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 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 …

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Apple Macintosh

I started using the Macintosh in January of 1984, while I was a student at Bowling Green State University. Actually, we had either an early model or an early release of the Macintosh XL software package for the Apple Lisa in December of 1983, as I recall. During one afternoon of waiting in line for a keypunch at the computer lab, I read all three of the manuals that came with the first Mac. This made me an expert instantly, I suppose, since most people never read the manuals! Even though I was working primarily as a technical writer, this was also my first real experience doing technical support. Because I had to learn and understand what I was documenting, I was often asked to help some of the faculty and staff when they had questions. I’ve owned quite a few Macintoshes since then. After spending many years with my trusty Titanium PowerBook G4/667, I replaced it with the Intel Core Duo-powered MacBook Pro that came out in February 2006. Because I tend to keep computers for such a long time, I decided to upgrade the processor speed to 2.16GHz, and get the 7,200rpm 100Gb hard drive. Unfortunately, it was one with the short-lived 32-bit Core Duo, so it only supported up to 2Gb of RAM. Also, since it was the original Intel-based machine, it came with only a 4x single-layer DVD burner, and didn’t have the FireWire 800 port that most of the other MacBook Pros have now. It …

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Upgrading an Older Macintosh with an SSD Replacement

Let me start with a little background — I have been an avid Macintosh user since the original Macintosh (128K) was introduced in 1984, when I was in college. Yes, they can be expensive, but they are easier to use, which makes them more powerful, and I find that they have a longer useful lifespan then many other platforms. Over the years, I have kept many of my Macintoshes for over 5 years, keeping them relevant by adding memory and disk space over time, and of course keeping the operating system upgraded to the current version. My strategy has often been to purchase a new machine just as it is discontinued, when it’s very close to the current model but with a decent discount. My current Mac is an early-2011 MacBook Pro 17″ that I bought in November 2011, when it was replaced by the late-2011 version, identical except for a modest bump in processor clock rate (2.2 vs 2.3GHz). I saved several hundred dollars by buying the earlier model. After four years of faithful service, though, it was beginning to feel like an antique. Most of the OS X operating system updates actually improve the overall performance of the system, but it seemed like my old MBP just kept getting slower and slower. Exacerbating the problem is that my iTunes library has grown to over 500Gb, with music ripped in Apple-lossless (ALAC) format, high-definition movies, loads of books and apps, etc. It just wasn’t practical to keep all of that on …

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Apple released a BASH Shell Security Update for Shellshock, kinda…

While Apple has released a security update to address the “shellshock” vulnerability in the bash shell, they have not made it available through Software Update! See the support page at: for links to the downloads and installation instructions. Update: Apple has rolled the bash shell update into Security Update 2014-005. See the details at: Presumably, the fix is also included in OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” ( which was released yesterday.

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. …

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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.


I was one of the founders of the MacinTech Users Group, and have been involved with it for many years. My direct involvement has waned lately, as other commitments for work and family have made the schedule too much to juggle… Links to MacinTech The web site for the MacinTech Users Group is To subscribe to the MacinTech mailing list, please visit MacinTech Email Subscriptions page. There is also a web site for the MacinTech Multimedia Special Interest Group at

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 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 and Chuck Toporek on MacDevCenter at O’Reilly Network. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, with condolences on their loss.

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