Having a bad day

I am having a bad day right now. Or more like a bad week really. First I had three perfectly functioning monitors but then they failed and now my hack is blown to pieces.

The good news is that I ordered a brand-new UPS and that is functioning properly. Got eight hours long backup time, and then all of the sudden… POOF. It smells like something burned out. Awful.

The first thing that I did was to check the two 8GB G.Skill memory modules on another main board.. but they no longer worked. I am going to ask for a RMA and see what happens.

I also checked the CPU on another motherboard.. no go. This was a loaner from Intel so they won’t be too happy. Sorry guys.

Then I used the PSU on another motherboard – after first having replaced the processor – and now that appears to be broken as well.. along with the memory and CPU on it. Gosh. Why on earth did I do that? Now I have nothing left to work with! You (me) idiot!!!

Guess who is going off the radar.. Yeah right that would be me. I simply cannot afford to replace everything right now. Our home construction site is eating up all our money. Sorry folks.

Late 2014 Mac mini multi-core performance

The 32-bit Geekbench results of the late 2014 Mac mini may look rather dull. Especially when you compare it to the Geekbench results of the quad-core 2012 models, but there is something that I noticed when I ran sudo dmesg:

X86PlatformShim::sendPStates – Success!
X86PlatformShim::sendPStates – Success!
X86PlatformShim::sendPStates – Success!
X86PlatformShim::sendPStates – Success!
xcpm: unsupported version
X86PlatformShim::start – Failed to send stepper

That doesn’t look right to me!

I also checked the performance bias MSR 0x1B0 (IA32_ENERGY_PERF_BIAS) which is now set to 1 for maximum performance. Quite normal for desktop hardware, but this MSR is set to 5 on the MacBook Pro models (example).

Power management is now also much more aggressive, because now it banks up from 800 MHz (idle) straight to 2700 MHz. Previously this was done a little less aggressive, because then it went up from 800 MHz (idle) to 1700 MHz. Quite difference.

The big question now is: Why do I see these errors, and why has Apple missed it?

My guess is that we are going to see a minor update to fix this. Either that, or I didn’t get the right version of Yosemite – though it appears to be using the same version (Build 14A389) of Yosemite already. Anyway. The errors may explain, at least in part, why it is a little slow right now.


The 13-inch MacBook Pro has the same processor (i5-4308U @ 2.80 GHz) and ditto Geekbench results, so don’t expect miracles, but it should run smoother after the errors have been fixed. The new Haswell processor with the Intel® Iris™ Graphics 5100 paired with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a PCI-based flash drive, makes it a lot more responsive. It also boots up much faster and loads application a lot quicker. Not to mention that it has two Thunderbolt 2 ports (up to 20 Gbps). And all this for the: “We have one other small update today“, which was what Phil Schiller said during the October event.

Sure. There is no quad-core processor option (yet/anymore) and you cannot replace/expand memory yourself, and adding a SSD will void your warranty, but do Apple users really care? I don’t think so, and the people who do want replaceable memory, GPU(s), processor(s), PSU and what not… your Mac is called a hackintosh.

Three days, three monitors kaput

This is so strange. I had three perfectly functioning monitors, but no more. All three are malfunctioning. The blue LED goes on, but nothing happens. One after the other went black. I have one Dell monitor left and I’m afraid to use it.. because that is the last one that I have here. I guess that I am forced to go black as well. Trying to find out what it going on here…


I’m so happy. Two of the three monitors are repaired and working again. Thanks to a friend and fellow Googler. The last of the three monitor did get its capacitors replaced already, but it isn’t working yet. Might need new resistors on the power supply, or some other components. Something that I hope to check later today. One thing is certain. It was a bit of a shock, but I am happy to report that I learned something new again.

Update 2

Argh! This is so frustrating. Once again it won’t turn on. Only the blue power LED is on. I have to order new boards (BN44-00195A) from China.

Recover HD booting with macosxbootloader

The macosxbootloader is almost fully functional. Adds support for OS X 10.10 Yosemite for the 2006/2007 Mac Pro models. Supports both grey and black theme mode – with the white process bar – but booting from the Recovery HD is still not working. Or maybe I should say no longer working? I mean. Did this ever work with the unmodified version of boot.efi (Tiamo’s), with Mavericks, or not?

If that is a yes, then something is obviously broken. I had a few ideas, and we’ve been testing some of them already, but I am getting confused. What I need now is a full list of all files, and directories, from a Recovery HD partition on a 2006/2007 Mac Pro. Mine appears to be quite different, or maybe it is borked, so that is where you guys come in handy.

p.s. I only need one list so if we have one, please only add omissions. This way we can keep it as clean as possible. Thanks!

Late 2014 iMac and Macmini serials

Good news. I have updated Apple Serial Numbers Ending With G000-GZZZ and added the late 2014 Mac mini and iMac with Retina 5K display.
Here is a list with new serial numbers. Well. The last four characters that is.

GCVH – Mac mini (Late 2014)
GCVG – Mac mini (Late 2014)
GCVV – Mac mini (Late 2014)
GCVP – Mac mini (Late 2014)
GCW1 – Mac mini (Late 2014)
GCVY – Mac mini (Late 2014)
GCVN – Mac mini (Late 2014)
GCVW – Mac mini (Late 2014)
GCW0 – Mac mini (Late 2014)
GCVQ – Mac mini (Late 2014)


- 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache
– 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache
– Configurable to 3.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz) with 4MB on-chip shared L3 cache.
– 2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache
– Configurable to 3.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz) with 4MB on-chip shared L3 cache.

Supported board-id: Mac-81E3E92DD6088272 Mac-35C5E08120C7EEAF

Edit: I accidentally copied the board-id of the iMac14,4 (21.5-inch) and thus this isn’t the one used by the late 2014 Mac mini.

Here is the, still only one, serial number that is used by the late 2014 iMac with Retina 5K display

GCTM – iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)

Supported board-id: Mac-42FD25EABCABB274 and Mac-FA842E06C61E91C5


- 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz)
– Configurable to 4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz).

This POODLE bites: exploiting the SSL 3.0 fallback

Reblogged from our Google Online Security Blog

Today we are publishing details of a vulnerability in the design of SSL version 3.0. This vulnerability allows the plaintext of secure connections to be calculated by a network attacker. I discovered this issue in collaboration with Thai Duong and Krzysztof Kotowicz (also Googlers).

SSL 3.0 is nearly 15 years old, but support for it remains widespread. Most importantly, nearly all browsers support it and, in order to work around bugs in HTTPS servers, browsers will retry failed connections with older protocol versions, including SSL 3.0. Because a network attacker can cause connection failures, they can trigger the use of SSL 3.0 and then exploit this issue.

Disabling SSL 3.0 support, or CBC-mode ciphers with SSL 3.0, is sufficient to mitigate this issue, but presents significant compatibility problems, even today. Therefore our recommended response is to support TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV. This is a mechanism that solves the problems caused by retrying failed connections and thus prevents attackers from inducing browsers to use SSL 3.0. It also prevents downgrades from TLS 1.2 to 1.1 or 1.0 and so may help prevent future attacks.

Google Chrome and our servers have supported TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV since February and thus we have good evidence that it can be used without compatibility problems. Additionally, Google Chrome will begin testing changes today that disable the fallback to SSL 3.0. This change will break some sites and those sites will need to be updated quickly.

In the coming months, we hope to remove support for SSL 3.0 completely from our client products.

Thank you to all the people who helped review and discuss responses to this issue.

Posted by Bodo Möller, Google Security Team