Upgrade harddrive for Macbook Pro

After Western Digital released 500GB harddrive for notebook, I’ve been waiting for months until price is getting lower. Now I think the price is right, so it’s time for me to upgrade my Macbook Pro. Upgrading harddrive is more difficult than I though, since Apple did hide the harddrive too deep (unlike the new uni-body Macbook lines). Therefore, it requires a little surgery. However, the harder part is the software bit. Here is what I did:


  • I perform the last time machine back up so I can restore everything using only time machine image.
  • I did created a bootcamp image using DiskUtility so I can bringback Windows with all programs installed.
  • Now it’s time to disassembling the parts.
  • Remove the battery and unscrew the ram cover.


  • After removed ram cover, unscrew 4 more screws


  • Now we have to unscrew all 3 sides of it. (except the front)


  • Now we can lift up the keyboard, but be careful because there is a ribbon attached between keyboard and logic board. We have to unhook that ribbon first.
  • After we remove keyboard, the harddrive will clearly be seen.


  • There is one ribbon on top of the harddrive we have to gently lift it up.


  • Now we can swap the drives


  • Both drives are made in Thailand (Why I have to buy it here????)

  • Done, now we can put it back together by reverse all steps.
  • Boot it up and insert the OSX installed Disk in.
  • Restart again now hold C key so it will boot using DVD drive.
  • Go to DiskUtility to format the drive first.
  • And then use Time Machine to restore everything back to the state before upgrading.
  • It took me 4 hours for Timemachine restoring.
  • The bootcamp part is a little bit tricky.
  • After OSX have been restored, I can use Bootcamp Assistant to make a partition for Windows (This time I give 50GB for Bootcamp).
  • Insert Windows XP installer disc for the installation.
  • Format Bootcamp into NTFS when Windows installer ask to install.
  • Now when Windows finish copy all files, SHUTDOWN Windows immediately.
  • Boot in OSX and use DiskUtility to restore Bootcamp image back. This will save a lot of time installing all programs for Windows again.
  • Done now I’m so happy with my powerful Macbook Pro with 4GB ram and 500GB harddrive ^_^

Keynote presentation with iPhone

Picture 2.png

Today I have a keynote presentation for my class but I couldn’t find my Apple Remote, so I think I can use iPhone to control my keynote wirelessly. I did purchased a $1.99 program called “Pointer”, a REMOTE FOR POWERPOINT AND KEYNOTE from iTunes [The developer link] and it worths every penny.

Picture 1.pngThis program did more than just forward the slides. It consists of pointer, timer and presenter note. First thing to do is to install PointerServer (download from developer site mentioned above) on Mac machine, so iPhone can be able to communicate with Mac.

IMG_0003.PNGIMG_0004.PNGAfter launching the pointer on iPhone, it will show the selected Mac (it will not show if PonterServer is not installed). The presentation page shows up once I click on the selected machine. The presentation page consists of Previous, Next button so I can forward/reverse the slides. I can also change the pointer icon or the mode from pointer to cursor. The presentation page also include the presentation note which makes it very easy for me to follow the item, I want to talk about. In addition, the timer on this page is very helpful to control my presentation time.

The pointer can be move by dragging on tilting the iPhone. For me, I think it’s easier to just drag my finger on the iPhone screen to control the pointer. Overall, the software is a must have software for good presentation. Nevertheless, it comes with a drawback, now it works on Keynote 08 and PowerPoint 2004 on Mac OSX Leopard only. I guess the next version will have more features.

PS. The slide image will display on the pointer 1.1 on iPhone.

Problem with partitioning Bootcamp

I was trying to use a program on Windows for my GIS project but it seems to me that the memory wouldn’t  allocate well enough on virtual machine. So I have to try on the bootcamp instead. This was when I faced another problem!!! Bootcamp assistant couldn’t partition my harddrive. Here was the error that I’ve got.

The disk cannot be partitioned because some files cannot be moved. Back up the disk and use Disk Utility to format it as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume. Restore your information to the disk and try using Boot Camp Assistant again.

This is very annoying since I don’t want to spend a whole day installing everything all over again. Here are some possible fixes:

  • Use iDefrag to defrag your harddrive (this works for many people)
  • Delete big file on your system (Bigger than 1 GB)

However, none of those work for me (Don’t know why it works for some people). Here is what I did

  1. Backup everything with Time Machine to external HD
  2. Boot with OSX DVD (press C while rebooting)
  3. Go into Disk Utilities and then format a whole disk
  4. Go into Timemacine and restore to previous Timemachine backup
  5. After restoring, now I can be able to partition using Bootcamp assistant again

Leopard Mail unexpect quit

Today my Leopard Mail quits unexpectedly, so I can’t even start my mail. I don’t think I did something to Mail App at all, it just happened to quit. I start to think may be this is something that MobileMe and Google Mail have something todo with it since I have only these two settings in my Mail App. Thus, I have to start all over by delete com.apple.mail.plist from ~/Library/Preference and start Mail App again. However, I have to setup all the account all over again.

Install Geoserver-Tomcat on Leopard

My next project is installing Geoserver on my Mac OS X (Leopard). First thing I have to do is to install Tomcat on Leopard. There are heaps of instructions on the net but it’s quite complicate. I though Leopard already came with Apache built in, thus should be easy to just add Tomcat on to it. I guess, I was wrong. Tomcat set up is more complicate than I thought. It requires lots of Terminal commands and environment setup.

