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Archive for September, 2014

by Tom Nelson

We’re slowly seeing 2014 versions of Mac products enter the refurb store. Last week it was a 2014 MacBook Air, and this week it’s a 2014 iMac. While we celebrated the MacBook Air, the 2014 21.5-inch iMac is nothing to write home about.

Not too long ago, this model of the iMac would only have been available through the Apple Educational channel, as a low-cost option for schools to purchase in large quantities. My recommendation is to pass it by and look for a 2012 or 2013 iMac instead.

AppleRefurb

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Deals of the Week

Our deals of the week remain the same as last week, with a 2014 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which is being offered for $130 off the current retail price, and a 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 500 GB hard drive.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Arq is an online backup app from Haystack Software. Unlike many online backup systems, Arq doesn’t provide cloud-based storage. Instead, it works as a front end to existing storage systems.

Arq

Image courtesy of Haystack Software

Arq works seamlessly with Google Drive, AWS (Amazon Web Services), SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) servers, Greenqloud, DreamObjects, or any S3-compatible storage system. One of the really nice aspects of Arq is that by allowing you to decide which cloud storage system you want to use, you can choose the system with the feature sets that will best meet your needs. A good example of this is combining Arq with Amazon Glacier, an S3-based service that has exceptionally low storage costs, as low as $0.01 per GB/month.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Weekly Mac news roundup for the week of September 19, 2014.

imac2013family

Image courtesy of Apple

Apple stakes out claims to security and privacy with its newest devices and operating systems. We also look at the probability of new Macs making a fall appearance, plus a Tim Cook interview.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

It was quite a busy Thursday for Apple, with the launch of a new web site, the release of a new version of Safari, and its CEO penning an open letter to the Apple community. What united all of these activities? Security and privacy.

TimCook120x152

Image courtesy of Apple

New Security and Privacy Web Site

Apple has always had a web page with details about its security and privacy policies. Customers usually stumble upon this information when looking through licensing agreements or reading the fine print on a new Apple app or service.

Apple took its privacy and security policies and placed them on their own web site, front and center, for all to read. This change is as much about marketing as it is about protecting your privacy. But that’s not to say the outcome isn’t good for Apple users.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

AppleInsider is reporting that Apple is planning a media event for mid to late October, with the 21st being a likely date. Citing an internal source from Apple, AppleInsider claims that there are project schedules for various groups within Apple that all have a mid-October deadline.

YosemiteDesktop

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

This makes perfect sense if the goal of the projects includes a product introduction at a late October media event. AppleInsider says its source is reliable, and I have no reason to doubt the unknown source or AppleInsider, as this information falls right in line with what is traditionally a time for Apple to make product announcements.

As for the products that will be seen on stage, it goes without saying that OS X Yosemite will be there, and likely a couple of new iPad models. Apple will likely be showing off iOS 8 on the iPads and OS X Yosemite, which has quite a few iOS 8 integration capabilities, including Handoff, that fundamentally change how a Mac, iPad, and iPhone work together. In the past, you simply synced basic app data, such as mail, contacts, and calendars. With Handoff, you can stop your work on one device, and pick up right where you left off on another; no files to sync, no apps to upload a document to the cloud and then download it; you’re right where you left off, ready to continue working.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Apple’s Mac lineup is showing its age in a few spots; even the Mac Pro, which we tend to think of as new, will see its one-year anniversary in December, only a few months away.

imac2013family

Image courtesy of Apple

It’s probably easier to list the Mac models that are current, and that I would have no qualms about buying today.

MacBook Pro With Retina DisplayThat’s it. There’s only one family of Mac products that are genuinely current, that I would have no hesitation whatsoever about walking into an Apple Store and walking out with a MacBook Pro tucked under my arm.

For all the rest of the Macs – iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Air – I would stop, at least for a moment, to consider whether their status is current, soon to be updated, or perhaps soon to be eliminated.

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by Tom Nelson

Today Apple released OS X Yosemite Preview 8 to the developer community, with the public beta of Yosemite expected to be updated later today to version 3.

OSXYosemitePublicBeta3

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Developers, and those participating in the public beta program, will find the updates available via the Mac App Store, under the Updates tab. Public beta participants may not see the update right away as Apple slowly rolls out the newest version.

Apple doesn’t provide a release note to the public beta testers, and the developer release note is under NDA, but I suspect we’ll see publications pointing out what’s new and what’s still not working very soon.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

It’s not unusual to see the refurb store seem a little empty this time of year. School is back in session and many people have passed through the store, picking up deals on their back-to-school computing needs.

But even with the seasonal low stock condition, the refurb store is still able to provide pleasant surprises, such as the appearance this week of a 2014 model of the MacBook Air. This is its first appearance in the store, and we’re sure it won’t be the last.

AppleRefurb

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Deals of the Week

Our deals of the week include the 2014 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which is being offered for $130 off the current retail price. Our other deal this week is a 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 500 GB hard drive.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Weather Dock from Voros Innovation puts current local weather conditions in your Mac’s dock, where a quick look can confirm why you have the AC on high or the fireplace stocked and burning brightly.

WeatherDock

Image courtesy of Voros Innovation

Weather Dock is one of those simple apps that does the things it needs to do and does them well. While it may not have a lot of features, it can tell you the local weather, including wind speed, wind direction, current conditions (cloudy, sunny, foggy, raining), dew point, sunrise and sunset times, and rainfall amount.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Weekly Mac news roundup for the week of September 12, 2014.

AppleWatchiPhone6

Image courtesy of Apple

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch, Apple Pay, iCloud price cut, and new processors from Intel. Oh, and did the iPhone 6 reveal tell us anything about a new iPad later this year?

Read more on About: Macs.

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