Tag Archives: Mac Mini

Some Apple Experiences

My first PC was an Apple II. I loved it. It started the PC revolution. However, Bill Gates landed the contract to provide the operation system for IBM and my work required my migrating to the Microsoft environment. My second PC was an IBM.

Once parts started becoming available, I built all of my PCs. I could build a higher quality system than you could buy from a vendor. The same is still true. Dell, HP and others are caught up in the commodity market and that tends to drive quality down to have competitive prices.

When Jobs returned to Apple, I liked Apple’s equipment, but I could never justify paying more than it would cost me to build an equivalent system.

My last Microsoft system was a Gateway, because I found a very good deal. It was well built and a screamer. Once I moved it from Windows Vista to Windows 7, it was a fine PC. Windows 7 is the best OS Microsoft ever built in my opinion. I know there are still XP advocates, but I liked 7 much better. However, it required a lot of power to run 7 and many stayed with XP because it ran on older hardware. Continue reading Some Apple Experiences

Mac Mini Back UP and Running

I mentioned, the other day, that I had a hard disk failure on my Mac Mini. I also mentioned that I had turned it over to Carlos Arauz, who works at PanaFoto, to replace the failed disk.

I am happy to report that he contacted me this afternoon and it was ready. To have it fixed in two days without having to send it to Panama City is fantastic.

It is good to know that there is someone in David that has worked on Apple hardware for Apple.

He returned it to me with the latest OS on it and all I had to do was use Time Machine to restore my data.

If time would have permitted, I would have ordered a 500 GB SSD from the US and had him install it, but that would have cost me at least two weeks and I wasn’t willing to wait that long. Next time will be the time for the SSD upgrade.

I give Carlos two thumbs up. If you stop into PanaFoto, and happen to be in the Apple area, tell Carlos you read about him on Chiriquí Chatter.

What An Improvement!

Last night I got the memory upgrade to the Mac Mini. I went from 2 GB to 16 GB. The PC had been about to drive me crazy, in fact I only used it when I had to.

Now, I can have multiple tasks open, email, photo editor, multiple tabs on the browser and nothing slows down.

One more task off the “To Be Done” list. Now I am ready for Apple to release their next OS upgrade which is scheduled later this year.

All is Not Lost – Almost

This is a good news – bad news story. I have a friend that recently invested in a MacBook Pro, based on my recommendation. One of the things I told him was that if you have an Apple PC, one feature that is in the OS that should be used is TimeMachine.

TimeMachine backs up your PC every hour without you having to think about it. You never know when trouble is going to strike. You do have to invest in an external hard drive, but other than that, it is pretty much plug it in and go.

If you have a hard drive with books in progress, tons of photos or other information that is critical to you, and it crashes, you will say, “Why didn’t I back my system up?” Of course that is after you uttered 5 minutes of expletives.

With TimeMachine, it remembers to back up for you. You will still utter the expletives, but at least your data is safe.

Joe BtfsplkMy friend reminds me of Joe Btfsplk from the old Li’l Abner comics. Remember, he was the fellow that always walked around with a black cloud hanging over his head.

As I said, my friend, a writer, purchased the MacBook and loved it. He would toss it in his backpack and take it wherever he went and was finding it very dependable. That was until the day he tossed it into his backpack along with a thermos of hot coffee. Apparently he had not made sure the top was secure on the thermos and coffee ran into the MacBook.

He learned that Apple’s warranty does not include bathing with a laptop, washing it in a washing machine or pouring coffee on the keyboard. To make it worse, the cost to repair (at least in Panama) is as much as buying a new MacBook. Yikes! Since I had recently upgraded my MacMini, my old Mac Mini was available and he is now up on it.

Now here is the good news of the story. We set up the Mac Mini yesterday. Signing on to iCloud immediately restored all his contacts and calendar. We plugged in the TimeMachine backup and restored all his files (documents, works in progress, and photos).

He did lose a very expensive piece of equipment, but more importantly he did not lose any of the data that he had spent years and many hours creating. Many items on his laptop were irreplaceable.

