A client recently contacted me with an odd situation. They wrote:
Computer has recently been “getting locked up”, that is, when I am working with documents, the cursor arrow (operated by the mouse) turns into a rainbow colored whirlly-gig -gig. That is, all functions freeze. Thus far, eventually, the whirly-gig solves itself, and I can progress. But, it seems to be happening more, and taking longer to figure itself out.
It turns out that this was not an issue with Microsoft Word or with the operating system that they have installed on their computer. The client called Apple (they purchased AppleCare) and it turns out that an issue with their wireless/bluetooth keyboard was the culprit. More specifically, the batteries that they were using as replacements apparently weren’t strong enough to support a solid connection to the computer, which left the computer in a funk.
To determine battery levels in your wireless Mac keyboard and mouse:
- Click on the Bluetooth icon in the top menu bar (to the left of the clock)
- Scroll down the short menu to the bold title of your keyboard or mouse.
- When you hover over the keyboard or mouse, you should see in light gray a battery percentage level. This number presents the strength of your installed batteries.
You can also go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Keyboard (or Mouse) and the information should be displayed in the bottom left hand corner of the open window. (See attached image below.)
Airport Router Firmware Update
If you own an Airport Express, Airport Extreme or Time Capsule, please pay attention!
It was reported to me by a client just yesterday that her Time Capsule router was blinking amber and she didn’t understand why. But, before I could even respond to her, she figured out what had happened (which ALWAYS makes me happy!) A second client indicated to me today that they also had a blinking amber Airport Extreme, so I figure that others out there will also have similar issues.
The reason for the blinking amber: Your Apple router is desperately trying to tell you that there is an upgrade for it! To verify, download and install the update, do the following:
- In the Finder, open the Utilities folder
- Click on Airport Utility
- Your Airport device may have a red “1” on it.
- If it does, click the device icon with the red “1” and click on UPDATE. The software will do the rest.
- Your router will restart itself so that the new information can be installed correctly. DO NOT UNPLUG your device during this time. It could fry the device. Firmware updates are important and can’t be interrupted. If you have any concerns, let me know
- The entire update process takes between 3-5 minutes.
- It’s important to know that older Airport devices (Airport Extreme that looks like a spaceship or Airport Express that plugs directly into the wall without a cable) may not require a firmware upgrade as they are legacy devices.)
Firmware is software that controls hardware. I tell clients that it’s the firmware that makes the WiFi magic happen. Such upgrades happen maybe once a year, but when they do, they’re important to install.