Charles Moore: The ‘Book Mystique

Charles Moore is a freelance writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been writing about the Mac for over 20 years with a special emphasis on PowerBooks, MacBooks, and iPads. His column, The ‘Book Mystique, has been a weekly feature on MacPrices.net since 2013. Charles wrote for our (now defunct) sister site PowerBook Central for a number of years before that.


The 11 most significant Apple PowerBooks and iBooks

Picking the ten most desirable from the ever-growing list of Apple notebook computers is always shooting at a moving target. It’s also necessarily something of an exercise in subjective evaluation, and dependent on what criteria one applies. For instance, if the measure was based purely on raw computing power or ...
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Great PowerBooks

by Charles Moore The world of literature has its Great Books, sometimes referred to as the Western Canon. Apple Computer - now just Apple Inc. - has for the past 16 years produced another sort of 'Book, prefixed by "Power," "i," and "Mac," and some of them are pretty great ...
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Charles Moore: Is AppleCare Worth The Cost?

TidBits' Jeff Carlson wrote recently: “Every time I buy a new Mac laptop, I question whether I should purchase AppleCare to extend the warranty from one year to three years. My MacBook Pro cost $2,800 (with tax and shipping) in November 2006, so laying out another $300 for AppleCare - ...
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Charles Moore 2008: My Ideal Laptop Would Be Easy To Fix

Originally published in 2008 by Charles Moore. As much as I love the Mac operating system, and admire the coolness and elegance of Mac hardware, Apple’s often difficult-to-service designs and user-unfriendly service policies do not enchant me. If I could design my ideal computer it would be a portable for ...
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iOS 11: Not A Happy Camper – The ‘Book Mystique

I ended up installing the iOS 11 upgrade sooner than I had planned, and thus far I dislike it intensely. My iPad Air 2 feels clunkier and less responsive with the new OS, especially to gesture input, and none of the new features so far have enchanted me. The reason ...
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Could 32-Bit App Support Termination Be A Factor In Slower iOS 11 Uptake? – The ‘Book Mystique

According to market analyst firm Localytics, the take-up rate for iOS 11, which as released September 19, is slightly slower than it was for iOS 10 last year. The operative qualifier here is "slightly," and I doubt that Apple is worried, but there are likely several reasons for slower adoption ...
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Steve Jobs’ Democratization Of The Smartphone Changed The World

Can it be only ten years since Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone and changed everything? Jobs and Apple didn't invent the smartphone. IBM designed a primitive one called SIMON in 1992, and Research In Motion Limited (now BlackBerry Limited) began popularizing its secure smartphone messaging network with ...
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Are Your iPhone and iPad Apps 64-Bit Ready For iOS 11? – The ‘Book Mystique

Something everyone should do before upgrading their iPhone or iPad to iOS 11 is to check whether you have any mission critical 32-bit apps on your device. Apple has been cautioning since its 64-bit A7 system on chip (SoC) debuted in the iPhone 5s in September 2013 that termination of ...
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Low Cost Subscription Graphics App Alternatives To Creative Cloud – The ‘Book Mystique

I'm not a fan of the subscription software model, I don't use any subscription apps. Used to be that you paid your license fee and the app was yours to use indefinitely, or until one opted for a paid version upgrade, usually at a reports reasonable price. However there's an ...
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New iOS 11 Productivity Features Welcome But Where’s The Mouse Driver? – The ‘Book Mystique

The iOS community is in late summer holding mode awaiting the September arrival of the iPhone 8 and iOS 11. iOS 11 public betas have been available for months -- number six was released this week -- but I value stability on my iPad, which I use for production, and ...
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Photographer Explains Choosing Dell Laptop Over MacBook Pro For Photo And Video Editing – The ‘Book Mystique

Last week photographer and video blogger Manny Ortiz posted a video explaining the five most important reasons he settled on a Dell XPS 15 laptop instead of a MacBook Pro for his latest portable photo and video editing workhorse. Ortiz is not a Mac basher. He emphasizes that he has ...
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Apple Tackles Distracted Driving With iOS 11 – The ‘Book Mystique

One of the most important new features coming in iOS 11 is Do Not Disturb while driving, intended to help drivers stay more focused on the road. With Do Not Disturb while driving, your iPhone can detect when you may be driving and automatically silence notifications to keep the screen ...
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Why Is Apple So Stubbornly Against Mouse Input For The iPad? – The ‘Book Mystique

What does Apple have against mice? OK, that's a rhetorical question. I'm referring to Apple's continued refusal to support mouse pointing and clicking input on the iPad, despite widespread appeals from users that they give in. Apple, which ironically is the company that popularized use of computer mice back in ...
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Will iPad Running iOS 11 Be The ‘Ute’ Of The Personal Computing World? – The ‘Book Mystique

Steve Jobs' analogy comparing iPads and PCs to cars and trucks respectively is seven years old but still stimulates discussion and debate. Appearing on an All Things D panel in 2010 shortly after the iPad was released, Jobs observed: "When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because ...
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Three Off-The-Beaten-Track iOS Apps That Deserve Wider Use

One of the great things about using iPads and iPhones is the vast selection of apps available for most anything you want or need to do. The three outlined in this article have been in my core app suite since my iPad 2 days, and have stood the test of ...
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Will iOS 11 Features Bring Professional Grade Productivity To The iPad Pro? – The ‘Book Mystique

The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro with its larger display and prodigious A10X six-core CPU and 12-core GPU power is an appropriate and welcome addition to the iPad line, more clearly differentiating the Pro machine from the $329 entry level 9.7-inch iPad than did the now discontinued 9.7-inch iPad Pro. However ...
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Will A New 10.5-Inch Display Size Reboot iPad Pro Sales? – The ‘Book Mystique

Apparently, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a go. The Taiwanese Apple watcher site recently reported that its anonymous sources inside the upstream supply chain say mass production of the new iPad began in March-April, and shipping volumes have been increasing, expected to hit 600,000 units monthly by July. Apple has ...
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A Kaby Lake Processor Upgrade For The MacBook Air After All? – The ‘Book Mystique

Now they tell me! Well, actually Apple hasn't said anything official on the subject, but last week Bloomberg News's Mark Gurman and Alex Webb cited unnamed "people familiar with the matter" suggesting that a round of Apple notebook processor upgrades to Intel "Kaby Lake" Core silicon may include a speed ...
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Clean Writer 3 Plain Text Editor For iPad – The ‘Book Mystique Review

A fundamental requirement for using an iPad as a writing platform is an app to write in. Happily there are many available, from simple text notepads to advanced word processors like Microsoft Word and Apple's own Pages, and of course there is Google Docs. I work mainly in plain text, ...
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Microsoft Surface Laptop A Logical MacBook Air Upgrade? – The ‘Book Mystique

As a Mac user and loyalist for a quarter century, it irks and saddens me in no small measure that all new laptop system hardware that I've found appealing over the past couple of years or so has been in the Windows PC world, such as the Dell XPS 13 ...
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Full Size Zero-Travel Touch Keyboard Concept For MacBook Pro Not So Far-Fetched – The ‘Book Mystique

I'm no fan of the 2016 MacBook Pro's Touch Bar or its second generation but still clunky and compromised butterfly switch keyboard. The Touch Bar is an answer to a question nobody asked, and many find typing on the ultrathin keyboard uncomfortable. However, a third-party design concept for a 2018 ...
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Digital Paper Tablet Offers Distraction Free Reading And Writing Environment – The ‘Book Mystique

I typically spend 8-10 hours a day gazing at the screens in my laptops and iPad, as tools of my livelihood, I don't as a rule use electronic devices for pleasure reading. I subscribe to a daily newspaper and several monthly magazines, and reading books on screen holds no appeal ...
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Will Apple Make An iOS Touchscreen Notebook? – The ‘Book Mystique

As I noted here last week, the editors of LAPTOP Mag dropped Apple to a fifth-place tie in their annual "Best & Worst Laptop Brands" survey for 2017 from the top laptop spot its MacBook notebooks had held since the survey was inaugurated in 2010. The main reason for the ...
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Apple Notebook Popularity Tanks With Mediocre Late 2016 MacBook Pros – The ‘Book Mystique

With the release of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar last fall, Apple confirmed that it has lost whatever interest it may once have had in making a laptop supremacy notebook computer for power and productivity users. The proverbial writing on the wall has been there for some time, back ...
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Apple’s $329 iPad Offers Superb Value For Non Power Users – The ‘Book Mystique

If I was still using an iPad older than my iPad Air 2, I would be irresistibly tempted to trade up to one of the new $329.00 2017 iPads -- AKA iPad 5. Even here in Canada where the selling price is 449 beleaguered seventy-five cent Canabucks. Photo Courtesy Apple ...
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Did You Back Up Your Data On World Backup Day? ‘Book Mystique Extra

March 31 was World Backup Day, but if losing your electronically archived data would cause you major difficulty or inconvenience, every day should be World Backup Day, so it's never too late to do a backup, or preferably redundant backups stored in different media. Banefully, according to a NationalToday.com ...
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Is Apple Planning An iPhone Based Modular Docking System To Replace Laptops And Tablets? – The ‘Book Mystique

Today's more powerful and larger-screened smartphones and phablets are becoming the default anchor computing device for more and more users computing devices, but even a five or six inch panel is not really adequate as a platform for getting serious work done if there's a larger-screen alternative at hand. But ...
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Is A New 10.5-inch iPad Still Coming In April? – The ‘Book Mystique Extra

There was no sign or mention of a long-rumored and much anticipated 10.5-inch iPad Pro in Apple's product announcements last week. The exciting iPad news was release of an upgraded iPad Air with a faster processor and a brighter display with the high-value starting price of $329 which is a ...
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Mac And iOS Device Quality Keeps Us Coming Back – The ‘Book Mystique

There are lots of reasons why Apple users keep coming back. High among them is that the old 20th Century Mac slogan "It Just Works" has always pretty much rung true and still does. Another, not unrelated factor is the high standard of design, materials, and build quality we've come ...
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Apple Acknowledges iPad Pro Not Fully Adequate Mac Replacement -The ‘Book Mystique

