MAC OS X High Sierra or... which?

Discussion in 'all things Mac' started by bellgamin, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    Yeah, no problem. I can't actually vouch for most of them, I've really only used CCC. I own Get Backup Pro also, but just never actually switched to using it. Can't remember why I bought it as an alternative.
     
  2. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Ouch! And my "private source" just sold his MBP to someone else who wasn't dithering around like me. So I'm checking on Ebay at HERE & HERE.

    ==>Which should I choose? Or neither of them?
     
  3. 1PW

    1PW Registered Member

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    Hello @bellgamin

    The second one, priced at $950USD, and has a UPC code that would seem to indicate a 2015 manufacturing date. The condition of the various mechanical/physical/cosmetic items still may not be to your liking. If you purchase that one, I would certainly like to know what you think of it later.

    Cheers
     
  4. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    If you plan to spend $950 I think you should consider the brand new MacBook Air for $999:

    https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/macbook-air

    It has less memory (8 GB vs 16 GB) and a smaller screen (13" vs 15"), but does have a better CPU (Apple M1), warranty, and it will be supported longer than a model from 2015.

    (depends a bit on what it is important to you)
     
  5. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Even on a Mac I would still take security very seriously, but it really isn't that hard to stay safe on Windows. I think most of us on this forum see it more as a hobby, it's fun to play around with security tools. But like I said, on a Mac I would probably also use more than one security tool, even though in theory the risk of getting infected is smaller. I guess I'm too paranoid to simply rely only on AV.
     
  6. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @XIII -- I just now ordered the Macbook Air (MBAir). Thank you to the nth for calling it to my attention! :thumb::-*

    At first I was hesitant about switching from searching for a Macbook Pro (MBP) to "settling for" a MBAir. So I did a lot of online research and found several good tech discussions. One of the objective ones is HERE. I now feel 99% certain the MBAir will fully meet my needs. If not, my granddaughter will score a new MBAir -- so it's win-win.

    @Rasheed187 -- I agree with your comment #30. And you are correct in saying that many of us denizens of Wilders are "security hobbiests."

    ==> @ ANYONE & EVERONE -- what is the AV & firewall situation for MAC? What do I need to know?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    P.S. Here are the brief specs of the MBAir I just bought....
    Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
    8GB unified memory
    256GB SSD storage
    Retina display with True Tone
    Backlit Magic Keyboard - US English
    Touch ID
    Force Touch trackpad
    Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
    Accessory Kit
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  7. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Luckily I'm not paranoid.
     
  8. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  9. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    The M1 MacBook Air is very well regarded and should serve you well. I think you made a good call. Bear in mind, though, that there may be a few growing pains associated with the M1... as it is a completely new instruction set after all. So, it is possible that you may encounter a few hiccups. For example, you won't be able to run "normal" virtualization software like Parallels Desktop in order to run x86 Windows. With an M1 ARM-based Mac, Parallels is working on a new version that will emulate x86 Windows on the M1... but it is still largely in development / beta at this point, afaik. For most Mac software, even if it hasn't yet been compiled to be M1 native, Apple's Rosetta 2 is supposed to be very efficient at running x86 Mac software and works very seamlessly so that most people won't even know the difference.

    I do run ESET Cybersecurity as my AV, and do have Objective Development's Little Snitch installed as well.
     
  10. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @Alec -- Great info & it helps me feel warm & fuzzy about my purchase. 10Q^nth!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    NOTES for those interested in a few tech details about MAC's new M1 CPU & its ARM background.

    ARM -- a reduced or streamlined CPU instruction-set architecture, as explained HERE. Due to their low costs, minimal power consumption, and lower heat generation than their competitors, ARM-based processors are desirable for light, portable, battery-powered devices‍ such as smartphones & laptop computers. However, ARM-based processors are also used for desktops & servers, as well as the Fujitsu's uber-fast supercomputer.

    M1 CPU -- an ARM-based custom system-on-chip (SoC) designed from the ground up by Apple, as explained HERE. The new M1 chips consume around half as much power as the previous Intel chips, which means double the battery life. Some of M1's other benefits include: (a) improved image signal processor for better video-call quality, (b) an integrated Secure Enclave to provide a secure base for the OS as well as biometric data like fingerprints, (c) Thunderbolt controller that is USB-4 capable with 40 Gbps transfer speeds, etc.

