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johnfoster last won the day on April 24

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About johnfoster

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    Alpha Mac Geek

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    San Francisco, CA
  • Interests
    law, gravity, reverse osmosis, pencils, and time travel.

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  1. support is a tiny part of my day. it used to be a bigger part but I just do not have the fleet of Mac, Windows, and other devices around me to keep running. once in a while I cave to help somebody I know deal with a problem that for some reason is not easily solved. enter a MacBook Air. it decided to die like all tech does. the quote from FruitCo for a repair was $500 backed by a 90 day sort of warrantee. it was decided that putting that money toward a brand new MBA was money better spent given the roll it plays in her life. she purchased the new Mac. all was well. I offered to pull the SSD out of the old MBA, plop it into a case, make a backup of that data then send it back to her ready for importing into the new Mac. easily done? nope. previously I replaced a SSD in a Air made in 2012. as a side for doing the swap I got to the keep the SSD and the USB case the upgrade came with to make moving the DATA to the newly installed SSD possible. I looked up my notes, the model of that MBA was A1466. I thought it was going to be a copy, box, send slam dunk. nope. the steps were: open the MBA, extract the SSD, then install it into the previously used USB case… simple. but it did not work. the connectors were different. "maybe I remembered it wrong,” I thought. whatever. ordering a different SSD case based on the known model number would solve this problem. a week later it arrived. and it had the same problem as the other case. it was a different interface. I looked it up again. the Macbook Air that I fixed early had a model number of A1466. supposedly it was built in 2012. the MBA that I was working on had this number too. why would a 2013 MBA share the SAME part number of something that was made in 2012? the two are nearly completely different. the case I had saved would not work with the SSD. the new case was never going to work. nope. in looking for a case to make this work I found crickets. the same case / interface kept coming up because of the shared part number. damn you A1466! so I searched by YEAR instead. found. ish. instead of 2o bucks like the case I just bought, the 2013 MBA SSD case was going to cost 7o to 1oo bucks. why? evidently, this SSD is a PCIe card. wow, right? no wonder the bender is a 1oo! and then a search came back with a PCI card. excellent. I can drop this into a Cheese Grater. it will read it. and I can finish this project. Amazon promised two days. this report will continue tomorrow. now, back up your damn data.
  2. look at all this OLD stuff… just as old. maybe not so much fun.
  3. starcraft. free.
  4. yes. it is really airquotes easy. although I am never s'posed to use the word easy. in this case it is. you need a two long wires, a momentary switch that is normally open, a case to put that switch in, and a soldering iron. a more "protected" switch would use an opto isolator, a coin battery, and the same physical switch and case as the other mod. use an EASY button, one of the USB do stuff buttons , or an old ARCADE style button. the button doesn't matter so much as the neatness you plan for exiting the wires from the case. it should not look like a five minute hack because is a Mac. it would be just as airquotes easy to make it work with a remote control. if swapping a RAM or a hard drive scares you then forget that I said easy. use IMPOSSiBLE instead.
  5. somebody documented the POWER ON pads for nearly all the MacBook. with a careful bit of soldering…
  6. remove the battery. if the problem persists there an issue with either the power module that sits between the motherboard that holds the magnets or the motherboard itself. for some reason the power connector part goes bad sometimes. if the Mac runs normally without the battery you will need to replace it or just run it without the battery.
  7. as you said that the drop out problems persist when you move the mini to a different network the culprit is very likely the wireless board inside the Mac mini. the board is easily replaced for about $20. here is the link for the steps:
  8. as much as I love the idea of Time Machine the tool has not been well taken care of since it's release. I do not expect new features but I do demand reliability. Time Machine has proven to be flakey and finicky. that said, when it works, it works just fine. the thing will go for weeks, spinning, doing nothing. no report that there is a problem. and eventually it is YOU noticing that it is not working. when backing up to a network T M loses it's collective mind if it gets stopped in before it finishes. the expectation should be that it could get interrupted at any time so pre-deal with it. it should be more user centric. and it is clear to me that FruitCo made the feature and then abandoned it once check box was achieved. if you really want backups you should move to tools that are maintained and modern. Copy Copy Cloner SuperDuper DD BackBlaze your own DIY server with RAID1 at least
  9. the printer scene changes from year to year. meaning I start by reading the reviews in PC World and PC Magazine. mostly for an overview of what is working, out now, and what to stay away from. and I base the reports on the Brother multi-function laser printer that has been the workhorse for my office for the last 6 years. this printer does not Air or Google print (sadly). but it does FAX. and it will stack scan a pile of paper. it works. hurray. this one got an editor's choice. seems workable.,2817,2493665,00.asp there is another interesting printer (also an Editor's choice). why is it? BiG cheap cartridge. the review makes a point of them. and it is a Brother. meaning not evil HP. hmm. the good news is you can find either of these printers at retail at either Best Buy or Office Whirld so you can see them work before you buy. and the price seems to be the same same as buying online. this is where I would start. good luck.
  10. your old 2011 MBP has SATA II. it will run either SSD at full tilt but never MAX tilt of what the either is capable. I have used both Crucial and Samsung SSDs without issue. so far the only reason to retire either has been to upgrade to something larger. flip a coin. or buy the cheaper drive.
  11. the days of that Mac's hard drive are numbered given the age. most drives are over and out after three years of use. so replacing sooner should be your plan NOW. the SSD will make your old Mac feel like a new Mac. so even if you are eye'n a new Mac for the future you OWE IT TO YOURSELF to run with an SSD until that day. as always, make sure you have a back up plan. otherwise there WILL be a day when that hardware hits the wall and everything will be gone. RAM… depending on what you are doing there is little performance gains above 8G. unless you are running Photoshop with a HUGE History while editing MASSIVE layered images for PRINT resolution or you keep a gabillion tabs open in your three browsers (why do people work this way?) anyway, it does not hut to have ALL the RAM. you might as well put it in there while you are adding the SSD.
  12. this looks interesting. if only because you could listen to a LiVE radio, tap when you hear MORSE then learn back at your own pace or check what you heard for later.
  13. replace the hard drive for the Transporter Sync. that should not cost a lot. then you have one more working option.
  14. several years at least. the problem as I see it is that there are no valid TECHNiCAL reason why the new OS should not be allowed to run on old hardware. it's wasteful to discontinue it this way. the good news is that you can get pretty close to newest even with the oldest of Mac Pro from 2006. and these Macs, if you upgrade the CPUs to Octos and replace the GPU with something more modern will run 10.10. good enough, right? know what is really sad? that 2006 Mac Pro outruns even the modern best Mac Mini beating it with an excellent benchmark and kills it in the price performance curve. for example. you can run REAL SATA drives at full speed without the paying a Turdbolt tax for a case to get full speed. just plug them into the slot!
  15. the really sad thing about old Mac Pro hardware sunsetting is that most of this OLD stuff is more powerful compared to most of the new Mac line up being sold today. the OCTOs even compare, benchmark wise, favorably next to Mac Pro Mini hardware. and given the cost of the boxes the price performance curve makes them formidable for day to day work. I think I would rather have a 8 year old box that offers ALL the RAM, full speed hard drives, and choice of a GPU and throw it away if it breaks for $600. and I am certain that the Rock Kitty will serve my OS needs for years to come.