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Part 2: Symptoms, Causes, and Cures

Part 2: Symptoms, Causes, and Cures

When preventive measures are not enough and a problem occurs anyway, this is the section to turn to first. Here, you will find a listing of symptoms that cover a broad range of both the most common and the most serious problems you are likely to confront, together with step-by-step instructions for what to do to solve them. Again, the solutions require only a few simple software tools and no particular expertise on your part.

Chapters 4 and 5 cover the problems that are the most disruptive to your use of the Macintosh.

Chapter 4 covers system errors (also called system crashes), typified by the infamous bomb alert box. Chapter 4 walks you through exactly what to do after specific system errors. It may surprise you to learn that you can often do more than simply give up and restart your Macintosh.

Chapter 5 covers what is probably the most anxiety-provoking problem to confront any computer user: a total inability to start the machine. The Macintosh may successfully turn on, but the startup sequence may never begin or never reach a successful conclusion. Chapter 5 also describes what to do for any crashed disk, whether it is a startup disk or not. The chapter concludes with a look at a few other general disk-related problems, such as problems with ejecting floppy disks or shutting down the Macintosh.

From launching applications to printing documents, Chapters 6 through 8 explain what can go wrong and how you can make it right again.

Chapter 6 covers the most common and yet most frustrating file-related problems. Are you having trouble locating a particular file? Or if you do locate it, do you find that it refuses to open? Maybe there is insufficient memory to use the Clipboard. Perhaps you want to copy or delete a file, but the Macintosh refuses to let you do it. If you are having any of these problems, Chapter 6 guides you to a solution.

Chapter 7 Even after you complete and save your masterpiece, your problems may not be over. You probably want to print your work. This introduces a new host of potential problems. Chapter 7 is devoted to what to do when you cannot get a document to print.

Chapter 8 is a more technical look at some of the Macintosh's more esoteric (yet still comprehensible and certainly useful) topics: file types, creators, and attributes. As always, the focus remains on how you can apply this knowledge to solve problems.

Most Macintosh productivity applications can be boiled down to one or two basic components. Either you are using text and numbers, or you are using graphics. Whether the work is dashing off a memo or writing a novel, whether it's creating a chart in a spreadsheet or creating a full-page ad for a magazine, virtually all Macintosh users spend most of their time with these two prime functions. Chapters 9 and 10 explore these basics.

Chapter 9 covers text problems. Although they're most likely to crop up when you're using a word processor, text problems can appear when you are using any application that contains text, including spreadsheets and databases. The chapter begins with an overview of the different categories of fonts and how they determine the appearance of your text. It concludes with a description of common text-related problems and their solutions.

Chapter 10 deals with graphic-related problems that can confront even the most nongraphic Macintosh users. It begins with an explanation of the types of graphics files and the basics of how your computer displays grayscale and color documents. The chapter also discusses QuickTime and movie/video troubleshooting. It concludes with a collection of common graphics-related problems and how to solve them.

Chapters 11 through 13 cover problems that go beyond the individual Macintosh. It explores troubleshooting issues that can occur when you connect your Macintosh to other Macintoshes, to a larger network, or to the Internet.

Chapter 11 deals with problems related to transferring files from one Mac to another (file sharing) via a variety of different methods, including LocalTalk and Ethernet networks. There is also a special focus on PowerBooks, extending into PowerBook issues not directly related to file sharing.

Chapter 12 covers problems with Internet connections. It offers advice on setting up all of Apple's Internet-related software (such as the TCP/IP and Remote Access control panels) and how to successfully get and stay online.

Chapter 13 covers the 2,000-pound gorilla of the Internet: Web browsers and the World Wide Web. It also delves into problems with email and downloading files.

The final two chapters deal with Apple's latest hardware and software.

Chapter 14 covers troubleshooting the latest Apple hardware: the iMacs, iBooks, and Power Mac G3s and G4s.

Chapter 15 covers troubleshooting problems specific to the latest Apple software: Mac OS 8.x, 9.x, and Mac OS X.

As you go through these chapters, you will find frequent references to other parts of the book, particularly the Fix-Its in Part III. Part II emphasizes the diagnosis of a problem and, in general, how to go about solving it. The Fix-Its describe more specifically the tools used to solve these problems. By analogy, if this book were about home repair, Part II might tell you that the squeak in your flooring is caused by a loose floorboard and that you have to hammer in some nails to fix it. Part III, by contrast, would explain what hammers are and the general techniques for using them. So if any explanations in these chapters seem to be less than complete, check out the Fix-Its for the rest of the story.



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