Recover Boot, Wipe, Reinstall

I had a bit of a lull in my usual, at least up until now, posting.  That’s because my computer crapped out.  A little more than a year ago, I think, my previous Mac Mini’s hard drive completely failed.  Thankfully I had a Time Machine I’d been backing up to.  Fortunately, I also had the ability to buy a new computer to replace the one that crapped out.  This was very fortunate because I need a good computer every day, I mean, I can live without a computer, but life is exponentially better with one.  When I purchased my new computer I got the low-end basic Mac Mini that was available at the time.  It’s pretty good, but it’s not the most powerful.  The basic specs for the one I have now are:

  • 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • 4GB memory
  • 500GB hard drive
  • Intel HD Graphics 5000

When we were worried that my computer was crapping out (couldn’t connect to the internet, couldn’t shut down properly, couldn’t restart, couldn’t multi-task) we started looking at alternatives.  There’s always the one I have for, as of now, $500.  However, after running some more intense apps like Photoshop and Lightroom (I like to run a lot of apps all at once) I think I’d like a more powerful computer.  So, in the Mac Mini range of things I could go for, as of now, $1000:

  • 2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • 8GB memory
  • 1TB Fusion Drive
  • Intel Iris Graphics

But, I also looked at something a little more high end.  I want something with a little more kick and longevity.  So, I looked at the Mac Pro’s.  These things are beasts!  I found a good one that I could appreciate, for probably many years, at $3000:

  • 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor
  • 12GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
  • Dual AMD FirePro D300
    with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each
  • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage

In terms of my current computer, I spent the night looking at my poor monitors and box:


I almost thought I had a brick.  It was sad.  I tried to reinstall the OS in the recovery boot up mode, and it said that it couldn’t find the Apple Installer Eligibility information.  I thought I was screwed.  Then it dawned on me.

When you booted it up normally, not only could it not shut down or restart properly, but it also couldn’t access the wireless, despite it being connected.  I thought, what if in recovery mode you still can’t access the wireless?  So I drudged up a pretty long ethernet cable, though not the longest (that’s still wrapped around the walls of our apartment) and hooked it into the back.  Apple Installer Eligibility?  Found!  And the process began…


If you can read that you can see my consternation.  701,064,605 hours and 51 minutes is a long time.

Thankfully, it didn’t take that long.

Unfortunately this was my night.  And it was just after some excitement!  I had just started coding on LiveCoding.TV (see the sidebar on the left for the link).  I didn’t realize this but apparently there are people out there who want to watch people program.  I’m sure the best programming channels feature some cool stuff and tutorials and such, but nothing stops you from broadcasting just the basic stuff you’re working on.  I never really thought of programming as a spectator activity, I just always assumed it’d bore the tears out of anyone else… but I guess I’m wrong!  So, now when I program, such as on my current project asherwunk/phabstractic, I’ll be live on LiveCoding.TV where I provide real-time feedback in the chat channel.  Come check me out sometime!

But as the story goes, I started broadcasting my programming and in about 15 minutes the computer did its thing and went into the state in which I thought it was crapped out.

I want to save up, if I can get any money, for the $3000 Mac Pro.  The low-end model would be freakin’ fantastic for me!  I’d have so much power at my finger tips, it would be truly awesome.

Sometimes I post pictures on Instagram, and I posted this doozy.  I thought this was pretty funny.  When I go to the Starbucks in Old Town there have been times when I’ve fallen asleep there.  They let me sleep there sometimes, or at least don’t bother me, probably because I go there a lot.  This time I found somebody else who had fallen asleep:


Poor guy!

On my way to Starbucks, I got some nice shots of Old Town in summer.  I thought it looked pretty nice, and with some auto-toning the sky looks really bright:


A little closer looks a little better:


In other news, my nephew Cartoys turned 12!  Oh man, I’m getting old, it’s been more than a decade since he was born.  It seems like it was so soon ago, but at the same time, when I think of everything in between it seems really far away.  I guess that’s a good thing.  His mom made a nice birthday cake, centered around the idea of playing pool (like a pool table, pool balls, cue, etc.)  It was supposed to be chocolate mint, but it seems the mint only ended up in the green frosting.  That’s okay.


(The kid in the corner I think is attempting to photobomb me…)

It was funny though.  I tried to find a link to the picture on (my old archive journal) of the infamous Christmas Train Cake but I couldn’t.  This cake was infamous because of the way it was made.  I believe it was a basic chocolate baked in a train cake pan.  The kicker was the frosting.  Ever try making frosting by mixing store-bought vanilla straight with kool-aid mix?  The results are incredible.  Very powerful flavor.  I also put little jelly drops on the cake to accent it’s design after frosting.  Some of these jellies were mint flavored.  Mint flavor PLUS the kool-aid tasted … not so good.

To illustrate, at one point a very young Cartoys, who had watched me frost the abomination, pronounced with a mouthful of cake, “This is the best cake ever!”  Then he bit into a piece with a mint jelly, got a look on his face which made all of us laugh and then said, “I don’t feel good…”

So, sister-in-law decided she needed some red frosting, but she didn’t have any red food coloring.  So she used fruit punch to try to color it, which she claims tasted quite a bit like frosting from yore.  The Christmas Train Cake Lives!

photo credit: sweet and salty via photopin (license)


I'm just a wunk, trying to enjoy life. I am a cofounder of http// and I like computers, code, creativity, and friends.

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