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Friday, 21 October 2016

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October 27th is supposedly when Apple will be announcing new machines. Wait at least until that announcement. The current minis have… less than robust… GPUs and don't offer much in the way of scaling options with newer displays.

For starters, wait a week. Apple will be announcing new Macs Oct 27: http://www.macworld.com/article/3132919/macs/apple-to-announce-new-macs-at-a-special-event-october-27.html

My only advice would be to wait until next week, rumor being that Apple will be announcing new hardware on the 27th

Apple is rumored to announce some updates next week. Thom Hogan "A" noted Nikon expert :) had an article about this a few months back:
http://www.dslrbodies.com/accessories/software-for-nikon-dslrs/recommended-mac-hardware.html

Mike, David B Brooks of Outdoor Photographer fame swears by Mac Minis. Go to their website and look at some archives of "Q & A for digital Photo" or something like that. He says that it is the best for accurate color management.

Apple is doing a Mac centric announcement event on 10/27. I'd wait until after that to survey the options.

The issue with the Mac Mini has been anemic graphics cards which are not user upgradable. It hasn't been updated since October 2014, so it is way overdue.
All modern external graphics displays support 10 bit graphics,
Apple did not until last year when they introduced the 5k iMac which was 10 bit capable for "Some" applications, and uses a wider Gamut.
But rather than move fro sRGB to Adobe RGB they chose the P3 color gamut developed for Digital cinema projectors.
http://www.colourspace.xyz/the-new-apple-imac-and-the-dci-p3-colour-gamut/
NEC makes beautiful displays,especially the Spectra Views, But they do need a good graphics card, -such as the ones that are available in the newest iMacs and some MacBok Pros.
You may be better off with a MBP + NEC which would provide the added benefit of going with you.
The NEC folks are at Photo Plus this weekend if you are going.
If Apple updates the Mini with a BTO graphics option it might be ideal, But I think you will be better off waithing for a MBP Retina with the P3 gamut, then home or travelling you will have a capable machine

The newer 4K and 5K iMacs have wide-gamut displays that use P3 color space, as do recent iOS devices. Although it seems Apple has stopped making stand-alone displays, it might be reasonable to assume they're aiming for P3 in all the devices they do make.

It's nice that you have a basement safe. But please, everyone reading this, heed the following advice: USE AT LEAST ONE OFFSITE BACKUP!

It can be cloud-based, but if you have hundreds of gigabytes of stuff that might not be cheap or easy.

The easiest thing is this: Buy a huge portable hard drive and find an offside location to store it. Could be a friend's house, or a locked drawer at your office. Maybe a safety deposit box. Whatever works. On a regular basis (weekly? Monthly? Depends on how much new stuff you add) Go get the thing, do a backup, and return it to its storage place ASAP.

Do this as your SECOND backup. You should also be doing a local backup that you do more often.

The gist of it is this: your daily backup that you keep nearby is protection against hard-drive failure. The offsite backup is protection against burglary (theft) or house fire.

In my case I have a Mac Mini in which I installed a 1 TB second drive. It backs up automatically on a weekly basis, so if my SSD fails, I have a backup on that second drive.

Plus I have a 1 TB portable USB drive that I keep locked up at work. I bring it home every couple of weeks and run a backup. So if my house burns down or someone steals my Mac Mini, I have a backup that's at least reasonably recent.

(Pardon the lecture, but this stuff is really not complicated once you have a plan -- as outline above -- and it breaks my heart every time I hear a data loss story that could have been prevented with just a bit of planning.)

Don't order anything until after 27 October! Many of the current Mac models are long in the tooth - the iMac is about a year old, and the Mac Mini is two years old. But there's an Apple event on 27 October at which it is expected that new Macs will be announced. It's expected that new MacBook Pro models, with a new form factor, will be the stars of the show but it's not impossible that updates to other models will also be announced. I'm sure you'd hate to buy something this week only to find it had been replaced next week.

(I've had a number of Macs as well, including a fairly-original iMac and a Powerbook ("Pismo"), but in many ways my personal favourite was a G4 Mac Cube. Bought s/hand and sold again but it wasn't actually that good, but it did look cool....)

Apple is rumoured to be releasing new Macs on 27th October so wait to see what's around the corner before ordering.

The current Mac mini no longer represents good value – it lags significantly in horsepower and no longer offers the option of a quad-core i7 processor. And its RAM isn't user-upgradeable. With luck, Apple will announce something more compelling before the month is out.

