iMessage solved and Jim finds joy with his Hackintosh

So there were a couple things tried to get iMessage working.  This post on tonymacx86.com is where I started.  I will admit, I didn’t follow the instructions completely.  I wanted to fill in the gaps that I didn’t have cause I have a working installation and just installed days worth of software so didn’t want to bork it all up for something I’ve been living without for years now.

But it was this post on reddit that clued me into an essential piece I was apparently missing.  “Board Serial Number” … I got that in there and iMessage now works a treat.  The original post covers this.  I just think the simplicity of the reddit post cleared things up for me.  It also has you delete all your old Messages – maybe they contain something that causes iMessage to regress?

That’s the thing about a Hackintosh.  If you buy the suggested hardware, it should “just work.”  When it doesn’t, there’s something you’re missing and you just don’t know what it is.  I mean if you’re not a systems engineer on Cupertino’s payroll that has all the answers.  And it can be very frustrating.

This brings us to Jim’s solution.  Seems the motherboard series he purchased required the installation of a particular Clover thingamahbob.  Once that was installed, “BOOM” as he said, everything started working.  After that solution, he moved on to his individual problems and fixed them one by one.

Again, if you’ve got the time and patience to work these things out.  Sometimes wait for answers.  It most definitely pays off in the end.

macOS Sierra finally on the Hackintosh!

So I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to macOS Sierra. 10.12.4 and then the next day they released 10.12.5.  I think I tried once before to upgrade, but maybe it was to El Capitan?  I’m not entirely sure, but regardless, whatever the install did, I ended up having to flash my motherboard’s BIOS in order to get back to Yosemite.

Because the newer versions switched to Clover from Chimera as a bootloader, I decided to go with a fresh install rather than an upgrade.  For whatever reasons I had problems in a prior attempt, this Sierra went on without any problems.  The hardest thing about it was acquiring all the software I’ve amassed and getting the serials, registration and everything from the developers websites, etc.

Some plugin companies I think counted this as an additional activation whereas some didn’t.  I guess it depends on how they do what they do.  Also, Apple’s Keychain in the Cloud is wonderful.  Anything in Safari – all the usernames and passwords were saved and it wasn’t like it was all new compared to Firefox where I had to figure all that stuff out or have passwords reset or sent by email.

Biggest thing for me? iMessage!  I haven’t had iMessage in a very long time due to whatever Apple did to their network.  It’s still kind of wonky at this point, but working all the same.  I can’t seem to talk to immediate family, so I don’t know if that’s an AppleID thing or what.

Anyway, this Hackintosh has been great since I built it (however many years ago on whatever operating system).  It’s been like a real Mac in every way.  The only thing that changed along the way was I decided to go to 4k and that required a beefier video card.  That video card requires a driver in order to run.  I found out the hard way that if Apple releases a new version of their operating system, I have to wait until I’m sure there is a new Nvidia driver available.  First couple times I just edited the version number in the Nvidia driver, but now I just wait.

What made me do it was my son Frank upgraded to Sierra on his Macbook Pro so I created the boot USB to go forward but have been putting it off until I didn’t need my computer for work. Then my oldest, Jim bought/built a Hackintosh and was having issues with it.  I thought that installing it on mine may help in me being able to help him with issues he’s been having getting all the stuff to work.  Unfortunately, my success is still seeing him suffer.  I had him bring the machine over and I installed everything from scratch and got the same results he did.  I suggested he get in the forums and read and possibly post if he finds no joy.  This is by no means to deter anyone from the Hackintosh experience.  I couldn’t be happier.

Not waiting for Mac OSX Mountain Lion 10.8

I just upgraded to Mac OSX Lion 3 months ago after waiting for whatever reason to upgrade. I decided this time that I was gonna be one of those people that upgraded as soon as the new version was released.

I didn’t camp out in line or anything to get the new OSX Operating System, I simply downloaded it and ran it.

The only weird thing about the upgrade was that when the machine rebooted into doing the installation, the brightness on my 17″ MacBook Pro was turned what seemed to be all the way up. The brightness keys didn’t turn it down, so the whole time the screen was really really bright. Other than that, everything smooth as the Lion upgrade. Only thing required was the waiting. Waiting for the download of the 4+ gigabyte installer and then the time it took to install.

The install itself got to one point and said 5 minutes left and then jumped back up to 20 minutes left. I thought it hit a snag and was re-installing Lion or something as I have an Early 2008 MacBook Pro which is supposed to be compatible with Mountain Lion but FUD said otherwise.

My other concern was running Avid Pro Tools 10.2 under Mountain Lion and I’ve fired it up and ran some sessions through it and all seems to be fine.

I did this on my secondary system which I hardly boot into, but will have to see how it works out and then install on my main HD. To be honest, the only thing I’ve noticed is the Notifications in the top menu bar (of which I’ve had none) and the addition of Reminders and Notes in the dock.

proftpd borked after portupgrade with mysql option

My gosh! Try to stay current but shoot yourself in the foot much?

portaudit does the wondrous job of letting me know port vulnerabilities each and every day … We like “0 problems found” to be returned in our daily email, yes? So when there is ports that need to be updated, I usually give it the ol’ portupgrade -aRr to cover everything.

In this last update, proftpd went and modularized everything. I noticed this because I have one server utilizing the MySQL version so as to easily handle virtual users and provide temporary accounts to transfer music files for the studio. So I figure how I have to update the conf file with the proper settings to get proftpd running. Finally when it is happy, logins are failing and I don’t know why. I find in /var/log/messages that there’s a chroot problem … Tracking this down shows that I need to update my FreeBSD version due to this security vulnerability that proftpd is detecting.

Now off to the make buildworld and some hours of compiling. Can’t just build the kernel. Blast!

Upgraded to Mac OS X Lion finally …

Mac OS X Lion Finally upgraded to Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3 from the App Store. Conflicting reviews and horror stories. My main concern was that Pro Tools 10.1.2 would work with it and that’s sort of the reasons for the Pro Tools updates was Lion compatibility …

I found that I really wanted the ability to share iCal with my wife, computer and iPhone so I needed Lion’s iCloud integration for that to keep it simple … Right off the bat I found this to work flawlessly and I also haven’t had any problems with Lion to speak of until … now …

This is why I decided to update my bLog here since there hasn’t been an update in a while and that I am having this problem right now with Lion. Things do seem to have slowed down. It’s not completely clear as to why and there could be several theories … A plugin I used with Pro Tools called muteTone decided to hang Pro Tools when trying to remove the plugin … I only need it for tracking and then I can remove it … This is used for 3rd party interfaces and Pro Tools inability to control input monitoring via their software (which every other DAW has and always had).

To attempt to fix the muteTone issue, it’s possible that I messed with some MIDI settings that had been moved out to the “Incompatible Software” folder when Lion installed. I followed Avid’s advice to install the Pro Tools 9 drivers for all hardware … I have since removed it, but I also used the MIDI driver update from Avid, and I think that may not have been necessary … Regardless, all MIDI stuff works, just not muteTone … (I had been working with the author of the plugin to try to fix) … The current state is that muteTone can be removed if it’s deactivated first … He suggested I live with that until the AAX release. “AAX” is Avid’s new plugin format. muteTone is free …

Also, NeoOffice needs to be upgraded for Lion … The only upgrade for Lion requires that I pay … I don’t want to pay for NeoOffice … I have Pages … I use NeoOffice to open files sent to me by those that are not keen to Mac … I have been Microsoft Windows free since 2008 and have NEVER looked back … Simply the worst form of software ever ruined by many individuals … That poor guy that stopped when Bill Gates handed him $50K should have continued to develop his own system … Anyway, NeoOffice informs me that if I continue to use the current version that I should save often in anticipation of the program crashing … Since I don’t care if it crashes, I’m good … But, maybe loading it adversely affects my pleasantly running system? Only time can tell …

So in conclusion, it’s just like any other computer issue … The person running it has a lot to do with how well it runs … Decisions by the operator affect how system stability is maintained … I do think I need to get a beefier system … I’m typing this entry via the first Mac I bought … Running the latest software and chugging along just fine, but I think maybe I deserve a little zippier Pro Tools and graphics stuffs …

Apple iPhone 4 IOS5 Update failing and App Ugrades failing

Wednesday October 12th, 2011 marks the release of Apple’s IOS5 for the iPhone and iPad. Searches on the web show failing upgrades and I also am experiencing this failure.

Apps: I upgraded iTunes to the latest and greatest and updated my OS X 10.6.8 with all the latest and greatest. Still, no joy. Before upgrading the iPhone’s OS I like to get all my apps up to date and have a successful Sync. Even when I try to upgrade the apps, I am stymied. I click on the Apps tab in iTunes with a 17 next to it to bring up the Apps screen. At the bottom it reports “17 Updates Available” I click on that and get to the next screen. The “Download all free updates” button is at the top and when I click on that I get a new “Terms and Conditions” that I guess is the result of the new version of iTunes. I click on the “I have read…” check box and click on the Agree button. Your request could not be completed. It says something about my clock being correct or something … and the resulting web help page refers me to Windows iTunes problems.

IOS5: So, maybe in order to upgrade these apps I need to have the new IOS5 software installed on my phone since these apps have surely been updated due to the new IOS5 release. I tried 3 times and each time I get the message that my iPhone cannot be restored at this time, there was an internal error.

Web searching, and I read others woes in the same boat as me. I’m also having intermittent iTunes password problems. I even went through the process of changing my password. Hassle.

I don’t waste any time and call AppleCare: I paid for it, I use it. After 10-15 minutes on hold, I get a guy that doesn’t handle this particular issue and he has to transfer me to the iTunes people. It’s announced that my wait time is now 5 minutes or less and after about a minute I get a guy. I explain the issues and basically I’m told that the Apple servers are overloaded and that if I wait 3 hours it should work fine. That isn’t stopping me from trying to upgrade the apps, but the IOS5 update is a long process that wants to backup the iPhone each time and that takes a long time to complete …

Here’s hoping that that’s all it is. Mass upgrading resulting in overloaded iTunes servers.

Current Events: Playing catch up …

Okay, I haven’t posted in a very very long time. (My English teacher said never to use “very very”, choose extremely or some other word).  Not that I haven’t wanted to, but I don’t always have the time and I am easily distracted.  I get a topic in my head and decide that’s what I’m going to post, but I forget about it when I get home or whatever, it just never gets done.  So!  Here are the current events and hopefully I don’t forget anything.

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO): I went to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to do a New Year’s Eve show with Fosterchild.  This was to perform for the troops at GTMO, the world’s oldest Naval base …  It’s beautiful down there.  It was more like a vacation than a job.  What I bring back the most was snorkeling … I enjoyed that very much as I’d never done it before.  The water was so salty that it was effortless to float, but nearly impossible to dive.  Coral was very sharp, but I saw fishies!  We played two shows, one New Year’s Eve and another two days later … We toured the entire facility – yes, the entire facility and they were clear that they wanted the things we saw be shared with everyone when we came back.  They showed us “Camp X-ray” (which was only open for 70-90 days) where the detainees were held  in 2003 and all the media photographs depict when referring to GTMO.  This camp is grown over with grass and weeds and hasn’t been used since.  They showed us Camps 4, 5, and 6 which become more restrictive as you go.  We saw what the detainees were provided in the way of clothing and things to pass their time.  How theirs customs are respected and attended to.  It was certainly an experience all in itself.

Bo Bice: On a lighter note (whew!) … American Idol’s fourth season runner up to Carrie Underwood was also performing at Guantanamo Bay as well.  We even shared the 30 seat plane ride with him to the island.  There was a problem with his sound guy’s passport, so he was left at the airport in Florida.  Because of this fact, I performed double duty on New Year’s Eve day by sound checking Bo Bice at their venue and then going to the venue where Fosterchild was playing and complete that sound check.  Bo Bice played that night with Tony, the electrician who is assigned to setup and break down PA systems at GTMO and his crew.  I also had a monitor guy who worked with Tony’s department.  It was a Venue system, and the next day, New Year’s Day they moved that entire show to another part of the base that is their outdoor movie theater and I was able to sound check and come back and mix that show.  So, on New Year’s Day 2011 (1/1/11), I mixed Bo Bice in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – and I got his autograph.

