Developer from the UK, currently making cool stuff at The Outlook Creative Group.
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Happy 20th birthday iPod!

20 years ago today Apple announced the iPod to the world. I still remember getting my first iPod (the original Shuffle), such a game changing device at the time. After that I moved to the 3rd Generation Nano (The red one pictured above) and then on to the iPod touch (2nd and 4th Generations, bottom right). Since then I’ve gone on to collect a bunch more and even dabbled in bringing my 5th Gen into the modern world by swapping out the ailing 80GB Hard Drive for a 256GB SD Card, that’s a lot more than a 1000 songs in your pocket.

Part of me was really hoping Apple would give some kind of nod to the iPod today, considering what a game changer it was for both them and the world but alas. Here’s to the next 20 years!

2004 iMac G5 – Round 2

In my last post I talked about the “new” iMac G5 I’d acquired (knowing something was wrong) that had one of the well known/documented graphics card failures. After making that post I ordered a refurbished motherboard from The Bookyard (vintage Apple heaven) but before fitting it, we thought we’d try heating the chip up to see if re-flowing it would achieve anything, I mean hey, we can’t make it any worse…right?

Well, after a couple of attempts we achieved……nothing. Actually, I think we made it worse? Oh well, on to fitting the new board!

The G5 is an extremely simple machine to work on which is good thing considering how many common faults they have!

From this…
…to this
Out with the old and in with the new

Tadaa! It all works! It booted right into the last users system which was jarring, they’d left everything on there. It was very clearly a family computer that at one point just got parked (when the chip went bad I assume).

Around this time was when I remembered it’s not (easily) possible to boot PowerPC Macs from USB and considering the SuperDrive in this just seem to keep spitting the disks back out, I had to employ the use of one of our iMac G4s and head into Target Disk Mode. See! Hoarding all these old Macs does have its uses!

2004 iMac G5

Picked up an iMac G5 for dirt cheap that was listed as powering up but not outputting anything on screen, now I know the G5 had a laundry list of issues they suffered over the years but as this was a great price and came with it’s original box and accessories it was hard to pass up!

What an incredible looking machine inside!

This might be one of the easiest iMacs to open ever, three clever captive screws at the bottom and the back pops off. Before opening it up I powered it on and got the single beep which normally indicates something is amiss with the RAM and lo-and-behold, it doesn’t have any! After a quick eBay search I managed to order some replacement RAM.

Whilst inside I was pleasantly surprised to see none of the capacitors looked like they were ready to party (in a bad way) which seems to be a very common fault on these boards. One of the other common faults is faulty graphics chips (specifically the soldering I believe)…

…ah bollocks.

Well, as I can’t make it any worse, it’s time to disassemble and see if we can re-flow the graphics chip. Watch this space!

2006 Mac Pro

This weeks new (old) purchase was a 2006 Mac Pro (1,1) complete with a 20″ Cinema Display, keyboard and mouse. Great price for a well looked after machine and the fact the Cinema Display comes with it’s power supply is a big bonus, those things seem to be like gold dust on eBay!

I remember how unattainable these seemed when they came out, I used to go on the Apple Configurator and see just how expensive I could make these (actually, I still do that…). Always wanted one and finally found one that came up at a great price within a reasonable distance of me.

…actually “one” is a slight lie, I now have two of them

Forgive the missing drive bay from the right one, I do have it!

The one on the left is also a 1,1 and did work when I got it, but shortly after when plugging it back in some time later something went *pop*. I assume it’s the power supply that’s kicked the bucket so a new one is on the way and if not, time to take it apart!

The ultimate 2007 everyday carry

New acquisition: 2006 Black MacBook

Always wanted a black MacBook (“BlackBook”) back in 2006, now I’ve finally managed to find one in great (working) condition 14 years later! Super hard to find one of these that doesn’t look like it’s been dragged behind a car and gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson at a half reasonable price. This one seems to be all working (aside from a missing caps lock key which I ended up getting from a donor machine) and a completely dead (but original) battery. Now complete with Mac OSX Leopard (Dear Apple, please bring back the old intros 👌).

Hello 2005

Using Touch ID with sudo in Terminal

I’ve always found it slightly odd that when using any sudo command in Terminal on the Mac you would have to enter your password if your Mac has Touch ID. Well, after some Googling it looks like it’s super simple to allow your Mac to authenticate sudo commands with Touch ID (and I assume the Apple Watch if my experience testing is anything to go by).


sudo nano /private/etc/pam.d/sudo

At the top of this file add:

auth sufficient

Save and exit nano (ctrl + o, ctrl + x). That should be it! Now when you next need to use sudo, it should prompt you for Touch ID instead of your password!

Not sure if this has any downsides or long term affects yet, we’ll find out!

Little and large

My new favourite Safari extension

We all know that comment sections on some sites *cough* YouTube *cough* can end up being a toxic wasteland, well this aptly named plugin does a good job of, well, shutting them up!

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