Archive for the ‘MacBook Pro’ Category

Mac OS: Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion: How?

Saturday, August 17th, 2013


My trusty old 2009-vintage MacBook is still running the Snow Leopard edition of Mac OS, 10.6.8.  I wondered whether I could upgrade it to Mountain Lion, direct or via intermediate versions, and also how to go about purchasing it, and at what cost.


The answer appears simple:

  • Yes, probably.  Check this and make purchase directly from Mac OS itself, simply by going to Mac OS Menu:[AppleIcon > Software Update… ]
  • Cost at time of writing is ???


I wonder whether FCP7 will still run on this new version of Mac OS, given that it has been end-of-life’d by Apple and in any case I never really liked it that much, especially with all its technical niggles, especially with regard to gamma level changes and quicktime versions that had to be “just right” (only discoverable in ad hoc manner by hunting through specialist forums). (more…)

Replacement Hard Drive for MacBook Pro of 2009 Vintage

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Need a replacement for a failing drive in my MacBook:

My late-2009 MacBook Pro has been acting oddly, with corruptions, suggestive of a failing disk.  I suspect this was caused by the machine coming out of Sleep while travelling by car…

Replace with what kind of drive?

I could simply replace with an identical make and model to the original, which is:

  • According to W7 WindowsExplorer Properties:
    • ST9500420AS ATA Device
  • Printed on disk:
    • Seagate Momentus 7200.4
    • 500GB
    • WWN: 5000C500380A2AC9

On the other hand, I could see if there’s anything better I can rfeplace it with now, e.g. offering greater capacity and speed.  Of course, have to be careful to ensure capacity…

Following a web-search, and due consideration, my plan is:

  • SSD is possible, but may have to be careful about some technical issues in selection and ongoing system maintenance.  Also, given they cost a small number of hundreds of pounds, it is difficult to justify investing such an expensive component in a computer that, due to its age and visible wear-and-tear, is only worth about the same amount itself.
  • Hybrid SSHD is plug-compatible and looks the same to the OS as an ordinary HD, thus no technical complications should arise (no special configuration or ongoing maintenance).  Also, the price is below £100, which is justifiable for the described system.
  • Physically, to fit in the MacBook, the drive must have a SATA 2.5″ form factor and no more than 9.5 mm in height.

A recommended SSHD Drive:

  • Seagate 750GB Momentus XT hybrid
    •  ST750LX003
    • This (unlike larger 1TB variant) comes with 7200 rpm HD
    • It is available from Amazon:
      •  SATA 6Gb/s compatibility with NCQ for interface speed.
      • Product Dimensions    10 x 7 x 0.9 cm
      • Item model number    ST750LX003
      • Shock Tolerance:350 g @ 2ms (operating) / 1000 g @ 1ms (non-operating)
      • Interfaces:1 x Serial ATA-600, Compatible Bays:1 x internal – 2.5″ x 1/8H
      • Spindle Speed:7200 rpm
      • Drive Transfer Rate:600 MBps (external), Average Latency:4.2 ms
      • Non-Recoverable Errors:1 per 10^14
  • There is a 1TB variant but its spindle speed is only 5400 rpm


Web-Scraping in Python

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Python is already on my MBP-MacOS system.

Mac Shutdown Hang: Kaspersky 2011 (for Mac)

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

My MacBook Pro, running Snow Leopard i.e. Mac OS 10.6.8, often hangs during shutdown.  If I start it up, do almost nothing, then shut down it is ok. But otherwise, if I do something significant, like run Adobe Premiere, it hangs on shutdown.  The only way out is to “Button It” i.e. press and hold the Power Button to force a power-off.  This leaves the file system slightly damaged, as reported by [Boot Camp > Windows] (not sure if I have MacDrive running or not), if I happen to run that immediately afterwards.

On booting again to Mac OS, the OS appears to mend the file system and recover lost files, which appear in a [Recovered] folder of [Trash].  Typically these are files I (directly or indirectly via an application) most recently created prior to shutdown, for example Adobe project-saves and cache file saves.

This is a nuisance, and (naively at least) raises concerns of some more significant kind of damage occurring some day…

Web-search suggested maybe Kapersky Anti-Virus 2011 (for Mac) might be responsible.  My experience indeed confirmed that – once I removed Kaspersky (for Mac), the Mac OS shutdown behaved normally once again.

{BUT, as recorded in my next post, re Adobe, could the apparent Kaspersky-hang be the result of an Adobe failure-to-terminate process?}

Kaspersky removal:

  • Since my copy of Kaspersky (for Mac) was installed as part of Parallels Desktop 8, it did not come with its own installer/uninstaller package.  Instead I had to run Parallels Desktop (no need for any of the VMs to be running, just the “shell”), then use menu option: [Parallels Desktop >  File > Uninstall Antivirus for Mac…].
  • Tip: on doing that, nothing seemed to happen for quite a while, so maybe worth leaving it for say 15 minutes to see if a confirmation “Removal succeeded” message pops up.  Or if that doesn’t work, try updating Parallels Desktop and trying again (that is what I ended up having to do).


MacBook Pro (2009): Boot Camp: Windows 7 (64): FW & ExpressCard Issues

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

My MacBook Pro, of 2009 vintage, has both FireWire 800 (FW 800) and ExpressCard among its data & communications ports.  These work fine in Mac OS X, but not in [Boot Camp > Windows 7 (64-bit)].  That’s how it’s always been with this laptop.  A while has passed since I last searched the web, so I wondered whether any solution had finally been found.  I was prompted by the serendipitous discovery (in a desk drawer) of an ExpressCard to FireWire card, offering dual FS800 ports.  It was originally purchased in an attempt to work around the non-functioning (in BC-W7) native FW port of the machine, but that attempt had not, to date, been successful.  I wondered if maybe a solution to using that work-around might now be available.


Sadly I just wasted valuable time looking around.  All I confirmed was that I was not alone with this problem.


MacBook Pro > Boot Camp > Windows 7: FireWire & ExpressCard Port Issues

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

This is a long-standing problem to which it seems there might never be a solution…

Websearch on [MacBook Pro > Boot Camp > Windows 7] re not-working-properly of:

  •  FW800
  • ExpressCard Slot

Links I found (if only for posterity):

