Mac

Why does my Mac "Beachball?"

Loretta from Berlin, MD

Episode 1161

Loretta's Apple computer keeps "beach balling," and hangs up. This is OS X's way of saying that the computer is busy. If it's there for a long time, something is holding the computer up like a bad program or a failing hard drive. Most likely, there's a bad sector or two on the hard drive that's causing it and it could be the beginnings of a failing drive. Leo recommends going to MacSales.com and getting a new hard drive. It should be pretty simple to replace. Loretta should backup her old hard drive first.

How can I get a Mac formatted iPod to be read by Windows?

Bren from Riverside, CA

Episode 1159

Bren is having trouble updating music on an iPod. He tried to connect it and the Windows machine wanted to erase it because it was formatted on a Mac. Leo says he can buy a program that adds the capability to read HFS formatted hard drives. MacDrive from Media Four is what he'll need. There is a free five day trial, too. It's essentially a driver that runs in the background and translates the HFS formatted data so Windows will read it.

Is removing a virus the same process on the Mac as it is on the PC?

Jay from Providence, NC

Episode 1159

Jay wants to know if removing viruses is the same between Mac and Windows. Leo says that there's a debate that Macs are either more secure, or are a smaller target because there are fewer of them. Leo says that malware writers are going to write for the largest segment of computers. But OS X is based on Unix and that's more secure than Windows. OS X also has an administrator requirement when installing software.

Is My Cloud Mirror from Western Digital network attached storage?

Todd from Topeka, KS

Episode 1158

Todd wants to know about the WD My Cloud Mirror. Is it network attached storage? Leo says it is, but it's supposed to be an appliance for those who aren't very technical. It comes with WD dual drives, will work with Mac or PC, but it doesn't have as many features as a traditional NAS. It will connect to cloud solutions like DropBox for off site backup. There's also a feature he likes that will allow him to connect to the computer directly and copy the files over. At $291 for 4TB of storage, it's a great deal.

Will Photoshop work well on a Mac Mini?

Episode 1153

Beanie from Reykjavik, Iceland
Apple Mac Mini

Beanie wants to know if Photoshop works the same on the Mac Mini as it would on a similar small device from HP. Leo says that Photoshop is CPU bound, meaning the speed of the chip's cores will matter. The more cores, the better. An SSD will speed it up, as well as a good graphics processor. The Mac Mini uses Intel's Iris Processor, which is OK. So while there are speed differences, it largely depends on what he's doing, and chances are, he's really not going to notice. Going up to an i7 processor will give him a boost because of hyperthreading, but only if he really, really needs it.

Is there much of a difference between a Dell XPS i7 and a Mac Pro for video editing?

Episode 1152

Ken from Cape Girardeau, MS
Apple Mac Pro

Leo says there's not much difference between the two. He uses a Mac Pro at home and likes it, but it's not very upgradeable, and any upgrades he could do would have to be external. On a PC, if he gets a tower case, upgrades are easy. Leo just got all of the video editors at TWiT Dell PCs and they will be moving to Adobe Premiere. The Mac Pro is expensive for what you get, and for pro video editors it's probably not the best solution.

What Mac should I buy?

Episode 1143

Lynn from Santa Clarita, CA
MacBook Air

Lynn is trying to decide what Mac laptop to buy. She can buy a used, tricked out MacBook Pro, a new MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air. Leo says that if someone is offering to install all her programs onto the laptop, that could be illegal unless he transfers ownership to Lynn. If he doesn't, then they won't work. Sounds like he's misleading her. Leo recommends going to the Apple store and looking at their refurbished laptops. They will be fully warrantied and he can still save some.

Why does Keychain Access keep popping up on my Mac?

Episode 1139

Tom from Witt, IL
Keychain Access

Tom's mother had relatives come over for Thanksgiving, and ever since they were there, her iMac has been having problems. She kept seeing "keychain" popping up, and she deleted everything in it in an attempt to fix the problem. Leo says if Keychain is popping up, it means that the Keychain password somehow got wiped out. So all Tom should have to do is log in using the computer password. Tom says when he gets into the keychain, there's nothing in it.

How can I run old software on my Mac?

Slim from LaHabra Heights, CA

Episode 1128

Slim has some twenty year old photo morphing software that he'd like to run on his new Mac. Leo says no way. There's no way to run it on a modern Mac. No emulator, no compatibility. He's just plain out of luck. It's one thing that Apple is willing to do that Microsoft isn't. The best he can do is buy an old Mac and run it there.

Leo says that Morpheus Photo Morpher is a good alternative to the old Griffin photo morpher.