iPad Pro, 9.7 inch

I picked up a new iPad Pro 9.7 inch a couple of weeks ago. I got the gold cellular model with 128 GB of storage, along with the Apple Pencil. Last night, I picked up the Smart Keyboard and silicone case to go with it. This post is literally the first thing I’ve used the keyboard for.

To be honest, I got it more because I wanted to upgrade my existing third generation iPad than because of the “pro” features. The old iPad had gotten very slow, and I’d been disappointed when Apple introduced the big iPad Pro rather than an iPad Air 3. I like the original iPad screen size. Continue reading

Resurrected Mac

Last December, I wrote about how my Early 2011 MacBook Pro died, and how I’d replaced it with a new machine. The video fritzed out while working in Photoshop, and things deteriorated until by the end of the week, it either froze at the grey screen, or progressed to a blue screen. Apparently a lot of that generation of MacBook Pros had problems with the video generation chip, and in the original post, I linked to three separate pages detailing the problems, and how, at that point, Apple hadn’t addressed the problem.

On February 20, Apple announced the MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues saying,

Apple has determined that a small percentage of MacBook Pro systems may exhibit distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts. These MacBook Pro systems were sold between February 2011 and December 2013.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will repair affected MacBook Pro systems, free of charge.

I took the computer in to the Chestnut Hill Apple store, where a very helpful Apple Tech by the name of Dan verified the issue, and ordered the necessary replacement main logic board. When the part came in, I brought the laptop back in, and it went off for service for a few days. It came back last Wednesday, and I picked it up Friday night. It appears to be running properly, and they even replaced the battery in it, along with the main logic board, all for the price of $0.00.

I would have preferred this program had been in place last December, but I’m glad that they finally recognized the problem, and I wanted to let people know about the solution.

So what am I going to do with it?  At this point, I’m not sure. Its hard drive is still overly full, which means it’s still slow. I do like having the ability to use Mavericks again (and the Snow Leopard installation I have squirrelled away on a hard drive), but the new machine is faster, and I love its sharper screen. At the very least, I’ve gone from having a doorstop with valuable data on it that I couldn’t remove, to having a working machine that I can erase my data from, and resell.

One thing that I immediately noticed was the full title bar in Safari on Mavericks. It’s the one thing that really irritates me the most about Yosemite — you have to think and aim to find a place to drag the window around by. I don’t find the extra 50 px or so of content area to be so helpful as to outweigh the irritation of not having a proper title bar to drag the window around by.

New Mac

I picked up a new MacBook Pro last night. The old one, an Early 2011 Macbook Pro started crashing on me earlier this week, and by the end of the week, wouldn’t start at all. Apparently, there’s a lot of that going around. In my case, it started pretty suddenly – I was editing a scan in Photoshop, when suddenly the screen scrambled, and then the system crashed. I rebooted, verified the disk with Disk Utility and went to bed. I was just drifting off  when the computer restarted itself, by itself. Not good. Over the next few days, I saw the start up screen shifted over by a third, and another time, I saw vertical bars. By the time Thursday night rolled around, I couldn’t get past the gray startup screen, and had seen a Blue Screen of Death a couple of times. In hindsight, the fact that I couldn’t preview my TIFF scans could have been a clue too, though I put it down to an incompatibility with Mavericks.

Anyrate, after reading up about the situation, it seems like the cure would have been a motherboard replacement; this for a computer which was nearly four years old, and had been running slowly anyway. I would not have chosen right now to replace the computer– Christmas is coming up and I just spent about $1000 replacing my front brakes, but I didn’t see much choice, so I started looking at the Apple Online store, trying to choose between my options. Continue reading

Creating a Bootable Snow Leopard External Hard Drive

I am reluctantly getting ready to upgrade my laptop to OS X 10.7  Lion. (The “reluctantly” part is a subject for another post). Because I have some PowerPC apps, including a couple of favorite games that I still use, I decided to pick up an external hard drive, and install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped.

Continue reading