Food for thought

10 Funny Things Siri Does

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There are many practical uses for the Speech Interpretation & Recognition Intelligence, dubbed “Siri.” Besides answering many of your everyday questions more aptly than most search engines with practical answers and tools for you to use, Siri also has a lot of fun answers to your less practical questions.  Like we did last week with Mac easter eggs, here is a list of a few “other” things Siri does:

  1. Recites Original Poetry: Yes, she can recite any poem you could ask for, but ask her to read you a haiku, and Siri gives you an original. It may sting a little, so be ready for a characteristic, Siri burn.
    Siri Easter Eggs
  2.  Sings: Go ahead, ask Siri: “What does a fox say?”
  3. Puts You Down: You wouldn’t think artificial intelligence had any reason to be rude, but the people working at Apple decided to add some crude humor to your phone’s personality. For example, ask Siri, “What is 0 divided by 0?” and be ready for a real life lesson on why you are lonely.
  4. Turns You Down: Despite her sass, Siri can be quite charming. If for some reason you become too attached to Siri, she won’t engage. Tell Siri you love her and she has a myriad of responses that are all essentially rejection.
  5. Predicts the future: Maybe she’s not right, but ask Siri when the world ends and she gives you her best answer. Sometimes she also divulges her sentimental side and offers an account of her hopes and dreams.
  6. Has a “Favorite Team”: Siri’s sports “flavor of the day” is typically a team not doing so well in any league. Ask Siri what her favorite team is, and be given stats of some pretty terrible teams at the time.Siri Easter Eggs 2
  7. Understands Love: Sometimes when you ask Siri about a boyfriend or love, she gives you her lengthy “two-cents” on dating. It’s a little bitter, but is well-learned and astute as far as artificial intelligence goes.
  8. Makes Jokes: We could dedicate an entire blog posting of Siri’s many hilarious responses, but our favorite is Siri’s answer to a request for her to play fart sounds….
  9. Promotes Apple/Mac: If you ask Siri what the best computer/phone is, you’re going to get pretty much the answer you expected. She reliably answers that Mac/ Apple is the best.
  10. Knows the Meaning of Life: It may not be the answer you want or expect, but we wouldn’t doubt that she knows what she’s talking about- not to her “face” anyway….

We hope you enjoy all of the “Easter Eggs” we love from Siri as much as we do. Although we at Mac Enthusiasts don’t repair your iPhone, we can take a look at your Mac computer! Stop by, call (800)448-1892, or contact us here if you need a little help from your friends at Mac Enthusiasts.

Which Mac Laptop Should You Get?

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Buying a computer, for anybody, is an important purchase. Especially when you buy a Mac Laptop (vs. PC), you are making an investment. With better quality parts and perfectly married software and hardware, Mac laptops generally last longer than other computers. We’ve broken down our top three Mac laptops and their best uses to help make your decision an easier one.
ME - MacBookOriginal MacBook: The original “white” MacBook (circa 2010) is a great choice for a “first Mac.” An original MacBook runs your basic, essential apps such as your internet browser, word programs, and apple apps. They have a very durable polycarbonate casing which can be good for younger users. At Mac Enthusiasts, the original MacBook is very fairly priced, and great for a sweet gift.
ME- MacBook AirMacBook Air: The MacBook air is a really great, lightweight Mac computer, for those looking for light to moderate usage. They easily run internet apps and light photo-editing programs. They have a great 4th generation processor for quick performance and with less power usage. It’s perfect for those who like to travel because they are very slim and easy to carry.
MacBook Air also features an HD Graphics 5000 processor.. In addition, they come with one Thunderbolt port (which you can learn more about in our previous blog on Thunderbolt) and two USB ports, to accommodate all of your devices.
ME - MacBook ProMacBook Pro: For those very serious Mac users, the Mac Pro is the ultimate Mac computer. It’s great for serious photo and video editing. It’s great for those who aim to make a living with their Mac. It is also a great model for collegiates, since it has very flexible usage and is highly upgradable.
MacBook Pros are lightning-fast because they feature a i7 Quad-Core Processor. They also possess a high-speed Thunderbolt port, and two USB 3.0 ports. As we’ve mentioned in our previous blog about USB 3.0, it is 10x faster than USB 2.0, which makes it even easier to use.
All of Mac Enthusiasts’ used Mac laptops are meticulously cared for by our Mac experts. Every Mac you get from Mac Enthusiasts comes with a 90-day warranty and opportunity to extend that by one or two years.
You can check out all of our individual selections for pre-loved Macs at our Webstore or on location at Mac Enthusiasts 10600 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, 90064. If you have any more questions for us, feel free to call us (800)448-1892 or ask us online here.

