Since everyone seems to be down on iTunes at the moment. I’ve since noticed that they removed the ability to see how fast a disk is ripping. One of the first things I do whenever I would get a faster DVD drive or newer Mac would be to rip an audio CD and marvel at how much faster it was compared to the earlier device. Sigh
Apparently I can’t leave well enough alone. After upgrading my Mac Pro 4.1 to a 3.2GHz quad core Xeon from the originally installed 2.66GHz quad core Xeon, I read about some who had upgraded their Mac Pros to the six core W3680 Xeon CPU. I did some checking on Ebay and the time, these CPU’s were going for around five to six hundred dollars. Doing some more research, I found out about the slightly faster version of that CPU series, the Xeon W3690, a speed bumped version of the W3680. This CPU can be found on Ebay for much less, and they are clocked about 200MHz faster. So, I picked one up off of Ebay and installed it into my Mac Pro. Overall, the system seems faster, and considering its a five year old machine, it’s a good investment. I frequently use Handbrake to encode ripped Blu-Rays and it does work well for this task. Handbrake makes use of all the cores for encoding and this CPU with hyperthreading displays as 12 threads. All in all, this Mac Pro is running smoothly now, and should be usable for a few more years. I considered installing a PCI express based SSD from Macsales, but for the time being I settled on a standard Samsung SSD. Even thought the Mac Pro is limited to a 3GB/second SATA interface, it’s still much faster than a spinning platter disk.
I picked up a used Mac Pro (2009) model, (4,1) off of Ebay for fairly cheap. ($600). It’s been a good machine, and for the price, quite a bargain. The stock CPU (2.66 Ghz) has been decent. After doing some research, I found out you can replace the CPU’s quite easily. Once again, I went back to Ebay and found a 3.2Ghz Xeon that should work. Sure enough, if you have ever installed a CPU on a regular PC then you know it’s not that difficult. The only issue I had was with finding a 3mm Allen wrench that would fit down the narrow channel in the heat sink. Luckily, I have some wrenches that I purchased for working on my Mountain Bike, and it worked perfectly. You can see the gigantic heatsink placed upside down and the daughterboard that holds the CPU. Note in the background the really long Allen wrench.
After finally installing Mavericks on my older MacPro that I keep around, I was surprised when configuring zsh. I was installing OhMyZsh when the installer balked because I didn’t have the command line Git tools installed. Then a dialog box popped up and asked if I’d like to install the command line tools for me. Pretty neat. I’m not sure if it happens with previous versions of the Mac OS, but I don’t remember it happening.
If you are a Mac user, do yourself a favor and head over to stackecxchange. There are tons of shortcuts being discussed. I’ve learned a few that are pretty cool.