Mac Pro RAM Woes

You may remember how excited I was about a month ago when I got the 2GB RAM upgrade from Crucial for my Mac Pro. Well, about two weeks ago I happened to notice in Activity Monitor that I only had 3GB of RAM. That wasn’t right; I had 4GB. I started testing, and discovered a problem with the RAM. System Profiler was reporting 6 512MB sticks of RAM, instead of 4 512MB and 2 1GB sticks. I tried moving the sticks around to various banks, but never got it to see more than 3GB. Also, there are four LED’s on each of the risers that correspond to the four RAM banks. When you boot the system, these lights come on for about 2 seconds, then go out. There was one Crucial stick whose LED stayed on. No matter which bank I put that stick in, its light stayed on.

Saddened by this, I called Crucial. I spent just a few minutes on the phone with them before they agreed that there was clearly a problem, and that they would replace them. They have excellent customer and technical support. I shipped the two sticks back to them and waited.

Two days ago UPS arrived with my replacement sticks. I shut down my Mac and put the two new sticks in banks 3 and 4 of riser A, leaving the 512MB sticks in banks 1 and 2 of risers A and B, and booted. I logged-in, brought up Activity Monitor, only to see 3GB reported. System Profiler says 6 512MB sticks, just like before. The new RAM is doing exactly what the first set of RAM did. I tried every combination of placement of the sticks I could think of, including removing ALL the Apple RAM, and just putting the Crucial sticks into banks 1 and 2 of riser A. In that case, the Mac only saw 1G of RAM.

So it was back to Crucial tech support. They agreed it sounded like a bad stick (again) and are going to replace them again. I just shipped back the two latest sticks, and am once again waiting on a shipment from Crucial. I hope this one works. If it doesn’t, I’m just going to pony up the 2x extra and buy direct from Apple.

The Crucial guy said it was “hard to believe” that I got two bad sticks in a row, and I agree. But what else could it be? If I only had two banks for RAM in the computer, then you could blame it on the computer itself. But I’ve got eight banks to play with, and have tried them all. I don’t think it’s a problem with the Mac itself. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

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The Value of Being Open

There’s a little golf store near my house. I’ve now tried three times to patronize them, but each time I’ve been thwarted. The first time I tried to visit them, was on a Monday. When I got there, I discovered that they were closed on both Sunday and Monday. Strike 1. The second time, I went on a Wednesday. They closed at 6:00PM. Who closes that early any more? Strike 2. Today, I tried again. I got there at 12:30, only to find a hand-written sign taped to the glass: Bank + Lunch. Back 1:45 – 2:30.

Strike 3.

I guess I’ll just have to keep schlepping over to the PGA Tour Superstore for my golfing needs.

The lesson here is this: if you have a business you need to be open when your customers try to visit. I don’t care how good the store is, I’m not going to try a 4th time to visit them.

Kelly Willis’ New Record is Out… And Good

It’s just after midnight on June 26. Kelly Willis‘ new album, Translated From Love was just made available on the iTMS, and since I pre-ordered it, it was a-waiting for me to download it. Oh, yeah. I’m four songs into it, and it’s really good. I have all of Kelly’s stuff, but the last two, Easy and What I Deserve, have been my favorites. Based on what I’ve heard so far, they may have some competition with this album.

Kelly’s voice is just as smooth and luscious as always. She has that Austin twang, and her music is about as far as you can get from the “pop country” that passes for C&W these days. Kelly, Mindy Smith and Neko Case are my favorite ladies. You should check them out.

Kelly is coming to Atlanta on July 7! I went ahead and bought my ticket the other day, after I got hosed on the Mindy Smith show selling out. I was not pleased about that. I love both these ladies’ music, and I really wanted to see Mindy. Oh well, at least I’m assured of seeing Kelly.

My Second Game, Now With New-and-Improved Grips

Three friends and I went up to the Chateau Elan, Par 3 yesterday for my second golf outing. While my score didn’t improve that much (a 51, down from 53), I felt like I played better, in terms of mechanics. I had just as much fun as the first time, even though it was about 8 degrees hotter.

Also of note is that I was playing with new grips on my irons. As I mentioned before I took my clubs to the PGA Tour Superstore and got some pretty, red Lamkin Crossline grips put on, which made a nice change. It was almost like getting a new set of clubs, at a fraction of the cost. Here’s what it looks like

I’m playing this same course again tomorrow (Tuesday), so maybe I’ll shave a few more strokes off my score.