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Aged Mac Pro and Mac Book Pro – Time to upgrade #macintosh #apple

I took a giant leap and needed to make sure that everything I wanted to do on my Macintosh I was able to do in Windows. I have been dual-booting Windows on my Macs for over 6 years starting with my Performa 640CD DOS Compatible. My career in IT has kept me in the forefront of both Macintosh and Windows networking for over 20 years so it is important that I keep up. Usually I had to buy 2 personal computers to do it, but in the past 6 years I only needed one Mac to do it all. Over the past few years I mainly used Windows at home for 1 game – Ultima Online.

In the past 6 years both my Mac Pro mid-2008 and my MacBook Pro 2009 has been running great with Macintosh and Windows partitions. I even used Parallels on the MBP as it’s 64-bit EFI has let me use Mavericks where the Mac Pro older 32-bit EFI could not. I had the option to boot natively into the Windows partition for full speed or use Parallels on the Mac with the same partition as a Virtual Machine. As my PCs get older and older each year, I am at a turning point for a new Mac.

My 2008 Mac Pro runs like a beast but is limited by the 32-bit EFI which meant the last Mac OS I can run is Lion. The hardware is super fast yet with the Xeon 8-core CPU at 3GHZ but has been left in the cold by Apple. I won’t buy another super performing Ma Pro hoping I can use it 6+ years down the road. Unfortunately, Apple thinks these fully capable Macs are not worth the continued development time.

My MacBook Pro 13.3″ with discrete Nvidia graphics 256MB is showing it’s age. A 8GB RAM boost and a 500GB hard drive upgrade really made this Mac last 5 years. My latest MMORPG game Shroud of the Avatar is going to be out in 6-8 months and it is really taxing the aged hardware on my MBP in the monthly alphas/betas. My MBP really took hold as my go to Mac for my MBA and MIS studies and gaming all from the living room. My life has shifted to a more living room centric existence so between my iPad Mini and my MacBook Pro this has been possible. I am tired of the smaller 13.3″ screen of my MBP. Using it on a TV tray while sitting in the living room has been beneficial as I can start and stop quickly with my interruptions of life. 

Stay tuned for my next article as I progress to looking at what is available on both sides – Macintosh and Windows…

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Successful BootCamp Partition on my Mac #macintosh #apple #Windows #bootcamp

Sometimes you have no choice but to run Windows just to play a game. I remember when Bootcamp first came out and helped me put my Windows XP 32-bit (this was before 64-bit Windows existed) disc and a few clicks later I had Windows as a separate partition just to play Ultima Online!

Fast forward and just try to use a Windows 7 or Windows 8 disc using the same process.  You will get this:

1:

2:

Select CD-ROM Boot Type:

WTF?  Pressing any key does nothing, nothing!

SOLUTION:

Microsoft changed something on the disc images you can now download from MSDN or from themselves. So you have to extract and re-create the ISO file and use that.

From Sergio McFly - http://sergiomcfly.blogspot.com/2008/04/select-cd-rom-boot-type-when-installing.html

0 – create 3 folders c:\server2008iso c:\server2008exe c:\server2008dvd
1 – download this .exe file and put into c:\server2008exe
2 – put .iso you downloaded from ms into c:\server2008iso and unzip it
3 – move .iso file out of c:\server2008iso
4 - open a dos prompt in c:\server2008exe and type:

oscdimg -n -m -bc:\server2008iso\boot\etfsboot.com c:\server2008iso c:\server2008dvd\server2008dvd.iso

With the new ISO you can burn the DVD disc using Disk Utility.

WAIT! When I am in the Windows installation screen it will not let me select my hard drive and gives me error 0X80300024 in the Advanced Disk screen.

The problem is you have more than 1 physical hard drive in the system. You will need to remove them before the Windows installation starts. Right after your Mac restarts from the BootCamp installation to boot from the Windows install DVD, turn your Mac off by holding down the power button and remove those extra hard drives leaving only the one you want to install Windows on.

SUCCESS!

 

For what is it worth, the Hyper-V guys have this same problem with the Windows install ISOs too!

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Windows 8.1 locks you into having a Microsoft account #windows #Windowsfail #microsoftfail

 

Microsoft's EVIL LogoYes, Microsoft is back at their usual anti-trust bull crap once again. I upgraded my Windows 8 to 8.1 for free and was presented with a “you must have a Microsoft account” controlling crap.

