Good Luck To Rene Ritchie On His New Adventure

Today, April 1, is Apple’s birthday. It was created on this day by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976. One of the things I love about Apple is the community that has been built around it. One of the best people in the community is Rene Ritchie. For the last 11 years on the iMore website, Rene has been a reporter, columnist, and editor covering Apple and other technology. But the thing I really like about Rene is he has always been incredibly positive and never says anything bad about anyone. He a great citizen in the Apple Community. During the last year, he has been on YouTube for iMore on a channel called Vector. His videos are straight forward and no-nonsense and they are filled with great facts. I really enjoy them. Well yesterday, he quit iMore and decided to go on his own. He has his own channel called Rene Ritchie. Please check him out if you never watched him. I wish him the best luck and I look forward to watching him.

What Mac Should I Get Now That My 10-Year Old iMac Has Died?

My Problem

In this time of the pandemic, my 10 year-old 27 inch iMac finally broke down. So I am trying to decide what kind of Mac I should purchase. On one hand, I would love to purchase the 2019 Mac Pro that Apple came out with at the end of 2019. It is incredibly powerful and more importantly its the easiest Mac to upgrade. Over the last 10 years since I purchased my 2010 iMac, Apple has made it almost impossible to upgrade Macs. My 2010 iMac was easy to update. MacSales.com would sell you a cheap kit to open that iMac so you could take out the hard drive that came with the iMac and then put a fast SSD drive. You could also open up the iMac and add a second SSD drive or another larger hard drive. Same with the MacBook Pros and old MacBook Airs. You could open them up and replace the hard drives with a better SSD drive or a larger SSD drive if it came with an SSD drive. But no more. You can’t really upgrade the SSD drives in the MacBook Pros and the MacBook Airs and its much much harder to now upgrade the iMac. But the 2019 Mac Pro you can easily upgrade. Apple designed it for pros to make it easy to take out and put in hardware in it.

But the problem is that Mac Pro is very expensive. Without the monitor, it is roughly $6,000 with tax for the cheapest configuration. That is a lot of money. How can I justify getting it? I am not some pro who makes videos or a musician producer who needs the power of such a an amazing Mac. And the 32-inch screen for this Mac Pro is close to $5,000. So if you want to get the Apple monitor for that Mac Pro, you would pay at least $11,000. That is nuts, right? But the thing is, this Mac Pro will last a long time. Because it is easy to open up, it will be easy to upgrade. So let us say I own it for 10 years. And 10 years is easy for the Mac Pro. After all, I used my 2010 iMac for 10 years easy. Monthly payments spread out over 10 years for $11,000 come to $91.66 per month. That isn’t bad when you think about it. Having a tremendous computer in your life for under $100 per month makes sense. I am trying to think of all the things I pay more than $100 per month which I would never enjoy as much as a Mac Pro with Apple’s 32-inch monitor. I pay a whopping $450 per month to park my car indoors in New York City. That is crazy. But I pay it because its convenient to have my car so close to where I live. I drink a lot of Diet Coke and probably average $2 per day on Diet Coke. Well that is $60 per month but that is still a big chunk of the $100 per month for the $11,000 Mac Pro and 32 inch monitor. My lunch during the work week is at least $7 to $10 per lunch. Let us say its $8.50 for the average lunch. That is $170 for lunch during the work week every month. And I don’t even really enjoy those lunches very much. If I made my own lunch and brought it to work I could probably average $4 or $3 for lunch every day. If I saved $5 every day for lunch at work, well that comes to about $100 per month which is what over ten years would be the cost of the Mac Pro and 32-inch monitor.

What Wonderful Things Could I Do With the Mac Pro?

