Nothing important here

Screen whiteout on iBook G4


I found this video on YouTube. It was from an owner of the iBook G4 experiencing a whiteout on his iBook G4 and asking for help. In the discussion (messages) below some commented describing his/her experience with the same problem, iBook G4 screen whiteout. Some posted his/her subsequent events, solving the problem by DIY fix or having Apple Store fix it.

According to the seller, the iBook G4 I just bought seems to be suffering from a screen whiteout. The iBook G4 was listed as not working and for repair as when it is turned on, it emits the startup chord and the screen lights up without posting any image (roughly translated from original French by me).

No image? Not even a grey Apple logo or a folder with a question mark on it? If the description by the seller is correct, the I have to assume it is having a screen whiteout.

A loose video connector is a suspected cause of this phenomenon.

I have downloaded several YouTube videos illustrating how to disassemble the iBook G4. Hopefully I will have luck successfully fixing the one I just bought. It is coming to me in 2 weeks if nothing happens to it on its way.

I know that it is 2005 iBook G4 14.1" model (A1134) as posted by the seller. I don't know how much memory it has or how big the internal HDD is. I have the matching 1 GB memory module for it with me so upgrading this iBook G4 to its maximum capacity (1.5 GB = 1 GB + 512 MB soldered) would be easy. The internal HDD (IDE/PATA) could be 60, 80 or 100 GB (factory settings) but this is also not an issue.

The seller did not say if it was packed with the power adapter but I assumed that I would get one with it.

The issue I have with this iBook G4 is that it has a French keyboard. I touch-type so the actual signs printed on the keys are absolutely no concerns to me. I can assign US keyboard key map on this French keyboard (settings in Mac OS X Tiger) and pretend that I am typing on a US keyboard. The only thing that I hate about any non-US keyboard is that their "RETURN" key is narrower (than that of a US keyboard). I don't look at the keyboard and type fast so consequently sometime my right pinky misses the return key by a small margin (and hits something instead) and this really pisses me off.

I guess those not using a US keyboard have a significantly and disproportionally long right pinky, right? Or they have 6th or 7th finger? Who are they, aliens? (or Dr. Lecter in the original novel but not the movie dipiction?)

I don't understand why people need non-US keyboards anyway. I can write in Japanese (which uses more than a couple of thousand letters) with this US keyboard (on all of my Mac models) without having any problems. Why do Europeans whose native languages may have slightly more letters than a simple English alphabet set need a modified keyboards of their own? We are not typing on an old-style typewriter, aren't we? We are typing on a computer for God's sake. Let the software fill the gap!

I have already checked the price (and the shipping fee) of IBook G4 14.1-inch model US keyboard (new or used) on one of those online sellers (BookYard or PowerBook Medic). They are not cheap, in fact a used one will cost more or less the same as the price I paid for this iBook G4 (shipping included).

I don't know if I want it but I will keep watching for a cheaper US keyboard on ebay and on other sites.

Confession to make

I bought something on ebay again Yesterday. I won an auction item that nobody else bid. It is arriving from Italy in two weeks or so. I will write about it when it arrives. I paid € 15 for the item and another € 10 for shipping. What have I got with a total sum of € 25?

Gap turned out to be about 1.1 - 1.2 mm?

I peeled off the logic board from the bottom case this morning after about 24 hours. I had to use a knife (cutlery knife) to ply open it. The silicone caulking material was not completely dry but the chip was tightly glued to the sheet metal.

Now I know that the gap is about 1.1 to 1.2 mm. So now I know and assume that the thermal pad, which was about 0.5 mm thick had been absolutely sitting idle or worse preventing the heat from the graphic chip from transferring to the sheet metal. What a waste!

I think I am looking at something that is as thick as or a slightly thicker than 1.1 mm or so. A double-sided thermal pad of thickness 1.5 mm might fit. A copper plate of thickness 1.2 mm could well fit there with a help of thermal grease. After all, there should be slight pressure applied between the objects for optimal heat transfer.

So I will order copper plates (2 cm x 2 cm x 1.2 mm). I hope they will work well and ultimately remedy (at least alleviate) the video distortion/blackout problem.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Nothing important here]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/28(木) 16:56:32|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Apple TV 1st generation and OSMC

Apple TV 1st generation and OSMC

I know now that my Apple TV (1st generation) can function as an Internet Radio if I want it to be one. No, I don't want it to be so. I want to do something else with it.

Later it dawned on me that it would have better cooling if it was placed laterally (or on its side rather than placed as it had been designed by Apple). Now that I have peeled the rubber sole off, it has a lot of holes on its sides (hidden by the sliver aluminum walls) and on its bottom. I have seen one of those things that held Mac minis or MacBooks in that position. I don't think any of those exist for Apple TV 1st generation models.

I have to make it myself. I can make it with some plastic material that is easy to cut, bend and glue together.

(This is what I meant)

I am going to get some DIY plastic material and bend it by applying heat. Making it bend and form an elegant arch will dramatically increase the aesthetic appearance of the final product.

This particular product that I found on Amazon Germany might be used for my Apple TV. They (Unibody) Mac mini models and Apple TV (1st gen.) have almost the same measurement. The Apple TV (1st gen.) is thinner (28 mm) than newer Mac minis (36 mm). I can glue something on my Apple TV to fill the gap but this product is a bit too expensive.

Or should I look for a PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) pipe of diameter around 15 cm?

Measuring the gap by instant silicone molding

This morning I laid a small portion of silicone caulking material on the slightly raised section (2 cm by 2 cm?) of the sheet metal where a patch of thermal pad was beneath the ATI Radeon 9200 and then placed the logic board back in place gently.

I will give it (silicone material) a day to cure (harden). When I carefully peel the logic board off, I will (hopefully) see the hardened rubbery material. The I will know just exactly how much the gap is between the chip surface and the metal sheet. It should be around 1 mm or less..

The thermal pad I peeled off was around 0.5 mm thick. Determining the thickness of spongy material is not so easy and for the moment I have lost sight of my vernier gauge. Where is it?

If the thermal pad had been there for reasons, the gap should be within 1 mm or less. If the gap is wider, the thermal pad had been either shrunk of aging or totally not functioning at all.

Core 2 Duo and DHL eCommerce tracking

I have already sent an inquiry message about my seeming MIA Intel Core 2 Duo. I was relying on the tracking information that I could get from ebay's site (Purchase History under My ebay) and the tracking information had not changed since early February.

I googled "DHL eCommerce tracking" and reached to the tracking page. I punched in two tracking numbers. One is the one duly attached to my Intel Core 2 Duo and the other is the one that I had with me (that I had no idea how I got it, well it was written on that mysterious package from China that contained something I did not totally appreciate).

The latter showed that it had reached Italy late January and then ?? What does that mean? It is here with me! It did not go to Italy. It had my name and address on it.

The former showed that it had reached Luxembourg more than two weeks ago. The what happened to it?

There is something seriously wrong with the tracking information.

I firmly believe that my Intel Core 2 Duo package (which weighed 34 g according to the tracking information) went to either Italy or elsewhere. The mysterious package (which weighed around 600 g) came to me although the tracking information suggested it had landed in Italy. I could not have gone to Italy as the package had my address on it. WTF?

A poor guy (a wild guess) in Italy did not get what he had paid for, I guess. Has he already asked for a reimbursement?

OK. I will just send a new inquiry message to the seller to let them know that the package might appear gone missing. They will offer me a refund and I will order one again. Since this seller had the cheapest price on ebay I have to order from this seller again. This time I hope I get it.

I have to do it quick because people around the World started talking about the impending economic burst of China. When it happens, getting the money back is next to impossible. I have to hurry. I have to act before it is too late.

In Japanese; 続きをどうぞ [Apple TV 1st generation and OSMC]の続きを読む

テーマ:日記 - ジャンル:日記

  1. 2019/02/27(水) 17:42:40|
  2. Bike Races
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Apple TV 1st generation operation test done

Apple TV 1st generation operation test done

I had a cable and a monitor. I lied. A while ago I purchased a DVB-T2 portable LCD TV set (August DA100D or something like this name) and it came with a cable. It has normal HDMI on one end and mini-HDMI on the other. I can use these to test Apple TV. That was what I did.

I had a remote control that also came with this purchase. I wish I could use a keyboard but it won't work. It booted normally and soon I saw the initial menu screen. I knew it won't connect to iTunes Store or anything Apple as Apple had discontinued the support totally after May 2018 (May 25th?).

First I connected it to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Typing the password on a virtual keyboard with a remote (up/down/right/left) was not so comfortable but it worked.

As expected, the menu items under "Movies" or "TV" anything to do with Apple gave me the error message. There was a menu with a title "Internet" and under it I found YouTube and Radio. Selecting YouTube also gave me an error message (or it simply did not respond? I forgot). This was maybe because the software on Apple TV (ver. 3.0.2) was too old. Just like Safari (I don't know the version) on Snow Leopard 10.6.8 gave me some warning that this browser would not support the latest features.

On the other hand, Radio worked. I could listen to one of the channels. I did not try other channels as I was not interested in using my Apple TV as an Apple TV at all.

I read somewhere that newer iTunes (newer than version 10) won't let the Apple TV connect to iTunes anymore. Older versions of iTunes may or may not be used for synchronization or something. I may try this with my Mac mini Early 2006 (Snow Leopard 10.6.8) or with my G4 One/Two (Tiger 1.4.11). Anyway I am not interested if it works as I am not planning to use my Apple TV as an Apple TV at all.

I will prepare to test it with OSMC soon as it would be way easier than preparing to make it work with Tiger 10.4.8 with a full-fledged desktop environment.

I may drill those tiny holes in the bottom case bigger to have better ventilation. I used it for about 15 minutes for this initial test but the top cover was really warm in the end.

One last thing
Oh, one last thing before I end this entry. I won (nobody else bid so it was not a win) an ebay auction and a certain thing will arrive from an island I once was on. It is an island belonging to France but people there still hold a feeling that they heart also belongs to Italy. It is Corsica. In French, it is called Corse.

I was there for several days as in 2013 the Tour de France began in Corsica. Many, if not most, people had Italian family names and a lot of things had Italian names.

It is an Apple product released back in 2005. I paid € 20 for the item and also € 20 for shipping. So it cost me € 40. The seller described its state as HS (in French "out of service" or "out of order") only for parts or repair.

According to the seller, it rings the startup chord and then the screen lights up without posing any image.

The startup chord rings and that is a good thing. The screen lights up and that is also an encouraging sign. It then fails to boot. Why? An HDD failure? Has it developed some bad sectors? The seller wrote "without posting any image" (originally of course in French) but I wanted to know if it posted a folder icon with a question mark on it or just grey Apple logo or just nothing. I did not ask the seller before winning it.

It will arrive about two weeks and I will see how bad it is or how good it can be.