SSD vs. HDD for Your Mac Computer

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While there are many reasons to be in love with your Mac computer, one of our favorite reasons by far is the life expectancy. From the to the chip-based storage to their titanium casing: Mac computers are made to last. No computer is perfect though, and it’s a well-known solution to upgrade any computer that isn’t working to par with its expected performance. We’ve explained before when to upgrade RAM memory in a Mac; now, we’re here to cover some details needed in order to consider upgrading your Mac’s hard drive.
If you think it’s only to do with RAM (or working memory), you’re missing out on a large component of your computer’s behavior. Whilst memory is an extremely important part of your computer’s potential to run multiple programs at once, your hard drive is in control of writing and storing permanent data.
In the most basic sense, a HDD, or Hard Disk Drive, is a spinning disk drive. This mechanism is an older version of the hard drive. The newer version of the hard drive is the SSD, or Solid-state drive. It is has a motionless mechanism using NAND flash based memory.
The HDD is the most common type of hard drive to be found in a Mac computer. Its many moving parts are also more prone to failure. It’s built with a head attached to an arm that reads/writes onto a stack of spinning discs using magnetism. Its performance is measured in RPM, or the discs’ rotations per minute. How fast your hard drive can spin determines how fast your hard drive can read and write data.
The SSD is the newer, faster hard drive. As mentioned earlier, SSDs save information using NAND flash memory. This kind of technology is also used in USB drives or “flash” drives. Data is saved to directly to cells increasing the speed from HDD technology by 5x. Also, unlike with HDDs, memory stored on SSDs are non-volatile. This means that your information is stored even when your computer isn’t running.
If your computer currently has a HDD, an upgrade to an SSD will do wonders for your device’s performance. With a more direct process, SSDs are much faster. Apps will load within one or two bounces. Also, with less working parts, it is less likely to fail and your computer’s battery life will be longer because of the lower power consumption.
Which one does your Mac have?
Most older Macs come originally with HDD. MacBook Pro Retinas, most MacBook Airs, and certain iMac computers come with an SSD. It’s important to note that non-retina MacBook Pros have the traditional spinning drive. Also, the first generation of MacBook Airs came with either.
An alternative that Apple offers is something called a Fusion drive. They contain both a spinning drive and an SSD. With this combination, the OS and your documents get stored on the SSD. As you use your machine more often, it figures out to move files you never use, presumably less important items, to the spinning drive.
If you’re still unsure about what drive your computer has, you can find out under “System Information.” Search “System Information” in your finder, and under “Hardware,” “Storage,” and “Physical Drive Media Name,” it will state what type you have.
Ready to upgrade?
If you think you need to replace your hard drive to a newer SSD, you can bring your Mac into Mac Enthusiasts. We will look into your machine’s capacity and replace it for you with the right hard drive for your Mac. If you have any more questions about this topic feel free to call us at (800)448-1892 or drop by our store at 10600 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064.

What is USB 3.0 and Does My Mac Computer Have It?

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It’s 2015. Almost all of us by now know what a USB port is and does. More and more devices nowadays can be charged or powered through these ports. From providing us with easy data storage in thumb drives, to warming our coffee (yes, this is serious people), USB has become a staple in the way technology runs and improves our lives. Like most technology, USB has developed, changed, and greatly improved since its introduction in 1996. Despite our dependence on USB, many of us are still in the dark on what these improvements are and what they mean for the way we use technology. Thankfully, Mac Enthusiasts has put together our best answers to your USB 3.0 questions and beyond!
USB 3.0 Mac Enthusiasts

What are the differences between USB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0? Universal Serial Bus 1.1 was first developed as a universal means to replacing serial and parallel ports. These ports were once very large, and any device to be used through them required expansion cards. The growth of these ports really jumped in the late 90’s when most mice and keyboards came with this as an option to connect. In the year 2000, USB 2.0 was introduced as a much faster option (from 12mbps for USB 1.1. to 480 mbps for 2.0). It gained more traction as an actual universal option in the mid-to-late 2000’s. In 2008, USB 3.0 was introduced. Amongst other helpful updates from 2.0, USB 3.0 is ten times faster, working at speeds as fast as 5 Gigabytes.

