OS X Yosemite is packed with new features. Unfortunately, not everybody knows every single trick to squeeze the latest, greatest functionality out of Apple’s new system software.
In today’s instructional Cult of Mac video, we share five basic OS X Yosemite tricks that everyone needs to know. We’ll show you how to make phone calls from your Mac, switch to Yosemite’s “dark mode,” use Spotlight like a pro, easily record video from your iOS device screen, and let other people control your Mac (and vice versa).
A really old Apple computer can fetch a fortune at an auction these days, but more recent models that you can easily pick up on eBay aren't going to make you a great deal of money -- especially if they no longer work. But instead of sticking them in your garage and leaving them to collect dust, why not turn them into something useful?In this gallery, we'll show you 11 old Macs that have been given a new lease of life, like the Mac Pro that's now an aquarium, a group of Macintoshes turned into planters, and an old iMac G4 that's been transformed into a desk lamp.Photo: theappleguru, eBay
This old Mac Pro G5 case has been transformed into a gorgeous aquarium that would look right at home in any Apple fan's living room. It's fully functional, and complete with lights and an air pump."In keeping to my fascination with reusing and recycling things to fulfill a new design and function, this fish tank built from a Apple G5 desktop seemed like an ideal way to give a new life to a dead machine," says creator Michael Garito.Garito used acrylic to make the tank that lives inside the case, and its miniature air pump is concealed beneath it where the Mac Pro's power supply would have lived.Garito is currently selling this particular tank, and you can contact him via his website below if you're interested.Photo: Michael Garito, mgarito.com.
Another Michael Garito creation, this aquarium was made out of two old Apple monitors sandwiched together. Due to its strange shape, Garito had to build a custom filtration system for this tank."I built a filtration system that is submerged in the tank, hidden behind the central 'hide'," he explains. "I did not want the aesthetic of the tank diminished by air tubes running over the side so they, along with the filter's power cord, and the tank's drainage tube are all discreetly ran out of the bottom and through the monitor stand."This tank seems a little trickier to build than the Mac Pro tank, but it looks pretty spectacular. Garito donated this one to an elementary school.Photo: Michael Garito, mgarito.com
If you've got an old iMac G4 knocking around, turning it into a stunning desk lamp is actually easier than it looks. This particular model was sold on Etsy, but there are lots of guides to making your own.Photo: SewWhatSherlock, Etsy
Perhaps the greatest way to breath new life into an old Mac is to turn it into a "Hackintosh." That's doing away with its old components, using its case to house a brand new PC, and then installing OS X on it.Of course, Mac Pro cases won't just take any motherboard and components, so you'll have to make a few adjustments to make them fit. This particular Hack Pro was put together by "Commander Zero" over on the InsanelyMac forums who details each modification that was made in the thread below.Photo: CommanderZero, InsanelyMac
If you're not up to building a Hackintosh, how about gutting that old Mac Pro case and using it as a cable tidy instead. No one likes the sight of messy cables, but this "Power Tower" from Kiwidee looks great when it's all closed up.Tucked away inside it there's an integrated power surge, three AC circuits, and up to 30 plug sockets. There's even a handy socket on the front of the case.Photo: Kiwidee
These Macintosh planters are the ideal garden accessory for any tech freak who likes getting their fingers green - and they couldn't be simpler to make. Simply gut your Macintosh, cut a hole in its top, and fill it with soil.Photo: Superchou, Flickr
Another simple hack, this one turns an old Mac Pro G4 case into a mailbox. All you need to do is gut your machine, cut a hole out of its front for your mail and install a door, then add some numbers.Don't forget to make the case waterproof, though, because you could come home to soaking wet post after a rainy day.Photo: Digitaldust, Flickr
When it's sunny outside, you don't want to be stuck in with your Mac. So how about turning it into a barbecue grill and taking it outside for some cooking. You can make your own by following the steps in this Imgur gallery.Photo: 100uf, Reddit
If you've got more than one Mac Pro case collecting dust, sticking a block of wood between them creates a beautiful bench like this one from Klaus Geiger.Photo: Klaus Geiger
Another Klaus Geiger hack turns a couple of old Mac Pro cases into a set of drawers that even Jony Ive would be proud of. This one's a little harder to put together than the bench, but it's well worth the effort.Photo: Klaus Geiger
This old Power Mac G4 Cube case makes for the fanciest tissue box you'll ever see. Creating this hack is as easy as swapping out the computer's old logic board, hard drives, and other components for a box of tissues. You can find step-by-step instructions via the link below.Photo: Macgeek, Instructables
Fresh off the Apple event! Catch our impressions of iPad Air 2, the iPad Mini 3, the big, beautiful iMac with 5K display, and the updated Mac Mini. Plus, our favorite Yosemite and iOS 8.1 Continuity features; and HBO makes a move to offer all us cable cutters the a la cart TV we’ve always wanted.
