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Apple March 2019 announcements

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I don't know what's going on inside magazine publishers today, but I used to work in the magazine world, so I know that advertising plays an important role in their profits. Many magazines I receive in electronic format today use PDF, which has the advantage of maintaining the format used for print advertising. One example on the list is Sky & Telescope. I suspect many publications that are going with Apple News are doing so to build circulation so they can boost advertising revenue, which is based on subscription numbers. Subscription revenues may be secondary to increasing ad revenue.
 


In the mid-90s, Apple and CitiBank teamed up on a card. My recollection of the details is very fuzzy, but I remember that you could accumulate a percentage of purchases toward the purchase of Apple products. I took advantage of it with my own purchases, and my employers also let me buy stuff for work using the card, for which they reimbursed me. After a couple of years, I had accumulated enough to get a hefty chunk off the cost of my Power Mac 7600 and 20” MultipleScan monitor. I was disappointed when they phased out that card.
I had an Apple credit account way back when; not sure if that's the same thing as the old credit card. I opened the account to finance a computer, which I then paid down. It had an Apple logo on the account, but it was GE finance if I recall correctly. I don't think it came with an actual credit card. The terms were nothing to write home about.
 


How much fundamental sense does Apple's model actually make, when it seems to be built on putting paper pages into an Apple app, instead of just using standard web formats that are designed for flexibility across mobile, laptop, desktop and TV screens.
Ultimately, it just seems cluelessly stupid to me, distributing mostly fixed-size paper page images in an app that's supposed to work across screens from small iPhones to large TVs. There's no sense that this Apple app is in any way an appropriate medium for distributing that content to these types of devices, let alone something innovative or compelling in the tradition of great Apple products of the past.
This is a matter of personal preference, but back in the day when the iPad 1 seemed magical, I tried and was very disappointed by magazines as apps, or magazines in apps.

I was so frustrated with the limitations of "magazine apps" that I scanned several issues of BusinessWeek through my ScanSnap to read on the iPad in PDF format with pinch to zoom. The experience would have been ideal had I been able to easily create "bookmarks" from the table of contents.

I'm pretty sure publishers don't offer PDF subscriptions outside DRM-protected apps to keep users from breaking encryption and sharing content.
 


Beware if you download News+ magazines for offline reading. Apparently there is no way to delete them. They will automatically delete after 30 days, supposedly.
 


This is a matter of personal preference, but back in the day when the iPad 1 seemed magical, I tried and was very disappointed by magazines as apps, or magazines in apps.
I was so frustrated with the limitations of "magazine apps" that I scanned several issues of BusinessWeek through my ScanSnap to read on the iPad in PDF format with pinch to zoom. The experience would have been ideal had I been able to easily create "bookmarks" from the table of contents. I'm pretty sure publishers don't offer PDF subscriptions outside DRM-protected apps to keep users from breaking encryption and sharing content.
George, you are, indeed, correct regarding PDF as the DRM-enabled delivery format of choice. Ric's complaint about fixed-size paper page images is also spot-on. There is, if I recall correctly, a solution, but it's certainly not one we'd ever embrace: Adobe Flash. The main reason for it still hanging around is its ability to be presented in a web browser while the content remains protected. This is why many colleges and universities still use it for educational training and testing purposes. Maybe HTML5 will have an answer.
 


According to MacObserver, the 2019 iMacs use a variety of CPUs with a variety of maximum RAM capacities. ... The 27" model uses one of four CPUs: i5-8500, i5-8600, i5-9600KF, or i9-9900KF, all four of which have a maximum of 128 GB.
OWC has now tested and demonstrated that the 2019 27" iMac models support 128 GB of RAM. A set of four 32GB SO-DIMMs is not cheap ($1100 from OWC), but they are available and user-installable.

No word about the 21.5" model, but given the extreme difficulty of replacing memory in that model, I don't think very many people (other than professional service techs) will be willing to try.

Also in today's news, Apple quietly added a 256GB RAM BTO option to the iMac Pro. This option consists of four 64GB DIMMs, is insanely expensive ($5200, plus the cost of the rest of the iMac) and there is currently no mechanism to upgrade an iMac Pro with less memory to 256 GB.
 


