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Mac Setup: A Musician’s Desk

MacBook Pro Retina and iPad desk setup

This weeks Mac setup comes to us from Dean K., a musician who uses his Mac setup for listening to music and editing.

  • MacBook Pro Retina 15″ 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 – 16GB RAM – 256GB SSD
  • MacBook Air 1.6GHz Core i5 – 4GB RAM – 128GB SSD
  • iPad 3 – 16GB LTE
  • MacBook Black 13″ 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo – 4GB RAM – 250GB HDD
  • Belkin stand for MacBook
  • Bose SoundDock Portable
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard
  • Apple Magic Mouse
  • Apple Magic Trackpad
  • Sennheister HD598 Headphones
  • LaCie 4TB Thunderbolt external hard drive
  • Lacie 1TB USB 3 external hard drive

Finding the black MacBook is a bit like playing Where's Waldo, it's barely visible under the MacBook Pro stand. The photo was taken with an iPhone 5 32GB.

Send us your Mac & Apple setup shots! Email a good picture or two, along with a brief description of hardware and what the hardware is used for to

The Top iOS, iPhone, and iPad Tip Collections of 2012

Best of 2012 iOS tip collections for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

2012 is at it's end, and just like with our favorite Mac tip collections of the year, is looking back and gathering some of the most useful multi-trick collection posts for iOS, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch too. Again, we are aiming to give you the absolute most bang for your reading buck here by focusing on our favorite multiple tip roundup posts and so we're skipping the single walkthroughs and guides that we post every day. Read through them all and you'll be mastering iOS with must-know tips, typing tricks, genuinely useful Siri commands, better iPhone macro photography, faster website access, and much more.

14 Must-Know Tips & Tricks for iPad
These usability tricks will help you get the absolute most out of your iPad.

6 Tips for Freeing Up Storage Space in iOS
Because of their smaller storage capacity, it's easy to run out of storage on an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Spend a few minutes with these tips though and you'll be freeing up tons of space in iOS in no time at all.

6 Tips for Taking Better Macro Photos with iPhone
Improve your iPhone photography skills by learning how to take better close-up macro shots with the camera.

5 Tricks for Taking Panoramic Pictures with iPhone
Panorama Mode is a fantastic feature available to the latest iPhones, and you can learn to take panoramic photos the right way with these tricks.

8 Typing Tips for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch
Typing on the touch screen keyboards can be challenging, but you can type faster by using a variety of smart tricks for the iOS virtual keyboards

6 Tips to Improve Typing on the iPad
Speaking of typing in iOS, this a collection of ways that should improve your typing specifically for the iPad

7 Genuinely Great Uses for Siri
Siri is incredibly useful and can perform a lot more tasks than you may realize. If you aren't using the iOS virtual voice assistant there is no better time to get started, you'll be making hands-free phone calls, checking and replying to emails, getting movie times, and much more.

10 Tips to Reduce iPhone & iPad Personal Hotspot Data Use
The iPhone and iPad can both share their cellular internet connections and serve as a personal wi-fi router, but before you setup Personal Hotspot, consider these tips that can help you reduce your data usage so you can avoid costly overage fees.

3 Best Places to Sell Your Old iPhone
Did you get a new iPhone this year? If you have an old iPhone laying about, here are the three best places to sell it, letting you get the most cash for your old device. This is geared for iPhones, but it'll pertain to iPads and iPods too…

2 Ways to Listen to Podcasts with Music App Again
The iOS Music app is often a better choice for listening to podcasts because it's faster on many devices, and here are some simple ways to do that again after iOS 6.

2 Super Simple Tips to Get to Websites Faster in iOS
Sometimes the simplest tips are the most used, and these two are as easy as pie while letting you jump to websites faster than ever on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Happy New Year!

The Top Mac & Mac OS X Tip Collections of 2012

Best of 2012, Mac tip collections

With 2012 coming to an end, is looking back and gathering some of the most useful Mac multi-tip and trick collection posts from the year past. Yes, we post individual tips and walkthroughs every day, but we're aiming to give you the most bang for your reading buck here by focusing on our favorite roundups, so take the time to read them all and you'll be mastering a wide range of Mac topics. From general OS X tips that improve Mac productivity, little known keyboard shortcuts, to some more advanced tips for the command line, we've got something for everyone at every skill level, so read on and learn some new tricks for the new year! (Don't miss our favorite iOS, iPhone, and iPad tip roundups too!)

14 Must-Know Tips & Tricks for Mac OS X
Master these tips and tricks for OS X and you will be more productive on your Mac.

4 Simple Mac Maintenance Tips
Maintaining your Mac is critical for optimal performance, but it shouldn't be complicated. Here are a few super simple tips to follow to keep a Mac in tip-top shape.

9 Command Line Tricks for OS X You Should Know
Whether you're an advanced user or just want to learn more about the command line that sits underneath OS X's GUI layer, these terminal tricks are essential.

5 Quick Tips to Free Up Disk Space on a Mac
Everyone runs out of disk space sooner or later, but you may be surprised to find out where all your storage capacity has gone. Run through these quick tips and you'll be freeing up tons of drive space on a Mac in no time.

8 Simple Tips to Speed Up an Older Mac (or Any Mac, Really)
Does your Mac need a speed boost? Things slow down over time, and while these easy tricks are aimed at older Macs, they'll work to speed up any Mac, even the newest models.

9 Reasons a Mac is Running Slow, and What To Do About It
If your Mac feels like it's running slower than it should, there are usually reasons why that is. We cover the 9 most common reasons Macs start to run slow, and more importantly, we tell you what to do about it so you can be back to normal again.

8 Tips to Protect a Mac from Viruses, Trojans, and Malware
Macs are much more resilient to viruses, trojans, and malware than Windows PC's, but they're not completely impervious. The good news is, Macs are extremely easy to protect against such baddies, and with some simple tips you can protect any Mac from almost all known threats.

11 Must-Have Free Apps for Macs
Whether you just got a brand new Mac or you just want to get some new apps, these 11 apps are essentials for any OS X user, and best of all, they're completely free!

5 Tips to Make iTunes Look Normal Again
iTunes 11 completely changed the interface of Apple's desktop media player and store, and while some people are OK with those interface changes, others would rather iTunes look familiar again. These tips will make iTunes 11 look normal again, so you won't be fumbling around looking for podcasts, media, iOS devices, and that ever-useful sidebar.

10 Essential Keyboard Shortcuts for the Open & Save Dialogs in Mac OS X
The Open & Save dialog windows are surely some of the most used in all of OS X, and these keyboard shortcuts will have you mastering those file dialogs in no time.

12 Keyboard Shortcuts for Navigating & Selecting Text in Mac OS X
For Mac users who type and write often – and who doesn't? – learn these keystrokes that help you navigate and select text faster than ever before.

21 iTunes Keyboard Shorcuts
Master iTunes with keystrokes for just about everything, from accessing libraries to controlling your media library and playing music.

8 Shortcuts to Navigate the Mac OS X Dock
Did you know the OS X Dock can be navigated with just the keyboard? Forget the cursor, you can launch and switch apps easily without ever lifting your hands from the keys.

43 Gorgeous Secret Wallpapers in OS X Mountain Lion
Start the new year off with some beautiful new wallpapers that are already buried in OS X, all you need to do is uncover them!

App Store Gifting Returns to iOS Devices [iOS Blog]

With the launch of iOS 6, users lost the ability to gift apps to others directly from the App Store, with users required to turn to the desktop version of iTunes if they wished to send an app gift. But as noted by iFun [Google translation], Apple has now quietly updated the share button in the iOS 6 App Store to include the option to gift paid apps.

Not only are users once again able to gift apps, but they can now schedule delivery of their gifts, up to 90 days in the future.

iPhone 5's First Weekend Sales in China Top Two Million

Apple announced tonight that the company has sold over two million of the new iPhone 5 in China, just three days after its launch.
"Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products."
The most recent launch on Friday included 32 other new countries as well, though the announcement specifically covers China's opening weekend sales.

The original iPhone 5 launch weekend took place in September and saw over 5 million sales to the initial 9 countries including the U.S.

Apple Releases 'Mac Wi-Fi Update 1.0' to Fix 5GHz Wi-Fi Issue

Apple has released an update for recently released Mac systems that improves compatibility when using 5GHz Wi-Fi frequencies. The update is recommended for all "late 2012" Macs.

Mac Wi-Fi Update 1.0 can be downloaded from Apple's support site or through the Mac App Store on affected Macs.
About Mac Wi-Fi Update 1.0

This update is recommended for all late 2012 Mac systems. This update improves compatibility when using the 5GHz band in Wi-Fi.

Boot ROM or SMC Version Information: To confirm the update has been applied, the CFBundleVersion string of the AirPortBrcm4311.kext will need to be checked.

