• apple,  mac mini,  refurbished

    Older Macs Are Still Useful

    2011 Apple Mac mini, source: iDropNews.com

    My new Mac Studio is here and I am setting it up with a Dell UltraSharp display while I am still waiting for the matching Studio Display to arrive. I’m also thinking about what I can use my iMac for as it’s second act. Maybe it will get setup in one of the kid’s rooms when they go back to school in the fall.

    With an update or two, my iMac still has a bit of life left in it if you don’t mind the discoloration around the edges of the display. Steve published a video published on his Mac84 YouTube channel back in March about using and older second hand Mac and running it as your main computer. In short, for not a lot of downsides, you can run an older computer and save a ton of money if you aren’t the kind of person who needs the latest and greatest. Steve was providing a counter-argument to Karen Haslam’s MacWorld UK piece titled Why you shouldn’t buy a second hand Mac.

    Earlier this year, I adopted a used 2011 Mac mini that I purchased from Free Geek Twin Cities. With shipping and some extra RAM, the who thing cost me about $200. So why would I buy an 11-year old Mac that can only run macOS High Sierra (v10.13.6) and spend money on new RAM? Well, I didn’t have one in my collection yet, but that’s not really a good reason.

    No, I decided to by a used Mac mini because I wanted a Mac that I could use a home server of sorts. New Apple Silicon Mac minis are too expensive. So are other used recent models (2014 – 2018). Originally, the starting price for the 2011 Mac mini was $599, according to the July 20, 2011 press release. I just wanted a machine that I could hang an hold hard drive off the back of serve out files and host a local copy of media files of old TV shows that I had on DVD in the Apple TV app on my iPad Pro. I also turned on the content caching feature to try to help out on software update days when I have to download OS updates and then install it on multiple devices in the house.

    My Mac mini runs really well and just sits quietly in the background until I need it. I did notice that occasionally it would drop off the network. I run this Mac without a keyboard or mouse, I access it over the network using Edovia Screens, which is one way I that I find that it’s off the network. That problem was easily fixed by using the Energy Saver control panel to schedule a daily reboot at 2:00am – a time that no one in the house would be using it. If you want more flexibility about when things happen on your Mac, and you don’t mind using the Terminal app’s Unix command line interface (CLU), can use the launcherd service (crontab on other Unix or Linux systems) to write and schedule all sorts of tasks to fit your needs. For me, I was happy with the Energy Saver control panel. (I used to manage production Linux database servers at work. While I can write shell scripts and schedule them with crontab, I just dont’ want the extra hassle on my home machines.)

    So, where does this leave us? Speaking personally, I’m happy with my adopted Mac mini. It’s small and easily lives inside my downstairs entertainment center along with an old Blue-ray player, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. It does what I need it to do, and it’s service life was extended meaning that it won’t end up in a landfill anytime soon.

    If you are looking for an inexpensive option for a computer for home use needs like surfing the web, sending email, and productivity documents, a used or refurbished machine is a great way to go.

    I have purchased and loved used hardware purchased directly from Apple, Gazelle, and Swappa. My two favorite places to buy used tech are Free Geek Twin Cities with their eBay store and BackMarket.

    Many computers have a long service life after they are no longer manufactured. Re-using old computers and gadgets is good for your wallet, helps the planet, and saves you money. That sounds like a good deal to me.

  • apple,  ipod,  ipod touch

    Apple Retires iPod touch, Bringing the iPod Line to a Close

    iPod touch 7th-generation, credit: Apple, Inc.

    With a loving tribute to the iPod touch, Apple gives their handheld music player line of products a well-deserved send off. In the Update posted to the Apple Newsroom page, Greg Joswiak is quoted as saying:

    “Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry — it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for spatial audio — there’s no better way to enjoy, discover, and experience music.”

