Making GTA more “realistic”

When I have a spare minute I quite like the odd game of Forza on the Xbox.

I have always thought the graphics were quite good (especially in HD)

However I have been blown away by this video of GTA which uses AI to make it more “realistic”.

Can it be too long before games look as good as real life?

But I blocked the Sun….

So I really miss Google Reader and I also miss Flipboard which worked really well with Google Reader. I’ve not really found an alternative that works for me in the same way that combination did.

I do use Apple News, but really don’t see the point of paying £10 a month for access to what appears to me to be The Times and Newsweek!

My main issues with Apple News are:

Over positioning and pushing of Apple News+ stories in an attempt to get you to subscribe to Apple News. So much so that much of the feed appears to be Apple News+ stories that it almost becomes a pointless exercise scrolling through the app.

Another issue is that local news is ignored to the point that news from Weston-super-Mare for example can be weeks or even months old and no new stories. Part of the problem is that Apple News uses mainstream sources for news, which means local news often is sidelined.

My final complaint about Apple News and hence the title of the blog, is that there are buttons you can use to like and unlike stories, and you can block certain news sources as well. However blocking to me, means that you don’t see the news stories at all! Well for Apple News, blocking means still having the news in the feed, but just then placing right there in front of you.

I blocked the source because I didn’t want to see it, so don’t put it in front of me, ever!

I really should be looking at alternatives for Apple News, so what are you using for curating and collating the news?

Marines with Jetpacks

Last September I blogged about how the Great North Air Ambulance Service as testing out a jet pack from Gravity Industries.

Now the Royal Marines are doing the same. The Royal Marines are testing out a jet suit, made by Gravity Industries, to assist in Maritime Boarding Operations.

Ten Amazing Summer Zoom and Teams Backgrounds

Despite the easing of restrictions, think many of us will still be attending Zoom or Teams meetings over the next few months. So to get you in a summer mood here are ten amazing summer Zoom and Teams backgrounds to brighten your meetings.

Right click the images to download the images.

waves
Image by Pexels from Pixabay
Summer
Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay
Sunflowers
Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay
dunes
Image by David Mark from Pixabay
beach
Image by Sathish kumar Periyasamy from Pixabay
street
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay




forest
Image by Karsten Paulick from Pixabay
dandelions
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay
cafe
Image by analogicus from Pixabay
wheat field
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

 

Working well

So last week the hard drive on my iMac stopped working. I had to migrate the data off the defunct drive, fix it, format it and migrate the data back again.

Well having now used it for a few days it appears to be working fine, I think it might be working even better than it was before.

However as with any drive, I will be making a regular backup of the data.

Just in case.

Really?

So last week the hard drive on my iMac stopped working. I had tried to repair the drive and reinstall Mac OS X. In the end I bought a new external hard drive and decided a new approach and in my last blog post I discussed how I was using the migration assistant to copy files and settings from the defunct drive to the new external drive, and how I had to wait….

Having left my iMac overnight I came down the following morning, slightly apprehensive I looked in on the iMac, pressed the space bar, and I was rather downhearted to see the prohibitory symbol.

Mac prohibitory symbol

Oh no, this reminded me of 2017 when the fusion drive had failed.

It looked like the whole process hadn’t worked.

So I went to make coffee, but when I came back it had gone and I saw the Migration Assistant back in full flow finalising the migration. Maybe it had worked.

Once the migration process had finished I rebooted the iMac using the external drive and everything was working now.

Well not quite, though all my data was on the external hard drive, the settings needed to be updated and various applications needed passwords and all manner of things.

So my plan for the day was to work from the external hard drive and then later reformat the iMac hard drive and migrate the data back.

To be honest I got so fed up with the spinning beachball that I started the Migration Assistant just before lunch. I took the decision not to migrate some of the user accounts, as yes I wanted to retain the data, but didn’t need it on the main machine.

So I formatted the internal iMac fusion drive, checked the health of the drive and installed a fresh copy of OS X on there. I then started the Migration Assistant, taking the data and settings from the external drive and putting it back on the internal drive.

