I've gotten over $200 in cash back from them at places I would have shopped anyway! Ebay, Staples, more! I put it at the top because they ROCK. Basically, you get a kickback from Ebates when buy.com or whoever pays them. Win-win. If you like throwing money away, don't use them!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Adding SSD to a Mac Pro, and a bug in the Crucial M500 SSD

I bought the Newertech Version to put an SSD in my Mac Pro:
The top is the Sabrent version and a few dollars cheaper.

$12-$14 shipped from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/20hl2Z2 (PLEASE use my Amazon links.)

It works as expected and is well made.

Benchmarks for the M500 SSD:

That's easily 3-4 times faster than a decent hard drive. An SSD will make your computer feel like new.

However, this is far less than it could be since the SSD will work at 6GBps but my 2008 Mac Pro only has 3Gbps SATA ports.

So, I got the OWC Accelsior S: http://amzn.to/1Jlu57k which is a card that the SSD mounts on, then the card goes in a Mac PCI slot.

Preferably a 16x slot PCIe slot, which is the one above the graphics card in the bottom slot.

The SSD should hit at least 40% or so higher speeds on this card.

BUT there is a problem with MU05 firmware and the M500 and the Accelsior S: it only links at 3Gbps; no better than the onboard ports.

A PNY SSD I had around (http://amzn.to/1Jlurux) connected at 6Gbps no problem. I RMA'd drives and cards and Crucial is sending me an M550 to test.

Update: the M550 fared no better. Updated the firmware to MU02 with no change.

Tried a Crucial BX200 and that linked at 6Gbps. It has the Silicon Motion SM2256.

The M550 and M500 have the Marvell 88SS9189 and 88SS9187, respectively.

Hope this helps, please bookmark http://amamzin.com to start your Amazon purchases.

(See what I did there?) 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Fix for Spinrite Stuck on "Selecting Drive For Use" Screen

Couple things I did and it now works like a champ.

1. Go into your BIOS and select AHCI as the controller mode. You'll have to consult your manual for  how to do this because there are so many different ones.
2. Plug your SATA drive into SATA1. I had it on 3 or 4, I forget which. Spinrite would recognize and benchmark it but scans etc. failed to start. This may be more important than #1, but try both.

It will look at first like it's not working but give it a while, I'd say 30 secs at least. The drive light will go off and on a few times then it will start scanning.

I am using Spinrite 6 booted from a USB DVD drive but that probably doesn't make any difference.

Want to thank me if it works? Use the donate button on the right to drop me a dollar, or bookmark this site and use the search box to start your Amazon purchases:


(See what I did there? :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Is a cheap HDMI cable as good as an expensive one?

PSA Pet Peeve: people selling those ripoff HDMI cables. For non-120hz, plain old TV, a cheap one works just as well.

All the TV and device have to be able to tell is:

"Is that a 1 or a 0 coming over the wire?"

Pretty black and white issue. Pretty much literally.

Kind of like this: can you tell the difference between sticking your tongue on a watch battery and not doing it?

That's 3 volts. HDMI is slightly more. Basically.

Now, for longer runs, higher refresh rate, 3D, 4K, etc etc. then it might make a difference.

But you can get a cheap cable so cheap you might as well try it.

TiVo, Xbox, Roku 3, soundbar....all the stuff I have runs just fine on cheap cables.

Now please use my Amazon link to buy one:


Looks like about $4.50 will put one in your hand to try.

Nissan Leaf Key Fob Remote Battery. And: What's the difference between a CR2032 and CR2025

Short answer: Buy a pack of CR2032's, they work. For more data, read on.

Link to CR2032's on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Oas7Xa

If you insist, the CR 2025's are here: http://amzn.to/1OLwkNt

Please use my link and support my site. 

The thickness is the big difference. the CR2032 is .7mm taller. It fits fine in the Nissan Leaf key fob.

The nice thing is at has 225mAh capacity vs the 165mAh in the CR2025.

So, you'll replace it about 1/3rd less often, if your time means anything to you.

Anecdotally, I see a lot more devices around that use a CR2032 for probably that reason: 36% more capacity so changing it less often is a good thing. And in most devices a .7mm height difference isn't anything worth considering.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Expendables 3 clip: "Tax Evasion"

Great scene with Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Luke Skywalker's Lament

Remember when Luke Skywalker said this?

Well, here's one thing you and Luke have in commmon.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Macbook Pro Running Hot, Fan not running. Late 2008 and 2009 Unibody.

Disclaimer: don't blame anyone but yourself if you break something. Take antistatic precautions. I just did my repair with my knee touching my Mac Pro desktop which is grounded so that dissipated any static.

Here is the guide I used : https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Unibody+Late+2008+and+Early+2009+Left+Fan+Replacement/829

I did not have to replace the fan. I just took the connectors off the socket and reseated them.

It's a simple fix, just read the guide AND the comments. Look at the pics. People break things when they shouldn't because this really is easy.

On mine, the right fan was showing 0 rpm with smcfan (click to visit the author's site, it's free) which I was using in the interim to just run the left fan higher to make up. This works, but both fans at idle will cool a lot more than you think.

After the repair, BEFORE you put the covers back on, turn the Macbook on it's side with it open at a 90 degree angle or so with the battery held in with one hand and press the power button with the other. See that both fans spin for a couple of seconds then press it again quickly before it starts to boot.

This is also a great time to dust out the vents behind the fans and the fans themselves with a can of compressed air from Amazon (Click here for a list. I saw 6 cans for $11 today.)

Technique: when I tightened the screws back in, I pressed down besides the screw hole to get them a little tighter without using more force. When you let off, there is more force holding the screw head from turning.

