Categories
Apple Hardware

AirPod Max stuck at 74% battery

I’ve noticed my AirPod Max being stuck at ~74% battery and not wanting to charge any further. It’s running the latest firmware and I usually charge them on a (legit) usb-A-to-lightning cable connected to my monitor. Even keeping them connected charging overnight would somehow max out at 74%.

There are a few Reddit posts with other people facing the same issue with AirPod Pros (case not wanting to charge further than 74%) but no concrete answer or solution is posted.

For me, what helped, was to use a wall charger (doesn’t have to be Apple); it’s still using a similar usb-A-to-lightning cable. Letting it charge for a while managed to get it to 100%.

Why 74% and not… 75%? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Categories
Errors Hardware Misc Software Windows

Screen going black with AutoCAD (LT)

I am not sure what is the problem — I’ve upgraded Shan’s 27″ 2k monitor to a 32″ 4k monitor and AutoCAD LT recently updated from 2021 to 2022. Shan‘s been using a 2017 i5 NUC (NUC7i5BNB) with 32Gb RAM using the onboard GPU. Something that should be plenty for a bit of Windows, Chrome, Photoshop and AutoCAD LT.

For the past few weeks, several times a day her screen would black out for half a second or so and then everything should go back to normal. Sometimes it would happen several times in a row, sometimes it wouldn’t for hours on end.

I tried several things, including getting a 8k 120hz HDMI cable, using a usb-c to DP cable, changing the GPU vRAM minimum from 128Mb to 2048Mb (quite the hack, as it can’t be set in the bios — requires messing around in the registry. Wow.), updating all the drivers, updating the bios, making sure the NUC was properly ventilated and keeping cool (every full moon the NUC shuts down due to overheating in Singapore if I set the fan to ‘balanced’ instead of ‘cool’), and probably more. And because it happened so sporadically it was quite hard to debug (to the point I sometimes didn’t want to believe her as I couldn’t see it blacken out).

Shan was getting frustrated (which in turn means I get frustrated)… and I started looking at getting either an eGPU (I can get a free Nividia M6000, just need the enclosure, but the enclosure would be $$), an AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 NUC (no more Intel in this house, but also $$$), or some other refurb (massive) desktop some friend had lying around (HP z240 or something, zero $, but Shan would kill me for having this massive thing on her desk).

Turns out, the quick fix, was to simply disable hardware acceleration.

Run GRAPHICSCONFIG and uncheck hardware acceleration.

This is probably not ideal in the long run (hopefully it’s an issue with AutoCAD 2022 that is getting fixed, as opposed to the onboard Intel GPU getting messed up with AutoCAD).

When in doubt… Turn off hardware acceleration.

Categories
Misc

Macbook Air M1 issues

I recently got my mom a Macbook Air M1, upgrading from a 2010 Macbook Pro (High Sierra).

When migrating over from High Sierra to Big Sur, using Migration Assistant (my Synology TimeMachine kept on failing — but besides that, migration went smoothly) two issues came up that required calling Apple.

But first off I noticed that when migrating, for some reason FileVault was turned off (more on that later). I, obviously, turned it on.

Problem A: when rebooting the Mac, I noticed the keyboard layout changed from Belgian (Azerty) to ABC (which is US English?) and it didn’t accept the password to unlock the Mac. You can manually select another keyboard layout which accepts the password, but at every reboot that resets and requires going back through the layout picker.

Solution A: M1 no longer supports the usual SMC or NVRAM reset. But this problem could be solved by turning off the mac, closing the lid (?!) and waiting 30+ seconds before turning it back on. According to the person on the phone, that’s the M1 SMC reset.

Problem B: I disabled guest mode in System Preferences > Users & Groups — but it was still showing alongside the regular/admin user. I don’t want guest mode.

Note that the guest mode only showed at the disk unlock (i.e.: after a reboot) and not when logged out (i.e.: Apple logo > Log Out from the regular user).

Solution B: Tried several things with Apple support:

  • Turning off screen sharing and print sharing (sure — didn’t care too much about these)
  • Turn guest mode on/off and reboot/force quite System preferences
  • Turn off Find My in iCloud settings (not acceptable)
  • Turn off FileVault (not acceptable)
  • Manually running:
    • sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.AppleFileServer guestAccess -bool NO\n
    • sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.smb.server AllowGuestAccess -bool NO\n
  • and a few other things I now forgot

This is what actually did help:

  • Turning off FileVault actually turns off Guest mode; so when the Mac was not encrypted, it only showered one user (instead of the user + Guest) at the login prompt.
    • Obviously, that’s not acceptable and I turned it back on
  • Supposedly turning off Find My in iCloud settings is needed (according to Apple this requires Guest mode)
    • I later turned it back on and Guest mode did not reappear. So, what Apple was saying was incorrect, and it does not make the Guest user show up.
  • Running sudo fdesetup list in Terminal shows the list of users. This may be helpful for debugging.
  • Running dscl . list /Users shows many users and included Guest in my mom’s case. Not entirely sure what I am looking at here.
  • Running sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest solved the problem. This deletes the Guest user (?).