I will try to repair it as much as I can and try to make it work. If it does not work, I will find another one (same model) and operate on them so that the mixed one will function like a Frankenstein's monster.

I don't know if it flies or sails to the continental French territory from there. I myself took a ferry from Nice to get there.

Before and after winning this auction I watched a lot of YouTube video if it could be of any use or I was just wasting my money. Just minutes after winning it, I came across a video by The 8-Bit Guy who pointed out specifically that the exact model I just paid for had an issue wide spread among this particular model.

I know by now that a lot of, if not all, Mac mini G4 models have Full HD video output issues as I have encountered with both of my G4 models. Did Apple have terrible production quality problems in 2005?

Anyway, The 8-Bit Guy said in the video that removing the AP card will remedy the issue. I will see.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Apple TV 1st generation operation test done]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/26(火) 16:48:57|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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A package has arrived from the United Kingdom

A package is here!

It was delivered in the morning and I was there to get it from the transporter GLS. It was not DPD and that was why the tracking showed different web page. This tracking did not work and I don't know why.

I opened the package (a bubble-wrap-lined envelop) and found it wrapped in a piece of soft synthetic cloth. I don't know if this wrapping had provided enough protection.

I plugged it in to see (hear) what kind of noise it would make as the ebay seller said it would make some noise when turned on. I thought the noise would be from the defective fan when I saw the auction listing.

Now I heard the noise and I would say that it was not mechanical (bearing inside the fan or anything) but it was electric magnetic one that might come from one of those coils or others. It seemed to come form the power unit (I have not opened the lid yet, lazy me) so I guess one of the coils might be resonating in a high-pitched tone from aging. I don't know but I will inspect the guts further later on.

I have not hooked it to the monitor yet as I don't have the cable for it. It has one HDMI output port (or RGB ports) but I don't have a HDMI - HDMI cable. I have to buy it. It has been in the shopping basket for some time by now. I have been holding out on clicking the buy button as I wanted to buy other stuff for my Mac mini G4.

This is what I got. I know for sure that nobody is reading this but if by any chance someone did who knew something about Apple products, he/she would have guessed it by now. Yes, you are correct!

(image from the ebay seller: The dent in the corner is not visible)

(The bottom lid is made of Aluminum? It has tiny holes)

(Inside view of the Apple TV first generation)

(The rubber pad on the bottom has been removed)

I found a dent in one corner that the seller did not mention. It won't matter too much. I have already peeled the rubber sheet from the bottom and the gooey residue (double-sided glued sheet) from the bottom. It was necessary to get to the 4 screws that held the top and bottom case together. I am not planning to put it back as the punched holes on the bottom case will help the ventilation and heat dissipation. I will just glue some small rubber pieces on the corners to let it freely such in air.

It is an Apple TV first generation. The one I have here is one with 160 GB (IDE/PATA 2.5-inch) HDD.

Basically Apple TV first generation has one Intel Pentium M (1 GHz) with 256 MB of memory. It is similar to Mac mini Early 2006 (with Intel Core Solo) in its specification. It also looks similar to the Mac mini (2005 to 2009) in its appearance only it is a bit wider and shorter (lower).

It came with stripped version of Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.7 according to Mactracker). It has almost all of the full-fledged PC specs. It has an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi capability, audio out ports, one USB port and Infrared port in addition to what already mentioned above.

It has 256 MB of RAM soldered on the board and no expansion possible. This is the biggest limitation it has.

What do I want with it? An experiment to run Tiger 10.4.8 with a full desktop environment and then OSMC!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A package has arrived from the United Kingdom]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/26(火) 08:32:31|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Dear Diary and tracking numbers

Some tracking numbers

As I am addicted to shopping online (Amazon and ebay), I track a lot of parcels that are coming to me. Some (mostly Amazon items that originate from Amazon warehouse or some sellers in Germany give me almost no hassle whereas items originating from China are pain in the royal keister sometimes.

First of all I admire President Trump for raising his concerned voice for the unfair trading customs exercised by the Chinese, namely the extreme low postal tariff for the goods coming out of China to foreign countries. He threatened to get out of international postal agreements if this unfair exploitation by China continued.

I buy something from China and the shipping charges they charge me is ridiculously low even with tracking services. It is insane! Of course there's is down side to it and it is the unspeediness of the service.

It takes more than 4 weeks for something sent using those cheap tracking services. The tracking information sis also not so diligently updated.

Where is my Intel Core 2 Duo (T7600) 2.66 GHz processor at? The last time the tracking information got updated was February 1st when it was thrown into the "sac" at the airport. This "sack" was supposedly then thrown into a bigger "Container" that would eventually loaded into a cargo airplane. Has it been flown to Europe yet?

I am very afraid that I have to send a message to the seller to tell them that the item is MIA.

Mysterious Apple device is coming

I have more stuff coming to me from the UK. It is handed down to the transporter that handles the last stretch. Who this time? The tracking information is also handed to this mysterious service that I have never seen. Who is going to bring it to me? Show me your move!

I am ready. I may need some USB flash memory sticks but other than that I am ready for it.

Mac mini G4 1.25 GHz

I removed the modem card and realized that some small part can not be removed unless I cut the thin cables. This wire harness is attached to the modem card by a tiny connector so I just unplugged it. The harness is still attached to the back of modem port.

Again I was amazed to see how clean the logic board was and there was no accumulation of dust under the modem card. Has this Mac mini been abandoned at its very early stage of use?

I am going to remove the thermal pad and try to measure the gap between the graphic chip and the metal shield. The best thing I can do is apply some silicone caulking material between them and let it harden. I should be able to measure the gap from the hardened material.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Dear Diary and tracking numbers]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/24(日) 17:04:36|
  2. Diary
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Apple Cinema Display 23-inch

Apple Cinema Display 23"

A1082 seems to be its model name. According to Mactracker, there seems to be two versions. The original one was released in 2004 and an updated version 2006 (or 2005) is endowed with a better LCD panel.

Otherwise, they are identical as far as I know from Mactracker.

There is one sold on a shelf at a second-hand (recycling) store near my work. It has been there for two weeks by now. It was still there the last time I was (just hours ago) there.

Its initial price was € 125 and it did not appeal to me at all and the price has dropped to € 85. It still does not appeal to me but I would get it if the price goes really low.

Its maximum resolution is 1920 x 1200 (16:10 aspect ratio instead of 1920 x 1080 / 16:9). Although it does not have speakers, it does have a USB/FireWire hub function. It can be used as a normal display if the connected PC can work with its resolution (1024 x 640, 1280 x 800, and 1920 x 1200).

I don't know if this monitor works well with the device that I am anxiously waiting for its arrival from the UK. I am going to run a slightly modified version of Tiger on it and if (not likely but) I had this monitor and I attached (I am talking in a subjunctive mode) it on the back of the monitor, it would look that I have an iMac (of sorts). Wait a second! Can I find an appropriate adapter? Never mind! it won't happen!

I am just saying and I don't think it would happen. Someone will buy it before the price goes down any further.

The MacBook Late 2009 with a staggering price tag of over € 400 is already gone. Who bought it? Hasn't this person ever heard of ebay? The iMac (old, before 2002 when LCD iMacs came out) is still there with a price tag of € 99 (? I forgot or never really cared about it) is still there, though.

As I have already written, the Macintosh Classic was snatched by somebody shortly after it was on display. The price was a bit too high but a collector would not mind if he/she sees the opportunity, right?

If the price (I don't expect it but just for an argument sake) went down as low as € 40, I would get it. A functional Full HD (and a bit more) display with a built-in USB or FireWire hub will be convenient.

Mac OS X Leopard 10.5

Or macOS 10.5? It was Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 when it was released and still support and Apple changed the way it is called later. So I want to keep the way it was before like Mac OS X 10.5.

Anyway, I watched a video (not officially by Apple but someone who claimed in the video at that time of recording at least was working at a Apple Store) introducing the brand-new (at that time and I won't repeat this again) Leopard's new features.

Now I know that some of the features that I find on my new Macs (like MacBook Pro Mid 2010 running High Sierra) that I don't find on my Mac mini G4 running Tiger 10.4.11 were introduced with Leopard.

Time machine was one of them. I know that the Downloads folder's avatar that resides in the Dock with "Stack" (??) function was also introduced in Leopard. I wondered at first why the jpg files (or other similar files) did not have a preview when shown in the Finder's windows with Tiger. It was also first introduced with Leopard.

So Leopard is very similar to High Sierra that I am so used to using in a way.

After overclocking my G4 One I will try it on it. Let's see if G4 One likes it!

I need a mangifier!

This morning (February 23rd) I removed the top cover of my G4 One (how many times by now?) and also removed the logic board to see what kind of thermal pad I should procure to replace it and also to see what conditions it was in for the moment.

I took some photos. They will be uploaded here later.

Surprisingly the logic board was once cleaned by someone before it came into my possession. Virtually there was no accumulated dust inside. The Cooling fan was also very clean. A thorough work has been done at some point. The seller from whom I bought it a month ago did not mention anything about cleaning, so it was one before this seller got it from someone else.

First, the CPU heatsink was that of seemingly (?) a better one. I thought this heatsink was from later models but I guessed it wrong.

Secondly, the thermal pad seemed to be about 1 mm thick (it was hard to measure it). I was a bit puzzled when I found the one side (not sticking to the bottom case in other words, the side facing upwards) was not sticky at all. This thermal pad is only sticky on one side.

I wondered if this thermal tape held the original thickness. Is it possible that it has shrunk over time? I found it was subtle but neat that the aluminum (or stainless steel?) shield (electro-magnetic) below the graphic chip where the thermal pad stays is slightly raised (molded to be three-dimensional) so that the heat from the chip will not directly transfer to the plastic bottom case but rather dissipate and spread to the metal shield.

So I will order some thermal pads with thickness of 1.5 mm. I want to make sure that the pad material fill the gap between the chip surface and the metal shield.

Alternately, I can buy products such as shown below and try to sandwich one or two of them to maximize the heat transfer efficiency. How thick should it be?


Thirdly, I checked those mythically tiny resistors to be removed to overclock the CPU to 1.5 GHz. Wow! I could not read those letters (supposedly R****). They are not just tiny but micro-tiny! I need a magnifier (as already suggested in the instruction video)!

I need a good one and I need sure hands comparable to those of exceptionally good surgeons!! I also re-affirmed my previous conviction that soldering back the resistors would be impossible.

A magnifier that stands on its own stand and preferably with LED illumination will be desirable. How much does one of those cost?


This one costs around €18 and comes the LED illumination. It uses 2 AA battery cells. I think I have no choice but get it or a similar one.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Apple Cinema Display 23-inch]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/23(土) 09:29:04|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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The answer was ...

