MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L – review

On September 15, 2015, in Back Pack, Bag, Photography, Review, by Steve Hammond

MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L
Price: $279.99
Company: MindShift

For outdoor photographers and frequent plane travelers who prefer to keep their gear nearby in flight, it is not always easy to find the right travel bag. I recently had the chance to test out the FirstLight 30L by MindShift Gear, which can fulfill both tasks.


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ATH-AD900X Over-Ear Air Dynamic Headphones
Audio Technica
$300 MSRP (Internet prices are much lower)

Audio Technica


Photo credit: Terrence Moore

These moderately-priced over-ear headphones are large, comfortable, lightweight, and bizarre in appearance. Sound performance is good to very good, depending upon your listening settings and personal audio standards. They do not have the claimed extraordinary sound quality to satisfy the most discriminating listeners, despite the company’s statements. But keep reading; it gets better.

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Deezer Elite on Sonos High Definition Worldwide Music Service


Mark Chappell assisted with this Nemo Memo.

Deezer Elite and Deezer Premium Plus are the best streaming music services you have never heard or seen. Deezer Elite’s tracks are higher audio quality than on Tidal. Deezer is available in more countries than Spotify. Deezer’s user interface experience is superior to Rhapsody. Deezer has a more comprehensive range of listening and sharing options than does RDIO. Deezer Premium Plus’s like/dislike customization is better than Pandora. And Deezer is way more stable and mature than Apple Music.

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TechFan #223 – Bad Transmissions

On September 11, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

Tim and David start off with a regular show, but things go off the rails when they both have technical problems. Still and all, topics include the latest product announcements from Apple, Android vs iOS, and EA removing a bunch of games from the App Store.

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IOGEAR KeyShair – Review

On September 11, 2015, in Adapter, Bluetooth, iPad, iPhone, Keyboard, Mouse, Review, by Jason Kube

Price: $49.95

KeyShair 3


Let’s start at the beginning. The keyshair is a tiny Bluetooth device by which you can share your PC or Mac keyboard and, theoretically, mouse. The software to activate and run the KeyShair is included on built in flash memory.

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Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac Pro – Review

On September 10, 2015, in Mac, Review, by Vicki Stokes

Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac Pro Edition
Parallels Inc.
Subscription: $99.99/year
Upgrade: $49.99/year



Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac is a recent update from Parallels Desktop 10. See the MyMac review of this product. This update comes closely behind the release of Windows 10 and just before the soon to be released Mac OS X El Capitan. Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac Pro retains all of the product features included in Parallels Desktop 10; additionally adding more Mac features to Windows, as well as, for the first time, adding a Windows feature to OS X. In addition, Parallels fully supports Windows 10 as a guest OS, runs the widest array of OS virtual machines (VM) and supports large VMs up to 64GB of vRAM and 16 vCPUs per virtual machine.

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MyMac Podcast 573: You’re touching it wrong

On September 9, 2015, in Podcast, by Tim Robertson

The week before the big Apple event and the GMen ask Karl Madden from the Mac & Forth podcast (http://www.macandforth.com) to talk about…well the new iPhone as they’ve already heard the keynote. Even though it hasn’t happened yet. A Skype call and an iTunes review. It’s like they died and went to heaven. Lots of laughs as they fill space with nothing at all! WOO!

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Guy’s App Pick: NoteBurner M4V Converter Plus. Easy way to convert DRMed iTunes video content to a DRM-free version with little to no loss of quality. Currently $45 down from the regular price of $70.
Gaz’s App Pick: Real Racing 2 Yes I said TWO! £3-99
Karl’s Pick: Score! Hero  – BE A HERO! Pass, Shoot & Score your way to legendary status, as you explore the dramatic career of your HERO player over 240 challenging levels!
People’s Pick: Erick Diaz (Macnaticopr)
Angry Birds 2, the relentless pursuit of in-app purchases and annoying advertising. Cool graphics, music, sound effects, gameplay, all smeared in Candy Crush social network harassment and artificial time limits to extort money. Other than that, great game.

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GuyandGaz on Twitter
Skype +1 Area code  703-436-9501


My Mac Apple Event Predictions

On September 8, 2015, in Apple, iMac, iPhone, by Mark Chappell

With the Apple event just a few days away I’ve gathered up the collective brain trust of the MyMac.com writers and asked them for their predictions for September 9th. After the event I’ll rundown the responses and see who had the most correct predictions.