That is right! You have a choice during setup (after accepting the EULA) that you can use Express setup which forces you to use a Microsoft Account or to use the Customized Setup which again forces you to use a Microsoft Account. Neither approach will let you pass unless you use an existing Microsoft “we will spy on your 100%” account.  I have one but I don’t think I need to have to use it just to install and use Windows crap OS.

One day I won’t have to run Windows for 1 game – Ultima Online. EA either improve UO and make a Mac OS client or just kill the servers.

Thankfully Richard Garriott is THE MAN and is coding the Ultima successor, Shroud of the Avatar, to work on Mac OS!

Take it from me. gaming on Windows is crap, always has been and always will be.

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Shroud of the Avatar Mac OS X Mavericks reset #SOTA @ShroudofAvatar

Do you need to make your Pre-Alpha copy of Shroud of the Avatar like when you first installed it?

WarmCat figured it out over at the Shroud of the Avatar forum. WarmCat writes,

Since Mavericks, simply deleting the plist file was not enough, as all the plists are cached in memory.
The correct way to remove a plist contents is with the defaults terminal command, for example:
defaults delete “unity.Portalarium.Shroud of the Avatar”

This has successfully removed the settings, now when I run the game, it’s like new with default settings etc.

Well done sir!!

Source: https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/os-x-client-configuration-settings.8015/#post-170052

 

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Is Samsung evil? #samsung #evil #apple #iphone

Neowin posted an article called “Samsung: Steve Jobs’ death is “our best opportunity to attack iPhone”.

WOW Samsung!  Talk about a low blow just to make money. No shame for Samsung and it’s employees.

I have boycotted Samsung years ago and I urge you to do the same.

 

Read the email posted here from Apple Insider and read the Apple Insider article (Link below) to gain a new perspective on a global company called Samsung who will fight unfair just to take your money for their products.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/04/16/samsung-email-targeted-steve-jobs-death-as-our-best-opportunity-to-attack-iphone

Source: Apple Insider. Picture credits Apple Insider.

 

 

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The Mac at 30: Have We Really Progressed?

Well, well, well, what do we have here? After fifteen months, I have finally returned with a new article on this site, skipping all of 2013 in the process.

If you’re wondering where I have been, I’ve been managing a business. After a great run in the classroom, in which my students saw astronomical growth in all areas, I shifted my focus to tutoring and currently run a tutoring, academic enrichment, and homeschool consulting business. In the future, I will be expanding into educational publications and hope to revolutionize learning as we know it in the process.

Of course, I was able to take time out of my schedule to celebrate the Mac’s 30th birthday. I made a tribute video, accessible at http://vimeo.com/85060449

I also figured this would be a great opportunity to get back into blogging about the Macintosh. Specifically, I am going to look at the “state of the Mac” (and, for that matter, computers in general) in 2014, thirty years after the Macintosh story began. I’ll be looking at different eras in the Mac’s history, specifically detailing where the peaks were.

Computer Lineup and Choice

It’s hard to tell what the best combination here was. The current product matrix is fairly easy to navigate. There are two laptop lines and three desktop models, all of which are geared toward different customers. Only a few minor variants exist within these five basic channels, such as a single MacBook Pro model without a retina display (it also retains legacy support for unadapted FireWire and optical discs) and Mac Mini models sold as servers. Each model comes in several trim lines, with processor speed and screen size among the variables, leading to an easy-yet-difficult matrix of products sold under the same name with entirely different feature sets.

Even simpler was the 1999 lineup, in which the biggest question for consumers had to do with the color of the machine they were purchasing. This was the no-gimmick 2×2 product grid Steve Jobs implemented when he returned to Apple, replacing a completely unorganized mess of Performas, Power Macs, Quadras, and Centrises.

Some can argue the early-and-mid 1991 lineup was the strongest, in which there were three tiers of desktop computers with two models each (Classic and LC at the low end, SE/30 and IIsi in the middle, IIci and IIfx at the top). Although the laptop selection was weak, it appears this 2×3 model for desktops may have given consumers the most choice; to this day, there are still a handful of people who want a new-age IIci or SE/30 to fill certain gaps the “Pro” models or higher-end “non-Pro” models can’t reach. Additionally, laptops were more of a niche product in 1991.

