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‘Old gamer’ goes with M1 Pro MacBook and Steam Deck [Setups]

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Two computers live here: a 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook and a Steam Deck for gaming.
Two computers live here: a 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook and a Steam Deck for gaming.
Photo: DefinitionStrong@Reddit.com

Everybody knows Macs don’t set the gaming world on fire, though Apple silicon has made some inroads. So while plenty of Mac users enjoy Apple Arcade and use Apple hardware to play games, many turn to other means. We’ve seen plenty a hybrid Mac – PC computer setups out there.

But today’s featured setup takes another course to gaming satisfaction. It’s owner, who describes himself as an “old gamer,” divides his time between work via an M1 MacBook Pro and gaming on a Valve Steam Deck.

Not feeling poor enough? Check out this guy’s ‘temporary’ setup. [Setups]

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Believe it or not, the main setup has three Pro XDR Displays in it.
Believe it or not, the main setup has three Pro XDR Displays in it.
Photo: MzeRS@Reddit.com

Sometimes looking at computer setups is all about practicality, as in finding the right tools for the job at the right price. But other times it’s like ogling other cool stuff you wish you had, like pimped-out cars or beachfront real estate.

Today’s featured setup is a funny one, in that regard. It’s a “temporary” setup, just getting by in lieu of a bigger, better setup. But its gear could make many people drool with desire.

Full-on ‘Dark Mode’ brings creativity into focus [Setups]

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The setup proper in
The setup proper in "Dark Mode." Atmospheric, eh? It's a space dedicated to creativity, but it also helps with focus.
Photo: Chris Denbow

Photographer and writer Chris Denbow puts an interesting twist on his computer setup. He credits its “Dark Mode” — which is obvious in the photographs of the desk and the room, but extends to the machines and the software he uses — for boosting his focus and creativity. He said the dark theme gives him a “space dedicated to creativity.”

“Introducing ‘Dark Mode,’ a minimal, monochromatic home office/workspace that helps eliminate distractions, [and] allows focus and productivity,” Denbow told Cult of Mac.

How to get the latest HomePod software update

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How to reset HomePod and HomePod mini
Here’s how to be sure you have the latest HomePod software update. Or stop your smart speaker from updating.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Your HomePod is a lot more than a simple speaker — it’s a whole computer. And like any computer it has an operating system that needs occasional updates.

Here’s how to make sure your Apple smart speaker has the latest software version. There’s a new version out that takes care of a music playback bug, and you don’t want to miss out.

What could be in store for the return of the big HomePod?

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The big HomePod could be back soon. But how pricey and how functional will it be?
The beloved big HomePod could be back soon. But how pricey and how functional will it be?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple plans to produce an updated version of the HomePod as soon as the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Friday.

As reliable as Kuo can be, little other information exists beyond speculation. But that’s part of the fun.

A lot of folks are jonesing for an Apple smart speaker that goes beyond the HomePod mini. The original HomePod, while much more expensive, earned a great reputation for sound quality before Apple killed it in 2021. So naturally, Apple fans are interested in a successor, possibly with new features.

Music streamer Tidal adds Siri support (but not for HomePods)

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Tidal finally added Siri support, but not for your HomePod or HomePod mini.
Tidal finally added Siri support, but not for your HomePod or HomePod mini.
Photo: Tidal

Music streaming service Tidal rolled out its long-awaited Siri integration Wednesday. Subscribers can ask Apple’s voice assistant to play songs, playlists, albums and more on the platform.

That’s great if you play music on an iPhone, iPad or Mac. But the Siri integration with Tidal doesn’t extend to HomePod or HomePod mini, unfortunately.

Discontinued HomePod keeps going up in value

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Bucking the usual trend with discontinued gear, the original HomePod is appreciating in value.
Bucking the usual trend with discontinued gear, the original HomePod is appreciating in value.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Citing lackluster sales, Apple discontinued the original HomePod — the big one — in March 2021. Cupertino chose to focus on the HomePod mini. But now the original version is appreciating in value in online marketplaces, showing surprising resilience.

Most of the time, discontinued gadgets end up in the bargain bin — if they’re sold at all.