Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A blast from the past

After an electrical storm, my new MacBook Air suddenly stopped recognizing the wireless network at home. It could pick up a signal from about six neighbouring houses, but not the Airport base station a few feet away, while the old laptop had no problems. I tore my hair trying everything I could think for a few frustrating hours. No luck.

Eventually I phoned Apple Care. And after re-trying one or two other things, the guy at the end said "Restart, holding down Command-Option-P-R". Wow. Zapping the PRAM!

Which took me right back to 1990 and my first Mac (a IIsi, since you ask). In those days, zapping the Parameter RAM was a fairly frequent dodge, used whenever the poor thing got a bit confused. But I can't have done it for a decade or more. I'd long forgotten it was even an option. Did the trick though, so here I am again ...


plumpy said...

Wow, yeah, I remember doing that on my IIsi, too. I'm a long-time Linux user now, so I haven't zapped any PRAM in over a decade. I would've never guessed the same key combo was still around, though.

a cartesian said...

I thought Apple machines' absurd reliability problems (and ultra-cryptic obscuro fixes) had been squashed when they became secret unix machines.