Mac mini will not USB install mountain lion

Well one of our trusty Mac mini suddenly wouldn’t boot. One of the problems with doing a time capsule system restore is that u restore the bugs too. In this case it seemed like a disk corruption.

Rather than fix and limp along decided a clean install was the right thing to do. But putting in a USB created with lion maker 2 resulted in a “a problem has been found older try reinstall”

apple forums says that this is a common problem and you have to reset the PRAM. Hold the option command and p and r keys. Turn it one. Wait for the bing.

It worked for me!

Auto brightness

Apple has been much maligned but I don’t know it is a pretty cool customer service company.

At 5pm, we discover the trackpad doesn’t work on a MacBook. Fire up the apple store app on the iPhone and make a 730pm appointment.

It’s a four year old Mac so out of warranty. Most companies could care less. They can fix for $45 for the trackpad plus $40 labor. And it keeps us from having to spend another $1k for a new computer.

Show up. They run a diagnostic and discover the ambient light sensor also reports a fault. The apple genius is awesome. We discover diagnostic seems wrong. Says it will be fixed by 8am tomorrow.

Wow. Samsung may be rocking sales but this kind of service is hard to beat!

And of course the whole transactions is completely electronic. They have complete repair record and send u an email. Amazing.

Find my iPhone

A pretty misnamed app and hard to find. Bit this lets you keep track of your late model iOS devices and macs. It is complicated to use but let’s u find a missing phone. And Aldo have it start screaming “I’m lost!” Well not literally out of the box but figuratively.

Also lets you remote wipe and also send a reward if found message. Sadly it won’t work if data is turned off. And the average thief knows how to always turn the phone off and do a fresh reinstall (why doesn’t apple require a password for that???)

But here is how to use it

1. Got to settings and choose iCloud.

2. Enter your apple Id a d make sure find my iPhone is clicked on

3. Make sure wireless data is always on.

4. Lose your phone 🙂

5. Find a web browser on your pc. Or whatever and Goto iCloud

4. Login and click on the find my iphone button. And you see a map and your phone. Click on make a sound.

5. As an aside the same app runs on anything rising iOS 5 or later so install ASAP on your iPad, iPad mini. It also works on late model MacBooks running snow leopard I think. Go to system preferences and choose iCloud. Turn on find my Mac

5a. Download the dedicated find my iPhone app from the App Store and login and u can see all your idevices and macs.

6. You can also use this as a poor mans locator because u can have multiple iCloud accounts. So on your forgetful Tweens phone Goto setting and choose mail, calendar and contacts. Pick add account and choose iCloud. Enter your own apple I’d and turn everything off but find my iPhone. Now when u look at that app it will locate that phone as well!

7. The above isn’t really a tracker as it is easy to disable and you probably should tell the owner you r using this but it is useful for those days when I throw your kids phone in the recycling by accident 🙂


Mac mini needs tv on

Argh. What a strange thing. Took me a while to figure this out. It quartz extreme is graphics acceleration For Mac os x.

If you boot up a mac mini and the display is off it assumes it is a headless Mac and turns f quartz extreme acceleration.

but then if you try to watch tv and the tv is turned in later you don’t get any graphics acceleration and everything from vlc to iMovie fails.

So you either need to remember to leave you ac system powered up when you reboot. Or you have to buy a gizmo that fakes out the hdmi signal. Argh!

Geek street

While I love the iPhone. I have to say some of it’s quirks are really annoying. Here’s my list. If anyone can find work arounds let me know.

1. Activesync doesn’t work in airplane mode! Man ur on an airplane reading your exchange mail and it won’t delete messages. Just says can’t do it. Works fine with IMAP. Who doesn’t need to read and delete mail?

2. Dial anything. Ur looking at your calendar. There is the conference call number but u can’t dial it. Blackberry allows u to dial anything that looks a phone number.

