Mac Pro

Apple has to re-invent itself


The last couple of years there are many faithful Apple users who are disappointed of Apple’s direction changes on many levels and markets. Apple’s choice to invest on Apple Watch and iOS devices instead of Macs and Professional software (once upon the time was a leader into), has transformed it’s faithful professionals to seek other solutions. For example, Aperture became Lightroom, Finalcut became Premier, Shake disappeared, Motion remained the same for 4 years. DVD Studio Pro doesn’t exist. And so on regarding the Software.

Hardware wise, Mac Pro from 2013 is a joke for expand-ability, stability and rigid built compared to Mac Pro from 2012 and earlier (Mac Pros 1,1 to 5,1).
Apple Displays is a non-existent joke today.
iMac is more of a Laptop on a stand instead of a Desktop replacement (power-wise and upgrade-ability).
MacBook Pros after the 2011 models are more like a huge iPad with keyboard attached. The upcoming ones (September 2016 models) will be exactly this. Instead of a lightning port will have 3-4 USB Type C ports and nothing more!

Apple’s design department is stuck. They try to innovate creating watch bands, emoji’s and Stores. It’s all about the masses nowdays, the lifestyle masses.

The cult of Mac is no more.
Farewell to all the old users who still have faith on each Keynote to listen to “One more thing” as Steve Jobs used to say before unveiling a magical product or update to hardware or software.

I still have hope for change of path but it’s difficult anymore. If Apple remains like it is now, Chinese manufacturers who follow Apple’s root manifests and faith to it’s users, will become what Apple was until 2010. A huge user base of professionals and new users meeting Apple’s hardware after owning an iPod or iPhone. I see brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, One X etc. to take over and change the technology of tomorrow. Apple will remain still for 5-8 years on it’s brand new Campus and then new minds will take over and follow the path Apple lost after Steve’s death.




Apple VS Xiaomi


Όπως έγραψα χθές στο, εύχομαι η Apple να αντιγράψει την Xiaomi στο λειτουργικό της για iPhone και iPad.
Το iOS έχει μείνει στάσιμο. To MIUI είναι πολύ μπροστά του.

Εδώ και 2-3 χρόνια έπαψε η Apple να προσπαθεί στους τομείς που εμένα προσωπικά μ’ενδιαφέρουν:

  • Επαγγελματικά προγράμματα (ήχος, εικόνα, video)
  • Επαγγελματικά μηχανήματα (Mac Pro, Displays, Mac Book Pro)
  • Κινητά και τάμπλετ με όλα τα παρελκόμενά τους (εφαρμογές, αξεσουάρ κτλ)

Από την άλλη είδα με έκπληξη την Xiaomi με το MIUI να έχει δυνατότητες που εύχομαι να είχε και το iOS.
Εδώ και σχεδόν μήνα σκέφτομαι να κάνω τη μετάβαση πίσω στο Android. Χρησιμοποιώ το αγαπημένο μου iPhone 5s και πρόσφατα απέκτησα ένα Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro. Μετά από δοκιμές σε αντοχή μπαταρίας, λειτουργικό, δυνατότητες, εμπειρία χρήσης, σχεδιασμό, υποστήριξη, τιμή και εμφάνιση, κατέληξα στα εξής:

  1. Η Apple έχει μείνει πίσω από τότε που άρχισαν τα στερεύουν οι ιδέες του μακαρίτη Steve Jobs.
  2. Η Xiaomi όπως και άλλες Κινέζικες εταιρείες, βρέθηκαν σε θέση πρωτοπορείας σχεδιαστικά και σε δυνατότητες από τότε που απλώς αντέγραφαν τα iPhones/iPads.
  3. Δεν βλέπω στον ορίζοντα ριζικές αλλαγές στην Apple που θα κάνει τον κόσμο (επαγγελματίες κυρίως του χώρου μου) να επιστρέψει ξανά στη χρήση των προϊόντων της αν δεν αλλάξει στρατηγική.
  4. Δεν θέλω να βλέπω πια Keynotes με παρουσιάσεις ηλίθιων ρολογιών με νέα λουράκια και watch faces σε πρώτο πλάνο και να μένει πίσω το Mac OS X, το iOS και τα επαγγελματικά προϊόντα.
  5. Δεν θέλω να βλέπω τα πρώτα 10 λεπτά στα Keynotes τα οικονομικά στοιχεία των πωλήσεων ή της εξάπλωσης της εταιρείας που βασίστηκε σε λίγους και καλούς που τη στήριξαν στα δύσκολα και τώρα τη νοιάζουν οι πολλοί και μέτριοι που τη χρησιμοποιούν ως δείγμα ευημερίας/επίδειξης.
  6. Θέλω να δω τιμολογήσεις ανάλογες της προσφοράς σε θέμα hardware και όχι marketing καθαρά και μόνο. Η Google μπορεί να μην έχει ποιό ασφαλές λειτουργικό, αλλά εταιρείες όπως η Xiaomi προσπαθούν και προσθέτουν δυνατότητες αντάξιες του iCloud, ευέλικτες και πρωτοπόρες τεχνολογικά. Τα εργαλεία υπάρχουν, όραμα και όρεξη να βρεθεί και όλα γίνονται.

Όσοι φίλοι είναι Mac Users από αρχές της δεκαετίας του 2000 και μετά, καταλαβαίνουν το σκεπτικό μου.

Εύχομαι η Apple τον επόμενο μήνα να με διαψεύσει, δύσκολα όμως.



How to save your ATI 5770 GPU after a bad BIOS flash


This is a simple guide to show you how to save your ATI HD 5770 Mac Edition card in case of a bad BIOS flashing. It seems this is a common problem in the classic Mac Pro users area. As they upgrade their graphics cards for the upcoming Mac OS X El Capitan (to have full Metal support on AMD GPUs 7xxx family and up), sometimes – like me – they end up with a small disaster by flashing the wrong card by mistake.

Well this ends today (at least for the ATI 5770 users).

In my case, I’ve flashed my ATI 5770 Mac Edition with the BIOS ROM of my XFX 7950 (see the previous guide). The card after the “supposedly successful BIOS flash” ended up a brick. The mistake I made was a number, instead of flashing the “1” card in atiflash, I flashed the “0” card. NOTE: ALWAYS USE atiflash -ai BEFORE YOU FLASH! Only that way you will know what GPU you’re going to flash. Forget all the guides around the net with the commands, give the above command so you’ll be sure what card YOUR COMPUTER sees in what position (number 0 or 1).
Maybe after the “-ai” to also give these to make sure: atiflash -i 0 and also with atiflash -i 1 and keep screenshots if you have to remember what cards is placed where…

So, let’s see how our card looks:

Locate the BIOS chip as seen in the picture. There is a green dot on the top left as seen in this view, this dot gives the pin number “1” to our counting for the upcoming steps.
The numbering is from top to bottom (in this view) 1,2,3,4 and the opposite side 8,7,6,5 as seen in this photo.

A closer look at the BIOS chip:

The pins with numbers 4 and 5 as seen above must be short circuited so we will be able to flash a new BIOS to our bricked ATI 5770 GPU card.

See below a detailed view:

Explanation of BIOS pins (provided by netkas)

As seen here again the bottom 2 pins labeled in this picture with number 4 and 5 must be short circuited. I found very thin bronze cable and created the short circuit WITHOUT any soldering. The reason? Because during the computer operation YOU have to remove the short circuit to be able to flash with new BIOS your card. The short circuit bypasses the BIOS info to the computer and the card from brick becomes a VGA adapter without any Vendor or model (in Windows PC or Mac Pro with Bootcamp). All this info was provided by netkas in his blog here. The only difference is the pin numbers, instead of 1 and 4 a user “omni” reported to netkas, use 4 and 5 as I show you here. (Update: netkas has corrected the article 🙂 )

So, you put the card inside your Mac Pro or your PC, you will need another GPU to view what you’re doing, so there is no blind flashing here… Boot and in Windows disable using Task Manager all the AMD/ATI processes and also the Windows Driver Installation Process (Important!). If you don’t end those tasks, you will get Error ofl01 failed to read rom in both atiflash and atiwinflash. So better do this now.

