Improving the performance of my Mac Book Pro with 8GB

Since I upgraded to OSX Lion, my machine just felt slow. Snow Leopard was running as smooth as silk with 4GB. I do a bit of Final Cut Express and this really didn't worked well at all anymore for example. Same story with Xcode once upgraded to 4.3. I checked my options and it turned out that I wasn't alone experiencing that issue. Two weeks ago, at the Pharo Conference in Lille, I saw how much better the same kind of machine performed with 8GB. So, time to upgrade.

Let's go shopping

First of all, let's get the hardware we need. As a preferred source, I use MemoryC. Delivery is ultra fast through their DHL Express option. I was pleased with my orders of an RunCore SSD when upgrading my Dell D430 and another OCZ SSD for upgrading my Acer Laptop. They do have a pretty easy to use memory configurator: MemoryC Configurator So, I ordered a pair of integral 4GB modules. ref IV3V4GNYBGX DDR3 4GB 1066MHz SODIMM. These were the ones I needed based on the About this Mac window. Make sure you get the right specced RAM or you'll be in for some nasty surprises. And don't buy direct from Apple, their RAM is just outrageously overpriced. Integral 4GB Modules Next step, get those in the box.

Opening the beast

Okay, we have to open the Mac. On that 2009 model, it is just a matter of removing some screws from the bottom of the case. The only thing is that you need a pretty fine screwdriver. And make sure your box is switched off before doing any of this. Mac Bottom Here it is, ready for some surgery. RAMLocation

Getting rid of the old

So, let's get rid of the old 2GB SODIMMs. Make sure you aren't loaded with static electricity when doing this. Here, you see the second SODIMM being removed. Removing RAM Here are the empty slots: Empty Slots

Fitting in the new

Just a matter of putting them in. Notice the shorted side of the connectors goes to the left. When taking the RAM out of their boxes, this means you need to turn them over. So, insert one... First SODIMM goes in and gently push it down. OneDown And two. Second goes in There is some springy feel to it. No worries, it will work smoothly. Second Goes In There, it is done! While I was at it, I just took a pic of the HDD of 250GB since it is becoming quite small. HardDisk250Apple I just happened to have a replacement but this will be for another time. Some people say that the 7200RPM Seagate Momentus 500GB is making the system vibrate. I'll be able to confirm if this is true or not in a future surgery of the system. Seagate 500 7200 RPM I was also wondering how the heat went out the Mac and this is how the grille looks from the bottom cover. By the way, there is a reason why 3 screws are bigger: they need to keep this grille in place. See the small hole on the left? Cover Grille

Reassembly time

Putting the cover back in please is super easy thanks to the fine engineering of Apple. Cover Back Just screw everything back in place and it is done. I used the packages to save the original 2x2GB modules. Save Modules Rebooting the Mac was all right. It took quite a while (don't know what this was doing) but got the screen back. And it runs with 8GB: 8GB And the Mac runs much more smoothly now. No matter how many apps I do open. MemoryMap I am not used to having so much green in the pie! So, basically a succesful upgrade for a fair price and very little time investment. A dramatic improvement indeed.

Historical: Alan Kay: The Computer Revolution hasn’t happened yet

An 1997 keynote of Alan Kay at OOSPLA. Worth watching on all counts. I like the nanoDijkstra concept 🙂

First day of #pharoconf in Lille

Today was the first day of the Pharo Conference in Lile. The conference took place at the Inria Research Centre Lille Nord. Just for you to know, Pharo 2.0 is the current development version and works pretty well at this point in time. It sports the Nautilus browser by default. A good move if you ask me. I was able to load some 1.4 code, little adaptations were needed due to the ongoing cleanup of the image. These changes may make some people unhappy but at the end of the day, hard choices have to be made to keep progress marching forward. A perfectly understandable position. I am all for it, even if this bugs me to have to change code to match. The quality of presentations was quite variable. Even if the underlying technology is always great, some presentations are quite lame in how the material got presented. Frankly, I was happy to have some WiFi at those moments. But the best part is the socializing with such interesting, dedicated, and smart people. It just felt great. Putting names on faces and real people is always a plus. On the catering side (an always important aspect), things were good. We got fine coffee and food in the morning. And lunch was good as well, especially in fine company. We also discussed the Pharo Consortium and brainstormed ideas on how to best fund it. I wasn't able to attend the evening event and got a bad surprise when getting back to my car: a flat tire. Well, I had a spare wheel, so it was okay. But travelling back to Belgium with a speed limit of 80 km/h is fast getting on ones nerves. So, I will have to get that fixed tomorrow morning, meaning that I'll be coming late for the second day. Too bad! I hope to get there before noon. 2.0 – Communautair Portaal met OpenSource is Een Jaar Oud

