Charles Moore's Mailbag

Safari 4.1 Trouble, Pismo vs. TiBook, Rain and Wireless Broadband, and Pismo G4 Startup Problems

Charles Moore - 2010.06.16 - Tip Jar

Problems with Safari 4.1

From Mike:


I always read your articles. I found an optimized for G4 version of Camino on your site.

Yesterday, I updated to Safari 4.1 on my Pismo G4 running Mac OS X 10.4.11. Unfortunately, it only gives me blank pages. I wanted to go back to 4.0.5, but it seems that the only way to do this is to archive and install (which I don't feel like doing). Is there another way to go back to 4.0.5? Or is there a way to fix 4.1? Am I the only one with this problem?

I have turned to you, because I know you are still using your Pismo.


Hi Mike,

You beat me to it. I downloaded Safari 4.1 and discovered that I hadn't upgraded Tiger on the Pismo I'm using from OS X 10.4.10 to 10.4.11, the latter required for installing Safari 4.1. It's on my to-do list, but I've had several house guests the past few days and didn't get around to doing the upgrade yet.

However, my brother-in-law, who is running Tiger on his G5 iMac, was here this week and said he had experienced the same issue with Safari 4.1 as you report.

I have been using Safari 5 on my Unibody MacBook running OS X 10.6.3 and liking it a lot, so I'm sorry to hear there's an issue with version 4.1. Guess I won't bother installing it now.

AppleToolBox has posted instructions for downgrading from Safari 5 to Safari 4.0.5, and I assume the method would also work for a downgrade from Safari 4.1. There's also a download link for a standalone Safari 5.0.5 installer.

These Apple Discussions threads may also be helpful:

Hope you are able to solve the problem, and thanks for reading.


Editor's note: I can report that Safari 4.1 is running just fine on my dual 1 GHz Power Mac G4 under OS X 10.4.11. I haven't tried it on anything else. dk


Thanks for the quick response. I used the first method (with Pacifist). It worked fine.



Pismo vs. TiBook

From Vic, following up on Strange Keyboard Behavior:

Hi Charles,

I am using my Titanium - I've just got a spot in my heart (and particularly my hands - as the Pismo feels good under my fingers.) But I'm back to the Titanium.

One drawback of my Titanium is a line down the screen on the right side about one-fifth of the way in. It appeared when I was using the Titanium a lot, nonstop - I think it got too hot. I try to ignore it. Life goes on.

I'm thinking when the iPad gets improved a bit, I may be up for it. But not at $600. I'm on a very fixed income, with, like all of us, increasing expenses, so I enjoy playing with my decade-old computer - and it generally does what I want it to do.

My car is almost 10 years old also, and it gets me where I want to go with reasonable economy.

Peace, and thanks for the good thoughts.

Keep up your writing - we enjoy it.


Hi Vic,

Yes, I've never used another computer that felt better than the Pismo, but I understand using the faster TiBook since you have it and it works. You've probably got a Pismo-sized chunk of display to the left of the defective pixel line.

I expect that eventually I'll get a WiFi iPad, but I'll wait until after the Revision B is rolled out and hopefully the price drops a bit and/or refurbished units hit the channels. The 3G version wouldn't make much sense here, as the nearest 3G service coverage is some 35 miles away (iPhones don't work here except for WiFi).

For now, my Pismos serve nicely as second and third computers.

My truck is 16 years old and my car is 20. I don't mind using older stuff that works well.


Rain Degraded Wireless Broadband

From Dan regarding Bog-slow: A Return Visit to Dialup Internet:

Hi Charles,

Is there any possibility of making your antenna higher? At the frequencies that the wireless operates, just a few feet can make a big difference, although high enough to clear the trees would be the best.


Hi Dan,

Thanks for the suggestion.

The antenna is now at the highest point of the house's roof peak (two-storey house with a moderate pitch roof located on a hill of about 20 feet elevation), so locating it higher would require a pole or tower, which would have to be approved and installed by the ISP, as they retain ownership of the antenna.

The ISP service techs were here last week. They inspected and tested the antenna, replaced a couple of cable connectors, and said they were getting a good strong signal, but it was a sunny warm day. We haven't had any serious rain since then, but there have been a few damp spells, and we've had no dropouts so far. One other thing they did was set the "nose" of the antenna up at a higher angle.

Here's hoping....


Pismo G4 Startup Problem

From Mike:


Since you were able to help me with my Safari issue on my Pismo, here's another one:

I have an old Pismo G4 that was lying around. I remembered that if this Pismo was left too long unplugged, I had to reset and pray so it could restart. I tried unplugging the PRAM battery, change the PRAM battery with a new one - nothing: I get the four beeps at startup unless I pop a G3 processor in there.

I promised that Pismo to my nieces. I hope I can do something with the G4 processor.


Hi Mike,

Does it boot up okay with a G3 processor installed? If so, and you get the described behavior only with the G4 upgrade installed, we have to suspect a defect in the G4 processor.


I also think it is the processor, because I have tested it in two different Pismos and they both give me four beeps. I thought four beeps was bad ROM...


Hi Mike,

According to Apple Support, the Mac OS power on self-test (POST) resides in the ROM of the computer and runs whenever the computer is turned on after being fully shut down (the power-on self-test does not run if the computer is only restarted).

If a fault is detected during the test, you will not hear a normal startup chime. Instead, the system will beep as explained below.

  • 1 beep = no RAM installed
  • 2 beeps = incompatible RAM types
  • 3 beeps = no good banks
  • 4 beeps = no good boot images in the boot ROM (and/or bad sys config block)
  • 5 beeps = processor is not usable

In addition to the beeps, on some computers the power LED will flash a corresponding number of times plus one. The LED will repeat the sequence after approximately a five second pause. The tones are only played once.

The boot ROM is on the motherboard. If it's bad, then the mobo needs to be replaced. One other other possibility is bad RAM. Try a known-good RAM chip in one RAM slot at a time with the other slot empty.


I read a lot about power issues. I don't think the processor overheated. I'm puzzled.


Hi Mike,

This fault wouldn't necessarily have had to be caused by overheating. These machines are getting pretty old, and they don't have an infinite lifespan.


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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