Category Archives: Macintosh Hardware

Will the 2016 MacBook Pro feature an OLED touchpad?

Will the unannounced 2016 Apple MacBook Pro feature an OLED touchpad? Rumors and photos seem to point in that direction.

It’s all in the photos

New Macbook Pro OLED Touchpad

Supposed new Macbook Pro OLED Touchpad leaked images

Well, these photos from Cult of Mac certainly seem to verify that Apple is cooking up a strange new contraption above the normal row of number keys on the MacBook Pro keyboard. What the photos seem to show is a new blank space above the keyboard number keys, normally where the function keys reside. The photos were apparently smuggled from a manufacturer in China, which has been known to leak unannounced Apple products in the past. Multiple reports are also saying that this is indeed the next MacBook Pro.

What can this new OLED touchpad do?

This new row would seemingly contain a touch-sensitive surface, capable of showing icons and graphics, which would most likely be able to change depending on context. An example of a keyboard with OLED keys can be seen in the image to the rightOLED Keyboard. These keys can change graphics depending on the software and situation. This will be a radical departure from the standard “F-keys” that appear on most every laptop computer on the planet, including laptops from Apple. These F-keys may be able to change their state depending on the software program a user is running, or, even alert you to incoming e-mail, news or weather conditions.

When is the 2016 MacBook Pro coming to the market?

The unannounced MacBook Pro with the rumored OLED touchbar has been pegged for a late 2016 release, which is usually in time for a holiday release to maximize profits for Apple. This new OLED touchpad is also a cool and unique feature on the venerable MacBook Pro line. Keep watching Capital Mac Service for updates on this exciting new product that may be dropping later this year!

How to get more hard drive storage on MacBook Air & Retina

One of the common complaints of the MacBook Pro Retina and MacBook Air is that they simply don’t have enough storage space. This is due to the fact that the Retina and Air have solid state hard drives (SSD), which are typically nowhere near the size of their hard drive cousins. In today’s article, we will go over 2 convenient options that will give you instant storage space on any MacBook Air or MacBook Retina–all without even having to open the computer at all!

Both of these options to increase the space of your MacBook Pro or MacBook Retina by using the SD card slot on the side of the computer. Both of these products are also pretty cool in the fact that they sit flush against the side of the computer. Normal SD cards stick out a bit which can cause them to break off inside the SD card reader sometimes.

These expansion cards for the MacBook Pro and the MacBook retina come from two different companies. The first expansion card comes from a company called TarDisk. The second option for storage expansion on the MacBook Pro and the MacBook retina comes from Transcend. Both of these companies put out very similar products. The storage cards from TarDisk seem to be a bit more expensive than the cards from Transcend. Both cards either come in 128 GB or 256 GB. Another difference in the two cards seems to be that the TarDisk cards add to your hard drive size, where the Transcend cards simply just give you extra storage space separately from your hard drive. The tardis card comes the special “Pear” software that allows it to bond with your hard drive.

Here’s where to purchase these hard drive storage expansion cards


 

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Speed up your Mac: Clean off your desktop!

Cluttered Mac OS X Desktop

Do you really need this many files on the desktop?

Here’s a really easy and effective way to speed up your aging Mac: Clean off your desktop! That’s right, by reducing the amount of icons you keep on the desktop (we’ve seen upwards of 250 icons on some computers), you will reduce the strain on the Mac OS X window server to draw all of those little icons.

Icons or windows?

Apparently, the icons that you see on your Mac’s desktop count as windows–small, redrawn windows. This basically means that the software that is tasked to draw and keep track of these windows, the WindowServer, has to work overtime to constantly show you these small windows. This translates to a load on the WindowServer, which translates into a speed penalty. By removing all of these icons on the desktop, you can help an older Mac to speed up a bit in the long run and give its WindowServer a break.

How do I clean off hundreds of desktop icons?

The easiest way we have found to keep the desktop clean, is to use a software program called “Hazel,” which we have talked about before on this blog. This is a simple utility that brings powerful rules to your computer, and allows you to not worry about keeping your files neat and tidy. For example, we have a Hazel rule that states “if any JPG hits the desktop, put it into our images folder located in the documents folder.” This works with any type of file and immediately makes the challenging task of keeping the Mac OS X desktop clean a manageable task for anyone.

Some bonus speed tips.

The Mac OS X also has a lot of “eye candy” going on throughout the system, including shadows, animations and transparency. By turning all of this off, you can also give the WindowServer and other processes that have to draw these effects a break. Some of the things to turn off to help speed up your Mac include:

  • System Preferences –> Dock –> Uncheck “animate opening applications”
  • System Preferences –> Dock –> Check “automatically hide and show the dock” which will make your dock disappear until you roll your mouse over it.
  • System Preferences –> Dock –> Uncheck “Magnification”
  • System Preferences –> Accessibility –> Check “Reduce Transparency”
  • Upgrade to an ultra-fast Solid State Hard Drive
  • Upgrade your RAM to the maximum amount for your machine. Contact Capital Mac for advice on this.
  • Keep your hard drive relatively clean–if it’s full or nearing full, the computer will feel like it’s running in molasses.

Mac Solid State Hard Drive (SSD) Upgrades: 5 Things You Need to Know

SSD Macintosh Upgrades

Speed up your slow Macintosh with a FAST SSD drive!

One of the best inventions over the last few years has definitely been the solid state hard drive, or SSD for short. Hard drive technology has taken a radical turn with the advent of the SSD drive, bringing many benefits to your aging Macintosh computer. Why is my mac computer slow? In this post, Capital Mac Service will explain 5 things you need to know before upgrading to this exciting new technology, which is now in reach to any Macintosh user and finally at affordable rates.

Speed is king in a Solid State Hard Drive.

Hard Drive vs. SSD Speed on a Mac

Witness the performance increase on a Mac from a solid state hard drive, seen in this speed chart–longer bars are faster!

  • Why is my mac computer running slow? Today’s solid state drive (SSD) upgrades will bring a new level of speed to your aging Macintosh computer. Most of our client interactions begin the same way: “My computer is so slow! It wasn’t like that when I bought it.” There’s good reason for this–old fashioned hard drives begin to slow down as they age, eventually failing completely. This translates into day to day speed degrading on your beloved Macintosh. An SSD will not only return you to early day speeds, but, it will sometimes eclipse the speed of your original hard drive by multiples. See some of the Capital Mac Service before and after SSD conversion videos here and prepare to be amazed–these are real client computers!

No moving parts.

Hard Drive vs. Solid State Drive internally

On the left is an old-fashioned hard drive with moving parts. On the right, an SSD with no moving parts to slow it down.

The reason most old-fashioned hard drives fail is because they are built with moving parts–many moving and delicate parts. These hard drives spin like an old record player at about 5,400 RPM–that means they spin almost 6,000 every minute while in use. The arm that reads the data on this spinning disk is delicate and will usually be the failure point of these hard drives–you may even hear it “clicking” when it dies. Solid State hard drives on the other hand, have no moving parts whatsoever. This translates into longer life and much faster response time.

SSD Drives are affordable, now more than ever.

SSD Pricing declining year over year

The price of an average Solid State Hard Drive is dropping dramatically as seen in this graph from a few years back

The prices of solid state hard drives have fallen dramatically over the last few years. This means that Capital Mac Service can now offer very competitive pricing on these exciting SSD upgrades. If your computer is in good working order, we can usually even transfer all of your current data from the old hard drive to the new SSD drive. We offer a variety of sizes on the SSD upgrade, from 128GB, all the way to 1TB if needed. Contact Capital Mac Service today for this amazing upgrade opportunity before you look at a new Macintosh.

Some Quiet, please.

Another benefit of the SSD upgrade on your Macintosh is the noise factor–SSD hard drives are silent since they have no moving parts. This means that you will virtually never hear anything coming from your hard drive bay, since there is no spinning disk anymore!

Hard Drive Vs. SSD Power Consumption Rates

This graph shows the power consumption of a standard hard drive vs. a Solid State hard drive…lower bars are better!

Better battery life with an SSD.

Because there are no moving parts or motors to drive, your Mac’s battery will thank you for upgrading to a new SSD drive. Power requirements are much less with an SSD, which translates to longer battery life on your portable Macintosh.

Scratched Hard Drive Platter

Here we can see a scratch on a hard drive platter after being dropped. Chances of data recovery are almost 0% in this case. Solid State Hard Drives don’t have this issue!

Reliability and less accidental failures.

If you have ever dropped your Macintosh laptop, the first thing that will usually become damaged is the internal hard drive. It’s similar to dropping an old-fashioned record player onto the floor while playing a record. Bad drops are usually the death knell for a Macintosh hard drive. With a SSD upgrade, your hard drive’s chances of survival increase to almost 100%. Since there are no moving parts in an SSD, there’s nothing to damage. SSD drives are also slated to last longer than a traditional hard drive. SSD drives have a predictable rate in which they can no longer accept or write data, unlike a standard hard drive.

SSD Macintosh Upgrades Before and AfterCapital Mac Service is a local SSD Upgrade leader.

Capital Mac Service has been installing SSD hard drives into older Macintosh computers in the Capital District for the last 3 years–we have the experience and knowledge to get the right SSD for your Macintosh and install it correctly and quickly. Most SSD upgrades are either same day upgrades, or, 24 hours at most. While your hard drive is currently working, contact us for a quote on this exciting new upgrade that will breathe life into your older Macintosh!

Apple Launches MacBook Pro Retina Display Quality Program

MacBook Pro Retina Staining Issues

Does your MacBook Pro Retina screen look like this?

In the fall of 2015, Apple quietly introduced a program to replace displays on MacBook Pro Retina models that exhibit strange markings around the outer edge of the display. This is known as the MacBook Pro Retina Display replacement program. The best ways to describe the MacBook Pro displays that have this issue are the following:

  • Greenish metallic hues around the edges of the MacBook Pro retina display
  • Blackish-green coloring that bleeds into the viewing area on some MacBook Pros
  • Strange staining around the edges of the MacBook Pro display
  • The MacBook Pro Retina screen coating seems to be wearing away
  • Scratching near the edges of the MacBook Pro Retina screen
  • Etching near the edges of the MacBook Pro Retina displays

Capital Mac Service had this issue on our MacBook Pro Retina

MacBook Pro Retina Display Staining

MacBook Pro Retina stains can go around the entire screen

Unfortunately, the main Capital Mac Service MacBook Pro Retina began to show this screen delamination issue, starting in the corner and working its way all around the display. We contacted Apple Support and they did offer to cover the cost of a new display for our MacBook Pro Retina. 4 days later, we have the MacBook Pro back and it’s looking just like new!

Conditions for the MacBook Pro display replacement program

Some of the conditions of this Apple MacBook Pro Retina display recall include the following:

  • Expect a replacement display on your MacBook Pro from up to 3 years from your original purchase date or 1 full year from October 16, 2015, whichever one is later.
  • If you paid for a repair to fix the screen issues on the MacBook Pro, you are entitled to a refund through AppleCare.
  • If you have anything else that may be causing screen issues, such as a bad logic board, you may have to pay for that repair before you can get the free screen replacement.

You can read more about what users are calling this “Staingate,” at the website devoted to this MacBook Pro Retina screen issue, located here.

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