Apple Event — October 30th

Finally, I think we may see our new “Mac mini” released. That and a new “iPad Pro” which is rumored to have a face scanning feature just like the new iPhones.

As you can tell, I’m quite excited about the Mac side of the presentation. New iMacs and MacBook Pros have been recently released so, the other thing that might be released is a new and improved “MacBook air.”

I keep hearing the rumors about Apple putting their own Microprocessor in a Mac instead of one manufactured by Intel. This may be the start of that process and may provide a less expensive path for Apple to make the less professional Macs. Apple has lost a lot of school customers to Chromebooks and this may be first shot across the bow to Google as Apple tries to take back that marketshare.

This is ALSO that time of year when companies to sell a lot of machines for holiday gifts. :)

Ill be in touch of I hear anything additional!

Jerry — MacSolutions

High Sierra — First Impressions

While I sit in a terribly uncomfortable chair watching my daughter at her gymnastics practice this evening, I thought I ought to update you on some things.

A few days ago, I (hopefully) politely asked that you do not install the New Mac OS 10.13 named "High Sierra.” My intent was to save you from being a "guinea pig" of sorts.

Most of the time when a new Operating Systems is released, the first version is bug-prone. The people who install it immediately regret the quick adoption and within a month, things get back to normal once Apple releases a “fix" for all of the bugs sound in the original version.

I’d still like for you to hold off on adopting this version however for my machine, it’s been wonderful!

My main machine is a 2010 Model MacBook Pro. The only real modification that I have made to it in all these years, besides adding more memory was to replace the internal spinning Hard Drive with a Solid State Drive (SSD).

With this newer version, my firmware was automatically updated before the Operating System was replaced. Firmware is software that is inherent in devices before they load the Operating System. Compare your brain when you’re born to only having firmware to run your lungs and heart and from there, every other function is learned. Firmware is loaded on a chip and isn’t changed much during the course of a machine’s life.

If you remember, I asked that you to upgrade to 10.11 “El Capitan” but skip over 10.12 “Sierra” because of crashes on some older machines. My laptop would crash quite often when I closed the lid and tried to wake it. I know that some iMacs would crash out of the blue because of some issue with the graphics chip and browser and your machine would restart And one REALLY annoying issue that happened ALL THE TIME was that clicking into a field where you could type in text would cause the "Spinning Beach Ball of Death” to appear for thirty-seconds to a minute, just in that application.

Since the update Monday, all of those issues seem to be gone. The machine seems faster, wakes more quickly and even sleep happens in a seconds. No more pausing on text fields…. I’m a “Happy Camper!”

Why should you wait?

I’m concerned about two things. Some applications might not be compatible with the new OS and also, this Operating System, in its current state, was written for computers with SSD drives (That I mentioned above). Supposedly there will be compatibility with Fusion and other drives later on once Apple gets some bugs worked out.

Now, your computer may not be compatible with this update and if so, it won’t allow you to even download it. The cutoff year is around 2009-2010, depending on the level of the machine.

My machine is behaving as if it were brand new though so I’m pretty excited about this for everyone. Just please be patient and I’ll be in touch!

Thank You!

Jerry — MacSolutions.

Upsetting the Apple Cart Once Again...

While some of you may read this week’s note and just shrug your shoulders.  This is actually a big deal for the long term.

Apple may be dumping Intel Processors.

There has been a long pause in regards to Apple releasing Macs at the usual frequency as in the past.  Yes, Apple did release a new MacBook fairly recently but the whole line of “Pro” Apple machines…. The ones with the most memory, the fastest processors and video cards.

Those of us who recommend machines to professionals have been nervously tapping our feet, wondering what Apple has been up to.  Why ALL the focus on the iPad and iPhone but nothing on the Mac?  Was the Mac going away?  It’s been several years since a MacPro was released and it was the publishing standard of the graphics industry and Apple just let it “rot on the vine.”

I was around for the switch from Motorola Processors to Intel ones.  Everyone was stunned.  Apple had spent millions of dollars putting down Intel processors and rightly so.  Motorola was faster and didn’t get as hot.  

But then Motorola stumbled.  They hit a technical roadblock and Apple couldn’t pretend to be in the lead any longer.

One of the issues that kept some people from switching over to the Mac was that certain software packages were “Windows only.”  And Windows only ran on an Intel based chip.  Since the industry “geeks” were Windows only, they would choose Windows software ad if you wanted a Mac, you’d have to jump through hoops to run that particular software.

The term “Virtual environment” means that you are running your software in a non-native “space.”    You were pretending to run windows and the Windows software, as long as it “thought” that it was running on Windows, didn’t care what processor it was using.  The issue with this type of environment is that since it’s passing all of it’s connections to the “pretend” Intel processor, it ran much more slowly.

When Apple switched to Intel processors, many of the hurdles went away.  The layer of “translation” between the Windows software and through the Mac Operating System didn’t take nearly the effort that it once did.

