Mark Zuckerberg, Jessica Livingston, and audience at 2010 Startup School. Photo by Robert Scoble.

I’ll be in the SF/Bay Area this weekend, October 19–22 for Y Combinator’s Startup School. I’m hoping to meet a whole bunch of awesome people and learn interesting things. I think this will be a great opportunity for me, and it will probably give me the confidence to get my ideas off the ground instead of wishing and watching others do what I always dream about doing.

I’m really looking forward to listening to all of the founders of amazing startups, but especially Mark Zuckerberg and Ben Horowitz. I hope to connect with so many others and network with the folks in Silicon Valley. Did I mention there’s an after party hosted by Dropbox and Weebly? This is going to be awesome. Best of all, I get to hang with Carlos, my awesome friend and college roommate.

Here’s a list of the 2012 speakers:

Patrick Collison
Founder, Stripe

Ron Conway
Partner, SV Angel

Ben Horowitz
Partner, Andreessen Horowitz; Founder, Opsware

Travis Kalanick
Founder, Uber

Jessica Livingston
Partner, Y Combinator

Hiroshi Mikitani
Founder, Rakuten

Tom Preston-Werner
Founder, GitHub

David Rusenko
Founder, Weebly

Ben Silbermann
Founder, Pinterest

Joel Spolsky
Founder, StackExchange, Fog Creek Software

Mark Zuckerberg
Founder, Facebook


Today, one of my all time favorite players in the game of hockey retired, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. He played 20 years in the NHL and had what almost everyone would say was the perfect career. Seven Norris Trophies, one Conn Smythe, four Stanley Cups, and one gold medal playing for Team Sweden in the 2006 Winter Olympics. He was always a classy act and was respected by every player and fan in the game. I had the privilege to watch him play for the Red Wings this past February at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona as he took on the Phoenix Coyotes. He was incredible, and watching him play was awe-inspiring. I took this photo of him looking up at the screen and thought this was a perfect way to remember him as he retires as one of the greatest defensemen of all time and certainly the most valuable in the last 20 years.

[source: NHL.com]

Sorry for being so silent on the site. So much has happened over the year since I last posted. I’m trying some new things on the site, so hang in there with me as some things might get wonky. I’ll try to post more often my thoughts and things I come across, as most of them have just been locked inside my head. I’m also going to try using Disqus comments here on this site to see how it works out. I might end up deactivating it, but it’s worth a shot for now.

Update: I just finished redesigning the site for the most part. Let me know how it is. I’m using the Twitter Bootstrap frameworks and 320Press’s WPBS theme.

Just recently, Apple started supporting TRIM in OS X Lion 10.7 Beta 1 build and also for Apple SSD’s in the new 2011 MacBook Pro’s with Snow Leopard 10.6.6 pre-loaded.

I came across this forum post on HardMac describing how to enable TRIM on third party SSD’s.

I followed the instructions and was able to get TRIM enabled for my 160GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD on my 2010 MacBook Pro. The post, however, is hard to follow, so I’ll do my best to explain how to enable TRIM on your own SSD.

WARNING: YOU ARE EDITING SYSTEM FILES. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOUR SYSTEM IS DAMAGED DURING THIS PROCESS. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS IF YOU ARE NOT COMPUTER/MAC SAVVY.

Screen shot 2011 03 25 at 2 53 39 PMStep One — Get your info right:

  1. Make sure the SSD you want to use supports TRIM (A simple Google search will help you find out).
  2. Find out what name of your SSD is by opening “System Profiler” (hold option while clicking on the apple menubar icon to access it).
  3. Once in System Profiler, click on the “Serial-ATA” tab under Contents.
  4. You will see something similar to “Intel 5 Series Chipset”
  5. Below that you will find the name of your SSD. My SSD was named “INTEL SSDSA2M160G2GC”.
  6. Copy the first 9 characters of your SSD name. Mine was “INTEL SSD”.

Step Two — Get your files in order:

  1. Download the hex editor OxED or any other hex editor you prefer.
  2. Download and extract the IOAHCIFamily.kext extension zip file here: http://d.pr/QAE6 (This comes with the new 2011 MacBook Pro’s)
  3. Right-click on “IOAHCIFamily.kext” and click on “Show Package Contents”.
  4. Open on the “Contents” folder and then open on the “Plugins” folder.
  5. You will see two files, “IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext” and “IOAHCISerialATAPI.kext”.
  6. Right-click on “IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext” and click on “Show Package Contents”
  7. Open on the “Contents” folder and then open the “MacOS” folder. Leave the folder open.

Step Three — Make your Backup:

  1. Make a backup of your “IOAHCIFamily.kext” file in System/Library/Extensions by copying it to another location on your computer just in case you mess things up.

Step Four — Modify the file:

  1. Launch the hex editor you downloaded and select “File–> Open” from the menubar.
  2. Drag and drop the “IOAHCIBlockStorage” file from the “MacOS” folder you left open into the open window.
  3. Search for the following characters in the file: “APPLE SSD” by using “CMD-F” on your keyboard to prompt the find window.
  4. Find “APPLE SSD” and replace those nine characters with “INTEL SSD” or whatever your SSD is named in System Profiler (You found this information in Step One — Get your info right). This will show that you found and replaced two items.
  5. Save the file (CMD-S) and quit the editor.