The current Retina iMacs offer a reasonably wide-gamut display (the P3 colour space is decent) so are worth considering. They do represent a good step up over the original Retina displays for photographers. You can upgrade its RAM to a maximum of We have a quad-core i7 2011 iMac here (pre-Retina) to which we've fitted an SSD as a boot drive and it absolutely flies.

Get something with a factory-fitted SSD, if you can, rather than a so-called Fusion drive.

The new Mac Minis have their RAM soldered to the motherboard, so you can't upgrade down the road. Also Apple has some Mac announcements coming up in a few weeks so you may want to wait and see what's up with that.

Hey there!,
Is there an aversion to the iMac 5k? The text scales nicely and photos (viewing and processing) are great.

The picture brings it all back! I started using a Mac at work (as an electronics and software professional) the same time as you. At first we only had one in the entire office so it was 'borrowed' by each of us as we needed it. Before that us engineers has no desk top computers at all – seems incredible now!

At home, until two year ago, I had like you an iMac 2009 which I upgraded when the current Mac Mini came out. My Mac Mini is fully loaded with the exception of keeping the SSD to only 512GB. I use an NEC PA272W which I bought at the same time, together with a Mac 24in matt display that I bought in 2006. (Being able to run both displays was one of my criteria in picking the iMac replacement.) I haven't had any issues with text size – not sure what your concern is. I run Lightroom and Photoshop together with no problems (printing from LR). However I suggest keeping the LR catalog on an SSD, internal or otherwise, and the files themselves on a fast thunderbolt connected external HD, for the best throughput. The only irritant for me is the placement of the SD slot on the rear of the chassis.

Given that the Mac Mini may be upgraded by Apple sometime soon, I would see what gets introduced next before buying anything. Perhaps consider the new MacBook Pro (expected to be announced next week).

As you may know, Apple seems hell bent on removing ports from all their products. Wehn I bought my 2013 27" iMac I spent an additional $80 on adapters so that I could continue using several FireWire 800 external hard drives where I keep my Lightroom catalogue and other documents.

There are rumours that Apple is making a move to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. Thunderbolt 3 uses the same connector as USB-C which is different than Thunderbolt 2. USB-C uses a different connector than USB 3.0.

So ... whatever monitor you choose, make sure you can find adapters/cables that allow you to connect any existing external drives and displays.

Unless of course, you buy an older mac Mini with older ports.

I'm a little confused. If you're so fond of the powerbook and your current iMac, it seems like a 2016 iMac or 15" Macbook Pro would be the most obvious choices for a replacement.

FWIW I updated from a MacBook to a Mac Mini with NEC display last year, and I love it. I found I pretty much 99% of the time sat at my computer table with the MacBook attached to monitor/keyboard/trackpad anyway. I already had the NEC monitor and just hooked up the Mac Mini to the existing set up. The added "horsepower" of the Mac Mini is a nice plus, and the price sure is right. p.s. We went through the original Mac, MacSE, and Strawberry iMac...haha...then MacBooks for many years, until I landed recently with the Mac Mini. I think we even had a Mac LC at one time if you remember those, kind of "pizza box" shape for the CPU.

We are rare indeed (The 1st PC in our home was a new Macintosh my dad got in late 84/early 85.). I'm in an even rarer subset as I tinker with, mod, and upgrade my Macs (How many do you know that used ResEdit to mod the system software and program with custom logos and windows as well as custom keyboard shortcuts?). My current Mac is a 2010 MacPro I got used and next year it's getting a flashed vid card, CPU upgrade and even more RAM. I don't see a need for Handoff or using my watch to unlock my computer, so the new features, aka gimmicks, that you can only do with new hardware is pointless. In this way I can save lots of money. So I say look up OtherWorldComputing and get a used Mac from them, even a old MacPro and upgrade it. It'll last you a very long time (I got my Mac Pro in 2012 to finally replace my G4 tower released in 2001 that I had upgraded. My brother now uses that G4 for music and animation creation in his spare time.).

Mike, read this:

http://tapeop.com/columns/end-rant/115/

It makes interesting reading, and I have to say I agree with almost all of it...I just got 12 years out of a Dell running XP, and the only reason I'm still not using it is because the hard drive broke. I'm thinking about another new Mac to do a few "Blurb" books on, but I'm only planning to have it working correctly for 3 or 4 years, by then, I won't care and will be using and iPad and film.

Apple are having an Event on the 27th October, which is probably new Macs (Most likely laptops, but they might do something to the Mini, Pro or iMac.)

Best to wait until then to see if there's any New Hotness, and if not, you could always check out their refurb store: http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

You can't go wrong with an NEC, I bought a 27" model, one down from the top of the range.

