Russian Ruble crisis and snowfall in Luxembourg

I had thought about it a bit. The Russian tycoon Oleg Tinkoff could have problem with the money he had thought he had to pay the financial burden of keeping his team, Tinkoff-Saxo. Now that the value of Ruble is diminishing, Mr. Tinkoff has to pay more in his native currency.

I think that most of the riders are paid in euro and their salary contracts stipulate the amount in euro. Most of the riders are from European countries. I won't be surprised some Russian riders are being paid in euro.

I hope his bank will persevere amid this crisis and keep its sponsorship for the coming years. I really really do.

It snowed last Saturday. The snow stayed on the grass, cars, in the woods, on the roof or so. It also snowed Today. As the daytime high stays sub-zero (in Celsius), the snow (and ice) stays.

We just did not have a white Christmas. We have a lot of snowmen here in Luxembourg. Kids did not miss the opportunity and showed their creativity.

I received some PC parts that I ordered a while ago. Two SSDs and an optical bay HDD/SSD adapter came. I am still waiting for the keyboard for my MacBook Late 2009.

I wish all of you (if there are people reading this) a Happy New Year.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Russian Ruble crisis and snowfall in Luxembourg]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2014/12/30(火) 01:45:51|
  2. Diary
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Diesel price fell again and now below 1 euro per litter

Gas prices keeps falling worldwide and here in Luxembourg, where the taxes (VAT and others) are lower than surrounding countries, the diesel price went below one euro and now the signs say 0.998.

Oil-producing gulf countries seem to be caring about the price drop because the USA assured that this would turn when the time comes. This gas price drop is intended to be an economic sanction against Russia? and presumably when Vladimir Putin is cornered politically by the falling gas prices on which the Russian economy relies on, those gulf countries will turn the valve tight and the gas prices go up.

So we, the general public, enjoy it while it lasts. It won't be long.

The movie 'The Interview' has gotten quite a big promotion. Does this phenomenon qualify as a Streisand effect (If the perpetrators belong to the country that movie intended to mock)? I wonder if the perpetrators of that Sony Pictures hacking incident had anticipated this outcome. Well those perpetrators (actual computer operators) did not have any choice other than just to do what they had been told to do by their superiors. Whoever initially initiated the order to intimidate Sony Pictures did not have any clear vision to what might happen in the end.

The hacking incident only gave the picture a great promotion but nothing else.

Are there other possibilities?

Some might even suggest that hacking incident was an intended promotion played by Sony Pictures itself. This is most unlikely as if that had been the case the company would lose its credibility at at. A movie company will not be able to do this kind of thing of this magnitude.

Some might suggest that it could have been done by CIA or FBI to fuel the anti-terrorism sentiments among people. A conspiracy theory.

Just let me speculate on the possibilities of some dictator attempted to derail the movie release that would make him look like a fool. What would have been the ultimate object? Just to embarrass the company? I can not imagine the real object, thought behind the attack. Maybe there had been no real object or thought at all.

Many supermarkets in Luxembourg are open on Sundays. They are open generally until 13:00 in the afternoon. It seems that people go shopping for food on Sunday morning. I see many people there. In fact, I am going to go shopping tomorrow morning (Sunday) for some food. I ran out of food.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Diesel price fell again and now below 1 euro per litter]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2014/12/25(木) 00:23:27|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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OS X Yosemite Pre-Release 10.10.2 update and BaseCamp 4.4.6

As I participated in the Yosemite beta testing for the general public, I am eligible for getting the beta version of Yosemite a bit earlier than general public but bit later than the developers. Those developers got this (or could be slightly different version) beta version last Friday, 12 December, one week before.

As always (with Yosemite updates) it tries to solve the issues with Wi-Fi connection and others. The update is 519 MB. It is too big for my 4G modem to handle. I will try it on my MacBook I (Late 2009) and MacBook Pro (Mid 2010) tomorrow when I get to the place where I can use faster Wi-Fi connection.

I don't know if my MacBooks are actually affected by the long standing bugs. They seem to work OK but Wi-Fi connection seems to suffering from a minor bug (or bugs). The connection speed is fine but the name of the router that I am connected appears twice on the pull down menu. This minor ghosting thing has been annoying me a tiny bit since Mavericks.

The developers' version is 14C81f (which is the third beta version of 10.10.2) and I will know whether my version is identical or not when I install it on Saturday, tomorrow.

