Just keep cobbling

Aerial AnimationI rebuilt my Mac Pro software completely and it appears to have resolved the idle hanging problem.  It is alway an annoying amount of work getting everything up and running again.  It’s nice to have everything fresh and clean and worth it to finally have a stable desktop.  The most frustrating part of this kind of solution is that nothing is learned.  How?  Why?  No answers, but at least an end to the frustration!

UPDATE!  – Nothing is resolved!  it just took over 48 hours for the problem to return. 😤

Silver lining was my brief use of screensavers and discovering John Coats work to bring the beautiful Aerial flyovers from the Apple TV to all macs.  Looks amazing on 3 screens!

Sometimes I feel like the cobbler with no shoes

High Sierra InstallUPDATE: Possibly Solved. . . Replaced SSD.

I upgraded my Mac Pro to High Sierra.  For the most part it was seamless.  The installer automatically migrated the HFS+ file system to AFPS and everything appeared to be working great.  As it turns out. . . I have a new intermittent problem that causes the computer to become unresponsive while idle.

It presents primarily as a failure to wake from sleep (backlit black screens instead).  Display sleep is actually all that is required to present and of course it is not every time.  It is often enough for me to return to the 90s habit of shutting down my computer after I finish using it lest I cause irreparable harm to my mounted file systems.  Here are some things i have discovered while trying to resolve.  Sometimes i can access the computer remotely, other times not, never graphically.  Sometimes the system hangs as soon as it goes idle, sometimes it continues to operate.  Sometimes it restarts from “sudo reboot” from an ssh session, other times it just hangs completely when i try.  The console logs are useless.  Nothing at all before the reboot.  When unresponsive, there is nothing to do but hold the power button.

The difficulty i am having at discovering the core of the issue combined with the fact that my remote backup has gotten stale is driving me crazy.  There seems to be people complaining about this on every Apple forum there is.  I am not alone:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8085995
https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/300199/mac-pro-on-high-sierra-doesnt-wake-up
https://www.reddit.com/r/MacOS/comments/73094p/mac_pro_2013_high_sierra_wont_wake…
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/high-sierra-causing-blank-screen-macpro.2073218/

Stepping back into Wireless Security

wifi-crack Believe it or not, my home network actually used Radius authentication many years ago. Before I got a Nest (which still cannot connect to anything that isn’t open, WEP, or WPA/WPA2).  At the time, I assumed the Nest app talked directly to the thermostat.  Not true.  It just needs internet to talk to it’s servers where it receives the commands and preferences from the app.  Armed with that knowledge and recent revelations about the security of WPA2, I set to the task of reimplementing Radius on my network.  First, I needed to asses which devices, like the Nest, would be unable to make the transition.  Luckily, most of these devices don’t need anything more then internet access.  One was moved to a hard line and the last attached to a Radius capable wireless bridge.  I added a internet only wireless network for my embedded devices and moved my privileged network to Radius authentication. It was time to change my password anyway. Stay safe!

Continue reading “Stepping back into Wireless Security”

My favorite products play well together!

DiskStation and Amplifi

Ubiquity’s Amplifi wifi mesh system is awesome and incredibly easy to setup. It also looks great next to Synology’s DiskStation product line.  Together they make the most amazing Time Capsule replacement. The functionality doesn’t stop there.  The DiskStation does so much more then just backup.  As a backup however, it allows you to mirror the disks for extra protection as well as synchronize between other servers, DiskStations, cloud storage, or even AWS S3!  Getting nearly 200Mbit everywhere!  Already backing up three computers.  What other services should I add to the Synology?

AOL Instant Messenger Shutting Down!

AOL’s Long running messaging service will end on December 15th. Though it’s true that i rarely use it these days and that I actually lost my original account years ago… I have fond memories of this communications protocol.  I continue to communicate with people though AIM. Apple had strong links to it at the launch of iChatAV. #nostalgia  Well, AOL broke the news with a tweet.  ironic?

AIM sunset tweet: All Good things come to an end. On Dec 15, we'll bid farewell to AIM. Thank you to all our users!