The Future of Virtual Reality

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It’s easy to assume that virtual reality is only a recent occurrence. It seems VR has only recently came back to the public attention in the 80’s/90’s, but most do not know that VR has long been a challenge engineers have fought to conquer. Although some of the earliest known modern VR technology gaining popularity as early as the 1950’s, there’s evidence of virtual reality even as far back as the 1860’s. Paintings depicting a 360° view established the first historical evidence at an attempt of granting the viewer a “full experience” of a depicted environment.
ME- Virtual Reality
Many people may be skeptical of some of the latest re-introductions to virtual reality, because we’ve heard it all before. Items introduced in the 90’s, for instance Nintendo’s “Virtual Boy,” were a big flop. They showed that the advancement was a possibility, but the price was not practical enough for the masses to get on board. Well, like most technology, timing is everything.

Companies delving into the depths of virtual reality technology today are not only testing its’ limits, but they’re also tackling issues that had failed for VR before: availability and affordability. For example, Google’sME - Virtual Reality 2 virtual reality team has introduced the world to Google Cardboard, which is virtual reality googles that are literally made out of Cardboard. For now, Google Cardboard only works with Android (not surprising), but according to the company it has already been shipped to 5 million users in the U.S. In addition, Google is working to span the reach of VR overseas to Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The convenience of this new VR technology can’t be overlooked. Google Cardboard is being sold on the Google Store for just $15. That’s a lot cheaper than the headsets of the 90’s, which sold for close to $1,000.

Google isn’t the only tech company getting in the game. Facebook and Samsung have recently partnered to make Oculus, a VR headset that is tied to 350 apps, with a million users so far in April alone. While it costs around $600, its popularity and reach so far cannot be overlooked.

What are people spending so much time and money looking at? The most talked-about content spans everything from 360 experiences under the ocean to even virtual porn. These examples obviously become a huge concern for those who are a fan of the more old-fashioned “going out and doing things” approach. With new elements rumored to be added to the VR experience like touch and smell, soon we will live in a world where real life experiences will compete with the cheaper, safer, and more convenient virtual experiences of the 21st century.

WMac Enthusiasts on Virtual Realityhile much has been achieved to further the advances of VR technology, there are still some aspects that will need to catch up before virtual experiences are to compete with the real life thing. In addition to the full-sensed experience being underdeveloped, we’re still waiting on wireless capabilities to catch up with that of VR capabilities. For now, the best experiences for VR are wired. With movements required to bring the virtual world full-circle, it’s easy to see how a wired device can definitely limit the experience.

Many may wonder where Apple falls within this new technology race. Although their advances have not been public, it is not unknown that Apple has been investing and working on Virtual Reality even before Facebook came to the forefront with Oculus. In 2006, they filed a patent for a Head-Mounted Display that had design more compact than has been seen yet. While Apple is taking their time with their developments, we expect nothing but the best when their advancements are launched in the future.

It’s fair to say that, unlike successful VR endeavors of the past, this generation’s recent attempts at creating stellar content, affordable and widely-available headsets have been a success so far. As more money and time is put into creating better and more realistic forms, more will be able to be done from our couch. With endless applications, it’s safe to say, we’re excited to see how these endeavors turn out.

