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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...

USB Printer Sharing, Crashes, & PCI ATA Controllers
February 25th, 2000

Borscht and Vodka, now THAT's a good Thanksgiving meal! Yum! Oh... hello... you aren't here for Americanized Soviet culinary advice are you? It must be time again for another issue of Ask Dave! Ah... well, let me take off my babushka and put on my thinking cap. I think I had more borscht than vodka, so we should be OK. With that said, if you have your own questions, feel free to send 'em to me or check out the Ask Dave Forums! Now, drink up, and read on!

Curt Merrill writes, "My roommate has a B&W G3 with an Epson 740i printer connected to it via USB. I've got a Beige G3 and both of us are connected to the campus LAN via Ethernet. Is there a way for me to print from my Beige G3 to his printer? I've checked Apple's site and there's a Printer Sharing extension but it says it's only for Color Stylewriter 2400s."

Curt, my friend, you're in luck. There is a product available called "EpsonShare" that does just what you're looking for. A quick trip over to will reveal a few different flavors of the product -- choose the one that's right for your model printer, and you're on the road to printer-sharing bliss!

Capt. Bill wrote, "At home, I have a Performa 6300CD (ugh!) w/32 megs of RAM. Some time ago, I was working in Photoshop 5 and saving an image as a JPEG when the finder crashed (I believe it was error # 10 - Bus error). Of course, my Mac associates tell me to invest in a new G4 or a first generation G3. Unfortunately that takes dollars currently earmarked for home improvements (no excess expendable cash). I have had a number of 'techies' look over the machine, stating immediately it was a hardware problem, but none could find it. More often than not, when I try to delete a file, folder, etc. the Finder crashes giving me the Bus error message. I've already tried trashing the Finder preferences folder to no avail. Should I prepare for last rites or is there still hope for resurrection?"

Well, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this as a hardware problem, per se. My guess is that it's probably a few things combined. The first thing I'd do is run something like Norton Utilities' Disk Doctor on it to make sure you don't have any hard drive directory corruption. Once that's done, I'd do a clean system reinstall. I bet your problem is a damaged file (possibly the Finder itself) and that's where your errors are coming from. Additionally, this error can be caused by a lack of RAM and a situation that forces the computer to constantly resort to using Virtual Memory. If you're using Photoshop 5 with 32 MB of RAM, you're a braver soul than I. In light of your situation, my recommendation would be to bump the RAM up on that thing as far as you can afford to go. 32MB is not enough for today's applications (and system software!), and an upgrade will keep you from having to use Virtual Memory, which is most likely the root of this problem.

Joshua M. Biggs wrote, "I have a Blue & White 400MHz G3 and Currently have two ATA 66 Drives installed, a 6 gig and an 18 gig. What I would like to do is install the 40 gig Ultra ATA drive that I purchased for $240 from CompUSA. The problem I am having is that I need a new ATA controller card. Do you know of one that works for the mac? I tried the SIIG card and it did not work, and the guy at Small Dog Electronics told me he has been looking for the same thing. Formac also told me that they do not make one. Am I out of luck? Please help. I just bought a Sony Digital 8 510 and have no space on my current drives to store film to edit in Final Cut Pro."

Joshua, I think you're out of luck as far as PCI-based ATA controller cards go. However, you may be able to put the drive as the "slave" on the secondary IDE chain in that machine. If all you have is the 2 hard drives on one chain and the CD-ROM on the other, there's room there for your 3rd hard drive. Of course, if you've got a Zip drive or something else on the second chain with the CD-ROM, that won't work.

So I pose this question to you, the readers: Has anyone successfully made a PCI-based ATA(/IDE) controller card work in ANY Mac? I have heard rumors from a few different hardware manufacturers that they're "working on it," but have seen nothing substantial as of yet (not even a secret demo or anything, I swear on my babushka!). Any information would be appreciated, either in my inbox, or in the Forums.

That's it for this week, folks! Send your questions to me at [email protected], or post in the Ask Dave Forums for all to see and help!

P.S. Have a Nice Day.

is President and CEO of The Mac Observer, Inc. He has worked in the computer industry as a consultant, trainer, network engineer, webmaster, and a programmer for most of the last 10 years. During that time he has worked on the Mac, all the various Windows flavors, Be, a few brands of Unix, and it is rumored he once saw an OS/2 machine in action. Before that he ran some of the earliest Bulletin Board systems, but most of the charges have since been dropped, and not even the FBI requests that he check in more than twice a year.

Ask Dave is here to answer all the Mac questions you have. Networking, system conflicts, hardware, you ask it, he can answer it. He is the person from whom all Mac knowledge flows....

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