    1st Gen iPod touch (L), 6th-Gen iPod touch (C), and the iPod 5th-Gen (R)

    Apple’s iPod line ran from October 2001 until May 2022. In the fall of 2007, Apple released an all screen iPod touch based on the iPhone that was released just three months earlier.

    When the original iPod was released, I was using a Diamond Rio PMP300. Back then, I was still using a Mac part time, but the focus of my work was moving quickly toward Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 Server. Having an MP3 player that could plug into a parallel port seemed like an advantage. The Rio may have been cheap, but the 2001 Mac-only iPod was a much more elegant product.

    Over the years, I had purchased several iPods, starting with 2003’s third-generation white iPod. I loved that thing. I took it everywhere with me. A couple of years later, my fifth generation (2005) white iPod with color screen and H.264 video play back, took over riding shotgun with my Palm Treo.

    It was 2007’s iPod touch – released just a few months after the original iPhone – that was a game changer. The first iPod touch brought the paradigm shifting awesomeness of iPhone to those of us who were not on AT&T/Cingular or simply wanted the iPhone without the phone. That fall, I packed my young family into the car, drove an hour away to the nearest Apple Store at the time, and bought one. As a consolation prize, my wife and I took the kids to the Rainforest Cafe that was in the same mall.

    The iPod touch and a 2006 while MacBook running an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, were the two devices that switched me back to being a Mac first home user. (I still have to use a Windows PC at work.)

    I loved and used my iPod touch all the way up to the fall of 2011 when I was able to finally purchase an iPhone 4S on Sprint (now merged with T-Mobile).

    My girls, now iPhone Pro users themselves, both received various iPods over the years, but it was their iPod touch models that were used the most.

    For me, these was something exciting about being always able to have your favorite music, movies, TV shows, and games with you all the time. If I could find a free Wi-Fi hotspot, being able to jump on the “real” Internet with Safari and check email with Apple Mail was just so much nicer that using Palm’s Blazer web browser and email client on my Treo.

    I’m glad that the iPod touch line ran for as long as it did. Today, in my opinion, the base iPad model takes over for the iPod touch with a much larger screen and a rich feature set. On hearing yesterday’s news that iPod touch was being discontinued, I almost insta-bought one of the 32GB blue and white iPod touch models. I wanted to add it to my iOS museum right next to my original first generation iPod touch. I still might.

    While it is nice to take this moment and think about iPod touch, and what the iPod line meant to me, I love my iPhone 13 Pro Max. It can do everything that the iPod touch could so and so much more. I will always have fond memories of the iPods that I used – just like I do for my Apple //e and Macintosh SE, but in the world of personal gadgets, we are always looking forward to the next great thing that will put a dent in the universe.

    The iPod touch seventh generation will be the final product in the iPod line. You can still buy one, starting at 32GB for $199, from Apple and authorized resellers while supplies last.

  • apple watch,  lifestyle,  refurbished

    Back Market Saves You Money and the Planet Too

    Earlier this week, Back Market – a refurbished electronics reseller – had an interesting ad campaign that really caught my attention. As part of their “Hack Market” advertising effort, Back Market, in essence, AirDrop spammed customer and demo devices inside Apple retail locations with a link to their website that promotes the purchase of used devices.

    Back Market’s purpose is to purchase used electronics, “renew” them, and then resell the used equipment at a substantial savings to customers. By promoting the purchase of used devices is that it keeps perfectly good devices from becoming e-waste and going into a landfill. In my opinion, this is a win-win for gadget fans. It allows you to get a recent device at a great price and helps the planet. But more on that a little bit later.

    According to Romain Dillet and Ingrid Lunden, writing for TechCrunch.com Back Market, based in France, is a marketplace for customers to sell their used electronics and offer them to customers who are looking to save money by purchasing used equipment at varying price points. The company has been established in Europe for several years. Buying used electronics extends the useful life of the device. This use, sell, reuse process has become known as the “circular economy.”

