OWC Tips & Deals 10/7/2008
A hearty hello from Woodstock, IL! Seems to me that it's been far too long. Too long since Apple last put out new Mac hardware... and too long since we put out our last full newsletter. For my part, I apologize for waiting so long to get our next newsletter published out. Instead of waiting for Apple's next Macs (new iPods of course, but still waiting for Macs), what better time instead to recognize potential of those Macs we already have. You can be talking about your own Mac made to perform like it's new again via the various upgrade options which can help take it to that 'like new' feeling again.

As for what's next from Apple for the Mac... Got some rough ideas on that one too. Of course, the wait may very well be over by the time this newsletter crosses the wires. Timing is everything and if such is the timing, our next newsletter won't be far behind this one at all! :)

Speedbump that current Mac for that 'New' Mac feeling
While it's been what seems far too long since Apple has released some new Macs for us to rave about... It's been a while too since we've raved about how great that Mac you have right now is too. It's fun to talk about the 'latest and greatest' - but certainly not practical to buy that new top of the line each time it comes out. Fortunately, since you've got a Mac - it happens to have far more longevity than the average Windows PC out there + with some simple upgrades, it can be made better than new. Even if you're buying a new Mac, for what can be a very nominal investment, it's still well worth the while to maximize that Mac or those Macs you're still going to keep running.

#1 - More Memory = More Efficiency = More Performance
At twice, thrice, quadruple the price - there is just no better return on your upgrade investment than memory - no an easier upgrade to install either.

When it comes to Apple OS X - memory benefits performance in two distinct ways. First and foremost - you need it so your applications can run unimpeded. When an application needs to use more memory than is physically available, the OS turns to 'paged memory'. Paged memory is actually swapped on your hard drive. When paged memory is required during use of application, that significantly reduces performance as even the fastest hard drives are still a lot slower than actual memory. Next - in addition to memory being used by your applications, the OS uses memory supporting the environment which your applications run. While your OS and applications may be able to run on a minimum of 512MB of 768MB, etc - that doesn't mean that they will run well. Having more memory reduces, if not eliminates hard drive paging dependence for primary operations. Above and beyond, extra memory isn't wasted as OS X uses available memory to maximize its own efficiency. OS X keeps more functions 'cached' in that memory in anticipation of upcoming needs and is able to more effectively manage hard drive hit requirements in a way that is less likely to keep you waiting.

The bottom line is simple... Your OS and Applications can certainly run on the minimum memory, but having more memory installed makes for a whole lot more enjoyable and productive experience. Those annoying 'spinning beach balls' - more memory goes a long ways to all but eliminating them. I am amazed when people tell me they are running OS X and still have only 512MB of memory. The improvement just bumping to 640MB is worth the while - every incremental increase up to 2.0GB can be night and day noticed. So whether you're Mac maxes at 640MB, 1GB, 1.25GB, or 2GB - these upgrades can offer you an amazing performance benefit. For those of you with an Intel Mac that can go to 3GB, 4GB, or more - upgrading to 4GB may offer you better performance than the latest & fastest same kind Intel Mac with factory 2GB stock - Memory makes that much difference. OS X doesn't stop and 4GB and those Macs that can go to 8GB, 16GB, or even 32GB do reap the benefits with both OS X using extra memory to improve system responsiveness as well as those power apps that can use extra memory thrown their way.

In December of 2006 we started our first memory benchmark testing series. This testing began in response to Apple's published requirement that certain Core Duo (and later Core 2 Duo) Mac models be upgraded with matched pairs. Without going into a whole lot of detail - what the 'pair required' Intel models had in common was an Intel video chipset that shared video memory from the main memory. All Core Duo and Core 2 Duo models benefit from 128 Bit addressing when a matched pair is installed and the thought was, that without this memory addressing in place on models with the shared video memory setup, video performance may suffer. This made sense - except that out testing completely debunked this notion and we've been recommending more total memory ever since. In fact - for someone with 512MB (2 x 256MB) installed in a MacBook (for example), our testing consistently showed a greater benefit to upgrading that MacBook to 1.25GB (remove 1 x 256MB and add 1 x 1GB) vs. going to a 1GB set (2 x 512MB). Back when we did this testing, 2 x 512MB cost more than 1 x 1GB and both cost well over $100 as well. Being able to tell you it was ok to buy what you needed now (what was best for your wallet) and that you could come back later to upgrade the other slot when it made sense, we were super pleased to be able to do so. Today - with memory so low - these benchmarks are great for comparing how different Intel Macs perform as well as what adding more memory can do for each. Although these tests only cover the Intel Macs, the difference that more memory does make applies to any Mac! In fact - inversely so - the slower the processors in the Mac, the more benefit there is from additional memory since it offsets other system bottlenecks. More memory always makes an appreciable difference - but less to gain as the spread grows smaller as the overall systems become faster.

