Mac

Is There a 3rd-party DAC for My Mac Mini?

 Bit Perfect

Episode 1753

Jeff from Cederville, OH

Jeff has an online radio network that he runs on a series of Mac Minis. But he found a bug in the audio that's causing a whine. Leo says that it's likely from the digital-analog converter (DAC) chip that has failed. He recommends getting a USB DAC, rather than just paying to repair it. The quality audio will be better.  But if he has Apple Care Plus, Apple will just replace the logic board. 

Click Show Package Contents to Access Your Photos in iPhoto

If you recently bought a new Macbook to replace a much older Mac, you may have trouble restoring old backups of photos and video stored in iPhoto from the elder machine. Pictures in iPhoto are stored in a blob called the "library". You have to right-click on the icon (which is secretly a folder) and select Show Package Contents, then you can find the original photo files (possibly sorted by year) that can be copied to your backup location.

Can I Run Linux on Mac?

Manjaro

Episode 1741

Manny from Lincoln, NB

Manny is looking to get a new MacBook Pro. Leo says we're only about a month away from the new Mac laptop announcement, so it'll pay to wait. What can he do with his old Macbook? Put Linux on it? Leo says that putting on Linux is doable, but there are always some issues with Apple Hardware. The old the machine the better, and it would pay to google the distribution he's looking at and Macbook Pro and see what issues pop up. Leo's favorite for the Mac is Manjaro.

Rebuilding a Mailbox in Apple Mail

Sometimes, your mailbox database does not visually reflect reality. If you have a situation like a deleted message still appearing in your Apple Mail account, you will probably see an error message. A database is a binary blob of information, so it may need to be updated via a rescan from time to time. In the Apple Mail app, select the particular mailbox in the sidebar, then choose "Mailbox" and "Rebuild" afterward. Your mailbox may appear empty until the attachments/messages are all downloaded back to your device.

Digitize Music CDs in a Lossless Format

If you have a ton of music CDs to digitize for backup, storage, and convenience, Mac users can use iTunes to convert the music tracks to the proprietary format Apple Lossless (ALAC) via the import settings. Modern Macs are strong enough to rip a full CD in just a few minutes! If you have a Windows PC, use a FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) ripper like Exact Audio Copy. Don't skimp on audio quality just to save space, disk storage is cheap and getting cheaper! So no need to convert to MP3 as the music won't sound as great and it'll lose bits.

Where Do I Get Linux Drivers?

Linux

Episode 1729

Patrick from Fallbrook, CA

Patrick has put an SSD on his old iMac and he's going to install Linux on it. Will printers and audio cards work? Will they have drivers? Leo says they will work, but he won't get Linux drivers from the manufacturers. He'll get them from the Linux community. Look up CUPS for printer drivers for Linux. It's open-source. But he shouldn't need separate drivers, Linux should support it. But Epson does have a Linux support page

Why is my mac running so slow after an update?

Catalina Islands

Episode 1720

LaVerne from Bronx, NY

LaVerne updated her 2012 Mac to Catalina and now it's going slow and she's getting kernel panic reports. Leo says it's likely a driver that is failing. It could also be a flakey hard drive. But when she logs into the guest account, it runs just fine. Leo says that indicates a bad profile. You can wipe the drive and start over, or create a new profile and then remove the other one. 

What Happened to My Original Photo Files?

Apple Photos

Episode 1719

Charles from Virginia

Charles is noticing several of his recent photo files aren't as large as they should be on his Mac Mini. Leo says that if Charles is using Apple Photos for an App to store his photos, to r/c on the photos library, and then select Show Package Contents, he'll see photo folders, including the "originals" photo folder. That'll verify his originals are there.