After installation I checked the System Information for the specific version of the update. It reads;
System Version: OS X 10.10.2 (14C81h)

As expected, after installing the update, the Dark Boot was gone. The boot screen became that dull the grey Apple logo on white screen. I will have to re-install that Dark Boot again. Not a surprise but a minor annoyance.

Garmin BaseCamp has been updated to 4.4.6. Just a couple days (or several days) ago, it was updated to 4.4.5. 4.4.6 seems to be the one that solved almost all bugs (nothing is perfect in this world).

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [OS X Yosemite Pre-Release 10.10.2 update and BaseCamp 4.4.6 ]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/20(土) 00:39:56|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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New battery arrived and the first Starbucks? in Luxembourg

I received a package from China (registered mail) and found out that it contained a new battery for my MacBook Late 2009 (A1342). The package also included two sets of small screw drivers; one a Phillips and the other a Y-shape (120 degrees x 3) driver.

I expected these as they were photoed in the ebay seller's images along with the battery itself.

For some reasons (Apple did not want users to replace the batteries on their own, obviously), Apple used these three strange screws to fix the battery. There are also three normal screws, too.

Without this Y-shape tip driver, removing the original battery will be extremely difficult. MacBook II (the second A1342 with a broken keyboard) came with these special screws softly tightened so I could remove them with a Phillips screw driver. MacBooK I (the first one and working) came with hard tightened screws and I could not do anything to loosen those. Now I have the right tool for the job.

MacBook I: the battery inside has some more life. It is holding up to 80 percent of the original capacity.
MacBook II: the battery inside is as good as dead. It needs to be replaced with no delay.

These paragraphs below are added hours later the paragraphs above were written.

I am charging the new battery that arrived this afternoon. I used that "Y-shape" screw driver to remove the screws fixing the battery inside MacBook I and put the new battery there. I connected the Magsafe charger. I will wait for hours to fully charge the battery and then I will see what the battery monitor software has to say about it.

wort.lu had an article about this US-based big coffee chain. Hamilius (it is a name given to the square around the bus terminal in the center of the city of Luxembourg (the capital). This area has been a subject of redevelopment for some time. A couple of buildings have been evacuated for sometime now (1 year). These building will be demolished and rebuilt. These buildings housed the city hall and other offices. The new buildings will host a variety of commercial interests. That way there will be more rents for the owners and more shopping opportunities for the rest of us.

In this article it highlights the possible invent of the first Starbucks coffee shop in Luxembourg. I think I have been to Starbucks before but I don't remember where.

I did not know that Starbucks had never stepped inside Luxembourg.

It also adds that the construction of those buildings will be complete in 2019 but the store could be open as early as in 2017. I don't think I will visit the shop too often.

On wort.lu's site there are comments for this article. I found most of them not so favourable as you might expect. It shows the typical European sentiment over the US American stuff.

Personally I still love American stuff.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [New battery arrived and the first Starbucks? in Luxembourg]の続きを読む

テーマ:海外生活 - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2014/12/18(木) 16:49:18|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Continuity features on older Mac hardware

I regularly visit MacRumors.com since (as) I own iOS devices and MacBooks. Their forum pages are more interesting than others.

It was about two month ago when this forum had heated discussion about the Continuity functions on older Macs that Apple announced officially were not supported.

Anyway, I don't own any iOS 8 capable devices so the Continuity does not concern me.

At that time this "Continuity Activation Tool" required genuine Apple hardware (internal AirPort Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 4.0 LE) to make it work.

This time they (users) came up with a way to make third party Bluetooth 4.0 LE dongles work. A bit expected but still amazing. Awesome! Well I don't own any iOS 8 capable devices. I do own older MacBooks that now became capable of handling Continuity features and I do own two sets of GMYLE Bluetooth 4.0 LE dongles.

I don't have any plans purchasing Apple devices capable of iOS 8 in near future.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Continuity features on older Mac hardware]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/18(木) 02:22:56|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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I wish you a Merry Christmas, (repeat) and a Happy New Year!

You know that song. When I was living in California USA, in December when you go to a shopping mall you hear that song over and over. At that time in California on TV they also aired that song. That politically correctness thing was very important so the politically correct version of that song went like, "I wish you A Merry Christmas, I wish you A Merry Christmas, I wish you A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year! And A Happy Hanukkah, too."

Later I learned much more politically correct version goes mentioning other December festivities for other ethnic groups, religious groups and others.

