Categories
Mac hardware Virtualization

Should I buy a Mac now?

In short, it’s not a great time to buy a Mac unless you absolutely need one or you need to run Windows on your Mac. The transition to Apple Silicon ARM processors is as significant as Apple’s move to Intel chips in 2006. Imagine buying a PowerPC-based Mac six months before Apple released its first…

Categories
Mac hardware macOS

Radeon RX 580 with Mac Pro

  I usually write about my clients’ computing woes, but even Mac consultants have their own problems. A few weeks ago my 2009 Mac Pro starting exhibiting serious issues. I had kernel panics and hard crashes a couple of times a day. When I restarted the machine, it wouldn’t boot most of the time. The fans…

Categories
Mac hardware Networking Security

Frequently encountered issues with Macs

  While my regular clients hire MacMaven for IT and information security work, I often get calls from new clients with computing problems. An analogy could be made with plumbing. A plumber’s big jobs involve installation of pipes, sinks, showers, etc. Oftentimes a plumber is called to deal with a clogged toilet. These are the…

Categories
Mac hardware

iMac storage options

  While Apple provides solid state drives on its laptop models, the stock iMacs use slow spinning hard drives. The more expensive models include a Fusion drive, which is a combination of a SSD and a spinning hard drive. With a Fusion drive, frequently accessed files are stored on the SSD, for faster retrieval. The…

Categories
Mac hardware

Thoughts on the iMac Pro

  The recently announced iMac Pro is a beast of a machine. That said, it seems like a very niche model that won’t move Apple’s revenue needle in any appreciable way. While the machine is geared for professional graphics users, I don’t foresee most graphics/CGI shops buying these. For one, companies would expect to get many years of…

Categories
Mac hardware macOS

FaceTime microphone input bug

  Yosemite introduced a bug that impacts a relatively small group of Mac users, including myself. I use a Mac Pro with a Logitech USB webcam. Mac Pros don’t have a built-in microphone, so I use the webcam for sound input. This configuration generally works fine throughout Yosemite, except for FaceTime. There is a microphone input setting on the…

Categories
Mac hardware

Fusion Drive

  The Fusion drive is a $250 build-to-order option for iMacs and Mac minis. Apple doesn’t push this option very hard, but it’s something you should strongly consider. The Fusion option gets you a 128 GB solid state drive in addition to the standard (mechanical) hard disk drive. The read speeds on the SSD are…

Categories
Mac hardware Virtualization

The best performing PC is a Mac

  A study by a company that makes PC monitoring and administration tools found that the most reliable Windows laptop was the mid-2012 MacBook Pro 13″. This shouldn’t be entirely surprising. Apple computers have always been manufactured with top-grade components. Boot Camp provides the drivers to run Windows relatively seamlessly. While there are minor issues…

Categories
iOS devices Mac hardware Networking

802.11ac

Apparently we can expect 802.11ac wi-fi products coming from Apple soon. Hints of the protocol were found in the latest beta of Mountain Lion. While not unexpected, it would be great news to see 802.11ac this year. For low-end hardware, the protocol starts at 433 Mb/sec. Since this is Apple, we’ll probably be getting higher-end…

Categories
Mac hardware Miscellaneous

Dell U2713HM monitor review

I managed to snag a Dell U2713HM monitor for about $450, with a combination of discounts. The retail price for this 27″ 2560×1440 monitor is $799. While you can find many detailed reviews on the web about this monitor, I’ll give you my bottom line. The display quality is outstanding. It’s super sharp, with vibrant…