  • e.g. Google: [macbook pro boot camp express card recognized]
    • Q:
      • I have just tried the Express 3/4 wireless card from Ubitquiti. After booting up in Bootcamp, and inserting the card, I did not receive the “Found New Hardware” dialog. I am unable to find the device in the device manager. It appears that bootcamp may not support the Express 3/4 card slot.
      • I can see when I boot OS X that the card is recognized, but it does not have a driver for it. So I know the H/W appears to be functional.
    • A:
      • In subsequent experimentation, I am finding that if the card is inserted when I bootup with bootcamp, then the expresscard/34 is recognized. However if I insert the card after having been booted, the card does not get recognized.
    • Q:
      • I’ve got Windows 7 RC 64-bit installed on a 2.53 GHz MacBook Pro (dual boot using Boot Camp) with an ExpressCard slot. I also got a FileMate SolidGO 3FMS4D48M-WR 48GB ExpressCard SSD; the drive works beautifully under OS X, but is not recognized at all by Windows 7 when it’s in the ExpressCard slot. In Device Manager, the yellow caution icon appears in front of the Standard ACHI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. The drive does not show under Disk drives or in Disk Manager. The corresponding Device Status message is: “This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use (Code 12). If you want to use this device, you will need to disable one of the other devices on this system.”
      • The drive is recognized as SATA under Mac OS X and also works fine in Windows when plugged into a USB port instead of the ExpressCard slot (at which point it is not treated as SATA, but USB). I’ve tried the latest Boot Camp drivers, but that has no effect. Any suggestions?
    • A:
      • Unfortunately for Unibody users like myself with the Nvidia MCP79 chipset there hasn’t been a solution found yet – it’s discussed towards the end of the thread. I’m going to try and help when I have time but until they find a solution or Apple release what would be quite a simple EFI patch to enable it in the BIOS emulation we’re stuck with PATA and your SSD won’t work

GPU CUDA Driver Update for Mac BootCamp Windows 7

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

I have various CUDA-enabled applications and my Mac BootCamp Windows 7 (64-bit) machines have CUDA-capable GPUs (Graphics Cards) but the drivers under Boot Camp make the CUDA features inacessible.

Ordinarily, for a standard windows desktop, it would simply be a case of going to NVIDIA’s site  and letting it automatically scan your system for the latest compatible driver.  However for the “shrink-wrapped” / “walled garden” world of Macs and MacBooks, the NVIDIA search result just says “contact the manufacturer”.  In other words only the driver supplied with Boot Camp is officially supported.

So in that case, what is not officially supported but does work?  Time for a web-search:

Google: [macbook pro geforce 9600m gt driver]

Obviously I will want to back everything up first…

…but it does sound worth a try.

MacBook Multiple Displays (Monitors)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012


  • It can be done, easily.
  • Need a [Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter]
    • (Not to be confused with Mini DVI to VGA Adaptor)
  • Under Boot Camp > Windows 7:
    • Initially, it chose to “mirror” (identical, not reflections) the displays, with the external display as the primary, and the laptop’s own display as the secondary, its resolution reduced to match the primary (and aspect ratio to match also).
    • Instead want “Extended Desktop” with laptop as primary and at its normal full resolution.
    • On a standard Windows PC there are keyboard keys to switch between such modes, but the MacBook keyboard has no obvious equivalent
      • Maybe some web-trawling could reveal suchlike, but my initial search revealed nothing.
    • Desktop >RtClk> NVIDIA Control Panel
      • Set up multiple displays
        • MacBook’s own display is listed as [Apple Color LCD], as Display [2].
        • RtClk one of the “screen” depictions and select [Extend desktop on this display]
        • (Now I had extended desktop, but in the wrong order, i.e. with external as prmary)
    • Control Panel > Display > Change display settings
      • Can drag-swap the two displaysinto the  order you prefer.

iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My girlfriend has one of these, ethernet-connected to her router and thus available on her home network.  However, in order for any computer, Windows or Mac (what about linux?) to access it, it is necessary (aside from any hacky-workarounds that may possibly exist) to install the Iomega Home Storage Manager.   This makes volume(s) offered by the NAS appear, on the Mac in Finder under SHARED, or on a Windows machine as additional drive letter(s).

To acquire the Iomega Home Storage Manager, go to,1043 or else try and click on [Desktop Network Storage > Home Media Network Hard Drive].  May need to establish and login-to an iomega support account (free) first.

I wondered at first about enabling the NAS as a Mac OS Time Machine (backup) disk.  An iomega article I saw suggested that should be possible, for iomega firmware 2.0 and above.  But the disk as it stands is NTFS-formatted – because when it was set up we had only Windows machines.  Now that disk contains much material in that NTFS.  I guess it might be possible to partrition the disk e.g. to keep the existing NTFS and add alongside it a HFS+ partition for Time Machine to use.  But it’s guesswork that carries risks (of disruption/damage to existing contents).  We want an easy geeking-minimal life, so maybe better to repurpose that NAS and get a purpose-made Apple Time Capsule instead. Either way, the evening wears on, so I’ll shelve that idea/investigation for now…


NovamediaDiskSupressor & Vodafone Dongleware

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My girlfriend’s MacBook laptop, at every system-startup, was giving the error popup: “To open NovamediaDiskSupressor, you need to install Rosetta. Would you like to install it now?”.  Caution dictated a negative user-response to this.  It was just plain annoying.

Web-search (on full error-message) revealed NovamediaDiskSupressor to be non-mal, but to be a support software needed by Vopdafone’s cell-wireless dongle of a couple or so years ago.  I don’t know if Vodafone have improved things since then, but I also had issues with it under Windows 7, where its firmware installed drivers incompatible with that OS.  So basically the whole dongle was a nuisance.

How to uninstall it (from Mac OS Snow Leopard):

  • I dragged the Vodafone app to Trash
  • …BUT :
    • that is not sufficient, further cleaning-up required, as below…
    • Also, when I tried to empty the trash, error popup said: `The operation can’t be completed because the item “Mac_SwapperDemon” is in use’.
      • Maybe it will work following reboot?

According to advice posted at, repeating that at

  • Remove the following from /Library/LaunchAgents/
    • de.novamedia.NovamediaDiskSupressor
    • {Those were the only entries in this folder}
  • Remove
    • mac_swapperdemon
      • from system preferences user > accounts > user login items
      • {BUT no items were listed there at all, let alone that one}
  • Remove
    • /Library/Application support/Vodafone
    • /Applications/Vodafone mobile connect
  • Update: also discovered some kernel extensions to remove
    • sudo rm: {OR just Trash them via Finder, I discovered}
      • /System/Library/Extensions/USBExpressCardCantWake_Huawei.kext
      • /System/Library/Extensions/ZTEUSBCDCACMControl.kext
      • /System/Library/Extensions/ZTEUSBCDCACMData.kext

MacBook Pro (2009): FireWire 800 Issues Under Boot Camp > Windows

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Back in early 2010, I bought a MacBook Pro.  Like my existing Mac Pro desktop it had a FireWire 800 (FW800) port, but unlike the Mac desktop that port would only function under Mac OS, not Boot Camp > Windows.  The desktop had Windows XP 32-bit while the MacBook had Windows 7 64-bit.

In a prolonged attempt (the latter half of 2010) I did a lot of searching, browsing, emailing, phoning and conversing to try to find out if it was “just me” or a recognised issue.   The main source of misleading answers to the effect that many had never had that problem was that those same people had never tried (saying that at the start would have been a more useful answer).  Or else my question got “pidgeonholed” into a standard one about booting from an external drive – something I was definitely not trying to do. Next, it seemed that some older laptops had a different chipset, by Texas Instruments, and those did not have the same problem.

