Gambling Commission figures show that gambling industry in UK rakes huge profits and while some gambling forms are legal, the government is worried that gambling is now turning into a new addiction problem.
While there is help available in combating gambling addiction, this time, a new way to combat this form of addiction has been presented by the University of Cambridge Engineering department and its spin-out corporate Futurespace. They’re using technology.
How is it done? Futurespace has developed a machine that uses behavioral data in analyzing if a person is showing signs that he’s a potential gambling addict. With learning techniques, the machine could identify patterns that are suggestive of gambling addiction. Such data are useful indication if the person needs to go and consult professional help and also serves as a preventive measure.
Where will the data come from? It is a regular procedure in gambling sites such as those offering bingo games to collect betting patterns of their players. This data indicates the time of day, the frequency and bets, and the type of game a player plays.
How is the data analyzed? With the collected data, Futurespace would be able to come up with a series of patterns that are indicative of normal or some risky behavior suggesting the person is inclined to develop gambling problems.
How the idea takes it form? Futurespace used to work as a consultant to provide fraud-solutions to the gaming industry. While working, they have collected huge volume of data and seeing how customers are going out of control, they begun turning to using the collected data to help customers of gambling companies take control of their gambling. David Excel, who works as CTO and founder of Futurespace, explained that their work emerged from the point of view of a responsible gambling corporation. So they started developing a technology that will help bingo players to take control of their gambling behavior or, in other words, prevent beforehand his being addicted to bingo sites like this one wheretoplaybingo.org.
Who will benefit with the idea? Initially players themselves will benefit from this new way of combating gambling addiction. It is a form of a preventive measure and Futurespace sees this as a public service. However in general assessment, the gambling business benefits more if gambling addiction is controlled.
When a player starts developing gambling problems, the chances would be that he will turn to self-exclusion. Hence, when he does, this kind of player ceases to be a source of revenue to gambling sites. So in effect, Futurespace is doing more service to the gambling business as they can now take necessary steps to keep their players in a healthy gambling state.
David Excel maintained that when a gambling business was able to sustain a long-term relationship with their players, the better the business is. He further explained that when gambling problems increases in any location, the less favorable it is for business. Gaming commissions on some locations come up with strict regulations when there is an alarming statistic of gambling problem and this may include gambling addiction.
Futurespace’s new technology works through knowing the habits of players and learning the patterns each individual creates through his playing habits. When such patterns show that a player is in control, it is conclusive that his playing patterns are regular and normal. However, factors such as who the player is and the frequency he plays are still valuable before concluding there are signs of addiction.
How can the technology combat gambling addiction? After indentifying and concluding that the problem really does exist, the next steps become crucial. It is when gambling sites should take the necessary measures such as limiting playing sessions, imposing deposit limits as well as loss limits. It is only through these measures that players could be in control of their gaming habits.
Gambling business gets ample help from technology in order to keep up with new trends and demands and ironically they’re using technology to combat gambling addiction. It only shows that gambling industry has sense after all.
(The above article is a subsidized submission.)
