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New Apple iMac Pro is on the way!

Apple has finally announced, after a good few years of selling the infamous ‘black bin’ Mac Pro, that a new one is on the way.

iMac Pro BlogComing our way December 2017, it will be called the Apple iMac Pro.

Apple are touting this with the strapline ‘The Most Powerful Mac Ever” – and the specs seems to back that up.  This 27-inch space grey workstation class computer will feature (for around $4999 / £3845)

  • A retina 5K display
  • A Xeon-Pro CPU with up to 18 cores(!)
  • AMD’s Radeon Vega GPU
  • Up to 128GB RAM
  • Up to 4TB of SSD HD
  • 4 x Thunderbolt 3 Ports which can support up to two 5K displays
  • 1080p FaceTime Camera
  • 10GB Ethernet

iMac Pro Blog

Having the Xeon V4 class CPU, this is definitely aimed at the Pro user – those interested in graphic modelling or video production work.

The $4999 price tag is for the ‘base’ model with an 8 core Xeon CPU (E5-2620 V4 @ 2.1GHz possibly, but Apple is yet to confirm), an 8GB Radeon Vega GPU, 32GB of 2666Mhz DDR4 ECC RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.

The maxed-out version can have an 18 core Xeon Pro CPU, 16GB Radeon Vega GPU, 128GB 2666Mhz DDR4 ECC RAM and a 4TB SSD HD.  Looking at this maxed-out spec, you can expect to spend…wait for it!  Around $17k!!

This will put this version of the new iMac Pro out of the reach of the average user, but it’s enough to turn even the most modest geek into a quivering wreck.

To sum up, Fully-equipped, the machine Apple will be selling will unquestionably be very expensive — at least for a traditional desktop. But if you consider this to be a professional production workstation, it’s not overly expensive. But if you’re a film company, and it’s time to make another big movie, a $17k workstation (or 4!) is not overly expensive.

EDIT: Apple has a page up on their website for the new iMac Pro, but don’t expect any extra information until the big reveal!

https://www.apple.com/uk/imac-pro/

Still want Windows 10 for free?

Windows 10 Blog - October 2017So the free upgrade for Windows expired on 29th July 2016.  Apparently not!

What happened after the free upgrade deadline passed?

The annoying tool to try and get you to upgrade to Windows 10 stopped popping up.

Prices for Windows 10 range from £15 to just under £200 on the web.

However, it turns out you can still upgrade for free using a number of methods.

Windows 10 Blog - October 2017How?

Limitations?

The upgrade provides you with a digital license.  That license is tied to that device so, even if you have to reformat the disk and perform a clean installation of the same edition of Windows 10 you won’t need a product key, activation is automatic.

Microsoft Media Creation Tool

To use the tool you need to run it from a Window 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 machine.  Although you can download the ISO file and load it onto a USB stick yourself.

Assistive Technologies

People who USE assistive technologies still quality for the free upgrade, though Microsoft doesn’t ask for any evidence that you actually use such tools.

“You qualify for the free upgrade if you use assistive technologies, which include such features as a magnifier to better see the screen, a narrator to read text aloud, keyboard shortcuts and an on-screen keyboard. Such tech is “designed to provide additional accessibility to individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and disabilities,” according to Microsoft.”

Source: CNET.com – https://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/microsoft-windows-10-free-upgrade-offer-assistive-features/

Windows 10 Blog - October 2017The future?

So, when will Microsoft publicly adopt the Apple approach of making the OS upgrades free?

Is this free upgrade option just an oversight on their part?

If it is an oversight and you still want to upgrade to Windows 10 but haven’t because of the cost, then you may now consider upgrading whilst its still free.

 

Check out this article from ZDNet for more information on upgrade options – http://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/

 

If you do a search on the web, you will find quite a few articles about the upgrade, but if you feel that ParadigmIT can be of assistance then please get in touch.

iPhone 8 and iOS 11

iPhone 8 and iOS11 Blog - October 2017Almost three weeks now with iOS 11 and just over two weeks with the new iPhone 8 Plus.

There’s a new article or twitter feed almost every day talking about new features or the changes in the new phone and iOS so I thought I would add a few practical points that I’ve found.

Thoughts so far?

Positives

  • loving the quality of the display,
  • loving the speed,
  • loving the screen size on the iPhone 8 Plus
  • not noticing the increase in weight too much.

The bigger issue is that it doesn’t fit in my back pocket quite as nicely as my old 6 did, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  In fact I ran a 10km at the weekend and didn’t notice any difference having the larger phone strapped to my arm.

What’s making a bigger difference?

iOS 11!

  • Small touches such as the ability to hand draw an image into an email is a great addition.
  • Liking the new control centre.
  • Like the additional features for adding content to iMessages.
  • Files App (though this is long overdue and I think of most benefit to those who also have a Mac laptop or desktop!)
  • Loving the new dock on the iPad for quick access to recently used apps.
  • Liking the new Quicktype keyboard on a iPad, much easier for entering numbers and symbols, though it does take some getting used to.

Going from a 6 to a 8 Plus?

  • I love using ‘Hey Siri”; especially useful when changing the music in the car.
  • I’m struggling with the emergency call feature when I’m putting the larger phone into my current car holder, I keep pressing the side button and a volume button at the same time (learn more about the emergency SOS feature)

As always there are the reports about battery drain but I haven’t noticed it, and as always you can tweak your settings to help, for instance you can adjust the displays brightness.

Other changes I’ve had to make since moving to iOS 11:

  • Moved to Outlook iOS app for Office365 email accounts due to an initial issue that iOS11 had with Office365 accounts.  It’s not a bad thing in that Outlook has a lot of nice features.  One thing that it does not do though is suggest where you want to move an email to.  Each time I want to file away an email I have to scroll through my folder list.  iOS’s native mail app has always been very good at suggesting where you want to move messages to.
  • The move to only 64bit apps has made me tidy up my app list.  Again not a bad thing and there’s only one app that I miss and that is simply because the provider has chosen to produce a new 64bit but it misses one major feature

Disappointments?

Major one is the lack of native support for the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro.  Finding that OneNote is my best app for using the pencil and fitting in with my current usage, rather than having to start using a new app and working how to integrate it with usage patterns.  Anyone else find it strange that Microsoft have the better writing app on an iOS device?

Accessories

As with every new gadget there’s always the accessories.  So far I’ve also had to buy, or am looking to buy, the following:

  • new case
  • new running arm band
  • new wireless charging mat to make use of the wireless charging
  • new wireless charging mat and phone holder to make use of the wireless charging in the car and still be able to use the phone for Sat Nav
  • new headphones

I’ve now moved to wireless headphones given the larger phone and the lack of headphone jack.  In the end I went for AirPods rather than Beats, but that was a personal choice given the circumstances I use headphones in (generally only one headphone in place for running, and a need to use the microphone).  Read this great article about Beats versus AirPods. What’s taking some getting used to is the interaction between the phone, the watch and the AirPods, but that’s a learning curve which I’m gradually making my way round.

All in all?

Loving my iPhone 8 Plus, yes its costly and there is no cheaper middle ground with a 128Gb version, but it’s a great phone.

Will I regret not waiting for the X?  Time will tell.  But I love the Touch ID, and from what I have seen about the facial recognition it’s not there yet for me.  If I could unlock the phone with facial recognition and then get to the homescreen using Siri then I may have waited, but I still have to have my thumb on the screen to go to the Home screen, and in the summer I like to wear shades so facial recognition just wouldn’t work for me!

Timbuk 3 were right when they said “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades“, its just in this case Apple weren’t listening 😉