  In de Socius Voortgang Rapport 2011 staat er een paar interessante informaties over : Op 6 april 2011 ging de nieuwe Socius-site online. Naast een volledig vernieuwde huisstijl, biedt het vertrouwde adres nu ook enkele belangrijke extra’s. Zo biedt de site alvast heel wat meer mogelijkheden voor interactie. Niet alleen kunnen bezoekers, mits voorafgaande registratie, reageren op de meeste bijdragen, ook de toevoeging van een aantal specifieke blogs stelt vormingswerkers meer dan ooit in staat om hun stem te laten horen en ervaringen uit te wisselen. Daarnaast kunnen ze ook zelf inhoud toevoegen aan de site. Vacatures, praktijken (zie hieronder), publicaties en op termijn ook nieuwsberichten. De kennisbank is misschien wel de belangrijkste pijler binnen de nieuwe site. De bank bevat een schat aan kennis netjes verdeeld over acht sleutelthema's: digitale samenleving, innovatie, levenslang en levensbreed leren, omgaan met verschil, onderzoek en cijfers, sociaalcultureel handelen, vrijwilligers en werken in organisaties. Klik je op een van deze thema’s dan heb je als sociaal-cultureel werker alle relevante informatie die je nodig hebt binnen handbereik: nieuwsberichten, praktijkvoorbeelden, weblinks, publicaties, eventuele blogs en een WIKI. Met deze WIKI biedt Socius voor elk thema de belangrijkste informatie (PowerPoint-presentaties, filmpjes, PDF-documenten, ...) aan. Nieuw aan de site is ook dat alle artikels, nieuwsberichten, praktijken etc. een ‘tag’ hebben, zeg maar voorzien zijn van een trefwoord. Zo kunnen bezoekers aan de site nog gerichter zoeken naar de informatie waaraan ze behoefte hebben. Natuurlijk zijn ook heel wat vertrouwde rubrieken gebleven. Zo heeft de site nog steeds een uitgebreide vacaturebank, krijg je de belangrijkste sociaal-culturele nieuwsberichten op een schoteltje aangereikt en kom je online alles te weten over de werking van de sector en het steunpunt. De site was in 2011 goed voor 257.208 bezoeken en 108.482 unieke bezoekers, ten opzichte van 332.023 bezoeken(-23 %) en 133.886 bezoekers (-19 %) in 2010. Deze daling is te wijten aan de stopzetting van de vacature RSS-feed. In het verleden waren enkele honderden gebruikers via RSS 'geabonneerd' op de vacaturebank. Via mail werden ze rechtstreeks op de hoogte gehouden van nieuwe vacatures. Met de lancering van de nieuwe site werd deze dienstverlening ten node stopgezet. Eind 2011 voorzag Socius opnieuw de mogelijkheid tot RSS-abonnering.  
De technologie is Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware.

Required blocks for development checklist

I wrote this list in 2002. Things have improved but a lot of places could still use it! (Sadly...). And that despite all the nice improvement and agile/kanban/scrum/you name it...
  • Coordination meetings with issues, risks, recurring tasks and organizational problems
  • Understanding of the customer expectations and their management including Service Level Agreements
  • Change requests list
  • Incident Reports list
  • Configuration management with proper support document (for local configuration and delivery site)
  • Data sources available
  • Proper Tooling (editors, compilers, deployment, parameters, scripts, including test tools)
  • Service Fault Investigation and Diagnostic procedure
  • Tests sheets
  • Weekly build properly packaged (read complete and burned on archive media, along with release document)
  • Weekly release performed on user acceptance system (from above build)
  • Samples for testing
  • Nomenclature for documents, basic templates
  • Calendar overview (weeks, months) with holidays and release dates for every person involved in the project
  • Contact list for every person involved in the project
  • Source control (SCM along with agreed procedure and training given to people + tools installed properly with documented parameters)
  • Connectivity works
  • Escalation procedure
  • Project web
  • Good understanding of existing infrastructure and deployed systems (at our location and at the premises of the customer)
  • Code reviews
  • Shielding people carrying work

Core values

All alignment of people together is a question of values. What is the set of values of the company ? Without that people will not be able to align with them. The company is meant to become one of the trendsetters in the business. As such clear set of values has to be present to allow for alignment. For IT development, the following may fit, this is some kind of « Nike Philosophy » - Just Do It: « We deliver regularly and on time with evidence of added value » « Each team member down here is working smart and hard, is resourceful and efficient » « We do not compromise the quality of our products just for the sake of giving Eye Candy to the customers » « We do not overpromise and respect ourselves when it comes to evaluation and carrying work » « We are proactive and do not wait for things to happen – we make them happen » « We actively and aggressively reduce risk from the start of projects » « We learn by doing and stay focused, cheap talk belongs to the kitchen » « We have a set of proven and properly configured tools » « We understand our technical environment »