Mac Pro Smash

Jun 11, 2012 | No Comments

A lot of us were waiting for a Mac Pro update today, and we got one. Sort of.

It’s the same Mac Pro sold two years ago. Sure, there’s a speed bump, and someone will spend 8 seconds throwing an SSD in one of the drive bays, but everything about it is two years old.

  • Xeons? The same as two years ago, albeit at a higher clock speed.
  • Radeon 5770 and 5870? Same as Mac Pro 2010.
  • 1333 MHz Memory? Same as Mac Pro 2010.

There is no USB 3 or Thunderbolt, the latter having been on other Macs for over a year now. And USB 3 was added to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro today. (And yes, the iMac will get it during the next refresh.)

I’m not even sure why Apple bothered. They probably did more damage with this lazy, disappointing update than by doing nothing at all.

And yes, I’m gonna say it: Steve wouldn’t of allowed this shitty rehash.

I think it’s safe to say we’ve seen the last Mac Pro.

Other World Computing Accelsior PCIe SSD

May 30, 2012 | No Comments

I installed two 240GB versions of these in a stripe inside my 12-core 2010 Mac Pro. (The PCIe cards feature removable NAND memory in two sticks each, themselves in an “on card” RAID stripe, but we’re getting into the weeds. If you install two, just RAID them like you would anything else in Disk Utility. They show as a single drive per Accelsior.)

I was using an SSD previously as a boot/applications drive, this afforded me a bit more space so most of my User folder got moved over there as well. The system was never slow, the previous SSD sitting in the empty optical bay and the HDD bays filled with WD Caviar Black drives striped together for speed.

It’s fast vs. impossibly fast at this point.

To back up a moment, SSD’s are computing crack. Once you experience one, you will never go back. It’s not even so much the speed as the complete lack of latency that’s addictive — stuff just “pops.” Instantly. I’ve outfitted everything possible with an SSD at this point now that the prices are a bit more reasonable and given space. But you can’t replace your 3TB Green drive with an SSD, so planning is needed. Topic for another day.

Performance-wise, here’s what the two PCIe drives are pushing. To put that in perspective, that’s about 3x what the previous single SSD was doing. It’s that fast.

More later.

OWC 2x 240GB Accelsior in Mac Pro

GoDaddy Refugees: hover, namecheap, name, etc

Dec 26, 2011 | No Comments

GoDaddy’s reprehensible: misogynistic advertising, elephant-killing cartoon villain CEO, difficult interface designed to confuse, and of course SOPA support. They’re the evil credit card company of the domain industry, full of tricks n’ traps. And don’t let the eleventh-hour SOPA change of heart deter you: it’s time to switch. (That last minute SOPA change of heart somehow makes it worse, and then there’s this.)

I’ve used name, namecheap, and hover. They’re all more than adequate, although I’ve found hover to my favorite. It’s not the cheapest, but they’re close enough and they’ll save you the funny business, sport an intuitive interface and forgo tricks n’ traps.

Save yourself a few bucks — a few Hover coupons:

  • 20EB24BM4PO (save 17%)
  • SOPA (save 10%)

Pro tip!

Enter your new DNS settings as soon as you initiate the transfer rather than waiting to afterwards. This insures against possible downtime.

No, you shouldn’t buy an Epson printer

Dec 4, 2011 | No Comments

Been true for years, but always surprised more don’t know this:

HP, Canon, and Lexmark all put print-heads inside their ink cartridges. Each time you swap an ink cartridge (which costs 50% of the printers’ price, I know), you get a nice shiny new print head. If the old one were clogged, it’s thrown out and you go on about your day.

Epson’s ink-jet heads are included with the printer. They clog. A lot. And they’re very difficult to get clean. And the “clean print heads” cycle is an excellent way to make all your expensive ink disappear without unclogging the heads. This is one of those idiotic design decisions that Epson has married itself to because it’s “distinguishing,” but it’s disguising in the sense that it’s awful, horrible and useless. And it’s been that way for years.

Higher-end Epsons fair better. I have a R1900 I’m quite fond of which doesn’t experience this problem. Take note: they could fix it, but you need to buy like 2 printers a year, right?

Already got an Epson? Set yourself a repeating calendar reminder to print something at least once a week — this should help at least stave off the inevitable perma-clog for a bit longer.

Good thing printers only cost like $50 these days.

Why is Comcast blocking access to the FBI?

Nov 10, 2011 | No Comments

Well, not blocking per se, but failing the DNS resolution of

I was reading this article over at Ars today about how a botnet had managed to change the DNS lookup servers on millions of machines and make a fortune. Interesting, but you know, malware, rinse, repeat.

