New Tools, New Battery! Yay!

I finally found a company (American) who gave me a straight answer on my computer battery compatability. I ordered the battery they were selling, they tossed in the tools and shipped it free.


The Macbook Air 13 Battery

I get the battery today. GREAT response time.

So I power down my computer, then using their tool I unscrew 5 of the 10 screws on the bottom of my computer. On the sixth screw the tool rounded off the splines and was no longer useful to remove or re-install the screws I’ve got neatly sorted on my counter.

$%^#@$%^$@!!!! I hate cheap tools!

This tool is fairly specialized so it’s not like I can run to the local Radio Shack and buy it. The tool they sent is obviously made in China, it’s got the battery company’s logo on it and is made with some kind of metal that I could probably melt with a match.

The Screw


I don’t want to use my computer with half the screws removed, primarily because I started on the end of my machine where the board, network card, and SSD hard drive are mounted.

I didn’t know if the screws I’d removed were intergral to holding those components in place. (Turns out they weren’t but I wasn’t sure.)

The Tool
The Tool

So I grab my iPad and start searching for the tool. Hmm, Frys carries it. My ususal store didn’t have one. I expand the search and am fully prepared to drive to El Segundo or the San Fernando Valley, if necessary. As luck would have it, the Frys in Industry had ONE, only one.

A sonic boom was heard as I left my home. Actually this is neat, it’s the first time I’ve ever had reason to go to this particular Frys.

Some of you may not know this… I love tools, (no, that doesn’t convey it, I’m a tool WHORE.)

I love having the “right tool” for the job. What this means is that I left Frys with more than just the Pentalobe driver I actually needed.

Years ago I had an absolutely awesome tool kit. I lost that kit in a fire and have been slowly rebuilding a new kit with good quality tools.

(I had great quality electronic tools in the kit I lost. I built that kit over about 3 years, by keeping a list of, “Gee it’d be nice to have a blank”.)

My current kit is built much the same way and while not complete yet, has a decent collection of good quality tools in it.

After spending way too much time shopping in the tool aisle I’m on the freeway heading home. 3 hours later I arrive. LA traffic is unbelievable 24/7 nowadays.

With the proper tool in hand, (a nice case hardened steel affair with a comfort grip,) the remaining five screws came right out.

Inside a Macbook Air
Inside a Macbook Air

The bottom of my machine came off, exposing the battery and components of my machine.

Five more screws, this time Torx; one last connector and the old battery was sitting on the counter.

While I had the computer open, I cleaned dust out of the fan, and cleaned the intake vents. A little Preventative Maintenance never hurt anyone!

The new battery was a perfect fit. So again, using my nice new tools I screwed everything back into place.

Now I’m in a twelve hour battery charge cycle, tomorrow I’ll discharge the battery fully and then we’ll see how much longer this new beast will last. The capacity is slightly larger than the original battery. I have no idea how that will affect the run time on my machine.

The old battery had gotten to the point that I was only getting about 1.5 to 2 hours on a charge.

When the machine was new I’d get 6 hours before needing to recharge.

All told, replacing the battery probably cost me almost $200 bucks. (I could have had Apple do it for $129) But I got new tools (Yay!) And when I get ready to upgrade my hard drive it should be a snap!

I’m counting it as a win.

Well done Microsoft

Windows 10 Education ISO 32 64 Bit Latest Version Download

As you may have gathered, I’m not a super big fan of Windows. I dealt with XP and over time it became familiar and therefore somewhat comfortable.

I moved to Windows 7 Professional and admit that I liked it after a while but the transition was less than easy.

I skipped the Windows 8 debacle, and the 8.1 fixes.

Apparently Microsoft skipped Windows 9.

I dubiously approached Windows 10.  But because I’ve got images of my Windows 7 workhorse, I figured that I could afford to play. And I have…

I’ve also learned a couple of things that may or may not be useful in the future.

1) Have a FAST connection.

2) Make sure you have a LOT of free disk space.

3) Don’t let your computer sleep.

4) Be Patient!

My installation was a bit more difficult than it needed to be. I figured Windows 10 would tell me prior to beginning the download and installation, that I would need additional space. It doesn’t.  So what happened was I downloaded the files then windows said it didn’t have enough space. The installer gives you the option to connect a USB device BUT it expects that device to be ready to go. (In other words you can’t delete files to make space if the device doesn’t have enough free space)

That being said once you get things downloaded and the installer is running, you are pretty much home free,

Which leads me to this.

