updates & thanks

MacInTouch home page updates will be sporadic at best (and possibly non-existent) from now until after Christmas, as I continue to work on a long overdue platform update and also take a little time for family activities. MacInTouch Community forum updates will continue during this period, but they also may be more sporadic from time to time.

A special thanks again to the core of people who have kept things going here with their support, and I wish all of you the best for a safe and happy holiday!

Ric Ford

Discussions

2019 Mac Pro discussion continues on storage issues, Thunderbolt controllers and display support, motherboard (and liquid cooling) costs, halo effects, configuration costs and PC competition, Xeon W vs. SP (single vs. dual CPU) price models, and a happy teardown.

Virtualization notes talk about using virtual machines (VMs/VMDK) across multiple host environments over extended periods and also offer a procedure for booting a virtual machine off a real hard drive (“raw” disk).

MacInTouch Community discussions also include the following current topics, among others:

CrossOver 19

CrossOver is software from CodeWeavers Inc. (based on the free Wine Project) that translates Windows programming interfaces (APIs) on the fly, so that you can run certain Windows applications (e.g. Quicken, Microsoft apps) on macOS or Linux without buying or running Windows itself or dealing with virtual machines. The latest version brings support for 32-bit applications in macOS Catalina and a number of other improvements.
CrossOver 19.0 is priced starting at $59.95 for OS X 10.11 and up, as well as Linux (and Chrome OS) with a 14-day trial version available and older releases that support earlier Mac systems.

Discussions

2019 Mac Pro notes talk about storage upgrade issues, historical price comparisons, Thunderbolt video compatibility and bandwidth, 2013 Mac Pro obsolescence/support, Windows PC comparisons, tech support for $50K+ customers, Apple wheels, iFixit fun, component costs and other pricing/design factors, cheap RAM, an impressive Ryzenshine AMD-based hackintosh, road-robust design, the halo effect, and more.

Virtualization discussion looks at 32-bit support within macOS Catalina; issues with cloning/importing/booting disk volumes; standard VM formats; compatibility and update concerns; Parallels vs. VMware; archive formats; performance experiences; VirtualBox extension licenses; and more.

MacInTouch Community discussions also include the following topics, among others:

  • Adobe/alternatives – Affinity excitement; IDMarkz InDesign conversions
  • Antivirus software – suggestions for mom; Avast and F-Secure
  • Apple quality – iPhone/iPad scratches, cases
  • Apple security – hidden processes; silent updates/changes; parental control bypass bug
  • Audio – 64-bit apps for pop and click cleanup
  • Displays – BenQ EW3270U, Pro Display XDR compatibility, dual-panel (LMCL) technology, ProArt PA32UCX
  • File systems – APFS version confusion, detective work
  • iMacs – $1399 iMac 5K; RAM upgrades
  • iOS 13 – “bugs galore”, UI problems, update issues, file servers optimized charging
  • Mac Mini – OWC SSD upgrade confusion
  • MacBook Pro – 16-inch audio bug partial patch?
  • macOS Catalina – VueScan, QuickTime, 16-inch MacBook Pro and Mojave, dictation deprecation
  • Malware – malicious ads inject malware into iPhones from mainstream websites…
  • Migration – macOS choices for older Macs
  • Networking – AFP vs NFS vs SMB Performance
  • Old systems – publishers and preservation; Fortran; old Mac speed; Copland
  • Scams – snail mail and phone scams, and related advice
  • Security – Ring device invasions, etc.
  • Tax software – privacy/security issues and options
  • Thunderbolt – cellphone-triggered disconnects; OWC dock

current status

I’m currently working on a platform upgrade for the MacInTouch web site, and home page updates may be irregular as I go through that process between now and the end of the year. (Some web hosting changes and additional expense may be required, but that isn’t completely clear yet.) There also will be some scheduling adjustments around the Christmas holiday for family time.

My sincere thanks go once again to the people who have kept this website and community going through yet another year in challenging conditions. I am very grateful for your support!

