The Perfect Hackintosh Mac Pro

When Apple announced the new Retina MacBook Pro I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Thin, light and powerful plus there’s that amazing “Retina” screen. What more could someone ask for at $2,799?

Well in my case, I ask for twice the RAM (16GB) for an additional $200. Then there’s the processor which is fabulous at 2.6GHz but I’d always wonder how much faster my video would render with that extra 100MHz so another $250. The stock hard drive is a hefty 512GB SSD, which was enough for me since once my video/photo is edited, it all goes back onto my Drobo. Since it is 100% non-user repairable, I have to add AppleCare, $350.

The total, after tax, is now $3,911.83. Luckily I have a situation where I can get it for about $700-1,000 less, especially if I drop the CPU to 2.6GHz. That’s still a lot of cash and in the end, is the Retina MacBook Pro the best option? Continue reading

The New, New iMac

You remember my old iMac right?  The nearly out of AppleCare warranty guy who had all that trouble?

In short, here’s what we did, well what these two guys did…

The MacXperts...

The MacXperts...

  1. Replace the LCD panel (there were bugs crawling in it!)
  2. Replace the Video Card (couldn’t use Photoshop CS4)
  3. Replace the RAM (still couldn’t use Photoshop CS4)
  4. Replace the Motherboard (still still couldn’t use Photoshop CS4)
  5. Replace the Hard drive (still still still couldn’t use Photoshop CS4)
  6. Uncheck a box in Photoshop preferences (fixed Photoshop CS4!!!)
  7. FireWire 800 port doesn’t work… For real?!?!?!?!?!

My poor iMac, so pretty yet so used…

My Beloved iMac

My Beloved iMac

I made a call to Apple, only to request some sort of compensation.  Turns out, I haven’t had my computer for over five months!  All I wanted was a 5 month, asked for a four month, extension to my AppleCare, seeing as for the last five months I didn’t even have a working computer.

The response from the Apple representative, after reading my blog post here about the situation, went as follows…

Oh wow, do you mind if I put you on hold for three to five minutes?…

Unfortunately we cannot extend the AppleCare for another four months, however, do you mind holding while I research another option?…

How about we send you a brand new, equivalent iMac instead?

Well, obviously I said, YES!

Apple then, overnighted me, a new iMac, top of the line sorta thing, for real, this thing totally murders the iMac it is replacing.  The next day, or so, my new iMac arrives.

My New, Beautiful iMac

My New, Beautiful iMac

I got her all set up, it was a beautiful thing actually.  Between SugarSync, MobileMe and TimeMachine, this guy was up and running in MINUTES!  I was so excited and ready for all the new power when… all of a sudden… Things got a little…. foggy?

Foggy iMac?

Foggy iMac?

I thought, maybe my Lasik is going bad, maybe I have something in my eyes… no, actually, it was the screen, literally getting fogged up!

Fogged up iMac

Fogged up iMac

For real?  My brand new, from Apple, overnighted iMac was essentially dead on arrival?

Luckily, I was still dealing with the AMAZING AppleCare customer support.  They overnighted me, AGAIN, another iMac.  So far, so good.  This iMac is beautiful, fast and just about as perfect as anything I’ve ever owned has come to be.

@clettenberg is not giving me even a HARDER time about having an iMac, ie) such n amazing computer. 😛

Let’s hope THIS iMac will last.  I sure did LOVE my old iMac and the truth is, it was only a check box in Photoshop that was causing all the trouble.  The fact that Apple replaced my computer after the other trouble, read my blog and actually followed up with me?  Absolutely incredible.  It’s why I will continue to buy Apple products, even when Dell, HP, etc are cheaper.  The end result?  Apple is an impossibly measurable value.

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iMac, Dead, Dying or… ZOMBIE!!!

Cheers

Cheers

If you were paying careful attention to my Twitter stream, you might have noticed a few to dozens of tweets about my iMac.  It’s had a rough year.  First it got bugs stuck in the screen…

And of course, there was the screen going bonkers, which was in no way connected to the bugs (it preceded the bugs)

This is the problem that no one seems to be able to solve.  Open any image in any photo editing program and make a marquee or crop selection.  A few seconds latter the screen goes crazy, this is a mild example.  Had I waited and taken a picture a few minutes later, the entire screen would have grown to look like the top of that image (which should be a picture or like a cup of coffee or something.)

The fact that taking a screen shot (using Skitch) picked up the problem is really interesting to me, seems like if it was outward delivering hardware issue (video card), it would show up wrong on the screen but correct on the screen shot.  An example would be when the video card of my MacBook Pro overheated

I ran my tests and everything was kosher.