One workaround some people employed was to go via a FW800 ExpressCard adaptor.  But that only works on certain models and certain versions of Windows it appears.

In conclusion, the issue appears to remain in force, it’s not “just me”, and sadly there is little prospect of it being fixed.  I had this vain hope that maybe newer macbook models or newer Boot Camp releases might have sorted things a bit.  Doesn’t look like it…


Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams (continued)

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Following-on from my earlier post, Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams, where I considered an eventual migration from my laptop to a luggable PC, my thoughts veered (possibly having spotted cash-icebergs among them) towards an alternative solution:

  • Use the laptop for lightweight editing & compositing.
  • Use the desktop as a number-crunching RADI-attached server.

The two could be linked by:

  • Remote access / remote sessions (some of which via smartphone)
  • DropBox, e.g. have an active folder where I can drop Adobe Premiere XML and have it processed remotely by Adobe apps installed there.

Some links:

    • (There’s no equivalent “_part_1” page.  I guess it’s just “Part 2” of that guy’s story).
    • DIY virtual machines: Rigging up at home, by Trevor Pott, 11th January 2012 14:33 GMT
    • Personal Virtual Machine (PVM) (in use) for about seven years with retail boxed version of Windows XP.
    • VM has been moved from virtualization platform to virtualization platform over the years … the most recent incarnation … inside Hyper-V.
    • …nothing beats Windows Server 2008 R2. It comes with a top-notch virtualisation platform (Hyper-V), and added RemoteFX support with Service Pack 1. You can still use the desktop operating system for all your HTPC needs, and a single Server 2008 R2 Standard license allows you to run both a host copy and a single virtual instance of Server 2008 R2.
    • In my case, the host instance does little more than play movies on the projector via VLC. The virtual instance of Server runs my Plex media server, and aggregates my many storage devices into a single share using DFS.
  • Shuttle Inc (Taiwan)

Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Want a mobile “suitcase” editing system, something more (and more expandable) than a laptop but not too expensive.  Primarily to be used for Adobe CS5.5 for media enhancement / editing / compositing etc.

Nearest I found was NextDimension’s range around $7000 I think (but just guesswork – could be way off – would need to get a quote).   That would (if true) be around £4500 at current rates.  Plus import…  NextDimension call such machines “flextops” (Maybe they coined the term? Google searches on it mostly come up with them.)

Apart from the (mil/broadcast-lite but me-heavy) price, it might possibly be undesirably heavy to lug around much.   If so (just guessing, not assuming), it would make more sense to go for a modular quick-setup system.  So, starting to “think different” in this direction:

  • Standard tower, capable of taking new CUDA etc. graphics cards etc. as they emerge, but no need for more than say a couple of disks, maybe if SSD could even get away with just a single disk? (For system and media – inadvisable for traditional disks of course, what about for SSD’s?  I have much to learn about SSD’s though).
  • “Laptop-Lite” to talk to it.  With robust shuttered-stereoscopic HD monitor.
  • Gigabit network to NAS fast storage (SSD and/or RAID ?).

Maybe in that case it would be far more logical/affordable to use an existing laptop as a client working together with a luggable tower server, sufficiently light and robust for frequent dis/re -connection and travel.  And remote access of course (no heavy data to be exchanged, assume that’s already sync’d).  And some means to easily swap/sync applications and projects (data) between laptop and tower, giving the option to use just the (old) laptop on its own if needed.  All such options are handy for the travelling dude (working on train, social visits etc.) who also occasionally has to do heavy processing.  Then would just need a protective suitcase for the tower, plus another one for a decent monitor for grading etc.

I certainly won’t be spending anything just yet, but it’s good to have at least some kind of “radar”.


Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium: Premiere: Run in Boot Camp Windows 7

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

 Having got the suite installed and ready to use, I ran Adobe Premiere.  It created an account for me on [CS Live Services].  It complained that my video card drivers were insufficient for CUDA accelerated rendering.  Sadly I cannot update these – I must only accept those that Apple provide (via Boot Camp updates).  So no CUDA acceleration then I guess…

Nevertheless, how well does it work in other respects, and how usable is it overall?  The


Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium: Download for Windows

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Given my poor experiences on my [MacBook Pro (2009) > Boot Camp > Windows 7] with Boris Blue and with DaVinci Resolve, it is by no means certain that [Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium] will fare any better.  But it’s worth a try.

So I downloaded a trial.  As part of that I had to first allow [Adobe Download Assistant] to be nstalled and executed.  It prompted for my level of expertise.  I answered: <<Novice: I could use all the help I can get>>.  In response it gave the following link:

The download is apparently 7.116 GB, estimated download time between 5 and 8 hours. Overnight in other words.

DaVinci Resolve on MacBook Pro > Boot Camp > Windows 7

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Basically it won’t work on my MacBook Pro (2009) with Windows 7 running under Boot Camp (3.3).  I guess Boot Camp doesn’t make sufficient of the GPU’s capability available.


iPhone: MobileSync Backups: How to move & purge

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

I’m doing a tidy-up of the MacBook. The application [Disk Inventory] revealed that one of my largest disk-occupying items is MobileSync Backups, which I assume to be from synchronizing iPhone with MacBook.  It consists of several roughly equally-sized files.  Overall I wonder:

  • Is there a way to store the backups somewhere else than the system disk?
  • Do the  “several roughly equally-sized files” imply I have more than one backup on the disk (in which case I’d like to purge all but the most recent).

Google: [mobilesync backup files]

XDCAM-EX to ProRes: How

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

I have a Sony XDCAM-EX clip at 1280x720p25 to be transcoded to ProRes, so it can be used as source for iMovie (for another user on another machine).

In principle it should be very simple: go on Mac, use Compressor to transcode the XDCAM footage to ProRes.  But as usual, things are pernickety…