It shines against my old 27" iMac, also now seven years old and currently living with my daughter.

As for gubbins, I overbought, a MacPro "dustbin" mainly because I got a bargain, and it looks mad sitting on my desk.

I'm more or less like you; my first Mac was the 512k "Fat Mac", on which I wrote my thesis, using Macwrite, MacDraw,and a beta version of MacDraft. I still have the original OS floppies floating round (wondering what I should do with them). Went through various macs, including a clone. Then had a grape iMac, and now am on my 2nd 27" iMac (retina with fusion drive) and third laptop (MacBook Pro). The latest 2, with their retina screens are definitely the best.

It's too bad that Apple discontinued its Cinema Display. I've had mine for about 7 years now, previously used with an 2008 13" MacBook and now with a 2012 15" MacBook Pro. I'm not sure what monitor I would get right now, but a couple of Dell models pop up in my Google searches.

I've been a Mac guy for a while too. My earliest "personal computers" were the Mac IIsi (color!) and a PowerBook 160, both early '90s. I strayed to Windows when I got married when I thought I had to be Office-compatible, but nowadays that's not a big deal ... about a 10 year run. Mostly Mac again since 2008.

I don't know if I could ever go back to a desktop-only solution. I like being able to take my Mac along everywhere.

Hi,
Mike,
I know this questions your premise, but have you tried formatting the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system? If you haven't replaced your internal drive with a SSD, that would be an excellent choice that may noticably increase the performance of your machine. If you sent it out for such repairs and upgrades, perhaps the techs might extract a significant amount of dust and dog fluff - a common souce of overheating that causes system flakiness.*

I'm really interested in your problem, and what the commentariat suggests, since my dedicated photo computer can't cope with...pretty much anything I need it to do, anymore. I've been looking at mini's, and also at old (2008-9) mac desktops, since they are in my price range, wondering if they would be able to handle contemporary workloads. (E.g 16mpxl files, hd video editing, fast lightroom thumbnail editing, uhs cards, etc.) My use case is unusual - I don't put my photo computer on the net at all, so when I achive a stable configuration, I update nothing until it's absolutely necessary.

*a technical term.

As everyone else said, wait until at least next Friday to see what's new. The current Mini's aren't very good. (I don't expect them to be updated next week, either, but I'd love to be pleasantly surprised.)

But I also have a seven-year old iMac (Late 2009), and I just put an SSD in it and some additional memory (I only had 8G, took it to 16G), and it makes a huge difference for not a lot of money (< $300). So if they don't come out with something you like next week and you want to make it another year or two, an SSD upgrade will make it seem like a new(er) Mac.

Remember "vaporware"?

I've been using Macs since the Mac SE, just a little after you started. I bought a hard drive to go with it, 30Mb for just $1,395.

Now we know the genesis of the Eizo post.

One of the rumors is that Apple is partnering with LG to produce a 5K display. If true, I'm sure it will be outstanding, but around here (NYC) we're boycotting LG because they insist on building (Trump-like) a corporate office tower rising well above the tree line in the middle of the otherwise pristine Palisades, right across the Hudson from the Cloisters.

Extra notes:

1. Text readability on the 5K iMacs is particularly great because of the high resolution.

2. I've been *writing software* on Macs since late 1984. With a bit of a break for graduate school. That's a long time. Sigh.

I have about the same history as you, though with several Powermacs thrown in. Currently I have a 2010 Mac Pro.
My current needs would now probably be met by a mini. Actually always would have, but oh I have loved the big machines. I hope they improve the mini some next week. What I have always wanted was a midi tower. Guess we are not gonna get that.
I have an NEC display and love it.
Sounds like I love a lot. I do, but it really goes to my dogs. Oh yeah, and my girl friend. She does not read your blog.

We have three Mac Minis in the house, one is the current generation entry level model. The graphics are fine for photo work, maybe not so much serious video. The biggest complaint I have with the modern Mac Minis is the disk subsystem, 5400rpm drives and there is no pure SSD option, which would benefit performance greatly. The $999 model has a fusion drive, but honestly, by the time you get to that price you might as well just go full iMac. My go-to Mac is now my MacBook Pro, all the performance, full SSD, and that incredible Retina screen.

Please wait until the 27th when Apple is predicted to announce new machines.

If you are buying a system for the long term, and based on your current iMac lasting 7 years I bet you are, I'd avoid any of the systems where RAM tops out at 16GB. 16GB is quickly used up running Photoshop and Lightroom together. Another few years of software bloat will make what initially seemed like more than enough RAM seem inadequate (a trend that is as old as computers).

