Essential Apple Podcast 175: An SSD and a Hackintosh fail

Recorded 11th May 2020

A full house of guests this week as Suffolk Pete, MacJim, Nick Riley and Mark Chappell join me – other than the new MacBook Pro, we didn’t really have much news so we chat about Pete’s SSD replacement in his 2014 MacBook Air and Nick’s experiment with creating a cheap Hackintosh.


  • Glenn Fleishman’s Working From Home book is completely FREE and can be downloaded here
  • Steve at Geeks Corner will be having more giveaways in the near future. Keep an eye on the site or follow him on Twitter @GeekCorner_uk

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  • On the Twitter a occasionally as @hermboy mostly about beer and footie



  • Updated 13-inch MacBook Pro Dumps Butterfly Keyboard, Doubles Storage – TidBITS


Suffolk Pete: A few months ago I bought MacBook Air 2014 that ‘broke’ when I tried to encrypt the SSD with FileVault. After talking to Mark at Suffolk Macs I decided to replace the ‘blade style’ SSD. A little research soon showed that :

  1. Apple use a completely proprietary chip in the 2104 model with a non standard pin arrangement.
  2. Third party manufacturers have started to make adapters & even chips that mimic the Apple SSD.
  3. Plenty of people report problems using these 3rd party chips.

I decided to stick with an Apple SSD. my Go-To store for 2nd hand parts is The Bookyard, they even format & install OS X on it for you! I purchased a 256GB recycled module that was pulled from a working MBA and guaranteed for 3 months. This also doubled my storage capacity. I had to buy the tools to take the back off the Air, because though I’ve taken apart several Macs & have a lot of tools, the Air uses 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws. Thanks to iFixIt I had a working MBA running 10.14 in about 15 minutes. All in all a good result!



  • Major Thunderbolt security flaws found, affect Macs shipped 2011-2020 – 9to5 Mac
  • Microsoft’s Office apps on iPadOS will reportedly get mouse support by this fall – NeoWin
  • Facebook update crashes TikTok and other rivals – [BBC}(
  • Square launches Online Checkout to take on PayPal – Venture Beat
  • Newton Mail will be saved by fans after it was saved, and shut down again, by Essential – The Verge



  • FusionCast is a new macOS app for quickly turning podcast episodes into videos — 9to5 Mac


  • Urbanista just launched the latest entry in its line of sleek earphones, the “London” earbuds with active noise cancelling for an immersive experience. It’s got 25 hours of playtime, and comes in a range of four colors like Dark Sapphire Blue and Rose Gold. Each Urbanista product has an urban aesthetic, with models named after metro cities like New York, Athens, and Brisbane. London earbuds give AirPods a run for their money at a more attractive price. It’s terrific for travelers, young professionals, and up-and-comers with a stylish vibe.
  • London Press Release

Essential Apple Recommended Services:

  • Pixel Privacy – a fabulous resource full of excellent articles and advice on how to protect yourself online.
  • Blog for Andy J’s security tips.
  • Ghostery – protect yourself from trackers, scripts and ads while browsing.
  • – Never give out your real email address online again.
  • Sudo – get up to 9 “avatars” with email addresses, phone numbers and more to mask your online identity. Free for the first year and priced from $0.99 US / £2.50 UK per month thereafter… You get to keep 2 free avatars though.
  • ProtonMail – end to end encrypted, open source, based in Switzerland. Prices start from FREE… what more can you ask?
  • ProtonVPN – a VPN to go with it perhaps? Prices also starting from nothing!
  • Comparitech DNS Leak Test – simple to use and understand VPN leak test.
  • Fake Name Generator – so much more than names! Create whole identities (for free) with all the information you could ever need.
  • Wire – free for personal use, open source and end to end encryted messenger and VoIP.
  • Pinecast – a fabulous podcast hosting service with costs that start from nothing.

Essential Apple is not affiliated with or paid to promote any of these services… We recommend services that we use ourselves and feel are either unique or outstanding in their field, or in some cases are just the best value for money in our opinion.

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