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Friday, 28 October 2016


Sure a lot of comments about the SD card slots for the Macs and so here is another one.

PS: I'm a PC user so I may be wrong with some of my conclusions as far a Macs are concerned.

First: I think the SD slot is connected to it's own USB-2 controller. This means slow reads. I ended up getting a SD reader that is USB-3 enabled. This means faster reads.

Second: I only have it plugged into the PC only when I need to read a SD card.

Third: When I need to take the laptop into the field I take along the portable SD reader even though the SD reader in the computer works just fine. Why? Because the portable is much faster.

Forth: The future for cameras is bigger and bigger RAW files so I will always get the fastest SD card reader available and plug it into the fastest USB slot.

Fifth: I use a small (sandwich size) ziplock bag to carry everything I will need in the field, except for the power supply.

That's It. Now I can't wait for tomorrow night and all those trick or treaters.

Doesn't your camera appear as a USB mass-storage device? Preferably even charge over USB as well?

I made the move from a series of laughably bad Windows laptops to the MacBook in 2009, precisely because Apple had put an SD reader in it. This was seen as atypical Apple behavior by many in the tech press at the time. It took about an hour of use to convince me it was easily the best designed laptop anybody could buy at the time; I converted all of my peers to the Mac over the following year. A nephew is now using that 2009 machine, while I moved on to a late 2012 absolutely-maxed-out-configuration MacBook Pro. It's the best personal computer of any kind I've ever used, although I now think I'd have been just as happy with a cheaper configuration. I can't think of any reasonable justification to get a new machine; I expect to get a few more years (maybe quite a few more) out of mine, easy.

If I had to buy today...oh brother. Aside from iPhones, I have two WiFi-enabled cameras which are capable of transferring files to my Mac, but that's not even close to a practical substitute for an SD reader at this point. That's a huge point against the new MacBooks, but a far more serious problem is the "butterfly keyboard" Apple introduced on the current "MacBook" model last year. It's just awful, not a serious tool for people who type as much as I do. Supposedly the new Macs have a second generation version of the butterfly keyboard that is greatly improved. I sure hope so, because there's no way I'll buy another MacBook Pro without a real keyboard intended for actual typing, not just filling in web forms.

I'm also disappointed that MagSafe is going away. It's always worked very well for me and averted more than a few potential disasters.

I honestly think Apple has been really struggling to innovate after Steve Jobs passed on.

Like a sorcerer's apprentice, they mimic his moves, but don't quite get it right. Connectors are changed, slots are removed, but unlike in his time, there is nothing superior to take their place. Prices are raised without apology, but the innovative features offered are extremely timid and far from noteworthy.

Steve Jobs had a strong profit sensibility, but functional design came first. Now, new designs with poor function merely serve to justify premium prices.

It's a company with terrifically high quality products, but it really doesn't seem like a great innovative company anymore.

Ever since the first Apples appeared, creatives – and especially professional creatives, considered Apple to be working on their behalf. Apple enthusiastically encouraged such belief and the halo-effect ensured that if you were a wannabe seeking coolness by association then you just had to have an Apple product, preferably a MacBook pro. As well, the best LCD monitors were Cinema Displays, Apple's colour management was mostly usable and hardware was optimised to make the most of demanding pro apps like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. Fast forward a decade or two and it's clear that Apple is desperately trying to shake off the shackles of all these demanding creative types. Apple's core market now is the consumer and consumers consume what's put in front of them, especially if it's pretty – hence a shiny MacBook Pro screen (Apple's version of rose tinted glasses), clean lines uncluttered by vital ports and a slim form-factor which ensures the CPU will get heat-throttled every time it looks at a raw photo.
And for the record. I wrote this on a MacBook Pro, versions of which I have been using exclusively since the early '90s.
Apple products may be no longer optimised for my purposes but given the alternatives, they are the only realistic option for me.

Another Apple annoyance was their decision to eliminate iPhoto and go to "photos". It eliminated a lot of functionality, such as burning slide shows for example. I had to go to Amazon and purchase an outdated copy of the iPhoto software and reinstall it.

It is only when you see Surface Studio you know Apple is losing the design even.

Hi Mike

Have a look at this


It's a good summary of the event and the dongle issue.


I'm not a fan of the MBPs either but I thought it's worth noting that some of the newer cameras, like the Olympus E-M1 Mk II and the Hasselblad X1D, have USB-C output connectors. Considering their speed, I might consider connecting the camera directly to a MBP for transferring images.

Dell is promoting a soon-to-be-released Surface Studio-like device. Announced at an Adobe conference of course.


This might be a better link for the Dell device ...

Mike, if you spent less money on technology you wouldn't have to earn so much with those pig-ugly Amazon adverts and constant plugging (though I have no qualms with linking to products you're discussing directly, that simply makes sense).

But do you really *need* a new MBP? And how many cameras/phones have you burned through in the last few years to just keep on taking the same kind of photos? Do your wallet a favour and give it a break. ;-)

My wife and I find the idea of trick-or-treating - knocking on strangers' doors and demanding a ransom of toothrot one night a year while teaching "stranger danger" the other 364 or 5 - really rather disturbing.

I read this thread with interest, because I want to upgrade my 2008 aluminium MacBook (not Pro) that I'm still using on a daily basis (I updated the memory to 8GB and put a 60GB SSD in it about 4 years ago and I can still work ok on it).

As I expected, someone (OWC) came out very quickly (5 days from the new MBP launch) with a great solution to most of the complaints about lack of SD reader, full-size USB ports and other connections:


It's not cheap, but neither is a new MacBook Pro.

To me, the wider gamut screen and weight reduction are compelling reasons for getting the new model as opposed to the just-discontinued one, together with TouchID quick login and increased productivity via Touch Bar (and I am a heavy keyboard shortcut user). The main question mark is the feel of the (improved, as presented) butterfly keyboard; the one on the new MacBook has too little travel and hence doesn't feel as good.

This seems to me like the most elegant solution:

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