A while ago I wrote that I may have to use a thin drill to break the screw head to make it loose. Soon after writing that, I realized that I should try something easier than drilling first. The fixing screws on the cooling fan go into threaded holes made of some plastic. So I can try another way to make the screws loose. Heat! Yes, applying heat to the screws and subsequently to the plastic material will (may, might or should) loosen the screws as almost any plastic material should get softer when heated.

I hope this method works. I will need a small Phillips screw driver (which came with an mini SATA SSD to 2.5-inch HDD/SSD adapter and I don't mind breaking it) and a gas burner. I would not heat up a good screw driver as heating the tip of a screw driver will definitely ruin it. I am sure the tip of any quality screw drivers is heat-treated.

It is almost a week till Christmas.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [I wish you a Merry Christmas, (repeat) and a Happy New Year!]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2014/12/17(水) 02:20:30|
  2. Things European
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Dark Boot (Dark inverted boot screen) for my MacBooks

I visit the forum pages on MacRumors.com and find it useful sometimes. Today I found this Dark Boot thing. I tried it and it worked on my MacBook Pro Mid 2010 so I will try it on my MacBook Late 2009 later. It is cool!

It just changes the boot screen (after the boot chime and before the log in screen) to inverted white Apple logo on a dark background. That's it. It is way cooler than the standard one.

Pity that my MacBooks are booting on an SSD and the boot screen lasts under ten seconds!

When I applied this patch (may I call it a patch?) to MacBook Late 2009, the shell script automatically downloaded a needed file form the net and went on to install the patch. After two restarts, the boot screen became dark. I am happy but this MacBook I (the moniker of this working MacBook Late 2009) boots also on SSD so the col boot screen does not last too long (only under 10 seconds).

Yesterday night (technically today early morning but...) I purchased two SSDs from Amazon.de (German affiliate of Amazon group). They will be delivered hopefully before Christmas but I am not sure. They are Intel SSDs.

They are identical and have whopping 40 GB (hahaha) of volume. They are not too big but for a typical Linux distribution 40 GB is more than enough. I did not have to spend too much money on them. They will go in the MacBook II (that is the moniker that I gave to the second MacBook Late 2009). One SSD will have OS X Yosemite and the other will have one of the Linux distributions (other than Lubuntu as I have already had too many Lubuntu machines).

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Dark Boot (Dark inverted boot screen) for my MacBooks]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2014/12/14(日) 16:27:48|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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HP ENVY's HDD inside MacBook Late 2009 II (and it worked)

I realized, much much belatedly, that the 250 GB Hitachi HDD (originally installed inside this MacBook and it has the Apple logo on it) was defective. The screaming sounds coming out of this HDD were not caused by MacBook but by itself.

I almost concluded that SATA main drive controller in this MacBook was faulty but it turned out that I had been wrong.

Now I had to know if the main drive controller was OK or not. I took the HDD inside my HP ENVY out and installed it on the main drive bay of my MacBook.

This HDD had Windows 7 and Lubuntu on it. I haven't used Windows 7 for a long time and am inclined to delete the contents completely. GRUB (Linux's booter) lets me select the options I want. I can boot Windows, Linux or memory test utilities. To choose the options, I need a functioning keyboard, which I don't have on this MacBook. By default, Lubuntu boots if I don't do anything for 10 seconds.

Anyway, MacBook II (with a faulty keyboard) booted gingerly and I can log in as a guest (temporary and no password) user. I ran the 'Task Manger' to see if anything suspicious was happening. No! It seemed everything was OK.

The CPU load was almost nothing and only 300 MB (out of 2 GB) of the memory was used. Impressive. The system is snappy and very responsive. I had to conclude that this MacBook II is just fine and only the keyboard is faulty.

I have already ordered the replacement keyboard from China and it will arrive sometime late December. I have to change them.

There is a problem. The cooling fan can not be removed easily. The Phillips screws in the image below (circled in orange and the red one does not exist on my MacBook) won't come off. Eventually the screw heads were damaged and now I have to break the screws to remove them. I will use a fine thin drill to destroy the screws but not anything else.

(image borrowed from www.ifixit.com 'https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Unibody+Model+A1342+Logic+Board+Replacement/1675')

These screws were stubborn beyond reason. I tried the same screws on my MacBook I (the working one) and they came off much more easily.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[HP ENVY's HDD inside MacBook Late 2009 II (and it worked)]の続きを読む

テーマ:Linux - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/14(日) 00:30:36|
  2. Linux
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Tour de France 2016 starts in La Manche (Department) at Mont-Saint-Michel

It has been quite a while since I last wrote about cycling at all.

