Posts Tagged mac

2009 Mac Pro with DVI and HDMI displays – restart problems

So I bought a new (old) Mac Pro; late 2009, 12/24 core, 64GB, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512 MB. It’s running macOS 10.12.3 Sierra. I hooked up one monitor to the HDMI port, and one to the DVI port. Seemed to work fine.

Until I rebooted the machine.

Then it refused to show the mouse pointer (Apple magic mouse), although It would warn of the mouse’s disconnect and reconnect if I powered the mouse up and down. Likewise, there was no response to the keyboard. It just sat there showing login options for me and a guest; it wouldn’t respond to anything at all I did with mouse or keyboard.

After trying power downs, pulling the plug for a while, pounding on the keyboard, powering the mouse up and down, I finally thought to pull a connection to a monitor. Specifically, the DVI-connected monitor. Immediately the mouse pointer showed up, and I was able to log in.

Up to this point, I had the machine set up so that the HDMI monitor was on the left, and was my home (boot screen) monitor. That’s the one you drag the menu bar to in the Prefs / Displays panel. But I noticed when the machine booted, it showed up on the DVI monitor first, then the HDMI monitor, and then it locked up.

So, still booted up after all this screwing around, I swapped monitor cables, then set the DVI monitor to be the home monitor, as the left monitor was now my DVI-connected monitor instead of my HDMI-connected monitor.

Now the machine restarts cleanly, or at least, it has a few times in a row.

So if you’re having this kind of problem, after the login screen shows, try pulling one or the other or both of the monitor cables to see if it will unlock the mess. And make sure the DVI monitor is your home monitor once you get things running again.

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What’s that Smell?

As they train to become a doctor, new interns are taught about many different diseases that produce various sets of otherwise similar symptoms. In conjunction with this new and complex knowledge, they are also taught this truism: “When you hear hoofprints, you must not initially assume a zebra is in the vicinity.” This pithy remark is meant to impart that, for instance, if a patient comes in bleeding from an orifice, one must not immediately assume that Ebola is in the building; more likely something much more common is in play, such as hemorrhoids or perhaps an unfortunate excess of enthusiasm coupled with a new, ahem, toy.

One of the clearer signs that I was becoming a competent programmer was that the problems in my code began, more and more often, to in fact, be zebras. Instead of a misplaced character or a missing clause or some kind of blatant conceptual error, the abject weirdnesses that were most often populating the realm of my final, demonstrably accurate diagnoses came to be things like operating system bugs, broken libraries, incomplete emulations and exotic compiler bugs. Zebras.
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RFSPACE SDR-IQ and Mac OSX 10.5.8 Leopard

No Mac support as yet, but… install VMWARE and XP, and it works great. I’m listening to Radio Havana on 6050 KHz right now on a three foot piece of wire. Tomorrow, when I can buy a length of coax, I’ll hook it up to my shortwave antenna, which is out of reach of my computer desktop right now. I expect to have a lot of fun.

I tried it with Parallels 2, but Parallels screws up the USB connection and it just won’t fly. It was less expensive to “cross-grade” to VMWARE than it was to buy a Parallels “support incident”, so Parallels just lost a paying customer. Funny how that works. VMWARE imported my Parallels XP VM without comment, and the only catch was that XP bitched at me about having to be re-registered because “my hardware had changed significantly.” Oops. Turns out that wasn’t a problem… re-registration went smoothly, just a couple clicks and it was done. One of the benefits of having a legal copy, I presume.

Anyway, just thought it’d be worth noting for Mac users that you too can have an SDR instrument on your desktop. You do have to run it inside a Windows VM, but that doesn’t seem to be much of an inconvenience.

On the left, you see WinRadio; it has a lot fewer features than SpectraVue, but on the other hand, it acts a good deal more like a radio than a spectrum analysis tool. It doesn’t seem to have any system for managing memories, but that may just be new-user unfamiliarity. I confess to not (yet) having RTFM. I will update this post if I learn otherwise.

Some benefits WinRadio brings to the desktop are ECSS reception for standard SW and AM signals, and DRM (Digital Radio Mondial), a digital reception mode. ECSS works very well indeed; DRM is… well, it’s interesting. Haven’t got that figured out yet. I downloaded the DReaM decoder, and tuned in to some DRM broadcasts, but haven’t got anything to report other than no success.
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Using the Mac as a Guitar Workstation

I will start with a disclaimer: I am not in any way associated with the companies I’m going to mention here, other than being a paying customer for them.

Over my years as a professional musician, I’ve invested a phenomenal amount of money in musical gear. Amps, pedals, guitars, effects systems, you name it, I’ve probably bought it, beat it up, and traded it off in my search for “that sound.”

After about 40 years of playing, I’ve arrived at the combination of analog and digital gear that presently outfits my studio, and a few choice instruments. I was pretty happy with this too, except it isn’t very portable, and the setup is complex enough that there are times when I spend more time twiddling knobs than I do actually playing or recording.

Well, I’ve found something rather extraordinary. So much so I thought it was worth telling the world. As it turns out, there’s an easy, sensible, cool way to go that costs very little and gives you the world. Here’s the scoop.

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