If you've got a Mac and are thinking about upgrading to a new model now, just wait a bit longer. Apple teased their next Worldwide Developers Conference for June 7, 2021. "WWDC21 will offer unique insight into the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS" according to Apple. So just hang on to see what new models wield the powerful M1 chip (which is currently only on the Macbook Air, Macbook Pro 13", and Mac mini) as well as a possible physical redesign. If speculation comes true, these new devices will be worth waiting for.
Spenser has an old white MacBook that he uses to tether to his Nikon cameras and take pictures of his astronomy. There's a solar eclipse coming in 2024, and he wants to know if he can use it even though it's over 10 years old now. Leo says it may be better to see if there's a new version of the software used on a newer Mac. Unfortunately, the old version of the software won't work on modern macs because Apple stopped supporting 32-bit applications. So you'd need a newer version of the software.
Brian recently purchased an M1 Mac Mini and he's running a beta of Parallels on it. He also got a 13" Macbook at the same time. Leo says though, if he can run everything on a Mac using Rosetta, he'll be much better off. And in the next two years, he'll see native apps with dual binaries that will be able to run on both M1 and Intel platforms. Meanwhile, Rosetta runs pretty well, he won't see much of a performance hit if any.
Myra recently got an M1 Mac Mini to replace her old Windows machine. How can she run her Windows teaching programs with her new Mac? She hears that Parallels isn't perfect for running Windows virtually.
Leo says that the M1 doesn't use BootCamp anymore, so it is virtually the only option now. Leo says that VMWare Fusion is the other virtual option. But both VMWare and Parallels have yet to release an M1 version. However, Parallels has released a technical preview version that you could try. But there is another challenge. You need a special version of Windows.
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.
Bernie has noticed that when he puts his M1 Mac Mini into portrait mode, that his monitors have problems. Leo says that the M1 is a new system and as such, it's bound to have some limitations until there's an update, especially with drivers. Leo thinks that something has changed with macOS Big Sur, and as such, Bernie's monitors can't handle the new configuration due to having an outdated driver. So he advises contacting the monitor manufacturer and see if there's a new driver for Big Sur. That's likely where the issue is.
Will is ready to buy a new Mac Mini with the M1 Apple Silicon processor. He wants to use it for photography. What monitor should he get? Leo says to avoid the Apple XDR display. It's just too damn expensive. The Mac Mini supports Thunderbolt and HDMI, so it can drive many models. Dell makes some really nice monitors for 200-300, but their UltraSharp line would be similar to Will's old iMac. You can get a 27" Dell UltraSharp for $359.
This past week at their "One More Thing" event, Apple officially announced three new Macs containing their new in-house Apple Silicon processors. The new M1 processor promises high performance at low power. Apple announced three new models, two laptops and one desktop. The models include a new 13" Mac Air, new 13" Macbook Pro, and a new generation Mac Mini. But this doesn't mean that Apple has completely abandoned the Intel platform.
Apple announced their M1 based Apple Silicon Mac laptops this week, including the 13" Mac Air, 13" Mac Pro, and the Mac Mini. Leo says it's the first generation, and that's causing many to wait. Leo also says that RAM is limited to 16GB because it has been wired into the logic board. Called Unified Memory Architecture, it's known to be faster. So maybe we don't need as much RAM moving forward as we think.
Alan has a 2011 Mac Mini that acts as his home entertainment system. Leo recommends using Plex to run it because it'll organize it really well. But the MacMini acts as a great home theater system. But Alan has to reboot it before it the screen stops being blank. Should he reset the SMC? Leo says that's a good guess. It could be that it's not powering up the first time. But resetting it isn't a touch of a button. It varies from model to model. You can also do CMD-OPT-PR to reset your PRAM. But Leo also says you don't really have to turn the Mac Mini off.