The mystery package consequences

So I went to bed (here in Europe it was time to go to bed) knowing that the recipient(s) of my inquiring message who live(s) somewhere in big China is (are) just starting his/her/their work. I expected the answer already in the message box by the time I woke up.

I did. I found the answer there when I woke up next morning (this morning).

I am not sure this comment would ultimately constitute an ethnic slur or defamatory remark and I don't want my comment to be one. On the other hand, I have to comment on the answer I got.

I can not quote the entire reply or part of it to protect the sender's privacy. I can not go into the details but I can say this much.

The reply message did not say anything even remotely related to the mysterious package that had arrived at my address. In the entire message there is no mention of it. The sender neither deny nor confirm that my tentative question whether this package belonged to him/her/them.

The message is in an apologetic tone telling me it was unfortunate that I had not yet received the item but insisting that the item had been sent to me with the tracking number that I had already been notified of.

It continued to say that the money I paid would be reimbursed in case it turned out to be lost.

OK, it is a standard (a template answer for impatient buyers who notify the seller of their anxiety) answer.

The sender who is a customer support worker in a company (I don't know its size but) who does what he/she had to do. He/she can not and would not exceed the scope of his/her scope of duties.

I think this package (unwanted one) does belong to them. Who else could have sent it to me?

The sender can not even refer to it because doing so will overstep his/her duties. He/she does not want to be caught between the person who made the wrong shipping label and the management. Acknowledging the error that someone else (shipping department) made would give him/her a potential trouble. The best policy is playing complete ignorance of the matter and sticking to the formal reply template.

It is perfectly OK to blame the postal system for losing the package but not OK to blame anybody (including himself/herself) working for the company.

This incident reminded me of something that took place in China in the past. A high-speed train detailed and there were casualties (I believe). The Chinese authorities quickly buried the whole train without investigating the cause. Chinese government was (has been) keen on exporting their high-speed train system and did not want the World to know the potential fatal flaws in their train system. They buried it (literally) and pretended nothing had happened.

The official position of the Chinese authorities to this date is that it was not a high-speed train but mildly high-speed train and thus the Chinese high-speed train system would remain "fatal accident-free".

If you can not find a person or persons to blame for something, it should be buried and it should not be discussed. It seems that this is widely adopted policy there.

OK, I will play along. I won't make any more inquiries about this package. The package never existed and I will wait for another week or two and then make another inquiry saying that I haven't received the merchandise and I want a replacement to be sent. Period. The case closed! If they reply and suggest a reimbursement, I will accept it and order the exact same item again pretending that it is my first order to them.

I wish, just wish that they sent me something I can make a use out of, like some memory modules or thermal grease. A video card? It goes straight to the garbage. What a waste!

Fine! I got it.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The answer was ...]の続きを読む

テーマ:日記 - ジャンル:日記

  1. 2019/02/21(木) 15:43:28|
  2. Diary
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A suprise package from China (Hong Kong)

A surprise package from China (Hong Kong)

I am proud to say that I am composing this entry on my Mac mini 2005 (G4 1.25 GHz) running Tiger 10.4.11 using TenFourFox. It rocks!

This evening I came home form work and found a package for me sitting in the corridor (or entrance area) of my apartment near my room. It had my name and address so it must be meant for me, right?

What could it be? I was expecting a small package from China and it was due by then (now). I was expecting an Intel Core 2 Duo (T7600) 2.33 GHz.

What I did not understand was the size of the package. It was way big. Say it is 22 cm x 18 cm x 9 cm roughly. A CPU and this much protection?

I hurriedly opened it and found . . . . . . a "seemingly used" obscure video card. WTF?

There was no sender information on the package. On its back, there was a tracking number that looked somewhat similar. Similar because the number format, initial alphabets and following numbers, looked just like the one I have been tracking for the past 1 month. It's so close to the tracking number that had been assigned to my package containing Intel Core 2 Duo. The shipping date was also close to what the shipping date that could be on "my package".

What should I do? Of course, within minutes after opening the strange (or estranged) package I logged in my ebay account and sent a message to the seller from whom I bought the CPU asking if it was theirs.

I am expecting an answer from this seller. What could it be? A mix-up? The seller sent a wrong package to me and my Core 2 Duo went to another buyer who were anxiously awaiting a video card?

Well, I think I have to wait another whole month and some for the CPU. That is OK as far as the seller agrees to sent another one to me.

As I had written in the previous entry, I was not going to convert my Mac mini Early 2006 to Mac mini Mid 2007 until much much later. I need this Early 2006 for my next project.

The seller included a small printed slip imploring the buyer not to give them a bad review before negotiating a possible solution to buyer's dissatisfaction.

I am patient and will insist to get a replacement. As long as I get what I paid for, I will give the seller a decent review in the end.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A suprise package from China (Hong Kong)]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/20(水) 23:49:22|
  2. Diary
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Preparing for some Mac surgery operations

Equipment and others before setting out on a venture

Some time soon, I will be operating on one or two (or three or more?) of my newly acquired Mac minis. The first one could be Mac mini Early 2006 (Core Solo 1.5 GHz) if the Intel CPU Core 2 Duo (T7600) arrives from China. It could be Mac mini 2005 (original G4 1.25 GHz) if I have time.

I will be operating on the logic boards of of G4 Mac mini so that the CPU clock is set to 1.5 GHz. The procedure requires removing tiny resistors on the logic board.

I already have a gas-operated soldering iron. I will be needing more stuff.

First I will remove the logic board of G4 One to see:
1. what kind of CPU heatsink is used
2. how thick the thermal pad used for (seemingly) ATI Radeon 9200 is.

At the same time I will be removing the modem card inside as I firmly believe I will be needing it.

In this initial probe, I want to determine what I will be needing for the operation. From what I have searched for, I know that there are two types of heatsinks used for Mac mini G4 models. The original and the beefed up model used for Late 2005 models (or only for 1.5 GHz models). I am not sure but the author of the Mac mini G4 overclocking modding video that I watched mentions the later revision heatsink.

My G4 One is, I believe, is the original release model and it is the lowest end model so the heatsink must be smaller (= having less heat capacity) one. The video author said it should be OK to set the clock to 1.5 GHz with this earlier heatsink.

I learned that there is a thermal pad patch used on the aluminum radiation shield on the bottom of the case. The location seems to be where the graphic chip sits. I know that this chip (or the way it is implemented) has a major issue (image distortion at Full HD resolution and eventual blackout).

Having seen the issue on both of my Mac mini G4 models, I want to make sure the unnecessary heat stemming form the chip to dissipate as much as possible. I am planning to replace the thermal pad patch. I believe that thermal pad patches must be old and could be of no use by now (after 14 years). So naturally I want to know the measurements. How tall and wide and most importantly how thick?

I have observed and learned a lot from these photos and documents that I found on the Internet.

(From a exploded view of G4 Mac mini parts: the thermal pad is present there)

(The ATI Radeon 7200 chip is loaded on the back of the logic board)

(I am going to buy one of these thermal pad but I don't know the needed measurements)

(Is this heatsink the later model?)

The exploded view parts lists that I found on a site don't show the part numbers of the heatsinks at all. On the other hand, I found an ebay seller listing two kinds of heatsinks for seemingly Mac mini G4 models. They are significantly different. This seller's other listed items strongly suggest that he/she has both original 2005 and Late 2005 Mac mini G4 parts indeed.


(Bigger and improved? model)


(Smaller model)

DST to live on or die in EU countries in 2019

I occasionally check to see if Garmin has posted any updates for my devices. Today I found that some updates were available for my Garmin devices. Usually I don't pay much attention to one of those Time Zone updates.

They (updates) are made when some small countries decide to change the time zone they belong to or to drop or adopt the daytime saving system. Usually these countries are some not well-known countries on islands on a vast ocean somewhere.

The description of this update, however, was a bit different in its tone so I thought it would be worth writing about.

In 2018, there was a discussion in EU (Parliament) that the DST system all the EU countries are unanimously using can be disposed of if a country finds it fit to do so from April 2019. It was suggested by Chairman Junker.
I have not yet heard of the decision if this suggestion has been voted into EU rules. Maybe it has been.

Monaco has decided to let it be as before. So I know that in Monaco there will be daylight saving time in next Spring. How about rest of the EU countries? Luxembourg?


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Preparing for some Mac surgery operations]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/20(水) 17:05:09|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Project booting an Apple ****** with Tiger 10.4.8

What is the best way to do it?

First I saw a video on YouTube and it inspired me. I searched for more videos and then linked or generally searched for more information on the Internet.

It looked slightly more complicated than booting a Mac mini 2005 (PowerPC G4 processor) issuing a certain command at the OpenFirmware command prompt. The YouTube video I watched for this purpose was very instructive and in details so he (the author) left almost nothing unexplained.

Of course, I had some experience with Unix style commands when I was toying with Linux (on PCs), OpenBSD and NetBSD (on m68k "Classic" Macintosh models). I bought some books explaining those commands. I don't have much experience with MS-DOS style commands. So understanding what the author was trying to explain was very easy.

Now, this reversed Hackintosh (because I am trying to install Mac OS X on a genuine Apple device by modifying the Mac OS X) intrigued me more than just following someone's Hackintosh path by just assembling the parts recommended (proved) to work did. There are many guides and instruction videos on the Internet and on YouTube for normal Hackintosh projects. Buying recommended parts and assembling a Hackintosh machine costs more, indeed and I don't want spending that much money.

Maybe the cheapest way to do an authentic Hackintosh will be buying one of those Intel NUC devices. It does not mean all the devices work (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or others) but I believe I saw someone doing it on YouTube.

I paid close to €30 to get the device (unfortunately the shipping cost more than the device itself) initially. I paid another €20 for Tiger 10.4.8 Installation DVD not realizing that I did not have to. Software Update 10.4.8 combo was available from Apple. I knew this just one day after paying for the DVD.

OK, the extra €20 I did have to shell out was in a way well spent as I can follow the instructions by The 8-Bit Guy (on YouTube) as to how to make a bootable disk image from a DVD meant for other Mac models. This will be fun, too.

So far I paid €50 and I am done with buying stuff hardware-wise. The rest of the process will be done on one of my Mac models. I need my Mac mini Early 2006 (it has to be an Intel CPU model) who can boot from Tiger 10.4.

I have to say I had luck. I was (and am) going to convert it from Mac mini Early 2006 to Mac mini Mid 2007 which can boot only from Tiger 10.4.10 and later. The reason I have not done so yet (as of this writing) is the slow boat from China is yet to come ashore (in reality it is transported on an airplane). I ordered an Intel Core 2 Duo (T7600) 2.33 GHz within minutes after winning the auction (Mac mini Early 2006) on ebay. I ordered it on January 12th but it has not arrived yet as of February 19th.

If I had already converted it into Mac mini Mid 2007, I could not have been able to make the needed installatin of Tiger 10.4.8. Once the newer firmware is burned on Mac mini Early 2006, it can not be reversed.

