Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

Ever since we moved to our own house in the suburbs I wanted to set up a network cabinet and have a WiFi access point mounted in the ceiling, this month I've finally been able to do that. Prior to this install the house had some of the rooms already wired up with Cat6 cabling and I was using one of the ports for my ancient AirPort Express which was connected to the 4G modem in the garage.

As part of this network upgrade, the first thing I did was to hook everything up to a new gigabit switch, via a patch panel. One of the ports was used for the Airport Express, one went to my 4G modem (which was also the DHCP server for network) and the rest were patched to various rooms across the house. I did this step first just to make sure that my existing network setup without the UniFi AP was working as expected.
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I was tossing up between getting the UAP-AC-LR or the UAP-AC-LITE to replace the Airport Express and in the end decided that for home use, the Lite would be quite enough. Having never owned any Ubiquiti equipment, I was expecting something that was packaged for enterprise use like brown cardboard and with an industrial feel, but to my pleasant surprise the packaging was very attractive and clean (Apple-esque even).

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Inside the box was the AP itself, a PoE injector, power supply for the injector, mounting plate and mounting hardware and a quick start guide.
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Not long ago I wrote about the new office desk that I've built for myself - Making an Apple Store inspired desk for the home office. In that post I mentioned that I wasn't quite done with the desk and wanted to add cable management to it still, well that's now been done too!

I was first looking at getting the usual wire basket that many a computer desk has to keep all the cabling organised, but had trouble finding something that I liked the look of and that wasn't too expensive. I ended up going off on a tangent and looking at slotted cable ducting and thought that it would fit the bill exactly.

The ducting I ordered had slots cut into it so cables could be slotted into it along its length. It was 65x65 mm in profile and 2m long. I had to cut this down to fit my desk's length.

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Since the ducting was made out of PVC, it was extremely easy to cut. I cut it down so that it would mount centred under my desk with 50cm on either side without any ducting.

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There were pre-drilled holes in the ducting so mounting it under the desk was as simple as screwing in some screws every 5th hole. I probably could have used more screws but this was secure enough for me.

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The cables as well as the power supply brick for the speakers fit into the ducting easily. I used some white cable wrap on the edges to keep the cables together.
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My 13" MacBook Pro 2019 has been behaving strangely lately. All of a sudden, its CPU utilisation shoots to 100%, it becomes completely unresponsive (though the mouse still works) and eventually it overheats and crashes and shuts down.
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The dreaded rainbow wheel of death haunts the Apple menu...
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The dock is stuck too...
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At first I thought this was an issue with the McAfee Endpoint Security kexts (which work mandates we use on BYOD laptops), but then looking at the crash log it seems to point to the SMC driver...
 Crash Log
panic(cpu 4 caller 0xffffff7f96fa1a8d): watchdog timeout: no checkins from watchdogd in 97 seconds (26071 total checkins since monitoring last enabled)
Backtrace (CPU 4), Frame : Return Address
0xffffff8129aa3c40 : 0xffffff801651f5cd
0xffffff8129aa3c90 : 0xffffff8016658b05
0xffffff8129aa3cd0 : 0xffffff801664a68e
0xffffff8129aa3d20 : 0xffffff80164c5a40
0xffffff8129aa3d40 : 0xffffff801651ec97
0xffffff8129aa3e40 : 0xffffff801651f087
0xffffff8129aa3e90 : 0xffffff8016cc2858
0xffffff8129aa3f00 : 0xffffff7f96fa1a8d
0xffffff8129aa3f10 : 0xffffff7f96fa147b
0xffffff8129aa3f50 : 0xffffff7f96fb6d9c
0xffffff8129aa3fa0 : 0xffffff80164c513e
Kernel Extensions in backtrace:
com.apple.driver.watchdog(1.0)[B435C72B-B311-3C67-8AA1-1D5CE0FAD429]@0xffffff7f96fa0000->0xffffff7f96fa8fff
com.apple.driver.AppleSMC(3.1.9)[4589419D-7CCC-39A9-9E2F-F73FE42DD902]@0xffffff7f96fa9000->0xffffff7f96fc7fff
dependency: com.apple.driver.watchdog(1)[B435C72B-B311-3C67-8AA1-1D5CE0FAD429]@0xffffff7f96fa0000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOACPIFamily(1.4)[0A7D7382-66FE-391B-9F93-97A996256C25]@0xffffff7f96f09000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOPCIFamily(2.9)[3C56BB73-D149-3E84-A2EB-DF806779B96C]@0xffffff7f96f12000


I've followed Apple's instructions on how to reset the SMC - How to reset the SMC of your Mac and it seemed to actually help, for a while at least. My Mac stopped crashing as often but it still exhibits this odd behaviour from time to time.

At this point I'm thinking that it could be a hardware issue, but I'm still not ruling out McAfee ES as the actual culprit. I'll need to try and see if I can find some evidence of this next time it happens, unfortunately with the Mac being unusable and not letting me switch between apps, I'll just have to hope this happens while I have Terminal open...or maybe book into Target Disk Mode from another Mac.

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Ever since moving from a city apartment to a house in the suburbs, I wanted to make myself a big, long, desk for my home office. I wanted something with bulky edges like the desks at the Apple Store, but I didn't want wooden legs. So I've decided to build this...
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The total cost of the desk was under $400 AUD ($109 for legs from eBay, $101 for the laminated Beech panel from Bunnings, $114 for the 70x70 pine outer frame beams, $27 for the 30x30 pine inner frame and around $20 for screws, glue, wood filler and sanding pads). I already had the clear gloss varnish from other woodworking projects so didn't count that into the cost.

This isn't a how-to guide for making your own desk, just my story. Woodworking is a hobby of mine and I'm by far not a professional, so read on and be inspired, but don't take this as a prescriptive guide.

These were the materials that I started with. The X shaped steel legs were pre-fabricated, the wood was all purchased from my local Bunnings store, with the help of the neighbour to bring the 2.2m long panel home on his 4WD.

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My previous desk was 75cm deep so I wanted something around the same depth to accommodate my 34" monitor, a couple of MacBook Pros and my laser printer as well as leaving enough room for the big mouse mat I use. The largest depth of panel I could get was 60cm, which was way too small but I realised that if I put the frame on the outer edge, I'd gain an extra 14cm of depth! This changed my design slightly as that would require me to make an inner frame so that the outer frame would have more surface area to hold onto than if I only secured it to the panel itself (not a great idea as it was only 26mm thick).

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