Friday, November 1, 2019

MacOS Catalina 10.15.X

With the release of macOS 10.15 Apple has blocked the install onto the MacPro 5,1. With all the updated hardware on my MP51 (Metal Capable GPU, and newer WiFi/BT card), there is no valid reason for this limitation. Thankfully the members of the Mac Rumors forums (specifically dosdude1) have created a “patcher” tool that allows for installing Catalina on nearly all of the recently “Apple-Blocked” models.

So much for Apple’s unreasonable planned-obsolescence. Here is a link to dosdude1’s Catalina-Patcher.

My MP51 has been happily running Catalina for weeks now. Kudos to dosdude1.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Samsung 970 Pro 1TB NVMe SSD

Today I added another NVMe SSD to my system. This entry is just a quick placeholder to mark the install. I’m cloning my primary macOS drive onto this one right now.

UPDATE:
So after a month of use, there are no surprises. In daily use, it performs the same as the 512GB 970 Pro (as expected). In benchmarking apps, it’s a little faster. I’m satisfied this was a good addition. After my CC bill comes down. I’ll add another Addlink S70 NVMe SSD. Probably a 2TB part this time.



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

addlink 1TB S70 NVMe SSD / Mac Pro 5,1

Feeling the itch to upgrade something on my Mac Pro 5,1 again, and needing some more storage space for various purposes, I added another 1TB NVMe blade to my High Point SSD7101-A PCIe carrier. I bought the addlink 1TB S70 blade. I have to say, I’m very pleased with the performance considering this blade. It costs about the same as my Samsung 970 Pro 512GB boot drive, but carries the same warranty. I’ll post a couple of speed benchmarks below for reference.

As a rule, I don’t like to benchmark SSD’s that much since it degrades the life expectancy (especially the 4K tests). Write amplification can be horrendous and gives inaccurate results. There are no truly well written bench marking programs that are designed from the ground up for SSD media.

Only time will tell over the long haul regarding the longevity of this blade, but the physical quality and heat generated under heavy use seem to be about the same as the industry leading Samsung SSDs. I did a lot of research and found that some of the other big name drives have serious problems with heat and throttling. This one had no negative issues reported at all that I could find, so I took and chance and I’m very satisfied. 

For the time being, I fully recommend this SSD

In fact, I may add another one or two to my High Point card as the storage demands required increase.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Microsoft is a Theif and their support staff helps them.

I can’t convey enough, my level of outrage and anger at Microsoft. Let me tell you how this organization rolls and trolls.

Several weeks ago, my Mac Pro 5,1 tower was victimized by a lightning strike to my house. It still booted and partially functioned so I didn’t repair it right away. However, about 2 months ago I purchased a replacement 2012 Apple Logic Board (motherboard to you PC guys), and corrected/flashed updated firmware. The machine performs perfectly as expected. I decided to upgrade the GPU and add an NVMe drive. All worked at great. The system is a joy to use...

Now, the problem with Microsoft...
Windows 10 Pro deactivated itself as it detected the new hardware. Microsoft deactivated itself too... In fact everything from Microsoft stopped working. No big deal I think, I can understand that. I just need to reactivate and call Microsoft to get this worked out.

Four weeks later...
None of my Microsoft products are working. I have several case numbers, and I’ve called several times asking for help. I was elevated to level 2 support, then elevated to level 3 support.

Microsoft called me a thief, and stated they wouldn’t activate any of my products. I have proof of purchase, valid product ID’s (they confirmed this), but in the end, I was told to re-purchase ALL of my products again.

Here’s the icing on the cake... Even my macOS versions of all my MS Office apps are deactivate and they won’t correct that either.

My wife works for a local university and needs MS Windows / Office for her job. I purchased all of my MS software online, directly from Microsoft, and they easily verified this, yet refuse to help me.

I was forced to buy another copy of Windows 10 and reinstall from scratch (windows would not allow even a forced product I’d change using powershell). Only a reinstall would work. So I now have Windows 10 activated (until they decide to screw me again).

Microsoft is unethical, dishonest, and a total ripoff. I can’t express in totality what I want to say and do. If you imagine the most extreme level of anger ever expressed in a modern movie, then you can imagine how angry I am.

