MacBook Pro to iMac

After continuing to have trouble with my old 2011 17″ MacBook Pro, I’ve concluded that it’s time for a new machine. I tried replacing the RAM, but it still won’t boot up. I concluded that it probably wasn’t the memory or the drive, but maybe the CPU or Logic board is failing… Rather than spend more time and money trying to replace the SSD, I figured that it was time to replace the MacBook Pro, after 6 years.

I surveyed my options on Apple.com. The new MacBook Pro’s only come in 13” and 15” now, with the Retina display with high resolution but high pixel density as well. None of the laptops have optical drives any more, so I still think that there is not much advantage in carrying around a laptop vs. my iPad Pro. When I have travelled that past few years, I have only taken my iPad with me. Also, the 15” MBP costs nearly $2,800!

Having realized that I don’t really carry my laptop around with me, I checked out the options for iMacs. They have a 21.5” model, and a 27” with a 4K or 5K screen… Since I will likely be keeping this machine for another 5-6 years, I really wanted the 27” 5K screen model, which also has a faster 3.8GHz i5 processor, and a 2TB “fusion” drive, that is a hybrid small SSD with a larger conventional hard drive. The system is supposed to keep frequently used files on the SSD, and less frequently used files on the hard drive, to optimize the performance.

The new iMac is a thing of beauty! I love the big screen, and the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse use up less space on my desk. I have ordered a 16Gb memory upgrade to bring it up to 24Gb, which I think will work well. I had 16Gb in the MBP.

Welcome Back!

After many months in the dark, I have recovered the last of the pieces from my old Mac Mini G4, so that all of my services — DNS, Open Directory, Email (Postfix, Cyrus, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, MailMan), MySQL, and Drupal with updated PHP, since Apple’s default PHP install doesn’t include any of the necessary modules.

First my external drive for TimeMachine backups died… I replaced it with a new drive, but it had to complete a new, full backup. During the full backup, the external drive that the server was running from died from old age… After several partially successful attempts to recover the data using DiskWarrior, I tried to reconstruct the old Mini, but wasn’t able to get it to boot up… I thought that I had recovered enough of the data that I could use it to migrate to the new server, but the server migration wizard would die partway through.

After manually rebuilding Mail under 10.7 with Server 1.0, I found that when I updated to 10.8 and Server 2.0 that the migration wizard couldn’t even move my data and configuration from 10.7… So I had to manually rebuild DNS and Mail once again…

I have since migrated from an old 32-bit G4 Mini, to a newer 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo, with 8Gb of RAM. I’ve gone from OS X Server 10.5.8 to 10.7 and on to 10.8.2 Mountain Lion, with Server 2.2.1. I’ve had to manually install MailMan, since that is no longer included with Server. I also had to manually install MySQL, since Apple dropped it in lieu of Postgresql. I had to reinstall phpMyAdmin, only to find that Apple’s installation of PHP 5 doesn’t include many of the common modules needed. I used to use Entropy PHP, but its not being supported any longer. Its been superseded by php-osx from LIIP, also in Switzerland. Then I discovered that the Server app insists on reverting back to the default PHP every time it restarts… I had to reinstall Drupal 6.20, and then updated to 6.28. Then I had to update and fix some modules, reinstall MacPorts to load ImageMagick, etc…

But now I’m back online! I still have some formatting issues to work out, as my Zen theme and stylesheets seemed to have gotten a little broken, so bear with me while I do some more fine-tuning…

Y2K10 Bug

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve noticed that I had started to catch good email in my Mac OS X Server’s email spam filter. It was odd, since it generally works quite well, and rarely catches any “false positives.” This morning at my office, one of the guys I work with was having to patch one of our systems because of a “Y2K10 bug” where the date isn’t interpreted correctly. Later, I noticed on Slashdot there was a story about the Y2K10 bug affecting a large number of systems around the world.

I did a quick search for Spamassassin, and found that it was suffering from a bug in a date rule! Apple has a technical note on the issue:

Mac OS X Server v10.5 and 10.6 use SpamAssassin to filter “spam” from inbound messages; SpamAssassin includes a rule that increases the spam score for any inbound message sent on or after January 1, 2010.

This increased score may cause some inbound messages sent on or after January 1, 2010 to be inadvertently filtered as spam.

There is an updated spamassassin rule that fixes the problem as well. Run the command:

sudo sa-update –nogpg

to apply the new rule. The –nogpg flag is needed for OS X Server since it doesn’t have GPG installed by default.

Updates and Desktop Pictures

I’ve come to the realization that spammers have used a web crawler to harvest email addresses from my website, so I’ve removed all of the email links, including the pages for Friends and Family. I will clean up those pages and link them back in as soon as I have time.

At a recent MacinTech officers meeting, we had a brief discussion about “Desktop Pictures” (that would be “Wallpaper” if you are PC-inclined). I decided that I would post some of mine as samples. These are some of the pictures that I’ve taken over the past couple of years that I use as desktop backgrounds.

In Memory of Michael Bartosh 1977-2006

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of local Denver Macintosh consultant, trainer, and author Michael Bartosh… Michael died in an accident in Japan early Sunday morning, 11 June 2006. He is survived by his wife, Amber.

Michael was the CTO of 4am Media, based in Denver. He was an extremely knowledgeable individual, an official Apple Curriculum Trainer, and the principal author of Essential Mac OS X Panther Server Administration from O’Reilly. He was a frequent contributor to the Mac OS X Server mailing list, the Apple Consultants Network mailing lists, and several website forums such as AFP548.com.

I didn’t really know Michael very well, having only exchanged email with him from time to time, but he will be sadly missed by the Macintosh community. There are several thoughtful tributes to Michael on the web, including AFP548.com and Chuck Toporek on MacDevCenter at O’Reilly Network. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, with condolences on their loss.