Archive for July 2022 - Page 1


    Mid-2007 13-inch Black MacBook: 15 Years Later

    Picture of the Mid 2007 Black MacBook while closed

    This post is another in the series of me looking back at the technology related events that occurred during the year. The reason for the is because 2007 turned out to be a big year for me technology wise. This is the seventh in the series. the previous articles are:

    Mid-2007 13-inch MacBook

    Back in March I posted about the fact that I purchased a Late-2006 20-inch iMac. While that was both my first Mac overall, it was also my first desktop Mac. A mere 4 months later, I ended up buying a MacBook. In fact, the one that I ended up purchasing was the 13.3-inch Black MacBook.


    The 13-inch Black MacBook was more expensive than the regular MacBook. In fact, it was quite a bit more, it started at $1499. The model that I got was the base model, because any upgrades would significantly add to the cost. The second reason I chose that model was because the base specifications were enough for what I needed. On the topic of specifications, let us look at the specifications.


    What was interesting with the 13-inch Black MacBook was that it had most of the same specifications as the Late 2006 20-inch iMac that I had purchased. It had a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, with 1GB of RAM. The only difference between that and 20-inch iMac is that the MacBook only had a 160GB 5400 hard drive, whereas the iMac had a 250GB 7200 hard drive.

    These specs go along with the two USB 2.0 ports and single Firewire port. Along with this, the MacBook had a first-generation MagSafe power port.

    OS X

    The MacBook came with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The last version of OS X that the 13-inch MacBook supported was Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. The reason that it did not support any newer operating system is the fact that the Intel 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo is a 32-bit processor, and the logic board was 32-bit as well. Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion dropped support for 32-bit processors.

    Having multiple Macs, I know I ended up buying the family pack of macOS Leopard so I could install it both of my Macs. The upgrade price of $199, so for $70 more than the single price you could install it up to five computers. This was a great thing to have at the time. Now, of course, macOS upgrades are free, so no special licensing is needed.

    Picture of the Mac OS X Tiger DVD

    On the topic of upgrades, let us look at upgrading the hardware next.

    Upgrading Hardware

    Even though I purchased just the base model, it was inevitable thaT I would upgrade the MacBook, because it was still possible with that model.One of the best features of the 13-inch Black MacBook was the simplicity of upgrading. The upgrade process was pretty quick. The steps were:

    1. Turn off the MacBook.
    2. Unlock the battery using a coin.
    3. Remove the battery.
    4. Unscrew the four screws holding the memory and hard drive cover.
    5. Remove the memory and hard drive cover.

    Once you have removed the cover, you had access to the memory and the hard drive. For the hard drive you could easily remove it with the tab on the hard drive enclosure. The memory could easily be removed by pressing on the two tabs next to the hard drives.

    I do not know when, but I know I upgraded both the hard drive and the memory. I know I ended up installing a 250GB 7200 RPM drive and 3GB of memory.


    The MacBook was designed to be portable. At the same time, it was not an inexpensive item. Because of the price, I went looking for a way to protect it, even while I traveled with it. I went looking for a good solution. I ended up buying two things. The first was an Incase 13-inch Laptop sleeve, which I still use to this day, but for my 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Th second item I purchased was a Pelican case. Specifically, it was the Pelican 1450.

    Image of the Pelican 1450 case

    The reason I chose this case was two fold. The first reason is that, as mentioned above, I wanted something that I knew could protect the laptop and a Pelican case definitely could do that. The second reason I went with this model was that it included an insert system that consists of tiny blocks. The blocks can be removed individually which would allow you to customize the function of the case.

    Therefore, what I ended up doing was creating a layout for being able to transport just about anything that I could possibly need to transport with it. This included the power brick, the extended charging cord which would go into the power brick, a Mini-DVI to VGA adapter, a Mini-DVI to HDMI adapter, an ethernet cable, and other various cables that I might need, like USB to 30-pin cables.

    Was the Pelican case excessive? Looking back now, yes, it was. I definitely did not need such a rugged case. I still have the case today, but it not really used for anything, but I am reluctant to get rid of it, because If I want to use it for something else, I simply need to get a replacement foam set and reconfigure it as necessary.

    Now, let us look at how I use the 2007 Black MacBook now.

    Usage Today

    I no longer really use the 13-inch MacBook. It still functions, but the battery ended up swelling, so I removed it. Furthermore, my brother needed a replacement power cord for his MacBook Pro, so I gave him mine, along with a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter that he can use for his 2012 MacBook Pro.

