RIP old Mac, hello new Mac

Funny how you get used to an old computer, never thinking of replacing it since, well, it works. Years go by, tons of work, Facebook posts, etc. Then one day….BOOM! #RIP #logicBoard

So last night I had to scramble to get a replacement laptop to finish some work. I knew I’d have to buy something with 1TB of space, and that it would take hours to transfer the data. Especially when the ports on the old computer don’t match up with the ports on new computers.

Apple had some referbished MacBook Pro laptops, but they’re expensive, even though they’re referbished. I needed a 15 or 16″ laptop, with a dedicated GPU (since I run two 4K monitors at home), 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD.

The closest thing Apple’s referb site had was a MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017), with 16GB, 1TB, but no dedicated GPU…for a whopping $2,000. Took a peek at their 13″ refurbished offerings but quickly moved on because, well, GPU.

I surfed over to Craigslist, didn’t see anything close to what I wanted. Then someone told me about Facebook’s Marketplace. Hmm…never looked at that part of Facebook. Glad I took the time!

I found the exact MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) I was looking for, and it with had a 3.1GHz processor and the battery charge cycle count was 10! The guy wanted $1,400 and was 30 minutes away. Got there quickly, confirmed the seller was legit, and got home 30 min later.

Ok now for the data transfer. I’m a huge fan of Apple’s Migration Assistant for home use. I wish Apple would make it enterprise worthy, but not holding my breath, they haven’t taken our request seriously. No money in it I guess.

I have a dual band router at home, running a 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz networks. I have the 5 GHz network set to give VoIP highest priority, and the 2.4 GHz network is left at it’s default settings. I connect my iOS devices to the 5 GHz network so I can have the best audio/video possible for Facetime (family) and Teams (work).

I connect my personal and work computers to the 2.4 GHz where I left the router defaults, and I’m able to get excellent performance.

Compared to trying to do Teams calls over a single band router, through a VPN connection…well, that’s just crazy. If you don’t have a dual band router, get one. Oh, wait, the stores are closed….oh well…

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Getting back to the new laptop, I started the Migration Assistant transfer over the 2.4 GHz network, the estimated transfer time was 8 hours plus. Well, its 1AM and I start work at 9AM so that’s not going to work.

I ended up putting both computers on the 5 GHz network and starting Migration Assistant again. This time I got a 3 hours plus estimate. Sounds right, and I confirmed when I woke up at 5AM and found the transfer finished already.

Oh well, I’m a happy camper. I’ll pull the 1TB SSD off the old computer and put it in an enclosure so I can rsync the new laptop’s SSD to it a couple times a day. Yes, SSD drives fail too. Even though last night’s failure was the logic board.

F**k it, going for a drive

I know what it’s like to be cooped up in a hole for a long time. Nope, never been to jail, never even bene arrested. I spent 1979 in an secret isolated military location in Izmit, Turkey, my first US Army assignment.

I remember flying in to Ankara, and then sitting in the back of a duce-and-a-half for six hours, riding in an armed convoy to Izmit. My MOS was 13B, but my role was Special Weapons Technican. The US Army had an arrangement with the Turkish military, where we jointly managed a few dozen Honest John Missles.

The US Army’s job was to manage the warhead portion of the missels, maintaining them, and if ever necessary arming them. The Turkish miligary’s job was to maintain and manage the rocket portion of the missels. We held regular unscheduled training, where a siren would go off and we would all do our part, and none of us ever knew if it was a drill or the real thing.

Thinking back, it was an awesome experience. Those things were pretty big, originally designed to carry 1,500 pound nuclear warheads, fired off the back of a truck. At some point after my time there, the US Army switched from nuclear warheds to cluster bombs.

It was a culture shock for me, even though I was born in the Bronx and was raised in Hell’s Kitchen. Although I loved the time I spent in Turkey, its definitely something I carefully edited on my my resume. After all I knew when I got out of the US Army, that nobody was hiring Nuclear Weapons Technicians. 🙂

When I got to the barracks, a bunch of guys invited me to the “club”, where they had a full size 4.5 x 9 pool table. I was a pretty decent pool player at the time, but during my year there I got the opportunity to play with an excellent pool player. Geez, its been so long

to the Grand Bazzar, to trips to their red light district (bring a carton of Kools with you!), to çay with Turkish troops in foxholes. Fun times. Though I knew from the first day that I’d get out of the US Army when I got the chance. My buddies were doing stuff just as interesting

Not sure what made me reminise about Turkey. Maybe its because of the COVID-19 mess. I’ve been trying to go out a couple times a day. In the morning I go to WaWa for coffee. In the evening I check my mailbox and swing by ACME or Walmart. Can never have too many supplies. From the looks of it were in this for four more weeks. May as well have a routine to stay sane. 🙂

So its Saturday morning and I’m about to jump in my Jeep Wrangler to go for a drive. The tank is full (no gas shortages). Two dozen water bottles in the cargo area (can’t have too much water). Cash on hand (just in case). LTCF in my wallet, Shield45 in my console, along with 5 magazines loaded with hollow-points.

