macbook air

Apple's Photos for macOS taking forever to scan photos for People?

I recently migrated around ~50,000 photos and videos from Aperture to Photos (see my blog post on the process), and have also in a short amount of time upgraded my personal and work Mac laptops (both from older MacBook Airs to newer MacBook Pros).

On both of my new laptops—which were at least 3x faster than my older Airs—I noticed that Photos started completely fresh in its photo analysis for the 'People' album that shows everyone's faces. And after three weeks of seeing one of my CPUs stick around 100% all day every day (while plugged in), I started getting sick of this.

I would leave the Mac on all night, and check in the morning, and only 20-30 new faces would be recognized.

macOS Sierra Photos - People Scanned slow and stuck
Some days it seemed it would take forever...

Removing Sticker Residue from a MacBook Air (or another laptop)

I like putting stickers on my laptops, to make them a little more personal. But I hate removing the inevitable sticker residue after peeling off stickers before I sell or pass on my old laptop.

In this video, I'll show you my current best technique for getting residue off most metal and hard plastic surfaces:

Let me know if you know of any better ways that won't mar the surface or take hours!

A Tale of Two Apples: AirPods and the Touch Bar

Yesterday UPS delivered a BTO 2016 MacBook Pro 13" with Touch Bar (to replace my 2013 11" MacBook Air), and a set of AirPods (to replace three different headsets I use daily in my work as a remote employee).

AirPods on 2016 MacBook Pro 13" Touch Bar Safari address bar in Charging Case

The two products tell a different story about the company that makes them:

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The MacBook Pro fails to 'thrill' in a way that no other Apple device I've made the conscious decision to purchase has.

Upgrading from a 2013 MacBook Air 11" (portability is king to me, but I needed more performance), the only major external difference is the retina display—something most other 'pro' Mac users have been enjoying since 2012. The Touch Bar itself is mostly useless to me for two reasons:

2013 MacBook Air WiFi Problems (high latency, dropped connections) [Updated]

Update (3/4/14): Mac OS X 10.9.2 seems to fix at least the latency issue—and possibly dropped connections as well, at least for most users I've spoken with... We'll see!

Update 2 (11/25/14): If you're having trouble with iOS 8 and/or Yosemite, it could be related to AirDrop services over WiFi. Please see WiFried: iOS 8 WiFi Issue

For the past few months, I've been battling my 2013 11" MacBook Air's WiFi problems. I've taken the MacBook to the Genius Bar twice, and have attempted dozens of fixes. Judging by the number of individuals who have posted to this thread on Apple's Support Communities forum, among many other similar threads, I'm not the only MacBook Air owner suffering from WiFi issues like high latency, slow throughput, connection dropouts, and other random problems.

Here are some of the symptoms I and others have encountered:

Mac OS X Lion/Mountain Lion - Could not join network/timeout

I was migrating all the data from a friend's old MacBook (which was running Mac OS X Tiger) to her new MacBook Air (running Mac OS X Mountain Lion), and besides a WiFi hiccup, everything went smoothly (I had to clone the old MacBook's drive to a USB disk, then use Setup Assistant to migrate the data from that disk to the new MacBook Air).

During the Setup Assistant, I could easily connect to my WiFi network, but after the migration was complete, I couldn't connect anymore. I kept getting a pesky error: "Could not join [network]. A connection timeout has occurred." (see picture of error dialog here). Looking through Apple's forums and elsewhere was not much help, because this message seems to be a very generic 'something weird happened' error, happening in many different circumstances.

However, knowing that the keychain and old WiFi connection data from the old Mac had transferred over to the new Mac, and knowing that something might've gone screwy with the network information, I decided to do the following:

Force-Sleep the Display on a 2010-2011 MacBook Air

[Update: It looks like Mountain Lion finally restored this functionality—you can press Shift + Control + Power key, and the screen will immediately go to sleep.]

The 2010/2011 MacBook Air models are all amazing, and I believe Apple will eventually convert all their Mac laptops to the same basic design (just different sizes), forgoing the optical drives.

The only downside to this new design is the lack of an eject key—of course, most people probably only knew the key could eject discs, so it's no big loss for them. I, however, use that key in a standard Shift + Control + Eject combination to instantly turn off my Mac's display to conserve power and prevent any pixel ghosting. I've used the combo for a few years, and it took me some time to find out a way to reliably do something similar on my new 11" MacBook Air.

There are a few ways you can get this functionality back:

MobileMe Stuck on 'Registering Computer...'? Try this

I was having tons of trouble getting my brand new 11" MacBook Air to get MobileMe Sync set up, and it kept getting stuck with 'Registering computer...' either when I checked the 'Synchronize with MobileMe' checkbox or when I clicked 'Advanced...' and then 'Register Computer'.

Since I've subscribed to iTools, then .Mac, and now MobileMe (soon iCloud) since 2000, I figured this may have something to do with the fact that, after all these years, my default AppleID would change to @me.com (rather than @mac.com, as it has been for years).

The steps you should try before giving up are as follows:

Tips for Using a MacBook (Air, Pro) in Clamshell Mode

On this page, I will compile all the knowledge, tips and tricks I have for using a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air as a desktop replacement, in clamshell mode.

I've used a variety of Mac laptops in the past few years (starting with a PowerBook 100, moving on to a 190, then a 1400, a 5300c, a G3 Wallstreet, an iBook G3, iBook G4, PowerBook G4, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and back again to a MacBook Pro. With all of these laptops, I tended to use them most often at my desk. And what better way to sit at a desk on a computer than with a huge 20"+ display and a full keyboard and mouse?

Along the way, though, I've learned a lot about effectively using these Macs while their open next to the main monitor, and while they're closed—in 'clamshell' mode.

Convenience and Stands

One of the great advantages of having a laptop is being able to take it with you on a moment's notice for some mobile computing. However, many of the stands and I've used to help me get the most out of my laptop while at my desk made it very hard to grab the laptop and go.

Doing Some Benchmarks - Mac Processor Speed

I currently own or use a variety of Macs, and am approaching the end of a 'cycle' of Mac usage, where I need to decided what Mac I'd like to purchase next. Currently, I'm using a 27" iMac at work, an 11" MacBook Air (from work) for travel, and a 24" iMac at home. They're all great computers in their own right, and using Dropbox, MobileMe, and a couple other helper services, I can operate simultaneously on all three Macs, without any hiccups.

So, I'm thinking about getting a new Mac for hardcore development work (web and app), some graphic design, and possible portability. I have an iPad for lighter computing (reading, browsing, email, videos...), so even though the MacBook Air is probably the best thing to happen to a laptop in a very long time, I'm shying away from it as my primary personal computer.

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