quiet trumps purchase
Sunday, February 3 2013
During Sunday morning coffee in front of the woodstove, I found myself researching older Core-2-Duo laptops that might be converted into a Hackintosh. I have a sense that I might be doing iOS development again, and it would be nice to have a portable development environment capable of running the latest Apple OSX operating system (though I am loath to pay the premium for any more Apple hardware). As you know, I have a Compaq 2510p which makes for a great Windows development environment, but I don't want to mess with success by installing OSX on that. If possible, I'd also like a somewhat larger screen for my prospective Hackintosh, but only if that screen has more pixels. (I find the idea of a 14 or 15 inch screen with a resolution of only 1280 by 800 pixels repulsive and insulting.) After much research, the best mix of affordability, Hackintoshability, speed, and portability seemed to be the Lenovo T60, but even so I couldn't quite pull the trigger on a purchase that was going to cost between $150 and $200.
It turned out that part of my desire for a new Applesque development platform comes from the fact that my MacMini (my old Apple development platform) has become unpleasant to use since I upgraded its hard drive from 80 gigabytes to 500 gigabytes. The unpleasantness comes from a steady roaring sound that didn't used to be there. I'd assumed this was the sound of the new hard drive, perhaps spinning unnecessarily fast to achieve mind-blowing access rates. But while listening tonight I realized the sound was coming from the MacMini's fan. Evidently it was now running at full blast all the time. But why? What had changed? I did what I always do when I have a question: I turned to Mr. Google. The problem, as it happened, was that after putting the MacMini back together with its new hard drive, I'd failed to reconnect a tiny connector near the BIOS battery. Evidently this connects to a sensor that tells the fan how fast to run. Without it connected, the fan runs at full speed all the time. I managed to get the MacMini open, reconnect this connector (something that required no dissassembly of the internals), and put it back together all within about ten minutes. Once I had the MacMini running quietly, I no longer felt such a compelling need to put together a Hackintosh.
Gretchen spent the afternoon and early evening at a shiva out in Lake Hill for our friend Bart, who died somewhat unexpectedly at the age of about 70 to some sort of cancer. Only a year or two ago, Gretchen and Bart used to carpool regularly to Eastern Correctional Facility, where she was a BPI administrator and he was a professor. Now she's been fired and he's dead. Time seems insistent on putting that chapter of our life behind us.
This evening Gretchen began watching Hope Springs, the latest Meryl Streep vehicle, and somehow I found it engaging enough to start watching it with her. The early part focuses on the lovelessness of her character's relationship with a cranky old killjoy played by Tommy Lee Jones. But then somehow she manages to get him to join her on a retreat in Maine for some "intensive couple's therapy," presided over by a character played by a surprisingly unfunny Steve Carell (ironically, perhaps, given that he will always be The 40 Year Old Virgin). Once I've watched a certain amount of a movie, it's difficult to stop, and somehow I powered through despite the overlong scenes and simplicity of the plot. I was really hoping it would end with a non-Hollywood ending, and there was a point where it seemed like it just might. But Hope Springs had another three to seven minutes left to go.
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