Missing MagSafe on Your USB-C Mac? Griffin BreakSafe Isn’t the Answer

Magsafe connectorWhen the MacBook and later the MacBook Pro came out with only USB-C there was a lot of moaning and groaning about dongles, but mixed reactions about the loss of the MagSafe power connector. It was designed to break away if someone hit the cable so your laptop wouldn’t go skidding across the table and onto the floor. Some people loved MagSafe, some didn’t. I was in the love category.

Remember when Steve Jobs introduced MagSafe and his memorable quote was, “You’re tired of breaking them, and we’re tired of fixing them”?  I was sold.  Countless times that MagSafe connector saved my laptops over the years.

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Transform Your Photos with Primitive – Guest Post by Allister Jenks

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Hello Allison and NosillaCastaways. Allister here from New Zealand, once again, with a review of one of those apps you don’t need but which you might just fall in love with.

A year ago, I subscribed to the then brand new Club MacStories newsletter. I love the information it brings me every week. Amongst the great content is always a crop of noteworthy apps and app updates. While these are predominantly iOS apps, Mac apps do appear and it is one of these that took my fancy recently and I’d like to introduce to you now.

Primitive, by Michael Fogleman is a creative graphics app that uses a simple premise to turn photos (or in fact, any image) into a form of more abstract art by “recreating” the image using primitive shapes – hence the name.

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Affinity Photo 1.5 Adds HDR, Tone Mapping, Focus Stacking and More

Affinity logoIf you like photography at all, please stop reading/listening to me right now and go out and buy Affinity Photo. Seriously, do it. Here’s why.

I first told you about Affinity Photo in May of 2016 and I’ve been singing the praises of this app ever since as an alternative to Photoshop. This week Serif came out with version 1.5 of Affinity Photo and it’s even MORE amazing. Not only is it amazing, they also shipped 1.5 for Windows! They explain that they purposely created one code base that could be used for both platforms so there would never be a problem with feature parity between the two.

Normally Affinity Photo is only $50 one time (no subscription service, but the price is $40 right now in the Mac App Store or directly at affinity.serif.com for Mac and Windows. Even if you miss this price and get it for the regular price, that’s crazy inexpensive for an alternative to Photoshop.

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OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock – Guest Post By Trevor Drover

Owc thunderbolt 2 dock angled viewHello Allison and NosillaCastaways. Trevor from Australia with a short review of a product that has helped breath new life into my 2011 iMac and could be the ultimate dongle for the new range of MacBook Pros.

With more Macs coming with fewer ports to connect your external devices, adding an additional monitor, external hard drives, other USB-based gear, or legacy Ethernet or FireWire peripherals can become a bit of a problem. My 2013 MacBook Pro only has USB 3 and Thunderbolt ports and the newly released MacBook Pros only have USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

Enter OWC’s Thunderbolt Dock which might just be the adapter you didn’t know you needed. It seamlessly adds lots of useful ports to your Mac.

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How Not to do Migration Assistant

Migration assistant starting screenWhen I got the 2016 Touch Bar 15″ MacBook Pro, it was only about a month after I’d done an involuntary nuke and pave on my 2013 MacBook Pro. For those unfamiliar with the term nuke and pave, that’s when you erase everything, including the operating system, and then install everything from scratch. You can drag your documents over from a backup or another Mac, but you don’t bring over network settings or license files or any customizations you’ve made.

I have lauded the benefits of a nuke and pave over the years on the podcast and I’m a huge believer in doing it around once a year. It’s painful and time consuming (think days before everything is back to “just so”) but the advantages of speed and freed up disk space are enormous. Your Mac will feel like it did when it was new.