USB 3.0 Mac Enthusiasts 2

What else does USB 3.0 offer? Unlike USB 2.0, USB 3.0 offers quick duplex data transfer. This means that over USB 3.0, information can be read and written at the same high speed simultaneously. Because USB 3.0 offers 80% more power than USB 2.0, you can power even more devices (up to 4) from a single port! That’s something to think about if you’re using it to charge your phone and warm your coffee. Last but not least, USB 3.0 has suspended device polling. USB 2.0 used to rely on active data transfers, usually draining power from any idle device. Now, with 3.0, you have better power management for inactive, connected devices.

Do I have USB 3.0 on my Mac computer? If you have a 2012 Mac or newer you are already working with USB 3.0 ports. If you want to learn more about it, or if you have an older Mac and see which ports apply, you can find out through “About This Mac” in the Apple menu. From there, select “System Report” or “System Profiler.” Click on “USB” on the left-hand side to reveal which ports are USB 3.0. From here,you can also see the speed capabilities of any device you have plugged in.

What does it mean if my port says Hi-Speed Bus, instead of SuperSpeed? If you have a device already plugged into your USB port while you’re looking at the specs on your USB ports, you may see that one is showing that it is a “USB 3.0 Hi-Speed Bus” while the other, unused port, shows it’s is a “USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Bus.” This means that you are running a USB 2.0 out of the other port. Both ports are the same, with the same capabilities, but if you run USB 2.0 out of a USB 3.0 port, you will only have the ability to use the Hi-Speed option.

USB 3.0 Mac Enthusiasts 3

I don’t have USB 3.0. How can I get it? If you’ve checked your Mac’s capabilities and realize you do not have a USB 3.0 port, but you’d like to have the capability, there are external USB 3.0 hubs available. You must be sure you are getting a device that actually upgrades USB 2.0 to 3.0 and doesn’t just create more ports. Some suggest, Thunderbolt 2 Express HD dock. You can also always consider upgrading your Mac laptop. Mac Enthusiasts sells refurbished Mac laptops with more dependability and better support. Check out our webstore for some of our offerings. Want to sell your Mac back to us? We can do that too. Fill out this form for a quote.

If you have any more questions about USB 3.0 capabilities, offerings, or any questions in general, we love to be available to help! Feel free to come in, call us at (800)448-1892, or contact us online here.

What Happens When You Put Mac Laptops to Sleep?

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To begin understanding what is going on during your Mac computer’s “sleep” process, you should know the three different kinds of “sleep” modes in Mac history. “Sleep” is the default mode for Mac desktop. During this process, the RAM remains on. Because nothing is copied to the hard drive, there is nothing to retrieve upon restart, making it as quick as possible. It uses much less energy in the process still than just being on. If you simply leave your MacBook unattended, for instance, this is the state it will go in. During “Hibernation” contents of RAM memory are copied to the hard drive before sleep and the RAM shuts off. This way, when the computer is started again, it must be reloaded completely. This used to be the default in older models (pre-2005). Finally, during “Safe Sleep”, a mixture of sleep and hibernation, the RAM contents are written to the hard drive as a safeguard, yet the RAM remains powered-on. When a computer is re-opened, the contents are all ready and loaded for the user. Since 2005, this has become the default for all Mac laptops.

Mac Laptops

Despite the differences in the above sleep mode states, the following still occurs to every Mac computer:

  • The processor setting is put into low-power state.
  • Video output stops and any currently-connected external display will lose connection.
  • Apple hard disks power down and some third-party SSDs may power down as well.

For Mac laptops, the following also occurs during any sleep mode:

  • The Ethernet port turns off,
  • Expansion card slots turn off
  • The built-in modem, if present, turns off
  • AirPort functions, if present, turn off
  • The optical media drive, if present, spins down
  • Audio input and output are disabled
  • Keyboard illumination (on applicable devices) shuts off
  • Ethernet port is disabled on most devices. NOTE: You can change your system settings to WOL (Wake on Lan) signal, if you prefer.
  • USB ports turn off and only respond to the power key on an external keyboard.
  • Bluetooth is disabled. NOTE: This can be changed in your Bluetooth system preferences, in which you can actually choose to make bluetooth devices power on your computer.

