Sunday December 8, 2013
The Apple refurb store is my go-to place for finding discounts on Apple products, from Macs to iPhones, iPods to iPads. Just about every product that Apple makes will eventually end up in the refurb store. I check the refurb store every week and post the best deals that I find. I tend to focus on recent generation products, but once in a while an older item is available for a price that's just too good to pass up. If you're looking for a deal on an Apple product, check this blog every Sunday.
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
This week, 2013 27-inch iMacs made their debut at the refurb store, with at least two of the brand-new models available at 15% discounts over the retail price. In addition, new MacBook Airs and Mac minis are well represented in the store. So, if you're planning to put a Mac under the Christmas tree, this may be the right time to place your order.
Apple Refurbished Store
Quantities are limited, so if any of these tickle your fancy, be fast on the trigger to make a purchase.
- 2013 11.6-inch MacBook Air 1.3 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 128 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 5000: $849.00
- 2013 11.6-inch MacBook Air 1.7 GHz Dual-Core i7 with 256 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 5000: $1,019.00
- 2013 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.3 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 128 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 5000: $929.00
- 2013 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.3 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 256 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 5000: $1,099.00
- 2013 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.3 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 512 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 5000: $1,359.00
- 2012 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (Review) 2.5 GHz Intel Dual-Core i5 with 500 GB drive and Intel HD Graphics 4000: $999.00
- 2012 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (Review) 2.9 GHz Intel Dual-Core i7 with 750GB hard drive and Intel HD Graphics 4000: $1,269.00
- 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro (Review) 2.3 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 with 500 GB drive and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics: $1,449.00
- 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Review) 2.3 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 with 256 GB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics: $1,599.00
- 2012 Mac mini (Review) 2.5 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 500 GB drive, and Intel HD Graphics 4000 : $509.00
- 2012 Mac mini (Review) 2.3 GHz Quad-Core i7 with 1 TB drive, and Intel HD Graphics 4000 : $679.00
- 2012 21.5-inch iMac (Review) 2.7 GHz Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M graphics: $1,049.00
- 2012 21.5-inch iMac (Review) 2.9 GHz, Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650M: $1,339.00
- 2013 27-inch iMac (Review) 3.2 GHz, Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775MX: $1,529.00
- 2013 27-inch iMac (Review) 3.4 GHz, Quad-Core i5 with 1 TB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775MX: $1,699.00
- 27-inch LED Cinema Display 2560x1440 resolution: $799.00
- 2013 AirPort Extreme with simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology: $169.00
- 2013 AirPort Time Capsule with 2 TB drive and simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology: $255.00
iPad - Fourth Generation (Review)
- 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad 4 $379.00
- 32 GB Wi-Fi iPad 4 $449.00
- 64 GB Wi-Fi iPad 4 $529.00
- 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $479.00
- 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $559.00
- 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad 4 $649.00
iPad mini (Review)
- 32 GB Wi-Fi iPad mini $339.00
- 64 GB Wi-Fi iPad mini $419.00
- 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini $359.00
- 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini $449.00
- 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini $529.00
Want to find out more about Apple refurbished Macs? Take a look at the process my wife and I experienced when we took the Apple refurbished store for a spin.
Saturday December 7, 2013
DoubleTake from Echo One is an easy-to-use app for creating panoramic images and accurately placing the edges between images.
Using its own algorithms, DoubleTake makes a best guess at where two images should have their edges united. Of course, a best guess can sometimes be wrong, so you're free to drag images around to produce a better edge match.
Seams between images can have aberrations that make the place where the images join up more apparent. DoubleTake allows you to adjust the seam's width, which allows the app to soften and blur the join. You can also use the seam handles to move the seam to a less busy or problematic area in the images.
DoubleTake is $24.95. A demo is available.
See other software choices from Tom's Mac Software Picks.
Friday December 6, 2013
It's going to be a wet, snowy weekend here, just the type of weather to stay inside and work on increasing a Mac's performance. While there are many ways to enhance performance, we're going to concentrate on working with a Mac's drives, to give them a bit more get-up-and-go, or to increase reliability.
Courtesy of Apple
Specifically, we're going to look at the Mac's built-in support for RAID arrays, as well as how to create Fusion-based drives. Let's start with RAID arrays.
The Mac natively supports three different RAID types: Raid 0, also known as a striped array; RAID 1, known as mirroring; and JBOD, sometimes referred to as concatenated or spanning. Besides the native RAID support, there are software- and hardware-based systems that can bring additional RAID types to your Mac, but let's focus on the ones that are directly supported by the operating system.
Use Disk Utility to Create a RAID 0 (Striped) Array
Use Disk Utility to Create a RAID 1 (Mirror) Array
Use Disk Utility to Create a JBOD RAID Array
You can use the three guides above to learn about each of the native RAID types the Mac supports, as well as how to create the various RAID arrays. But be forewarned: all of the methods for creating RAID arrays will erase any data that's already present on the drives involved. So, repeat after me: I will back up my data before starting this project.
That leaves creating a Fusion drive as the last item in this weekend's DIY. Fusion drives need to have both an SSD and a slower, but larger, hard drive. The Fusion drive combines everything into one logical device that your Mac can use for both very fast data access and storing a large amount of information.
Setting Up a Fusion Drive on Your Current Mac
How to Delete Your Mac's Fusion Drive
As with creating RAID arrays, creating or deleting a Fusion drive will erase all data on the drives involved.
Thursday December 5, 2013
German retailer Conrad Electronic has started taking orders for the standard 3.7 GHz Quad-Core ($2,999.00) and the 3.5 GHz 6-Core ($3,999.00) configurations. Conrad claims that Apple will release the new Mac Pros on December 16th.
Courtesy of Apple
Conrad hasn't said why it thinks December 16th is the launch date, but it certainly could be. Apple has already committed to December for the product's release, and the 16th being a Monday, it's an ideal time for both media coverage and giving retail stores a traditionally slow Sunday to ready stock and displays.
While we don't have any information to back up the move by Conrad, it seems to be one of two likely time frames for Apple to release the new Mac Pro. So, what's the other likely date? Anytime before December 16. Businesses are the likely market for Mac Pros, and purchasing budgets dictate when capital expenses are made. With the end of the fiscal year fast approaching for many companies, they'll be motivated to make last-minute purchases under their current budgets, rather than hope they can roll the Mac Pros they need into next year's budget requirements.
Start checking the Apple store, or just stop by About: Macs to find out when order-taking for the 2013 Mac Pro goes live.