Technology Review…IOS7

I don’t like it as good as I liked the old versions…IOS 6.whatever.

The flat icons don’t do it for me.  Isn’t 2D a step backwards?

The redesigned Calendar, Clock, Newstand, Game Center, Messages, Music don’t do it for me.  The camera’s “Square” feature is un-needed.  And the Camera doesn’t look as good all around.

So there you have it.

I like the new animations.  The “fly-in” looks great.  I like that tilting the phone creates a movement effect with the icons.  (Have you noticed that yet?)  I like iTunes Radio, but am not sure that should be included…That is everywhere, not just on IOS7.  I like the softer sound scheme a little better.  Siri sound better.  I am keeping HER female…Safari is better…more visual than before.

IOS7 looks better on my iPad Mini than on my iPhone 4S.

These are my thoughts.  What are yours?

Repaired MacBook Pro!

First of all, I have to thank the Lord Jesus.  He takes us through these kinds of trials.   And I learned so much going through the ordeal.  So many things.

Today I was at work, bothered by every technology issue.  These folks I work with have delegated some of the technology help to me.  Five times a day someone’s Windows 8 tablet/computer hangs, doesn’t sync, fails to recognize peripherals, etc.  SpartanNerd that I am, perhaps I am a little bit TOO unafraid of computers!  They keep me hopping, and I am happy to help.  (How often does Mac OSX hang or fail to recognize peripherals….NEVER!  We should have got macs!)

But what bothers me, is that I could not fix my own MacBook Pro, which took a nasty fall in May and hasn’t worked correctly since.  I can fix everyone else’s problem but my own.

Now I’ve opened this machine several, several times.  Stared at it, poked at the wires.  Removed things.    Nothing worked.  It always would go to sleep shortly after showing me the apple screen.  Also in Bootcamp mode with Windows 7.  The only mode that would work was Windows Safe Mode for some reason.  But then the machine is severely stunted, so….

I detailed my workaround in this post.  Basically, I trial-and-error-ed the mac hard reset and PRAM clear over and over, restarting until I heard the fans blow, which apparently prevented the machine from sleeping.  But in this weird, undocumented mode, the keyboard and trackpad do not work.  So I have been using an Apple bluetooth mouse and keyboard that I have laying around for my iMac.  These items didn’t work that great with the iMac, but they have been a lifesaver in my situation.  Furthermore, in this stunted mode the computer is much more sluggish.  And the Superdrive wouldn’t work.

But not now.  After today’s revelation!  How come I never saw it before?

I recently discovered that I could go into this secret mode, and cause the fans to stop blowing after startup, by choosing “Sleep” from the apple menu, and then causing it to wake up.  I discovered this by accident…The bluetooth mouse is very sensitive.  I would choose “sleep,” the screen would darken and fan would stop, but before I could flip the switch on the mouse, the movement would wake it back up….but the fans were not blowing.  This little accident got me thinking about the problem some more.

My thought process was….”Maybe the ribbon cable from the keyboard is loose somehow…That’s why it won’t wake up.”  I thought of this in the past, but when I saw how hard it was to fool with the MacBook Pro Unibody Topcase, I backed off.  You more or less have to disassemble the whole thing.  But today, with newfound courage and “what do I have to lose,” I decided to go ahead with the operation.

But it didn’t come to that!  After I removed the battery, hard drive, DVD drive, some of the cooling system…I realized I could see the enclosure magnets…How come I never noticed them before…I think it had something to do with removing the hard drive.  But as I looked at those, I began to think….The sensor…must be somewhere up here near the magnets?   If it is not in the screen.

So I checked the keyboard cable.  It was fine.

I thought about the sensor some more…and found one for sale on eBay.  Now I didn’t buy it…I just looked at it….It is connected to the battery indicator lights….Those little LEDs that tell you how full the battery is if you press a little nearly invisible button.

So my reasoning was…”Can the machine work if I remove those?  How about if I just disconnect them?”  Guess what…


What I Learned

Where does Jesus fit in this story?  As I was disassembling the machine, I thought, “If I break it, oh well.  I was planning on replacing it anyway.”  Then I stopped and said a prayer right then and there.

Today it was Jesus who revealed the fix to me.

What have I learned from this three months of torturing?  (To me, that’s what it has been.)

I am too attached to my stuff.  I have had some near depression because of this.  Remember the long blog hiatus?  It’s not that I couldn’t blog.  I didn’t feel like it.  I didn’t feel like using my other mac, my iPad mini, or my iPhone to blog.  I didn’t feel like using my work-issued PC (though I probably wouldn’t have anyway) or another laptop I have access too.

Because my favorite machine was broken.

I also only recorded one song this summer….Because of my broken laptop.  Notwithstanding I had the ability to record other ways….(iRig, Guitar to USB, digital monitors, Digitech GNX4, or other mentioned devices.)

I came out of my funk about the time the BIG LOTS MOTUC thing hit.  I bit the bullet, and forced my Macbook Pro to work for me so I could review figures.  But the rituals that I had to do to make it work were killing it for me.

What else did I learn… Nothing as deep.  Now I know how to replace/upgrade the hard drive, remove and replace the SuperDrive, and remove and replace the battery.  All of which I was convinced I would have to go to the genius bar to do.

I was going to grudgingly buy a new mac, probably at around $1300.  Jesus kept me from this by helping me fix it today….Now I have one more blessing to count!

Technology News from the EDGE OF THE WORLD

I have spoken at length about my Mac woes.  Time for some good news!

Here is how I got my MacBook Pro to work again.

It turns out that there is a part inside called the SMC.  This stands for System Management Controller, or something like that.  The SMC works the low level functions of the Mac.  In fact, of most computerized devices.  It controls the Power switch, the battery charging, etc.

What I think is wrong with my Mac, is that when it took its great fall, the Power Management Unit was damaged.  Also, the keyboard is also apparently damaged.

The Mac will turn on, and sometimes make it to the Login screen, but shortly after goes to sleep and refuses to wake up..  If it DOES get past the Login screen, you MIGHT have five minutes of a workable machine, before the keyboard and trackpad stop working.  Then it will also probably go to sleep.

So here is my work-around, at least until I can get a replacement.  (I’m eyeing those MacBook Airs…Maybe even the 11 inch model!)

My work-around is the result of lots of trial and error, I might add, and that a computer repair guy couldn’t fix it.

To reset the SMC, you use the hotkey combination SHIFT-CONTROL-OPTION-POWER.   I turn on the Mac as usual, and then immediately do this combination.  Then turn it on, then repeat.  Then repeat.  Then repeat.  UNTIL….I hear the fan blow.  That’s right.  There is a fan inside a MACBOOK PRO.  Who knew? You never heard it before!

My theory was that if I could make the fan blow, the machine would not go to sleep.  AND I WAS RIGHT!  And then I could figure out what was wrong, fix it, and all would be cool again.   No so much….

You see, the keyboard still doesn’t work in this strange mode.  Also, the machine doesn’t even see its battery.  Bear in mind that it could be running on that battery, but it still doesn’t acknowledge it.  At any time it could cut out on me.  So I keep it plugged in.

Turns out that the USB ports work just fine.  So I can attach a mouse and keyboard….or even better…use that old Apple BlueTooth keyboard that I have laying around.  I finally got that thing to work again!  (True shouts of joy!)

So my Macbook acts like a desktop model.  That is it in a nutshell.  I won’t lie.  It runs a little slower than it used to.

The light is there, at the end of the tunnel.  But we can enjoy our last days together!

Anyone out there had similar trouble in the past?  Let me know!