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Posts tagged with "mac"

Inside MacStadium’s Mac Data Center

If you’ve been around the Apple community a while, you’ve probably heard of MacStadium, but you may not understand the scale at which it operates. Snazzy Labs paid a visit to MacStadium’s data center in Las Vegas to check out some of the company’s roughly 8,000 Mac minis humming away powering websites like MacStories and performing all sorts of other tasks. During the segment, Snazzy Labs interviews MacStadium’s Brian Stucki about the Mac minis, hundreds of Mac Pros, iMac Pros, and even some Xserves that the company uses. Besides the huge number of Macs in operation, the customizations made to the Macs for things like data storage, redundant power, and networking are fascinating.

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Mac mini: The MacStories Overview

Tim Cook introduced the new Mac mini at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House by gesturing to the sky. What followed was a video titled ‘The Arrival’ depicting a Mac mini descending like a UFO from the nighttime sky into the desert, which turned out to be a nighttime wallpaper from Mojave, Apple’s latest macOS update. It was a fun introduction to a computer that was last updated in 2014, and many Mac users had predicted would be discontinued.

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Review: Yoink Adds Support for Latest Mojave and iOS 12 Features

Yoink is the app I use on my Mac every day as a temporary spot to park files, snippets of text, images, and URLs. By itself, Yoink for Mac has been a fantastic time-saver. The latest updates to Yoink for iOS and the Mac, however, have been transformative. There's more that can be done to support the cross-platform use of Yoink, but Handoff support, which makes it simple to move data between my Mac and iOS devices, and several other new features have already added a new dimension to the way I use the app and embedded it deeper into my day-to-day workflow than ever before.

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Getting Behind the Mac as a Productivity-First Platform


Apple's recent Behind the Mac series is one of my favorite marketing campaigns of late. I find the visual of people sitting behind their Macs so romantic and nostalgic. It's a sight that's ever-present whenever I spend time in a coffee shop, and the series' tagline, "Make something wonderful behind the Mac," causes me to now wonder in public: what are these people making as they sit behind the iconic Apple logo's glow?

Following WWDC earlier this year, I shared that one of the things I least expected from the conference was that it would get me excited about the Mac. I've been iOS-first for three years now, with no regrets whatsoever. During that time, while the Mac has received incremental improvements, its growth has lagged significantly behind iOS and the iPad. While I never expected the same level of innovation on macOS that iOS received – since the Mac didn't need as much work, frankly – it was frustrating to constantly see iOS score new apps and technologies before the Mac.

It has long seemed to me like the Mac was on its way to an eventual death. But WWDC breathed new life into the platform, with Apple doubling down on the Mac's strengths as a productivity tool, and the prospect of ported iOS apps starting next year. Each of these changes will bring, I believe, genuine excitement back to the platform.

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Black Pixel Transfers NetNewsWire to Brent Simmons

Today, Brent Simmons and Black Pixel announced that NetNewsWire will be returning to Simmons, the original developer of the app.

NetNewsWire is a Mac RSS reader created by Simmons in 2002. Simmons sold the app to NewsGator in 2005, which subsequently sold it to Black Pixel, where it’s been developed for the past 7 years. During that time, Black Pixel released version 4 for Mac and iOS and created an Apple TV version. Black Pixel also implemented a sync system to keep users’ feeds up to date on each platform.

Separately, Simmons has been working on a free, open source RSS reader for the Mac called Evergreen. According to Simmons’ post on inessential.com, Evergreen will be renamed NetNewsWire 5.0. The project is available on GitHub, and a beta version for testing will be released soon. Black Pixel has removed NetNewsWire from sale and will shut down its sync server in 60 days. Simmons plans to support a variety of third-party RSS sync solutions in NetNewsWire 5.0 starting with Feedbin.

As I’ve noted on AppStories before, RSS readers have stagnated on the Mac in comparison to iOS in recent years, which is why I’m glad to see that Simmons is rebooting NetNewsWire based the work on Evergreen that he’s already done. RSS is still my first stop for most of the news I read every day. Although reading on iOS devices may be the most natural platform for RSS, I’m optimistic that we’ll see a revitalization of RSS on the Mac between projects like Simmons’ and the prospect of Marzipan versions of iOS RSS readers coming to the Mac in the future.


Apple Announces September 12 Event

As first reported by Tim Bradshaw Apple has announced a media event for September 12, 2018 at 10:00 am. The event will be held at Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino.

Based on widespread speculation, Apple is expected to introduce new iPhones based on the iPhone X design. Rumors also point to the introduction of new iPad Pros with smaller bezels, no home button, and Face ID, a revised Apple Watch with a larger display, and perhaps a new Mac mini and MacBook Air replacement.

In addition to hardware, Apple is expected to announce release dates for updates to its operating systems, including iOS 12, macOS Movjave, and watchOS 5. As in the past, Apple should release a Gold Master of iOS 12 and Mojave shortly after the event with a public release date within approximately 10 days.

Update: Apple has announced that the September 12th event at the Steve Jobs Theater will be live-streamed.


Affinity Publisher Beta for Mac Available

Serif, the maker of Affinity Photo and Designer, announced the launch of a public beta for Affinity Publisher, a desktop publishing app that it is developing for the Mac and Windows. In a press release today, Serif says that the feature set will include:

  • Advanced typography
  • Linked text frames
  • Master pages
  • Facing page spreads
  • Dynamic photo frames
  • Tables
  • Baseline grids
  • Linked resources
  • End-to-end CMYK

Of course, Serif cautions that it is not ready to use in production work, but you can download the app from Affinity’s website and take it for a spin to get a sense for what is coming and provide input to Serif. The final product is expected to ship in ‘a few months’ according to the Publisher preview webpage.

In addition to the signup page, Serif has published a series of 16 short video tutorials explaining the basic functionality of the app. There is also a sample brochure you can download to use as a playground for experimenting with the app’s features.

From my initial look at the beta and tutorials, Publisher is an ambitious effort to build an integrated suite of creative apps by leveraging Affinity Photo and Designer, which will be accessible directly from within Publisher. Those integrations are not yet available in the beta but will be activated in a later build.

It’s been interesting to watch Serif invade an app category, in which Adobe has been the dominant player for so long, with sophisticated but cost-effective alternatives that suit the needs of many users. Publisher looks like an app that could round out the Affinity suite of apps nicely, making the trio of apps appealing to an even greater audience.


Game Day: Donut County

Tomorrow, Donut County by developer Ben Esposito will be published by Annapurna Interactive, which also backed the critically-acclaimed Florence. The game, which was announced in 2014, but has been in development since 2012, tells the story of a raccoon named BK, his friend Mira and an assortment of other characters from Donut County who are trapped 999 feet beneath the surface of the Earth. You play by manipulating a hole that grows as you move it across the landscape swallowing objects. If the premise sounds strange, that’s because it is, but it also works through a combination of a clever game mechanic, funny writing, and engaging sound design and artwork.

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RapidWeaver 8 Debuts Redesign, New Responsive Themes, Unsplash Support, and Improved Plug-In Management

RapidWeaver by Realmac Software got a significant update today. Starting from scratch or with one of over 50 Themes, RapidWeaver allows users to create highly-customized websites by offering a wide array of tools and properties that can be tweaked. The app also supports third-party plug-ins and Themes that can be used to extend the app even further.

RapidWeaver may remind you a little of iWeb, but the similarities end with the drag and drop, template-driven approach. The depth of RapidWeaver goes well beyond what iWeb could do before Apple discontinued it.

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