  • First tried dragging the XDCAM [.mp4] file into compressor.
    • Not recognised.
    • Likewise the BPAV folder.
  • Next, I transcoded the XDCAM footage to “MXF for NLEs” format, using the Mac version of Sony Clip Browser
    • Not recognised.
  •  Next, opened the XDCAM Transfer app.
    • In this app, open the XDCAM’s BPAV folder.
    • The footage displays OK but how do I export it to a QuickTime [MOV] file?
    • Looks like I can’t.  It only offers to export to an [MP4] file.
    • Instead, I guess I’ll have to open it from FCP.
  • FCP
    • I opened a random existing FCP project.
    • The footage is 720p but the project/sequence settings are arbitrary (unknown to me)
    • FCP: File > Import > Sony XDCAM…
    • It imported to somewhere … but where?
    • FCP Browser: file > RightClick > Reveal in Finder
    • It was at [/Volumes/GRm HFS+/_Media/_Projects/2010-05-30 (Esp) Alison Doggies/020 Source/Sony XDCAM Transfer/SxS_01]
  • File System:
    • In other words, at whatever destination was last used by some app – presumably XDCAM Transfer or possibly FCP
    • The destination path was in fact specified in XDCAM Transfer, under its Menu: [XDCAM Transfer > Preferences > Import]
    • Moved the file instead to [/Volumes/GRm HFS+/_Media/_Projects/2009-11-22 (JRM) Lady of the Silver Wheel]
  • Compressor:
    • Open it in Compressor
      • Drag it to the “job-strip” (my term) in Compresor.
    • Compressor displays data about that clip (e.g. 1280×720, 25 fps)
    • Select jobstrip settings:
      • Select Setting
        • Settings: Apple > Formats > QuickTime > Apple Pro
          • Name: Apple ProRes 422
          • Description: Apple ProRes 422 with audio pass-through. Settings based off the source resolution and frame rate
      • Apply (Drag) Setting to Jobstrip
    • Destination
      • Leave destination unspecified.  Then it will be the same folder as Source.
    • Processing (transcoding) of this footage (1280x720p25) took about 3 minutes (on MacBook Pro 2009).
    • Result was not that much bigger than the original:
      • Originally recorded [.MP4] file: 1.19 GB
      • Rewrapped [.MOV] from XDCAM Transfer: 1.14 GB
      • ProRes [.MOV] from Compressor: 1.97 GB

iWeb: Initial Experience / Confusions / Resolutions

Friday, November 18th, 2011

I had a go with iWeb (3.0.4) on the Apple Mac.  It is a mortal-friendly website-editor complete with templates and widgets etc.

Some non-obvious things:

  • Opening & Closing the App (iWeb)
    • On opening the iWeb app, you are prompted to select a template. I couldn’t see any way to avoid selecting a template.
    • There is a [File Save] but no [File > SaveAs]
      • So how does it get named?  Where does it get saved?
        • In app’s left-hand pane, select the Site in question, it asks for a Site Name.
    • The [File > Close] action closes the whole app, not just the current project (or whatever).
      • So I guess (???) there is no concept of “empty default page” here (???).
        • Though under each theme is the option of a Blank page.
  • Web-Page Editing
    • For the ??? template, you get a page with an elegantly paned “window” of assorted default images.
      • If you drag a new image on top of of one of the default ones, that new image becomes the replacement, and it inherits the “mask/zoom” capability.
      • If you simply drag an image to the same part of the webpage, it has no “mask/zoom” behaviour.  However you can add it via [Format > Mask] etc.
        • Format > Mask Shape ???
    • Setting a hyperlink on text involves an easy and intuitive-guessable method, but setting a hyperlink on an image requires a different and less obvious method.
      • [View > Show Inspector]
      • ???
  • Publishing (to Web)
    • You need to establish a location to publish to.  This will typically be an ftp server with upload-access protected by username and password.
      • Before anything else, get your username and password (for that location) to hand.
      • Personally, I like to peek around first, using an ftp client.
        • Mac OS already has a read-only ftp client built-in.  From Desktop, do Control-K.  A “bare bones” instance of Finder appears.  Click the tiny oblong button at top-right if you want to see the usual explorer pane/sidebar.  HOWEVER: it is not really up to the job…
          • I discovered this at
          • However it is read-only, hence no ability to add or remove files or folders.
          • Also it appeared (for me at least) not to refresh properly.  Scope for time-wasting confusion!
        • For the Mac, favourite add-on clients (according to the same osxdaily article are Transmit and CyberDuck.
          • Which one is best?
            • CyberDuck runs on both Windows and Mac.
            • There is a review comparing them at
              • CyberDuck is free (but “begs”), Transmit is not.
              • One user (at least) claimed that CyberDuck used to be good once but as more features have been added, it’s getting more bugs.  Unverified.
              • Some users say that CyberDuck runs (more slowly?) than Transmit.
                • A user-comment says that this is because CyberDuck is Java-vased.
              • Both programs have Bookmarks/Favourites and both have a Dashboard widget that lets you drop files into to upload straight to a specified folder on an FTP server.
              • Their main difference is in how Bookmarks/Favourites works.  Transmit has dual panes, for Local and Remote, and when you make a Bookmark it includes both these locations.  CyberDuck in contrast only displays and bookmarks the remote location, requiring you to use a separate Finder for local, hence you drag files between these apps.
            • I see also, from is website, that Transmit has handy peripheral features like a Sync button.
            • I tried them both, concluding:
              • CyberDuck is pretty basic but it appears to work OK.  Setting up my ftp account was easy apart from the password, which only gets asked when you first attempt to log-on to that account.  It seems more for the beginner and explains about Amazon s3 storage etc.
              • Transmit feels “cleaner” to use and the dual-pane is definitely handy.  Also the Sync function is not a bad idea.
    • Before publishing, you need to define the location-to-publish.
      • If you just hit the “Publish” button, it will only prompt you for a MobileMe account.
      • To define the location, first in iWeb’s left-hand “explorer” pane, select the Site (as opposed to the Page).  This brings up a form where you can define the upload (ftp) data etc.
        • One entry in this form is for an email address.  But how securely is that email address presented on the page?  I am in the habit of not making life easy for email-harvesters, so I don’t want the email address to be in plain text in the HTML, I want it encrypted.  So I chose to just put a “dummy” address in here.
    • The webpage (root .html file etc.) gets placed in the specified location as follows:
      • An [index.html] file is created there.
      • Any existing files (other than by that name) are unaffected.
        • That is “safe” and also useful e.g. if you are in the habit of placing “robots.txt” files at webpage root.
      • A folder is created there, named after the Site.
      • The subdirectory is named after the page-name
        • The page-name appears in the app’s left-hand pane, it can be renamed.
    • What happens if you delete a webpage in the app then republish?
      • The existing subfolders for the now-deleted pages are not deleted.
        • I guess one would then delete them manually or else delete everything and republish the whole site.

Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium on Windows and Mac OS (Possibly)

Friday, November 11th, 2011

I bought a discount copy of Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium, because (after much discussion with others) its feature-set seems to match my typical and forseeable production requirements more than those of other NLEs, including my current mainstay, Sony Vegas 9 (which I am still trying to wean myself off, but when any proper job comes along, I tend to fall back on the familiar and trusted, for low risk including avoidance of learning-delay).

Being (so far) a one-man-band who is traditional Windows user, I purchased the Windows version.  But, confirming what I had heard, it does seem that most media people I have met use Macs.  So should I have purchased the Mac version?  Are the versions exactly the same or have they different functionalities?  Is there an option for the license to cover installing the same product on both Windows and Mac OS provided only one of them is run at a time? (e.g. when on the same physical machine).  Ideally at zero or negligible cost of course.  For example Avid Media Composer does have this flexibility.  While the uncertainty remains, I will not open the box (in case it turns out that I need to exchange it).

Here is what I have learnt so far (mainly from web-searching, unverified information):

Differences between the OS-Specific variants:

  • It appears that for CS5.5 Production Premium (at least), the Windows variant has slightly greater functionality.
  • However it remains to be seen what will be the case for CS6, when it becomes available.