But then I tried to follow a link to some notice over at It didn’t work.

So I went digging. DNS lookup was failing. (Sounded familiar after the article!)

Comcast gives me two DNS servers via DHCP: and My co-consipator, also on Comcast but a lower-speed “plan” gets these DNS servers: and That’s 4 known Comcast DNS servers.

Three fail. Witness:


** server can't find SERVFAIL

** server can't find SERVFAIL

** server can't find SERVFAIL

One works. For whatever reason.


Non-authoritative answer:

Here’s Google:


Non-authoritative answer:

dig, host, all yield similar.

Not the tin-foil hat type but this is bad. I don’t like fuckery in my DNS lookups.

WTF Comcast?

No, the iMac is not faster than the Mac Pro

Nov 3, 2011 | No Comments

There’s these here rumors that the Mac Pro may be no more. Much has been said. For example, Marco’s done some excellent analysis.

For Apple, this all comes down to dollars and cents. It’s just business.

However, I keep hearing on the Twitter machine and elsewhere the Mac Pro should go because “the iMac is faster.” The origin of this seems to be this article over at MacWorld which crowns the current i7 iMac the speed king.

Unfortunately, it’s very misleading. The Mac Pro was using traditional hard drives, the iMac blessed with an solid state. SSDs are miracles when it comes to improving your overall computing experience — they’re several times moving data, but the real benefit comes from nearly -0- delay in access latency. It’s a complete game changer.

While this might be a “fair” comparison in MacWorld’s calculus since you can’t order a Mac Pro with a SSD, it’s obviously trivial to put one inside the machine compared to the iMac which does not have user-serviceable drives.

To debunk the rest of this, I’ll quote Marco:

As a point of comparison, almost all desktop-class motherboards today are limited to 16–24 GB of RAM, and the top-end 3.4 GHz Core i7 CPU (available already in the iMac) gets a 64-bit GeekBench score of 12,575. The Mac Pro released more than a year ago maxes out fairly affordably at 48–96 GB, and the top-end dual-2.93 GHz Xeons score a 24,159 in Geekbench.

So it’s not just the PCI slots. It’s memory, multiple processors (not just cores), and Xeon’s compared to consumer chips. Intel’s delayed Xeon E5’s are coming off the line now, so either way, we should know soon.

What Taibbi Says

Oct 13, 2011 | No Comments

Matt Taibbi:

Occupy Wall Street … will need a short but powerful list of demands. There are thousands one could make, but I’d suggest focusing on five.

Agreed, and a good list.

But none of it will happen without getting money out of politics. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Pigs, flight, etc.

So it’s still gonna be canned beans and guarding your bindle at night.

“Re-launching” this Jalopy

Oct 7, 2011 | No Comments

Jalopy outside of Wells, NV

And about to get a lot more technical. We have a blog over at d27n which no one really used, I’ve decided to reboot the d27n site and retire the blog yet I still needed a place to share long-form content.

Less politics, because seriously, what’s the fucking point?; a lot more jQuery, Node.js, and big data. Yay?

More startup tips, culture, and what not, ‘cuz I’ve been there, done that, and this time I’m at the nucleus. I have to admit it’s a bit weird doing it now at 38, I’ve kinda seen everything, the first giant meltdown, the rebuild, the energized children who really don’t have a clue as to what they’re doing (God bless their drunken optimistic hearts). Oddly, I don’t see it as an advantage. Rich people love bug-eyed kids with great hair product and whacky ideas. My self-determined pass/fail comes December 22, the winter solstice, thus the name: Project Solstice. More on that later.

Also photos. Love taking photos, I may suck at it, but it gives me peace.

Congrats to the Cards and Brewers

Oct 7, 2011 | No Comments

Mota Pitching Last Game

Both great games tonight, glad to see the Diamondbacks out. Because I’m petty and they beat the Giants this year.

That’s Mota above at the last game of the the regular season. Which the Giants lost. *sigh*

In me, news

Well, Hello There, Blog Peoples!

Oct 2, 2009 | No Comments

So, I don’t update this too often any more. (Look at those election results in the last post! Relevant, right? OMG, who won?! Was it the black guy?! NOOOO WAYYYYY!)

I guess I went all “rogue” and “mavericky.” I heard that’s how to be a real Murkin now.

But, fear not, you can still find me on the internet machine:



Facebook (oh, just go look it up if you know me…)


Or find me “at work”…

Nothing new here. I heard there were some financial troubles and I’ve learned I can reproduce asexually… cool, huh? What’s up with you?

Two-thirds of my company went to some National Parks recently. That there’s a photo below.