I'd avoid the current Mini as it's limited to 16GB RAM (and isn't upgradeable so if you do choose this, at least order the 16GB option).

Hopefully there will be a new set of choices on the 27th.

In general my advice is buy as much RAM as you can, get a fast SSD over a large mechanical harddrive for the system drive, and don't worry too much about small difference in processor speed. If you need more storage you can always add additional drives, either mechanical or preferably solid state.

Apple obsoletes products. My iPhone 4s will be obsoleted on Oct 31. This means that the software can't be up-dated or the iPhone repaired.

There are several computers on the list—some from 2010. My guess is that my Late 2009 iMac will be the next to go,

Check-out Mac Rumors for the list http://www.macrumors.com/2016/10/14/iphone-4-late-2010-mba-obsolete-oct-31/

My suggestion would be to go for two-display setup: a top of the line 27" 5K Quad-core Retina iMac with a minimum of 16 GB of RAM and then add an NEC PA-series as a second display. The TOTL iMac has the same processing horsepower as an entry level Mac Pro, and Adobe's computing horsepower requirements are only going to scale over time, not diminish (I've been using Lightroom since the first beta in 2006, and it seems its only gotten slower over time).

The 5K Retina iMac has plenty of ports, including (two Thunderbolt ports, which believe me, you will want) to hook up hard drives and peripherals and you can easily drive a second diplay up to 27".

I use this set up and it works great: I use the 27" 5K Retina display for general editing and file management. Believe me, you do not know what the image quality of your digital camera is until you use one of these 5K displayS to examine critical focus/sharpness. The amount of detail they produce and the evenness of color is astonishing. I then use an NEC PA-series display with the NEC Spectraview software/hardware for my color-managed workflow, soft proofing, and checking critical color for printing. It's also really nice to have two displays when working in Photoshop and Lightroom (as I mentioned a few days ago, printing out of Lightroom is the way go to these days...unless your going to go all-in and get ImagePrint as a RIP.

5K Retina iMac and 24" NEC PA-242W-BK-SV is shown.

I have a late 2012 Mac Mini. As far as I know the current model uses the same basic structure and internal mechanics. So I'm here to say it is NOT TRUE that the RAM and storage are not user-upgradable.

It just takes a bit of (gulp) courage.

The day my Mac Mini arrived I took it completely apart. I upgraded the RAM to 16 GB (the max), and moved the 1TB HDD into the second drive bay. Then I installed a third-party 500 GB SSD in the primary drive bay. I cloned the OS from the original HDD to the new SSD and turn the HDD into a built-in backup drive.

Warranty instantly voided: yes. But I got the Mac Mini I wanted, along with some bragging rights.

@Ed Hawco: The latest Mac Mini (2014+) has the memory soldered on the motherboard. The earlier versions could be user upgraded with DIMMs in sockets.

@Ed Hancock:

Have a look at this iFixit Teardown of a 2014 Mac Mini:
https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Mac+Mini+Late+2014+Teardown/30410

I'm afraid it looks as if it is indeed no longer possible to upgrade the ram, and their conclusion on the possibility of adding an SSD wasn't clear. So I think the 2014 Mac Mini is a lot less friendly under the cover than the 2012 model was.

I had never used a Mac until a few years ago. One of my step sons had been working in commercial printer development for HP in Oregon for several years and had always pushed Windows-based computers. I'm not into computers (although I like what can be done with them) so I had always taken his advice on what to buy. Then he unexpectedly announced one day that he had bought a Mac and loved it. He visited us for a few days soon thereafter and took his mother to the local Best Buy where they procured a nice little Mac Mini. It didn't take long for me to see the advantages of the Mac. Before long my wife and I were using iPhones and iPads.

Earlier this year, I came into a bit of extra cash. One of the first items on my list of things to buy was a new 27" 5K iMac with SSD. It's more computer than I ever expect to need but I'm enjoying it a lot and I fear I am now spoiled for anything less.

Whatever you buy, make sure you replace the main drive with a 512GB or 1TB SSD. 512GB is under $200 now and it's the best upgrade for the bucks.

and MAX out of SRAM, 16GB is the smallest for photo work.

Mike-
Unless you're from New York city where everyone uses it, maven is actually a Yiddish word. I suspect though you were just kidding!

Wasn't willing to limit myself to 16GB of DRAM when it was time to replace my 4-year-old Mac Mini, so I went with the 27" iMac. The iMac is the only desktop that comes with SO-DIMM sockets for memory, and I have a lot more than 16GB in it.