I like Windows 10!

I don’t like it $200 bucks worth if I was having to buy a copy, but I like it well enough that I wish I’d kept the bootcamp partition on my Mac.  Don’t get me wrong, I like what virtualization brings to the table but I’d like to run Windows 10 natively. I may re-install the bootcamp partition on my mac and then re-upgrade Windows 7

Even in virtualization, Windows 10 is smooth, and quick. Things are where I expect them to be and for the first time in a very long time, Windows is enjoyable to use.

The office integration is really quick. It’s obvious a lot of time and though was put into Win10 and that office applications were always supposed to be part of the picture.

So to Microsoft…

Great Job guys!



Ok I’m a total geek

When it rains on a Sunday, most people watch a game, or a movie, or lounge in bed with their loved one reading the paper or loving their loved one.

When I was very young, I remember piling into my parents bed on rainy Sundays. Dad & I would fight over the funnies, Mom would make us calm down while she finished the Home and Garden section of the paper.

Eventually, there would be pancakes, followed by more tickling and “fighting” over sections of the Sunday paper. Since all this was in the deep south, by noon or one ‘o’clock the sun would be poking through the clouds and we’d go find something to do outside.

Southerners have a tacit agreement with God. Most Sundays it rains only while we’re in church and stops about the time the minister is wrapping up. Every once in a while though God gives us a break, (probably from an especially boring sermon) by making it rain all morning. If it’s raining when we’re supposed to be getting ready for church we don’t go. After all, the rain messes up mom’s hat and our sunday go to meeting clothes would be damp and musty all through church.

It’s all very civilized and Southerners understand that God has to deep soak the plants sometimes. God doesn’t seem to mind us staying inside and reading the paper either.

Now days, on a rainy Sunday, it’s me sitting up in bed listening to the rain on the roof, with coffee and a computer. These are the days I upgrade software.

Not nearly as much fun as other pursuits but necessary. Or as in this case optional but ultimately useful.

I’m upgrading my Windows 7 workhorse to Windows 10. I love VMWare for it’s ability to copy containers that contain opertating systems and all the files in that OS.

If this upgrade goes off the rails, all I have to do is trash this container and copy a backup to my system and everything is reset. It makes me a lot more comfortable experimenting like this.

I’m getting the impression that I’m going to be watching a lot more rain than learning Windows 10 today. Wow this process is crawling along.

Ah well, the sound of rain on the roof is a welcome change.

Have a good Sunday however you’re spending yours.

That was interesting – But a complete waste of time


Been meaning to try out a thing in the Mac OS called BootCamp. BootCamp is Apple’s tool that sets up the ability for Windows to run on a Mac.

I’d been meaning to do this for years, but since I’m a VMWare Fusion user, I never really had a reason.

Until last night.

IMG 0583

After doing battle with glaciers on the road in front of the house. (Global Warming… MY ASS!) Two days with a trenching tool, snow shovel, and a pick! Only then was I able to get the 4” of ice cleared from in front of my driveway.

We had a county worker fall on the street and injure herself earlier in the week. She turned her ankle so severely that if she didn’t break it she’ll have gotten off lucky.  Thank God she wasn’t in front of my house when she fell. Our street has a long and colorful history some of which I’ve documented in this blog so I won’t retell it in this post.

To my knowledge, this is the first time anyone had been injured

Ironically, the lady was a county employee, and since the county refuses to take responsibility for the road by maintaining and plowing the road perhaps it’s a bit of Karma. Had the county plowed the road, there wouldn’t have been ice 4” thick for her to fall on.

The ice was caused by snowplayers, driving up a dead end road (mine) so that they could play in the abomination the county calls a flood control project. (Another story!)

When you have vehicle after vehicle slowly crusing up the street, then backing down the street spinning their tires, you get ice. This is especially true when the cars and trucks are coming up before we’ve had a chance to get out to the street with snow blowers.

I digress!

After two days of manual labor, my shoulders and the rest of me was pretty sore. (I’m much better today, thanks for asking.)