GO F**K YOURSELF MICROSOFT

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Merry Christmas


I hope everyone had a good Christmas, I have no complaints. Our family does exchange a few small gifts, but nothing grand anymore. I got myself a new set of tires for my car (which is a substantial purchase) and a new battery.

Wifey made a lot of homemade candy treats, so I should be in a sugar induced coma for a couple of weeks to come. Yum!

So, Merry Christmas to All, and eyes forward towards the New Year.

God Bless You All

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Install Win10 BootCamp Drivers on MP51 / macOS Mojave (APFS) Dual Boot

So, as many Mac Pro users have learned, Mojave requires the boot drive file system to be formatted as APFS and the installer converts it to such (want it or not). If you try to force any variation of HFS+ for the Mojave boot drive, no updates will ever be possible on this drive through the Software Update mechanisms.

With the boot drive being APFS, when you boot to WIN10, you lose the ability to switch back to macOS because neither BootCamp (for MP51) nor Windows provides APFS drivers to make this possible.

Yesterday (I Think), Apple updated it’s BootCamp software for the iMac Pro, and now it regained this functionality for iMac Pro, APFS/Win10. It works again. Great!  Too bad Apple didn’t provide this update for MP51 drivers.

Well, let me fix that for you...  ;)

Below is a quick guide I put together that allows you to install BC 6.1 driver’s on an MP51/Win10 System. This should do the trick for you.

After Windows Legacy is installed;

  1. Install BC drivers for cMP 5,1
  2. Download brigadier-0.2.4.zip and extract the exe file.
  3. Open CMD as Administrator & navigate to the folder with brigadier.exe
  4. Execute (from command line) brigadier.exe -m iMacPro1,1
  5. Wait for download to finish, this will be the BC6.1 drivers
  6. Navigate to the BootCamp/Drivers/Apple/
  7. Run the command msiexec /i bootcamp.msi
  8. Reboot when install is finished


Sunday, September 30, 2018

How to make an OS X Sierra DVD Installer

Make sure you have downloaded the Sierra Installer package from the Mac App Store, and placed it in your Applications folder. Then open a command line Terminal. Paste these commands into the terminal. The resulting DVD iso will be on your desktop when completed correctly.


hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil create -o /tmp/Sierra.cdr -size 7500m -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J

hdiutil attach /tmp/Sierra.cdr.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

asr restore -source /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -target /Volumes/install_build -noprompt -noverify -erase

rm /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/Packages

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.chunklist

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.dmg

hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil detach /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/

hdiutil convert /tmp/Sierra.cdr.dmg -format UDTO -o /tmp/Sierra.iso

mv /tmp/Sierra.iso.cdr ~/Desktop/Sierra.iso

A bootable iso file called Sierra.iso will then appear on your desktop and you can use this to burn it to a dual layer dvd.

How to make an El Captain DVD Installer Disk

A long while back, I was asked to do a write up on making a DVD Installer Disk for OS X El Capitan.

I’m sorry it took me so long to do this, I just got wrapped up in life, and simply forgot. So, below is a script to automate the process. If you don’t want to run a script, you can copy/paste the individual commands into a terminal session. This will put an installer iso on your desktop. Just burn the resulting iso onto a DL DVD. It’s bootable, installable, and can be used to create a vm if wanted.  Make sure you have downloaded the full El Capitan Installer from the App Store, and placed it into the Applications folder before starting.


#!/bin/bash

# Mount the installer image
hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

# Create the ElCapitan Blank ISO Image of 7316mb with a Single Partition - Apple Partition Map
hdiutil create -o /tmp/ElCapitan.cdr -size 7316m -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J

# Mount the ElCapitan Blank ISO Image
hdiutil attach /tmp/ElCapitan.cdr.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

# Restore the Base System into the ElCapitan Blank ISO Image
asr restore -source /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -target /Volumes/install_build -noprompt -noverify -erase

# Remove Package link and replace with actual files
rm /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/Packages
cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/

# Copy El Capitan installer dependencies
cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.chunklist
cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.dmg

# Unmount the installer image
hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

# Unmount the ElCapitan ISO Image
hdiutil detach /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/

# Convert the ElCapitan ISO Image to ISO/CD master (Optional)
hdiutil convert /tmp/ElCapitan.cdr.dmg -format UDTO -o /tmp/ElCapitan.iso

# Rename the ElCapitan ISO Image and move it to the desktop
mv /tmp/ElCapitan.iso.cdr ~/Desktop/ElCapitan.iso

Sunday, August 12, 2018

HighPoint SSD7101A-1 & Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSD


It’s been a long time since my last post, but I have to write about my newest upgrade to my Mid-2012 Mac Pro. I’ve been adding 2.5” SSD drives to replace the old HDD’s. It’s been a big performance boost, but nothing like my new upgrade.

