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Matt Diamond

Member Since 30 Jul 2001
Offline Last Active Today, 02:56 PM
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Topics I've Started

TechTool Pro - is there any point?

10 November 2020 - 12:25 AM

I've owned several versions of TechTool Pro. It used to be very useful to have around. Apple even used to ship a version of it with AppleCare. But I'm thinking it may be a waste of money now. Would be interested to hear if others agree.

The last few years there's always been a gotcha when I tried to use it. I tried to scan recently deleted files with v11 but the option was grayed out and it didn't say why-- the manual didn't help. The website claims APFS support with the latest version (13) but the FAQ says many features are not supported. Volume defrag and rebuilding are not; surface scan is, but to scan the boot disk you have to disable boot protection if you have a machine with a T2 chip.

The other hardware tests are a feel-good feature, but I don't put much faith in them. For example Micromat now sells a second product that tests memory more thoroughly than TTP does. So that feels like a ripoff.

I'm guessing with APFS there aren't any great third-party options now. Just Disk Utility, and keep good backups.

Secrets of Monkey Island 30th Anniv Livestream

29 October 2020 - 10:55 PM

"Discover secrets and never-before-seen content from The Secret of Monkey Island with Ron Gilbert and The Video Game History Foundation"

Fri, October 30, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT
Tickets are $10.
https://www.eventbri...ts-124486302883

(I bought a ticket but I will probably watch the archived stream instead of live.)

Psychonauts 2

14 September 2020 - 02:33 PM

After a 6-month silence, Doublefine has started posting monthly updates again about Psychonauts 2 on Fig: https://www.fig.co/c...nauts-2/updates
Recent news:
  • Rescheduled to 2021
  • Mac release still planned
  • New kick-ass trailer https://youtu.be/G6SRtNZb_D4 - minor spoiler if you want to play this game cold: the trailer shows off a level
    Spoiler
    voiced by Doublefine's old pal Jack Black (Brütal Legend).
I couldn't be more excited for this game.

p.s. I confirmed last night that the original runs great on Crossover for Catalina.

Monitor suggestions?

24 June 2020 - 10:45 AM

I am toying with the idea of getting a new monitor.

My old 27" Dell U2713HM :
* doesn't support HDMI beyond 1080p
* only gets to 2560x1440 using DisplayPort. This means I have to swap DisplayPort cables whenever I switch computers
* doesn't autodetect inputs, and switching between inputs requires navigating an annoying menu using 4 tiny black buttons, and the order you press them can change depending on whether the monitor second-guesses what you are trying to do
* No speakers - not a dealbreaker but it would make XBox gaming easier

I can probably live with the Dell for another year or 3, but if anyone is very fond of their current monitor I'd be interested in hearing about it.

I will not be getting an Apple Pro XDR at this time though.

G4 iMac 15" - The Resurrection

25 April 2020 - 08:49 PM

g4imac.jpg

My son was gifted a G4 iMac from someone's storage, for helping them out. I desperately wanted one of these when they first came out so I've been trying to get it running again.

When we first got it it made horrible clicking sounds and the CD tray wouldn't open. I fixed those by replacing the hard drive and Superdrive (and while I was at it, the PRAM battery). Once I set the master-slave pins on the drives correctly we got the flashing question mark indicating no boot drive. And holding down the mouse opens the CD tray. So far so good.

But I am unable to boot a CD or DVD. I tried burning G4 iMac Restore CDs, and a OS X 10.4 Tiger installer DVD, and neither worked. Holding down the C key at boot, the DVD is ejected immediately. The CD makes normal sounds like it is being read, but nothing happens. Holding down the Option key, no disks are ever shown.

At least one person claims that booting to a burnt disk may not work work and I need to get real system restore disks or a Tiger installer. Both can be found on eBay, but I would like some assurance that this is the problem I'm having.

Another option would be try booting it to an external Firewire 400 drive. I actually have one, but I don't think I have a way to install an old enough OS on it (10.1 - 10.4 Tiger). Newer machines won't run the old installers AFAIK.

It's been a fun project but if I spend much more money on it I could have just bought a working one in the first place!

Suggestions welcome..