I better get this posted now, more later …

If you’re a Mac, you’re a PC …

A PC is defined literally as a Personal Computer.  If you’re using a Mac, you’re using a personal computer.  The Mac vs. PC commercials are obviously Microsoft vs. Apple commercials, and they’re spot on when put in that context.  But why confuse everyone thinking that “PC” is a bad thing?  Or “PC” is the derogatory term that has opposite connotations than “Mac” …  I mean, don’t get me wrong, as a computer professional since the mid eighties, I have found my place in the Mac world.  I find myself utterly and completely more productive and enjoying my environment and experience 100 times more.  I was in misery at the hands of Microsoft products.

Probably many people don’t know that before Microsoft, it was an IBM world and the PC had become known as an “IBM Compatible.”  At that time we also had the Commodore, Apple ][ and Franklin.  Franklin was an Apple ][ clone and were sued by Apple.  Result being, you don’t see any Franklins around, do you?

People also probably don’t know that the CPUs in the first IBM computers were AMDs.  Seems that AMD came late to the game to most people, but my IBM XT had a 4.77Mhz AMD chip installed in it, and I used the “Tiny Turbo” to up that baby to a whopping 8Mhz.  I imagine Intel struck a deal early on with IBM and that’s how they cornered the CPU market as well as Microsoft pushing IBM’s PC-DOS out of existence with MS-DOS.

But, is it just me?  Someone like me that knows all the history of the little boxes and where they all came from and how they started?  (Of course I skipped over the earlier Apples and Tandy’s attempt at PC greatness, the 5.25 floppies and 3.5s that don’t exist anymore, etc).  Is it just a simple fact that “PC” now means IBM Compatible running Microsoft Windows and “Mac” means awesome computer that puts PCs (in this context) to shame?

I write this post on my 800MHz PowerPC G4 iMac with 768MB SDRAM that I bought used off of eBay and received January 14th, 2004.  It’s running 10.4.11 Tiger Mac OS X … It shipped with Jaguar (10.2) but the previous owner gave me Panther (10.3) which I had also purchased separately.

I now run 2 MacBook Pros, a 17 and a 15 both with Snow Leopard (10.6) and a Dell Mini running Leopard (10.5).  I bought 10.5 for the Dell (Family version) and tried to install it on the G4 PPC and that was a no go for processors under 866MHz and Snow is Intel only.  It took the Intel version of the Mac (and OSX) before I was able to lose Microsoft completely.  Whatever the mixture of technologies came together, that’s the case for me.  The iMac didn’t get me there in 2004, it took the MacBook Pro in 2008, 4 and a half years later.

I don’t run any emulation software to run MS-Windows virtually, and I don’t utilize BootCamp.   There is absolutely nothing Microsoft on my Macs at all.  It’s wonderful.  The 15″ came with Microsoft Office and I figured I would check it out.  When I loaded Word, it said it wanted to update and I said sure.  The words “Running Microsoft Update” came up on my screen and I freaked, I blew away the HD and installed my purchased Leopard from DVD.  I wanted no remnant of a Microsoft product on my Mac.

So!  Once you go Mac, you never go back.  I think this is the case for anyone that seriously uses a computer for computing and not just web browsing and email.  What do you think?

Snow Leopard Black Screen Fixed?

MacSnowLeopardBoxI ordered Snow Leopard from Amazon.Com and waited patiently for it to arrive.  I read up on some sites about things to watch for when I upgraded, etc., but nothing can prepare you for when you actually go and do it.

I opted to run Carbon Copy Cloner as suggested by one site found by Google to make a complete backup of the hard drive inside my MacBook Pro 17.  I tested by booting from the USB hard drive (hold down ALT at power up) to make sure I could “go back” if I had to by reversing the Carbon Copy Cloner step.

