Archive for MacBook Pro

A series of mechanical mishaps

Posted in Running with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2011 by xi'an

The past week saw the coincidence of a series of mechanical problems on the home front:

  • I was diagnosed with a meniscus tear after an MRI, presumably due to years of jogging although it only started to feel painful after Adap’skiii…. This was treated by an cortisone injection in the knee (addressing the inflammation hopefully for a few years but not the tear).
  • My bike back-wheel axis broke, which means I biked back home with the brake on! Good training! (And it does not hurt the knee!) Changing this wheel will cost me the equivalent of a full tank of gas, i.e. at least forty round trips to my office…
  • My Macbook video card broke down on Monday night, meaning truly no access to the data even with an external screen. (I wonder if this is yet another effect of the Philadelphia tea party!) Fortunately, this was right after my weekend backup so only a day of work on the Jaynes‘ slides is inaccessible. Fortunately too, the newer Macbook was already equipped with Kubuntu 10.10 and the switch was easy, except for having to use a mouse for the first time in ten years! As reported in this earlier post, the system works almost perfectly, with only the microphone and the wireless mouse not operational… If I could use the touch-pad for cut&paste, it would be perfect. Anyway, I should get my 2007 Macbook early this week with a new video card, courtesy of Apple despite the warranty having run out!
  • My radio stopped broadcasting the national public radio on Saturday evening for about half an hour. I found only the next day that this was due to an incredible…series of coincidences and accidents at the national public radio that stopped all broadcasting for half an hour! Nothing related with my own radio then.
  • My car thermometer started giving impossibly low temperatures, by a factor of -10⁰C or so… This is a very minor bug and an interesting calibration problem: I will try to check whether the discrepancy is reliable enough to build a correcting function!

Disas-tea-R at dawn

Posted in Linux, R, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by xi'an

This was bound to happen sooner or later, given my addiction to tea and sleepless nights, so I eventually managed to spill a cup of tea over my Mac… I had been working for a few hours in my hotel room in Philadelphia, completing an ABC paper with Jean-Michel Marin and Robin Ryder. We had been running experiments in R with Jean-Michel over the past days and I wanted to check some details with him about some graphs he sent me, so we got into a Skype conversation. At the same time, I was running an alternative R code to compare with his, and starting a new ‘Og entry about a current campaign against road accidents. And drinking my fifth or sixth cuppa of the morning. I suddenly realised dawn had come and stood up to raise the blinds next to my desk. Completely forgetting about the earphones on my head. The obvious then occurred: the earphone cord stretched, pulling the teacup over and I turned back to see the keyboard covered with tea… Disaster! I tipped the computer over and grabbed the hotel hairdryer to try to dry it as quickly as possible (apologies to the next room neighbour!). Contrary to all advices, I did not turn the Mac off but kept running the R program instead to add to the heat of the dryer. In retrospect this was quite silly and I am lucky to get out with only two keys not working!

Maverick Meerkat [10.10]

Posted in Linux with tags , , , on December 16, 2010 by xi'an

About one year after I failed to install Ubuntu 9.10 on my Macbook pro, I had another try with Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat!) Here is a copy of the screen:

The nice thing is that it worked right out of the installation CD. No add-on for wireless to install. (This post was made with the new Mac!) The only remaining difficulty is to work out how to cut-and-paste with the touchpad, as the sound isssue has been solved thanks to the special MacBookPro/Maverick page. Moving from Ubuntu to Kubuntu was about as seamless,

and while I still have a few items to install, including acrobat, both R and LaTeX are working fine. This is a constant conclusion with Linux: it eventually works out if one wait for the right version, with the obvious drawback that new material does not fit this scheme!


Posted in Linux with tags , , , on December 7, 2009 by xi'an

Having purchased a new MacBook Pro [5.3] thanks to the support of our most recent ANR EMILE grant, and prodded by Jean-Michel Marin to give it a try, I first attempted using the local Mac software, i.e. the Unix system behind the Snow Leopard OS, but I could not get my terminal environment to work properly for my ten basic Unix commands to operate seamlessly enough. Presumably for not trying hard enough…

Thus, this weekend, I started on the “big” move to a rEFIt dual boot with Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic koala!) installed on the second half of the partition. The whole process is fairly well described on Ubuntu forums and I followed the steps there so that the installation first succeeded. I then tried to install KDE 4.3 from the original Gnome environment and this did not produce an acceptable working platform. I reluctantly switched back to Gnome and cut down as many features of this environment as possible to obtain a minimalist working space. At this stage, I was asked to update various packages  of Karmic and then disaster stuck when I accepted to switch between versions of Grub2: later attempts to rescue and even to reinstall Ubuntu 9.10 failed. When I booted from anything but the Mac OS, on the rEFIt panel, I was getting an infinite sequence of GRUB on the screen… The forums being also full of contradictory and failing suggestions, this drove me mad the whole afternoon!!! I eventually erased everything including rEFIt and managed once again to access  the Ubuntu OS. I cannot say I have  yet reached a point where I trust the stability of the system.