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Tom Briant

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Editor Watches the WWDC Keynote

So I sat and watched the Apple WWDC 2016 keynote tonight. Tim Cook started with a moment of silence for the Florida massacre victims. He then proceeded to describe the demographics of this year’s attendees at WWDC. A majority of them were new to this experience. Over 100 were under 18, with the youngest attendee a 9 year old girl. She got several closeups, and she seemed a little uncomfortable with all the attention. And it looked like her Mom came with her, too. 


As inspiring to see new faces attending, I would like to have some mention of some older adult who started with FORTRAN or COBOL on an IBM 1401 and now uses Swift on their iMac. Apple has a tendency to drop the old and go with the new. 


This blog has come to focus on solutions on how to use older bits of technology with your new Mac. I recently ran a series of posts on how to access 3.5.” floppy disks with a fairly recent Mac. The advice I would pass down to newcomers is not to dump the older technology at the recycling center just because something new and shiny came on the market to replace it. 


Let’s face  it, we baby boomers will stay around for some time to come. They still have a lot of old storage technology that they will want to access in the future.


The voice technology known as Siri got a lot of attention this year. Now the new macOS 10.12 Sierra will offer Siri on your Mac. The speakers did not mention an SDK for Siri on the Mac, while prominently mentioning it for Siri on iOS devices.


Speaking of new things, I looked at 9to5 Mac which stated that Apple has developed a new file system to eventually replace HFS+. Digging further on-line, I found this article at Ars Technica.


A host of questions appear to me. Can I install this on my current Mac Mini with hard drive storage or will I have to buy a new Mac with SSD storage? Do I have to start all over again with my Time Machine backups? If I pay through the nose for a new 512 GB SSD for my Mac Mini, can I use it with APFS, even though it’s not an Apple SSD?


As far as I can tell, Apple File System (APFS) is not intended for boot drives at present. So Don’t Panic. It’s a developer preview at present. Do look for it in future releases of OS X, er, macOS.


I will say, “About Time! HFS+ is very old for a file system, compared to what Windows and Linux use. A change was needed.” Of course, how to integrates with the drives we’ve all formatted in HFS+ remains to be seen. And will it read and write to Windows NTFS drives, something that Linux has done for years?


The last item Tim mentioned was the iPad app Swift Playgrounds. This app will help you learn how to program with Swift. I like it! Will it run on my iPad 3? 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

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