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  • Switchers: Taking a bite of the Apple – Part 2

    Posted on March 16th, 2020 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    APPLE MAC

    By Nathan Parker

    With the end of free support for Windows 7, some users are weighing whether it might be a good time to jump to Apple’s Mac.

    If you’re thinking about making the switch but are new to Apple, we’ve provided a two-part quick guide to the Mac environment.

    In Part 1 (2020-03-09 AskWoody Plus Newsletter) we discussed the various types of Mac desktops and notebooks. We also included an overview on setting up a new Mac. In Part 2, we’ll examine the macOS desktop, provide a brief description of the Mac keyboard, and discuss system backup and security.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.11.0 (2020-03-16).

  • Switchers: Taking a bite of the Apple – Part 1

    Posted on March 9th, 2020 at 01:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    APPLE MAC

    By Nathan Parker

    With the end of free support for Windows 7, many users are looking at alternatives to Windows 10. And some are considering jumping to Apple’s Mac platform.

    This two-part series is an introduction to the world of Mac for those thinking about making the switch from a Windows PC. (A more-detailed verion of this article can be found in the AskWoody forum.)

    In this installment, we’ll cover the various types of Mac desktops and notebooks. We’ll also give tips for setting up a new Apple system. Part 2 will provide a general tour of the macOS operating system, discuss keyboard differences, and delve into Mac security concepts.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.10.0 (2020-03-09).

  • New AskWoody support for Apple products

    Posted on September 25th, 2019 at 11:10 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Nathan Parker has assembled, and PKCano has posted, a new AskWoody Knowledge Base article, AKB 2000014: Ongoing List of Apple Operating System Updates. It’ll keep you updated on the latest Apple patches, and our recommendations about installing or waiting on each. Given the recent problems, particularly with iOS13, it’s a must-read for anybody with an Apple product.

    Our approach to Apple is the same as our approach to Microsoft (and Google, too, for that matter): We calls ’em like we sees ’em. Don’t expect any pulled punches or marketing pablum.

    Thanks, folks!

    And while you’re at it, wander through the MacOS for Windows Wonks Forum. Nathan has added many interesting topics to the list.

  • Apple’s case of Microsoft-itis

    Posted on December 2nd, 2017 at 06:45 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you’ve been following along with the “root” patch debacle, it may warm your heart to know that Apple’s having the same kind of Keystone Kops patching experience all of us have grown to know and love.

    Andy Greenberg at Wired has an observation:

    When a company like Apple rushes out a software patch for a critical security bug, it deserves praise for protecting its customers quickly. Except, perhaps, when that patch is so rushed that it’s nearly as buggy as the code it was designed to fix…

    Apple’s fix for that problem has a serious glitch of its own. Those who had not yet upgraded their operating system from the original version of High Sierra, 10.13.0, to the most recent version, 10.13.1, but had downloaded the patch, say the “root” bug reappears when they install the most recent macOS system update. And worse, two of those Mac users say they’ve also tried re-installing Apple’s security patch after that upgrade, only to find that the “root” problem still persists until they reboot their computer, with no warning that a reboot is necessary.

    Have we reached the point where both Windows and macOS have become so big, bloated, and just plain old that they’re not worth the effort any more?

    Lest you feel smug with iOS, take in this bug notice from Sam Byford at The Verge:

    A bug in iOS 11.1.2 is causing iPhones to crash repeatedly once the clock hits 12.15am on December 2nd… iOS 11.2 has been released just hours after this issue was discovered, and includes a fix for this date bug.

    Tom Warren at The Verge has a succinct overview:

    • macOS High Sierra critical flaw with root admin access
    • macOS High Sierra update released, but breaks file sharing
    • iOS 11 crashing on some iPhones due to a date bug
    • macOS High Sierra fix not installing correctly on some systems
    • iOS 11.2 released early to fix iPhone crash bug

    Oy.

  • Win10 patch KB3200970 may cause MacOS network share failures

    Posted on November 23rd, 2016 at 05:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Noel Carboni sent me an interesting note. Apparently, one of the Nov 9 Win10 patches (most likely KB 3200970, the patch that brings version 1607 up to build 14393.447) resets a setting that can gum up MacOS network shares.

    Here’s Noel’s observation:

    I just came across this interesting post on msfn.org:

    http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/176212-windows-update-causing-mac-os-network-shares-failure/

    I haven’t verified it myself, as I don’t have the exact mix of systems he has online right now.  But if I’m interpreting it right, beyond a specific unwelcome side effect of applying Windows 10 updates, it catches Microsoft at resetting policy preferences a user had made, and in doing so breaking his network.

    Microsoft overriding user preferences is something serious that they seem to be doing more and more of lately – apparently in the name of “WaaS” – and it is something we just cannot accept!

    Having Microsoft manage people’s systems config may be a laudable goal, and may even benefit a lot of folks, but it has to be done right on EVERY system – not in an oversimplified way that makes things just stop working for some people!  The preferences were provided by Microsoft precisely because the software cannot work in all situations without user-chosen options…  Policies are the most carefully provided and managed options.

    And now we see a report of a security policy just being reset out of the blue?  Who at Microsoft made the decision to do that?  Who thinks user preferences are no longer the most important?

    As with so many technical things, the devil is in the details, and the details have to be gotten right every time, or the whole basis for WaaS falls apart.  The “we know better” vibe from Microsoft needs to be kept in the public consciousness and questioned, because apparently they don’t, at least not always.   This is of course especially true now, in light of Microsoft reducing users’ control of updates.

    Windows 10 cumulative updates have a long history of resetting things that they shouldn’t. Microsoft’s been working hard to find and fix the problems.

    Like Noel, I don’t have the right setup to verify the problem. By any chance, do you know of someone who does?