I just cancelled my Apple News+ subscription a day after signing up, as it just highlighted everything I dislike about the new Apple, from confusing user interface design to bugginess to style over substance to manipulation to mediocrity, Ugh. Done. :-(

(On the plus side, it was simpler to find the cancellation option in the macOS News app than it was in the iPhone News app.)

Are others finding Apple News+ more appealing than I did?

Ultimately, it just seems cluelessly stupid to me, distributing mostly fixed-size paper page images in an app that's supposed to work across screens from small iPhones to large TVs. There's no sense that this Apple app is in any way an appropriate medium for distributing that content to these types of devices, let alone something innovative or compelling in the tradition of great Apple products of the past.
That is one botched UI. It's not as if they didn't have alternate services to look at for comparison. The whole service is a rush job with inconsistent access to back issues for various magazines.

I've been using Zinio and RBdigital for years, and accumulated a lot of back issues. So switching will be difficult with only 12 months of access to back issues. It's the main reason I prefer purchasing instead of subscribing.

Why wouldn't Apple realize the licensing issue they were about to tackle?

Apple's starting to smell a lot like 1995 again.
 
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In the mid-90s, Apple and CitiBank teamed up on a card. My recollection of the details is very fuzzy, but I remember that you could accumulate a percentage of purchases toward the purchase of Apple products. I took advantage of it with my own purchases, and my employers also let me buy stuff for work using the card, for which they reimbursed me. After a couple of years, I had accumulated enough to get a hefty chunk off the cost of my Power Mac 7600 and 20” MultipleScan monitor. I was disappointed when they phased out that card.
I found some details about it. Apparently introduced in 1993 and discontinued in 1996.
 


I was in Hong Kong and Shanghai last week with a local friend of mine. She has an iPhone 7, I have an iPhone X, and we were both running iOS 12.1. When either of us tapped the WiFi icon in Control Center, it disabled the WiFi radio. When I returned to USA, tapping the WiFi icon in Control Center merely disconnected it but left the radio on. Can anyone else outside the USA, and especially in Asia, confirm the behavior when tapping the WiFi icon in Control Center?
 


Just for grins, I asked the sales department at ibuypower to work up a proposal for an expandable "Lightroom/Photoshop" machine.

They came up with a fairly nice arrangement, but I modified the proposal to include a Samsung 970 NVME M.2 500GB and a 1TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD. The video card is an Nvidia (so no hackintoshing with Mojave) but seems to be close to the "best" video card that Apple can provide CTO with the top of the line iMac (not Pro).

When I built an iMac to be similar to the ibuypower unit (but with only the 512GB SSD option, as a second drive isn't available), the price was pushing $3900. The ibuypower unit (along with a professional Viewsonic 27" of the same res as the iMac) came to about $2500. Only two of the four RAM slots are full. There's also this "Optane" memory thing for which I have not done any research, but it appears to be something along the lines of super-fast RAM cache; I'll let those more alpha-geek than I opine.

I'll mention that buying a PC (unless from HP or Dell, etc.) entails making a lot of choices and that's scary.

Here are the specs from ibuypower:
CaseiBUYPOWER Trace 2 Tempered Glass RGB Gaming Case-
iBUYPOWER Elite Build PackageNone-
Case FansDefault Case Fan-
Case LightingNone-
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise ReductionNone-
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal ExpansionNone-
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i9-9900K Processor (8x 3.60GHz/16MB L3 Cache)-
iBUYPOWER PowerDriveNone-
Processor CoolingiBUYPOWER 120mm Addressable RGB Liquid Cooling System - Black-
Memory32 GB [16 GB x2] DDR4-3000 Memory Module-Certified Major Brand Gaming Memory
Video CardNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 - 6GB (GDDR6) (VR-Ready)-
SLI BridgeNone-
MotherboardASRock Z390 PHANTOM GAMING 4-IB -- 802.11ac WiFi, USB 3.1 (1 Type-C, 3 Rear, 4 Front), ASRock Super Alloy-
Power Supply650 Watt - CORSAIR TX650M 80 PLUS Gold, Semi Modular-
Advance Cabling OptionsStandard Default Cables-
M.2/PCI-E SSD Card500 GB Samsung 970 EVO PLUS M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD -- Read: 3500MB/s; Write: 3200MB/s-
Intel Optane Memory Accelerator16GB Intel Optane Memory-Free Upgrade to 32GB Intel Optane Memory; Boost Primary Drive - Up to 18x Faster for hard disk drive
Primary Hard Drive1 TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD -- Read: 550MB/s, Write: 520MB/s-Single Drive
Data Hard DriveNone-
Optical DriveNone-
Media Card Reader / WriterNone-
Meter DisplayNone-
Sound Card3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard-
Network CardOnboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)-
USB Expansion CardNone-
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home + Office 365 Trial [FREE 30 Day Trial]-(64-bit)
MonitorNone-
KeyboardiBUYPOWER Standard Gaming Keyboard-
MouseiBUYPOWER Gaming Optical Mouse-Multi-Color LED Lighting
Speaker SystemNone-
Advanced Build Options - Thermal PasteNone-
Case Engraving ServiceNone-
Warranty3 Year Standard Warranty Service-
Rush ServiceStandard Service-Estimated Ship in 5-10 Business Days
Subtotal* 2084.00
(plus tax & shipping)
*Prices are subject to change at any time.
ibuypower config with M2 NVME Samsung 970 500GB 1TB Samsung 860 EVO data drive
 


