Node Upgrade with Brew

One of the Homebridge plugins was whining about “node” being out of date. Sure enough, when running this with Terminal:

node –version

Showed my Mac mini was running “v16….” and it needed to be upgraded to 20. Easy enough with brew:

brew install node@20
brew unlink node@16
brew link node@20 –force –overwrite
nano ~/.zshrc

In nano I edited the following line from:

export PATH=”/usr/local/opt/node@16/bin:$PATH”


export PATH=”/usr/local/opt/node@20/bin:$PATH”

Exit and save with:

Control (key) and X

Next I closed the Terminal window, opened a new Terminal window, and typed in:

node -v

Which now proudly says:



Apple Watch 4 Repairs

Last night I swapped the Taptic Engine and then moved the NFC chip from Tina’s old (broken) dislay to the new display. The NFC transfer had me on edge, but Circuit Trama’s instructions and technique were fabulous. One improvement to Circuit Trama’s approach, like this video I placed droplets of alcohol on a razor blade and gradually slid it in, no heat, and it worked so much better and it was much faster. I’ve got some pics I can post later.

Unfortunately, prior to installing these improvements, the watch had entered recovery mode a couple days ago and I figured I’d make these changes before restoring it. After these changes, the watch refused to restore, instead erupting with a “Failed to setup Apple Watch” alert. Seems there’s a hidden lightning port where the watch band slides in, but I figure that adapter will set me back at least another $40 and more time. I found that the trade-in value for the Series 4 is $60 and mine meets all the requirements, so I decided to take Apple up on the offer and FedEx took it off my hands this morning. Instead I’m going in on an Apple Watch Series 8 in Product Red that was heavily discounted by Amazon Prime Days. I looked at iFixit’s battery replacement guide and it appears this will be even easier in the future and I should have all the tools to do it. Let’s hope its first battery lasts at least 3 years, the new watch arrives Sunday…

Now, I still have a bag of parts for one more Apple Watch 4. It needs a new battery connector soldered to the board, a new screen, and the NFC soldered to the new screen. If used parts dip low enough, I may give it a whirl or just sell what I’ve got now, while it still has some value.

Ventura and FAT16

My daughter likes her old digital camera, yet Ventura’s Disk Utility doesn’t seem to show FAT16 as a default partitioning format. Never fear, others have already encountered this. First, I verified that the Compact Flash card’s location using this command:

diskutil list

This showed me it was sitting at /dev/disk2. Next, I executed this command to create a single 1 GB partition on the memory card and while leaving the remaining disk capacity as free space:

diskutil partitionDisk /dev/disk2 MBR “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME 1024M free “” 0B

Finally I executed this command to create 15 2 GB partitions on the memory card while leaving the remaining disk capacity as free space:

diskutil partitionDisk /dev/disk2 MBR “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME2 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME3 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME4 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME5 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME6 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME7 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME8 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME9 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME10 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME11 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME12 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME13 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME14 2048M “MS-DOS FAT16” NONAME15 2048M free “” 0B

All these disk partitions mounted without a hitch on my Mac, but the Kodak EasyShare M530 refused to see any of them. Boo hiss. I must have done something wrong with the formatting type. For now, I’m sending her to Denmark, Sweden and France with a Lightning to USB-B and mini USB-A to micro-USB so that she can use her phone to import all of her photos. I tested it with my XS Max and it works great – she’s going to love it, especially since her 13 Pro has 512 GB of storage.

Along the way, I found this source helpful.

Homemade Sealant Recipe

For simple easy to make mostly homemade bike tire sealant, I’ve resorted to using the following recipe (mix this parts by weight):

3 parts Splash Original Blue windshield washer fluid (-20 degree F formula)
1 part FX Latex Molding Liquid Latex HV-65

From Splash’s Safety Data Sheet, notice that it is mostly water followed by methanol (to reduce freeze point), denatonium benzoate (a bittering agent), and patent Blue Dye L85000 (for coloring). The SDS also notes that the product’s methanol content is 30-32% by weight, which may be important should Splash ever stop manufacturing this product and I need a replacement.

