Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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How Loud Are Your Mac's Fans?

When they get hot, Macs turn on various internal fans to keep components cool. The noise can be annoying, but just how loud is it? If you have an iOS device with a built-in microphone, you can download one of many free sound meter apps (search on decibel in the App Store) and see if you're subjecting your ears to a truly unreasonable noise level.

 
 

AccessPC Introduction

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Apple has always boasted of the SuperDrive's ability to read and write both Mac and MS-DOS disks. Apple's propagandizing statements fail to mention that you have to use Apple File Exchange, a relatively obnoxious, Font/DA Mover-like program, to access the MS-DOS files. In normal operation, the SuperDrive rejects all MS-DOS disks. I'm sure that some rabid Mac users have modified the standard message from the staid "This is not a Macintosh disk. Eject or Initialize?" to "This disk is unclean. Convert it to the holy format?"

Those of us who don't feel quite so chauvinistic about our computers and who actually talk to people who use MS-DOS machines can use a couple of different utilities to see MS-DOS disks on our desktops, just like any Mac disk. Dayna (the people who gave us the DaynaFile, which also has DOS-disk mounting capabilities) made the first of these utilities, DOS Mounter. DOS Mounter wasn't perfect, by any means, since it had to write a Desktop file to the floppy disk, which meant that you couldn't use locked DOS disks with it, or any copy protected disks, or any disks that had installation schemes that "know" which files are on the disk and become confused if any others show up. You get the idea, DOS Mounter was slow and irritating to use. Insignia Solutions, the people who came up with the elegant hack SoftPC, wrote AccessPC to compete with DOS Mounter. AccessPC circumvents most of DOS Mounter's limitations and adds a few features to boot. To be fair, Dayna just released DOS Mounter 2.0, which supposedly addresses all of version 1.0's limitations and provides better competition for AccessPC. We haven't compared DOS Mounter 2.0 yet, but hopefully we will at some future time.

 

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