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Apple News Roundup

A couple of months ago, Apple made a big news splash with the release of iPhone 4. But they haven't stood still. What have they been up to since then? We're here to tell you.


  • New Mac mini: Apple's cheapest Mac received its first makeover since its introduction in 2005. It's shorter, squatter, faster, and $100 more at $699. We personally like the Mac mini, but don't think this new version is an exceptional value, since you can get a MacBook with screen, keyboard, and mouse for $300 more. We like the value of the new Mac mini Server better, which for $300 more gets you faster performance, much more storage, Mac OS X Server software, and no optical drive. More thoughts and details are on our blog.
  • Magic Trackpad: If you ever wanted a featureless grey square on your desk, your wait is over. Apple has released Magic Trackpad, a wireless mouse replacement. It works kind of like the trackpad on recent MacBooks, but it's even bigger. We haven't used it enough to say if we like it or not; a quick tryout suggested that you can be pretty sophisticated with it (e.g. zoom web pages by pinching), but probably even more so in the future when more gestures are recognized. Until then, if you like trackpads as opposed to mice, it might be for you. We recommend turning on tap-to-click.
  • Faster iMacs. iMacs just went from awesome to more awesome. We could go over all the specs, but in a nutshell the prices are the same and everything's faster. One thing that's a bit cool is that the top of the line model, can, for a pretty penny, add a 256 MB solid state drive inaddition to the main drive. (Solid state drives are pure memory: no moving parts, and really fast.)
  • Faster Mac Pro. The new Mac Pro is the way to go if you've got dough to blow and an electric bill to fill. Just in case 8 CPU cores weren't enough for you, now you get 12, and why not load up your four drive bays with 512 GB solid state drives while you're at it?

Final word

For 15 years, I never had a single hard drive failure. In the last month, I have had three drives, two brand new and one nearly so, fail. They're different models by different manufacturers, used in different machines. That's improbable beyond any explainable reason. Maybe it's the heat?

The point: If it can happen to a Mac Expert, it can happen to you. Please, please, please, please, please back up your data, regularly, and ideally automatically, and in multiple locations. If you are already backing up, check to see that it's working. Right now. You will be distraught if you need to go into your Time Machine and it turns out the last time it backed up was months ago. Of course we can try to help, but in many cases there isn't a lot we can do without a recent backup.

If you're not sure if you're backing up, or want to discuss the best method, call or email us.

(August 2010)


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