Hugsies Blog!

July 30, 2012

Mountain Lion goodness

Filed under: Mac Stuff — Hugsie @ 10:35 am

It’s nice to see the little issues I’ve had with Snow Leopard and Lion actually fixed in later versions of OS X.  As a beta tester for Firestorm, I’m constantly doing clean installs of the viewer on both my PC and Mac.  On the Mac every time I installed any new app, the icon that appears inside the applications popup (the one off the dock next to the trash) the icon for the new app I just installed wouldn’t show the proper icon, until I rebooted. That’s now fixed in Mountain Lion.

Mountain Lion now has newer security settings that by default won’t allow you to run your own 3rd party apps that aren’t “approved” by apple.  However it’s easy to get around this until you have to do another update. Or you can just disable that crap from the start.  I guess Apple doesn’t believe in free software anymore since they don’t make money off of it if you’re not getting it from the app store.

But now I need to RMA these two sticks of Crucial Ram I bought four months ago. They have a lifetime warranty on them, so i should be able to replace it, pop it back into my mac and upgrade back to 8gb of RAM for my macbook pro.  Hopefully they won’t crap out on me two months later like these did.

July 29, 2012

OS X Mountain Lion 10.8

Filed under: Mac Stuff, Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:39 am

It was a bit of a chore to get this to install on my Two year old mac. As a long time PC tech/nerd i wanted to do a clean install rather than just update over it. When I went to Lion it didn’t work very well, compared to a clean install of Lion I did later. The InstallESD.dmg file you extract from the package for some reason won’t fit on a standard single layer DVD even though it’s size is only 4,3gb. Every time it tried to burn it off to a DVD in Disk Utility told me my media was too small. I can burn the file it SELF onto a DVD with out issue but only as a data DVD, not a bootable DVD. Every windows app that claims to support .dmg images claims this image is damaged and won’t do anything with it.

So then I opted for a USB 16gb stick install which also resulted in some crazy settings to partition and format the usb stick since it originally set with a MBR and FAT16. Even when properly formatted in Disk Utility, it still said the USB stick didn’t have enough memory or space when it finished writing out the image. I read online that this is a false error and it’s common. I was still able to boot to the USB drive and install Mountain Lion on my mac with no issues after that. 🙂

So with a clean install of Mountain Lion running on my Mac, I started testing Firestorm. OS X 10.8 comes with a dictation function that’s basically a stripped down version of iPhone’s Siri. It simply does speech to text into any text edit field on screen.  So I tried it with firestorm and it just froze firestorm with the pinwheel cursor, but the rest of OS was fine, so I had to force quit FS. On phoenix it works fine with no issues.

June 12, 2012

New Apple MacBook Pros

Filed under: Mac Stuff — Tags: , , , , , — Hugsie @ 12:37 pm

The new MBPs look great but after reading the specs for the new MBPs with Retina Displays was in a way disappointing. For techy nerd like me I like the option for upgrade-ability when I get hardware. Everything in the new MBP has everything ingerated and nothing upgradeable. So if you buy it now and want to add more ram to it down the road, you’re SOL. Plus if anything goes wrong with it, like the ram goes bad, you have to replace the whole motherboard (if not the entire laptop) since the RAM is integrated on the motherboard. Now I’m not sure if the SSD drive is removable, but I’m guessing that it’s not; just as the Ram is.

So if you want extra RAM and SSD space you’ll have to buy a new one, or have that already set up when you order it. You no longer have the option to upgrade post purchase. Since there is no DVD SuperDrive anymore, the MPB is really just a MB Air with a better CPU. an NVIDIA  GPU, and a bigger battery.  The actual size of the new MBP seems to have the same footprint and thinness of the Dell ultralights but with a lot more horsepower. These new MPBs have a quad core i7, with the high end model hitting 3.6ghz in turbo mode. Nivida 650M with 1gb of DDR5 (my two year old model is a 330M with 512mb). However no real information on the performace specs on the SSD Drives they are using in the SSD.  I find most SSD drives to be just as slow as mechanical harddrives, or at least no noticeable difference in performace with an SSD or not.