I can’t emphasize how important it is to backup your data. It is not that hard to do, but if it is something you have to remember to do, you will remember to do it after it is too late and something will be lost.

I know many of you coming to Panama may be using PCs more than you ever did back home. Storing photos of this beautiful country, writing your experiences on a blog, using Skype to keep up with kids back home, banking or what not. Learn from a resident Panama “Joe Btfsplk”. Back up your friggen PC before it is too late!

The Same Is Now Different

I have spent the last couple days migrating my PC operations to a new PC ( New for me at least). I was lucky enough to learn of a fantastic 2011 Mac Mini that was for sale. Another person was considering it and had asked for my evaluation of the system. I said it was a fantastic buy.

However, the individual was looking for a system to run Windows and multiple displays and by the time memory was added to the new system and the Windows OS was purchased, it would have cost more than a new Windows 8 PC, so it wasn’t purchased. Also, running multiple displays would have required using at least one of the Apple displays and they cost as much as many PCs.

I said I would take it when it came available and it is replacing my 2010 Mac Mini. For me its only shortcoming was its lack of memory. It had 2 GB of memory and I tend to have many tasks running and operating in that manner, it doesn’t run, it creeps. In fact until I get the memory upgraded, I will probably only use it to store my files for backup.

I have ordered 16 GB of memory from the US for $107 and it will arrive in July. Current price from Apple would be $400. With that memory, it should should do everything I want.

The difference between my PC and the new one is minimal, when comparing compute power, but the new one communicates to my Apple TV and my 2010 mini didn’t. That was the main reason for the switch.

I have a friend that has been looking for a PC for some Native Panamanian Indians so they can continue their education. They will be using my old PC. One transaction and many beneficiaries.


The other day I received the upgrades for my Mac Mini that I had mentioned in a previous post. Normally, when I work on PCs I don’t worry too much, because I have always had a spare.

This time was different. Since downsizing, I am depending on my 2010 Mac Mini. The biggest problem I foresaw was that it had a relatively small hard drive and I didn’t think it would hold all the data from the iMac I sold. It also needed a small speed increase.

It took me literally two days to accomplish the upgrade. The installation of the SSD was a little more difficult than I expected. However, I got the SSD installed and installing the Snow Leopard OS that came on the system was no real problem.

With this done, I could see that all components of the PC still functioned. First deep breath taken.

Next I needed to install the Mountain Lion OS. This was my first mental challenge. The previous hardware installation required a little manual dexterity. This one just required mental agility, apparently more than I had after the SSD install. Continue reading Whew!


I have downsized my PC operations. You may have noticed that I sold my iMac. It was without a doubt the nicest PC I ever had.

It finally became obvious that all of its capabilities were going to waste. My main use for my PC is posting to this blog, which doesn’t require enormous amount of power. Added to that, most of my surfing the web is done on my iPad.

My 2010 Mac Mini has become my only PC.

I had a 23 inch Asus monitor in the closet and have hooked it up to the Mini. It is a nice monitor and while it isn’t as good as to iMac 27 inch, it is big enough for me.

I have ordered a small number of upgrades that should make my Mini equal to any task I will place on it. I had previously upgraded my Mini to the full 8 MB of memory and that is the 2010’s maximum.

It’s main problem is the lack of disk storage space. It came with a 320 GB hard drive and I have enough photos to push me past that limit.

To solve that problem, I am going to use a 1 TB hard drive that I had saved. In searching for a case to mount it in, I came up with THIS.

It perfectly matches my Mac Mini case. Then I saw this configuration.

It adds a 120 GB Solid State Disk, which is more than enough to hold all of my applications and a little room to spare.

My plan is to replace the 320 GB hard drive in the Mac Mini with the SSD and install my 1 TB drive into the new case.

The upgrade is a little complex. However there are several videos on the Internet showing the process. Following is one of the videos I will use to walk me through the steps. Continue reading Downsizing