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Replacing the hard drive in a (non-unibody) MacBook Pro

A friend of mine had an older 2008 MacBook Pro (the kind that does not have the modern 'unibody' construction), and he noticed it was getting slower. He upgraded the RAM to max it out at 4 GB (I think it might be able to go to 6 or 8 GB if needed). But a lot of things took a long time to do, even though the Mac had a 1.86 Ghz Core 2 Duo processor (not a slouch by any means).

He asked me to replace the hard drive with an SSD, so I did. I followed this iFixIt guide, and put in a new OCZ Agility 256GB SSD, which is way faster (especially for random access, like when you boot the computer or launch an app) than the old disk drive that I removed from the MacBook Pro.

I recorded the entire process (about 23 minutes) using my Nikon D7000 along with a Audio Technica PRO88W wireless microphone, and posted it on YouTube:

Goodbye, iPhone 4

It was a great run! Now that I have the iPhone 5 (see my iPhone 5 review here), this trusty iPhone 4—which still looks and runs perfect—is going to be passed along to some other owner. What an iconic and well-crafted product:

iPhone 4 Back

Read my review of the iPhone 4, from 2010.

Old Mac of the Month - Macintosh IIci (on 512 Pixels)

This month, my old Mac story about a IIci was featured on on the excellent Apple-related blog 512 Pixels, by Stephen Hackett: Old Mac of the Month: Macintosh IIci.

My old Mac IIci

I briefly mention the IIci in my (not-yet-complete) Computing History article here on Life is a Prayer.com. I really liked the IIci, and it's probably one of my favorite Macs of all time, especially considering I probably owned and used it the longest!

Special thanks to my brother and dad, who not only helped me get into electronics and computing, but also helped me edit the article.

Steve

As many of my colleagues mourn the death of a great tech icon, Steve Jobs, I pray for his soul, and hope (sincerely) that he makes it to Heaven. For all his flaws, he was a good neighbor, an optimist, a great strategist, an opponent of pornography, and he built up the tech industry in ways the future history books will show.

Steve Jobs

Much of my life has been lived along with products created or conceived by Steve himself (see my ongoing computing history here), and my current profession would be nowhere near as interesting as it is without his continual push towards extending the reach of technology into my life.

Through it all, we must remember what Steve (as well as many before him) has pointed out:

Once you realize the death is a part of life, you will live life more fully.

In other words,

"For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it"
(1 Timothy 6:7).

I'm going to be reading Steve Jobs (the authorized biography) when it is released on October 24, 2011. I enjoyed reading iWoz, which spoke to much of Apple's successes in the engineering field, but the design and strategy aspects of Apple's success will likely be covered in-depth in this book.

WYSIWYG Editing on iOS 5

Thanks to iOS5's support for contentEditable text areas, rich text editors like TinyMCE and CKEditor (two of my favorites, which I install on many Drupal sites using the WYSIWYG module) now work great for editing content on the web in mobile Safari!

This means that I'll be more likely to do site content work on the road with my iPad 2. I just wish they supported file select fields so I could also add images more easily on the go.

Check out all the details over on Midwestern Mac: WYSIWYG Editing (contentEditable support) in iOS 5.

The Exodus App – Pulled from App Store for being "Gay Cure"

While reading through a relatively decent overview/article on the current controversy, I found a paragraph that I take some issue with, especially with regard to the question of 'faith vs. science/reason':

Ms. Pynchon makes a critical observation: “These religious beliefs (that sexual conduct outside of a one man-one woman marriage is sinful and can be “cured” by Jesus) are held by fewer and fewer Americans. They have also been repudiated by many liberal American Christian churches (including my own. -JM] They fly in the face of American secular legal principles [read as separation of church and state - JM] and contradict our contemporary scientific understanding. They are matters of faith, not science or reason.” What this author is summarizing is what is becoming the national story — that our individual DNA is our essence, and we treat our essence with respect. It’s similar to our other national stories, for example, that you don’t stone a woman to death for adultery.

Unfortunately, Ms. Pynchon, along with most other academics and voices in culture today, misunderstands the unity of the human person, and of a supernatural view of our universe.

For a Catholic, like myself, human sexuality—including the psychology, physiology, and even the ideas informed by my faith—is a matter entirely wrapped up in rational (scientific) understanding, and then improved and refined by my faith.

Catholics, at least (I can't speak for other religious affiliations), are encouraged to pursue reason, to study the sciences, to examine DNA, the genome, etc... but inside a well-formed philosophical mindset. One that has a comprehensive worldview centered around the dignity of the human person, as created by a loving and relational God.

Many people, who have the same idea of religiosity that Ms. Pynchon has, would dismiss me as a religious zealot who dismisses science and rationality.

But I do not. In fact, I'm pretty sure there are genetic dispositions towards different kinds of sexual behaviors and patterns—just as there are genetic dispositions towards such things as alcoholism, racism, elitism, etc. A genetic predisposition towards homosexuality does not make homosexuality a 'good' or a 'right,' or even 'okay' for some people. Just as with every other human behavior, a wider worldview must be used to judge the righteousness of a human action or behavior—including acting on homosexual tendencies.

All I'm asking, really, is for writers like Ms. Pynchon, John Martellaro, et all to at least lend an ear to my arguments, as I do them. Don't ignore my voice because I'm Catholic. That would be just as offensive and infantile as my ignoring them for being scientists.

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