Tag Archives: MacOS

Installing Mojave on a 12-year-old iMac

Let’s take a trip, shall we? I used to use this 2010 iMac at my office before it became hopelessly outdated. It’s spent close to the last half decade in storage at the shop (just off the left side of the screen in videos, actually). I’m gonna try to repurpose it

I forgot the account password, so I’m going to reinstall the OS

Silly me! Despite the wallpaper, it already has Mavericks on it

I wiped the hard drive to perform a fresh install of Mavericks. For some reason, I *really* hate entering my Apple ID. Probably because there’s always about 8 hoops I have to jump through (yay multi-layered security?) because I refuse to carry the Fruit Fone.

I actually have 2 of these lumbering beasts. Maybe I’ll put some flavor of Linux on the other for funsies.

Actually, thinking about it. It’ll probably be more useful running a newer version of Ubuntu than trying to force a newer version of OS X.


Well, THAT took forever….

Well, there’s no big đźš« over the icon. Let’s see if we can just run the app

Poop. That would’ve been TOO easy.

Gonna try DOSDude’s patcher and see what happens. dosdude1.com

Basically, this application patches the installers for newer versions of OS X so they’ll work on older Mac hardware. I’ll have to do this for every incremental update through Mojave.

This is promising….

Thinking aloud: If I do end up putting Linux on one of these, will it still have the chime? I don’t think it will, but I don’t recall ever trying to find out.

I came to really enjoy the chime. I was *mad* when Apple silenced it with the High Sierra “upgrade”.

Pretty sure the chime, then, is part of the OS and not, say, a bootloader? That would take some research.


Seriously, though: I relish when something that *shouldn’t* work does. I feel like Alan Cumming in GoldenEye (even if I am just using a publicly available tool written by someone else)

Another half an hour waiting for the OS to install. I’m going to put this aside for the night and get some sleep.

Got up this morning and went to check on the Sierra install, but instead I got a big đźš«. Something obviously went wrong, now to see if I can recover.

“Success! Success! They’ve done it! They’ve done it!”

The trick is that you have to use a very specific version of the installer app with the patch–otherwise it will not install correctly. I managed to find a copy of 12.6.06 on archive.org and it worked a charm!

Let’s see how far we can ride this train. Hold on to your butts!

Aww yiss


It is done! I present to you, in sheer defiance of Cupertino, a 12-year-old iMac running the last version of OSX to support 32-bit apps! As much as I’d like to try, I’m going to hold off on upgrading to Catalina–this will serve my needs just fine.

How To Install The Correct Arduino Nano Driver

The Arduino Nano is a fantastic little device that can do a wide variety of things. It is also, like it’s bigger sisters, a target for cheap clones which perform similar range of functions with cheaper parts. While I’m not opposed to this, per se, especially in the education and prototyping spheres, the lack of documentation on these devices can make the initial experience somewhat frustrating. When I first began working with Arduino, I couldn’t–for the life of me–find out how to install the correct Arduino Nano driver for my Mac. The genuine Arduino uses the FTDI USB-to-serial chip which is fairly easy to source and comes with sufficient documentation, but the microcontrollers I bought off eBay use a different chipset to handle the data conversion.

How To Install The Correct Arduino Nano Driver
Location of USB-Serial conversion chip

To install the correct Arduino Nano driver, one must first locate the USB-serial conversion chip. This will be located on the bottom of the device, close to the USB port itself.

The chip will have its designation printed on it. A little white-belt Google Fu will get you to the correct drivers. In this case, it was not the FTDI chip, but the CH340 handling the conversion. This generally works for Windows and even Linux machines, but to compound the issue of using a CH34x chip with a Mac is that there really isn’t an “official” driver for the OS. On Mac, you’re really going to need MPParsley’s driver from GitHub as the drivers from the manufacturer will actually cause a kernel panic on MacOS (you know, Sierra/10.12+). It’s a fairly simple matter of downloading the package file, installing the package, then rebooting.