The Tour de France begins from Utrecht, Holland in 2015.
(I have never been to Utrecht so it will be my first time to be there in 2015 )

The Tour de France begins from Mont-Saint-Michel, France in 2016. I have been to Mont-Saint-Michel in 2008 when the Tour started in Brest. I visited the fortified monastery (now just a sight-seeing spot) briefly before heading to Brest. I am not interested in visiting the monastery again but the area surrounding the ex-monastery is really nice.

My favorite information site, velowire.com, tells me that;

Saint-Lô will be the base of operation for ASO.

Saturday, 2 July 2016 - Mont-Saint-Michel > Utah Beach - Saint-Marie-du-Mont - 188 km

Sunday 3, July 2016 - Saint-Lô > Cherbourg-Octeville - 182 km

Monday 4, July 2016 - Granville > ???

There is no mention of the venue for the team presentation but I guess there is no reason that they choose Mont-Saint-Michel for the ceremony.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Tour de France 2016 starts in La Manche (Department) at Mont-Saint-Michel]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2014/12/12(金) 00:46:08|
  2. Tour de France
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I now suspect heat accmulating around the CPU might be the cause of erratic behavior of my MacBook II. It makes sense. The erratic behavior (screaming noises made by the heads frantically seeking something on the platters) happens after several minutes after logging in. The board and the heat sink get really hot.

Is heat the cause?

I am very afraid that is it.

I already ordered silicon grease (thermal conductive) from China. It takes several weeks before I get it. I will wait for it and on its arrival I will perform the operation. Removing the logic board out of the MacBook and clean it. Wiping the old (by now after 5 years totally disintegrated) silicon grease and apply the fresh grease on the GPU and CPU.

By the time the grease arrives, other items (a new battery, screws, keyboard for the MacBook) will arrive, too. My Christmas holidays will be spend on those tasks, I hope. It could be that they might not arrive by the end of this year.

I am planning this operation for other notebooks, too.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Heat?Heeeeaaaaat?]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/11(木) 01:47:44|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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SATA main drive bay controller?

Now my MacBook Late 2009 II is just fine. It turns on when I push the power button once (although the keyboard itself is still totally a mess, not functioning). I swapped the memory modules back and it has now only 2 GB (2 x 1 GB) of memory but it runs quite well. One important note: It must boot from an external HDD (via USB port).

The only thing that this MacBook II is missing is that I can not use the main drive bay. When I put the HDD back in the bay, the HDD makes a screaming noises after several minutes. It seems that it is seeking too much in too little time. What is wrong?

Other than this SATA main drive bay unavailability, the MacBook II is just fine. With only 2 GB of memory, the system gets less responsive but remains usable.

Based on the fact that it can play back a DVD with no problem so far, I have to conclude (or assume) that the second SATA bay (optical bay) controller is fine.

I suspect something sinister with the main drive bay controller, the cable or ????

I would like to do additional experiments. I would like to put a HDD in the main drive bay while the MacBook II is booting on the external USB connected HDD. And I would like to read and write to the internal HDD to see if it works.

I don't have another HDD (2.5 inch) now.

If it turns out that the main drive bay is faulty, I would put a optical bay to 2.5-inch HDD adapter (on the way to me as I had already purchased) to put the system HDD in the optical bay to see if this configuration works.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [SATA main drive bay controller?]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/10(水) 14:06:10|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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MacBook Late 2009 II is now up and working (except for the keyboard)

I don't understand but it is now working except for the keyboard, which is really defective anyway.

Well, I put 2 of 2 GB SO-DIMM DDR3 modules in it and put the HDD in an external case (USB connection). I booted it up by shortening the certain points on the logic board.

First, the system was unresponsive as some process was eating up the CPU resources. I could kill that nasty process via Activity Monitor, which is always on while this MacBook is running.

After killing this unknown running amok process, the system got stable. The CPU status showed that the CPU is idle by 70 to 95 % constantly. Memory is almost used up and small amount of swap is in use but it is not a problem.

I inserted a DVD (Star Wars Episode V, by the way) and played it with DVD Player. No problem! The playback is smooth and the sound is also OK.

