Black Bezel for Macbook Air

Hello everyone I’m going to talk about a project I just finished.

Last year, I bought the 13″ Macbook Air (MBA), and though I love it, I was really waiting for the 13″ retina Macbook Pro (rMBP) to be released this year. However once it finally came out, I was a bit disappointed.  Yes, it had a retina display, however even that does not run at native resolution, instead scaling to 1280×800, 1440×900, or 1680×1050.   The MBA runs at native 1440×900, and the 2012 model features similar graphics/processor performance to the new rMBP.

So, I decided that rather then buy the new rMBP, I’d upgrade my MBA to this years model which gives me improved graphics performance, the 720p HD front camera (from VGA, .3 vs 1.3mp), and nearly double SSD speed.  However, one aesthetic feature that I really liked about the MBP line was the black bezel around the screen.

So the DIY’er in me searched the net for a way to make it happen.  I checked a few sites and found  a guy who was selling black bezel stickers.  I sent him a few emails and soon a kit was on its way 😉  Below are the steps I took to apply the sticker 🙂

Continue reading “Black Bezel for Macbook Air”

Quick Tip: Trim memory usage on your Mac

Ok, I’ve been using Lion since it came out and unlike previous OSX versions, this one has occasionally been freezing up and showing me the beach ball often enough that I decided to investigate.

Immediately I realized this problem was tied to running out of memory.  But wait, I have 4GB of memory… how am I running out?

Well with more memory comes more usage… now that lion has so much memory, it tries to run everything as 64-bit processes, rather then the 32bit of yesteryear (or 16bit before that).  To be honest, for my Macbook Air and its’ limited space, 32bit’s of address space was fine.  64 bits is no faster, only allows other systems with more memory/disk space to utilize the extra resources.  Unfortunately this one size fits all design hurts hardware on the lower end of the scale.

Luckily I’m able to explicitly run my two most common apps in 32-bit mode.  Simply show the process in finder, “Get Info”, and check the “Open in 32-bit mode” checkbox. Continue reading “Quick Tip: Trim memory usage on your Mac”

Fix for virtual hosts in OS X 10.7, Lion Apache Web Server

(*skip down to ‘Now the problem with Lion’ for the quick problem/solution*)

Yesterday I decided to leave Nginx server and go back to Apache for my primary webserver.  Having upgraded to Lion a few weeks ago, I began a fresh setup of apache.  When setting up other parts of Lion, I remember reading about some Apache server problem, but at the time I wasn’t interested in Apache so I didn’t pay them attention.  Well that certainly changed yesterday when I spent half the day reading numerous posts about Lion and its’ inherent problems with Apache.  Because it was such a common problem, I spent most of my time on complex solutions, however it turned out to be quite simple, albiet a little non-intuitive. Continue reading “Fix for virtual hosts in OS X 10.7, Lion Apache Web Server”

iPhone Setup Guide

I’m here in Bangkok Thailand, and brought an extra iPhone with me. Rather then just give the phone, I wanted to prepare a guide so they would understand the steps I’ve taken to setup it up. Since others might also be interested in understanding Jailbreaking and unlocking as well as a initial dashboard setup, I’ve decided to write and publish the guide here 🙂

Enjoy, -Paul

Avoiding Development Cruft…

Sometimes in life, even when events start at different times and build at different rates, they still seem to all reach their inflection points together. As if they were the components of a carefully prepared feast, all orchestrated for consumption together.

I’m talking about a pragmatic shift in my view of programming. Let me start by giving you some history. I started professional Java programming back when java 1.2 just came out and I worked for SAIC as a Java programmer doing CORBA work (basically a precursor to SOAP, which was a precursor to REST). Java was a good evolution for me, as my background was in C/C++. I appreciated how programming in Java was faster, yet still had the clean, logical, syntax and expressiveness of C++. Continue reading “Avoiding Development Cruft…”

Snow Leopard Experience and Setup

Ok, if you’ve followed Apples’ release of Snow Leopard, you’ve probably heard that that out of the box it defaults to running 32bit, that it’s suppose to have speed enhancements, and that it’s slimmer in size.  It’s all true.  You can boot it into 64 bit by holding command-option-6-4 on bootup, or change your com.apple.boot.plist file.  Even running 32bit mode however, it can still run 64bit apps, infact looking at activity manager, most of the apps running are 64bit regardless of boot mode.  Also, things seems to run faster in 64bit mode.  For example Geekbench ran ~3300 in 32bit, but 3600 in 64bit.  Similar things can be said about other apps. Continue reading “Snow Leopard Experience and Setup”

Prediction: Single Device for Ubiquitous Access

Any computing device that can’t fit in your pocket will be obsolete in >3 years.

Am I crazy?  What am I talking about?  Imagine this, you have a mobile, always connected device like an iPhone, with even more computing power, and faster wireless connectivity to others and to a massive datastore, i.e. virtual network storage of 10 TerraBytes.

When mobile, you can use the device to stream video from your network storage or from a video service like netflix, you can call friends and have a voice or a video call with them, you can check your schedule and invite friends to play basketball or over for dinner, you can receive a reminder from your dentist about your appointment coming up tomorrow.  All this, and you are doing it from anywhere. Continue reading “Prediction: Single Device for Ubiquitous Access”