Now since there is nothing bothering your bricked ATI 5770 card, let’s move on. Find Command Prompt (using search in Windows 7 or 8.1), right click and Run as Administrator.

In Desktop place a folder and call it 5770. Inside put your ATI 5770 Mac Edition rom, atiflash or atiwinflash (click the links to download them, unzip the EFI rom for your Mac Edition ATI 5770 ONLY!).

In Command Prompt (or DOS if you prefer) type: cd.. and then cd.. again, now you’re at C:\ (right?) good, now:
cd users
cd “your username goes here”
cd desktop
cd 5770

Normally now you’re seeing in the Command Prompt this: C:\Users\user\Desktop\5770\

Having your card with the short circuit as is type: atiflash -ai (you will see the adapter infos that tells you e.g. Adapter 0 JUNIPER blah blah and Adapter 1 your working GPU) IF you want to make sure that the Adapter 0 is the bricked ATI 5770, type: atiflash -ai 0 and see the confirmation, ONLY THEN you will move to the next step.

Now since you’re SURE that Adapter 0 is your bricked ATI 5770 card, remove/release the short circuit.

In Command Prompt type:
atiflash -unlockrom 0 (this unlocks the ROM so the card is ready to accept new ROM) Make sure you have the attached 5770.rom I provided in the same “5770” directory at your Desktop)
atiflash -f -p 0 5770.rom (the process will take some seconds, the computer flashes your card with the correct Mac EFI ROM now, if you have a PC version of 5770 this process will convert it to Mac Edition, so be aware of what you’re flashing in this guide!)
When the flashing finishes you’ll see a success report. Now, restart your computer and confirm that your card is recognized in the System Profiler menu under Graphics Card and PCI info. If everything appears OK, then you’re done! Enjoy your un-bricked ATI HD 5770 Mac Edition 🙂

I want to personally thank netkas for pointing me out to the right direction, without “blind flashing” or this crap I see around the internet. This guide I hope to save you some money and time, in my case, I spent 5 hours trying to figure out what and how to do this unbrick, the most difficult part is the short circuit, thank God I found some old wire that had very thin bronze like hair wires that I used to wrap each pin seperated (4 and 5), then covered them with some electrical tape and was able to release the short circuit during the operation. Make sure you have 2 very thin wires about 10-15cm long, so while the Mac or PC is operating, to be able to undo the short circuit WITHOUT short circuit any other chip/metal/component at your computer. I take no responsibility of your actions, you have been warned by me and also by netkas at his blog.

I wish you good luck and please leave feedback and questions you might have, below 🙂

Cheers and greetings from Greece!




Guide to Flash XFX Double D HD 7950 Black Edition Card for classic Mac Pro

A copy of a guide I wrote at MacRumors website

Guide to Flash XFX Double D HD 7950 Black Edition Card for Mac Pro
XFX Part #: FX-795A-TDBC 

XFX Part #: FX-795A-TDBC

Things you need:

  • Windows Partition on your Mac Pro or a Windows PC.
  • An OEM EFI card for Boot Screens and Choices (like Ati 5770 in case you’re on a Mac Pro)
  • Bootable DOS USB Dongle
  • EFI Rom from netkas
  • Original Rom from your card
  • AtiFlash to flash the EFI Rom to your card
  • Knowledge and patience.