But, at least initially, Apple will have to produce some pretty blockbuster content to successfully steal business from Netflix. (I wonder if Apple tried - but failed - to just buy Netflix, or to buy "into" it for its own Apple service?)
Well, I can only hope they are successful. I just finished up a recording session for a song for a new PBS-Apple-produced kids' show. Song writers and session guys can always use more work. This show will teach kids coding basics. Here's an article about it at TechCrunch:

 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Just to be clear, I'm not arguing that iMacs should be all-SSD, like the Mac Mini and Apple laptops with their exhorbitant storage pricing; I'm just saying that a hard drive only iMac in 2019 with not even a miniscule 24 GB of flash for a fusion setup seems like it would be perversely bad for performance, given the optimization/anti-optimizations in macOS 10.14. (In fact, I recommended that a client on a very tight budget bump up to the fusion configuration on a low-end refurb for that reason, when their old iMac died completely.)
No one should buy a Mac with a spinning hard drive, and no one should buy a Mac with the 1TB Fusion (the one with the the 32GB flash portion, as opposed to the 128GB version on the original Fusion drives or the 2 and 3TB current model Fusion drives). If one has purchased with the spinner-only or 1TB Fusion option, one should return the computer. Make Apple get the message.
At this point in time there is zero reason why Apple should be selling a computer with a spinning hard drive in it, especially since their more recent OSes and APFS introduce performance penalties when installed on a spinning drive. I can buy a name-brand 512GB SSD at retail for $70, so Apple's price would be what, $45? How much more is that than what they pay for a spinning hard drive? I just upgraded two of the more recent 21.5" iMacs with spinning drives to macOS 10.13, and the performance hit, even with the drives formatted in HFS+, is atrocious. If they made the darn things such that I could actually swap out the drive for an SSD, I would have done so in a heartbeat.
The great Mac repairman, Louis Rossman, agrees with us...
YouTube said:
Is new iMac trash?
... Now there are many people that say that the average person is not going to notice the difference between a hard drive and an SSD. And that's where I call BS....
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A brief question: for the newly-refreshed iMac models that were released last week, will they only run with Mojave and newer versions of macOS? Or can one run them with Sierra or High Sierra? I'm sure they come with Mojave installed, but I wondered if there was a chance I could run an older macOS version on them (natively, i.e., not in a virtual machine.)
I've checked the Tech Specs, but they don't state this explicitly. Thanks in advance!
As they use newer-generation CPUs and hardware, I don't believe they will be able to run pre-Mojave versions of macOS or OS X (and they may even need a newer version of Mojave than the current one).
FYI:
EveryMac.com said:
Apple iMac "Core i5" 3.0 27-Inch (5K, Early 2019) Specs
Pre-Installed MacOS: 10.14.4 (18E2034)

What's new
24 March 2019
This update of EveryMac.com features preliminary specs, identifiers, and global prices on the new iPad mini, iPad Air, and iMac lines as well as complete details on the configuration changes to the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac Pro. Because the new models are scheduled to arrive in stores later this week, complete info can be added when it becomes available.
 


