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Author Topic: Looking for advice, tips, wisdom: Adding my 1st Mac into the [tech] family...  (Read 11920 times)
Stoic Joker
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« Reply #50 on: June 13, 2011, 03:56:04 PM »

Am I the only one who hates gestures and was happy with the simple "scroll areas" on the sides of touch pads, along with a right and *physical* button?

Nope, I am totally with you on that! smiley Only gestures I like are done in the air in front of the screen ... Or in traffic...
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #51 on: June 18, 2011, 09:04:16 PM »

After a long, very VERY annoying and anger-inducing supposedly 5 minute trip to go locate a Dual-Layer DVD (and coming home 3 hours later with an 8GB ADATA flash drive), I have upgraded the iBook to Leopard. Snow Leopard (and Lion, for that matter) is Intel-only, so this is the "end of the road" for Apple upgrades and non-security updates for it. I'm debating throwing another GB of RAM into it (to max it out at 1.5GB), as it is usable and not much slower than it was with Tiger (it is not really "slow" but I'm used to my 6 core Win7 box with an SSD in it tongue). I'm learning a bit here and there on what does what and what breaks this functionality (gonna keep that USB stick in a very safe place!) so I'll have to decide that over the coming weeks.

I've customized things and tweaked items here and there; the logon screen shows information about me, my phone number, and that the computer is "NOT FOR SALE" in case I walk away from it in a not-so-trustworthy location and it happens to walk off and land on Craigslist or a pawn shop or the like. Prey is also is installed to assist with that (gotta love Prey Kiss). Found out that Truecrypt can't encrypt the OSX boot drive (like it can for Windows), and that FileVault (OSX's Home folder encryption system) is buggy and not as secure as one may be lead to believe. I'm also diving into the Open Firmware (what, if I am understanding correctly, is Apple's version of the BIOS, basically) and seeing what I can do in that as far as locking it down right now. Maintenance and security are what I want to learn about first and foremost smiley

I took it to the Apple Store at the nearby mall, and the guy I talked to chuckled and said "I can't do even basic diagnostics on this for you, it's too old. I can't even order parts if something breaks or goes bad. [...] If it is a software issue, bring it on in and we can help you with that, but as far as hardware goes, you're on your own." I assume all their software tools for testing hardware are Intel-only now. He was nice enough to point me to MacMedia (one of which was just built about a mile south of the mall) whom can "probably still help" me with hardware issues. So far, no problems (battery life is amazing as well).

Overall, I'm not regretting this at all (yet). It's a bit depressing to look at my bank account and know that I could have almost double what it is right now if I hadn't done all this, but I'd still call it "worth it." Thmbsup

EDIT: You aren't supposed to be able to boot PPC-based Macs from USB, but I didn't want to pay $12.50 + tax for 10 DVD-DL disks that I would use one of and then the rest would sit, hence the USB drive. The Leopard disk image was ripped from a friend's old Leopard DVD (who upgraded to Snow Leopard a few months back and gives me all his old tech stuff). I couldn't find the disk last night so I had to go through this huge convoluted process to get an ISO onto the iBook and turn it into a DMG and the DMG into a compressed DMG, then load it onto the ADATA stick, then get it to boot...  Cry
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 09:13:09 PM by wreckedcarzz » Logged

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2011, 07:46:36 AM »

Ah there is nothing like the 'just use it' nature of the Mac.

