Ejectile dysfunction: CD is stuck in the drive!

My CD/DVD burner drive won’t let me insert a disk. I think it thinks there’s a disk already in there but there isn’t. Is there a way to get it “unlocked?”

So, is this a “slot-loading” or do you put the disc in a tray that pops out?

Reminds me of the time at Kinko’s when the older lady put the CD into the 5 1/4″ floppy disc drive. A Windows computer, natch, and I wish I had a picture of the look on my face. I seem to recall that those damn PCs were bolted down. I giggled a lot.

Either way, try opening iTunes and pushing the eject button at bottom right. If that doesn’t work, follow these instructions:

From macosxhints.com: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20031210193237190)

I had a CD get stuck in my slot-loading superdrive Aluminum Powerbook, running 10.3. The CD became unresponsive and not recognized by my computer at all! Here is the fix:

Hold Control-Command-Option-Eject Button; this will shut down your computer. Turn the power on with the power button and hold Command-Option-O-F — this will boot you into open firmware. Now type
eject cd
and hit the Return key and wait until the CD pops out. Type

mac-boot

and you are ready to rock!
[robg adds:
As mentioned elsewhere on the site, you can also try holding the mouse button down during boot to force the system to eject any inserted CDs.]

When do I unplug my laptop?

What is the right way to treat my notebook regarding recharging. It mostly lives on my desk and acts as a desktop; I take it elsewhere in the house or yard once every day or two, for maybe an hour. For the rest, it’s at my desk. So the question is: can I leave it plugged in and sleeping?

So, here’s the protocol:

If the laptop is fully charged — it has a green light on the Apple adapter, or it says “100% Charged” in the battery menu — AND you’re done using it, close the lid and unplug it.

If it’s not completely charged when you’re done working, close it to put it to sleep and let it charge all the way up to green, and THEN unplug it.

The longer the laptop is plugged in while the battery is fully charged, the more stale the battery will get, and the shorter its life.

Lastly, every couple of months, one will want to run the battery down to absolute zero — the screen goes black and won’t wake up, but the light on the front still glows — then plug it in and charge it all the way up in one go. This conditions the battery, sort of reminding it how much capacity it should have. One should do this to a brand new battery also, AFTER charging it all the way up the first time.

By way of example, my current PowerBook battery, now 2.5 years old, has a fine 2-to-3-hour lifespan, because I have it unplugged so much of the time.

Just so long as you call me

Would you rather I call or e-mail questions to you?

Either is fine, though my responses to emails will be slower. I can also use text messaging via mobile phone 210.367.3420, AIM chat to s1r4real
(which forwards to my Treo), Skype to jjmarcus, remote control over secure VPN, Morse code, smoke signals… 😉

What is your billing policy regarding questions by phone or email or whatnot, i.e. when you’re not on-site?

I charge per hour, pro-rated, for whatever interaction I have with clients, excepting getting-to-know-you calls or meetings, and little one-off chat messages. $60/hr for homes, non-profs, and artists; and $100/hr for businesses.

Incoming mail has stopped coming in

Wondering why I am no longer receiving mail in Apple Mail.app. I have checked the settings, and every other thing I can think to do. I know the account is active because I can go to webmail and get the email.

So, in the left column, next to the word Inbox, is there a circle icon with a triangle or lightning bolt inside it? If so, click that, and take the account online. Then click Get Mail. Tell me if you get any errors.

I was also having a problem with continually having to put in my password on the other accounts.

It would be worth it to open Keychain Access and see if your keychain is unlocked. One should also periodically run "Keychain First Aid" from the application menu (the one next to the Apple menu that changes its name depending on what app you're in).

When do I unplug my laptop?

What is the right way to treat my notebook regarding recharging. It mostly lives on my desk and acts as a desktop; I take it elsewhere in the house or yard once every day or two, for maybe an hour. For the rest, it’s at my desk. So the question is: can I leave it plugged in and sleeping?

So, here’s the protocol:

If the laptop is fully charged — it has a green light on the Apple adapter, or it says “100% Charged” in the battery menu — AND you’re done using it, close the lid and unplug it.

If it’s not completely charged when you’re done working, close it to put it to sleep and let it charge all the way up to green, and THEN unplug it.

The longer the laptop is plugged in while the battery is fully charged, the more stale the battery will get, and the shorter its life.

Lastly, every couple of months, one will want to run the battery down to absolute zero — the screen goes black and won’t wake up, but the light on the front still glows — then plug it in and charge it all the way up in one go. This conditions the battery, sort of reminding it how much capacity it should have. One should do this to a brand new battery also, AFTER charging it all the way up the first time.

By way of example, my current PowerBook battery, now 2.5 years old, has a fine 2-to-3-hour lifespan, because I have it unplugged so much of the time.