- Trusting 10 Top IT Exam Resources and 10 Most Popular… With the increasing hype and benefits listed with the IT certifications for its challenging nature, the demand for internationally recognized vendors and universities remains to be of equivalent importance. As the list of certifications goes on, what professionals seek is a platform that provides information and training for a range of certification covering all the basic and techniques helpful for clearing these certifications. More than the certification today, the tag of vendor or the university has gained most of the attention of the organizations and clients. Although there is great competition between the IT exam resources/vendors and IT universities, the best ones remain in the limelight. Following are the top 10 IT exam resources and 10 most popular Universities in the USA offering IT programs: Exin Exin is one of the most reputed IT vendors providing IT service management exams/certification services. These service trainings are Exin product oriented. Symantec According to a recent survey Symnatec is listed among the top 5 IT exam resources offering the highest quality security based certifications. Pass4sure.co.uk To prepare for a range of certifications covering all the required training and skills, PASS4SURE is an efficient and reliable platform. It covers certifications from all the famous vendors with related study guide and training services. Hds A company under which great system-based products are listed provides candidates high opportunities for learning different technologies and their related certification trainings. Avaya Avaya is famous for its network programs and products. It offers certification trainings for programming, implementation and networking. This vendor is famous for its easy to learn study course and trainings. Oracle Oracle is another famous organization known for its line of services and products around the world. Oracle offers IT resources for expert and master level. The certification programs under its title are famous for their best coverage of subjects. Actualtests.com Actualtests.com guarantees high quality training and study material to candidates available in different languages. There are different ways of training and learning including virtual classrooms. This site is also listed among the top 10 IT exam resources. Braindumps.com BrainDumps provides a reliable source of learning for a range of 642-457 vce certification programs based on networking and related IT fields. It also offers online 200-101 pdf software practice exams and virtual classrooms with a range SY0-401 exam of study material. Lpi Linux as famous for across the globe and also owns an increasing demand for its trained professionals. Professionals are trained under the title of Linux are recognized everywhere in the world for their skills and knowledge areas. Test-king.com Test King offers a range of study material of technical information and lab exams based on different IT certifications. The variety of information and training material lists it among the 10 top IT exam resources. 10 universities: Massachusetts Institute of technology MIT offers various IT certifications that are recognized internationally for their outline courses. University of Massachusetts Lowell UMS Lowell, a famous university in the USA for all its programs but particularly for its IT certification programs and degree. It provides certifications based on Linux systems, Java, Oracle, Cisco networks, communication, PMI certifications and more. Extra full course training is also provided. Villonova university Listed among the most important IT program offering universities in the USA, this university has the most sophisticated system for IT programs covering certifications like Six Sigma, Project management, IT management, IT services and IS security. It covers most challenging certifications of the IT industry. University of Phoniex University of Phoenix is known for its security certification offerings. It provides training for network security and database administration and all the Cisco networking certifications. Kaplan univerity Kaplan is an online platform offering training for a range of IT certifications through a virtual platform. Kaplan offers certifications for webmaster, wireless networking and more. Brandman University Brandman is a nonprofit USA-based university that offers certification to other than students and volunteers. This is also a virtual platform and an online university where you can register for the chosen certification online and can also get related training and course outline Southern Polytechnic State University Southern Polytechnic State University offers different IT programs that are highly valued in the market. They help candidates build expert level skills and cover vast areas of knowledge. Among various certifications it also covers Cisco networks, AutoCAD, and other training programs. University of Houston University of Houston is known for its undergraduate certification programs. The credits of their certification can also be added to their graduate programs (IT based). University of Cincinnati This is a famous educational institute that provides online certification programs that are offered for college credits and also for gaining professional recognition in the IT industry internationally. University of Arizona The university offers both undergraduate and graduate IT programs to students from across the world. Their certifications are highly regarded in USA-based organizations.
