The Lite Side

Michael 'Mike' "Mick" McMac's
Mac Know-it-all Column

- 2001.12.17

Have you ever read one of those computer advice columns in the paper written by someone who didn't have a clue about Macs? They either act like the Mac doesn't exist, or they say everything damning the Mac with faint praise.

Wouldn't it be great if someone would write a column like that for us? We at LEM's Lite Side Bureau hear your cries of pain and present with total equanimity...

Michael 'Mike' "Mick" McMac's
Mac Know-it-all Column

Your one-stop answer spot for questions about your Mac

Dear Michael,

I have a Quadra computer. Can I run OS X on it?


Dear Steve,

Absolutely! Here's what you do. First, open up the case and yank out the RAM, hard drive, power supply, and motherboard. Then, buy a brand new G4 computer and open it. Put all the stuff you find inside the Quadra. Then the Quadra will run OS X. Remember to keep a hacksaw handy.


Dear M.

Exactly what is a low-end Mac?


Dear J.

A low-end Mac is one where you have the back side (except for iMacs and iBooks) lower than the front end. There was a trend back in the 1980s where desk makers thought it would be cool to make desks with deep sunken platforms, covering the computer screen with a piece of glass like they have in those computers on Star Trek. (If you do this with your iMac, it'll overheat and melt the casing, then catch your desk on fire.) So basically, a low-end Mac is anything except an iMac, which as I've explained, you cannot use in such a desk. That is why this site is mostly about late-model Macs. Get it?


Dear Mick,

How do I empty the trash?

Sorrel Budstone

Dear Bud (can I call you Bud? You called me Mick, after all),

First, put your a bag in your trash can. Then put your trash in the bag. When the bag is full, pull the bag out of the can (this might take two people) and place the bag in the big plastic thing they leave in front of your driveway every week.


Dear MAC

Can you help me? I need to run Windows at home but it won't install on my MAC.

Sonny Pretzel

Dear Sonny,

There is absolutely, positively no way on God's green earth that I'm going to be able to explain this to you in a way that you will be able to comprehend. What you will need to do is quit your job and find work at some place that isn't quite so lame. At the new job, make sure they have MACS before you sign the contract.


frst ,ole.

eju epmy ,u lrunpstf eptl tohjy


Dear gtrf,

Your keyboard will work properly if you shift your hands one key to the left before starting to type.


Dear Michael M. McMac,

Would you like to increase the value of your home for a no-down payment, low-monthly installment loan for some new aluminum siding?

John Besseler for the American Siding Company

Dear John,

Does it come in Blue Dalmatian?


Dear Mike,

I got a "type 2 error." What does that mean?

Mary Lou R.

Dear Mary Lou,

That means whenever you type the "2" the keyboard on your iBook flips out and does a somersault across the carpet. Try tightening that little screw between F5 and F6.


Dear Mickey,

How do I switch between OS 9 and OS X?


Funny after all these years in the business, no one has ever called me Mickey. I wonder why.


Dear Michael, Wouldn't it be swell if all of us could have our own place where other people could connect to pictures and words we wrote about ourselves? That would be awesome. And just think, we could send video and little letters to each other like mail but without paper. Someday in the future, there's no telling what we can do.

Dorjan Farzput

Dear Dorjan,

You need to reset your time machine to about seven years later. Do that and write back real soon.


Dear Michael,

You didn't answer my question.


Dear Doris,

Sorry about that. There are basically six steps involved.
  1. Delete everything important to you so you can get used to life without it.
  2. Erase your hard drive.
  3. Install OS 9.
  4. Install OS X.
  5. Delete the one you don't want.
  6. Reboot.

That ought to cover it for this week. Send your questions to the nice guys over at LEM. The really tough ones, they forward to me.

Till next time,
Michael 'Mike' "Mick" McMac

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