Hi Ron - and welcome!
The point in the cable that you mention is known to be a weak point, but as you already figured out, the fix is fairly uncomplicated: pop it open and re-solder the cable. The biggest hurdle is opening the case. There are a number of locking tabs along all four sides, and it's very difficult to open the case without damaging at least some of them -- or so I'm told; I have not attempted this myself but I have read several posts about this. Try searching this site to find related posts. I can help you if you want, but don't have time for it right now.
As for the configuration software, that's another known weak point. It won't work with Maverick. The thing is that even the newest release of the software requires an old Java version because things have changed too much in newer versions. And this old Java version predates the operating systems we have today. You need Windows XP or something equally old -- or at least a virtual machine running an old OS. I'm running a new OS but use a virtual machine to run WinXP at the same time. Due to licencing/piracy, I can't offer a copy of this for download from this site, but it proves that the workaround really works.
I agree that FW tech is *still* several years ahead of anything Apple offers. Apple's "magic mousepad" seems to have tanked - I haven't heard a word about it since it launched. I don't care about that, but I do care that the existing products are simply ignored. That's not nice toward all those customers who made FW what it was, but then again, this is exactly how Apple functions so I'm not surprised. Just sad. At least they haven't forced us to take down this site, and I'm happy about that!!
TorbenGB - webmaster & forum admin