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by Tom Nelson

Records for Mac is a new personal database application from Push Popcorn, a new Mac developer. Records is an impressive first release, with a large feature set that will appeal to those of us who like to save, categorize, and keep information available in a visually appealing way.

RecordsForMac

Image courtesy of Push Popcorn

Records for Mac is a 1.0 release, but it appears to have a lot of potential.

Read more on About: Macs.

 

by Tom Nelson

Weekly Mac news roundup for the week of February 27, 2015.

SpringForward

Image courtesy of Apple

Apple announced a March 9th media event, where the Apple Watch will likely take the stage. In addition, the cross-platform version of iWork leaves beta.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Apple has invited the media to take part in a “Spring Forward” event on March 9that San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The event will start at 9 AM Pacific Time.

Apple didn’t mention what the media event would cover, but the title on the media invitations certainly helps narrow the topic down to the much-anticipated Apple Watch.

AppleWatch

Image courtesy of Apple

Apple has been coy about the Apple Watch, providing few details on pricing or shipping dates, so this media event is expected to mark the official release of the watch, along with pricing information. Both topics have been fun to follow on the various rumor sites.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) is not a true RAID level, but it’s included as one of the RAID types supported by OS X and the Mac. JBOD is a term that covers many of the non-standard RAID types that many RAID controllers are capable of supporting.Apple’s Disk Utility can use one of the popular JBOD types, concatenation, to combine multiple hard drives into one larger virtual disk.

ExternalDrivesiMac

Ruvan Boshoff/Getty Images

Concatenation, also called spanning, allows two or more hard drives to appear to a Mac under OS X as a single larger hard drive. This capability can be very useful when you have multiple small hard drives but need a larger storage area for a specific application.

When two or more drives are concatenated, the formatted disk space of each drive that is a member of the concatenated array will be combined. For example, a JBOD array containing two 80 GB hard drives that have been concatenated will appear to your Mac as a single 160 GB drive. A concatenated JBOD array consisting of an 80 GB drive, a 120 GB drive, and a 320 GB drive would appear as a single 520 GB hard drive. Drives in the JBOD array do not need to be identical, or even made by the same manufacturer.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Graphics professionals used to be the only ones who needed to worry about the color accuracy of their monitors. These pros make their living working with images in one form or another. Making sure the colors they see on their monitors are the same colors seen in a project’s final form can mean the difference between keeping clients and losing them to other graphics pros.

display-calibrator-asst

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Display Calibration for Everyone

Nowadays, just about everyone works with images, although not all of our livings depend on them. We keep a library of photos on our Macs; we print images using color printers; and we use digital cameras that can make capturing images as simple as point and click.

But what happens when that bright red flower you remember seeing in your camera’s viewfinder looks a bit muddy on your Mac’s display, and downright orange when it comes out of your inkjet printer? The problem is that the devices in the chain – your camera, display, and printer – aren’t working in the same color space. They haven’t been calibrated to ensure that a color remains the same throughout an entire process, no matter which device is displaying or producing the image.

Getting photos on your Mac to match the colors of the original images starts with calibrating your display. The best calibration systems use hardware-based colorimeters, devices that attach to a display and measure the way it behaves in response to various images. Colorimeter-based systems then tweak a graphics card’s LUTs (lookup tables) to produce the correct colors.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Ever since OS X Mavericks, some of your Mac applications have been taking naps when you’re not watching. Apple introduced the App Nap feature to allow for longer battery life in MacBooks, and better power efficiency in desktop Macs.

AppNapiMovie

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

How App Nap Works

App Nap works by suspending an app when OS X determines it isn’t performing any useful task. The OS performs this magic by watching to see if any app that has open windows on your desktop is completely hidden by other active apps.

If an app is hidden behind other windows, OS X checks to see if the app is performing any important task, such as downloading a file or playing music. If it isn’t doing something the OS thinks is important, App Nap will be engaged, and the app will be put into a state of suspension.

This allows your Mac to conserve power, which lengthens the time your battery will last before it needs recharging, or, if you’re connected to a power source, increases the efficiency of your Mac’s use of energy.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Mac minis are out of stock this week, but if you’re looking for an iMac, Mac Pro, or MacBook Pro, this may be the right time to be checking out the Apple refurb store.

2014macbookair

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Our first deal of the week is for the outwardly mobile, that is, people who want to take their Macs with them. In this case, the deal is a 2013 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. This model has the specs many of you are looking for, with enough RAM and SSD space for most users.

If you prefer your Retina Display to be a bit on the large side, how about a 2014 27-inch iMac with Retina Display. It’s a bit rare to see the new Retina iMacs in the store, so we like to point them out when they’re available.

Our final deal this week is for what I think is the most well-rounded version of the 2013 Mac Pro: the model with a 6-core processor that provides a nice number of cores to work with, without sacrificing too much in raw processor speed.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

ChronoSync from econ is so much more than a file synchronization utility that it’s really time that someone came up with a new name. Sure, ChronoSync is a versatile utility for keeping files synced among multiple locations, including on your Mac, with other Macs, PCs, NAS boxes, iPads, and iPhones; just about anywhere you need.

ChronoSync

Image courtesy of econ

But ChronoSync does a great deal more, including creating backups and bootable backups. ChronoSync can even create bootable backups to a remote device, such as another Mac on your home network.

Read more on About: Macs.

 

by Tom Nelson

Apple is making good on its promise to eliminate iPhoto and Aperture and replace them with a new photo editing, library management, and sharing app called Photos.

Photos-icon

Image courtesy of Apple

Photos is a brand new app, and I’ve only seen the first beta version, so I want to caution everyone that this is a preview, not a full review. You won’t be seeing any star ratings yet, although I promise to do a full review once Photos is out of beta and released to the public.

Working With Photos for Mac

If you’ve used Photos for iOS 8, then you have a good idea of the look and feel Apple is going for with Photos for OS X. It’s obvious that Apple wants a unity between iOS and OS X apps, to ensure that users have similar experiences and don’t need to invest time in a large learning curve when moving from personal devices, such as the iPad and iPhone, to desktop and notebook Macs.

Of course, what we don’t want to see is the sacrificing of capabilities in Photos for Mac just to make the photo management app for the two Apple platforms look the same and operate the same way.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Weekly Mac news roundup for the week of February 20, 2015.

MacBookPro2013crop

Image courtesy of Apple

Apple has started an extended warranty repair program to cover video issues on 2011 and later MacBook Pros. Also this week, more rumors about an Apple car.

Read more on About: Macs.

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