This is a matter of personal preference, but back in the day when the iPad 1 seemed magical, I tried and was very disappointed by magazines as apps, or magazines in apps. I was so frustrated with the limitations of "magazine apps" that I scanned several issues of BusinessWeek through my ScanSnap to read on the iPad in PDF format with pinch to zoom. The experience would have been ideal had I been able to easily create "bookmarks" from the table of contents. I'm pretty sure publishers don't offer PDF subscriptions outside DRM-protected apps to keep users from breaking encryption and sharing content.
That seems to be a solved problem these days. In addition to the NY Times, I have long had several magazine subscriptions on my iPad. Most have evolved through different software platforms, including one that was on some kind of proprietary platform, changed to PDF (awful, nearly unusable), then then back again. All of them work well now.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
That seems to be a solved problem these days.
Maybe not at Apple, though...
The Verge said:
One week with Apple News Plus: a messy but good-enough Netflix for magazines

When it comes to the reading experience, the lack of standardization across publications makes it difficult to know what you’re getting into when you download an issue of a magazine you’re not familiar with. The density of the interface makes reading and maneuvering from an issue’s table of contents to an article page and to the publication hub a total pain. Regardless of whether a magazine is using ANF or PDF-style file formats, I find myself too often encountering badly translated articles that were never designed to be read on a phone screen, with plain, clunky page designs.

The closest thing to a thoughtfully designed layout is the text-heavy magazines, like The New Yorker and The Atlantic, that simply rely on drop caps, the occasional photo, and a pull quote or two to spruce up the page. That these no-frills layouts are preferable speaks to how much work Apple still has to do on the design side, both with the tools it provides publishers and with the ways it organizes information on the main News Plus tab, to make this a product worthy of being part of the company’s new slate of premium services.

As you start to scroll down, you’ll begin to notice the first of many annoying design quirks....
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple News is now freezing on me repeatedly on an up-to-date iPhone 7 when I try to open/send a link via Sharing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but the problem is recurring. (I'm not using News+ after cancelling my subscription to it, just plain Apple News.) Is anyone else seeing this?
 


I decided to subscribe to the NY Times after a number of excellent articles from their reporters were the basis of some TV stories. Rachel Maddow said something like, "Here's a good reason to subscribe to the NY Times; their people do the work that helps keep democracy alive." So, after I glance through the articles in Google News (on my Mac or my Android phone), I head over to the NY Times for some in-depth coverage.

Until Apple has their own reporters covering things (Hah!), why would I want YANA (yet another news aggregator)? Been there, done that.
 


OWC has now tested and demonstrated that the 2019 27" iMac models support 128 GB of RAM. A set of four 32GB SO-DIMMs is not cheap ($1100 from OWC), but they are available and user-installable.
No word about the 21.5" model, but given the extreme difficulty of replacing memory in that model, I don't think very many people (other than professional service techs) will be willing to try.
Also in today's news, Apple quietly added a 256GB RAM BTO option to the iMac Pro. This option consists of four 64GB DIMMs, is insanely expensive ($5200, plus the cost of the rest of the iMac) and there is currently no mechanism to upgrade an iMac Pro with less memory to 256 GB.
According to an article on Apple's support web site, the RAM in the 2019 21.5" iMac cannot be upgraded after purchase. You either increase the RAM at the time of purchase, or you're stuck with what you bought.

Additionally the 2019 21.5" iMacs come standard with 5400-rpm hard disks. In 2019.
 


According to an article on Apple's support web site, the RAM in the 2019 21.5" iMac cannot be upgraded after purchase. You either increase the RAM at the time of purchase, or you're stuck with what you bought.
Additionally the 2019 21.5" iMacs come standard with 5400-rpm hard disks. In 2019.
Louis Rossman's YouTube video is spot-on. The question I keep asking is whether I continue warning clients (through my website) and El Paso Apple User Group members that they'll have to add a USB 3 SSD and clone their system over to it (for at least some improved performance, and, at under $300 for a 1TB SSD, that's not unreasonable) or just let buyers of the 21.5" models get really P.O.'d at Apple and lose them as future customers when they realize that they could buy a Windows box with much better performance for less; certainly, if one can accept a separate display, then many more low-price options open up, and the display may be moved to the next system (lowering its cost further).

