johnfoster

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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
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    law, gravity, reverse osmosis, pencils, and time travel.

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  1. the bender is has NO active electronics on it. it just routes that tiny PCI bus to a normal PCI connector. this was why the USB case was so expensive. this electronics in that case has to bend PCI into USB. which is… not anything standard or cheap as far as I know. oddly, I cannot upload anymore files. to here. click to see a gallery of the project.
  2. the 2013 Macbook Air uses a PCIe based interface for the SSD. a USB case costs between $60 and $100. this was simply too much money to pay for a thing that I will use exactly one time. yes, I could have purchased one, used it, then returned it claiming I bought the wrong case. which is the stuff of an ethics cards game. and I am not opposed to venturing this as a fix. I just do not make a practice of it. what I wanted was a one way trip. you know, get the thing, fix the problem, send the result back to where it came from. fixed is the operative word. my search efforts paid off when I noticed something different. it was a PCI card for a PCIe SSD. it was $1o. sold. Amazon got it here in two days. I installed the SSD, shut down the cheese grater, then powered on. the Mac asked to reconfigure the PCI bus to make the SSD even faster. the third option will do that, yes please. restart. [I forgot to snap a screen shot of this interesting configuration panel. oops.] it took about an hour for Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bit image of the SSD. 4 gee bees a minute. that seems slow given the bus speed of PCI and that the SATA drive it was going to was SATA2. it should be more like 11 gee bees. hmph. with the image copied to spinning media, I cloned the clone to another hard drive that will fly away to Texas. there might be issues with the SSD. this would explain why the MBA behaved badly. and why the SSD was slow to copy. more testing is required. while this seemed like it took a long time my total time on the project, not counting waiting for parts to ship or copies to happen, was about 35 minutes. most of this was spent researching which benders to buy to read the SSD. this is the link to the bender. currently out of stock but you can use the info to find it from a different vendor. http://amzn.to/2qhk02x
  3. when I hear people say, "I lost ALL my pictures." or "call me, my contacts are GONE!" or even worse, "I was on the phone with tech support for TWO days and after all that everything was… nothing." there is NO excuse for not having a backup of the things you want to make it to the future. backblaze is insanely cheap if you are just you. dropbox or onedrive. free or not free. [gush about OneDrive goes here] for the same yearly cost you can buy a external hard drive that will Time Machine. of course we all know that wires and attached things are the suck. so spend a little more for a Wireless NAS. or DiY one. (not that this is hard. get the case. install a drive.) this thing below is something that I did not know about until just a moment ago. so I ordered one… report to the class when I get it.
  4. 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.
  5. look at all this OLD stuff… http://macintoshgarden.org just as old. maybe not so much fun. http://www.ifarchive.org/indexes/if-archiveXgamesXmac.html
  6. starcraft. free.
  7. 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.
  8. somebody documented the POWER ON pads for nearly all the MacBook. with a careful bit of soldering… http://www.insidemylaptop.com/turn-on-macbook-pro-laptop-without-power-button-locating-power-on-pads/
  9. 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.
  10. 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:
  11. 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
  12. 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. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2493665,00.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. http://www.pcmag.com/review/345055/brother-mfc-j985dw 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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. https://cogi.com/