The Future of the Self Driving Car is Now

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There’s no technology more anticipated than that of the self driving car. Especially for Los Angelenos, driving ourselves to work and home every time alone can be a stressful and time-consuming process. When thinking of the time and energy that could be saves if your car could take over that burden for you, it can make one swoon! While the technology isn’t completely ready for us to completely let the wheel go, there are many companies working furiously to help that to become a reality. Other agencies are also working to keep up. ME self driving car
For now, there are no Federal laws pertaining to driverless cars. It’s up to each state to create their own laws pertaining to the licensing and operating of these futuristic vehicles. The state of California has been the most proactive, offering mandatory instructional classes for those wanting to obtain their “autonomous vehicle testing” permit.
In the course, one learns mostly how not to drive the car. There are special instructions of what to do in case of an emergency and such. This means the “driver” of a driverless car can not fully relax yet. Driverless cars operate almost selectively on the freeway. Once it reaches the end of a highway, or a construction zone (where they cannot drive), the passenger/ “driver” must be alert and take the wheel.
Federal Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, says his department is slated to release more clear guidance for manufacturers and model standards to help guide the beginning of the driverless era. The department intends to spend $4 billion dollars over the next 10 years to incentivize and test more autonomous vehicles.
Many companies are working toward getting their driverless products/ programs out there even earlier. Companies like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Tesla, and Google all have programs dedicated to the cause. Some cars have more driverless capabilities than others. Think of it, many cars on the road today already have the ability to detect other cars in the next lane, self-brake, and even self-park. In the next few years, Audi hopes to have technology out that will allow cars to at least take over heavy traffic “jams.” Although, no car is truly autonomous now, completely autonomous cars are projected to debut in 2019.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, compares the future of cars to that of the elevator, “They used to have elevator operators, and then we developed some simple circuitry to have elevators just come to the floor that you’re at, you just press the button. Nobody needs to operate the elevator. The car is just going to be like that.”ME - self driving car
Besides disrupting the way that individuals travel on their own, self-driving cars could have a major impact on shipping, long-distance travel, and even ride-sharing. Lyft, a main ride-sharing application succeeding right now, hopes to launch their own fleet of driverless taxis in at least one U.S. city by 2017. Although drivers will still be required in the driverless vehicle by law, the person driving your Lyft may not have to lift a finger at all someday. The company is working toward making their entire fleet of drivers obsolete in time.
Although the future seems a little bit scary, the future of an autonomous car has its obvious benefits. A large one being the elimination of human-based error. According to the european company KPMG, driverless cars are projected to save 2,500 lives within the next 15 years.
Although there are great strides being taken to get driverless cars on the road, it will be a very long time before we see them being commonplace. Musk predicts even if all cars became autonomous tomorrow, based on the number of cars there are in the world and at the rate it takes to manufacture them, it would still take 20 years to replace every car already on the road.
Many steps need to happen before that, outside of manufacturing, to get to that place, such as a maturation in technology, solid federal laws governing the operation of such vehicles, and, more practically, a dip in cost. Despite the obstacles, it’s exciting to be witness to such a historical change. Some of us may be the owners of some of the first completely autonomous cars within the next 10 years. That’s a future we’re looking forward to.

Become a Mac Pro with these 14 Mac Hacks

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Mac hardware and software are known for having more complex ways of providing services for its users. Many of us find these tools relatively easy to find and learn to use Although many of us do not think twice about them, in addition to most of the tools you do know, there are quite a few other Mac “Hacks” (or tools) that you could be taking advantage of. Make your life easier with these:

  1.  Create Online Signature: Many Mac users do not know that they can set a real signature in the program “Preview.” To begin, open “Preview” and go to Preferences> Signatures. Sign a piece of white paper neatly, and take a picture of it using the program’s camera. From there you can save a written signature to sign all of your online documents with.
    Mac Hacks to Make You a MacBook Pro
  2. Emoji Keyboard: Emojis have become an integral part of creative way we talk to each other nowadays. If you have a Mac you can still use these emojis while on the computer instead of just mobile. Anytime you wish to use your favorite emojis, just press “Control + Command + Space” to open the emoji keyboard. Note: if any emoji comes up as a square on your Mac, it will still show on mobile. This may be due to a delayed software upgrade on your Mac.
  3. Use Dictation: It’s “voice-to-text” for your computer. To start this, go to System Preferences> Dictation & Speech. Turn “Dictation” to “ON” and make sure that “Use Enhanced Dictation” is turned on as well. Any time you need to use dictation on your Mac, you can press the “Fn” (function) button twice quickly for it to begin.
  4. Use Special Characters: To put an accent on a letter or use any special characters, hold down the preferred/ root letter to have a special character menu pop up in your text.
  5. Record Your Screen: Using Quicktime, select the command “New Screen Recording.” After this action, make a selection of the part of the screen you need recorded (or the whole thing.)
    Mac Hacks to Make You a MacBook Pro
  6. Use Pop-Up Dictionary: If you want to quickly get more information referencing a word in your browser, select (or hover over) the word in question and do a three-finger tap on the trackpad.
  7. Start Mac Silently: This is one of the easier hacks. While starting up Mac with the original power button, simultaneously hold down your Mac’s mute button to keep the startup sound silent.
  8. Quick Delete: If you have so many files to delete at once, dragging them all to the “trash” can be a pain. Instead, when a file is selected, press “Command + Del” to send files automatically to the trash.
  9. “Purge”: If you have Mac OS 10.7 or higher, you can clear out some RAM space very quickly if you’re ever looking for a quick-fix to lack of memory. To do this, in your Terminal, type “Purge” to automatically free up 500 MB + of space. This should temporarily free up some memory for your ability to best use your favorite apps. If you’re curious to see what changes, you can keep open “Activity Monitor” (Apple Menu> Utilities> Activity Monitor. If you need to continue using “Purge” to free up space, you may need to consider upgrading your RAM.
    Mac Hacks to Make You a MacBook Pro
  10. Add Date to Menu Bar: Most Mac users automatically have the time in their Menu Bar. What most don’t know is that you can add the day of the week and/or calendar month & day in the same spot just by going to “Date & Time” under “System Preferences.” From there, you can check (and uncheck) the options to add “Show the day of the week” and “Show the day.”
  11. Get More Exact Volume & Brightness: Have you ever wished that your volume or brightness was a little louder/brighter (or quieter/softer) than the next option up or down? Now you can select even more specific levels of brightness and audio by holding down “Shift + Option” while increasing or decreasing brightness or volume on your Mac keyboard.
  12. Use PC “Delete” Function on Mac: Many PC to Mac users notice the change in function of the “delete” button on the keyboard. On PC, the “delete” button typically deletes from left-to-right. If you’d like to use that function again on Mac, it’s easy. Simply press the “Fn” (function) button to move the direction of the “Delete” from left-to-right.
    Mac Hacks to Make You a MacBook Pro
  13. Spotlight Calculator: When “searching” for something using Spotlight enter in any equation to have your math “question” solved. That one was easy.
  14. Get Exact Screenshots: While you may know some ways to select a screenshot on your Mac, there are three options available to get the perfect screenshot for any occasion. First, use “Shift + Command + 4” to pull up a crop tool to get a precise screenshot. Use “Shift + Command + 4 + Spacebar” to select a specific window you have open to take a screenshot. For a simple, complete screenshot, use: “Command + Shift + 3.”

