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miscellaneous Apple issues

Kopernicus, there are a number of Mac-compatible DVD drives on Amazon for less than $30. Has your friend agreed that she would rather have an ISO-image than watch the actual DVD?
 


Kopernicus, there are a number of Mac-compatible DVD drives on Amazon for less than $30. Has your friend agreed that she would rather have an ISO-image than watch the actual DVD?
The ISO image may have the advantage of (a) not carrying around a drive, and (b) not imposing shorter battery life to power the drive. Both can be an advantage when traveling.
 




I rip DVDs to my Mac Mini in the lounge room using MacTheRipper. To make the rip a tad more easy to manage, I add the ".dvdmedia" extension to the movie name folder the rip is saved as. That way, the less tech-savvy in the house just have to double-click MovieToWatch.dvdmedia, and DVD Player pops into life.
What version of MacTheRipper do you use, and what OS? I’ve kept a version (2.6.something?) on a Snow Leopard drive for the occasional rip. I recall there being a version 3 but never jumped through the hoops necessary to get it.
 




I gather from the replies so far there is not a way to do what I want, though I wonder why dd fails.
DVDs are protected by CSS encryption, so even if you were able to make a copy, it would not be usable without removing the CSS protection.

There are a few programs that can strip the CSS encryption and leave you with an ISO image that is usable with the original disc structure. The programs I know are RipIt, MacTheRipper, Mac DVDRipper Pro, and Fairmount.

If you want something that is simple, no hassle, and “just works” then try RipIt. I’m not sure if you can use it without buying first though. In that case, you might want to check out Mac DVDRipper Pro, which allows 5 free rips as a trial.

Fairmount is a bit different from the others in that it doesn’t create an ISO directly. Instead it takes the encrypted DVD and remounts it as a virtual volume on the system and what it’s doing is stripping the CSS encryption in real-time as the data is accessed through the virtual volume. So, you could use Fairmount to remount the DVD and then use something like Disk Utility to create a dmg or iso of the virtual volume.
 


I have found Drag and Drop increasingly unreliable in general. Most of the time it's almost impossible to pick up the text I have selected and move it to another point in Apple Mail (or other apps). But once in a while it works. When I was working on a new edition of a book in late 2017, trying to use drag and drop on ".doc" files from the previous edition would crash Word 2011, so I had to turn off the Drag and Drop option. (Converting to .docx files also seemed to help.)
I totally understand. This is why I have not upgraded every time. So far, I have successfully upgraded to High Sierra. I have lost very little or next to nothing.

The real issue is the testing before it reaches the shelf. Add to that the thinning of hardware, locking it up so nothing is available to the user. As I posted before, the last new Mac was my Mac Mini 2010. Based on my research to replace it, it would have doubled my costs and moved me to Mojave. So I bought a refurbished 2014 Mac Mini with High Sierra and no issues.

What Apple has done is not handle the issues that would address all these concerns. No one wins if Apple chooses not to hear it. I remember the time when user groups and Apple really talked and listened and put out hardware that just worked out of the box. I helped a few people with real physical or mental issues purchase Macs that addressed their needs perfectly. The last time that I asked that question for a family member, I was referred to Apple Accessibility, which could not address this need. I have figured out a way to solve this, but it never came from Apple, and the solution is available from Apple. If I did not have the knowledge or the ability to research a solution... you get the point.
 


It's clear Ive and Cook don't care for the past and how we use Macs, but are driven by new revenue goals that force everything to the cloud, where Apple monthly revenue streams are guaranteed. Ive's seemingly moronic hardware decisions really are forcing further reliance on iCloud for doing everything, at a mere x dollars per month. Such a deal! Sadly, the standalone Mac lovers of the past don't fit into this new revenue-prioritized, cloud-based world. We fossils are screwed. (in my opinion)
 


Sadly, the standalone Mac lovers of the past don't fit into this new revenue-prioritized, cloud-based world.
We've come full circle.

When I first started computing we were using mainframes with punch cards—and later simple terminals—to connect to distant computers. All our data resided on those distant disks or, more likely, tapes.

When we first started using local computers (e.g., PDP and VAX along with Macs and PCs) it was a paradigm shift as all our data was local.

One of the things I learned from those days is I never again wanted my data to be entrusted to someone else.

And, now, here we are again with data located elsewhere and entrusted to someone else.
 


A problem I've never seen before and neither has Google, it seems:

I have just replaced a Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD with a Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD in a late 2011 MacBook Pro 15" (non-retina, with DVD drive). Used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the drive across, verified it worked, then immediately upgraded from High Sierra to Mojave. The drive has FileVault 2 encryption.

Now, the computer seems to work except when booting up with an Apple wired extended keyboard connected to a USB port. When the keyboard is connected, the computer doesn't boot, but displays a uniform light grey screen asking for username and password, along with a series of 6 beeps. Buttons below say Restart and Quit (or maybe Shut Down, can't remember). The cursor is in the username field, and this can be typed in. But nothing else can be selected in the screen. The mouse cursor moves very jerkily, as if another process is overwhelming the processor. Tab key doesn't change field. Can't click the password field. Can click the buttons, which invert briefly, but nothing happens. The only way out is to hold the power button for 5 seconds, then press it again to turn on the machine, at which point it automatically boots into the "can't remember your password?"-type screen with options to set a new password, etc.

