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  • SanDisk Professional Pro-Blade review: Fast, but an answer to a question nobody is asking

    Wow the M2 Max supports USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 at 20Gbps? That's a scoop right there, I haven't seen that reported anywhere! 

    Since I work in film editing I have a keen interest in how quickly I'm able to copy several terabytes of data between drives. Thanks for the info!
  • Meross launches its first Matter smart plug with 50% discount

    netrox said:
    Requires WiFi? No thanks. WiFi consumes a hundred times more power and it makes no sense to waste so much energy when Thread is up to a thousand times more power efficient. ... That's why I only get Thread devices from Eve and hope to see more competition for Thread-enabled devices. 
    For what it's worth, I've been using Meross HomeKit smart plugs over wifi for 2 years and have found them very reliable. For example my refrigerator is powered through a Meross plug, buried behind the fridge, surrounded by a cabinet, and it's never failed to respond to commands. I have it on a daily routine in the Home app to temporarily turn off the fridge for silence at bedtime, and turn it back on a couple hours later. (I live in a studio apartment and I'm sensitive to noise.) I was nervous at first that a failure would cause all my food to spoil, but it's never happened once.

    My setup is an Apple TV 4K on ethernet as the HomeKit hub, 2.4G and 5G wifi networks with the same SSID name, 425 ft2 studio apartment in a 14-story building of about 250 units.

    What Thread smart plugs are available if someone didn't want a wifi plug?
  • Flaw in macOS Archive Utility let attackers bypass Gatekeeper

    Paul_B said:
    This application called Console provides everything the Operating System is rendering - Their is no privacy - How many times do I have to post the same comment?
    Command-Space type Console.

     Hi Paul, the Console is a normal part of every operating system, it's a place where you can see your computer's "inner monologue" shall we say, the countless little status updates that all the background processes are generating behind the scenes. No need to worry about this, it's not a secret and it's not a security risk. Here's some articles about the Console that will hopefully put your mind at ease. :smile:
  • Satechi X3 Slim Keyboard review: A fantastic alternative to Apple's Magic Keyboard

    I appreciate that the Satechi X3 has the Fn key in the same place as the full-size Apple keyboards do. What I don't appreciate is how they replaced the Exposé and Launchpad shortcuts on F3 and F4 with App Switcher and Spotlight. I already instinctively use the Cmd+Tab and Cmd+Space shortcuts for those functions, I would never reach up to F4 to switch between apps. I missed the Exposé shortcut and there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to remap the shortcut keys on the Satechi. I think the Spotlight shortcut key literally sends Cmd+Space to the OS. 

    I bought the Satechi X3 but I had to return it because it didn’t work well with older Macs. On my Mac Pro 2012 I was not able to see or pair it over bluetooth, probably because it only has BT2.1. (It may be possible to upgrade an older Mac with a newer Bluetooth USB dongle, I didn’t try that.)

    I maybe could have lived with that if it worked well in wired mode, however the Satechi X3 was not recognized by the Mac Pro at all until after the OS had finished loading. So I couldn’t hold down the Option key to choose a boot disk on startup, for example, which is something I do often. Or reset the PRAM, or enter Recovery Mode, or any other startup keyboard shortcuts.

    When booted into Mac OS High Sierra with the X3 in wired mode, the OS said it didn’t recognize the keyboard layout and I had to type a few keys to correctly identify the keyboard. After that it worked fine.

    Also the backlight bleed around the edges of the keys was much brighter than the actual key label that’s supposed to be the thing that’s lit up. I also didn’t love the squishier key feel compared to my wired silver and white Apple keyboard. I did have some instances of repeated or missed letters. And the X3 had slightly larger and more spread out keys which felt a little less natural for my smallish hands.

    The incompatibility with older Macs was the main reason I had to return mine. On the other hand I got a used (discontinued) space gray Magic Keyboard which does work perfectly with my Mac Pro 2012, and solves all those other problems too. Although it lacks the multi-device and backlight features, it’s fundamentally a better Mac keyboard. Too bad, I wanted to like the Satechi. On first impression its build quality is very good and Apple-like.

  • The birth, life, death, and possible resurrection of the Thunderbolt eGPU in macOS

    I completely agree that it seems most likely that Apple Silicon Mac Pro will re-introduce AMD GPU support. 

    The reason for the Mac Pro’s existence is to offer totally mind-blowing capabilities at the highest possible tiers of performance. Money is no object, and neither is power consumption. The Mac Pro in its current form has to be WAY more powerful than both the current Intel Mac Pro and the next best M1 Mac, the Mac Studio, or else it can’t justify its existence. Mac Pro is not for consumers or prosumers - they are already covered with the current M1 lineup. None of Apple’s Mac Pro customers want to see the Mac Pro change from the familiar, supported, stable Intel + AMD architecture unless Apple Silicon offers them dramatic, undeniable benefits.

    The rumored 40-core dual-M1 Ultra CPU seems like it ticks that box on the CPU front, that should offer way better performance than the current Xeons. But on the GPU front, 128-core dual M1 Ultra GPUs would be pretty good, but definitely not equivalent or superior than the current Mac Pro’s highest possible GPU configs - two W6800X Duo MPX modules (4 GPUs!) or two W6900X GPUs. Two M1 Ultra GPUs might match one W6900X, but it wouldn’t beat TWO W6900X or FOUR W6800X. The new Mac Pro GPU story has to be at least as good, if not significantly better than what’s already available in the Intel Mac Pro.

    It’s possible Apple might have a trick up their sleeve with a “Lifuka” proprietary GPU that offers the mind-melting performance the current M1 Ultra GPU doesn’t quite offer. But given all the work Apple put into designing the MPX module system in 2018 and the ridiculously over-engineered MPX-sized Mac Pro chassis, when they knew M1 was right around the corner, I’d bet the GPU story will be that Mac Pro customers can recoup their investment in expensive MPX GPUs and simply move them into their new Apple Silicon Mac Pros. They’ll get to enjoy their current level of highest-end GPU power plus the added benefit of the built-in Afterburner encoders/decoders of M1 Ultra, and the 128-core dual M1 Ultra GPU augmenting the AMD MPX GPU. It’ll be like getting an additional W6900X worth of GPU power “for free.” And surely the base level Mac Pro configs will be fine with the M1 Ultra’s GPU alone, but I think they simply need to keep offering the MPX expansion option for those who truly need to max out GPU power. (As well as likely adding an expandable RAM option to match the current Pro’s 1.5TB capacity.)

    And yes, if that happens then eGPU support for the rest of us would be great too! Although I do wonder if Apple’s less robust Thunderbolt implementation on M1 is entirely up to the task…