  1. Hook up your card on your Mac Pro or your PC on a secondary PCI slot.
  2. Start Windows, go here and get TechPowerUp GPU-Z. Install it and run the program. Select the 7950 card from the list on the bottom. Next to Bios Version there is a button that lets you save the current Rom to file. Save it and keep it in place.
  3. If you don’t have access to DOS, go here and download the files, create a bootable USB dongle using the step by step guide in this page.
  4. Go here and download AtiFlash. (I prefer this instead of AtiWinFlash)
  5. Go to netkas forum and download the bundle to convert your original rom to an EFI one so you can get Boot Screens. This is the goal of this guide after all.
    NOTE: netkas has made a misspelling on the card id number, instead of 697a as he has wrote, YOU SHOULD write 679aI wonder why this isn’t mentioned there already…
  6. Follow the netkas directions to the letter EXCEPT the above noted one. After this process you will have a file that probably will be named as “Tahiti.rom.efi.rom”. (Mine was named like this on this card model).Rename it to “7950.rom” to be readable with full name in DOS.
  7. Plug the Bootable DOS USB Dongle on your Mac Pro running Windows or your PC. Inside the mounted USB Dongle create a folder and name it “AtiFlash”. On this folder put the files from AtiFlash download and the Rom file from the previous step (6).
  8. Reboot and select as Boot device the USB Dongle.
  9. While on DOS, give the following commands:
    cd AtiFlash (this takes you to the folder we will use the program to flash the card)
    atiflash -ai 1 (remember that “1” means the second PCI card, not the main, it’s wise to have only the two graphic cards hooked on your computer. The info you will get MUST write Tahiti as the chip name)
    atiflash -unlockrom 1 , (I suggest you do this because some Bios files are in fact locked and can’t be flashed until unlocked, the XFX ones are indeed locked)
    atiflash -f -p 1 7950.rom (this is the flashing process, when it’s done flashing simply CTRL+ALT+DEL to reboot to Windows on your PC or your Mac)
  10. Run TechPowerUp GPU-Z and select the second graphics card, if you see it OK with all the card’s info and clock speeds, you’re done it right ☺
  11. Shut down your Mac Pro, unplug the card from PCI slot 3 (probably) and put it in slot 1 after you remove the old OEM you have. In case of Windows PC, shut down, remove the card and put it into your Mac Pro’s PCI Slot 1. In both cases, hook up your monitor to the newly flashed card and enjoy Boot Screens and Correct System Profiler info!

INFO: The card I flashed is this one, you can flash with the same guide all 7950 or 7970 cards I think. I bought the XFX instead of any other brand because of the looks, the reviews I’ve read and the experience I’ve got from this brand. Here is a list of the factory ROMs for this type of cards from XFX at the TechPowerUp website. Make sure to view your card’s model number and the clock speeds before you download any ROM to overclock (if you want) and create a EFI Overclocked ROM to use in your Mac and/or PC. I am attaching the ROM I used to flash my card, the factory clock speeds of my card are: GPU Clock 900 / Memory Clock 1375 so this is the final EFI ROM I’ve flashed on my card. (you can use it if you have the same model and save some time)

PROS: You save money, you get a card fully recognized and functional for your Mac Pro with superior Hardware made by XFX, with great cooling, and low consumption (needs 2x6pin Mini PCIe to PCIe power cables without any internal or external PSU)

CONS: You lose 1 DVI, in my case the card has 2 DVIs and I lost the second one (red color). I don’t mind at all. Total ports in my card are: 2 DVIs, 2 mini DPs and one HDMI. If your card has only 1 DVI, you have to know that this won’t work from now on after the EFI rom is installed on the card.

CREDITS: Thanks and salutes goes to netkasRominator and all the websites linked in this guide. Without them, we couldn’t have these amazing cards installed in our Mac Pros.

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible to any damage you may cause to your computer(s) using this guide, nor any other person or website I’ve provided/linked. You will loose your warranty if you flash your card with any no factory ROM, so BE WARNED! Also make sure to use the DOS commands by letter so you won’t brick your OEM/Factory cards with wrong ROM.

I hope this guide will help many of you who want to upgrade your Graphics Card to something very powerful for our old/classic Mac Pros. If I had it, I could have saved much time last night when I flashed my new XFX 7950 DD Black Edition.
You can see the Mac Pro I own here:
:apple: Mac Pro 2,1 2 x X5355, 16GB RAM, XFX 7950 (Flashed for Mac) running 10.9.5 /10.10.3 / Win8.1 Pro SSD 256GB and USB 3.0with PCI Card installed.

Greetings from Greece and good luck flashing, remember I said that Knowledge and patience is one of the things required but never mentioned on this guide so far, now you need’em 🙂




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