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This was the best laptop that I have ever used or owned. Then I got Plover. I still have Stellar, we watch movies on him.

  • 2010 Macbook Pro 13" running El Capitan + VirtualBox for Ubuntu
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • 240 GB Samsung 840 SSD

For upgrades see Other World Computing

See also GIS on the Macintosh


  • 2015-09 I downgraded to a 240 SSD so I could use the 750 for volunteer work at Point Reyes.
  • 2015- We settled into our new dwelling, I got around to looking at Stellar and it was all better; it's been fine ever since. Huh.
  • 2014- The system controller stopped working, and we were on the road so I bought Plover.
  • 2014-06 Upgrade SSD from 120 to 750
  • 2012-12 Reinstall Lion
  • 2012-11 Ubuntu 12.10
  • 2012-11 OCZ 120GB (replacement for 240, what I had available)
  • 2012-* OCZ 240GB SSD
  • 2012? Snow Leopard -> Lion
  • 2011- 500GB Seagate Momentus 7200
  • 2011? Replaced failed power supply
  • 2010- 8GB RAM
  • 2010 purchased at Mac store

Upgrade hard drive

Boot from spare external bootable drive (keep one of these around!)

Use 'dd' to copy from one quiet unmounted drive to the other. For example,

sudo dd if=/dev/rdisk0 of=/dev/rdisk1 bs=128m conv=noerror,sync

Repair the partition table by recreating it. See

sudo gpt show /dev/disk1
       start        size  index  contents
           0           1         PMBR
           1           1         Pri GPT header
           2          32         Pri GPT table
          34           6         
          40      409600      1  GPT part - C12A7328-F81F-11D2-BA4B-00A0C93EC93B
      409640   '''248390464'''      2  GPT part - 48465300-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC
   248800104     1269536      3  GPT part - 426F6F74-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC
   250069640           0      4  GPT part - 48465300-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC
   250069640  1215079495         
  1465149135          32         Sec GPT table
  1465149167           1         Sec GPT header

  511  sudo gpt destroy /dev/disk1
  512  sudo gpt create -f /dev/disk1
  513  sudo gpt show /dev/disk1
  514  sudo gpt add -b 409600 -s '''248390464''' /dev/disk1

Mac OS

When the OCZ 240GB drive crashed I install Ubuntu to get work done out of town. When I got back I needed to re-install but had originally installed Snow Leopard from DVD and Lion via online upgrade. To re-install Lion without digging out the Snow Leopard DVD I was able to download an image of Lion from Apple, use Linux to load it onto a thumb drive, and install onto the SSD from the thumb drive.

I RMA'ed the 240 drive and have it as a spare- 120 is currently plenty of space on the Mac.

  • ActiveState Komodo for Javascript, Python development
  • CalibreLibrary
  • Chrome
  • Dropbox (storage for Calibre books)
  • Fitbit (requires Silverlight)
  • GPSBabel
  • OpenOffice
  • Subversion

Time Machine

I use Time Machine to do backups to my home server, Bellman See the setup notes in Swift's page, did it the same way there.


After the OCX 240 drive crashed I temporarily installed Ubuntu on the Mac to get it running quickly. Most everything worked with a few minor tweaks for things like the tablet. I went back to running Mac OS/X Lion when I had some quiet time to figure out how to reinstall it.

UbuntuGIS 12.10 distribution

  • Android developer setup including Eclipse
  • GIMP
  • Quantum GIS

Real work

I am using Stellar more now as Plover sometimes is tied up.

I installed Brew,

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

and then Git,

brew install git

and Ansible

brew install ansible

Brew installed Xcode! Forgot it would do that.