Apple has severely "kneecaped" the Mac Mini machines with low DRAM sizes. Only possible reason is to keep people from buying them instead of more profitable iMac models. I'm willing to pay the "white tax", but I think this is stupidly rude.

Do wait for this year's announcement cycle, strong rumors of new Mac Mini models.

If your current Mac Mini has Thunderbolt support, get a Thunderbolt cable (under $40) to do the file transfer to the new computer over. It is much faster than Gigabit Ethernet. I moved about 500GB in about 4-5 hours. I was stunned and amazed by that.

Seven years is a good life for your current iMac, especially the screen.The screens do fade, and the R, G, and B colors fade at different rates.

Mac minis have two processor cores. Most iMacs have four. A "loaded" Mac mini won't get you anywhere near the performance of a good iMac. I believe you would notice the difference in Lightroom.

Any new screen will look a lot better than your seven year old screen, even when both are calibrated. Would an NEC display look noticeably better than a 5k iMac? I don't know.

Would you be satisfied with a 5k iMac display? I think that's worth finding out.

I don't know your budget nor working habits, but I like my 15" Macbook Pro. It's not that heavy (although I avoid shoulder bags with it), so it moves with me and for longer periods of work I plug an external display and keyboard to it. Bad side is that it's expensive and said external devices add to the cost.

I'd been playing with Sinclairs, Commodores and Radio Schack TRS offerings before the Apple Lisa came out. I was enthralled, but I wasn't going to lay out $15000 for a computer and 5Mb hard drive in 1983. But I was early in line for a Mac when it came out the next year. My original then went from 128k to Fat Mac to Mac Plus with finally 4Mb Ram and 80Mb hard drive. ResEdit was used extensively on software. MacWrite, MacPaint and then MacDraw were used in my architectural work. Later I had v0.9 of Photoshop on a more capable Mac, and now I have an obsolete but still very useful last version 17" MacBook Pro and a new 27" loaded 5K iMac, my main photo editing machine.

On the iMac, the screen is great (no window behind me), OWC provided me with an extra 32Gb of RAM, I have their latest thunderbolt dock that allows me access to my older Firewire accessories and extra USB devices. Everything is good.

The SSD's that I have in both my main computers as startup drives are definitely worth it, as Adobe products like to write things back to the startup disk. That, plus lots of RAM provide the most bang for the buck. My data is all on secondary drives and on the iMac, those are mostly inexpensive USB3 drives. Data gets backed up automatically to other USB drives so that I have a total of at least 3 backups, one of which is off site. In over 30 years of computing I've not had a data loss (other than occasional loss-of-mind overwriting) and in my 20 years during that time as IT consultant to a number of architectural practices have helped quite a few others to a similar level of safety.

Mac Minis have unfortunately often been artificially crippled, with slow hard drives, compromised logic/graphic and input/output boards. They have tended to be based on Apples lower end laptops when making them slightly larger and putting slightly better pieces in them would have made them a lot more useful. Right now almost any iMac is a better proposition, especially considering the good screens built in, but let's wait until next week.

I did the Mac Mini Server with twin monitors for a few years, definitely the best bang for buck solution but there are some bottlenecks, mainly due to Apple crippling certain things to persuade you to buy more expensive iMacs. Which, in the end you should. Simply get a loaded 5K iMac with an Apple Care warranty and don't fret that you overpaid or that a new model replaced it. Just use it hard another 7 years. With current software there is no issue with text sizing, reading, or using different user interfaces with the high resolution display.

My only caution is that the 5K screen is so good that you may be tempted to give up printing because your photos will look their best onscreen and no old-fashioned ink and paper print can come close.

I have been a Mac user since 1989* and have had a variety of desktop and laptop models. But the future for Macs isn't clear. Ever since Apple Computer became, simply, Apple, their focus has shifted away from computers to iPhones and iPads and iWatches. Their current selection of hardware has departed from their roots in that the internal hardware is not easily upgraded. So one must anticipate the future and buy a computer with the largest drive and most memory which raises the initial cost.

In contrast, legacy Macs could be purchased with smaller drives and less memory and then upgraded as the need arose and the finances allowed.

I'm holding on to my older Macs for now: Mac Pro and MacBook Pro, both more than 5 years old.

*But I have also used Windows/DOS, NeXTstep, and Unix/Linux during this same period. They're all useful—I just prefer Macs.