Years (a decade?) ago I bought an adapter cable that had a USB male port on one end and an IDE (HDD/SSD) interface (2.5/3.5) on the other end with an additional AC/DC power converter for power hungry 3.5 disks.

Back then IDE (PATA) HDDs were still dominant devices but SATA devices were on the rise. So people started to adopt SATA and needed this cable to scavenge some data left on old IDE disks. I stopped using it and it had been neglected until recently. I suddenly started collecting old Mac minis and Mac mini G4 models were equipped with IDE disks and suddenly this adapter cable came in very much handy.

With this cable I can manipulate an IDE 2.5 HDD connected on the USB port with my Mac mini Early 2006.

Well, you may say that one does not need this kind of cable and that one can use "Target Disk Mode" to do the same. You are absolutely correct. It is true, however, the device I am going to fondle with in not a Mac and does not come with the holy grail of Target Disk Mode. I need this cable to tamper with the IDE disk inside this genuine Apple product but not a Mac.

I found at least three sites with detailed (more or less) instructions (one in French). They (instructions) are not identical. I have to decipher what to do and how to do it by reading them throughly. This deciphering part make this project slightly more difficult than the other one (making Mac mini 2005 - generally OpenFirmware equipped Macs boot from a the disk image written on a USB flash memory).

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Project booting an Apple ****** with Tiger 10.4.8]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/19(火) 17:42:49|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.8 DVD set purchased!

From Russia with Love

Almost immediately after writing this, I found out that it was really easy to get the 10.4.8 update package from Apple. So what I have written below contains a lot of mistakes and lies.

This below was what I thought was true but turned out to be false. So I spent €20 for almost nothing.

I found this DVD set on ebay. I needed exactly 10.4.8 version of Tiger for some reason. The only way to get one is find the accessory DVD originally shipped from Apple with some Mac models whose release timing coincided with the the release of 10.4.8 version of Tiger.

This DVD set was originally shipped with MacBook origianl or Late 2006. The seller is, as the title suggests, from Russia. The price was to me fair and I could have paid more if he had set the price a bit higher. I could not find other 10.4.8 Tiger DVDs so I had no other choice.

How to make a Mac OS X DVD boot on different models originally not meant for?

I found a YouTube movie related to this topic. The technique illustrated in this movie (by The 8-Bit Guy) applies to models who should boot from the particular version.

To explain this situation, I write the following:

My Mac mini 2006 (original Intel CPU Mac mini model) originally was shipped with Mac OS X Panther 10.3.7 when it was released. It should boot from any version of Mac OS X released later until Apple dropped this model from its support list. Its maximum supported OS version is Snow Leopard 10.6.8.

Naturally, it (Mac mini Early 2006) should boot from 10.4.8, however I don't believe it won't boot from the Installation DVD that I purchased from Russia out of the box.

As the great YouTuber, The 8-bit Guy, explains, the modification that Apple make to those accessory OS Installation DVD is minor and it does not involve any modification to important part of the OS but only made on some fringe files (text files). Anyone can edit them.

I am going to edit those files (one or two only) to include macmini1,1 (logic board name of Mac mini Early 2006) where it needed to be.

After this I will burn a new DVD. I will be able to boot my Mac mini Early 2006 from this modified DVD and install Tiger 10.4.8 on an IDE (PATA) 2.5 HDD connected on the USB port. After the successful installation (I hope), I will continue to modify the freshly installed OS on the USB external disk. This later modification involves stripping non-essential System files (some extensions or others).

I am not sure if I can finish all the required modification. The information is a bit sketchy. I believe I have collected all the information and files needed.

This IDE 2.5 HDD will later go inside a certain device and hopefully boot this device. This device will run on a stripped version of Tiger 10.4.8.

This device won't play any important role at all. I just want to see the end. It is for satisfying my curiosity. I know that this device running Tiger 10.4.8 won't do much even when it is successfully functions.

What is this "device"? Anybody who knows the ropes (Apple product lines) must have been aware of what I have described above and what I am trying to do by now.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.8 DVD set purchased!]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/18(月) 21:36:23|
  2. Bike Races
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Searching for OS X Tiger 10.4.8 (not Bobby Fisher)!

Bobby Fisher has been a topic of movies

I have seen "Pawn Sacrifice" but have not seen "Searching for Bobby Fisher" yet. In the latter, Laurence Fishburne seems to be the one who is searching for someone like Bobby Fisher, I guess. He was also fiercely looking for Neo in another movie.

I am looking for Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.8. I want to have it. It is very easy to find other versions like 10.4, 10.4.11 (upgrade) or some. But it is not easy to get this exact version.

I have already found one on ebay. I might buy it. It is a set of DVDs originally included in either MacBook 2006 or MacBook Late 2006 (alias macbook1,1 and macbook2,1 respectively).

It (the three DVD set) costs me around € 20 (shipping included). I will sleep on it for a couple of days before deciding to get it or not.

I am not saying that I have newly acquired either of the MacBook mentioned above nor do I intend to get a hole of one of them in near future. When (and if) I get it (DVD set), I will have to modify them so that I can use them to install Mac OS X on a different model other than those MacBooks. It is not a difficult task to accomplish. The procedure is well documented (filmed) and you can watch it on YouTube.

After editing some files on the DVD (of course after copying it to another medium to make it writable), I will write it back to a USB flash memory stick. This modified copy, then, will be used to install Tiger 10.4.8 on my (Intel) Mac mini Early 2006 (which requires 10.4.6 or later) or even Late 2006 (ditto, 10.4.8).

Immediately after this, I will then remove the HDD (10.4.8 installed on it) and mount it as an external disk so that I can further modify the contents. In the end I will have a modified Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.8 which will boot neither of 2006 Mac minis.

What purpose would that serve? It boots something and that is exactly the purpose it serves.

I played with Mac mini G4 (1.25 GHz, alias G4 One) with only 256 MB of memory running Tiger 10.4.11 and it was not a pleasant moment. Sluggish, unresponsive and etc. This was partly (although I can not substantiate it but) caused by the lack of memory or the lack of CPU's raw power.

Yeah, if I have time to waste for this argument, I will put the 256 MB module into G4 Two (1.42 GHz) and see how it goes and compare the performance to that of former G4 One.

The only thing I can tell for sure is that with the same amount of memory (1 GB), G4 Two outperforms G4 One by a significant margin. I can feel it when I play with them.

So in theory (not the kind of theory of time by late Dr. Steven Hawkins) a faster CPU's raw power can compensate for the lack of memory.

Apple says (said) that Tiger can manage it with mere 256 MB of RAM (and regretted it soon as Apple within a few months of initial release of Mac mini G4 models, Apple had to introduce updated model with 512 MB or more).

When I observed (via Activity Monitor) the memory use on my G4 one when it had only 256 MB of RAM, the system managed the memory usage so that (available remaining amount excluding the 32 MB already taken by the graphic chip) a tiny portion of RAM could be set aside untouched (20 to 32 MB?) for an emergency and the amount of virtual memory area on the HDD was between 2 GB to almost 3 GB.

On G4 Two, the usage of physical memory and virtual memory (at a similar intensity of usage - TenFourFox, VLC and QuickTime Player active) shows something like 800 MB or a bit less unused (free) and 2 GB to 2.4 GB used.

So Tiger was tamed to keep the physical memory use under around 200 MB all the time as much as possible and to use the virtual memory when needed.

I might theorize that Tiger can do a lot better job with mere 256 MB of memory if the CPU is faster enough. How fast? I guess PowerPC G4 clocked at 1.5 GHz won't qualify.

Tiger was a well-behaved (tamed) one but the CPU was just too underpowered so that the user experience was so bad that Apple was forced to introduce the models (only memory upgrade) in such a short period. In a way this Tiger was a refine one but its heart was too weak.

I am now curious. I am curious how Leopard, whose installed physical memory amount is minimum of 512 MB, would behave in this respect. Would Leopard mange the usage of physical memory so that less than 400 MB in use all the time or most of the time (i.e. immediately after boot and continue to do so also under heavy load)?

This leads to this question: Would the user experience (responsiveness etc.) be better with Leopard when the system has 1 GB or more physical memory installed?

I am going to test it when I have time to install Leopard on one of my Macs and will know the answer.

Apple switched to the Intel CPU platform around 2005/2006 and it was a right move.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Searching for OS X Tiger 10.4.8 (not Bobby Fisher)!]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/17(日) 16:47:51|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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G4 Two running Tiger 10.4.11

No brainer installation of updates 10.4.11

Now G4 Two is running Tiger 10.4.11. TenFourFox and VLC have been also installed.

I installed QTE and other recommended pieces of software on it, too. Now I can use QuickTime Player to watch YouTube videos.

I was testing G4 Two by watching a YouTube video and realized something. Most of the time YouTube videos gave me dark black sandstorm image saying that 'your browser can not ..... HTML5 video' or something. There was at least one video that opened natively inside TenFourFox. I was a bit taken back and observed how it would go. It did not go well. The playback was really slow and skipping frames heavily. I called in QuickTime Player to watch the same video and it played it very smoothly.

Well, I should not expect too much from a computer that was released back in 2005.

On system version 10.4 there was no options in 'Mouse & Keyboard' under the System Preferences to assign secondary button. I could not use the RIGHT click (chiefly to invoke context menu). When Tiger 10.4 was first released, Apple only sold one-button mice? On system version 10.4.11 I could assign various functions to various buttons on my Mighty Mouse.

I have not yet tried to pair G4 Two with wireless Mighty Mouse via Bluetooth. When G4 Two had 10.4, I could not pair them.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [G4 Two running Tiger 10.4.11]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/16(土) 17:04:10|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Tiger 10.4 was on G4 Two

It was Tiger not Panther

I came home and booted my G4 Two and the screen image was distorted (sign) right from the beginning (even while it was booting up (at Full HD). The situation was not so hopeless as it was with G4 One. I could vaguely see what was on the desktop when the screen image came on intermittently after blackout moments. So I changed the screen resolution to 1360 x 768 and the color depth to thousands. After this the image stayed clean and was stable.

I imagine that this Full HD resolution distortion/blackout issue is really widely spread among (at least (1.25 / 1.42 GHz) Mac mini G4 machines.

As I have written above, the symptom is not so bad on this G4 1.42 GHz machine. Does the CPU frequency play some role there?

The system was Tiger 10.4 (without any further fraction digits). I clicked around for some five minutes or so to look around. It seemed that someone (with an alias or real name of J*n Tr*w; I am masking two alphabet letters with * - asterisks) had been here. It was the name of the admin user. Whoever he was, he seemed to have done something early 2015 on it. It seems that the system had been clean installed back then.

Anyway I was going to re-install the system so I stopped clicking around and restarted with the same USB flash memory that I used with G4 One inserted into the same port on the back of G4 Two.

