Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Easiest Way I Know to Install New RAM on an iMac

To skip my long story and get to the instructions, scroll down until you see the large header.

Note:  I wrote this a week ago but forgot to publish it!

Well, I thought I broke my computer this morning.  Thankfully, I did not.

I've noticed for several weeks, maybe even a few months, that my computer was slowing down.  Macs are supposed to be just as fast as the day you bought it for years on down the road, but that was not the case with me.  I downloaded a little app (free) called Memory Clean which offers a quick way to flush your RAM of unnecessary info.  I even set it on automatic clean, but it only helped marginally.

I decided to buy some additional RAM as a Christmas present to myself.  I checked which RAM I needed by going to <apple icon in menu bar> > About This Mac > More Info > Memory > Memory Upgrade Instructions.  The instructions seemed simple enough, so I carefully made note of which RAM I needed and bought it from Amazon.

First step, unplug the computer and let it cool down.  While waiting, I reviewed what else I have to do for Christmas.  I caught myself wanting to look up something on the computer several times, but I had to resort to using my phone.

Second step, lay a towel down on a table and set the computer screen-side-down on top of the towel.  I was somewhat surprised at how dusty it was on the back, so I grabbed a cloth and cleaned it up.

Third step, use a screwdriver to remove the little door at the bottom.  The door has itty-bitty screws, so I thought I needed an itty-bitty screwdriver.  I tried two which didn't work.  I got out a regular sized one and that did the trick. It needed a bigger one to grab the slots.  To my surprise, it was dusty inside, too, so I cleaned that off as well.

Fourth step, pull the tabs out so that the slots are accessible, remove RAM from packaging, and insert the RAM into the slots.  They were hard to get in, but I thought I had it.  I inserted them, put the cover back on, cleaned up my desk, put the computer back on, plugged it in, and turned it on.  Nothing.  WHAT??!  In the words of my three-year-old daughter, "That did not happen!"  What did I dooooo?  What do I do now?

I opened the computer back up and tried to get the new memory cards out so that I could reinsert them and try again.  I couldn't even get a good grip on either one of them!  I pushed and pulled to no avail.  I decided to plug it in again and see what would happen.

This time, it didn't come one again.  A quick search on the iPad recommended resetting some something or other that I've forgotten the name of, but basically you unplug it, press the power button for 5 seconds (or 10 like I did).  I did that, and then, it beeped at me.  BEEP BEEP BEEP and a black screen. Oh no!!!!  The good thing is that since it was "talking" to me, at least the whole computer wasn't messed up.  (Although I've since read that actually it can mean your computer is toast.)

Back to the table.  I tried again to remove the RAM.  Then I heard Gracie crying (I had hoped to get the whole thing done before she woke.).  She wanted me to lay down with her, so I did.  She got on my "blue phone" and watched Garfield on Netflix, and I got on the iPad and searched for a solution.

The following is what I did to successfully install my new RAM, after which I sent up a big "Thank You" to God for allowing me not to break my computer!

The Easiest Way I Know To Install New RAM on an iMac

1.  Check which RAM your computer needs by going to: <apple icon in menu bar> > About This Mac > More Info > Memory > Memory Upgrade Instructions.  Make careful note about which RAM you need.

2.  I recommend getting RAM from Crucial. (You can purchase from Amazon and save some money.) They also have a system scanner which tells you which RAM you need.  If you have an iMac, don't be concerned if your memory says Notebook; it will still work.

3.  Unplug your computer, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.  I did read one recommendation to wait a couple of hours.  If you can do without your computer for a couple of hours, then do that.  In the meantime, lay a towel down on a table, and put the computer face-down with the bottom facing you.

4.  Use a larger-than-you-think screwdriver to remove the screws from the little cover.  You may want to remove the dust inside.

5.  Remove the tabs and then pull on the memory cards, one at a time, to remove the RAM that's already there, even if you're keeping that RAM.  You may have to actually pull on the plastic tabs in order to remove those memory cards.  With both slots empty, carefully insert your new RAM in the bottom slot, pushing it in with your thumb(s).  If it's still hard to insert all the way or it hurts your thumbs, find a small hard object to push the RAM into the slot. (I used the feet of a Winnie the Pooh ornament.) It'll kind of click when it's all in.  Then you can put the original RAM back into the top slot using the same method.  Repeat for the other side.  For the iMac, you can have 1, 2, or 4 RAM cards, but not just 3.  Keep that in mind.  I left my original RAM in the top slots and my new RAM in the bottom slots.

If you have trouble and need to remove the RAM, pull on the plastic tabs rather hard to remove the RAM.  The top RAM will pop out which makes the bottom RAM MUCH easier to remove.

