Apple Hardware

Apple's unnecessarily complex SSD upgrade process for Mac Mini 2014/2015

(July 13, 2018)

The 2014/2015 Mac Mini is still, in 2018, the "current" Mac Mini model, and its biggest problem is the great difficulty to upgrade the device. While it is impossible to replace the memory it is possible to replace the hard drive, so long as you bought the upgradeable Mac Mini. Namely the version sold with an HDD. The other, with PCIe SSD, does not support upgrading the disk. You can save some money by purchasing the HDD version and upgrading to SSD on your own, however performance is higher with the PCIe version. The videos attached to this post document the overly unnecessarily difficult process for upgrading such Mac Mini's to have an SSD. You have to remove everything just to swap the disk? And you can't change the memory? The Intel NUC is in the same class of machine, and does not require this kind of over-the-top surgery.

The list of parts to build your own iPhone 7

(July 11, 2018)

Scotty of Strange Parts has published several in-depth videos on building an iPhone, and building custom iPhones including adding a headphone jack to an iPhone 7. In this video he walks us through the parts required to build an iPhone from parts. This is not just the logic board, screen, battery, and case, but all the parts, as well as hints on which parts to be extra careful aboutl

Installing macOS High Sierra on a MacBook Pro or other Mac that is not supported by High Sierra

(April 12, 2018)

Apple has declared certain older Mac computers unsupported by newer versions of macOS. In my case, I attempted to install macOS High Sierra on a mid-2009 MacBook Pro, but the installer failed in a very strange way. I constructed a USB installer using the normal process to make a macOS installer, then rebooted the computer to run the installation, but instead the screen simply went blank and the computer turned itself off. In other words installing macOS High Sierra on this mid-2009 MacBook Pro failed in a strange way. After a couple dozen macOS installs on different computers under my belt, I'd never seen this behavior. After some duckduckgoing the cause was found to be this screen capture - that the computer was not supported by High Sierra - and fortunately there was a relatively simple solution.

Apple's Mac Mini Pro: What it should be

(April 8, 2018)

As a former Mac Mini owner, and a happy Intel NUC owner, I have one suggestion to Apple regarding the Mac Mini. Make it more like the Intel NUC. Apple should be completely embarrassed that Intel has made a better Mac Mini than the Mac Mini. If Intel can do it to perfection, Apple should be able to do it. But with the direction Apple is taking with its hardware design, an updated Mac Mini is going to be even more locked down than that abomination of a Mac Mini Apple released in 2014.

How to add a headphone jack to iPhone 7

(September 7, 2017)

Apple really screwed up the iPhone design with the iPhone 7 by not putting in a headphone jack. I don't care about their prescriptive ideas about this, we need a headphone jack dammit. This video is from the guy who built his own iPhone from spare parts he bought in Shenzen China. For this video, he'd bought an iPhone 7 in order to record better videos and found himself really wanting a headphone jack. So, he decided to launch into adding such a jack, knowing there are millions of others around the world chafing at Apple's preconcieved notions and wanting a headphone jack on their iPhone 7.

The process took 17 weeks of trial and error. He started with noting there's an empty space where the headphone jack belongs, and that it'd be vaguely possible to add hardware into that space. What took the 17 weeks is designing a custom circuit, on a flexible substrate, learning to solder flexible circuits and work under a microscope, and to learn how to assemble the result without breaking the parts. That last bit was expensive due to the large number of expensive parts he broke. But, he came out the end with success and a vow to release the design files to the public via his website, and a strong plea to Apple to add a dang headphone jack to the iPhone 8.

In China you can build your own iPhone from spare parts

(Apr 12, 2017) This American entrepreneur goes to Shenzen China frequently. As he observed the scene over several months, it came to mind the electronics shops carry enough spare parts one could assemble their own iPhone. From spare parts, plus specific shop workers with the specialized skills for correct assembly. The big time-saver is to buy a working logic board, rather than soldering components onto an unpopulated logic board. But, with perseverance, and the willingness to traverse chaotic crowded markets, the parts are not only available, but it's possible to find iPhone-compatible backs with designs Apple never thought of. The video takes us on the journey, showing us the insides of not only the Shenzen markets but some snippets of electronics disassembly/recycling operations.

Installing MacOSX when the installer says: OS X could not be installed on your computer. No packages were eligible for install.

(2016-10-16 15:41)

A key step for upgrading the disk on a MacBook Pro is to install a new operating system on the new drive, and then use Migration Assistant to copy over the old data. Depending on how you went about the work, installing Mac OS X on the new system may give you a message: OS X could not be installed on your computer. No packages were eligible for install.

This is what it looks like in the installer. Upon seeing this I went "HUH?" because the installation was from a thumb drive I'd used many times to install Mac OS X (El Capitan) successfully.

Steve Wozniak Debunks One of Apple's Biggest Myths

(December 3, 2014) Steve Wozniak takes us on a walk down history lane, retelling how much he loves designing computer hardware, and that he designed the Apple 1 for fun. Then Steve Jobs came along, and turned that hobby into a big business, making several people into multijillionaires. Wozniak says he just wanted to be an engineer at the bottom of the Org Chart, and left Apple in 1987.
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