OpenPOWER Architecture Compliance Definition

(OpenPOWER Foundation - 23.07.2019, 13:30) The purpose of the OpenPOWER Architecture Compliance Definition document is to give a consistent approach to compliance under the guidance of the Compliance Work Group. It contains the following: • Document the OpenPOWER specifications that contain the interfaces that are required to be OpenPOWER compliant...

Clean out your fonts, people

(TenFourFox Development - 21.07.2019, 06:06) Someone forwarded me a MacRumours post that a couple of the (useless) telemetry options in TenFourFox managed to escape my notice and should be disabled. This is true and I'll be flagging them off in FPR16. However, another source of slowdowns popped up recently and while I think it's been pointed out it bears repeating. On startup, and to a lesser extent when browsing, TenFourFox (and Firefox) enumerates the fonts you have installed on your Power Mac so that sites requesting them can use locally available fonts and not download them unnecessarily. The reason for periodically rechecking is that people can, and do, move fonts around and it would be bad if TenFourFox had stale font information particularly for commonly requested ones. To speed this up, I actually added a TenFourFox-specific font directory cache so that subsequent enumerations are quicker. However, the heuristic for

Power ISA improvements in 5.2 (and a Raptor tease)

(Talospace - 21.07.2019, 05:34) I'm catching up on all the stuff while I was semi-off-grid, and among them is kernel 5.2, which was declared released on July 7 and should be reaching your distribution soooooon (though Fedora 30 on this Talos II is still at 5.1.x as of this writing). Big general improvements are Sound Open Firmware, which is not an audio player for the ok prompt but rather open source firmware for audio devices, a (hopefully better) new mount(2) interface with new syscalls, performance improvements to the Budget Fair Queuing (BFQ) I/O scheduler, and additional CPU information leak protections using an architecture-independent mitigations= command line argument (it works on Power machines too, as well as x86, x86_64, ARM64 and s390). On PowerPC and 64-bit Power, mitigations=off

One big happy Void

(Talospace - 17.07.2019, 20:09) The PowerPC Void Linux project has officially merged its 32-bit and 64-bit Power offerings, though to be fair this was expected for awhile and just makes good sense. Meanwhile, substantial progress is being made on the ports and it looks like most packages are buildable, but actual package availability for the big-endian (32-bit and 64-bit) and musl flavours still lags ppc64le at least right now, so that G5 under your desk may have to wait a bit. Live CDs are still available.

OCC is the sound you make when throttled

(Talospace - 17.07.2019, 19:59) Back from distant climes to find an interesting tweet from Raptor relating to the POWER9 OCC. The OCC, or On-Chip Controller, monitors power usage and thermal stability, and can surface this information to the kernel via cpufreq. Raptor is asking users who get throttling warnings in dmesg to report them, though I haven't seen any such issues on my thermally constrained Blackbird or on this cool-running Talos II, and it's not clear how widespread the issue actually is. Meanwhile, users who get weird OCC-related crashes when the POWER9 is in a stop state are encouraged to upgrade to the latest firmware release candidate

New in Watson Machine Learning Community Edition 1.6.1: TensorFlow Serving

(Linux on Power Developer Portal - 16.07.2019, 20:29) Ready to deploy your trained model in a production environment? TensorFlow Serving is a process that will host your trained model so that client side applications can make inference requests to the TensorFlow Serving server and get back predictions. TensorFlow Serving is now available as both a conda package and a Docker container in WML […] The post New in Watson Machine Learning Community Edition 1.6.1: TensorFlow Serving appeared first on Linux on Power developer portal.

Introducing WML CE 1.6.1, PowerAI evolves again!

(Linux on Power Developer Portal - 10.07.2019, 23:45) Back in March we introduced a major evolution of PowerAI with version 1.6.0. It included a complete transition to conda packaging, updated versions of the most popular deep learning and machine learning frameworks, and a simplified and unified package dependency control. Now PowerAI is evolving and expanding again. The PowerAI team is excited to be […] The post Introducing WML CE 1.6.1, PowerAI evolves again! appeared first on Linux on Power developer portal.


