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.
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.
On one of my WordPress websites, I use a commercial theme called SmallBiz Dynamic (Full Width) developed by Expand2Web. After I updated my site to WordPress 4.7, I temporarily lost the ability to insert images onto a WordPress blog post. The Add Media, Add Poll, and Cloudinary (a third-party plugin) buttons stopped working after the site upgrade.
If you are Skype user in the United States who has contacts in the United Kingdom, you may run into a situation like I did recently where you repeatedly receive a pre-recorded message that your call cannot be completed at this time. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix for this persistent and aggravating error message.
Imagine that you resolved a computer problem a couple of years ago and your equipment was working fine until, very recently, you discovered the same issue had resurfaced. Moreover, you apply the same steps that worked previously and, to your dismay, learn that they don’t fix the problem. Such was the case with my 12-year-old CanoLiDE 80 scanner that I’d been successfully using to digitize photos and documents on a Windows XP virtual machine.
In the not-too-distant past, OS X system patches were rather innocuous and straightforward and I gave very little thought when I initiated the installation. These days, incremental updates (e.g., upgrading from ‘dot-one’ to ‘dot-two’) that typically take up one or two gigabytes of disk space affect key components of the Mac’s operating system in a variety of ways and, thus, can have a greater chance of wreaking havoc.