Breaking My Silence on the MacBook Pro Keyboard

2016 mbpI’ve been listening to people on podcasts complain about the butterfly keyboard on the MacBook for the last year and silently grumbling under my breath at them, but my silence ends now.

I’ve used Apple laptops since the first Titanium PowerBook came out in 2001, so I’ve got a fair bit of experience with Apple’s keyboards on laptops. Let me explain why the commentary on the butterfly keyboard bothers me so much.

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Matias Wireless Keyboard – by Terry Austin

Hello, Castaways!

Matias Backlit Wireless Aluminum Keyboard on AmazonTerry Austin here with a brief review of my brand new Matias keyboard. I recently found myself in need of a new wireless keyboard and on the very reliable recommendation of the ineffable Jeff Gamet over at the Mac Observer, I went with the Matias Wireless Aluminum Keyboard in Space Gray (to match my MacBook Pro).

This keyboard has a few key features that make it invaluable for my home office. I’m a work at home professor who teaches college level anatomy & physiology classes online. On top of that I do some consulting work for a major publisher of higher ed textbooks. My work station is something of a geek’s dream…

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NAB 2017: Lacie Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Allison interviews Gaspar Plantreau from Lacie about two of their new products. The first is the 2big Thunderbolt 3 dock which provides storage capacities of 12, 16 or 20 TB. Offering up to 27 Watts of power, the 2big can charge your MacBook Pro along with other peripherals. Lacie’s second product is the Rugged Thunderbolt drive with a built in USB-C connector cable. The Rugged drive is designed for use in the field and offers up to 5 TB of storage. The Rugged drive is available for purchase now and the 2big Thunderbolt 3 dock will be available in the early summer of 2017. The setting is the Showstoppers show floor. Learn more at http://lacie.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

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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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NC #603 Touch Bar MacBook Pro Challenges, How Not to Do Migration Assistant, Security Bits

NosillaCastaways go see Mamma Mia!, I solve some interesting challenges with the new Touch Bar MacBook Pro, I explain how not to do Migration Assistant when getting a new Mac and Bart Busschots joins us for another lively session of Security Bits.


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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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Touch Bar MacBook Pro Challenges and Solutions

Desktop with thunderbolt dockSix years ago I splurged and bought myself a 24″ Apple Cinema Display. I loved that display. It was huge in that day and worked perfectly with my 2011 MacBook Pro. In 2013 I upgraded to a the fancy new Retina MacBook Pro, but something weird started happening. Fairly frequently, the monitor would blink off and then back on again.

I took the new Mac and the display into Apple (which is a lot to carry) and they checked it out. Nothing wrong with either device but the genius found documentation that there was a firmware issue between the two devices. He suggested that I give it a little while and I would be pushed the firmware update. I know I live on the bleeding edge and this is the penalty, so I was cool with it. At first. Continue reading “Touch Bar MacBook Pro Challenges and Solutions”

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NC #602 HomeKit Not Easier, Just Can’t Win, 3D Touch Part 2, New 15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

There will be no live show next week as we’re going to hear Shai Yammanee (good friend of the show) perform in Mamma Mia! If you’re in the LA area and can join us, check out scfta.org for matinée tickets. I was on the Clockwise #163 The Ultimate Dongle and Let’s Talk Photography at lets-talk.ie/… this week. Chit Chat Across the Pond was actually a Taming the Terminal episode and you can see the shownotes at bartbusschots.ie/…. I give a rant on the show first about how HomeKit isn’t making home automation any easier, and then I’ll complain about how I just can’t win on delivery of Apple products. Then I’ll finish up my two part series on how different apps implement 3D Touch on the iPhones 6s and above. Finally I’ll give you my first look review of the 15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.


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15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Four macbooks front viewI’ve been using a late 2013 MacBook Pro to produce the podcast for the last three years, and an early 2011 MacBook Pro before that. I decided to upgrade to the 2016 Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pro. I chose 15″ quad-core 2.6GHz i7, 16GB of RAM, with a 2TB SSD. It’s not quite top of the line, just one button click short. For another several hundred dollars I could have gotten a 0.1GHz uptick in processor and a bump in the discrete graphics. I’m trying to prove to you that I have self control.

People have been losing their ever-loving minds about several things on this new design. The keyboard, the 16GB memory limitation and the ports. I already talked about the ports last week and I think they’re pretty awesome. Let’s talk first about the keyboard. Continue reading “15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar”

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