Reflowing a Macbook Pro GPU to no avail

My 2011 Macbook Pro 17″ failed again. A few years back, the GPU went bad so I sent it to a guy in the UK that replaced the GPU, and then it worked for maybe two years. It failed again a couple of months back, but I don’t think it’s worth having it repaired now. I did, however, just do a reflow on it for kicks. It didn’t fix the computer, though, but that won’t stop me from describing what I did. So this is an example of what doesn’t work.

I first removed everything removable from the main board and set it up in a preheater. I stuck the Fluke thermocouple into a mounting hole close to the GPU so I could monitor the temperature of the board.
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Battery replacement in an iPad Pro

Replacing the battery in an iPad Pro is a horrible, terrible repair procedure. It’s all about heat and glue. Jeez.

This sounds like a good idea, but it isn’t. I heated the iOpener in the microwave for 30 seconds on full power as prescribed and it was fairly hot. Let it rest on the iPad for a couple of minutes and the iPad turned maybe lukewarm. Or maybe not even that. It really didn’t work for me.
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A very disinfected stethoscope

A couple of years ago I bought a Littmann 3200 electronic stethoscope. Love the thing. Fantastic (and adjustable) sound and recording capability and Bluetooth connection to upload those sounds to a companion app.

A couple of weeks back, the stethoscope started to glitch. Every now and then it would hard reset when I pressed the “-” button so I thought that was the end of it. I ordered a new one, planning on disassembling the old one once I had another good one. Today was that day.

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Mac mini sucks (power)

I’ve got a new Mac Mini, and it has a gloriously low power consumption. At least it had for a while. If you wait long enough, it starts consuming power like crazy. See the graph of total power consumption to see the problem:

Total power consumption over time.

Now, looking at the processes, one process sticks out, the “corespeechd”. Today, it consumed around 130% of a CPU, constantly. Remarkably, I have all speech-related functionality switched off, but it still does this.

The solution? Well, I don’t want to reboot the machine all the time, so I created an entry in Lingon X to killall corespeechd once a day. I think that will do it. I’d like to kill it forever, but I see no way of doing that.

Update 2019-02-02: And this is the difference it makes installing that kill command:

Installed the “killall corespeechd” script on Jan 19. See the difference it makes to total power consumption.

Update 2019-04-03: After following Marty’s suggestion (in the comments) and even after disabling my kill-script, it looks like the problem is solved:

Whose side are they on?

This is an interview in Wired with the principal deputy director of national intelligence (of the US). It’s all about how the tech industry should work closer with the goverment (US). It starts out in classic paranoid fashion:

“SUE GORDON, THE principal deputy director of national intelligence, wakes up every day at 3 am, jumps on a Peloton, and reads up on all the ways the world is trying to destroy the United States.1

…and goes on to:

“I think there’s a lot of misconception about those of us who work in national security and intelligence,” she says. “We swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. That means we believe in and swear to uphold privacy and civil liberties.”

Not once is there a mention in the text that “the” government is actually just one government. Not once does Gordon or the reporter reflect on that working closely with the (US) government means taking sides against the rest of the world. There is less and less common interest between the US government and the rest of the western world, not to mention the non-western world, so any initiative the tech companies join in with the US government is a big red flag for the market outside the US. Think Huawei.

I’m pretty certain the major tech companies do realize that the majority of their customers are not US patriots, and that being too cozy with the US intelligence services may not be good for business. Increasingly so.

I’m amazed, though, that this wasn’t even considered when interviewing for and writing that article. Maybe it would be a good idea not to distribute arguments like this beyond the US. Why do they even let us read “patriotic” claptrap like this? I can’t imagine the tech companies liking it much.


In the previous post I described another failure in my Razer Mako speaker system. I found a defective electrolyte capacitor and I said it started to “short out”, which isn’t correct. What happens is almost the opposite, namely that the internal resistance in the capacitor starts to rise, creating heat dissipation (which almost burned me) which ultimately destroys the capacitor. Meanwhile, before it actually gets destroyed, it becomes less efficient at doing its job of smoothing out variations in the voltage applied to it, which I saw as increased ripple on the corresponding power line.

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Razer Mako (no click of) death fix

About two and a half years ago, I wrote a post about fixing the “click of death” problem the Razer Mako 2.1 THX speaker system is prone to. My Mako worked fine until recently when it failed in another way, namely with no sound at all anymore. No clicks, nothing. While the “control puck” still kinda worked, it flickered and behaved weirdly.

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Q.E.D. – sick leave

These “doctor’s notes” or “sick leave” are the attestations we do for a patient when they’re ill and they need a proof of that for work and/or insurance. The contents will differ greatly in different countries, but the ones I describe here are similar to the Swedish ones1.

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