(Talospace - 10.07.2019, 16:04) We haven't covered BSD a great deal in this blog even though I personally run NetBSD on three systems myself (two of which are in regular service), mostly because my system and I suspect the majority of the OpenPOWER install base is on Linux. However, FreeBSD 11.3 is now officially released and has fairly good support for 32-bit and 64-bit PowerPC on Power Mac hardware, so it's worth pointing out that 12.0 (and 13.0) has also been tested on the Blackbird and thus should also work on the Talos II. However, on the PowerPC wiki page -CURRENT is recommended for Blackbird, 12.0 is mandatory for OpenPOWER (thus 11.x won't work and presumably won't ever work), and X11 is currently listed "on Power8/Power9 [as] still a work in progress." Nevertheless, POWER8 systems also work, hardware support is imp

Firefox 68 on POWER

(Talospace - 10.07.2019, 15:45) Firefox 68 is out. I haven't had a chance to exhaustively test it on my ppc64le Talos II due to business trips and some family obligations, but on cursory testing the browser seems to function normally. Unfortunately our last minute latest workaround for (what is now clearly) a compiler bug in bug 1512162 did not make release, so you'll need to add it if you build from source; without it, some optimization levels may crash or behave adversely. We have not yet narrowed down the issue in gcc and on my last check clang still can't build the browser fully. Fortunately the fix did land on the new Extended Support Release 68, so individuals who prefer the ESR should be able to build as-is from there, and the fix also does not appear to be necessary on big-endian. Thanks to Dan Horák

TensorFlow thread pool considerations with the IBM Power System AC922

(Linux on Power Developer Portal - 09.07.2019, 19:13) The IBM Power System AC922 can have many physical cores, and with the ability to specify a symmetric multithreading value of 4 (SMT4), this can lead to a very large number of logical processors. This allows a high amount of concurrent work across physical CPU cores. When using the AC922’s GPUs for TensorFlow jobs, the […] The post TensorFlow thread pool considerations with the IBM Power System AC922 appeared first on Linux on Power developer portal.

Tensor swapping with Recurrent Neural Networks in TensorFlow

(Linux on Power Developer Portal - 09.07.2019, 18:50) Previous blogs and videos have discussed tensor swapping with TensorFlow Large Model Support (TFLMS) while running on the IBM Power Systems AC922. Unlike other systems, IBM Power Systems connect their GPUs to their CPUs using high bandwidth NVLink connections. This has been shown to produce substantial speed improvements to model training while using TensorFlow Large […] The post Tensor swapping with Recurrent Neural Networks in TensorFlow appeared first on Linux on Power developer portal.

TenFourFox FPR15 available

(TenFourFox Development - 06.07.2019, 22:01) TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 15 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). There are no changes from the beta other than outstanding security fixes. Assuming all goes well, it will go live Monday evening Pacific as usual. Also, we now have Korean and Turkish language packs available for testing. If you want to give these a spin, download them here; the plan is to have them go-live at the same time as FPR15. Thanks again to new contributor Tae-Woong Se and, of course, to Chris Trusch as always for organizing localizations and doing the grunt work of turning them into installers. Not much work will occur on the browser for the next week or so due to family commitments and a co

DIAF, Amazon Music (and DRM)

(Talospace - 03.07.2019, 01:04) It used to be that Amazon Music was a decent choice for playing the music you purchased. Not only did the AutoRip feature mean you had an automatic digital copy of participating CDs you purchased, playable from any web browser (I used TenFourFox for this purpose up until recently), but you still had the physical disc and discs you bought before got automatically added to your AutoRip library if Amazon got rights to do so. It was cool to watch my music library just fill in over the years from past purchases and still have the original CD if I needed it. Well, turns out I'll need those CDs after all, because guess what Amazon Music does now?