    After initially writing this, I ended up buying a replacement power adapter and a NewerTech battery from After I powered up the MacBook there were a few updates that needed to be installed, and the last version of macOS that is supported on the Machine is Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which was released in 2011 and the last update was in October of 2012, so it's been a while since I booted up the MacBook.

    Therefore, if I need any data off of the hard drive, I can either copy it directly on the MacBook, using File Sharing, or even use Screen Sharing to copy data.

    Closing Thoughts

    Even though the 13-inch Black MacBook was more expensive, it did have some higher specifications when purchased. I used the 2007 Black MacBook regularly from 2007 until April of 2015 when I purchased an early-2015 13-inch MacBook Pro, which coincidentally, I am actually using now to write this post, so almost a full eight years of usage of the 2007 MacBook before it was replaced.

    I miss the pure black color on the 2007 MacBook. I understand why it is not possible to get a pure black MacBook Pro these days, but it would be really nice to get a MacBook Pro that is darker than the current Space Gray, even if it would cost a bit more for the color.

    Apple Newsroom: Apple Updates Popular MacBook - May 15, 2007


    Apple Operating Systems eBook Available for Pre-Order

    Cover for the book

    As has become my habit, I have written another book about Apple's operating systems. This is the 21st Apple-related book that I have written, and 23rd book overall. I have a dedicated page for all of my books, so you can see the full list there.

    This year's book is titled "iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9 for Users and Developers" and it s the longest one yet. The description of the book is:

    Apple continues its cadence of yearly releases. iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura are packed with a slew new features.

    The biggest change for iOS is the new customizable Lock Screen complete with widgets. For iPadOS and macOS there is a new window management feature called Stage Manager. Health gets some improvements with new medication tracking, including scheduling and notifications. If you use Photos there is now a new Shared Photo Library option.

    Sometimes you need to quickly escape a situation. If that is the case the new Safety Check feature will quickly remove access to your apps, location, and Apple ID account.

    For those who like to run there are new measurements as well as ways of racing against yourself with a new Race Route function. If you like to compete in Triathlons, you can use the new Multisport exercise to seamlessly move between sports.

    For developers is a whole new WeatherKit Framework that utilizes the existing Async/Await features, and has a REST API. SwiftUI, Apple’s Swift-only UI framework, continues to evolve with a whole framework of its own, Swift Charts.

    These topics are just some of the topics covered in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura. The information contained within provides details about all of the new features of each operating system and has something for everyone, no matter what level of expertise.

    The eBook will be available this fall for $4.99. You can pre-order it now from Apple or Amazon and you will get it the day it is released. There will be a paperback and hardcover versions coming this fall as well, so keep an eye out for those as well.


    iMac's Fusion Drive SSD Failure

    Back of a 27-inch 2017 iMac

    Just about 5 years ago now, I purchased a 4.2GHz 27-inch iMac with a 3TB Fusion Drive. I opted for the Fusion drive due it being the most amount of storage that I could get at the time and besides that SSD prices were, and still are, a bit much for the same amount of storage.

    With a Fusion Drive it is actually two physical drives. In my case a 128GB Solid State Drive and a 3TB 7200 RPM traditional spinning hard drive. These two drives are logically connected to be presented as a single drive to macOS. The SSD portion would store the operating system files as well as the most commonly used files and data, to provide it the fastest access possible, meanwhile everything else would be stored on the traditional spinning hard drive.

    Back in April I purchased a Mac Studio and the Mac Studio is now my primary computer. I opted to get the Mac Studio after the screen on my iMac began to crack. It started as a small 1-inch crack but it since expanded quite a bit, to be 18-inches. As a side note, the crack has not expanded at all, which I find interesting. Since the iMac has been replaced, I was only being used as a device to test out the macOS Ventura betas.

    I went to install macOS Ventura developer beta 3, but the update never installed, at least I do not think it did. When I went to check on it the screen was entirely black. The machine was still running because the backlight of the iMac screen was on. So, I held down the power button to force the iMac to turn off. I waited a bit, turned it back on and let it boot. Once at the login screen I went to login, but as soon as I attempted to actually login, the entire system just froze giving the infamous beachball.