I purchased a HighPoint NVMe Raid M.2 SSD carrier (SSD7101A-1) & a 512GB Samsung 970 Pro NVMe m.2 SSD. 

Wow! This thing is beyond fast... 3300 GB/s read speeds / 2800+ GB/s write speeds.

I modified the Mac Pro’s Boot Rom by injecting an NVMe driver so now my Mac is booting from the NVMe 970 Pro, and getting PCIe Gen 3 speeds with an 8 GT/s connection to the 16x Raid carrier. Storage technology on my Mac Pro is now up to the most cutting edge tech. available anyware. 

Thanks HighPoint

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Ubuntu as VMWare/OS X Guest


I’ve had Ubuntu 17.10 running great in VMware for a couple of days now. It’s revitalizing my interest in Linux. I’ve forgotten much of what I knew since switching to macOS. macOS really is, a truly great Unix variant, and I don’t see myself using anything else as my primary OS in the future. That said, I’m enjoying Linux again, and that’s a good thing. At some point I’ll try to dual-boot Ubuntu/macOS natively, but for now I’m content with a vm.

Now my next task is to fix my boot splash/loading/boot screen, I detest the scrolling verbose mode. I had this working just fine in older versions but now I can’t remember how I did that. I seem to recall having to regenerate/recreate a particular file and then it all worked fine. I’ll be reading up & searching the forms for that puzzle piece. When I get it solved, I’ll post it here as a “note to self”.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Installing VMWare tools to a Ubuntu 17.10 vm Guest



So, for anyone struggling with screen resolution for a VMware Fusion 10, Ubuntu 17.10 install, try the following. vmware tools seems to install more effectively when downloaded & applied using the repository.

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Update

So, it’s been a pretty long time since my last entry. The reason being that my life has been ripped apart, turned upside down, and I’m slowly trying to put it all back together.  I won’t be more specific as I’m actually trying to repress memory and disturbing thoughts.

As a result of my recent life-crises, I’m now left with a financial crisis. If anyone cares to, please pray for me. I need a blessing right now.

I’ll post again soon, thank you...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Kitty Belle Died Yesterday


 So my precious kitty of about 7 years got sick 2 days ago. My wife called me while I was away and told me she couldn't stand or walk. I rushed home and found she was in bad shape. Nose was plugged, mouth was dry and tongue was brown. Dehydrated obviously. I cleaned her up, gave her fluids and she was breathing better but still past the point of no return.
I made her comfortable and he provided a few hours of loving purring, but later on she just stoped breathing. I know many will consider it silly or weak of me, but I cried. I loved her very much and she was a very loyal companion to me.
Today, I wrapped he in a very nice towel and buried her in the yard in a deep grave. I can't sleep, as I feel guilty about her death. I just wonder if something could have been done to save her.
My heart aches Belle, I love you and I'll think of you until I myself pass from this world. Goodbye my loving baby girl. I'll upload your pictured soon.

Friday, September 30, 2016

How to make a macOS Sierra DVD Installer

First, let me give credit where it's due.  This guide was written by Mac Rumors user TyWebb13.

Here is the original post.

To do this copy and paste these into terminal to make the bootable iso file (assuming you have already downloaded Sierra to your Applications folder via the mac app store):

hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil create -o /tmp/Sierra.cdr -size 7500m -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J

hdiutil attach /tmp/Sierra.cdr.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

asr restore -source /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -target /Volumes/install_build -noprompt -noverify -erase

rm /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/Packages

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.chunklist

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.dmg

hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil detach /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/

hdiutil convert /tmp/Sierra.cdr.dmg -format UDTO -o /tmp/Sierra.iso

mv /tmp/Sierra.iso.cdr ~/Desktop/Sierra.iso

A bootable iso file called Sierra.iso will then appear on your desktop and you can use this to burn it to a dual layer dvd:

sudo drutil burn /Users/YOURNAME/Desktop/Sierra.iso

where you replace "YOURNAME" with the username for the account you are logged into at the time.

and then boot to startup manager with option key to select the dvd.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sonnet Allegro Pro USB 3.0 for Mac Pro Classic

Sonnet Allegro Pro USB 3.0
Fresco Logic Chipset

Today I installed the Sonnet Allegro Pro card in my cMP 5,1. The card is well made and fits tightly in its slot. This card requires no additional power connection, and driver support is built into OS X 10.8.5 or greater.