Glad you are having fun - but try posting some of this onto a Mac forum and I bet you will get some strange comments  Kiss
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« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2011, 08:24:18 AM »

Found out that Truecrypt can't encrypt the OSX boot drive (like it can for Windows), and that FileVault (OSX's Home folder encryption system) is buggy and not as secure as one may be lead to believe.
You do *not* want to activate FileVault smiley
Here goes my experience:
I activated it on the laptop when I started configuring it, so I had no problems there.
However, when the disk gets full, FileVault is a PITA! It never frees space (actually, it does, but I was never able to understand the logic behind it), so, if you fill up the drive, you can't just delete some stuff because the free space won't be updated right away, only when you reboot the machine (sometimes logoff also works). This is particularly interesting when combined with Apple's 300MB of updates needing 6GB of free disk to install, which will only be released when you reboot the machine (because of filevault).
But the very worst feature about it, is that it uses some constant 12-20% of the processor, which causes the laptop to overhead (even more easily than it usually does).
Also, when you want to disable it, you'll have to have free space > used space, as it first decrypts and copies the whole data and then deletes the old data. I ended up just using an external disk and deleting the data on the whole disk. (which is probably also the fastest method anyway)
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2011, 02:35:16 PM »

Ah there is nothing like the 'just use it' nature of the Mac.

Glad you are having fun - but try posting some of this onto a Mac forum and I bet you will get some strange comments  Kiss

Indeed, although I don't think "strange" would be quite the word to use there tongue

You do *not* want to activate FileVault smiley
Here goes my experience

Oh lord, ugh. I knew it did a copy-then-delete process, but jeez Cry .... wouldn't that problem be circumventable by FV just deleting the un/encrypted files as it de/encrypts them, instead of doing it all in one go? You would think it would check the amount of free space and give you an option. Roll Eyes

Regardless, I need to remember to never mess with that again, seeing as the drive is only 60GB (and I'm using about 30 of that right now).


Oh, and strangely enough, upgrading to Leopard dramatically increased flash-video frames per second (with no changes to Flash, still on the latest version of 9). It gets choppy now and again with some videos (I'm only using YouTube for this thus far) but it is for very short bursts and, for the most part, is no longer a horrible torturous pain to watch. Not sure if that has to do with hardware acceleration (I believe I read somewhere about Leopard taking advantage of the GPU to do 2D processing, kind of like Vista started, but I could be wrong). huh
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #55 on: June 21, 2011, 07:47:47 PM »

I called up MacMedia (a nearby "Apple Certified Retailer") while running errands yesterday to check on the cost of a 1GB DDR 2700 stick for the iBook. Without naming the price of the stick itself, I was told that the "installation cost" would be $50. I about cracked up right there amidst rush hour traffic. I asked what the cost would be without their fancy "installation" and couldn't get a straight answer from the guy.

I then drove over to Fry's Electronics and went in and inquired what their cost would be (I just wanted the stick, not some crazy red carpet installation crap) and the cheapest they had was $37 (before taxes). I told the guy straight up "I'm not that desperate for a freaking GB of memory for an old iBook" and walked out.

Newegg sent me an email today about their summer sale promotions. Nothing interesting much, but it got me looking at memory costs. They have what I need for $30 with no shipping costs. I scanned through other emails from them and found a coupon code for 10% off all Notebook Memory that expires at midnight tonight. So now I sit and wait, $27 poorer, for my 1GB stick of RAM. When it arrives, I'll see if I can't do some benchmarks or something to compare against, just for laughs.

Talk about a ripoff though, $50 just to take the keyboard off (pull 2 levers and lift it), undo 4x small Phillips screws, slide the RAM in, re-tighten the screws, and slide the keyboard back in. Damn, I'd do that for like $5 for someone and STILL feel bad about overcharging them. Some people... undecided
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« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2011, 09:18:53 PM »

I called up MacMedia (a nearby "Apple Certified Retailer") while running errands yesterday to check on the cost of a 1GB DDR 2700 stick for the iBook. Without naming the price of the stick itself, I was told that the "installation cost" would be $50. I about cracked up right there amidst rush hour traffic. I asked what the cost would be without their fancy "installation" and couldn't get a straight answer from the guy.

I then drove over to Fry's Electronics and went in and inquired what their cost would be (I just wanted the stick, not some crazy red carpet installation crap) and the cheapest they had was $37 (before taxes). I told the guy straight up "I'm not that desperate for a freaking GB of memory for an old iBook" and walked out.