6.  Put the cover back on.  Plug in your computer and turn it on.  If you see the white screen with the loading spinning thing, you're good to go.  It took a much longer time than usual for the computer to turn on and to get going, but I expect that is a one-time problem.

Please note, I have restricted comments on website due to an increasing problem of Anonymous spamming.  If are unable to leave a comment, then please send me an email at mrsavakinsey (gmail).  Thank you!

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Here is this year's Christmas card!

This photo was taken at the mall behind the Santa Claus setup.  Most of Gracie's Christmas photos have been taken here.
Her hair looks so blonde here!

The top photo was taken here at home, fully on manual!  (Photog-speak for "I adjusted all the settings myself!"   [Nikon D7000, 50 mm 1.8 lens, 1/125 s, f/1.8, ISO 1600]

The bottom photo was taken May 2013 at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield, MO.  My friend Valerie took the photo for us!

I ordered 4x6 postcards from The set of 250 full-color on front and back postcards cost just under $50 including 2-day air shipping.  I bought boxes of envelopes from Walmart, 50 to a box at $4.50 each.  I still have lots left over even after mailing out a bunch and handing out a bunch at church.  I will take some to my mom's in case she wants to hand any out.  I'm very happy with the quality as well as the price.  The price per card + envelope comes out to be 30 cents each.

This Christmas season has not turned out exactly what I would've liked, in some ways.  I wanted to do a lot of fun activities, but due to a variety of factors, it just didn't work out that way.

I did manage to do the Elf on the Shelf thing.  Our elf is named Noelle.  Last year, Gracie called her 'Elle, I'm guessing because she usually hears, "No" in front of a name; hence, she thought I was saying, "No, 'Elle."  This year, she has done better, but has also called her "No-elf."  I picked the name because I thought it was pretty.  I didn't realize it would cause some confusion when Gracie heard "The First Noel"  "Mommy!  They're singing about Noelle!"

I use Noelle to deliver a couple of Christmas books each day.  Sometimes she gets into funny situations like tying Christmas ribbon to use for a swing from the ceiling fan or getting stuck in the M&M jar.  Other times she has fun reading to Pooh bear and other friends or taking Owl for a ride to the North Pole in the plane.  Several times, Noelle has written Gracie a note that is clothespinned to the Christmas tree.  It's fun to watch Gracie giggle over these antics.  I tell her "I like Santa Claus!  Santa Claus is a FUN game we play, isn't it?" I don't think it has sunk in that it's all make-believe, but she'll understand over time.

It's been fun to watch her grasp more details about Baby Jesus' birth.  Most of the Christmas books are about The Christmas Story, plus she's learned about it in Sunday School over the last few weeks.

I feel like I missed out on a several local activities this year.  I wanted to go to a live nativity program at a church in Germantown, but we had an ice storm that weekend.  I also wanted to go to Dickens on the Square in Covington, but Robert was sick that weekend (and then Gracie got sick, and then I got sick...).  We only rode around our neighborhood once to look at Christmas lights -- not very impressive compared to the animated lights and music displays that we have seen in the past in other areas.  I did take Gracie to see the Enchanted Forest at the Pink Palace museum today.  They have a variety of Christmas trees decorated by individuals or groups as well as a number of animated scenes and a gingerbread village display.

Gracie has really become excited about wrapping presents.  She helped me wrap some, and I let her wrap whatever she wanted to.  She wrapped pieces of cardboard tubes, her jack-in-the-box, some shoes, some socks, and I'm not sure what else.  I guess we'll find out when we open presents tomorrow!  She has been begging to open presents for the last two days.  That alone makes me glad I waited before wrapping presents.  She actually tore into her biggest present.  Fortunately, it was an Amazon box, so she didn't spoil her surprise (and I know she will be over the moon at that gift!).  After I set out her gifts, she wanted to know which ones were hers, so I showed her her name on one, and said, "You know how to spell your name.  Look on the other presents to find your name."  She enjoyed that, and it became a great exercise in name recognition.

Tomorrow will be somewhat of a low-key day.  As soon as Gracie wakes up and realizes it is Christmas, we'll go into the living room, open up stockings and presents.  We'll probably have chocolate chip pancakes and/or blueberry muffins for breakfast.  We'll play, play, play all day.  Or most of the day.  My husband has been diligently working on a project for work and he will probably devote some time to that.  I asked him what he wanted me to fix for Christmas dinner, and he said, "If you're feeling adventurous, you can try cooking lamb."  So that is party of his Christmas present.  Kroger's only had one kind of lamb, some lamb chops.  I found a recipe online for Lamb Tagine which requires about 8 or more different spices, five of which I had to buy, and, actually, one of those I refused to buy (saffron which costs $12 a bottle for two little pieces!).  I also got a turkey breast which I'll cook in the crockpot.  I'll be able to eat that and then freeze the remainder.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

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