No idea where I’m going. But I ain’t staying home today.

PS I’m actually going out for groceries but didn’t want this post to be boring.

70 degree day subwoofer wiring

I was so excited when I left work Friday afternoon. I had to take off my fleece jacket, I was sweating walking 300 feet to the Jeep. How can the weather shift so fast? Heck, I put down the top and took a nice meandering trip through the local suburbs, selecting the most twisty roads.

The 70° weather didn’t last though. I got home a couple hours later and it was 50°. I parked the garage and called it a day. That means tomorrow morning I’ll need to put the lid up, since the forecast calls for cool weather through the week. That should take all of 5 minutes.

The Rockford 8AWG wiring kit I needed to wire my sub came in. Now that I have all the wires and pieces I need, I plan to wire my Rockford Fosgate P300-12 subwoofer today. It’s a cheap sub, but its sealed and powered, so it sounds good and is convenient to install, and is easy to remove when I need the room. I removed it from my CR-V when I traded it in for the Jeep, leaving allthe wires behind (too much hassle to remove the wires).

I plan to run the power wire along the left side of the Jeep and through the firewall grommet. The audio-in and audio-volume wires will be run along the right. The ground wire can go on any of the D-ring tie downs in the cargo area. I’ll leave enough slack to move the sub around when I need to, and to make it easy to disconnect and remove the sub when necessary.

Once the sub is installed, I’ll start shopping for replacement speakers to improve the sound on the 8 stock speakers in the Jeep. They’re not very good, so for the same volume, better speakers will sound much better. I plan to stuff some polyfill into the holes to help dampen some of the resonance behind the stock speakers.

UPDATE: I got tied up with other stuff this weekend, so the work will be done next weekend. I’m off to Lowes to pick up a cordless/brussless drill now that Lowes dropped the price by 40%..

Oh deer…LEDs are so much brighter

No, I didn’t hit a deer.

After a couple close calls during my FL to PA road trip, I researched LED headlights and ended up ordering them so they’d be there when I got to my final destination. Luckily I didn’t hit either of the deer, but I won’t need to take any chances anymore.

The headlights came in and after reading the instructions I figured install and wiring isn’t too hard so I went ahead and knocked it out in the parking lot of a local mall. Pretty pleased with the result.

Thanks to all the great input from JL Wrangler Forums, I saved some money and lowered the risk level of riding at night in the Jeep. The DRL (halo rings) stay on while the iginition is on. The LED projectors are powerful, have a very clean lighting pattern, and a very sharp cutoff. I’m a happy camper. 🙂

Will be seeing some apartments tomorrow, hoping to be settinged into peranent digs soon. I had a couple hours to kill so I went to look at one that was listed on Craigslist. It was built in 1860. The apartment is upstairs, and you need to go up a steel fire-escape style staircase. You share the garage with the owner of the building. The floors have 1″ holes leading to who nows where, guessing they’re pine knots.

The building manager was very cool. If it weren’t for the fact that this apartment is in an alley, and has no fire escape…myea. Nope.

Day 4: Harrisburg, PA to Malvern, PA (84m)

Short trip, I know, but needed to rest for these final miles. I went too far the first three days, planned to do 250 miles per day, based on some input from friends who have gone long distances in Jeeps. I ended up doing 350 or so a day. I’m rested up now.

After doing research every night since I left, I ordered some LED headlights. Reading and posting to some Jeep forums, the most widely recommended headlights seem to be the Oracle Oculus Bi-LEDs. I’m not a fan of “halo” headlights, but the Jeep doesn’t have Daylight Running Lights (DRL), which isn’t safe. So DRLs are right up there with being able to see farther at night. So I’ll have to suck up the halo stuff.

No video for today, it was just an hour and a half. I’m finally here, gonna grab a cheap hotel and scout the areas. My temporary housing will be ready tomorrow (Jan 8).

Day 3: VA to PA (371 miles)

Last night’s Gloden Globes monologue by Ricky Gervais was the best, since, like forever. I have coffee on my iPad because of that bastard! Ricky has cojones grande for that bit.

