View Full Version : The Mac Help Thread

02-09-2007, 08:34 AM
Ok, now that I have learnt how to spell check ON ANY PROGRAM on my mac:D

I though I would see if I could get some help resolving another little problem that has bothered me for a while.

first off, my mac is a G4 15" 1.67 GHz Powerbook, with 1.5 GB of RAM.
I am running OS X 10.4.8

For a long time now, probably 6-8 months, neither my search (Apple Key + "F") nor my spotlight feature have worked.
The windows come up, I enter my queery, and it goes on thinking and thinking and no results ever show up.
I have checked through my preferences for spotlight, and it appears that everything is enabled, etc...

this problem has remained through many system and other updates.

It doesn't bother me too much, because generally I know where everything is, but...
damn it, it should work.
I have thought about reinstalling the whole system, as in the past was my usual (lazy) 'G3 days' solution to problems I couldn't solve, but really don't want to do that.

Other than this I love this computer.

Oh, and though I actually rarely ever do it (like maybe one every 4-6 months, this computer does not want to shut down. When I try, it just cleans up the desktop as usual, looks like it is ready to go, and then just stalls and stalls. In this case I just resort to holding down the startup button untill it forces it to shut down... not optimal.

Any advice out there?:)

Joe (SoCal)
02-09-2007, 08:41 AM
(Apple Key + "F") just gives a search dialog box in the program you are in to search for a specific word. Spotlight is a full featured search and that should be the little blue magnifying glass icon in the upper right. Click on it and a simple dialog pop up happens. Insert your query and bam you get a pretty detailed search.

Regarding shut downs I notice that there is a long pause after it cleans up the desktop and then finally puts it's self to sleep. Have you waited long enough. I never restart or turn my computer off so its not a problem with me ;)

02-09-2007, 08:49 AM
It sounds to me like you may want a pro to look at it, if it bugs you that much. I get the rare moment, maybe once a month, when I have to hold the button down until it shuts off. It usually happens when I've been messing around with an OS 9 application. OS X compartmentalizes better, so a program can't take down the whole works so easily, but not so with 9.

Still, I'd rather have one that has a hard time shutting down than one that shuts down on it's own for the slightest reason.


02-09-2007, 09:28 AM
yeah, maybe I should get it looked at, as I have the three year apple care warranty I am hopeful that the shut down issue may be covered.

Joe, what I meant by the "Apple" + "F" key, as I should have made clear, is that you do this within finder (as I do it by first clicking on the desktop), rather than within an application. Funnily enough, I actually prefer this search method over spotlight. Unless I am wrong, it is also a full feature search.
I particularly like the the file path, of folders etc, that comes up on the bottom of the window- like when I know that an image I want (but can't remember the name of) was saved in a folder with something else I do remember the name of, I search for that, then select it in the search results, and at the bottom of the box, take a step back along the file path, double click that folder, and up pops that folder containing somewhere in it the image that I could not remember the name of...
long winded, sorry.

BTW, I do know spotlight, and probably it does everything that I have described and like about the "new search" (Apple + F) feature on finder, however when I click on the little blue magnifying glass, and enter my query...
well unfortunately, there is no bam, and there is no search results at all.
same as new search.

anyway, just thought I would ask.


02-09-2007, 09:54 AM
ok I just tried to be patient.
I cliked shut down, and watched the desktop picture for over five minutes untill the screen went black.
Success! I thought.
untill I tried to restart and realised that the battery has simply run out and it had put itself to sleep.
When I plugged back in, the screen loaded up again, and just the same, the pause on the desktop pic.
I had to force shut down and then restart.

a check up is definately due.

BTW, Joe, did you try that search feature I am talking about, or were you already aware of it?

02-09-2007, 10:07 AM
I use Cmd-F from the desktop all the time. I don't like the lack of control over stuff with Spotlight, but the results are the same from the desktop anyway, so who cares?!

As for the shutdown problem, I have found that my G4 running Tiger 4.8 needs to be shut down once a week and restarted, whether it has problems or not. If you haven't been shutting down and restarting once a week or so, you may have so much stuff in your cache that it takes the Mac a long time to figure out how to rearrange the files in the RAM.

They claim that OS X manages RAM space fluidly, so that you never need to allocate RAM to any app, like we did with OS 5-9. And that is true but it does seem that the Mac slows down when it's been running for too many days.

If you can't get Find to work at all I'd suggest making sure all your updates are loaded, first. Then I'd shut down and if it won't force a shutdown with the power button.

Then I'd go have a cuppa and come back in 10 minutes or so.

Then I'd return and start it up.

Then I'd shut it down from the power button or Apple menu and see if it shuts down correctly.

If it won't I'd go to the Mac-L or actually start thinking about taking it to a Mac doctor, or at least talking with a Mac doctor.

Leopard is due out soon and upgrading may also solve the problem, even though it seems not to have done it before.

02-09-2007, 10:15 AM
Thanks Elf.
I have pretty much tried all that, including being current on all the updates. I still have to force shut down.
btw, what is 'the Mac-L'?


02-09-2007, 10:55 AM

Smart, knowlegable, many people who've been using Macs for 20 years, nice folks, lots of network admins, a few repair folks. It's an email list, you just delete stuff you aren't interested in, subscribe and go on nomail status after you get your answer, then go back on mail status when you have a new question.