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Awesome gift ideas for the coolest creatives

Awesome gift ideas for the coolest creatives

A Mac is the ultimate tool for creatives — you’ll find Apple computers littered throughout graphic design houses, music and video studios, marketing agencies and newsrooms.

Chances are, if you know a creative, you know a Mac user.

So, what are you going to buy them for Christmas? If you’re stuck for ideas, let us help.

Our gift guide for creatives will help you pick the perfect present.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable stocking stuffer or a budget-breaking gesture they’ll never forget, we’ve got you covered.

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How to build a gaming Hackintosh on the cheap: assembly

Let's build. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Let’s build. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Now that we’ve got all the parts for our Hackintosh, it’s time to put them all together. This is the really fun part of this project: You’re turning processors and chips and motherboards into a working computer that’s going to do all kinds of things for you.

You’ll get an incredible sense of satisfaction at the end — especially if you’re building a computer for the first time.

In this piece, I’ll walk you through the building process from start to finish.

Building a computer is actually a pretty simple process — much simpler than most people realize. So long as you’re careful with the components and you make sure you’re installing them in the right places, there’s little chance anything will go wrong.

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How to build a gaming Hackintosh on the cheap: hardware

Hackintosh

Want more power for your money? Build a Hackintosh. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

I recently decided it was time to get a proper desktop computer. I needed it predominantly for work, but I wanted it to be powerful enough to play the latest games in 1080p without worrying about stuttering or terrible frame rates.

The new Mac lineup didn’t offer a perfect fit — the Retina 5K iMac was too expensive, and the new Mac mini simply wasn’t powerful enough — so I set myself a goal: To build a gaming machine with a dedicated video card, capable of running OS X, for around the price of a Mac mini.

I set a budget of $650 for my build. That’s $150 more than the base model Mac mini, but $50 less than the midrange model. In this piece, I’ll take you through the components I purchased and why I chose them, and how I put them all together. Next week, I’ll show you how I installed OS X to turn my DIY gaming rig into a Hackintosh.

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Typed, Themeboard and other new apps that are worth downloading

NASA’s new Orion spaceship will fly with an ancient skeumorphic UI

Orion's dashboard is a modern computer with virtual controls that look like older cockpits. Photo by NASA

Orion’s dashboard is a modern computer with virtual controls that look like older cockpits. Photo: NASA

NASA’s spaceship of tomorrow might make a critic of skeuomorphic design cringe.

Orion, which flew successfully on an unmanned test Friday and is seen as a critical first step toward flying a crew to Mars, is guided by sophisticated computer control panels.

But instead of a modern digital interface, NASA designed the controls to look like something from the Gemini missions from the ’60s. Orion’s computer screens are full of virtual flip switches and levers that would put Yuri Gagarin at ease.

It’s a little like Apple putting a virtual rotary dial on an iPhone.

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How to create an HTML Signature for Apple Mail

It's not super intuitive, but you can make your own HTML signature for Apple Mail fairly easily. Screengrab: Cult of Mac

It’s not super intuitive, but you can make your own HTML signature for Apple Mail fairly easily. Screengrab: Cult of Mac

We all like our email signatures to look fantastic, of course, and Apple Mail has always let you do so with an HTML-style email signature feature, starting back in OS X Lion.

The process has only gotten more complex, unfortunately, and takes a bit of patience and a sturdy sense of adventure, but it’s not too difficult.

If, then, you choose to jump right in and create your own HTML signature for Apple’s Mail app on OS X Yosemite, keep on reading.

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Road-ready gifts for bicyclists

If any of these 7500 riders at Levi's Gran Fondo are on your Holiday shopping guide, we have some suggestions for you below. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If any of the 7,500 riders at Levi’s Gran Fondo are on your gift list, we have some suggestions for you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

We here at Cult of Mac love bicycles almost as much as we love our iPhone 6 Pluses and iMac Retina 5Ks.

Maybe it’s the feeling of almost flying. Or the passionate design coming out of the bicycle industry. Or maybe it is just the idea of being a part of something else that drives intense passions in people. Whatever it is, we love it.

So we scoured high and low to bring you a list of crazy gift ideas for yourself or for your two-wheeled companions.
Take a look, but remember to take a deep breath before firing up your Apple Pay.

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The oddly uplifting story of the Apple co-founder who sold his stake for $800

Ron Wayne's archive will go up for auction this month. Photo: Christie's

Apple co-founder Ron Wayne’s archive will go up for auction this month. Photo: Christie’s

In a universe where things worked out a bit differently, Ronald Wayne would be a billionaire.

When Apple was incorporated on April 2, 1976, Wayne was named alongside Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as one of three founders, with a 10 percent stake in the company. However, just 12 days after Apple started up — feeling out of his depth because he “was standing in the shadow of intellectual giants” — Wayne threw in the towel and sold his shares for just $800.

“I was 40 and these kids were in their 20s,” Wayne tells Cult of Mac. “They were whirlwinds — it was like having a tiger by the tail. If I had stayed with Apple I probably would have wound up the richest man in the cemetery.”

In Apple lore, Ron Wayne is the man who won the lottery but lost the ticket. He’s Cupertino’s version of Stuart Sutcliffe or Pete Best, the musicians who played with The Beatles but left before the band made it big. Unlike Wozniak and Jobs, who became multimillionaires at a young age, Wayne’s finances have been “in a hole for the last 40 years.”

Now he’s selling his Apple archive — which includes original proofs of the Apple-1 manual he created and unused designs for a proposed Apple II case, among other documents — in a Christie’s auction later this month. Expected to go for between $30,000 and $50,000, the archive will give its new owner a tangible piece of Apple’s early existence.

And the sale will help Wayne, who claims he does not regret his decision to leave Apple, pay his bills.

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All in the wrist: Devs embrace future of Apple Watch apps

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

App icons float on the Apple Watch’s tiny homescreen. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Despite never having laid their hands upon an Apple Watch, developers are feverishly crafting apps for the long-awaited wearable.

To do this, they face considerable challenges: The size of the device is unlike anything most of them have ever contemplated, and they must design for an entirely different kind of user experience. To make matters worse, the Apple Watch’s functionality will be severely limited, at least at first.

Still, the independent developers that Cult of Mac spoke with are unabashedly delighted to take on the design challenge as they seek to colonize the next frontier of computing: your wrist.

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Lust List: Heart-pumping, dart-thumping gear (and a blinkin’ Apple book)