Upgrading my mid 2011 iMac (27″) with an SSD

Back in early 2012 I banned the last PC from my home and bought an iMac:

Bildschirmfoto 2014-11-09 um 19.25.35

It had the fastest processor back then and I upgraded it to a total of 24GB of RAM (it was shipped with 2x2GB – I chose the minimum config because RAM is so much cheaper if you buy it from Amazon). The only thing I did not buy, was an SSD. The price would have been an additional €600 and that would have pushed it towards the €3000 barrier. Too much. So I ended up with a 2TB hard drive, spinning at 7200rpm.

The machine was (and still is!) powerful enough to do al the work I demand from it. But at some point I installed Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine (running Parallels 10 meanwhile) and the HDD became more and more of a bottleneck. If Mac OS wasn’t accessing the disk, Windows surely was. The rumbling sound of an HDD being accessed became my constant company.

So I thought about buying a new Mac – but what for? Just to get an SSD? I mean the new 5K iMac is great but mine is still powerful enough. Too much money. Next, I talked to Gravis about adding a Fusion Drive. They asked for €450; that would include a Samsung 840 Evo SSD with 250GB, installation, configuration, backup and restore of the current system. They also would allow me to keep the Superdrive. The SSD would be an additional device, hidden somewhere inside the iMac. When I saw the price for the SSD alone at Amazon I thought: €120 – can’t I just buy it there and install it myself? I started googling about installation guides and opinions about Fusion Drives vs. pure SSDs. Finally I decided:

  1. It cannot be too hard to install an SSD
  2. I do not want a Fusion Drive but rather put the OS on the SSD and large data (Aperture library e.g.) on the HDD for maximum performance.
  3. I can sacrifice my Superdrive

I want to share my experience because it is actually really easy to install an SSD into the mid 2011 iMac! If you have ever assembled together a PC, you will be able to do it, believe me! The whole procedure took me 40 minutes.

Please be aware that I won’t be responsible for any damage!

Continue reading

Mac OS X is beautiful, but the Terminal UI and UX hurts – let’s fix it!

There are times when one has to drop back to the command line. But the default Terminal window on Mac OS is small, black and white and forces me to think about case sensitivity. Let’s make the Terminal window a bit more beautiful! I want mine to look like this:

  • Ocean Blue Theme
  • Some transparency
  • Not case sensitive
  • Nicely formatted folder listings
Terminal Window

Terminal Window

Continue reading

My iOS8 adventure as a Xamarin developer

With this post I sum up my experiences with iOS8 as a developer. If possible I will provide solutions and workarounds.

The release of iOS8 is really unfortunate for me. A lot of my demos have stopped working and it seems like there are some really annoying bugs in iOS8.

Update: Added working example for reachability

Update: Apple confirms bug in iOS8 Simulator regarding backgrounding.

Update: explanation for the NSUrlSession issue found!

Continue reading

iOS8 is draining your iPhone’s battery? Maybe here’s why.

If you like me are an early adoptor of iOS8 – be it because you’re just or curious about the new feature, or did it for work – you might have noticed that your device’s battery life might have decreased a lot. Yesterday I talked to some developer-friends and they told me: “You know what’s cool, iOS8 keeps on running threads even if applications have been backgrounded!” I was baffled.

UPDATE: This post has been moved and is now part of http://krumelur.me/2014/09/23/my-ios8-advent…arin-developer/ ‎

Android – handling screen rotation and different layouts using Fragments with Xamarin

When I was asked if I could demo how to handle different screen sizes and rotation in Android, I created a small project which I’d like to share here. You can find the complete repo at Github.

The demo uses Xamarin.Android and was built using the Compatibility Lib v4 to support Android’s navigation drawer layout. Fragments are used directly and not via the compatibility packages.

Navigation Drawer on a Nexus 7

Navigation Drawer on a Nexus 7

Continue reading