Then I restarted the MacBook. I was monitoring the system using Activity Monitor but there were no suspicious processes at all. The memory status is like 3.9 GB out of 4 GB (real physical memory) was used but the system remained very responsive (as responsive as a Core Duo 2 / 2.26 GHz system on a relatively slow HDD could be).

What happened?

My next step is to place the HDD back in the SATA drive bay. What happens then? I am very curious.

For that I have to wait as it is late and I want to go to bed.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [MacBook Late 2009 II is now up and working (except for the keyboard)]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/10(水) 02:41:39|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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What is wrong with my (half-broken?) MacBook Late 2009?

I read this a long long time ago and don't remember the exact quote. I just try to write down what I remember of it (the gist of it).

The frustration will be biggest when you are closest to the success and you don't get it.

For example, you get frustrated when you did not win the lottery by only one number. If you lottery ticket numbers have nothing common with the winning numbers, you will be slightly disturnbed. If you ticket carries three right numbers out of ten, you will be a bit more exasperated. If you get nine numbers right out of ten, you will be most frustrated. Something like this.

Anyway, my MacBook Late 2009 II (the one from USA which arrived first is now dubbed as I, one) is slightly broken. It seems that the keyboard is defect. Switching the MacBook on is difficult when the power key is connected to the logic board via the keyboard cable.

I had to push the power button 20 to 80 times before the MacBook emits the start-up chime (chord). When it boots, it boots.

I can not use the keyboard (as it seems to be broken) and it means that I can not press 'option' key. Anyway, I tried a lot of booting options.

Now I have a 250 GB HDD inside it (Yosemite on it) and it boots.

I found (by googling with "Macbook broken keyboard") a site that explains how to boot a Mac without using the keyboard power button. It is here (http://www.insidemylaptop.com/turn-on-macbook-pro-laptop-without-power-button-locating-power-on-pads/). I tried it and it worked. Great! From now on I don't have to press the power button multiple times. It save me time and finger tip sourness.

I also made a 'administrator' account that has no password on the Yosemite on this HDD (by connecting it to the MacBook I and booting from it). I can boot the MacBook II and log in as a administrator. So far so good.

There is a big problem. For some unknown reasons, the system is extremely busy. 'Activity Monitor' shows that almost 100 % of CPU resources are used up. As a result, the system is very very unresponsive. Why?

After several miniutes, the system gets unusable as the HDD makes screaming noises. By then I have to turn it off.

There is something wrong with this MacBook. What is wrong with it? Is it memory related? Installing a working keyboard will not remedy the MacBook, will it? What could be the cause of those tasks eating up all the CPU resources?

The system has problem killing the processes. I am sure of this. I try to 'Shut down' or 'Restart' the MacBook but it can not complete the task as the HDD makes that squeaking noises immediately after this.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[What is wrong with my (half-broken?) MacBook Late 2009?]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/09(火) 01:20:33|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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New kernel related updates are available (Ubuntu/Lubuntu)

I am happy to announce that my MSI MegaBook M670 (which had a minor problem with updating the kernel updates since* and has been manually fixed by installing was updated to today via "Software Updater" under "System Tools". It was confirmed that the minor glitch has been fixed.

I started using SSDs after acquiring MacBook Pro (Mid 2010) because I wanted to use it as comfortably as possible. Boosting the performance (usability) of aging computers could be easily attained by putting SSDs in them. After this remedy, your aging computer suddenly becomes more responsive than ever. My MacBook Pro Mid 2010 boots within 10 seconds after the boot chord. My MacBook Late 2009 does the same under 12 seconds with a cheap SSD I bought from China (relatively not so marketed KingSpec).

Now I am addicted to SSDs. I am looking for cheap SSDs. They could be small (32 GB, 64 GB or so) but small SSDs are enough for hosting Linux systems.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [New kernel related updates are available (Ubuntu/Lubuntu)]の続きを読む

テーマ:Linux - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/07(日) 13:13:55|
  2. Linux
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The aftershocks of ebay purchase of MacBook Late 2009

Have you experienced any earthquakes in your life? Some poeple in Europe or other old continents may have never experienced any earthquakes in their life.

I have not yet had any earthquake since I came to Europe. This continent is very stable (at least the part I live).

I am from Japan, where earthquakes are more frequently than watching house fires in progress. Really? Yes, I haven't seen a house fire in progress in my life, where firefighters are fighting the fire but seen burned chars after the fire had been extinguished (I have seen flares or bright reflection of fire in the sky in the evening when some houses burned in my home town) but I have experienced many earthquakes in my life in Japan.

