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.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter @ Elevation

Today the family went to the Easter service at Elevation Church in Matthews. What a wonderful worship experience, our 18 year old daughter answered the call and gave her life to Jesus. God is Awesome! We all had a nice dinner and now the day is winding down early.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for this glorious day you have provided. We praise your name and thank you for all the blessings you have given this family. Finally we understand that it's not about us, but rather all about you. We will talk later tonight lord. Amen & Amen

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More Mac Pro to go...

Well, it's been several days since my Mac Pro arrived. I've added 2 hard drives, bought OS X for Dummies and many applications. I've learned some of the (in my opinion) negatives, and found myself still in awe of the beast. Here are a few things that SLIGHTLY disappoint me.

  1. No Thunderbolt ports - due to the limitations of the Xeon processor and main board.
  2. No USB3 ports
  3. Not one single consumer level PCIe sound card is compatible with Mac.

Well, that's the long list of negatives. Not much really for most users, there are solutions for all but the Thunderbolt.

  1. No solution for Thunderbolt, not likely to ever be one due ti Intel's spec. on the interface. It prohibits certain things that could be incorporated into a PCIe card that would provide a Thunderbolt connection.
  2. Add in cards available, reliability is questionable on some cards.
  3. There are external USB / TOSLINK solutions that are inexpensive. There are pricey solutions too (high end PRO sound cards, home theater systems, high end speakers with internal processing and amplification). I'm going to try one of the external sound cards and see how that goes. Actually, the 2.1 sound is fine for me at the house, my satellite speakers are so close together it doesn't really matter. My Altec Lansing 5.1 system easily configures to 2.1 and it's still loud and clear, and the SUB booms away when called to do so.

Now for the good stuff. This thing is a speed demon. Sure there are faster systems out there, but they are over clocked and water cooled for the most part. If you dabble in Video editing and transcoding as I do, there is nothing better that the Xeon processors. This this really crunches code like no body's business. Crunch all the A/V you want to, and still this system is responsive and happily doing day to day mundane tasks. I realize that some people do have highly modified systems that are faster, but you have to realize I'm replacing an OLD 2x core Athlon 4800+ system (over clocked to 2.4 GHz). I was happy with it, and it was a VERY reliable Linux / Win7 workhorse, but it's not even on the same planet as the Mac Pro.

When the newness wares off, I'll be upgrading the Mac. Bigger faster HD's, SSD boot drive, more memory, new peripherals and so on. Payday, I'll be replacing the free burning software (that gets the job done, but I want moe) with Roxio Toast.

Software in general disappoints me. I love Sony Vegas for NLE editing, but I'm disappointed to find out that there is no Mac version (just like with Linux). This means I'll be considering FinalCut Pro. I just hate having to learn a new user interface. NLE's are all different, and FCP has the reputation of poor transcoding (unlike Vegas) which means I also need the famed Compressor software as a companion. $$$ much learning, reading, mistakes.

Well, Mac is a new world for me, I won't cry about the software I leave behind though. I love learning new powerful applications (remember when we used to call them programs instead of Apps back in the 80's).

Lights out, bedtime calls...


Monday, March 4, 2013

Mac Pro Power

Today has been fun, my new Mac Pro arrived. I ordered the top of the line in everything. Whew! Was it pricey? I hooked it all up and I was in Awe of it's speed. Yes, I got the fastest thing they make, man Xeon processors are expensive.

Next, I wen't on the hunt for a new monitor. The old one worked fine, but it looked puny next to that big hunk of aluminum called the Pro. So off to the store(s) I went and got a new 25" HP. I wanted a 27" but honestly, the specs. on most of the 27" models just didn't measure up. When side by side, the only other monitor that had the color depth and really DARK blacks I was looking for, was a Dell and Best Buy didn't even have any in stock.

I lucked out on the HP, it was a clearance item and I got it for $125 less than marked. I've been installing software and adapting my peripherals all evening. I have to buy some scanner software for my old scanner to work, but everything else is doing fine.

This is going to be a week of fun learning for me.

P.S. Ubuntu Linux will be on there soon too. I just need to swap in a few drives from my old system.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Does the Holy Spirit Feel Like?

