The Five Dollar Fix

On December 30, 2009, in Opinion, by Sam Negri

Sometimes the obvious is elusive.

The optical drive in my three-year-old iMac has been doing strange things for several months. I spent an inordinate amount of time pursuing complicated and aggravating remedies before I discovered the $5 solution.

Here are some of the symptoms that were driving me nuts. Using my iMac’s SuperDrive, I would burn a playlist from iTunes. Sometimes I would get a message saying the burn failed because of a “medium” error, or something like that. I was thrilled that the problem was only “medium,” but what in heaven’s name could that mean? Our cryptic friends in Cupertino could have added something to the error message saying what a medium error might be but Geez, think of all the energy that would have required.

I searched around on the Internet and found a dozen different explanations and suggested remedies. The more I looked, the darker the hole became. I soon felt like I’d left Earth’s gravity behind and seemed to be spinning in concentric circles. The suggestions ranged from updating the drive’s firmware to employing incantations. I thought, this is crazy; it can’t be that complicated.

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About Sam Negri

Sam Negri is a desert dweller and professional journalist. During a 50 year career based in Tucson, Arizona, USA, he traveled and wrote about every corner of the Desert Southwest. Sam is an active bicyclist, photographer, opera lover, and piano student.

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No SuperDrive, No Problem

On January 28, 2008, in Opinion, by Scott Spaziani

The year is 1997 and Steve Jobs has returned to Apple and the confusing Mac product line is in the process of being streamlined to a few simple options. Apple required a replacement for the Performa series; their consumer targeted computer line. In May of 1998 Apple announces the first in their new line of Consumer targeted Computers, and the iMac is born.

The iMac is what many consider the rebirth of Apple. The colorful all-in-one PC was a huge hit in the market and breathed new life into the company. The tan boxes Apple had been sporting for twenty years were gone and a new design element was introduced in the product line. There was one thing lacking from the iMac that most users believed was important, and I’m sure it caused many possible customers to turn away from Apple at the time. The iMac did not have a Floppy Drive.

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