I booted it into the OpenFirmware shell and from there (at the command prompt) I blindly just typed the same command that had worked with G4 One. And lo and behold, voila! G4 Two also booted off the USB flash memory. The screen image (Full HD as the connected monitor is a native Full HD one) was distorted (blurred) but I could see what was going on.

The installation went well (I first erased the disk, of course) and I restarted G4 Two.

After that tedious process of creating the account (the screen image was blurred all the way), I changed the resolution and color depth to what was suitable for this combination (G4 Two and the DELL monitor). As I had already set up the Wi-Fi connection for my home connection, System Update automatically suggested that the system had some updates. I did not start this process as my home Internet connection is really slow. I will update things later.

So now my G4 Two started running another fresh Tiger 10.4.

The CPU is clocked at 1.42 GHz and G4 Two has AP/BT card and no modem card. The difference between G4 One and G4 two essentially boils down to the CPU clock speed but G4 Two is far zippier than G4 One.

Why so? Does the mere 12 % of increased CPU speed make so much difference?

How about making G4 One even zippier at 1.5 GHz (provided the heatsink can take so much heat)?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Tiger 10.4 was on G4 Two]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/16(土) 00:29:48|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Another ebay auction won! What is it this time?

Another ebay auction won!

It was around noon of Friday, 15th February 2019 when an ebay auction item came to its ending time. This item was on my watch list for several days. It was something I started to look for back in December (2018) or early January.

It came to my attention when I was watching and researching about things related to Mac minis of earlier times (a hint, a clue, here). I thought of getting one and toying with it while the supply lasted. I knew that the prices of those items had been lower than ever as their production had been long discontinued.

Yes, I am collecting very very old products made by Apple. They used to cost substantially (when they were actively produced and supported by Apple) but nowadays they come cheaper than ever like Mac mini G4s (sold in 2005 until discontinued early 2006 and the last software update seems to be made in 2009) as you can see.

I could have gotten it earlier if, only if, I had overbid (payed too mcuh) for something that I could get cheaper with patience to wait for the right moment. I had written about a French word "occasion" and it means "second-hand" or "used".

I don't overbid normally but in the past I wanted to get something badly and was ready to pay more.

In the end, I did not have to pay too much and I only paid reasonably as they were pretty much obsolete then and not so many people cared for them.

Those were the high-profile brake pad holders of Ciamillo Negative-G/Zero Gravity calipers. At that time Mr. Ciamillo had discontinued the production of high-profile brake pad holders (for narrower, thus older rims) in favor of mid/low-profile ones for some time. The (import and distribution) agent in continental Europe had almost none in stock and when I asked them they told they did not expect get any more of them since the production had long been discontinued.

I bought four (two pairs) from this agent but they were not in anodized black (I wanted them black) but in blue (those were the only ones in stock) and I painted them black. I needed more (as spare parts).

So when I found ones sold on ebay, I had no choice but outsmart other bidders. I now have enough ("Ciamillo" has been one of the "saved" search words for more than 5 years by now) but if I see them, I will try to get them.

Back to my latest ebay auction winning. I have paid for it within two minutes after the auction ended. I am a model ebay bidder, who bids clean and pays clean.

What is it? MacBook G4? iBook G4? MacPro G5? None of these but the support for it by Apple had been totally discontinued. In other words, it is almost useless when one uses it with the software Apple supplied.

So I am going to use it with other software like Open Source software. Or I might just keep using modified version of Apple software.

It will probably arrive in two weeks and I will most likely drive to the same mini supermarket where I was this very morning to get it.

The seller's description reveals that it makes a slight noise when it is on. I think either the cooling fan is broken (the bearing has gone bad) or too much dust has accumulated on the fins. I can remove the cooling fan entirely if I modify the case to have ventilation holes. So I am not too much worried about the noise.

It could be that the HDD inside is dying. It is fine with me as I have a substitute for that either.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Another ebay auction won! What is it this time?]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/15(金) 16:59:00|
  2. Diary
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Smoke or a puff of dust out of Mac mini G4 1.42 GHz?

Mac mini G4 1.42GHz = G4 Two

I picked it up this morning just an hour ago (O eight hundred sharp!) and here it is in front of me!

I hurriedly (unpacked and then) hooked it up to the monitor that I keep at work and although I wanted to connect a mouse and a keyboard (USB - wired) I forgot about them when I left home and left them home so I only had Apple Mighty Mouse (Bluetooth). I had packed them along with a USB hub in a plastic bag the previous night before turning in. Bummer!

I crossed (literally I did) and switched it on. It did not make any sound (the volume must have been turned off). I was about to unplug the power cable as I saw something come out of the rear ventilation slits. Smoke? I thought of an electric spark (circuit board short) or blown capacitors. It did not smell though.

It turned out that it was a puff of dust accumulated inside the machine. Phew! How long had it been neglected before being sold off on ebay? The seller (or its owner who sold it to the seller) surely dusted the top case off before taking photos of it but the dust had been accumulated on the ventilation slits, too.

It booted to the desktop smoothly but I could not (or the machine could not) pair with the Mighty Mouse so the Mighty Mouse was not so mighty after all.

So from what I have seen so far, I can tell (or I suspect) that it has Panther 10.3.7 installed on it. The desktop background looks somewhat familiar to me.

The plastic (what material? Acrylic or polycarbonate?) cover has not been tainted too much (slightly turned yellow but not so much as G4 One) and the plastic back panel appears very whitish.

The modem port is covered and I guess there is no modem card installed inside.

I will continue to delve into this machine later once I get home.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Smoke or a puff of dust out of Mac mini G4 1.42 GHz?]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/15(金) 09:22:19|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Wow! TenTourFox on Tiger (10.4.11) on Mac mini G4 rocks

Simply it rocks!

This evening I came home knowing that there would be a slip left by a DPD driver who attempted once to deliver a package sent from the UK containing a Mac mini G4 (1.42 GHz) who may be dead broken or may function.

Upon opening the mailbox, I noticed there was something else in there. I groped for the content (a soft vinyl package) and immediately knew what they were. Two 1 GB memory modules for Mac mini G4. I was expecting a Intel Core 2 Duo CPU or these two pieces of memory modules from China. Rectangle = memory modules and square = Core 2 Duo.

So I installed one of the modules inside my G4 One and I am writing this. Now it rocks! Everything, well nearly everything, works fine. No more suspended duration of non-responsiveness due to the lack of RAM memory. It responds to me relatively zippy but not as zippy as, say my Mac mini Early 2006 whose CPU is mere Intel Core Solo 1.5 GHz.

I installed some of the files and software programs recommended in the TenFourFox FAQ answers to "What do I do about HTML5 videos like those at YouTube?"

Yesterday, I could not watch the YouTube videos but now I can watch it in QuickTime Player. The solution was to install those small things to call for QuickTime Player inside TenFourFox.

I am very happy and I could log in this FC2 blog. I could not do it with Safari on Snow Leopard (10.6.8) installed on above-mentioned Mac mini Early 2006.

What a difference an upgrade of RAM from 256 MB to 1 GB makes! Now I am very confident that I will use this machine on a regular basis to update this blog or other things.

1.25 GHz may not be enough for playing back some heavy mp4 files but 1.5 GHz may improve the situation a bit.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Wow! TenTourFox on Tiger (10.4.11) on Mac mini G4 rocks]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/15(金) 00:48:03|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Dear Diary.

Tracking information updated

My maybe functional or maybe broken Mac mini G4 2005 (1.42 GHz) has been (at this moment of this writing) deposited (or to be deposited at the end of the deliver's shift toward the evening) at the local pick-up station where I have been numerous times. Tomorrow (February 15) I will pick it up before going to work.

By now I know for sure that the PowerPC architecture by 2005 was going where Apple and IBM had hoped (CPU for the personal computers). I remember PowerPC CPU survived as the brain for some game consoles and such. They are still alive but not used in Windows machines nor Apple machines now.

I am not saying that I am going to discard my Mac mini G4 (1.25/1.42 GHz) models. On the contrary I am going to use them (if 1.42 GHz machine = G4 Two is indeed functional) as long as possible and as frequently as possible.

As I am planning to overclock them (both?), I am preparing to go some extra miles to take a good care of them. I looked for and found these chemical spray cans on Amazon (Germany).

(Item NO.1: It mainly cleans and get rid of the corrosion on the circuit boards and on others)

(Item NO,1: It is perfectly OK to spray it on the circuit boards as this picture shows)

(Item NO.2: It chiefly cleans and protects various kinds of electric devices. It is perfectly OK to spray on various electric devices. It provides lubrication, too)

I guess the Item NO.2 is silicone-based stuff. It is electrically non-conducting and provides lubrication so my guess is it is silicone based.

They are not too expensive.

Last night I continued to play with my G4 One and found that some AVI files (from days when Video CDs were abundant, in other words, VHS video quality AVI files) played very well on it. Playing them back at full screen did not seem to bother the G4 One. The CPU load (as Activity Monitor reported) was moderate to intense but never really 100 % during the playback. The monitor resolution was set at 1360 x 768 and the color depth at thousands so the playback was not so brilliant in terms of quality but I was happy with what I saw.

Other mp4 videos were most of the time not so gentle as those old Video CD quality AVI files. I heard (in my imagination) the VLC shouting, "I need more juice, Scotty." and also Scotty shouting, "Captain, this is as much as the engine can hold."

Overclocking the CPU to 1.5 GHz will help (unless Scotty reports an overheating issue). A whopping 17 % increase in performance will be surely noticeable.

I saw these YouTube videos by "Rinoa Super-Genius". She (or? but I don't get into that issue here) overclocked her iMac's G3 from 600 MHz to 700 GHz (at one point more but eventually rolled back to this speed) and saw significant (or marginal) performance improvement on the machine. 600/700 = 0.86, so the improvement was about 14 %.

In these videos, she struggled to find the maximum effect without overheating issues. This process involved removing and soldering back those tiny resistors on the board.

I don't think I have the skill nor patience (endurance) to solder anything back. I was greatly relieved when I first saw the video explaining how to over clock Mac mini G4 to 1.5 GHz as it involved only removing. If 1.5 GHz gave me an overheating issue, I will try to cool the G4 by providing more air by not completely closing the upper case???

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Dear Diary. ]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/14(木) 16:56:40|
  2. Diary
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A trailer hitch for my Mazda MX-5 ND (6EA)

Road race season is coming!

I have to prepare for it. This Spring or Summer latest, I will be carrying my bike on my Mazda MX-5 like I have done for the last (more than) ten years.

Last summer (2018) I followed the Tour de France in its entirety from the Team Presentation all the way to the Avenue de Champs Elysées, Paris. I had my bike.

I used the Saris Solo, a tiny lightweight bike rack that attaches on the end of the boot by four strings. Although it worked fine, I found it not optimal for me or for my Mazda MX-5.

