Category Archives: Mac Mini

MStore in David is Open

The new MStore opened on Tuesday. It is really nice to have a dedicated Apple store in David. This is an authorized retailer and servicer of Apple products.

The store is in Plaza Terronal and a few doors to the right of the Samsung store. I stopped in and took a few photos.

I spoke to one of the managers and asked a question I had been asked about training. I was told that training was something they would be looking at, but is not currently available.

English is spoken in the store.

Would sure like to have one of the new iPhones. Maybe for Christmas.

I played with the new MacBook 12 inch. I really like the keyboard and new trackpad.

The store also carries many accessories for Apple equipment.

This store is a good addition and another reason I don’t need to go to Panama City.

If you stop in to MStore, tell them you heard about them on Chiriquí Chatter.

MSTORE Comes To Plaza Terronal

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For those of you living in Chiriquí that have moved away from the Dark Side, I have news of an Apple Store that is coming to Plaza Terronal. Google Map.

One of the workers said it should be around eight more days until the store is ready.

Plaza Terronal already has PanaFoto and MultiMax which sell Apple products, but now there will be a store dedicated to Apple products. I hope they will be carrying the iPhone.

The sign on the window says it is an authorized distributor. I will be interested to know if they are also an authorized service center.
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Up In The Air

Apple releases IOS 8 today. With the reviews I have read, it should not go on any iPad 2 and possibly not on the iPhone 4S, which is what I have. I may put it on one of my 4S iPhones and see how bad the performance is. If it is too bad, then I will consider trying to get an iPhone 6 when I am in the U.S.

What a shame. I really didn’t want to change iPhones till the next model.

It also means buying any of the iPad Mini’s that may still be in Panama stores is a bad idea since it uses the same cpu as the iPad 2.

The other problem I will have in not running IOS 8 is that I want to move my desktops to the Yosemite OS in October. I am afraid if I have IOS 7 on my iPhone, it will no longer sync with Yosemite.

I will be coming back from the U.S. with some new technology, the only question is what it will be. October, Apple is supposed to announce new PC hardware and possibly a new Apple TV.

The jury is out on how much Lilliam will allow me to bring back.

I should add that I am running the third beta distribution of Yosemite on my MacBook Air and it is running great. The second beta distribution removed all of the problems I saw in the first distribution and brought no new problems. By the time it releases in October, it should be rock solid.

HERE is a really good article on Apple.

Burning The Candle At Both Ends

Sometimes I just don’t know when to shut down. Last night was a good example. I didn’t go to bed before 3 :30 AM. It would not be a big deal if I were staying up for something worthwhile, but last night, after working on a technical project, I stayed up watching a movie to unwind.

Lilliam is usually my governor and keeps my days in order, but she is in Costa Rica and won’t return until next week. When she is not around, I forget what time it is. When I was young, I could go without sleep better than I can now, so I am sure that I will have to have a nap this afternoon.

So what has been going on? I have visited the stroke victim twice this week. The second visit, I spent several hours with him. His caretake’s father has been released from the hospital after they decided they could not remove a tumor. She needed time to visit him in a hospice he has moved to. I hope that she doesn’t give out with all the stress she is under.

I am not satisfied with the stroke victim’s progress, but I have no control over that. I am also not impressed with C&W’s telephone connection at his apartment. He has been without telephone for two weeks. I had to go by the C&W office and submit a second trouble ticket. If it is not up soon, I will have to make another trip to the office. They need to give him a refund for lack of service. Just another thing you put up with living in paradise.

I guess that has me under a little stress and when I get under stress, I tend to dive into technology to unwind. Continue reading Burning The Candle At Both Ends

Apple Yosemite Beta Testing

The last couple of weeks have not been much fun for me. Lilliam has been in Panama City and it has just been Koki and I looking after each other.

All of my time has been making trips to and from the stroke victims house, to the bank finding options for paying the stroke victims bills, or getting some carry out food. I told Lilliam, on one of my phone calls, that we needed to buy some new dishes. When she asked why, I told her because all of the ones we have are dirty and in the sink.

I am not sure she appreciated my humor. She comes home today and the sink will be empty and all dishes in their proper place.

As I said, I have not been doing anything I enjoy, so yesterday evening, I decided to begin another technology project. Getting involved in studying technology and solving those types of problems, rather than other people’s health problems, relax me and get my mind thinking about something that is fun. Continue reading Apple Yosemite Beta Testing

Mac Mini Back UP and Running

I mentioned, the other day, that I had a hard disk failure on my Mac Mini. I also mentioned that I had turned it over to Carlos Arauz, who works at PanaFoto, to replace the failed disk.

I am happy to report that he contacted me this afternoon and it was ready. To have it fixed in two days without having to send it to Panama City is fantastic.

It is good to know that there is someone in David that has worked on Apple hardware for Apple.

He returned it to me with the latest OS on it and all I had to do was use Time Machine to restore my data.