Operating on Power: Mac OS X - Appendix

(viva PowerPC blog - 02.07.2019, 13:49) There are two software projects, that make Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 more usable even in 2019, that I forgot in the main post about the OS:The first is Leopard-WebKit which brings newer browser engine to your good old Safari. The last official version of Safari for Leopard is from 2011, last version of Leopard-WebKit is from June 2018 and quite a lot happened in the world of WWW, HTTP and HTML in that time period. It makes Safari almost as usable as TenFourFox. I'm personally a Firefox/TenFourFox/Gecko user, so I didn't think of it, but Cameron pointed it out in comments and was right.The second is Sevan Janiyan's pkgsrc collection for Tiger (and Leopard). These will enable you to install about a ton of prebuilt open-source software packages, like compilers, scripting languages, terminal utilities etc. in more c

Airport Extremes Are Still Useful

(G5 Center - 02.07.2019, 01:19) Buried at the bottom of one of my bits and parts bins, I have a 5th generation AirPort Extreme. I used it for a few years as my main router, but as technology changes and devices have more processing power, the Extreme couldn't keep up. It's still usable, for sure, but newer routers, for far less money, do a better job of sustaining throughput and casting a powerful wifi signal. I was reluctant to retire it because it just works, but it was time to let go. Until this week... I have used a Mac Mini G4 as a quasi-network share, but the G4 has only a 10/100 ethernet port. That gets saturated quickly, and the G4's processor probably doesn't help either. So, while it was set up and available, I didn't use it much. On the other hand, the AirPort Extreme makes a very simple Mac friendly file server with a USB hard drive plugged in. Yes, there are much speedier o

And now for something completely different: NetBSD on the last G4 Mac mini (and making the kernel power failure proof)

(TenFourFox Development - 29.06.2019, 01:47) (First, as a public service message, if you're running Linux on a G5 you may wish to update the kernel.) I'm a big fan of NetBSD. I've run it since 2000 on a Mac IIci (of course it's still running it) and I ran it for several years on a Power Mac 7300 with a G3 card which was the second incarnation of the Floodgap gopher server. Today I also still run it on a MIPS-based Cobalt RaQ 2 and an HP Jornada 690. I think NetBSD is a better match for smaller or underpowered systems than current-day Linux, and is fairly easy to harden and keep secure even though none of these systems are exposed to the outside world. Recently I had a nee

CRUX PPC Linux Mirror

(viva PowerPC blog - 27.06.2019, 20:18) This is just a quick notice: In the top menu of this blog and the whole site you can find a new section called SOFTWARE with a mirror of now defunct CRUX PPC Linux distribution. The last version is six years old, so there are more fresh options for most PowerPC users, but from my experience this was probably the only Linux distro ever working on IBM IntelliStation POWER 185, which is neither PowerMac-compatible nor equipped with POWER CPU. Absolute majority of Linux systems were targeted to these two platforms and almost all of them failed to boot on the one-eight-five. CRUX PPC did and there was even patch for the X11 to have colors right (without that blue and green were swapped on the default graphics).There may be further additions to the SOFTWARE section, if I find any worth occupying my precious server storage. Also, if you prefer the good old Gopher protocol over HTTP/WWW, you can browse the

IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 12.0-1 released!

(Linux on Power Developer Portal - 25.06.2019, 18:59) A new major release of the IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power is now available: 12.0-1 Packages in 12.0-1 The Advance Toolchain is a self contained toolchain which isn’t reliant on the base system toolchain. Base toolchain packages: GNU Binutils – 2.30.90-2df836265bd1 online docs Expat XML Parser – 2.2.5-968b8cc46dbe online docs GCC (GNU Compiler […] The post IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 12.0-1 released! appeared first on Linux on Power developer portal.

IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 11.0-4 released!

