New MacBook Air and Mac Mini

The MacBook Air has been updated with a faster processor, Thunderbolt 3, Touch ID and Retina display. These are welcome upgrades and make a much improved laptop. Although we still prefer the MacBook Pro, the new MacBook Air looks like a good buy.

The Mac Mini can now be purchased with up to 2TB of SSD storage, 64GB RAM and the processor is up to 5x quicker. It also has Thunderbolt 3/USB-C, USB 3.0, HDMI and audio port. This could be an excellent desktop computer, and more flexible than an iMac since you can select your own display. The only thing the Mini lacks is a fast graphics card, which might be an issue if you work with graphic or video intensive apps all day.

Mojave 10.14

Apple recently released macOS 10.14 Mojove. At the time of this writing, MacLab is advising against performing this upgrade on a Mac in a production environment. There are issues to work out and we believe others yet to uncover. Code42 just announced an issue with Crashplan backup that requires manual intervention. If you have already upgraded to 10.14 and MacLab is providing your backup, please follow these instructions to make certain your important files continue to back up.

If you buy a new Mac with Mojave installed you may not have a choice moving forward, so please be careful to check all applications for capability.

Office Update Requires Sierra

The September 2018 update of Microsoft Office 365 requires macOS 10.12 Sierra or later according to Microsoft. Older versions of the operating system such as El Capitan (10.11) will still receive support for Office 365 but will not receive feature updates. Please contact MacLab to help upgrade your Mac to Sierra or newer to stay compatible. It is generally a good idea to stay within two major versions of the latest macOS for security and support. The latest macOS, 10.14 will be released shortly.

Best Practices to Secure Your Mac Office

10 Best Security Practices

  1. Malware monitoring and removal
  2. Strong passwords for Macs, iPhones and iPads
  3. Cloud backup in order to recover from data loss or ransomware
  4. Patch management (system updates, security updates)
  5. Device monitoring (computer performance and behavior)
  6. Data encryption for confidential information
  7. Firewall protection on the network and/or individual devices
  8. Documentation of security policies (what are the rules?)
  9. Secure password manager rather than paper, text file or spreadsheet
  10. Smart computing and education

High Sierra Update Issues

MacLab has had a number of customers come to us after applying a High Sierra update and the computer would not boot up. These updates are set to download automatically in many cases, so simply restarting the computer causes the update to proceed. In the past, this was usually safe. Unfortunately there’s an issue with these updates that can cause them to fail, leaving the Mac in an unusable state. You might see a message such as “The path /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg appears to be missing or damaged.”

Even if this has not happened to you, you may want to open up the System Preferences, go to the App Store setting, and uncheck “Install MacOS Updates.” We recommend having MacLab run these updates for you under managed services or maintenance.

The iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is Apple’s most powerful computer to date. It features up to an 18 core processor, 128GB of RAM and a 4TB SSD. The computer has a “space gray” finish and prices start at $4999. The iMac Pro is geared toward a graphics, video, or audio pro. So far, the RAM is only available from Apple as this post is written although that will likely change soon. All the peripherals including keyboard, mouse, and optional trackpad are space gray to match the computer. We still have some reservations about the all-in-one design of the iMac vs the Mac Pro, however this does look like an excellent workstation. We eagerly look forward to the upcoming Mac Pro.

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