Here is the full clip:
Ricky Gervais, Golden Globe Monologue

As expected, driving long distances in the Jeep isn’t as comfortable as the CR-V used to be. I’m getting used to it, realizing now that I need to make hourly stops to stretch and move around a bit. That’s actually a good thing, since I used to drive for hours at a stretch before I got this Jeep.

I’m really hating the headlights in the Jeep. I expected them to be bad, since they’re the halogen reflector type. My CR-V had halogen projectors that were better, but still not great. I’m researching LED projector headlights, hoping to pick up a cheap(ish) set once I get to my final destination.

Today’s drive was 371 miles, about 100 miles short of the total trip. But I’m tired and need to get some sleep. Here’s today’s route:

Day 2: SC to VA (317 miles)

One thing for sure, Jeep Wrangler seats are not made for touring. I mean the front seats are (manually) adjustable and have lumbar support, but they are definitely not cushiony. If its any consolidation, I’m getting decent gas mileage.

Started the day at 41 degrees with 2,041 miles on the odometer. Took it easier today for my butt to recover. I found a cheap hotel that’s Harley-Davidson and Jeep friendly.

If you travel a lot, you’ve got to use Pelican Air luggage. Tough as heck, waterproof, and if you pack camping clothes you can pack enough for 4 days.

Got word from HaulBikes. They’re picking up my Harley-Davidson Road Glide is getting picked up tomorrow. If you’ve ever seen the inside of their trucks, you’ll understand why special equipment and care is needed to schlep an 840 pound motorcycle.

The bike’s front wheel is rolled into a steel bracket and the bike is strapped down using special motorcycle straps. No fork lifts or kickstands involved. #tongueInCheek

Gonna tune in to watch Ricky Gervais’ monologue at the Golden Globes before resting for tomorrow.

Todays route:

Day 1: FL to SC (386 miles)

“No parking spaces.” – said no Jeep owner ever

Starting the trip with 1,646 miles on the odometer and Hootie And The Blowfish on CarPlay.

I changed my mind and decided to slab it this first day, since the terrain is flat. I was impressed, stable even at 115 mph. Wait. Wat?

Not smart doing 115 mph in a Jeep, honestly thought Jeeps were electronically limited to 97 mph. When I noticed I slowed down right away. I’ll have Jeep check that once I’m in PA.

Here is today’s mostly boring route:

1,000+ miles by Jeep? No problem…

After 4.5 years at my current company, I got an offer I couldn’t refuse. So on Sat, Jan 4th, I’m relocating from Florida to Pennsylvania. Brian’s Valley Forge Harley-Davidson recommended using HaulBike to ship my Road Glide to them for storage. Its being picked up a couple days after I leave. Another company is handling my household goods.

I’ll be driving my Jeep Wrangler Sport (JL) 2 door the 1,000 or so miles. I won’t be slabbing it, since short wheel base is less than ideal at Interstate Freeway speeds. I’ll be taking some regular roads, even some unpaved if I get lucky. I’m giving myself 5 days, and might avoid fast roads. I want to get there in one piece.

I’ll be buying cool/cold weather clothing as I head north. Its slim pickings here in Florida. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Once I get to Pennsylvania I’ll be staying in a temporary place for 30 days, then on to permanent digs. Hoping to find a place away from congested areas, and garage space (at least for the Harley-Davidson). Now that I have the Jeep I’m not too concerned about getting around in the snow. #fistpump

So today I’m putting all the remaining stuff into the Jeep for the early morning departure. I shipped everything I wouldn’t need for a month, so I have roughly 300 pounds of stuff that’s going into the back of the jeep. I bought a few Craftsman and Lowes Commander totes, amazing how handy those things come in for packing miscellaneous stuff. 🙂 Clothing is going into a large check-in and carry-on luggaeg and . Putting a sheet over it and a couple racheting tiedown straps to keep stuff from moving around.

Good thing I removed the back bench seat. That really opens up the back to fit more stuff. I stopped at Lowes to buy some 5 and 10 gallon heavy duty totes for packing hard to pack stuff. My clothing is going into my two motorcycle sissy bar bags, since they hold a lot. I’ll put a moving pad over everything, and a bed sheet over it all, then I’ll use a few racheting tie downs to hold it all down.

I won’t be camping, but I’m bringing the gear in the Jeep. Figured I might get lucky with weather, besides its light “fluffy” stuff that’ll help cushion stuff in back. I did however pack a tow strap since its too early to figure out what I’m doing with a bumper/lift/winch kit (crossing that bridge in the Summer time). Planning on 2.5″ lift and 35″ tires.

Bye Honda CR-V, hello Jeep Wrangler

I promised myself I’d trade in my 2016 Honda CR-V Touring before the 60,000 mile mark. This way I get maximum trade in, since Honda can certify it for the next person. It wasn’t my first Honda CR-V but it was my last. I won’t go into detail on why, but a pain point was our beta testing a CarPlay firmware update that never materialized. #vaporware #scam

For what its worth, my 2016 Honda CR-V Touring was an All Wheel Drive (AWD) function is not all its cracked to be. Its great for driving in the rain, but that’s about it. Drive it up a snowy incline, and it doesn’t do so well. Its a reactive system, not very good to be honest, though it isn’t a total design failure.

The third generation CR-V line has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds which isn’t quite enough for a small camping trailer, and the rating is only any good on smooth road. Forget about pulling a trailer through any rough roads, or over mountains. What’s the sense in pulling a trailer if you can’t go anywhere fun?

So I finally decided to get my dream car. A two door 2020 Jeep Wrangler JL with manual shift and a 3.6L V6 engine. Jeeps with 2L I4 engines are just silly if you ask me. I didn’t want to go with a four door, since I rarely have more than one passenger, and the difference in gas mileage is substantial between 2 and 4 door models.

The ugly.

Manual seats (yes, a huge PITA but used to it already). Manual widows (yes you have to reach over to roll the passenger window up and down). Manual locks (yes no keyfob with buttons). Manual mirrors (yes you have to get out of the car to adjust the passenger rear view mirror). Manual headlights (yes if you forget to turn them off you’ll get a reminder but if you ignore it you’ll be calling AAA). No remote start (because its a standard).

The awesome.

8 speaker sound system (even though it really can use a more powerful amp and better speakers and a subwoofer). Powerful engine (if you’re too aggressive, you’ll spin your wheels when accelerating). Decent gas mileage (20 mpg so far in first 750 miles). Soft roof that’s simple and easy to roll back, remove, collapse, what have you. Easily removable rear seats (much more space). Removeable windshield, doors, etc.

The mediocre.

Towing capacity is 2,000 and that’s even if you go over rough terrain. The 3.6L V6 engine is the same one that’s used in the 4 door model, which is rated 3,500 towing capacity. Jeep explained its due to the longer wheel base and higher weight on the four door. Guess it makes sense, I just know I love the engine. It has serious kick on the highway, although its a Jeep so sticking to the speed limit. Really.

This is a basic, vanilla Jeep. The only feature I paid for is AC. Having lived in Texas and SoCal, and now Florida, homie needs his AC. Didn’t get a navigation head unit, since its $3K more, figured there are several third party options that support CarPlay and are plug-n-play. Including fully supporting the stock steering wheel controls, and backup camera. This baby has just the right mix of feaatures for the road as well as for some minor off roading (though the JL ain’t no JK).

Memories.

I just realized the last time I drove a manual was in the US Army, when I was usually the guy who drive the Battalion Commander around in a M151 MUTT. I enlisted at 17 and having never owned a car before. In the 40 years since, I’ve only owned automatics. Not by choice. They just don’t make manual transmission cars anymore. Well, honestly Jeep has always offered a manual shifting model, just thought it wasn’t the right time to get one.

I drove a M151 MUTT in 120 degree weather (Fort Campbell) as well as in -40 degree weather (Fort Drum). What a piece of shit it was. But it always worked. Uncomfortable as all hell, but it always worked. Ugly as heck, but it always worked. I guess that’s the point, it always worked. At this stage in my life, having branched out into motorcycle touring, I want my car to just work.

So a few weeks ago I went into the Jeep dealer with guns blazing. I want manual. Yep, we have that. I want black. Yep we have that. I want a 3.6L V6 engine. Yep, we have that. I want AC but I don’t want your overpriced navigation unit. Yes, we have that. They kind of fibbed, they had to swap one of their stock Jeep Wrangler JLs with another dealer who had exactly what I wanted.

I want to trade in my 2016 Honda CR-V Touring. Yep, we’ll take it off your hands…especially when they found it to be 95% condition which is rare for a 4 year old car with 57,000+ miles on it. 🙂 We went through a few hours of negotiation, to get the best deal possible. And yes I threw the expected “Jeep gas mileage sucks” at them to troll them. LOL

How tough was the negotiation? It came down to a slight disagreement over what my car’s trade in is worth. I wanted to get at least the minimum amount for the 95% condition of the car. I was serious enough to walk out over a $300 deficit. The next day I get a call that they’ll add it, and the next day I went in and signed the paperwork. And yes gimme GAP, and yes gimme extended maintenance.