Some options are:

  • Volume licensing.
    • Intended not only for businesses but also for individuals.  If the “volume”is for two licenses, they can be for each of the OS’s.
  • Crossgrade.
    • But as far as I can tell it’s intended only for one-off (or infrequent) crossgrades, requiring “destruction of the software” on the old machine each time.  Shame it isn’t simply happy with repeatable deactivation/reactivation on each machine / OS.


Laptop-Based Mobile Editing: GRaid Mini (Out-Shines “Passport” Drive)

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Video-editing on-the-move (e.g. on a train) using a MacBook Pro (laptop) with Sony Vegas 9 (64-bit) as NLE (under Boot Camp / Windows 7), my practical experience was that a GRaid Mini external drive was far, far better than a 5400 rpm Western Digital “Passport” drive.   Consistent with the dual use of the MacBook, I partitioned the drive for both NFTS (Windows) and HFS+ (Mac OS), 50-50%.  Due to Boot Camp limitations (explained below), up till now I only ever used it “tethered” to its own mains-based power supply.  But now I see it can also be used mobile, powered from the MacBook – something that up till now I could only achieve under Mac OS, not under Windows.

When using Boot Camp / Windows on the MacBook, I initially tried the shirtpocket-sized Passport drive because it was small, light and powered from the laptop’s USB port.  While its data throughput wasn’t too bad, at least for single-channel HD editing (especially when only 1280720), when it came to cuts from one video clip (hence, in my case, video file) to another, there was a frustrating delay every time.

I also have a GRaid Mini drive, but it wasn’t obvious at first how to use it mobile when using Windows (on a MacBook).  That drive consists of two 7200  drives in RAID-0 configuation (striped, giving speed but no redundancy), and appears just like any single drive to the computer (no RAID management etc. needed).  The drive has not only a USB (2) port but also FireWire 800 (FW800) and eSATA ports.  While the latter two options work fine with the MacBook under Mac OS, they don’t work under Boot Camp / Windows.  I have tried many times and trawled many forums, no solution is apparent.  Under Mac OS the eSATA drive would ordinarily plug into an ExpressCard adaptor plugged into the laptop’s ExpressCard slot, but under Boot Camp / Windows, the ExpressCard slot doesn’t work, while for the FW800 port under Boot Camp / Windows, it appears to work at first but eventually crashes as a device when it attempts to communicate data (e.g. when copying files).

When connected only by USB to the MacBook under BootCamp / Windows, the GRaid Mini is not powered from that port, hence up till now I have relied on a mains power supply to that drive.  However, I discovered if, after first connecting by USB, you subsequently connect also by the FW800 lead, then the drive takes power from the FW800 yet communicates data via the USB lead.   Hooray!  I can use it on-the-move then!

The order in which the leads are connected is vital.  If by mistake the FW lead was connected first, then the drive would sense that as the data communications route, and subsequently fail in use.  It is vital that the USB connection is made first.  Likewise, on disconnecting the drive (following “ejection” by the computer’s file-system), disconnect the FW drive first.  The rule is FW lead: connect last disconnect first.

My experience of editing with the GRaid Mini is far more fluid hence more pleasurable and efficient.  Totally worth it.  None of the per-cut delay effects of the 5400 rpm Passport drive.  And now it can be used on-the-move, even with Boot Camp / Windows on a MacBook.  I just wish Apple would fix that Boot Camp isue with FireWire and ExpressCard ports!

Mobile Editing Blues: FW800 Unusable on MacBook via BootCamp

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

This is a problem I encountered some time ago, when I was running Boot Camp v3.1 on my MacBook Pro.  Since then I upgraded to v3.2.  I know there’s a v3.3 around but before upgrading I thought it worthwhile to see whether v3.2 had fixed that problem (especially since I couldn’t rule out the possibility of v3.3 reintroducing it).   Only one thing to do: prevaricate test.

  • Copy file from GRaid Mini (GRm) to Desktop:
    • 2GB fine
    • 12GB appears ok initially but then fails (to zero b/s transfer rate, then the Grm device “no longer exists”, at least until reboot)
  • Reverse: 2GB fails (same way) almost immediately.

OK not good thus far…

Next tried an alternative approach: run W7 as a Virtual Machine on Mac Os via Parallel.  I have Parallels v6.  Forum search revealed that there is no FW support in either v6 or v7, though the developers seem interested in knowing why people want it.

  • 2GB GRm to W7 Desktop: ok
  • The reverse: ok.

Had to stop there due to other work – and a very full W7 disk.

The next workaround to consider is attaching a NAS.  Ethernet bandwidths can be 1Gbps, hence more than FW800’s 0.8 Gbps, though I wonder if there could be any issues of lag / latency in this approach.  I’ll do some research and put up another post about this idea.

Upgrade: XP to W7: Virtual XP Copy

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

One thing that might help when in W7, re-building the set of apps previously installed under XP, would be to migrate the whole XP instance to a virtual machine elsewhere, in practice my MacBook Pro, which has Parallels 6 under Mac OS.

Then, while installing apps to the new W7 instance, can do a side-by-side comparison with the virtual XP instance.  The only unknown is the Microsoft activation/licensing issue – could it “clog the gears” of this proposed process?  Presumably I need to transfer the activation(s) to the XP virtual machine.  But could the W7 Upgrade process itself absorb the XP activation, crippling the XP virtual machine?

Only one way to find out, and that time is not now…

RAID Sharing Over Home Network: Works OK

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Just for the record, currently this works:

  • On Mac Pro, in Windows (XP):
    • Choose any folder. For example:
      • On the RAID, this could be either of the two partitions:
        • NTFS_RAID (an NTFS partition)
        • RAID_ProAVIO (an HFS+) partition
    • Then [RtClk > Sharing and Security… > Sharing > Network sharing and security:
      • Share this folder on the network: YES
      • Allow network users to change my files: YES
        • Because some tools create “sidecar” files e.g. audio peaks or video indexes.
  • On Mac Book, in Windows 7:
    • From a file-browser, be it Windows Explorer or part of the File>Open feature of an application, go to [ Network > aComputer > aFolder ]
      • Tested by playing file in Windows Media Player and in Sony Vegas (video NLE).  Worked fine.  Latter added a [.sfk] sidecar-file to the RAID-folder.
      • Worked both for source on NTFS partition and for source on HFS+ partition, except the latter gave rise to prolonged “hourglass” delays before the file was accessed/linked, following which the video played smoothly.
  • What doesn’t work:
    • Unable to see Mac Book from Mac Pro.
    • Also, when MacPro is in Mac OS, MacBook W7 Windows Explorer > Network lists the MacPro as [MACPRO-2E4124] yet cannot connect to it, blaming a firewall (presumably the one on MacPro).
      • Network Error: Windows cannot access \\MACPRO-2E4124
      • Tried exiting Kapersky (on the MacPro>MacOS) but no change.
      • Tried stopping MacPro firewall (via Preferences > Security) but no change.