(Linux on Power Developer Portal - 25.06.2019, 18:57) A new major release of the IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power is now available: 11.0-4 Packages in 11.0-4 The Advance Toolchain is a self contained toolchain which isn’t reliant on the base system toolchain. Base toolchain packages: GNU Binutils – 2.29-8efd17cb2568 online docs Expat XML Parser – 2.2.3-97c6bd019900 online docs GCC (GNU Compiler […] The post IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 11.0-4 released! appeared first on Linux on Power developer portal.

Operating on Power: Mac OS X

(viva PowerPC blog - 25.06.2019, 16:53) It of course makes a little sense to review Mac OS X, because on most of modern PowerPC-based computers (PPC G3 and newer) this was the default OS they came with and I presume that almost everyone reading this blog knows it. But it's therefore ideal to introduce the format, that all following posts in the series will try to keep.Introduction Mac OS X is unix-like (sadly never certified as Unix on PowerPC) operating system, that emerged around the start of current milleniuom from OpenStep and NeXTSTEP - systems created by NeXT Inc., the company Steve Jobs had, while he wasn't in Apple from mid 80's to mid 90's. It's based on XNU kernel, which itself is based on Mach microkernel and 4.3BSD components. On top of the kernel there are several layers, culminating in the famous proprietary Aqua graphic user interface.

IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 10.0-7 released!

(Linux on Power Developer Portal - 25.06.2019, 16:38) A new update release for the 10.0 series of the IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power is now available. This release includes a series of package updates: GCC provides: Fix for Increase internal size of RECL= of the OPEN statement. Fix for Very slow formatted internal file output. Fix for ICE with zero size […] The post IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 10.0-7 released! appeared first on Linux on Power developer portal.

STFC Daresbury Laboratory – Telemac-Mascaret V8

(OpenPOWER Foundation - 25.06.2019, 14:52) The TELEMAC-MASCARET system is a powerful integrated modelling tool for use in the field of free-surface flows. Having been used in the context of very many studies throughout the world (several hundred to date), it has become one of the major standards in its field....

Exploring the Fundamentals of OpenPOWER, POWER9 and PowerAI at the University of Reims

(OpenPOWER Foundation - 25.06.2019, 13:56) By Professor Michaël Krajecki, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne Last month, the University of Reims hosted a workshop introducing the fundamentals of the OpenPOWER Foundation, POWER9 and PowerAI. Students and faculty from the University were joined by experts from IBM POWER Systems, EBV Elektronik and the...

Serious hash table kernel bug (CVE-2019-12817)

(Talospace - 25.06.2019, 04:28) A while ago when I was running my Talos II in hashed page table (HPT) mode for KVM-PR purposes, I started noticing some weird kernel behaviour with recent versions of Firefox. In dmesg were weird messages like this: [337262.237052] ida_free called for id=170 which is not allocated.[337262.237089] WARNING: CPU: 6 PID: 12276 at lib/idr.c:519 ida_free+0x114/0x1e0 Initially these were annoying but seemed innocuous. But later on I started getting some weird lockups and I wasn't sure what was going on, so as part of an attempt to figure it out I switched the machine back into radix MMU mode (i.e., I removed disable_radix from the kernel arguments) and the problems disappeared. I reported the phenomenon and the backtraces to the good folks at

TenFourFox FPR15b1 available

(TenFourFox Development - 22.06.2019, 22:28) TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 15 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). In honour of New Coke's temporary return to the market (by the way, I say it tastes like Pepsi and my father says it tastes like RC), I failed again with th

Alpine Linux updated to 3.10

(Talospace - 21.06.2019, 18:56) Alpine Linux, a lightweight distribution notable for its use of musl libc and busybox, has been updated to 3.10. Major changes in this release include ceph, a distributed object store and filesystem, and lightdm, a cross-desktop display manager, using kernel version 4.19.53. Note that Qt4, Mongodb and Truecrypt are removed from this release. Alpine supports ppc64le and should "just work" on POWER8 and POWER9 systems; you can download bootable images.

