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by David Dunham

I ususally use this column to report bugs in our software we are looking into or that we have fixed. This month will be a little different. I'm going to write about a bug I experienced.

On monday morning I got in and opened my email as usual. I got a message saying, "The file "The" is corrupted and may not be a valid archive. Do you wish to continue working with it?"

I clicked on NO. I noticed a few files that I had been expecting were being decompressed. I waited for them to appear in my In Box. No such emails. Hmmm. I did a search through all of my folders for the expected emails, no such file found. Very curious. I opened and tried to answer an email from a user. I hit command R as usual, wrote my answer and then hit Queue message, and got this dialogue,

"Couldn't complete last command because a read was attempted beyond the end of a file."

Hmmm, I tried to open another email and got that wonderful "Bmmmmp" sound. Not good.

I tried to open some email that had been opened previously. "Bmmmmp". Yikes. I ran Norton's, no problems found. Then I option opened Claris and tried a typical rebuild. Since I have/had about 10,000 emails in there I anticipated a long wait. I ran a few errands and got back to find my Œputer totally frozen. The progress bar was there, showing no progress at all.

Then I tried an advanced rebuild. After a bit of progress my 'puter went screaming into Macsbug. Not good. I ran Norton's again and again no problems found. I tried another advanced rebuild. I left for dinner, came back to find my poor machine frozen like never before. The screen was black and locked up. Force quit did nada, force reboot did nada, I had to use the power switch on my surge supressor. This got my machine back in action and was the signal for this tech support guy to swallow his pride and call tech support at Claris. Well as we all know, Apple has bought Claris and so they are handling their tech support. Not fun. After about an hour and a half of voice jail and a missing 12 digit technical support number (what 12 digit number for $%$#%$'s sake) I was out of luck. Without that 12 digit number, no help for me. So I broke down and called Apple's pay for support line. I described my problems and got,

"Yikes, that's not good, can I put you on hold?"

Sure, then,

"I can't help you, here is the direct number for Claris support."

OK, "do I have to pay for this call?"

"Nope, I couldn't troubleshoot it. So..."

I almost wish I had a number like that. Of course the number she gave me was just a different route to the voice jail I was in earlier. I finally got smart and called an order line, now don't try this at home kids, and lo and behold I got a person on the second ring. She gave me the same line you'll get if you call the 1 800 line here for tech support.

"I'm sorry this line is for orders only, you'll have to call our tech support line"

Once I explained my predicament she was very helpful and informative, she gave me the all powerful and magical 12 digit number. I got a hold of a tech support person and when I described my problem, he acted like he handled these problems all day long. He gave me very specific instructions to get back in action. All of which ended with a typical rebuild of my email database. Well, surprise, surprise it froze at the exact same point.

My only option was to remove the mail folder in my Claris folder and start another database. So, I am back in action, but I lost my entire database and all of the email that had been sent to my account since probably saturday. I never did determine what caused the problems in the first place, nor why the rebuild wouldn't work. It may be that I don't have enough RAM to open the whole database, or it may be that it hits a point where the file is so corrupted that it just chokes out. But anyway, if you have been waiting an inordinate amount of time for a response from me, that's the reason. Please write me back and I'll respond ASAP.


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