A Word About RAM MacBook Pro

Nov 5, 2013 by

A Word About RAM MacBook Pro

I have one of the last 17-inch MacBook Pros, with 2.4 GHz, Intel Core i7.  It came with 4 GBs of RAM, and for what we do making books for iPad and the videos that go into them with Adobe After Effects, Audition and Premier Pro CC, RAM is in demand.

A few months ago, I ordered an 8 GB ram card from Crucial to soup up the MBP. Installing the card was sort of easy, just undo the 10 screws on the bottom, pop out the old 2 GB cards and then pop in the Crucial card and onward. Except I actually had trouble seating the Crucial card and wound up getting a Genius at Henderson & Knox to seat it right.

Then, this summer, in discussions with Jamaal Jackson at Reel3Media.com, he said I could up the MBP up to 16 GBs. I questioned that announcement, but he said, “Google it!”  I did, and yes, you can pump a MBP up to 16 GBs of RAM. Crucial RAM Sticks 8 GBs

So a few weeks ago, not wanting to wait for Crucial to make a delivery and headed out of town, I stopped in at Fry’s in Dallas and bought a new 8 GB stick, but this one was made by Corsair.  After seating it myself again, the MBP started beeping at me — three beeps over and over is a signal that you have a RAM issue — and I never really could get the thing to work right.

Last night, I went to the Apple Store at Northpark Mall in Dallas, and Taylor, one of the geniuses there took my MBP to the back after I explained the issue. For what should have taken about two minutes, it lasted for about 10-15 and apparently in that time, he did some testing for me.

What he came back and said is that he, as a Genius, recommends the Crucial cards and NOT the Corsair sticks.  Of course, I could pay Apple $200 for their cards, but hey, Crucial is like $80, and Corsair was about $75.  Why not the Corsairs? He says the boards on them are a “little thicker” than the Crucial cards so when you put the thicker one in the top slot, it can pop out when the bottom one is thinner. So, he said he put the Crucial card on top.  He said if there are other issues, that I should scrap the Corsair and go with another Crucial card.

So, I recommend if you’re going to upgrade RAM on your MacBook Pro, it’s recommended that you use Crucial sticks, not Corsair.

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Things We’re Hoping For In iBooks Author 3.0

Oct 18, 2013 by

Things We’re Hoping For In iBooks Author 3.0

On Oct. 22, Tuesday of next week, fellow Auburn graduate Tim Cook is slated to take the stage to reveal all that’s new with Apple and as usual, that is primarily going to focus on new iPads, MacBook Pros, the Mac Pro and the new OS X version called Mavericks. What he also likely will do is include a reference to books for iPad and iBooks Author, but those announcements and presentations often seem like he’s either got to get to the rest room or his car is double parked out on the street and he has to leave.  Sadly, we truly wish Apple was going to place more of a priority on books for iPad as they truly are the way of the future and the best digital learning tool available for kids of all ages in existence.

So in Tuesday’s announcement, we’re hoping for some announcements about improvements to the free software that can be used to make books for iPad.  Ultimately, we’d like to see these three things in iBooks Author 3.0.

1. Ability to change the background color in images v. galleries-Presently, when one loads a photo image into a book for iPad and sets it so that it can be tapped and expanded to the 2048 x 1536 pixel range of the screen, depending on how large the image is, it is going to display on a white background. Apple has said over the phone that this is largely done because images can be .pdfs and they think those display better against a white background, but in a world where not everything is that simple, we really wish they’d add one more button or tick box to change this presentation feature. We have a client right now who is insistent that images in his work should appear on a black background and the only way to try to trick iBooks Author into doing that is to make all images one-image galleries, and well, that’s not working out real well because the software also names the images as galleries when there’s really only one image.

2. Ability to leave social note thread discussions within a book-Social discussions within a group project are the way of the future. Already Apple has added “share” functionality within books for iPad, but we think it should be expanded so that teachers, authors, and classmates can all leave live notes right there in a group discussion in context to the pages where they’re happening. This would open an entirely wider array of functionality and effectiveness in discussions.