Graphic Card Capability Determination (by test-application) for MacBook Pro (2009)

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Some software requires user-config to define whether OpenGL etc. are available.  What has my MBP got in terms of graphic card, and what aspects of it are available under BootCamp>Windows?  Below are some answers:

MacBook Pro: Boot Camp: W7-64: ExpressCard Slot

Saturday, July 16th, 2011


    •  Question:
      • FileMate SolidGO 3FMS4D48M-WR 48GB ExpressCard SSD; the drive works beautifully under OS X, but is not recognized at all by Windows 7 when it’s in the ExpressCard slot. In Device Manager, the yellow caution icon appears in front of the Standard ACHI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. The drive does not show under Disk drives or in Disk Manager. The corresponding Device Status message is: “This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use (Code 12). If you want to use this device, you will need to disable one of the other devices on this system.”
      • The drive is recognized as SATA under Mac OS X and also works fine in Windows when plugged into a USB port instead of the ExpressCard slot (at which point it is not treated as SATA, but USB).
    • Responses:
      • (For the newer (non-Intel) chipset) Apple’s BIOS emulation for Windows doesn’t support SATA, only ATA/133.
      • Unfortunately for Unibody … with the Nvidia MCP79 chipset there hasn’t been a solution found yet – it’s discussed towards the end of the thread. … until they find a solution or Apple release what would be quite a simple EFI patch to enable it in the BIOS emulation we’re stuck with PATA and your SSD won’t work

MacBook Pro: Restore (Mac OS & Boot Camp) from Backup (Disk Utility & WinClone)

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Backup & Restore via Disk Utility (DU) – on Mac OS install-disk – to a fresh hard-drive:

  1. Routine:
  2. Complication: Backed-up not the whole disk but aMac OS partition alongside a Boot Camp partition.
  • DON’T: Naive use of Disk Utility (DU) to restore straight away the partition (as a sole partition) from backup doesn’t work – it won’t boot.
    • You may see a grey Mac OS screen with “No Entry/Parking” sign, or error messages about ACPI drivers not present.
    • Attempts to install (fresh or archive i.e. user file preserving mode) from install disk fail since disk is not bootable.
      • Error message: “Mac OS cannot start up from this disk”
  • DO: Try install fresh OS X from install-dvd, then use it to create Boot Camp partition (and presumably boot-selection menu) then restore (with erase) to the OS X partition (only).  To save time (hopefully), didn’t actually install Windows.
    • Both the fresh-install and the restoration of OS X took about an hour.
    • Yes it worked! Booted into Mac OS just fine.
    • Left it to “settle” a bit – e.g. until CPU level down around zero.
    • Restart in Shift-Boot mode (to refresh OS’s tables etc.) and log-in as “DefaultEverything” (dummy user created as per advice – I think from Larry Jordan).  Maybe should have done that the first time…
    • Restarted in normal user account, again left awhile.
    • Boot Camp Assistant:
      • Create a partition (e.g. divide disks space equally between the two partitions)
        • (takes a minute or two – progress bar is initially misleadingly stationary)
      • Select [Quit and install later]
        • All we wanted was the partition, to restore into.
    • Started WinClone (App, started from MacOS)
      • It appeared to first scan the backup then began to install it.  Not quick, maybe an hour for each of these (two) tasks.
      • Source partition was 232.57 GB – as compared to the destination partition of around 250 GB.
    • Alt-Booted into W7 just fine.
    • Being on the internet, it began downloading numerous system updates – furiously (like it was hard to web-browse even on another computer on the network.
    • Correspondingly, on ShutDown, W7 installed numerous (61) updates.  Took ages – so if ever repeating such a recovery, allow for this…
    • Also on subsequent start-up, updating & registering stuff – took a few minutes – wish I’d run it straight (boot camp) not within Parallels.  But it seemed “happy”.
    • (to be continued…)


AviSynth & AvsP & Avs2Avi on Windows 7 on MacBook

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

They all work fine.  Initially there were some teething problems, due to a bad installation of AviSynth, though that cause was not immediately apparent (meaning I spent hours experimenting and Googling before the moment of that realisation…).  Versions installed:

  • AviSynth 2.5.8 rev. 2
  • AvsP 2.0.2
  • Avs2Avi (Created 6 July 2004, size on disk 84 KB)

The main symptom of the teething problems: An AviSynth [.avs] script ran OK inside AvsP, to save to an AVI file, but before the dialog could ask me what codec, it failed with error message saying it could not open the source (.avs) file. (more…)

MacBook Pro ExpressCard Port from Windows Boot Camp

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Doesn’t work for me, so searched around the forums.  Some relevant links:

Mac OS 10.6.6 – Upgrade? (No)

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Some people have reported problems:

  • <<I upgraded to 10.6.6 from 10.6.4. I installed 10.6.5 a few weeks after it was released and cause under exposing in all Final Cut Studio programs so I downgraded back to 10.6.4. I was hoping that 10.6.6 would solve this issue but it has not!  >>
  • << while I edit, I got a “Out of Memory” Error and an “Invalid Operation”. Can’t reopen the sequence on my MacBook but it opens with no problem on a Mac Pro.>>
  • << Did a fresh install of 10.6.6 and no luck. Still the same error. Reverted back to a vault version of the project and worked slowly with it. No errors so far. Seems if I import in a particular PSD file, that out of error message comes back eventually. >>

Boot Camp 3.2 Update – Yes or No ?

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

NO! …Not at the very least until such time as I have no pressures and fancy an experiment (everything backed-up of course). On my Jan 2010 MacBook Pro (unibody), most things “ain’t broke” at present, the only issues are that the FW800 port and ExpressCard ports work only in Mac OS, not Windows 7, but I’ve found no explicit mention of these issues having been fixed. Shame, quite a few Windows people are put off Macs for that kind of reason.  On the other hand while some people report no problems, others do report issues (sometimes due to old/unhandled existing nVidia drivers on their systems), as follows.

  • nVidia driver problems affecting install, display (and possibly keyboard).
    • Installation may hang or fail or appear to succeed but not completely in practice.
    • Screen may appear at low-resolution (e.g.VGA) or may black-out
    • Sleep (power management) may give a BSOD.