Step Five — Replace the file:

  1. Take the kext file you modified (“IOAHCIFamily.kext”) and replace the same file in System/Library/Extensions. You will need your administrator password to authenticate it.

Step Six — Fix Permissions:

  1. Go to the System/Library folder and select the Extensions folder. Press CMD-I on your keyboard to bring up the info pane. Click on the lock and authenticate your user.
  2. Click on the gear icon and select “apply to all enclosed items…” and approve the change.
  3. Open Disk Utility, find your SSD partition, and “Repair Disk Permissions”.

Step Seven — Restart:

  1. Reboot your mac.

Step Eight — If things messed up and you got a circle crossed out during boot up:

  1. Manually turn off your computer by holding the power button.
  2. Press the power button while holding down “shift” until the boot is complete. This will boot your Mac without any extensions.
  3. Restart your computer.

If you did everything exactly as I said, you should be golden and now have TRIM enabled on your SSD on your Mac! Let me know how it turns out for you. My twitter account is @rafeed. Feel free to ask any questions there.

Update 1: I ran some benchmarks with XBench and here are some results I got.

When SSD was first installed on Mac: Disk Test 318.14 Sequential 207.75 Uncached Write 170.59 104.74 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Write 174.13 98.52 MB/sec [256K blocks] Uncached Read 193.62 56.66 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Read 402.53 202.31 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Random 678.85 Uncached Write 769.54 81.46 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Write 317.76 101.73 MB/sec [256K blocks] Uncached Read 2472.55 17.52 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Read 960.24 178.18 MB/sec [256K blocks]

After several months of usage: Disk Test 238.82 Sequential 214.17 Uncached Write 177.97 109.27 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Write 177.01 100.15 MB/sec [256K blocks] Uncached Read 197.77 57.88 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Read 425.14 213.67 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Random 269.88 Uncached Write 224.02 23.72 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Write 112.51 36.02 MB/sec [256K blocks] Uncached Read 2531.80 17.94 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Read 930.71 172.70 MB/sec [256K blocks]

After putting in TRIM: Disk Test 312.17 Sequential 204.24 Uncached Write 179.39 110.14 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Write 174.82 98.91 MB/sec [256K blocks] Uncached Read 171.96 50.32 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Read 404.14 203.12 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Random 662.01 Uncached Write 747.48 79.13 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Write 307.93 98.58 MB/sec [256K blocks] Uncached Read 2330.89 16.52 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Read 972.88 180.52 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Update 2: I found a little app that can do this for you if you’re not too sure about modifying the file yourself. TRIMEnabler

Update 3: From xlr8yourmac 1) Apple can do it (just show “yes”) through detecting media type of Disk in System Profiler (which is more simple) instead of using for this AHCI driver. And another thing — this is all SSDs, just with different names, which all supports unified commands.

2) IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext is not something simple. This driver (Input Output Advanced Host Controller Interface Block Storage) manages all IO for SATA Storage Devices, ie. NCQ, R/W operations, TRIM, etc.. How OS checks that TRIM is supported and works in drive? As you can see in my last message — we tested a group of disks, the ones which support TRIM natively and those which produced early that lacked TRIM support. Those disk that supported it, OS recognized. Those which lacked it OS shows “TRIM Support: No” without exception. To check — IOAHCI after detecting that this is not “rotational” disk (reports no spinning speed), it sends the TRIM commands “BuildATATrimCommand” (found inside IOAHCIBlockStoorage) to the SSD. If SSD executes this, on specific address of clusters after trimming will be zeroes like if we had a secure format with zeroes, then IOAHCI reports that command executed, and SSD supports TRIMming. If the command was ignored and not executed, OS reports that this SSD doesn’t support TRIM. This command is not a process which can be monitored by Activity Monitor. It is just a command to SSD’s controller which will do this work fully automatically without OS intrusion. This is the algorithm to understand “how os checks that TRIM is supported and executed”.

3) Another proof. First what we noted is reverting performance via synthetic test back to original. Another — is using “hdparm” method. Booted in linux, mount SSD with HFS, creates small file in specific place and saves the info about address of sectors that contains that file. In linux TRIM is turned off for HFS. Boot to OS X and delete this file. Back to linux — check the address — and we see only zeros. TRIM is working.

I decided to start a new project called Five Star Apps on Tumblr. It has gotten to the point where it has become increasingly difficult and frustrating trying to find awesome apps. It’s mainly because there were once great sites that had great content but abruptly stopped posting. There are Mac sites out there that talk about new apps, but they talk about so much more, that it’s time consuming trying to find what great apps are out there. I wanted to try my hand at helping Mac and iOS users find the greatest apps that their respective App Stores have to offer.