3. Edit contacts. U can only edit an entry that u search for. If u call someone notice their contact info is wrong, u have to re-search for gem because iPhone has this strange idea there is a read-only contact form and an edit one. Should just be one so u can fix contacts anywhere

4. U see some text on the web and want to copy it over. Why is there. I general copy and paste.

5. There is no way to delete a photo other than thru the photo app. Like contacts there is this idea of view only and edit panes why? If u see a photo u should just be able to delete doesn’t matter where it came from.

6. Return exactly where u were. With blackberry if u task switch say to look at email for an address when u flip back to say the contact app ur exactly where u left it. So u can edit lookup and return. Buy with the iPhone apps just return to their start state so U look up. Then u have to write down on scratch paper the phone number and then search again for the contact. Worse yet if u partially edit and switch then u lose all edits! Arrgh.

Mac OS X hangs

Well the Mac isn’t immunie to strange problems. At various times I’ve noticed syslogd (the logging daemon), the spindump and kernel_task all spinning at 100% cpu utilization. Not really clear what is causing it. In one case a flaky USB hub causes kernel_task problems which makes some sense.

kernel_task uses 70%+ often – Mac Forums

kernel_task is the core of OS X. It runs all the device drivers, and other high privilege tasks. If it’s spiking up like that, it could be a bad device driver causing it. Have you checked the logs to see if anything is being reported there? Also, have you installed any 3rd party USB drivers (including printers, scanners, etc) as they are often a cause of problems

In another syslogd hangs on a particular file… | 100% CPU usage caused by syslogd (Leopard)

Over the last few days I experienced a strange bug that didn’t go away even after several times of rebooting — a process called syslogd used up to 100 percent of one CPU, which means up to 50% of my computer’s processing power.

After some research, I found the following solution:

Fire up Terminal and execute the following commands (enter administrator password when asked):

sudo launchctl stop
sudo rm /var/log/asl.db
sudo launchctl start

What do these commands do? First of all, we stop the syslogd process. The second line removes a database file which causes the whole dilemma (don’t worry, it’ll be re-created afterwards), the third line starts the previously stopped process again.

kernel_task uses 70%+ often – Mac Forums

With a hyperactive kernel_task, check the fonts and font cache.

Swimming in Exchange Calendar Duplicates

I don’t know what is doing it. Entourage, the many synchronizer, but I’ve got 1100 duplicate calendar entries which is depressing since I deleted 500 last week. Time to buy a deduplicator. There don’t seem to be any for Entourage that don’t take weeks to run, so I’m having to do this with Outlook under Parallels. The google:”outlook duplicates” search revelas Mapilab and “Sperry”: both make these. I’ve use Mapilab and it costs a ridiculous $24 to get something that shouldn’t happen. Sigh.

iPhone and iPod Touch Firmware 2.0.1 available

It is a 256MB download, so hope you have a fast connectionApple Releases iPhone Firmware 2.0.1 – Mac Rumors

Not clear what has changed, but early claism are

– Backup process for the iPhone is much faster.
– Netshare still works
– SMS typing faster

Apple releases iPhone 2.0.1 Software Update – AppleInsider has a forum thread and here is what users are seeing:

-Contacts are now more responsive.

Sync problems are fixed. It will backup the first time you sync after the update. The updates after that for me have only synced data in about 15 seconds rather than requiring a backup on every sync before.

fixed the lagging keyboard in e-mail and texting

iPod lags are much improved as well.

Email loads appear to be quicker.

Browsing names in the address book, switching between the keypad, addressbook, voicemail is instantaneous. Thank God! Much faster all-around. The camera boots up in half the time it used to.

Apple Shortcut keys

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

To open your Applications folder, click on your desktop and use the shift (⇧) and command (⌘) keys to type ⇧ ⌘ A. Voíla! Your Appplications folder appeareth.

Other folders have shortcuts too:

* Your computer: ⇧ ⌘ C
* Your home folder: ⇧ ⌘ H
* Your desktop: ⇧ ⌘ D
* Computers on your local network: ⇧ ⌘ K
* Your Utilities folder: ⇧ ⌘ U
* Your iDisk: ⇧ ⌘ I