Although I do like where we’ve come here, I do feel there should be a lower-priced iMac and MacBook Air model to better appeal to schools and less wealthy consumers. There had indeed been an inexpensive iMac in the lineup from 2000-2003, but it ultimately was killed off when the CRT iMacs were discontinued. This was also present in the early 1990s, when the Classic could be ordered as a stripped-down model, selling at new lows for Mac pricing.

I’ve maintained my position in the past about the 1991 lineup being the best, and I truly believe Apple has regressed from this sensible matrix to fit all budget and computing needs. The current lineup should be 2×2 for desktops, with two entry-level desktop computers (low-end iMac and Mac Mini), two higher-end desktop computers (current iMac and Mac Pro). For laptops, there should be three distinct lines: a low-priced model (which may include a hard drive to save money), the current Air, and the current Pro.

Operating System

It’s easy to extol the virtues of Mac OS X. The system is rock solid, doesn’t crash much, isn’t prone to viruses, and is fairly easy to use. Over thirteen years, it has continually improved and become more refined, going through ten major versions and gaining something innovative in most of them.

Finding fault in OS X is tough, but veterans of the platform will be quick to point out a few flaws. For one, the interface is starting to become tiresome. Everything in the system is gray, and frankly, the color is becoming a bit long in the tooth for many of us. In systems past, the title bars could at least be accented. Color choice for the system is also very limited, as is customization as a whole. There is no way to turn the menu bar text into the classic Chicago font, for example, nor can red be used in the interface. The label system works poorly, as it does not recolorize an icon to make it more distinct. While the Finder has become better at finding things, attempting to use single windows for most everything feels more like the old Windows Explorer rather than the Mac OS.

There’s also the question of graphical intensity. The original system fit comfortably into a 128K confine, leaving plenty of room for MacPaint or MacWrite. It also took up only a fraction of a 400K floppy diskette. Today’s system is huge and requires more power than a lab of 8MHz 68000 processors put together. Higher graphical demands account for some of this, and while the original system had a fair amount of eye candy for its day, it certainly wasn’t as bloated with bouncy icons, reflective docks, or transparent menu bars.

In turn, this has created a dependency on virtual memory, especially because applications have become every bit as memory-hungry. In the old days, virtual memory was frowned upon by some, and still is by those who wish to prolong the life of their mass storage devices. Sadly, there is no upfront way to disable virtual memory in OS X, and a Mac would need to be loaded with a huge amount of physical RAM just to perform basic tasks in the modern world.

The stability of OS X certainly makes up for many of its faults, but there are still features missing from OS X present in OS 9 and earlier versions. Options to disable and uninstall eye candy options need to exist, as do ways to customize the interface. Furthermore, allowing programs to once again be installed in the Apple menu would help to unclutter and simplify docks around the world.

One thing which absolutely cannot happen is a complete merge between iOS and OS X. Microsoft attempted this with Windows 8, an operating system liked by very few users. While it’s nice to see a notification center and similarly-named programs, the Launchpad zaps users of even more flexibility with their operating systems.

Apple Applications

MacPaint and MacWrite were certainly revolutionary products when they were introduced in 1984. Apple also had plenty of smaller programs bundled with their computers known as desk accessories. Who could forget the maddening puzzle, the innovative scrapbook, or the easily accessible four function calculator?

HyperCard was the next bundled innovation. This little program introduced novices to programming and provided a framework for what would eventually become modern web design. Apple also began to produce software under the Claris label, from its integrated suite of programs (ClarisWorks) to its now-spun off database (FileMaker Pro, originally produced by a few other companies before Apple acquired it) to its oft-forgotten Microsoft challengers (Resolve, MacWrite Pro).

After rebranding ClarisWorks as AppleWorks (a name previously used for a popular Apple II productivity suite), Apple began offering it free with every computer. The advent of OS X coincided with the birth of TextEdit and a chess game as bundled applications. Desk accessories were ultimately reborn as included programs or, from Tiger onward, part of the dashboard. It’s a shame the more recent incarnations of the dashboard have placed a “rubber mat” on top of the screen, especially for those who need the calculator to work with a few numbers currently in another window.