- Apple, the WWDC and the Wacky Run-up After quite a run, and ahead of a 7-to-1 stock split, Apple's stock price had declined slightly before the WWDC keynote on Monday. I suppose this was to be expected. The event was presaged with optimism, skepticism and silly claims about what the company must do to survive. Some weeks back, for example, one online pundit who doesn't deserve to be named or linked suggested that the company would be toast if the iWatch wasn't released in 60 days. When that date passed, and Apple was still here, it merely represented yet another example of commentators lying through their teeth or making downright foolish claims to generate online traffic. Having a respect for facts and logic played second fiddle. There was also the "Apple must" meme, that the WWDC keynote must be filled with new hardware and new product categories, even though it was ostensibly for developers. Thus, we know there would be news about iOS 8 and OS 10.10 because Apple said as much. But expectations that there would be new hardware weren't met. There was no Apple TV or iWatch demonstration for developers, but the people who build apps for Apple gear still got plenty to consider, including a new simplified programming language known as Swift. But OS 10 Yosemite? What about that Looney Toons cartoon character? Clearly Apple isn't taking that into consideration with OS 10.10, which will sport the rumored flatter look and feel, reminiscent of iOS. The improved transparency effects and cleaner text and windows seem interesting enough if a new OS X skin appeals to you. While Mavericks was heavily laden with hardware improvements to use RAM and power more efficiently, Yosemite is heavily disposed towards improvements for Mac users. Front and center is Continuity, which greatly simplifies the passage from Mac to iPhone to iPad, and back again. Email and messages can begin on one, and be completed on another. You can also use your Mac or, with iOS 8, your iPad to make and receive phone calls on your iPhone. Of course your iPhone has to be active on the same Wi-Fi network for this Handoff process to work. SMS messaging is also supported; again with a networked iPhone. You can also use your iPhone to set up an Instant Hotspot, though that would appear to require support from your wireless carrier, as Apple indicates on their site. Clearly Apple's critics will complain that Continuity is yet another way for Apple to rope you in to depending on their ecosystem. But there's nothing wrong with that. Other companies and their sycophants in the tech media are probably jealous. So iCloud becomes iCloud Drive, since you can now use it as an online repository for all your files, and even set up a traditional file/folder hierarchy that can be accessed on all your Apple gear, including your iPhone and iPad, along with a Windows PC. In a sense, Apple is going after Dropbox and the cloud storage systems from Microsoft and Google to set up seamless ways for you to store and easily transfer larger files. Mail for Yosemite, with the promise of greater speed and efficiency, has a new feature, dubbed Mail Drop, which lets you use your iCloud Drive as an intermediary for file attachments of up to 5GB. This will help you avoid the usual problem of sending large files to a recipient. Email services traditionally limit attachments to less than 20MB. Windows users will simply receive a link in their email to retrieve the file, which definitely rains on Hightail's parade. Since iCloud now plays a larger role in storing your stuff, new storage plans are coming. You'll still get 5GB free, but 20GB is just 99 cents per month, and 200GB is $3.99 per month. For small businesses, or families with loads of photos and other files to store and back up, the latter plan is the sweet spot. You'll be able to get up to 1TB of storage once all the options are in place. Spotlight has been enhanced to include both online and local searches, which is something you can already do under Windows. I suppose Apple is hoping you'll move away from Safari searches and rely on Spotlight to find everything. Here's why: While Google search is still supported and remains the default on Safari, Spotlight uses Microsoft Bing. I wonder how Google will react when they get the memo. As with Mavericks, OS X Yosemite will be available this fall, probably between late September and late October, as a free download and is reportedly compatible with the very same Macs that can run OS 10.9. While developers are already downloading the first Yosemite preview, up to one million Mac users will receive access to Yosemite betas this summer. So be prepared to sign up as soon as possible. I expect they will want to get a few releases out before letting non-developers gain access to the seeds. While iOS 8 also comes across as a compelling release, Apple has yet to say anything about side-by-side multitasking for iPads. I suppose that could come later. Meantime, in addition to the Swift development language, Apple is moving towards giving developers more flexility in building and selling iOS apps. There is, for example, support for Touch ID and third-party keyboards. So, although the new QuickType predictive keyboard scheme may appeal to most users, those who want a Swype or another third-party keyboard to replace Apple's will get full system support. Would that were true with other apps, and it would be nice to be able to pick something else as the default for such tasks as email and browsing. As predicted, HealthKit will be designed to allow developers of health and fitness apps to seamlessly communicate with your iOS device and the new Health app. Such major medical institutions as Mayo Clinic have announced full support, which means you'll be a tap away from monitoring your physical condition, and your doctor can receive immediate updates should test results require their attention. Apple, by the way, promises what appears to be bulletproof security for Health and also for HomeKit, a tool for developers to build apps to better integrate your connected home. The HomeKit feature is called Secure Pairing, which supposedly means that only a registered iOS device can unlock your home, adjust the lights, turn on the microwave, or perform many other functions in your home. Developers will be able to bundle apps at a special discount and offer beta testing functions via the App Store. A new "Explore" feature will make it easier for you to discover the more than 1.2 billion apps now available for iOS users. While iOS 8 won't look altogether different from iOS 7, and thus isn't apt to be quite as polarizing, that can't be said for Yosemite. Right after the initial announcement appeared in the tech media, one of my friends, who has already had a love/hate relationship with Mavericks, responded with just one word, "YUK!" Her concern is that it looks more like iOS, but I reminded her that it's still OS X and her Mac will still run like a Mac despite the changes. Oh, and by the way, the iPhone 4 is not on the iOS 8 compatibility list. It was hit or miss with iOS 7, so it makes sense it has been retired from future iOS updates. In any case, Apple's stock price resumed its upward climb Tuesday morning. Evidently Wall Street was impressed.