Snicker your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.
Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Squarespace 7 is live, and it’s their biggest update in years. Now building a beautiful website is faster and easier than ever. Get started with a free trial at Squarespace.com and use code “CultCast” at checkout for 10% off any order.
Tim Cook Chairman Honeycrisp took to the stage at yesterday’s Apple keynote. Photo: Apple
Tim Cook sure is picking up a lot of nicknames as of late. At the iPhone 6 keynote he was dubbed the “Zen Master of hardware and software” by U2’s Bono, and at yesterday’s iPad event he was given the codename “Chairman Honeycrisp” as part of the entertaining Stephen Colbert secrecy skit.
Taking the latter nickname as his inspiration, YouTube’s resident Apple songsmith Jonathan Mann (whose work we profiled earlier this week) put together his customary post-keynote song, highlighting the October 16 Apple media event.
The result may not quite hit the highs of Mann’s superb WWDC tribute (a song that is still stuck in my head months later), but it’s worth a watch for the repeating “Intergalactic Chancellor Chairman Honeycrisp” chorus alone.
Tim Cook shows off the growing family of Apple products. Photo: Apple
It’s been way too long since Apple showered us with new products like the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch, but Tim Cook and his crew are ready to go in for round two at a town hall keynote today at Apple HQ. New iPads, a Retina iMac and OS X Yosemite are rumored to be on the menu, but will Apple have one more surprise waiting for us?
Apple’s holiday lineup will be revealed in just a few short hours, and we’ll be here liveblogging all the details as the event unfolds. So bookmark this page, and come back at 10 a.m. Pacific for what will most likely be Apple’s last major announcements of 2014.
Until September, 2014 was a pretty quiet year for new Apple products. But the drought is over.
After announcing new iPhones and the Apple Watch last month, another media event is being held October 16th at Apple’s Town Hall auditorium on its Cupertino campus. “It’s been way too long,” joked Apple in its invitation to select members of the press. For those itching to see new iPad and Mac hardware, indeed.
While Town Hall is only a fraction of The Flint Center’s size, October 16th’s event shouldn’t be viewed as any less important. iPad sales are stagnant, and Apple’s desktop displays have been needing an upgrade for years. Apple Pay, an entirely new venture for the company, is expected to come out any day now. And then there’s always the chance that Apple still has at least one surprise up its sleeve.
Apple is reportedly upgrading the technologies used for printing its logo onto devices, using new laser-cutting and embedding technologies that will give the logo a 3-D appearance that will “shine at the edges.”
This logo is apparently set to feature on all new Apple products from next year, beginning with the the next-generation iMac.
Watch Apple unveil its new iPads live. Screenshot: Apple.com
With Apple’s last keynote live stream being an utter disaster, we weren’t holding out much hope for another one in the foreseeable future. But the company has today posted a note on its website that confirms you will be able to tune into next Thursday’s iPad event via the Apple website.