3. Ability to read books for iPad on any mobile device, not just on Mavericks Macs and iPads-Think Quicktime here. It works on any computer platform. That’s what’s needed for books for iPad that presently only work on the iPad or iPad mini. At the announcement, Apple is going to say that these books for iPad now will work in the new desktop operating system Mavericks, but what is really needed is a common platform that will make them available on a Kindle, Nook, Nexus 7, Surface, PC, ANYTHING.  The 3D imagery, the interactive widgets, all of the stuff that sets books for iPad apart from the horrifically limited functionality of EPUB 2.0.1 and EPUB 3.0 need to be made available in a Quicktime-type of widget/app that can be loaded onto these other platforms. Apple would significantly expand its revenue base for the sale of these books and capture a greater share of the book market.  It makes absolutely no sense at all to keep this as an Apple-limited product.

Will any of this come about Tuesday? We can only hope.  And Tim Cook, when you talk about books for iPad and iBooks Author, please, slow down a bit. All the other stuff is cool, but there are those of us out here in the wilderness who are forging a path to the future with these great tools and we think they deserve a lot more time and attention.

EDITORS NOTE: Last Friday in San Antonio, I gave a presentation about books for iPad that you can download for free and see some of the cool 3D images, puzzles, interactive timelines, and tools I reference above. If you need these made for your own classes, schools, or companies, please give me a call today at 214-364-7240.  A copy of my presentation is available for download from a public link on Dropbox.

 

 

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Don’t Use WD Unlocker on a Mac with Mountain Lion

Oct 15, 2013 by

Don’t Use WD Unlocker on a Mac with Mountain Lion

Error message trying to start Aperture with on a drive with WD Unlocker

Error message trying to start Aperture with on a drive with WD Unlocker

When I bought my 2 TB Western Digital external hard drive a few months back it came with a new feature that made a lot of sense–WD Unlocker, which allowed me to password protect the drive in case I ever left it somewhere or someone stole it.

Well, what I didn’t know is that when hard drives on a Mac go to sleep, they shut off the password protection on the external drive and until you go through the password process again, it does not work. And, I’ve been getting these -50 error messages from my Mac ever since. A call to Apple Care recommended resetting the Power Saving features of my Mac back to the factory settings, but I am here and then step away from the Mac all day long and the factory settings really aren’t acceptable.

Worse still, is that my 800 GB Aperture Library is on this one drive, too.  And once it goes to sleep, and you try restarting Aperture, chances are high you’re going to get an error message. (See above.)

I’m sorry, but this really isn’t acceptable, either on the part of WD or Apple.  To their credit, Apple tried to help me fix this. I’ve searched Google a couple times about WD Unlocker and there’s just not that much out there.

So here’s the solution I’m adopting. Right now, I’m two hours into what said was a four-hour transfer–even using a USB 3.0 connector and sending it to a G-Drive running thru Thunderbolt, it’s still taking five to six hours to transfer the 800 GBs.

When that process is complete, I’m going to reformat the external drive and start over.  This is taking far too much time to do, but in the long run, it’s going to save me a ton of time. Getting to the back of an iMac every time my machine goes to sleep has become a royal pain, not to mention an unnecessary one.

WD, you need to work out with Apple to resolve this.  The whole thing with Aperture has been more than I should have had to deal with and I count this as your fault.

There also doesn’t appear to be anyway to simply turn the PWD thing off. Your instructions for that are not easy to understand.

So if you’re out there and wondering should you install WD Unlocker on your external drive, my recommendation is don’t, unless you have tons of time to waste and like -50 error messages.

(The second image is what I get now when I try to delete a file off the drive.)  And this message is presenting even after I’ve gone thru and unlocked the hard drive once again.

 

-50 error message on a Mac because of WD Unlocker

-50 error message on a Mac because of WD Unlockerth

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When Do You As A Parent Defend Your Student Worker From A Jackass?

