John can hear a grinding noise in his MacBook Pro. Leo says chances are it's the fan in the laptop, and maybe a blade got bent. Leo recommends taking the Mac to the Apple Store right away and having a Genius look at it.
The spinning beach ball means the Mac is working on something. This could be a failure in the program, the operating system, or the hard drive. As computers get older, hard drives get harder to read, and the computer takes longer. Since James' iMac is quite old now, it may be time for a new one. This symptom is difficult to diagnose accurately.
Roger wants to get a Mac Mini, but Apple hasn't upgraded it in a long time (Oct 2012). Leo says that is a common complaint with Mac fans. It's a shame too, because it's very affordable and a great product. It seems like Apple doesn't care about anything but mobile these days. It's like they have a limited attention span. They're all mobile now with iPhones and iPads, and they are less worried about the desktop computing experience. Leo's been hearing rumors for months about a new Mac Mini coming, but nothing has materialized.
Jethro bought an old Apple G4 Cube and wants to turn it into a media server. Leo says that he can't run iTunes on it, but he could run Linux and get a program that runs an iTunes compatible media server. As long as the music he has doesn't have copy protection, he should have no problems at all. Any copy protected stuff can be replaced by signing up for iTunes Match, which is $25 a year, and he'd really only need to do it once.
Dave has a new MacPro, but he's not so sure it's the "latest and greatest" computer out there. Leo agrees. It's not better than the current Haswell processors, and at that price, Dave's not really getting more speed then a comparable iMac for every day tasks.
Maria wants to get a Mac because of its security benefits, but she needs to use Microsoft Office. Leo says that Mac supports Office, and although it's more expensive, a quality PC will cost about the same anyway. Another idea is the Google Chromebook, with costs ranging from about $200 to $500. She can then use Google Docs which is just as good as Microsoft Office and she wouldn't have to buy it. A great choice, but it's a very simple computer.
Ron bought a MacBook Pro. It's his first Mac. It was working great and then a month later, he started getting error messages and crashes. He backed it up and took it to the Apple Store to have it looked at. It came back without Bootcamp on it and they never figured out what was wrong after several trips back. Leo had a similar problem with his Mac Pro and they discovered it was bad RAM. It sounds like Ron's problem could be similar. It could also be the the hard drive.
We talked last week about a flaw in iOS and OS X Mavericks called "Goto Fail" that would allow a malicious user to intercept the traffic of any secure transaction. Apple patched the bug on iOS with iOS 7.0.6 quickly, and just earlier this week they patched Mac OS X Mavericks. Make sure to update both iOS and OS X so that your computers and mobile devices are secure.
Conrad has a Mac and he's having trouble with his hybrid hard drive. He's tried formatting and partitioning it using Disk Utility and he gets an "can't allocate memory" error. Leo says it sounds like a bad hybrid drive. The fact that it's a hybrid drive shouldn't matter because the hybrid part is handled internally by the drive circuitry. It should appear as a single drive to Mac OS X.