Newegg sent me an email today about their summer sale promotions. Nothing interesting much, but it got me looking at memory costs. They have what I need for $30 with no shipping costs. I scanned through other emails from them and found a coupon code for 10% off all Notebook Memory that expires at midnight tonight. So now I sit and wait, $27 poorer, for my 1GB stick of RAM. When it arrives, I'll see if I can't do some benchmarks or something to compare against, just for laughs.

Talk about a ripoff though, $50 just to take the keyboard off (pull 2 levers and lift it), undo 4x small Phillips screws, slide the RAM in, re-tighten the screws, and slide the keyboard back in. Damn, I'd do that for like $5 for someone and STILL feel bad about overcharging them. Some people... undecided

Yeah, but that $50 gets you a professional Apple techno-genius with genuine Apple screwdrivers and a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you just donated a whack of cash to the Church of Jobs.

Speaking of... Why the Hell aren't Apple product purchases tax deductible as charitable contributions?

Hasn't Apple registered as a religion yet?

tongue  Wink
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #57 on: June 21, 2011, 10:22:47 PM »

Yeah, but that $50 gets you a professional Apple techno-genius with genuine Apple screwdrivers and a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you just donated a whack of cash to the Church of Jobs.

Speaking of... Why the Hell aren't Apple product purchases tax deductible as charitable contributions?

Hasn't Apple registered as a religion yet?

tongue  Wink

 Grin  Kiss
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« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2011, 05:25:28 PM »

heh. Been there, done that!

Had I checked in here a month ago, I'd have found this thread sooner, and I could've given you my disks for Leopard. My Mac bit the dust just after I bought the OS upgrade, and I would've been HAPPY to package my set of Leopard disks and send it to you at no charge. Really! It's brand new and has never been opened. If you like, I can offer to send them to you anyway.

I never cottoned to my old Mac mini, and when it finally died, frankly I was relieved. The only thing I will say in its favor is that iMovie is pretty awesome. If you do anything at all with videos, you'll appreciate how easy it is to use, and how it makes a very nice looking video. For a "simple" product it has some surprisingly sophisticated tools. Just be prepared to have to hunt around for external format converters if you want to share videos with your PC pals. Even those, however, are available, and are more polished than their PC counterparts.

GarageBand is a lot of fun, too. I thought iPhoto was overblown and way more than I needed. Whenever I tried to use it, I found it to be quite counter-intuitive and confusing, and after a while just avoided it. I found other means for working with my photos -- like using my PC instead. All of these are part of the iLife family, but rather surprisingly, none of their user interfaces have much commonality.

Like you, I discovered that the Mac's greatest proficiency is extracting money from my pocketbook. And I don't mean solely because it's expensive to buy one, but because almost anything you need to do to it is going to cost you, and often the only way out when you have trouble with it is to buy your way out.

Still, I believe I'm a better person for having wrangled with one for 3 years. Now I know for a fact that those Mac fanboys have no idea what they're talking about. Having tasted the other side, I know that Windows is the OS for me.
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2011, 05:37:25 PM »

heh. Been there, done that!

Had I checked in here a month ago, I'd have found this thread sooner, and I could've given you my disks for Leopard. My Mac bit the dust just after I bought the OS upgrade, and I would've been HAPPY to package my set of Leopard disks and send it to you at no charge. Really! It's brand new and has never been opened. If you like, I can offer to send them to you anyway.