I began with the earliest Mac, purchased on April 18, 1984, with 128K of RAM, and 128K floppies, no such thing as a hard drive then. Paid about $2,400US. Over time, they got better, but always seemed to cost about the same, you just got more computer for the money. My first 20MB, that's megabyte not gigabyte or terabyte, hard drive was the size of a dictionary and cost $800US! I had a 2007 Mac Pro tower that I loved, stuffed it with hard drives and off I went. But of course one has to have more, better, faster. So in May of 2014 I got the new "trashcan" Mac Pro, maxed out with a 1TB SSD, and 64GB of RAM, from OWC (cheaper than Apple RAM). The idea of making an expensive computer with no space for internal hard drives or SSD's beyond the basic boot drive now seems like an act of lunacy for the serious user though the iMacs are basically the same, just with a built in monitor. Now I've got this great but 2 1/2 year old Mac Pro, with a lovely NEC 27" Spectraview monitor, where to go from here. I basically had to buy an enclosure to hold my drives from OWC. Apple does seem to have neglected the desktop separates user. No one seriously thinks the current mini is up to snuff and there's been no noise about a new Mac Pro, though, after what I paid for my current one (more than $2,400 believe me), I'm not anxious to upgrade. I'll sit tight I guess and will anxiously await the new machines on the 25th.

I notice 2 128 macs and an original laptop on the shelf here.
The Macs work

Mike,
Late to the party here but have a few comments I didn't see touched on much or at all.
It was mentioned that you can take an older iMac and replace the old hard drive with an SSD. That is what I'm going to do with my 21.5" mid 2011 and will also reload everything rather than just clone over to new drive. Heck, it's got 32 gigs of RAM, so no need to replace yet.

However, I also have an 13" MacBook Pro that I now use as my internet, email, and "anything else besides photography" machine - although it is equipped with all the software just in case of emergency and on the road activities. Therefore my still capable but aging iMac is exclusively a Photoshop-Lightroom machine.

Finally, something I don't think anyone mentioned adequately, is how important Thunderbolt is. If you intend to create a single-Mac system, abandon your Mac Mini quest and buy a MacBook Pro (any model is fine really, but get all the RAM you can). I bought the 13" for size reasons though it still has plenty of power. With 2 Thunderbolt ports and an HDMI port you can surround yourself with big monitors. If you add a thunderbolt external dock to the system, all your external devices could be plugged into it. So, by merely detaching a single cable from the MacBook, it is free to go anywhere with you. So, frankly, a MacBook Pro should be thought of as a far more flexible Mac Mini.

Many folks mentioned that the current Mini's are out dated and that could change soon, but watch out. Also, if the 12" MacBook is any indicator of the future, others also noted that Apple may force the USB-C port on us more than I would like to see - certainly hope not.

As an aside, I added a magic mouse and magic keyboard to my MacBook Pro, but I still use its trackpad to expand text for reading and also to lookup words. With the new "Force" touch feature of its trackpad, I place the I-bar cursor over a word, press down "hard" and bam, up comes a dictionary screen. It is really cool. I'm sure this feature will find its way into all Macs but I think it is now only possible on a "Force Touch" trackpad.

I like my 27" Mac, though I wasn't impressed that I had to buy a CD/DVD drive for it (because it doesn't have one built in) after spending all that money. I don't use the SDHC card slot which is on the back, because I'm worried about ruining the card trying to get it in. I would rather have a slot on the front. That wouldn't be so pretty, but then neither is a card reader floating about underneath. Still, there's the lack of day to day stress, which is why I far prefer the Mac over a PC.

Regarding data back ups, I only format the camera's memory card after I've transferred files to the Mac and it's been backed up to a separate drive; then those photos are in two places.

My addiction to Macs started before Macs. My first computer was an Apple II, from there owned at least 6 other Apples, IIe, IIc. IIGS, then graduated to Macs, SE, Color Mac Classic, (TAM) Twentieth Anniversary Mac with Bose speakers, iMac Blue Bondi, Power Mac G3, Cube, Power Mac G5 Titanium, PowerBook 1400, first iBook clamshell Tangerine, first Powerbook G4 titanium, MacBook 2006, 2 versions of MacBook Air, iMacs 21" and 27" (current desktop).

I still own all of these with exception of Mac SE and Classic. I would sell entire collection, plus a beautiful Power Computing Mac (only Macs built by someone other than Apple. I will keep my latest Mac Air and 27"iMac.
Also have Apple image writers and 2 Apple Laserwriters, many floppy drive units, original OS software for almost all machines, and factory boxes the computers came in for many of these machines. Anyone want to start an Apple / Mac museum or just like to have some of these very cool machines sitting on your desk. All are still in running condition and most are almost new condition aesthetically.