It would be nice to get one of these new MBPs with Retinal displays.  Heck the older-style MBPs that Apple still sells on their website are better than the MBP I have now, but they aren’t any cheaper with the new MBPs w/ retina displays. OS X Moutian Lion will be out next month and according to their requirements page, my two year old MBP should run it fine. The “Dictation” function sounds useful but most of the other stuff seems useless to me. Everything has to be on the cloud but honestly there are many things I have on my computer I DO NOT WANT on the cloud. Mostly due to the size of my library collection won’t fit anyway since you have to pay a premium to store a terabyte of data “on the cloud” when a local harddrive is much cheaper, practical and FASTER than having to send/receive my stuff over slow internet.

So for me, if I’m gonna upgrade I rather get the new non-retinal display MacBook Pros since they offer the same power CPU and GPU wise. They are also upgradeable with bigger HDs and RAM, post purchase. Plus my eyes are so bad anyway a retinal display would be a waste on my eyes.  Oh and thank GAWD Apple went back to NIVIDA!  They barely had those AMD Macs out for like, what, a year?

June 7, 2012

Restaurant Reality Shows

I’m a huge fan of shows like “Restaurant Impossible” and “Kitchen Nightmares” but there’s a common theme on every episode you see. Service sucks, the chef cooks bland food since they don’t cook with salt, they don’t use fresh ingredients since they believe canned and frozen food is cheaper, the kitchen and walk-in freezer is a fungus and bacterial wasteland. Yet the people who own and/or managing the restaurant are clueless as to why their business is failing. Like Duh!

Why is it that both Irvine and Ramsey taste the food BEFORE they see how filthy the kitchen is? I think there’s only been one episode on Ramsey’s show where the kitchen was clean. Every episode the food was shite except the one episode on Irvine’s show where he was helping out a soup kitchen.

These shows have been on for years now.  Chef Ramsey’s show has been on for about 6 seasons and more if you count the shows what he did in the UK before he started doing shows on FOX. You’d think the people who ask for help from either Chef Ramsey or Chef Irving already have a clue as to what their problems are, I just listed most of the common ones above. It’s as if they never saw these shows before?

I really hope that other restaurants that are having issues actually watch some of these episodes and get a clue and check to see how filthy the kitchen is, or how much spoiled food is sitting in their walk-ins. This is just basic fucking common sense in running any business. but I also understand how people can get into a rut and not want to change anything.

I’ve seen many many episodes between Ramsey and Irvine. I’ve only seen one mexican restaurant, dozens and dozens of Italian restaurants, a few French restaurants, and plenty of regular american diner burger/steakhouse restaurants.  But I’ve yet to see any Asian (Chinese. Japanese, Koren, Pilipino) food restaurants on these shows.  Must be the MSG?

May 20, 2012

My Mac Lives!!

Filed under: Mac Stuff — Tags: , , — Hugsie @ 8:45 pm

After spending 8 hours doing diagnostics on the harddrive it came up clean! The 8GB of Ram I was using (Crucial Ram) was bad. So going back to the old 4GB my MBP came with, it works fine. Since I did wipe the whole harddrive, I decided to go back to Snow Leopard. There wasn’t really anything special about OS X Lion; if anything it was annoying. Fullscreen mode was basically pointless. I never saw a need for the launchpad. And a few nuances about Lion had bugged me up until recently when I noticed the last OS update actually addressed it.

So I’m slowly getting my Mac back in shape. Spent about 3 hours updating the OS and installing my apps and updating those. Used Safari once just to install Chrome. Then installed the rest of my must-have apps (Dropbox, VLC, Firestorm, Yahoo IM, LibreOffice.. etc).

One thing I’ve learned for sure is to NEVER use apps that override power management like Insomniac and No Sleep. I’ve killed three power supply adapters with both Snow Leopard and Lion (two with Lion in less than a month).  And since I’ve removed those apps since getting a new power adapter, I’ve had no problems since. Oh and yes those bootleg power adapters knockoffs work quite well.  UNLESS it’s the reason my 8gb went bad.  Hmmm…

More Mac Woes

Filed under: Mac Stuff — Tags: , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:18 am

Never ending issues with this thing. There was a recent OS update about a month ago and for some reason it just failed on me during the update but it didn’t seem to effect anything. Then weeks past and apps started taking FOREVER to load up, bouncing on the dock 100 times before the app loaded. iTunes would load up fine then just quit out unexpectedly no error messages. iCal wouldn’t run at all but it at least it kept the current date as it sat on the dock.  Apps were disappearing from my Dock as I try to lunch them and fail for whatever reason. I guess the OS thinks that if it app is broken remove it from the dock. WTF?

