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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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Building a Library

Here’s another window on our church-to-home project. Deb and I are both avid readers, and a library has always been high on our list of things we wanted in our dream home. Naturally enough, it was one of the first rooms to be allocated, and we’ve got some of the final shelving done. Not on the walls, or out on the floor. In the ceiling.

That’s right — the ceiling. I used 9″ BCIs to support the floor above, and left the bottoms open. To those, I attached shelves suitable, depth-wise, for paperbacks. When we do the walls, we’ll make deeper, higher shelves so as to accommodate textbooks and so forth. Here’s what the ceiling looked like with all but one (the one closest to you) of the shelves attached:

Library ceiling

The shelves on the walls are temporary modular units that are doing yeoman service until we can get around to building the final ones into the walls.

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