- Should Apple Respond to Microsoft’s Big Bet? A recent article from one of my long-time colleagues, Peter Cohen of iMore, started me thinking about the various approaches taken by Microsoft and Apple towards operating system releases. Up till now, a new OS was an event. There would be full-blown media events, often accompanied by advertising, and tech writers would often be granted early access to get the buzz out. Microsoft would offer public previews, or betas, to give customers an early crack and what they were working on. In 2014, Apple expanded an existing public beta program to deliver OS X seeds to over one million Mac users. But success of new versions of Windows has been hit or miss. Windows XP and Windows 7 were extremely successful; the former still has a double digit share of the market even though Microsoft withdrew support many months ago. Windows Vista bombed. With Windows 8/8.1, Microsoft made all the wrong decisions and the public reacted accordingly. Indeed, many of the serious problems were reported during the public preview process, but Microsoft was tone deaf. Windows 10 is supposed to fix all that was bad, while still retaining the tiles and overwrought colors introduced in Windows 8. The Start menu is back in all its glory, and Microsoft's copying machines picked up a few hints from OS X, such as multiple desktops and an app/document display window reminiscent of Mission Control. Microsoft also claims that Windows 10 will, essentially, be the last major release. As with Adobe's cloud-based apps, there will be periodic rolling updates with some new features. There won't be one monolithic reference release. This approach will also mean that IT departments won't have to disrupt their workflows and go through extensive testing deploying major upgrades. Supposedly. On the other hand, each rolling release will still require testing to make sure new and changed features don't break something. It'll just happen on a smaller scale, though more frequently. Now a downside of this new approach is that you won't be rushing to a consumer electronics store, or Amazon, to buy a Windows upgrade. If you already have Windows 7 or later, Windows 10 will be a free download for the first year. It's possible Microsoft will just charge for them after that, This is just a scheme to push early updates. But why aren't Windows XP and Windows Vista included? While this may seem harmful to Microsoft's revenue from operating systems, businesses on annual contracts will still pay, and there will still be fees for OEMs to set up Windows on a new PC. According to Cohen, "Many of Windows 10's major components are designed modularly, to be replaced with new technology. This iterative design approach should make it possible for Microsoft to innovate and test new features more rapidly than it's been able to in the past. What's more, Microsoft's new operating system will work similarly across desktops, laptops, tablets and phones." But what if Microsoft develops a new technology and update scheme that makes the core obsolete? Does Microsoft then release Windows 11? I'm just speculating here, but making everything iterative and based on an existing structure has to eventually limit future development unless Microsoft has developed some miracle update scheme that accounts for this. And what if Apple considered a similar update method? So OS 10.11 would be the last full release, and all updates would be rolling and incremental from then on. Other than build number, there wouldn't be a full reference release. Just ongoing bug fixes and feature enhancements. For Apple, it might even make sense since the company doesn't charge for the OS anyway, even though the annual upgrade cycle means plenty of publicity. And perhaps a lot of pain, since each major release cycle causes lots of extra work for many developers. Early release bugs appear, and several releases are required to get rid of them, or at least minimize them. New features and APIs are thrust upon developers, and existing apps may have to be updated to be compatible. Indeed, some developers only pay lip service to unique core OS features. Consider Adobe, Microsoft and Quark and ask them when they will ever support OS X's Auto Save and Versions features. It's not that they don't have equivalents of one sort or another, but they are proprietary and restricted to their own apps. Support for the App Store still isn't always possible either. You cannot, for example, get Office at the App Store, although I suppose things could change since Microsoft OneNote is offered that way. But not with Adobe, since all apps now require cloud memberships on their network. Even if Apple did adopt an approach similar to Microsoft, there'd be the same downsides. Ongoing updates would mean regular bouts of pain as developers have to confront a fairly frequent dose of new and changed feature sets. At least with the annual upgrade cycle, they can endure all the pain at once rather than continually. Frequent updates could be wasteful when it comes to developer resources, and some might just opt to take a minimalist approach and only support the features that require the least disruption. Now Microsoft is confronting a situation where the existing operating system strategy hasn't worked, so they should be credited with trying something new to see how it fares. While it's true Apple needs to find a better way to make OS X more stable, it doesn't necessarily mean Microsoft's new approach is any better.