It keeps the bike frame neatly but I avoided putting the entire bike (the frame and two wheels) on the rack because the boot lid of a Mazda MX-5 (ND) is made of aluminum not high-tension steel.

Also the rear bumper is made of very flexible and thin material. Under the hot Sun the bumper got even more soft and the weight of my bike frame left two (although temporarily) dents. When I let the bumper under the Sun for while without the bike rack's feet pressing against it, the dents eventually went away (bent back).

I was afraid the other two feet on the boot lid could leave permanent dents but my fears never materialized (Thank God).

I always kept the wheels (although they are feather light; Zipp 404 carbon tubular rim wheel set) inside the car, specifically on the passenger's seat. So I had a bit difficulty driving as the inevitable luggage and the wheels on the passenger's seat kept my rear view (the rear view mirror on that side was partly blocked sometimes) not so clear and my elbow room too tight.

I want to have a cat with me and if I get one soon, I will be traveling with my cat. This cat will certainly occupy the passenger's seat. I have already prepared for the occasion.

I have already bought the animal seat belt. I have already bought a bumper sticker "CAT ON BOARD". I have already bought a Saris Axis (two-bike) rack made in Italy and it is sitting in my room. I have not undone the package so I am not 100 % sure if the box really contains the bike rack or not.

Basically the foot area of the passenger's side is occupied by cat's toilette. The seat is occupied by cat's carriage bag and the cat himself/herself.

So the wheels have no place there. They have to be hung on the bike rack securely.

This is where this comes in.


While I was writing this entry, I filled out the form on the site (https://www.kupplung-vor-ort.com) and I got the answer. The price was actually higher than I expected but by now I don't have any choice, do I?

I have passed the point of no return, haven't I?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A trailer hitch for my Mazda MX-5 ND (6EA)]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. 2019/02/13(水) 15:33:17|
  2. Bike Races
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A rest day

Mac mini G4 being very usuful

I am writing this on my beloved G4 One (a Mac mini G4 1.25 GHz running Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11). The editor is TextEdit. It is a basic program but it suffices my needs to write something. G4 One is still plagued by the lack of RAM memory (only 256 MB).

This freshly installed Tiger 1.4.11 responds better than the previously installed system Panther 10.3.7 (originally installed for Dutch market: even after changing the -menu- language to English, the messages during the boot process were tenaciously in Dutch).

For example I could not play a simple mp3 file. It stalled every few seconds for a second or so. I was a bit appalled by this sluggishness. I had hoped (the moment I won it on ebay, I purchased two 1 GB memory modules for a Mac mini G4 model) that installing 1 GB of RAM would greatly improve the performance of the new winning as it had only 256 MB.

If playing back a simple mp3 file is hard to accomplish on a machine running a (supposedly lighter) Panther, (minimum memory requirement 128 MB) what would I achieve on it running a heavier Tiger (minimum memory requirement 256 MB)?

That was my fear. Now that I have seen a mp3 file being played back smoothly, I have some relief and renewed my hope that I will be using this machine on a daily basis to do something useful.

The memory modules from China are kind of MIA as usual. They are not totally missing but the tracking information is at the moment stalled. It tells me that they were on the point of getting on board an airplane in China more than a week ago. This does not mean that they have been flown in to Europe (supposedly Germany or elsewhere).

Because the shipping fee is so little, my modules must have been given a lowest priority, a kind of standby status. A priority mail service gets the space on a transporting planes. When and only when the mail traffic is light and the plane has some space left, those non-priority mail and packages get the chance. My package could have been on the waiting list for a week or so at the corner of a warehouse in China (or Hong Kong).

I am also waiting for an Intel CPU (Core 2 Duo T7600) that I ordered weeks ahead of these modules. It is also MIA and the tracking status has not been renewed for more than a week. This CPU goes into my Mac mini Early 2006 (currently Core Solo 1.5 GHz with 2 GB of RAM). This model was released one year later than my G4 One. Apple ditched PowerPC platform and adopted Intel CPUs.

I was very surprised to see how zippy and responsive this Mac mini Early 2006 was. It is currently running OS Snow Leopard 10.6.8. It only hesitates on a certain type of mp4 files but otherwise it is very fast.

On a paper their specs are very similar. Both PowerPC G4 (7447a) and Core Solo are 32-bit capable single core CPUs running at similar CPU clock speed. I am afraid that the latter greatly outperforms the former. One advantage that former has over the latter is its lower power consumption, maybe. This is one of the reason I love it and want to use it as much as possible.

Back to G4 One. I could not play a simple mp3 file on it before it got a fresh OS installation. Now I can play mp3 files and even play some mp4 files. Some lightly encoded files play reasonably smoothly while others stall. Looking at the CPU / Memory usage with Actively Monitor, when playing mp4 files stalls, the CPU usage is up to 100%. Decoding mp4 files takes its toll on an aging CPU, it seems.

In the future I will be overclocking it to 1.5 GHz and it should help. It will get a stunning (a bit of irony intended) power increase rate of 17 % (1.25/1.5 = 0.83333333). Watching some PowerPC related YouTube video gave me an vague idea of converting mp4 files into xvid or such formats as the narrator of the video explained that Altivec technology (much like SSE technology on Intel chips) would show it edge with some encoding formats. I could not find the definite answer for it to back his statement up on Wikipedia.

I installed TenFourFox and VLC on G4 One. TenFourFox is very promising but the machine simply lacks RAM and its performance is very slow. Great patience on my part (8 or 10 minutes?) was rewarded by the YouTube front page showed up as it would do on my faster and newer Macs.

VLC is also very promising. I just want to write something like this blog entry while listening to some music or watching some movies while occasionally surfing the Net.

I found an excellent article here. It describes how slow PowerPC-equipped Macs are compared to Intel CPU-equipped Macs.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A rest day]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/11(月) 21:19:48|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Mac mini G4 and Edimax EW-7811Un

10.4.11 Tiger and edimax EW-7811Un

10.4.11 update was released on November 14, 2007 according to Mactracker, an excellent piece of software that all old Apple products hunters should have.

I thought I was upgrading to 10.4.8 but it turned out that I was getting the final update 10.4.11. OK.

During the installation, I noticed that I was installing a security update dated May 2009. This was the last security update released for Tiger, I believe.

Installing the updates with occasional restarts with a monitor whose max and native resolution is HD+ (1600 x 900) went smoothly without any issues at all. The screen image stayed clean and neat, in other words, no distortion or blackout like on a monitor whose max and native resolution is Full HD (1920 x 1080).

There were a lot of Java updates involved in this process. There was also an update to Safari but everybody knows that this version of Safari is not so useful by now. I will install TenFourFox later for browsing the Internet sites.

Now my G4 One is up-to-date, if you will. This does not mean that it is up-to-date as of this moment (February, 2019). I am anxiously waiting for the arrival of G4 Two (a second Mac mini G4, who may or may not work at all as the seller on the ebay could not ascertain its status, dead or alive, as she/he did not have the power adapter) as it contains a 1 GB memory module inside.

I am also waiting for the arrival of two pieces of 1 GB modules from China, whose arrival is estimated by mid March latest.

I have to see how G4 One performs with 1 GB of RAM on Tiger 10.4.11. After this I will probably overclock the CPU to 1.5 GHz by removing one of two tiny resistors on its circuit board as described (demonstrated) on a YouTube video. I have to make sure that the thermal compound (grease) is fresh and the contact between the CPU and the heat sink is secure to avoid overheating issues.

Now Edimax EW-7811Un

My G4 One does not have a built-in AirPort Card inside so it can not speak wirelessly (so to speak). I wanted give him/her (I never thought of its gender until now) the ability to speak wirelessly. As I have already written on this subject before, I will spare the unnecessary talk here.

One way to go is this Edimax EW-7811Un and the other way will be the Apple AirPort Express that I bought (of which I will definitely write about here later). I chose this tiny product as its maker had download links for various driver software for Mac OS X versions starting 10.4 (up to 10.13 or so). At the point of downloading the driver software, I was not completely sure if the one for 10.4 was only for Intel or PowerPC, too.

Some dongles claimed to have the driver software for 10.4 but when I painstakingly sourced the driver software, I was disappointed to found the description saying Intel CPU only.

After the System Software Updates, I installed the Wi-Fi adapter (named in the title), first the driver downloaded from its manufacturer's site and, then secondly, inserted the actual "nano" sized dongle into one of the (only two) USB ports.

It was recognized as "en1" on G4 One. From the System Preferences - Network, I found that the system recognized it as an Ethernet port, thus the contracted name of "en1 (from Ether-Net)". OK, I have no problem as long as it functions. So this USB dongle (via its driver software) is kinda emulating an Ethernet port.

After a short while I could make it work (several clicking actions were necessary).

I successfully connected my G4 One to the Internet and could browse the Apple's site with Safari. Yippee!

I ran the "System Software Updates" (which you can find on Mac OS X versions Panther, Tiger and Snow Leopard as far as I have personally seen and I guess on Leopard, too) from the Apple menu and I was told that my G4 One was up-to-date as far as its software programs from Apple were concerned. So far so good.

I have to try to achieve almost the same thing as I did with Edimax EW7811Un with the Apple AirPort Express. Using the "Client Mode" on it, my G4 will be able to connect to the Internet. The built-in Ethernet port on G4 One will be "en0"?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mac mini G4 and Edimax EW-7811Un]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/10(日) 15:52:08|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Booting a Mac using Open Firmware interface (shell?) addendum

It plural form is Addenda or Addendums

I was curious. Does the mysterious BOOTX file exists under System/Library/CoreServices on this machine (MacBook Pro Mid 2010 running High Sierra)?

I looked and found a file named "boot.efi" and other three files namded "boot.efi.*******". ******* stands for some letters and numbers.

I am planning to upgrade the system on G4 one to Leopard when it runs comfortably with 1 GB of memory. I may use a separate HDD (or SSD) for this to be able to come back to Tiger if Leopard won't run as fast as Tiger. Aren't cheetahs the fastest cats on Earth? Cheetah was the nickname given to Mac OS X (10.0).

So this Open Firmware trick only works on PowerPC equipped Macs? Or Tiger (both for PowerPC and Intel CPU) and Leopard (ditto) systems are hybrid of this BOOTX and boot.efi scheme?

According to Mactracker, Mac mini 2006 (Intel CPU) has Intel Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) built in.

Do any Intel Macs have these boot.efi and boot.efi.****** files on their system?

I am not planning to run Leopard or Tiger on my Mac mini Early 2006 as it will be converted into Mac mini Mid 2007 later. For the moment I am not panning to learn EFI shell commands to do something on my Intel Mac minis.

Full HD woes continue ...

