Apple Special Event : 30th October 2018

Apple have just had their special event – the one the world has been talking about since the last one.  The new iPhones (iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone XR) were announced at the last one, this time the hype has centred around new iPads, new Macs, a new Apple Pencil, and the possibility of a new Mac Mini.

Well lots happened in New York so if you missed the live stream here’s all the announcements and what to expect from Apple in the not too distant future.

Apple Event - October 2018
Apple Event – October 2018

First we were welcomed to New York in typical style – as it happens I also happens I like New York!

Read moreApple Special Event : 30th October 2018

Apple Hardware Event Coming to Brooklyn, New York on 30th October 2018

Apple October 2018 Hardware Event
Apple October 2018 Hardware Event

Invitations for the Apple October 2018 Event have been sent out.  It will happen on 30th October 2018 in Brooklyn, New York .

There’s more in the making.

The invitations this time are a little bit special (they always have hidden messages and clues as to what to expect).  This time though there are at least 18 individual art works for the invitations – a new one appearing each time the invitation reloads!

UPDATE : The previous estimate was grossly underestimated there are (so far) 370 confirmed unique designs!

See the end of this post for all the confirmed designs so far…

https://www.apple.com/apple-events/ – Just click Refresh to see an alternate art work!

Apple October 2018 Event Artwork
Apple October 2018 Event Artwork

So what should we expect?

Read moreApple Hardware Event Coming to Brooklyn, New York on 30th October 2018

Apple Acknowledge ‘Staingate’ and Will Repair Affected MacBook / MacBook Pros

If you are a MAcBook Pro with Retina Display owner you are probably aware of and may have even been affected by ‘Staingate.’

A deterioration / degradation of the anti reflective coating found on MacBook Pro Models with the Retina Display. Many theories have been bandied about in relation to how this occurs, but the important factor is that it does occur! However more importantly Apple have now accepted that it happens, and that it shouldn’t.

Retina MacBook Pro Anti Reflective Coating Staingate - Apple now offering Repairs
Retina MacBook Pro Anti Reflective Coating Staingate – Apple now offering Repairs

A repair program is now in place although not advertised in the way many other such programs are. Regardless it is there and if your MBP has been a victim of this, Apple should repair it, within three years from the date of original purchase, or one year from October 16, 2015, whichever is longer. Affected customers that have already incurred out-of-warranty costs may be eligible for a refund through AppleCare support.

Affected customers can book an appointment with a Genius Bar or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their MacBook is eligible for coverage. Apple will not be posting the new Quality Program publicly on its support website, but should contact some potentially affected customers directly, according to sources.

This problem first surfaced around March 2015, but the good news is at least anyone affected will now be set right!

Plugable USB 3.0 Powered Hub : The Good News is it Seems to like an iMac

I recently posted up a thread in which I explained how my previous USB 2.0 Powered hub didn’t seem to like my new 2013 iMac and it was subsequently returned, and that I was on the look out for a replacement…

http://tbni.blog/2013/10/18/d-link-usb-2-0-7-port-hub-unboxing-important-mac-related-notes/

Well after a little searching I felt I may have found that replacement, and at this early stage it does indeed seem that I have.

So if you are a late 2012 or late 2013 iMac owner who has had issues with USB hubs not being able to cope then one worth trying for you is the ‘Plugable’ Powered USB 3.0 HUB. I picked it up on Amazon.co.uk for about £30.

For reference I currently have a 500Gb Portable USB 3.0 drive, a 1TB Portable USB 3.0 drive, and a powered 3TB USB 3.0 plugged into the rear of my iMac along with this 7 Port Powered Hub. In the HUB I have had running without any issues whatsoever a 320Gb Powered Drive and a further 1TB Powered drive (These are both USB 2.0). I have also had at the same time my iPhone 5s and iPad (3rd Generation) syncing and iPhoto pulling photos off my Panasonic TZ30 digital camera as well as my GoPro HD Hero 3 Black Edition.

Now admittedly there is a lot going on here on here and much more than I usually would be doing at one one time, but it was a good way to test the hub. The results were ‘two thumbs up’ everything worked away doing its thing, without any drive drop outs or apparently power problems. (My previous HUB failed on simply having the 2 external drives plugged into it).

So all in all after over a weeks use the HUB is yet to experience any issues or give me any problems. A firmware update is available however it must be done from a Windows machine. I have not at this stage completed this firmware upgrade as things are working well, and as the man says, ‘If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.’

One little superstition I did carry out was before I plugged in any USB 2.0 devices into the HUB was I allowed each port to mount a USB 3.0 drive. I don’t know if this is a requirement, and to be honest I doubt very much it is, however it is something I and my colleagues always do with USB 3.0 ports – mount a USB 3.0 device first. The legend goes it lets the port know it is a 3.0 rather than getting locked in at 2.0 speeds.

So there you have it, if you are experiencing iMac related USB HUB issues this may well be the HUB worth trying, (one final thought is that the blue LEDs can be rather bright at night, so make sure you have some black electrical tape to cover them up).

Plugable USB 3.0 Powered HUB Unboxing Gallery :

Read morePlugable USB 3.0 Powered Hub : The Good News is it Seems to like an iMac

Show hidden files Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion

I have found that on ocassion you may need to see some of the hidden files and folders in OSX, mainly for troubleshooting. When enabled things can appear very messy and untidy so in my opinion it is best to make things visible, then when you are done, hide them again.