- Apple and Microsoft — About Philosophy So in recent days, more and more tech pundits have published comparisons between OS X El Capitan, still a ways from release, and Windows 10, which arrived this week for download and bundled with some new PCs. Looking over these two, which actually derive an idea or two from one another, you can see where Apple and Microsoft have seriously diverged in how they approach platforms. For years, Microsoft has touted Windows Everywhere, meaning that, whatever device you use, you'd have access to a version of Windows. This would extend to point-of-sale devices and other gear that doesn't necessarily strike you as related to a PC, though they are, in fact, computers. Windows 10 takes that integration attempt a step further by building an operating system meant to work on a host of devices. But there will be touch-centric and mouse-centric interface changes as needed. So when you use a convertible PC notebook, one that can act as a tablet with a removable or rotating display, and one that works as a regular PC, there's a Continuum mode. It can be made automatic or require manual switching, but it will deliver the right input scheme for your setup. In passing, I wonder how some people might react if they don't get the memo, or OK everything and have Windows 10 switch modes when they didn't expect it. I also gather hardware makers will also have to adjust their drivers to allow for the smoothest switch. The other problem is the so-called Universal app, which means a developer creates one version that works on any Windows 10 device. The problem is that a Universal app is also "fat," meaning it has the binaries for both mouse and touch versions and is thus potentially much larger. This could become a serious problem for a notebook with a small SSD, quite common, or a smartphone without lots of storage. Contrast that to Apple's approach in iOS 9, where the OS downloads will be smaller, and you'll download apps stripped of the code you don't need on your device. Apple also does not believe that you can integrate a toaster oven with a refrigerator, to use Tim Cook's famously exaggerated example. Thus Mac notebooks do not have touchscreens, and the iPad, although keyboards are available, is primarily touch-centric. The operating systems may share some code and features, but they are optimized for the different user conditions. Integrating, to Apple, would remain a poor compromise, and it's an open question whether putting Windows 10 everywhere is actually going to work. Indeed, it remains to be seen whether those convertible PCs will succeed in a declining market where Apple is one of the few companies to grow sales and market share. Right now you pay a premium to have a notebook that can double as a touch-based tablet, and the sales case has yet to be proven. This fall, prices are expected to decline for such gear, but, again, that doesn't mean people want all-in-one devices of this sort, as opposed to a computer with an integrated display, such as the iMac. So the features touted by PC fans as superior to OS X are partly related to philosophy. You don't need Continuum, but Apple has Continuity, providing for some level of integration among your Apple devices. The operating systems and the way you interact are different but you can still switch rom one to the other more smoothly. Well, mostly, because Continuity, and the Handoff feature can be buggy. One hopes things will be better when El Capitan is finalized. The other difference is Cortana. Apple's virtual assistant, Siri, remains on mobile gear, because Apple believes these are more personal devices that are a better fit for such a feature. Microsoft, wanting to have the same things everywhere, more or less, brought Cortana to the Windows 10 PC, bugs and all. While it may be suitable to some — and I expect home users will benefit most from Cortana — early reviews indicate "she" is buggy, and voice recognition is apt to cut off with a response before you're finished. A famous example is asking the name of the President of the United States. Cortana may cut off before "States," and thus identify the President of United Airlines instead. Surely that and other recognition glitches will be fixed before long, but Cortana is something Microsoft has had for a while, starting with the Xbox gaming console. So it's hard to excuse problems of this sort. Apple could have released a version of Siri for OS X, but hasn't done so. The use case is questionable, whereas Microsoft has no compunctions about throwing something out there for those who might want to use it. Or maybe just for bragging rights. That said, it's troubling that Windows 10 appears to have shipped with loads of bugs, not just in