The Switch Log – Monthly findings

My previous Switch logs noted more short-term incidents. After owning a Mac for nearly two months, this is what I have concluded:
1) Bluetooth mice die young. This is the second time I’ve been asked to change my batteries for the Apple Wireless mouse (1 out of 5 bars). If the batteries need replacing every month, then I’m going to replace the mouse!
Cat got your batteries?
However, its companion, the Apple wireless keyboard is still going on strong with the first set of batteries (3 out of 5 bars). ‘Makes me wonder if I click much more than I type. I don’t think so!
Ironically I found my old Microsoft Wireless Optical Intellimouse Explorer (i.e. it had those back and forward buttons) much more responsive. Perhaps there is a split-second delay at times when I use these two Bluetooth devices.
2) Setting up AirPort Express has screwed up my previously stable connection to the router (which is both wired and wireless). I admit my lack of networking knowledge has probably contributed to the internet connection suddenly dying, requiring me to reboot the modem and/or computer.
Anyway I’ve packed the AirPort Express back in its little blue box until I’ve had time to figure it out. Another annoying thing is, the AirPort Express Assistant keeps on popping up every time I start or reboot my G5. Go away, already!
3) Next, I want to mention the grim-looking shutdown alert I’ve been getting today. It appeared once when I left the G5 running overnight in a closed room without air-conditioning. The fans were spinning away furiously and this greyish alert window came up, asking me to reboot the computer.
No more Windows blue screen of death. Instead, welcome to the Mac's grey window!
Today the same thing happened to my system twice (maybe my Mac knew I was going to post something nasty about it on my blog). I was not able to screen capture it, but I did get it down on my Nokia 6600 camera.
One good thing that did happen was after updating my Bluetooth firmware via Apple’s Software Update, my phone seems to be able to connect with the G5 more consistently. I hope this isn’t just my imagination.
Also, this is a very small feature but I like how images saved to my desktop, get thumbnailed. I also like how PDF files are also previewed. And I also like the fact that I can save my documents to PDF form, without having Adobe Acrobat installed (I’m not talking about the Reader but the proper software which you pay big moolah for publishing PDF files).
So at least, even though I don’t have a driver for my HP LaserJet 1000 printer, and even though HP didn’t freakin’ bother to reply to my request for help (though they did send me a ‘follow-up’ email asking me how was their service – I mean, what the –?), I can at least convert my docs to PDF form and print them out on a PC. Whew!
Lastly, I am having trouble playing back my music, as sequenced on Reason, to my Korg Triton Extreme. I am sure this is more a software configuration issue. I am also a beginner at MIDI just as I am with networking. I just want to write my music, arrange everything all nicely in my sequencer, and use the kickass Korg sounds in my keyboard. Argh!
Oh, another thing. Turns out that while you can import MIDI files into GarageBand (which came gratis with OS X), you cannot export GarageBand files back to MIDI format. It is quite a bother and I suspect it’s been done on purpose. I am not going to use GarageBand any longer [Update: Just removed it from my Dock.]. I’m saving up my first paycheck for Logic so I can put in vocals as well, which Reason can’t.
[Update: One thing I can’t complain about, is the G5’s processing speed. My dual 2.0GHz processors take only 23 seconds to import a 5 minute song into AAC format (at 128kbps). My digitised music collection has now hit 4000 songs taking up over 18GB of space, not including my own unfinished material. I still have some more CDs to go.]


  1. shaky

    Re your reboot screen. Did you check your panic log? It’s in /Library/Logs/panic.log.
    I had a couple of these when I first got mine. Googled for some of the keywords in the panic.log and found that it was Azureus causing the kernel panics. Also found the solution.

  2. kar

    Ooo, poor babe with her mac problems. Hope u sort them out soonest !!! Ggg works brilliantly with her new ram and wireless card !
    I love it !

  3. vantan

    Initially I did blog that I wanted to use only the MP3 format. However later on I was told by people who had tested it out themselves, that AAC (mpeg4) was superior in sound quality. I have also compressed some audiophile albums to Apple Lossless Format, which takes up ten times as much file space.
    Basically, space is not an issue for me. Only quality is.
    Anyway, more people have been asking if they could steal my digitised music collection. My flat answer is NO. Since these people do not own iPods yet, it is just as well that my music collection is mostly in AAC format 😉
    And if they can afford an iPod, what are they doing with someone else’s files? 🙂

  4. Mike

    Hi there…love your blog. I’m a mac and pc user myself. With your BT mouse, the reason it runs down faster than the keyboard is that the light/sensor that it uses to track is on much more consistently than the signals from the keystrokes are being transmitted. Most BT mice have an off switch you can turn off when you know you’re going to be away from the computer. It’s inconvenient but there it is. Also you can get rechargable batteries and keep a set charging while you use the other set in the mouse. Hope this helps!

  5. vantan

    hi Mike, thanks for your tips. I did try turning off the mouse, but sometimes my Mac had trouble detecting it after I turned it back on.
    Believe it or not, in three days the battery level of the mouse has dropped from 5 out of 5 bars, to 4 out of 5! Time to get rechargeables!

  6. Cy

    When you get that reboot message, do you have any firewire peripherals attached to you Mac? The only times that I ever got that message was when I had a bad external firewire drive, and when I connected to a PC with a crossover cable.

  7. vantan

    Hi Cy. Yes, my iPod dock is attached to the G5 via a Firewire cable. But how do I tell if my dock’s gone bad?
    I used a crossover cable (if you’re referring to the one with USB + Firewire) but didn’t have any problems on my PC.

Comments are closed.