Powerbook & iBook Troubleshooting Flowchart... I. Primary links: www.dogpile.com Select their "Usenet" option and enter keywords like hardware, software, & symptoms [e.g. "Powerbook," "Internet Explorer," & "crashing"]. This is useful for sniffing out community-wide problems that other people online have already discovered, diagnosed and troubleshot. www.info.apple.com/support/pages.taf?product=powerbook Apple's Powerbook support pages [VERY thorough & comprehensive for Apple help.] www.versiontracker.com Search for any and all Mac software updates here www.versiontracker.com/systems/pbG3seriesFire.shtml www.versiontracker.com/systems/iBook.shtml Specific VT pages for iBook & Powerbook updates II. Making It Go Again (what to do when it locks up, in order of severity) a. Hold down the Apple/Command & Alt/Option keys together and hit Esc. Forces a quit out of a persnickety program (you may be able to save & close other programs, though you should restart as soon as possible). b. Hold down the Power key at the top of the keyboard. Shuts it down (you'll lose all work). c. Insert a straightened paper clip in the hole next to the triangular icon, located either (i) in the upper right front of the keyboard, above the Power key (iBook) or (ii) next to the phone port in the back (Powerbook). This is the "Programmer's Switch," and should only be used if nothing else works. Shuts it down (you'll lose all work and likely need to reset the Date & Time control panel). III. FUBAR Combat Tactics (When you can't even get it to start back up without crashing). a. Start up holding down the Shift key. This starts the machine with all extensions turned off. Since roughly 80% of all rickety Mac performance has to do with third-party extension conflicts and/or conflicts with software/system concurrency, this will usually allow you to start up (though nothing much will work) and get to the Extensions Manager control panel. Select "Mac OS 9.0.4 Base" under "Selected Set" and restart. If there are no problems, add a few extensions, and restart again. Keep doing this until the problem reappears, and then narrow it down to the one that's causing the problem. b. Insert one of the CDs that came with your machine, and start up holding down the "C" key. This starts the machine using the CD-ROM's System Folder instead of your hard drive's System Folder. By doing this, you can perform the same sorts of Extensions Folder surgery described above, and also run the Disk First Aid application to see if your machine has any larger problems which need to be fixed. --- When in doubt, visit the web site of a program that you believe is giving you trouble and see if there are any updates/patches available. Most companies are pretty good about this, and there have been enough significant revisions to the Mac OS that older programs may simply not work (After Dark screensavers, for example, won't work on anything newer than Mac OS 8.1). Alternatively, you can search VersionTracker's web site and see what updates are available. Their site is quite up to date (updated daily) and I've yet to throw a program at them they didn't have a link to an update for.