Charles Moore's Mailbag

Women in IT, Mozilla, 190/5300 Repair, CRTs, and OS Downgrades

Charles Moore - 2002.06.19 - Tip Jar

Women in IT

From Teri Pittman

Dear Charles,

I disagree [with FemaleDissatisfaction in the IT Industry: Not Just A GlassCeiling]. I am a Help Desk supervisor about to be RIF'd fromthe job I've had for the last 7 years. Every woman at this companywho wanted to take her Novell CNE training had to wait until the guyshad theirs. And yes, I got that CNE but was given no opportunity toeven try to use it. Company spent money to send me to Oracle &Sybase training. Again, I was not allowed to use even a tiny bit ofthis. It was never a question of me trying to use my training andshowing that I wasn't capable. I wasn't even given the chance. Ispent two years working in a Unix only environment. When that projectended, I was kicked back over to the Help Desk. Two guys with zeroUnix experience took over what I was doing and were made Unixadmins.

Now you may think that all this is just a problem at the company Iwork for. Let me point out something you missed in your car analogy.If the guys ignore the woman who wants to talk shop, in fact walkpast a woman mechanic to talk to some guy who knows nothing aboutcars, that is not some problem on the woman's part. It's a problemabout how the men deal with women and how companies deal with womenin technical positions. We have a senior Unix admin here (let's callher the Dragon Lady) who is incredibly bright and knowledgeable. Shecan talk hardware till the cows come home and knows those serversinside and out. She is still treated like a second class citizen andis far more likely to be out the door in the next RIF. Why? Becauseshe is a woman and they'll keep the guys. They think it is okay tothink this way.

I knew, at the time I went back to school and had a choice betweenbusiness and computers, that I would have a hard time of it in thecomputer world. I don't look like a geek. I wanted to try it anyway,because that's what I love working on. I've put seven years into itand may stay in the industry. I've given up on the idea of another ITposition. I'm tired of beating my head against that wall. It's truethat many women have no desire to work with computers, because theyaren't interested in them. I'm hear to tell you - the industry isnot kind to women who are interested and do have the skills. It's1960 all over again, as far as attitude.

Hi Teri,

I never said that women were intrinsically less capable IT workers(or automotive gearheads - look at Jean Jennings over atAutomobile Magazine; an automotive engineer and one of the finestcarmag journalists in the business). Just that as ageneralization, fewer women are inclined to pursue those fields,and I don't think it can all be chalked up to cultural prejudiceor conditioning.

As for your particular situation, I think it's outrageous withoutreservation. Hearing about it makes me mad. That sort of bigotryand boneheaded chauvinism is definitely not where I'm comingfrom.

I'm sure you're disgusted and demoralized right now, but I wouldencourage you to rest a bit, regroup, and then get back in thereand fight the good fight. Change the world, one person at a timeif necessary, but don't give up.


PS: Inspirational bon mot from one of my heroes:

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - innothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except toconvictions of honor and good sense." - Winston Churchill

Easy Downgrade from 9.2

From Jimmy James Champlin


I've been using this method for a while now with no problems yet.You can downgrade your system easily without having to initialize theHD simply by "deactivating" the 9.2 System Folder.

Create a folder inside the System Folder called "Finder Grave" orsomething similar. Any name will do. Then move the Finder into it.The System Folder is no longer valid. Now rename the entire SystemFolder to something else and install 9.1.

As soon as you're sure everything is functioning, bomb your old9.2 System Folder.

Hope this helps!

190/5300 repair extension expired?

From GTO (John)


I wonder if you can shed any light on this. I just got off thephone with Apple about a 5300c Irecently bought. They told me that the 190/5300 REA expired on June1, 2002. Any idea what's up? It had always been my understanding thatit expired 7 years from the date the 5300 was discontinued.

I can't believe this. I wait until now to finally call Apple andthe program's over.

GTO (John)

Hi John,

My understanding is that it is either seven years after the dateof manufacture or the original date of sale - can't rememberwhich. Did you give them a serial number? If so, it includes thedate of manufacture.


From John

Re: 190/5300 repair extension expired?

Thanks for the response. The program is supposed to run for 7years after the 5300 was discontinued. That was late-summer 1996IIRC. The 5300 wasn't introduced until August of '95, so I shouldstill be in the clear even if Apple changed the requirements.

Since I emailed you, I've talked to a few people who have hadsimilar problems in the past. One fellow was told that the REAexpired in February. He eventually almost got legal with Apple beforethey admitted that it was still valid.

Looks like I have some long calls to make.


Hi again John,

You're right. I looked it up. Apple's description of the 5300/190REA program states:

"With this Repair Extension Program, Apple has identified knownhardware issues the company will repair - at its cost - for aslong as Apple services these products. In the United States, thatis seven years after the company stops manufacturing the products.In other countries, the time period is different."


I Love CRTs

From John Kahre

I think they provide much more vivid brilliance with less ghostingon fast moving images than an LCD. I am kinda freaked out by readingany negative comments about anything that has Trinitron stamped onit. Power Slurping?! The CRT has some high voltage requirements, butthey are very current limited. Compare the display to a 75 watt lightbulb . . . do you not burn those all day? Oh well.

John Kahre
Mac fan and B-52 flight simulator technician

Hi John,

To each his own. I don't like 'em. The give me eyestrain andheadaches, and LCDs - even the small ones in laptops -don't.

In point of fact, I make an effort to keep light bulbs turned out,day or night, when they're not needed. 75 watts is a lot more thanthe LCD in my PowerBook requires.


Update on using Mozilla and Netscape with upgradedNuBus Power Macs

From Ken Watanabe


Here is an update for readers who have tried (unsuccessfully) toinstall and run the latest Mozilla or Netscape on a G3-upgraded NuBusPower Mac (6100, 7100, 8100, and related Performas). The problem isin crashing with a "Type 12" error during the installation process.Unfortunately, it's still there, but a helpful note in the bug reportlog (#125411) at the site pointed out that with theMacsbug debugger installed, the errors can be "trapped" and bypassed.During installation, the application will drop into the debugger afew times, but typing the "g" command will allow the installation tocontinue and complete successfully. The browser app also drops intothe debugger once during launch and once during quit, but it seems torun fine in between, again by using the "g" command to get passed theerror. This is obviously not a very elegant solution (and I don't useit day-to-day), but it will at least allow users with NuBus PowerMacs to try the latest Mozilla/Netscape and give feedback. I hope thedevelopers can fix this problem before the final "one point oh"release, because Mozilla and its Netscape-branded brother are verynice, and "tabbed browsing" is a great feature. Perhaps with a bitmore feedback from users with NuBus Power Macs, the problem will getpushed up on the priority list.

Note: Macsbug can be downloaded at Apple's developer support Website. It is Apple's debugger for the classic Mac OS. You should alsoget the reference PDF file that provides more instructions.

- Ken

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the info.

I love both Mozilla and MacsBug.


Mozilla 1.1a cuts out 8.5,8.6

From Rob Henerey

It now *says* it requires 9.1+

GRRRRRR, just when it was getting pretty good.


Hi Rob,

Had to come sooner or later, I guess. :-(


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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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