Chris Gagné

Delight people. Create value. Do good.

Tag: mac

ExpressCard stuck in MacBook Pro (Late 2011)

I got an ExpressCard stuck in my MacBook Pro, Late 2011 model. There wasn’t anything accessible from the outside that would give me purchase with a pair of needle nose pliers.

I solved this problem by removing the screws on the bottom of my MacBook, then gently pushing the card out 1/4″ with a bent paperclip as shown in the photo above. Then it was a simple matter of pulling it out with my fingers. Simple!

Your mileage may vary and if you do this, you do so at your own risk. 🙂

Pro-tip: if the card takes more than light finger pressure going in, it’s going to take more than light finger pressure getting it out…

Lexar Professional ExpressCard Compact Flash Reader Driver for MacOS 10.10, 10.11, and 10.12

November 2017 update: Martin wrote in below to share that this worked for 10.12 as well.

I have a Lexar Professional ExpressCard Compact Flash Reader, model number LRWEXPP-7000.

Lexar’s latest drivers do not work for MacOS 10.10 and 10.11 because they way they must be installed has changed.

However, Andrew Jung, a reviewer on Amazon, left a very helpful tip on the product’s page a few days ago. Read on for a possible solution.

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Laser-Engraved MacBook Pro

I met Ben Katz of Etchstar.com–home to engraved iPods, engraved MacBooks, and other awesome custom electronics–at a recent LA tech meetup. He handed me an awesome all-metal business card, and we struck up a quick conversation.

Ben offered me a nice deal on an etching for my MacBook Pro. I thought about for a few days and realized that the only art I’d want on my machine would be the work of Heisuke Kitazawa, A.K.A. “PCP” (which has nothing to do with the drug by the same name), an emerging contemporary Japanese artist. I have a copy of his painting “i’ll always make time to write/2005” hanging in my living room. (This same painting also adorns at least one chic hotel room.)

I went through PCP’s illustration file and tested a few images in B&W on the engraving template. His “everyday is sunday, baby” print really resonated with me, and seemed like it would look great on the MacBook Pro. I reached out to PCP who offered to give me permission to engrave and send me the B&W line art if I bought the print.

So I did! The B&W line art looked great, and with a couple of minor changes I was able to line it up on the template perfectly. A quick call to Ben got me a 6:00 appointment at Etchstar, where Bill and Denny prepped the file in CorelDraw and sent it to the laser.

I expected to be more anxious about handing over a $2,800 computer to folks wielding a Class IV laser, but the team exuded competency and confidence and I had no reservations whatsoever. The process took about 40 minutes, but, boy, am I thrilled with how it all turned out. Check it out!

Mishima

Mishima is a 15″ PowerBook G4 that met an untimely demise when my cat Lilo knocked it off a desk… face-down right onto a lead-acid battery. The LCD display was irreversably damaged, a few keys popped off, and the case was cracked a bit. I replaced the keys from a spare keyboard, opened up the machine, and gently removed the screen assembly. I procured a Dell 2001FP 21″ LCD display from a friend. I then designed a custom stand using heavy-duty extruded-aluminum structural framing and machined a VESA-compliant mount for the LCD display. I put it all together to create a standing “digital hub kiosk” that provides a source of music, a dashboard for my morning rituals (traffic, mail, etc), and a display for one of my server’s traffic graphs. The design is stable and did not require drilling into the floor or ceiling; the unit is “wedged” in with high-grade neoprene rubber bumpers at the top and bottom for traction. Not a bad use for a broken laptop!

In 2009, I moved Mishima to my exercise room at home where she can now be used while walking on a treadmill. The screen has been upgraded to a 24″ widescreen LCD, making this an ideal setup for watching DVDs while exercising.

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