This may seem really trivial, but one of the things I’ve missed from the all-in-one iMac is the ability to control the display brightness from within the OS and more specifically, the keyboard. Didn’t even think to see if it was possible to do with non-Apple external displays as I thought it was some hardware/software magic until I saw a comment on Reddit mentioning the app “MonitorControl”.
This is another app that “does what it says on the tin”, it allows you to control the brightness (and volume if you’re using the built-in sound) of your external monitor right from within macOS using the same native controls that the MacBook and built-in displays have access to.
Download it, open it up, grant it permissions in System Preferences and away you go. If you have an Apple keyboard the brightness keys (F1/F2) should start working immediately and if you have a third party keyboard, or you just want to change the binding, it gives you custom options as well.
Obviously your mileage may vary when it comes to display support.
For so long it didn’t even occur to me that you could possibly turn off the power LED on the Pi at all, so it just sat there like an ominous dark glow lighting up the room every night.
Did some digging (my early Google searches revealed everyone has a different way of solving this issue, most of which don’t seem to work any more on a newer Pi) and came across this StackOverflow answer.
To summarise, if you want to turn off the LED:
echo none > /sys/class/leds/led1/trigger
If you want to turn it back on:
echo default-on > /sys/class/leds/led1/trigger
The only issue I’ve had so far is that it’s not persistent when rebooting, so if anyone has a solution for this, please let me know!
For an older Pi
I haven’t checked this myself, but I believe on older Pis you can re-enter the raspi-config and disable the LED’s in there. This option is still present on the Pi 4 but once you enter it, you’ll get a notice saying it’s unavailable.
Beau Miles quickly became one of my favourite content creators over the past couple of years, one of those “drop everything, there’s a new video” type.
This book goes hand in hand with his YouTube channel and gives further insights into some of the things he’s done in videos. I highly recommend going through his channel and watching…well everything because it’s great…before reading it.
I read the book as there was no audio book at the time, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read it in his voice in my head. I’ve now purchased the audio book and plan on re-visiting it very soon!
If you have an Apple Watch and you’re looking for something more than just the built in Workouts app then this is a game changer.
For me it gets the most use with walking and running, but it can handle pretty much any activity under the sun. I especially love it for running as I can put my interval schedules in and I’ll just get a tap on the wrist or a ping in my AirPods (connected to the watch) when it’s time to move on to the next interval.
It’s about £5 so not cheap (funny how we’ve become contempt with dropping £400 on a watch or £1000 on a phone and then deem £5 for an app “expensive” 🙄) but it is absolutely worth every penny.
I’ve spent the past few years re-building up my CD collection for various reasons, partly because there is something to owning your music in at least CD quality, partly because I built a 256GB iPod Video and a big factor has been some things randomly disappearing from streaming services.
In that same time I’ve also been looking for a way of playing everything, pointless having a collection if you can’t actually play it. This journey had reminded me just how bad iTunes had become over the last few years of it’s life, so that was out of the question. A few basic requirements of mine were; it needed to work cross-device and ideally I would like to manage the file structure of the music (i.e. not have the app doing it for me).
PlexAmp was the best solution by far, it meets both of the requirements and then some. A small catch is it requires a “Plex Pass” at £3/month but that’s absolutely worth it to support the development of Plex/PlexAmp. I’ve got a Plex server running on my old Mac Mini and all my Music is then stored on my Synology. I’ve got a funky (but working) way of getting music to my iPod and still having it work wit Last FM, which I’ll cover in another post at some point.
Honestly there’s not a whole lot this year that really stood out to me in the TV & Film category, obviously a lot of things have been on hold/delayed so it hardly comes as a surprise. I’ve recently enjoyed Hawkeye on Disney+, the Black Widow film was pretty good too but other than that, I can’t think of anything that really stood out to me.
I actually think this came out before this year but anyway, I watched it this year and really enjoyed it. Offers a great insight into General Magic ad a really interesting look back at technology development at the time, so much of the stuff we take for granted today and where it came from/started.
Happy new year everyone and here’s to a better 2022 🤞
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!
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!
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!
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!
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)…
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!
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
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!
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 👌).