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Tom Briant

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The editor's views on various topics

Some policy remarks


This blog will start to cover the use of Linux as a complement to OS X. I am not engaging in ridiculous comparisons of OS X 10.10 to some Linux distro touted as a “Apple killer.”

 No distro of Linux will kill off OS X. Linux lacks the financial wherewithal to challenge OS X on its home turf. Yet OS X can’t challenge Linux on its own turf.

 I will show you how to use Linux applications to complement OS X. As I have previously written, Linux has two good iTunes music streaming applications in Tangerine and forked-daapd. If you own a nice MacBook Air or one of the latest MacBooks, you probably lack the space on the SSD for all your music. An iTunes streaming program provides one answer to your problems. Stuff a 1 TB drive into a old mini-tower and your music storage needs are satiated.

 Now to the other news and views of the day. Tim Cook got stock valued at 58 million dollars. Great news for him and for us. Executives who keep their business delivering great products deserve to be compensated. 

 On the bad news side for Tim, his e-mail to Jim Cramer of CNBC will earn him some scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission for a violation of regulation FD. You’re not supposed to disclose information about a company you head without immediately releasing to the public. The fact that Cramer probably can’t stop talking about anything is no defense. So Tim and Apple may have to pay a fine. A small fine. Violating  an SEC regulation versus staunching the bleeding on the stock exchange? Worth it. 

 In Newz you can Uze, “Crazy” John Moltz, skewed observer of the Apple scene, wrote an article for Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and stop migrating your versions of OS X. Sometimes you have to back it up-three times!-format the hard drive or SSD, and start all over again. This may be the only way to get rid of years of digital dust bunnies.

 Jason Snell of wrote a column at his former home, Macworld, about the iPad. The iPad does not sell these days as it once did. Oh, it sells. But once I got mine...I didn’t need another one. The darn thing runs and runs without any problems. 

 So I await the legendary iPad Pro. Will it have a USB-C port replacing the Lightning port or in addition to it? Will it come with a special stylus? Will it be 4K in resolution, like some of the big Android tablets? I don’t know. I’ll wait till the day of the announcement. Maybe this September.

 This is a Mac blog. I try to squeeze mentions of the iOS devices, but my focus is what my eyes focus on. An ASUS monitor hooked up to a mid-2011 Mac Mini running Yosemite and Windows 10 caged up in a virtual Parallels installation. 

 Yes, I got Windows 10 to work by upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. I was patient and waited my turn for the word from Microsoft to upgrade. It still works.  More to follow.

 But back to OS X and LInux. Linux offers those with an itch to do over their computer’s stock look with all kinds of options. A plethora of desktops, ways to make it look like everything from Windows XP to an Amiga. You can’t do that in OS X. El Capitan will apparently nail down Apple’s idea of a user interface. 

 Most old Windows computers come with a DVD drive, so I shall show you how to rip CDs in a variety of audio formats. That’s my next article.

 LInux and OS X share some under-the-hood software, such as the CUPS printing system. Article on exploiting that coming up, too.

 As for the Apple Watch, it has much promise. Right now, I believe it’s a bauble for the rich and famous to flaunt on Instagram.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



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