In no particular order:

Michael Breed.

  • New Apple TV with app integration and better remote.
  • iPhone 6s – force touch, 12 megapixel camera with bigger CCD, better front camera, very slightly thicker body and better battery life, A9 processor, 3 models (6s, 6s+, 6c).
  • iPad Pro.
  • New iPads – force touch (maybe… not sure if it can be done on larger screen size), camera upgrades, processor upgrade. Upgrades will depend on model.
  • I WANT the glass phone/PDA Tony Stark uses in the Avengers movie. LOL.

Steve Hammond.

  • Same as Michael, except that there will be no iPad announcement at this event. Only iPhones and Apple TV.
  • An iPad event will be set later this fall, maybe at the end of October, where Apple will also announce the launch of El Capitan and probably an update to the Mac line as well.

David Acklam

  • iPhone 6s, 6s plus, 6c.
  • Apple TV.
  • iOS 9, and OS X El Capitan at September 9 event.
  • New iPad, Mini iPad and iPad Pro in October.

Vicki Stokes

  • If the new iPad doesn’t have multitasking, USB, and microSD ports it will remain a cute but expensive tablet for kids to play with. I hate Microsoft but their Surface 3 makes the iPad look like a toy.

Richard Lefko

  • I’d toss in a new Airport Extreme, simply because I just had to replace one.  : – )

Owen Rubin

  • No iPads this time. Both S phones with Force touch.
  • Better camera, better processor, and the biggest change for me will be the expected RAM upgrade to 2GB in the phones which will help support better multi-tasking.
  • I’m also not sure about Apple TV. This may need more time.
  • Who cares about a Retina TV? And Roku, Chrome Stick and FireStick have all pushed my AppleTV to the side lines. I hardly ever use it any more. It really needs to support ALL standards.
  • Would love to see an Echo like product from Apple, but that’s not going to happen.

Simon Parnell

  • iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are givens
  • A9 increased RAM. Not that Apple will say as they don’t usually mention RAM.
  • 12MP camera and improved FaceTime camera.
  • Possibly 4K Video on the iSight.
  • Force Touch.
  • Maybe a new colour – not sure on that one.
  • iOS 9.
  • iPads will be held back for October.
  • Apple TV IF it features HomeKit.
  • More watch stuff – wOS 2 probably and maybe even hints about the watch 2 itself.
  • External 5K monitor and retina 4K 21″ iMac.
  • Updated iMacs.
  • Force touch Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse?

Mark Chappell

  • New keyboards and force touch track pad available as peripherals.
  • HomeKit released – Available this fall ;-).
  • iPads to be big part of HomeKit.
  • New iPhones, increased Ram, slightly smaller.
  • Apple TV released. Two versions but limited to only the USA for streaming services to start with.
  • Expect much more emphasis to be placed on Metal for gaming.

Apple’s event can be watched on almost any device. OS X, iOS and Apple TV users can watch via the Apple.com/live website. Windows 10 users can also watch via the site using the Edge browser. Or install VLC and go here 

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Take Control of Audio Hijack – Book Review

On September 8, 2015, in Audio, Book Review, Mac, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Take Control of Audio Hijack
Author: Kirk McElhearn

Publisher : TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Version 1.0
Price: $10.00
119 pages, ebook format


In addition to writing for MyMac.com, I record a podcast, 3 Geeky Ladies, with Suzé Gilbert and Vicki Stokes, also MyMac writers. When we were preparing for launch, I put out feelers on social media about what I should use for recording the podcast. Most responses were Audio Hijack Pro. I got a copy and hit the ground running.

It’s been three years for the podcast and I still use Audio Hijack Pro. I know I’m not using it to its full potential, as I have no audio background, and AHP has a bit of a learning curve. Recently, Rogue Amoeba released an upgrade to AHP, simply called Audio Hijack. Much easier to use, but still some hidden features that make the application that much more powerful. To help me learn about these features, I turned to Kirk McElhearn’s comprehensive book, Take Control of Audio Hijack.

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TechFan #222 – OO0

On September 4, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

It’s Force Friday, so of course Tim and David are up to discussing Star Wars toys at the start of the show. (And sorry, Kenny, if you’re out there somewhere listening!) The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a pretty big design flaw, Game Center, Hot iPhones, BB-8 and OO-0, SteelSeries Stratus XL Wireless Gaming Controller, and the Dell XPS 13 are all topics for discussion.

