SSD Upgrade Take 3

I upgraded my Late 2012 Mac mini with a new SSD. I picked up a new 240 GB OCZ Vector 180 SSD from Frys Electronics this morning. My first SSD was a 120GB Patriot given to me by a friend. It ran for several weeks, but it had all kind of issues. I ended up reverting back to my hard drive.

A week ago, I tried a Toshiba Q300 (pictured below). It failed. I couldn’t even get it to clone my hard drive. I tried using the Mac’s Disk Utility, Carbon Copy Cloner and Super Duper, but none worked. It must have been just a bad drive. I returned it and got the OCZ. I paid more for $30 more for it, but it’s worth the price.

I used Super Duper to clone the drive. The clone/restore process took just a little over an hour. Super Duper was able to make the disk bootable. I selected it and rebooted. Just like that, I’m now running my Mac mini on the faster and much more responsive SDD.


Here’s a picture of the Mac mini taken apart. I’ve done it a few times that I can probably do it blindfolded. Not really, but you get my drift. You can see the Toshiba Q300 on the right which I ended up returning. My 1TB hard drive is on the left side. My Focusrite USB audio interface doing its job, holding down all my power, ethernet and USB cables from falling off the table.

I’m quite happy with this upgrade to say the least.

Cron Jobs Not Executing

I have a couple of BASH scripts that I run overnight via cron. The script uses the s3cmd command line tool to interact with Amazon S3 storage on the cloud. One day, the script just stopped working. I couldn’t figure out what’s changed.

Upon further investigation, it turns out to be a permission issue. Somehow, the .s3cfg files where the Amazon credentials and other things are stored have changed ownership to root. I used the chown command to change ownership back to the user.

The cron job is once again working like a charm.

Ubuntu Server Upgrade

I performed a Linux Server upgrade from 12.04 LTS to 14.04 LTS last night. Disaster. Well, the upgrade wasn’t quite as seamless than I thought. Apache died. I was getting 500 error on all my websites. I wasn’t about to spend hours trying to fix Apache, and who knows what else was not working. I have several applications running on my Linode VPS server in addition to the standard LAMP. So, I started the image recovery 20 minutes after I found out things weren’t working as well as they should be. My only other option now is to create a new server from scratch with the latest Ubuntu Server release, and then migrate all my apps and data. I think I’ll wait for 16.04 LTS to come out in a couple of months.

Linux Mint Website Hacked got hacked today. Hackers were able to gain access to the website. They were able to direct users to download a modified ISO image that contains a backdoor. The hacked version potentially can steal user’s information. The hacked version only applies to the downloaded Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon edition. The Linux Mint blog say to always verify the checksum of the downloaded ISO file.

Tesla now owns Prior to it, the car company owned How exactly Tesla was able to pry it off its previous owner, nobody knows how. Previously, was owned by Stu Grossman, a big fan of Nikolai Tesla. Maybe, he just forgot to pay his domain registrar. Or he got paid handsomely for it.

Apple vs FBI

The FBI has been trying to get access to an iPhone owned by a terrorist in the San Bernardino attacks. The phone has a passcode that prevents anyone from accessing it. The FBI can’t do a brute force attack, by having a person or a computer try thousands of combinations to guess the password, because the iPhone has a feature that prevents brute force attacks.

The iPhone place timeouts in between each unsuccessful try. The iPhone can also be set to erase data after 10 unsuccessful tries. The only way for the FBI to gain access to the phone is to flash it with a firmware that bypasses the passcode. Apple is unwilling to comply to the FBI demands, even with a court order. This case will most likely go to the Supreme Court.

Most tech leaders uniformly support Apple in its stance to protect people’s privacy. But this is not just any other case, this is a case that pertains to national security.

This case has become fodder to many conspiracy theorists.

Some argue that Apple doesn’t have technical ability to crack their own phone. Programmers often place backdoors on systems to gain quick access to their systems. The other argument is, the FBI already knows how to get around the system, but just they’re pretending people’s privacy are secure, but it actually isn’t.

It will be interesting how this case develops especially if it reaches the Supreme Court.

Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS

Canonical just released Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS. This is the 4th update to the 14.04 series which was originally released back in April 2014. It’s probably the most stable Ubuntu to date, after being baked in the oven the last 2 years. I don’t think they will release another one with this series since Ubuntu 16.04 just around the horizon.