BentoStack Charge

BentoStack is back, and this time it’s bringing wireless charging to your workspace. Inspired by the modern Japanese lunchbox, the BentoStack Charge is a delightful storage case designed specifically to hold Apple accessories and keep them energized when you’re out and about. With a Qi-certified wireless charger and 5,000 mAh battery built into the Top Cover, you can keep your iPhone, Apple Watch, and the like powered up without hunting for an outlet. Bring the whole box when you’re traveling around or just take the Top Cover for a quick jolt on the go… More here.

Sometimes it is the design that makes a product.

Apple screwed up, responded well

“We greatly regret this error and we apologize to all Mac users, both for releasing with this vulnerability and for the concern it has caused. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again.”

The screw up was potentially huge and not exactly forgivable, but the response feels substantial and quick enough in my view.

Why the Mac needs iCloud Backup

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On the Mac side, Apple has of course offered Time Machine since Mac OS X 10.5, and though it has had its bumps, it’s generally been improved to the point where it’s a solid backup option. And as someone old enough to remember when you needed expensive third-party solutions to back up your entire drive—much less provide advanced features like versioning—Time Machine will always be a bit of a marvel. Simple backups that happen with minimal need for user intervention? It’s hard to overstate how much of an improvement that was over the status quo: Time Machine is a wonderful technology, and while backups are far from an exciting topic when it comes to technology, they are one of those features that simply everybody needs to use… More at Macworld.

Seems so obvious when you think about it.

I’m using a touchscreen MacBook Air

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I used a touchscreen MacBook Air to write this column.

No, you didn’t misread the previous sentence. Nor did you overlook a new product announcement from Apple, which despite all the company has done to popularize multi-touch on the iPhone and iPad, has long resisted the urge to put touch screens on its Macintosh computers… More at USA Today.

Not sure if this is a good idea or not. Guess it will all be down to how well it works.

The JLPGA PowerBook 170

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There were only 500 of these made to commemorate the 1992 JLPGA golf tournament in Japan. The guts are a run-of-the-mill PowerBook 170, but the case is truly special. The blue body is completed with a white lid and base. The battery doors are red, as are the screen adjustment sliders. The hinges are bright yellow; rounding things out are the green feet… More at 512 Pixels.

Love the colours and the design is a perfect example of the time.

So, here’s the thing

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I’m not here to discuss tomorrow; I’m here to discuss today. Today, I feel handcuffed every time I use an iPad. Even for the things I can accomplish, I have to jump through flaming hoops in order to do so. It’s not for me.

What I really want (what I really really want) is an iPad-sized device, with all the portability it provides, but with none of the drawbacks of, well, actually being an iPad.

Enter the MacBook, affectionately referred to by some as the “MacBook Adorable” or others as the “MacBook One”… More at Liss is More.

Here here.

Picked up a MacBook

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As I wait for my 2011 iMac to finally die and ascend to the all white funeral home in the sky, I have been pondering what will follow it.

My main goal has been to keep it running for as long as I can and to pat myself on the back for having used the same computer for a decade, but it appears that time is running too fast and that a decision had to be made.

It is slowing down again as it did previously before I formatted it and now the clicking noise of doom appears when it is under pressure. The iMac is uneconomical to repair in any way and so it hangs on by a string. But then a friend of mine purchased a new MacBook Pro and offered me his 2015 MacBook for £400 after some discussion about how he could achieve more than that. I know that this is not the ideal computer for me, but when faced with a price that means I can sell again later and not be out of pocket, why not have a temporary replacement until I absolutely need a new iMac.

So, I paid my money and brought in home.

When I consider that 90% of my freelance work is macOS and iOS based, I do need these products (it’s not all Apple fanboyism) and so a Mac of some kind is a necessity. The obvious question is if such a low-end Mac can cut it and could I cope with the silly keyboard in those times when I am writing for hours on end.

Well, my first impression of the keyboard is that it is excellent, much better than I expected and quite a joy to use. It is fairly hard in terms of the way the keys depress, but so far I am finding it very easy to type on and have no real complaints. The same goes for the trackpad which offers the fake feedback which works especially well given the relatively large size of it on such a small computer.

The screen is just lovely and despite the size a magnitude brighter and more dense than my aged iMac and the form offers one overriding feeling; it is an iPad with a keyboard attached, only running macOS and feeling altogether more consistent.

These are very early days with the MacBook for me, but it highlights how close Apple’s various products are in terms of hardware. The MacBook is a more powerful iPad whereas the iPad is a less powerful MacBook without a keyboard. Seriously, they feel that close that they could be part of the same range of computers.

I will write more about my MacBook experiences next week, but so far it is so much better than I expected.

PowerUp

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Charge your MacBook and/or three devices up to 2x faster than a standard charger. Connect and sync up to three USB devices with your MacBook. For the exact same price as a standard Apple MacBook USB-C charger, you can do so much more with PowerUp! More at Homey.

Apple should have made this.

OSX/Dok

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OSX/Dok, a new strain of “major scale” malware targeting macOS users, can bypass the Gatekeeper feature that’s designed to block malicious software.

The newly identified trojan, which prevents you from doing anything on your Mac until you install a bogus software update, also goes undetected by many antivirus programs… More at Cult of Mac.

It is obviously useful to be aware of such threats, but it’s also reassuring to realise that you will be at fault if it takes over your system-

The malware is being distributed primarily in Europe via phishing emails that encourage users to download a file that details supposed inconsistencies in their tax returns. That file is named “Dokument.zip” when distributed among users in Germany.