After pitching the iPad Pro last year as a laptop replacement device and Apple marqueeing it as a "Super Computer" in a web page blurb, last week Apple CEO Tim Cook finally conceded that the professional iPad is not quite there yet as full powered and featured production workflow tool ...
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So Long TextWrangler, Hello BBEdit – The ‘Book Mystique Extra

For the past dozen years, one of the best deals in Mac productivity software has been Bare Bones Software'a TextWrangler text editor app. Originally released in 2003 as a cheaper commercial software alternative to Bare Bones's powerful professional text editor BBEdit, two years later the company made TexrWrangler freeware, replacing ...
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“Sealed” Apple Notebooks Demand More Battery Stewardship Attention – The ‘Book Mystique

In most aspects, my two MacBook Airs (one a mid-2013 revision and the other the current early-2015 refresh spec.) are the best computers I've owned over the past 25 years. The only major dissatisfaction I have with them is that there is no provision for hardware upgrading or repair -- ...
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Apple’s New iPad Ads Don’t Address Pro Users’ Real Needs – The ‘Book Mystique

Apple launched a new tranche of iPad Pro TV ads last week addressing actual queries and challenges from the Twitterverse, albeit using actors for the visuals. That's great. As an iPad fan and heavy user, I'm delighted to see some love being lavished on Apple's slate, alongside the much more ...
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Does Apple Have ARM Chip Powered Macs In Its Pipeline? – The Book Mystique

Bloomberg Technology's Mark Gurman and Ian King recently posted a report suggesting that the ARM technology Apple T-1 chip grafted inn from the Apple Watch 2 and used to power the Touch Bar OLED panel in higher-end late 2016 MacBook Pros, might get its responsibilities expanded to include more of ...
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Can The iPad Be Saved? – The ‘Book Mystique

Can the iPad be saved? Currently the metrics aren't pretty. Apple's financial results reported last week for its fiscal 2017 first quarter (which ended December 31, 2016) revealed iPad sales down 22 percent year-over-year on the quarter. The "Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share: Q4 2016" report from Strategy ...
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Slimbook KDE Linux neon Laptop; MacBook Pro Alternative For Productivity Users? – The ‘Book Mystique

The personal computer multiverse is in a state of flux and turmoil these days. The once dominant desktop is now a niche product. Windows laptops makers are trying a variety of approaches as exemplified by Dell's touchscreen XPS 13, the HP Spectre 13, and Lenovo's Yoga hybrid; Microsoft is cruising ...
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The MacBook Pro And The Never Buy Version 1 Of Anything Rule – The ‘Book Mystique

One of the oldest conventional wisdom aphorisms in IT is "never buy version 1 of anything." With rumour mills lately predicting that the new MacBook Pros released last October are in line for a substantial upgrade within a year of their introduction, some early adopters may be wishing they'd heeded ...
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Laptop Market – Flight To Quality? – The ‘Book Mystique

Preliminary quarterly PC shipments data released by Gartner Inc. last week reveal an interesting disparity between sales performance of major name PC vendors as opposed to that of less well-known brands. Bucking a fifth consecutive year of worldwide general PC shipment decline, older established PC makers HP, Lenovo, Dell, and ...
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A Touchscreen For The MacBook Air – The ‘Book Mystique

Apple's Mac sales have been declining for over a year now while Windows PC's have been staging a modest resurgence. In my estimation a big part of the reason, at least in the laptop context, is that innovation leadership has shifted from Apple's MacBooks to an array of attractive offerings ...
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Windows PC Laptop Innovation Continues To Break Out Ahead Of Apple – The ‘Book Mystique Extra

Apple is falling behind on laptop innovation leadership. For example the entire Dell PC portfolio features Windows 10 and 7th Gen Intel 'Kaby Lake' Core processors, while the latest MacBook Pros are powered by 6th generation Intel Core Skylake Silicon. Moreover, Dell has launched the XPS 13 2-in-1, its entry ...
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iPad Pro As Laptop Or Even Desktop Replacement? – The ‘Book Mystique

It's a seeming paradox. iPad sales performance (indeed high-end tablet sales performance in general) continues to lag in the mass market, but more and more production oriented users are experimenting with the iPad, -- and not only the Pro models -- as laptop or even desktop computer replacements. Apple CEO ...
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2016 Not A Great Year In Apple Portable Computing; Hoping For Better In 2017 – The ‘Book Mystique

Twenty-sixteen will not be remembered as a vintage year by Apple portable computing fans. Apple simply didn't give us much new to chew on, and some of what little they did provide turned out to be a disappointment for many of us. Even the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the ...
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New MacBook Pros Becoming First-Ever MacBooks Not To Earn Consumer Reports ‘Recommended’ Ratings No Surprise – The ‘Book Mystique Extra

I'm feeling somewhat vindicated by Consumer Reports' determination that the late 2016 MacBook Pros will be the first-ever Apple MacBook models to not receive 'recommended' ratings from the influential watchdog organization based on its independent testing. I've been pretty rough on Apple's new Pro models in recent 'Book Mystique columns ...
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Can iPad Pro Really Serve As A Satisfactory Workhorse Laptop Replacement? – The ‘Book Mystique

Whether or not the iPad Pro is a satisfactory laptop replacement, as Apple CEO Tim Cook has famously contended is a topic of vigorous debate. Federico Viticci of MacStories is in Cook's camp and has posted the most thoroughgoing analysis of what it's like switching from Mac to iPad Pro ...
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Is The iPad The Future Of Apple Productivity Hardware? – The ‘Book Mystique

Sometimes one is best advised to stop resisting, turn, and run with the tide. I've been shouting myself hoarse, metaphorically speaking, for the past five years or so imploring Apple to fix the relatively few issues that stand in the way of the iPad -- especially the Pro models -- ...
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Twenty-Five Years Of Apple Laptops – A personal Retrospective – The ‘Book Mystique

Among many other things, the often tumultuous 16th year of the new century marked the 25th anniversary of Apple laptop computers, not counting the optimistically named 16-pound Mac Portable of 1989. I got my first Mac in 1992, so can't claim to have been on board the PowerBook/iBook/MacBook bandwagon from the ...
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Will Black Friday Buy Be My Last Mac Laptop? – The ‘Book Mystique

I capped off a month of criticizing Apple's engineering and design decisions for the new MacBook Pros by ordering a MacBook Air on Apple's one–day Black Friday sale. This was not the system upgrade I had wanted to be making. Prior to the MacBook Pro unveiling last month I noted ...
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After The MacBook Pro Letdown, Should Productivity Users Pin Hopes On Professional Grade iPads? – The ‘Book Mystique

Now that the long wait for a new MacBook Pro has ended anticlimactically (at least in the opinion of some of us), thoughts turn to the second generation of iPad Pros as a beacon of hope for improving the status quo in Apple computing. Not a very lively hope given ...
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New MacBook Pro “Best Notebook Ever Made?” Plus Two Touch Bar Demo Options For Macs Running Sierra – The ‘Book Mystique

I've been pretty harshly critical of the direction Apple has chosen to take with the redesigned MacBook Pros, and I've had plenty of like-minded company. However, it's rarely wise to bet against Apple's product decisions, and evidently there are a lot of folks out there who like the new MacBook ...
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New MacBook Pros Disregard Serious Productivity Users’ Needs – The ‘Book Mystique

Having spent the past year and a half waiting for Apple's next new laptop release after the 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display to hopefully illuminate the company's roadmap for Mac notebooks going forward, I'm finding that the new MacBook Pros unveiled two weeks ago leave me more perplexed and conflicted ...
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The Great New MacBook Pro Letdown And What It Means Going Forward – The ‘Book Mystique

After nearly a week of ruminating on it I'm declaring myself among the hordes of longtime Apple laptop users who were disappointed and underwhelmed by Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro announcements last Thursday. It being now four years since the last MacBook Pro redesign, all Apple could come up with is ...
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Satellite Internet Advantage Underscored In Four-Day Power Blackout – The ‘Book Mystique

One reason I've been a longtme laptop and iPad aficionado is that I live in a rural area of eastern Nova Scotia where power blackouts are not uncommon any time of the year, especially in the fall when at least the remnants -- sometimes more -- of Atlantic hurricanes track ...
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Laptops Remain Workhorses Of Personal Computing; Will The Next MacBook Pro Measure Up? – The ‘Book Mystique

Conventional wisdom advises that with Apple all but certain to launch new MacBooks later this month, this is not a good time to pop for a new Apple notebook. I don't entirely disagree. While it indubitably makes good sense to wait and see what Apple unveils in a week or ...
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Apple And The Enterprise – The ‘Book Mystique

Two major developments in the IT orbit last week deepened and reinforced Apple's beachhead in the enterprise sector. Blackberry, the Canadian company that essentially invented, pioneered, and once dominated the smartphone market, announced that it will end in-house manufacture of its own hardware devices, and instead focus on software development ...
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Buying McLaren Would Give Apple Instant Car Culture Street Cred – The ‘Book Mystique

Apple "iCar" rumors have waxed and waned over the years, piquing interest and speculation as to whether Apple is seriously interested in getting into the automotobile business, either in a joint venture with an existing carmaker or as an independent standalone startup enterprise a la Tesla. Four years ago in ...
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Last Week’s Big Apple News That Most Of Us Missed – The ‘Book Mystique

A tip of the hat to veteran Windows blogger and pundit Paul Thurrott for noticing and reporting an unheralded development last Wednesday that most of the Apple oriented press either missed or didn't deem worthy of reporting. Thurrott maintains that the biggest news out of Cupertino last week wasn't the ...
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Will MacBook Air Get Upgraded After All? – The ‘Book Mystique

I'm a longtime fan of Apple having a three-tiered laptop strategy, with professional, subcompact, and midrange price leader laptop families on offer. That marketing structure is currently exemplified by Apple's MacBook Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Air lineup respectively. Some have suggested that Apple is likely to, and should, discontinue the ...
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That Upgrade Itch; How Often Do You Upgrade Your Mac And iPad? – The ‘Book Mystique

