New LZVN packed NetBoot images available

Hehe. I tell you. This whole image thing. You know. Me looking for new images in Apple code, was fun, but also time consuming. It all started back in June 2014. After that I found new Apple logo data in boot.efi and some time later new LZVN packed panic dialog image data, which I by the way updated a few days ago.

Guess what. Right. Four more LZVN packed images, and CLUT data, have been discovered and freshly added to the macosxbootloader repository. This way everyone can use it. And without first having to dig deep in files to locate the stupid data. Nope. You won’t have to do that. I already did that for you so have fun with it!


Yosemite open source code bits released

A few weeks ago I e-mailed Tim Cook and asked him when Apple was going to be more transparent with source code releases, and I don’t know if my e-mail helped or not (joke) but anyway, Apple did something new today. Yup. They released the open source bits used in OS X 10.10 Yosemite a bit sooner than usual. It is right there now so we don’t have to wait a couple more months, but don’t go looking for the lzvn_encode() and lzvn_decode() routines. Nope. You won’t find it. It’s not there. Just like we expected, otherwise I would not have spent so much time on it myself. Duh!


I have been sending e-mails with the same kind of requests to Apple reps for years, and most of the time I did not get a reply, but this time I actually got one saying: “We’re working on it“.

Now Accepting Donations

I always said not to ask for donations. I know, but after a set of serious hardware failures, I have no other option. It was either this or go off the radar completely.

Why this sudden change?

Well. You may know that my wife, junior and I moved into our new home, but it is still unfinished. For example. We have no central heating and a lot of other stuff need to be finished before the winter kicks in – so that our son won’t have to sleep in a cold bedroom. Expensive stuff. Things that I cannot do myself, because the insurance wants to see invoices from experts. Or they wouldn’t pay out in case of trouble.

We knew that this day would come. Sure. But what I couldn’t foresee is that it would happen at a time when most of my hardware failed. The biggest problem is that we have no insurance, yet, because our home is still sort of a building site (moved in early to get off the rent). I know. It sounds stupid, but that is how it works here. That is also why I am so eager to finish stuff, so that we can prevent future failures like this.

In short. I had to put myself on a tight budget for my projects, and use all of our resources to get stuff done. Now I can only hope that enough people are generous enough to help me. Like I have been trying to do for over two years here. Yeah. I feel shamed. Very much so, but I am standing with my back against a wall and thus I kindly ask you to help me in times of trouble. This way I can try to keep helping people like you. In short. Please consider to
Make A Donation


Wow. Just wow! I tell you. I have no words for it. Boy. I received some real nice comments. Some of them even got me a little emotional. Yeah. It is great to read feedback from people who love my work and what I am doing here, and I did not expect anything but what I am reading here is.. in one word fantastic. I don’t know what else to say.

Thank you so much!!!

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 a 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!


Good news. I remembered something from like five months ago. Yes. I already figured this out but I forgot about this change. Luckily some part of my brain recalled it and that was when I asked Mikeboss – a great help by the way – to backup: / and to copy: /System/Library/Caches/ over it. BOOM. A successful boot from his Yosemite Recovery HD!

In other words. The missing 28 bytes (before the mach_header) at the start of the kernelcache, which was removed by Apple in BaseSystem.dmg and the one on the Recovery HD, is causing this boot problem. I have no idea why Apple did remove it, but it is likely to break most boot loaders. With a few exceptions. And that ladies and gents was why the load routine in macosxbootloader is failing.

A fix to remedy this problem is being worked on and should soon be available.

Update 2

The last commit (bf5115b) probably doesn’t work, but the one before that (f519966) should work. Please give it a try.

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

LZVN packed Panic Dialog Images

Four days ago I blogged about the LZVN packed Apple Logo’s but I forgot to mention the four LZVN packed Panic Dialog images that I found. Two for normal mode, and two for HiDPI Mode. There are also four Colour LookUp Tables (Clut). All data will be made available in an updated version of PanicDialogData.h. This way everyone can use it.


Finding the data was only the start, because it took two days more to add the missing LZVN panic dialog images for BLACKMODE and to replace the LZSS data with the new LZVN data. After this I modified RevoBoot to let it show the panic dialog instead of the Apple logo. This helped me to visually verify all four images and corresponding CLUT data. Everything looked fine so: mission accomplished.