    Knowing that there was obviously something wrong, I rebooted into Recovery Mode and ran First Aid on both drives and their APFS containers. If I scanned each one of them on its own, they would both pass. Having both of them passed, I figured it might just be a software problem and re-installing macOS should fix it. I attempted to re-install macOS Ventura, but it presented me with an error that stated that the drive failed with some S.M.A.R.T errors. Typically, when drives have S.M.A.R.T. errors, that means that the device is failing.

    This left me with a bit of a quandary. I have an external SSD that has macOS Monterey on it. So, I attempted use that to run Disk Utility and received the same results. It passed the First Aid checks. I thought it could be an issue with the Ventura beta, so I attempted to re-install macOS Monterey. But that also failed with the same S.M.A.R.T. error message. No matter what I did nothing would install. I was still able to access all of the data, which was all on the spinning hard drive.

    Ultimately, what I ended up doing was erasing the spinning hard drive and re-partitioning it. After it was partitioned I re-installed macOS Monterey. This worked, because the spinning hard drive did not show any S.M.A.R.T. errors. After it finished the macOS Monterey install, I did the initial setup then I attempted to upgrade to macOS Ventura, but it sat there on 48 seconds remaining for who knows how long. So, I rebooted the iMac and restarted the installation.

    The Ventura beta installation did complete and my 2017 iMac is back to working condition, albeit a bit slower than before. That is to be expected though, given that it is a 7200RPM hard drive that is now being used, even for system files. The slowness is acceptable though since it is just for testing and not my daily machine.

    Regardless of type of drive, is that they will fail eventually. With that, the one thing I find interesting is the fact that SSD failed before the spinning hard drive. If the spinning hard drive fails, I will likely just hook up the external SSD again and use that. I briefly thought about possibly opening up the iMac and replacing both drives with a single SSD, but it is a lot more work than it is worth, and the procedure to do so, while possible, seems rather daunting.


    Reading List for June 2022

    Cover for the Book

    We are now officially half way through 2022, which is hard to believe. As I indicated last month, I did not listen to nearly as books as I did in May. The reason for this is that I am working on my next book about Apple's latest operating systems.

    Even though I am working on that during most of my free time I still do have some opportunities to listen to audiobook. During June I listened to 13 books total, of which only one is new. That sole new book is the one I would like to highlight. The title is "Sparring Partners" by John Grisham:

    Best-selling author John Grisham explores fascinating questions of justice and the law in these three novellas. In “Homecoming”, Jake Brigance (of A Time to Kill fame) makes the dicey choice to help a former colleague who absconded with a fortune. “Strawberry Moon” follows young death-row inmate Cody Wallace in his weighty final hours. And the title story introduces Diantha Bradshaw, the loyal associate charged with saving a failing family law firm from the feuding brothers tearing it apart. In each novella, the stakes aren’t just legal but intensely personal as well, with bonds of blood and friendship on the line. Whether he’s portraying the desperation behind Cody’s simple but heartrending final wish or forcing Diantha to examine the true cost of corruption, Grisham is a master of making legal and criminal issues feel intensely personal. Sparring Partners gives us a triple helping of Grisham at his best.

    Sparring Partners was a good book, and given the there are three novellas it does not take super long to finish any of them, so you can listen to them in spurts.

    I am not sure how many books I will listen to next month, but I suspect it may not be that many either.

    Title Author First Listen Amazon Apple
    Sparring Partners John Grisham Yes Amazon Apple
    The Evening and the Morning (Kingsbridge Book 0) Ken Follett No Amazon Apple
    Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge Book 1) Ken Follett No Amazon Apple
    World Without End (Kingsbridge Book 2) Ken Follett No Amazon Apple
    Exiled from Earth (Exiles Book 1) Ben Bova No Amazon Apple
    Flight of Exiles (Exiles Book 2) Ben Bova No Amazon Apple
    End of Exile (Exiles Book 3) Ben Bova No Amazon Apple
    The Event (The Survivors Book 1) Nathan Hystad No Amazon Apple
    New Threat (The Survivors Book 2) Nathan Hystad No Amazon Apple
    New World (The Survivors Book 3) Nathan Hystad No Amazon Apple
    Valhalla Rising (Dirk Pitt 16) Clive Cussler No Amazon Apple
    Trojan Odyssey (Dirk Pitt 17) Clive Cussler No Amazon Apple
    Black Wind (Dirk Pitt 18) Clive Cussler No Amazon Apple
    Total   13    

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