My current configuration is arranged as follows:
Slot 1 – AMD HD 7970 3GB by MVC
Slot 2 – Sonnet Allegro Pro USB 3.0
Slot 3 – Apple/Samsung 512GB PCIe SSD using v.1 Sintech Adaptor
Slot 4 – Apricorn Solo X2 w/Samsung 840 Pro SSD

After trying every USB device type that I own (Many drives (up to 4GB), webcam, USB Thumb drives, Mouse/Mice, Keyboards (4), printers, scanner, drive docking station, and USB hubs). I found no compatibility or performance issues. I transferred 16TB of data in 4TB chunks in each direction and found no issues at all. I also transferred 4TB of data in small files (again in each direction) and the process was flawless. So far I’m impressed.


About the Allegro Pro:
This card has 4 independent controllers (one for each port) and each is totally isolated from the others. The system profiler shows 4 different x1 devices installed into a single slot, it is not reported as an x4 device.

This card supports UASP and that is a specification I now demand on any USB card or storage device (except thumb drives) connected to my system. UASP is intended to speed up operations of USB connected SSDs, but I find it also brings enhanced performance to mechanical drives that are installed in UASP compatible enclosures. UASP allows you to perform multiple operations (renaming or moving other files/folders for example), while a file transfer to/from the same drive is in progress. It does this without slowing the transfer or being forced to wait for an operation to be completed. In other words, it feels like an SATA drive instead of a USB drive when manipulating files or folders.

Summary:
I my opinion, this is an exceptional card, that is slightly slower than the RocketU 1144C with similar specs. This card has additional features for charging devices such as iPhone, iPod, iPad etc… The Sonnet website recommends that you download a driver for charging support. I haven’t personally tested this, but the thread starter (ActionableMango) reports that this driver isn’t needed. It’s sole purpose is to avoid the pop-up notification (Drive was improperly ejected) one receives when waking the computer from sleep with USB drives attached. With this card so far (unlike any other card I’ve tested), if you eject the drives manually before sleeping the computer, you won’t get the pop-up notification when the computer wakes and remounts the attached USB drives.

Since I’ve only owned the card for a short period of time, this will be a rolling review until I feel it’s complete.

The package includes the Sonnet Allegro Pro PCIe 4-Port card & documentation. A few other details are listed below.
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • PCIe 2.0 x4 slot
  • 4 Independent controllers
  • 4 USB 3.0 Ports
  • No additional power required
  • No external drivers required
  • UASP enabled
  • 7.5w Device Charging supported on each port
  • 5 Gb/s (450 MB/s) transfer rate per port
  • Up to 31 devices connected at once
  • OS X 10.8.5 and above supported OOTB
  • Windows 7 and above supported


Conclusion:
I really like this card but it's a bit pricy at $129 from most retailers. When price and speed are the deciding factors, the RocketU-1144C wins. That said, I feel this is a great choice for the long haul with it's 5 year warranty, and device charging capabilities. I noticed that when I plug devices into this card (especially large drives), the devices are recognized and/or mounted much quicker than with the RocketU. I plan to keep this card installed for a while for further testing.

I whole heartedly recommend this card for heavy duty lifting. If your needs are less or if you are $ wise, look at the RocketU-1144C or the Sonnet Allegro (non-pro version). This is a very nice addition to my cMP (at least until I start testing USB 3.1 cards).

NOTE: The card pictured below is a stock photo of the v.1 card. The card that ships now has a rather large heatsink located on the large chip in the center of the board.






Saturday, June 13, 2015

OS X 10.11 - El Capitan & trimforce

Recently I installed the newest version of OS X which is still in BETA, code named El Capitan (Here and after referred to as "Cappy").