MacBook Pro FW800 useless under Boot Camp

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

No solution noted as of March 2010:

MacBookPro ExpressCard FW Adaptor

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Need a TI-chipset based ExpressCard FW adaptor.  Ideally should be compatible with both FW400 devices (e.g. camera) and FW800 devices (e.g. external storage).  See what PCWorld have:

    • “ 2 Port ExpressCard 1394b FireWire Laptop Adapter Card – FireWire adapter – 2 ports, … £43.46 inc. VAT” (as of 2010-10-11)
    • This 2 Port ExpressCard FireWire Adapter Card adds two 1394b FireWire ports to a laptop computer, providing a cost-effective way to add IEEE 1394A and IEEE 1394B FireWire devices even if the laptop doesn’t have a built-in FireWire 400 or FireWire 800 port. Simply insert the IEEE 1394B FireWire 800 card (EC1394B2) into an ExpressCard slot, and you’ll be able to connect a broad range of FireWire devices to your laptop, while relying on data transfer speeds of up to 800 Mbps . Plus, the card is backward compatible with 1394a devices, so you can connect both FireWire 400 and 800 devices to the notebook, using the same adapter.
      • ” Chipset: TI – XIO2213A “
      • ” OS Compatibility: Windows 2000/ XP(32/64bit)/ Vista(32/64bit)/ 7(32/64bit), Mac OS 10.5.x and up, and Linux “
  • Tried an ExpressCard FW adaptor (unsure which one) but it didn’t even become visible to W7 as a device…

    MacBook Pro – Windows 7 – Tips

    Monday, October 11th, 2010

    • Keyboard Mappings
      • Home – fn + left arrow
      • End – fn + right arrow
      • Page Up – fn + up arrow
      • Page Down – fn + down arrow
      • Print Screen – fn + shift + F11 (and for just the current window fn+shift+alt+F11)
      • Del – fn + backspace
      • Windows key – cmd
      • Pause/Break – fn + esc (you can therefore bring up the system properties with cmd+fn+esc – normally Win+Pause with Windows keyboard)
      • Hash symbol (#) – ctrl + alt + 3
      • Ctrl-alt-del – ctrl + alt + fn + backspace

    MacBookPro 17″ FW800 Workaround – ExpressCard FW Port

    Monday, October 11th, 2010

    Someone else had a problem with MacBook Pro’s Agere-chip-based FW800 port, their successful solution was to install an ExpressCard-based FW400/1394 (& 2*USB2) adaptor.

      • ” … early 2008 non-unibody model … worked perfectly with … Mbox2 Pro (firewire 400) and Protools (7.4cs2), both in OSX and in Windows XP through boot camp. “
      • ” … with the newer, unibody MBP … the Mbox2 pro and PT 7.4 work perfectly in OSX, but … in XP, … it freezes. “
      • ” … it might be because the firewire chipset on the new MBP’s is an Agere, whereas the one I had on my old MBP was Texas Instruments. “
      • ” So, I’m thinking about investing in an ExpressCard firewire adaptor with a TI chipset so that I can use PT in windows “
      • ” The one I’m leaning towards is here:…82E16839328006 it says it has a TI XIO2200 Chipset. “
        • Link dead as of 2010-10-11
      • ” I ended up buying a firewire expresscard (bytecc bt-ecu2fw), which features a Texas Instruments XIO2200A chipset, and success! “

    MacBook BootCamp Issues (USB Slow? Apparently not…)

    Monday, October 11th, 2010

    Issue or Non-Issue?

    • USB2 port reportedly “throttled back” under Boot Camp:
    • My own measurements indicate there is no such issue:
      • 167Mbps when transferring a 75GB file from one USB drive to another, on a MacBook Pro.
      • About the same observed when repeated on a standard Windows laptop.
    • What should be expected in theory?
      • USB2 raw data throughput is 480 Mbps but throughput in practice is more like 300 Mbps.
      • When copying disk-to-disk, additional delays may exist.  Googling around, a rate of about 1GB/minute (as per my measurements) doesn’t seem that unusual.

    Windows 7 Start-Up Repair

    Saturday, August 7th, 2010

    Here are the steps that worked for me:

    As it happened, this whole process was a distraction.  I was trying to get a BootCamp-W7 Virtual Machine (VM) in Parallels working – it would boot OK in BootCamp but not Parallels.  It was a matter of identifying the problem by excluding other possibilities, as much as hoping for this to be the fix.   However I record the process I went through, here, for posterity.

    MacBook Pro System & FireWire issues

    Sunday, July 25th, 2010

    Some issues:

    • Had a serious system-disk issue, where CHKDISK deleted corrupt unknown system-related stuff.   Windows still worked afterwards as far as I could tell but it was cause for concern…
      • Later, the Mac OS function keys became unresponsive.
    • The FW800 port only worked in Mac mode, not Boot Camp / Windows 7.

    Some fixes:

    • As a potential fix to both issues, was advised by machine supplier to reinstall Boot Camp
      • Method:
        • Mac (machine): Run [Boot Camp > Windows]
        • Windows:
          • Use [Remove Programs] to remove Boot Camp
          • Use Mac OS system disk (from Windows) to reinstall BootCamp (was 3.0).
          • Check for any Boot Camp updates – get the latestone (was 3.1).
      • Result:
        • Function-keys fixed, FW800 issue remained.
    • As potential fix for FW800 issue:
      • A Sony Vegas forum post advised disabling Aero.
        • Result: No difference.
      • Web-searching and Vegas forum advised installing the free FW800 driver from UniBrain, allegedly better than the Boot Camp one.
        • Prior to the BootCamp reinstall, this was not possible – installation aborted.
        • Following the BootCamp reinstall, installation worked but FW800 drive not visible in Windows Explorer.
        • Tried a Windows Repair, in case it was not just the BootCamp that had been damaged (possibly by the serious system disk issue mentioned at the start).
    • Windows Repair & successive steps:
      1. Boot Camp: Repair the windows system (Windows 7).
      2. Check whether System Restore works now.
        1. Yes, when I set a restore-point, wait a few mins and restore to it.  But what if I reboot then try to restore?
        2. Seems hit-and-miss: sometimes Restore works, sometimes not.  Rebooting doesn’t affect that but system crashes/freezes e.g. as caused by FW800 failing, do appear to.  Uncertain, just rough observations.

    Mac Boot Camp > Windows 7: Heat Issue (again)

    Friday, June 25th, 2010

    The following describes exactly what I observe.  So it is definitely not just my machine then…

      • An illustrative story:
        • “The laptop will just get hotter and hotter without heavy load, until I can’t take it and turn it off. If I restart it into Mac, it will turn the fans on full blast for a little while and cool it off and then slow the fans back down. So the Mac side knows that it is way too hot. But the Windows side refuses to cool it off. “
      • But no need to worry (?):
        •  “I have called Apple tech support a few times and get it escalated, but engineering say this is not an issue that I only have to worry if the thing shuts itself off. It’s not being investigated, its not an issue.”
      • Fans operate but do not ramp-up as soon as expected, in terms of temperature.
      • Some people use a fan-base.
      • The higher-powered (more power and heat-producing) of the two graphics cards is used, and there is no way to swap between them.
      • Lubbo’s Fan Control is said (by some) to be better than  Input Remapper and  smcFanControl:
        •  The primary purpose of Input Remapper is to provide a variety of useful keyboard shortcuts while in Boot Camp (which can be disabled if desired).  However it also provides controls to set the minimum fan speed.
        • smcFanControl allows you to set the minimum fan speed on the Mac side. Whatever they’re running at will still apply if the computer is restarted into Boot Camp.  However the fans go off again if machine shuts down or hibernates.
        • However for the version I tried, one of the two cores did a 50% duty cycle of load.  So the downside of this utility is it eats 25% CPU power (and wastes energy).  Apparently due to the way it’s implemented, a necessary compromise in the absence of source code for Boot Camp.