Stand by for FPR14 SPR1 chemspill

(TenFourFox Development - 18.06.2019, 19:14) Mozilla has shipped a fix for MFSA2019-18 in Firefox 67.0.3 and 60.7.1. This exploit has been detected in the wild, and while my analysis indicates it would require a PowerPC-specific attack to be exploitable in official TenFourFox builds (the Intel versions may be directly exploited, however), it could probably cause drive-by crashes and we should therefore ship an urgent fix as well. The chemspill is currently undergoing confidence tests and I'm shooting to release builds before the weekend. For builders, the only change in FPR14 SPR1 is the patch for bug 1544386, which I will be pushing to the repo just as soon as I have confirmed the fix causes no regressions. This chemspill also holds up the FPR15 beta which was actually scheduled for today. Unfortunately, the big JavaScript update I've been trying to make for the last couple cycles also ran aground and will

Introducing the Falcon II, the World’s First PCIe 4.0 Composable AI Box

(OpenPOWER Foundation - 17.06.2019, 13:53) Yomi Yeh, product manager, H3 Platform Computer systems are about to get a whole lot faster. For almost two decades, PCI Express has been the data interconnect standard, twisting together GPU, storage, and networking within systems from PCs to High Performance Computing systems. This year,...

Inspur Power Commercial Systems Co., Ltd. – Inspur Power System FP5466G2

(OpenPOWER Foundation - 13.06.2019, 13:46) Ultra-high density 4U storage server supporting 40x 3.5″ HDDs and 480T storage capacity M.2 SSDs, install OS system here to enhance booting speed astonishingly. SSDs , caching or meeting additional storage needs   Excellent computing performance Supports 2 POWER9 Sforza processors, up to 44 cores...

Image data channel effects on memory usage and performance with TensorFlow Large Model Support

(Linux on Power Developer Portal - 11.06.2019, 17:39) Image data channel ordering is usually specified as “channels first” (NCHW) or “channels last” (NHWC). In many cases, operations on GPUs run faster with data in “channels first” format. TensorFlow contains a layout optimizer that will attempt to transpose the data for the fastest computation. The data transformations produce tensors which will consume GPU memory […] The post Image data channel effects on memory usage and performance with TensorFlow Large Model Support appeared first on Linux on Power developer portal.

Thoughts&questions on Cameron's Blackbird semi-review

(viva PowerPC blog - 09.06.2019, 21:43) Just yesterday (at least from my timezone point of view) Cameron published A semi-review of the Raptor Blackbird: POWER9 on the cheap(er). Go and read it, before you continue reading following text. Go. Do it.I read it twice and wasn't happy from what I found there. At first I wanted to write my response on PNUT, then I thought I'd send him an e-mail, but then I said: hey, there may be another people like me, so why not doing it in public? So...I used PowerPC-based computers as my primary between 2004 and 2018. Couple of years before that I had a Mac on my desk as a secondary machine as I do now, in the last two years. I'm more Linux/Unix kind of guy than a Mac one, so even though I like Mac OS 9, it was much more convenient for me to use Linux on a generic PC box as a primary before Mac OS X matured enough to replace it for my daily usage. That happened somewhere be

IBM Corporation – AC922

(OpenPOWER Foundation - 06.06.2019, 20:25) This is a 2-socket POWER9 server with 4 to 6 GPUs attached via a high speed, high bandwidth low latency CPU link.  