Apple has introduced a new security feature called rootless. Rootless prevents unwanted root access and protects criticle system files. In it's protection, it also interferes with using tools such as Trim Enabler for us 3rd party SSD users. All is not lost however, Apple has provided us with the tools needed to easily activate Trim and still comply with Apple's intended security features.

Since I'm posting this information for my own use, I won't go into detail. Here's how it's done.

Credit for finding this goes to mikeboss & Daku93 on MacRumors

Procedure for Cappy - (Yosemite is pending)


1 - Boot into the recovery partition, and use the new Security Configuration menu tool to turn off rootless;

(Utilities > Security Configuration > Enforce System Integrity Protection)

2 - Reboot to desktop and open a terminal session

3 - Enter the command "sudo trimforce enable"

4 - Press the enter key and follow all the prompts, and agree to the terms

5 - Reboot into the recovery partition and turn rootless back on again

6 - Boot to the normal desktop and enjoy trim on all of your SSDs


Reportedly, the final release of Yosemite will also include this ability but to my knowledge it hasn't yet been included in the beta of 10.10.4

Monday, February 23, 2015

AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB for Mac Pro 5,1

So I decided to upgrade my video card in my Mac Pro that's been rocking an AMD HD 5870 since day one. After reading through many articles, I decided to head on over to macvidcards.com and grab the HD 7970.

The upgrade was uneventful and required no drivers, OS patches or other such non-sense (one of the reasons I selected this card, and this vendor). The cards from this vendor cost a bit more than average but you get what you pay for. The vendor flashes the card with the Mac-EFI so there are boot screens, next the card is modified to allow 5.0 GT/s of memory bandwidth rather than the default 2.5 GT/s. The advert. says the card is modified to work with the Mac's 2 six-pin PCIe power booster cables. I don't know if there was actually any modification done for the boosters but it apparently works fine OOTB. Next, the vendor thoroughly tests the card for problems before shipping.

The card arrived quickly and was very well packaged, it even i ncluded 2 surplus booster cables for older Macs that dont already have them. If you don't know how to install the card, complete instructions and photographs are on the store website.

After testing the card for several days, this feels like a very solid upgrade and a massive speed bump for users of FCPX. If you purchase a new Mac Pro cylinder and opt for the top of the line video cards (D700), you will have the same card (HD 7970) but in a different form factor. Also this card has a higher clock rate than the D700 cards.

I highly recommend this vendor and this card (especially if you use FCPX). It's a great upgrade at a fair price.

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to make an OS X Yosemite DVD installer

Credit goes to tywebb13 at MacRumors.com


After downloading the full Yosemite installer app from the Mac App Store, run these 14 commands in Terminal to create a Yosemite.iso file and then burn it to a dual layer DVD with Disk Utility. You may then boot up from it by holding the option key down and then install Yosemite.

hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil convert /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o /tmp/Yosemite

hdiutil resize -size 8g /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

hdiutil attach /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

rm /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/Packages

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/install_build

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/install_build

hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build

hdiutil resize -size `hdiutil resize -limits /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage | tail -n 1 | awk '{ print $1 }'`b /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

hdiutil convert /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -format UDTO -o /tmp/Yosemite

rm /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

mv /tmp/Yosemite.cdr ~/Desktop/Yosemite.iso

 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

iPad Air 2

I finally replaced my aging iPad 3 with a new iPad Air 2. The iPad 3 64GB is a great device and it has served me well. I was very happy until iOS8 was installed. This caused many slowdowns and erratic Safari performance. The iPad 3 also doesn't have the proper hardware to support the new "Handoff" feature that my Mac Pro does.

I purchased an iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi 64 GB model. Wow, this thing is fast! I'm not impressed with modest performance enhancements but this is way beyond modest. The iPad Air 2 is fast, I mean nothing short of amazing. It runs circles around every computer I own except my Mac Pro, and honestly, it has a better internet browsing experience than the Mac due to the Safari browser in Yosemite. iOS Safari is much quicker on this iPad.

I have outfitted my new toy with a "FINTIE" aka: cheap BT keyboard/case until the new ClamCase Pro is available. I have to say, for a cheap case and BT keyboard, it really works well. I can type really fast with this setup. Thanks to B & H Photo in NYC I saved a bundle since they don't charge taxes on out of state orders and 2 day shipping was free to.

That's about it for this post, I highly recommend the upgrade.