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Archive for April, 2014

by Tom Nelson

This week sees the iPad mini with Retina Display making its first appearance in the Apple refurb store. Currently only available in its Wi-Fi-only clothing, we’re hoping for the Wi-Fi + Cellular models to be following on soon. The other good news is that a number of current Mac mini models are looking for good homes.

AppleRefurb

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Best Deals of the Week

There are three best deals this week; a 2013 MacBook Pro at a whopping 29% off the retail price; a 2011 27-inch iMac, the last year to include a superdrive, available for 33% off its original selling price; and to round things out, a 2012 Mac Pro with 12 cores for the low price of $3,239.00.

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by Tom Nelson

1Password 4 from AgileBits is a password manager that makes keeping track of all the passwords you use just about as easy as it can be. 1Password comes with extensions for all the popular Mac web browsers, so you can integrate it into your favorite browser for seamless access to current web site accounts. It can also save login credentials for new accounts that you create.

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Image courtesy of AgileBits

1Password isn’t just a web login utility. It encompasses a stand-alone app that allows you to store logins, secure notes, credit card info, identities, passwords, software licensing information, bank accounts, and just about any other type of information that needs to be kept in a secure encrypted environment to prevent prying eyes from viewing it.

Keeping all of your personal data behind an encrypted gatekeeper is a great idea, provided you can make use of the information quickly and easily. 1Password makes retrieving the information a breeze, at least for the rightful owner of the information. With the use of a master password, you can unlock 1Password for a session whose length you define. Once the session is finished, 1Password locks itself back up, preventing further access unless you supply the master password again.

Read more on About: Macs.

 

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by Tom Nelson

This weekend’s project is a good one if you want to add functionality to your Mac’s desktop via the Dock. With a bit of Terminal magic, you can add a capability to the Dock that allows you to keep track of apps and documents that you’ve recently worked with.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Once you finish adding the Recent Applications stack, you can use the same technique to add a Recent Documents stack.

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by Tom Nelson

The Mac mini is getting very long in the tooth; October 2012 was the last time it was updated. On average, the Mac mini is updated just a tick less than once a year. It’s now been nearly a year and a half since the last update, which makes me wonder what Apple has been doing with the Mac mini during that time.

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Image courtesy of Apple

The Mac mini is not only the least expensive desktop Mac, but also a popular choice for many businesses and former PC users who want a powerful Mac, but who don’t want or need the added cost of an iMac’s built-in display, or a Mac Pro’s raw processing power.

Mac pundits, including myself, expected an updated Mac mini sometime in early 2014, which would have met the normal upgrade cycle. Apple could easily throw in a new Intel Haswell processor upgrade, and Intel Iris or Iris Pro graphics, without breaking a sweat. This hasn’t happened, so what’s going on?

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by Tom Nelson

If you want to know what strikes fear into the heart of Mac users, it’s the kernel panic image that a Mac displays when the OS throws its hands up and simply stops working.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

As strange as it may sound, if you see the kernel panic image, it’s time to relax, because there’s nothing you can do to remedy the problem. It may be of little comfort, but when there’s nothing you can do about a situation, the best thing to do is take a deep breath and move on.

Feeling better now? Ready for a bit of good news? A very high percentage of kernel panics are caused by one-time events that you may never see again. Kernel panics are usually the result of two or more poorly written apps vying for the same computer resource at the same time. This isn’t supposed to happen, but sometimes it does.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Microsoft today announced the availability of a lower-cost option for its Office 365 suite.

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Image courtesy of Microsoft

The core apps in Office 365 for Mac (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and One Note) are available in various subscription tiers, including home, business, and enterprise. Office 365 Home is available for $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month, and includes a 5-user license that lets you run up to five copies on your Macs, PCs, iPad, or Windows tablet.

The newest tier being offered is a single-user subscription license that allows you to install Office 365 on a single Mac or PC, plus one copy on your iPad or Windows tablet. Pricing for the new Office 365 Personal tier is $69.99 per year or $6.99 per month.

Read more on About: Macs.

 

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by Tom Nelson

No, as fun as it would be for Apple to start selling micro-hydroelectric systems, there will be no iDam in our future. Apple’s interest in purchasing a small hydroelectric facility near the Haystack Reservoir is to help provide renewable energy to the Prineville, Oregon data center currently under development.

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Apple Data Center, Prineville, Or – Image courtesy of Google and Europa Technologies

Apple is already powering the new data center with renewable energy in the form of wind energy contracts from suppliers in the area. But Apple has also indicated that its plans are for the site to be 100%-powered by renewable energy sources. To that end, Apple plans to build a 200-acre solar farm on nearby land in Prineville.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

The Mac mini is missing this week from the refurb store’s inventory; likewise, various MacBook models are seeing a bit of a decline in availability. But even so, we found some pretty good deals this week that deserve your consideration.

AppleRefurb

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Best Deals of the Week **

This week’s best deals include a 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro that can save you $540 off the current retail price, and a 2011 27-inch iMac that can be had for $570 less than its original retail price. And don’t forget that while the 2011 iMac may seem to be an older model, it has the advantage of a built-in SuperDrive (DVD/CD read/write). It also comes with a one-year warranty, just like all the other Apple refurbs.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Virtual Box is a free open source virtualization app that allows you to run Windows, Linux, OS X, and other operating systems concurrently while you continue to use your Mac. No need to boot to a different operating system; Virtual Box lets multiple operating systems run at the same time.

virtualbox

Image courtesy of Oracle

Virtual Box is an excellent method of running a Windows app that isn’t available in a Mac version. Simply install Windows and the apps you wish to use in Virtual Box. When you need one of the Windows apps, just launch Virtual Box and start using the app.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

This weekend’s Mac DIY project is a bit different than usual. I’m going to show you how to create a Mac app that will take your most often used workflow and automate the process.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc

Before you run off looking for your old programming books from school, let me assure you that no programming background is needed for this DIY project. Yet, by completing this project, you may discover a new interest in learning basic scripting, which is a nice jumping-off point to learning various programming languages used in Mac development.

The workflow app you’ll create is based on one that I use all the time, however you can customize it to fit your specific needs. You can easily use this guide to create an app for setting up a gaming system, a writer’s desk, research projects, development projects, budgeting and planning, just about anything you do repeatedly on your Mac that would benefit from a bit of automation.

Read more on About: Macs.

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