OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock – Review

On May 26, 2015, in Audio, Camcorder, Camera, Headphones, Network, OWC, Review, by Steve Hammond

OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock
Price: $249.99
Company: OWC

Thunderbolt is probably the most interesting technology that came to our Macintoshes in recent years. Since I bought a 15” MacBook Pro with retina display, I have been following the market for Thunderbolt docks. In the first years, they were slow to come to market. Then, with Thunderbolt 2 released, they removed some ports. OWC has a new accessory that has Thunderbolt 2 connectivity with a FireWire port: the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock.

1-dock-main

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About Steve Hammond

Steve is a computer geek, and he has been for many years. He has studied computer science for 15 years, with a college degree in computer science, a backchelor degree in computer with a minor in mathematics, and a Master degree in computer science. In high school he was initiated to computer on an Apple II, then his parents bought him a Commodore 64, then a Mac Plus. But in computer science, DOS and Windows PC were used mostly, so he switched to the dark side for a while. In 2000 he began doing some photography, then discovered iPhoto which make him come back to the Macintosh in 2002. Since, he became a Mac geek again and he sure won't turn back to the PC.

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Universal USB 3.0 4K Laptop Docking Station w/4K DisplayPort
Company: StarTech
Price: $222.99 U.S.

USB_dock_main
Portable computers are very popular, sometimes more popular than their desktop equivalent. The counterpart of using a portable computer is that you are limited in number of ports and extensibility. Thanks to USB 3.0 and StarTech Universal USB 3.0 4K Laptop Docking Station w/4K DisplayPort you can eliminate some of those limitations.

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About Steve Hammond

Steve is a computer geek, and he has been for many years. He has studied computer science for 15 years, with a college degree in computer science, a backchelor degree in computer with a minor in mathematics, and a Master degree in computer science. In high school he was initiated to computer on an Apple II, then his parents bought him a Commodore 64, then a Mac Plus. But in computer science, DOS and Windows PC were used mostly, so he switched to the dark side for a while. In 2000 he began doing some photography, then discovered iPhoto which make him come back to the Macintosh in 2002. Since, he became a Mac geek again and he sure won't turn back to the PC.

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Audioengine’s D1 Saved My Marriage
Audioengine D1 Premium 24-bit DAC (digital-to-analog converter)
Price: $169

D1 product

My Panasonic digital television does not have a headphone port. Why have TV manufacturers removed headphone ports from our equipment? How are people supposed to use headphones now? Why are we suddenly not interested in using them?

When I stream audio/video content from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, or the iPad/iPhone, using an AppleTV or Roku box, there needs to be a straightforward way to listen with headphones without disturbing my wife reading in the living room. Audioengine’s D1 digital-to-analog converter is the solution and marriage saver.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

Backup Plus Desktop Drive for Macintosh
Company: 
Seagate
Price: $110 to $190, based on 2TB, 3TB, or 4TB online purchase

Seagate Backup Plus Black Mac

Seagate’s semi-modular external drives are versatile gems of design and engineering. With only a few companies now manufacturing good-quality consumer backup drives, the latest lineup of Backup Plus Desktop Drive for Macintosh models offers reliability, excellent value for money, and a secret hidden feature in the removable bottom power and interface port base unit.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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There are three ways product reviewers respond to all the gadgets and gizmos we receive: dislike and send them back promptly, use them for a while but not long-term, or keep them forever even if it means parting with hardly-earned cash. The new and favorite items discussed below can be proud to be in the latter group.

Apotop AP-U2 32GB USB2 External Storage Tiny Drive — available in five colors
Price: $40 Internet price

Apotop-AP-U2

As I write this article, Apotop’s exceptional new AP-U2 barely-external flash drive is inserted into one of my MacBook Pro’s USB ports. I am copying my entire 21.4 Music Folder from my Home Folder onto the remarkably small AP-U2, with its 32GB capacity.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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Powerocks Magic Cube Universal 6000mAh Extended Battery
Manufacturer: Powerocks
MSRP: $74.99, Amazon $50.48 (purple)
6210Powerocks
Power on the Go — Peace of Mind in a sack!

Our inventory of battery operated, USB charged, personal devices grows longer and longer. This situation translates into a greater likelihood of finding one of these running out of power at a critical moment. This could prevent you from keeping the kids entertained on a long trip or from getting that message from your spouse to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home from work.

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About Bob Wood

I am a nearly life long photographer now doing commercial as well as fine art work. I have almost 20 years as a Mac User Group officer and enjoy the people and imparting help and knowledge to our members. There is nothing like seeing the light go on in the eyes of your, Mac or Photography students.

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ministack
Newer Technology miniStack Max
Company: Other World Computing
Price: $319.19

There are many types of products on the market that help you cope with your storage, DVD/CD playback, or connection needs. You can easily go to a local store and pick up a few pieces of hardware like a Blu-ray player so you can view movies ,or a hard drive to store extra files of backups, or possibly a USB hub so you can meet your demand of USB connections.

