Mac Mini 2010 Audio Jack Issue

I do have a Mac Mini 2010 that I use for my home theater setup. Things were excellent and I was happy user of my Mini. Until I upgraded from MacOS El Captitan to Sierra.

Things went down hell for the Mini. It become a bit slow and the audio jack stopped pushing optical audio signal. My toshlink stopped working all of sudden. Audio through HDMI works fine. But I want to use optical audio since this Mini is connected to my sound system setup.

I googled and found few suggestions that I tried.

  • The first one is to use a wooden toothpick. Just push the metal pieces that hold the 3.5 jack. According to the sources, the metal pieces might be stuck. Did not work for me. Nothing was stuck.
  • Another suggested solution was to reset the SMC chip when you start up your Mac by holding option + command + p + r before the apple logo appears. Did not work for me. It fixed nothing.
  • The third suggested solution was to go to utility folder inside applications. Start up midi application and changed the sampling rate to something lower tha 44.00 Hz. Did not do it for me too.

Once I ran out of suggested fixes, I decided to use the HDMI and just live with it. But I did not like it. Since using the TV speakers is not good compared to using the speakers of a sound system.

So I prepared a Linux ubuntu USB and booted my Mac with it. The I pushed the audio through the jack and it worked. So it seems it is a MacOS serria issue of  removed driver.

The last step that I took was to revert back to Trusty el captitan. This was step was not difficult. All I had to do was erase the hdd through Mac recovery tools. Start up Mac with option button pressed. Then startup disk utility and erase the OS disk.

The you need to prepare a bootable USB stick with El Capitan image. You can obtain the image from apple App Store by going to recent purchases. You will find it there.

Just download it and make sure it is inside your application folder.

The go to terminal and use the following command, just make sure to change the bold “untitled” with the name of your USB drive.

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\

After this, your USB will be ready. Then just start up your Mac with option key pressed.

And boot from the USB.

That’s it. Audio jack worked like before.


Roof Garden & irrigation system

Roof garden is one of these projects that not just fun, but a great learning opportunity as well.

I attempted my roof garden project in a hope to cut on my grocery bill. But it turned out to be a fun project. Now, gardening become a hobby of mine.

One of the benefit of having a roof garden is that, it gets more than 8 hours of direct sun light. It is also an off limit place for kids.

I started with two rows of pots that I bought from Ikea and planted few vegetables seeds. Few days passed and I started to see plants growing. I kept watering them whenever I had time. This become a choir so I decided to install a automatic watering system. I used a small submersible water pump that I got from Amazon, and small hose that pass through the pots. I used wooden sticks and planted them in each of the pots.

I punctured the hose above each pot and knotted the end of the hose. Water will pass through the hose and stop at the knot and then escape through the punctures. I forgot to mention that the water pump runs on solar panel and a timer. I documented how I did it on a previous post.

Then, I faced two issues. Water runs out fast so I needed to find a way to refill the water reservoir automatically. Another issue is that, plants grows fast and then stop. I later found out that the pots that I am using are relatively small. Nutrients run out fast from smaller pots.

The decided to expand the project and add more rows of pots. I bout 20 pots, and grouped them into 2 groups. Each group consist of 10 pots divided into 2 rows. Each groups has 5 pots in a row and a water reservoir. Each eater reservoir has a water pump. This time, I decided to go with larger pots. AC1CFC0D-48E3-42D6-B7A5-E495D672750F

As for the automatic refilling of water reservoirs, I decided to use the main water tank that my house has to get water from. I used a simple garden water hose and made a hole through the water tank. Then I passed the hose through the hole and started to siphon the water from the tank. Because of gravity, water would flow through the hose and into the water reservoir. This hose goes to each water reservoir and fill it. I then installed a float valve to prevent the water from over filling the water reservoir. It worked flawlessley.

After this, I cut the garden hose and installed a T connection so that I can take the water to the other water reservoirs. 3F8D4210-3972-4C62-8977-A9BC7A57353D
Since cutting my grocery bill was my main goal out of this project, I decided to only plant eidable plants. Do I planted tomatos, potatos, garlic, onion and watermelon.

It’s been over 2 months and a half now and I started to pick up tomatos. And I am starting to see other plants growing as well.

If think everyone should have a small garden in their house. It’s fun and great learning experience. img_9271