Charles Moore's Mailbag

SuperMacs, Free Email, and Hockey Puck Mice

Charles Moore - 2002.05.31 - Tip Jar

SuperMac S900

From Michael Brugh

Hello Charles,

Umax S900LMaybe you can help me with a problem. I, too, have an S900 running OS 9.1. It has experienced some of the same symptoms you have described in your articles.

What I'm running on:

  • A Newer Technology 275 MHz G3 upgrade (the original speed of the CPU is 200 MHz)
  • 160 MB RAM

It worked fine for about 2 or 3 months, then it would behave more or less like this:

  1. I boot up to a flashing question mark or
  2. After hard restarting 4 or 5 times, I boot to the desktop, the mouse works, but I can't click on anything. Nothing is highlighted.

I've downloaded the latest driver from the resurrected Newer Tech, located here:


It actually made it work again (for a while). Like you, it eventually reverted to freezing up.

Then only thing I have done is replaced the power supply and the 2 GB Quantum hard drive with a Seagate 18.2 GB Barracuda drive, with 4 partitions.

Any suggestions?

best regards,

P.S. I enjoy your "Misc Ramblings" column very much!

Hi Michael,

That does sound like the sort of symptoms I experienced.

Since I replaced the Seagate Barracuda hard drive I originally had in my S900 with a Quantum hard drive, the problems disappeared and haven't returned. I have to suspect that there is something about those Barracuda drives that the S900 doesn't like.


Freyasland Mail

From Gabriella Torsander


I just read your Miscellaneous Ramblings column about Free POP3 Email, the update. Since I'm the one who started the Freyasland email, I'd like to point out that whatever problems you've been experiencing must be temporary. My family and I have been using the service for years now, and apart from some unavoidable downtime (like iTools, for instance, seems to have been subject to lately), it's been working fine for us all the time. As far as we know, no one else has been having problems with Freyasland.


Hi Gabriella,

Freyasland worked fine when I first signed up, but it quit responding for no apparent reason. My ZapZone address kept working fine (different account in same email client). I kept trying for two weeks before giving up and deleting the account.

However, weird thinks happen in cyberspace.

Readers can give Freyasland Mail a try at:


Free POP3 Email Update

From Chris Malanga


Enjoy your columns. One free email service to note is at FastMail. It offers IMAP and Web access to everyone, and it is completely customizable. There are varying levels of paid service (I use the $14.95 one-time plan), and there is even a forum in which the developer participates. It is really fast because there are no ads and little graphics.

Just thought you might want to investigate.


Chris Malanga

Hi Chris,

I had a FastMail account, but the POP3 service is no longer free. Otherwise, a good service.


Hockey puck mice search

From Bon

Hi Charles

If that reader still needs one, there are several blue or whatever color hockey puck mice here at the Austin Goodwill computer store

Yup, that is a fun place. Never can tell what you will find. I love it!

Well, forward her my email if she needs help (or post it to the mailbag). I have heard similar reports of folks that actually like that mouse.

I think they were $5 or so.

I go by there every few days so would happily send it out for the cost of shipping and the mouse.

Or she could find one on eBay easy.

I am awaiting a PowerBook 2400c PowerBook 2400cfrom your listing of Baucom Computers on the 'Book Review.

Thanks for the heads up. He seemed a pretty good guy on the phone.

Yes I am excited, even though I have a 400 TiBook.

I will soon get rid of a Power Mac 9600 (downsizing to a 7600) and give Mom the old iMac.

I am moving back in time and down in size. :-)

Keep up the good work.

Bon V. Davis II

Hockey puck for Mary G.

From Mike Etun

Hi Charles,

I have a brand new hockey puck [mouse], still in whatever it came in, in the big box. I'm in Mesa, AZ. Probably there is someone closer. I didn't know there was a market. You give good writing.

Mike Etun

Thanks Bon and Mike,

I've forwarded your emails to Mary.

Good luck with the 2400c, Bon, and congratulations on going all-PowerBook. Glad the 'Book Review was helpful.

Thanks also for the kind words about my writing, Mike.


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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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