Reader Karl Lacher is the latest to inquire about very old files that seemingly can’t be opened with a very new Mac. He writes:
Genealogy is my hobby and I have many old Microsoft Word 5 documents stored on my iMac. How can I recover the text from these files with my current copy of Microsoft Office 2011?
As you can probably judge by this article's title, this is well-worn territory. And, regrettably, the path is even less smooth than it once was. But give this a go.Read more »
Reader Greg Wills is thinking of pulling the plug on some well-used gadgets before their time. He writes:
I have several old Apple remote controls—the white ones. I hear they work with today’s Apple gear but all of mine are dead. Is there anything I can do to revive them?
Sure. These things are battery operated and, while it’s not obvious, you can change those batteries.
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Reader Will Simpson has a comics-related question. He writes:
I’m a wannabe artist, and I have a few of my own “comics” saved as JPEG files. I’d really like to view them in a comics-reader app on my iPad, but I don’t know how to format them. Do you know?
I do. Comics apps such as Comic Zeal are compatible with a couple of DRM-free comic book file formats, namely .cbr and .cbz. Those are both compressed formats, related to RAR and ZIP files, respectively.
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Reader Alec Lancaster finds it too much trouble to mount a remote disk. He writes:
I’ve attached a USB hard drive to my AirPort Extreme Base Station and use it as a storage location for all the computers on my network. This is convenient but I hate having to manually mount the drive whenever I log out or restart one of my Macs. Is there a way to configure it so it automatically mounts on each Mac’s desktop?
There is. One way to do this is to open a Finder window, select your base station from the sidebar (found under the Shared setting), and mount the drive. Then launch System Preferences, select the Users & Groups preference (called Accounts in earlier versions of the Mac OS), click on the Lock icon, enter your user name and password, and click Unlock. Now click on the Login Items tab and drag the icon of the mounted drive into the list of login items. Quit System Preferences. When you next log in or restart your Mac, the drive attached to your base station should automatically mount.Read more »
Attentive reader Sarah Wagner wants more from her Kindle. She writes:
I watched your video on syncing books to Kindle devices and apps and thought it was helpful. But I’d like to sync documents other than ebook files. Is that possible?
It is indeed. In that video I showed you that with the free Send to Kindle application on your Mac you can upload Kindle-compatible ebook files to your Kindle. But the Kindle platform supports more than just these files. Also supported are Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), HTML (.html, .htm), RTF (.rtf), JPEG (.jpeg, .jpg), Kindle Format (.mobi, .azw, .azw3), GIF (.gif), PNG (.png), BMP (.bmp), and PDF (.pdf) files.Read more »
Reader Steven Harris is trying to do the right thing by his family, but technical barriers prevent it. He writes:
Over the holidays I took your advice to give the gift of tech support by offering my services to my sister. She has an older MacBook Pro running Leopard and wants to upgrade to Snow Leopard (she needs Rosetta to run older PowerPC software). Three problems: Her DVD drive is broken, I have a MacBook Air without a DVD drive, and I have only a disk image of Snow Leopard. When I place that disk image on her MacBook, mount it, and try to run the Snow Leopard installer, I’m told I need to burn it to disc, which isn’t an option. What do I do?
I’m afraid you’re another casualty of the who-needs-media-drives-any-more campaign. While it’s true that SuperDrives are becoming less necessary for many people, there are occasions when a built-in drive is a godsend. This is one such case. Fortunately, there’s a workaround more convenient that purchasing an external DVD drive and a 5-pack of double-sided writeable DVD media. It goes like this:Read more »
To celebrate Boxing Day I’d like to offer one final gift for 2012. And that gift is a roundup of what I believe were the best Mac 911 entries from the past year. My hope is that it will help you solve those annoying issues that have plagued you over past months and help you start 2013 with a healthier and happier Mac.
We began the year by explaining how to reset a forgotten administrator’s password under Lion. (The technique works with Mountain Lion as well.)
Reader Ted Adams was uninterested in some of the Apple-installed applications that shipped with OS X and wanted to delete them. I showed him how in Deleting Files Within Lion’s Applications Folder. (Again, works with Mountain Lion.)Read more »