* Posts by phil mcracken

36 posts • joined 10 Oct 2008

Don't crack that Mac: Almost NOTHING in new Retina MacBook Pros can be replaced

phil mcracken

If this is a sign of things to come...

...I won't be buying any more Apple kit.

I bought a 15" Macbook Pro last year for music production and DJ use. I'd researched the serviceability (if there is such a word) of my potential purchase before committing to it, as I've been caught out previously by laptops with limited or no capability for DIY fixes.

It's not just about repairing the unit when it goes wrong - it's also about being able to customise it and increase its functionality as you need. With the way Apple have gone about the new model, you're locked into them for repairs and locked into them for upgrades as well. Most kit nowadays seems to have deliberate obsolescence built in - to me this is unforgivable when you should be able to extend the computers life with some relatively easy and simple upgrades.

At the online checkout, I had the option of paying an extra £75 to get 8GB of RAM, or £75 to get a 750GB HDD instead of the standard 500GB and decided to decline both (even last year you could get 8GB for £40 and a 1TB for £60). I've followed the fixit guide to upgrade the HDD and will probably do the same for the RAM when it starts to slouch. Ten standard screws later, the entire bottom of the MAC lifts off and I can get at the RAM, the battery and the HDD (plus a lot of the other components) without any problems. Looking at this years equivalent model that no longer seems a viable option.

I'm not interested in buying the latest flashiest Mac when my current one develops a fault or gets too slow for my liking - I want to be able to upgrade it and increase its ability as required. I got six years of trouble-free service out of my HP laptop and it's still going strong. Is it wrong to want the same from my mac, especially given how much I've paid for it?

US boffin builds 32-way Raspberry Pi cluster

phil mcracken
Thumb Up

It's a shame the Pi doesn't support PoE (Power over Ethernet)...

... If that was the case he could have used any PoE switch to power all of them and wouldn't have needed the 5V pinout.

Regardless, this looks like a brilliant (and fairly inexpensive) way to experiment with distributed computing.

Linux in 2013: 'Freakishly awesome' – and who needs a fork?

phil mcracken

I worked for one retail chain in my student years...

who switched to RHEL from an old Windows NT setup (around 2003).

I don't remember any of the staff complaining about it, the few with access to the branch PC found it easy enough to use.

Drilling into a half-decent gigabit small-biz switch... from D-Link

phil mcracken

Assuming you don't need to link them together by fibre...

Also worth a look are the HP A5800 series switches, they are 10GB capable and their IRF feature makes it easy to group multiple switches together as one logical unit. If you shop around, you can get them for fairly close to the price of the D-Link units. I've used these in several 10G deployments now and I've been pretty impressed with them.

Like the D-links, their CLI is disturbingly similar to IOS so is fairly easy to get your head around.

John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

phil mcracken

All you need to know about Scientology....

Can be learned by doing a little reading into it's founder.

"You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

L Ron Hubbard in response to a question from the audience during a meeting of the Eastern Science Fiction Association on (7 November 1948)

Build a BONKERS test lab: Everything you need before you deploy

phil mcracken
Thumb Up


I've found from personal experience that the later version of the microserver (N40L) does support 16GB of RAM. I used 2 sticks of Kingston Blu DDR3 1600 that I borrowed from my main machine and it seemed to boot up fine. Not so sure about whether the earlier version (N36L) of this server will support it though.

Siri: Can you make a Raspberry Pi open a garage door?

phil mcracken

Re: How long before the patent...

However long it takes Apple to round off the corners of the garage door...

Ten... Star Wars videogame classics

phil mcracken

X-Wing Alliance seems to have been left out as well...

The very best of X-Wing and TIE Fighter Collectors CDs, albeit with a massive graphical facelift and a pretty good story of it's own..

SourceForge pulls off fake, 'Trojan-wrapped' Anonymous OS tool

phil mcracken

security tools for noobs...

Anon OS? Sounded slightly suspect to begin with, especially if LOIC is bundled with it. They should market that as a criminal record generation tool.

