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Digg dugg

Welcome, visitors from digg and Macsimum News.

Here are the entries you are probably looking for:
Coolant leak
Coolant leak II

Also, some clarifications:
The dualcore G5s that have been shipping since fall 2005 use a greatly improved, sealed liquid cooling system.

It was a foolish oversight for us to purchase $2500 computers and not buy AppleCare for a couple hundred dollars more.

Apple has provided my employers (and me personally) with exceptional customer service and support as far back as I can remember.

BTW, I call shenanigans on anyone who calls shenanigans. The photos are not Photoshopped and they are not staged with Nickelodeon slime. :-)

Boot Camp HD icon


I installed Windows XP via Apple’s Boot Camp software the day after I got my MacBook. It is amazing to be able to switch between the two on the same machine by merely rebooting. Virtualization with something like Parallels might be more convenient, but for now, Boot Camp works well enough for the few times I need to access that other OS.

I was bored, and I also brought work home that I didn’t want to do, so I took the time to make hard drive icons for my Mac OS volume and my Boot Camp volume. I wanted something subtle and grayscale that used a modified version of the default OS X hard drive icon, the quicksilver Apple logo, and the Boot Camp logo.


The icons are in a dot zip archive and are in OS X icon format. Using the Apple HD icon is just a simple cut and paste into a Get Info dialog. Because the Mac OS can’t write to NTFS volumes, changing the Boot Camp HD icon is a wee bit more complicated.

Apple and Boot Camp HD icons.

Little black ’Book II

My new little MacBook is so vain that it was already in front of the bathroom mirror taking pictures of itself, using its built-in camera. It has only been outside of its shipping box for just over 12 hours.

MacBook self-portrait.jpg

The other crazy thing it did today at work was download that program MacSaber, so every time I picked it up or moved it around, its sudden motion sensor made humming and crashing noises like a Star Wars lightsaber.

Silly MacBook.

Coolant leak II

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I was looking back over my archives, and I realized that I had never blogged about our second PowerMac G5 coolant leak. Coolant leak number one was back in January. This one happened last month.

This time, the globs of glowing green goo got into the power supply and shorted it out. One of my co-workers described a bright flash and a loud buzzing crackle. Light-colored smoke poured out of the machine, and sizzling coolant dripped onto the aluminum handle. The “cheese grater” back grill had scorch marks.

second G5 coolant leak

I should, of course, provide two clarifications. Apple’s first-generation liquid cooling systems (mid-to-late 2004) were reportedly problematic. These problems were supposed to have been corrected in later generations (I really hope so).

Also, with both incidents, Apple was extremely cooperative and provided swift resolution by paying for the parts and labor required to restore our G5s back to working condition. We did not lose any data on either machine.

Still though, I guess I’m old school, but I really don’t think that computers should bleed, or wet themselves, or whatever.

Little black ’Book


Brand new MacBook on order. In matte black, of course.


I will be counting down the days until it ships, then counting down the days until it arrives.


Two posts in two days? That hasn’t happened here in awhile.

Today’s entry is Mac-centric, but amusing in a general “What the Hell were they thinking” sense. A few other sites have written about this, but it bit me on the ass again today, so I figured I’d mention it here.

Mac OS 10.4 Tiger introduced a convenient Dictionary and Thesaurus app that becomes really useful when you set its preference to “Open Dictionary panel,” rather than the default “Open Dictionary application.” You hover over a word, press the keyboard combo, and an inline definition panel pops up.

The default keyboard combination is:


This keyboard combo is dangerously similar to the keyboard combo for sending an e-mail in Mail:


It can be a little embarrassing to think that you are verifying a word’s definition, hit the wrong combo, and prematurely send an unfinished, unedited e-mail off to its intended recipient. Luckily, I never hit those keys during one of those times I started a message, temporarily turned off my self-censorship filter, then thought twice about what I had written.

screenshot from Mail dot app

So, anyway, I immediately went into the Keyboard preference pane and changed the Dictionary panel to launch with the more innocuous F7 key.

Coolant leak

For the past couple of years, Apple has been using a liquid cooling system in many of their dual processor PowerMac G5s (the ones that look like giant cheese graters).

I suppose that’s all well and good, as it avoids the need for large cooling fans that sound like jet engines…just as long as they don’t leak.

PowerMac G5 coolant leak


Yes, those puddles of glowing ooze were formed from coolant dripping out of one of our PowerMacs at work.

The poor little guy is just about fourteen months old, and just two months out of warranty. For some reason, we neglected to get the three-year extended warranty (we won’t that make that mistake again).

Hopefully, though, Apple will make an exception, as this is a bit above and beyond any normal computer failure.

Update: Apple agreed to cover the cost of repairs because the unit was less than 90 days outside of warranty.


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As of this morning, I’m now an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist (ACHDS). Even though I have been using Mac OS X since the pubic beta, and the test was just 72 multiple choice questions, it was surprisingly difficult.

I hate multiple choice tests that ask “pick the two (or three) best choices” to answer the question. Of course, I hate driving through New Brunswick even more (the closest testing center was in nearby Somerset).

After seven more days of classes throughout September and October (this time they’ll be about OS X Server), and yet another test, I will be an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC), which is just one step away from Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA). Woo hoo.

Not sure how useful these acronyms will be on my résumé. It’s not like it will mean more money in my pocket. (I do work in academia, after all.) Still, the classes are quite fun—for example, for our last class on OS X client, we left the room, and the instructor, Schoun Regan, “broke” the laptops we were using. Then we had to come back in and then diagnose and fix the problems so that it was possible to accomplish a simple task.

Daily Tao

I’ve gone a little crazy with the OS X Dashboard widgets lately. One of the more useless, but fun, widgets I recently installed displays a new chapter of the Tao Te Ching each day (from I really liked today’s…

When taxes are too high,
people go hungry.
When the government is too intrusive,
people lose their spirit.
Act for the people’s benefit.
Trust them; leave them alone.

My Mac mini is happy now

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I finally broke down and ordered a one-gigabyte RAM module for my Mac mini. Half a gig may have been fine for running Panther, but under Tiger, especially with a few Dashboard widgets in the background, by poor little baby coughed and wheezed, trying to keep up.

Popping off the case to get at the innards was probably more bothersome than it should have been, and since the Mac mini only has one slot, I now have a 512 MB module that I might be able to get $30 for on eBay.

A few months ago I blogged about how to open up the Mac mini with a putty knife. However, when presented with the reality of shoving sharp metal up inside my shiny baby’s backside, I balked. A Google search revealed a removal method that used strands of network cable; I tried this method and failed (my guess is because I used RJ-11 instead of RJ-45 cable).

Therefore, it was back to the putty knife method. Apple recommends that one uses a 38 mm putty knife. I only had access to a 50 mm one. This one seemed to do the trick, though, albeit with a little fingernail prying.

So, is my lilliputian Mac any zippier with the memory boost? Damn straight it is. Ever since I installed Tiger, switching between open applications was downright lethargic, and surfing with Safari was excruciatingly sluggish. Now the little guy is faster than he ever was.

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