It’s frustrating when people don’t post updates or additional details on how their homemade sealant works. I plan to report back here with updates on its performance as I use it. I mixed up a batch last week and plan to pour it into my Big Dummy’s Surly Extraterrestrial tubeless tires before RAGBRAI L. Ride on!

Restore Safari Tabs and Windows

I posted about this earlier and had it happen again: I foolishly had 4 Safari windows with a zillion tabs open, updated macOS Ventura to 13.4.1 and Safari 16.5.1, patched with Opencore Legacy Patcher, and when I reopened Safari I noticed all my windows and tabs were gone. No sweat I had a Time Machine backup.

1. Click on your desktop, press Command Shift G, and paste this file path:


2. Go up to the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and choose “Browse Time Machine Backups”.

3. Click the up arrow to go back in time for the Safari window, I chose the previous night just before I had initiated the Ventura system upgrade.

4. Hold down the Command key and select/tap on each of the files highlighted below, then click the “Restore” button. Here’s a list of the files while I try to post the screenshot:


5. Quit Safari and when you’re prompted choose to Overwrite the existing files.

6. After the copying is complete, launch Safari and from the menu bar choose History->Reopen All Windows from Last Session.

Boom, your windows from the previous session should now be restore. I’m leaving my previous post up just in case Apple fiddles with Safari’s structure in the future. Also note, following these instructions does not erase your history, even information between the tabs you’re recovering the current time – this history remains.

* Sorry for the lack of a screenshot, I have it, but WordPress is giving me some fits. Must be a permissions issue I’ll fix later. *

macOS and Outlook Group Mailboxes

Bleh, Microsoft’s Public Folders feature worked wonderfully on Outlook for Mac. My company recently moved to Group Mailboxes when Microsoft deprecated Public Folders. We were told that it would be possible to archive messages from an inbox to a Group Mailbox on iPhones (and Macs) just like Windows, but six months in and the feature does not exist outside Windows. Microsoft Support recommends that we request the feature and folks did 7 months ago, but there’s still no official word for if or when this feature will show up. Microsoft, please bring feature parity across platforms.

Beats Solo 3 and Right Speaker Repair

Ella’s right headphone speaker stopped working on her Beats Solo 3 headphones. I found this guy’s video helpful, specifically the first half of his video. Her headphones appeared to have a wire that broke, so I ran some a couple inches of wire in the left headhphone and the right headphone appears to be working again, but Ella and I swear it cut out briefly – may be another break somewhere else.

I’m going to order some replacement ear cushions and if the cut-outs continue, I’ll just run replacement wire between the ear pieces. Also note, in the case of Ella’s headphones, another guy’s video did not help nor did this one, and this one might have minimal promise if I want to try and cut corners with the right headphone and replacing wire.

Quarter-Turn Stop Valves, Stop Buying Them!

The kitchen and bathroom in our house had several older water supply stop valves that required several turns to close and often leaked even when they were supposedly closed. When putting a bathroom in the basement 14 years ago I foolishly believed the older water supply stop valves were inferior to the newer quarter-turn stop valves that others bragged about.

After installing several of the newer quarter-turn stop valves I’m already finding them to have failed – when turned to the off position, they still allow a trickle or even a stream of water to flow out, and this is described by others too. The older style valves would also fail after several years, but they had rubber washer rebuild kits to rejuvenate the valve’s operation. In the case of the new quarter-turn stop valves, I contacted one manfacturer, Nibco, and spoke to a technical support person, Jeff. I asked if there was a rebuilt kit I could purchase for a failed valve I own and he said “No, none of the parts on that valve are field-serviceable”.

Look, I work for a company that makes a lot of money mine minerals from the ground, but it will be difficult to sustain this bleed rate on the planet if we’re constantly mining new minerals and, even if we scrap the existing valve, throwing energy towards making new supplies. Worse, replacing the valve isn’t even a one-to-one process. While I ultimately purchased a replacement valve of the same model from Menards, Nibco must have changed manufacturers because the new body was shorter than the last one and required me to shorten the 1/2-inch diameter copper pipe poking out from the wall. Putting a new rubber washer on an old style valve would have required 1/10 the time I spent installing a brand new quarter-turn stop valve body.

Don’t believe the hype, quarter-turn valves are great for a few uses, but long-term these valves will cost you more money and time. If you don’t value either, ignore this post.