Mavericks issue solved

A while back I posted I was having issues with Mavericks. I am happy to say that these are now resolved. The solution that finally resolved the remaining issues left unresolved by updates to Mavericks was to remove two hard drives from my Mac Pro. I had hoped that the two hard drives in question, which were somewhat long in the tooth would be suitable for using with Parallels for the Windows side of things. Alas, it was not to be. For whatever reason they were causing problems with the Mac side of things and had to go. Since I took them out things have vastly improved. Maybe it was because they were formatted as NTFS as I wanted to use them as backup for data on the Windows side of things. Maybe it was an issue with Paragon’s NTFS for Mac. Who really knows? Certainly, as the actual need for them was minimal I decided it was simpler to remove them. Now my Mac boots up in 10 seconds and all apps run without trouble (most of the time)!

So I guess the moral of this story is, if you are going to add extra drives to the bays of your Mac Pro (pre-2013 version that is) it’s probably best to install brand-new ones. In the meantime, I wish all my readers a very Happy New Year!

Parallels Desktop for Mac

Parallels Desktop for Mac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life without a Mac

Apple iMacLife without a Mac – not something I anticipated any time in the past. However, when my daughter started sixth form I decided to donate my lovely MacBook Pro to her as my previous donation was now on its last legs. So, I got a new one for myself to replace it – well actually, no. I decided that as my iPhone 4S works really well as a substitute for carrying around a somewhat bulky laptop that instead this time I would get another iMac.

Dilemma – new iMacs were in the wings so I didn’t want to buy one and then find myself frustrated that Apple had just brought out a new line. So, here I am having spend the last couple of months using a PC laptop for my day job and my iPhone as a replacement for my Mac laptop.

So, how has it been? Well, surprisingly (to me certainly) I have not really missed my MacBook Pro as much as I thought I would. I am writing this post on a PC laptop, which though its nowhere as pleasant to use it does suffice for most tasks and certainly copes with writing documents for work, emails and blog posts etc. Of course, browsing the web these days is pretty much the same what OS you use.

I am using Windows 7 and its an improvement on XP but only just. I doubt I will upgrade the PC to Windows 8 anytime soon though. iOS 6 works great on my iPhone and I can do much of what I need to do day to day on it when out and about.The rest of the time I use the PC laptop. In fact, the only time I use my (daughter’s) MacBook Pro is to open documents that I haven’t copied to my Dropbox folder or the odd program that does something none of my PC ones can do.

I guess all this goes to prove how close the two operating environments are these days and that’s a good thing. Both can provide what is needed for most tasks you would need to do in everyday situations. However, I am hooked on the Apple way fo doing things and I love the reliability and sheer design perfection of Macs so I can’t wait to get a shiny new 27-inch iMac. All I need to do is find a way of financing it!


Something weird is happening with my Mac!

Sometimes one finds oneself starting to believe in conspiracy theories. Just lately my Mac has been doing strange things and I find myself starting to wonder if there is something suspicious going on. I mean, these weird things started happening just after Mountain Lion was released. Now I am still using Lion as I always wait for others to discover the bugs as I can’t afford to have things go wrong in a major way.

The weird things include Preview screwing things up when I try to convert an image. For example, I have just bought a Samsung NX11 and as I prefer to shoot RAW and convert later to jpg after getting the max out of my images, I have been using Preview to convert my Samsung RAW images to Tiffs. This works but not every time. Also, when opening the image as a Tiff and then saving out as a JPEG, for example, it totally screws the image content up so its unusable. here are two examples of images screwed up by Preview:

Mono image screwed up by Preview

Another Preview disaster!

As you can see these images are totally screwed up! However, mn (ore than half of the images I worked on in this way were ok so I am not sure what is going on. I am tempted to start believing Apple is messing with me in an effort to get me to upgrade to Mountain Lion. I know this sounds crazy but other weird stuff ahs been happening and all of it only since Mountain Lion became available. Make of it what you will. For the time being I have given up on Preview for editing. Instead I am using Pixelmator or even my PC!

The other big issue I have is with Mail. Recently it started crashing badly and since Mountain Lion became available it has got unusable. Despite the usual troubleshooting (deleting preference files and using Applejack to do a deep clean of my system files) nothing seems to work. I have now given up and use Gmail in Chrome or Firefox to read me mail or use my iPhone, which is more convenient to be honest. Apple has neglected Mail so much in recent years I suspect they intend to kill it off soon once iCloud is finished taking over the world!

Wi-Fi Issues with Lion


If you happen to use the hField Wi-Fire Long Range Wi-Fi Adapter and use Leopard on your Mac, whatever you do, don’t upgrade to Lion, just yet. The problem is that once you upgrade to Lion your Wi-Fire will no longer work.

This is a real pain and according to hField, Apple have yet to help them fix the problem. Seems its something to do with the 64 bit kernel in Lion. Apparently the instructions Apple have issued to developers for updating their apps for Lion don’t seem to work, at least as far as the Wi-Fire is concerned.

Now, as some of you know, I am the Official UK Reseller of the Wi-Fire, and so this is something of a blow, both in terms of its impact on would-be customers who sue Lion and those thinking of upgrading. It also affect existing customers who have upgraded to Lion only to find they can no longer use their Wi-Fire. Now, you may be asking, why don’t they just use Airport? Well, usually customers purchase the Wi-Fire because they can’t get a decent and reliable signal using Airport or other external adapters. So, reverting to using their built-in card or another brand of external adapter isn’t an option in most cases.

Of course, wishing to everything possible to help my customers I have searched high and low for a solution. As yet, I haven’t found one and Apple certainly don’t seem interested. hField are waiting on Apple, whilst Apple seem to be taking their time to respond.

In the meantime, the only viable solution is to either downgrade to Leopard or Snow Leopard. Rather than uninstalling Lion my advice is to use VirtualBox to run Snow Leopard alongside Lion in a virtualisation set-up.

Download VirtualBox for free here:

Follow walk-through here: