Ham radio operators like myself who own Macs learn very quickly that most applications and utilities that cater to this hobby are designed to run on Windows PCs. However, because Mac users can easily run Windows using virtualization software such as Parallels, VMware, or VirtualBox, the limitations are not insurmountable. In some instances, like the following case study involving EchoLink, implementation of a basic networking procedure is all that’s needed.
What can you do when your data management and backup systems are not as efficient and effective as you would like them to be? Below is a recap of proactive steps that I took to address this problem.
I have an Epson Stylus Photo printer that I obtained in exchange for a consulting job that I completed years ago for a professional photographer. The printer is a Stylus Photo 2200 that was manufactured and sold at a time when LPT ports were installed as standard equipment on Windows PCs and Mac OS 9 was still being run on Apple desktop computers. Despite its age, this Epson printer is usable under the latest version of Mac OS X. Virtually problem-free during my period of ownership, I recently started to notice repeatable smudges and patterns of black ink on all my printouts that I couldn’t fix by changing cartridges and cleaning the print heads using the Printer Utility tool in System Preferences. Searching online for a solution, I ordered a pack of Inkjet Cleaning Sheets (S041150) from the Epson Store, but later found out when I opened the package that they were incompatible with the Stylus Photo series of printers. A follow-up search led me to order a couple of bottles of the Magic Bullet Printhead Cleaning Kit from Marrutt USA, whose parent firm is located in the UK.
As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I have a Canon LiDE 80 scanner that I bought in 2004 that still works when run under Windows XP but is unsupported on the most recent releases of Mac OS X. An annoying aspect about using the Canon scanner under Windows XP is that I will invariably encounter a ScanGear release lock error message that can take several minutes or more to resolve. The alternative to using the native Canon driver under Windows XP is to buy and install the VueScan application from Hamrick Software that can run under OS X, including Sierra 10.12. As a test, I tried a number of different scanning operations using VueScan 9 that produced satisfactory results in some cases, but not in others.
I know that Mac OS X 10.12 (aka Sierra) was been out for a while, but I’m still getting used to some of the subtle changes. With Siri’s voice recognition technology now included as a standard feature, it seemed odd that the list of synthesized voices that could be installed and played back in earlier iterations of OS X were nowhere to be found. Or, at least that’s what appeared at first glance.
I use TextEdit rather than Microsoft Word or another program to create drafts of text and email documents and have noticed that under Sierra 10.12 (and perhaps in Yosemite 10.11) that I would periodically be greeted with a popup window that informed me that I didn’t have permission to save the text file that I was working on. It seemed very peculiar that I would be blocked by a file permissions issue, since I was logged into my Mac using my administrator account.
When I am evaluating whether to upgrade my Mac’s operating system, I naturally assume that any new release will have more features and improved functionality. If you are a Mac user running a discontinued yet perfectly usable OS like Mountain Lion 10.8 and have come to rely upon Disk Utility in your arsenal of everyday tools, you may be unpleasantly surprised at the menu options that are no longer available in Sierra 10.12.