I have a quandary to resolve as we head into what is typically a major Apple product upgrade season. My mid-2013 MacBook Air will be three years old and my iPad Air 2 will be two come late November. Both are giving me good service, but I'm beginning to feel ...
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Will We See A 10.5″ iPad Pro in 2017? – The ‘Book Mystique

A MacRumors report, cites a research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, saying a new size iPad model is in the works. According to the highly respected Cho, who has a strong track record of accuracy in making Apple hardware predictions: "We expect three new iPads: (12.9” iPad Pro ...
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Plain Text File Synching Supports iPad And Mac Or PC Cross-Platform Productivity – The ‘Book Mystique

Automatic file synchronization is a key enabler allowing users like me to successfully juggle productivity tasks and works in progress between Macs or Windows PCs and the iPad. There are several ways that can be accomplished using cloud services. Personally, I'm a Dropbox aficionado, and have found the service transparently ...
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Apple’s Slow Laptop Upgrade Strategy Running Out Of Steam -The ‘Book Mystique

Apple has made it implicitly clear that they are in no rush to release new laptop models. The newest member of the MacBook family -- the 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display -- is now over a year in production and received its first incremental update in the past spring. The ...
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Why The iPad Pro Hasn’t Revitalized Apple’s Tablet Sales – The ‘Book Mystique

While they enjoyed respectively brief sales spikes with the release of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro last fall and a 9.7-inch iPad Pro variant this year, the much-hyped Pro models have failed to reignite iPad sales sustainably, with the Q2/2016 marking the tenth consecutive calendar quarter of declining iPad sales. Last ...
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External Keyboard Innovations For iPad Pro (12.9-inch) And MacBooks – The ‘Book Mystique

I'm an input device aficionado. With non-touchscreen computers, which includes all Macs, the keyboard and mouse or trackpad are the tactile points of interface between user and machine, and the quality of their action and performance is 'key' to both user comfort and functional efficiency. Over the years, the keyboards ...
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Alternative iOS Web Browsers Cater To A Spectrum Of Needs And Tastes – The ‘Book Mystique

A couple of weeks ago I posted a 'Book Mystique column about why other macOS web browsers than Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are worth considering -- specifically Opera and newcomer Vivaldi. There is an even wider selection if web browsers available for the iOS, but the dynamic is significantly different ...
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Is Texting Changing The Way Your Brain Works? – The ‘Book Mystique

Texting and tweeting and Facebook social media culture has changed people's behavior -- in many respects not for the better. A new Nielsen Company audience report released last week says American adults over the age of 18 now typically spend almost 11 hours daily, and younger teens nine hours per ...
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Why Use Indie Opera And Vivaldi Instead Of Safari, Chrome, and Firefox? – The ‘Book Mystique

For many years my web browser workhorses were various permutations and spinoffs of the Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox Open Source platform, and the Norwegian indie browser Opera, which I took a shine to early on. Apple's Safari has been there as well of course since its introduction in 2003 with OS X 10.3 ...
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WWDC Announcements Revisited Still Underwhelm – The ‘Book Mystique

I was disappointed that no new MacBook hardware was announced at this year's all-software World Wide Developer's Conference. Not even a hint about what's in the development pipeline. Of course, we probably have a pretty good idea of what's coming with a new generation of MacBook Pros, thanks to the ...
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Do MacBooks Make Economic Sense Anymore? – The ‘Book Mystique

Over the years, notwithstanding the persistent background drone of complaining about the so-called "Apple premium", I've never had a lot of difficulty justifying the higher up-front cost of using Mac laptops. As a rule, despite a few lapses, my Apple PowerBooks, iBook, and MacBooks have been built like fine watches, ...
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Apple Please Don’t Ruin The MacBook Pro – The ‘Book Mystique

Alas I fear my rhetorical entreaty may be too late -- even if Apple was disposed to heed my advice, which of course they're not. However if a growing body of rumors suggesting that the next generation flagship MacBook Pro line will be radically slimmed down from its already adequately ...
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Apple Missing The Boat With Detachable PC Boom – The ‘Book Mystique

After Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPad six years ago, there was widespread speculation that touchscreen tablets would dominate the future of personal computing. For a while it looked like the speculators were correct. Sales of iPads and copycat tablets soared, with the Apple product peaking at over 26 million ...
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New MacBook Pros And Will MacBook Air Be Upgraded, Demoted, Or Discontinued? – The ‘Book Mystique

With my mid-2013 13-inch MacBook Air closing on its third anniversary come November, I'm in system upgrade mode. Actually the Haswell CPU equipped Air is still doing a fine job, but my good wife is finding her 2003 17-inch PowerBook running OS X 10.5 Leopard is hitting more and more ...
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Is Technology Addiction Killing Car Culture? – The ‘Book Mystique

I am profoundly grateful that I grew up in an era without colour television or reception of more than two channels; in rural communities that still had telephones with a hand crank and live operators who connected you with the number you wanted using a switchboard and patch cables. Experiencing ...
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BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable Restores MagSafe-Like Safety And Convenience To MacBooks With USB-C – The ‘Book Mystique

In my estimation, Apple's MagSafe power cord connector is one of the company's best ever ideas. Introduced at MacWorld Expo in 2006 on the first Intel powered MacBook Pro, the magnetically secured charge cord plug on the computer end is designed to pull out of the laptop's charge port upon ...
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Global Tablet Sales Slump Continues, iPad’s Future In The ‘Pro’ Sector – The ‘Book Mystique

Another miserable showing for the global slate tablet category in calendar Q1/16, with global tablet shipments falling another 1ten percent to 46.5 million units during the according to Strategy Analytics' Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service's the new "Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share: Q1 2016" report. However, ...
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What Does The Refreshed 12-Inch MacBook Tell Us About Coming MacBook Pro Upgrades? – The ‘Book Mystique

A lot of commentators are complaining that Apple's update of the 12-Inch MacBook last week is a bit of a damp squib. I don't know what they were expecting, since it would be very unlike Apple to do a major makeover of a Mac model just one year into its ...
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How Long Should Your Macs And iDevices Last? – The ‘Book Mystique

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in this space some thoughts about Apple Inc. senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller's lament about 600 million PCs with more than five years behind them still in use benign "sad" while that's a metric that makes me want to do ...
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Will Zero-Travel Virtual Keys Be The Next Phase In Apple’s Laptop Keyboard Evolution? – The ‘Book Mystique

Last week Apple was granted a patent for a "configurable, force-sensitive input structure for an electronic device," which in plainer English is a capacitive keyboard that could be used in laptop computers instead of the traditional physical keyswitch type keyboard. Essentially, it would bring tablet-style virtual keyboard input to laptops, ...
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iPad Air 2 vs 9.7-inch iPad Pro: To Upgrade Or To Not Upgrade? – The ‘Book Mystique

My iPad Air 2's 16-month run as latest, greatest, top of the line 9.7-inch iPad has been a value bonus and a great ride -- the longest I've ever stayed at the cutting edge with an Apple hardware product in my quarter century usership of the company's devices. Photo ...
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Robotics Scientist Delivers Autonomous Vehicles Reality Check – The ‘Book Mystique

I have a new hero, namely Dr. Mary (Missy) Louise Cummings, Director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab and Duke Robotics, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Duke, incidentally, is the alma mater of ...
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Apple Needs A Real Detachable Laptop/Tablet Device With A Real Pro-Grade OS – The ‘Book Mystique

Apple needs to get the lead out pronto and develop a real professional grade, full capability touch operating system and detachable laptop/tablet hardware to run it on. At least it does if market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC)'s latest personal computer market projections for the next four years prove ...
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Should you Give Your Aging MacBook A New Lease On Life As A Chromebook? – The ‘Book Mystique

What's your favorite strategy for extending the useful life of your computer hardware? Or maybe that's not an issue for you. Some people upgrade their system hardware every one to three years, regardless of whether there is objective need to or not. Usually not, if it's an Apple product. Apple ...
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Could Modular Smartphone Systems Replace Laptops And Tablets? – The ‘Book Mystique

More and more people seem to be using smartphones and phablets as their de facto main computing devices, a phenomenon that raises the question of whether users would embrace a smartphone as digital hub for all, or at least most, of their computing activities. After all, iPhones and other smartphones ...
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More Thoughts And Reflections On iPads As Productivity Tools – The ‘Book Mystique

Two weeks ago in this space, I argued somewhat vigorously that the biggest iPad's claim to 'Pro' status is pretty tenuous so long as it continues to be powered by iOS with the latter's several major productivity shortcomings left unaddressed by Apple. I suggested that what is needed is not ...
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Vivaldi Web Browser Features Speed, User Interface Customization – ‘Book Mystique Review

My computer usage is heavily browser-centric even more so in recent years since I switched my email from POP 3 standalone apps to Webmail. For years until recently, my standard browser suite in OS X was comprised of Firefox, Chrome, and either Opera or Safari, sometimes both. On the iPad, ...
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What iPad Pro Still Needs To Make It Truly Professional Grade – The ‘Book Mystique

I love my iPad Air 2. So much that I'm grudgingly willing to put up with its compromises and limitations as a production tool in order to take advantage of its virtues. However, since a computer for me is essentially a work tool, communication platform, and information access device, the ...
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Apple’s ‘Next Big Thing’ Drought And Mature Market Blues – The ‘Book Mystique

Apple's first fiscal quarter 2016 financial results yielded both good news and bad news. In the positive column, Apple made another boatload of money, reporting record quarterly revenue of $75.9 billion and record quarterly net income of $18.4 billion, or $3.28 per diluted share -- results that compare to revenue ...
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What Will We See In The iPad Air 3? – The ‘Book Mystique

The iPad Air 2 has already had the longest production run of any standard sized (9.7-inch display) model as Apple's top tablet computer. The iPad 2 is more prolific in terms of numbers sold, but a large proportion of that sales volume came after the 2 had been superseded as ...
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Why Apple Still Sells An Eight-Year-Old Design Laptop – The ‘Book Mystique

