Long lines today at the grocery store (but thankful they were open)Originally published by DK on May 31, 2020 at 12:30 am
Support your local venuesOriginally published by DK on May 22, 2020 at 6:48 pm
After several months of frustration with managing my (admittedly) large collection of music and photos on our three-year-old iMac, I decided it was time to either look at a new machine or try to rebuild and optimize the current one. Since the new options I liked were all in the $3,000 or more category, I decided to research cheaper options with Mr. Jackpot, our 2017 21.5-inch Retina 4K model (iMac 18.2).
The 3GHz quad-core i5 processor should still be OK for a few more years and I really like the quality of the screen. I’ve been running just the standard 8GB of RAM, though, which seems meager now. For storage, I originally picked the 256GB SSD option internally, with two external 2TB drives connected via standard USB ports. My gut feeling was that this was now a major performance bottleneck, since the operating system was the only thing on the fast SSD and the photo library and music files were on the slower spinning disc drives with no Thunderbolt interfaces.
I’ve been a customer and fan of Other World Computing in Illinois for most of my IT career. I looked at the upgrade options for this model on their site and reviewed the excellent installation videos several times before deciding to place an order. My goal was to upgrade the RAM from 8GB to 32GB, replace the small internal SSD with their 2TB OWC Aura Pro X2 product, then find a suitable Thunderbolt 3 external SSD option. After consulting with my friend Terry, I opted for a non-OWC option, ordering the 2TB Samsung T5 Portable SSD from Amazon (which, of course, was just made obsolete a few days ago with a T7 version).
OWC rated these installs “skill level: advanced” and I was a little nervous. They provided all of the needed tools and parts, but it was still a challenging installation. Last Sunday was rainy anyways, so the timing for this project was spot on. It ended up taking most of the afternoon, with only one initial issue. The Torx screwdrivers OWC provides don’t have very big handles, so I needed to improvise the T8 by attaching a wrench for more torque to loosen the screws on the power unit (which also had some tricky cable connections). Once everything was apart, popping in the RAM and the SSD chips was easy. I reversed the process to close it back up, then started a clean install of macOS Mojave.
Mojave doesn’t have the greatest reputation right now. Personally, I haven’t had a lot of direct issues with it, but I’ve been carrying along a lot of cruft over the years by doing upgrades and not clean installs. I figured a lot of the issues I’ve had with photos and music are probably related to this, so I wanted to make backups of everything (in multiple places), create a clean install of the operating system, load the latest versions of my applications, then copy over personal files. Time Machine was used for backup number one, Carbon Copy Cloner was used for backup number two (and to create a bootable external drive) and Backblaze was used for backup number three.
Finding license codes for my purchased software took a bit of time. Some companies do a great job of helping with this (thanks, Panic), while others sent me emails after purchase that I archive. It’s interesting how many apps are now subscription services – you just need to remember your credentials to log in, download and activate those products (which now include all of the Office 365 apps, Photoshop Creative Cloud and services like Backblaze). The App Store for Mac remembers your purchases made via that sales channel, so those were easy. Had to use my Cisco login to get access to the AnyConnect VPN client, but otherwise I was able to get everything back in an hour or so. I did end up upgrading 1Password to the latest version, which is also now subscription based.
One area that I need to spend more time on is iCloud. So many things are now tied my AppleID, but it seems like the process is cleaner on iOS than it is on the Mac. I’ve used iCloud for contacts and calendars since it was introduced, but only recently upgraded to the 2TB storage tier for iPhone backups and iCloud Drive usage. I apparently also used my Google Apps account for synching some contacts and calendars, so I need to get that sorted out (and all moved under iCloud). Throw in Facebook and Office 365 integration and my Contacts app is a disaster right now. I do really like how iCloud Drive works, so I will likely move most of my non-media files to that. Also a big fan of using iCloud with the Notes app – super easy to share across devices and basically replaces Stickies for me.
As I progressed with the customization of the new SSDs, I wasn’t very happy with performance. I couldn’t figure out what the issue was, so I turned on the screen saver and went for a walk. When I got back, the machine locked up on me and I had to do a hard power reset to get it to reboot. I noticed the middle of the screen was really hot, so I went back to the install videos and realized I might’ve missed plugging the fan back in. I downloaded the free version of Macs Fan Control and sure enough, the fan was not spinning (and all the temp indicators were high). Guessing the heat was throttling the CPU performance, so it was back to the screen removal tool to pop back inside and reconnect the cable. Thankfully, I was able to reach it without having to take everything apart again. It’s been blazing fast (and cool) ever since and now I’m a very happy camper.
There is still a lot of work ahead of me, but everything is humming along. I’ve started to rebuild the music library using Music, with the files stored on the external Samsung. So far I’ve just downloaded past purchases and ripped a couple of new CDs, but my old library will get added next. I turned off all of the Apple Music and online syncing stuff and performance seems to be fine. I’m hoping Photos running on the internal SSD will also work better, but I haven’t started that yet. Also hoping I don’t need to reset my iPhone to factory default to get photo sync to work correctly in the Finder, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Isn’t technology grand?Originally published by DK on May 20, 2020 at 11:02 pm
Breakfast of ChampionsOriginally published by DK on May 18, 2020 at 4:53 pm
In honor of Mother’s Day 2020, I thought I would finally start the “Hummel Project.” As part of the sale of the house on Lombard, I bubble-wrapped most of mom’s Hummel figurines and filled several bins that now take up half of my dining room. I’m not sure what to do with them – the market for Hummels was bad even before the current situation. My goal is to take photos of each one, then try to find them new homes.
If you see any you’d like (or know of a place that might be interested in them), please drop me a note. Photo gallery of the first bin after the jump.
http://first-avenue.com/buy/catalog/product/first-avenue-calendar-puzzleOriginally published by DK on May 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm
MK and her purple hooptieOriginally published by DK on April 24, 2020 at 4:25 pm
Hit the boutique (safely)Originally published by DK on April 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm
Richie Rich was my Leng’s Fountain go-to buyOriginally published by DK on April 5, 2020 at 4:03 pm
We were almost out tooOriginally published by DK on April 4, 2020 at 12:15 pm
My policy on home drinking is being revisedOriginally published by DK on March 25, 2020 at 12:22 pm
Eating way too much of it, thoughOriginally published by DK on March 23, 2020 at 8:09 pm
Forgot about that companyOriginally published by DK on March 23, 2020 at 8:05 pm
The ongoing saga of my double vision has now lead to a semi-permanent solution. I had always been the one person in my family without glasses, but one of the lasting side effects of my brain aneurysm has been diplopia at farther distances. Thanks to the treatment plans of Dr. Amy Chang and therapist Courtney Mitchell at Hennepin Heathcare, I can now read screens at most distances and watch TV without glasses. Even at farther distances, I can usually find an angle to hold my head to remove any doubling up (although Dr. Chang says that I’m cheating when I do that).
At the end of January, we decided that I’d stop using the 3M Prism inserts in the pair of non-prescription lenses I had purchased from Amazon. We started at a +30 strength in the beginning and dropped all the way down to +8 with the temporary inserts. Dr. Chang wrote a prescription for a permanent pair of glasses that included a +6 Prism for the top half of the lens and some magnification on the bottom half to assist with reading small letters close up (i.e. – cheaters). I’ve had 20/20 vision for most of my life, but age has caught up to me and some things just don’t work the same as they did before (regardless of the aneurysm side effects).
On the advice of a friend, I took the prescription to Warby Parker in the Galleria. Since I’ve never done this before, I wasn’t sure what my insurance would cover, but they had people in the store that seemed knowledgable about my situation and helped me pick out frames and make adjustments for this particular prescription. I paid for everything and was told the glasses would be ready for pick-up and fitting in 7-10 days. After two weeks of not hearing anything, I looked up my order on their website, which had a “please call us about your order” message displayed. No phone calls or emails during this time – WTH? The person I talked to when I called was very nice, but told me that their lab couldn’t produce my prescription, saying the prism strength couldn’t be higher than +5 and that they would just cancel the order. Ugh.
