Linux

6 cool things you can do with an old Mac

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6 Things To Do With An Old Mac
What can you use it for? Quite a lot, actually.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

There are lots of things you can do with an old Mac. No one will fault you for upgrading to Apple’s latest and greatest, but your old Mac can still find a job to do, too.

It used to be that when your old iMac kicked the can, you hollowed it out and made an aquarium or a desk lamp. These days, Macs have a much longer shelf life. The right model can give you years upon years of loyal service. (Not to mention, modern Macs are too thin to house a fish.)

Here are the six best things you can do with an old Mac. Watch our latest video or keep reading below.

Correction: Linux will not run on Apple silicon

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NOT the year of Linux on the Mac.
Linux on the desktop has been foiled once again.
Image: PantheraLeo/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Last week, I wrote a story incorrectly concluding that a full Linux desktop environment would soon run on Macs with Apple silicon. This was a misunderstanding of the facts.

While some of the work in the Asahi Linux project has been worked into Linux Kernel 6.2, and while Linux 6.2 will be adopted by the next major versions of Ubuntu and Fedora, this does not mean that Apple silicon Macs will be able to boot into these desktop environments.

Linux is now officially supported on Apple silicon [Correction: No it’s not]

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The Year of Linux on the Mac
Everyone’s third-favorite desktop operating system comes to the Mac.
Image: PantheraLeo/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Correction: This story was based on a misunderstanding of the facts. We published a correction to set the matter straight. Read that instead of the story below.

Linux has officially added support for Apple silicon in its latest release. Ubuntu and Fedora, two of the most popular distributions of Linux, will soon be integrating this feature.

While it’s still early for Apple silicon support, and not all computers with M-series chips will work, this is a significant milestone for Linux users. Computer scientists, programmers and hobbyists have not yet been able to fully take advantage of Apple’s powerful new hardware.

Graphics breakthrough brings Linux on Apple silicon closer to reality

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Quake 3 running in a Linux environment on an M1 Mac
3D first-person shooter Quake 3 can run in Linux on an M1 Mac with the new graphics driver.
Screenshot: Alyssa Rosenzweig & Asahi Lina/Asahi Linux Blog

Independent developers working to get Linux running on Apple silicon have made a significant breakthrough — the release of the first graphics driver. This is an important step toward running operating systems other than macOS on Apple’s powerful new computers.

“We’ve been working hard over the past two years to bring this new driver to everyone, and we’re really proud to finally be here,” wrote developers Alyssa Rosenzweig and Asahi Lina in a Wednesday blog post announcing the GPU driver release. “This is still an alpha driver, but it’s already good enough to run a smooth desktop experience and some games.”

Cider is the smart way to enjoy Apple Music on Windows

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Cider for Apple Music
Better than iTunes in every single way.
Image: Cider Collective

iTunes has become a slow and bloated mess over the years — which is why it no longer exists on Mac. But for those who are stuck with Windows, suffering iTunes is necessary if you want to enjoy Apple Music. Or is it?

There are other ways to take advantage of your Apple Music subscription on third-party machines. You could use the web app in a browser of your choice, or you could download Cider, a new and far greater iTunes alternative.

Cider, which is also available on Mac if you aren’t happy with the default Music app, offers a clean and simple user interface and almost all of the features we’ve come to expect from Apple’s streaming service — plus extras.

Protect your data with BusKill, a dead man’s switch for your laptop

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BusKill is a USB kill cord for your laptop that protects your data if someone snatches your computer.
BusKill is a USB kill cord for your laptop that protects your data if someone snatches your computer.
Photo: Alt Shift International

Last week a crowdfunding campaign launched for the new BusKill USB kill cord. It’s a dead man’s switch for laptops designed to protect your data by locking or even wiping your computer if someone snatches it away from you while you’re using it.

BusKill is designed for journalists, activists, crypto traders and travelers, the company said. Though it seems it could come in handy for anyone at risk of losing a laptop via smash-and-grab tactics.

Linux 5.13 launches with support for M1 Macs

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Linux on an M1 Mac is possible. With a lot of work.
Start using Linux on your M1-based MacBook or Mac mini.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Linux 5.13 Kernel Linus Torvalds released in final form on Sunday adds support for M1-powered Macs in the open-source operating system for the first time.

The update followed a public testing phase in May. It adds support for the M1 chip as well as a handful of others based on the ARM architecture. As a result, people can now run Linux natively on Apple Silicon hardware. That includes the new M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and 24-inch iMac.

Become a data science pro with this complete course bundle, now on sale for $20

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computer science
This computer science bundle will jump-start your career.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Whether you’re ready to start an exciting new career in IT, get that high-paying promotion you’ve been dreaming about, or simply want to boost your resume, don’t underestimate the value of having super up-to-date training in data science. It’s especially important in an industry that is always changing rapidly.

The good news is you don’t need to enroll at an expensive college to make it happen. In fact, The 2021 Complete Computer Science Certification Bundle of nine different courses is on sale for a limited time for just $20.

How to play PC games on your Mac with Steam Link

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Set up Steam Link for Mac
All your favorite PC games on your Mac for free.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Who said a Mac is no good for gaming? It’s now possible to play the latest PC games on any machine running macOS 10.13 or higher, thanks to the brand-new Steam Link app that just hit the Mac App Store.