I would really like that smiley the disks I had, and a couple Windows disks, seem to have magically walked off (along with a large amount of game disks, including my copy of The Sims 3 Cry). Funny how stuff disappears when you have a little sister and her friends come over and you come back to have a room that (by some feat) looks worse than when you left it. I just found my phone's microUSB cable today. It was MIA for almost a week. undecided

I went out and got iLife 09 only to find that iMovie won't run on PPC Macs, because of some retarded restriction. I ended up using Pacifist to open the package files and manually install iMovie, then edited some hex values to ensure it would skip the Intel-only check. Runs fine. Marketing gimmicks Angry

I'm having fun with iWeb, even though it feels so peel-and-stick and like it was made for someone that is like I-just-found-the-internet-LOL. Haven't messed with iPhoto (opened it, was not interested, Quit) or Garageband yet. It took me a good 5 minutes to figure out how to make iWeb not make ALL PAGE TITLES ALLCAPS. Whoever thought that was a good idea should be beaten and then fired, and then beaten again en-route to the parking lot.

So far, the computer itself, the DDR RAM, and iLife are all the money I've put into it. Hopefully that's it.
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« Reply #60 on: July 13, 2011, 06:12:47 PM »

Good news updates first:

So I've setup the Mac now to be the media hub, using SugarSync to sync between my gaming machine, my netbook, and my file archive/storage server. It syncs my iPod Nano (4th generation) with iTunes and my Samsung Intercept (Android phone) with doubleTwist.

The iBook is about the same speed as my little Asus netbook, with about the same battery life (the netbook battery deteriorated really fast) so I take the netbook when I want mobility, and the iBook when I want a large screen and a simple user interface (all my friends ask "where is iTunes?" when I hand them the netbook undecided).

So I've got a gaming machine for when I want to have a frustration-free experience, or vent frustration from a prior experience (I'm really liking Sanctum). I have the iBook for media consumption and synchronization, and messing around with. I have the netbook for mobility/web browsing/IMing and light gaming. And my server continues to chug along for when any of these three machines need to archive some old files. I'm really liking how this is working.


But I bring new gripes, do not distress! tongue

I had a strange issue, which Google reveals to be somewhat common, where the iBook would not shut down, reboot, or log off. It came down to Finder (Mac's equivalent to Windows Explorer) freezing and locking up the login process. You can't "force quit" (End Task) Finder, because it is basically the entire UI, minus the Dock, so it is hard coded to not offer that option. After a bit of searching around, I reset the Open Firmware (BIOS) and PRAM (not sure how this is different from Open Firmware, I guess OF is the interface but the PRAM holds the settings? Ugh.). That, with a run of OnyX (all-around OSX maintenance tool) seemed to clear it up. thumbs up

I am also getting random "Recovered Files" in my Trash (Recycle Bin) after runs of OnyX and rebooting. I empty the Trash, reboot, and more files come back. This can occur over nearly half a dozen reboots. Not sure what that's about. Nothing has broken yet, though. huh

Additionally, last night, after watching The Bourne Ultimatum, I tried to log onto Skype; I found it was in permanent Offline mode. I tried BlackFire (Xfire client) and it said there was no internet connection. Opening Network Preferences, it said "AirPort has a self-assigned IP address and may not be able to connect to the internet." After a few words and wondering to myself why the fsck it is self-assigning instead of using DHCP like normal, I spent 45 minutes running around my room (at 3AM) messing with the router, modem, iBook, my phone (to see if the internet was actually working), and my gaming computer (to access router/modem setup pages). I went to sleep annoyed and confused, figuring that maybe the router would terminate the DHCP lease overnight and give the iBook a new IP. I woke up, and no dice. Digging around for another half hour, I found that the OSX Firewall might be the problem. It was set to what is essentially "Ask on all incoming connections" mode. I flipped it to "Allow all" (off, basically), the iBook got it's new IP, flipped it back, and it's working now. From what I read, it is a bug in Tiger and Leopard (and beyond, I would assume, as Leopard still gets security and functionality updates AFAIK) and has been known for some time (3+ years). That's really going to bother me if it becomes a recurring issue. thumb down

Oh, and another thing that's going to annoy me to no end that I didn't really think about until this morning: Apple is just as stupid as Microsoft was with XP: the firewall is OFF BY DEFAULT (image). Holy crap. tellme
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« Reply #61 on: July 27, 2011, 06:27:20 PM »

Apparently you can run xbmc on it.
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« Reply #62 on: July 29, 2011, 10:20:35 PM »

XBMC is a good app, but I never saw the point of it; on XP, there was Media Center edition. Vista/7 Home Premium and up have Media Center. And Leopard (10.5) has Front Row (Apple's Media Center remake). Although that post refers to 10.4, where only select machines (desktops?) came with Front Row, so that makes sense. I might install it just to kick around and play with it, it's been a while.