So in the end, I just went to Target Optical in West Saint Paul, which fitted me in a nice pair of Ray-Bans that they shipped in under a week for around $300. It took me a little while to get used to the progressive aspect of my prescription, but once I figured that out, they work really well. I do still prefer to not wear glasses when I can (like right now while I type on the iMac), but it’s nice to have them for driving and for reading the small type on menus in low-light situations. It will be interesting to see how they work for golf and biking later this spring…Originally published by DK on March 14, 2020 at 7:10 pm
The toffee is good tooOriginally published by DK on January 17, 2020 at 9:08 pm
Pop > SodaOriginally published by DK on January 15, 2020 at 10:49 pm
Only five days to go…Originally published by DK on January 9, 2020 at 9:02 pm
It will last a lifetimeOriginally published by DK on January 2, 2020 at 9:26 am
Lived here most of my life and had never seen this alley beforeOriginally published by DK on December 24, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Uncle Greg would be proudOriginally published by DK on December 2, 2019 at 6:37 pm
Happy iPhone Upgrade Day for kid oneOriginally published by DK on November 30, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Only one on the islandOriginally published by DK on October 26, 2019 at 10:19 pm
Computers are so last yearOriginally published by DK on October 24, 2019 at 12:38 pm
The Milaca MegaMallOriginally published by DK on October 19, 2019 at 12:12 pm
L.A. is lucky to get youOriginally published by DK on October 11, 2019 at 1:11 pm
At least I get 2% back now…Originally published by DK on August 20, 2019 at 9:51 pm
So much CHS Field time this weekOriginally published by DK on July 23, 2019 at 6:21 pm
Models, models, modelsOriginally published by DK on July 15, 2019 at 2:01 pm
When it’s in the 90s in the Twin Cities, Grand Marais sounds awfully goodOriginally published by DK on June 29, 2019 at 12:54 pm
That seems a little harshOriginally published by DK on June 23, 2019 at 12:18 pm
…and it was $41,266 (!)Originally published by DK on June 21, 2019 at 6:51 pm
Feel better already after just a couple miles…Originally published by DK on June 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm
https://mentalfloss.com/article/578591/best-record-stores-in-americaOriginally published by DK on June 20, 2019 at 10:00 am
The woman at Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais was very persuasiveOriginally published by DK on June 18, 2019 at 11:10 pm
The sharpie is dying, thoughOriginally published by DK on June 6, 2019 at 5:59 pm
They are everywhere else, thoughOriginally published by DK on May 25, 2019 at 12:50 pm
Too late for Vegas, but still super excitedOriginally published by DK on May 20, 2019 at 9:01 pm
Meat vending machines = brilliantOriginally published by DK on May 18, 2019 at 9:59 pm
My new Rockhopper mountain bike purchase earlier this month was about ten years in the making and has turned out to be one of my favorite purchases of all-time. This got me thinking – what else have I bought in the past 50 years that was awesome? Let’s see:
- Wedding ring. CK’s current ring has transformed three times – the original engagement band and marquise stone were purchased from Goodman’s Jewelers, while the wedding band with two trillion stones were from Dayton’s Rosedale. I added an anniversary band that I bought from an American Express catalog (of all places) in 2001.
- MINI Cooper. Back in the day, I bought a 2005 MINI Cooper in British Racing Green that was such a fun car to drive. The girls and I even took it on a ski trip to Schweitzer one year, driving from Minnesota to Spokane and back. Motor on!
- Lapzilla. I’ve owned multiple Apple products over the years, but the 17-inch MacBook Pro laptop that I purchased when I started my consulting company was probably the most durable and productive of them all.
- Nikon D70. My parents helped purchase the camera body as a graduation present and I added new glass and accessories over the years, but this digital camera trailblazer was built like a tank and took some really great pictures. I still have all the kit and it still works, but the iPhone in my pocket arguably takes better pictures today (sadly). It’s hard for me to justify spending the money on a new D850 (or even a Sony RX100) now, but the images from our D70 continue to live on.
- Ken & George. When I was in college at UW, I decided I needed a pet and bought a grey cockatiel from a local breeder. Ken was a great bird and companion, but I thought he should have a friend. I purchased George from a Madison pet store, which prominently listed on the receipt that George came with no guarantee. George was really a Georgette, but we continued to call her George and she had four babies with Ken, who all lived together in a large aviary.
- Scotty Cameron putter. I’ve never been a good golfer, but I enjoy the game and like the fact that you can use the same equipment and play the same courses as the professionals. I’ve learned over the years that the equipment the pros use is not always the best for hacks to use, but when it comes to putters, everyone can benefit from a Scotty. It looks like I’ve owned my classic Newport Two model for more than 20 years now, restoring it about ten years ago instead of buying a new one. It has dancing “DK” letters on it and everything.