So what would be some of the wonderful things I would do with the Mac Pro? Well, I love to edit videos as a hobby. And I would never really run out of processor power with the Mac Pro. The other great thing with the Mac Pro is you would have so much storage that you could easily make it a Windows computer with Boot Camp. Boot Camp runs off the same drive as the Mac OS. But with a Mac Pro, you could put another drive with a Mac OS on it but partition it so 90% of the drive is Windows. Then when you need Windows you boot the other Mac OS with with Windows on it rather than partitioning the drive that is your main Mac OS drive. Also, after many years go by, you can use the Mac Pro to be your server because it can hold so many drives.

But seriously. With a pandemic going on, and the economy being destroyed because no one can leave their home, am I really going to purchase an $11,000 computer? I would probably wait for Apple to upgrade the iMac. There are rumors Apple will soon update the iMac. When you get the iMac you also get a great 5k monitor. And you can pay just somewhere between $2.5k and $4k to get a really good configuration of a 27 iMac.

So there you have it. Don’t know what Mac to get. Do you?

Is the the Phone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 A Really Update from Last Year? — Yes!

Apple’s September announcement event is like a holiday for me. It is tech Christmas for me. For many years now, I look forward to September because that is when Apple announces a new iPhone. And many people in the media or my friends always say Apple’s new iPhone isn’t that much better than last year’s iPhone so why should anyone upgrade? But I point out to my friends that Apple’s iPhone is much better upgraded every year. Compare it with PCs. Back in the 1990s, everyone would get excited every year when company’s like Dell, HP, IBM, Compaq, etc would upgrade every year with a better processor from Intel. You would get a more powerful PC. And the processors would be maybe 20% more powerful. But then it leveled off.
But Apple has been killing it every year upgrading the iPhone. Most people don’t understand that. They look at the design and say Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 looks just like the iPhone XS or XR from last year. Big deal. But the real magic is the technology in that rectangular slab. With the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11, Apple has updated 4 things that are much better than last year’s phone: 1) the camera, 2) the processors, 3) the battery, and 4) the screen.
The Camera (Cameras)
The cameras are upgraded from last year. The iPhone 11 is the price of the XR (actually a lower price than iPhone XR), but it now has 2 cameras on the back of the iPhone compared to 1 last year. And the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max now have 3 cameras on the back compared to 2 on the XS and XS Max.
The front-facing camera now has a 12 mp camera rather than a 7 mp camera. And the front camera now records video in higher data, like 60 frames per second and 4k.
But don’t forget the processors that work with the cameras. I won’t go into the details about the camera processors but the bottom line is they have been greatly updated from the XS and XR iPhones. And those new processors in all the iPhone 11s do things the iPhone XS and XR cannot do.
2 Video Recording at the same time!
Among the things they can do is record videos at the same time from 2 cameras. FILMIC, which has a great professional app in the iPhone for video recording, showed on the stage during Apple’s event that its app will be able to show what all 4 cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro is showing and on the fly you can record 2 of the video streams at the same time. This is a big deal. Before with devices, you could record two videos at the same time but then you would have to sync them. Now the syncing is automatic.
So this will be great for sports and event recording and vlogging. I record my kids playing tennis. But it’s hard to record the entire court. If you go to one end you get the back of one player and the other player is far away. But now you could stand right at the net and record both half’s of the court and show it split-screen.
Similarly, vloggers will love this. They can record them talking and recording where they are and quickly edit the back and forth view or do picture in picture.

Night Mode

The new processors and extra cameras allow the iPhone 11s to take great pictures in low light. Apple calls this tech “Night Mode.” This is what Apple says about it on its site:

2019 09 11 at 7 53 AM

Major Upgrade to the screens for the iPhone 11 Pro.

Another major reason to upgrade if you use the phone a lot is that the screens for the iPhone 11 is not much much better. Without going into the technology, the screen can get much brighter than the iPhone XS. Why should you care? You should care because when you are outdoor in the bright sun the screen will be easier to see. Also, whey you watch movies on your iPhone 11 Pro it will look much better.

Battery

Another key reason to upgrade to an iPhone 11 from last year’s phone is the battery. All three iPhone 11s have much better batteries. In particular, the iPhone 11, which is the upgrade from the iPhone XR, now has a battery that lasts 1 hour more from the XR. The iPhone 11 Pro, which is the upgrade from the iPhone XS, has a batter that is 4 hours more than the XS. And the iPhone 11 Pro Max? That phone now lasts 5 hours more than last years iPhone XS Max. If you use your phone a lot during the day, you might want to upgrade alone for the better battery.

Processors and other technology

But another reason to upgrade is the processors. The processors are more powerful, And when they are more powerful, you can do more with them. You can edit videos quicker. You can edit photos quicker.
But it’s not just batteries. Apple has upgraded the wifi technology so you can get faster data from wifi. So if you use your wifi at home or at work to stream video or transfers large files, it will go faster.
But other technology: The A1 chip. Apple added a chip, that makes the iPhone 11 more location-aware. It can be used when you do Airdrop on another phone. One problem now with Airdrop is when there are a lot of iPhones around with Airdrop, you see many iPhones in your Airdrop screen. But now with the A1 chip, if you point your iPhone to the iPhone you want to Airdrop, it will bring that iPhone to the top of the iPhones you see on the screen. But this technology is what Apple is going to use when it comes out to tokens. It will allow your iPhone to quickly find those tokens in the room.

Conclusion

Overall, if you are a heavy iPhone user, it is worth upgrading to the iPhone 11, in particular the iPhone 11 Pro. You get a better camera for taking pictures and video, you get a faster processor for all the work you do, you get a better screen, and you get a much better battery. That alone is worth upgrading.

PSA: Terminal Commands to Customize Your Mac

CultofMac.com website has a nice article here referencing this Github page here maintained by Mathias Bynens that show you all sorts of Terminal Commands on the Mac to customize the Mac. It is a great resource. The Github page is incredibly in-depth. There are all sorts of commands you which allows you to make all sorts of changes to the OSX and Apple programs on the Macintosh. For a power user of the Mac this is an amazing resource.
Here are some that caught my eye as being really useful:

      # Disable hibernation (speeds up entering sleep mode)
        sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
      # Set Desktop as the default location for new Finder windows
        # For other paths, use `PfLo` and `file:///full/path/here/`
        defaults write com.apple.finder NewWindowTarget -string "PfDe"
        defaults write com.apple.finder NewWindowTargetPath -string "file://${HOME}/Desktop/"

Check out the CultofMac site and the Github site for more information. Really helpful.

John Gruber: Gate's Biggest Mistake

John Gruber:

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to argue that the Mac probably wouldn’t have survived without Office, and possibly without a good version of Office. And in 1997 Apple wouldn’t have survived if the Mac platform hadn’t made a resurgence. Apple’s own iWork suite — Pages, Numbers, Keynote — didn’t ship until 2005. Microsoft Office singlehandedly kept the Mac as a credible platform for classic productivity apps for 8 years.

I disagree with John Gruber that Microsoft Office was key to keeping Apple alive in the late 1990s. Definitely Microsoft investing in Apple having Office programs on the Macintosh helped Apple. But the thing is Microsoft Office, particular Microsoft Word on the Mac sucked compared to Microsoft Office and Microsoft Word on Windows back then. Among other things, if you used Microsoft Word on the Mac and then sent the file to your Windows computer, there were problems with the compatible format. I hardly ever used the Office program on the Mac because I was worried that the Word file would screw up the format when I opened it on Windows.
For decades I have been using Windows at work (for my day job) and at home using a Macintosh. And only in the last 10 years or so has using Microsoft Word on Mac worked well with Microsoft Word on a Windows computer. Back in the late 1990s people who really wanted to use Microsoft Office were definitely getting a Windows computer. No one in enterprise was using a Mac back then if they were mainly using the Microsoft Office. People were getting the Mac because they were enthusiastic about it or because they were working on media, like with video or photos or web etc. For me, I knew that Office sucked on the Mac for many many years. Microsoft Office was so bad on the Mac for so many years that most people wanted to use a virtual computer on their Mac to run Windows and Windows Office. That is how bad Office on the Mac was.
Now the Office Program on the Mac is much better. But I would say that is during the past 10 years. And it is certainly much better on iOS and on the iPad.

Clayton and Natali Morris: Sued for Fraud and Leaving the Country

I was taken aback today when news crossed my desk that Clayton Morris and his wife Natali and their kids moved from New Jersey to Portugal under a cloud of civil litigation alleging that Clayton has committed fraud against various investors in real estate. See the news here (Washington Examiner) and here (USA Today).
Why I am taken aback is for years I have listened to both Clayton and Natli. Both of them were tech people on the internet. For almost 20 years I have been following and listening to Leo Laporte, the king of tech on the internet and podcasting. For many years, both Natali and Clayton, who had separate tech careers, were guests on Leo Laporte’s podcasts. Natali was also co-host of another popular podcasts called Buzz Out Loud. She was then single and known as Natali Del Conti. Clayton Morris for years was the tech guy on Fox’s Fox and Friends. At some point they got married and it was really cool that two tech celebrities on the internet found each other. (Although now an internet search shows me Clayton was married and may have gotten Natali pregnant while married to his first wife.)
So a couple of years ago, I thought they did a weird move. They quit doing tech and instead did a real estate program where they were trying get investors to purchase real estate. I listed to one of the podcasts and I didn’t like it because it sounded like they were trying to make investors believe they could make easy money investing in real estate. Among other things, they created something called Morris Invest and did podcasts telling people how they could make a lot of money through real estate. They also had a Youtube channel pitching investment advice.

I found thier pitches on the podcast and YouTube to be creepy. It sounded like hard pitches and that the Morris were primarily interested in making money.
Well things started coming out about the Morrises this past spring when on March 25, 2019, the New York Times reported various civil suits filed by investors into Clayton Morris pitch accusing him and his company of fraud.
Then within recent days the press has reported that the Morris have left the country and moved to Portugal. Natali Morris confirmed this on her website.
Natatli Morris is claiming that she and her husband are innocent:

Last month my family and I moved abroad. We have many reasons for this but the other day at our visa application appointment, I realized that the main motivation was the same thing that has pushed generations of parents across borders: to seek a better life for their family.
I am not one of those who rejects America. We had a good life there. But my husband and I have had a hard few years in our business and this has forced us to question everything. 1

It is not a smart move for them to move to Portugal while there are all these lawsuits claiming that they swindled various investors. It looks like they are running away with the money to Portugal. If the lawsuits go to trial and they don’t show up they will look guilty for running away. Even if they come back for depositions and a civil trial it still looks bad that they left the country, particularly if they took the money with them.
Also, if they are concerned about a criminal case, it is not a good plan to run away to Portugal.
I keep wondering what Leo Laporte and other tech people on the internet who knew them think about this.
I guess this saga will play out on the coming years.

IOS 13 BETA 3 SOLVES PET PEEVE WITH VIDEO PODCASTS ON THE APPLE PODCAST APP

One of my pet peeves on the iPhone and iPad is that when I play a video podcast on the Apple Podcast and I close the app because I want to do something else on the iPhone or iPad, but I want to still listen to the podcast, the audio would stop. So then I would have to manually start out the podcast using the control window. IOS 13 beta appears to solve that. I am running beta version 3 and when I get out of the Podcast app while watching a video podcast, the audio doesn’t stop. Hooray. Thanks for fixing this Apple. Here is a short video that demonstrates this.

https://youtu.be/TwZI5d3qoLc

WWDC — Can't Wait

Every year, early June is like a Winter Holiday for me. That is because WWDC, Apple’s Developer’s conference takes place in early June. This year it starts on Monday, June 3, 2019. I can’t wait.

I can’t wait because the future comes on WWDC. Apple updates the IOS and Mac System. Little by little we go in the future. And if we are lucky, Apple announces hardware at WWDC. This year we hope that Tim Cook will announce the new Mac Pro.