So I brought the computer to MacXperts.  They have so far, over the past 5, yes FIVE, months, replaced the screen, the video card, the ram, the motherboard and the hard drive.  The computer has been reformatted more than two times and yet the problem continues.

It’s still at MacXperts…

And I actually JUST got a call saying they found the solution… wow. So Never asking what you think… of course they thought they had it figured out like four times already so… thoughts?

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Backblaze Is Not For Me

I’m constantly terrified that my data isn’t safe.

Both of my Mac’s are backed up on a Timemachine, it’s a 1gb Western Digital external. It does a good job but has now filled up completely and thus, my old backups are starting to get deleted.  Sad.

So there’s one problem, limited space, and we haven’t gotten to Backblaze just yet.

My entire iTunes library has it’s own external 1tb Western Digital drive.  It’s the MyStudio with the FW800.  Unfortunately, that drive is down to 40gb of free space and quickly going down from there.

I thought I’d use an online service to backup my data.  My iTunes drive is worth thousands of dollars with the media it holds and the idea that it might crash on me… absolutely terrifying.

I decided on Backblaze because of its Apple integration and ability to backup attached, external hard drives.  It looked like it was a go! I got into the beta testing and got it all setup.

Only one problem.

Do you know how long it takes to backup 1.175tb of data?! I was only trying to backup the iMac and iTunes drive.

Yeah… I don’t have 125 days!

Another problem?  Even if I pause Backblaze, it will start backing up things and eating up all of my bandwidth.

Even though it’s only uploading data to Backblaze, I am unable to do even the simplest of internet functions like a Google search.

Uninstalling Backblaze wasn’t easy either. Even after you uninstall the app, you then have to delete the preference pane from System Preferences.  AppCleaner made this easier for me but a novice might find it too difficult.

And I do realize that taking 125 days to upload 1.175gb to Backblaze isn’t their fault.  They have great feature though where they will send you a hard drive with all your backed up data if downloading it all isn’t your bag. Unfortunately, pricing for this service are not specified on their site. Now if only they’d send you a drive to back up your data to and mail to them to speed up this backup process…

So, it looks like I am just going to have to bite the bullet and get the Drobo. It doesn’t have any of these problems plus allows me to move all of my drives into one place with redundancy.

Just gotta find the money!

Homesick in Houston

It has only been like 30 hours since I left Columbia and I can’t believe it but I’m homesick!

I went on Back to My Mac, which by the way, always works for me and checked in on my apartment using Photo Booth.

I use the PrePane hack, Secrets, to do some extra fun things with MobileMe’s Back to My Mac, you should all get it, btw.

Here’s the picture I got from Photo Booth.

I really need to take hots of the apartment with the new furniture, sorry I didn’t do that before I left.

Anyways, looking at a live shot of my apartment made me all sad that I wasn’t there.  I want to see my fish, I want to enjoy my 55″ HDTV and I want to gaze into my 24″ iMac and ponder over government homework or what I should blog about next.

Never did I ever think I would miss Columbia, and maybe I don’t, I just miss my apartment.  I love my apartment.  It is big, it is clean, it is decorated, it is well equipped from the kitchen to the entertainment.  It has 8 bottles of tasty wine waiting for me.  I just spent $180 buying groceries that are waiting to be eaten.

The floors I just waxed and the new couch and chairs need to be worn in.  I have only slept one night on my new bed!

But all of it is nothing when I keep it to myself.  Happiness is nothing if not shared and with Ryan out of town, I can’t really share so much of it; but he returns Monday and I return Friday.

Well, I guess Micheal will keep the fish company, I miss him too.  And Jeremy, and Max, and Brittany.  And Kaldi’s and Starbucks.

I will have to find a way to keep myself occupied here.  With my closest friend in Houston now in Seoul Korea, I can’t see him when I visit and I miss him so.  We were best friends through high school helping each other out in so many different ways and through all the moves and the distance and the changes in our lives, we are every bit as close as ever.

Except that he’s in Seoul Korea and I’m in Houston, alone.

Wow, I need to get my head straight!  I’m in Houston, I love this city.

Downtown Houston Skyline

Let’s go out in the world, maybe buy something for my camera, maybe eat something totally delicious.  Stop personifying my apartment, no matter how much I love you.

Now if Chase could maybe make another trip down here from Columbia, I’d have a buddy with whom I’d waste time and money and enjoy every second of it.

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