    MacBook BootCamp Re-Install

    Friday, June 25th, 2010

    WHen using Windows under BootCamp, I had been getting some serious problems when using an external drive via FW800.

    • …like the device disappearing (from the visibility of the OS, Windows 7).

    As advised by suppliers, removed and reinstalled BootCamp, as follows:

    • Windows 7: [Control Panel >> Remove Programs: BootCamp Services]
    • Rebooted
    • Inserted Mac OS Disk that came with the MacBook
      • It is MacBook-specific. Must use that one, not any other.
    • From root folder, as seen by W7, ran [setup.exe].
      • Kapersky complained a few times.
    • Rebooted.  Mostly OK but no keyboard lights or control thereof.
    • Rebooted again.  Now the keyboard lights are on and controllable.
    • Check the BootCamp version: It is 3.0.
    • Need update to 3.1.
    • Go to Apple support page for BootCamp:
      • []
    • ..and click [Downloads]
      • Taken to []
      • There are several items.
    • There are several Boot Camp 3.1 downloads (these are upgrades not installs).  Which one (if any) is appropriate?  Examples:
    • Searched web for any clues:
    • Finally: Downloaded the one at
    • Broadly applicable installation instructions are at
      • …even though they’re for the 13-incher.

    Not necessarily related, but interesting to note:

    Capture to HFS+, Use from Windows 7: Experiences

    Monday, May 3rd, 2010

    On MacBook Pro, used Sony Clip Browser (ClipBrowser) to import footage from a Sony XDCAM-EX to Mac OS HFS+.  This machine had MacDrive installed, enabling Windows apps to directly access files on the HFS+ file system.  On same machine, under Boot Camp (BootCamp) and Windows 7, ran Sony Vegas NLE.   Successfully imported and used footage by both of the following methods:

    • Sony Vegas’s Device Explorer [View > Device Explorer].
      • This took several minutes to import.
      • Importing resulted in copying the [.mp4] file (and other files) to the NTFS partition.
    • Direct use of [.mp4] on the HFS+ partition.
      • No need to import as such, just constructed waveforms etc.
      • This completed in seconds.
      • Only downside is that it ewas unable to save the waveform files etc., due to my config of MacDrive (read-only), so it would have to do this every time I opened the project.
        • Have yet to try the same thing when MacDrive has config for full read/write access.

    GRAID Mini – NTFS & HFS+ Partitions: Initial NTFS Problem

    Monday, May 3rd, 2010

    GRAID mini was initially a single partition formatted HFS+ under GPT partitioning-scheme.

    Repartitioned it as MBR partitioning-scheme where the HFS+partition (existing but reduced) was followed by an NTFS partition.  The repartitioning of the disk and the formatting of the NTFS partition was accomplished from Mac OS, using the iPartition application.

    When I first connected the resulting disk to a MacBook Pro, the HFS+ partition was seen OK under Mac OS.  However the NTFS partition seen from Boot Camp / Windows 7 caused Windows Explorer to crash, whenever it was selected or right-clicked in that applications left-hand pane.  On the other hand if the thing selected in the left-hand pane was the computer itself then the NTFS partition (among other volumes) was listed in the right-hand pane, and it was possible to right-click that without the application crashing.  Also, no problems were experienced when accessing it from commandline, or when using Windows Explorer to look inside its folders (as opposed to teh top-level).

    By right-clicking the NTFS partition in the right-hand pane, selected options to:

    • Define it as a mainly-videos drive.  Presumably alters the block size or something.
    • Change that volume’s name, from “GRD mini NTFS” to “GRm HTFS.  Not sure if relevant.

    Subsequently was accessed OK in both left and right hand panes.

    Mac:BootCamp:W7: FireWire Issues?

    Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

    Some hard drives attached with FireWire may perform slowly with Windows 7 on a MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010).  Not aware of any such problem on my system, but found this in passing, worth keeping a note of…[]

    • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010): FireWire drives perform slowly with Windows 7
      • Last Modified: April 14, 2010
      • Article: TS3188
    • Issue:
      • Some hard drives attached with FireWire may perform slowly with Windows 7 on a MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010).
    • Products Affected
      • Boot Camp, MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010), Windows 7
    • Resolution
      • This situation may occur because of an issue in the 1394ohci.sys driver in Windows 7.
      • Microsoft has posted a “hot fix” for this issue.  See the Microsoft website for more information.

    MacBook Pro ExpressCard Slot: Unreliable?

    Saturday, May 1st, 2010

    Using the ExpressCard slot for SxS cards (XDCAM-EX) in Mac OS, I noticed that sometimes they dpn’t appear to “seat” properly, removing and reinserting the card normally fixes this.  I wondered if it was just my machine, but I just read of a similar experience by others: [].

    SxS in ExpressCard slot on MacBook Pro invisible to Windows 7 Boot Camp

    Saturday, May 1st, 2010

    On a MacBook Pro, official SxS card in ExpressCard slot is seen OK by Mac OS. However on same machine running Boot Camp Windows 7, it is not seen.SxS drivers have been installed in both cases (OS X & W7). For W7 I tried a couple of versions, including the one from SXS Drivers, stated as “Updated for Windows 7”. The webpage also says “This OS must be factory-installed”, so I wonder what special things they do at the factory!I see at an apple forum some comments (at []) that “there is still no ExpressCard support in release 3.1 (of Boot Camp)” and “At the moment I’m aware of exactly zero Firewire ExpressCards that work in Windows 7 on Boot Camp”. Not familiar with this territory – maybe implies that the Sony drivers are not sufficient?Posted my problem at DvInfo: [].  Response confirms Apple not only do not support ExpressCard (EC) under Boot Camp on a MacBook Pro, they may never do so, given that the new model lacks any EC slot.

    MacBook Pro temperature when running native OS X (Snow Leopard)

    Wednesday, April 21st, 2010


    • After half an hour or so, the MacBook Pro base (top and bottom) tends to feel hotter than I’d expect, and I worried whether the innards were getting broiled or fried.  Having no previous experience to go by, some investigation was needed.  Various forums have some people claiming this is normal while others worry about the temperatures.


    • Downloaded iStat, a free widget for the Mac dashboard, that displays temperatures and fan speeds.  There are several temperature sensors and two fans.
    • Download site:
    • It looks and works (as far as I can tell) really good.  Also reports things like network traffic, which I also like to know about.


    • Despite the case feel, the internal temperatures were not too bad, typically around 65C though sometimes the CPU & GPU rose to 81C, which I think is the upper sensible limit.  At this speed, one of the fans speeds up a bit e.g. 2300 rpm as compared to 2000 typically.
    • A colleague (Matt Roberts) said chips are designed OK up to say 90C and higher, though connections can break down at around 120C.
    • Seems all within tolerance then, no need to worry.