New driver delivered in update: AirPortBrcm4331.kext CFBundleVersion = 612.20.15

Apple Notifies European Publishers of 5-Year Halt to 'Most Favored Nation' E-Book Clause

As noted by SetteB.IT, Apple has notified its European publishing partners for the iBookstore that it has suspended the "most favored nation" clause of its book-selling contract for a period of five years. The clause had prevented publishers from selling their books to other distributors at prices lower than those offered to Apple.

The arrangement had been the subject of an antitrust investigation by the European Commission and a settlement in that case was officially approved last week.
Apple hereby notifies you that, until December 18, 2017, with respect to any book sold in the European Economic Ares (EEA), Apple will no longer apply nor enforce any retail price parity (also know as retail price MFN) provisions in your eBook Distribution Agreement (e.g. Section 5(b) of the Agreement). The change is being made pursuant to a settlement between Apple and the European Commission to resolve case number 49847. The European Commission investigation of Apple's eBook business is now closed. The European Commission has signaled that it will not challenge any other term of our ebook distribution agreement.

Apple notes that the EEA where the new directive applies includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Apple worked with publishers to facilitate a landmark shift in the business model for selling books, shifting to an "agency model" in which publishers set retail prices and distributors such as Apple receive a negotiated share of that retail price, similar to how the App Store operates. Under the previous wholesale model in which distributors were allowed to set their own retail prices, Amazon was able to hold a dominant share of the market as it sold books at or below cost in order to entice customers into visiting the site to purchase other products and services.

A key part of the agency model was Apple's "most favored nation" clause guaranteeing that Apple received the best possible pricing from publishers. The move effectively meant that all major distributors offered very similar pricing on books, but with the elimination of that clause publishers are now free to negotiate with distributors, a move that will likely to allow market leaders like Amazon to gain better pricing than smaller rivals.

Tim Cook on the Urgency of Solving Problems, Unpredictability of Apple, and Industry Disruption

Following yesterday's announcement that Apple CEO Tim Cook had been named to the shortlist for TIME's annual Person of the Year feature, the magazine has published a lengthy profile of Cook today covering his runner-up status.

Much of the information in the profile has been discussed in other settings, but it offers a good overview of Cook and his time at Apple. The piece also offers a few fresh quotes from Cook about his perspective and his role in leading Apple. The report touches on Cook's combination of calm demeanor and intense focus, noting that he can just as easily lighten the mood with his manner as light fires under others to spur them to action.
Like Jobs, Cook suffers fools neither gladly nor in any other way (except when he has to, i.e., when talking to journalists). Behind the scenes, that measured calm can — if the legends are true — become a merciless coldness that roots out confusion and incompetence. "I've always felt that a part of leadership is conveying a sense of urgency in dealing with key issues," he says. "Apple operates at an extreme pace, and my experience has been that key issues rarely get smaller on their own."
Cook also addresses some of the uncertainty that has surrounded Apple in recent months, from a stock price weighed down by assorted factors to the Apple Maps situation to fears that Apple is losing ground to competitors in the mobile industry:
None of this appears to ruffle Cook particularly. "I've worked at Apple for 15 years," he says, "so Apple's not foreign to me. I don't mean to sound like it's all a predictable ride. It's unpredictable. But it's always been unpredictable." He hasn't altered his personal style any. He remains, like all great Apple products, a paradoxical combination of open and closed, polished and user-friendly but also sealed up tight against anybody who's curious about what's inside. You know there are reams of code churning away down there, just below the surface, but you'll never know exactly what's going on.
TIME notes that Cook has yet to truly be tested in terms of bringing innovative products to the market, with much of Apple's massive slate of 2012 product releases having already been in the works before Cook took full control of Apple and the company yet to enter a new market under his watch. But Cook acknowledges that he intends to continue the Apple tradition of entering markets with the full intention of disrupting the status quo.
[T]he test for Cook will be to seek out a new category that's vulnerable to disruption and disrupt the hell out of it.

I ask Cook if he would do that — if that would continue to be Apple's modus operandi going forward. He smiles, seductively as always, and says, "Yes. Yes. Most definitely." When that happens, that's when Cook will show his hand, and we'll get a look below the surface.
Television has of course been rumored to be the next industry where Apple hopes to make a major impact, but progress has reportedly been slow as it seeks to reach content deals that will allow the company to offer the bundle of hardware and services it needs to make its desired impact. Apple has long dabbled in television through the iTunes Store and the Apple TV, with Apple executives repeatedly referring to the current set-top box as a "hobby" that the company would "keep pulling the string" on. In recent months, television appears to have been a bigger focus for Apple with Cook referring to it several times as an area of "intense interest" for Apple.