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Tiny Tip – MacTracker for Current Price of used Apple Devices

It will be hard to top the first Tiny Tip. So many people have told me they love the strategy of creating a Delete Me folder! Don’t set your expectations that high for every Tiny Tip, though. In the words of Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa, “They can’t all be winners.”

When you want the new hotness coming out of Apple, one of the ways to justify your expensive purchase is to resell your existing Apple products. The good news is that Apple devices hold their value really well. The bad news is it’s tedious to figure out what your devices are worth.

Traditionally I write down all of the specs of a machine, and then go over to eBay. I search for the same device on eBay while setting the filter to sold items only. Then I create a spreadsheet and start recording the last 10-12 that have sold recently. I keep detailed notes in my spreadsheet on how they might vary from the one I’m trying to sell.

I throw out the super high ones, which are usually those sold by a company. Then I throw out the lowest one if it’s got something clearly wrong with it or it has something fundamentally different spec-wise from the one I’m selling. I average the selling price in my beloved Excel to determine a price. If I’m selling to a stranger, that’s a fixed number, if it’s to a friend who maybe could use a little bit of help with the price, I’ll lower it a bit. At least I know the value of the equipment, but this process takes 3-4 hours.

Mactracker logoBut that’s not the Tiny Tip. For Father’s Day I got Steve a new iMac, so I needed to figure out what his old one was worth. It’s a 27″ Mid-2011 model. I was too lazy to walk all the way down to his office and pull the specs directly, so I popped open the fantastic free app, MacTracker. (Available in the Mac App Store and in the iOS App Store.)

MacTracker has been around forever, but it’s continued to get better and better over time. The developer now includes all desktops, laptops, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, Airport routers and more. You can find out everything about these devices, up to and including hearing their original startup sounds. It’s super cool.

Mactracker showing current priceBut that’s still not the Tiny Tip. HERE’S the Tiny Tip. I looked up Steve’s iMac model in Mactracker and I noticed something new. The Initial selling price was there, but below that was “Current Price” with a US flag next to the price. Boom, you know the current selling price!

But wait, there’s more. I noticed that it was in blue, so I clicked it. I got a prompt asking if I wanted to open the link in a browser. I trust Mactracker, and it was awfully sweet of it to ask permission so I allowed it.

The price link in Mactracker took me to a site called bidvoy at us.bidvoy.net. Now here’s the really cool part. Bidvoy shows you the price over time. There’s a pulldown to choose from some standard time frames from the last 6 months to 2 weeks, or you can set a custom range. The data points even have a trendline through them.

Below the graph you get the average over the last 6 months (which is the number you see in Mactracker). You can see the weekly trend, how many auctions and the price margin. Not sure what that one was.

Below that you can even see the best time to purchase based on this historical data, and the best time to sell. For Steve’s model, you want to buy on a Sunday between midnight and 4 am, and I should try to sell it (if I’m doing an auction) on a Tuesday between 4 and 8 am. They show the prices for those two times, but it doesn’t entirely make sense. The average for Steve’s iMac is shown around $600. The best time to sell says almost $800, but the best time to purchase says $650. I would think that the average should be between the best time to sell and buy, wouldn’t you? Still interesting.

Bidvoy showing graphs

But bitvoy isn’t done yet. After the graphs, you can see a list of the same model currently-selling on eBay. For each one they show the current bid price (or buy it now price), the time left, and a red, blue or green badge telling you if it’s underpriced, normal, or over priced. If you see one that strikes your fancy as a buyer, you can click on it and go right into the sale on eBay.

One caution on using Mactracker and bidvoy. While this is easy, if the Mac you’re buying or selling isn’t the average model, the price you see here will not be representative. For example, in looking at the current auctions, I realized that this includes not just the i7 version I bought for Steve, but also the i5’s that are less valuable. I cranked up the RAM and disk when I bought it for him, so that should be taken into account too.

Using Mactracker and its connection to bidvoy is a great starting point and can get you most of the way there with the simple click of a button. I should mention that the iOS version of Mactracker doesn’t have this current price feature, so you’ll need to view it on a Mac.

I’ve just realized that the definition of a Tiny Tip is that it could be described in one sentence or two but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a lengthy post about it anyway!

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NC #624 Server Caching Bug, macOS Bugs Discovered, Sandman Clock, Nexus 5X Review

In this early show, we’ll talk about how I figured out the true root cause of the problems in rendering the new podfeet.com theme (I was wrong last week). Then I’ll tell you about how I discovered two actual bugs in macOS that no one else had ever reported, and how I made the senior advisor laugh. I’ve got a review of the awesome Sandman Clock from Palo Alto Innovations. Then I’ll give you an Apple fan girl’s review of the Android Nexus 5X from LG (it’s more complimentary than you might think!


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NC #623 Podfeet Redesign, Apple Meets Us Halfway, Ring Floodlight Cam, Security Bits

Podfeet.com finally gets a makeover and I’ll tell you a bit of detail on how I did it (link to comical PDF instructions). I was on the SMR Podcast this week, Apple appear to have a new strategy in repair of their products called “We’ll meet you halfway”. We’ll have a full review of the new Ring Floodlight Cam from ring.com. Bart’s back with Security Bits where we talk about Shadow Broker’s latest data dump that could endanger Windows users, and more.


