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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Thursday, 1 March 2007

mac mini memory mistake - bean there, done it..

I'm still not too old to learn important lessons. Or perhaps to relearn them. The most recent was, after a long day at work, when I arrived home after the recent arrival of a much-needed memory upgrade for the Mac Mini.

Compare, for example, the time it took to put another 512MB in Christopher and Lenni's PC (less than thirty seconds), with the two hours of struggling with the Mac, before which I finally gave up and went to bed, disppointed and frustrated at my folly.

To cut a long story short, once I'd prised the lid off with a putty knife(!) and proceeded with the dismantlement of the various tightly-packed layers, one of the instructions said that I should remove a jumper cable, ending in a plug that connects to the motherboard. It was rather stiff, so I gave it a bit of a tug and successfully managed to misjudge it, and pulled the whole socket away. I could have kicked myself.

Once I'd given up attempting to reconnect it (the solder pads were completely obliterated, so my endeavours were futile), I completed the upgrade - with extra care! - and tested the system. Everything started up in record time, and it performed faultlessly - save for the constant whooshing of the system fan, which was running at full tilt.

I quickly reached a conclusion as to the reason for this, confirmed by this article - www.macworld.com/weblogs/.../index.php.

mac apps.
To counter this behaviour, I scoured the internet for applications that would regulate the fan speed, but only found some that could set the minimum rate (for those folks who like to overclock and supercharge their macs, or are concerned that it's getting too hot). iCyclone is an excellent piece of software, since it displays the fan speed and system temperature graphically, too. Still, disappointed by my now swift yet antisocial Mac Mini, I went to bed with intentions of moving it downstairs near the studio PC.

Fortunately, shortly after I arrived at work the next day with this on my mind, I found just what I needed here -
episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/.../909001931831 - a collection of scripts that could be used to set the SMC to run the fan at a fixed speed. Coupled with iCyclone, I'm happy enough to regulate the fan speed myself!

Here ends a cautionary tale... I'm definitely going to have to give up the late night computer fiddling!

gardening.
On a brighter note, though, my miniature crocuses (they're not winter pansies.. where on *earth* did I get that idea?) have started to flower, co-inciding with the beginning of March. They look lovely - one I've completed this four day run, I shall upload a photo.

Christopher has brought home from school a single bean. The class's current topic is 'growth' - something to do with the onset of spring, I would imagine. A happy co-incidence is that the latest Alternative Kitchen Gardener podcast covers sprouting, so I've listened to that again, and discovered a little propagator downstairs. Having given it an overnight soak, he's at the waiting and rinsing twice a day stage. Apparently, there'll be a prize for the tallest and shortest sprout at the end of March!

tunes.
One of my work colleagues was playing a wonderfully chilled-out version of Coldplay's God Put a Smile Upon Your Face () earlier this week, and, on asking, I discovered that it was by Mark Ronson. http://www.markronson.co.uk An ex-pat Brit, he had a hit in 2003 with Ooh wee () and has subsequently made some wonderful funky jazz versions of Toxic () by Britney Spears and Radiohead's Just ().

Videos of the day.

Posted by james at March 1, 2007 10:05 PM


 
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