What does the Holy Spirit feel like?” Interestingly scripture never mentions this. It talks a good deal about what the Spirit inspires people to do, such as prophesying or preaching, but the spotlight always falls on the Spirit-inspired actions and not on the Spirit Himself. Having said that, I think the question is still answer-able — partly from scripture, and partly from the experience of believers.

Many passages in the Bible include the words “…and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him/her/them…”. However this quotation is never followed by anything like “…and the people said, ‘whoa, what was THAT?’” Generally speaking, when the Spirit speaks, people recognize the message as coming from God. So the first thing I’d say is the Holy Spirit feels like truth.

The Spirit is described in various parts of scripture as fire, power, faith, peace, joy, fullness, or holiness (the seal of God’s promise in and on us). All these things come from God and when the Spirit makes His presence known we usually feel at least some of these things in some way or another.

In most cases in scripture the arrival of the Spirit is followed immediately by someone speaking God’s word or prophesying. The Spirit of God brings God’s word, and when the Spirit inspires, it feels impossible to keep quiet about the Word.

The Spirit is, truly and literally, God within us. Sometimes a person can sense the presence of a Being far greater than can be imagined; I’m sure when the Spirit touches us, He holds back a great deal otherwise we’d be completely overwhelmed.

In conjunction with healing and other miracles, the presence of the Spirit is often described as “warmth”, “a tingling sensation”, “electrical” or “breathtaking”. These sensations do exist (and they’re quite pleasant) but they should not be looked for as “proof” that a person is feeling the Spirit. Every believer receives the Holy Spirit when becoming a Christian, and always has the Spirit in him or her whether His presence is felt or not. What the Spirit does give daily is deeper insight — eyes to see and ears to hear — or as Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and more abundantly”. The Spirit gives a deeper, more meaningful life in every sense of the word.

Above all, the relationship between the believer and the Spirit is just that — a relationship, a community of two, in which the Spirit feels like the embrace of a friend, brother, or soul-mate. One then becomes aware that the Holy Spirit has the same community-of-two relationship with every believer on the planet, which defines the family of God, the community of faith, the true Church. And in that sense, the Spirit feels like home.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ubuntu 12.10 = Fail x 4

So it's been a while since I posted about Ubuntu and it's progress.  Last week I decided to build my aging mother a desktop system.  My father passed away last year and now she has to do all the banking errands.  I don't like it that she is blind in one eye and driving on busy roads populated with hot-headed jerks and maniacs, she is constantly driving to the bank for cash, and then to the vendors where she pays her bills (really old fashioned).  A tablet didn't work out for her because of screen size, and the cheap Android tablet had very poor performance because her banking site uses a lot of FLASH and JAVA.

Enter Ubuntu 12.10 - System finished and it wouldn't install.  I had never seen ANY version of Ubuntu having so much trouble with the install, and I've been doing this since their first release.  Well I figured it was a hardware problem, and everything seemed to indicate it was either the HD or the HD controller.  After a couple of drives and controllers giving me the same problems, I tried it on 4 very differently configured machines (well working systems) and got the same result.

For me Ubuntu 12.10 was an epic fail.  that said 12.04 works perfectly with every machine I have, and works better than any previously installed Linux versions (Mostly Ubuntu).  Mom's system will be delivered to her house next month when I can take a week to travel, set it all up and train her to use it.  This will be her first rodeo with a computer.  We're both excited...

Unity - I've hated the Unity plugin since day one and I've stopped upgrading my systems because of it.  Well, that has all changed now.  Unity has matured and works well on all my systems with 12.04.

Ubuntu 12.04 = Epic Win x 4 (home run here for me) - There won't be anymore Ubuntu upgrades until the next LTS version.  Then, and only then if the next LTS proves to work as well as 12.04


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Good things are happening...

Good things are happening in my life. I'd like to be specific but the main focus is on God as it should be. My wife Joy has given her life to God, we are attending church on a regular basis and my life as an individual and our lives together is really improving in every facet. Most of you won't be interested but I'm so overjoyed that I have to tell someone/everyone. Thank you God for all the blessings, in Jesus's name Amen! and Amen!