Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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The tale of two generations

569 words

I currently have my little Mac SE 'Nibbler' on my desk – trying to turn it into a little retro-gaming console. Who cares for a Playstation if you can play great games like Stunt Copter or Dubbelmoral! on your little ancient Mac?

Playing Dubbelmoral! was grreeeat fun. I hadn't played it in ages as it stopped working some time around MacOS 8.5 or so. While I know the basic moves, I am still not too sure about the little details and what the messages mean when you puke. Anyone who knows Swedish and wants to translate things out there?

Any other games I need on the little machine? I currently have Artillery, something Ballerburg-like, some billiard game, some minesweeper game, Sokoban, Skat and a few others. Didn't find a Pong yet that wouldn't crash the machine. Any other hints?

Next thing to do with the little bugger is making it learn to get its network address via DHCP. There isn't an obvious option for this in MacTCP, but I'm optimistic to find some solution on the net.

Earlier today the machine kept crashing when it started up with the network cable inserted. It turned out that this was caused by me plugging it into the wrong port of our switch. If only all computer-related problems were this easy to explain and solve. Consider the following...

Sometime the day before yesterday, my address book on the Powerbook stopped working. Even worse, every application that uses the address book simply crashed when trying to access it. This includes the Address Book application (obviously), Mail, GeburtstagsChecker, Safari (when clicking on the address book folder in the bookmars). In particular it meant, I couldn't access my e-mail, didn't have my mail addresses at hand and couldn't send those birthday e-mails I needed to send.

OK, my first guess was that the address database was broken in some way and I congratulated myself to having made a backup on Monday. However, it turned out that the problem didn't depend on either my data nor my settings. It occurs for every user on the machine and frankly I still havent got the slightest clue on how to fix it. For the time being I installed another copy of OSX on my hard drive's second partition where everything works. But of course I want to return to my proper system with some extra things installed in its Unix intestines that I am not too keen on restoring.

While trying to fix the address book problem by cleaning caches etc, I must've done something stupid, as suddenly all the icons on my desktop were gone, i.e. generic icons everywhere plus drag and drop didn't work anymore. I had the latter problem before and could resolve it by restarting the computer. Not so this time.

It turned out that the icon and drag and drop problem is caused by coreservicesd not running. Researching this bit, I saw that Nicholas Riley had a problem with coreservicesd before, there's the nifty SystemStarter command to (re)start system services and Safari (v60) crashes on this search result giving the solution that coreservicesd can actually break. Replacing with the version from the install CD solved that problem.

But I'm still stuck with the address book issue. I already did silly things as diffing (write protected) frameworks which didn't help much. What could be the problem here?

February 21, 2003, 2:10

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