Hans D. Baumeister

Hans D. Baumeister

What’s the best way to work with the MMM?

I did some experimenting of what the best way to use it might be - by that I mean actually working with the unit. I did get the keyboard as a wireless model, which isn’t that easy to find if you’re looking for a model with touchpad. I picked up the ___ (tbfl) which had some decent reviews online and offers a small form factor with good reach and a pretty decent touchpad. In parallel to the touchpad, I’ve added my old LogiTech trackball right underneath the plasma.

The trackball - if you like that sort of thing (I do) - is the better mouse mover, hands down. I have to admit that I thought I was going to use the MMM to surf the web from the couch, which isn’t something I’ve done yet. I have looked up a couple of things about drivers or instructions, of course, but that was while standing in front of the plasma.

Chances are, I’ll never use it to browse the web - I can just grab my MacBook for that - and I can tell you the screen quality difference is really worth the couple of seconds you need to retrieve the notebook.

That is one of the issues I still have, by the way: while the Panasonic was recognized as the monitor, it is just a “Panasonic” monitor, not a specific model. The display settings offer a whole bunch of different resolutions, some of which are pretty ridiculous. Four of them have a little TV icon next to the resolution indicator, so I’m assuming that these are the preferred resolutions to use for the Plasma.

Two of them are 1080 (i and p), both of which produce a horrible picture. That’s to be expected, however, as the specs of the Plasma indicate that it does 720p maximum, everything else is upscaled. The first one is 480p, which is unusable.
Setting the display to 720p gives good results, though I would have expected text (i.e. black on white background) to be crisper - after all, a Plasma has discrete 3-color pixels and should be able to give a relatively good picture.

One thing I haven’t figured out - if it is possible at all - is how to increase the font size in Mac OS. Windows offers this option (even though it usually doesn’t work well in most applications), and I would have though this to be part of the “Universal Access” control - but it isn’t.
For example, the various views in EyeTV could use a much bigger font and still fit on the screen, at least horizontally. It would make things much easier to use, even from the couch. Working with EyeTV (or any other software with lots of text) from anywhere but right up front just doesn’t work well. I’ll have to research that a bit more.

The real problem with the 720p mode, however, is that it produces a picture that is approximately 40” across (on a 42” display) - which is pretty annoying - after all, a 40” TV is considerably cheaper than a 42”. I wasn’t able to find a monitor profile on the Panasonic website, so I’ll have to research that some as well.

Upgrading the Harddisk of my 2007 20” iMac

The original harddisk of my iMac purchased in April 2007 had 250GB, which - of course - filled up mighty quickly. I added an external dual drive box and set these two Terabyte drives up as RAID-1. I synchronise this regularly with a NAS box, also with RAID-1 setup, so the RAID-1 on the iMac is really somewhat overkill. The issue with it is: to save power, I have the drives spin down after some time (Apple doesn’t permit specifying a time), but they spin back up for seemingly unrelated tasks (that don’t require the RAID-1 data).

This is pretty annoying, as you constantly sit around, waiting for the drives to spin back up to do even simple things. So I decided to pimp the iMac with a new hard drive.
I did some research on upgrading, and was happy to find out that my device belonged to those that are still relatively simple to upgrade. The current generation of iMacs is - apparently - a real nightmare.

I used the excellent photo set found at this URL. These instructions are, for the most part, perfect and really well executed; however, my machine looked differently inside, even though it was only built a couple of months later. Also I have a couple of tips and tricks that may help you in successfully upgrading your iMac.