Two months ago, my working partner that accompanied me for the past ten years, left me out of the blue.
Other than those good old memories we had, I was only left with a screen of stripes. That kind of heartache and depression were really hard to express in simple words.
In order to cure my pain deep inside, I decided to let go my old 2011 iMac. And find another partner as soon as possible.
為了治療內心傷痛，我决定要放低我的 2011 iMac，盡快找過另一拍檔！
I had a look at the Apple Store and found both my beloved 27 inch 5K iMac and the new Apple Silicon Macs very attractive. However, the price tags closed to two thousands pounds were also alarming. Especially far beyond what a retired guy like me could afford. Having accustom to Apple computers and the macOS, a return to the Windows environment would definitely be a nightmare. With some thorough considerations, I decided to get a second-hand Apple computer, which was also inlined with the buying habit of the westerners.
What followed were several rounds of visit to the Apple Online Refurbished Store, third-party refurbished platforms like Hoxton Macs, Macfinder, and even the Facebook Market. My targets were machines capable of running the latest macOS like Big Sur or Monterey. With some research works covering 27 inch 5K iMac editions from 2015, 2017 and even the latest 2020, I observed that starting price would normally ranged from £800 to £1300. Additional cost for memory upgrade was not yet taken into considerations. Despite it was still expensive, they would come with limited guarantee from few months to one year, which served as additional protection to buyers. I also found machines with better specifications but at relatively lower cost in the Facebook Market. However, quite a lot of them had to be collected far far away from Kingston. In the worst case, they might not match exactly with the original description in the Facebook Market.
By the time I was about to make an offer on a 2020 edition 27 inch 5K iMac that was located in Oxford, I suddenly came across a 7-month old Mac M1 Mini that still carried the original guarantee and with an asking price of just £650. While most of the offerings in the second-hand market were equipped with 8GB main memory only, this machine was an 16GB edition with built-in 256GB SSD storage. Slightly smaller storage capacity but should not be a major issue as I had quite a number of external SSDs with me. At around 70% of the original listed price, it was still a bargin. Last but not least, the machine was available for pickup in Central London.
By the way, I might have some kind of connection with Oxford, the lady owner of the machine was a recent graduate from Oxford Biochemistry. After several round of discussion, I had arranged to collect the machine few days later.
在 Apple Store 找了一回，心儀的 27 inch 5K iMac 或全新的 Apple Silicon Macs 真的極之吸引，但千多二千鎊起的售價亦非常嚇人，遠遠超越我這無業遊民可負擔得起的範圍；而習慣了使用 Apple 的電腦和 macOS，要走回頭到以 Windows 為基礎的系统，則肯定是個惡夢。思前想後，最終决定找部易手機，這亦合乎外國人的購買習慣。
接著便遊走於 Apple 的 Online Refurbished store 及一系列的 Apple 第三方翻新平台如 Hoxton Macs、Macfinder 等，甚至 Facebook Market 亦找了。做了不少的資料搜集，目標是以可運行較新的 macOS Big Sur 或 Monterey 為藍本，從 2015 年的 27 inch 5K iMac，到 2017 甚至更後期的 2020 版本，叫價最低都要八佰多鎊至千三鎊不等，這還未計算往後要另加記憶體的價錢。不過這些平台會提供數個月至一年的保用期，對購買者多一點保障。我亦有在 Facebook Market 找到一些規格較高，價錢更相宜的易手機，但很多都要自行往數十英哩外的地方提取，更有貨不對辦的可能。
在差不多要下決定購入一部在 Oxford 的 2020 年 27 inch 5K iMac 的時候，突然又給我發現了一部機齡只有七個月，尚有原廠保用，叫價 650 鎊的 Mac M1 Mini 易手機。市場上大部份都是只有 8GB 記憶體的最低型號，而這部機則是 16GB 的升級版，雖然內置 256GB 的 SSD 稍細，但因我有數隻外置的 SSD，容量應該不是個大問題。以原價約七折來看，仍是超值，而最欣慰之處是電腦可於不遠的 Central London 提取。
可能我和 Oxford 有點情意結，機主是一位剛畢業於 Oxford Biochemistry 的女孩子，與她一輪對話後便安排了數日後在倫敦交收。
After having my breakfast that morning, I took train to the London Waterloo Station. For the past two months, the weather was not good, always dark and with drizzles. I was lucky that there were plenty of sunshine this morning and so I planned to stroll along Stamford Street and went to the pick-up point via the Blackfriars Bridge.
