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Odds and Ends: LaCie update fixes non-bootable issue, but...; TurboTax glitches?; Quicken 2004 export bug; AirPort reception tip

Odds and Ends: LaCie update fixes non-bootable issue, but...; TurboTax glitches?; Quicken 2004 export bug; AirPort reception tip

LaCie update fixes non-bootable issue, but... Last week LaCie released v1.1 of their Update Tool, which allows users to update the firmware on their LaCie FireWire hard drives. We've received a number of reports that after updating firmware using v1.1 of the Tool, the "updated" external FireWire hard drives were no longer bootable -- i.e., they could no longer be used to start up a Mac.

On Tuesday, LaCie released version 1.1.1 of their Update Tool, which claims to fix this issue. However, reader Martin Berg notes that while the new Update Tool may prevent a drive from becoming unbootable if you use it to update the drive's firmware, it apparently won't fix a drive rendered unbootable by version 1.1 of the Update Tool, because the drive's firmware doesn't "officially" need updating.

UPDATE: The "ReadMe" file that is included with the update explains that by holding the option key down when you launch the Update utility, you can reload the newer firmware, thus allowing you to fix such a drive.

TurboTax glitches? MacFixIt reader Jeff Stubbs reports that after completing his 2003 taxes using the TurboTax software package, his Pennsylvania state return was rejected due to a "software glitch":

"I filed my return on 01-21-04 and received confirmation of the IRS accepting my return on 01-23-04. After waiting the 4-5 business days for my state (PA) return to be accepted, I contacted Intuit through their chat room. After receiving the usual first tier brush-off for several days, I contacted the state's department of revenue. They were able to quickly discover the reason for the non-acceptance. It seems that the software package filed a extra, unneeded schedule with 'erroneous' fields. My return was sitting in the rejected queue. Surprised me, data entry went as smooth as clockwork."

Ira Altschiller notes another issue, under OS 9.1, that prevents him from filing in the first place:

"When you reach the CONSENT TO DISCLOSURE window -- enabling electronic filing -- there is no 'Agree' button to click. Electronic filing is effectively disabled."

Quicken 2004 export bug Reader Peter Fine reports that Intuit has "acknowledged" an issue with Quicken Mac 2004 where "you cannot select the file type for exporting a report in OS 10.3.x. They claim (but I cannot verify this) that the feature works fine in OS 10.2.6."

AirPort reception tip On Friday we reported on poor AirPort reception with the Power Mac G5, noting that the included antennae isn't as "omni-directional" as Apple claims. MacFixIt reader Anthony Burokas, an amateur radio operator, suggests that simply re-orienting both the G5 antenna and the AirPort Base Station antenna can help; he also repeats advice we've previously noted about RF interference:

"You want to have as much of one antenna facing as much of the other antenna as possible. So if you have a vertical [antenna] in the screen of [a] 17" AlBook, set your router's antenna vertical. If your antenna is horizontal in the base of the TiBook, then set your antenna horizontal, pointing in the same direction as the TiBook's.

"...there is [also] a lot of RF around 2.4g. Not only do you have whatever WiFi you are trying to deploy, but there is also 2.4g cordless phones, 2.4g bluetooth, 2.4g microwaves, 2.4g wireless TV systems, 2.4g amateur radio communications and more. Depending on transmitter power, antenna type, and direction, some of this stuff can go for miles."

New/Updated Knowledge Base Articles

    93665: iDVD 4: Disk Doesn't Burn on Dual Processor Power Mac G5 Computers notes an issue where having the iDVD preferences set for "Best Performance" may result in iDVD not being able to burn projects to DVD.
    93659: AppleWorks: Duplicate Copies of Template File explain how to open an AppleWorks template without it resulting in a copy of the template being created in the Finder.
    60920: iPod: Frequently Asked Questions is an update to Apple's iPod FAQ.
    93655: iPod In-Ear Headphones: Tip - Getting Optimal Audio Quality provides some tips for getting a good "fit" with Apple's new "In-Ear" earbuds.

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