Or instead you could use a product called the miniStack Max. The miniStack Max packs a whopping amount of hardware in a sleek aluminum body. You have many options when purchasing a miniStack Max. In total, 20 options. There are four different kits; within the first three kits there are six different storage size options from zero GB all the way to 4.0 TB.

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Mimobot USB Flash Drive: Picard — Review

On May 7, 2013, in Review, by Julie Kuehl


Captain Picard Mimobot
 — Boldly Goes Where No Flash Drive Has Gone Before!
Company: Mimoco
Capacity: 8 GB-64 GB
Compatible with: USB 2.0
Requires: OSX 10.83
Price: $24.95-66.99

Star Trek Picard Mimobot Flash Drive
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? A Jean-Luc Picard USB stick?! How can you go wrong?

And you really can’t. The Captain Picard MIMOBOT 8 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive available for this review is a wonderful little flash drive that you can use to store and move data files just like any other USB stick.

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About Julie Kuehl

Julie Kuehl is an IT Communication Specialist by day. Currently she is focused on becoming a total nerd by publishing podcasts, writing blogs and reviews, and learning web design/development. Podcasts she hosts include SciFi Tech Talk and Apptastic Reviews. More info can be found at about.me/juliekuehl.

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Genius SP-U115 USB Speakers — Review

On March 13, 2013, in Audio, Review, Speakers, by Julie Kuehl

Genius SP-U115
Company: Genius
Version: SP-115
Compatible with: any computer (or device) with a 3.5mm audio jack
Requires: USB port for power
Price: $12.99 (on Amazon)

Proving once again that you get what you pay for, the Genius SP-115 speakers are a low-cost set of speakers for your computer. While these will work with the Mac on your desk, I think they are better suited to being travel companions where the price makes them almost disposable.

Genius SP-U115 Speakers

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About Julie Kuehl

Julie Kuehl is an IT Communication Specialist by day. Currently she is focused on becoming a total nerd by publishing podcasts, writing blogs and reviews, and learning web design/development. Podcasts she hosts include SciFi Tech Talk and Apptastic Reviews. More info can be found at about.me/juliekuehl.

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PlugBug World USB Charger – Review

On February 14, 2013, in Adapter, iPad, iPhone, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, Review, by David Cohen

PlugBug World Global MacBook Adapter and USB Charger
Company: Twelve South
Price: $44.99

USB chargers for your technology devices are ten a penny – many of us have plenty of them knocking around, as many devices come with one in the box. So how does Twelve South expect to deliver value (and drive sales) with yet another USB socket for the wall?

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About David Cohen

A lifelong technology fan and an IT professional, David has been writing and podcasting for MyMac since 1995. In his professional life he is an expert in mobile computing, data centres, cloud services and IT security. For MyMac he is a features and review writer, a former host of the MyMac Podcast and Geekiest Show Ever podcast, and the current co-host of the TechFan podcast,

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Kinesis Keyboard – Review

On January 7, 2013, in Keyboard, Review, by Julie Kuehl

Kinesis Freestyle 2 Ergonomic Keyboard 
Company: Kinesis Corporation
Version: Freestyle2
Compatible with: Macs; separate version available for Windows
Requires: USB port, Mac OS X 10.4 or later for full functionality
Price: $109.00 for keyboard, $40.00 for VIP3 Accessory Kit

The Kinesis Freestyle2 keyboard is an ergonomic split keyboard that works flawlessly with Macs. It takes absolutely nothing more than plugging it in to set it up. If your brain and hands can wrap themselves around having a split keyboard, this one is wonderful.

Kinesis Freestyle2 keyboard flat with separated sections

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About Julie Kuehl

Julie Kuehl is an IT Communication Specialist by day. Currently she is focused on becoming a total nerd by publishing podcasts, writing blogs and reviews, and learning web design/development. Podcasts she hosts include SciFi Tech Talk and Apptastic Reviews. More info can be found at about.me/juliekuehl.

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Just Mobile Highway
Review

On April 29, 2012, in Review, by Vicki Stokes

Just Mobile Highway
Company: Just Mobile
Price: $34.99


Just Mobile Highway is a car charger for iPhone, iPad and other USB-powered devices. The Highway plugs into the cigarette lighter, delivering 2.1A output to rapidly charge your mobile devices and a fuse to protect from power surges.

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About Vicki Stokes

Vicki is a IT professional working in the Silicon Valley. Listen to her podcast, 3 Geeky Ladies, co-hosted with Suzé Gilbert and Elisa Pacelli.

Drive eRazer Ultra
Review

On February 27, 2012, in Adapter, Features, Hard Drive, Macintosh, Review, by John Nemerovski

Drive eRazer Ultra
CRU-DataPort
$212 to 249 online
Supplementary 1.8 and 2.5 inch combo adapters priced at $40 to $70

 

MyMac reviewed WiebeTech’s original Drive eRazer four years ago. This earlier model continues to work well here at Nemo’s MyMac Labs, but it has been discontinued. The new Ultra model adds functionality and versatility to a quest that is dear to every techie’s heart: I can’t wait to erase and reformat that annoying #$%^& hard drive.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac
Logitech
$50 US

This new solar-powered wireless keyboard is almost perfect. It works great, but it has some perfectly annoying “features.”

