Care it had to be done within the original 12 months warranty period. The machine was however as new with relatively few hours of operation and nothing more intensive than web browsing and emails so I thought I'd be alright.

"The very next month, thin horizontal multicolored lines started appearing sporadically on my screen. I called support who said my warranty had expired and there were no known issues with my model so I was on my own. I repaired permissions and scanned the disk for problems but short of some incorrect permissions on occasion no problem was found. Gradually the problem worsened and the computer would sometimes freeze and the screen change to a pattern of multicolored vertical lines.
In November 2008 I actually took a photo of the screen on such a freeze using my iPhone and I have done so also on another occasion. I have attached links to the pics. I have taken the iMac to my local service agent and they cleaned it and ran tests which failed to find a cause for the problems. They suggested it may be the graphics module which is part of the logic board and can't be replaced.
The problem has now become so bad that I have had to change the background to a plain color and and turn off screensavers and anything graphic intensive. I am now down to one or two freezes & reboots per day from four to five."     This email was sent by Mikael Lindstedt.


Screen pics:

Non-Apple links:

Solving a Big Problem

Here's something to copy and print out for yourself. It may solve a big problem someday.

Jim Hamm, (De Previous Prez) is always looking for helpful advice. He alerts us,"A friend's iMac wouldn't boot up and turn on yesterday. Following is an email she sent to me and the corrective action she took after a technician at AppleCare told her what to do with her iMac.

"If one has a Mac laptop — instead of the iMac like she has — I presume one would disconnect the battery to terminate all power to the computer. If it's a newer MacBook Pro, without a removable battery, I don't know what one would do to terminate the power. Call AppleCare, I suppose, and ask them. Or maybe laptops aren't affected this way since they are somewhat insulated against power surges by their built-in battery. I'm going to print a copy of this for future reference in case I ever need to do this."
Here Jim quotes a friend, Nancy: "Remember I told you that my iMac wouldn't turn on? I tried to force restart it, but that didn't work either.

"This AM I got up and she booted up perfectly. I then called AppleCare and here's what I was told — it was static buildup probably caused by a power surge. I was told this is 'normal' but not something you want to happen frequently. He gave me a remedy to be used in the event you suspect you have a hardware problem. But, again, it's not to be relied on as a permanent fix because it can ruin the logic board. However, on occasion it is OK to do and will actually purge the computer of that extra static electricity buildup. It's called a PRAM reset, i.e, 'reset the power chip.' Here's what you do (Remember the computer is not on):

Disconnect the power cord from the computer (not the wall, leave it plugged into the wall)
Disconnect keyboard and mouse
Disconnect any other peripherals

Wait about 30 seconds, then plug in power cord and keyboard with the mouse attached.
Hold down Command + Option + r with your left hand (keep them down)
Press the power button
Press and hold the P while still depressing the other keys

Wait to hear three slow "bongs" (they're about 20 seconds a part - the same noise the computer makes when it's booting up).

Release the keys
Shut the computer down
Turn it on again.

"And there you have it - resetting the power chip or PRAM reset for beginners! Something to share with the others." Thanks, Jim, for sharing this info from Nancy.