Write Now with Scrivener, Episode No. 2: Dan Moren, Science Fiction Author, Journalist, and Podcaster

Dan Moren juggles a triple career: that of a science fiction author, tech journalist, and podcaster. He discusses his the “sci-fi espionage capers” he writes, how he transitioned from journalism to fiction, and how he has used Scrivener to write each of his novels.

Read more on the Scrivener Blog.

Learn more about Scrivener, and check out the ebook Take Control of Scrivener.

If you like the podcast, please follow it in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app. Leave a rating or review, and tell your friends. And check out past episodes of Write Now with Scrivener.

What Apple’s new iMac lost by getting so thin – The Washington Post

In this Washington Post article, Geoffrey A. Fowler has a lot of complaints about the new iMac, but are they all founded?

Apple’s newly redesigned iMac measures just 0.45 inches thick. That’s a hair thinner than the original iPhone. It’s thin enough to wedge under a wobbly table.

But to make a desktop computer that incredibly slender, something had to go. Unfortunately, left on the chopping block were some capabilities you might actually want in a $1,300 desktop computer.

Okay, so let’s look at them.

Gone are the large USB ports many of us still use to plug in gear.

He’s talking about USB-A ports, which are being replaced on all Macs by USB-C, which is better in many ways. This is the first iMac to have only USB-C ports, but this is a trend that is going to continue. We have moved on from serial ports, FireWire ports, and it’s time to move on from USB-A. USB-C can also be Thunderbolt ports, for much faster data and to connect displays and other peripherals.

Gone, too, is the ability to later upgrade your memory.

This has been the case on the 21.5″ iMac for several years. The 27″ lets you upgrade RAM, and perhaps the replacement for the 27″ will not allow this, because of Apple’s new system on a chip.

This iMac is no longer even an all-in-one computer: Apple had to move the power supply to an external brick like on a laptop.

Seriously? He’s complaining about this? I recall Apple displays that had separate power bricks, but whatevs.

I had been eagerly awaiting this iMac to replace my 5-year-old model.

If he had a five-year old iMac, and it had memory slots, then it was the 27″ model. The last 21.5″ iMac to have memory slots dates back to late 2013. Apples and oranges, as it were.

The arguments for a thin desktop computer are more of a stretch. There may be people who only care that this iMac is cuter. Apple believes it’s redefining the desktop computer into a device that can be at home in a kitchen or living room, or even picked up.

They didn’t make it thin because of any desire to call it thin, they made it thin because it made sense. The iMac is essentially a display with the guts of a laptop. There is really nothing behind the display, all the guts are in the “chin” at the bottom of the computer. Why make it thicker if there is no need to make it thicker?

Now the iMac has an external power brick. Maybe you’ll just throw yours on the floor, or maybe it’s one more thing for your cat to chew on.

Um…

Next, Apple cut the ports on the back of the computer. The new iMac only works with smaller USB-C plugs, which can do lots of things but don’t fit many of the cables and devices we already own in a larger shape known as USB-A.

As I said above, we’re moving to all USB-C. It’s not just Apple, this is an industry-wide change. You can get a hub for $20 to connect your USB-A peripherals.

Apple also cut the flash-card reader included in past iMacs, making one more thing photographers need to buy.

This is true. But as more and more cameras have USB-C ports, it’s become easier to connect a camera via a cable rather than take the SD card out; that’s what I do with mine. If not, $20 gets you a good SD card reader. Or you can get a USB hub which has an SD card reader.

Even the basic Ethernet port, used in many schools and offices to hardwire Internet connections, was too big. Instead, Apple stuck Ethernet into the power brick, and charges $30 extra for it.

First he complains about having too many cables on the back of the iMac, now he wants Ethernet there. I think it’s better in the power brick; one less cable to get tangled behind the computer. And a better way to consider the price is that you save $27 (not $30) if you don’t want Ethernet. And this is only on the cheapest model; the other models have Ethernet standard. And, there are lots of USB hubs that also have Ethernet jacks.

What this means is that anybody who plugs things into a computer either has to abandon old devices — for me, including backup drives, a DVD player and a lifetime’s worth of thumb drives — or buy a bunch of unsightly adapters known as dongles. By the time I plugged in mine, the back of the sleek iMac looked like a rat’s nest.

Two words: USB hub.

Also fixed in place: the iMac’s hard drive.

There’s no hard drive in the iMac.

And what about when your iMac inevitably just can’t keep up in six years? As recently as 2014, iMacs could transform into a monitor for another computer. But Apple no longer supports what it calls “target display mode.”

His 2014 iMac was the last model to support target dispaly mode.

Apple’s appliance mind-set is also self-serving, because it means we have to keep buying new stuff. You may already have a box of old iPads and iPhones you aren’t using after upgrading. Now you can add an iMac to the pile.

Um…

Source: What Apple’s new iMac lost by getting so thin – The Washington Post

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #192: New Features Coming in macOS Monterey, iOS 15, and iPadOS 15

Apple issued a security update for iOS 12, and we wonder why. Google backtracks on a Chrome address bar change. New stats show an increasing in phishing sites. And we discuss the new features in Apple’s next operating systems, due out in the fall.

Follow the The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Distraction-Free Writing with Scrivener

It’s hard to work on a computer these days. With lots of windows, notifications from your email and social media apps, and other distractions, it’s hard to stay focused. When you’re writing in Scrivener, whether you’re working on a novel, a thesis, or a play, you want to give your full attention to your work, and not be distracted by a friend who just sent a link to another cute cat video… (Though, to be fair, watching cute cat videos is a good way to take a break, when it’s the right time.)

Scrivener has a few features that let you shut out the rest of what’s happening on your computer and write without distractions. Here’s how to use Composition Mode, and more.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #191: New Privacy Features in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Apple introduced its new operating systems this week, and there are plenty of privacy features to help users better control their data. We discuss these new features, and especially a number of important features that Apple didn’t discuss at the keynote.

Follow the The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

How to Back Up Your Scrivener Projects

Thomas Carlyle once asked his friend John Stuart Mill to read the manuscript of his History of the French Revolution. Mill took it home, and later claimed that his maid had used it to start fires. It’s not clear if this is true, or if Mill kept the manuscript for himself, since he had plans to write about the same topic. But Carlyle didn’t have a backup, and he had to start all over and rewrite the book.

With computers, we don’t have to worry so much about our work being used as kindling, but we do need to ensure that we have backups in case of other problems, such as computer crashes, disk failure, or theft. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier today to back up computer files, and to back them up in multiple locations. Ideally, for important work, you should back up your work following the 3-2-1 rule.

  • Have 3 copies of your work – the original data, plus two backups
  • Store the files on 2 different types of media – computer, external drive, etc.
  • Keep 1 copy offsite – in a different physical location, or in the cloud

Just think of how much time you’d lose if your Scrivener projects got lost; you may never be able to rewrite them.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Apple Announces New Features in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey

It’s a bumper year for new features in Apple’s operating systems, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey. Monday’s preview at the Worldwide Developer Conference lasted nearly two hours, with a wide range of features from Safari to Mail, and from productivity to privacy. Apple’s operating systems are getting a big update this fall, with more features that work together across devices, and refinements to key apps and features that could make using Apple devices smoother. Here’s an overview of what’s new.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Apple’s New Privacy Features for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey

Apple made its first presentation yesterday of its 2021 vintage of operating systems: iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8. In addition to some new features to increase productivity, there are many new privacy features that give users more control over their data. And Apple has announced iCloud+, a privacy-focused service available to all users who pay for additional iCloud storage.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #190: Amazon Sidewalk and the Forever Mac

Facebook and Intel try to diss Apple, but score own goals. Amazon Sidewalk launches, and we tell you what it means, and how to opt out. And we discuss whether Apple’s new processors, and extensions to AppleCare, suggest that we may have forever Macs.

Follow the The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Amazon Sidewalk Wants to Share Your Wi-Fi: Here’s How to Disable It

Amazon Sidewalk is a new feature of Amazon devices, which goes live on June 8 in the US, that allows these devices to share their wi-fi with other, nearby Amazon devices. Amazon claims that Amazon Sidewalk will help ensure that your Echo and Ring devices remain connected through a sort-of mesh wi-fi network created by these devices.

For example, if you have some Ring security cameras, and one of them is at a location outside your home that is just out of range of your wi-fi, the device can piggyback on your neighbor’s wi-fi, if they also have Ring devices. Since Ring devices are quite popular – especially for doorbells – many people live in areas where the range of these devices may overlap. Or if your wi-fi goes down, you can still get notifications via a neighbor’s internet connection.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.