Final Cut has long been a standard in the video world, so much that Apple actually responded to consumer outcry when the program was stripped of some features a few years ago. Throughout the 2000s, the iLife programs began to appear, beginning with iMovie and iTunes and gradually expanding to include iPhoto, iDVD, iWeb, and Garage Band. Geared toward novice and home users, these programs finally accomplished Apple’s goal of bringing accessible multimedia programs to the masses.

Next out of the chute was iWork, which initially consisted only of Pages and Keynote (Numbers came along later). While Keynote was immediately lauded, Pages has long been more an entry-level word processor when compared to Microsoft Word, its primary competitor. The same has historically been true for Numbers. Sadly, these programs lost some power features in their most recent updates. Still, they are inexpensive when compared to the competition and do what most consumer users require.

Apple needs to start producing more powerful programs. The Final Cut outrage was proof of that, as was the promise Apple had to make about reintroducing lost iWork features. For now, the market is ripe for Microsoft Office, one of the most overpriced suites in history, and its open source and online competitors.

Applications Gaming

The general consensus among gamers has long been bad news for the Macintosh. In general, it has been viewed as a platform for which few games have been produced, and if games are made, they are often released after their Windows counterparts.

The same has also been true for users of mainstream applications, even though successful programs such as Microsoft Excel, Aldus PageMaker, and Adobe Photoshop got their start on the Mac. Although Windows versions are usually released first, the Mac has received ports of the most popular programs.

The best age of gaming on the Macintosh was that of the late 1980s. Apple had introduced Through the Looking Glass when the Mac came out, showing developers what the little machine was capable of. Many titles were in black and white, as color monitors didn’t really catch on in the home Macintosh market until the LC was introduced in late 1990. Huge hits such as SimCity, Shufflepuck Cafe, The Fool’s Errand, Prince of Persia, and Dark Castle led to countless hours of lost productivity in that generation of owners. A commonplace Plus, SE, or Classic was be a suitable alternative for a Nintendo or Sega, especially since many shareware and freeware games were available at no cost or a nominal fee. StuntCopter and Cairo Shoot Out immediately come to mind, with the former now available as an iPhone app, complete with original sounds and graphics!

As Windows gained a commanding lead in the 1990s, Macs received fewer games. Some hits did begin their life on the Mac, such as Myst, but one of the more compelling reasons for younger people to buy a Wintel box at the turn of the century was the lack of games for a Macintosh.

Today, there are plenty of programs available for the Mac, but many of them fall subject to Sturgeon’s Law. 90% of what is on the App Store is inferior to what had been available, especially in one category.

Educational Software

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HeartBleed not affecting iOS or Mac OS X

Be thankful if you are using Apple’s products running iOS or Mac OS X as they are not affected by the Heartbleed OpenSSL security threat.

Apple told Re/code, “Apple takes security very seriously. iOS and OS X never incorporated the vulnerable software and key Web-based services were not affected.”

Poor Android they are affected. According to ZDNet Android Jellybean 4.1.1 had the vulnerability.

But as the Android faithful have realized, keeping their personal information safe is not important to them. Or they would of dumped their Android devices years ago. This is our personal opinion, otherwise I don’t know why people continue to use Android over superior products and ecosystems.

Your passwords may be affected if they are on a server that is open to the Heartbleed bug. If so, that server’s operator will email you to let you know (or better yet if you receive an email contact them first to make sure they did send out that email before logging on).

Bravo to Apple once again for keeping their customer’s data safe!

Source: http://recode.net/2014/04/10/apple-says-ios-osx-and-key-web-services-not-affected-by-heartbleed-security-flaw/

http://www.zdnet.com/apples-ios-os-x-dont-have-heartbleed-bug-but-bbm-for-ios-and-android-do-7000028334/

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Shroud of the Avatar Pre-Release 2 for OS X Rocks! #mac @shroudofavatar

Finally a Role Playing Game for the Macintosh platform that is worth to play.

Shroud of the Avatar Screen Shot from Pre-Release 2Don’t get me wrong there have been great ports over the many years of DOS/Windows games from GOG.com to bring as many RPG games over to the Mac platform. Traditionally Windows PCs have been the dominant force in gaming for a long time with Macintosh PCs brining put the rear for many new games. Sad that the game development industry does not remember where computing gaming started for many back in what I call the “golden age of computing” (Late 1970s and 1980s).