    In 2018, Back Market opened an online store front and began operations here in the US.
    They offer a wide range of electronics including laptops, gaming consoles, cameras, home appliances, and yes, Apple hardware. They even offer a student discount. That’s a pretty cool company if you ask me.

    I hadn’t heard of Back Market before this week. Previously, I had purchased used and refurbished devices either directly from Apple, Gazelle, or eBay. So, I watched the YouTube video that is part of the “Hack Market” campaign.

    Naturally, I had to check out their website and ended up buying something. Mission accomplished.

    I started by looking at refurbished iPads and MacBooks, but I really didn’t have a need for one. I thought that I might buy one and leave it at the office so I had a personal device that I could tether to my iPhone to check email, surf the web, and those sorts of things. But, after some thought, I could just do that on the iPhone 13 Pro Max that was already in my pocket. Then I took a look at renewed Apple Watch Series 6 stock. I immediately gravitated to the Series 6 44mm Stainless Steel Watch. I had been considering trading in my Series 6 44mm Aluminum Nike+ edition towards the purchase of a Series 7 45mm Stainless Steel model. But, wow, the new price even with the trade in was a bit steep given that I have a new Mac Studio and Studio Display on the way.

    Back Mark, on the other hand, was selling an Apple Watch Series 6 44mm Stainless Steel watch in excellent condition for $299 plus tax. The refurbished Stainless Watch was on sale for less than a new Series 7 Stainless with an Apple trade in for my current Aluminum 44mm. I thought about it for a couple of days, and I purchased the new-to-me Stainless on Thursday. I picked 3-day shipping. It arrived the next day from New York.

    The Watch that I received was, indeed, in excellent condition. Looking closely at the used Watch, I was not able to detect any scrapes, scuffs, dents, scratches, or knicks. Clearly this Watch’s previous owner took as much care of their gadget as I do.

    Back Market ships their devices is a standard bubble back mailer. Inside the mailer is cardboard box that has some bubble wrap that contained my Apple Watch, a knockoff Sport Band, charger, and power brick all in inexpensive plastic packing. My first impression was that there was a lot more plastic than I was expecting, but I didn’t think it was excessive. Conversely, Apple’s use of paper packaging is remarkable, however, their refurbished devices are more expensive. I’m chalking up Back Market’s packing methods up to overall operating cost reductions.

    I have purchased a lot of Apple bands over the years since the introduction of the original Watch. I also have at least two Apple Watch chargers and power adaptors. So, I set the Back Market accessories aside. I probably will bring the charger to the office incase either I or one of my coworkers forgets to charge their watch overnight.

    Overall, I’m pretty happy with my purchase and I would definitely buy more renewed electronics from them again in the future. The Back Market website was easy to use. I felt that the prices were reasonable, and as I get older, the idea of refurbishing and extending the service life of our electronics makes a lot of sense.

  • apple,  apple silicon,  m1 max

    I Bought a Mac Studio and Studio Display

    Mac Studio and Studio Display at my local Apple Store

    After my comin’ in hot Mac Studio rant last month, I finally broke down and ordered a Mac Studio and Studio Display.

    I’m still more than a little sore that Apple cancelled the 27-inch iMac rather than have it make the jump from Intel to M1 CPU. I really don’t like that I am going to be spending more than double of what I paid for my iMac. My 2015 iMac has been a great machine and I really love it. My M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro is also a fantastic machine and I was really looking forward to working on a large screened M1 iMac.

    By all accounts, the Mac Studio is going to be a great machine when it arrives in July. (My Studio Display arrives a few weeks earlier in late June.) The configuration I ordered is the base model M1 Max CPU with 10 CPU cores, 24 GPU cores, and 16 ANE cores. I bumped the RAM up to 64GB and the SSD up to 2GB.