A week later and I’m happier than a pig in shit. Or so my Texas buddies would say. I’m trying to resist the urge to mod the Jeep. Why? Because the three biggest mod markets are (1) Harley-Davidson, (2) Ford F-150, and (3) Jeep Wrangler. So I have to exercise restraint. But not so much. I mean I do need running boards. And a hitch. And wheel lock nuts. A short rubberized antenna. And an iPhone mount. I’m trying, not sure how long I can hold out before I order more mods. 😀

EDIT: Forgot to mention I declined the CarPlay 7” head unit since I could buy the exact OEM item, install it myself and save $2,000. Its ordered and I expect to install it by Dec 28th. here is a stock photo:

JNUC2019

The Jamf National User Conference in Minneapolis is where everyone who manages huge numbers of Macs in enterprise goes for three days of sessions, training, collaboration, and of course swag. 🙂

I’ve been to all of them since 2011, except for the 2018 event, when I chose to relocate to Florida to fill a position we couldn’t find someone for.

This year’s event didn’t disappoint, it was fucking packed. The sessions were awesome, too bad we can’t clone ourselves to attend more than one at a time! Lunches were great with buckets of bacon on the side!

It was 17 degrees when I got off the plane. I figured I’d get by with a hoodie, and I was mostly right. Pitting Uber against Lyft to get the best rate and quickest pick up time, I didn’t spend more much time in the cold.

I purposely avoided the Hyatt Regency area, and stayed in a Ramada Inn. I’m a low maintenance guy, all I care about is having a buffet breakfast. They had exactly what I needed, including great coffee!

For next year, JNUC2020 will be held in San Diego in September. I plan to ride my motorcycle there. So it’ll be a mix of vacation and training. So excited looking forward to it!

Some links:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jamf-kicks-off-2019-jamf-163000722.html
https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/jamf-kicks-off-2019-jamf-nation-user-conference-showcasing-powerful-new-product-line-2019-11-12
https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2019-11-12/jamf-kicks-off-2019-jamf-nation-user-conference-showcasing-powerful-new-product-line

ToTD Scouting Ride (Car) Video And Pictures

Looks like Killboy and 129photos finally posted their October 9th photos. Those guys are good. Notice the GoPro mounted at the center of the roof.

Scroll down for a 720i version of the video, with a touch of emo-grunge…

Thousand Foot Krutch Lyrics

“Adrenaline”

Touch the ceilin’, act like how ya feelin’
Gonna rock it ‘till the wheels comes off
And keep it reelin’
No mistakin’, people shakin’
And soon we’re gonna break it
‘Till the last one stands because they can’t take it

Touch the ceilin’, act like how ya feelin’
Gonna rock it ‘till the wheels comes off
And keep it reelin’
No mistakin’, people shakin’
And soon we’re gonna break it
‘Till the last one stands because they can’t take it

The rush is like nothing
It gets your blood pumpin’
When you flip the switch, it comes on
It’ll trail you, derail you
Hammer and nail you
To the point where you need to explode

Let’s put the pedal to the floor
Here it comes, lets go
Wind it up and let it go
We’re gonna watch it blow

If you want it, then we got it
We won’t let up, ‘till we get enough
Adrenaline overload
If you need it, then we bleed it
Make some room, here comes the boom!
Adrenaline overload

And we won’t let it off
There’s nothin’ that can stop it
Until we’re in the coffin
If you want it, we got it
So let’s get it started
Adrenaline overload

Touch the ceilin’, act like how ya feelin’
Gonna rock it ‘till the wheels comes off
And keep it reelin’
No mistakin’, people shakin’
And soon we’re gonna break it
‘Till the last one stands because they can’t take it

Touch the ceilin’, act like how ya feelin’
Gonna rock it ‘till the wheels comes off
And keep it reelin’
No mistakin’, people shakin’
And soon we’re gonna break it
‘Till the last one stands because they can’t take it

It will stop at nothin’
To make you feel somethin’
‘Till you feel like that’s what you need
But proceed with caution
‘Cause you can get lost
And not everything is what it seems

Let’s put the pedal to the floor
Here it comes, lets go
Wind it up and let it go
We’re gonna watch it blow

If you want it, then we got it
We won’t let up, ‘till we get enough
Adrenaline overload
If you need it, then we bleed it
Make some room, here comes the boom!
Adrenaline overload

And we won’t let it off
There’s nothin’ that can stop it
Until we’re in the coffin
If you want it, we got it
So let’s get it started
Adrenaline overload

If you want it, then we got it
We won’t let up, ‘till we get enough
Adrenaline overload
If you need it, then we bleed it
Make some room, here comes the boom!
Adrenaline overload

And we won’t let it off
There’s nothin’ that can stop it
Until we’re in the coffin
If you want it, we got it
So let’s get it started
Adrenaline overload