The free download, which weighs in at less than 30MB, puts all your favorite titles at your fingertips. We’ll show you how to set it up.

You can now run Ubuntu Linux on an M1 Mac via USB

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Linux on an M1 Mac
Download all the files you'll need today.
Photo: Corellium

It’s now possible to run Ubuntu Linux on an M1 Mac, thanks to an early build made available by Corellium. The operating system is booted from a USB stick, leaving macOS completely unchanged.

All the files you need can be downloaded now from GitHub, and Corellium says an installation tutorial is on the way.

Linux might come to M1 Macs with your help

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Linux on an M1 Mac is possible. With a lot of work.
A developer with decades of experience porting Linux to game consoles wants to make a Linux M1 Mac.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Hector Martin (aka marcan) wants to port a full, useful version of the Linux operating system to the new Macs running Apple Silicon, but he needs help.

He’s got the skills for it — he put Linux on a PlayStation 4, for example. But the developer wants assistance from the public bringing the operating system to Macs running the new M1 processor. Not technical help, but financial contributions.

The best alternatives to Apple’s disastrous MacBooks

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Macbook alternatives: The Surface Book comes with a 100%-working keyboard.
Unlike MacBooks, the Surface Book comes with a 100%-working keyboard.
Photo: Clint Patterson/Unsplash

Apple’s current line of MacBooks is probably its worst laptop lineup in years. The keyboards are so broken that even the newest MacBook Air is covered under Apple’s keyboard repair program. There are too few ports, and too much heat. And if you want to upgrade any internal parts? You’ll have to buy a new MacBook. But what are the best MacBook alternatives?

If you want to ditch the MacBook, you will find plenty of options. However, none of them offer one essential element: macOS. Switching to another operating system is like moving house and having to leave everything but your clothes behind. But there are workarounds even for that. Let’s check out the best alternatives to the MacBook in 2019.

You can now run Windows 95 as an app on your Mac

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Windows 95 Mac app
It's easier than ever.
Photo: Felix Rieseberg

Take a trip down memory lane by loading up Windows 95 on your Mac. Play classic Solitaire and Minesweeper, and soak up the experience once enjoyed by nearly 70 percent of computer owners in the late ’90s.

It’s easier than ever, thanks to a new app built by Slack developer Felix Rieseberg.

Parallels 14 brings macOS Mojave support, big speed boost

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Parallels 14 for macOS
Parallels 14 is a massive upgrade.
Photo: Parallels

Parallels, the popular virtualization software for Mac, just got a massive upgrade.

Version 14 comes with macOS Mojave support and a significant speed boost, as well as welcome storage optimizations. It also brings a bunch of handy new features, including the ability to access Windows apps shortcuts on the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar.

Apple already fixed Intel’s massive chip flaw in macOS update

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intel
Intel says its chip flaw isn't a flaw.
Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

The critical design flaw discovered in the way Intel CPUs process information has reportedly already been fixed by Apple in a recent release of macOS.

Apple’s fix came out at the beginning of December with the release of macOS 10.13.2. But according to one developer, the company has a few additional patches for Intel’s blunder in a current beta build.

There’s a serious security flaw in Wi-Fi and we’re all at risk

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KRACK Wi-Fi attack
Beware the KRACK attack.
Photo: Mathy Vanhoef

A major security flaw has been discovered in Wi-Fi and we’re all at risk.

Researchers discovered the weakness in WPA2, the protocol that secures all modern Wi-Fi networks. Any modern device with a wireless connection could be open to a KRACK attack that would expose information like credit card numbers, passwords, messages and more.

‘Best Firefox ever’ pours on the speed

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Firefox is now more efficient than its rivals.
Firefox is now more efficient than its rivals.
Photo: Mozilla

Mozilla is rolling out its “best Firefox ever,” promising a perfect balance between speed and efficiency.

Firefox version 54 finally uses multiple processes for improved performance just like its rivals, so a complex webpage in one tab won’t impact your experience in another. What’s more, it uses less memory than other browsers on macOS, Mozilla says.

Google is developing a new operating system for everything

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Google's new operating system takes its name from colors.
Google's new operating system takes its name from colors.
Photo: Google

A brand new operating system with a colorful name is currently under development at Google, according to a new project page found on GitHub.

Google hasn’t officially acknowledged that it’s working on the project, but the new operating system could possibly replace Chrome OS and Android by being able to run on pretty much everything.

Hacking for the good guys is a lucrative skill to learn [Deals]

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PWYW Pentester
With companies like Instagram paying big bug bounties, it's a great time to learn ethical hacking.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Finding faults in a computer system can mean exploiting it — which is what we’ve been conditioned to think of when we hear the term “hacker” — or it can mean you’re trying to find ways of making the system stronger.

That’s what so-called white hat hacking is all about, and it’s a skill that’s becoming increasingly lucrative as more and more businesses are looking to do business over secure networks. This Ethical Hacker and Pentester Pro Bundle is a great way to join the light side of the hacking workforce, and you can get it for whatever you’re willing to pay.