What was interesting was how much faster this process was from external hard drive to the internal drive compared to the other way round.

It was also interesting to note that once I had completed the migration, that unlike working from the external drive, as well as no spinning beachballs, most things were working just as they were before the crash.

So, so far, all seems to be working fine.

So I waited….

So last week the hard drive on my iMac stopped working. I had tried to repair the drive and reinstall Mac OS X. In the end I bought a new external hard drive and decided a new approach.

I took the decision that I would install Mac OS X on the external drive and then from there retrieve the files from the iMac hard drive.

I could then either reformat the iMac HDD and reinstall OS X or use the external drive as the main drive. Less keen on the latter option as the drive would be significantly slower than the fusion drive on the iMac.

I am hoping that it is a software issue with the drive and not a physical problem. Regardless I did want to take off the data and try a fresh install.

If that didn’t work, then it might be a trip to the Apple Genius Bar, but I didn’t fancy spending £300 on a replacement fusion drive, especially as the computer is now eight years old and having done this already before.

So I connected the drive to the iMac by the included USB-C to USB 3.0 cable and started the iMac off in recovery mode. I did try and install OS X onto the drive, but that wasn’t going to work as the default file structure on the drive when it shipped was FAT. So I started Disk Utility and formatted the drive to APFS ready for installing Mac OS X. This all worked and went to install OS X. 

This also worked and I was feeling quite pleased, however the real challenge was going to be was moving the data and documents over from the iMac hard drive to the external drive.

However I had forgotten about the Migration Assistant, a tool I had never used. Usually when I buy a new Mac I like to start from scratch and only install the apps I know I am going to use.

However this time I thought the Migration Assistant would be a better choice.

So I said yes in the OS X install screen and selected the internal iMac drive and selected all the files I wanted migrated and then waited….

As I was told it was going to take fifteen hours…

So I waited…

Got the drive

Well I collected the drive I had ordered. It is smaller than I thought it would be for a 4TB drive, well that’s nice.

I have always liked Lacie drives as they are reliable and look great. I also like the fact that they come with the cables you need. This one came with the USB-C to USB 3.0 cable I needed, and to think I nearly bought a cable, so glad I checked the details about the drive.

I did consider buying the Apple UBS-C to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, but at nearly £50 was expensive, for what would really be a single job for the speed advantage.

I then started to think about how I would extract my data and then reinstall Mac OS X on the iMac.

What should I do?

I started thinking about what I should do with my iMac now that it wouldn’t start and I couldn’t reinstall OS X onto it.

I knew I could copy files off it, so thought about whether I should start that. However that would mean using multiple drives and using another Mac. I knew that this would take time, as moving files from one mobile drive (well the iMac in disk mode) to another takes much longer than moving them from the internal HDD to an external HDD. The Mac mini I was using to connect to the iMac only had a small SDD so wasn’t an option.

In the end I decided that I would buy a new external hard drive. 

I went with the LaCie STHG4000400 External Hard Disk Drive. I went with the 4TB version in silver.

Though I went with the USB-C interface, I knew that included was a UBS-C to USB 3.0 cable I could use with the iMac.

Having ordered that with next day delivery I turned the iMac off and left it alone.

Failure to install

Yesterday I tried to reinstall Mac OS X on my iMac which had failed to start. As I was ill I actually didn’t get back to the computer until this morning.

Alas the install process was still on the progress bar, which I knew wasn’t quite right.

Well I tried again to reinstall Mac OS X on the iMac which failed again.

I then put the iMac into disk mode and using another Mac viewed the drive, and I could see the files and documents.

I actually wasn’t too concerned about loss of data, as most of my working files are in the cloud in Dropbox and OneDrive, whilst all my images are currently backed up to Amazon Drive, as well as physical storage.

I suspected there might be a few files that I only had a single copy of, so decided not to reformat the drive and install a fresh copy of OS X.

Still feeling ill, I turned it off and went back to bed to watch Netflix.