Charles Moore's Mailbag

iCab Stability, MacMail, the CD-RW Specification, Word 5.1 on a TiBook, and More

Charles Moore - 2002.11.13 - Tip Jar

Re: iCab

From Touchwood

Dear Mr. Moore,

Read readers' and your comments about iCab and the trouble with accessing Web pages, but maybe it helps to change the Browser-identity in the prefs? (I have no trouble whatsoever).

But while we're on the subject of iCab, it has to be said that indeed it has become less stable the past months.

It even seems to break a basic programming rule: It takes memory space from outside the program, and its memory grows with every page opened till it hits the RAM ceiling and crashes your puter bad. I've written to the creators, but to no avail. So maybe it is time to look for some other browser although departing from it will be pretty difficult 'cause it became my fav. browser too.


Hi Touchwood,

I haven't noticed the memory problem, but then I have 640 MB of RAM.

iCab is still my workhorse browser.



From Blair Wilson

Hi Charles.

Thanks for the MacMail tip in the recent Low End Mac column. Like you, I decided not to buy into .Mac. I did like the email, but I used little else. MacMail fits the bill perfectly. I was going to credit you with the referral when I signed up but I didn't think that was your real MacMail account. :-)

- Blair

C500 SuperMac Battery is Dead

From Sharleen

Hello Charles,

For days now I have been unable to locate the battery anywhere on my SuperMac C500 slowpoke computer. As a missionary to street kids in Mexico City, I'm not supposed to know these things.

I am writing to you for help because I couldn't even find any description doing searches.

I took the front panel off, as one tech mentioned, but didn't see a battery. My father has tried to help and is loaning his address for this message. If you can help, he will be very happy to give a donation


Hi Sharleen,

There is an illustrated tutorial here <>

It notes, ominously: "This is one machine that does not want you to take it apart for maintenance!"

More info here <>

Hope this helps. No donations necessary!

God bless you in your work.


StarMax RAM question

From Joe

Hi. I recently got hold of a StarMax 4000/200 with a Newer technology G3-L2 400 MHz upgrade. I read some of your articles about the RAM configuration, and I have a question. The computer has 96 MB of RAM, and I noticed that there was no RAM in the single bank slot. I thought maybe someone took it, since they seem to be hard to come by. Anyway, I was changing the hard drive out, and I realized that I had to remove one of the RAM modules in order to change out the drives. Then I got to thinking that maybe whoever used this must have moved the single bank 32 MB RAM into the 2nd double banked slot. So I switched out the smaller RAM module (32?) and placed it in the single bank slot. It registered when I turned it back on, and it even seemed to run faster. So my questions are:

  1. Would a double banked RAM module work in the single bank slot?
  2. Am I on the verge of destroying this computer?

Please let me know soon, because I had planned on ordering another 64 MB double banked module this week, and maybe add a single banked 32 MB if I don't have the correct one in the slot.



Hi Joe,

Here's the goods on StarMax 4000 RAM configs.


  • DRAM Type: 168-Pin DIMM - 3.3v EDO
  • Supported Speeds: 60ns
  • Supported Sizes: 4, 8, 16, 32, 64


  • Soldered DRAM: None
  • Stock Memory: 16 MB
  • Memory Slots: 3
  • Maximum RAM: 160 MB


Upgraded one DIMM at a time.

Socket 1 will accept up to a 32 MB DIMM
Socket 2 and 3 will accept up to 64 MB DIMMs

Interleaving is not supported.

You're okay, I think.


Redux user manual

From Bill McFarland

Hello Charles,

I have obtained Redux from, but I would like to get a copy of the user manual (PDF preferred). Do you happen to have a copy? I have searched the web but cannot find it, the ftp site is not working.

Thank you very much, and thanks for the insightful article about Redux.

Bill McFarland

Hi Bill,

There's a link here, but it seems to require a password. Probably the same one you are having trouble with.




Regarding CD-RW specifications

From Peter J. Pedersen

Dear Sir,

According to this article -- don't you just love Sherlock's metasearch ability? :-) - the CD-RW process can be repeated up to a thousand times (and many producers claim much higher numbers) without appreciable defects.

As an aside, CD-RW is often claimed to be "the heir of the floppy disk" and said to "work like a hard disk." This may be true on a PC, but unfortunately Macs are out in the cold in this respect. To add to the data on a CD-RW, you first have to copy the previous data to your hard disk, then wipe the CD-RW clean, and then copy the previous data and the new data back on the CD-RW. A lengthy process, especially because the wiping clean part takes up to 30 minutes! And it has to be done manually, too.

There used to be an Adaptec program enabling you to simply dump data on the CD-RW - and it should be easy to implement, since the CD-RW uses the UDF data packet storage structure (a la DVDs) - but while it still exists (now called WriteCD-RW!), it hasn't been updated for the Mac for several years. This means that there are no drivers for new CD-RW drives - as opposed to the PC version.

To me, that is one of the biggest holes in the Mac OS Xperience (sorry!), and I suggest that Apple make it a built-in feature of OS X. As it is, most people end up preferring to use CD-Rs for backups: They are cheap, and the process is faster. Unfortunately, it also means using up valuable natural resources and adding to the pollution of our planet - surely something that Steve Jobs would want to take into account?

Peter J. Pedersen

Word 5.1 and Mac OS 9.2.2 on a TiBook

From Christian Schlier


I'm having problems installing Word 5.1 on my new TiBook. I use floppy disk images, but the installer says "not enough space on volume: 20000 KB needed, - 2000000 KB available"...

How can I fix this bug?


Hi Christian,

Word 5.1 seems to work fine under OS 9.2.2 on my Pismo. I don't use it much anymore, so I just started it up a minute ago to make sure.

What I would suggest is to install it on an older machine under an older Mac OS version that is better supported by the Word 5.1 installer, and then transfer the application to your TiBook by ethernet or some other copy medium. Don't forget to bring the extensions from the System Folder on the surrogate machine and put them in the OS 9.2.2 System Folder on your PowerBook.

I think this will work. I haven't actually installed Word 5.1 from scratch for many years - just dragged it from machine to machine as I upgraded systems.


Editor's note: Word 5.1a works beautifully on my 400 MHz TiBook, but I don't think I've run the installer since my Mac Plus or possibly Centris 610 days. It's simply been moved from one Mac to the next over the years.

I suspect the installer doesn't know how to handle partitions over 2 GB, which was a limitation of the Mac OS through about System 7.5. Or it could be the HFS+ format that's causing the problem.

If you don't have an older Mac to install it on, you might try installing it to a small partition (under 2 GB) or some sort of removable media drive (Zip, optical, etc.). dk

World-standard OS?

From Edzo

"...runs on the Palm OS, the world-standard handheld operating system"

That means Windows is the world-standard desktop operating system, right?

Ed Stevens.

Touché. It was from the press release.


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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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