This can be very confusing. Please read carefully.
1. There is a big difference between Mindstorm and Robolab. Each has it's own firmware. Mike only uses Robolab. If you use Mindstorm to update the firmware it will not work in Roblab without updating the firmware using the Robolab software.
2. Do not use a Mac to update firmware. It will not work. You must use a PC to update the firmware or to fix one that was updated on a Mac. The clicking on the bricks means it is in firmware mode waiting to get a new version. The Mac erases the brick but does not install the firmware.
3. To install Robolab on a Mac you must do it twice. Install once all the way. Restart the Mac and trash the Robolab folder in applications. Install again and it will work. The first install has an issue putting 3 files where they need to go. The second install fixes this.
4. If any student has problems with Robolab they must come to the help desk with the laptop and the brick.

As it turns out, there's a problem that can arise on Intel based Macs that "bricks" the NXT bricks from our new robotics sets. This applies to Leopard and Snow Leopard. If one of the NXT gets hosed, you must use a PC running Robolab to fix.