So whenever I get a new machine, I always run an FDS benchmark on it - purely for fun and comparative purposes. I’ll often run it, even on a machine that isn’t likely to run FDS in a normal situations, such as the M1T Mini PC and Raspberry Pi. So with the M1 Mac Mini, there was no reason not to run the benchmarks as well. However, as the M1 Mac is based on an ARM based chip, I wasn’t expecting it to perform that well - after all, it would be running on the Mac using Rosetta 2, as FDS is compiled for x86 processors1.
I ran in to some issues with my Synology over the Christmas period, involving BTRFS and RAID. I had been running the NAS with an 8TB hard drive for main storage and a 3TB drive aimed at backups. However, I’d noticed a lot of a files deleted a few weeks ago which made me uneasy and then recently I found a corrupt image file on my gaming rig. I wasn’t sure if this was the fault of the desktop, or the Synology, but when I investigated the Synology, I found that the BTRFS file system I was using to help protect against bit rot wasn’t actually protecting me at all.
With the recent purchase of the Mac Mini, I needed to have an external drive - partly for Time Machine backups and partly as I only went 256GB internal drive. I’d got a couple of 2.5” hard drive caddies lying around, but also a 3.5” drive that wasn’t being used. Teamed up with the reduced number of ports on the M1 Mac Mini, I decided that I’d purchase a Direct Attached Storage (DAS) device for the Mac.
After the issues I’ve had previously with the Mac, I wasn’t sure I was going to get another Mac. But I did. I watched the M1 release keynote after it had finished and was impressed with what I saw. If it was true. However, after hanging around the Mac Power Users forum, I’d seen some interesting Mac apps that I fancied giving a go - things like Hook. I also wanted to continue using Photos, as I hadn’t really found an alternative on Windows that really matched it.
My current job sees me using Onedrive as the primary storage location for files, and since the initial lockdown in the UK, we moved to using Microsoft Teams and storing data in Teams instead, rather than our on site servers and mapped hard drives. This took some getting used to but suited me, as it meant that I could use my Mac Mini at home to access the files and work, rather than a work machine, which was good, as I had forgone the standard laptops that everyone else used so I could have an iPad for carrying out my risk assessments on, but this obviously isn’t as good for general office tasks1!
Apple’s Live Photos and Android equivalent, Motion Photos, initially seemed a bit like a gimmick when they were announced. However, there are a number of times now where the Live Photos on the iPhone has been of good use - mainly to capture amusing antics before or after the photo occurred! With playing with Android, I was surprised that this didn’t appear to have the same. However, after some googling, I discovered it does, and it’s called Motion Photos.
There has been much talk on how well ARM processors have moved on and how they can potentially now compete with x86-64 chips. Even though Microsoft have launched the Surface Pro X, which uses an ARM chip and Apple are moving the Mac’s to ARM processors, I hadn’t really considered just how far they’d come. I’ve had a Raspberry Pi and various versions since they were released and have been able to adequately use the Pi3+ for minimal desktop use and I’ve had the iPad Pro for work for a number of years as well, which has performed quite well, but I’ve never really put two and two together on how well they compared to the X86 chips I have.
I’ve resisted the high DPI screens for Windows machines for a number of years - mainly due to the cost of the screens. However, I’ve since upgraded a number of items and they now have larger screens. My monitor is now a Dell S2719DC 27" which has a display of 2560 x 1440 and my Surface Pro 7 has a resolution of 2736 x 1824. Both of which require some Windows scaling to adequately use from my point of view.
So, the iPhone SE was re-released, perhaps as a way for Apple to compete with the cheaper Android devices out there. Google started something similar last year with the release of the Pixel 3a - a cheaper, less powerful version of the Pixel 3. I’ve tried both phones - I own the Pixel 3a and my wife has the iPhone SE 2020, so thought I’d write a quick review. Camera The Pixel series is known for its camera, and the iPhone has always been well regarded for its camera - with Apple pushing the camera features heavily in various advertising.
After some further experimentation and use, I’ve a few more comments on Inspire Writer. I have been initially impressed with the Windows Ulysses clone. My initial review was written in it and was written using the 10 day free trial period. I purchased the software after using it for a day on the Windows Store - so I’ve been using the Microsoft Store version. There is a stand alone version available as well, though I would hope that there is feature parity between the two.