The strange thing is that the Mac starts up just fine with Command-Option-P-R and the keyboard connected (but needs that key combo on every start up). And it boots into Safe Mode with the keyboard connected okay as well. It boots normally when the keyboard isn't connected. It boots okay with a Logitech mouse connected. The keyboard works normally if connected after the boot process. Disk Utility from an external drive reports no problems with the new SSD. Hardware Diagnostics reports no problems.

Not sure if this is relevant, but there's only one admin user and no non-admin users. For some reason, a normal start up now requires the disk password to be typed first, then the user password later, rather than all-in-one like it was with the previous SSD. Haven't found a way to fix this yet.

I've never seen this before. Can anyone help please? Thanks.
 


Now, the computer seems to work except when booting up with an Apple wired extended keyboard connected to a USB port
Could there be a stuck key?

I also remember, at some point in the distant past, a firmware update for the wired extended keyboards - maybe yours needs it?

While I'm not sure what else might be going on here, have you tried a different keyboard or USB port just to isolate the issue?
 


Could there be a stuck key?

I also remember, at some point in the distant past, a firmware update for the wired extended keyboards - maybe yours needs it?

While I'm not sure what else might be going on here, have you tried a different keyboard or USB port just to isolate the issue?
I don’t think there’s a stick key. It seems to work fine when it’s plugged in after the boot process. I’ve tried the other USB port and it makes no difference but I don’t have another keyboard to try unfortunately.

How do you update the firmware of a keyboard?
 


How do you update the firmware of a keyboard?
To answer the immediate question, you run updater software, like one of these:
WASD Support said:
This is just an example of a keyboard that has updateable firmware; it won't help you and your Apple wired extended keyboard.

But I suspect JonDuke refers to a Mac firmware update like Aluminum Keyboard Firmware Update 1.1. This is just an example of such a beast; it may or may not help you.
 


But I suspect JonDuke refers to a Mac firmware update like Aluminum Keyboard Firmware Update 1.1. This is just an example of such a beast; it may or may not help you.
Oh, thank you. It never even occurred to me that s keyboard would have firmware that could be updated. Seems that there is no firmware of any sort available for the wired keyboard I have, anyway. At this stage, I don’t know whether the problem is with the keyboard or the Mac, although I suspect the Mac, since the problem started since changing the SSD and updating to Mojave.
 


It may be of no relevance whatsoever, but the wired keyboard comes with an extension cable. The keyboard won’t work reliably with the Thunderbolt Display without the extension cable.
 


I saw the news: A new Mac Pro! Woohooh... woo... hoo... $6000 for a base model without a GPU? Did we just transport back to the 80's when a Mac IIfx was $6000, and LaserWriter II was $5000? Am I the only one whose jaw dropped at the price? First it was the iMac Pro (no one I know wants one). And now this... this... I can't like it. It looks like a 50's HiFi with those Ikea feet!
Bought a IIcx for $3200. Anyone want it? Free?
 






As a tangent, does anybody know why Mactracker hasn't been updated since December of 2018?
Great question! I have both the iOS and Mac versions. I hope Ian is okay. For a while I was thinking the update server was having problems on my end. I sent an email to Ian regarding MacTracker. I'll let everyone here know of any response from him.
 


Great question! I have both the iOS and Mac versions. I hope Ian is okay. For a while I was thinking the update server was having problems on my end. I sent an email to Ian regarding MacTracker. I'll let everyone here know of any response from him.
A big update: I received an email from Ian and it looks promising. Text of Ian's response:
Hi Richard, thanks for the note. An update for Mac and iOS releases is under development. The Mac release will be available shortly.

Unfortunately my “real” job has been taking a considerable amount of time lately that has delayed my work on Mactracker.
 




I got the update notice for Numbers this morning and it said (among other things): "Greatly improved accuracy using the enhanced 128-bit calculation engine".

As I remember my basic science, that is theoretically impossible, unless Apple Numbers has been making errors all along. I hope they mean "precision".

Still, mathematicians were calculating pi to many, many decimal places with just an 8-bit engine, so what does a 128-bit engine really do? And then I remember, even simpler Turing engines could calculate anything.
 


I got the update notice for Numbers this morning and it said (among other things): "Greatly improved accuracy using the enhanced 128-bit calculation engine".

As I remember my basic science, that is theoretically impossible, unless Apple Numbers has been making errors all along. I hope they mean "precision".

Still, mathematicians were calculating pi to many, many decimal places with just an 8-bit engine, so what does a 128-bit engine really do? And then I remember, even simpler Turing engines could calculate anything.
Here is the explanation from Apple:
About the increased accuracy of calculations in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote):
The new calculation engine dramatically improves upon previous versions by using a decimal representation of numbers throughout the calculation.
This actually does improve the accuracy of calculations that did not have a natural expression in base 2 but do in base 10.

To me, the most significant improvement in these new releases is the ability to place in-line equations, coming either from, say, Keynote's equation editor or from a TeX-based source, such as LateXiT. Pages has been able to do this with its own editor for a while, but not Keynote, which is where I really missed it. Hurray!
 


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