You can check which state of sleep your Mac laptop is in by going to Applications/ Utilities and typing “pmset -g | grep hibernatemode” into the terminal prompt. Your computer will respond with either hibernatemode 0, 1, 3, or 25. “0” is normal sleep, 1 is hibernate mode, 3 means safe sleep (most likely your response if you have a Mac laptop newer than a 2005), and 25 hibernate mode for portable Mac devices newer than 2005.
You can also use, and we suggest using, Mac energy saver preferences from the Apple Menu, under preferences, to adjust helpful energy settings. Here you can choose a faster or more appropriate length of time for your computer to fall asleep on power or battery. It is also here that you can change other helpful power settings such as “Enabling Power Nap,” allowing your computer to back up during sleep, and “Wake for Wi-Fi access.”
If you’re worried about the security of your laptop during safe sleep, you should know that it is about as guarded as it would be while it’s awake. One difference is that usually during sleep, there is no access to the network. Your computer should remain invisible during this state.
What Happens When You Put Mac Laptops to Sleep
Most Mac users with portable Macs newer than 2005, choose to leave their Mac always on, depending on closing the lid of their laptop or lock screen to put their device to sleep. This is a function that Mac was built for and this is why the settings for each sleep state, especially ones designed specifically for 2005 or newer devices were developed the way they were. Despite what state you preference is, it is always good to occasionally reboot your Mac. Typically it is best to do this when updating software. If you have any questions about the state of your Mac and power settings, feel free to call Mac Enthusiasts at (800)448-1892 or contact us online here.

Mac vs. PC

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It’s a debate that techies everywhere get very vocal about. Here at Mac Enthusiasts, we’re ready to join the debate of Mac vs PC, and I think you know what side we’re on. If you’ve somehow landed on our article and you’re somewhere in-between the choice of which kind of computer to buy next: PC or Mac, we’re here to help you make the right decision. Below are the best reasons to choose Mac over PC.

  • Better security: If you’ve been a part of this debate before, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of better security with a Mac. Although this has changed some as Apple has gained more press and a larger following, viruses are overwhelmingly more often still made to target Windows-based computers. Although it takes a user to contract a virus, it is still becoming increasingly easy to accidentally do so. Whether you use Windows or Mac, you should be careful, but MacOS users tend to have a lot less to worry about still to this day.
  • Pre-loaded software: No matter which system you use, you’re making an investment. Opening up a new machine, ready to work, many PC buyers will be disappointed. Most PC’s come as-is with very little pre-loaded software typically needed by users. Macs, on the other hand, come pre-loaded with iWork programs like numbers and pages, and iLife programs, with Garageband and iMovie. Even if you don’t need all of these programs for your own use, it’s hard not to see the value in gaining these with your system for no extra charge.
  • Consistency: If you try to think of all of the flubs that have come from different PC-based companies in the past (i.e. Dell, HP, Microsoft,) there are so many highs and lows, it’ll make your head spin. While Apple has never been perfect, their reputation of high performance over the years proceeds them. Buying the latest products from Apple is far less of a gamble than it can be from any of the many various PC makers and Microsoft.
  • Longevity: Yes, you’re probably going to pay more for a Mac computer, but it’s not a secret the Macs tend to last longer than PCs. Why is that? Apple is control of every part of the Mac making process. They can more meticulously marry the hardware they so carefully created with software that was designed to work with it, creating a more continuous experience for Mac users. Apple often also spends more on parts that last longer that they build themselves (i.e. their aluminum casing). PC parts are typically built by many different companies and, when put together, sometimes equal trouble.
  • Great trade-in value: Some people may scoff at the above, citing that with technology so quickly changing and upgrading, having a computer that lasts longer may not be a decision-making factor anymore. Although we may jump to replace our gadgets as new technology updates, we still have an opportunity to receive cash for the items we no longer want. When a PC is used, there’s far much less value to them than there is usually left in used Macs. If you’re someone who is looking to find the value of your used Mac in particular, fill out this form to get a quote from Mac Enthusiasts.
  • They are compatible with MacOS and Windows: Even if you’ve read so far and are stuck on PC because you’re a die-hard Microsoft fan, you can still get the reliability of Mac while also running Windows. In this way, you have more choice with a Mac computer.

  • Higher consumer ratings: Apple has time and time again been rated number one by consumer reports for product reliability. If that weren’t enough, they are also constantly rated number one for tech support post-purchase. That’s not to mention that their customer support center is based in the United States unlike many of their lesser-ranked competitors.

If you’ve decided you’re in and you’re just looking to find the best deal on a used Mac computer, check out our fleet of the best refurbished Mac computers here. Have any more questions on why you should choose Mac over PC? Come into our store, call us at (800)448-1892, or submit your questions online here.