    That’s a lot of machine. I can comfortably fit all of my stuff on a 2TB SSD because I’m doing it now on a 2TB Fusion Drive. With Mac Studio, I am doubling my RAM at 64GB from the 32GB on my iMac. It’s a $400 option, but I like to run Windows and Linux virtual machines and I think that 32GB is just too tight for all of the Mac software that I have running and have enough RAM left over to run one or two virtual machines. My main driver for the 64GB of RAM is the hope that Microsoft will offer a legally supported way to run Windows ARM on an M1 Mac.

    I really don’t like having to spend the money on Mac Studio and Studio Display. Don’t get me wrong; it is a great machine, and I will enjoy using it for years to come. But I’m a simple IT guy. I won’t be writing a single line of code in Xcode. I’m not a graphic artist making incredible artistic pieces. I’m not composing music or creating breath-taking cinematography. I want to tinker around with virtual machines to play with operating systems and databases. I want to run emulators. To have a legal way to use Windows and Windows Server, Visio and Project. (Microsoft, that’s your cue! It’s time to release the retail SKU for Windows on ARM.) In other works, what I really want is that mythical Mac that sits between the M1 iMac and Mac mini and the Mac Studio.

    Maybe, one day we will get there. The rumor mill suggests that the M2 Macs are on their way, possibly later this year. There’s also a larger screen iMac that is rumored for next year. But there will always be a new thing right around the corner.

    What I want is a machine that has enough techie without making me feel bad about buying it. But I know that I’m going to love it. Starting in July.

  • apple,  lifestyle

    Stay Foolish

    Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs overlooking Apple II computers

    In 1976 Apple Computer, Inc. – now officially Apple, Inc. – was founded on April 1 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.

    It seems fitting that Apple would get its start on April Fool’s Day given the “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish” quote that is often associated with the late Steve Jobs.

    As it just so happened to turn out, my career in the information technology field started today too. At 8:30am on April 1, 1996, I showed up to work, clutching an Apple PowerBook 100, not sure what to expect. Just like someone traveling down that country road Jobs spoke about on the back cover of the final issue of The Whole Earth Catalog.

    Source: VitoaBrusci.net

    In some small way, I’m glad that Apple and I can share this date. The Apple //e sparked my interest in computers and that interest grew into a satisfying career for my family and I.

    Stay Foolish, indeed.

  • apple,  classic mac os,  mac se,  vintage

    Mac SE Restoration Reassembly Video

    Mac SE motherboard, source: A. Grassia

    A few weeks ago, I learned of a retro computing community event called #MARCHintosh. I decided to turn my Macintosh SE restoration project into a #MARCHintosh2022 video. I had been toying around with the idea of making a video – something that is outside of my comfort zone – and post it. You can watch in on YouTube now.

    I think the hardest part about the restoration project was to get two working Sony 800k floppy disk drives. I needed to disassemble, clean, grease and lubricate the drives. Something that I have never done. If you are used to working inside a computer, you will be able to handle a floppy drive restoration project of your own. While I didn’t film any footage of my floppy restoration efforts, there are several good videos already on YouTube that do a much better job of explaining the entire process from start to finish.

    Overall, I am very happy with how my Mac SE restoration project went. I chose to reconfigure my Mac SE as a two floppy drive model. It is unclear to me if my second-hand SE came from the factory as a two floppy model or as a FD/HD model that more common in the late 1980s. New hard disk replacement options, including the SCSI2SD bridge board allowed me to install the double high two floppy drive cage into my Mac while still being able to tuck the SD card to SCSI bridgeboard away inside the case giving me the best of both worlds: an unusual dual floppy Mac SE with a SCSI “hard disk”. I was happy to remote the third-party Microtech faceplate and MFM hard disk. It has been interesting to relive what it was like to use System 6.0.8 as an operating system. So much is the same, and yet, so much is different at the same time. This has been a fun and nostalgic project to have worked on.