All of the FUD on the Internet was crap.  Everything just worked.  Until …

I had been working on my MacBook Pro 15 and the Snow Leopard blanked out (as my MBP17 normally does after about 20-30 minutes).  Working on another MacBook Pro is a suggested method for passing the time.  Yes, I suggest you have more than one Mac (if you’re cool enough).  As I do sometimes, I swipe my finger across the trackpad to bring back whatever is on the screen.  When I did this, the keyboard illuminated, but nothing shown on the screens (I have a 24″ external).  The screen was black!  I thought maybe the brightness went out of range and pressed the “f2″ key to bring it up.  I see the dialog for the brightness level, but there’s nothing on the screen.  I see the backlight getting brighter, but the screen is black … nothing there.  I try the volume and that shows on the 24” (which is set as the main display).  I Google on the MBP15 and find that people close their cover and open to a working Mac.  After I wake from sleep, moving the mouse I see it as the spinning beach ball that it is.  I hold down the power button to power off the Mac, there is no other choice.

Turn the MacBook Pro 17 on again and I have a working Snow Leopard.  All the things that “they” said didn’t work work for me.  I installed the 10.6.1 update and iTunes 9.  So everything is up to date.  It happens again, same symptoms.  Black screens, can see volume and brightness dialogs when keys are hit, no mouse until after I sleep and wake to spinning beach ball mouse with black screens.

Google searching brings up black screen during the install, and some similar to my problem, but not all the same.  Some blame just on the install blanking and they can see images on their screen with no backlight.  I guess they’re fine after they upgrade cause I see no follow ups.  I see more and more people blaming things having to do with the video or their video card.  Some it’s playing games and some it’s running VLC …  So I decided, mine “hangs” when the computer screen sleeps (that’s SCREEN, my MacBook Pro never sleeps), so I think *screen saver!*

While the computer is running, I click on the Apple, go to System Preferences… into Desktop & Screen Saver.  Immediately, spinning beach ball.  Aha!  I can Force Quit System Preferences until I can get in there and click on the first screen saver I can click on to change it.  What was selected when it hung was a directory “Screen Savers” … I don’t know where it came from – only thing I can think of was a shareware copy of that Aqua Marine fish tank-like screen saver that I never ended up buying.  I’ve been using Flurry forever (and that was my first thought when I thought it might be OpenGL or something, which never worked on my KDE installs on cheap PC hardware) and thought that might have been hanging the computer’s video card or something.

So far so good, I will update if the longer the screen sleep gives different results.  Here’s hoping this helped someone.

October Macworld Mac Virus FUD

October-MacworldAs part of the package of the purchase of my new Mac, I was offered a subscription to Macworld.  I agreed to the subscription and then offered to extend it at a very low price, so I did …

Each month I browse through the issue quickly.  Sometimes I find things that help me with my daily Mac computing or software that I may have otherwise not been aware existed.  There is also iPhone stuff periodically and reviews of peripheral hardware.

The Mac vs. PC controversy exists.  No matter what.  There’s the John Hodgman & Justin Long commercials and Microsoft’s commercials saving money buying a PC stuff.  I’ve gone through the Linux vs. Microsoft stuff too, just so happens I choose FreeBSD (why I like the Mac so much). There should be a distinction that we’re talking about a PC running MS-Windows.  A PC running FreeBSD is solid as a rock.

BUT!  Macworld … keep it real … There’s no reason to start spreading FUD about the Mac and viruses.  In two articles (in an issue that targets saving money utilizing your Mac as well as after the purchase of your Mac), Jason Snell and Dan Frakes mention the expense of viruses and it’s simply not true.  It’s not an added expense to the PC, nor the Mac.

I’ve been computing since 1984, and I’ve never spent money on virus software.  The BBS I started in 1990 used McAffe’s virus protection, and it was always free to use and download for BBS Sysops, and I think it was free to end users as well (I may still have an old copy on an old machine and I can look that up).  Anyway, through the early years running PC-DOS and MS-DOS, I simply didn’t run stuff I didn’t know where it came from, and there was always some form of a free piece of Virus Software, now being called Anti-Virus software.

Regardless, I just wanted to post this since it’s simply not true, there is no expense in the Anti-Virus market (or just about any other) if you take the time and know where to look.  These softwares offer free daily updates to virus signatures as well, so no subscription to pay for.  They’re normally much more up to date than any of the pay subscriptions as well.

FREE MS-Windows Anti-Virus Software called AVG.

FREE Mac (and all others) Anti-Virus software called ClamAV.

It’s already a fact that any PC sucks if it has some version of MS-Windows on it, you don’t have to make stuff up.