Be relaxed and enjoyed the great blue sky.
晨早起來，吃過早餐便乘火車到 London Waterloo 站。近兩個月天氣都不太好，總是天色昏暗，細雨綿綿的感覺，難得今天陽光普照，便决定沿 Stamford Street 步行往 Blackfriars Bridge，再走到交收地點。
Today’s pick-up point is in City of London, right in front of the Amazon London Office next to the Holborn Viaduct.
Despite this area of Central London is quite old, but the sense of metropolis is way beyond compare.
今天交收地點便是在 City of London，Holborn Viaduct 傍的 Amazon London Office 門前。
Central London 雖然頗舊，但那種大都會感覺的確很不一樣。
Glad that this second-hand Mac M1 Mini was still in excellent condition. With some sterlisation works (A must under Covid-19), I kicked off the computer setup in the evening.
慶幸這部易手 Mac M1 Mini 狀態極佳，回家後為她稍為消毒（當然又是疫情所致）後晚上便準備 Setup 工作。
Problem surfaced right at the beginning, this Mac M1 Mini did not recognise my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and Trackpad that came along with my 2011 iMac!
For the Initial Setup of the built-in macOS Big Sur, one needed to provide the user account and password for the Administrator. However, without any option and/or interface available in the setup screen to make Bluetooth keyboard pairing, how could I connect my Apple Keyboard for the input of administrator account information?
After several rounds of searching over the Net, I luckily found a trick from a Guru to reveal the Bluetooth keyboard pairing dialogue, and managed to complete the entire Big Sur setup. While I was enjoying the smooth setup work, I failed to correctly re-enter the Administrator password during the first macOS Startup. What even worse was that the Guru’s trick could not be applied with the non-displayable password field. Am I left with an un-configurable machine or I had to buy a wired USB keyboard?
Anyway, had to sleep first and resumed my work later.
When I woke up the following day, I recalled that there should be a wired USB Keyboard delivered to UK along with all my belongings. Without any hesitation, I dug through all the boxes and finally got it.
一開始便碰上大問題，這部 Mac M1 Mini 無法辨認到我原有的 Apple Bluetooth Keyboard 及 Trackpad！
在內置的 macOS Big Sur 的 Initial Setup 上首先要設定 Administrator 名稱及密碼，而畫面上卻沒有介面供 Bluetooth device pairing，怎樣接上 Apple Bluetooth Keyboard 作輸入呢？
幾經辛苦終於找到網上高人指引，轉接地引導出 Bluetooth device pairing 的 dialogue，更完成整個 Setup 程序。正以為一切順利之際，不知為何在首次 macOS Startup 時怎樣也未能正確輸入自己預設的密碼，更惨的是高人指引亦無法在密碼輸入欄上運作，難道今次得物無所用，又或是要另行購買一個有線 Keyboard？
第二天醒來，想起寄運到英國的家檔應該有一個有線 USB Keyboard，即刻翻箱倒籠，在十數箱的物品中尋找它的踪影，謝天謝地，找到了。
Problem finally got solved.
Looking back, it was really a joke for this Mac Mini setup work. Apple’s products, being one of the most advanced computing devices in the world, emphasis wireless connectivity as part of their design directions. How come it relied on a wired USB Keyboard for the initial setup of this most advanced, Apple Silicon based, Mac M1 Mini!
For this old-school wired USB Keyboard, it will stay with me, forever and ever. Amen. 🙏
回想整件事倒是個很大的諷剌，Apple 的出品是當今最先進個人電腦之一，無拘無束的 Wireless Connectivity 是一貫的設計方向，今天最先進的 Apple Silicon Mac Mini 卻靠一個有線 USB Keyboard 才能完成 setup！
這個老爺有線 USB Keyboard 我會好好保存，直到永遠，Amen。 🙏
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