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Enabling Two-Factor Authentication to Allow Apple Watch to Unlock Your Mac

Open system preferences security privacyOne of the things I was really looking forward to with macOS Sierra and watchOS 3 was the ability to unlock my Mac with my Apple Watch. I know it’s a small thing but typing that silly password 20 times a day gets on my nerves. I’m not as crazy as George from Tulsa thinks I am, as I didn’t upgrade my podcasting Mac, but I did upgrade my MacBook to Sierra and I upgraded my Watch right away to watchOS 3, so I really wanted to test this feature out.

It turned out to be quite a bit more complicated than I expected. I’ll explain why as we go through all of the steps. If you’d rather just jump right in and do it yourself, of course I did a full tutorial so you can skip ahead:

How to Disable Apple’s Two-Step Verification and Enable Two-Factor Authentication

I figured the place to turn this feature on would be in System Preferences, Security & Privacy where you originally enable a password to unlock the Mac. I guessed right because just below that was a section that said “Allow Apple Watch to unlock your Mac” and right below that it showed my original Apple Watch (which is still paired to my account) and my new Series 2 Apple Watch. I happily clicked the checkbox to allow my Watch to open the Mac.

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Use Your Mac as a Bluetooth Keyboard for iOS and AppleTV with Typeeto

Typeeto logoI’ve got a cool little utility that may or may not solve a problem for you. Typeeto from mac.eltima.com/… lets you use a Mac as a Bluetooth keyboard for your iOS devices, including the AppleTV. Before I walk you through it, let’s set up a couple of problems it might solve.

The AppleTV is the most obvious problem – typing (even with the new remote) is a nightmare. If you have voice recognition in your country for the Apple remote, that actually works surprisingly well, especially for passwords. But most of the time we end up scrolling right/left/up/down and doing a lot of swearing when we try to type on the AppleTV. Using a Bluetooth keyboard with the AppleTV can make you happier, and if you’re watching TV with a laptop right near you, why not use its keyboard instead of that aggravating remote?

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Guest Review of the Tucano Elements Second Skin for MacBook 12″ by Allister

Greetings Allison and fellow NosillaCastaways. Allister here from New Zealand with a quick review of a product that won’t excite many, but will help prevent moments of horror.

Tucano MacBook sleeveThe problem to be solved is keeping my gorgeous gold 12″ MacBook looking gorgeous. I bought the laptop while travelling and so quickly became aware of just how easily it marked even carefully putting it in its own pocket in my work-provided laptop backpack. It clearly needed its own special protection.
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Turn Macs & PCs into Chromebooks with Neverware’s CloudReady

CloudReady logoMany people wonder if there’s something they can do with old Macs and PCs when they’ve become too slow for the latest operating system, or have been abandoned by the OS vendors. With PCs it’s pretty common to put Linux on them but older Mac hardware often has problems with Linux. Maybe a network card doesn’t work, or the camera; something always seems to be a problem. If you do succeed, it’s a bit of a learning curve to get proficient at Linux.

How about turning an old Mac or PC into a Chromebook instead? A company called Neverware has come out with a product called CloudReady that will do just that. CloudReady is free for individual and experimental use, $25/year for schools, and $49/year for work. They have a compatibility list of over 200 hardware models that they say are certified and for each one they tell you what components work with CloudReady.
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NC #564 Frankenstein Mac, Arkamys 360° Audio, Hub for Photos, MagTarget, 2.4GHz FTW, New Matter 3D Printer

Barry Fulk was the guest on Chit Chat Across the Pond this week to talk Mobile Device Management (which is way more interesting than it sounds!) I also got to be on the SMR Podcast with Chris Ashley to talk about Apple and the FBI. I go on a rant about Apple pushing a bad update that blocks their own Ethernet driver. I’ll talk about the fun Pat Dengler and I had tearing apart two MacBook Airs to make one working machine. We’ll talk to Arkamys about their 360 degree audio for immersive video, then I’ll explain why Photos made me buy a hub. We’ll talk to MagTarget about their iPhone mount/charger and I’ll explain how once again the answer to a problem is 2.4GHz separation. Finally we’ll talk to new Matter about their MOD-t 3D Printer.


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