So just how inexpensive is memory? There's certainly no time like the present. There is both an over supply and a strong competition among memory makers to see their chips on the boards like those that OWC builds. Given the billions in losses the memory companies are taking to support today's prices (Micron has lost over $1.6 billion in the four reported quarters alone), I kid not saying this premium product is literally cheap at thrice or more the price. Some popular current Reader Special Memory Pricing is as follows:

MacBook Pro, MacBook, Mac mini, iMac
2.0GB 667MHz Upgrade Kit (1GB x 2 Matched) - $30.99
4.0GB 667MHz Upgrade Kit (2GB x 2 Matched) - $57.50
As a point of reference, it's notable that Apple still charges $200 just to factory go from 2GB to 4GB installed vs. our under $70 straight up and you'll have your old memory to sell, trade in, donate, etc. Also - a year ago - the same 4GBs of memory was about 3x the cost. Wow!

Special 4.0GB 667MHz CL4 Accelerated for Mac Kit (2GB x 2 Matched) - $62.75
Provides an extra 1-5% of performance for memory intensive processes. This option makes sense if looking to squeeze every last drop out of your Mac.

**New April/2008 introduced iMac Models require PC6400 800MHZ**
4.0GB 800MHZ Upgrade Kit for Apr/08 introduced iMacs - $58.75

Apple Mac Pro Xeon Models (Dual, Quad, 8-Core)
These systems have the multiple cores and architecture to really use that memory. All Mac Pro models have 8 slots and can support up to 32GB of memory (yes, even the very first models from August 2006). Our Mac Pro page makes easy to get the correct Apple Qualified Matched pairs for your Mac Pro... and right now you can add Mac Pro memory for a record low of from $26.56 per 1.0GB! Most popular, 8GB upgrades, are from $214.99 per kit.

All PowerMac G5s with PCI-X Slots; iMac G5 1.6/1.8/2.0GHz Models
1.0GB PC3200 DDR 184 Pin DIMM Modules - now $28.25
1.0GB KIT (2 x 512MB) PC3200 - now $29.99
2.0GB Kit (2 x 1.0GB) PC3200 - now $59.00

Oct/2005 PowerMac G5 (PCie Slots); iMac G5/1.9GHz & 2.1GHz models
2.0GB PC4200 DDR2 Kit for PowerMac G5 Oct/2005 - $25.75
2.0GB PC4200 DDR2 Model for iMac G5/1.9GHz or 2.1GHz - $34.50
4.0GB PC4200 DDR2 Kit for PowerMac G5 Oct/2005 - $65.00

Memory for Apple G4 Mac Models
512MB for PowerMac G4 AGP/Sawtooth, Digital Audio, Quicksilver; eMac G4 700MHZ/800MHz; also for iMac G3/350-700MHZ models - $30.75
512MB for PowerMac G4 'MDD', Mac mini G4, eMac G4/1.25GHz & 1.42GHz - $16.50
1.0GB for most PowerBook G4 12/15/17 867MHz to 1.67GHz; all iBook G4 - $35.75

Find memory for just about every Mac out there with our easy online memory guide. In addition to instructions you'll find in just about any Apple computer manual - we've got great online instructions and videos that further illustrate how easy it is for you to get that memory into your Mac. Help with memory and more just a click a way in our online tech center.

#2 - New Hard Drives for More Capacity + Speed
Upgrading your internal hard drive is really one of those win-win kind of deals. Not only can a new hard drive provide more room for additional data, but you're also likely to benefit from better performance with a new drive too. Over the last couple years there have been HUGE leaps in both desktop and especially notebook hard drive performance. Today's hard drives use less power and have higher data storage densities. The higher data densities not only make today's 3.5" desktop drive of up to 1.5TB and 2.5" Notebook to 500GB possible, but also are a big part of the improved performance with drive data heads traveling shorter distances to collect data which is ever more tightly packed.