Anyone who wanted a linux OS full of security tools would probably already have Knoppix STD, Backtrack or nUbuntu, all of which are gremlin free :)

Kiwis collar Megaupload kingpin, Anonymous exacts revenge

phil mcracken

Dot Com? What a stupid surname...

I would have changed it to Jong Il for the lulz.

AMD snags Guinness World Record for clockiest chip

phil mcracken

thats all well and good....

but can it run crysis with all the detail turned on?

Mosman Council Website copied by Anonymous

phil mcracken

Not as easy as you might think, unless the security is really appalling...

I don't know what steps the Mosman Council have taken to secure their site, but as a standard measure, I only run MySQL/PostgreSQL on localhost, meaning anything wishing to connect to it must run from the same box, I change the user permissions of each dbuser to only allow them to perform the required actions rather than the full list of actions they can carry out, I give them a randomized name and password to stop them from being guessed, and I regularly check my CMS and other software for security updates. You wouldn't be able to get direct access to one of my SQL databases from an external box unless you managed some form of SQL injection, and even then you wouldn't be able to grab the full site and all its files, just the DB and its content.

In order to pull off a complete sitedump, they'd need FTP details, and I suspect that the database username and password is probably the same as the FTP and CMS logon as people don't like lots of different passwords. Sounds to me like some sort of PHP/SQL exploit which revealed the admin logon. Facepalm ;)

Not so much hacking skill as extremely lax security. The choice of target still puzzles me though, not exactly cia.gov is it?

New Sony hack exposes more consumer passwords

phil mcracken

those that sow the wind...

shall reap the whirlwind and all that.


NATO members warned over Anonymous threat

phil mcracken

clearly no one has explained rules 1 and 2 to him...


Georgian granny disconnects Armenian internet

phil mcracken

nice to see they're taking after the Russians...

In soviet russia, internet disconnects YOU.

Go Daddy CEO under fire for 'elephant snuff film'

phil mcracken

If God had intended us to be vegetarians...

... he wouldn't have made meat so tasty.

Network failure closed hospitals to ambulance admissions

phil mcracken
Paris Hilton

that was my point...

... configure spanning tree correctly and it's great. Configure it incorrectly (or not at all) and heaven help you when it goes wrong.

Paris, because she has a CCNA.

phil mcracken

difficult to track down?

Spanning tree strikes again...

DWP ditches Fujitsu and reappoints HP

phil mcracken

they will be fined...

...usually these contracts have automatic penalties incurred for missing deadlines, deliverables, or levels of service. It wouldn't surprise me if there was a termination clause as well, hence the DWP pulling the plug...

Gwyneth Paltrow rouses Discovery crew

phil mcracken

In space...

... noone can hear you scream "arrrgh! turn this shite off!"

New charge against alleged WikiLeaker carries death penalty

phil mcracken

It's not deliberate ignorance....

.... it's cynicism, possibly justified given the long list of American politicians who have already come out of the woodwork to denounce Wikileaks using less than civilized language, and the credibility of the trial of detainees at "gitmo" among other things.

Anonymous pwns security firm that probed its membership

phil mcracken

A security consultancy pwned?

They obviously don't practice what they preach ;)

Police probe British Anonymous activists

phil mcracken

these aren't the hackers you're looking for...

....everyone knows that ebaums is responsible.

Twitter joke martyr loses appeal

phil mcracken
Paris Hilton

the uprising on twitter has already begun...

Hundreds of people have retweeted his original tweet using the hashtag #iamspartacus.


The genie is well and truly out of the bottle now...

Paris, because she recognises a joke when she hears one.

Bus spotter admits £11k database fees fraud

phil mcracken

Why do you need to check the vehicle ownership via DVLA?

Surely the company name on the side of each one is a bit of a giveaway...

Dead baby taunting troll feels wrath of law

phil mcracken

Clearly a troll fail...

As he didn't obey rules 1 and 2.

ACS:Law's mocking of 4chan could cost it £500k

phil mcracken

Andrew Crossley, you dun goofed.

(remainder of comment removed by cyber police)

Anti-piracy lawyers' email database leaked after hack

phil mcracken

I hear that anonymous is a pretty cool guy...

doxes copyright lawyers and doesn't afraid of anything.

