What to do when Firefox won't quit, and does Apple read crash feedback?

Frederic Ze asks an existential question about the nature of Apple’s feedback systems:

Almost consistently each time I want to quit Firefox it fails to do so. I have to use the Command-Option-Escape technique to force it to quit. Following this I would be prompted to Inform Apple, which I of course do, but I wonder what good that process really does. Sometimes if I let it “hesitate” for up to a minute it will finally quit.

I used to use Firefox, and finally gave up on because it has serious memory leak issues in OS X, even this many years under development. What that means is that after using the browser for minutes to hours, it would eat up system resources, become non-responsive, and often require me to force quit, as you’ve had to do. With one release maybe a year or two ago, I had to force quit every time, though that problem went away.

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Why can't file names be longer than 30 characters?

Oleksandr Bogonis is a Windows-to-OS X switcher who generally likes the move, but he’s frustrating by a limit he seems to have run up against:

A field for a file name in “Save as...” box is critically short. It allows one to enter 30 or so symbols. I often save files which have long names—up to 100 symbols.

He wonders if there’s a trick to increase file-name length. The real limit is 255 characters, so something is definitely off.

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What to do when OS X says Wi-Fi hardware isn't installed

Alisha Gambhir writes in, noting that her MacBook Pro suddenly reported that it had no Wi-Fi hardware installed. This is odd because, as you know, all Mac laptops (and nearly every Mac made for several years) includes a Wi-Fi adapter.

mac911 wifi not configured

Inactive Wi-Fi, as opposed to a broken Wi-Fi driver, shows that it’s not configured.

There are two ways you can wind up with an x in the Wi-Fi menu’s icon. One is what’s happened to Alisha and other folks who have posted about this problem over a few years; the other is when the adapter has been disabled via the Network system preferences pane. If you click the Wi-Fi icon and the dropdown menu reads “Wi-Fi: Not Configured” then the adapter has been disabled.

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How to delete photos in iOS when the trash can icon is grayed out

Several readers have written in asking how to delete photos from their iPhone or other iOS device when the trash can icon appears in gray and can’t be tapped in the Photos app when displaying some or all images and videos. There seem to be a few different causes for this problem, which typically arise if an iOS device has been synced to iTunes—either the iOS device with the trash-can issue or a different one that was backed up and restored to that problematic device.

In both cases, you may need to erase the current contents of the iOS Photos library in the steps that follow, so you should make sure you have a complete backup of all the multimedia you want to save. If you’re already syncing photos with iTunes on a Mac or PC and you’re sure you’re up to date, that’s likely what’s preventing you from deleting images in iOS—I’ll get to that in a moment.

If you’re not already using iTunes, the best advice I can find and offer is to use iPhoto, Photos, or Image Capture to retrieve all the images from your device, even if you only need to do that temporarily. After being sure your photos are completely backed up, then:

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How to restore your Mac to an older version of OS X

Patrick Atis securely wiped his drive, and then wanted to reinstall Yosemite, the installer for which he has on an external hard drive. However, after he booted into OS X Recovery (holding down Command-R at startup), he was only offered the option to download OS X through the App Store, and Yosemite wasn’t an option. What path could he take forward?

Recovery will reinstall the same version of OS X that was on your Mac, even though it’s been erased. Patrick should therefore be prompted to install Yosemite. That didn’t happen in his case. With an erased 2009 MacBook Pro, as Patrick has, he can’t use Internet Recovery, which will reinstall the original operating system that came with the Mac. If that had worked, you could install that older OS, then copy the Yosemite installer, and use it to upgrade, although an intermediate OS X installation might even be required.

mac911 app store old os x

The App Store keeps old OS X installers available under the Purchased tab.

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How to add accents and other marks to characters in Pages

Colin Webb writes with a grave problem:

The piece I’m writing at the moment needs me to use a few French expressions. Some of the French words have various different accents: acute, grave, circumflex, cedilla, etc. The built-in Help in Pages said to select Edit > Special Characters. But it only has an Emoji & Symbols option. This will allow me to select the appropriate accent on its own, but not with the corresponding letter. I can type an “e” and an acute accent separately, but not with the accent in the proper position, above the “e”.

There’s a point as a computer user when you’ve used one so long that you forget what you’ve learned. My wife was working on her résumé the other day and asked me to proofread it. I noticed she’d used hyphens where a long dash is typically required, and I said she should substitute it.

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