So lets look at the performance aspect first. Whether or not you've got an optimum amount of memory installed, your hard drive isn't resting unless your Mac is too. As long as applications are running and processes are being requested, data is going to and from that main drive. Be it when you start your Mac up, to when you launch an application, while downloading mail, viewing web pages, switching applications, loading or saving documents, changing/using tools in an application, editing, etc. All of these things keep that hard drive busy and are things that become faster or with less delay when you have a hard drive that is faster. While it's not necessarily the reason for a hard drive upgrade, getting a performance boost from a new hard drive is a nice benefit.

The longer we use our Macs (regardless of how long we've had our current Mac), the more stuff we seem to 'need' to keep around. Stuff like those libraries of music, video, and photos grow without end in this digital age and often fall into that category of irreplaceable. (Don't forget to have a good backup strategy!). The need for more room to store is the primary reason for upgrading or adding a hard drive. Some sales people (not at OWC!) will suggest it's time for a new computer if your hard drive is full. Buying a new computer instead of a new hard drive is certainly one very expensive alternative. :)

External Plug & Play
If an internal upgrade just not something you want to mess with - you can still attain the primary goal of more storage with External Plug & Play options. Your Mac has FireWire for a reason - FireWire is the plug and play performance way to add that storage you need.

Find the right drive for your inside Mac
Mac Pro owners, you've got a total of 4-bays inside all ready for a new drive to slide in and we have a web page just for Mac Pro drive options.

MacBook, MacBook Pro, PowerBook, & iBook owners - our notebook hard drives page has the answers for you. Options up to 500GB including up to 320GB 7200RPM now available.

For iMac G5 & Intel, PowerMac G5 - it's a SATA Hard Drive for you. BTW, the PowerMac G5 has two SATA HD Bays and only one came filled from the factory.

For all PowerMac G3 & G4s, iMac G3/G4, eMac G4 Models - an IDE/ATA Drive is what your Mac stock supports. Note: Models made before 2002 are limited to recognizing a maximum of 128GB via the stock on-board IDE/ATA controller. This limitation does not affect FireWire (or USB) connected drives. This limitation can be defeated using Intech HD Speedtools Hi-Cap software. PowerMac owners can further defeat this limitation and benefit from using SATA HDs by means of a SATA PCI Controller Card.

For the above and all Macs - our MyOWC compatibility guide will simply display the drives and other available upgrades right by the Mac model you specify.

Get the new drive installed
Our online tech center provides instructions and installation video resources for installing that new drive.

Get that data transferred + make your old drive external
With the exception of PowerMac and Mac Pro models, Macs have only a single internal hard drive bay. When it's time to upgrade/replace that drive - you also need to consider your options for getting data moved from the old drive to the new. Conveniently, our tech experts have created a great online guide so you can move that data worry free as well get new benefit from that old drive.

Some of our best and most popular current Internal Drive offers
For Mac Pro, PowerMac G5, iMac G5 & iMac Intel models:
1.5TB Seagate SATA 7200RPM 32MB Cache with 5yr Warranty - $179.99
1.0TB Seagate SATA 7200RPM 32MB Cache with 5yr Warranty - $137.99
1.0TB Hitachi SATA 7200RPM 32MB Cache with 3yr Warranty - $107.99 After $30 Rebate
1.0TB WD SATA 'GreenPower' 32MB Cache with 3yr Warranty - $117.99
750GB Samsung SATA 7200RPM 32MB Cache with 3yr Warranty - $99.00
500GB Seagate SATA 7200RPM 32MB Cache with 5yr Warranty - $70.75

For MacBook Pro, MacBook, and Mac mini Intel Models:
320GB Hitachi SATA 7200RPM 16MB Cache 3yr Warranty - $87.50 After $20 Rebate
Seagate 7200RPM 16MB Cache 200GB to 320GB 5yr Warranty Options from $82.99
320GB Hitachi 5400RPM 8MB Cache 3yr Warranty options from $59.99 After $20 Rebate
500GB WD 5400RPM 8MB Cache 3yr Warranty Options from $139.99

For PowerBook G4 & iBook Models:
160GB Seagate IDE/ATA 5400RPM 8MB Cache with 5yr Warranty - $69.99
250GB WD Scorpio IDE/ATA 5400RPM 8MB Cache with 3yr Warranty - $93.75

For Most G4 PowerMacs, iMacs, & eMacs:
500GB Hitachi 7200RPM IDE/ATA 3.5" HD with 3yr Warranty - $75.99
250GB Hitachi 7200RPM IDE/ATA 3.5" HD with 3yr Warranty - $51.95

Use our MyOWC compatibility guide to view just the drives that fit your Mac specs.