In his first column of 2016, blogger Marco Arment -- always a good read, draws our attention to the fact that under the radar, Apple is still selling the last non-Retina MacBook Pro model that was released way back in 2012, and nowhere near bleeding edge current even then. I ...
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What Does Apple Have Cooking In Laptops For 2016? – The ‘Book Mystique

Aside from the introduction of the new 12-inch MacBook with Retina display (admittedly a major qualification), 2015 was pretty much a stand-pat year in Apple laptops. Consequently, it's not too much of a stretch to anticipate that we'll see some significant upgrades, or even redesigned Apple laptop hardware in 2016. The ...
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Is AppleCare Extended Warranty Coverage Worth The Cost? – The ‘Book Mystique

People purchasing or receiving Apple hardware products as Christmas gifts, have a decision to make (although not necessarily right away) as to whether they should buy AppleCare extended warranty coverage. An affirmative argument in favor of getting AppleCare is that current Apple devices are difficult and expensive to repair, so ...
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Cardsmith Greeting Card Maker App For OS X – ‘Book Mystique Review

Back in the day, I used to mail literally dozens of Christmas Cards each year, mostly with a handwritten note or letter in each one. However, what with the cost of postage ($.85 to $1.00 in Canada where I live), large-scale mailings of greetings have become uneconomic, and have you ...
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New MacBook Air 13-Inch and 15-Inch Rumored For WWDC 2016 – – The ‘Book Mystique

If you have designs on acquiring an 11.6-inch MacBook Air, you'd likely be best advised to make your move soon, as it appears the smaller Air model is on the bubble. On the other hand, if you've been wishing for a larger MacBook Air than the current 13-inch top-of-the-line model, ...
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The Great Debate; Is iPad Pro Really ‘Professional Grade’? – The ‘Book Mystique

PCMag's Tim Bajarin has an intriguing theory. Bajarin thinks Apple is counting on the iPad Pro tapping into a nascent trend among millennials -- the generation those born between 1980 and 2000 -- toward making iOS rather than OS X, Windows, or Linux their OS of choice, as opposed to ...
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13-Inch Haswell MacBook Air At Two Years – The ‘Book Mystique

The 13-inch mid-2013 "Haswell" MacBook Air I ordered in Apple's November 2013 Black Friday sale was my first new Mac in four and a half years -- the longest interval I've gone between system upgrades since I started using Macs in the early '90s. It's testimony to the extreme goodness ...
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A Year On The iPad Air 2 – The ‘Book Mystique

It's hard to believe a whole year has passed with the iPad Air 2 I'm typing this column on. In November, 2014, I was closing on three and a half years with my first tablet -- an A5 powered iPad 2. That machine was running great, and still is a ...
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Will Apple Build A-Series Powered iOS Laptops? – The ‘Book Mystique

Motley Fool contributor and technology specialist Ashraf Eassa thinks Apple could now build laptops powered by its in-house designed A-series systems-on-chip, noting that the company says its latest A9X SoE has 1.8 times the CPU punch and twice the graphics performance of the A8X chip that's under the hood of ...
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The Future Of MacBooks: Thin, Light, (And Detachable?) – The ‘Book Mystique

I've been a laptop aficionado since first laying hands on a friend's 100-series PowerBook back in the mid-1990s. It seemed to me magical (and still does) that Apple could pack that much power into such a compact, self-contained package. However, it took over a decade for the full advantages of ...
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Can iPad Pro Really Compete With Surface Pro 4 In The Enterprise? – The ‘Book Mystique

Photo Courtesy Apple Microsoft is delighted with entrprise uptake of its latest Surface Pro 4 tablet PC, which, according to a blog posted by Microsoft Surface Senior Director Cyril Belikoff, is enjoying the fastest adoption in business of any Surface product ever. "We're humbled by the increasing number of businesses ...
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Should You Upgrade Your Older Mac To El Capitan? – The ‘Book Mystique

My 13-inch MacBook Air is my main anchor Mac these days -- my "digital hub" to borrow out-of-date Steve Jobsian terminology. I was a fan of the Mac as digital hub concept. However, my late-2008 Core 2 Duo aluminum MacBook still gets a lot of use. The old MacBook ...
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Is The iPad Pro Really A Serious Laptop Replacement? – The ‘Book Mystique

Probably not, at least for productive professionals and other power users. Steve Jobs declared that we'd entered the "post-PC Era" with the advent of the original iPad in 2010, a phrase we don't hear so much these days, and iPad sales have been decreasing for nearly two years now, although ...
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iPad Pro Impressive Engineering Achievement, But Disappoints As Laptop Substitute – The ‘Book Mystique

Now that last Wednesday's iPad Pro announcement has had time to sink in a bit, I can say that it turned out to be pretty much what I had expected and less than I'd hoped for, so a bit of a disappointment but no big surprise. Photo Courtesy Apple I ...
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Will You Buy An iPad Pro? – The ‘Book Mystique

It looks like we may not have to wait much longer to see what finally materializes as a new, larger-panel iPad (Pro/Plus?) Usually reliable Apple product prognosticator KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been widely cited lately saying the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will go into commercial production in September or ...
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The ‘Book Mystique Still Magic After All These Years

This column has been called The 'Book Mystique for what has been a 15 year run so far, and I have no interest in changing the name. The reference is to what I've observed is a the near magical quality of packing the power, versatility, and flexibility of a desktop ...
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Driverless Apple iCar Not For Me – The ‘Book Mystique

Rumors of an Apple iCar are becoming more nuanced, with various reports last week that Apple’s Special Project group has been negotiating with officials of The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), custodians of the GoMentum Station -- part of the 5,000-acre decommissioned U.S. Navy Concord naval weapons station located some ...
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Can The iPad Be Saved? – The ‘Book Mystique

Good Technology's quarterly Mobility Index Report released Tuesday finds the iPad's share on the tablet market still in deep decline, having fallen from 81 percent to 64 percent, while Android's share grew to 25 percent, and Windows having grown from four percent to 11 percent in the last quarter, skyrocketing ...
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Original Aluminum MacBook – My Best Mac Ever? – The ‘Book Mystique

Macworld's Christopher Phin last week posted an affectionate retrospective farewell to his much-loved 2008 Unibody MacBook Pro. I can identify, having a 13-inch aluminum unibody MacBook of the same vintage still in active service. I also have a newer Mac laptop -- a mid-2013 13-inch Haswell MacBook Air, which ...
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Tablets: Why Microsoft’s Surface Is Soaring While Apple’s iPad Languishes – The ‘Book Mystique

In contrast to Apple's record fiscal third quarter reported this week, Microsoft had a miserable latest quarter with its revenues falling by 5.1 percent, hammered by ongoing weak PC demand, and posting its biggest quarterly loss ever ($3.2 billion) attributable to a major ($7.5 billion) writedown plus a restructuring charge ...
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Software Rental Models = Wallet-Siphoning Poor Value – The ‘Book Mystique

I haven't yet upgraded to iOS 8.4 on my iPad Air 2. I'll get around to it eventually, but the fourth version 8 update's marquee feature -- support for Apple Music -- is of only academic interest to me, since there's no way I'm going to sign up to pay ...
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iPhone Dominates, iPad Languishes, MacBooks Buck PC Sales Slump – The ‘Book Mystique

A major report last week by Above Avalon's Neil Cybart contends that "The iPhone is Taking Over Apple" to a degree that the company's other products hardly matter The Apple watcher financials and market analysis blogger notes that the iPhone's "gravitational pull" is now simply too strong for any ...
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Productivity App Suites For OS X/iOS Cross-Platform Users – The ‘Book Mystique

Greetings from the Grid blogger Seth Clifford recounts years of eschewing Apple's default iOS apps in favor of third-party software, because, as he explains, after all, "Apple’s apps are for regular people, and I’m a PowerUser, maaaan. I’d configure all kinds of workarounds and extra steps because I wanted to ...
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RIP Original iPad mini, But Apple Should Never Kill The Mac – The ‘Book Mystique

Last week, Apple quietly deleted the original iPad mini from availability on the online Apple Store, where it had been selling at $249 as Apple's price-leading tablet since last October when the mini 3 was released. One aspect of this is that all available models of iPad mini and iPad ...
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Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse – ‘Book Mystique Review

I always approach new Logitech keyboard and pointing devices with high expectations, and over the years I've very rarely been even mildly disappointed with a product from the Lausanne, Switzerland based company. There's nothing disappointing about Logitech's the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse, which even in the long ...
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Will Apple Make A 2-in-1 Laptop/Tablet Hybrid Device? – The ‘Book Mystique

Thus far, Apple has doggedly clung to the doctrine that laptops should be laptops and tablets should be tablets and never the twain shall meet. At least that's their official line provisionally, but rumors are afoot that they have a 2-in-1 in the works. It can't have escaped Apple's notice ...
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Six Months With The Edge Value Priced Wireless Gaming Mouse In General Duty – The ‘Book Mystique

I'm not much of a gamer, but I do like gaming mice a lot for their typically superior tracking precision, more rugged construction, and comfortable ergonomics compared with "regular" mice. For the past half-year or so, I've been using a Razor Taipan gaming mouse at my office workstation, and a ...
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What Would the ideal Apple Productivity Platform Be? – The ‘Book Mystique

For the past four years I've kept a foot in both the Mac and iPad camps respectively. my daily computing hours divided about 50/50 between the two devices with remarkable consistency. However, there's no way at the current state of the art that I could entertain the idea that one ...
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Will iOS 9 Finally Bring Productivity Friendliness To iPad? – The ‘Book Mystique

Ah, the irony. From its original announcement in 2010, Apple has doggedly insisted that the iPad remain "simple," thus arbitrarily limiting its considerable potential as a content creation and production tool. Adding functionality like windowing, real multitasking, file level directory access, mouse support, standard USB connectivity, and global word or ...
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Lenovo LaVie – An Attractive MacBook Alternative For Productivity-Oriented Users – The ‘Book Mystique

