Charles Moore's Mailbag

USB, Curmudgeons, ESD, and Browsers

Charles Moore - 2001.09.28 - Tip Jar

Installing a USB Card

From Ed McDonald

Hi Mr. Moore,

I recently read your article on installing USB card on your old Mac. I have a 8500 PowerMac which I love and I installed a USB card. I read that my OS 9.0 had the necessary software to use USB. it installed correctly, but I hooked up my compact card reader with drivers and it doesn't work.

In your article you gave the link to Apple's support page to download 1.4.1 drivers. I looked there and all over Apple's Web page and could not find any software to download. It looks like they don't want to have anything to do with USB. What does one do when they cannot get the necessary software to use the card? Also I have no idea where to look on my computer to see what is going on with USB when it is installed. Any information that you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I am stuck as there isn't any good info on this on the web. Thanking you in advance,

Ed McDonald

Hi Ed,

You can find the USB 1.4.1 drivers here:

That should fix you up. I found that the card worked fine with the drivers that came with OS 9.1, but I had to update OS 9.0 in order to get them to work.



From David Wollner

I have noticed that the old line Mac power users who grew up with Windows or Macs tend not to like OS X. I have heard many of the reasons why they don't like it. I have never met any of them who are old enough to really be a curmudgeon. I started with mainframes and tended towards Unix as a better way of doing things. When desktop machines came around, I waited until the Mac, because it was a better way of handling the desktop. As you can guess, I really like Mac OS X, because it's a melding of how I want to work with my machines.

You're right that Aqua is just another veneer over Unix. I've used several of them for many years. I'm not sure why Apple didn't decide to integrate with X11, but then again, I'm not sure I care. It works on the desktop, and that's the part I need. Underneath the hood, there's all the power of Unix, and that's the other part I need. Your complaints seem to relate to the interaction between them.

Why can't you just drag a System Folder onto a Mac OS X machine and have it boot? It actually works just fine. I'm not sure why you feel it has disappeared, other than we are in a transition period between Mac Classic and Mac OS X.

I agree that consulting a system's administrator is an unrealistic expectation for most of the people using Macs. I also know that I get phone calls from friends and family asking me to solve those sorts of problems. Amazingly enough, most of these are able to be fixed from the Mac environment in similar ways to Mac OS 9! I haven't had to use the command line to fix problems with Mac OS X, unless it's in one of my Unix tools which isn't a part of the standard Mac environment.

I admit that I like network security and multiple user capability. I also like the machine informing me that I'm doing something which will change its operation - and verifying that I'm the person who should be doing this! It's like the "Are you sure" dialog box when you first empty the Trash. Beyond that, I never log into my machine. It just starts up into my account, and I don't worry about it. It's not a pervasive change to the system, just an addition of a capability which I'm very thankful for and will be especially thankful when the next Macintosh worm hits!

Then again, I used to work for a company which put Mac System 6 onto Unix workstations. I also tried A/UX 1.0 and NetBSD. Neither of those was the right solution. Mac OS X is a step in the right direction.

Curmudgeons don't whine, they grump. If you listen to a curmudgeon, you'll find they really know what they're talking about from both sides of the aisle!

David Wollner

Thanks for the interesting observations, David. I just turned 50. Does that qualify me as a curmudgeon? ;-)


Subject: ESD: The Shocking Truth

From: Ryan J. Stern

I know it's been a few years since your article on Low End Mac about the Apple training video ESD: The Shocking Truth, but I was wondering if you could point me to a source that might still have a copy of this video. I think that the information from this tape could really help my staff learn about ESD.

Any information would be greatly appreciated!


Hi Ryan,

My son borrowed the tape from the service department of the Mac reseller he was working for at the time. I was an Apple tape used for training tech support personnel.

I imagine that the only possible source of the tape would be Apple.


Re: Browsers.alt

From Victor Panlilio in response to Browsers.alt

Hi Charles,

I have, on my primary home machine (an AGP G4/400)

  • Netscape 4.78 (which I use most)
  • Netscape 6.1
  • Mozilla 0.9.4
  • iCab 2.5.3
  • Opera 5.0 Beta 3
  • Internet Explorer 5 (I don't use it, the related extensions are disabled)

and one you didn't mention, though I know you also have it:

  • WannaBe 1.0b6

for when I'm really impatient and just want text fastest (even over a cable modem). The 68K version even runs fine on my ancient Duo 230.


Hi Victor,

Yes indeed. I am a heavy user of WannaBe, which is a lifesaver for those of us on slow dialup connections. However, WannaBe is really in a different class than the full-featured browsers.


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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