Turns out there were permission settings fucked up. Some how the last OS update fucked things up, so running disk utilities seems to have some of those issues but it ended up making the the entire computer useless.  It got to the point where I said fuck it, wipe the drive and re-install the OS. However installing the OS from the DVD would just fail. After a certain point it would error and say it couldn’t copy files to the harddrive anymore. I was trying to install OS X Lion, so i tried using the discs that came with my mac that had Snow Leopard, same problem,  Was my harddrive bad?  granted i did drop my mac a few times and laptop harddrives (and macs) are prone to HDD failures due to this.

So then i tried using the diagnostic tools that came on the 2nd DVD. Hold down D key while it boots into this odd little mode where it does hardware tests. I’ve done this before and had no issues.  But the moment I START the test it just freezes.  Mouse cursor won’t move, i can’t abort the test.  I even let it sit there for about 20 mins but nothing.  The first test it does is memory test and the last thing I need is the 8gb i just bought 2 months ago to crap out on me. So i figured well lets try this copy of MemText +86 v4.0 (yeah slight older version).  The moment that fires up there are errors ALL OVER THE PLACE.  Constant stream of errors that never end.  I still had the original 4gb of ram my Mac came with. I popped those in, ran Memtest +86 again and same problem.

So what the fuck?  Memory controller fucked up? When running Memtest +86, I noticed both times that the memory settings were way off.  It was showing running at 2051mhz listing as DDR3 4123.  WHAT? Both pairs of ram are only DDR3 1067. That’s twice as fast as this ram is supposed to run at.  How in the fuck did my Macbook Pro get overclocked?

Since Mac’s use EFI it’s not like I can just dump into Bios setup and reset it.  There is no OS on my harddrive anymore, and I haven’t been able to check to see if the HHD is bad or not. So I have no way of getting into guts of this Mac and reset it self so it sees the RAM properly.  I thought maybe swapping back to the old 4gb memory it came with would make the system reset.. but it didn’t.  so what the fuck can i do?

So any information would be helpful here.  I don’t want ppl telling me to take it to a mac store, I DO NOT have the money for that.  I barely have any money for anything anymore.  My tech gut tells me it’s just a FIRMWARE problem that just needs to be RESET. The RAM is fine, and likely the harddrive is fine too.  I just need to reset it’s EFI but who the fuck knows how you do that on a fucking Mac.

February 22, 2012

Gawd OS X Lion sucks!

Filed under: Mac Stuff — Tags: , , , , , — Hugsie @ 7:39 pm

I did a clean fresh install of OS X Lion on my MBP and I’m starting to realize it’s missing basic apps that Snow Leopard had.  iDVD doesn’t exist on Lion, and apparently I can’t play any divx videos on it. Even after installing the codec, quicktime still acts retarded about it. Fortunately VLC on the Mac runs anything as it does on windows, but that doesn’t help me burn movies I DL on DVDs… even if I DID have a copy of iDVD installed.

Seems Apple wants to squeeze yet even more money out of their over priced computers by making you buy iLife separately so you’ll have iDVD. Apparently you can demand a free copy of iDVD, sent to you on a disc, but why can’t I just download it off apple’s website?  I’ts not in the app store, can’t find it on Apple’s website anywhere.  Even on torrent sites I can only find old version from ’09.

There are other little naggy things Lion bothers me with.. like when I shut down my mac it’s always asking me if I want to retain apps and windows open when reboot.  Why do I give a fuck about that? when I shut down my PC I want it to boot fresh, not retain whatever crap I was already doing; otherwise I’d just put it in fucking SLEEP MODE.

Now my Mac came with Snow Leopard. Is there a way extract iDVD (and any other apps that I might find useful) and install from the DVDs that came with my Mac and use it on my Lion install?