But one man does remember! Richard “Lord British” Garriott is paving the way with his new RPG on Macs being equal to his Windows and Linux versions. Portalarium has upped the ante, in our minds.

What about World of Warcraft? I played WOW for 6 months as a favor to a family friend who was into it and the whole time I was grinding my toon character up I kept thinking to myself, “I have done this before in Ultime Online.” Over and over and over. The world and races were new. Everything else was just warmed up leftovers what UO pioneered 16 years ago.  Sorry Charlie, err WOW. One thing that WOW does great is to release the Windows and Macintosh version of the game at the same time, instead of the Macintosh version being released 1 – 2 years later. Bravo Bilzzard for this!

I still play Ultima Online on the official EA servers to this day. I thought there would never be another online RPG game that would capture my interest ever as the Ultima franchise is owned by EA. Enter Shroud of the Avatar!  www.shroudoftheavatar.com Shroud of the Avatar will change everything.

SOTA Crafting Pre-Release Alpha 2

Their revolutionary model of crafting is something I have not seen before. Granted I don’t get out and play many Windows or console games (Elder Scrolls, who? Never played any of them) so this may of been something out there already of this level, I don’t know. To me this is the most intricate level of crafting I have ever. You have to make each part of a sword individually before assembling them together. Cool! From refining the raw ore or lumber into some resource you can use is run but still tedious at times.

I welcome making a sword by really making a sword instead of the usual grinding through “checkbox make sword and enter in 20 count and put all of the ingredients in my backpack” like UO or even UOAssist does. Seeing how one table does not make all items is a welcome addition. No more standing at Brit bank churning out 1,000 chairs to get my Carpentry to GM level. That ends up making crafting boring. Back in 1998 that was innovative, now it is old hat. Now you have to make your wooden boards on one table and craft the chair on another table. Not only does this makes sense but is really fun.

I know by the time the final game ships Portalarium will of simplified this as many players won’t like this level of detail. I hope they don’t change it to much.

Currently SotA is in Pre-Release Alpha 2 so I am not expecting a polished game. The changes from Pre-Release Alpha 1 is encouraging that the final game will be great. I will have to see this October 2014.

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Why Macs are safer #mac #mac512 #apple

When a great article surfaces like this it is hard to try ignore the facts. I encourage you to click on the source link below and read the whole article.

My personal experience is I have cleaned no malware my any of my Macs since System 5 and have cleaned a lot of malware from my friends Windows systems. The last Mac virus I cleaned was Scores way back in the 1980s.

As we all know there are less Mac systems so they are not a large target. The real question is how much time/money do you spend cleaning Windows systems you own (or for your family and friends) that could be put to better use (gaming, cleaning house, earning more money from a side job).

I run Windows for 1 game – Utlima Online. I don’t run malware detection software as I don’t use Windows for day to day stuff – my Mac OS is for that.

The real question is how do you want to spend your time?

From ZDNET.com – Why Macs are safer:

The evidence is overwhelming: The opportunities to attack Mac users are plentiful, but nobody bothers. It’s still too easy to get at Windows users. This has been obvious for some time and well-understood in the security community.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/why-mac-users-are-safer-7000024694/

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Mac OS X Mavericks is a hit plus free iLife iWork

Last night I installed Mavericks 10.9 update on my Mac Book Pro and the process was so easy and painless. After backing up my laptop I downloaded the free update, installed Mavericks, rebooted, and bam instant success. Today I loaded the App Store and immediately found the new iLife apps ready to be downloaded.

OS X Mavericks iLife iWork FREEPlus the new iWork apps are ready to be downloaded and update my iWork ’09 versions. The interesting thing is I have the iWork ’09 Disc version and have that loaded on my Mac Book Pro. App Store must of looked at my version and said, “Hey he qualifies for the free upgrade” and BAM! Here they are.

I looked and had to initiate the free Garageband download and install from the App Store.

Putting it mildly, I saved $90 by upgrading to Mavericks with iLife and iWork version upgrades. And if you factor in the price of the prior Mac OS X upgrades ($20 – $129), I saved a lot more.

Thank you Apple for the gifts! :)

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