Most Mac owners are tired of being asked if their computer crashes a lot. Apple uses the terms freeze, bomb and, of course, crash. Basically, these mean the mouse pointer may not move or may not be visible. A restart is usually the only activity possible. However, I recently found out Mac does not have to mean Must Always Crash. After using a Mac at work for many years, I took advantage of the Performa promotion last autumn and brought home a 5200CD with 24 megabytes of RAM. It suited my needs for home use with a CD, 14.4 kilobits per second (Kbps) internal modem and an 850-megabyte IDE hard drive. These last two features were the cause of crashes, but it took a bit of digging to find that out. This Mac was crashing seemingly at random but once it began it would happen several times. Some days it didn't happen at all. I consulted the Macintosh Guide in the top right corner of the screen. This is the question-mark icon. Selecting topics, I scrolled to troubleshooting and clicked on 'Why can't I move the pointer on the screen'. This reminds you to make sure your mouse is connected to the computer properly. It also suggested consulting the manual. The User's Guide had some information but did not solve the problem. It suggested asking other Mac owners for a solution. I tried the Internet, searching for Apple Mac Performa using one of the many engines on Netscape. Ron's Mac Page had lots of useful hints and I found the answers I needed. My Mac was crashing because of a conflict between my internal modem and the IDE hard drive. The solution was a small extension called Drive Firmware. I located this term. 'Drive Firmware update version 1.2 released May 12, 1995.' That's right, my problem was almost two years old, but then this Performa was discontinued in April last year. 'This extension addresses a problem whereby internal IDE drives on certain products emit audible noise. This problem is only found on Macintosh LC 580, Performa 58x series, Macintosh LC630, Performa 63x series and PowerMac 5200/75 computers. 'This extension will load during boot time. It detects the firmware version and drive type of your internal hard drive. If the firmware and drive type require update, the extension will download the new firmware into the drive. Once the install occurs, the extension is no longer required.' I downloaded the extension, rebooted and have not had a problem since. While searching for this extension, I came across another potential freezing problem using Netscape. The solution for this is called Netscape Defrost. 'This system extension kept Netscape from freezing while accessing Web pages,' the read.me document said. Many people had reported freezes which required the Cmd-Opt-Esc key combination to force-quit Netscape. 'This extension fixes a very specific type of freeze caused when Netscape (or another program) reads the Machine Location from external parameter RAM.' Version v0.9b2 fixed a bug which was probably causing the conflict with Global Village Fax and some other programs. Version v0.9b1 had been successful beyond expectation, it said. 'The extension works for all Macintosh computers and is compatible with all versions of Netscape.' The result of less than an hour of Internet time is the joy of saying I do not have a problem with my Mac crashing.