Apple's new MacBook isn't the only player in the ultralight, ultrathin premium laptop game. Because it's an Apple device and assumed paradigm-setter, the MacBook is getting the lion's share of attention, and it's a fine machine for folks who can live comfortably with compromised connectivity and the less than cutting-edge ...
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Six Months On The iPad Air 2 – The ‘Book Mystique

Tempus fugit. It's hard to believe I've already logged nearly half a year's use on my new Gold 64GB iPad Air 2. My second iPad was purchased to take over from my trusty iPad 2, which has been handed off to my wife and is still in fine fettle. Photo ...
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iPad mini: Still My Favorite Apple Device I’ve Never Owned – The ‘Book Mystique

The iPad mini remains my favourite Apple iDevice that I've never owned -- at least yet. I love the form factor, and I think the mini is the all-round best-looking iPad model, but I need the larger 9.7-inch display of the full-sized iPads for some of the stuff I do ...
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Minimalist MacBook Confirms Death of Steve Jobs’s digital hub Concept – The ‘Book Mystique

ReadWrite's Adriana Lee has posted a eulogy for the "Digital Hub" concept Steve Jobs first proposed back in 2001, declaring the new 12-inch MacBook with its single, over-subscribed USB-C port to be the final nail in Digital Hub's coffin. Fourteen years ago, at Macworld (before Apple bailed on the event) ...
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Faithful iPad 2 Gets A Second Career In Retirement – The ‘Book Mystique

Finally, after four months' transition, I handed my faithful old 2011 iPad 2 off to my wife at the end of March and switched whole-hog to using the iPad Air 2 I bought back in November. I'd found letting go of the old slate harder than I'd anticipated, due to ...
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Microsoft Understands “Post-PC Era” Better Than Apple – The ‘Book Mystique

This week marks the iPad's fifth birthday, and it's actually less ironic than it seems that more than five years after Steve Jobs declared, in his original iPad announcement keynote in 2010, that we had entered the post-PC era, Apple seems to be having more trouble than Microsoft in making ...
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Mac Notebook Evolution; A Desktop Replacement Memoir – The ‘Book Mystique

More often than not right from the beginning, Apple's Macs have tended to skew toward small. The original Macs were called "compacts,", and notwithstanding a few exceptions like the honking Big Mac II FX, the 68k and PowerPC desktop tower machines, and the 3400c/3500 PowerBooks and 17-inch PowerBooks/MacBook Pros, the ...
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Why Is iPad Getting Hardest-Hit By The Global Tablet Sales Slump? – The ‘Book Mystique

International Data Corporation (IDC) last week lowered its five year forecast for tablet and 2-in-1 (convertible, hybrid) computer sales, with the market analysis firm now projecting worldwide shipments, which will total about 234.5 million units in 2015. While that still sounds like a lot of tablets, it represents only a ...
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Is The New 12-Inch MacBook The Do-All Device For Mobile Productivity? – The ‘Book Mystique

Back in 2013, the last time I upgraded my anchor Mac system, it occurred to me that an 11-inch MacBook Air might be a potential substitute for both my laptop and iPad in one compact package. The 11-incher didn't have a dramatically larger footprint than my iPad 2, but would ...
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iPad: A More Positive Outlook – The ‘Book Mystique

It's good to hear someone saying positive things about the iPad. I've been trying to bend my mind around how Apple's tablet could have gone from zero to bestselling personal computing device on the planet threatening the viability of the conventional PC industry; then, just as meteorically, plunging into four ...
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Wither The iPad mini? End Of The Road Imminent? – The ‘Book Mystique

AppleDailyReport's Dennis Sellers predicts that the iPad mini is going to be left to wither on the vine, as it were, and then just allowed to fade away -- a casualty of the IPhone 6 Plus and other large-screen "Phablet" smartphones' popularity. I hope Dennis is mistaken, but there's little ...
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Two iPad Physical Bluetooth Keyboard Solutions: Logitech K-480 vs. Brydge – The ‘Book Mystique Review

A couple of weeks ago I wrote here about how I've been using a Logitech K-480 multidevice Bluetooth keyboard with my iPad 2 and iPad Air 2 recently as an alternative to typing on the built-in virtual keyboard on the touchscreen. And it's been going well. Using a physical keyboard ...
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External Keyboards And The iPad Revisited – The ‘Book Mystique

Up to now, I haven't been a big fan of external keyboards for the iPad. To me, one of the iPad's greatest virtues is its uncomplicated self-containedness, facilitated among other things by the on-screen virtual keyboard, which allows one to use the iPad in a much wider range of venues ...
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Tek Tuk Mobile Device Case And Bedside “Holster” – ‘Book Mystique Review

Do you use your mobile computing devices in bed? Most of us who own cellphones, tablets, and e-readers do use them in bed, raising the possibility or even probability that they may at least occasionally end up on the floor beside the bed where they can potentially get stepped on ...
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iPad Turns Five – The ”Book Mystique

Five years ago this week, the late Steve Jobs took the stage at an Apple special press event to unveil the first Apple iPad -- a slab-shaped, hand-holdable device that was to shake the personal computer world to its core. While the verdict is still not in as to whether ...
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Next OS X/iOS Version Upgrades Should Concentrate On Quality And Stability — Not Buggy Feature-itis – The ‘Book Mystique

On stage at Apple's World Wide Developers' Conference in June 2009, Bertrand Serlet, the company's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering at the time, announced that the forthcoming OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard would feature "no new features," -- something Mr. Serlet suggested was "unprecedented" in the computing industry ...
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The Last Laptop? – The ‘Book Mystique

A new meme making the Mac Web rounds since more purported details about the new 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina Display widely expected for release later this year were leaked last week, suggests that the new machine could represent the swan song for Apple laptop computer development and innovation as ...
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iPad Air 2 After The Novelty Of New Wears Off – The ‘Book Mystique

It's just a bit over two months since my gold WiFi iPad Air 2 arrived, and in general I'm quite pleased with it, although it hasn't been as dramatic an improvement over my old IPad 2 as I had anticipated. It's faster to be sure, reportedly by a factor of ...
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How Your iPad May Be Wrecking Your Sleep Quality – The ‘Book Mystique

A new double-blinded scientific study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science has determined that reading in bed, or even before going to bed, using backlit electronic screens, really does a number on the quality of sleep you get, resulting in a constellation of unwelcome effects ...
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Will Apple Build An A-series ARM Processor Powered MacBook Air? – The ‘Book Mystique

In computer terms, it's been a very long time since the MacBook Air had a major redesign. More than four years have elapsed since Apple recast what had originally been more a pricy boutique device than a serious laptop suitable for deployment as a general purpose personal computer and work ...
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Google Search App For iOS Gets A Major Makeover – ‘Book Mystique Review

Google has given iOS users an early Christmas present with a substantial update of it's not-very-often-upgraded Google Search app. Google Search has been my go-to tool for Web searches since it was rolled out about three years ago. It's a quicker, slicker alternative to full Web browser, especially when you ...
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Phablets; The Future Of Personal Computing Or Passing Fad? – The ‘Book Mystique

Remember not so long ago when a fairly large consensus of Apple supporters were scoffing at "phablets", dismissing them as a passing fad and arguing that 3.5-inch and 4-inch iPhones represented the ideal display size for proper easily pocketable, one hand operation smartphones? On the point when defined that way, ...
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Textilus Word Processor For iOS – ‘Book Mystique Review

There are a lot of note-taking and text editor apps available for the iPad. Some are quite good, including several free.... uh sorry..."get" and ad-supported apps. Many have some word processing features, and there are a number of nominally designated word processors, including Apple's Pages for iOS which now comes ...
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Why iPhone 6 Tablet/Laptop Cannibalization Is Overhyped – The ‘Book Mystique

247wallst.com blogger Douglas A. McIntyre noted last week that according to research posted on the Applovin blog site the iPhone 6 is outselling the iPhone 6 Plus by a wide margin . Hardly a surprise there in my estimation. The iPhone 6 Plus's base price is 50 percent more than ...
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Are You On Your Last PC? – The ‘Book Mystique

Will your current PC be your last? Quite possibly so if you define "personal computer" as a traditional desktop or laptop form factor machine according to some commentators. So then, the upshot that we'll all be using tablets instead? Not necessarily, according to a cohort of pundits who contend that ...
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Word for iOS; Restoration Of Classic Microsoft Word On The Mac? – The ‘Book Mystique

Back when started out using the Mac in 1992, the previously owned Mac Plus I bought came loaded up with a copies of Microsoft Word for Mac versions 3 and 4. I immediately fell in love with these apps (or “programs” as we referred to them back then. So much ...
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iPad Air “Not Enough”??! – The ‘Book Mystique

You begin to get the impression that all the world weary pundits who say the new iPad Air 2 is a yawner of an upgrade wouldn't be satisfied with anything much short of full Star Trek Tricorder capabilities. I mean, it's only the state of the art in tablet computers, ...
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What Post PC Era? – The Mac Bounces Back, Big Time – The ‘Book Mystique

Apple's fiscal Q4 2014 was an all-time record quarter for Mac sales, with 5.5 million units shipped, representing nearly one million more sales (+21 percent, + 25 percent sequentially) than Apple recorded in the same quarter of 2013. Mac revenues were $6.6 billion in the quarter -- an 18 percent ...
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iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3 Best Tablets Yet, But Still Demand Compromise – The ‘Book Mystique

The new iPads turned out to be pretty much everything I'd been hoping for and more than I'd expected."More" particularly in terms of a drinking-from-a-firehose choice of models and configurations, with an unprecedented five different categories offered in an array of specifications, prices and up to three colors. Photo Courtesy ...
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How Thin And Light Computing Devices Won Me Over – The ‘Book Mystique

I'm a convert. Thin and light computers make sense. I love and continue to use my ancient Pismo PowerBooks and my late 2008 model aluminum MacBook, the latter partly because it supports OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, which remains my favorite Mac OS version, but both feel like boat anchors ...
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Studies Find “Safe” Hands-Free Cellphone Use By Drivers A Delusion – SIri Worst Of A Bad Lot – The ‘Book Mystique