February 5, 2012

My history with a Mac

In 2010 i saved up for over nine months to buy a Macbook Pro. A good machine that can play games with a real GPU and dedicated ram for video. Once I got it, everything was kosher. Then the wiring on the magsafe connector started to fray and I had to hold the wire oddly for it to charge my MBP. Short time later (not a pun) those frayed wires shorted out and the power adapter was toast.

Fortunately at the time I was still under the 12 month warranty (had it for about 8 months) I called Apple they arranged a replacement and i got it the next day after returning the old one.  Cool eh?  Unfortunately it’s not like the coverage for my new power adapter was extended another 12 months.

So time passes to last December. I like to keep my MBP powered by the adapter at almost all times, so I was moving from one AC outlet to another and as got settled into my new spot, pluged it in and attached the magsafe to my mac and sat down on a chair with my MPB on my lap, it turned OFF.  poof! This time it turned out the PMU that was having issues, and doing a simple reset of it fixed everything. YAY!  Later on it eventually died on me too, and so I just bought a new one off and it came in 2 days.

A month later, I went to bed charging my mac after it had shut down from letting the battery drain out playing iTunes.  Pluged it in, saw the LED on the magsafe go amber color, and went to bed.  Woke up the next morning and saw no lights from the LED.  WTF?  I assume it was unplugged from the wall or something. It wasn’t, but it was blinking green every 8-20 seconds but never staying green, it would go off.  Booting the MBP showed it had a full charge! So something b0rked after the charge, and now it stopped charging.

So now i have two power adapters that are DEAD.. and about 20% battery power left. I did not get service contract with apple, I could barely afford the $2000+ price tag for the laptop as it was, and another $375 was out of the question. Afterall i am a tech my self, and i know how to deal with computers, but Macs are almost a different breed of computers, even though they are more PC now than they ever had been.

So after all of this bullshit, it’s clear that the initial problem I had with the first power adapter some how messed with the computer it self causing the other two power adapters to eventually fail.  This time this new power adapter failed in about three weeks! So there’s something wrong with my mac.  But what? the power management hardware? The battery?  If it’s the battery i can easily buy a new one and install it. I know the battery isn’t removable but I know how this computer is built and it’s not like the battery is welded into the chassis.  They are made to be replaced. But i don’t know if that will fix the issue of my power adapters fucking up

I’ve called Apple and there’s not much they can do since i don’t have any coverage and money is VERY tight for me.  There is no apple store in my town, but we do have an authorized apple service but they charge $60 an hour to just LOOK at it.  It’s possible if I go outta town to an Apple store they might look at it for free, but even then they still need to fix it, and i have no idea how much that would cost. If it’s more than the what the service contract would have been (apple care) then I’m fucked.

So any fellow techies heads who are mac inclined give me a heads up as to what FUCK is going on here? What I can do on my end and fix it?  What parts I may need, and can I swap out the battery? Is the PMU something that’s even replaceable/serviceable?  If I take it to an apple store would they just end up swapping out the mobo anyway?

Since it’s a power management unit problem, could it be an issue with OS X Lion, and apps like NoSleep, and Insomniac fucking with the PMU that ultimately makes my power adapters fail?  Both these apps don’t work properly since I switched to Lion. Insomniac just doesn’t work at all.  NoSleep does work but once you reboot it just disappears and you have to re-install it over again.  Both apps are said to work with Lion, but they don’t.. and there hasn’t’ been any updates to them to fix these problems.  I might as well Gazelle my Mac and say FUCK Macs!


December 31, 2011

MagSafe isn’t!

Filed under: Mac Stuff — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 6:14 pm

Last Monday something went wrong with my Mac. When plugging in the magsafe connector, the machine just went black. I had just unplugged it from one wall, onto another outlet wall because i wanted to move. Hell it’s a portable computer, i should be able to PLUG IT IN SOMEWHERE ELSE when i want to.