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Apple’s New Strategy: We’ll Meet You Half Way

Right airpod showing more blue corrosionLast year before the new iPhone 7 came out, all four of the iPhones in use by my family were suffering from the battery shutdown problem. Kyle was getting a new iPhone 7 from me for his birthday but I asked him to take his iPhone 6 into Apple while it was still under AppleCare to try to get it replaced. Apple told Kyle there was nothing wrong with the battery and refused to replace it. They said to do a DFU (Device Firmware Update) and to not restore from a backup and that would fix it. They were certain that there was something in Kyle’s apps or data causing the problem. We know from recent reports that Apple is now admitting that something was indeed wrong with the OS that was causing the problem and they’ve been able to measure a decrease in the problem from a recent iOS update.

Continue reading “Apple’s New Strategy: We’ll Meet You Half Way”

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NC #620 Apple Watch Swimming, Standard Mac Apps, BrainPort Visualization Through the Tongue, eSight Low Vision Glasses, Non-tech Podcasts, GhostReader, BeatsX

Allister here standing in for Allison this week. I have a miniature review of using the Apple Watch Series 2 for swim workouts, I’ll quickly review 26 Mac Apps you didn’t know you already had, Allison will pop by with two more videos from the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, I’ll make some recommendations for podcasts you might want to listen to that aren’t about technology, Terry delivers on his callout from Allison with a review of GhostReader text to speech software, and I’ll finish up with a review of the BeatsX Bluetooth earbuds with Apple W1 chip.


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26 Mac Apps You Didn’t Know You Had

macOS Launchpad – Other folderOften when Allison puts out a call for material for the show, I’ll take a look at my installed Mac apps via Launchpad to see if there’s anything relatively new that’s worth a review. Faced with the prospect of sourcing an entire show, I did the same thing, but what I noticed was not something new. In fact, it’s a whole lot of somethings and they’re all quite old.

There’s a folder on the default Launchpad configuration called “Other” which contains all 17 applications from the Utility folder that lives inside your Applications folder, plus 9 other applications that aren’t usually featured in Apple promotional materials.

I thought it might be useful to listeners if I quickly ran through what’s in there and maybe you’ll discover something useful you didn’t know you had. Continue reading “26 Mac Apps You Didn’t Know You Had”

First HomeKit-Compatible Security Camera: Omna 180Cam HD from D-Link

Omna in my handYou’ve heard me complain about the setup process for virtually every device from the Amazon Echo to the Hue Lightbulbs, but this time it’s another story. D-Link just started shipping the Omna 180 Cam HD, the very first HomeKit-compatible indoor security camera and it’s fabulous.

Steve has been wanting an indoor security camera for a long time, but he wouldn’t go with one that wasn’t HomeKit compatible for security reasons. When the Omna was announced, I pre-ordered it directly from Apple, with the plan to give it to him on his birthday in April.

But then I realized two things. A) I couldn’t wait to give it to him, and B) having this installed before we go on a 2 week vacation makes more sense. We have a TSA Agent who lives in our house while we’re gone, but for when she’s not around this would be really useful. The other thing that helped my decision to give it to him early was that it arrived more than a week early!

The Omna is really small. It’s only 2 inches in diameter and round 5 inches tall. It’s a silver cylinder with a fisheye lens about a quarter of the way down from the top. Before I tell you everything it does, let’s talk about what’s normally the annoying part, the setup. Continue reading “First HomeKit-Compatible Security Camera: Omna 180Cam HD from D-Link”

CES 2017: Cobra Wireless Backup Camera

Allison interviews Dave Marsh from Cobra about their new automobile backup camera. Cobra’s HD backup cam is integrated into a license plate frame that you can easily install yourself with no wires. The battery powered camera sends rear facing video via Bluetooth directly to your Apple or Android smartphone when the accompanying Cobra app is installed. The backup camera video is quickly activated on your smartphone by pressing a button on a remote provided by Cobra. The Cobra HD backup camera will be available in April 2017. The setting is the CES Unveiled show floor.

Learn more at http://cobra.com

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CES 2017: Satechi Accessories Matched to Apple Products

Allison interviews Alan Jacobson from Satechi about a range of products all matched to the colors and finishes of Apple’s MacBook, MacBook Pro and iPhone. Alan described a power strip, dock, headphones, headphone stand, Apple Watch charging stand, numeric keypad, mousepad, laptop stand, USB-C disk enclosure, magnetic phone mount and bluetooth presenter, all offered in aluminum, space gray, gold and rose gold colors. The setting is the CES Conference show floor.

Learn more at http://satechi.net

Using a Screen Reader? click here

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CCATP #471 Mikah Sargent on Siri and Alexa and Home Automation

Mikah sargent steve alMikah Sargent, senior editor at Mobile Nations and podcaster at RelayFM joins us to compare and contrast how Siri from Apple and Alexa from Amazon help with home automation and other tasks around the house. He has a vast array of Home Automation devices from Hue lights to Eve sensors to an Ecobee thermostat to an August smart lock so he’s got the experience. I found Mikah’s intelligent commentary combined with his light humor to be a delightful combination.

If you want to connect with Mikah, look him up on Twitter @mikahsargent. You can read his excellent articles on iMore at imore.com/… and see pictures of chihuahuas at chihuahua.coffee/….

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