You could even run Windows DIRECTLY on the Mac instead of the Mac Operating System if you wanted to!

Today, Apple manufacturers it’s own processors for the iPhone and iPad lines.  And to be genuine, they are much more efficient than the processors from companies who have been doing this for a much longer history.

Today if you walk into an Apple Store, you’ll notice that the focus on on sales.  And while Apple is making a fortune, the focus of helping customers has taken a back seat.  

This week, my fellow Consultants highlighted a change where the “Genius Bar” staff will no longer be flown to California for training.  They will be provided training videos to watch and no “hands on” contact with the new machines being released.  So, the people who are supposed to be the top tiered minds in the stores will have to watch “take apart” video just like I do.

I still believe that the Mac Operating System is above Windows in functionality or I wouldn’t be in business “doing what I do.”  But the myriad of reasons for choosing Apple is dwindling quite quickly.

So, the *strong* rumor is that Apple will be putting it’s iPhone and iPad processors in Macs.  And that is the reason that there has been a delay in Apple releasing new machines.

Apple firmly believes that they can do a better job of creating speedy processors better than Intel can.  

So those of you who want to run Windows on your upcoming iMac purchase, may not be able to do so.  Or, it will be in a virtual environment and won’t run ad quickly as before.

This also may signal another need to upgrade software for the new platform.

At this point, everything I’ve written is speculation.  I only have past experiences to draw and extrapolate on.  But if this rumor ends up being true, the "Apple Cart” will be upset once again.  ;)

Jerry — MacSolutions

MacDefender — Very, Very Bad!

I’ve written to you what I believe to be three times now, about “MacDefender.”  If you don’t remember, the software sometimes shows up from a website saying something like “Your Mac is not protected!  Download this and you’ll be safe!”

A lot of people have fallen for this and the company was sued out of business.  But as soon as the lawsuit was over, the software was obtained by a Chinese firm and the process started all over again.

Up to now, the software was just annoying and slowed down your machines.  But now there is a real threat from “MacDefender.”

Hackers have found a flaw *
IN* “MacDefender” and once it’s installed, the hackers can use it to install their own software.  (This is the same hackers who got into the Democratic Party’s servers during the election.)

We REALLY need to get this off your machines sooner than later just to be safe.

The strip of icons at the very top of your screen is called the “Menubar.”  Somewhere near the clock, there may be a little "robot looking face" with a helmet on.  If you see that on your menubar, please contact me.  I can tell you how to remove it yourself.

If not, the process of removing it will only take 15 minutes before you see my “backside” going back out the door.  It’s a fairly easy process.

Jerry — MacSolutions

Software / Hardware Rental

Recently, Microsoft announced that it will no longer support any version of Microsoft Office from year 2011 and older; effective October of 2017. 

 I would say that most of you don’t use Microsoft Office any more.  Most businesses still do.  It’s anchored itself in the business world and try as they might, corporations can’t brake free of Office’s grasp.

What does this mean for those of you who are using Microsoft Office?  It means that you will need to upgrade to “Office 365,”  the newest version of Office which is sold as a subscription rather than a one-time purchase.

As deep as my distaste for Microsoft is, they’re simply following the trend in the computer and software industry and I can’t be too upset at them. Adobe has already moved to this business model and other companies see their success and want to emulate it.

A “rental” or “subscription” of software does wonderful things for a company.  It keeps a constant flow of predictable money coming into the “register,” it also pushes all users of the product to upgrade to the latest version, therefore eliminating the cost of supporting older software support.  No longer are there years of documentation for older versions that the support teams need to reference.  Once software is retired, you can no longer call and get help for it.

So, as a customer who purchased a copy of a program and used it for 10 years on the same computer you also purchased at that time, your time is running out.  Once the software stops being updated, you will have to upgrade to the new version.  And that might not be possible with the “old” Operating System that you’re using on the “old” computer.

It gets worse…

There are strong rumors that this might be happening with Apple Computers as well in the near future.  Much like iPhones, Apple would love to charge you a monthly fee for your shiny, new iMac instead of an upfront purchase.  You would “lease” the machine for a few years and once it’s "obsoleted,” you would return the old machine for a newer that is "automagically" shipped to you to keep you current.

This would do the same for Apple as it does for the software vendors that I mentioned above.  It keeps money coming in the door but it also provides "brand loyalty.”  If you’re going to automatically get a new machine every couple of years, you’ll probably not want to switch to another brand or Operating System.

This is still speculation at this point.  But the rumors are strong about this and I honestly see it happening in the not too distant future.

If you’re running a business, I would keep this "top of mind.” 

I’m going to have to take one more vacation day
this Friday.  My mom is going to be interred that day.

Things should be back to “normal” for me from next week forward.

Thank You again for all of the kind words.  I had hundreds of people respond with sympathy and support to the point that it brought tears to my eyes.  I really am a lucky guy to have so many friends.

Jerry — MacSolutions