Piracy threats lawyer mocks 4chan DDoS attack

phil mcracken


Looks like internet security isn't their strong point. The anon's ddosing the site found that when it came back up, it left the root directory exposed with an archived copy of all of their emails and logon details in plain text form, plus client contact details and even credit card details.

I seriously can't see the firm surviving this - the channers have hit the jackpot.

Looks like that "train" just smashed Andrew Crossley in the face.

phil mcracken

this guy is a tad retarded...

...coming out with statements like that. I can see him getting singled out for some lulz now.

man the harpoons and all that

Labour MP denies calling Tories 'scum-sucking pigs' on Twitter

phil mcracken

it's all well and good saying you've been hacked and someone's tinkered with it...

Except you can't edit tweets. Nulabour fail.

I'd have a lot more respect for him if he admitted that it was him - at least he would be being honest and I suspect he's not the only one who thinks that.

Saying that he is a politician - honesty seems to be illegal nowadays, probably as a result of wor Mandy's meddling with the laws....

UK2's email still borked

phil mcracken

Cheap?! UK2 ain't cheap....

And it ain't good either.

Just ditched my server with them for one in the EU at half the cost and with better spec and reliability. Sick of my sites going up and down like the proverbial tart's drawers.

vBulletin denies busting downloads in paid-up protester ban

phil mcracken

sitting on the fence...

I recently inherited a vbulletin forum from an admin who no longer was interested in running it. We had to pay for a licence to get the forum upgraded from 2.6.9 (hideously old) to 3.8.4 (the current version). I even had to downgrade a new server to php4/mysql4 to get the upgrade process to work.

I've been really impressed with how well written vB is in it's current form and have found the mods useful. I'm not sure I can say the same with vB4 (even though people keep jumping up and down shouting "it's only a beta!". Why are they in such a rush to roll out a beta? I wouldn't risk it, especially when they rely on their forum system on their site for support & billing, as well as comments and mods.

This whole vB4 release and sales pitch stinks of desperation and/or poor planning. Surely it would make more sense to get it working and to the point where it was fully ready and then release/demo it? Or even just to follow the old method of beta testing that they used on vb3. Instead they roll out a dog, and to pretend that it's suffering issues due to the "sheer amount of people viewing the new system". Bullshit. If the old system can handle 600-700 users viewing a board at once, why can't the new one?

And then of course there's the way they've handled the feedback - banning users who have paid for their licences and revoking their access to the support. These users aren't trolls - some of these people are the most vocal supporters of vB in it's current form.

I'm going to watch very carefully what happens over the next few months with this new software and pricing. If I don't like what I see, I'm off. I suspect I won't be alone.

Street View captures traditional British Christmas

phil mcracken
Paris Hilton


"One has to wonder that if it was so easy to announce, why did Google do the thing so covertly??? Pretty shady behaviour."

And imagine if they had done that - the cars would have probably been attacked by paranoid schizo "they're all coming to get us!" tards like yourself.

Besides, I'd hardly call a car with an 8ft camera rack on the top "covert".

And there is NO expectation of privacy in a public place - people can take photos and do what they want. It's when they impinge on private property that people's privacy is affected.

You want to protect your privacy? Fine. Lock all your doors, cut your phoneline, and make sure you take your medication. Google Earth is the least of your worries.

Paris, because she loves being in front of the camera.

Online attackers feed off Norton forum purge

phil mcracken
Paris Hilton

put the AV down....

I bought systemworks a few years ago on discount just for a deaks. I used to have utilities 3.0 and it was pretty good.

The AV was utter gash - I went and replaced it with AVG straight away.

Only thing worth buying from them is Utilities and possibly GoBack for the kiddies PC. Cleansweep is horrific and bloated for what it does, their AV is even worse.

Paris, because she likes malicious packages.

Serial troll bitchslaps Reg hack

phil mcracken
Thumb Up

what a complete seat-belt chewer.

nevertheless I was amused by this outburst.

I hope he takes breaks from licking the windows to type stuff like this more often.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022