Ric Ford

OWC 2019 Mac Pro memory upgrades

OWC 2019 Mac Pro RAM upgrades are new from Other World Computing Inc. (macsales.com) at lower prices than what Apple charges for its own memory in the high-end computer. OWC’s memory is available in a wide range of sizes in both LRDIMM (for larger capacities) and RDIMM (better for more limited capacities).
  OWC 2019 Mac Pro RAM is priced according to type and size, e.g. $84.99 for 16 GB vs. $400 at Apple for the same thing, on up to $19,998.99 for 1.5 TB, which is a $25,000 upgrade at Apple. And, unlike Apple’s memory, OWC’s RAM comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

ThunderBay 4 Mini

ThunderBay 4 Mini is a multi-drive storage system from Other World Computing Inc. (macsales.com) that connects to a computer via Thunderbolt — both Thunderbolt 3 models and Thunderbolt 2 models (compatible with Thunderbolt 1) are available.

Features include four 2.5″ drive bays with slide-in trays (for 6Gbps SATA SSDs or hard drives), dual Thunderbolt ports, a compact aluminum enclosure with “32.5dB cooling fan”, and SoftRAID software for combining drives in a variety of RAID configurations for improved performance and reliability (although SoftRAID is not currently compatible with FileVault 2 encryption or Fusion drive configurations).

ThunderBay 4 Mini is priced from $299.99 as a bare enclosure with SoftRAID Lite to $2,069.99 with four 2TB SSDs and the full SoftRAID XT software version, for macOS 10.13 and later.

Promise Pegasus R4i and J2i

Pegasus R4i and Pegasus J2i are internal storage modules for Apple’s expensive new Mac Pro, developed by Promise Technology Inc. (which has a curiously close relationship with Apple) and originally announced back in June but only recently priced and available for ordering.

Pegasus R4i is an MPX module holding four 7200rpm SATA hard drives, preconfigured for hardware RAID 5 and accompanied by a management app.

Pegasus J2i is an unusual, custom enclosure for a unique space at the top of the new computer’s enclosure, bundled with one 8TB, 3.5-inch, 7200rpm SATA hard drive while offering a second bay for another.

Promise Pegasus R4i is priced at $2,299.95 and sold through Apple’s own store (but may be available later from others, such as Amazon). Promise Pegasus J2i is priced at $399.95

HighPoint NVMe SSD PCIe cards

HighPoint SSD7101A-1 is a PCIe card from HighPoint Technologies Inc. that hosts four NVMe SSDs for ultra-fast storage. Features include PCIe 3.0 x16 bus bandwidth and x4 bandwidth for each of the NVMe M.2 SSD slots, plus a built-in RAID controller (for RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10) with management software and SMART support and the ability to pair two of the cards for astonishing speeds. (See resources section for more details.)
  HighPoint SSD7101A-1, for macOS 10.13 and later, Windows and Linux, is sold via resellers, including Amazon ($387.99 when checked).
  HighPoint SSD7103 is a bootable version ($449 when checked).

“The latest generation of high-performance CPU’s and motherboards can provide the PCIe 3.0 lanes required to power dual PCIe 3.0 x16 NVMe RAID controllers. Ultra-HD video projects, such as those working with raw 8K footage, require transfer performance exceeding 17,900 MB/s. Media professionals working with such hardware can now link two SSD7101A-1 NVMe RAID controllers to function as a single array, and configure RAID arrays of up to eight M.2 NVMe SSD’s to deliver over 25,000 MB/s of transfer performance!”

Logitech Pro Display XDR webcam preview

4K Pro Magnetic Webcam is a promised accessory from Logitech for Apple’s expensive new Pro Display XDR, due in January, according to the company. Features include a magnetic mount designed specifically for Apple’s display, 4K capture (up to 4096 x 2160 px @ 30 fps), autofocus, dual omni-directional mics with noise cancellation, USB-C cables, “high dynamic range (HDR) technology”, and an app for adjusting brightness and color, as well as digital zoom, pan and tilt.
  4K Pro Magnetic Webcam is currently available for pre-ordering at $199.99.

Discussions

2019 Mac Pro discussion talks about hard drive support, $400 wheels, support documents, PC price comparisons, security locks, CPU families/prices, Thunderbolt Display compatibility, thermal/acoustic engineering, PCIe card support, etc.

MacInTouch Community discussions include the following current topics, among others:

Discussions

Adobe and alternatives discussion continues with lots more about scripting and related issues, plus InDesign document conversion and archiving.

MacInTouch Community updates touch on the following topics, as well:

2019 Mac Pro upgrades/add-ons

Now that Apple’s taking orders for the 2019 Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, we finally have prices for many upgrades and add-ons

A few examples: