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Consumer Reports: Apple still tops in reliability | ZDNet

Consumer Reports: Apple still tops in reliability | ZDNet | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
In its recently-released holiday buying issue, Consumer Reports says that iMac and MacBook lines still reign over PC competitors. But a close reading of the results show a mixed result for Cupertino.

 

  The Consumer Reports cover story looked at best brands in electronics. The reliability section was based on Consumer Reports' annual Product Reliability Survey, and reported on computers from Acer, Apple, Dell, eMachines, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba.

  In the ranking of consumer satisfaction, Apple gets a reader score of 78 percent. Dell and Lenovo tied at 59 percent, with Acer, Asus, eMachines, HP, Gateway, and Toshiba grouped together between 56 to 54 percent. That's a significant difference in customer perception.

  The reasons still appear to bewilder PC makers. These vendors have spent years driving to the bottom of a commodity market, where brands vie almost totally on cost. However, over the past five or so years, customers have increasingly accepted Apple's value proposition: higher-quality machines with leading industrial design, a tightly-integrated operating system, and the introduction of new technologies that come with higher price tags. Apple sold over 4.9 million Macs last quarter and 80 percent of them were MacBooks.

  And then there are the provision of tech support and its costs.

Tech support in general is among the lowest-rated services in all of the surveys conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. But that doesn't apply to Apple, which beat all the makers of Windows-based PCs covered in our most recent survey.

  CR said that Apple solved three-quarters of user problems compared with Dell's 61 percent, its nearest competitor. So, the others must have scored worse.

  In the reliability ratings for desktop computers, Apple's iMac repair rate (7 percent) scored significantly better than HP (10), Dell (11) and Gateway (13).

  This score can't be a surprise to anyone. If you spend years removing cost — read quality — out of any system, here desktop systems, there will come a point where all the little things add up to a big whole, which, in this case, stinks.

  Meanwhile, Apple has made its iMac all-in-one desktop the focus of its performance computing strategy. Apple's "traditional" desktop computer, the Mac Pro, is missing in action right now, way overdue for a refresh.

  There's no way of knowing if these quality reports are just about hardware failures or are also software related. Is it related to the crapware that comes with PCs in an attempt to eke out a bit more margin in a commodity product? Hard to tell.

  Here's an interesting piece about iMac from Apple CEO Tim Cook during the Oct. 25 Apple Q4 earnings call with analysts:

In terms of general shortages, the iMac will be constrained for the full quarter in a significant way. Part of that is that we're beginning shipping the 21.5-inch iMac in November and the 27-inch in December So, there will be a short amount of time during the quarter to manufacturer and ramp those and I expect the demand to be robust. So, we will have a significant shortage there.

  However, in CR's laptop computer ratings, Apple only edged out the many PC competitors by a couple of percentage points. The worst was Dell with a 12 percent rating compared to Apple's 8 percent.

  So, I see these figures in two ways: Firstly, that PC makers have put more effort into their laptops and they've done a good job getting closer to Apple in quality. On the other hand, we could say that all laptop makers, Apple included, may be having some QA issues with their recent mobile computers. This might have something to do to the increasingly thinner and smaller enclosures that make laptops difficult to assemble as well as to repair.

  Anecdotal observation: I recently spoke to several Mac buyers who are on a replacement machine. They bought a new MacBook and problems started happening. They took the laptop into get it repaired and were given another machine. That's good customer service (see above) but not so good on the repair reliability front.

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1-877-217-7933 Why We Need Dell Computer Technical Support https://goo.gl/qRnQyR
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Stuck with slow data transfers? New USB 3.2 will help

Stuck with slow data transfers? New USB 3.2 will help | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
USB 3.2-equipped laptops and external drives could reach speeds of 20 gigabits per second. You'll likely have to wait until 2019, though.
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Running Low On Mac Storage? Here Are 5 Tips To Recover Some Space

Running Low On Mac Storage? Here Are 5 Tips To Recover Some Space | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Even with the bigger hard drives, SSDs, and Fusion drives in modern Macs, it's still possible to run low on storage space. Especially on the MacBook and MacBook
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Best password managers of 2017: Reviews of the top products

Best password managers of 2017: Reviews of the top products | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
The best password is one you probably can't easily remember—that's why a password manager is so crucial to your online security. This guide will help you find the best tool for generating and storing strong passwords to shore up your online defenses.
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Imaging Macbooks

Imaging Macbooks | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
I have to image 150 macbook airs for a school. They do not have JMFS or any kind of remote managment system. What is the best way of doing this without cloning the same user id, account nam
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macperformanceguide.com: Apple’s Fusion Drive Technology

Benefits of a Fusion volume

Generally speaking, Fusion is a good idea for the majority of users that use their machines for casual to moderate use:

Terrific out-of-the-box performance, since everything is on the fast SSD.
Simple all-in-one approach ideal for most Mac users.
Fusion maintains a 4GB buffer on the SSD, so that most file saves, file downloads, Finder duplicate, etc all benefit from SSD speeds (so long as 4GB or less at any one time).
Transparent overflow to hard drive as needed.
Downsides of a Fusion volume

Fusion is not the best choice for guaranteed performance, nor does it offer peak speed or as much SSD capacity as alternatives.

Relatively expensive compared to 3rd-party larger capacity and higher performance SSD.
No ability to guarantee performance for critical files.
Not of benefit for high performance environments which can easily overflow the 4GB write buffer and/or regularly use large files and/or files that never make it onto the SSD.
No evidence of smart migration in real world usage, see Does Fusion Actually Migrate Files?. This undermines the theoretical benefits for users with larger numbers of files.
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How to Fix and Avoid the Most Common Mac Error Messages

How to Fix and Avoid the Most Common Mac Error Messages | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Chances are you've never had any problems with your Mac and this guide to common Mac error messages won't be of interest to you. Just kidding. It's much more
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Keeping your confidential data secure during hardware repair

Some product repairs may involve replacing your computer's hard drive, and some may not. If your hard drive contains sensitive or confidential data, read on for some suggestions on how to keep that data secure.
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Ask the iTunes Guy: Consolidating iTunes libraries, deleting songs, correcting an email address for an iTunes account

Ask the iTunes Guy: Consolidating iTunes libraries, deleting songs, correcting an email address for an iTunes account | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Your questions about iTunes, answered.
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Pondering the conversion from HFS+ to APFS | Carbon Copy Cloner | Bombich Software

There's a lot of excitement these days about the new APFS filesystem coming from Apple. I'm certainly excited about it; some of the promised features sound great. However, I'm going to make a bold suggestion: Don't convert your production startup disk to APFS this Fall. Wait for the new filesystem to get some more mileage before making the switch. HFS+ is still a supported configuration for High Sierra, and sticking with the tried-and-true filesystem may save a lot of headaches and wasted time.

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Mastering macOS Server, Part 6: Contacts and Time Machine

Mastering macOS Server, Part 6: Contacts and Time Machine | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
This is the sixth in an ongoing series on The Rocket Yard describing how to use Apple’s macOS Server to provide services to users both inside a local network a
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Isolating issues in Mac OS X

When does it occur?

If you can identify a sequence of events that lead up to the issue, be sure to document each.
If the issue seems to occur at certain time intervals, be sure to record the times at which it happens. Does it happen only at certain times (for example, daily at 9:00) or on a periodic basis (for example, every 47 minutes)?
If the issue occurs so irregularly that you cannot yet describe when it happens, the suggestions below will help you troubleshoot the issue over time by making certain changes, then watching to see if the issue stops.
If the issue occurs at startup immediately following a third-party software installation, find out what you can do.
You can also troubleshoot any other issues that occur during startup.
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Pogue’s Basics: The master class on capturing screenshots

On the Mac, it’s Command-Shift-3 to capture the whole screen, or Command-Shift 4 to grab a region of the screen. (You can change these keystrokes to anything you like, in System Preferences.) If

If you hold down the Control key as you click or drag, you copy the screenshot to your Clipboard, ready for pasting, rather than saving it as a new graphics file on your desktop.

But on the Mac, that’s only the beginning of the fun you can have by holding down screenshot keys:

Space bar. While you hold down the space bar with one hand, your selection rectangle is frozen in size and shape. With your mouse, you can move the cursor with the selection rectangle attached, the better to fine-tune your positioning relative to your target.
Shift key. When you hit Shift, you confine the dragging action of your mouse to a single dimension: horizontal or vertical. Which dimension depends on how you move your mouse after you hit Shift. For example, suppose you drag out a two-inch square and then pause. With the mouse button still down, you press Shift. If you now continue to drag downward, the selected area maintains a fixed width; you’re increasing only the rectangle’s height.
Option key. If you hold down Option after beginning to drag, you create a rectangular selection that grows from the center point outward. That is, it treats your initial click as the rectangle’s center point, rather than as a diagonal corner.
Esc. If you change your mind about taking a screenshot, tap Esc. The darkened selection area disappears, and you’ve exited screenshot mode.
You can neatly snip one screen element out from its background—like a window or a menu. The trick is to press Command-Shift-4 as usual—but then, instead of dragging diagonally, tap the space bar. Your cursor turns into a tiny camera. Move it so the misty-blue highlighting fills the window or menu you want to capture—and then click. The resulting picture file snips the window or menu neatly from its background.
And if all of these keys are too much to remember? There’s an app for that. Windows comes with a little program called Snipping Tool, and the Mac comes with the Grab app, for capturing screenshots.
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Bootcamp on a 3 TB Fusion Drive | Twocanoes Software