At Mac Enthusiasts, we strive to make your life easier by helping you with all of your Mac needs. If you’re looking for more technical advice, feel free to check out our other blogs on Mac here. If you’re looking for more hands-on help, please come by our store at 10600 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064 or call (800)448-1892 to inquire further about our Apple repair, used Macs, Mac computer/laptop rentals, & sell your Mac services.

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.

10 Easter Eggs in Mac OS X

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Since the beginning of Apple history, Steve Jobs and his team in Cupertino have been secretly adding tons of fun prompts and games into hidden parts of Mac OS X. In celebration of the Easter holiday coming up, we’ve collected our favorite Mac “Easter Eggs” for you to enjoy:

  1. Find Famous Dates in History: To find a list of “famous dates in history,” open your “Terminal” (under Utilities). Enter this line of code into your Terminal window: cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history. From there, a list of important events on any given day of the year throughout history will pop up for your reference.
    Mac Easter Egg 2
  2. Play Snake, Tetris, or Pong: Also through Terminal (in Utilities) you can open up mini games hidden in your Mac computer. With your Terminal type in: emacs. From there, press “X” and the escape key at the same time. Enter in either “snake” “tetris” or “pong” depending on the game you want to play (without quotes) and you’ll have a fully functioning game open right then and there.
  3. Enable “Suck” Minimizing Effect: “Suck” is one of Mac’s hidden minimizing/ maximizing effects. It’s pretty simple, but if you’re looking to shake things up a bit, it’s pretty easy to put into effect. Open “Terminal” (in “Utilities”) and enter the prompt: defaults write mineffect -string suck. You will need to restart your “dock” to turn on this function now. This can be done by restarting your Mac or “quitting” your dock in “Activity Monitor.” Once you quit your dock, it will immediately restart, enabling the “Suck” effect when minimizing/ maximizing windows.
  4. Speak to a Psychotherapist: Under the same prompt as games (Utilities> Terminal> “emacs” > press “x” and the Esc key at the same time), you can enter the word “doctor” in as a command. A prompt as a “psychotherapist” will come up. The instructions say to enter “RET RET” after anything typed to enter text. It works better on older versions of Mac OS X. It also has been described as a caveman version of Siri. Besides that, we still appreciate it.
    Mac Easter Eggs
  5. Watch Star Wars: Open Terminal and enter “telnet” to start a screening of Star Wars in ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) art. We know, this is our favorite one too.
  6. Enable “Genie” Slow Motion Effect: If you hold down the shift button while minimizing (or maximizing) a window, it will open (or close) in slow motion.
  7. Bake Cookies: Okay, so your computer won’t bake cookies for you, but you can find Mrs. Field’s recipe on your Mac. Open your Terminal and enter “open /usr/share/emacs/22.1/etc/COOKIES.” After that point, you have to bake them yourself, but maybe someday…
    Mac Easter Eggs 3
  8. Play a game like “Mud”: Like most of the things listed, you can also open this interaction “game” through your terminal. Enter: emacs -batch -l dunnet. There are some simple instructions you can use to help you through the prompt given. “Take the shovel” & “go North” are a few of them. The game will guide you in a yes/no kind of fashion.If you type a command that doesn’t exist in the game, it will simply respond “I don’t understand that.”Type “Inventory” at any point to take a record of anything you’ve acquired through this game.  This one’s a real time killer.
  9. Donate to charity: Through Terminal, you can open “Charityware.” Type in: vi. The prompt will tell you ways to donate to needy children in Uganda.
  10. Find a Lord of the Rings timeline: Also in Terminal, type in “cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.lotr” for a list of dates, marking important events in the LOTR timelines. For other calendars, start a new Terminal prompt and enter “ls /usr/share/calendar” from there, you can replace “.lotr” in the first code with any of the listed items.