    Rosetta 2 -- converts Intel-based apps to ARM at the point of installation so that older apps will run seamlessly on M1-based MACs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  11. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I don't run an AV or have the firewall switched on with macOS or Ubuntu. My router has a firewall. The predominant reason I changed to Unix in the first place was to wave goodbye to AV's. Security doesn't mean you need to run a ton of crap that usually borks anyway to feel safe. Running a decent non-Windows OS, browser hardening and common sense can work fine.
     
  12. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    I know you already bought it... but thought you might be interested in some of these reviews...

    MacBook Air M1 review: Windows laptops are so screwed
    November 25, 2020
    https://www.inputmag.com/reviews/macbook-air-m1-review-windows-laptops-are-so-screwed

    MacBook Air with M1 review: A near-perfect laptop
    November 17, 2020
    https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/macbook-air-m1-2020

    Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020) Review
    November 17, 2020
    https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/apple-macbook-air-m1-late-2020

    Apple MacBook Air M1 review: Fast, fanless, and absolutely fantastic
    December 23, 2020
    https://www.digitaltrends.com/laptop-reviews/apple-macbook-air-m1-review/

    M1 MacBook Fallout: Doubt About Windows-Intel
    January 2, 2021
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrothers/2021/01/02/hold/?sh=df5d7b05add0
    [About the 13" MacBook Pro rather than 13" MacBook Air, but still relevant.]
     
  13. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I don't run a "ton" of security on Windows -- just a FW & SecureA+. The FW almost never updates. SecureA+ is mainly cloud-based & updates maybe 2X/year. Both of them sail sweetly in shark-infested waters. NEVER a bork in the years that they have been working.

    Granted, MAC & Linux are less prone to security issues BUT there never was a horse that couldn't be rode (& there never was a rider that couldn't be throwed). :)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    @Alec -- Yep, it was reviews like those that helped me decide on MBAir. By the way, I did do some price shopping and found some MBAirs about $95 cheaper that those at apple.com. The CATCH? They had the Intel chip instead of the M1. I bought mine from apple.com. It's a super-friendly website.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  14. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Well, you can take a horse to water but you can't teach it chaos theory, or something. I think you need to find a system that works for you. I decided to keep things simple. As everyone and their dog regularly points out on these sorts of forums; no system is perfectly safe. I'm guessing it has something to do with the chaos. As I stated earlier: an intrinsically safer OS, browser hardening, and common sense can keep the chaos at bay.
     
  15. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Congrats with the purchase, the new M1 chip should perform better than the Intel Core chips in terms of speed and battery power. And you will be able to run apps from the iPad and iPhone. Personally I believe that Apple computers are too expensive and I still prefer Windows, that's why I never made the switch. BTW, Little Snitch seems like a cool app and you might also want to check out the website of Objective-See, they make a couple of interesting security tools:

    https://objective-see.com/products.html
     
  16. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    I will say that ESET alerts very rarely, and when it does it has typically been on things like HTML/ScrInject or Windows malware in junk emails. I think I have seen an actual OSX malware alert only once in several years, as I recall. I also run Parallels Desktop and my Mac host has access to my Windows 10 virtual drives, and occasionally in the past when I have scanned all drives I have picked up Windows malware on the virtualized OS that was apparently not detected by Microsoft Defender AV within my Windows 10 guest. It's probably been largely unnecessary, but it hasn't been a hassle to run and doesn't interfere with my system in any noticeably negative way (except once after an upgrade of AV or OS, and there was some incompatibility that caused a weird issue that I no longer recall all the details for).

    I run Little Snitch just because I like to see what websites and outbound connections apps like to make... but it can become a hassle sometimes too. It involves a little more operational upkeep. I'm pretty sure I could do without it, as it has never caught anything especially concerning to me. Typically it's just applications attempting to contact back to the vendor for update checks or app telemetry. I'm not a privacy expert so I don't really mine down into what exactly is being communicated. I just want to make sure nothing obviously weird is going on, or that an application isn't communicating externally when I don't expect to have done so.