Cortana, but in Mail and other apps. While you expect glitches early on, and OS X Yosemite wasn't immune by a long shot, there appears to be too much going on that's not so pleasant. It may be that Microsoft ran headlong into getting Windows 10 out for back-to-school PC sales, hoping the worst glitches would be fixed by fall. OS X El Capitan will probably appear no later than late October, and one hopes the worst bugs will be eradicated. But doing any comparison is a little unfair right now, particularly for features not fully baked. One thing is certain, however, and that is that the next OS X is not just a bug fix update. There are lots of under-the-hood changes that promise better performance and security. The feature enhancements promise to improve productivity. So far most of what Microsoft is offering with Windows 10, aside from a couple of controversial features, is the removal of the Windows 8/8.1 excesses, and a few features "borrowed" from the Mac to improve multitasking. But Windows 10, absent the bugs, performs well enough, and the Microsoft Edge browser is good enough that the company ought to consider a Mac version. That's saying a lot, but the enterprise won't switch until they know everything's all right, and that may take a year or two to happen. Meantime, PC sales will continue to decline.
- The iMac SSD Transplant Report It's quite certain that the designers of recent iMacs didn't consider what might be required if you wanted to change anything more than RAM. And on the 21.5-inch version, you can't even do that. So this forces you to load up such Macs on Apple's build-to-order page when you place your order, so you don't have to concern yourself about lost upgrade opportunities. Now I bought my late 2009 iMac towards the end of that year, a few weeks after release. I did customize some, with an Intel 2.8GHz i7 processor, and the upgraded graphics card. I kept the standard 8GB RAM, since I could always flesh it out later if I wanted; that was the one thing that could be upgraded easily. Indeed, when the time came to move to 16GB RAM, I did the deed in about five minutes from the time it took to lift the iMac from my desk, place the screen on a large towel, open the tiny cover at the bottom of the unit, and replace the RAM. Although that RAM upgrade should not have made a substantial performance change, or at least I didn't expect one, I found that some apps seem to be less apt to clog system resources. A particular example was Parallels Desktop, where I was able to launch into a Windows virtual machine somewhat more quickly, with fewer slowdowns impacting other apps. Understand that I seldom gave Windows more than 1GB of RAM, so the slowdowns shouldn't have been as drastic as they were. In any case, I appreciated the modest performance boost, but still suffered from long startup times, amounting to several minutes because I launch half a dozen apps at startup, and opening one of those large productivity apps, such as Adobe Photoshop and QuarkXPress, took 20 seconds or more. Anything that involved copying large numbers of files seemed glacial, and the 1TB Western Digital Caviar "Black" drive that shipped with the iMac was regarded as reasonably swift for its time. So I enlisted the expertise of Other World Computing, who specializes in Mac upgrades, to suggest a suitable drive upgrade for review. We settled on the closest match to the stock drive, OWC's 1TB Mercury Electra 6G SSD. If you want to buy one, it retails for $478, a fairly normal price for such a device. If you can don't need that much storage, or can rely some on an external drive, you can get a 480GB SSD for $259. OWC also includes some useful features that make it suitable for use on Macs. So what OWC calls "global wear leveling algorithms" and "StaticDataRefresh" are said to eliminate the need for one of those TRIM hacks, not officially supported with OS X Yosemite, which are often necessary for third-party SSDs. The major claim to fame with SSD is a performance level several times higher than a traditional hard drive without the wear and tear. OWC advertises "sustained reads up to 535MB/s and writes up to 443MB/s," although I made no effort to verify that claim. Alas, you can't just pop the hard drive out of an iMac and put a new one in. Installation involves a laborious process that you shouldn't try without some careful instructions. You'll also need to buy a special kit that contains some special tools and a pair of suction cups. OWC sells such a kit for $59. They have also posted an instruction video that makes the process seem less intimidating. It's still not a cakewalk, but if you pay close attention, and you're comfortable with a tiny Torx screwdriver and fiddling with