Equipment General

Its a costly month

It took me all of 2 weeks to weigh up my options and bite the bullet. I’ve put the cash down for a new Mac mini M1 – with 16Gb memory and a 1TB HDD.

The biggest annoyance over it all is the cost associated with storage. I know I can add additional storage via USB and Thunderbolt (and I plan on doing so) but I wouldn’t mind having it all together for ease, but the pricing just wasn’t there. The base model, 8GB Memory and a 256GB HDD costs £699. Each upgrade is around £200, so £200 to bump the memory up to its max, 16GB – not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, but not terrible when it comes to Apple pricing. To take the HDD up to 512Gb is another £200. Then to 1Tb adds an additional £200. To get the top of the line storage is another £400 on top of that, and I just can’t justify an extra £400 for 1Tb of storage when I’ve already paid an additional £400 for 3/4 of that.

Im clearly drinking the kool-aid if I’m moaning about this cost but still paying it. My late 2012 Mac mini no longer gets OS Updates. I now have an annoying red badge letting me know some apps need updating, but they won’t update because I don’t have the latest OS. I’ve manager 8 years with this one computer, and it still runs fairly well. But it’s time to upgrade. Because I like to average out the cost of things, my current mini has cost me a total of:

Unit: £679.00
Accessories: £57.00
RAM Upgrade: £58.13
HDD Upgrade: £150 (approx)
Total: £944.13

Lifetime cost per month: £9.83.

For the new mini to make those same costs I’ll need to keep it for around 10 years. If I manage to sell my existing mini I’ll update the charge above. Lets see how the new one holds up…

Equipment General

New Toy(s)

Electronics Equipment Raspberry Pi

A case for my Raspberry Pi!

Heres a quick 7 minute video about a case I purchased for the Raspberry Pi that only cost £4 from eBay!

Electronics Equipment General

Using a Windows 7 Upgrade disc with Bootcamp fresh install

I came across a problem when installing Windows 7 to my Mac using Bootcamp. I purchased my copy of Windows 7 when I had my older Windows PC  meaning I was eligible for the upgrade pricing. Using a Mac, however meant I couldn’t use the upgrade disc. Seeing as I don’t use my Windows PC anymore (it’s since been wiped and Ubuntu installed) I think I’m entitled to use the software I purchased on my Mac! The installation runs fine, with no issues, except when you enter your Product Key in. Windows gives you a nice error during install saying the Key is Invalid. It still allows you to install Windows 7, but you must reactivate within 3 days.
The quickest, and easiest way to activate Windows 7 using your own Product Key is to do the following:
1- Open up regedit (Click the Start Orb, type regedit and press enter)
2- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/
3- On the right hand side, double click MediaBootInstall and change the value to (from 1)
4- Close regedit, and start a command prompt as an administrator
5- Enter slmgr /rearm and wait for a message box telling you the command completed successfully
6- Reboot your Mac
7- Click Start, and type Activate Windows
8- Enter your Product Key and click OK.

Easy as pie! Special Thanks to Justin Kerr of the MaximumPC blog for the information. Their site has pictures that can also be followed!

Electronics Equipment General

Quick Note – Development Enviroment

As well as creating the blog, I also have to create a development environment. There are plenty of ways to do it, and no way is right, but in my circumstances I have chosen to use a late 2012 Mac Mini running OS X 10.8.2 and using Bootcamp with Windows 7. I also have Ubuntu running on a nearby laptop, as well as a Virtualised image on OSX.

The set up of everything went relatively smoothly, excluding using the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad in Windows 7. My specific issue resolves around both the mouse and trackpad appearing “jittery”, as if te batteries were dying and the full smooth movement of the mouse was not being sent to the computer. This has annoyed a lot of folk online, and as it turns out after lots of Googling, you have to do the following:

1 – Head to Device Manager, Then Network Adapters
2 – Right-Click the Broadcom 802.11n
3 – Choose the Advanced Tab.
4 – Locate Bluetooth Collaboration from the drop-down list, then choose “Enable”

A quick and simple fix! Many thanks to Kemal Kocabiyik and his blog for assisting me with this one!