Enjoy this history of the Mac startup sound, which Apple got rid of in the 2016 MacBooks after three decades of bongggggg.
Here's a video featuring just the startup sounds, complete with crash chimes.
Matt Burns at TechCrunch:
"The additional horsepower isn’t needed for general use, but the added graphics cards supercharge Macs for VR rendering and gaming. Only a handful of eGPUs are compatible with macOS so choose carefully before adding one to your rig."
The AMD Radeon RX 580 is the best card for games on the compatibility list, but most of the eGPU boxes are pretty bulky. Your best best is probably the Sonnet Box, which is the smallest and comes with an RX 570 built in (with a cheaper RX 560 option). The caveat is that it doesn't have USB-C output, so you can't put it between a Mac and the LG UltraFine monitors that Apple actually sells. Other eGPU boxes have this feature.
This will probably go unheralded but I think it's a huge milestone in Mac history: serious game support! Finally! Read the rest
Apple's been in the headlines over the past few months, for all of the wrong reasons. According to TechCrunch, their PR losing streak isn't going to stop any time soon.
TechCrunch reports that an IOS software development house has discovered that two unicode symbols, when inputted into a number of popular iOS apps, will cause the apps to crash. In many instances, once the apps crash, it's impossible to open them again. TechCrunch was able to recreate these crashes on a number of pieces of hardware running iOS and a Mac running the latest version of MacOS:
The bug crashes apps including Mail, Twitter, Messages, Slack, Instagram and Facebook. From our testing, it also crashed Jumpcut, a copy and paste plugin for Mac. While it initially appeared that the Chrome browser for Mac was unaffected and could safely display the symbol, it later crashed Chrome and the software would not reopen without crashing until uninstalled and reinstalled.
This isn't the first 'text bomb' issue that Apple's been confronted with. In January, it was discovered that it allowed a specific web address to crash any iPhone it was texted to.
Given that this bug effects so many different devices (all of which I use) I'm hoping that it gets sorted out fast.
The unique 1-bit look of early Mac software—especially its games!—are now more easily revisited thanks to the Internet Archive's Macintosh Software Library. Check out Dark Castle, Lode Runner and Wizardry, then write up your thoughts in MacWrite!
Printed manual and Guided Tour on tape for MacPaint, MacWrite and the other applications bundled initially with the… pic.twitter.com/9yrBsaaSM1
— storiediapple (@storiediapple) February 3, 2017
I've owned a 12" Retina MacBook for about nine months and feel rather ambivalent about it. It's surprisingly powerful and effective for work, but Apple seems to have given up on the USB-C ecosystem at launch. The single power/USB port severely hobbles it, Apple's only made a couple of comically inappropriate adapters, and the third-party options are outright trash that doesn't even work. Enter OWC's USB-C Dock—loads of useful ports!—which Glenn Fleishman says is the first thing worth buying. But you'll have to pay $160 to get it.
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If you haven’t purchased a MacBook yet and can wait, it’s worth looking at Apple’s next laptop releases. Thunderbolt 3, which will use USB-C as its connector type, is due out later this year and is already announced for a special Dell developer edition laptop model. Apple’s roadmap is unclear, but it’s likely we’ll see a revised MacBook at the March 21 event or in April, as the first model appeared just over a year ago; it’s just possible it’ll have Thunderbolt 3 included. Other MacBook models will likely see updates this year, too, and Thunderbolt 3 is a natural for the Pro.
Nobody likes the beach ball of death. Maybe something cuter would help. Here's alternate option if that does not strike Tim Cook's fancy: Read the rest
If you had a Mac in the late 80s or early 90s, you might remember the excellent roguelike maze adventure Scarab of Ra. It still holds up very well today, the core tenets of its design more en vogue than ever.
KaomojiApp adds a menu item to your Mac with a huge collection of Unicode emoticons that you can easily select and insert in any text area. The free version has a few basic samples in each emotion category, and you can unlock hundreds more for just $3.
I recently had a chance to visit NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory with Miles O'Brien. At the NASA center in Pasadena, engineers are readying for the long-anticipated landing of the Mars Curiosity rover on Aug. 5. During our visit, we met with the team behind a cool new iOS app from JPL: NASA's Spacecraft 3D, an augmented reality application that allows users to "learn about and interact with a variety of spacecraft that are used to explore our solar system, study Earth, and observe the universe."
Using a printed AR Target and the camera on your mobile device, you can get up close with these robotic explorers, see how they move, and learn about the the engineering feats used to expand our knowledge and understanding of space. Spacecraft 3D will be updated over time to include more of the amazing spacecraft that act as our robotic eyes on the earth, the solar system and beyond!
The current print issue of Reason has a wonderful, thoughtful piece by Mike Godwin about the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs. I know it's hard to imagine there's anything new to say about this hyper-covered book about a hyper-covered popular figure, but: Godwin shows that yes, there is. Read the rest