I even experienced a big earthquake in California (I was living in Chatsworth, California and Chatsworth is directly next to Northridge). Yes, I survived that 1994 Northridge (/Reseda as they found out later the real epicenter was in Reseda area) earthquake. I am not kidding.

"1994 Northridge earthquake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Northridge_earthquake)"

That was a big tumor, I can personally tell you. The first shock was so big that my body lifted in the air. I thought that a jet plane crash-landed in my neighbor (Los Angels and its suburbs had a lot of 24-hour operation airports). As I did not see any flash of lights, I decided that that was not a jet plane crash after 15 seconds later or so.

After this big shock, there were numerous relatively big and smaller aftershocks for the next one to two weeks. The magnitude and the span (between aftershocks) waned as time went by. There were shocks every 10 to 15 minutes for half a day. There were shocks every 30 minutes for the next half a day. And so on.

I don't know why but Chatsworth area was harder hit by the earthquake than Reseda/Northridge area. The gas and electricity did not come back to my Chatsworth room (I was renting a room) much later than it did to Reseda area.

Chatsworth area (according to a documentary TV about Lucille Ball a.k.a. I love Lucy's Lucy, Chatsworth was the latest hip place for some Hollywood stars those days when she was shooting the show because Chatsworth had plenty room and those Hollywood celebrities were attracted to Chatsworth where many houses had a small ranch attached to them). In fact the house where I was renting a room had a stable and a small run for horses. I was sleeping literally next to horses and I learned about horses there. They are seemingly shy/timid to strangers but once they get to know you, they are very friendly to you.

Anyway, I am not writing about that earthquakes here. I am talking about my MacBook Late 2009 but then why aftershocks?

I was looking for a (relatively) cheap MacBook on ebay. I had several MacBooks on my watch list. In the end I decided to buy one from a seller in the USA. It arrived safe and sound. It had almost nothing inside when it came into my possession. It has now an SSD (64 GB) and Yosemite on it. It now has 4 GB of RAM. What is still missing are those small screws to fix the SSD. You don't need the screws but it is better if you have them in place.

So this purchase of MacBook Late 2009 from the USA was the first big tumor. Aftershocks follow duely.

There were other MacBooks on my watch list and some were attractive as possible organ donors. One of these organ donor candicates was very good and irresistible as it also had a US keyboard. It was not completely broken. The case (body) seemed to be very clean. The LCD was perfect. I kept this item on my watch list after paying for the MacBook (that worked).

After some considerations, I decided to bid for the item. I won it. It arrived Yesterday. I checked the details.

The item's description said that it boots on the mains (charger attached) and when it boots, its keyboard and trackpad won't function as they should.

Well, this is a tricky symptom. Relatively recent Macs (like after ADB keyboard/mouse invention), traditionally, boot when a button on its attached keyboard is pressed. Normally you need a working keyboard to boot a Mac.

The description that the seller gave was that it had to be "jumped". Jumped? Like you jump-start a car with cables running between two batteries (on two vehicles)? It was a vague description. I really don't know even now what the seller meant by that expression. Maybe the seller meant that I need an external USB keyboard and I have to boot it up from that external keyboard (if it has a power button on it). Or was I supposed to shortcut some small parts on the logic board with some metal piece?

So it arrived from the UK (no customs, no addtional tax to pay for) and it came with a Magsafe power adapter with UK plug cord. I gingerly opened up the bottom cover and checked inside. It had 2 of 1 GB memory modules. OK, I did not know but I was happy to see them. It did not have a HDD as it was so described.

It did not boot when I pressed the power button.

I carefully checked the guts and found that keyboard cable was removed from its socket on the mother board. I re-attached the cable several times and after a while it gave a sign of life. It emitted that boot chord.

The keyboard cable may be faulty or the keyboard (its small chips or resistors or capacitors) itself may be faulty. I could sometimes boot it up and other times the power button does not function at all.

I could successfully boot it with a Linux live DVD in its DVD drive or from an SSD with Yosemite on it.

I could not log in it as the keyboard was faulty. I could not type in the password. I learned that at lease the trackpad worked very well. And to my anguished laugh, the f10 key (speaker mute) button worked. Arrow keys worked. Alphabet keys seemed to be very faulty and some symbol keys seemingly worked. I could not certify this diagnose as I could only type in the 'log in' box and anything you might type, it would come as fat dots (masked).