- Aeron chair. While working for Studio 4, I had the chance to design my dream office in Saint Paul with my friend and colleague Jake. We had our eyes on Herman Miller Aeron chairs, but couldn’t stomach the big price tag. We ultimately secured two of them through a discount channel, but I really missed that chair when I moved on to other companies (none of which would let me order another one). One day I saw a used one pop up for sale from a Lowertown advertising agency that was downsizing and I never looked back. Writing this post while sitting on it right now…
Honorable mentions: Sony TVs (from my first 13-inch Trinitron to my current 4K model), the original Sony receiver with Jamo speakers I bought in high school from Sound Center in Roseville and my first pair of Rossignol racing skis.Originally published by DK on May 11, 2019 at 9:50 pm
Comfortable clothes – don’t care what size anymoreOriginally published by DK on March 24, 2019 at 6:08 pm
Tim Pros!Originally published by DK on March 12, 2019 at 8:55 pm
…but 10 songs on a 30 minute album isn’t enough.Originally published by DK on March 2, 2019 at 10:39 am
Hello again, BrenthavenOriginally published by DK on December 28, 2018 at 3:38 pm
Going from a 6 to a X will be a shock for herOriginally published by DK on December 20, 2018 at 6:25 pm
While millennials have dominated headlines in recent years, baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) have continued to dominate consumer spending in the U.S. In fact, consumers over 50 now account for more than half of all U.S. spending…Originally published by DK on December 17, 2018 at 3:37 pm
Great to see Mike and CourtneyOriginally published by DK on December 10, 2018 at 10:57 pm
Another farmer’s market treeOriginally published by DK on December 9, 2018 at 5:09 pm
Still cool (literally and figuratively), but needs more varietyOriginally published by DK on December 2, 2018 at 8:50 pm
NFL-approved yard of SnickersOriginally published by DK on November 26, 2018 at 9:02 pm
…but super expensiveOriginally published by DK on November 18, 2018 at 8:21 pm
Another excellent show at his largest venue yetOriginally published by DK on November 18, 2018 at 12:28 am
The key to teen happinessOriginally published by DK on November 9, 2018 at 4:12 pm
Thank you Grand Marais Ben FranklinOriginally published by DK on September 26, 2018 at 12:06 am
macOS Mojave 10.14 is all about Dark ModeOriginally published by DK on September 25, 2018 at 11:28 am
Team building with Leo at Keller – shot an 86 from the bluesOriginally published by DK on September 14, 2018 at 10:59 am
Silver 256GB XsOriginally published by DK on September 12, 2018 at 11:30 pm
It’s kinda catchyOriginally published by DK on September 10, 2018 at 9:54 am
Everyone in my family wants a new phone. With the upcoming Apple event next week, I need to come up with a plan that doesn’t involve taking out a mortgage. I really preferred the days when your phone was subsidized by your plan, even if you were still paying hundreds of dollars overall. Now I have an expensive service plan *and* an expensive monthly payment for my iPhone.
As I’ve expressed before, I’m not a fan of my latest phone, the X. Everyone else seems to love theirs, so maybe I just have a lemon. About the only thing I really like is the camera, which, while still not a replacement for a real camera, is often “good enough.” After a huge increase lately in junk calls, I could do without the phone part, to be honest. If they released a modern iPod touch with a reasonable data-only plan, I could probably get away with that.
Haven’t switched carriers in a while either – no real complaints with AT&T (or T-mobile when I had that), but maybe it’s time to shop around. Also curious to see what happens with the Apple Watch, iPad, Air and Mac mini (if anything). It’s seems about time for Apple to release some lust-worthy stuff again – it’s been a while, no?Originally published by DK on September 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm
Watching the movie now…Originally published by DK on August 25, 2018 at 9:04 pm
Can’t find it on Google: totallyadult No. 10, the album network, December 5, 1995Originally published by DK on August 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm
Thanks, TapemarkOriginally published by DK on June 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Kinda like finding a “Bort”Originally published by DK on May 28, 2018 at 8:35 pm
Couldn’t find it myself, but the checkout clerk volunteered it without me askingOriginally published by DK on May 13, 2018 at 9:41 pm
Looking forward to breaking this one in over at Brookview – thanks Phil!Originally published by DK on May 9, 2018 at 8:31 pm
Colleen’s Third KindleOriginally published by DK on March 22, 2018 at 6:53 pm
The big staff sale finally made it reasonableOriginally published by DK on March 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm
The last one only made it 11 yearsOriginally published by DK on February 17, 2018 at 5:23 pm
Silly suburban liquor storesOriginally published by DK on January 16, 2018 at 12:45 am
Mini SB helmets in the officeOriginally published by DK on January 14, 2018 at 12:07 am
Support your local record storeOriginally published by DK on January 6, 2018 at 3:21 pm