D. Griffin Jones, author at Cult of Mac

How to start a collection of classic Macs

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Collecting vintage Macs: My Macintosh Classic with matching ADB keyboard and mouse.
My Macintosh Classic with matching ADB keyboard and mouse.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

What makes people start collecting vintage Macs? There are many reasons. Some folks want to play abandoned games or use old software on original hardware. Some simply don’t know how to transfer files, and thus keep their old machines as a giant backup, just in case.

I collect old Macs because I care deeply about history. I want to have an informed perspective on the past so I can better understand trends of user-interface design and the evolution of technology.

My first vintage computer was a Macintosh Classic I bought on eBay for about $80. After lifting it out of its shipping box, I reached around the back to flip on the power switch and watch it boot. I loved hearing the whir of the hard drive, the fans humming and the delightful blip!-blip!-blip! noise the disk drive made when reading a floppy.

Apple computers are highly collectible. They span the entire history of personal computing. The company’s unwavering design philosophy, always pushing ease of use, means even the oldest and weirdest Apple computers are never hard to figure out. The historical lineup spans all different kinds of form factors and designs. Not to mention, they look rad.

So, you want to collect old Apple computers, too? Where do you start, and what do you want? Here’s a quick guide to buying classic Macs. These tips should get you started and help you avoid common pitfalls. (If you want to go even deeper, we also provide some links to further reading on the subject.)

How to get the new gender-neutral Siri voice in iOS 15.4

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Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Siri doesn’t have to sound female.
Image: Apple

One of the new features in iOS 15.4, released earlier this week, is a new, gender-neutral voice for Siri.

Apple developed the gender-neutral voice in response to criticism for using female voices as the default for the virtual assistant. If you want Siri to use a voice that is not explicitly female or male — maybe if you don’t identify that way yourself, or if you just want a nongendered voice assistant — now you have the option.

Here’s how to switch to the new voice on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

How to set up Face ID with a mask (and glasses) in iOS 15.4

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iPhone setting up Face ID with a mask
You will be prompted to set up Face ID with a mask after installing iOS 15.4.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

New in iOS 15.4, released today, Apple is extending Face ID to authenticate your face while wearing a mask. In my testing, it has increased the reliability and the number of situations in which Face ID works.

This feature is arriving late into the pandemic — it would have been great to have this for the past couple of years — but as new COVID variants surge, we may still need it for the foreseeable future. Plus, in some countries, wearing a mask when you’re sick has been standard for many years.

Here’s how to set up Face ID with a mask on your iPhone.

How Apple Studio Display stacks up against Pro Display XDR and others

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The Studio Display, Pro Display XDR, iMac 24″ and 16″ MacBook Pro.
From left to right: The 16″ MacBook Pro, the 24″ iMac, the Studio Display and Pro Display XDR.
Photo: Apple

We have been blessed to live in interesting times. For the first time since 2010, we have not just one, but two external monitors from Apple.

How does Apple’s latest offering — the Studio Display, introduced during Tuesday’s “Peek Performance” event — stack up against the high-end Pro Display XDR, the outgoing LG UltraFine 5K and the displays of other Macs?

Let’s dive in.

Apple Studio Display brings high-end monitor down to affordable price

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Apple Studio Display
The new Apple Studio Display.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Studio Display, revealed Tuesday alongside the new Mac Studio desktop, finally brings a high-end Apple monitor at a more-affordable price point.

Like the MacBook Pro and Pro Display XDR, the new 27-inch 5K monitor features TrueTone, P3 wide color gamut, studio-quality microphones, a six-speaker sound system, a thin bezel and optional nano-texture glass. But at $1,599, it costs just a fraction of the Pro Display XDR’s eye-watering price.

“The Studio Display is in a class of its own,” said Nicole Kordes, Apple’s engineering program manager for Mac, during Tuesday’s Peek Performance event. “Along with a gorgeous screen. It’s loaded with incredible features that no other desktop display can deliver. And it provides that integrated experience Mac users love.”