We bought a 128K Mac in 1984 and loved it. Over the following 30+ years we have owned a variety of Macs and PCs but have always been pushing the capabilities of the machines with what we were trying to do until the past few years. My partners 7yr old 24" iMac just died and we bought her a new 5K 27" iMac. Wow is all I can say. That 5K screen is amazing and the computer is just so fast and responsive it is amazing. I can't think of anything better for writing and having fun with images.

Here's how I handle backups. I have a Mac Pro with a 1tb (terabyte) SSD. I bought a cheap 1tb portable USB 3 which I keep attached to the Mac Pro. On the Mac Pro I use a piece of software called SuperDuper http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html which will clone the contents of my Mac Pro to the USB drive. It's possible to schedule SuperDuper to clone the Mac Pro's SSD to the USB drive at sometimes during the day, for me, 4am. This way backing up my Mac Pro is not something I have to remember to do, it just happens.
Instead of doing a second backup to keep off site (which for me is difficult without a work place or close family in my area) I use an online service called BackBlaze for $5/month in the US. It automatically backs up my Mac Pro and any hard drives I have attached to it to the "cloud". I tell BackBlaze to ignore my backup drive. Of course it takes quite awhile for the initial backup. To that end Backblaze gives you a free trial during which it backs up your hard drives. There is no limit to the amount of data being backed up and once it has backed up all your data it does incremental backups of new data. It does so when you're not working or using the Internet so I never notice a hit to performance. Backblaze and other services like it (I've only used Backblaze) allow you to download a file or the entire contents of your backup or Backblaze will fedex you a flash drive or hard drive (for a fee) with your backup should you suffer a catastrophic failure like fire or flood.
It's important to backup your work and for most of us its important to automate that as much as possible as (speaking for myself) its easy to forget or be lazy.

This brings back memories. Though I only came to OS X late (PowerMac G5 running Tiger, hand me down from my wife), I've played with Macs before that.

In college we had a MIS course which was better said to be Introduction to Macs because Apple donated the lab and we spent more time learning about Macs than MIS.

In this course, because I'm a computer guy anyway, I got done with labs early and helped a lot of other students.

One problem with the lab was how the Apple network had been setup. With the row seating it was going down all the time because people were brushing their bottoms on the network cables and disconnecting the network.

The other time was when I worked for a public relations department for a state ran hospital. We were using Macs to do our work. Even expanded their existing System 7 network to work with more computers and upgraded older systems.

Personally I'm running an older 2008 MP with 32GB of ram on 10.10.5. At work I'm stuck with Windows because that is what they use. At least it is Windows 7 Professional for web development.

I also started using Macs at the very beginning. Our family has used them continuously since then.

I use a fully loaded MacMini with a Thunderbolt Cinema display supplemented with a smaller Acer display for still photography.

I am very happy. The screen calibration has been very stable. I don't use this computer for resource intensive work (video for instance). I use LR/PS CC and the NIK suite. The speed is fine... even with Xtrans raw files.

As others point out... when you order just maximize the ram and select all hardware upgrade options when you order. The cost per year is reasonable.

The worst aspect of Apple's ecosystem is iTunes. Apple recently created a team to completely revamp OS X/iOS music experience. I am skeptical.

Windows vs. Macs is a personal subject without a right or wrong answer.

For a decade my professional work (scientific R&D) suffered because my employer strictly prohibited usage of any OS except Windows. Our group used instrumentation that required UNIX and we had a large network of Unix desktop workstations that integrated seamlessly with these instruments. A friend in the corporate IT group told me Microsoft pitched the benefits of a homogeneous desktop environment to the business groups during a golf outing in Hawaii. Then the final decision was made against the will of the technical, R&D leaders. We protested and lost. Our desktop work efficiency dropped like an anvil pushed off a cliff.

When I left that job I never touched a Windows machine again. This makes me happy.

Recently I used a Microsoft product for the first time in 16 years. I transitioned from Evernote to OneNote. Evernote downgraded their basic (free) package and I heard whispers they may be on thin financial ice. OneNote is not as fast as EverNote, but the basic (free) package does not have any limitations. I use it on OS X and several iOS devices. I'm impressed that OneNote gets a little with every upgrade (which occur frequently).

Also using Macs since 1999, when I joined a newsroom which used them exclusively, and very soon switched at home as well.

But let me add my 2 ct of heresy: I think the Macs are so good that their hardware will outlive the software. I'm using a 2007 (or so) 20" iMac, and when Mac OS X was updated to El Capitan, this machine could not follow. Turned out that I couldn't update necessary software either, e.g. had to stick to old browser versions, which I considered a security problem.

So, I switched - this iMac only - from Mac OS X to Ubuntu, and it works just great. Can't see any reason why it should not last beyond its first decade.