The American Automobile Association deduces that with three out of four drivers buying into the popular misconception that hands-free technology is safe to use behind the wheel, it will come as a surprise to many to learn that these popular new in-car technologies may actually increase mental distraction, according to ...
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Apple resting On Its iPhone Laurels? – The ‘Book Mystique

Apple calls its new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus "The Biggest Advancements in iPhone History," but does reality live up to the hype? "Seldom have so many waited so breathlessly for so little," tweeted veteran business journalist and Seeking Alpha blogger Dana Blankenhorn (http://www.danablankenhorn.com), commenting on last month's iPhone rollouts ...
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Four Tablet Pillow/BeanBag Stands Compared – iProp, Lap Log, PadPillow, and PadPillow Lite The ‘Book Mystique

If I could only have one accessory for my iPad, it would be a pillow-beanbag type stand -- no hesitation. In my estimation having one of these stands, and preferably more than one depending upon where and how it's being used, is the key to getting the best use out ...
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Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Cross-Platform Keyboard K480 – ‘Book Mystique Review

Logitech has an enviable track record of making some of the best computer keyboards and mice. At least in my estimation, the best freestanding keyboards I've ever used have been Logitech units, including my current daily driver -- the Solar Wireless Keyboard K750, which is a superb piece of work ...
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My Biggest Reason For Not Switching Tablet Platforms – The ‘Book Mystique

This summer, I've been tempted to venture outside the tablet department of Apple's walled garden. I've been reasonably happy with my iPad 2 for the past 39 months, absolutely so with the hardware quality and my iPad's perfect reliability record. It transformed me from a tablet skeptic to a huge ...
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Apple Taking The iPad Professional Grade As Laptops Stage A Comeback – The ‘Book Mystique

I was an iPad skeptic back in 2012 when Steve Jobs sprung it on the unsuspecting world. At the time, Windows PC netbooks were riding high in consumer markets and full-sized laptops ruled as the most popular personal computing platform for mid to higher end users in content creation and ...
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The iPad’s Real Competitive Challenger (Not Surface Pro Or Galaxy Tab Pro) – The ‘Book Mystique

It's been my contention for some time that the iPad is suffering from something of an identity crisis, and I suspect that may be a factor in slackening sales this year. Apple can't seem to decide just what the iPad's mission and purpose are in this not-really-post-PC era. And if ...
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Razer Taipan Mouse For Gamers And Non-Gamers – The ‘Book Mystique Review

If you're a serious gamer on either Mac or Windows PCs, a serious gaming mouse is a necessity for first-tier performance. However, even if like me you're not much of a gamer, there's still a strong case to be made for using a gaming mouse for other categories of computing, ...
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Education Spending Projected To Resuscitate iPad Sales, But iPad vs. Laptop Debate Back In Schools – The ‘Book Mystique

For a while it looked like the iPad (and a few other tablet computer players) would soon all but completely displace laptops from classroom environments. However, in 2014 the laptop form factor is proving more tenacious than many had anticipated, and is staging a modest comeback, not least due to ...
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With New iPhones And iPads On The Way, Apple Should Offer Lame Duck Model Sales Incentives – The ‘Book Mystique

You don't need a crystal ball or sophisticated market analytics ability to deduce that iPhone and iPad upgrades are in the pipeline for consumer release by the end of October at the latest. For the past two years Apple has released new iPhone models on September 12 and 10 respectively, ...
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More iPad Upgrade Musings – The ‘Book Mystique

Much discussed recently, what with Apple reporting iPad sales shrinkage over two consecutive quarters, is that it had apparently been widely assumed that tablet users would follow a two-year hardware upgrade interval similar to smartphones, but generally they haven't. Turns out people more typically hang on to their tablets for ...
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With The Apple/IBM Alliance, Is The iPad Now Truly Professional Grade? – The ‘Book Mystique

Almost since the iPad was rolled out in 2010, and especially after Apple made a 128 GB storage configuration available in 2012, there's been debate over whether the iPad is a serious tool for business and content creator users. Over the past couple of years, Microsoft has pitched its Johnny-come-lately ...
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Have Tablets Been Better Personal Computers Than Laptops All Along? – The ‘Book Mystique

In a recent blog, Cult of Mac's Charlie Sorrel allowed how he thinks we aren't in general giving the iPad its due, challenging conventional wisdom that laptops are the best portable computer variant. "Is the laptop inherently better for computing than a tablet, or does it just seem that way ...
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iPad Rules The Enterprise Tablet Market, Why Should Apple Copy Surface Pro 3? – The ‘Book Mystique

Motley Fool's Sean Chandler posted a blog last week advocating that Apple copy Microsoft's Surface Pro 3, arguing that Microsoft has a point in its contention that too many users own both laptops and tablets, with 96 percent of people who own an iPad also owning a laptop. The premise ...
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13-Inch Haswell MacBook Air Six Months On – The ‘Book Mystique

It's hard to believe that more than six months have slipped by since I bought my 13-inch Haswell MacBook Air on Black Friday 2013. It was my first new computer purchase in over four and a half years -- the longest I've gone between anchor system upgrades since I started ...
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No Urgent Need To Rationalize MacBook Air/Pro Lines Yet; iOS Laptop Coming? – The ‘Book Mystique

I agree with T-GAAP's E. Werner Reschke more often than not, but I'm offside with his contention that Apple urgently needs to rationalize its current MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines to reduce crossover and consumer confusion. True, there is currently some redundancy, especially, in the 13-inch sizes, and with ...
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Griffin Wired Keyboard for iOS Devices – ‘Book Mystique Review

One of the reasons I rarely connect my iPad to an external keyboard is my dislike of Bluetooth. I do use a wireless keyboard with my office Mac, thanks to the the excellence of Logitech’s K-750 series Wireless Solar Keyboards. However they operate on RF frequencies, using a dedicated receiver ...
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Why Did Apple Pull The Plug On 3rd-Party iOS Memory Cleaning Utilities? – The ‘Book Mystique

Over the past several months, I've been gloomily watching free capacity on the 16 GB flash drive in my iPad 2 shrink toward 2 GB, which seems to me a comfortable minimum. I had been hoping to get by for a few more years on a newer 16 GB iPad, ...
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Can Tablets Replace Mac And PC Laptops, Or is That Even The Right Question To Ask? – The ‘Book Mystique

The always insightful Bambi Brannan of Mac 360 observes that since Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in 2010, Apple's tablet has become faster, lighter, thinner, more powerful, and slightly less expensive, raising the question: "Can an iPad replace your Mac?" LAPTOP mag's Online Editorial Director Avram Piltch in a column ...
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Classic Twin Lens Reflex Camera Transitions To The Digital Era – The ‘Book Mystique

Are you of a certain age that remembers the famous vintage twin-lens reflex camera (TLR) like Rolleiflex, Rolleicord, YashicaMat, Kinaflex, Duaflex, Contaflex, Anscoflex, Argoflex and Argus 75? Perhaps not. Adobe paid homage last year to the TLR's significance in photographic history on the front of Photoshop Elements 12's shrinkwrap box ...
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Six Months On The Haswell MacBook Air – The ‘Book Mystique

It's hard to imagine that the 13-inch mid-2013 "Haswell" MacBook Air I ordered in Apple's Black Friday sale last November has been here for six months already. The Air is my first new Mac in four and a half years -- the longest I've ever gone between system upgrades since ...
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Loop Attachments Mummy Case For iPad and iPhone – ‘Book Mystique Review

Loop Attachments' silicone Mummy Cases for Apple iDevices (all iPads 2 and later, including minis, and iPhones 4 and later) are the essence of elegant simplicity. Just unbox the Mummy Case and slip it on over your iPhone or iPad. Takes only a few seconds and you're good to go ...
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It’s The Best Of Times To Be An Apple Laptop Fan – The ‘Book Mystique

Last week Apple updated its base MacBook Air models with slightly faster processors and a $100 price cut across the board, meaning that the 128 GHz 11.6-inch Air now starts at $899.00 (compare prices). You can also still upgrade to a 1.7 GHz Core i7 CPU for a $150 premium ...
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Why Rumors Of “Peak iPad” Are Greatly Exaggerated – The ‘Book Mystique

Truly revolutionary, paradigm-busting, game-changing products don't come along all that often. That Apple came up with two of them within a three year time span is phenomenal –– a feat not likely to be matched anytime soon by anybody, including Apple. Consequently, it's not remarkable or surprising that there's been ...
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iPad Sales “Lull” A Reality Correction Of Unmet “Post-PC” Promises – The ‘Book Mystique

I have lots of time for Jean-Louis Gassée, the former Apple Computer executive (1981 to 1990) who succeeded Steve Jobs as head of Macintosh development when the latter was dismissed in 1985. Mr. Gassée's insightful commentaries on Apple and its products are usually well worth pondering. So it is with ...
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iPad And iPhone Kung Fu – ‘Book Mystique Review

When the review copy of iPad And iPhone Kung Fu arrived, I was surprised by how thin the book was. But somehow, author Keir Thomas has managed to pack an astonishing amount of useful information -- 318 tips in all -- into fewer than 300 pages that include a 20-page ...
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Office For iOS? – Meh……. The ‘Book Mystique

First, let me acknowledge that Microsoft Office for iPad is an unqualified hit in terms of user interest. In the first week following Microsoft blogger John Case's officially dropping the word (pun intended) on March 27 that Office for iOS -- long-anticipated by many -- was finally a reality, Microsoft's ...
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iPad 4 Redivivus Complicates Upgrade Roadmap For Low-Enders – The ‘Book Mystique

Apple's replacement of its long-in-the-tooth iPad 2 with the resurrected 4th-generation iPad with Retina Display as its entry-level 9.7-inch tablet has stirred the iPad hardware upgrade pot for those of us who lean to low-end Apple hardware. The proverbial writing had been on the wall -- or more specifically on ...
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iPevo Articulating Video Stand For iPhone And iPod touch – ‘Book Mystique Review

I'm a huge fan of iPevo products, several of which I use regularly. Truly versatile design and quality construction counts for a lot. Most of the time my iPad lives in an iPevo KA-01 "Origami" iPad Folio case. The iPad is most often used held by an iPevo PadPillow stand, ...
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The Downside Of CarPlay And Automotive Infotainment Technology In General – The ‘Book Mystique

I have seriously mixed feelings about Apple's new CarPlay successor to its iOS-In-a-car technology. On the one hand, I'm happy to see Apple taking the lead in another technology field, showing the others how it's done, in contrast to, say, Ford's unfortunate experience in choosing Microsoft to engineer its Sync ...
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Should The One-In-Four Mac Users Still Running Unpatched OS X Versions Be Worried? – The ‘Book Mystique

Missing from Apple's rollout of go-to-fail SSL/TLS coding bug patches last week was a security update for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard -- the second time in three months that Snow Leopard was passed over, the other being in Apple's last batch of security updates in December for Safari 6 ...
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Choosing An Pad Writing App -The ‘Book Mystique

For me, the choice of text tools on the Mac has always been relatively uncomplicated. On my first Mac, a used Mac Plus, I used Microsoft Word, first Word 4, then Word 5.1,which remains my benchmark of comparison. Word 5.1 was a superb piece of software in the context of ...
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Microsoft Office For iPad Rumored Coming, But Do We Really Need It? – The ‘Book Mystique

It's conventional wisdom that Microsoft's category-defining Office productivity suite not being available for the iPad is stalling adoption of Apple's tablet in the enterprise. There's perhaps something to that, but I think less so than some folks imagine. We may soon find out according to ZNet's Mary Jo Foley, who ...
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iProp Universal Tablet “Beanbag” Stand – ‘Book Mystique Review

If I could have but one iPad accessory, I can say without hesitation or equivocation that it would be a good, comfortable, hands-off support for the tablet while I use it on my lap or on a support surface. There are literally dozens of iPad stands and holders on the ...
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Tablet Market In Transition A Head-Scratcher For Product Planners – The ‘Book Mystique

The U.K. anchor branch of Deloitte, the professional audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and tax services firm, has posted its 13th annual Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions white paper, presenting the company' perspective on major trends that will impact businesses in 2014. Deloitte's predictions are based on hundreds ...
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Aegis NetDock Mac Edition 3 in 1 Docking Station Makes Ideal MacBook Air Companion – The ‘Book Mystique

Two concerns in particular had me thinking twice, and then again, about choosing a 13-inch MacBook Air as my next "digital hub" anchor Mac system: cramped (or prohibitively expensive) flash-only storage capacity, and the lack of an internal optical drive. I took one future-proofing precaution, coughing up an extra 200 ...
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Can 2-in-1 Devices Save The Traditional Laptop? – The ‘Book Mystique

I've been wondering how carefully Apple was taking notice that Asus's Transformer Book T100 hybrid laptop/tablet was the second-best selling machine in the laptop category on Amazon.com over the recent holiday commerce season. Apple's best-seller on Amazon over that interval was the 15-inch MacBook Pro back in fifteenth-place. Two things: ...
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PlainText 2 Dropbox Text Editing For iOS 7 App Sold And Fixed -The ‘Book Mystique

Ever since I started using an iPad for some of my work in June, 2011, aside from Web browsers, the most-used app on my tablet has been the PlainText for Dropbox text editor. PlainText has been my mainstay Jack of all trades text application on the iPad ever since -- ...
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Why Apple Needs An iPad Pro, And Samsung Just Raised The Pro Tablet Ante – The ‘Book Mystique

I hadn't intended to write about The rumored Apple iPad Pro two weeks in a row, but speculation about such a machine seems to be catching a lot of interest, so why not? It's certainly got my attention. I thought I had my own hardware upgrade roadmap pretty well plotted ...
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Will 2014 Be The Year Of The 13-inch iPad? – The ‘Book Mystique

Would a 13-inch iPad interest you? That's assuming that the rumor mills aren't entirely off-base and there actually is such a machine in the works. We never expect to hear any confirmation on such matters from Apple until an official new product announcement, which could be as far away as ...
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2013 – The Year In Review For Apple Portables – The ‘Book Mystique

2013 has been a vintage year for Apple portable computers -- both laptops and tablets. At least the year's second half. It got off to a slow start, with there having been a big tranche of hardware releases in late October, 2012, including the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and iPad ...
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My New 13-inch MacBook Air Has A Tough Act To Follow – The ‘Book Mystique

It always takes me a while to warm up to a new computer. I'm inclined to like tools (not just IT hardware) more the longer I use them -- partly familiarity I guess. A topical example would be my two old G4-upgraded Pismo PowerBooks, one of which I purchased used ...
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scriptus 3.0 Text Editor With Dropbox Synch For iPad -‘Book Mystique Review

Madeira, Portugal-based indie developer Paulo Freitas' scriptus was already an extraordinary and innovative text editor app for iPad that deserves to be better-known than it is, and it's now even better. scriptus is like an iOS notepad on steroids, with a raft of cool features unmatched by many ostensibly full-featured ...
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Photoshop Elements Version 12; Still The Best Under-$100 (By A Penny) OS X Image Editor – ‘Book Mystique Review

Just like its senior sibling Adobe Photoshop,has been for its professional image editing market, Adobe's Photoshop Elements has been the reference application in the consumer (ie: relatively affordable) image editing app category since its debut nearly two decades ago. First introduced as Photoshop LE (Limited Edition) in 1996, renamed for ...
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Reasons Behind Slowing Mac Sales Not All Bad Things (But Some Are) – The ‘Book Mystique

MacNewsWorld columnist Chris Maxcer noted last week that there's been concern for the past year or so over slowing Mac sales, although at the same time iPad and iPhone sales have been skyrocketing, so it's easy to finger at iPads as the reason for the decline. Also probably overly simplistic ...
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Is the iPad Air Really the Best Computer for the Rest Of Us? – The ‘Book Mystique

When Apple introduced the Macintosh in 1984, they touted it as "The Computer for the Rest of Us," and it sort of was, at least if one could come up with $2,495 to buy the original Mac 128. That's kilobytes, in case you're curious, which was the total system memory ...
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Is Apple Finally Clueing In That Non-Repairable Devices Are A Bad Idea? – The ‘Book Mystique

We can always hope. 9To5Mac's Mark Gurman reported last week that according to unnamed insider sources, Apple's retail stores will soon be performing common repairs the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, including display replacement, as well as volume buttons, the vibrating motor, the rear camera, and speaker system, on site, ...
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MacBook System Hardware Upgrades: Where’s The Best Value? – The ‘Book Mystique

I've been saying all year that when Apple made its fall new product announcements I would be able to make a point-in-time informed choice about hardware upgrades. I'm inclined to keep my computers a long time, and my goal is to future-proof my purchases as much as possible in order ...
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TheSnugg iPad Case Cover and Stand – ‘Book Mystique Review

One of the most useful categories of iPad cases are the slipcover types whose cover flap flips over and folds to form a wedge-shaped stand that makes for more comfortable typing and gesturing on your lap or another surface. There are several of these on the market, such as models ...
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Initial Thoughts On Apple’s New iPads, Upgraded Retina MacBook Pros, And Free OS X Mavericks – The ‘Book Mystique

After a new product announcement drought of just short of a year, punctuated only by the MacBook Air upgrade in June (albeit a major upgrade), and the iPhone 5s/iPhone 5c/iOS 7 releases, Apple's October 22 raft of announcements was like drinking from a firehose. It outdid even the October 23, ...
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MacBook Pro with Retina Display Updated with Haswell CPUs, Faster Graphics And iWork & iLife Bundled

Apple on Tuesday updated the MacBook Pro with Retina display with fourth generation Intel Core processors, the latest graphics, longer battery life, faster flash storage and next generation Wi-Fi. Starting at a new lower price of $1,299 (US), the updated MacBook Pro with Retina display features a high-resolution display, a ...
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Apple’s 64-bit A7 Processor: One Step Closer Toward OS X/iOS Operating System Convergence? – The ‘Book Mystique

PC Pro's Darien Graham-Smith reported that Canonical founder and Ubuntu Linux creator Mark Shuttleworth believes Apple intends to follow Ubuntu's lead and merge its desktop and mobile operating systems, contending that Apple has sent a signal with the introduction of its 64-bit A7 System-on-Chip that it is fixing to merge ...
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Why I’m Disappointed With iOS 7 -The ‘Book Mystique Review

I'm not an early adopter by temperament or taste, but iOS 7 was so massively hyped before and after its release that curiosity got the better of my usual caution. I installed it on my iPad 2 six days after the new operating system's public release. Unfortunately, I'm obliged to ...
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What Color iDevice Appeals To You? – And What Color Preferences May Reveal – The ‘Book Mystique

The gold iPhone 5s is already a sellout sales hit, with metrics from Localytics showing that the colorful new companion iPhone 5c model, which was a bit slow out of the blocks sales-wise, is also beginning to hit its stride. Localytics Bernd Leger reports that on September 22, the iPhone ...
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Apple’s 64-bit A7 SoC: A Step Toward A-Series Powered MacBooks? – The ‘Book Mystique

There's been some puzzlement expressed as to the raison d'être for the iPhone 5s getting a 64-bit Apple in house designed ARMv8-based A7 system-on-chip. While in theory, 64-bit CPU architecture potentially offers substantial performance advantages over 32-bit, in practical terms the boost is supposed to be predicated on 64-bit architecture ...
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Volkswagen’s Once (And Future?) Microbus, And The Apple Connection – The ‘Book Mystique

The longest vehicle model production run in automobile history will end in December when the last ever Type 2 Transporter Kombi microbus rolls off the line at Volkswagen Brazil's Sao Bernardo do Campo works, where it has been built since 1957. The last holdout Brazilian Kombi is a casualty of ...
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Can Microsoft Challenge Apple And Android In Mobile Computing Space? – The ‘Book Mystique

I have to say that I've been finding Microsoft a lot more interesting company to watch over the past couple of years than I ever had during the previous 20 or so, now that the former 900 pound gorilla of the PC sector is being obliged to deal with the ...
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Dictation And Voice Control Are Great, But Keyboards With Us For The Long Haul – The ‘Book Mystique