    @bellgamin -- Just be prepared that it is a new OS and anytime you make a major change like that, it will take a little while to re-learn some things and figure out the easy way to do them. Most people that don't like a new OS such as macOS or Linux, usually don't like it because they haven't yet learned the shortcuts in the new OS in the same way that the know the ones in Windows. There are all sorts of little tips, tricks, and apps that help out with various things that you only learn over time. If you encounter issues, don't hesitate to reach out for advice. Two macOS shortcuts that I think are mandatory... 1) Using CMD+Space to bring up Spotlight search. If you want to run an application that you don't keep on your taskbar, you can just use CMD+Space and type in the app name and hit enter... pretty much like you can use just the CMD key within Windows to let you type into Windows search. 2) Quicklook. In Finder and most applications that present files to the user, you can select a file and hit the Space bar by itself, that usually will bring up a large Quicklook preview of the file. It works for a wide number of common file types... pdf, jpg, doc/docx, etc. There are even Quicklook plugins that can be added by applications for their own file formats or for other common ones deemed to be missing (e.g., zip, rar, etc). Quicklook is indispensable once you get used to using it all the time.
     
  17. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    ==>QUESTION: Would it be a good idea for Wilders to add an "Everything MAC" forum? After all, Wilders has an "Everything UNIX" forum so why not an "Everything MAC" forum? This thread and others here at Wilders show that there are several MAC users here. Also, an "Everything MAC" forum might bring in other MAC users who, right now, seldom or never visit Wilders because they view it as solely for Windows users.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Pending delivery of my new MACAir (due sometime between Jan. 26 & Feb. 2) I am studying the book, "macOS Big Sur for dummies" by Bob LeVitus (he is "Dr. Mac" columnist for the Houston Chronicle newspaper). This book is excellent!!! So far, I am 95.271% certain that the transition to macOS will be a piece of cake. :cautious:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    @Alec -- I copied the 2 shortcuts into my HowTo notes. Thanks for sharing them! (I LOVE keyboard shortcuts, by the way. For Windows, I have an app, called "Clavier+", that lets me develop my own set of keyboard shortcuts. I hope to find a similar app for MAC.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  18. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    :thumb: +1
     
  19. ProTruckDriver

    ProTruckDriver Registered Member

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    YES! YES! YES! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :D
     
  20. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    Check out Keyboard Maestro.
     
  21. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    It looks to be just exactly what I am looking for. I shall give it a trial as soon as my MAC is delivered & set-up. 10Q^nth!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  22. kubicle

    kubicle Registered Member

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    I started using a Mac a few years back (company-provided hardware + I was curious to try), so I can tell you this 95% percentage is quite true... except it is not going to be like you expect! :argh:
    So instead, I think it will be:

    - 95% of everything you will do on you Mac will go smoothly, and sometimes you will even praise the simplicity, as you heard many others do before

    - ...but then 5% of the things you want to do will... just not be anywhere to be found... It will take time to find how they are called ("google how do you blahblah on mac" ;)) or how to get your Mac to allow you something you could easily do on your PC...

    In the end, these last 5% will take you 95% of the efforts to use the Mac. No irony intended, this is quite normal, considering the "voluntary culture gap" between Apple and the rest of the world.
    But I think you will enjoy the fun ride! ;)
     
  23. ProTruckDriver

    ProTruckDriver Registered Member

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    So true. :argh:
    A few days ago I did an update I was putting off a few weeks. Half way through the update I got this:
    Screen Shot 2021-01-14 at 1.53.59 PM.png
    I had to Google on my Windows Desktop how to fix the problem on the Mac.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210901
    This was the first time I had to use First Aid owning a Mac. (Something new I learned)
    After following the simple instructions the Mac completed the update and runs faster than before.
     
  24. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    BTW, in the latest macOS Big Sur, there is was a problem with third party firewalls not being able to correctly block apps from making outbound connections, but they decided to fix it, so make sure to update to the newest macOS version.

    https://twitter.com/patrickwardle/status/1349488392732491776
     
  25. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @Rasheed187 -- 10Q^nth! That is a VERY interesting link. There are a series of individual comments about firewall usage in that link, thereby showing that there are plenty of security paranoids among MAC users. Hmmm... I think I shall start a thread about MAC firewalls in Wilders firewall forum.
     
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