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Pac-Man 256
SteelSeries Stratus XL Wireless Gaming Controller
Dell XPS 13


Gear rotation180° Horizon backpack (charcoal color)
$260 U.S.

Every professional and serious amateur photographer loves bags. We do because they’re an essential part of our kit. I’m betting that you have a closet full of camera bags. Just like lenses, different camera bags serve different functions. You probably have one just for event shooting, one for corporate gigs, one for hiking. Am I right?

Actually, I’ll bet you have more than one for each of those gigs. I know I do. When we shop for bags, were often trying to find a bag that hits the camera bag holy trinity: light, roomy, and protection. But let’s add a fourth: it needs to look good.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting my hands on a MindShift Gear rotation180° Horizon backpack (charcoal color) to review and this one hits all four of those points in some respect.

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Fotodiox Pro FlapJack LED C-218AS – Review

On September 2, 2015, in Camera, Photography, Review, by Bob Wood

Fotodiox Pro FlapJack LED C-218AS
Company: Fotodiox, Inc.
Price: $229.95
Photography is all about light. The photographer needs to control the light to produce the desired image. The Fotodiox Pro FlapJack series of lamps brings a nice even diffuse light into the studio or on location with a minimum of size, weight, and hassle.

Until the FlapJack, LED lamps tended to be harsh with the LEDs aimed at the subject. Fotodiox moved the LEDs to the edge of the enclosure and aimed them toward the center of the lamp with effective diffusion. The result is a small portable lamp having illumination that is normally associated with a much larger soft box.

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Tech Armor – Protect your stuff

On September 2, 2015, in Review, by Rich Lefko

TA 1

Apple iPhone 6 Plus Premium HD Clear Ballistic Glass Screen Protector
Reviewed – iPhone 6 Plus (Available for other models)
Price: $10.95
Link: Tech Armor Link
Active Series Case
Reviewed – iPhone 6 Plus (Available for other models)
Price: $19.95
Link: Tech Armor Link
Premium Apple Certified Braided Lightning Cable, 6 Feet
Price: $14.95
Link: Tech Armor Link

I remember buying cases for my past iPhones and spending $50 or more! I also bought screen protectors and paid a premium for those. Not any more!

Tech Armor, which has been in business since 2012, offers an ever expanding line of Armor products and accessories for your mobile phone of choice. The various product offerings are reasonably priced, and one of the great things about Tech Armor is their no hassle, lifetime limited warranty. More on that later.

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Sibelius 8 – Review

On September 1, 2015, in Music, Review, Tablet, by Mark Sealey



Sibelius 8
Perpetual license: $599
Annual subscription (new users): $239
Upgrade from all previous versions (1 to 7.5) of Sibelius, including one year’s upgrades: $89 per annum
Switch from Finale, Notion, Encore, Mosaic: $199
Full licensing details


Jean Sibelius, the 150th anniversary of whose birth we celebrate this year (he lived from 1865 to 1957), officially composed only seven symphonies. Certainly only seven were published. Yet fragments of an 8th do exist; and indeed were performed in 2011… barely three minutes long, though. Sibelius certainly withdrew and tried to suppress his 8th.

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MyMac Podcast 572: Hey Stirring! Give some the Rent

On August 31, 2015, in Podcast, by Tim Robertson

So the title makes absolutely no sense but it’s what we have to do to keep your iPhones from freaking out about 30 different times during this show. The GMen talk with Siri about the upcoming September 9th Apple Event and mostly just make her mad. Guy rants, Gaz takes pictures, and they have not one but THREE different listener audio bits for this week.

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Guy’s App Pick: Movie Edit Pro by Zhang Feng. Nice multitrack movie editor for those wanting simplicity over features they won’t use. $19.99
Gaz’s App Pick: Breakneck. Fly at BREAKNECK speed as you pursue your mission and get as far as you can. The world is now occupied by invaders—and they are hunting you. YouTube clip showing game play
People’s Pick: Serenak Assassin
Oh and “cool things” – someone put me on to Ghostery (might have been Mark @Oceanspeed from the Rampant Mumblings). Anyway – how cool is Ghostery for allowing you to block all the trackers and crud on websites? ICE COLD! That’s how cool it is 😀
www.ghostery.com and it is free… or a donation if you wish.