Besides providing us with countless (possible) hours of entertainment, finding and playing with these “Easter Eggs” is great because it shows that the Apple team had just as much fun creating our favorite Mac computers as we do playing with them! Have any other Mac OS X “Easter Eggs” to share? Please comment with them below!
We at Mac Enthusiasts not only write really cool blog posts about your Mac, we also do Apple repair, sell, buy, & rent Mac computers as well. Check out out location at 10600 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064, call us at (800)448-1892, or contact us online for more information about all of our services.

Using A Multi-Button Mouse with Your Mac Computer

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It’s a common myth that Apple does not support mice with double-click function. The surprising part of that is that Apple has been supporting the multi-button function for mice since 2008. This has been drawn out by the fact that Apple’s default setting makes any mouse function with a single-button usage. We’re going to explain how to take your Magic Mouse, Mighty Mouse, or generic mouse and turn it into a multi-button functioning mouse. If your mouse comes with OS X drivers, you’ll want to follow those instructions to enable Apple features.
ME Magic Mouse
Magic Mouse
The Magic Mouse can be adapted for a second click with an extremely simple process. Begin by going to Apple Menu> System Preferences> Mouse. From here, you’ll want to open the “Point & Click” tab and select the checkbox next to “Secondary Click” (“What? That’s always been there?” Yes). From here, you can click drop down a menu that lets you select which side will be the secondary click.

ME - Mighty Mouse

Mighty Mouse
Start by opening Apple Menu> System Preferences> Mouse (& Keyboard). If necessary, in the preference pane, select mouse. There will be a picture representing your Mighty Mouse. Each button on your mouse has a drop down menu. One can be designated as the “Primary Click” and one as “Secondary Click.” As we said before, it is default for both of them to be assigned as “Primary Click.”
Generic Mouse
A generic mouse can be setup for multi-button function very similarly to the others. Start by opening Apple Menu> System Preferences> Mouse (& Keyboard)> Mouse (If Necessary). You will see an option to make either the right or left button the “Primary Click.” Whichever side is not selected will be assigned as the “Secondary Click.”

No Mouse or Single-Button Mouse
If you hadn’t already figured out, you can use the “Secondary Click” function by holding down the Ctrl button when using your “Primary Click.”
Viola! You have a fully-functioning mouse. If you’re interested and in the market for a new mouse, check out our Mac accessories. Any questions? Feel free to come into our store, call us at (800)448-1892, or submit them online here.

Customizing Spotlight Search Settings with El Capitan

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Appearing for the first time for OS 10.4 (Tiger) in 2005, Spotlight search has easily become one of Mac users’ most convenient tools. Although it is already such a great tool, some users don’t know that there are more features that first meet the eye. With El Capitan’s release last year, even more convenient features were added too.

To start, here are a few keyboard shortcuts to make your usage of Spotlight even easier:

Command+Spacebar opens Spotlight.

Command+L goes straight to the dictionary result.

Command+B opens a search for the term you’ve entered in your default browser and default search engine.