There is no printed manual or full set of Internet instructions. Its web site is incomplete. No built-in indent on the keyboard is provided for storage and travel with its USB dongle. There is no way to know when the caps lock key is activated.

Aside from those four minuses, Logitech has done a stellar job with engineering and design of its new Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac. Solar and ambient light battery charging are effortless. So is power management using a free software download. Battery efficiency is exceptional.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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Two small, versatile, high-value computer accesssories:

Presenter Pro Remote with Green Laser
Kensington
$80

XtremKey
LaCie
$50 to $230, depending on capacity

In commando, stealth mode, I strolled casually into a retail store featuring computers by a well-known company from Cupertino. I unscrewed the base cap from LaCie’s XtremKey deluxe all-terrain USB flash storage drive, exposing its USB plug tip. I discretely inserted XtremKey into a rear USB port on a new iMac, and its icon mounted instantly on the computer’s Desktop.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

Two Unusual iPad Case/Stands Reviewed by Jackie Richards, Guest Writer

PowerBack Battery Case with Kickstand and Dock
Kensington
$90 to $130 online

PowerBack is a combo iPad case, stand, and battery pack. A metal kick stand supports PowerBack in four different easel positions: two each portrait and landscape. The hard plastic shell case of robust construction has precise grid edges for aligning and sliding your iPad in and out.

A Micro-USB port on the bottom rear connects PowerBack to a computer or other USB charging source via an included cable. You may need an inexpensive Kensington or third party USB wall or car charger if you discharge all iPad and PowerBack juice while away from a computer. Blue lights flash to indicate incremental charging capacity: 20 – 40 – 60 – 80 battery fuel gauge, as Kensington calls it. The company claims up to five extra hours of power and our tests confirm that approximate range, depending on iPad activity.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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MiCorder Digital MP3 Recorder
Review

On January 5, 2011, in Earphones, Features, Headphones, Review, Speakers, by John Nemerovski

MiCorder
Company: Olens Technology
$60 to $80 online


If you are an iPhone or iPod touch snob, stop reading now and get back to your favorite time-wasting toy. If you want to learn about a promising new audio recording device, keep reading.

MiCorder does only two things, and does them well. It records ambient sound, live music, and voice easily and efficiently with a built-in microphone in non-audiophile MP3 compression. And it records from any line audio source with an included cable, also as a 128mbps MP3. Stop yawning. The latter is MiCorder’s greatest asset.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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Matias Tactilepro 3
Review

On December 3, 2010, in Keyboard, Review, by Rich Lefko

Matias Tactilepro 3
Company: Matias
Price: $149.99 USD

Keyboards are very personal computer peripherals. The criteria you use to choose your keyboard can be very different than the criteria I use to choose mine. There are plenty of keyboards but most people use the Apple keyboard that came with their Mac. While the current Apple keyboards are fine, other keyboard manufacturers offer different functions, keys and options.

Its all about the keys

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About Rich Lefko

Rich Lefko has been a Mac enthusiast for many years and is always seeking out the most innovative applications, Apps, gadgets and hardware to tell us about. He uses his Mac expertise for video editing, record-keeping, business needs and in the management of a weather website (RichLefko.com) his true passion in life. A native New Yorker, Rich lives in New Hampshire with his exceptionally beautiful wife and three perfect sons. Rich joined MyMac.com as a writer after winning a contest he heard on the podcast. As a result, Rich no longer enters contests. Rich accepts email at richardlefko@mac.com.

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By guest reviewer Devon Gilbert and John “Nemo” Nemerovski

Devon and Nemo spent hours listening, evaluating, and comparing these three innovative, affordable headphones with microphones, or headsets, if you prefer the term. We will first describe them one at a time before we rate or rank them.

Crossfade LP
Company: v-moda
Price: $200
Web site



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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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Pelican i1015
Company: Pelican
Price: $27 on Amazon


iPods and iPhones fit snugly in this hard plastic protective case from Pelican. The inside of the case is padded with rubber bumpers and also contains  an input for your earphones. Put your iPod in the case, connect the provided cable to it, lock the case with the snug and secure latches on the side and then connect your earphones to the external jack and you’re ready to go. The Pelican case feels secure and comes with a lifetime guarantee. I keep mine on the front seat of my car with my iPod in it and it’s hit the floor a few times on sudden stops. Both the case and my iPod still look like new. The case comes with a carabiner (or D-clip). You can start your music, lock the case and hang it on your belt or backpack. Another handy feature: The rubber rectangle inside the case that serves as a cushion for the iPone or iPod has a space under it where you can easily store your headphones . Everything rides in the same box and all of it is practically indestructible. Nice.

One caveat: The company says the case is not designed to be submerged in water. Don’t use it for swimming.

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About Sam Negri

Sam Negri is a desert dweller and professional journalist. During a 50 year career based in Tucson, Arizona, USA, he traveled and wrote about every corner of the Desert Southwest. Sam is an active bicyclist, photographer, opera lover, and piano student.

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