So it took less than 5 seconds to unplug it, move it over to another AC outlet, and as I sat down putting my MBP on my lap, it turned it self off.  As if something shorted out and it turned off as a precaution. Maybe I bumped the magnetic connector or something. Now with the 1st power adapter I had, it went bad on me when the wires inside were fraying near the magsafe connector, and wasn’t able to keep a consistant connection. I had to bend and pull the cable to make it power my mac, then it just died a couple months later.

Anyway, so now the newer power adapter, that i’ve had for about 9 months, doesn’t seem to work anymore.  It no longer powers nor charges my MBP, as if the power brick is dead like the 1st one was. I was looking at about $30-$90 to replace the power adapter, since I didn’t bother with an extended Apple service contract, and it’s over a year old from when I bough it. This is the SECOND TIME in the past 15 months this fucking thing has broken on me.  Hell the old Xbox 360s lasted at least 2 years before they RRoDed on me… SIX TIMES for the past 6½ years.  I digress…

So I ignored my Mac for nearly a week. Preoccupied with Skyrim and Fallout DLC. So I power up my Mac just on batteries since I knew it worked; I just didn’t wanna waste battery power till i get a new power adapter. The Mac behaves weird. It boots much slower, the keyboard doesn’t light up even though it on screen icon shows it’s going brighter and darker. The fans were on full blast the moment I hit the power button.  Once it got to the desktop, I noticed that on the status bar for the battery has a big X on it, and clicking it stated “NO BATTERY PRESENT.”  So what the hell is powering it then, magic power from the spirit of Steve Jobs?

So something got damaged. My guess is whatever governs power between external power, batter and when it should charge.  Turns out this is called the PMU (Power Management Unit) that deals with AC and Battery power and recharging the battery, as well as the fans  It’s likely my power adapter works just fine, it’s just this PMU is having PMS.

So.. after Googling this issue, and learning about the existence of the PMU; I found out how you reset it!  I had my doubts a simple keyboard keystroke with it TURNED OFF would matter.  It first said with it off, to plug the magsafe power in, and I wasn’t even sure if it was broken or not, since it doesn’t light up when it’s plugged in. So with Job’s faith, I pressed shift-control-option with the power button, and let go of all of them simultaniously. Then power back on as normal, and hallelujah it powered back on as normal!  The green light lit up on the magsafe connector, then it turned orange as it does when it charges.  It went to my desktop and everything seems to be… normal!  YAY!  Macs are so.. WEIRD. Well not so much Mac’s but I’ve only owned 2 laptops in my entire life (the 1st one being a netbook) and never really had to deal with PMUs.

And to think they wanted me to pay about $350 for an Apple service contract, when I could have bought another laptop for that? BTW this is my 300th post on my WordPress blog.  Yay!

Now if I can just get NoSleep, or Insomniac to work properly on OS X Lion. Arg! No sleep works well, but when you reboot it’s no longer installed, it just isn’t THERE anymore. It doesn’t install in the traditional .dmg way; it uses an actual installer app like windows. Where as Insomniac just doesn’t work at all.

April 11, 2011

fucking SMB on mac

Filed under: Mac Stuff — Tags: , , , — Hugsie @ 5:43 pm

So since I had my mac, I’ve been accessing my stuff on my windows PC using SMB with no problems.  Untill recently.  Friend of mine wanted to test this little program he made on a bootable USB thumb drive.  You boot it and you get a Linux environment (text) and the program that runs gives you the ability to clear out a windows password.

So we tried it on my windows 7 machine, it cleared out the password, and when you reboot windows it just goes right into the desktop and dosen’t ask for a password.  Since then the smb:// from my Mac to my windows machine broke. I figured all I had to do was put the password back on my windows login.  But that had no effect.  I guess what that little program did was clear out ALL authentication.

I can still see the shared folders when I goto my PC, but trying to connect to them just brings up a message saying “You do not have permission to access this server…”  so what the hell?  I tried changing the login and password on my PC to match the login on my Mac, no dice.  But what really bugs me is IF it’s a login/password issue on my Mac, WHY won’t my Mac just prompt me to re-enter my login and password?

I’ve not tried to see if I can access my shared folders from a different computer (running windows) it might work, but one of my other PCs is having issues and don’t really care if it runs or not since i don’t really need it. Still i wanna be able to access my stuff when I’m on my mac, though my local network.

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