Saturday, March 3, 2018

Dead/Outdated Links

I’ve noticed that the “My Links” section on the left is long neglected. Many of them don’t work at all. I’ll spend a little time doing site maintenance soon and get this fixed. I’m sad to say that some of the blogs I personally used as a Ubuntu resource are no longer available. I guess I’ll look for new ones.

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


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\ -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.

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

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 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

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\ -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.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

HighPoint RocketU 1144C USB 3.0 - PCIe 2.0 4x

HighPoint RocketU 1144C


The card preforms well and had no problems recognizing several devices I tried (web cams, keyboard, mice, printers, scanners, Belkin hub, Inateck hubs, Docking Stations, thumb drives, portable USB drives etc…) and the list goes on and on…

This card is easily installed, and works immediately with the OS X 10.9+ built in drivers. It has no conflicts with any of my other hardware (including the installed Inateck KT-4004 USB 3.0 card.

I transferred dozens of TB to and from SSDs & mechanical USB 3.0 drives and it's extremely fast. Plugging in multiple drives does not slow the 1144C at all.
The 1144C easily powers 4x 7200 RPM 1TB laptop drives without any additional power requirements.
(This card does not require any additional power connections, it's fully powered by the PCIe slot). I've tested it pretty extensively and I can't find any negative characteristics to this card so far.

I had no bluetooth interfe rence during large or short transfers. So far I have nothing but great results with this card.

The HighPoint card is a bit more expensive than most (
$109), but consider that it’s a 4x card, requires no additional drivers for OS X 10.9+, has 4 controller chips (one for each port) to prevent slowdowns when transferring between multiple devices, and fully supports UASP transfers, and supports all sleep modes.
I can easily recommended this product to anyone who wants USB 3.0 in a cMP.
I tested this card with OS X 10.9.4 & 10.10 PB3

* Supports UASP: 70% Faster than traditional USB 3.0, with UASP Transfer Protocol; The UASP Transfer Protocol only can accelerate read and write speed of SSD hard disk.

The box includes:

1 - PCIe card in an anti-static bag
1 - Instruction Manual
1 - Windows Driver CD, and PDF version of documentation.

Initially I believed this card was having problems with my Seagate Backup+ 4TB drive. It turns out that none of my external drives that are 4TB (Seagate & WD) can be defragged while attached to ANY USB 3.0 card I’ve tried so far. When I get time, I’ll hook them up to a USB 2.0 port and see what happens. Otherwise, all drives and devices performed admirably on the HighPoint RocketU 1144C.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Creating a bootable OS X installer in OS X Mavericks


This is just a quick link to remember how to make a bootable installer for OS X 10.9 Mavericks without using 3rd party tools.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mac Pro (Classic) - USB 3.0 Solutions

A while ago, I started participating in a discussion thread on the Mac Rumors Forum regarding USB 3.0 upgrade solutions for the Classic Mac Pro (5,1 and below - Pre 2013).

Here is post #1 which presents the best available solutions at this time.  I'm posting the link (rather than copying it) since it stays pretty much up to date.

What is the state of USB 3.0 on Mac Pro?

That's it for now...


Friday, May 23, 2014

How to enable trim for SSDs in the OS X Terminal (OS X Mavericks) - 10.9.x

NOTE: These methods (except Trim Enabler ) stopped working with the 10.9.4 update. Trim Enabler still works as expected. I will refresh this post when the situation changes. I expect an update to both Chameleon SSD Optimizer and the terminal commands will be coming shortly.

Many people are having issues trying to enable trim for their non-Apple SSDs since the release of Mavericks. It's pretty straight forward though, you can either download and install Trim Enabler, download and install Chameleon SSD Optimizer, or open up a command line terminal and paste the following code.First:

sudo perl -pi -e 's|(\x52\x6F\x74\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E\x61\x6C\x00{1,20})[^\x00]{9}(\x00{1,20}\x54)|$1\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00$2|sg' /System/Library/Extensions/IOAHCIFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext/Contents/MacOS/IOAHCIBlockStorage


sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions/

I personally like the Chameleon SSD Optimizer because once you run it, it doesn't load anything up on startup ever. I like that. Many people like Trim Enabler specifically because it does load a helper too on every reboot that stays in your upper tool bar. If Trim becomes disabled for any reason, it will instantly notify you and prompt you to re-enable Trim.I've not personally had a problem where Trim gets disabled (except after an OS X system update, which is to be expected). However if you are setting up a system for an uninformed user, I would recommend Trim Enabler.Also, don't be a cheapskate! If you use one of the Apps rather than the terminal command, please donate something to the developer or make a purchase where applicable. We need them to keep on developing great tools like these.-OUT




Saturday, March 1, 2014

Inateck KT4004 4-Port USB 3.0 PCI-E Express Card for Mac

Still recovering from major surgery, I did get up today and decided to remove the Orico 2P card and install the new Inateck KT4004 4-Port USB 3.0 PCI-E Express Card for Mac in my 5.1 system.

I only did a few quick tests which are in no way comprehensive, but here's my take on it.

The card preforms well and had no problems recognizing more than 1 dozen devices I tried (web cams, keyboard, mice, printers, scanners, belkin hub, thumb drives, portable USB drives etc...)

This card is easily installed, and works immediately with the OS X built in drivers. It has no conflicts with any of my other hardware (including the installed HighPoint 1144CM).

I transferred hundreds of GB of data to and from a mechanical USB 3.0 drive and it's just as fast as the 1144CM with a single drive. Plugging in multiple drives does slow it slightly, giving the 1144CM the edge for raw storage speed where multiple drives are installed. Keep in mind however that the 1144CM can't handle most of the devices I listed above, it only works with storage devices.

The Inateck card for Mac easily powers 4x 7200 RPM 1TB laptop drives without any additional power requirements. I've tested it pretty extensively and I can't find any negative characteristics to this card.

I had no bluetooth interference during large or short transfers. In fact, so far I have nothing but high marks for this card. It works VERY well and has found a permanent slot in my Mac.

If this card had been available when I first started my quest for USB 3.0, I would have purchased this card rather than the 1144CM. There's nothing wrong with the 1144CM and in fact is well worth the money if you need a USB 3.0 Raid system, but the Inateck KT4004 is far more versatile and likely to suit the needs of more users.

You can purchase the card from Amazon

Note about sleep mode: In my current configuration, none of the drives are ejected prior to or during sleep mode, therefore remounting of drives isn't needed upon wake. This occurs on my system because of the Rocket-U. It prevents the drives from being ejected because it's a RAID controller. I will test this later with the RocketU removed when I get a chance. YMMV.

For now, both cards will remain installed in my system, but if I need to free up a slot for anything else, I'll keep the Inateck card installed and remove the 1144CM.

If I had an SSD, I'd post some speed results but that's not the case right now so there's no point to it.

The Inateck KT4004 card is my recommended product for anyone who asks about USB 3.0 in a cMP.

The box includes:

1 - PCIe card in an anti-static bag
1 - Instruction Manual
1 - Ziplock bag with 2 screws
1 - Windows Driver CD, and PDF version of documentation.
1 - Thank you card with support and contact information.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pear Linux

Today I installed Pear OS8 (Pear Linux x64) default desktop version. After working through a few little nigglets, I really like this Ubuntu-Variant Distro. It took very minimal customization and it now looks and acts very much like my OS X Mavericks desktop.

I installed in a VMware virtual machine, and it's pretty well behaved. The only issue there is that a default install doesn't install vmware-tools. I had to install the tools manually to get my screen resolution to set correctly. Also, the Pear-Updater doesn't install the kernel updates by default (they show held back). I installed them using the terminal. Once two issues were sorted out, it runs quickly with 2 CPU cores and 4GB memory allocated.

I'll play with this for a while first, but I think it's about to become my default install for Ubuntu.

Sadly, Pear OS was purchased by an undisclosed source and it is no longer distributed or supported with software updates. I'm still using it but at some point I'll do away with it since it's vanished. Too bad, I really liked it's looks and quickness.


Friday, November 1, 2013

OS X Mavericks 10.9

Well, it's been quite a long time since posting here, so I figured an entry is warranted. Apple has released OS X 10.9 (code named Mavericks) and iOS 7.0.3. The iOS update was a rather radical change. There's much about it that I love, and much that I don't. Overall, I feel it's a good start.

OS X 10.9 doesn't look so radically different though. Most of it's changes are under the hood and I'm pleased with them. I'm really glad that Tabs finally came to Finder, I've been using them for years in Linux.

I find Mavericks to be snappier than Mountain Lion (10.8) over all but it still needs some tweaking. FPS games tend to run really slow now (many of them do anyway) as widly reported by Mac Rumors forum members. HALO 1, which I too enjoy on my Mac was one of the games affected. Thankfully, a patch became immediately available and this fixed the issues for me. Half-Life (the original) doesn't seem to be affected on my machine. I don't really play any others so I'm good.

Well, given that I'm suffering from MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and feeling majorly depressed right now, I'll end this entry. It's time to sleep another 18 hours so that I can get through this. God Bless you all.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mac Pro Upgrades

Yesterday my new memory DIMMS arrived and my Mac Pro now has 48GB of memory.  Recently I also added USB 3.0 Raid with the HighPoint RocketU 1444CM PCIe card.  This thing really rocks.  I have an old school RS-232 Serial card (PCIe) on the way too.  I'll be able to hook up one of my USR Courier modems for a Fax server.  You wouldn't believe what a pain it is to find old tech these days, but yes folks, dial-up internet is still alive and kicking, and makes a good backup sometimes.  Cable isn't everywhere if yo live in the sticks or travel a lot.

I also bought some more SERIOUSLY old tech.  My Mac Pro now has a 3.5" Floppy drive (USB).  I have about 300 old diskettes with information on them that I truly need.  Now I'll be able to transfer the information to a more modern media format.  I probably won't have much or any use for the drive after that, but hey, it's way cheap.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cloning a Mac OSX drive

There is an Apple utility program called Apple restore or asr located in /usr/sbin. Connect your external USB hard drive and format it using Disk Utility. Open the Terminal in Applications -> Utilities. Type the following command line into the Terminal to copy your hard drive over your external drive.

sudo asr -source /Volumes/OSX BOOT VOLUME NAME/ -target /Volumes/TARGET VOLUME NAME/

Replace “OSX BOOT VOLUME NAME” and “TARGET VOLUME NAME” with actual volume names. asr will take quite some time to copy the contents of hard drive to external hard drive.

When asr completes the execution, it will print a message:

asr: did not copy blessed information to target, which may have missing or out-of-date blessed folder information.

Then, bless your target drive with this:

sudo bless -folder /Volumes/TARGET VOLUME NAME/System/Library/CoreServices

Now, the hard drive is bootable. Restart your Mac and hold down “option” key. A screen will appear allowing to choose which volume to boot from.