But, if you drink the iPhone Kool-Aid and buy into iCloud, you invite the insidious Apple ecosystem into your life; then you have no choice but to either make excuses for Apple or keep spending more $$ in order to "fix" deficiencies. I feel that buying another Mac just encourages Ive and Cook; I'm not willing to do so.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The question I keep asking is whether I continue warning clients (through my website) and El Paso Apple User Group members that they'll have to add a USB 3 SSD and clone their system over to it (for at least some improved performance, and, at under $300 for a 1TB SSD...
I have a client on a very low budget who had to buy a replacement iMac, because the graphics in the old one failed, and this issue came up, but they were unwilling to add an external device (SSD) to Apple's all-in-one iMac design, due to the awkwardness of that approach.

Obviously, also, having an external "dongle" attached by a cable for your critical storage makes it all too easy to knock loose accidentally with the risk of data loss, so this is not really a great solution to the problems Apple has created.
 


Louis Rossman's YouTube video is spot-on. The question I keep asking is whether I continue warning clients (through my website) and El Paso Apple User Group members that they'll have to add a USB 3 SSD and clone their system over to it (for at least some improved performance...
That's what I did with my wife's 2017 21.5" iMac, which came configured with a slow-as-s*** 5400-rpm hard drive: I cloned her drive to an external 512GB SSD connected to one of the iMac's USB 3 ports. The performance increase was, and continues to be, substantial.
 


I have a client on a very low budget who had to buy a replacement iMac, because the graphics in the old one failed, and this issue came up, but they were unwilling to add an external device (SSD) to Apple's all-in-one iMac design, due to the awkwardness of that approach.
Obviously, also, having an external "dongle" attached by a cable for your critical storage makes it all too easy to knock loose accidentally with the risk of data loss, so this is not really a great solution to the problems Apple has created.
Maybe not great, but one does what one can. I've sometimes used some velcro to affix the external drive to the foot of the iMac and use the inner-most USB3 port. I guess you could use a bit of Gorilla Snot to keep the cable ends from coming loose yet be fairly easy to cut free if needed.
 


According to an article on Apple's support web site, the RAM in the 2019 21.5" iMac cannot be upgraded after purchase. You either increase the RAM at the time of purchase, or you're stuck with what you bought.
You may find the following note of interest (emphasis mine):
Apple said:
Install memory in an iMac

* Memory is not removable by users on iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012), iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013), iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014), iMac (21.5-inch, 2017), iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017), and iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2019). If the memory in one of these computers needs repair service, contact an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. If you’d like to upgrade the memory in one of these models, an Apple Authorized Service Provider can help. Before you schedule an appointment, confirm that the specific Apple Authorized Service Provider offers memory upgrade services.

Memory in iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015), and iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015) is not upgradeable.
It is only the 2015 models that they say can not be upgraded [at all]. All others (2012 through 2019) can be upgraded by an Apple Store or an Apple-Authorized Service Provider.

We don't yet have a teardown for the 2019 model, but the quoted text strongly implies that it is socketed, but in a location making replacement difficult, as has been the case for most of the 21.5" models.

iFixit teardowns for the 2017 Retina, 2017, 2013 and 2012 models indicate that the RAM is socketed, but is very difficult to access (requires a complete teardown).

But they also show that the 2015, and 2014 models have the RAM soldered to the motherboard, making replacement impossible without a motherboard replacement. Strangely, Apple's comment says that Apple can upgrade a 2014 model - assuming this isn't a typo, then that upgrade is going to require a motherboard swap, which is why I am going to wait until I see a teardown for the 2019 model before I jump to any conclusions about whether or not [any] upgrade is actually possible.
 


I decided to subscribe to the NY Times after a number of excellent articles from their reporters were the basis of some TV stories. Rachel Maddow said something like, "Here's a good reason to subscribe to the NY Times; their people do the work that helps keep democracy alive."
Agreed. John Oliver said something similar after the 2016 election: good journalism is not free.

Since then, I've done what you've done: subscribed to the digital editions of the NYT and The Washington Post, as well as making a yearly contribution to my local NPR station. (That's mostly for their local news reporting -- they actually cover what's going on at our state capitol.)