So I resolved to plant my ass on the couch and do nothing last night. Then I happened to go into my office and noticed a Windows 7 installation disk peeking out of its storage bin.


Hum, “Oh why the hell not? It should be pretty mindless and I’ll be curious if I don’t…”

At this point my tech friends are all saying to themselves, “Uh OH!

To be fair, BootCamp is really cool. It provides any Mac user with a reasonably powerful machine, (ie Most Macs) the ability to create a disk partition on their Mac, then install and run Windows.

boot-campIt works well and even provides the ability to boot up in the partition you’ve created (Windows in my case) OR Mac OS by default. I’m not sure why you’d spend the money on a Mac then only use Windows or another operating system, but I’m sure there are people that do exactly that.

I could see a diehard Windows fan attempting to transition to Mac OS and failing, then continuing to use the Mac running exclusively Windows. It would be a bit of a waste but at least the person would get some utility out of the Mac

Anyhow, BootCamp works and it works well. Windows installed and worked like a champ. I installed the printer drivers I needed and was planning on giving this partition thing a whirl to see if I wanted to perhaps abandon VMWare. So I tell Windows that I want to install an instance of Office.

… and that’s when it all went to hell.


Unbeknownst to me, Office 365 has some kind of problem with one or more of the HP printer drivers.  Office will install then get to about 90% complete and HANG. To get around this you have to restart Windows, go to services, disable the print spooler, make sure; In my case, that the firewall and Microsoft’s Antivirus were offline, then restart the Office installation procedure.

It was at this point that things went seriously off the rails. Office claimed it was installed but wouldn’t let me sign in, nor would it reinstall.  As I was fiddling with it I started getting a message that Office couldn’t access the internet, but I was looking at webpages FROM Microsoft’s Office installation help and my accounts page. Then I rebooted Windows again and things went from bad to worse.

After a couple of hours I realized the Windows installation had been damaged in some unique and interesting ways. I threw in the towel.

I have a perfectly functional installation of Windows in VMWare, I don’t NEED a BootCamp partition. I especially don’t need to go through the whole Windows installation process again, then wait for Office, etc, etc, etc.

I learned some things I didn’t know before.


BootCamp works really well.

Note to self, Install Windows, Install Office, THEN install HP printers.

Probably, not a bad rule of thumb to hold off installation of printers in general until after Office is installed and online. I have the suspicion that HP isn’t the only printer manufacturer that’s got some kind of “blocking” bug with Office. This begs the question if you’re installing Office on an existing installation of Windows, should you maybe remove the installed printers then reinstall them after the installation?

On a Mac with Bootcamp installed, the 2nd (Windows) partition is shown on the desktop.

That’s something I don’t care for. I’d like the ability to have that partition hidden unless I explicitly mount it. I know I can hide all hard drives from the desktop, but I’d prefer to have the ability to have user selectable hidden partitions.

Since the Mac OS is, at its core a UNIX system,  I’m fairly sure that I could hide the partition… maybe fstab? Humm, I wonder…

In any case, I’m sticking with VMWare for my Windows needs. The single major reason is this, I can COPY a VMWare container. That container could be Windows, Linux, or other operating systems. Restoring that container is simple and VMWare doesn’t care.

Effectively, this means that I can corrupt the hell out of a VMWare Windows container and lose only the most recent changes (Or bad installation of something).

VMware is not noticeably slower than running Windows as a stand alone partition. So as the doctors say, the benefits outweigh the deficits.

Sad Mac 400x400

This could easily have been worse. I could have trashed my Mac OS installation in the process. I briefly considered that as a possibility. I discounted the potential danger for 2 reasons. 1) I Have a couple of complete backups of my Mac OS X installation. 2) I suffer from that terrible arrogance that comes from the Mac OS being so robust.

Yes, occasionally something really bad happens, but issues I have with my Mac are generally caused because I’m monkeying around not because the OS itself is bad.

So for all of you who’ve not used BootCamp, you can continue to not use it.

If however, you decide to give it a try, you can do so with a bit more confidence. Depending on your needs, you might still consider VMWare or Parallels as options.

PunishmentIf you’re looking for a way to spend an evening…


There are far more interesting things you can do instead of experimenting with a computer. I can tell you even BAD sex is more interesting.

Your milage will no doubt vary.


