If you have yet to buy your first computer, you will want to have a specific purpose upon finally receiving or buying one. Having a purpose will drive motivation, fun, and gratification while also building other computer skills in the process. A nice choice for a computer newbie would actually be an Apple iPad, which is only $329 and relatively easy to navigate. From there, your understanding can translate to other computer operating systems like macOS or even Windows. Avoid old laptops though, as troubleshooting and sluggishness will frustrate you more than necessary.
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.
Angela has a Mac running Big Sur and an iPhone. She used to be able to get Ring Tones using an app called Ring Toner. But it doesn't work anymore with Big Sur. Leo says you can make your own ring tones with Garage Band. There's no need to use a third-party app to do it. Garage Band is also available for the iPhone so that you can do it directly from your phone.
Peter bought an M1 Mac, but he's having an issue with it. He tried to update from Apple, but it won't update, and now he can't recreate his account after reinstalling macOS. Leo says that many people are having this issue, and the fix requires a device firmware update, or DFU, that requires a second Mac, which isn't very helpful. Here's now - https://9to5mac.com/2020/12/31/how-to-restore-m1-macs-reinstall-macos/.
Robert is annoyed with modern web design. It's so hard to read. Leo says that web design is done by 20/30-year-olds these days, and black text on a white background has grown out of fashion. But you can press CMD-SHIFT and + or - to make the text larger. And it will remember. All browsers also allow you to apply a set format to a modern webpage. It's called Custom CSS. Check your browser settings.
Penny and her boyfriend are both teachers, and they teach people gardening and welding. Both now require distance learning, but they aren't very computer savvy. Will her 2012 Macbook Pro do the job? Leo says that Apple limits what version of the operating system she can update to using that Mac. It's possible that the age would prevent updating to the latest macOS, which Zoom may require. But the 2012 model should be OK. Check out AnyMac.com to see what version of macOS is compatible.
If you want to let a family member use some of your favorite apps, media content, and iCloud storage, use Apple Family Sharing. It lets you share stuff with up to five family members, from music to TV+ movies. This is also useful for letting family members use your device without letting them know your individual Apple ID. As an adult (the organizer), just invite the others to join, then select which services can be shared. The other members still see their own personal content and recommendations personalized for their Apple IDs.
Joe is buying a new Mac Mini and wants to know if he can install macOS BigSur onto an external hard drive and run from that. Leo says you can, sure. But make sure you format it to APFS. But what about Pro Tools. Leo says that Pro Tools doesn't support Big Sur yet. That's not a good sign since major studios are using it to record music. And he's heard that Apple may continue to sell an Intel version of the Mac for that very reason. So since Joe uses ProTools, he may want to stick with macOS High Sierra since he needs ProTools to work consistently.
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.
Al has a 2015 Macbook and he's running out of space, so he can't install Big Sur. Leo says that Al should get an external drive to copy off his data to free up space. Maybe even make a bootable copy of the hard drive and then start from scratch with Big Sur after erasing the drive. Then restoring the data. So get a terabyte external drive and try that. Time Machine is also a good option with that external drive. That's Apple's own way.
But is Big Sur worth it? Not for an older Mac. So if he's up to Catalina, that's good enough for that 2015 Mac.