slim, delicate wiring harnesses, you'll probably do all right. In addition to the SSD and the drive installation kit, OWC also sent along a 3.5-inch drive adaptor — the SSD is a 2.5-inch device — although you actually can get by without it. Oh, and by the way, next-generation of ultra-thin iMacs are even more difficult to upgrade. In place of magnets to hold the glass in place, Apple has moved to a special adhesive tape. In any case, I received the kit on a Saturday, and steeled myself for the installation the following Monday. I watched the video several times, and kept it available on another Mac, the review iMac 5K that has since been returned to Apple, just in case I needed a refresher. And I did. I won't detail all the steps here. But it starts with using the two suction cups to pry the glass from the iMac's chassis. After that, you have to unscrew a bunch of tiny Torx (six-point) screws to remove the LCD display. All this has to be done real carefully, and it's best to have some clean, soft surfaces on which to place the delicate components you're removing. Disconnecting the LCD involves unplugging some real slim wiring harnesses, and you have to be extremely careful. It's not that replacement cables are necessarily expensive, but getting them from a local Apple dealer or even an Apple Store will not be easy. They are not regarded as user serviceable parts. To prepare myself for the process, I ran a full clone backup to the external FireWire 800 drive with Carbon Copy Cloner. From beginning to end, it took over an hour to install the SSD. The photo at the left shows the iMac at the point where the LCD panel was being removed. The only fly in the ointment was the dust that accumulated inside after five years in dusty Arizona, and it required a few moments to blow it out. No doubt I improved the long-term reliability of this computer in the process. After the iMac was closed up, I carefully reconnected all the peripheral cables and the power cord. Since I had to install a new OS onto an empty drive, I pressed Option during the startup process to allow me to select the Yosemite restore partition from the backup drive. The relative speed of the installation signaled what I'd expect once the iMac had its own OS. The migration process required some four hours to restore 500GB of data to the new drive, about the same as the same migration procedure took on the iMac 5K. Once restored, I was able to give the SSD the acid test, and I was amazed. Normally it takes up to three minutes for my Mac to boot and all startup apps to load. This time the process took little more than 30 seconds to complete, and I hit the desktop in 15 seconds flat. Most apps launched instantaneously, and Adobe Photoshop took maybe three seconds. QuarkXPress 10.5 loaded in about 10 seconds. As any of you who has used an SSD can testify, just about everything runs amazing fast, and the dream of almost instant response is realized. Indeed, it is now hard to detect much of a difference between my old iMac, and the iMac 5K — the latter came with a 1TB Fusion Drive, which gives you most of the performance of a true SSD — which goes to show how much of what you do on a Mac is drive related. Based on the system tools I put into action, the iMac is also running a lot cooler now, since the drive generates little or no heat, usually not much higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit after some intense action. It's hard to complain about that. The sole downside, and it's minor, is the fact that a 1TB SSD generally formats to around 960GB capacity, short of the 999GB used by the previous drive. But that's really a minor trade off to gain those amazing speed advantages. True, an SSD, and the accompanying installation kit, aren't exactly cheap. But it's a lot less expensive than buying a new Mac. If you would rather not engage in such extensive transplant surgery yourself, and I understand why, see if a local Mac dealer would do it for you; an Apple Store would refuse for obvious reasons. You can also ship your iMac to OWC's own plant, of course, but first see if you find a nearby dealer to handle the chores, because it will cost less, particularly when you include the cost of shipping. A nearby authorized Apple dealer, MacMedia of Scottsdale AZ, considers iMac drive upgrades a Tier 2 process for which it charges $95. It's definitely worth the peace of mind if you choose to take this step. Now OWC normally sends out review hardware for 30-day evaluations. But since reviewing this drive involved a complicated installation process, they aren't exactly rushing me to return it.
This article was posted on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 at 1:23 PM and is filed under News .