(Also, when I wanted to replace the battery in my MacBook Pro late 2009 model, people in the Apple Store told me this was a "vintage" computer, no longer supported. Luckily, I found a replacement with a third party battery – another proof that these machines work much longer than the company intended...)

"Maven, n., North American, informal, An expert or connoisseur"

"A maven - מבֿין -...is a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. The word maven comes from Hebrew, meaning "one who understands", based on an accumulation of knowledge."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maven

[I like the word better now. At the risk of immodesty, I guess it sort of describes me! Thanks Misha. --Mike]

Well, given there is something oldie did like getting old game console out (in your palm literally), may be they can pull out a small inches (iPAD PRO size you know screen or just a slot for the iPAD pro to slide in), a small SD card reader on the front and everything on the back a mini with a shell. For old time sake.

Not buying mac until they have something like Surface Book or forced to when old one died.

***

For that little thing up there, I have a chance to play with the real one about the same period where I was working on something new in offices called PC - no one care as the attention is calling for buying a hard drive for around US$2m for may be several hundred of megabytes for a mainframe. Microsoft win 1.0 I said no good and hence continue PC DOS. Later there is this mac for SA&D for the graphics.

Do not like it. Where is the command prompt? Who has stolen my command prompt! But like the game. More realistic than those PC one.

Only get used to it as my wife used Mac at work and we bought one for her. Myst is the name of the game that total change the experience. The rest is history as they said. Working on mac at home for decades now. Even though it is no longer Mac OS 7.

The boys used them as they are much more helpful in creating media for work.

I have a love-hate relationship with Macs. I have been using them from 1986 onward.

I loved them sooooo much that when the Performa looked like being their last hurrah I bought two of them so the dreaded switch to Windows could be delayed.

The Performa was like many Macs, wonderful but underpowered. I often think people tend to forget that the initial saviour of Macs was not the iPhone...nor the iPod...it was the iMac...and it was basically a Pretty Performa.... But didn't we all love it.
For me briefly after that an eMac...and so on to the present day.

The hate part of my relationship....

1.) why is the mac mini so crippled
2.) why no option for CD DVD...sort of ok now but when it first came in...very irritating...
3.) and MOSTLY why abandon Aperture.... I am hopeless at unforced change.

Unnecessary computer changes in medicine were the cause of mine...and I suspect many other doctors in the UK retiring early. Having to relearn whole systems whilst looking after people was just a step to far.
Now my love is photography. I love Aperture. I have 20-30 thousand images on Aperture and for no good reason it is abandoned. I still can't work out what you do. I have AL 6.... But keep using Aperture. Will I convert all those photos...I don't think so. Probably I will keep these and in the New Year promise to myself that I will switch from now. But then I have two systems. To me Apple should keep the mini up to date. It should have kept up Aperture ...even as a loss leader...because for this punter it is now a company I can no longer trust.

Sad really.... I think I preferred them when they were the little guy!

Personally I'd avoid the current Mac Mini's. Recently had to spec them out for an audio installation project I'm involved in and the one's currently sold new are drastically underpowered for the money imho... The most powerful/expandable one you can buy at the moment is still the 2012 server version which you have to find second hand/refurb. They used to be excellent value but I'd probably go for a refurb iMac nowadays or look at putting an SSD and OS refresh into your current one.

It does feel like the actual computing side of Apple is far from their priority nowadays and even as a committed PC guy I think that's really sad. I do spend a reasonable time working on Macs though and every OS update seems to make things slightly worse imho.

On the flip side, the recent Lightroom update that allows seamlessly working on smart previews has bought me another couple of years on my current work laptop! My 4 year old i7 laptop now breezes through Fuji edits and only shows it's age on export. Nice work Adobe...

I still remember when I had the Mac Plus (after the Apple II) and the many doubts I had when I was offered to add a new device, called "hard disk" !
Time flies!
robert

Hello Mike,

I have a MacMini (late 2012) i7 with 16GB of RAM, Fusion Drive and a 2560x1600 pixel monitor. I had a smaller monitor before, after buying the new one I found that the Mini struggles a bit with it.

The Intel HD4000 isn't supported by Lightroom and causes problems with SilverEfexPro (mosaics on the edges of the picture). Switching from X100 to X100T (X-Trans II) has been catastrophic in terms of RAW conversion performance. A serious GPU should support your LR work in a much better way.

An iMac will allow saving some cables around: monitor, monitor supply, webcam; leaving you with a cleaner desk.

Powerbook 190. Sigh. Oh, and 12" Powerbook that went cult-wards after it was discontinued...

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