Category: "Macintosh OS X"

Aug/18
2016

Link: http://osxdaily.com

    The MacBook Air is not really thought of as being expandable or upgradeable, but it turns out that with a little effort and patience, you can replace the SSD on the MacBook Air yourself. Changing the SSD on a MacBook Air can allow you to dramatically increase the storage size of the Mac and can often increase performance too, and while those are elective reasons to upgrade the devices SSD hard drive, another common reason to require swapping the SSD drive is due to an all out drive failure. That latter scenario is what led me to replace the SSD on this particular MacBook Air model for a friend, but regardless of the reason for upgrading or changing the SSD, it’s really not that difficult to do and the process is the same.

 

 

If you’re going to replace the SSD on a MacBook Air for any reason, you’ll need a few things; the new replacement SSD drive that is compatible with the Mac, a series of specific screwdrivers, at least two or three separate little bins for temporary screw storage, and some patience. Beyond that it’s really not particularly complicated, even if it involves taking apart the Mac and putting it back together again. There are many great detailed tutorials that walk through the entire process from sites like iFixIt, and we’ll link to a few below.

Keep in mind this is really only applicable to Macs that are outside of warranty service, and for those who are comfortable tooling around in their hardware. Swapping hardware may void a warranty on a newer Mac, so if the Mac is under warranty just take it to an Apple Support provider or Apple Store and they can handle all of this instead.

 

Step 1: Checking Replacement SSD Compatibility with MacBook Air

The first step is to insure the replacement SSD is compatible with the MacBook Air model. This typically depends on the model year of the MacBook Air itself, so it is critical that you know which model year the computer is. You can get the model and model year of any Mac by going to the  Apple menu and choosing “About This Mac”, where in the overview screen you will see something like “MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2012)” or similar.

 

Once you know the exact model and model year of the computer, you can find a compatible SSD drive on a reseller site like Amazon.

For the sake of this article, let’s say the MacBook Air is a 2012 model year.

 

Step 2: Picking the Replacement SSD Upgrade / Kit

There are many brands and types of replacement SSD drives to choose from, you can research this if you want to, or if you have a preferred brand then go with that. My particular choice for this project was this Transcend 240GB SSD Upgrade Kit. I like the Transcend option for several reasons; it’s well priced, it’s very fast, it’s highly rated, it offers a good warranty, and it comes with a complete upgrade kit which includes an enclosure for the old SSD as well as the necessary screw drivers to complete the job. The Transcend SSD upgrade kit is basically an all-in-one solution, meaning you won’t need to shop for the screw drivers independently (and yes, other brands offer some similar package solutions, Transcend just happened to be the best overall deal when I was shopping for this MacBook replacement drive)

And yes you can absolutely buy a different compatible SSD that does not come in a kit as well, just be sure you get the appropriate pentalobe screwdrivers and insure compatibility with the drive and the Mac. It’s entirely up to you.

 

Step 3: Back Up the Mac

You need to backup the Mac before you change or attempt to replace the SSD drive. I recommend setting up Time Machine backups on the Mac at a minimum, and some more advanced users like to do this in addition to using SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner tools to clone the drive directly over.

The only exception to this is if the drive is completely dead or missing, and then obviously there is nothing to back up.

Do not skip a backup, if you don’t backup you won’t have anything to restore the Mac to, and the replacement drive will not have your data on it. That’s not what you want. Using Time Machine also offers the advantage to being able to perform a clean install (of El Capitan or whatever else) on the replacement SSD and then restoring the Mac from the Time Machine backup after installation.

Do not skip backing up the Mac. Seriously.

 

 

Step 4: Upgrading and Replacing the MacBook Air SSD

 

Now comes the fun part; opening the Mac and swapping out the old SSD with the new replacement SSD. Get some sort of containers or a cupcake tray so that you have somewhere to keep the screws in, keeping mind that there are multiple screw sizes, lengths, and types that you’ll encounter. I like to arrange mine by size and general location of where they come out of the Mac.

This part of the process is the most technical. Users who have a strong background in tinkering with electronics will likely be comfortable on their own, but almost everyone else is going to want to review some sort of guide that details the process well. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we recommend following the detailed iFixIt guides as they are well explained, detailed, and thorough.

Basically what you’re doing is disconnecting the Mac from a power source, unscrewing the bottom panel and lifting it off, disconnecting the internal battery, then replacing the SSD. If you follow the iFixIt guide they rate the difficulty of a MacBook Air SSD replacement as “moderate” but I am confident that anyone with patience and the ability to follow instructions can get the job done rather easily, even if they’re a relative novice.

I highly recommend following the thoroughly detailed aforementioned iFixIt guide, but here are the basic steps if you’re curious as to what you’re getting yourself into:

1 – Removed the screws from the bottom of the MacBook Air (the screws are temporarily stored in the little bins above the Mac)

 

2 – Disconnect the internal battery – don’t forget this (and don’t forget to reconnect when finished)

3 – Remove the stock SSD drive (it is held in by another screw)

4 – Replace with the new SSD drive, screw it in, then reconnect the internal battery

5 – Put the bottom lid back on and screw it back in, done!

Once everything is sealed back up again, you’re ready to go. Now it’s on to the software part.

 

Step 5: Reinstalling Mac OS X and Restoring Data

Admittedly I do things in this tutorial a bit different than some other technical people do; mainly that I put a blank SSD drive into the Mac, which then required an OS install and restore, rather than cloning over the drives first. Cloning the drive ahead of time is often the best approach, but in this particular instance it wasn’t possible however because the internal stock SSD had completely failed (question mark on boot, confirmed with Apple Hardware Test), meaning there was nothing to clone. Fortunately there was a recent Time Machine backup however, which is why I went with the install and restore approach.

If you want to go the cloning route, Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper are both excellent and get the job done.

Anyway, what I did in this scenario was two steps; perform a clean Mac OS X software install using a bootable USB flash key, then restore from Time Machine during setup. It worked perfectly. We’ve covered these topics before, so if you want to go this particular route (typically necessary if the original SSD failed) then refer to the following detailed walkthroughs:

Keep in mind that if you’re restoring a Mac from a Time Machine backup, you can start that process immediately after clean installing Mac OS X during the setup process.

(Quick side note: you can also attempt to restore the Mac SSD from Time Machine directly, but doing so means you typically have to re-create the Recovery partition manually and you may encounter EFI partition errors, both of which are avoidable if you just perform a direct clean install of Mac OS X system software ahead of time).

Once Mac OS X and the data has been restored to the drive, the Mac is ready to go and use as normal with a nice new shiny SSD! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Aug/10
2016

Link: https://fantasiesrealm.com/market/Designers/Estevez-Art/Super-Backgrounds-Terrific-Skies

Are you ready to give your characters or renders in general the greatest background ever.

These gorgeous skies are fit for any type of render, like ethereal to fantasy or high resolution yet render quickly.

Your imagination is what will rule the render you come up with so that makes the possibilities endless!

You get  62 images of skies in JPG format, in these sizes:

7200 x 4500
7200 x 5301
7200 x 5300

7400 x 5171
7400 x 4300
7400 x 4500
7400 x 4600
7400 x 4800
7400 x 5400
7400 x 5000
7400 x 5553

7600 x 4600
7600 x 5000
7600 x 5200

The contents have been split up into 3 files for ease of downloading.

Aug/10
2016

Link: https://fantasiesrealm.com/market/Designers/Katt/Shyla-Bubbledrop-V4

 Shyla Bubbledrop for V4

She dances in the moonlight, her skin reflecting the sparkles of magic in the air. The moon's bright face is hidden by clouds, then it shines down on a skin covered in light blue swirls when it emerges. She now moves with a warrior's grace, her sword flashing in the moonlight. She can weave the magic, or walk unnoticed among the mortals. Cute and dangerous, with a mix of skills to respect.

She has six glamour make-ups, six sparkling lip colours, and six nail colors to choose from.

There are 10 different eye color options, and 3 alternate eyelash styles as well.

She has five sparkle skin colors and 3 colors of swirls to make her even more unique.

There is a full figure morph and the choice of elf ears or human ears, so be creative!

All skin options are provided in both SSS and non-SSS, and reset options as well.

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I have included a variety of RESETs that are available in separate folders.

SSS SKIN:
Be sure to apply the BASE SKIN (either the default skin or the SSS version) before you apply any of her options. Please remember that lighting is a factor for how well SSS effects render, so it is suggested to use a simple single light, or as few lights as possible. The lighting sets that use IDL options are also great for showing off SSS skin effects. The lighting will also be a factor in the lip gloss effects, both in normal Poser and in P9/PP2012, in regards to how and where the shine appears. This gloss effect will not be the same in DAZ based on lack of node options in DAZ.

SPARKLES:
The sparkle skin options cannot be combined with the body art or makeups, but you can use the different lip, nails and eye colours fine with the sparkles. The sparkles are subtle, and will not be visible until after you have rendered your image. Bear in mind, as with many effects, the lighting used will play a major role in how it appears in the final render. Unfortunately, they will not work in DAZ based on how the effect was created. Sorry to DAZ users.

Always apply the base skin before any of the other options. The skin MAY appear to be lacking in the texture with the SSS options, and this applies to all the options included, UNTIL it is rendered. Feel free to do a spot render to ensure the look is what you seek before doing a full & final high quality render. When changing to a different skin option, you can use the RESETs to ensure no extra parts from other skins carry over.

Different choices for lighting and rendering settings will result in different render results from those displayed. Please remember that lighting is a factor for how well SSS effects render, so it is suggested to use a simple single light, or a few lights as possible. The lighting sets that use IDL options are also great for showing off SSS skin effects. The renders are done with SAV's Marina Lights, with a slight edit, in order to show off her pale skin tone. Please do NOT have GAMMA CORRECTION enabled when rendering, or Poser Default settings. The RenderStudio sets, or any other of Colm's IDL2 sets work great. Be unique and enjoy!

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Needed Files List and System Required:

Poser 6+
DAZ 3+
Victoria 4.2 Base
Victoria 4.2 Morphs ++
Victoria 4 Elite Body Shapes:

Aug/10
2016

Link: https://fantasiesrealm.com/market/Designers/Dreamweaver-Designs

Brown and Black Horse Coats

A selection of black and brown coats for the Millennium Horse, every thing from your standard every day brown to a velvety black and ones not often seen like the Silver bay.

With lots of mix and match options the only limit to the combinations you can create is your imagination.

--------------------------------------

Included:
Mats:
  -- Black, 2 Chocolate Browns, Dark Brown
  -- Light Brown, Mahogany Bay, Silver Bay
 2 Eye Colors
 5 Long, 5 Short Fetlock Colors
 3 Hoof Colors
 Manes
   -- Left, On/Off (several), Short, Right, Upright
   -- 6 Sets of Colors
   2 Lashes
   5 Tail Colors

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System Requirements:

PC and Mac compatible
Poser 7+
DAZ Studio 3+
Daz Millenium Horse 1
Daz Millenium LE Horse 1
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DWD Champagne and Cream

 A selection of rare coats for you Millennium horse, ranging from Palomino through to Creams and Champagnes including a Sable Champagne.
 
 With lots of mix and match options let your imagination run wild!
 
 --------------------------------------
3 Eye Colors
Fetlocks: 4 Long and 4 Short Color choices
4 Hoof Colors
Manes:
 -- On/Off  Utilities (several)
 -- Left Side
 -- Short
 -- Long
 -- Variety of colors for each option
Pales
 -- 4 Color Choices in 2 Sets
 -- Sable Champagne Color
 4 Tale Colors

--------------------------------------

System Requirements:

PC and Mac compatible
Poser 7+
DAZ Studio 3+
Daz Millenium Horse 1
Daz Millenium LE Horse 1

Aug/10
2016

Link: https://fantasiesrealm.com/market/Designers/Art-by-Athene

 

Annabella for V4.2++ and A4.

A beautiful new package that give you 4 characters  in one pack.
 
 She includes the following:
5 eye colors
2 Makeup Sets with 5 colors each
3 Eyelashes
A4 Head/Body INJ/REM
V4 Head/Body INJ/REM
2 Skin Mats
2 Lip Color Sets with 5 colors each.
 
 
  Required:
   Poser 5+
Victoria 4.2++
Daz 3+
 PC/Mac compatible

Bega is a beautiful new ethnic character for V4.

She was made with the greatest attention to detail and includes two versions, one with shader and displacement maps for fantastic realistic skin for use in Poser 6 and higher, and one with SSS mats for use with Poser9 or poser pro, she has been tested in DS 4 ( only the non SSS version).

Bega comes with tons of options including:

5 Eye Colors
8 NS Makeups
8 SSS Makeups
Head/Body NJ/REM
Default NS Skin
Default SSS Skin
8 NS Lip Colors
8 SSS Lip Colors

The morphs for this character can be used without the Elite Ethnic Faces however you will get different results.

Required:
Poser 6+ for Non shader
Poser 9+ for shader version
V4.2 Morphs ++
V4.2 Elite Ethnic Faces
Daz 3+
PC/Mac Compatible

 

Darby, another quality character pack.

This pack includes:

Head/Body INJ/REM
------------
Quality textures:
 8 Eye Colors
  3 Eyelashes
------------
Default NS Skin
8 NS Makeups
8 NS Lip Colors
------------
Default SSS Skin
8SSS Lip Colors
6 SSS Makeups  


Poser 4+ for NS options
Poser 7+ for SSS options
Daz 3+
Required: Victoria 4+
PC/Mac Compatible

 

 


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