MacBook Pro died

Posted by steve | Apple Software and Hardware,General Commentary | Thursday 19 July 2012 7:34 am

The apple notebook computer I use for developing iOS software had some kind of graphics and network failure a few days ago. I was just in the process of installing the latest iOS SDK beta when the display changed to a repeating pattern of tiny splats of color. And for some reason the network capability, at least the wireless 802.11n, also failed. The system thinks there is no more wireless hardware installed. Very strange.

I shouldn’t complain much. The computer was one of the first Intel MacBook Pro models and is about 6 years old. There’s consistently been an issue where the computer ran unreasonably hot and I guess that is what eventually led to failure. The hard drive in the computer was upgraded to a 750GB capacity internal drive about 18 months ago and I will obviously want to extract the drive and install it in an external enclosure. But I’ve tried a number of troubleshooting techniques and diagnostic runs and it appears to be a pretty messy problem to resolve. It also appears to be a real hardware problem, not software.

I’ve looked, using my trusty iPad, at used models and it looks like the least expensive resolution is to purchase an identical 6-year old model for between $350 and $600. It may also be possible to get it repaired and I need to write to one of those Mac repair sites for an estimate.

It’s weird. When your “daily driver” computer fails, it can be really disruptive in your life. I never realized how much the use of the computer, especially programming activities, are part of my regular day. The only thing that has kept this issue from being a high priority for me right now, I think, is that that I’m currently on vacation from work and enjoying playing board games with my friends and family for quite a bit these past few days.

My usual routine of getting up early and coding some iOS software before everyone else gets up has been disrupted. I seem to get this unbalanced feeling for most of the morning these past few days and I think it is my mind being confused about not doing any coding in the morning.

Oh well. I do seem to have more time for reading and writing Blog posts right now.



Posted by steve | General Commentary | Sunday 8 July 2012 7:15 pm

I saw the new science fiction film from Ridley Scott, Prometheus this week.

From when I first heard about it and after watching every trailer and reading every interview I could find about the film, I was pretty excited to go see it. My expectations were pretty high. I knew Ridley Scott would do a great science fiction film, the Alien movie series is still one of my favorites, and when I heard Damon Lindeloff was writing for the movie, those were all very positive signs for me.

Let me just get this said. I really liked the movie.

Now, I also admit that there were high points and low points. The way the movie began was a very interesting story line and I thought quite creative and full of mystery and questions. A great start for the film. There were numerous places in the movie when I found myself wondering where they were going with the story. There were also a few places where it felt very formulaic — as if the studio paying the bills pushed to have certain parts thrown in. And there were a few spots in the film where I thought, “What the hell?”

A few days after seeing the film I wanted more. More story. More movie. More answers and I had even more questions. Thinking back over the film I realize now I want to see it again. I was originally a little disappointed when leaving the theater. But now with reflection I began to realize that I really dig what Ridley and Damon are doing with this idea. The movie has an interesting story to tell which hopefully will lead to more sequels. The one thing I will say is that it was not a scary movie, the way Alien was. And I expected that. But it’s real science fiction with some of that “suspension of disbelief”.