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    DOWNLOAD — Free Version: We present long-time tech journalist and editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS. During this segment, Gene and Adam will have an extensive discussion about Apple’s forthcoming professional Macs, the iMac Pro and the new Mac Pro. Is the iMac Pro, which will start at $4,999 when it debuts in December, overpriced compared to the competition? Will a decked out version cost as much as a compact car? You’ll be surprised at the response. There will also be a discussion about whether Macs are good for hosting web sites, and about cloud solutions for hosting. During this segment, Gene will talk about his brief experience using a Mac mini to host all his sites.

    You’ll also hear from prolific author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who will talk about a variety of issues related to Apple, such as the Apple Watch and why he wouldn’t mind a slightly thicker iPhone if it came with a battery that lasted longer. The discussion will also cover the newest Macs, whether Bob plans to buy one of those upgraded models, and what about the future of Apple’s digital assistant, Siri? Bob will also talk about the print version of his latest book, “Working Smarter for Mac Users,” and how it can help you become more productive in getting work done on your computer. Bob had to overcome an ADHD condition in order to become a working writer.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — June 17, 2017

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    Apple, In-house GPUs, and the Consequences

    June 23rd, 2017

    Apple has made huge progress in using its own silicon to power its mobile gear. The A-series processors, based on ARM silicon, are capable of performance that rivals traditional notebook personal computers with Intel Inside. Recent benchmarks of the 2017 iPad Pro reveal numbers that are faster than the latest MacBook and at least competitive with a MacBook Pro.

    Indeed, some suggest that Apple is missing the boat by not ditching Intel and switching to its own chips. But this is a really complicated issue, and it’s also true that Intel is making progress in making their chips run a decent amount faster. The Kaby Lake CPUs used in the latest Mac notebooks exceed the performance of their predecessors by decent margins. So it may not be time now — or ever — for Apple to consider another processor migration.

    That said, up till now, Apple has licensed designs from Imagination Technologies to provide the GPUs for such gear as iPhones and iPads. The UK firm receives royalties from the sale of these products. That these devices score well in benchmarks does indicate that the association has been productive. Until now.

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    The World of the Hackintosh Revisited

    June 22nd, 2017

    So eight years ago, Macworld columnist Rob Griffiths decided to take a stab at building an unofficial Mac clone. With Apple’s switch to Intel processors in 2006, it seemed logical that you could do such a thing, take generic PC parts and somehow induce them to run Apple’s OS, and many have tried. Rob called his completed computer a “FrankenMac.” Overall it worked, well mostly, but the setup process required lots of babysitting and false starts.

    But that was early in the game. Over the years, building a Hackintosh has become easier to manage, largely because there are online communities that specialize in testing PC hardware of compatibility and devising the best ways to install macOS. So if you choose the recommended hardware, you stand a decent chance of building a mostly usable computer.

    I say mostly, and you’ll see why in a moment. You see, the big problem is that macOS is tightly integrated with a specific number of Macs with certain hardware configurations. Where you have the option — and it’s one not often available anymore — you can install third-party RAM and maybe even a third-party drive. None of that should present a compatibility problem.

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    Looking Down at an iPhone: It Changed My Life

    June 21st, 2017

    When Steve Jobs demonstrated the first iPhone at a Macworld Expo on January 9, 2007, I was only half listening. To me, a cell phone was all about making phone calls. Their web browsers and email tools were clunky, clumsy, and how can you type quickly on a telephone keypad?

    At the time, I would cast a curious look at my son, Grayson, while his thumbs busily typed text messages to his friends. Clearly he knew something, but I wasn’t sure it was worth taking seriously. He’d grow out of it, I thought. But that’s what parents always say about their children.

    When the iPhone 3G arrived in 2008, I had the chance to get one from Apple to review. In addition to supporting 3G cellular networks, the Apple Store had debuted. When the first iPhone arrived, Jobs talked in terms of web apps, which went precisely nowhere. Having a real app store, with software that ran natively on the iPhone, created a revolution for developers.

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    Consumer Reports and its Samsung Disconnect

    June 20th, 2017

    So Consumer Reports has finally issued its verdict on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+. Both score 82 on the current ratings scale, placing them at the top of the heap. Plenty of praise was heaped on the phone, except for its lack of a removable battery, a difficult-to-access memory card, and then there’s that fingerprint sensor!

    Instead of being on the front, in the spirit of Apple’s Touch ID, it’s at the rear. The reason appears to be due to the difficulty of embedding such a sensor beneath the AMOLED display. This design decision fueled unconfirmed rumors that Apple had encountered the same problem, and would the forced to make the same placement decision for Touch ID on the rumored iPhone 8, which is rumored to also sport an edge-to-edge display.

    But recent iPhone 8 rumors indicates Apple won’t have that problem, and there will be an embedded Touch ID in its usual spot.

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