Just learned something interesting

I have two blogging programs that I use regularly.

The one I’m using right now is reliable and a workhorse but sometimes it’s a bit more than I really need and its interface is dated and perhaps a little “busy” when I’m interested in just typing.

The Other Blogging program is simple and features the newer “Open” design that many programs are moving to. The newer programs seem to be leaning toward minimalist icons in the menu, and a generally Spartan appearance. I like the look and feel of the newer interfaces, as a result I gravitate toward programs that are using the Spartan look.

February 10 089

Which leads me to some of the problems that new software can exhibit…

Software that’s a bit buggy, or in this case a lot buggy. The newer program has some issues with its spellcheck. “Issues” is me being polite.

Their implementation of spell check is almost completely wrong. A couple of weeks ago I went to great lengths to document how wrong they were.

Oh I was nice. I’d noticed the problems and when to their website to see if there was an estimated date when they’d have it fixed. On their site I saw many people leaving messages about things not working right but no-one was really specific.

The impression I got from the replies the company was writing, was that they didn’t understand what the users were complaining about.

I’m an OLD ASS SQA guy. 

So I figured I’d define the problem in a way that the programmers would understand.

I opened my copy of their program and started checking and unchecking options in the spellcheck system. Then I was doing screen capture and boiling down my procedure to recreate the problems into five or six steps. I put it all together and sent it off to the person at their company who takes care of these sorts of things.

I got a very nice email back saying, “Thank you, we get it now, and we’re working to fix the problem.”

“Cool,” I think.

Then I set all the settings back to my preferred conditions in their program and went on with my life.

Then, over the past couple of days I’ve been firing up the program to write quick little blogs. The program is highlighting some spelling errors but not others. I didn’t notice the inconsistency until this morning. The other thing the program is doing is this. It’s autocorrecting things as I type and doing that wrong!

I go back re-check the settings and confirm that indeed, the little check marks are having absolutely no effect. Which means another bug report to the company and that when they update the program they may have to have the customers do a complete uninstallation and then reinstall the program. That’s seriously ugly! Somewhere along the line, either using the program or changing the settings, the program has lost control of it’s preferences file.

Uh OH!  This means that Blogs I’ve written over the past few days are probably horribly screwed up!

Sure enough, I go out to the blog site and find that not only did the program not schedule things right, it also did some really bad things to spelling in the blogs posted over the last couple of days. 

So I’m falling back to the reliable old workhorse until the programmers get a handle on the defects in the new program.

Maybe I’ll hit the manufacturer of the new blogging program, up for a job. They could use my assistance!


In Elder Times…

We had conversations that were civil, it wan’t uncommon to have friends with heterogeneous opinions and you could have a passionate discussion without it ending in name calling or death threats.

The primary differences were that we were face to face, we’d been taught conflict resolution, we understood that the world didn’t revolve around us or our feelings. We knew that sometimes people will say things that we don’t like, agree with, or believe, BUT that it was other folks right to say those things, just as it was our right to express ourselves freely.

These were to some extent, lessons learned in the sandbox, or when we learned to share, or when we learned that for every bully, there’s someone stronger who may or may NOT be more “Just” than the bully they took out.

Then came the internet.

And people could sit behind their screens and say some of the most horrific things imaginable. For many years those of us who understood the old ways simply did what we’d done before. We ignored people who were trying to be offensive and moved on with our lives.

On IRC (Internet Relay Chat) groups we knew where the loudmouth dunderheads were likely to be mouthing off, and where folks who were interested in conversing were likely to be hanging out.

That’s what adults do.

We make choices, we take responsibility for what we see, read or hear. We remember that there is an off switch on our televisions, radios, and computers. If something offends us, we have the ability, right, and duty to ourselves, to turn it off. One thing that happened in the IRC groups was that someone would start mouthing off in a purposely offensive way and we’d all leave the room. The person could type their offensive stuff ’till their fingers bled but we’d not be reading it. They’d try to follow us and we’d leave again. Eventually, they’d get tired and go away.

Then came ICQ. Yeah, remember that? 1996, it was pretty cool. Unfortunately within 2 to 5 years the service was overrun with spammers. “Hi there, do you like date me?