If, for some reason, you managed to install the wrong drivers on your Mac, the GitHub article also has instructions on how to remove the broken driver. It’s a pretty simple matter of using Terminal to remove the offending entries in the Library folders, much like one would do on a Linux machine.

How to Enable NTFS Support in OSX (MacOS)

There has been a format war raging since the dawn of the personal computer, between Microsoft and Apple, for the best disk storage file system. Microsoft began with the FAT (File Allocation Table) which eventually evolved into NTFS (New Technology File System) in the early 2000s. Apple, on the other hand, has always stuck with the Unix-friendly Hierarchical File System (HFS)—barring the short-lived Macintosh File System from the early 1980s. This never seemed to be much of a problem until the late 2000s, when Apple’s growing market share made it increasingly apparent that there needed to be a way to bridge the gap between the two—especially since Windows XP could now run natively on Apple hardware. Open-source implementations of HFS-FAT had existed for some time now, but XP was an NTFS-based system. There needed to be a way to enable NTFS support in OSX.

Free/Open-Source Option

Finnish outfit Tuxera was the foremost professional developer in the world of *Nix-Windows crossovers (Unix/Linux), having developed the best and most prolific open source tools to enable native FAT support in Linux. This led them to develop and publish NTFS-3G, a free and open source implementation of the native NTFS driver for Linux and OSX. Tuxera finally killed off official support for NTFS-3G in 2012, but the source code for the driver is still maintained on Sourceforge by volunteers.

Personally, I don’t recommend this method to enable NTFS support in OSX as it is extremely buggy now, you have to compile the driver yourself (which is always a pain in the ass), there is no support to speak of, it has paltry read/write speeds, and there are just better ways of doing it now.

Terminal-Based Option

It’s still free, and it’s still buggy, and it’s still tedious, but starting in OSX Tiger, Apple tucked away a developer option to allow write support via the Terminal. It’s an experimental feature, and not officially supported by the Coop, so I still don’t recommend it as your primary option. If you need to occasionally enable NTFS support in OSX or MacOS, you might go for it, but I use NTFS drives far too often to rely on this method.

First, connect the NTFS drive to the Mac, then get the UUID for the drive by invoking the following command in Terminal:

diskutil info /Volumes/DRIVENAME | grep UUID

Now, you’ll need to append the drive’s UUID to the NTFS read/write support list in /etc/fstab:

sudo echo “UUID=ENTER_UUID_HERE none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse” >> /etc/fstab

You’ll now be able to access the drive’s directory in Finder by invoking the following command:

open /Volumes

You can also create an alias for the drive on the desktop by invoking:

sudo ln -s /Volumes/DRIVENAME ~/Desktop/DRIVENAME

Commercial (Paid) Option

Disclosure: this review is unbiased insofar as I have not received any compensation from either of these companies to review their products. I have used all the options in this article at one time or another, and I presently use a paid copy of Paragon’s NTFS for Mac.

Tuxera abandoned their free version of the NTFS driver in favor of a paid option, which is very popular, and comes with a Disk Manager utility for easy drive maintenance actions such as format, check, and repair. The software is $30, but is available for a trial period. Upgrades are free for existing customers.

Paragon Software also has a commercial NTFS driver, priced at only $20, but does not come with the disk management utility. Personally, I use this one as it will natively enable NTFS support in OSX utilities such as the stock Disk Utility app, eliminating the need for an extra application.

Both drivers enable NTFS support for OSX and MacOS at read/write speeds comparable to native HFS+ speeds, and offer full support in multiple languages. Both offer a two-week trial period and free upgrades for life.

As much as a fan of FOSS as I am, sometimes you do need to put a little money down for a proper utility—especially one that has had years of active development. My biggest argument for a commercial solution here is one of stability: The commercial drivers natively mount NTFS partitions and allow manipulation just like any other drive, and have been used and tested against data loss and corruption. If you have the coin, drop it on one of the commercial options. You’ll be glad you did!