If push comes to shove, I could drop The Post and keep the Times and NPR; but I like having a "second source", and the Post often takes an even deeper dive than the Times when it comes to breaking news.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
More perspective on Apple News+ from people in the business:
Joe Pompeo/Vanity Fair said:
“Are We At A Party, Or A Wake?”: Journalists Wonder If Apple News+ Is A Trojan Horse

... As one media executive put it to me, “If you have a subscription business or a membership business, and you’ve got, like, 9,000 digital subscribers, you don’t have much to lose going in with Apple.” On the other hand, by getting on board with Apple News+, you run the risk of abdicating your direct relationship with readers and potentially cannibalizing your existing subscriber pool, thereby handing more leverage to an ever-more-powerful platform economy that has already wreaked havoc on journalism and the news business.

“I have a suggestion: everyone who subscribes directly to any and all publications participating on News+ should unsubscribe ASAP and subscribe to the Apple bundle,” Rafat Ali sniped on Twitter. “Only then will publishers realize their own idiocies here.”
Josh Constine/TechCrunch said:
The danger of ‘I already pay for Apple News+’
At the mercy of a new algorithm

Apple doesn’t care about news, it cares about recurring revenue. That’s why publishers are crazy to jump into bed with Apple News+. They’re rendering their own subscription options unnecessary in exchange for a sliver of what Apple pays out from the mere $10 per month it charges for unlimited reading.

The unfathomable platform risk here makes Facebook’s exploitative Instant Articles program seem toothless in comparison. On Facebook, publishers became generic providers of dumb content for the social network’s smart pipe that stole the customer relationship from content creators. But at least publishers were only giving away their free content.

Apple News+ threatens to open a massive hole in news site paywalls, allowing their best premium articles to escape. Publishers hope they’ll get exposure to new audiences. But any potential new or existing direct subscriber to a publisher will no longer be willing to pay a healthy monthly fee to occasionally access that top content while supporting the rest of the newsroom. They’ll just cherry pick what they want via News+, and Apple will shave off a few cents for the publisher while owning all the data, customer relationship and power.
 


Agreed. John Oliver said something similar after the 2016 election: good journalism is not free.
Very true. As a journalist, I make a point of subscribing to the NY Times electronic edition and the Boston Globe in print (with full electronic access) because I prefer reading the morning paper in print. I also will turn off ad-blocking for news sites I visit occasionally that have well-behaved ads, or kick in something now and then to good news sites like The Guardian.

Right now Apple News+ looks like it only makes sense to magazines that rely heavily on advertising and can use it to boost circulation and sell more advertising, which is their main profit center. It also may attract publishers in trouble, who are looking for extra income to keep afloat, but I doubt it will be much help.

What I would love to see is Apple adding the option to read individual articles that otherwise would be behind paywalls, either as part of the basic service or as a small extra fee per article that would be split with the publisher. That could reduce the processing costs that make it hard for publishers to offer access to individual stories cheaply.
 


But, if you drink the iPhone Kool-Aid and buy into iCloud, you invite the insidious Apple ecosystem into your life;
Last week someone I know got her 13" MacBook Pro, which she uses for both home and work, stolen. (And yes, you've guessed it, no backup.) I was able to lend her a spare MacBook Pro, log it into her iCloud account, and watch her contacts, calendar, and keychain silently repopulate themselves in just a few minutes. Add her work and personal IMAP email accounts, and she's up and running.

So if iCloud is Kool-Aid, sign us up for another tanker-load of the stuff.
 


Maybe not great, but one does what one can. I've sometimes used some velcro to affix the external drive to the foot of the iMac and use the inner-most USB3 port. I guess you could use a bit of Gorilla Snot to keep the cable ends from coming loose yet be fairly easy to cut free if needed.
I use 3M Command strips for picture hanging with Velcro to hang all sorts of stuff on the back of the monitor and other out-of-the-way places. Very easy to remove if desired.
 


Maybe not great, but one does what one can. I've sometimes used some velcro to affix the external drive to the foot of the iMac and use the inner-most USB3 port. I guess you could use a bit of Gorilla Snot to keep the cable ends from coming loose yet be fairly easy to cut free if needed.
I really suggest using 3M VHB tape. When I had a retail store, we used this for affixing everything to everything else (alarm sensors to iPods and computers, keyboards to counters, even iMacs to counters under the bracket for security, etc.). It holds like a horse yet is removable (we used a standard 'black stick' to remove and leave no residue). Small pieces can hold and secure the cable and even the connector as well.

Available via MacInTouch Amazon link for less than $10 bucks for a good sized roll.
 