Five Star Apps

What changed?
Well, early last month, Apple released the Mac App Store. With the increasing number of converts to Mac (including my Dad, who just switched to the 13″ MacBook Air), it’s obvious that a new solution needs to exist for these users to find great apps on the App Store that will help them do what they need to do in the most efficient manner possible, but also introduce them to apps that don’t necessarily make it onto the “top charts”. There are many apps that don’t get the recognition they deserve, and I think many are falling between the cracks, even though they are great apps because no one talks about them.

Secondly, there is now a new crowd of iPhone users among us. With millions of customers switching from other carriers to Verizon for the new CMDA iPhone 4, many of whom have never used an iPhone before, it’d be nice for them to have somewhere to sort of play “catch up” without feeling overwhelmed by looking at all of the content that is out there.

What’s next?
I will periodically link to certain apps from Five Star Apps on this site, but not always. Rafeed.me is sort of my backyard of fun, but also is a place to showcase my work, not others’. I hope you’ll follow along at some of the apps I talk about on Five Star Apps. You might be surprised and actually find something useful.

John Gruber just discussed how the iPad 2 retina display is too good to be true:

But so what’s the deal with those double-resolution UI graphics in iBooks? I don’t know, but my guess is that it’s just the work of a UI designer thinking ahead. Sooner or later, the iPad will get a retina display, and I remain convinced that it will be exactly double the current resolution. (There are 2048 × 1536 iPad prototypes in Cupertino. They’re not the iPad 2, though.) Double-resolution graphics created now are double-resolution graphics that don’t have to be created under a tight deadline later, when such an iPad actually ships. (I suspect it’s an oversight that these graphics were actually included in the app bundle at this point.)

I had this feeling when I was originally posting the UI element.1 I’m thinking this was meant for the iPad 3 (probably in 2012).

(Source: Daring Fireball)

  1. Too bad I didn’t say it out loud. []

On Quora, someone asked:

Will Apple ever be able to find a new “Prophet” to replace Steve Jobs?

Will it be one person or a team? Who are the best candidates? Expectations might be too high for a single individual to take the role of CEO, but Apple might need a single strong leader with a clear vision.

Robert Scoble gave a great response. Here’s an excerpt:

No. But it doesn’t need to.

Did Levi Strauss ever replace him?

Did Henry Ford ever get replaced?

No.

Read the full question and answer here.

Back in 2009, Tim Cook took over for Steve Jobs, and here’s what he had to say almost two years ago to the day during the January 21 Apple Conference Call:

There is an extraordinary breadth and depth and tenure among the Apple executive team. And these executives lead over 35,000 employees that I would call all “wicked smart.” And that’s in all areas of the company, from engineering, to marketing, to operations, sales, and all the rest.

And the values of our company are extremely well-entrenched. You know, we believe we’re on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that’s not changing. We’re constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollinization of our groups, which allows us to innovate in a way others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit where we’re wrong, and the courage to change.

And I think regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well. And I would just reiterate a point Peter made in his opening comment, that I strongly believe that Apple is doing the best work in its history.

In other words, Steve Jobs will be missed, but the core values of Apple, Inc. that he’s instilled in each and every individual that works for the company will not be forgotten. Let’s hope he comes back stronger than ever.

Earlier today, Joshua Topolsky wrote:

It seems likely that the device will land around April (perfectly timed with the 12-month product cycle Apple enjoys). And what about that device? From what we’ve been told, the thinner, sleeker tablet will sport a new screen technology that is akin to (though not the same as) the iPhone 4’s Retina Display and will be “super high resolution” (unlike reports to the contrary). The device will remain at 10 inches but will now feature both front and rear cameras (not a huge surprise), and… there’s an SD slot.

Well, it looks like he is right in that the second generation iPad will have a “super high resolution” display. The Wood Tile@2x.png shows that the iPad 2 resolution would be 2048x1536 pixels, which is 264 pixels per inch (PPI), whereas if the iPad 2 were to have a “retina display,” you’d be looking at something with 326 PPI. The current first generation iPad is 132 PPI. Apple will effectively be doubling the PPI of the iPad 2. Is that “super high resolution” enough for you?

See the Wood Tile@2x.png below. It’s current dimensions are 1536x800 pixels. For comparison, the previous Wood Tile.png in iBooks 1.1 was a mere 768x400 pixels.

Update (1/15/11): I didn’t realize this until afterwards, but yes, even at 264 PPI, the iPad 2 may still be considered a “retina display” because less pixels are required for the “retina” effect to be achieved because the iPad is held farther away from the eye than the iPhone when used.

Update 2 (1/18/11): John Gruber suspects that the 2048x1536 resolution is too good to be true and that we’ll probably see a same resolution iPad 2 this Spring. The iPad will eventually have a “retina display,” just not now.

(via @sadatkarim)

I’ve been on 4.1 for a while because I’ve been too lazy to update my iPhone 4 to iOS 4.2.1. I just got this SMS from AT&T a few minutes ago.. It seems like AT&T is tracking what firmware everyone is using on the iPhone and wants people to update. I’ve never gotten a message like this before.

AT&T Free Msg: An important software update is available for your iPhone. To update to iOS 4.2, connect to iTunes and follow the instructions.