As you can see, it did turn out to be hardware, a GPU and CPU (ouch!). The flash storage was not it, but I figured that out eventually. This has been an issue since October! With many fixes attempted. It was a bit of a blow to my pride eventually having to turn to Apple, but they stepped up and got it done with only mild frustration on my part. Plus, they picked up the tab as my warranty is certainly expired. There comes a time when you realize that a fix would require more parts then you had at hand. I have been enjoying my functional desktop again, just in time for the new iMac Pro to make it obsolete.
I have been experiencing an excess of failures with my own equipment this week. Mostly aged drives who’s working lifespan is winding down. Often the preverbal cobbler with no shoes, I rarely have time to maintain my own equipment. My usual quick fix is to throw more drives at the problem. Although that would certainly get me running again, it was more of a stop gap then a real solution. I have a number of aged drives and i wanted a solution not just for today, but something to make a difference moving forward. Enter the Drobo 5c. I have been a fan of Drobo for years. I have an 8 bay that holds my media library in it’s warm RAID-6 embrace. I had been eyeing the Drobo 5d for years waiting for the price to sink or my need to raise. Turns out the 5c is incredibly priced with only minor disadvantages over the 5d. One reason i love Drobo and the reason it was perfect for this project is the Drobo’s ability to expand in the future while operating at diminished capacity. I bought this enclosure with only 2 drives. Started up with mearly one 4TB drive and another 3TB. This got me started with about 2.7TB of usable space. Then i got to the task of offloading data from my healthy external drives. As each drive emptied into the Drobo’s volume, it was then fed into the Drobo enclosure to continue to expand the capacity. Now i have over 8TB of usable storage with both failover protection (a single drive can fail and I loose nothing) and expandability. It’s one big volume makes organizing and tidying a snap. That last bay will get a 4TB eventually and it’s doubtful the most recent 3TB i installed will be working this time next year.
My doc was a bit confused about the age of this computer when he gave it to me to setup. We spoke about a 5 year old laptop. It turned out to be a beast from 2003: a Lifebook n series by Fujitsu. I’ve always said that Fujitsu must be run by a supervillain or at the very least, a rebel billionaire. They make industrial equipment and infrastructure, while at the same time making laptops and other select home electronics. Like someone just wanted their ideal laptop and then as an afterthought sold it as a product. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to disparage Fujitsu in any way. Quite the opposite in fact. I have relied on their hard drives for my most precious data and their Lifebooks have always been some of the best out there. The fact that this 13+ year old laptop is operating with all original parts and a working battery is testament to Fujitsu’s commitment to quality.
My first clue was the XP sticker. I decided to go with Lubuntu, a minimized variant on the popular Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu is a wonderful distribution, especially for those new to Linux, but it’s built on top of Debian, so it’s not just for beginners. For years, I’ve used some of the older (still supported) Ubuntu versions for old machines. I hate to see workin computers fail because of a lack of software support. Thanks to the good people at Lubuntu, Ubuntu, GNU/Linux, this is a thing of the past. This guy is running all the latest in security and cryptographic technology, a fully modern web browser and a full suite of productivity software fully compatible with the latest MS Office.
In truth, I haven’t touched it in years. I haven’t even touched cydia recently. Sadly, all this work would only be useful for someone with an original or 3g iPhone. Apple certainly doesn’t support those devices anymore. Does anyone still use them? Unfortunately, my ISP insists that I remove the content. After 7 years of hosting it, they realized it violates TOS. I should check the logs. I wonder if it will even be missed. People say the internet never forgets. Sometimes it is quite the opposite. For nostalgias sake, I left the instructions site up: http://cydia.be3n.com/ (at least that does’t violate Dreamhost TOS). For the record, much of my work continued support well into iOS 4.
. . . Maybe it will rise again on S3?
Times like these, you just have to wait. (and hope nothing else breaks)