#3 - Faster Video Card
A video card with Core Video Acceleration support really lets Leopard loose and today's Core Accelerated applications (such as iPhoto, Aperture, Photoshop, etc) experience peak performance. Where Quartz Video Acceleration (introduced under 10.2 Jaguar) moved video display processing off the computer's processors and to the video card (where it belonged), Core Video Acceleration actually allows the OS to dynamically write and execute processes using the Video Card's processors. This direct utilization of the core video card GPUs (Graphic processing unit) not only allows those cool Leopard effects, but also provides for additional processing power that gets used to accelerate real work being done when you're editing or creating with Core enabled applications. This Apple online article lists out what Video Card chipsets that are supported for the Quartz and Core technologies. You only have the option to upgrade if you are the owner of a PowerMac G4 or G5. Even if you're not upgrading the Leopard - a faster Video card (especially if you've still got an ATI Rage AGP that doesn't even have Quartz Extreme acceleration) really can significantly speed up your general Mac performance.

Owners of PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics/Sawtooth, GigE, Digital Audio, and Quicksilver models, your only current Core Video supported option is the ATI Radeon 9800 MacEdition. The good new - it's also the fastest Core supported video card produced for any PowerMac G4 model. This card supports 2 displays including 1 x DVI up to 24".

Owners of PowerMac G4 'Mirrored Drive Door' models are able to use the aforementioned 9800 or the slightly less expensive Radeon 9600 Video Card. If you don't already have the core video card, why not just go for the 9800? The 9600 is still very fast + it supports up to two DVI or VGA displays including ability to drive 1 x Dual-DVI 30" display & 2nd display (VGA or DVI) up to 24".

If you have a PowerMac G5 with PCI/PCI-X Slots, out of the box you have a minimum of the GeForce 5200. This stock Nvidia card is supported for Core Video Acceleration. Those with a 5200 would consider upgrading to the ATI retail 9600 Video Card for both a decent video performance boost as well as support for the Apple (or other Dual-Link DVI) 30" Display.

Brand new for all Mac Pro models is the ATI Radeon 3870 16X PCIe 512MB Video Card. This card offers Core video performance above all other current Apple factory options including the Nvidia 8800GT. It supports up to two 30" Dual-Link DVI Displays at up to 2560 x 1920 resolution. This card, in a word, is the current be-all/end-all for the Mac Pro and also happens to run very cool (unlike the X1900, and still cooler than the Nvidia) while providing the superior level of performance great for both work and play too.

#4 - Upgrade to a new SuperDrive for more/faster capabilities
If you'd like to read/write DVDs faster - looking to have the ability to burn DVD Dual-Layer Discs (8.5GB per disc), etc - Starting from from $29.99 you can upgrade to up a current SuperDrive model with up to 20X DVD, 12X DVD Dual-Layer, DVD-RAM, and CD Read/Write capabilities. The same SuperDrive that's for a Mac Pro is also for a PowerMac G4, eMac G4, or iMac G4. You don't have to have the latest Mac to benefit from the latest CD/DVD optical drive technology. Also available, plug & play external options from $71.99. Even if you only have a CD drive now, there's little to stop you from stepping up to a SuperDrive.

#5 - PowerMac 601/604/G3/G4 Owners - Upgrade your processor speed
If it isn't broke, don't fix it. When you have a Mac that's perfect for doing just what it is doing now - a processor upgrade may be a good option so to keep it doing just that, but only a good bit faster. Starting as low as $29, you can view our PowerMac Processor Upgrade options and use our compatibility guide to see just what options can make your exact Mac faster. From G3 ZIFs to G5 like 7448 upgrades - no other source has the selection of processor upgrades you'll find at OWC. Drop in one of these processor upgrades and it's like having a brand new Mac

New iPhone vs. old iPhone
I really thought I'd have a lot more to say on this, but perhaps short and simple is the best. As noted in our prior June newsletter, there is not very much separating the original iPhone from the new iPhone. The main differences are the price, the network, and built in GPS.