Yosemite boots! From this fact I can safely guess that those two 1 GB memory modues work. It made sounds so the sound works. LCD works. SATA drives work. Wi-Fi seemingly works (the Yosemite on the SSD was used on the 'working' MacBook and the Wi-Fi password had been memoried) as the network symbol came up in flying colors.

All in all, the logic board seems to be working just fine.

The battery seems to hold some juice (as the seller mentioned) but I don't much care about the battery.

It was missing a screw (one of the bottom lid fixing screws).

This 'sporadic' MacBook will be further examined. Should I just buy the working used keyboard for this machine and replace them? Used keyboards don't cost too much but ...

This sporadic (only on rare occasions it boots) MacBook cost me less than half what the working MacBook did. And in a way, the former had more (2 GB memory and a Magsafe power adapter).

I am planning a spring cleaning for all my old notebooks. Re-replenish the silicon grease between the CPU/GPU and the heatsink.

Disassembling these two MacBook and swap the logic boards will ascertain the faulty parts. Should I do it?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The aftershocks of ebay purchase of MacBook Late 2009]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/06(土) 21:12:57|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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My parcel from UK is now at DPD Bettembourg (so it seems).

The tracking information for this mysterious packet has been updated. Oh, I am expecting a packet sent form UK (The Great Britain). I bought something from UK.

The tracking status says that it is now handled by DPD Luxembourg and was out for delivery once (December 2). Obviously it failed to reach me. I was not home when they came.

And also expected, there is no notice paper in the post box. I decided to reach them. I wrote an email to them. I hope I can get it by Thursday. On Thursday, I will pick it up at their facility in Bettembourg. I have been there at least once as far as I remember.

What is in this packet? I would not tell you now, not now.

OK, here is my shopping list for the next one month.
1) Hard case(s) for my MacBook Late 2009 (I have already found some candidates) *1
2) Silicon grease (thermal conductive) for my MacBooks *2
3) Heatsinks (and maybe accompanying heat-conductive glue) *3
4) one or two sets of those tiny screws to fix the HDD (or SSD) inside MacBooks *4

*1 Don't leave home without it!

*2 My MacBooks are at least 4 years old and by now the original silicon grease most likely has lost its viscosity and gone not-so-heat-conductive. I will apply some new grease. Some people say that re-applying fresh grease will reduce the risk of overheating.

*3 They are for the Ralink 3070 chip inside the USB Wi-Fi adapter. It gets hot during the operation and needs some cooling help.

*4 I simply need them.

I tried Windows 8.1 installation DVD on my MacBook (Late 2009, which still has the optical drive) and it booted up and installation began. I cancelled the installation process. I just wanted to see if it spins well.

I also inserted a region code free DVD in it. The DVD Player (OS X standard native program) started up and I could watch the movie. It was the first time I ever saw this DVD Player in action.

Random topics:
I found a Canadian (French) keyboard (for MacBook A1342) on ebay. I was curious. In Canada they use Canadian Dollar so it must have a Dollar symbol there. In Quebec, they speak French (Canadian French) and this keyboard must have some extra keys for letters like é, è or ç.

The real French (I don't mean by this that the French spoken in France is the real French) keyboard has the 'AZERTY' layout. And the Canadian French keyboard has the 'QWERTY' layout. How come? I guess they use both English and French and they just need those special characters handy.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [My parcel from UK is now at DPD Bettembourg (so it seems).]の続きを読む
  1. 2014/12/03(水) 02:11:26|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Dropping gas prices and PostNL

My eyes were fixed (just for a fraction of a second) on the LED sign of a gas station that I saw on my way to
work this morning. The diesel price for 1 litter (= 0.264 gallongs / 1 gallon is about 3.785 litters) was 1.111 euros.

Later in the afternoon, I checked the wort.lu site and found an article about the dropping gas prices. The quote down is the part quote of the article.

"As of Tuesday December 2 a litre of diesel will now cost you a messily 1.066 euros at the pump which means a drop of 0.045 euros per litre, following a 0.018 euro drop just two weeks ago."

But wait! "messily"?? I think they meant 'measly' but I am not too sure. I would put measly in this context but I am not the writer nor the editor.