Bootcamp on a 3 TB Fusion Drive | Twocanoes Software | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
We just got our iMac with the 3 TB Fusion drive in it to do some testing to get Windows installed on a Boot Camp partition. I had a 1 TB Fusion drive and suspected that I could get it working, but wanted to wait until it arrived before posting. There are 2 major issues...READ MORE
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Synchronise, clone, backup: rsync, ditto, and their derivatives

Synchronise, clone, backup: rsync, ditto, and their derivatives | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
An overview of some of the many ways of keeping folders in sync, backing up, and making remote copies.
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How to better control the size of video exports on your Mac

How to better control the size of video exports on your Mac | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Modern versions of QuickTime and iMovie don't provide much control over how big you want your video file size to be. You need to use a free third-party app.
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SSD vs. HDD vs. Seagate Hybrid SSHD

SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148528 HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178125 Hybrid Drive
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ssd - Can someone explain what 'diskutil cs revert' does? - Ask Different

ssd - Can someone explain what 'diskutil cs revert' does? - Ask Different | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
diskutil cs revert turns off the Core Storage volume manager for that volume. The Yosemite installer turns it on in case it's needed later (mostly for FileVault), but if you don't actually need it (e.g. for FileVault a Fusion disk) it doesn't do anything useful.

If you aren't using FileVault or a Fusion disk, what Core Storage mostly does is confuse Disk Utility, limiting its ability to dynamically resize and rearrange volumes, and preventing it from displaying the disk structure properly. That "251 GB APPLE SSD SD..." thing is what Disk Utility should be displaying there, because "Macintosh HD" and "BOOTCAMP" are both volumes within the physical SSD. With Core Storage, it was showing BOOTCAMP as somehow part of Macintosh HD, which it isn't at all.
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Protecting data that is already on your destination volume: The Carbon Copy Cloner SafetyNet | Carbon Copy Cloner | Bombich Software

When CCC copies files to the destination, it has to do something with files that already exist on the destination — files that are within the scope of the backup task, and items that aren't on the source at all. By default, CCC uses a feature called the SafetyNet to protect files and folders that fall into three categories:

Older versions of files that have been modified since a previous backup task
Files that have been deleted from the source since a previous backup task
Files and folders that are unique to the root level of the destination
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OS X 10.8.3: Fusion Possibilities For NonFusion Equipped Mac

OS X 10.8.3: Fusion Possibilities For NonFusion Equipped Mac | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Now you can setup a true Fusion drive in any Mac capable of running 10.8.3 and two drives - one SSD and one HDD.
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How to Optimize the ‘Big Four’ Mac Web Browsers

How to Optimize the ‘Big Four’ Mac Web Browsers | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
I'm pretty sure my web browser (Safari) is the most often used app on my Mac, though it could also be my mail client (Apple Mail). Both are always running
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Mastering macOS Server, Part 7: Two Alternatives to Running Your Own Server

Mastering macOS Server, Part 7: Two Alternatives to Running Your Own Server | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
This is the final in a series of articles about macOS Server and how to set up the many services it can provide for small to medium-sized workgroups. What you m
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iMazing | iPhone, iPad & iPod Manager for Mac & PC

iMazing lets you transfer music, files, messages, apps and more from any iPhone, iPad, or iPod to a computer, Mac or PC. Manage and backup your iOS device simply without iTunes. (was DiskAid)
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LastPass — An Unsolicited Redesign – Priyanka Gupta – Medium

LastPass — An Unsolicited Redesign – Priyanka Gupta – Medium | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Couple of months ago, after constantly being pestered by a friend, I finally set up a LastPass account and started using it on my iPhone. If you’re not familiar with LastPass, here’s a brief overview…
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iFixit Repair Kits - Macbook Pro Retina Battery Kits

iFixit Repair Kits - Macbook Pro Retina Battery Kits | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Repair your electronics yourself. iFixit is the repair manual you can edit. We sell tools, parts and upgrades for Apple Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and MacBook as well as game consoles.
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