That's what I did with my wife's 2017 21.5" iMac, which came configured with a slow-as-s*** 5400-rpm hard drive: I cloned her drive to an external 512GB SSD connected to one of the iMac's USB 3 ports. The performance increase was, and continues to be, substantial.
One can also use Thunderbolt. Though the hardware is a little more expensive, the performance is better. I've got a few clients with Thunderbolt SSDs zip-tied to the back of their iMacs....
 



I really suggest using 3M VHB tape. When I had a retail store, we used this for affixing everything to everything else (alarm sensors to iPods and computers, keyboards to counters, even iMacs to counters under the bracket for security, etc.). It holds like a horse yet is removable (we used a standard 'black stick' to remove and leave no residue). Small pieces can hold and secure the cable and even the connector as well.

Available via MacInTouch Amazon link for less than $10 bucks for a good sized roll.
I used to work for an electronics contract manufacturer and can attest to the robustness of 3M VHB tape.
 


Could one put together a Mac Mini and a decent (used) monitor and get an equivalent or better product than the new iMac?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Could one put together a Mac Mini and a decent (used) monitor and get an equivalent or better product than the new iMac?
It really depends on the customer and application.

On one hand, the Mac Mini's SSD storage is vastly superior to the hard drives in iMacs and even to Fusion drives.

On the flip side, iMacs at $1299 and up have dedicated graphics hardware that's sorely lacking in the Mac Mini.

Ultimately, each customer has to do an analysis of their needs vs. the features of the Mac Mini (and monitor, etc.) vs. the iMac's features vs. Apple's pricing structure.

Whenever I've had to analyze these options for our own use, I have to add the MacBook Pro (and previous MacBook Air) into the comparison, which has often ended up as the best choice. (The Mac Pro... not so much.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple did release two new products today, a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini.
And now iFixit has a new teardown report:
iFixit said:
iPad Mini 5 Teardown

What’s that on our teardown table? It’s a big phone! A small tablet! ~~AirPower!?~~ No, it’s the iPad Mini! This year Apple revisited their smallest tablet, bucking industry trends by keeping the Mini's screen small and bezels big. Did Apple stick to tradition all around, or will we be treated to an interior redesign? Looks like we’ll have to tear this tablet down to find out!

...

Final Thoughts

A single Phillips driver takes care of all the screws.​
Many components are modular and can be replaced independently, but the Lightning port is soldered to the logic board.​
x Battery replacement is possible, but still unnecessarily difficult.​
x Gobs of adhesive hold many parts and cables in place, complicating all repairs.​
x Removing the home button is tough, and will be required for display replacement if you want to keep Touch ID functionality​

Repairability 2 out of 10
(10 is easiest to repair)
 


Could one put together a Mac Mini and a decent (used) monitor and get an equivalent or better product than the new iMac?
Mac Mini, decent screen, and a Thunderbolt GPU would probably blow away an entry-level iMac, but then it would also cost much more... but would be more upgradeable.
 


Could one put together a Mac Mini and a decent (used) monitor and get an equivalent or better product than the new iMac?
As others have said, it depends on your needs. For my needs as a writer and journalist, the Mac Mini and a generic monitor has been an excellent combination. A big plus is being able to replace the screen when needed - I had an Apple flat panel portrait display fail, and later needed a 27-inch screen to read tiny type. I have been able to stretch the usable lifetime of the Mini with external drives. However, I have minimal graphics or audio processing needs. A big question would be whether or not you need a retina screen.
 


Could one put together a Mac Mini and a decent (used) monitor and get an equivalent or better product than the new iMac?
It depends, as others have said, but let me add to that. I have tested out my workflow on a 2015 MacBook Pro with a dedicated GPU, a Mac Pro 5,1 with a 5770 graphics card and with a newer 680GTX card; and the Mac Mini 8,1.

On everything I've tried, including video conversion, the Mini blows away everything else. I don't think it would do better on video than a brand new iMac, but my guess is that its bus speed and CPU speed overcome the lack of a good GPU. When I used the Mac Pro, I could never swamp the slow or the fast GPU. They mostly idled. I had nothing that would really use the GPU hard — not video conversion, not photography. (I never crypto-mined, though.)

I think, for most workflows, the Mini 8,1 is more than fast enough. Just don't pair it with an LG 4K monitor.
 


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