Oct 9, 2013 by

When Do You As A Parent Defend Your Student Worker From A Jackass?

My eldest daughter, 16, took the initiative this January and went out and got herself a job. She wanted more freedom to have her own money to spend. She had plans for buying a car. She had high expectations and soon realized that being a student worker isn’t easy. Yet she endured through the spring work of her sophomore year and into the summer when she took some dual credit courses here in town.  They were harder than high school and that was an important lesson for her as well.

But as the 2012-13 school year wound down and the summer courses in college kicked in, management at her job changed and it soon became apparent, more than the normal complaints anyone would have about working in fast food, that the new manager had it out for her.

Trying to let her be 16 and maturing into a young adult, I bit my tongue and let things to continue to ride.

I heard complaints about how the manager was doing this, how he was contradicting himself, how he was picking on her, how he was saying she wasn’t greeting people as they came through the lines, etc. I’d been in the restaurant a couple of times and observed her working. She was never holding the walls up but was always active stocking and restocking the food bar and when there were people in line, she’d help get them the extra fish, or shrimp or whatever they were requesting/complaining about, and usually with something of a smile.

So this progressed. Then she wanted to take a week off for her finals because the college work was hard. Another weekend she wanted to take a Friday off because of the Warped Tour concert that she’s gone to each year for the past three. Another weekend, she wrote a note to the manager and let him know that she wasn’t going to be able to work the following weekend because I was to be out of town on business and she wouldn’t have a way to get to and from.

After that, and with ridicule then, he stopped putting her on the schedule.  Two weeks ago now, after being left off the schedule twice again, and having decided that she wanted to concentrate on the new school year, my daughter took in a resignation letter. The same manager who had been showing his ass to her all summer long decided he needed one last hurrah and ridiculed her once again saying that he had been in honors this and that when he was in school, had worked nearly a full-time part-time position and still made high grades. It wasn’t necessary.  It wasn’t good management on his part, and if he was all that great, he wouldn’t be working at that restaurant, he’d be running Apple or something.

Today, I finally went looking on the corporate site and wrote them a letter about how disappointed I was in their manager’s poor decisions. No, it’s not his job to be teaching high school students the ropes of life by holding their hands through their first jobs, but he didn’t have to be a jackass about it either.

When it is your child being picked on by an adult, when is the right time to finally step in and put a stop to the bullshit? Texas is a right to work state so technically, management can fire anyone for any reason at any time.  But when a 16-year-old employee brings you a letter letting you know they’re quitting to focus on school, you don’t tell them you fired them two weeks ago, without calling them or giving them anything in writing, because “it was their job” to let you know that even though they had only asked for one week off, you decided it was their responsibility to tell them you could work once again the next week.

Depending on how the human resources department replies to my letter, this hopefully will be the last post about this. But as much of a jackass as this ass has been to my daughter, something tells me they’re going to need a negative PR campaign waged against them before it’s all over. Not what I want to do, but when you’re messing with my daughter and her future, well, we’re going to have issues.

 

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Could Not Log In to iMessage–Resetting PRAM fixed it

Aug 10, 2013 by

Could Not Log In to iMessage–Resetting PRAM fixed it

All of a sudden on my MacBook Pro I could not log in to iMessage. It had an error saying it couldn’t find the right settings or some sort.  I tried resetting passwords. Logging in on various versions of the .mac, .me and .icloud logins I have.  Nothing worked.

Then I tried resetting the PRAM on the Mac and it works fine now. A link to how to do this is below, but essentially you turn off the machine and before you hit the power button, hold down the OPTION + COMMAND + P + R keys all at the same time.  (At least before the white screen appears, and then let go. The screen will go black.  When it boots, you may have to hit the power button again, then try to log in to iMessages and at least for me, and others, it worked.

Not sure what’s afoot. There was some speculation that this was due to iOS 7 beta conflicts or a new software update for Mountain Lion, but I didn’t have one available and I’m not using iOS 7 beta on any of my devices.

Hope this works for you.

http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11243

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