I am expecting a package from the Great Britain, which I bought a while ago on ebay. Originally the package was handled by the British postal service (I guess) and had a kind of tracking number. This package then was handed down to this Dutch postal service and got a new tracking number. It will be delivered to me by DPD (parcel delivery partner of the Luxembourg postal service?).

I think (because the tracking information is not so specific as to location of the package) that the package is now at DPD facility (Bettembourg, just next to the Luxembourg postal service facility). They will attempt to deliver it to me tomorrow and will surely fail as they come when I am not home. They don't leave any trace of their attempts. They don't leave any notice paper in the post box. I will later contact them to leave the package at their facility so that I can pick it up personally.

18:03 Mon 01 Dec 2014 GMT
Visit tracking site: PostNL
Received by carrier SORTERING 17:55 Mon 01 Dec 2014 GMT
Information PAKKETTENDISTRIBUTIE 04:04 Mon 01 Dec 2014 GMT
In transit 11:16 Fri 28 Nov 2014 GMT
Despatched DESPATCHED 03:00 Fri 28 Nov 2014 GMT
Awaiting Despatch 02:56 Fri 28 Nov 2014 GMT
In transit 02:56 Fri 28 Nov 2014 GMT

As you can see, there is no mention of locations. They may have already attempted to deliver it to me today. I have no idea as they don't leave any trace at all.

I will write to them tomorrow.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Dropping gas prices and PostNL]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2014/12/02(火) 15:49:48|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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MacBook Late 2009 (US keyboard) has landed!

Today (December 1st, 2014) I went to the local post office to pick it up. It was packed in a cardboard box and well protected with a lot of packing stuff. I hastily opened the package and found the item that I purchased.

I spent no time gazing at the MacBook but hastily opened the bottom lid to see the guts. It came with one SO-DIMM DDR3 (1 GB) in the memory slot (exactly as described but I was not sure if 1 GB meant 1 GB module or two 500 MB modules). The HDD was not there (ditto) and the fixing screws (that go on the sides of the HDD) were not there. I will have to buy those.

There are no big scratches or cracks except for those obligatory hairline cracks around the hinge area. They are obligatory and I really don't have to mention them, right?

The keys on the keyboard were clean and do not show much indication of serious use. I wonder who used this MacBook and how the previous user or users used it.

I removed the 1 GB module and put two 2 GB modules (leftovers from my MacBook Pro) inside and closed the bottom lid. Now it is ready to go!

I have not decided for what or how I use the main drive bay. I also have not decided for what or how I use second drive bay (optical drive bay).

My MacBook Pro has two SSDs inside it. The optical drive bay has an optical bay to 2.5 inch drive adapter and a mSATA SSD to 2.5 inch SATA drive adapter.
(one like this)

I already bought (not yet arrived but) a PCI-E SSD (64 GB) and PCI-E to 2.5 inch SATA drive adapter. I have to buy yet one more optical drive bay adapter to put this SSD in the second drive bay if I decide to do so.

The 250 GB HDD (leftover from the MacBook Pro) has a Yosemite system on it and is inside a USB external case.

Now I plugged the 250 GB HDD into the USB port and plug it to the mains by the Magsafe charger (from MacBook Pro). I pressed the start button and it began to boot up.

I learned something here. This external HDD was plugged to the MacBook Pro and then I installed the Yosemite on it. I transferred the programs but not the documents and files from the MacBook Pro.

When the boot process was completed, I was prompted to log in. Here the user was me but NOT the user I set up on the MacBook Pro. It was ME as the owner of the Apple ID I use. The user name was my real full name and the password was my Apple ID password.

My intention was just to see if the MacBook I bought would function the way as the ebay seller had described it would. As I have written above, I have not decided yet how to utilize this MacBook. I may erase the entire content of the HDD and re-install Yosemite or may partition the HDD to have OS X and Linux. I just don't know yet.

To see if the DVD drive was OK, I put a DVD containing a Linux distribution and restarted the system. This DVD (a Linux distribution / ISO image written on my MegaBook M670 / Lubuntu) could successfully boot the MacBook. So I think the drive is OK. I have not yet tested it if it can burn a disk.

I used a program on it to see if the battery was OK. It said that 80 % of the original capacity was still there. It also said the battery was completely empty.

How should I use it? I would very much like to use one of the Linux distributions on it. I have already Lubuntu systems so I do not intend to choose the Lubuntu distribution. But which? Debian?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[MacBook Late 2009 (US keyboard) has landed!]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/12/02(火) 00:11:00|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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