When you're stone out of luck

When I set about putting together one of these Mac 911 columns I can usually find an appropriate answerable question in a couple of tries. But there are days (of which this is one) when the gods seem to deliver questions whose answer largely boils down to: You are stone out of luck.

With that in mind, allow me to present today’s crop of “beat your head against the wallers.”

Wi-Fi missing inaction

Twitter follower Aaron Isaacs (@AaronIsaacs) asks:

I have an iPhone 4S that will not turn on Wi-Fi. I restored from DFU mode. Wi-Fi still won’t turn on. Ideas?

You are stone out of luck.

In such situations Apple recommends you first check to ensure that Airplane Mode isn’t switched on. (Go to Settings and you’ll find the Airplane Mode switch at the top of the list.) Next, go to General > Reset and tap Reset Network Settings. Finally, restore the iPhone with iTunes.

The fact that you’re so loosely tossing acronyms like DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) around hints to me that you’ve done all of this. If you’ve met with failure I might suggest that you try restoring your phone from a Windows PC. (Sometimes restoring from a different platform works miracles. Go figure.) If that doesn’t work, it’s off to the shop you go.

Audiobooks forget their place

Another Twitter follower, Brian Evans (@brevans61) asks:

Phone 4 using IOS 6.1 doesn’t remember playback position for audiobook even though setting is checked to remember. Why?

Because you are stone out of luck.

Apple tells us this can be cured by launching iTunes, selecting the audiobook you wish to play on your iPhone, pressing Command-I to bring up the book’s Info window, clicking Options, and ensuring that the Remember Playback Position option is checked. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that you’ve tried this and it doesn’t work at all.

I’ve seen suggestions that you can fix the problem by changing the file's type to Music in the Info window, clicking OK, opening the Info window again, and changing it back to Audiobook but those same suggestions have been met with “Nope, didn’t work.” What’s particularly frustrating is that this doesn’t happen with all audiobooks.

The return of iTunes DJ

Reader J. Anne O’Neill wonders:

Is there any way of getting iTunes DJ back?

J. Anne, you could throw together a smart playlist that includes the songs you’d like to use with an iTunes DJ kind of feature and then arrange them in iTunes’ Up Next menu, but the truth is, you’re stone out of luck. This smart playlist scheme just isn’t iTunes DJ, as you’re fully aware.

Macs changing identities

Swedish correspondent Olle Wickbom queries:

One of my iMacs keeps changing names (2), (1646 ) and so on almost every time I open it. When I put it to rest it wakes up with a window saying that the name has been changed. The two iMacs have different names that can´t be mixed up.

Olle, du är sten av lycka.

Or, perhaps not. If your Mac is using both an Ethernet and Wi-Fi connection, switch one of them off and change the Mac's name in the Sharing system preference. Restart your Mac and hopefully this won’t happen again. But it very well could because such problems are not always fixed with this solution. Some suggest that it’s caused by a Bonjour bug that has yet to be cleared out in Mountain Lion. Others say that sniffing around in your DNS entries can help. But there’s no silver bullet to this one.

Cure for a funky Safari

And finally, my wife asked me this morning:

Safari keeps locking up on my Mac. How can I reinstall it?

I’ve spent enough time in this relationship to understand that when you answer a question like this with “Apple doesn’t really make that easy. You have to reinstall the entire OS.” you get the hairy eyeball. So instead I replied “I’d be happy to do that for you” and set about the necessary task. (Fortunately I keep a handy Mountain Lion install drive nearby for just such occasions.)

Regrettably, it didn’t solve the issue. Nor did tossing preference file. Or switching off startup items. Or cursing.

I was, in fact, stone out of luck.

And so I replied in the most helpful way possible.

“You’re going to love Chrome.”

I don’t always fail so miserably. Should you have a question of your own, you can send it to mac911@macworld.com or tweet @macworld911.

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