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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…