    I think by comparison, making the video was equally as challenging. Calling me an amateur YouTube video maker is a generous categorization of my skills. I am glad I made the video. I feel like each one is better than the last. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, but better use of the iPhone camera, microphones, lighting, and a good backdrop don’t hurt either. I’m sure that I will try making a few more shorter unboxing style videos and a follow up Apple //e video in the future.

  • accessories,  apple //e,  vintage

    Yellowstone Universal Disk Controller Now Available

    Big Mess O’ Wires (BMOW) has begun selling their new Apple II-series universal disk controller card, the Yellowstone Universal Disk Controller.

    Yellowstone is a new disk controller card that can be used by retro computing enthusiasts in their Apple II-series machines, including Apple and clone machines, with an array of 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch disk drives from the 1980s. Further, Yellowstone also supports BMOW’s own Floppy Emu disk emulator and naked Macintosh 800k and 1.44MB drives.

    Yellowstone is a universal disk controller card for Apple II computers. It supports nearly every type of Apple disk drive ever made, including standard 3.5-inch drives, 5.25-inch drives, smart drives like the Unidisk 3.5 and the BMOW Floppy Emu’s smartport hard disk, and even Macintosh 3.5-inch drives. Yellowstone combines the power of an Apple 3.5 Disk Controller Card, a standard 5.25-inch (Disk II) controller card, the Apple Liron controller, and more, all in a single card.

    I am excited to have received my Yellowstone card this week because I also received a second unenhanced Apple //e. (Have I mentioned that I have a deep fondness for my first Apple computer?) I plan on using the Yellowstone card in one of my //e’s as a way to get 3.5-inch disk drive support since finding new old stock 5.25-inch floppy disks is a bit difficult.

    I ended up ordering the “Everything Bundle” ($169). This bundle, as the name implies, includes the Yellowstone universal disk controller card ($139) and two DB-19 female disk adapters ($19/ea) so that I can connect two sets of drives to a single computer at a time.

    My end result could look something like an enhanced Apple //e with the DuoDrive and the BMOW Floppy Emu connected for easy image-to-floppy creation or to archive the original floppies in my small collection. Another configuration that I am looking forward to trying is connecting my Apple 5.25″ drive and a Macintosh 800k floppy drive to the same system to make a bootable floppy disk with a few different programs on it.

    And that is what makes these new cards for old computers so interesting – you can mix-n-match new and old parts to extend and customize the Apple II-line just like Woz intended.

  • apple,  imac,  mac studio,  studio display

    Apple Silently Kills the 27-Inch 5K iMac After Mac Studio Announcement

    Mac Studio and 27-inch Studio Display, source: apple.com

    Coming out of yesterday’s Peek Performance spring 2022 keynote, Apple has killed the 27-inch 5K iMac. The 27-inch 5K iMac is clearly a victim of the Apple Silicon CPU transition. None the less, I am angered by Apple’s decision to kill the very machine that I was hoping to buy this spring. I really like my 5K iMac. But my Late 2015 iMac, purchased in the spring of 2016, is starting to get a bit sluggish when I’m running virtual machines, or when I have a lot of apps open, and there is the discoloring around the edges of the screen that I can’t unsee.

    I went into yesterday’s event with an expectation that there would be a new M1-powered 27-inch iMac. I had an expectation of what I wanted to spend having gone so far as to add a healthy bump up in price for the ‘Apple Tax’.

    After watching keynote, I was left feeling that Apple had an agenda with Peek Performance event. That agenda was to release more M1-based Apple Silicon Macs, yes, but to also continue the relentless push to raise prices and profit margins.

    The new Mac Studio is the latest Apple Silicon Mac that comes in a 7.7-inch square that stands 3.7-inches tall. In essence, the Mac Studio is what you get when you cross a Mac mini with the 22-year-old Power Macintosh G4 Cube. The newest Mac is a tiny aluminum box that sits on your desk, tucked neatly under the new Studio Display. Naturally. The base model comes with a 10-core M1 Max CPU. On the high-end configuration, Mac Studio ships with a 20-core M1 Ultra rocket ship.

    The Studio Display, a name that I really like, is the Apple branded answer to the disaster that is the LG UltraFine 4K and 5K displays. Studio Display is an amazing 27-inch 5K Retina display featuring a 5120 x 2880 maximum screen resolution. It has a 12MP ultra-wide FaceTime camera that supports Center Stage. A six-speaker array that includes support for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos. All of this is powered by an A13 Bionic CPU built into the display.

    Let that sink in for a minute.

    The Studio Display is a 27-inch Retina display with an A13 Apple CPU and speaker array.

    Networking and storage have been moved off device to the Mac Studio computer.

    You need the computer and the display to get a large all-in-one computer.

    Are you getting it?

    This isn’t just one computing device. It’s two. If customers want to get what was once available in a single device two days ago, they now need to buy a $1,999 base model Mac Studio and a base model $1,599 Studio Display. Why charge $2,200 for a 27-inch 5K iMac when you can charge customers $3,800?

    Are you getting it?

    You need two devices now.

    It’s all about Tim Cook’s margins, baby!!

    In my opinion, you never buy the base models. You always dial the configuration tool up a notch or two to get the machine configuration that most customers should buy. When you add a 2TB SSD and 64GB of RAM to the base configuration, the total package price jumps up to an eye-popping $5,300! Thats more that double what I paid for my iMac in 2016.

    So that’s what has gotten me annoyed with Apple. With the 27-inch iMac now retired, there is no longer an inexpensive large screen all-in-one option. Oddly enough, a Cook Doctrine playbook favorite, keeping the older thing around with a lower price tag, wasn’t deployed this time around. I find this double-insulting since I can still buy a new Intel Core i5 Mac mini today after the M1 Mac mini went on sale in November 2020.

    The Mac Studio, I’m sure, will be a popular machine with people who can really use the processing power of M1 Max or M1 Ultra. If you place a pre-order for a Mac Studio today, it will arrive around May 20.

    For me specifically, an IT professional and Apple enthusiast, $5,300 feels a bit too expensive.

    But what about the “Plan B” option you were just talking about? As I mentioned back in January, without a replacement available, the options become messy top fill the hole in the Mac line up. This became apparent to me when I realized that the current M1 Mac mini tops out at 16GB of RAM. There are no option for a 32GB or 64GB Mac mini for running virtual machines on.

    Yes, there are at least two rumors floating around that suggest Apple will release a 27-inch iMac or iMac Pro in late 2022 or 2023. According to the latest ‘prediction’ from analyst leaker extraordinaire, Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will release a 27-inch iMac Pro.

    According to Ars Technica’s Andrew Cunningham, Apple has confirmed that the 27-inch iMac has “reached end of life”.

    Who are we supposed to believe? Apple PR or a supply chain leaker?

    Basing computer purchasing decisions on rumors and what might happen in the future is, in my opinion, a fool’s game that only sets the buyer up for future disappointment

    So, what will I end up doing?

    In all likelihood, I’ll hate myself when I buy a Mac Studio and Studio Display. The pair are both really cool and expensive all at the same time.

    Update:

    Mac Studio only ships with a power cord in the box, source: apple.com

    Just in case you miss it when you are hit with sticker shock, the Mac Studio doesn’t include a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad. The keyboard is another $199, while the Magic Mouse is $99 and the Magic Trackpad $149. Unbelievable.

  • apple,  archive,  filemaker pro,  software,  vintage

    Installing and Archiving FileMaker Pro 2.1v3

    I have been in the IT field for over 25 years now. Interestingly, one of the applications that I have used almost daily for that entire time is Claris FileMaker Pro. Over the years, the company name changed from Clairs to FileMaker and back to Claris again. The one constant is that FileMaker has always been FileMaker.

    As a help desk technician, I deployed and supported FileMaker Pro on Macintosh and Windows PCs. As a server admin, I deployed, managed, and upgraded FileMaker Server and the databases they contained.

    So, it is only natural that when restoring a Macintosh SE with System Software 6.0.8 installed, that FileMaker Pro 2.1v3 be installed to go along with it. The Disk Copy floppy disk images that I found were either of 1.4MB floppies – which my SE can’t read – or 800k floppies that did not work for one reason or another (i.e.: corruption or a bad image file).

    I ended up purchasing an original copy of FileMaker Pro 2.0v2 on a set of four 800kb floppy disks from eBay. Then, I found and downloaded the 2.1v3 updater from a University of Michigan software archive. With a working set of disks and the 2.1v3 updater in hand, I was able to install FileMaker on my little vintage pal. Using a Power Macintosh 7200/120 with a 1.4MB Apple SuperDrive, I created my own disk image archive in Disk Copy 4.3 and 6.3.3 formats suitable for use on vintage hardware like mine, or in a Classic 68k Mac emulator.

  • apple

    Peek Performance Wish Casting

    Earlier this week, Apple announced the Peek Performance spring product launch event scheduled for Tuesday, March 8. Happy #MARCHintosh2022 to us!

    I love watching these keynotes on my 5K iMac with the lights turned down low with a bowl of popcorn. Corny, I know.

    Clearly, Apple has gone full on Dad Jokes with the tease for this month’s event. But can we really infer what might be launched soon based on the trippy colors and the words “peek” and “performance”? I don’t really think so, but I’ll wish cast while we wait for the official product announcements.

    Accessories

    It is a pretty safe bet that we will get new iPhone cases and Watch bands in new spring-y pastel colors. Apple has been fairly clockwork with these semi-annual releases. They may not even get any screen time with Apple opting to just post the new products on the website and in stores backed with a press release in the Apple Newsroom.

    iPhone SE

    The iPhone SE, with updated internals, has also been heavily rumored for release later this month. The current iPhone SE was released back in 2020 and two years feels about right for a spec bump.

    But and iPhone and some accessories an Apple event does not make.

    Peek and Performance

    So, what’s up with “Peek” and “Performance”? I don’t expect that we will get a sneak peek at hardware that isn’t ready for launch. I am not expecting an AR/VR headset or the newly redesigned Mac Pro sporting a new M-series CPU. I think those things will be held back until this summer’s WWDC. Those items will be geared toward developers anyway.

    How about the redesigned 27-inch iMac? My Magic 8-Ball says, “Try again later.” If you want Apple to make a nice product at a particular price point, forget it. I expect Apple to slap “Pro” in the name and then jack up the price. The 24-inch iMac is the new consumer iMac, while the 27-inch, or larger, iMac will become the new iMac Pro and start somewhere in the $3,000 price range. I expect iMac Pro to be unveiled alongside the new Mac Pro later in the year.

    What I am wish casting “Peek” and “Performance” to hint at are new MacBook Air and iPad Air models running an M2 Apple Silicon CPU. That should give both models a nice speed boost and give Apple the opportunity to catch iPad Air up to the advances that iPad mini received last fall.

    Since we’re wish casting, is it too much to hope for that Apple finally releases an “affordable” 27 to 32-inch display that isn’t the Pro Display XDR and it’s $1,000 stand? I would happily pay $1,800 for a nice Apple display to go with a new MacBook Pro or M2-infused Mac mini. But we all know that won’t happen. If and when Apple releases a new stand along 27-inch display, I expect it to be $2,800 – $3,200. Still less than an XDR, but not exactly “affordable” considering what you will likely spend on a new 14-inch MacBook Pro.

    It is Marketing, After All

    If Apple’s plan was to lure me into watching Tuesday’s event, the get the point. I’ll be staying off the Internet as much as possible Tuesday until I am able to watch the event when I get home. The question is, after watching, will I be enticed to use my Apple Card? Checking back in with my Magic 8-Ball, all signs point to “Yes”.