June 24, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Rob Pegoraro

On this week’s all-star episode, we present outspoken commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” During this episode, Gene will recount his frightening experience, when his car was totaled as a result of being struck at high speed by a truck. The discussion continues with Kirk’s progress report on his home-built faux Mac clone, which is usually referred to as a Hackintosh. Was it all worth it, or is it better to buy a real Apple Macintosh and not put up with things that just won’t work without lots of baby-sitting? You’ll also hear Kirk’s skeptical comments about whether he’s interested in buying a new Mac, and about Apple’s forthcoming speaker/digital assistant known as HomePod, which will ship later in 2017.

You’ll also hear from columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Finance, Consumer Reports, Wirecutter and other publications. During this segment, Rob will recount his problems with a broken Google Nexus 5x, which succumbed to a known hardware defect, and why he bought a Pixel phone as its replacement, since he favors Android over iOS. Gene recounts his concern with the recent review of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 at Consumer Reports; Rob doesn’t do reviews there. He’ll also talk about his next computer, a 21.5-inch iMac with 4K Retina display. You’ll also hear a brief report on China’s version of the CES. The discussion will move to the productivity possibilities for an iPad, or the lack thereof, Apple’s forthcoming move to overhaul the Mac Pro, and the prospects for the iMac Pro, due to arrive in December of 2017 at a starting price of $4,999.

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June 17, 2017 — Adam Engst and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus

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.

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June 10, 2017 — John Martellaro and Josh Centers

We focus on one of the most important keynotes from Apple Inc. in recent years, at their 2017 Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). During this event, new operating systems for the iPhone, the iPad, the Mac, the Apple TV and the Apple Watch were demonstrated. You’ll hear about some of the important new features, such as how iOS 11 will make the iPad work more like a Mac in handling productivity apps.

By far the most attention was focused on a slew of new hardware announcements. After a slowdown in Mac updates in 2016, Apple introduced updates for the MacBook Air, MacBook, and MacBook Pro notebooks. There were also updates for the iMac. Keeping the promise of an iMac with pro features was a demonstration of the forthcoming iMac Pro, a 27-inch all-in-one powerhouse sporting the guts of a computer workstation. You’ll also hear about Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo, the HomePod, a $349 loudspeaker that is directed by Apple’s digital assistant, Siri.

Our guests include outspoken commentator John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer and author/editor Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles.

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June 3, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Bryan Chaffin

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature outspoken columnist/podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” This week Gene and Kirk talk briefly about the iTunes movie bundle sales, where you can buy 10 movies for $2 each, or individual movies for $5. Do those bundles provide top quality movies, or just a mixture of the good and the not-so-good? You’ll also hear fearless predictions about what Apple may announce at the WWDC developer’s conference. Will there be new Mac notebooks, a Siri speaker? What about a surprise product that nobody anticipated? Kirk also wonders why the pre-event chatter about what might be coming has been so light.

A contrary opinion comes from tech journalist Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. Bryan feels a number of rumors have been published about Apple’s plans ahead of the event, more than usual. Gene and Bryan cover the basics, such as the new operating systems, possible new notebook computers, a Siri speaker system. Is such a gadget even needed? What about the fact that the presumed main rival the Amazon Echo, hasn’t sold in large numbers? Or does such a product represent a focal point for Apple’s HomeKit, which allows for home automation? Gene offers an update to his ongoing customer support issues with AT&T that required, so far, talking to no less than 25 people without any positive results.

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