I have some Apple Software package files (10.4.8 combo) and am trying to install some of them on my G4 One at home where I have only two monitors with native resolution of Full HD (1920 x 1080). The other DELL non-native Full HD monitor is kept at work.

I set the display resolution on my G4 One at color depth of thousands or even 256 colors when I am using the Full HD resolution. It works. The screen distortion followed by a blackout won't occur as long as I keep it like that. KEEPing is the word that I would like to stress.

When I install some of the critical packages on it, they (packages) oblige me to restart G4 One. When I do so, G4 (as it is hooked to native Full HD monitor) tries to start the system at that dreaded Full HD of color depth at its maximum (millions) until it (G4 One) reads the System Preferences settings files and adjusts the monitor settings to my liking. But it is too late. As soon as it restarts, the screen gets distorted and by the time it reads those files, the screen blacks out.

I need a monitor whose native resolution is non-Full HD! I installed 10.4.8 system updates late at night before turning in and QuickTime update in the morning. In other words, one at a time only as both updates required obligatory restarts.

I think I have to bring my G4 One to work and resume the installation to avoid this inconvenience.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Booting a Mac using Open Firmware interface (shell?) addendum]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/09(土) 17:02:04|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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G4 One now running Mac OS X Tiger 10.4

Open Firmware Rocks!

The previous command line immediately booted G4 One for the second time, of course. This time G4 One was connected to DELL E2012H, whose native resolution is 1600 x 900 (whatever it is, the important thing is that it is NOT 1920 x 1080 which in conjunction with Millions of colors lead to the death of video synchronizing).

I could install Tiger on G4 One without encountering any problems. It went smoothly if not a bit slowly.

Now G4 One is on 10.4 (without any numbering after 4). Tiger received updates until 10.4.8, so now I want to upgrade it up to there. QuickTime version was 7.0.0 (or something) so I can now install VLC for Tiger/Leopard and launch it.

OK, the first impression of Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) on Mac mini G4 (1.25 GHz) with only 256 MB of RAM is that IT RUNS DARN SLOW.

I see that rotating (spinning) beach ball as many times as I do anything on it. I opened Activity Monitor and saw the memory usage. The situation iwas roughly the same as that under Panther 10.3.7 (the previous system that was on it). I did not take notes of the Panther memory usage but I felt it was similar. Almost any process relied heavily on VM (virtual memory usage on the disk was over 2 GB).

My G4 One just wants more RAM.

I will give it its maximum capacity of 1 GB later when the ordered modules arrive. Wait for a couple of weeks, G4 One! You shall be treated!

On a side note, I remember just before coming to Europe (end of September 2003) my main PC was an AMD Athlon (overclocked at 1.1 GHz or ?) equipped PC that I assembled from parts running Linux and Windows 2000 (?). That machine was quite zippy and did everything from decoding DVD movies to compiling kernels from the source code. That was 2002 to 2003. I don't recall how much RAM I had on it, though.

And this 2005 Mac mini G4 feels very much sluggish and so underpowered. Why? No wonder that Apple abandoned PowerPC in 2006.

I had a PowerBook 550c, which according to Wikipedia, was introduced in May 1994. I vaguely remember buying it when it was just placed on the market. That was 1994? Oh, man! I was happy with first but soon I realized it was good only for editing text documents or something.

After that I quickly moved to so-called PCs and Linux. I remember installing Windows 95, 98, Me and 2000 on my PCs along with Linux (Slackware first and then Debian).

I was living in Germany when Mac mini G4 was introduced on the market but I don't remember anything about what was going on with Mac models. I was happy with Linux and Windows 2000.

I will let you (G4 One) 1 GB of RAM and an SSD, so don't let me down!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [G4 One now running Mac OS X Tiger 10.4]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/08(金) 15:49:56|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Open Firmware and Full HD full color woes

Open Firmware Made Easy

boot /pci@f2000000/usb@1b,1/disk@1:5,\System\Library\CoreServices\BOOTX

The video I watched on YouTube is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZyiMlLZV1Q&t=469s

This helped me and I owe a great deal to its author, ampsource. Thank you very much.

Above is the command I needed. On my Mac mini G4 (2005 original 1.25 GHz), the USB ports are represented as above (usb@1b,1 or so) and the way I partitioned the USB flash memory is reflected on the number "5", which is the partition number where the System lies. Otherwise the command is almost generic to many Macs, I guess.

For example, I imagine for most (many?) PowerPC Macs pci@f2000000 is the top of the tree above USB ports.

Anyway, my G4 One successfully booted off the USB flash memory and the installation began.

Unfortunately, as the monitor (DELL U2122HM) has a native mode of Full HD and my G4 One was using millions of colors with it, as soon as the installation began, the screen was totally illegible and I could not go any further. Bummer!

I think I need a monitor whose native resolution is NOT Full HD. I have my other DELL monitor at work but not here home. I have to start the process again as soon as I get the OTHER monitor whose native resolution is 1600 x 900.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Open Firmware and Full HD full color woes]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/07(木) 23:32:21|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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CMD + OPT + O + F = Welcome to Open Firmware

Open Firmware

I am no expert so please refer to this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Firmware) or its Mac implementation specific information on various sites.

Why am I talking about it? Because I want to make some short cut if I can by booting my G4 One (Mac mini G4 1.25 GHz, the first Mac mini G4 that I acquired) from a USB flash memory instead of booting it from the installation CDs (divided into 4 CDs) or one installation DVD.

By default, a typical Mac tries to boot off from its first drive (usually a HDD or an SSD). You can open a selection screen by press-holding "OPTION" key while the machine is booting up. You can also specify the media by press-holding other keys like "C" for its optical drive (C originally stood for CD-Drive?).

Or you can specify the start-up disk from System Preferences - Start Up Disk. It works if the drive is recognized at the start up and there is a bootable image present.

When it comes to booting off a USB flash drive, it is a bit complicated.

My G4 One did not boot from the USB flash memory that I made from a Tiger installation image. It (the disk and installation DVD image) is there but G4 One won't boot from there.

I have to force my G4 One to read the specific file at a specific location (directory tree and etc.) on the specific USB flash memory.

This is where OF comes in. I had to search Apple's OF implementation info on (mostly) YouTube and elsewhere. Now I have gathered information that I hope will suffice.

I will try it.

The process is:
1. Early at the boot stage (after the start up chord), press-hold "CMD + OPT + O + F" and wait
2. At the command prompt, I attempt to get list of devices attached to G4 One (and look for the USB flash memory)
3. Get the correct path to the "G4 One" - "which USB port" - "System/Library/CoreServices/BOOTX"
4. Let it boot off from there.

A couple of YouTube video helped me to come to this working theory. I also read some files on other sites.

It should work.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [CMD + OPT + O + F = Welcome to Open Firmware ]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/07(木) 16:56:17|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Tiger (10.4) or Leopard (10.5) on Mac mini G4

Tiger (10.4) or Leopard (10.5) on Mac mini G4

My current project is to make my Mac mini G4 (1.25 GHz) with 256 MB usable. My definition of "usable" here is along the line that I can compose and edit some text (mostly this blog entries) comfortably in TextEdit while checking something on the Internet (as I have to browse some sites like everymac.com to check the specs of some old Mac machines while writing about my Macs) and listening to some music (playing back some MP3 files on the hard disk drive) or playing back some movie files (mp4 or mpeg) or playing back movies from its optical drive (DVD).

TenFOURFox is a bless for someone like me who lives old or archaic personal computers and actively use them.


I am (have been since end of January 2019) patiently waiting for the arrival of the 1 GB memory modules (two of them just in case I got more than one Mac mini G4 machines) from China (on board a slow boat from China). My patience was on the verge of collapse when I found out that fiddling with my 256 MB equipped Mac mini G4 made me so frustrated.

I won an auction and a Mac mini G4 (1.42 GHz) equipped with 1 GB memory will arrive within 10 to 2 weeks from the UK (on board a rapid boat or truck coming through the tunnel). It was listed as "for parts or repair" as the seller did not have the power adapter and could not turn it on. It could be broken. I hope I can save some parts from it if it does not boot. If this is the case, I would be ecstatic if I could save the daughter board (Mezzanine board) and AirPort card (and the memory module).

As soon as it arrives (around St. Valentine's Day, haha), I will take the memory module out and install it inside the Mac mini G4 (1.25 GHz). From this moment and forward my first G4 Mac mini shall be called G4 One and this incoming G4 Mac mini shall be (if it boots) called G4 Two.

2005 Mac mini G4 has three versions (revisions). The original models, slightly revised ones and modified ones. This middle version models obviously came with more (beefed up) RAM. I have been watching many Mac mini G4s on ebay and some sellers posted photos of the thin strip on the back of the machine. There you can find a line of text like '1.42 GHz/512 MB/80 GB/Combo/AP/BT' it shows what it has inside (factory spec) like the CPU speed, Memory, HDD, Optical Drive, AirPort card, Bluetooth card. In many (all?) UK versions have 'GBR' attached to it (maybe) signifying that it was packed with the UK style (as opposed to continental style except Switzerland) wall outlet plug cord.

Apple was forced to release this intermediate upgrade (more RAM) because the user experience with 256 MB was so terrible, I suspect even with very lean Panther.

256 MB won't cut it. 512 MB will be bare minimum. 1 GB (maximum) will be desirable (may not be enough, though).

Anyway, I want to install Tiger (10.4) on my G4 One and see if it is usable for my standard. I hope so. If it is usable, I will later see how Leopard (10.5, newer and the last version) will do on it. I will use a separate HDD for this so that I can come back to Tiger when Leopard disappoints me.

Yesterday, I ordered (among others) an mSATA SSD and mSATA to IDE adapter. If I am happy with how it performs on Tiger or Leopard, I shall spoil G4 One with this treat. An SSD will give G4 One a boost in its responsiveness.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Tiger (10.4) or Leopard (10.5) on Mac mini G4]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/05(火) 17:37:22|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Mac mini G4 .. continues

It is another cold day in Luxembourg

Today it is not so cold but the temperature around noon is 3 degrees Celsius and the it is partly clouded.

The snow that fell and accumulated last week has been mostly disappeared after a couple of rainy days.

Mac mini G4 1.25 GHz

I can not connect it to the Internet. The video distortion issue is kept at bay (not fixed and left just as it is) by not using the combination of Full HD (1920 x 1080) and color depth of "million".

I don't have anything to do until the memory modules arrive or any other parts for it arrive. So I let it rest for a while. I have a Mac OS X Leopard Installation DVD that came with Mac mini 2009 (Intel CPU) so I can use it on this Mac mini G4 (PowerPC). For this I need more RAM. With only 256 MB, Mac mini G4 is barely usable. It stumbles when playing back a simple mp3 file. It stops for a second every few seconds. This is not normal. Maybe it has something wrong with the system installation (10.3.7 Panther).