Good luck.

To enable hidden files/folders in finder windows:

– Open Finder

– Open the Utilities folder

– Open a terminal window

– Copy and paste the following line in:
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

– Press return

– Now hold ‘alt’ on the keyboard and right click on the Finder icon

– Click on Relaunch

You will now see all the hidden files and folders. Once you are finished, perform the steps above however, replace the terminal command in step 4 with:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles NO

D-Link USB 2.0 7 Port Hub Unboxing & Important Mac Related Notes

Whilst I was still using my MacBook Pro I had also been using a USB Hub, although due to power restraints I had to upgrade to a Powered Hub.  After a little research the D-Link 7 USB 2.0 Powered Hub seemed to be the way forward.  I ordered it up and upon its arrival I plugged in it, stuck in in the MBP and now had an extra six USB 2.0 Hubs to play with.

On this machine it worked flawlessly, never missing a beat, my machine didn’t have USB3.0 so that wasn’t an issue and this hub happily powered four HDDs (2 of which were powered, 2 were portable).  It also worked whilst syncing my iphone / ipad and camera.  No complaints whatsoever on this machine.

This specific Hub also has two ports which are dedicated to charging.  They are ports six and seven, and if your machine is powered down but the hub is still on (via the wall socket) you can use ports six or seven to charge your phone / tablet etc.  It does not charge whilst the machine is in use.

For reference the machine this Hub was being used with was a Early 2011 MackBook Pro i7 2.2GHz (1Gb Graphics), 8Gb RAM, USB 2.0 with a Apple Cinema Display attached via Thunderbolt.

Then came the problems.  I upgraded my computer to an iMac.  It was at this point that this hub stopped working.

Again for reference the machine it was being used with was a late 2013 27″ iMac i7 3.5Ghz, (4Gb NVIDIA Graphics), 8Gb RAM, USB 3.0.

In this set up I used 3 of the 4 USB 3.0 ports on the rear of the machine to deal with three USB  3.0 hard drives (2 portable and one powered).  The forth port was used to power the D-Link Hub.  At this point only 2 hard drives were being used in it (both themselves powered desktop drives).  This is when things started to fail.  Both drives would mount momentarily, then disconnect with errors, mount -> disconnect and repeat!  If you removed one drive the other mount successfully (either drive).  Either drive would successfully mount via the USB ports to the rear of the machine.

For some reason when both drives were plugged into this port things failed.  My only option was to bin the hub and try again with a new one.  A quick Google search for USB hub problems with an iMac do tend to suggest that this is an issue with many hubs and the power they require as opposed to what they actually supply.

As expected customer service from Amazon was excellent and a new hub was ordered.

D-Link USB 2.0 Hub Gallery :

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A week without a computer

So it has been seven days since I sold up on my Mac set up. I have been ‘computerless’ for a full week and I have to say it is grim.

My set up consisted of an i7 MacBook Pro (early 2011) with an Apple Cinema Display (24″). The MBP was used in clamshell mode with an Apple wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad.

I had decided that I wanted to update to a new iMac as the portability of the MBP was something that I did not utilise.

Read moreA week without a computer

MacBook Pro SSD (Solid State Drive) Install Guide

If you ask anyone in relation to current recommended upgrades for their machines the most highly recommended and common answer will be, ‘install an SSD.’

An SSD is a Solid State Drive, and it replaces your HDD (Hard Disk Drive). It is basically a giant flash drive, with no moving parts or spinning disks and and pull information from itself almost instantly.

It is hard to beat Wikipedia for definitions so here you go :

Solid State Drive :

Hard Disk Drive :

The main benefits from such an upgrade are :

1. Massive improvement is booting times.

2. Massive improvement in program launch times.

3. Massive improvement in data access times.

4. So basically everything runs quickly.

I decided to take this upgrade on, and it is one that you can easily do yourself in about twenty minutes!

Here is a quick guide to get you on your way to a massive speed improvement of your machine. At the end I have added a video that shows my machine booting prior to the upgrade with the standard 750GB HDD installed, then booting up with the new 256Gb SSD installed.

Good luck and take your time, there’s no rush, and no reason to be troubled by this upgrade.

1. Make sure you have everything : You will need your new SSD, an external case for your old HDD (as well as aiding in data transfer if you decide to go down that route), a set of precision screw drivers.

Read moreMacBook Pro SSD (Solid State Drive) Install Guide

Mac Tip : How to burn ISO disc images

I thought this may be useful to some:

I recently decided to have a look at Windows 8, and as I am now a Mac User I had an old copy of Windows that I could upgrade on a spare parts machine. I needed to install Windows on the MAc to be able to upgrade it, but to be honest I am still learning at OSX. I needed to burn an ISO of the windows disk to a DVD and I had no idea what I needed or how to do it. I know that on the PC I needed separate software, thankfully with the Mac it was much easier, in fact it is this easy…

1. Insert a blank disc.
2. Start Disk Utility.
3. From the File menu, choose Open Disk Image and select the ISO to be burned.
4. In the list of volumes, you will now see an item representing the ISO file. Select it.
4. Click the Burn button and follow the instructions.

Easy eh?!