Aug 09

prod_merc-legacy-pro

This article was originally written in 2015 but it is still relevant.  I have just updated it given that SSD prices have dropped dramatically in the last 3 years. Upgrading the boot drive on my Mac Mini to an SSD drive was by far the biggest speed enhancement I’ve experienced on any computer! The speed increase is incredible – almost hard to believe. Boot time went from 60 seconds to under 30 seconds, and applications launch instantly – no bouncing dock icon. In terms of bang for dollar, upgrading to an SSD drive is by far the best upgrade you can do.

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Oct 26

Back in December I wrote this article about how Apple no longer sell any displays. Since then Apple have started selling a nice LG display that works with MacBooks. This has been designed in conjunction with Apple so that you can control the display’s volume and brightness from the Apple computer. It essentially functions as an Apple display but with an LG badge. On their website Apple describe it as: “A perfect complement to your MacBook or MacBook Pro.” The monitor plugs into the USB-C port on the new MacBooks. But the new LG monitors that Apple are selling don’t plug directly into to older Macs. What Apple’s website doesn’t say is that they sell an adapter that will allow this monitor to work with some non USB-C Macs.

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Sep 04

If you use your macbook to listen to music, here’s a great tip. You can use your Apple remote (that comes with Apple TV or that you can buy separately on the Apple store) to turn the volume up and down and also to skip, pause etc. But firstly you need to pair the remote to your laptop. Here’s how.

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Aug 24

The home button is the button on the bottom of your iPhone that takes you back to the home screen. It requires a hard press to make it ‘click’. You can turn on a ‘soft’ equivalent button that appears on your screen. I can think of 3 reasons that you might want a ‘soft’ home button on your iPhone home screen:

  1. The home button on your iPad or iPhone has broken. (This is a common problem).
  2. You get sore thumbs from pressing the iPhone home button.
  3. You have switched from Android and prefer a ‘soft’ home button.

Here’s how to turn on a ‘soft’ home button on your screen.

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Mar 08

prod_merc-legacy-pro

In 2015 I wrote this post about installing an SSD drive.  Back then SSD drives were expensive and the whole process I described was a bit complicated. Now SSD drives have dropped dramatically in price and you can just replace your existing drive with an SSD one.  I can’t think of any reason why you should not be using one. All MacBooks now come standard with an SSD drive.  If you have an older one that you’d like to upgrade you should be able to take your Macintosh computer to a local dealer and have them install an SSD drive. Otherwise you can have a go at installing one yourself.

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Jan 19

Lots of people have commented on the possible increase in EMF exposure from Apple AirPods, but how bad are they? I’ve done some measurements with a field strength meter.  Here is a graph to give you an idea.

When you use the new Apple Airpods on a mobile phone call a you are getting approximately 10 times the EMF than if you were just holding the iPhone up to your ear and talking.   We already see these levels on wifi devices.  The difference is that the Apple AirPods are in your ear, not on the table, and they remain there for long periods of time. They are constantly transmitting at this level – they never turn off.

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Apr 10

ram

When your computer is running a bit slowly, how can you tell if getting more memory will help?

If you run out of free memory then your computer will be forced to use some of your hard disk as memory, which is VERY SLOW because hard drives are much slower to access than your computer’s RAM.  It’s not just a matter of saying ‘8 GB’ is enough because the amount of RAM you need will vary according to your Mac model and the programs you use.  Here’s how to check if you have enough RAM.

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Mar 03

seagate 2

 

Seagate make two external USB drives.  The Seagate Backup Plus and the Seagate Expansion.  They are both USB 3 compatible.  They both come with a three-year warranty in Australia, although in the USA the expansion only has a 1 year warranty.  The Backup Plus model costs $20 more.  A lot of reviewers say that the backup plus is more reliable (e.g. this one). But is there any difference?   I pulled them apart to see!

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