A Beginner’s Guide to Attending CES

For a long time I had wanted to attend CES, the world’s largest technology trade show held every January in Las Vegas. This year I finally had the chance to participate due to developments in external graphics solutions. With Apple’s notoriously underpowered graphics card offerings, external GPU becomes a viable option for underpowered Macs. Mac users can get excited for the possibility of pairing a Mac-certified enclosure with their computer to deliver much-improved graphics performance. As a first-time attendee, the CES experience was exciting and at times overwhelming. There’s nothing that can fully prepare you for the magnitude of CES. …

iMac Pro: Salvation after starvation?

iMac Pro vs Mac Pro + eGPU

Today Apple released the highly anticipated iMac Pro. This marks four years since the introduction of the last pro Mac computer. The main selling features are the Radeon Pro Vega graphics card and the Xeon-W workstation processor, all packed in the thin and slick form factor of a 27″ 5K iMac. This beast of a machine starts at a whopping $4,999. iMac Pro The iMac Pro is the most powerful production Mac to date. Apple claims pros love iMac so they went all in and built a “killer iMac.” They weren’t kidding around. You can buy an iMac Pro that’s equipped with …

How to: Fix RX 480 & RX 580 sleep issue in 10.13.2

AMD Radeon RX 480 and USB 3.0 inside Mac Pro for VR

AMD Polaris graphics cards have been a blessing for Mac Pro users since their release last summer. My RX 480 macOS installation how-to detailed progress of driver development as early as Sierra 10.12 beta. There was good news and bad news along the way. Overall Radeon RX GPUs have served Mac users well in both the Mac Pro towers and external graphics enclosures. With the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 this week, there’s a sleep issue with RX 480/580. macOS can still detect these cards at boot and most features work well, but sleep and wake-up present problems in …

Best Way to Upgrade Mac OS

Ever since Apple made its Macintosh operating system free, a new version comes out every fall. It’s nice to have a predictable upgrade schedule, but what’s the best way to upgrade Mac OS? In my experience starting fresh is the best method. I have often seen account folders migrated through four or five Mac computers spanning more than a dozen years. Convenience is the primary motivation when migrating content to a new Mac or when performing an OS upgrade. With this migration or clickable upgrade, unwanted files, incompatible software and obsolete drivers also make their way to the new system. …

How to: Fix Java Command-Line Tool Pop-Up on Mac OS

After upgrading to a newer version of Mac OS X (Yosemite 10.10 and El Capitan 10.11) or macOS (Sierra 10.12 and High Sierra 10.13), you may end up getting an annoying new pop-up message whenever you start your computer. It says, “To use the java command-line tool, you need to install a JDK.” It asks you to click “More Info” and visit the JDK (Java Developer Kit) download website. The reason you’re receiving this message is due to the removal of Java support in newer versions of OS X for security reasons. Older software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator …

G4 Cube & Mac Pro – Failure never looked so good

power Mac G4 Cube and Mac Pro trashcan

Introduced more than a dozen years apart, the Power Mac G4 Cube and Mac Pro trashcan share more than a few similarities. They both look nothing like computers but rather pieces of art. Apple priced them well above the competition, and they both failed spectacularly. Nevertheless the G4 Cube established a cult following for its fascinating design and functionality. The electrical and mechanical engineering was out of this world especially for 2000. If you ever get a chance to see this G4 Cube in person, make sure to see and touch its bottom. One feature that most love is the …

How to: Install AMD RX 480 & RX 580 in macOS Sierra

AMD Radeon RX 580 macOS 10.12.4 Sierra how to

June 2017 Update: With the release of mid-2017 iMacs, Apple has officially used Polaris Ellesmere GPUs in its lineup. The wonderful news is 10.12.6 will include drivers for RX 470, RX 480, RX 570, and RX 580. This means starting with 10.12.6 and future macOS version, we don’t need to perform these kext modifications anymore to use these cards in our Mac Pro towers. 😀 April 2017 Update: AMD released Radeon RX 500 series on April 18th, 2017. I received an RX 580 test unit from AMD and can confirm it has the same PCI ID (67DF) as the RX 480. Therefore …

Apple 27″ iMac VESA Mount Conversion

Apple 27" iMac VESA Mount Kit

Are you considering the use of a more ergonomic desk for your iMac 27″ but realized the iMac stand stood in the way? In order to use a custom monitor arm for a 27″ iMac you need to covert the factory stand to a VESA mount. Apple sells this VESA mount as part model A1313.  The most challenging step is exposing the mounting screws on the stand. To install the VESA mount, follow these steps: Lay your 27″ iMac face down on a desk or table with a soft towel under the display. Position the iMac so that the bottom part …

How To: Get Rid of Updates Available Notification in macOS

macos updates available notification

Are you plagued by the annoying Updates Available notification? I know I can’t be the only one guilty of clicking “Remind me tomorrow” for days (or weeks…) at a time. Not everyone wants to update the OS on their Mac as soon as a new update is released given the bugs, glitches and instability that are often worked out in the months following. Other times you may not want to update the OS to preserve compatibility with certain software. The Updates Available notification gives you five options – Install, Try in an Hour, Try Tonight, Remind Me Tomorrow, Turn On …

Is Mac Support on the way out at the Apple Store?

crowed apple store

I haven’t been to an Apple store in a couple of years. My last experience wasn’t the best given how little Mac product presence there was. As the iPhone now generates nearly three-quarters of Apple’s revenue and profit, Macs clearly seem secondary to Apple. Recent news on the elimination of the Business- and Event-related positions have led many to believe Apple is ready to abandon the prosumer market. The lack of upgrades to the Mac Pro since late 2013 and the minimal performance upgrades to the latest MacBook Pro are clear indicators. Many wonder whether Apple is still committed to …