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Tuesday
Mar072017

Whole Home Audio On the CHEAP!

I’ve written about this topic before, but recent events and speculation about Apple’s imminent abandonment of its Airport line of Wi-Fi products has prompted me to re-iterate. Yes, the scuttlebutt is Apple plans to discontinue development of its AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express and Time Capsule products. That’s too bad. I’ve always found them all to be very reliable with specs good enough for most users. I’ve routinely recommended them to my “non-geek” friends for their reliability, security and ease-of-use. AirPorts aren’t the fastest Wi-Fi devices for sure, but how much speed does the average user need to surf and check email? The current model AirPort Extreme and Time Capsules are equipped with 802.11 a/c, dual-band technology capable of wireless speeds exceeding a gigabit and their range is good enough to cover the average “3-2-2” suburban home. A single Extreme or Time Capsule is enough to provide wireless networking to a couple of computers while simultaneously streaming HD video to one or two AppleTVs.

The focus of this piece, however, is the Extreme’s little brother, the AirPort Express.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb242017

AirPods……………..YES!

OK, now that everyone and their brother, sister, first, second and third cousin has reviewed Apple’s latest electronic miracle, it’s my turn. You know the MacTexan. My motto (if I had a motto) is “Information you need, whenever I get around to it. (but worth waiting for)” In short, the title of this post tells you everything the MacTexan wants you to know. Were the AirPods worth the six-week wait and $160?

I’d do it all over again. It isn’t because the AirPods sound so tremendous. They don’t. It isn’t because AirPods have super-long battery life. They don’t. It isn’t because AirPods are the coolest looking earbuds around. They aren’t. If I lost my AirPods, I would go through the wait and expense all over again because they are the easiest and handiest earbuds I’ve ever used.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb222017

Turns Out, FireWire Ain’t Dead Yet

About six years ago I bought a first-class audio recording setup. I started with a Heil PR40 mic complete with a Heil desk boom and shock mount. I ran it through an Alesis iO2 USB interface to my late 2009 27” iMac running a retail copy of Logic Pro that I paid entirely too much for as it turns out. I initially tried the free version of Cubase that came with the iO2, but was never quite happy with either. Don’t get me wrong, the iO2 is a solid piece of kit, but one trip to a friend’s house equipped with an Apogee Duet and I wanted to go straight home and put my iO2 on Ebay. Apogee really does make the absolute best audio gear for the Mac. The DAC is superior with almost latency-free performance even at 96 kHz sample rate and the mic pre is the warmest, most natural I’ve ever heard. It, coupled with the Heil PR40 is the absolute best podcasting setup to be had at any price. My setup cost right at $1000. (Apogee Duet: $500, Heil PR40 with shockmount: $350, Heil desk mount mic boom: $100, XLR cables, pop filter, misc.: $50)

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb132017

Linux has FINALLY Grown Up

Before you start wondering WTF the MacTexan is doing talking about Linux, let me ask you a couple of questions first. 

  • Do you have an old computer lying around that’s just too slow or otherwise too out of date to run Windows?
  • Have you ever questioned why you keep forking money over to Microsoft?
  • Would you like a very stable computer that doesn’t require antivirus software and who’s operating system includes everything you need right out of the box?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions then I highly recommend you download your Linux distro of choice and get busy. In a couple of hours, you’ll have a mature, polished operating system installed complete with a photo editor, music and movie player and a complete office suite.

A couple years ago I wouldn’t make that recommendation, but there are now three or four Linux distributions I would feel comfortable installing for my parents. They are that stable and that user-friendly. OK, OK. Why does the MacTexan recommend Linux? Three reasons:

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan202017

The BEST Mouse on Earth is ON SALE!

Get one of these:

Logitech MX Master

Do not pass GO. Do not save your $65. Go to Amazon.com right now and buy this mouse.

You won't be sorry. I've been raving about this gear since July, 2015. I paid list price ($99) back then and wasn't sorry I did. If you need/want a new mouse and don't buy this one you either 1.) don't have the money or 2.) have no use for the most feature-rich, accurate, comfortable mouse available or 3.) are the biggest knucklehead imaginable. (Can't be #3. You're smart enough to read MacTexan.com.)

No questions. Just do it.