Reverting back to Mavericks

It’s unclear.  I did a fresh install of Yosemite on a Retina MacBook Pro 13″ 11,1 but the battery life was terrible.  Typically 4-5 hours max.  In order to revert to the “Out of Box” state you need to delete the primary Mac OS partition and then boot to recovery using CMD + Option + R.  This will initiate the “Internet Recovery” which will take hopefully less than an hour to download whatever OS the machine came with, in my case Mavericks.  Upon receipt of the machine I did a fresh install of Yosemite but consistently saw terrible battery life.  My hope was that it was Yosemite related, so I’ve reverted back to 10.9.4.

I’ve now performed an SMC reset and I see over 13:00 hours at 100% battery life under Mavericks.  It’s unclear if Yosemite is at fault, or the SMC is at fault, the clean install is at fault, I mean who the fuck knows Apple?  All I know is that I did a fresh install of Yosemite on a brand new machine and it got about 4 hours of battery life.  Now it says it has 13 hours of battery life.  Talk about a fucking unreliable narrator.

TFTP after a bad flash on WRT-54G Ver 2.0

Was helping a friend trouble shoot an old Linksys WRT-54G Version 2.0 and I thought it might be worth installing the Tomato firmware and see if it helps minimize the connection drop outs he’s been having.  I thought upgrading via the Linksys admin menu would be a snap.  I made a couple of mistakes.

1) Always do a hard reset (30/30/30) on the router before flashing

2) Always hard wire and set a static IP that is within the default range and turn off all other network cards

3) Be patient, because sometimes it’ll take a few minutes

What happened was this: the upgrade from the Linksys admin utility resulted in a corrupt image such that I was no longer receiving an IP address, the router was not booting, all I got was a flashing green power LED.  Thankfully, Draytek Router Tools v.4.2.1 comes to the rescue with TFTP tool, as I tried the Linksys version of the software with no luck.  Router Tools allowed me to get the WRT-54G back online with the latest official Linksys Firmware v.4.21.1 and at this point I went back into the menu and tried the Tomato v.1.27 .bin again and it actually worked.

Now, whether all this means the router will stop being flaky, I don’t know.  But many other users swear by Tomato and say that it’s a significant improvement over the stock firmware and includes a lot of QOS features and should increase stability.

This is pretty much the best guide I found on recovering from a bad flash:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Recover_from_a_Bad_Flash

This is the link for latest official Linksys firmware on the WRT54G:
http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-us/wireless/lbc/WRT54G/download

And if you click on Version 4.0 on the BEFSR41 router/hub you can download Linksys’ official TFTP tool, which probably won’t work and you’ll need to download the Draytek utility anyways:
http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-us/wireless/lbc/BEFSR41/download

Linksys WRT54G Version 2.0

Linksys WRT54G Version 2.0

Airport Extreme! Broadcom! Oh my!

So, if you don’t care about wireless data connections and or OS X & XP you should ignore this post. I recently did a little 802.11n upgrade to my aging Core Duo Macbook Pro and I bought an “official” Apple 802.11n Airport Card that has 2 antenna wire inputs. It’s chipset is the Broadcom BCM4328. My Apple System Profiler polls this as Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (5.10.38.9) and in Windows XP it clearly shows up as the BCM4328. Now, shouldn’t this be all good? Well sort of, there have been some problems.

Under OS X 802.11n (ie Airport Extreme) works like gang busters over the Time Capsule but it seems my 802.11g performance has taken a huge hit. And under XP SP3 both my g/n performance has degraded. So what’s the deal? Well it seems I should’ve gone with an older version of this chipset.

Apparently the BCM94321MC aka the Dell 1500 Part Number NJ449 was the original version, which worked well for people under Tiger. There obviously are other options, but the key here was the 4321 chipset as opposed to the newer 4328 chipset. So what’s the issue? I don’t know. I imagine the XP drivers aren’t fully up to date. And I also imagine 802.11n MIMO works better with 3 antennas which is why the newer Core 2 Duo machines come with the 3 antenna input Atheros wireless cards. Can I add a third antenna wire and put in the Atheros? I don’t know. Should I sell the one I installed and try the $30 Dell 1500 NJ449? I would say yes.

Another issue that has developed is that with around 15% battery the wireless card will go dormant and not startup again without a reboot. Nice. Whatever, I suppose I cannot complain too much. It mostly works.