EDIT: For special setups/dedicated boxes (Xbox original converted to a media box, Apple TV, etc) I understand, but I really don't get why you would want it for a normal computer that has this functionality built in. There are a few things XBMC has, like the extensions for everything except getting up and bringing the fridge and fresh food and beverages to you, and the weather information, but that never really made sense to me why you wouldn't just use the built in application. Maybe its like IE vs FF, where once you use FF's extensions, you understand? huh
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 10:23:55 PM by wreckedcarzz » Logged

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« Reply #63 on: July 30, 2011, 10:03:30 AM »

I heard front row has been removed from Lion.
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #64 on: July 31, 2011, 05:08:45 AM »

I heard front row has been removed from Lion.

Yeah, and a quick Google search turns up tons of people on both sides of the "good/bad" fence about it. I actually quite like it; I'm not going to run out and drop a thousand or so bucks on a new Mac, though, so it doesn't bother me. Someone suggested it may be re-released as an "App" for purchase, which I find quite moronic; that would be kind of like what MS is doing with Windows Live Essentials. They could at least bundle Mail with Windows- not everyone uses webmail undecided
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« Reply #65 on: July 31, 2011, 11:30:54 AM »

[Desperately scrambling for a "bright side"]

If the entire experience is documented throughly, it should make for an excellent cautionary tail.

And always look on the bright side of life~!

Dee doo... dee doo dee doo dee doo~!

Grin
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« Reply #66 on: July 31, 2011, 08:07:27 PM »

Well, quite frankly, there is no cheap solution to hardware faults on that piece of machine as they are already discontinued.  Your best bet would be to look online for those who took apart their computers and sell them by pieces of parts.

Or, go directly to Apple which as you said would cost you more.  I think that the better intelligent answer to this is not to have gotten that thing in the first place. It is a very old piece of hardware which has very little to be spoken off really.
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« Reply #67 on: July 31, 2011, 08:31:58 PM »

[Desperately scrambling for a "bright side"]

If the entire experience is documented throughly, it should make for an excellent cautionary tail.

And always look on the bright side of life~!

Dee doo... dee doo dee doo dee doo~!

Grin

 tongue

Well, quite frankly, there is no cheap solution to hardware faults on that piece of machine as they are already discontinued.  Your best bet would be to look online for those who took apart their computers and sell them by pieces of parts.

Or, go directly to Apple which as you said would cost you more.  I think that the better intelligent answer to this is not to have gotten that thing in the first place. It is a very old piece of hardware which has very little to be spoken off really.

edrez, Apple even stopped supporting any hardware issues with PowerPC machines. All their replacement and diagnostic parts are Intel-only. The only thing they can assist me with directly is software issues, like iTunes/iLife/iWork/OSX.

And I'm not one of those people that chucks out things just because they're old; my file storage "server" is a Pentium 4 box with a GB of DDR in it. Up until a month ago, I had a Packard Bell (pictures here on the DC forum) which I donated, along with the monitor, speakers, a Windows 95 emergency recovery disk, keyboard, and mouse. I have boxes of computer parts sitting here, ranging from fairly new (a year old) to 10 years of age, with a couple ready-built machines simply awaiting an OS. And considering that this iBook was made from mid 05 to early 06, it's only 5 years old. The Pentium 4 box is 11 years old now, and so far has only needed a replacement power supply. My mom calls me a packrat, but I believe in keeping things until there is no more life in them.
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