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It’s Alive! (mostly)

The MacBook Air Lives!

The MacBook Air Lives!

I’m practically jumping for joy. If you read my previous post on the MacBook Air I bought off Kijiji, I’d left things at a quasi cliff-hanger. Well, I put it all back together, pressed the power button and… nothing. Read More…


Mac Pro Update

Computer tear-down on my desk.

Computer tear-down on my desk.

Just wanted to post a quick update on what I’ve done to my Mac Pro. To recap: I acquired a 2006 first-generation Mac Pro and am in the process of building it up. Why? Because I can. Also, I have a big video project this summer and I need something fairly powerful to cut on.

The first upgrade was a modest memory boost, from 1GB to 5GB. It’s a definite improvement, though still not enough for a proper edit suite. I’ll be adding another 8GB by the summer, at least.

Next, a little bit of brain surgery that saw me swap the antiquated 2Ghz dual-core Xeons with slightly less antiquated 2.66Ghz quad-core Xeons. What does that mean in non-geek speak? Each “core” is a processor. So having two dual-core Xeons would be like having four processors or “brains” and the quad-cores would make it eight. The speed doesn’t scale linearly, so doubling the cores won’t double the power. But for certain tasks, there is a definite improvement.

I don't know if the Mac Pro will ever be this powerful, but one can always hope...

I don’t know if the Mac Pro will ever be this powerful, but one can always hope…

The other day, I finally installed an SSD drive. I happened to have one lying around, since my Mac Mini didn’t like it, and would hang at random times. But it works fine in the Mac Pro. It boots up in less than 25 seconds, and that’s from the moment you push the power button. Once you hear the chime, the desktop appears in a couple of seconds and you’re all set to go. It is stupid-fast.

I’m currently working on a “how-to” video on how to install an SSD, and will do one for the processor upgrade too. After that, the next upgrade will be a newer video card.


A New Year Without the PowerBook? NEVER!

Who needs the lower quarter? It's just wasted space, right? Right?

Who needs the lower quarter? It’s just wasted space, right? Right?

New year, new beginnings. And it was almost so when I powered up the PowerBook this morning. The lower quarter of the screen displayed visual artifacts and flickered constantly, rendering it almost unusable. It hadn’t been on since coming back from our cross-country holiday visit back east, and the time off didn’t seem to agree with it. Read More…

Open Heart Surgery on a Mac – Success!

The Mac Pro - Now with more badass.

The Mac Pro – Now with more badass.

I was planning on doing a regular update on each upgrade for the Mac Pro, but the ram and CPUs came together, tipping my wife off that I was up to something. Read More…

Get Off my Lawn

ImageI never liked Microsoft Windows.  Back in the early 90s, I’d spent more time in DOS than Windows 3.1, like most people I knew.  We had Macs at school, and for some odd reason, I hated them with a passion.  I don’t even know why.  Which is funny considering how many I currently own, coupled with iDevices, Apple TV and an Airport Extreme.  Read More…

Dude, I Got a Dell – And I Still Use My PowerBook

Dell Dude

Despite the brand new Dell under my desk, I’m typing this on my PowerBook. Why? I’m still faster on a Mac. I’m trying to like Windows, I really am and I’d heard lots of great things about Windows 7, but for the life of me, I can’t get it to work as well as a nine year-old Mac. Read More…

A Year With the PlayBook

I admit it. I own a BlackBerry PlayBook. A huge fire sale and a collection of Sears reward cards that were about to expire finally pushed me to grab a 16GB base model. Having missed out on the HP Touchpad, I wasn’t going to be denied a cheap, possibly useless tablet computer.

Password Required

The onscreen keyboard works well, and has a nice predictive feature for completing words since the OS upgrade.

Read More…

Rebuilding an iPod Touch

Broken iPod Touch

My wife’s iPod AFTER I fixed it…

Shattered. Completely shattered.

I stood over the pieces of my wife’s iPod Touch, my face distorted into a mocking glare in its reflective back. What I had assumed to be a relatively straightforward affair – Remove broken display / replace with new one – turned into nearly four hours of agonizing futility and ended in complete failure. Read More…

Use Screenwriter? Want a Retina Macbook? About that…

Movie Magic Screenwriter

Movie Magic Screenwriter

Anyone who uses Write BrothersMovie Magic Screenwriter and looking to upgrade to a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, I’ve got some bad news. Read More…

Technology Defining Us

My PowerBook G4, circa December 2003.

I recently applied to teach a class about technology and society. In my cover letter, I argued we shouldn’t let technology define who we are. And two days later I start a blog called This Old PowerBook. Do as I say, not as I do. Read More…