22 Nov 2017, 21:40

Mac Mini + Centos7

I recently had a need to install Linux on a 2014 Mac Mini. Naturally I chose Centos! 😄 I had some trouble finding a straightforward HOWTO to follow, so for the benefit of others wanting to do the same thing, here are the steps I took:

  • download the latest Centos 7 minimal ISO, and transfer that to a USB stick using dd e.g.
sudo dd if=CentOS-7-x86_64-Minimal-1708.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=8M
  • insert the USB stick into the Mac Mini
  • (re)boot the Mac Mini and hold the C key (or Alt/Option) down immediately after power on - this will take you to a boot disk selection screen
  • select the USB stick (labelled ’efi’) and proceed to boot from it
  • from here is a standard Centos install routine, with the exception of disk partitions:
    • peform a manual disk partition setup.
    • You should see 3 existing logical partitions: the EFI partion, the partition holding the existing MacOS install, and a recovery partition of around 600MB.
    • wipe the MacOS partition and add your Centos mountpoints there as required. (keep the MacOS recovery partition in case you want to revert back in future)
    • ensure that the existing EFI partition gets mounted to /boot/efi
  • proceed with Centos install

Something odd I noticed was that the onboard NIC did not show any link light when plugged in, however the network was connected (after I ran dhclient to get an IP).

19 Jun 2015, 13:38

Ad Blockers and the Web

With the recent announcement that iOS9 Safari will enable the blocking of web ads, has come much weeping and gnashing of teeth from those on the web who’ve come to rely on ad-based revenue. If Apple deliver on the ad blocking, then many of these ad-supported sites will be severly impacted. I, for one, have no sympathy whatsoever. The writing has been on the wall for a very long time now.

I moved to an iPhone from Android about 6 months ago. Not because I love Apple or iPhones, only that I was given the handset. I’ve been mostly happy with the move except for the ad situation. Android supports loading Firefox browser and Firefox supports loading AdBlock (one of the first things I do whenever installing Firefox!). No such option on iPhone, so all of a sudden I’m being bombarded with ads everytime I browse the web. It was getting to the point where I was seriously considering ditching the iPhone for Android! This announcement by Apple has caused me to hold off until the full details of what Apple are planning. I don’t know what Apple’s motivations are for taking this step. If they were listening to user demand, they would have moved a long time ago. As it is, I suspect they have some other scheme cooking. Perhaps they’ll the same trick as AdBlock, and make ad companies pay to be exempt from the ad blocking. If they do that, then I’m jumping ship pronto!

If the blocking of ads causes many web sites to close down and we return to the web of the early 2000’s - simple web pages containing amateur content - GREAT!! Don’t get me wrong, I use and appreciate the ‘pro’ websites, it’s just that I don’t depend on them. If they’re gone tomorrow, I won’t miss them.

UPDATE Oct 2015: it turns out that Apple have chosen not to offer the ad blocking feature to older 32 bit devices. That included my iPhone5. Needless to say, I wasn’t shelling out for a new iPhone. I sold my iPhone and bought and brand new Android handset for less than half of what I got for the iPhone! It’s been over a month now and I couldn’t be happier - no more ads!