I've been a longtime and enthusiastic user of dictation software, beginning with Voice Power Pro on Mac OS 9 back in the mid-late ’90s. VP Pro was marketed by British software company One Stop that bought Articulate Systems' pioneering PowerSecretary for Mac when AS merged with then Windows-Oriented Dragon NaturallySpeaking ...
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Ancient Pismo PowerBooks And OS X 10.4 Get Extended Lease On Life With TenFourFox – The ‘Book Mystique

For the past three years at least, I've been anticipating that the two old Pismo PowerBooks I still have in active service could become functionally obsolete at any time. Of course some would contend that they already are, and have been for years, but it depends greatly on context. I ...
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Is 24 Hour Laptop Battery Life Just Around The Corner? – The ‘Book Mystique

It's now accomplished reality that laptop battery charge life that can tide you through an entire workday or a transcontinental or trans-Atlantic flight -- and then some is available in the mid-2013 MacBook Airs, which is remarkable enough based on historical precedent. However, it's also beginning to be apparent that ...
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Texting, Tweeting, Social Networking, And Driving A Lethal Combination – The ‘Book Mystique

According to the National Safety Council, more than 100,000 automobile crashes a year involve texting while driving. Misuse of cellphones is becoming one of the most destructive and too often deadly threats to public safety. And according to an AT&T Wireless survey, 75 percent of teens say that texting while ...
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Are Tablets Peaking And Will Laptops Stage A Comeback? – The ‘Book Mystique

Is the revolutionary shift from PCs to tablets beginning to peak? It certainly seems to have for full-sized units. There's the Microsoft Surface debacle, with the company's latest financial disclosure indicating that MS has made far less from Surface sales (including both RT and Pro) than it's spent on development ...
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Buying New vs. Apple Certified Refurbished?- The ‘Book Mystique

In general, I'm a big fan of Apple Certified Refurbished (ACR) Mac system and mobile device hardware. Buying from Apple's Refurbished stores you can save a substantial amount of money by opting to buy refurbished from Apple rather than ponying up for a brand new Mac or iPad. And in ...
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Philosophical Dissonance Accounts For Microsoft’s Surface RT Failure – The ‘Book Mystique

When Microsoft somewhat belatedly rolled out its Surface tablet computers last year, I thought the Surface Pro concept made a lot of logical sense, at least theoretically. The consumer market targeting Surface RT with its dumbed-down Windows RT OS for ARM powered devices not so much. While the Surface Pro ...
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Will Smartphones, An Always-Connected Internet, And Driverless Cars Kill Automobile Culture? – The ‘Book Mystique

As an automobile and driving aficionado for over 30 years before developing any interest in computers, the concept of driverless cars repels me as the thin edge of a wedge that has potential to put an end to the era of automotive enthusiasm. Both veteran motorheads like me and today's ...
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Are Steve Jobs iPad Schools A Step Forward Or Just A Gimmick? – The ‘Book Mystique

A report in Die Spiegel notes that late Apple CEO Steve Jobs upended the computer industry, the music industry and the world of mobile phones, and his next plan was to bring radical change to schools and textbook publishers, but he died of cancer before he could do it. However, ...
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Two Years On The iPad – The ‘Book Mystique

Has it only been two years? When I bought my iPad 2 in June, 2011, I modestly hoped that having the tablet would extend my Mac system upgrade cycle beyond the nominal three year target I've pretty much averaged for 20 years. I hoped that the expenditure would be worth ...
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The Enigmatic 11.6-Inch MacBook Air: Potential iPad Surrogate? – The ‘Book Mystique

The 11.6-inch MacBook Air is a bit of an enigma. It's arguably the closest current Apple notebook model to the original MacBook Air concept first released in 2008, which isn't necessarily a flattering association. The original Air was an intriguing novelty because of its form factor, being able to fit ...
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Opera 15 Browser’s Major Re-engineering And Makeover A Home Run – The ‘Book Mystique Review

Having been a fan of Opera's Web browser since its early days back in the late '90s, I digested with more than casual interest the news that Norwegian indie developer Opera would be discontinuing development of its in-house Presto browser engine and adopting the Open Source Chrome engine for future ...
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Apple Grooms 13-inch MacBook Pro As New Notebook Value Leader – The ‘Book Mystique

The 13-Inch (non-Retina) MacBook Pro has been Apple's value leading laptop, and hence the best selling Mac system model, for years, which is of course why Apple has continued to upgrade and sell it over its long and successful production run that began in October, 2008 with the (non-Pro) aluminum ...
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Of Course The iPad And Other Tablets Are PCs – The ‘Book Mystique

A blog post by Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications filed from last week's All Things Digital conference notes that the theme of this year's event was focused on what it means to be in a "Post PC era" - a topic Shaw says he loves ...
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Why The iPad Needs File Level User Directory Access And Real Multitasking – The ‘Book Mystique

Back in the heyday of the Classic Mac OS, converts to the Mac's revolutionary Graphical User Interface took plenty of stick from DOS holdouts over the allegedly "Fisher-Price" on-screen environment. "There's the ducky, and there's the horsey" went the taunts from the command line jocks. The were wrong of course ...
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Platform Wars: Tablets Triumphant, But Don’t Write The Laptop’s Obituary Yet – The ‘Book Mystique

The Register's Paul Kunert says it's finally official - the epic battle of legendary Apple CEO Steve Jobs is finally won, now that he has toppled the PC platform from beyond the grave, in the UK, at least, based on IDC metrics showing that during Q1/13 more tablets were shipped ...
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Puffin 3.1 Web Browser Gets Speed Boost And Interface Makeover – ‘Book Mystique Review

If you've ever checked out the Puffin browser for iOS, you know it's fast, but you haven't seen anything until you've tried out the latest version, Puffin 3. Puffin's developers at CloudMosa describe version 3 as "wicked fast," borrowing a term originally used in reference to the hulking desktop supremacy ...
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Using Old Notebooks Painful? Depends On Perspective, I Guess – The ‘Book Mystique

Last month self-described chronicler of disruptive companies, technologies, and usage models Patrick Moorhead posted a Forbes column entitled "My Painful Journey Using an Old Notebook- Should You Upgrade Yours?" That caught my eye as a consummate user of old notebooks. My "new" laptop is now well into its fifth year ...
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The Apple-Volkswagen Collaboration’s Long Gestation – More “iCar” Technology Coming – The ‘Book Mystique

Automobile Magazine's longtime European correspondent Georg Kacher thinks the industry needs to refocus on building cars that serve the consumer, rather than ones that serve the industry. Kacher contends that that the current glut of increasingly unmanageable assistance systems and other electronics that's being loaded onto cars has potential to ...
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Why Bing And Yahoo! Compliment Google For Apple-Users – The ‘Book Mystique

There was a time, ante the iOS-Android rivalry, that Apple and Google seemed like natural and complimentary business partners. Indeed in 2006 Apple elected Google co-founder and CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt to Apple's board of directors. "Eric is obviously doing a terrific job as CEO of Google, and we look ...
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Why I’d Like The iPad To Be More Like The Kindle; The iOS More Like System 6 – The ‘Book Mystique

Over the past decade or so, I've mused from time to time about how I'd be delighted if Apple would develop a Mac System 6-style user interface "skin" for OS X. I usually get the impression, if I get any reaction at all, that I'm not being taken seriously regarding ...
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Quicksilver 1.0: Out Of Beta After Ten Years – The ‘Book Mystique Review

The Quicksilver Blog reports that after almost 10 years of testing, Quicksilver has finally laid the beta designation to rest, signifying the app's long-gestating maturity and a sign of what's to come. Quicksilver is one of those utilities that grows on you to the point where you really don't want ...
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In Search Of The Perfect iOS Text App – The ‘Book Mystique

No, I haven't discovered the perfect iOS text app, but I've found some pretty good ones. I actually use about a half dozen different text tools on my iPad on a regular basis - all of them plain text editors or notepads. I haven't had much need for full featured ...
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Windows 8’s Functionality Appeals, But iPad Seduces

I had an opportunity to experiment with Windows 8 last week. It was on a fairly powerful touchscreen desktop PC and not a tablet, but I came away more favorably impressed than I had expected to. Not everyone agrees. In a column this week, WinSuperSite's Paul Thurrott expresses disappointment that ...
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Warming To The Retina MacBook Pro Or Just Resignation Setting In?

I don't know if I'm just getting soft, or it's just resignation setting in, but I find myself warming to the Retina MacBook Pro - at least a bit. Especially after Apple, responding to sluggish MacBooks sales in Q4 2012 sweetened the price of the 13-inch rMBP in mid February ...
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Apple: Kicking Its Traditional User Base To The Curb? – The ‘Book Mystique

Longtime Apple-watching pundit and fan Andy Ihnatko made an interesting observation last week. Ihnatko, in the third installment of a three-part chronicle and explanation of how and why he came to abandon the iPhone after five years usership, replacing it with a Samsung Galaxy S III running Google's Android OS, ...
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Smaller Tablet Trend Bad News For Would-Be iPad Content Creators – The ‘Book Mystique

I'm a habitual contrarian. It's not by design and I don't really work at it, but I find myself more often than not in spaces where the mainstream crowd isn't. Case in point: having learned to like the iPad experience (albeit with reservations), I find the popular trend has switched ...
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The Book of GIMP A “Labor Of Love” – ‘Book Mystique Review

I've reviewed what must now be somethng in excess of 100 computer books on what we used to call the Mac Web over the past 14 years. Given the ephemeral nature of the timeframe computer books inhabit, one frequently gets the impression that a volume has been written in relative ...
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What Would It Take To Make The iPad Professional Grade? – The ‘Book Mystique

Last month I mused here about whether a 128 GB iPad makes sense, and if so for whom. Some have taken to calling the 128 GB model Apple's "iPad Pro," but doubling the maximum storage capacity doesn't come remotely close to qualifying the iPad as a seriously capable production platform ...
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