MacParrot on Twitter
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Skype +1 Area code :) 703-436-9501



We all care about security, and we try to protect ourselves in various ways. Some of the things we do are utterly ineffective, and some are very effective. Some were once effective, but have now become useless.

Our modern technological world is a very rapidly evolving place, so it’s a good idea to take some time every few years and take stock of how you’re protecting yourself. You’ll probably want to stop doing some things that have become pointless ritual, and replace them with new practices that you didn’t engage in previously.

Let’s start by throwing some cold water on the most well known security measure: Anti-virus software, or AV. No, it is not useless, but it is a very long way from perfect. Depending on who you ask and how you test, you’ll get different answers for how effective AV is, but you’ll never get an answer of 100%.

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iHome SmartPlug – Review

On August 28, 2015, in iPhone, Review, Wi-Fi, by Curt Blanchard

iHome SmartPlug
Manufacturer: iHome
Retail: $39.99


Home automation and the Internet of Things aren’t just pie-in-the-sky concepts any more. They’re beginning to happen. iHome’s new iSP5 SmartPlug lets you control an electrical outlet in your home wherever you are with your iPhone. It’s also compatible with Apple’s HomeKit so Siri will respond to your voice commands.

Smart appliances such as thermostats, exterior door locks, and garage door openers can already be controlled by smartphones but these devices are expensive and often require professional installation. By comparison, the SmartPlug is a simple, inexpensive plug-and-play device. It connects wirelessly to your home Wi-Fi and is controlled with the iHome Control app (iOS and Android). Open the app and a single tap turns the power on or off.

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Publisher Plus – Review

On August 27, 2015, in Review, by Simon Parnell

Publisher Plus Desktop Publishing Application
Pearl Mountain Software
Direct from developer’s website $39.90 US / £33.54 UK
Mac App Store $19.99 US / £14.99 UK

Application Icon

Publisher Plus is a Desktop Publishing (DTP) package similar to Pages, Swift Publisher, PageMeUp or iStudio Publisher. It is designed for producing posters, flyers, newsletters, menus, and anything else you might want to print.  It is priced at $39.90 on the developer’s site but only $19.99 on the Mac App Store (the developer tells me this is a “time limited App Store offer” but it isn’t made clear anywhere.) There is also a Publisher Lite that is free. I recommend you try out the app before you make a decision to purchase.

In order to review desktop publishing software I like to build a simple little document to get a feel for how the package operates. For this review I built this simple newsletter front page.

My Mac Publisher Plus

Newsletter front page with boxes, shadows, rotations, blends and text wrapping.

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MyMac Podcast 571: Don’t you just HATE rumor shows?

On August 25, 2015, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

Gaz and Guy are back together and end up with a really long show filled with rumor nonsense. Which turns out to be a regular show with them talking about rumors. Also, Pennsylvania hijinks, pressure washers, typical mostly already known UK sayings, and links to videos of stupid people being arrested for being stupid in cars! Thankfully Guy and Gaz are rarely in a car together so they’ll probably be back next week.

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No significant ones this week
Other stuff:
Guy’s App Pick: Not an app pick but a funny video of people feeling entitled and getting arrested for it.
Gaz’s App Pick: Pocket. Put articles, videos or pretty much anything into Pocket. Save directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite. If it’s in Pocket, it’s on your phone, tablet or computer. You don’t even need an Internet connection.
People’s Pick: Joshua Martinez
Skinomi TechSkin for  Watch

Hay MyMac Podcast peeps! I wanted to share with a product that I am enjoying after getting my  Watch face repaired, Skinomi TechSkin. So far I have had one on my 42mm Sport for about a month now and it keeps scratches off the face of the watch. Amazon has a some pretty good deals on them for a six pack.

Guy@mymac.com, MacParrot on Twitter/ Gaz@mymac.com, GazMaz on Twitter/ GuyandGaz on Twitter/ Feedback@mymac.com/
Skype +1 Area code :) 703-436-9501


TechFan #221 – Den of Thieves

On August 21, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

Ashley Madison hack and the privacy and relationship repercussions are on the top of the show. Also,  
Pac-Man is back in a big, bad way with  Pac-Man 256 from developer Hipster Whale. Apple Music is once again a big topic thanks to feedback, as well as privacy.

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Pac-Man 256
Read full email from Brendan Rowland after the break!

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