If time would have permitted, I would have ordered a 500 GB SSD from the US and had him install it, but that would have cost me at least two weeks and I wasn’t willing to wait that long. Next time will be the time for the SSD upgrade.

I give Carlos two thumbs up. If you stop into PanaFoto, and happen to be in the Apple area, tell Carlos you read about him on Chiriquí Chatter.

What An Improvement!

Last night I got the memory upgrade to the Mac Mini. I went from 2 GB to 16 GB. The PC had been about to drive me crazy, in fact I only used it when I had to.

Now, I can have multiple tasks open, email, photo editor, multiple tabs on the browser and nothing slows down.

One more task off the “To Be Done” list. Now I am ready for Apple to release their next OS upgrade which is scheduled later this year.

All is Not Lost – Almost

This is a good news – bad news story. I have a friend that recently invested in a MacBook Pro, based on my recommendation. One of the things I told him was that if you have an Apple PC, one feature that is in the OS that should be used is TimeMachine.

TimeMachine backs up your PC every hour without you having to think about it. You never know when trouble is going to strike. You do have to invest in an external hard drive, but other than that, it is pretty much plug it in and go.

If you have a hard drive with books in progress, tons of photos or other information that is critical to you, and it crashes, you will say, “Why didn’t I back my system up?” Of course that is after you uttered 5 minutes of expletives.

With TimeMachine, it remembers to back up for you. You will still utter the expletives, but at least your data is safe.

Joe BtfsplkMy friend reminds me of Joe Btfsplk from the old Li’l Abner comics. Remember, he was the fellow that always walked around with a black cloud hanging over his head.

As I said, my friend, a writer, purchased the MacBook and loved it. He would toss it in his backpack and take it wherever he went and was finding it very dependable. That was until the day he tossed it into his backpack along with a thermos of hot coffee. Apparently he had not made sure the top was secure on the thermos and coffee ran into the MacBook.

He learned that Apple’s warranty does not include bathing with a laptop, washing it in a washing machine or pouring coffee on the keyboard. To make it worse, the cost to repair (at least in Panama) is as much as buying a new MacBook. Yikes! Since I had recently upgraded my MacMini, my old Mac Mini was available and he is now up on it.

Now here is the good news of the story. We set up the Mac Mini yesterday. Signing on to iCloud immediately restored all his contacts and calendar. We plugged in the TimeMachine backup and restored all his files (documents, works in progress, and photos).

He did lose a very expensive piece of equipment, but more importantly he did not lose any of the data that he had spent years and many hours creating. Many items on his laptop were irreplaceable.

I can’t emphasize how important it is to backup your data. It is not that hard to do, but if it is something you have to remember to do, you will remember to do it after it is too late and something will be lost.

I know many of you coming to Panama may be using PCs more than you ever did back home. Storing photos of this beautiful country, writing your experiences on a blog, using Skype to keep up with kids back home, banking or what not. Learn from a resident Panama “Joe Btfsplk”. Back up your friggen PC before it is too late!

The Same Is Now Different

I have spent the last couple days migrating my PC operations to a new PC ( New for me at least). I was lucky enough to learn of a fantastic 2011 Mac Mini that was for sale. Another person was considering it and had asked for my evaluation of the system. I said it was a fantastic buy.

However, the individual was looking for a system to run Windows and multiple displays and by the time memory was added to the new system and the Windows OS was purchased, it would have cost more than a new Windows 8 PC, so it wasn’t purchased. Also, running multiple displays would have required using at least one of the Apple displays and they cost as much as many PCs.

I said I would take it when it came available and it is replacing my 2010 Mac Mini. For me its only shortcoming was its lack of memory. It had 2 GB of memory and I tend to have many tasks running and operating in that manner, it doesn’t run, it creeps. In fact until I get the memory upgraded, I will probably only use it to store my files for backup.

I have ordered 16 GB of memory from the US for $107 and it will arrive in July. Current price from Apple would be $400. With that memory, it should should do everything I want.

The difference between my PC and the new one is minimal, when comparing compute power, but the new one communicates to my Apple TV and my 2010 mini didn’t. That was the main reason for the switch.

I have a friend that has been looking for a PC for some Native Panamanian Indians so they can continue their education. They will be using my old PC. One transaction and many beneficiaries.

Why I am Loving My Apple Environment

I mentioned in a previous post that I like using Apple much more than when I was using Microsoft. I am going to tell you what is making the difference for me.

When I only had one intelligent device (PC at that time), the manufacture didn’t make much difference. Microsoft, Apple, or Linux all accomplished what I needed to do and I could have used any of them and did.

The next thing that happened was that cell phones became more intelligent and shared contact information with the PC. I maintained all my contacts on the PC and transferred it to the cell phone.

I started out with a Nokia cell phone and it had to be tethered to the PC to update and share contacts.

Then a couple years ago I bought an iPad and synced my PC contacts with my iPad. It worked pretty well because of Apple, and in spite of Microsoft. Still I fought with my cell to keep it synced with the PC contacts. The Nokia software eventually quit working. Continue reading Why I am Loving My Apple Environment