Still operating on Power

(viva PowerPC blog - 05.06.2019, 21:54) The Blackbird POWER9 board was released and even though I'm already saving my side money for the thing, right now I'm contemplating, if I really need it enough to spend the money. It is by all means not expensive - you won't build a x86 computer with server-grade CPU for the money, not with the ECC DDR4, not with the thread-per-core ratio, not with the nice µITX format. But still - I feel like I'm having too much of computing power already and I have no urge to acquire more. If Blackbird existed in December 2017, when I decommissioned my G5, I'd buy it in the  minute. But then I bought a cheap HP laptop with docking station and even that is more than enough for me. And the whole setup did cost about as much as I'd have to spend just on memory modules for BB. But that's not the good old PowerPC spirit at all. There were times when I spent money on hardware I knew, I will probably never even power on. I just wanted to have it

Make Cheese Grating Great Again

(TenFourFox Development - 04.06.2019, 09:01) The Mac Pro, like New Coke, is back. In a miniature cheese grater you could make a mean quesadilla with. A million Power Mac G5s and O.G. Mac Pros are singing out, "we told you so! We told you so!" But if you're going to buy one of these things (starting at $6000), you don't get to complain how much a Talos II costs.

OpenPOWER Architecture Compliance Definition – Review Draft

(OpenPOWER Foundation - 29.05.2019, 15:07) This document represents the second public review draft for the next version of the OpenPOWER Architecture Compliance Definition specification.  It consists of markups identified and agreed upon by the Compliance Work Group, including updates from the first public review.  Comments should be constrained to the...

Finally, a bit of love for Intel Tiger

(TenFourFox Development - 29.05.2019, 03:00) Again, a polite reminder that Intel Macs aren't supported, but that doesn't mean people don't want to run TenFourFox on them. Thanks to new builder Hayley, Tiger-compatible versions of FPR14 and the MP4 Enabler are available for Intel. Previous versions have had issues on Tiger due to issue 209, so watch for that if you choose to run these, but initial testing at least looks very promising. I've also given Ken direct access to that folder so that he can coordinate and upload Intel builds on a semi-regular basis without me as the rate limiting step. Remember, the Intel build is unsupported and issues posted to Tenderapp about it will be closed. There are no guarantees that it works, and there are no guarantees that builds will continue. Meanwhile, I'm working on what may be a fruitless effort to add async/await support and am about halfway done w

TenFourFox FPR14 available

(TenFourFox Development - 18.05.2019, 03:21) TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 14 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). Besides outstanding security updates, this release fixes the current tab with TenFourFox's AppleScript support so that this exceptional script now functions properly as expected: tell application "TenFourFoxG5"  tell front browser window    set URL of current tab to ""    repeat while (current tab is busy)      delay 1    end repeat    tell current tab      run JavaScript "let f = document.getElementById('tsf');f.q.value='tenfourfox';f.submit();"    end tell    repeat while (current tab is busy)      

Broadcom Limited – P225P – 2 x 25/10GbE PCIe NIC

(OpenPOWER Foundation - 03.05.2019, 20:45) P225P – 2 x 25/10GbE PCIe NIC – High-Performance, Feature-Rich NetXtreme® E-Series Dual-Port 25GbE PCIe Ethernet NIC

Keeping libre software accessible to all

(The Cat Fox Life - 29.04.2019, 04:03) Recently, a number of high-profile libre software projects have been either considering, or adopting, proprietary chat systems to be their primary method of communication with their communities. This should cause alarm to everyone who is interested in the libre software movement. Projects using Discord as an official method of communication include distributions like Fedora, Gentoo, … Continue reading Keeping libre software accessible to all

Thoughts on Konsole 19.04

(The Cat Fox Life - 21.04.2019, 02:29) I write way too many articles that focus on the negatives of my work and of open source projects. To change things up, I’m going to review Konsole’s newest release, 19.04.0. The first thing I noticed when I opened Konsole 19.04 is that the weird bug with line heights is gone. I can use Liberation … Continue reading Thoughts on Konsole 19.04

Annotated transcription of the lecture “Origins of the Apple human interface”

(System Folder - 14.04.2019, 02:58) Recently, the Computer History Museum has uploaded on its YouTube channel a lecture called Origins of the Apple human interface, delivered by Larry Tesler and Chris Espinosa. The lecture was held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, on October 28, 1997. Being extremely interested in the subject myself, and seeing how apparently … Continue reading Annotated transcription of the lecture “Origins of the Apple human interface” →

