I am having computer problems on top of computer problems right now. And every time something like this goes down it just reinforces the fact that I don't know jack about computers. I mean, not to brag like Nicholas Cage in "The Rock", but when we got our first Mac Plus when I was little I deleted a couple of programs, blew my eyebrows off, we never saw the cat again, and I've been into it ever since.
I know just enough to make me dangerous. I think I'm smart enough to open an application in ResEdit and change the source code. Dude, I don't even know what "source code" means! I got a 'C' in computer science in college! What gives me the right to mess with the software like this?
Yet I continue. As you might have read earlier, I bought a new used computer in July, a Macintosh Performa 6400/200. It's a pretty sweet machine. (By "pretty sweet" I mean it's a tower and not a desktop machine, so it looks cooler. It has to sit on the floor. Impressive!) For the past six months I was running the OS 8.1 operating software that came with it. It worked fine - and being a PowerPC (my first) I found that I could sync up my Palm m100 to it and everything. Fancy.
And then last month I decided to try and put OS 8.5 on it. I don't know why. It sounds so much cooler than OS 8.1 (By "cooler" I mean four decimal points higher. And that has to be better, right?) So I got a CD, threw it on the machine, and everything went straight to hell, just like in a by-the-books Jerry Bruckheimer flick.
My modem, which is some funky internal Geoport Express thingamajig, slowed way the hell down. Instead of a 33.6 Kbaud connection, I was getting a 19.2 Kbaud connection. (Translation, from slow to almost twice as slow.) No idea why. Some software changed, perhaps? I don't even know what that means. It's just unexplainably twice as slow now.
Then I tried to HotSync my Palm m100. "Device not recognized". Dammit.
I turn to the internet for research. The sad part is, while the m100 is only two years old, the Performa 6400 is pushing six years. And in computer terms, that's like an eon ago. It came out before Steve Jobs came back to Apple. It came out before the G3, before the iMac, before AOL gobbled up Time Warner. Forever ago.
Obviously finding documents which bridge the modern Palm Pilot world to the ancient Performa 6400 world is difficult, near impossible. And then if you find a suitable document it's all technojargon, like "rescripting", "SerialDMA Extension" and "download".
The whole reason I bought a Macintosh is because they're supposed to be easy to use, dammit!
After sifting through many, many, many outdated websites I found the answer on the Palm website. "If you have one of the following Mac OS-compatible computer models, you may experience the above problem: Performa 5400/6400". Right at the top of the list. Argh!
Apparently a simple download is supposed to fix this up. Yet, I read on another site that it didn't work for one user. His course of action? Buy a new G4.
I'm gonna try it, but I'm not expecting miracles. In fact, if my computer doesn't blow up I'll be happy. Plus, I found a blurb about the modem, supposedly a download should fix that too. Why the hell not?
So for anyone else whose Mac OS-compatible computer runs off a "Tanzania" motherboard design, you might experience some compatibility issues with hotsyncing a hand-held device to the cradle - which should be reversable with some light scripting.
Piece of cake.
Last Updated on: February 11, 2002
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