Command+Backspace clears the text in the Spotlight search bar.

ME - Customizing Spotlight

Search Results Pane

To open settings for Searchlight, go to the Apple Menu> System Preferences> Searchlight. In the “Search Results” pane, you can add categories you’d like Searchlight to search or deselect ones you’re not interested in.

The default setting on Spotlight includes suggestions from Bing which is based on the queries you enter in. If you wish for those to go away or just don’t like your information sent to Apple, you can deselect “Allow Spotlight Suggestions in Spotlight and Look Up” and “Bing Web Searches” to turn that setting off. This will keep searches exclusively on your Mac and dictionary.

As an extra privacy note, location services for Spotlight are also in Mac Menu> System Preferences> Security & Privacy preferences. This will stop sending your location to Apple when you search through Spotlight.

Privacy Pane

The settings from the privacy pane are best for those of us using a shared Mac or those who like to travel with our computers a lot. This lets you keep certain folders private from search, so even if someone DOES get ahold of your lapto, they won’t be able to use search to find anything you note here.
You can click the “Add” button (the + sign) to browse and add files or folders you’d wish to keep private from search. You can also drag and drop items here to add them more quickly. If you want to remove anything you’ve added, click on the item you want removed and then click the “remove” (-) button.

ME - Customizing Spotlight

Special Features for Search

In addition to finding any document in your computer by date in files listed, you can also search documents in time by typing in more casual language. For example, you can search the terms, “photos I edited yesterday” or “document I viewed last Tuesday.” These search commands will prompt similar items and can more quickly bring up exactly what you’re looking for.

In addition to searching documents of your own using Spotlight, you can also search for the weather, stock results, sports, and popular web videos! Just type in the keywords into Spotlight and web results for your requests will pop up right there for you. Feel free to also use natural language for those search inquiries as well!

Still using an older OS X and considering El Capitan? Read our blog about the best new features in El Capitan here. Have any questions for us regarding your Mac computer? Come to our store, call us at (800)448-1892, or contact us online here.


Which Mac Laptop Should You Get?

By | Food for thought | No Comments

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

By | Food for thought | 2 Comments

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.

4 Ways to Fix a Failing Mac App

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Mac App Fail

We’ve all dealt with the pesky error of an App stalling to launch or just simply not doing anything when we click it to open. We all probably have our own ways of going about trying to fix it. Most of the time it works, but, for those times it doesn’t, Mac Enthusiasts has put together a list of steps that can help:

  1. “Quit process” in activity monitor: This is a quick and easy way to suspend a simple error and try again. This usually will fix everything. In “Finder” go to Applications> Utilities> Activity Monitor. Go through the processes and find the one associated with your app that will not open. Select it and click “Quit Process.” If this does not fix the problem, you can move on to the next step.
  2. Correct disk permissions error: All of your permissions are automatically generated by your computer. You can access them to repair one, if needed. Before you use the “Repair Disk Permissions” option, you should know that it can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Also, you will want to backup your hard drive externally or with Time Machine before you begin. Once you are ready to repair your permissions, go to Finder> Applications> Utilities> Disk Utility. Select your hard drive and the “First Aid” pane at the top. Select the box with “Show Details,” and click “Repair Disk.” If any errors appear, keep running “Repair Disk” until a message comes up saying, “The volume xxx appears to be ok.” If the application does not run after this process, try the next step.
  3. Delete appropriate .plist files: There may be errors in the system preferences file of the certain program you’re having difficulty with. You can delete this folder, relaunch the app, and reset your preferences. You can do this by right clicking on “Finder” and clicking “Go to Folder.” Put in “~/Library/Preferences,” and click “Go.” A list of all of the preferences folders for each program will come up. The files will be named like: “,” Find the one for the program you can’t open and drag it to the trash. Once you open the app again, be sure to add your new preferences into the app. If this does not work, try the last step.
  4. Re-install the application: If all else fails, it may be time to delete and re-install. Many applications can simply be deleted by dragging the application into the trash. If an app has its own installer, it’s recommended to use their uninstaller to completely remove all of the app’s data. When re-installing any app, try to get it again from its most official source, namely the App store, to avoid downloading any corrupted software.


If you continue to have any problems past this point, it may be time to bring your computer into Mac Enthusiasts for some help. Our team of Mac experts will be able to fix any issues you may be having. You can also call us with any questions (800)448-1892, or contact us online here.