The state of FLOSS and the tech industry

(The Cat Fox Life - 10.04.2019, 23:01) I’ve read an article today, in ZDnet, mourning how desktop distributions seem to wax and wane. It really made me think about how to properly convey what I feel to be the root issues with desktop adoption of Linux (and the wider CS industry), and why I think most people are very, very wrong about … Continue reading The state of FLOSS and the tech industry

Speaking with authority

(The Cat Fox Life - 01.04.2019, 06:47) I’ve just spent the better part of three hours arguing on IRC about Let’s Encrypt clients. After speaking with two others, I realised that nobody who I spoke with before knew their facts were facts. Different people all told me various incorrect information, such as: No ACME client supports doing a manual DNS TXT record … Continue reading Speaking with authority

GitHub and IPv6, three years later

(The Cat Fox Life - 01.04.2019, 01:59) Three years ago, I wrote Going IPv6 native without IPv4, which noted all the services I couldn’t access over IPv6. After all this time, there is some good news, and bad news. First, the good news: BitBucket, Savannah, and Launchpad all support IPv6 now! Now, the bad news: GitHub still does not. This has actually … Continue reading GitHub and IPv6, three years later

Being wrong

(The Cat Fox Life - 26.03.2019, 05:27) I think it’s important to note this in public: Sometimes, I’m wrong. I don’t know everything. Sometimes, my opinions are based on things I’ve been told second-hand, or on things I don’t fully understand yet. Sometimes, the facts that I believe to be truthful and accurate turn out to be outdated, or incorrect. Sometimes, I … Continue reading Being wrong

Deal With Loud Fans - Apple Service Diagnostic 2.6.3

(G5 Center - 26.03.2019, 03:25) Working on old computers, of any kind really, is a form of prayer for me. That may sound silly, but I enjoy cleaning them out, tinkering, trying new things, and seeing what happens. Often, I talk to myself or whatever higher being happens to be listening in frustration or wild hope. In the last couple of weeks, I upgraded an old Dell tower from an i3 to i5 for cheap, fixed up a 2006 Mac Pro (1,1) for fairly cheap, and dusted out my ol' G5. In the process of working on my G5 and moving it to a new location with a better monitor (as I am using the Apple Cinema Display with the Mac Pro), I noticed the fans were getting loud. G5s don't apparently have any means for us end users to quiet those fans down. That could be a good thing, since these machines are hardly efficient. But when they are loud, they are loud. Enter the Apple Service Diagnostic disc 2.6.3.

The problem with “patches welcome” culture

(The Cat Fox Life - 25.03.2019, 21:26) I’m going to tell you a secret. Most computer users cannot write computer code. (Shock!) This is not anything new, and I would dare say this is not even necessarily a problem that needs to be corrected. In a similar vein, a great deal of first-world citizens use cars daily, but I doubt many drivers … Continue reading The problem with “patches welcome” culture

Life With a Low End iPad

(G5 Center - 15.03.2019, 02:27) One of my better purchases lately has not been an old Mac Pro (for under $30) or my fancy iPhone XR (which is a great phone) - it's been a basic 6th generation iPad for work. The iPad was on sale before Christmas at a local retailer, and I splurged for it as I needed it for both my school work, writing, and sermon prep. I really wanted an iPad Pro, but the price tag scared me off from that fancier device. In the end, the iPad has become a workhorse, not just for media consumption but for getting stuff done. Taking notes is fun with the original Apple Pencil, playing games is an option, and planning for work is a breeze. It's great to take on trips too and not have to lug my laptop around. In fact, I've been surprised at just how good it is for the price - around the $300 price point for the 128GB model. It's been a while since I've been so pleased from a purchase. But - I recognize it's not perfect for everyone. I do have a bluetooth keyboard I can throw into my bag on