Category Archives: Hardware

Apple products are designed to be damaged

So having an iPod Touch 5th Gen for several years now, without any falls, drops or abuse. Then one afternoon, doing yardwork and listening to the ipod (via Bluetooth ISOtunes earbuds), the [roduct slips out of my pocket and in slowmotion, I watch it hit its corner on a hard surface (sidewalk).

Thanks Apple.

(some would argue “why no cover or sleeve/case?”. Why indeed! To make it bulkier? Thicker and not able to reside in a shirt pocket? Exactly. Apple made this from glass (it will break) and aluminum (it will dent/ding/scratch), for the reason that the consumer will replace it…with another iDevice).

Well, I replaced it. But not with a $200-$300 ipod. Are you nuts? Instead, I bought a $49 Sandisk Clip Go w/Bluetooth.
Copied (limit is 4000 songs) music over after it charged up, added my BT Isotunes and back to yard work.

Caveats: have to use the Sandisk USB cable to charge/transfer songs. Some USB Micro cables don’t have all the pins needed.
It forgets the BT setting (its on, it remembers the device, but it does need a reminder-click through and make sure).
A song stopped playing so there may be a file issue (MP4/FLAC/MP3)

For $50, I can put up with those. But for Apple, slowly but surely, I am weening off your expensive, inaccessible-designed fruit.

Homepod issues…

Apple animation of iphone setup to homepod
So I am a first adopter of Apple’s Homepod. It worked well until I realized that it only plays music from a subscription to Apple Music (I don’t have). It will play as an Airplay speaker, so I can tell Siri (Hey Siri) to play music and She (I have mine as an Irish-female or Aussie-Female) will play my itunes on shuffle (as I have it set on my mac, with itunes open and songs set to shuffle).
After the latest iOS 12 update, I found the homepod to be unresponsive to commands. I have it located up on a beam, in my kitchen, to allow better sound dispersion. Well, it requires a ladder to access and to unplug power. I also discovered the unit was very warm. After powercycle (unplug, wait a bit, then replug to good power outlet), it came back to life and was useful. For another week or so.
Same thing again.
Troubleshooting it now a week later, after same issue, I did a manual reset (unplug, press down on the top of the speaker WHILE plugging into power, Siri will speak about reset, KEEP HOLDING DOWN ON TOP, lighting will change to RED and then three FAST beeps. Now let go. You will need to add it again to your iPhone HOME app (keep iphone close and it will pair and start setup).
Most annoying feature of setup: it advertises if you want 3 months of free Apple Music … not really free as you have to add credit card and it will continue to bill after the 3 month period.
If this happens again, I am taking into Apple store. I paid way too much for this…dumbspeaker.

UPDATE: It has been over 10 days since I reset the Homepod and so far it hasn’t locked up. Perhaps the reset helped? Time will tell. IMHO, its not worth $350…

UPDATE #2: It’s been several months and no issues. I believe it was resolved with applying the last update of iTunes (12.9.2.5) in that Airplay + iTunes library being open on my mac, would no longer hang. Apple tends not to disclose details of “security” patches or other dev-discovered patches.

MacbookPro Touch Bar… somethings just …

mbp13touch-gray-select-201610The new MacbookPro models have arrived and man, was that a yawn?

Ok, for most this might be moot…but here it goes:

  • You need to buy it with all the RAM you will ever think you will need because you can’t upgrade after.
  • You need to buy it with the maximum storage you need, that is, it should be greater than what you are replacing it with.
  • No more magsafe power connector. It can be any Tbolt-3 port. On the 15″ model, there are 4.

And now, the biggest cost … I built a 1TB, loaded 15″ Touch model. It costs $3499. And that is without Applecare. Oh, must…have…Applecare if you are a “me firsty”.

Hey, with the 15″ MBPTB, it can have 512GB, 1TB or even 2TB of storage! Ouch, that 2TB is $1200 option over the 512GB. 4GB of VideoRam is $100 more (you will need that to drive a 5K LG display…ooooooi!) Maximum SSD storage on the 13″ model is 1TB.

USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 as they call it is rather interesting. The speed, video, adaptors… more to come!

 

Why has Apple not updated MacPro?

Apple-Mac-Pro-2013-3So, it’s been 3 years. Late 2013 to be exact. And Apple gave us this…trash can, wine cooler, bin thing. Elegant. Quiet. Ports. Dual GPUs. Up to 12 cores. Easy to add RAM.

But now we see the mess. No raid. No internal capacity (incapacity) increase. Still mired at 1TB. Sad.

Meanwhile, designers either snatch up 2010-2012 MacPro leftovers and ramp them up to more storage, ram and GPUs. The MacPro Late 2013 is actually behind.

Apple, I hope you read this and are going to top the cooler this year. Otherwise, I can see myself moving to a custom PC with Windows 10 Pro and SSDs raided. Some MLBs have Tbolt THREE now. And I can have bluray drives. In a quiet, water cooled case. Sigh.

6 TB Christmas gift!

WD6TBOrdered a SIX Terabyte HDD. Seems I have 3 of the 1TB Seagate models that are having issues (or will have issues). So best to migrate all that is on them to this 6TB model. @ $289, its a bargain! I mean I paid $300 for one of the Seagate 1TB when I first bought one.

Hopefully Newegg shipping won’t have it damaged. They tend to ship bar drives in a cheap bubble wrap rather than double box. I will update here when I get with pics and how the transfer goes.