Get a plastic spudger, or even a set at Amazon by clicking here. If you fix your own stuff, it's highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nerd Funny

Will it work on 32 bit devices?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#alwayspress9 : A campaign to help kill telemarketing. Especially Rachel from Card Services.

I'm sick of it, but why get mad? Let's have some fun AND kill their business model.

Bonus if you record it and share it. :)

Share this pic/post!

If we all did it, they would be out of business from the time we would tie up.

They have to call hundreds of people to get a 'hit'.

What if it took 100 times as long as that?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Amazon will rip you off if you don't watch them

I had a standing 'Subscribe and Save' item that I skipped for $11.48.

For those of you who don't know you get a discount by having Amazon automatically ship you various consumables. It's an easy sale for them, so PRESUMABLY you get a volume discount for that reason and it all goes in one box, saving on shipping. Further, it's NOT Prime shipping for Prime customers, so it's even less money they have to spend.

To get 15% off you must order 5 items in a month. So I'm a very regular customer.

I needed it so I just went to make a regular one time order of it.

It was only $9.39 and PRIME too! That's almost 20% difference in pricing.

I even chatted them and was looking RIGHT AT my next Subscribe and Save order when they tried to make excuses about pricing data, and even said at one point it would be $9.39 next time. Looking at my order, it wasn't.

The only difference I could see was who was fulfilling it.

Amazon was happily fulfilling it for more, with slower shipping, vs. a third party 'on demand' shipper with faster shipping.

They offered to manually adjust it if I called them back next month. PASS.

#ripoff, Amazon! You've got massive computing resources. Use them for good, not for evil.



09:59 AM PST Amazon: Hello, my name is Meghna. I'll be happy to help you.
09:59 AM PST Robert Bullock: Nice. It's $2 cheaper just to order it with Prime!!!
10:00 AM PST Robert Bullock: It's 9.39 but I've been paying about $2 more every month.
10:00 AM PST Amazon: You are referring for the order #xxxxx ? 
10:01 AM PST Robert Bullock: My subscribe and save vs the latest order.
10:01 AM PST Amazon: Let me check
10:02 AM PST Amazon: I've check the order details (#xxxxx) and see that the order total is $9.39.
10:03 AM PST Robert Bullock: Now look at what I've been paying on S&S
10:03 AM PST Amazon: But your previously order for subscribe and save for the same item was more than $10.00
10:03 AM PST Robert Bullock: EXACTLY.
10:04 AM PST Robert Bullock: Why am I paying more with my supposed 'discount' of 15%?!
You've been charging me more for months when I could just order it for less!
10:04 AM PST Amazon: I would like to inform you that our prices regularly change (we constantly receive new data from our suppliers) and the price you saw was the lowest price we were able to offer at the time.

10:05 AM PST Amazon: Because the marketplace is constantly changing and we strive to offer the lowest price, you'll see some fluctuations in our prices over time.
10:05 AM PST Robert Bullock: So why it is STILL $11.48 for my NEXT order!
10:06 AM PST Robert Bullock: You would charge me $2.00 MORE with my 'discount' of 15% if I hadn't skipped an order and made a single bottle order!
10:07 AM PST Amazon: I've check the details of the item and now the price of the same item is $9.39. 
10:08 AM PST Robert Bullock: I'm looking at my S&S for Dec. 9 and it says $11.48
10:08 AM PST Amazon: Allow me a moment please
10:11 AM PST Amazon: Thank you for being online. 
10:12 AM PST Amazon: I've try to check the details, but we didn't find any thing that we will charge you $11.48 for your next subscribe and save order. 
10:13 AM PST Amazon: In this case, as an one time exception we'll honor you a initial price on your Dec subscribe and save order. 
10:13 AM PST Robert Bullock: How much credit?
10:13 AM PST Amazon: Please write us back again on December, so that we can honor you a price $9.39 for the item " XZXZXZZ ". 
10:14 AM PST Robert Bullock: I'll just cancel it.
10:14 AM PST Amazon: However, I've also forwarded this issue along with your comments to our concerned department so that they'll look into this. 
10:15 AM PST Robert Bullock: Bye
10:16 AM PST Amazon: Yes, I've check that you cancelled your item from subscribe and save. 
In this case, If you wish, you can place the order for the same item on December and we'll honor you a same price $9.39. 
10:16 AM PST Robert Bullock: Pass.
Going on my blog.
10:17 AM PST Robert Bullock: Bye

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Moon Mining

I'm pretty sure if we start mining the moon, some activist group will complain about how we are ruining a ball of rock.

A radioactive, airless ball of rock. We must preserve it for the moon children, I guess?

So, let's get that social awareness started NOW.

Share this pic.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Does the JBL Radial iPod plastic dock-adapter insert fit the JBL Onstage 200iD and vice versa?

Yes, they interchange.

I know these are old speakers, but I got one for $3. The JBL Radial! That was a $300 speaker when it came out, and it certainly still sounds like it.

What surprised me: it sounds better than my Bose Soundlink II. One reason is the 30W subwoofer.

The power supply is about twice the size of the Bose's.

There's no question the bass blows away the Bose.

The Radial has an AUX input so who cares if you don't have an old school iPod any more?

And I recommend hanging on to your Classic iPods. It's still a great and widely supported accessory.

My wife's 2015 BMW i3 still happily recognizes an iPod, and even does voice search. She's got a 30 gig iPod classic that cost me $25.

I recommend this accessory to turn any old iPod dock into a Bluetooth speaker:

The Smart bean also turns standard heapdhones into hands-free since it has a mic built in. Charges using standard micro USB and the battery lasts forever.

Buy one here and support theroblog:


I own two!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

North America : No IPV4 Address for you!

Not exactly technically accurate, but funny.

And no one likes to subnet.

Google Find us on Google+ Website: www.circlephone.com