By 2010 when the service went from AOL to a Russian company I’d not been a user for 5 years or more. Even so, we’d all been able to block users and I’d blocked hundreds of spammers if not thousands. Again, taking responsibility for myself.

Facebook and Twitter had eclipsed the ICQ service long before I’d opened and closed my Facebook account.

With Facebook I got tired of ever-changing terms of service, and oversharing my information every time Facebook updated their service. I didn’t like feeling like I had to watch what was supposed to be a fun leisure program as if it contained banking information. Then Facebook added a financial component and I was gone.

I moved to Twitter.

I like a lot of the features. The following of people while stalker-ish is pretty neat and Twitter’s hash tagging and presentation of folks with similar interests to those people I’ve already followed is convenient.

Twitter and Facebook are both facing issues. The way these two businesses are trying to deal with these problems is via censorship. I think this is the wrong way to go.

Rather that allowing some very immature people to dictate via censorship what I can read because they, not I, are offended. Twitter should instead make the offensive situation a teachable moment.

I agree with the ability for me to block certain persons who are chronically offensive to me. I do not think that Twitter or Facebook should sit in judgment of content.

A prime example of why I feel this way, is the story of a 175 year old pub whose Facebook page was deleted because of the pub’s name and over sensitive arbiters of taste. The pub is called “The Black Cock Inn”. Facebook apparently decided this was racist. Uhh 175 years ago in England the most likely meaning was black cockerel (black male chicken). In all probability at the time the place was named they had a ton of black chickens running around.

“Excuse me good man, where might I find food and lodging for the night?”

“Ahh Sir, not a quarter mile from here is an inn.”

“How will I know it?”

“Sir, The yard be full of black cocks, there be one or two in the cook pot too, I’d wager.”

We really must stop looking at everything through the lens of today’s morality and start looking at things in context using the moral lens in effect at the time of an event. We should then compare and contrast the difference so that we may learn from mistakes. However we needn’t  impose guilt on today for the abuses of yesterday, we need only learn, and vow to not make the same mistake moving forward.

Imagine how we’re going to feel when we find out Whales and Dolphins are in fact as intelligent as we are and that we murdered them for food and accidentally while we were fishing without permission in their ancestral waters.

I can hardly wait to see the SJW crowd throwing themselves off the nearest pier or drowning themselves in their bathtubs wracked with guilt.

Pardon me, that was a private fantasy… I’m back now.

Twitter’s Gulag methodology is so prone to abuse that all it takes is a butt hurt person to rally a very few of their friends and BOOM, you’re blown off Twitter, for the simplest of infractions.

adam-baldwin-mouth-getty-640x480The best recent example was when Adam Baldwin had his Twitter account locked over a recent gamer gate tweet.

Mr. Baldwin used no profanity, didn’t single anyone out, and said simply that his opinion was; (I’m paraphrasing) Gamergate folk were more joyous and attractive than anti-gamergate folks.

For that Twitter suspended his account.

The problem seems to be that the progressive liberal social justice warriors, using these services don’t understand that their opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.

ChildishAt the same time, these people have enough Whine power that they are dragging what should be simply services into politics and forcing these services to choose sides when these services should be completely agnostic about race, religion, politics, and everything else.

SJW ThinkingTwitter says that they’re going to be taking on trolls in the coming year. I suspect that means it will be easier for someone with a conservative bent to have their account locked, and harder for a SJW or ISIS recruiter to get tossed off Twitter for making death threats. (Yep, it’s a common occurrence. Direct death threats, or wishing people would die, or that their families would be shot, raped, killed… you name it.)

Usually this is the end of the conversation where the SJW has been proven wrong, or called on to prove their allegations and they are either unable or unwilling to do so.

FailA.K.A. (also known as) They’ve lost the argument and been humiliated in the process. This happens quite a bit especially when the SJW insinuates themselves into a conversation then starts mouthing off about a subject on which they have little direct knowledge, and are instead parroting “what they’ve heard” from other SJWs.

Oddly, the SJW is not usually called a troll. The people called “trolls” are the folks that demand the SJW back up their assertions with facts. I consider it another example of blaming the victims but that’s another story altogether.

Since I tend to say what I mean on Twitter, I wonder how long it will be until I’m labeled a Twitter Troll and have my account locked out.

I wonder if my old IRC handle is still available…

At least there, I’m the master of my own fate.