I am waiting for the 1 GB memory modules from China and they are supposed to arrive at the end of this month or early March. I have also written that I had regretted a bit that I chose the price over delivery waiting time. I could have paid €10 more to get them earlier.

Anyway, I need something to have this Mad mini G4 get connected to the Internet. For this I am waiting for two of Apple AirPort Express (2nd generation) to arrive. Why 2? Just because they were sold in pair on ebay and I won the auction. With this (and a LAN cable = Ethernet cable) I can get it hooked.

I have to buy at least an Ethernet cable. When I buy it I will buy other stuff, too. Here in Luxembourg, where Amazon Europe has some a big office (for tax purposes?) but no Amazon Luxembourg so I shop on Amazon Germany. Buying over €29 makes small items free of shipping charges. A simple Ethernet cable won't suffice.

I will not buy memory modules for Mac mini G4 as I have a 1 GB module arriving soon. I bought one on ebay and the seller was located in the UK. I purchased (auction) some spare parts for Mac mini G4. This purchase include aforementioned 1 GB memory module, AP/BT cards with required daughter board (mezzanine board) and also the antennae for respective cards, an 80 GB IDE/PATA drive, an optical drive and etc. For some reasons and mere coincidence, I did not get the power adapter (85 W) with it. I only have three 110 W power adapters for Intel Mac minis but they are proven to work with PowerPC Mac minis.

There was a catch, of course. All the parts I got were listed as "for parts or repair", hence no guaranty to function.

I am just crossing my fingers that some still work. I suspect everything works.

This mezzanine board seems to be very rare and scarce on the market. I could not source it. All sites (PowerBookMedic, TheBookYard and some) I looked into listed them as unavailable.

My latest ebay purchase cost me €32 plus shipping (€15?) so it was not a cheap buy but as you may know parts for old computers are getting harder and harder to procure. When you see them available, you have to get them while they are available on the market or you may never see them again. This is the rule.

In French (language) second-hand/used stuff is called "occasion". First it struck me as strange because occasion is spelt same way in English but in English it has different meanings. Soon it dawned on me that it made a perfect sense.

A new product is available and if it is out of stock, you just order it and it shall be yours. On the other hand, a used item is only available while it is available. Once it is gone, it is gone. So getting a used item relies on the chance and this kind of chance encounter is called occasion even in English, right?

By the way a French word for rental as in car rental is location just like English word but pronounced slightly differently of course. Why location (position in English) has anything to do with renting? Can you theorize?

So I bought a Mac mini G4 1.42 GHz with AP/BT/80GB and the memory is maxed out to 1 GB (originally 512 MB) with no power adapter. It may not boot or it may. If it does not, I will scavenge for its pars inside.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mac mini G4 .. continues]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/04(月) 14:31:50|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Mac mini G4 No Video issue (inconclusive conclusion)

Million is much more than thousand

256 colors means 8-bit colors. 2 to the power of 8 is 256. 2² x 2² x 2² x 2² = 256. You can change the color depth of your Mac system via System Preferences - Displays.

So last night I booted my Mac mini G4 up and it booted well. The screen resolution was, as I set it the previous night, set to 1360 x 768 and the color profile was millions. I used it for a while and also played some old MPEG files but nothing happened. No matter how I tried, the CPU was very idle but the movies paused for a second or so every few seconds. I figured that it had to do with the lack of physical RAM memory (256 MB) and the use of virtual memory (over 2 GB).

This sluggishness did not stem from the CPU's power (or lack of it) but, I suspect, could have come from too frequent access to the slow IDE/PATA drive. To see if I am right, I have to wait for the memory modules.

Anyway, back to the original storyline. Still the screen was clear without any noises or distortion.

It dawned on me then that I could set the resolution back to Full HD (1920 x 1080) but lower the color depth by one notch to see what would happen.

So I did. Nothing happened. I kept playing movies (not really moving, though) but nothing happened, I mean, no screen noises or distortion.

Could this be the solution (or should I say resolution)? Simply a Full HD resolution at millions of colors was too much for my Mac mini's graphic chip to handle?

No millions of colors but only thousands? No problem! I can live with that.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[Mac mini G4 No Video issue (inconclusive conclusion)]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/03(日) 16:54:53|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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The "Mac mini g4 No Video" issue on various (mainly forum) sites

"Mac mini G4 No video" issue

When I encounter this problem, I searched for a clue or clues on the Internet. On my Google Nexus 5X, there is a text input place for searching something on Google.

Google's knowledge has expanded so much that one day I believe a search engine (or search engines) will take over the world. It could one day manage to threaten the world powers (governments, any organizations with a lot of money and military powers) by telling them that the knowledgeable computer conglomerate is aware of their weakness and is ready to deprive them of their resources. By now almost everything (transaction of money, information and others) is done by computers or networks of computers. Anyone who has the control over these computers and networks will rule. And this who is may be the AI when the AI has its own consciousness, who know what happens.

Right after I shut my Mac mini G4 down after this (first screen noises and then) screen blackout problem the first night I got it, while lying on my back I typed, "Mac mini G4 video" and immediately or even while I was typing in, Google suggested that I should Google "Mac mini g4 No Video". I did and this action led to some forum sites where this issue had been (2010 to 2015, or even in 2018) addressed. Obviously this was a very wide spread issue that many people got inflicted.

I made some screen shots of these forum site discussions. Some descriptions virtually could have come from my own mouth.

Anyway, one of the remedies there is is that zapping the PRAM (NVRAM or whatever it is called). This worked wonderfully for the first time but not for a long time. The same symptom began to kick in after a while. I would say it was like after 20 minutes of use. And I was surprised to read my impression was echoed by someone in one of the forum sites.

One of the comments that got me curious was that the video card on 1.25 GHz Mac mini G4 was not powerful enough to drive the monitor. Don't they (1.25 or 1.42 GHz, those first generation Mac minis) have the exact video chip inside?

And then I wondered overclocking the CPU to 1.5 GHz would have any impact on the issue. As I plan to overclock mine later.

Back to my plight. The next day I powered up the beast (just kidding) and saw how it would go. After a while (like 20 minutes) the weird screen noise began to pester me and as short while later the screen blacked out. I tried the sacred PRAM reset but this time it did not do anything at all. I tried several times to no avail. I wondered if this has anything to do with heat building up inside the body (and the video chip).

So I went to bed and the first thing I did was to reset the PRAM while booting it. It booted normally to the desktop. I wondered if I had not reset the PRAM and let it boot, had the problem gone?

I hurriedly opened the System Preferences and set the screen resolution to 1360 x 768. It seemed OK and I wanted to see if the screen stays clear like that after a while but I had to go to work. I will try it later.

Later this day
I booted my Mac mini G4 (1360 x 768 / "million" colors) and waited for a while and also played some old MPEG files. Activity Monitor suggested that the CPU was very much doing almost nothing but the movie file played sluggishly with annoying pauses every few seconds. The CPU was idle but as the installed memory was only 256 MB, the virtual memory used was over 2 GB. This was the cause. Just too little amount of RAM.

Later I played a simple MP3 music file and it also paused every few seconds. Hopeless! I needed more RAM! According to Apple's spec (system requirement) 256 MB is enough for Panther or Tiger but this Mac mini is not going anywhere! It needs a clean fresh install of Tiger or something.

I am waiting for the 2 of 1 GB memory modules. I can only use one of them inside this Mac mini but I just ordered two of them. They come from China and the arrival is expected at the end of February or even sometime in March. I could have ordered the same from Amazon Germany and could have gotten them in one week after the purchase. They were a bit expensive on Amazon Germany and now I regret ordering it on ebay a bit.

The system is 10.3.7, which is, according to the spec sheet, very the original version that came installed on it. I wonder if the previous (including the original owner) owner/owners has/have ever tried to update it. According to "Mactracker" (an excellent program that every Mac owner should have) Mac OS X 10.3 went up to 10.3.9 by mid-April 2005.

Has the any of the owners ever connected it to the Internet? Who is Menno (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menno)? I can log in without using a password but I don't know the password of the admin (Menno).


According to this site (http://sowerbutts.com/linux-mac-mini/), the CPUs (1.42 GHz/1.25 GHz) of Mac mini 2005 (original generation) consume 21 W or 18.3 W respectively. If I overclock mine (1.25 GHz) to 1.5 GHz, the CPU consumes approximately 24 W. Would it create heat problem?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The "Mac mini g4 No Video" issue on various (mainly forum) sites]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/03(日) 15:15:23|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Mac mini G4 gor awry? Already?

Good Mac mini G4 gone bad?

I was just testing and fooling around with my new acquisition (Mac mini G4) for a short while when I ran into a problem.

I just wanted (as it was not connected to the Internet) to put some serious load to the CPU and see how it handles the load. I connected a USB external HDD and tried to play some movie files but its native QuickTime Player or DVD Player refused to play them back. Newer codecs were not recognized by these old software programs, I guessed. OK, I will install old VLC and see.

I was running Activity Monitor and one of those Players when the image on the screen began to flicker and get distorted. It got worse and the screen went blackout for a short while before resuming again. These routines began to occur more and more frequently before the screen went to a complete blackout.

"Broken?" "Have I fried the mainboard?" "Did the 110 W power adapter from Intel Mac minis do some harm?" "Is it heat-related thing?" "Or simply the loose connection between the cable and the ports?"

I knew I could use this 110 W adapter for my Mac mini G4.

(Click to magnify: I found this on some site - macrumors.com? - Intel Mac minis are power hungrier than PowerPC Mac minis, obviously)

I even swapped the monitors. First I used Medion MD 20144 with a DVI to HDMI cable and then I switched to DELL U2212HM with a DVI to DVI cable. It was not a loose connection issue.

I was a bit horrified as I thought that I could have fried it for some unknown reasons. I just used it for, say, 20 minutes.

I shut it down by press-holding the power button (as I could not see the desktop, I had no other options) and restarted it. The Mac mini starts (with that loud boot sound) but the screen stays black but for some moments the screen lit up and distorted desktop appeared. It was not totally broken but something went wrong, I assumed.

I tried to reset the PRAM but I was not sure of the key combination so I went to bed. While lying on my back, I used my phone to search on the Google. I typed "Mac mini G4 video" and Google suggested "Mac mini G4 No Video" so I went along with it.

It led to some sites (mostly ancient discussions in some forums) and people were asking for help for their predicament (just like mine). There were answers but the gist was just "reset the PRAM".

So the next morning I did so and the problem went away. A great relief.

Now I am waiting for the 1 GB memory modules from China. They will be here before March, I hope. I will max out the memory capacity of it and start modding it.

In the meanwhile, I will install the Panther version of VLC and put as much heat as possible on it.

I have to download some of them (PowerPC versions) to test my Mac mini G4. [Mac mini G4 gor awry? Already?]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/02/01(金) 15:54:26|
  2. Bike Races
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