Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2014

by Tom Nelson

For years, Apple has used Akamai and Level 3 as its main Internet pipeline to deliver iTunes multimedia content, data downloads, such as OS X Updates, and iCloud data to OS X and iOS users. Using these third-party CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) ensured that Apple’s data reached your Mac, iPad, or iPhone quickly, without having to bounce around the Internet looking for a connection to you.

AppleCDNTraceroute

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

But even with the fast lane provided by Akamai and Level 3, Apple was looking to speed things up further, and decided to build its own Internet super-highway. According to Dan Rayburn, Executive Vice President of Streaming Media, and confirmed by About: Macs, Apple’s CDN is now live.

Apple’s CDN pipeline connects Apple content directly to ISPs, without having to go through sometimes random Internet nodes to get to end users. This ensures a fast and very reliable connection with just two points of possible failure: Apple and your ISP. With no additional middlemen, Apple won’t find itself in the position of trying to work its way through a maze of finger pointing when something goes wrong with data transmission.

Read more on About: Macs.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Apple is having a hard time keeping secrets lately, and it doesn’t help matters when the source is Apple’s own support group.

imac2013family

Image courtesy of Apple

Apple’s recently updated Boot Camp support document included a list of Macs that meet the minimum requirements for using Boot Camp to install Windows on a Mac. The list included both a mid-2014 Mac mini and a mid-2014 27-inch iMac, neither of which is currently available.

Both references to the new models have been removed from the support page, but if you use Google to search for the page, you may find the cached copy still showing the entries.

The document didn’t include information detailing the configurations of the updated Macs, or when they would be announced, but based on the recent release of mid-2014 MacBook Pros with Retina Displays and a 21.5-inch iMac, we can offer some reasonable speculation.

Read more on About: Macs.

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Apple today released newly updated 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Retina displays. The newly updated models make use of the latest Haswell processors, which provide a minor increase in speed. In addition, minimum RAM installed has been doubled, with the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now outfitted with 8 GB of RAM, and the 15-inch model maxed out at 16 GB of RAM.

MacBookPro2013

Image courtesy of Apple

Also, the 13-inch non-Retina model saw its base price reduced by $100.00; it now starts at $1,099.00.

Read more on About: Macs.

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Various rumor sources, including an Apple Store in China that accidentally hung a MacBook Pro display banner prematurely, indicate that Apple will be releasing updated MacBook Pros on Tuesday July 29, 2014. If true, the updates are likely to be minor speed bumps, using the recently announced Haswell processor updates that we reported on last Tuesday.

2014MacBookProFamily

Image courtesy of Apple

The rumored update appears to be confined to 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display models, but that limitation could be based on the fact that the Apple Store in China hung only one banner before the manager noticed the mix-up. The 15-inch MacBook Pro would expand from two to three models, all of which would have 16 GB of RAM installed as part of their base configuration.

In addition, the Haswell processor refresh would bump current processor speeds by 200 MHz, giving us three MacBook Pro models with speeds of 2.2 GHz, 2.5 GHz, and 2.8 GHz.

Read more on About: Macs.

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Mid-summer malaise seems to be spreading in the Apple refurb store, with no Mac minis, Mac Pros, or Thunderbolt displays in stock. Luckily, what seems like an annual summer slowdown in stock usually passes quickly, so I expect an increase in choices to be coming our way soon.

AppleRefurb

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Deals of the Week

Our deals of the week cover MacBook Pros and iMacs, with substantial savings over new versions of these nicely configured Macs. Both 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros made the deals list; both are Retina Display versions. The iMac is the 27-inch model, with a nice discount and cool features.

Read more on About: Macs.

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

WeatherSnoop from Tee-Boy is a weather center app that connects your Mac to your personal weather station, or to publicly available weather stations in your area that are hosted by Weather Underground. Either way, WeatherSnoop provides a rich collection of tools for viewing and analyzing weather events in your area.

WeatherSnoop

Image courtesy of Tee-Boy

WeatherSnoop interfaces with many of the most popular available weather stations, such as those from Ambient Weather, Davis Instruments, RainWise, and WeatherHawk. Once you have WeatherSnoop and your weather station up and running, you can share your weather data with the world, or keep it to yourself; it’s up to you. WeatherSnoop supports sending weather data to Weather Underground, WeatherBug, the Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP), and others. You can even set up an automated FTP upload service to the server of your choice.

Read more on About: Macs.

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Weekly Mac news roundup for the week of July 25, 2014.

InstallYosemiteBeta

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Apple released the public beta of OS X Yosemite, Apple manufacturing is kicking it up a notch in preparation for fall product releases, and Swatch says that it isn’t involved in any potential iWatch products.

Read more on About: Macs.

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

The OS X Yosemite public beta will be available starting 07/24/2014, and I expect that many of you will want to get a jump on working with the latest version of OS X. You’ll want to check out the new UI (User Interface), new features such as Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and iCloud Drive, and, of course, updates to existing apps, such as Mail and Safari.

InstallYosemiteBeta

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

But before you dive in there are a few precautions to take; this is a beta, after all, and it will be full of issues, errors, and warts. Some of the problems you’ll encounter will be very basic; for example, there may be a feature you want to try out, and you’ll be disappointed to learn that it’s not included in the beta. That’s right; the current version of the beta is far from complete, and lacks a few of the capabilities that were demonstrated at WWDC 2014. Don’t worry; these features will be added to the preview as time goes on.

Beyond the features you want to try out that aren’t yet present, you may also discover that some of the apps you currently use on your Mac may not work with the beta. The beta may also be prone to crash, freeze, or just behave badly from time to time. That’s the nature of a beta program; it’s not complete and it’s full of bugs. Not security flaws; just things that may not work quite the way they should.

Read more on About: Macs.

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

According to CPU World, Intel has released minor speed bump updates to the i5 and i7 processors that Apple is likely to use in a fall update to its MacBook Pro lineup.

2014MacBookProFamily

Image courtesy of Apple

After reading through the information on the new Intel processors, and trying very hard to stifle quite a few yawns, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth the effort; I should have just slept through the announcement.

The newly released processors will gain, on average, a 200 MHz speed bump, and be available in dual core i5s and quad core i7s. The i7s will have an integrated Iris Pro 5200 graphics system, while the i5s will use the Iris 5100.

Read more on About: Macs.

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Apple promised that there would be a public beta of OS X Yosemite available sometime this summer. This is only the second time Apple has offered a public beta of its flagship OS while the product was still under development. The original version of OS X was offered as a public beta/preview for $29.95 in September of 2000, with the full release version of OS X released in March of the following year. Unlike the original public beta, this one will be free.

OSXYostemiteUI

Image courtesy of Apple

Apple was vague about when the public beta of OS X Yosemite would be made available, just “sometime this summer.” That gives Apple up to the middle of September to meet the deadline.

In following the development process of Yosemite, I thought an early August release of the beta would be likely. Today (07/21/2014) Apple released the fourth version of the developer preview. This preview includes some missing components that a public beta would need to have, including a new version of iTunes with the ability to share app purchases with family members, and a functioning OS X Yosemite Recovery system, similar to the Recovery HD service in recent versions of OS X.

Read more on About: Macs.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »