Tuesday December 10, 2013
Whether they're new or old, you must calibrate a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or MacBook battery to ensure the best possible performance, measured in runtime.
Courtesy of Apple
Many of the common problems associated with portable Macs, including batteries not holding a charge, or appearing to charge too fast or take too long to charge, can all be attributed to a battery that needs to be calibrated.
Calibration is a method by which the battery's overall performance is analyzed. The dedicated charging control processor inside each Mac battery creates an outline that's used to ensure optimum charging and to accurately predict how the battery will perform under load.
To help both the battery and the battery's internal processor, a calibration charge/discharge battery cycle needs to be performed at regular intervals.
You can find out more about the calibration process and how to ensure maximum battery performance in our guide:
How to Calibrate Your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air Battery
Monday December 9, 2013
The 2013 model of the 27-inch iMac hits all the right notes. It provides a stunning display and a wealth of new or improved features.
Courtesy of Apple
The new iMac retains the thin design that was introduced with last year's model. But this year, new SSD options that use a PCIe interface, instead of the standard SATA interface, provide a huge boost in drive performance. Likewise, new graphics options let you configure the 27-inch iMac to be a typical home and office Mac or a pretty respectable graphics workstation.
If you're considering a desktop Mac, this review may help you make a decision.
Review of the 27-inch 2013 iMac
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.