Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Our Studio Blog has Moved

January 3, 2014

The Tinstar Graphic Design and Studio Blog has moved – we’ve brought it back under the wing of our main website. Come by any time.


MacPro and MacBook Pro Gone in 60 Seconds

March 4, 2013

I’m standing in the Apple Store in WestQuay, Southampton for the third straight hour, awaiting the emergency repair of my MacBook Pro. A month ago my studio mainstay, my Mac Pro Tower of Power, turned out to be susceptible to overheating which ultimately destroyed both the Video card and logic board.

The machine is, I believe, still somewhere in Reading. I’ve been firmly told to stop nagging to have it back.

My MacBook Pro (2008, 2.6, 17″) has been my lifeline for work. Yesterday it died. The ‘high failure rate’ video card (NVIDIA 8600M GT) went into meltdown. This is, of course, integrated with the logic board… so a new logic board for the laptop as well as the tower. I’m not letting this one out of my sight, so I have demanded an on-site repair while-I-wait. And wait. And wait.

Meanwhile, I’m typing this up in-store on a Mac Mini, and I must say, it’s diabolically fast.I may have to buy one… Also worth mentioning that the chaps at the Apple Store have been enormously helpful and polite. Good job.

Apple lets you down when you least expect it

January 29, 2013

So, big meeting tomorrow. Writing up the final meeting notes on my Mac Pro (only five years old and branded an ‘antique’ by Apple… OK… enough now… let it go….) and there’s a screen flicker. A weird one. And then… nothing. Screens go off but computer still runs.

So a quick restart – and… nothing.

A little background: A few months ago my (antique) extremely expensive Mac Pro started powering off immediately and with no notice. Long story short, after much scrabbling around I discovered that it was overheating. A free life-saviing utility called Fan Control saved the day(s). But it was clear than something was wrong – why overheat in the first place?

I further discovered that the thermal paste literally baked off the main ‘Northbridge Chip’ – a fairly essential piece of hardware, apparently, resulting in big trouble. So basically, my graphics card was being slow-baked. Today, just when I least needed it, the final oven timer went off, the graphics card was finally cooked – and we were done.

Dead card.

Oh, and Apple doesn’t supply compatible graphics cards to legacy, antique-buying, penny-pinching, I-don’t-buy-new-hardware-every-year suckers like me. I’d have to get a new computer… that they’ll stop supporting in another four years time.

So new £300 graphics card in – but the overheating was still shutting the machine down, so it’s either £655 plus VAT for a new logic board, or trust it to my very helpful computer guy to ‘gut’ (his words) the Mac, re-heat-sync and re-thermal-paste the chips. Which might not work. Then it’s £655 plus VAT for a new logic board and probably (when that fails) another few grand for a new Mac in a few months time.

Who says Apple are in trouble?