Cult of Mac Holiday Gift Guide: Mac Lovers’ Edition [Updated]

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mac lovers UPDATEd

Believe it or not, Black Friday has already come and gone. Pretty soon the Christmas season will begin, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much.

Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.

From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts for Mac lovers (not Mac fighters).

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You Have Zero Hope Of Cramming An SSD Into The New iMac

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Apple’s new 21.5-inch iMacs are ridiculously thin and gorgeous. They’re also one of least upgradeable/repairable desktop  computers on the market. It’s possible to swap out the RAM on the new 21.5-inch iMacs, but trying to get an aftermarket SSD into the 21.5-inch iMac might be an impossible task.

Teardowns of the new 21.5-inch iMac revealed that in order to get to the hard drive users will have to separate the display from the main body of the iMac. That task isn’t too difficult, but gluing the display back onto the iMac’s body will be pretty tough. On top of that, once you get inside the 21.5-inch iMac there’s literally no room for an SSD and nowhere to plug it in.

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Get Ready! New iMacs Are Imminent [Report]

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Wave goodbye to this.
Wave goodbye to this.

A new report suggests that Apple is gearing up to launch its latest lineup of iMacs very soon. It’s unclear whether they’ll get that much-anticipated Retina display, but if that’s not going to be a decider for you, it looks like you’ll have a new all-in-one in the coming weeks.

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Just What Does Power Nap Do While Your Mac Is Sleeping?

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We showed you how to switch on Power Nap on your Mountain Lion-running, SSD-equipped Mac, but just what does this new feature do?

We know that you Mac enters a kind of robotic REM sleep, where it’s brain activity spikes and the network connections power up to download various bits of data, just like Newsstand on iOS. But a new Apple Knowledge Base article outlines the surprising number of tasks which are going on under the sleepy-lidded hood.

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Find Out How Fast Your SSD Or Hard Drive Really Is [OS X Tips]

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Geeky, yes. Cool? Yes, again.
Geeky, yes. Cool? Yes, again.

Sometimes, it’s just fun to compare scores with your friends. Without the urge to compete, we wouldn’t have sports, national videogame competitions, or reality television. Now there’s a new way to measure up against those around you – Solid State Drive (SSD) speed.

Ok, so it’s not really a thing, but here’s how you can benchmark your own SSD to compare it with other SSD devices, if you need to know how much faster one computer you own is than another. In fact, it’s a ton of fun to compare the speed of an SSD, say in this here Macbook Air, and that of a hard drive, like in my Mac Mini. Here’s how.

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Why Microsoft Will Be Cooler Post-Ballmer On An All-New CultCast

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There’s no way to be nice about it: Microsoft is not cool. Their products aren’t cool (sans Xbox!). Their logo isn’t cool. And then there’s their dancing, prancing, screaming, bear of a man slash CEO: Steve Ballmer. And on our brand new CultCast, we have to ask: could Microsoft bring their sexy back with a CEO who isn’t the official jester of the tech community?

And then, don’t miss our discussion on how one simple hardware upgrade can transform your aged Macbook Pro into an unholy speed demon! That’s right, you don’t need a Retina Macbook, just $200 and ten minutes can bring you a renewed computing power that would make even Tim Cook’s glasses start to fog!

Subscribe to The CultCast now on iTunes, or easily stream new episodes right on your iPhone or iPad with Apple’s brand new Podcasts App.

Full show notes coming up next!

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The Nifty MiniDrive Is An SD Card Designed To Go Unnoticed In Your MacBook [Kickstarter]

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See — the Nifty MiniDrive is almost unnoticeable.
See — the Nifty MiniDrive is almost unnoticeable.

Apple is clearly working towards making solid-state storage a standard for its MacBook line, which means our notebook computers have never been speedier. The only problem is, the flash storage Apple uses is still pretty expensive, and so most of us have to settle for less of it when we’re buying a new MacBook.

That means we either need to come up with ways to decrease our data consumption, or add cheaper external storage for things like our iTunes libraries and torrent archives. If you’re going for the latter (the easier option) then you need the Nifty MiniDrive, an SD card specifically designed for MacBooks that you’ll hardly ever notice.

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Why Businesses Should Think (And Think Twice) About Going SSD

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Should businesses consider SSD options for Macs running OS X Server like the Mac mini Server?
Should businesses consider SSD options for Macs running OS X Server like the Mac mini Server?

Mac and iOS users are strangers to NAND flash storage. After all, Apple has been using flash as a storage medium for years now. iPods, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and some MacBooks all rely on NAND flash as a storage medium of choice. The success of those products has led Apple to be world’s biggest buyer of NAND chips and was no doubt a factor to mention the company’s purchase of Israeli flash memory firm Anobit.

Solid state storage based on NAND flash isn’t Apple-specific. Plenty of other companies offer flash storage in an array of form factors for a huge variety of uses including smartphones and mobile devices. Solid state drives (SSD) drives are available as options for a range of PCs. They’re also becoming common options for servers and network devices. For businesses looking to implement Lion or Mountain Lion, SSDs can be an attractive option. They can also be an expensive prospect, and there may be better ways to spend your business dollars.

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Best Buy Discounts New MacBook Pro, MacBook Air By Up To $140

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Save a small fortune on your new Apple notebook buy ordering from Best Buy.
Save a small fortune on your new Apple notebook buy ordering from Best Buy.

It’s been just three weeks since Apple issued refreshes to its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and already they’re on sale at Best Buy, with up to $140 off the MSRP. That means you can pick up the base model MacBook Pro with Retina display — with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD — for $2,089.

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OWC Turns Your MacBook Air’s Old Flash Storage Module Into The Perfect External SSD

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Recycle your MacBook Air's old SSD module into an external drive.
Recycle your MacBook Air's old SSD module into an external drive.

If you’re planning to upgrade the flash storage in your 2010 or 2011 MacBook Air, don’t just discard your old module or let it go for pennies on eBay. With the Aurora Envoy enclosure from Other World Computing, you can turn that old flash storage into an external drive that’s designed to match your MacBook Air perfectly.

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