My thoughts on 2012 iMac

iMac GenerationsFor many years the iMac has defined the desktop Macintosh for many years.

With the release of the latest iMac, there are several key changes that change the iMac forever.

Firstly, the glass and LCD screen is now glued onto the alumiumium chassis.  Which effectively renders the iMac non-serviceable and non-upgradable.  In my experience as a Macintosh technician, the largest failure point of the iMac is the hard disk drive.  The most often upgraded part is the memory.

Secondly, the hard drive in the 21.5″ model has been changed from 7200rpm to 5400rpm drives.  There is not SSD option, save for a fusion drive option.

The design philosophy of the new iMac is the same as for the iPhone and iPad, pick which configuration that you want at the beginning of the products’ life and it will stay that way until the end of product life, no upgrade is possible.

Having said all of this, I do like the the design of the new 2012 iMacs and will be buying one for myself, however, I will be bypassing the internal drive and booting off an external thunderbolt drive instead, that way when the drive does fail, I can extract my data without permanently and irrevocably dismantling my iMac.

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Becoming an Apple Certified Professional

apple-certified-2Having recently acquired my Apple Certification for Lion 10.7, it’s time to reflect on the process of gaining Apple certification in OS X, details can be found here:

Level 1 – Apple Certified Associate (ACA)
Level 2 – Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
Level 3 – Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC)

For those that are really keen, you can join the Apple Consultants Network (ACN).

There are books written by Peachpit that can help you on your way to becoming certified.

However, there is more to being a Apple Professional than certificates and knowledge, there is experience and passion, of which you cannot learn in a book.  There is nothing that teaches better than practical experience.  Your passion for Apple products will sustain through difficult times that you will encounter.

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CompactFlash based SCSI SSD for Macintosh revisted

After success with creating an CF based SCSI SSD for my Macintosh SE/30 and wanting to making removable, I decided to revisit the project, seeing if I could improve it.

The memory card I selected for version 2 after much thought and deliberation was another CompactFlash card from Transcend, this time a 2Gb Transcend Industrial CF200I CF. This card uses SLC and has a maximum speed of 45Mb/s.

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Being analogue in a digital world

We live in a digital world, many everyday items that were once analogue and now digital:

Television, Mobile Phones, Radio, Clocks, Photography, recorded music and video.

Our world is being dominated by digital technology.  My work is with digital technology.  Yet I love analogue technology.

I wear an analogue watch.

I drive a car with an analogue speedometer.

I love the sound from an analogue amplifier.

I love the printed word (ironic that this blog is not printed).

Digital items have their advantages, but there is a warmth, something tangible that comes with analogue.

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An example of good service from AppleCare

The last thing you need as a IT professional for for your own machine to breakdown.

This was the frustration that I experienced for the past 6 weeks.

My 2010 15″ MacBook Pro experienced issues with the sudden black screen.  You can read more about it here.  I had no issues when the MBP was running Snow Leopard, but when I upgraded to Lion, the screen would suddenly go black when switching to the NVidia discrete graphics.

I called AppleCare and they said they would replace it under a warranty extension (even though the machine was out of warranty with no AppleCare).

After the first logic board change, the problem persisted.

After the second logic board change, the problem persisted.

At the third repair, they changed the display.  Only problem was they change my HD resolution screen to a Standard definition screen.

I called AppleCare to voice my frustration and to my delight they agreed to replace my 2010 MacBook Pro with a 2012 MacBook Pro.

I arrived on Friday.

Great job Apple!

Update: Apparently I’m not the only one experiencing graphics card issues with the 2010 Macbook Pro.  Read a similar story here.

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Apple’s 34 Years of Design History

Check out this beautifully presented video representing Apple’s 34 Years of Design History:

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The beginning of a new career

Up until today, my interest in computing and technology has been a hobby a side interest.

We all spend 40+ hours do our job, and it is a great shame that if that work is “boring” but “pays well”.  I’d much rather take a job that is satisfying with less pay than a job that pays more but is less satisfying.  Money is a terrible taskmaster, much better an enjoyable job.

Today I will be starting a career as a Macintosh Technician.  Sure, it pays less than my previous role as an engineer, but it is a dream job for me in many ways, I get to work with products from my favourite company and interact with other fellow Mac users.

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