Apple's Worldwide Development Conference is virtual this year, and Monday's keynote is expected to have new product announecments including a new updated iMac, perhaps an iPhone announcement, and iOS 14, which will have "Car Key," an app that will enable users to open up their car and start it. Leo says that this is officially a bad time to buy Apple Products until we know what's coming. So play wait and see until Monday.
Tracy's iMac takes about an hour to boot up. What's wrong? Could it be ransomware? Leo says no, it's more than likely a worn-out hard drive. Back up data and get a new hard drive. But Leo says it's not trivial to replace a hard drive in iMac. She will need a ton of special tools, including a giant suction cup. She can get the tools from iFixit.com and watch videos on how, but Leo says it's just a better idea to have Apple do it and get an SSD to replace it. Right now, she can arrange to drop off and pick up. Just call Apple to arrange.
Kathy is thinking about getting an iMac Pro. Leo says that while it's super-fast, it's also ridiculously expensive. If she's not doing something extremely challenging like video gaming or editing multiple 4K streams, then she really doesn't need to spend all that money. These days, all computers are fast enough to do 95% of what we do. The real issue for Kathy is wanting to drive multiple monitors, but she can do that with a regular iMac. The 27" 3Ghz six-core 5K iMac has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and you can always get an HDMI adapter.
Mark has a 2012 iMac and a 2018 Mac Mini, along with a 2016 MacBook Pro and 12" iPad Pro. Can he hook up his Macbook Pro or his MacMini to his iMac and use the display? It can on a limited number of iMacs and is called Target Display Mode. IT requires a thunderbolt connection. Here's how - https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/use-an-imac-as-a-display-mh30822/mac. It may not work with Mark's model, but you can do it. Only for models mid 2011 to late 2014.
Richard wants to upgrade his Mac Mini to an iMac. What's the biggest bang for the buck, the 21.5" or the 27"? Leo says to get the larger screen if you can afford it. If not, why not just get a new Mac Mini? Richard always has a screen, mouse and keyboard. The Mini has been upgraded and is now a pretty compelling product. You can get a six-core i7 Mini with a nice SSD and RAM for less than that iMac. Or if you need the iMac, go with a six-core i5 and the Radeon Pro instead of the i7. It'll save you $200 that you can put into more RAM or the larger screen.
Vanessa has a two-year-old 27" iMac. She uses it for her drone photography editing, but her SD card adapters aren't reading. Leo suspects that the SD cards aren't reading because of the format they've been formatted in. It may be due to formatting the card in the drone itself. Leo recommends Disc Utility on the Mac and format the card with ExFAT. Copy off the data first though with a Windows machine. Also, make sure you use a card that the Mac supports.
Brian recently bought a MacBook Air. He wants to know if he can repurpose his old Mac as a server to run Plex. Leo says that Brian's old dual-core iMac isn't super fast, but you can run Plex on an Atom processor, so it'll work on that iMac, but it may struggle with 4K. In that case, getting a dedicated NAS, like Synology, would be a better option. You'd also have a lot more storage space. It'll also sit and a closet out of the way. You'll also have to fit drives into it. So that'll be an extra cost.
Vivian wants to get a computer for her 12-year-old daughter, but she's in the dark in what to get her. She's into gaming on Apple Arcade. She also wants one that she'll use for a long time. Leo says that a desktop is a better choice because they aren't that mobile and as she becomes a teenager, Vivian is going to want that computer in a public area! Leo recommends getting an iMac, ideally. Another option is a Chromebook, because she probably uses them at school. They will be limited for gaming, but that's a good thing. The Google PixelBook Go is a good option.
Larry has an old 2015 MacBook Pro with a 256GB SSD. It's not enough for his Raw Photo storage. Should he get an external hard drive or replace the internal one? Or maybe get a RAID? Leo says it's not that hard to replace the SSD in that 2015 MacBook pro. It's just a few screws, and MacSales.com has videos showing you how to do it. Getting an external may be OK, but it's not Thunderbolt 3, so it won't be as fast as internal. Leo also recommends learning about 3-2-1 backup from DPBestFlow.org. Leo also recommends backing up the photos online. Google Photos is a great place to do that.
Chuck has a 5K iMac and a second LG 5K monitor. But he can't get the resolution to match. The window ends up 50% smaller. Leo says Apple has taken a lot of control away from users. He suggests trying an app called SwitchResX. It'll let you choose any resolution and frame rate your monitor will support.