Categories
Apple Errors Software

Apple Watch OS7 stopped showing the date

I’ve been running the Apple WatchOS 7 beta for a while now, and when updating, my watch face lost the “date”: it was no longer showing the date and day of the week (i.e. Fri).

Quite annoying — but it’s a beta after all. I shouldn’t complain. I did what every good beta tester would do: I filed a bug (it’s still unanswered from what I can see).

Beta updates came and went but the date did not come back. Would I be unable to use my watch to figure out the date?! It’s when you lose a feature that you see how often a day you use it.

And then, out of the blue, the big stable release. Apple Watch OS 7 is released to the general public. Surely, I thought, they must’ve fixed it now.

But alas, I was to be disappointed.

I updated Shan‘s watch (that never ran the beta) to see if she had the same issue — but her watch was fine. Sooooo… What was I doing wrong? Why me, Apple Overlord?

I started fiddling around with my language and regional settings (nope, not it), and was contemplating a factory reset (argh, re-adding all my cards to Apple Pay)…

And then…

An epiphany.

They wouldn’t?!?! Would they??

Something only Apple would dare to do.

I deleted the Apple Calendar app (on my iPhone) — as I use the Google Calendar app. Would that somehow be related?

And guess what… Installing the Apple Calendar app via the App Store resolved it:

Check Apple Watch and the option is back!

That’s one way of forcing people to use your apps.

Categories
Hardware Linux Software

Making Bluetooth work on RPi4

I rarely use Bluetooth on my RPis. I’m already facing enough issues with my iMac and Mac Mini (it lags, it randomly disconnects in meetings, etc).

My pwnagotchi on the other hand is counting on a BLE network to connect to the internet: for now I am using my iPad, and while that works, it causes my iPad to disconnect from WiFi (because of course, it can only do tethering from a mobile network, not from its WiFi network).

I wanted to explore if I could set up bluetooth tethering/internet sharing from my RPi4 server… But for that BLE had to work! And for some reason BLE was not working on Liana.

[bluetooth]# power on
No default controller available

For some reason no controller was available. The drivers were definitely installed…

apt install bluetooth pi-bluetooth bluez raspberrypi-sys-mods

but hcitool dev ; hciconfig -a weren’t returning anything.

After quite some extensive Googling I found the solution

Check if this returns something:

# ls -l /dev | grep ttyAMA0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root           7 Sep  1 15:08 serial1 -> ttyAMA0
crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 204,  64 Sep  1 15:08 ttyAMA0

As opposed to:

# ls -l /dev | grep ttyS0
# (no output)

Then continue to do the following:

# make a backup
cp /boot/cmdline.txt /boot/cmdline.txt.bak
# edit the file
nano -w /boot/cmdline.txt
# edit the first part from
# console=ttySerial0 to console=ttyAMA0
# the line should be something similar to but do NOT blindly copy paste it as you won't be able to boot due to your PARTUUID being different
console=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=PARTUUID=6c586e13-02 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline fsck.repair=yes rootwait
reboot

After rebooting … it works!

liana ~ # hcitool dev ; hciconfig -a
Devices:
	hci0	DC:A6:32:B1:0E:79
hci0:	Type: Primary  Bus: UART
	BD Address: DC:A6:32:B1:0E:79  ACL MTU: 1021:8  SCO MTU: 64:1
	UP RUNNING 
	RX bytes:2397 acl:0 sco:0 events:118 errors:0
	TX bytes:2603 acl:0 sco:0 commands:99 errors:0
	Features: 0xbf 0xfe 0xcf 0xfe 0xdb 0xff 0x7b 0x87
	Packet type: DM1 DM3 DM5 DH1 DH3 DH5 HV1 HV2 HV3 
	Link policy: RSWITCH SNIFF 
	Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT 
	Name: 'liana'
	Class: 0x000000
	Service Classes: Unspecified
	Device Class: Miscellaneous, 
	HCI Version: 5.0 (0x9)  Revision: 0x13b
	LMP Version: 5.0 (0x9)  Subversion: 0x6119
	Manufacturer: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (305)

liana ~ # bluetoothctl 
Agent registered
[bluetooth]# scan on
Discovery started
[CHG] Controller DC:A6:32:B1:0E:79 Discovering: yes
[NEW] Device 7F:A9:BC:8D:E4:14 7F-A9-BC-8D-E4-14
[NEW] Device 58:EB:19:D8:D4:23 58-EB-19-D8-D4-23
[NEW] Device A4:83:E7:42:79:F6 A4-83-E7-42-79-F6
[NEW] Device 58:7B:24:1B:CC:5C 58-7B-24-1B-CC-5C
[NEW] Device D9:05:9F:DB:55:19 N0163
[NEW] Device 5F:DA:90:34:82:68 5F-DA-90-34-82-68
[NEW] Device 77:2A:1B:11:54:7D 77-2A-1B-11-54-7D
[NEW] Device 42:BF:0B:38:F3:20 42-BF-0B-38-F3-20

Next step is trying to get tethering to work…