Q: I have a Macintosh Performa 6290CD. It has been upgraded to use System 9.04 and was working fine until a few days ago. Now when I try to boot up, it stops about halfway through and a window appears saying, "Sorry, a system error occurred 'Time Synchronizer' error type 41." A restart button is supplied and when pushed, the same message appears again except it says "bus error" instead of "error type 41." Now when the restart button is pushed, the computer starts to boot up again but stops at the same place, with the same messages. When stalled like this, the shutdown button doesn't function and the only way to turn the computer off is to pull the plug out of the wall.
A: The 41 error message indicates that your Mac is having trouble loading the Finder, probably due to a corrupt Finder or corrupt Finder preferences. Remember the mantra used by the friendly geeks at Q&A; labs: Make extensive backups before doing anything. Once that's all done, you should be able to fix this by just deleting the damaged Finder and preferences and reinstalling it. You can try just reinstalling the base system after deleting Finder and the preferences file, or you can just do a clean installation.
It's possible this was caused by an installation failure of some new software. Just in case, run Disk First Aid before doing anything. You probably already know this, but you should be able to get the process started by booting your Apple off the operating system CD.
Q: I just purchased my own domain name from Yahoo, and they gave me an e-mail address with it. Apparently a number of different sites are offering the same promotion. The problem is that I would prefer to send and receive e-mail from Outlook Express. How can I do this and still have it come from my domain and not yahoo.com?
A: The ability to spoof an e-mail address is normally a piece of cake, but it can be troublesome, especially if your Internet service provider has declared war on spam. You need to use a POP3-compatible e-mail client, such as Outlook or Eudora. The geeks here are big fans of Eudora, available for free at http://www.eudora.com, in part because it's not as virus-friendly as Outlook.
We'll explain the principle here. Basically, when you configure a POP3 client, there will be a place to set a return address. Just type in the address you want people to respond to, and you're good to go. This address does not have to coincide at all with the ISP you're using to download the e-mail--in this case, Yahoo.
Dave Wilson is The Times' personal technology columnist. Submit questions to Tech Q&A; at email@example.com.