Nevertheless, I’m lucky enough to find the easiest way to install Tomcat just one click from NetBeans. I download the OSX NetBeans pack which already have Apache Tomcat 6.0.16 bundle with it. This is the easiest way to install Apache Tomcat on your Mac, trust me. After Tomcat installed, I can check if server is running, by go to http://localhost:8084

Next and last step is Geoserver installation. I did followed the instruction on Geoserver website and it works just fine. Here is what I did

1. Download the GeoServer-x.x.x-bin.zip version from the download page on the GeoServer home page
2. unzip to the directory of your choice
3. Open up a terminal and go to the unzipped ‘geoserver’ directory on the command line.
4. Configure your Java environment, on recent versions of Mac OS X this is done by typing

export JAVA_HOME=/Library/Java/Home

5. run bin/startup.sh
6. Go to http://localhost:8080/geoserver to configure your server
Now you can enjoy simple Mapserver on my Mac. It took me two days to find the way to do it but 15 minutes for installation both of applications.


Compose HTML email with Mail.app

Send HTML Email
Send HTML Email

Today I found a question in Thai forum about how to compose HTML email with Mail in Leopard. I think this should be easy, right? However, it quite tricky than I though. I assume that Mail 3.4 should provide some functionality to help composing HTML email. In fact, Apple wants to make composing email easy for beginners but quite inadequate for advance users. Here is what I did.

HTML file on Safari
HTML file on Safari
  • Create HTML file and save it on your computer
  • Open that HTML with Safari
  • On Safari use File > Mail Content of this page

Build AppleTV Take2 harddrive

For someone who accidentally formatted or bricked TV hard drive (like I did), here are steps that work for me on Leopard (10.5.4)

  • Either you got new hard drive or bricked hard drive, you got to connect hard drive to you mac
  • Use diskutil list to see your disk partition (we need to know where an TV hard drive is)
  • Here is what proper partitions should look like when you finish (please note /dev/disk1 as you TV hard drive)

  • Then delete and re-create partition table using command below in Terminal

gpt destroy /dev/disk1

gpt create /dev/disk1

  • Now we need to partition harddrive, first create EFI partition

gpt add -b 40 -i 1 -s 409600 -t efi /dev/disk1

  • Then create Apple_Recovery partition

gpt add -b 409640 -i 2 -s 819200 -t 5265636F-7665-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC /dev/disk1

  • Next is OSBoot which is where the OSX fit in

gpt add -b 819240 -i 3 -s 1843200 -t hfs /dev/disk1

  • The last partition is Media which is all the movies and songs are located. This partition you need to fill in the *size* part your self by looking at the end size using command

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1sudo gpt show /dev/disk1
gpt add -b 1843240 -i 4 -s *size* -t hfs /dev/disk1

  • After partitioning, we need to format OSBoot and Media partition in HFS+ Format

diskutil eraseVolume "Journaled HFS+" OSBoot /dev/disk1s3

diskutil eraseVolume "Journaled HFS+" Media /dev/disk1s4

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1

  • Now you ready to restore OSBoot partition to working state. Download the latest AppleTV Take 2 software by checking link here http://mesu.apple.com/version.xml
  • Then you can use Disk Utility to easily restore OSBoot partition
  • Set the source to the newly AppleTV image that you just downloaded (2Z694-5428-3.dmg), and drag the OSBoot partition to Destination. After that press “Restore” button.

Picture 1.jpg

  • This process took about 3 minutes, after this step you’re done.
  • Connect TV hard drive back to TV
  • Once you startup the TV, it will create EFI image in TV automatically
  • I did the Factory restore to make sure that everything is working fine.
  • Now your TV is ready to use (and to be hacked ^_^)

Thanks for http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Prepare_a_Hard_Drive and http://smallnum.blogspot.com/2008/02/re-creating-apple-tv-from-scratch.html for a very useful information.

How to restore AppleTV or upgrade?

I think there are many people accidentally delete or format theirTV hard drive (like I did). Obviously we need to buy a new hard drive or restore damaged hard drive to the functional state. There are many thread regarding this subject on over internet, but I think my method is simplest and easiest. Here is what I did.

1. Get the latest TV image from link below

AppleTV take 2.0.2 firmware

2. Connect your hard drive to your Mac.

3. Open the Disk Utility application. You should see new firmware that you just downloaded and TV and see your new connected hard drive.
4. Click on your new hard drive and go to restore tab.
5. Drag firmware to the ‘source’ field and new hard drive to the ‘destination’ field, as in picture below.

Picture 2.jpg

6. Click on restore and you’re done.

PS. This method is working on my machine which I spent less than 10 minutes for the whole process. However, there is no ‘recovery’ partition created on this method (which is not important since everything on my AppleTV take 2.0.2 is working fine)

Schedule auto start application

OK, here is my problem. My internet here in Melbourne is cheapter from 2am – 11am. So I’d like to schedule Transmission – a bit torrent application – to start automatically every night at 2am. Here is what I did.

  • Open Automator and drag the Launch Application to the work flow area
  • Choose your desired application

  • Now save your automator go File > Save and choose save as Application

  • Now it’s time to schedule your script. Launch iCal and create an event
  • Choose your desired time
  • On Alarm option choose to open file and choose your created automator

With the combination of Automator and iCal, we can set the timer of any applicaiton to auto start with only a few click. I think it’s a cool thing about Leopard.

Play rmvb and rm on OSX

Rmvb and rm (Real Movie) format is a video format that I hate the most. It’s quite annoying when I play this video format with Real player and tons of ads showing up without warning. However, it’s inevitable if sometime I have to watch some movies in which available only this format.

I just found the easiest way to view this video format on OSX without Real player. I’m using Mplayer and download Binary codec package, double click to install the codecs then you can view most of the video formats. Enjoy watching RMVB ^_^