In terms of price - the new iPhone is $200 less up front. $199 for the 3G 8GB vs. the $399 the old one was. That lower price is nice... until you realize that you're going to pay that and more in extra to AT&T over the course of the required 2yr contract. The base plan on the old iPhone was $59.99 per month with unlimited data, 200 SMS messages, and 450 minutes. The new 3G iPhone will cost you base $69.99 per month for unlimited data and 450 minutes... that's an extra $240 over the course. On top of that it is another $5 per month ($120 over 2 years) to get the same 200 SMS text messages included in the original iPhone $59.99 plan. So - you save $200 and then have to spend an extra $360 for all things equal.

3G vs. EDGE data speeds. Potentially and with the latest software version bug fixes, the the iPhone 3G can send and receive data up to twice as fast as the original. That said - for e-mail and light browsing, I find EDGE performance plenty acceptable. Being able to browse the web is are a real bonus that both iPhones do exceptionally well for that light need/use. Also, can't overlook that when you're someplace where 802.11b/g wireless access is available (home, hotspot, etc) - both offer identical performance via such access.

GPS - that's only found on the new iPhone. It's a cool feature and especially so if you don't have some other GPS your disposal. That said, it's currently not a completely deployed feature - IMHO - as it doesn't do talking directions, etc. You shouldn't have to take your eyes off the road to follow directions driving solo... I'm sure such feature will be enabled down the road.

The new 3G and the old iPhone look a little different, but are very much alike. Same speed processor inside and they both run the same iPhone OS and Apps (except those that require GPS). The new iPhone App Store is really the biggest advance of the year for iPhone (and same for iPod touch too). Among other apps, I downloaded Labyrinth LE to compare the sensitivity of the 3G to the original iPhone. No difference - in both cases it is amazing how much it feels like the iPhone has a real marble rolling in it, amazing the sensitivity of that accelerometer standard since the very first iPhone.

Whatever iPhone you've got or if considering to get one - it's ahead of the curve out there. If you already have an iPhone, my recommendation is to wait unless you really have to have a little faster web/data when you're away. This last iPhone upgrade kept so much the same that I can only bet we'll see a new iPhone next year that's not only with more storage capacity, but maybe a faster processor and at the same current pricing too. Happy to save that $15 per month maybe to pay for that next one. :)

Modbook update
As most of you may know, the Modbook is the first and only Mac OS X Tablet solution. Years in the making, the Modbook finally began shipping at the beginning of this year and is currently offered in both 2.1GHz and 2.4GHz configurations starting from $2239. At the moment we are running about an estimated 7-9 week back order - but are hoping and expecting to current and fulfilling new orders without backlog by year end. Right now the main issue is supply of the Modbook kit as our Modbook sales very quickly overtook the initial production supplies produced. These supply issues are out of our immediate control, but we do know that Axiotron is well on their way with that supply we need to get back to a more reasonable 1-2 day custom build and fulfill schedule we've as we've planned for from the get go.

I for one strongly dislike having any backorders - far rather prefer to be able to ship new orders for all the items we offer with out that customer inconvenience. I do look on the bright side as it wasn't all that long ago that our backorders were measured in years... over a year anyway vs. 'just' the weeks they are now. While Apple may at some future time have a multi-touch tablet solution - for the Modbook's designed and intended purposes, multi-touch can never replace the sensitivity and accuracy that a pen tablet interface provides. Can't so much draw with multi-touch either.

It's been pretty cool seeing the Modbook used live on shows like Eureka and Sanctuary. Even cooler yet seeing feedback of the Modbook used real-world like this 'spotlight on Comic Author Eric Lee'.

Next new Macs and Blu-Ray speculation
Going to keep this pretty short and to the point. Forgetting about new Macs, it's long overdue that Apple add Blu-Ray support. My bet - we're going to get new Macs and with Blu-Ray either standard or as an option in one fell swoop. It is rumored that the next OS Leopard update, 10.5.6, is all but certain to finally provide blu-ray playback support. It would seem plausible to me that both 10.5.6 and the next Macs will roll out together and these Macs will thus also be the first with a blu-ray option. While Apple can do some speedbumps to the current MacBook Pros + perhaps further upgrade the video chipset, not sure there's really anything super groundbreaking processor wise ready to roll. As such, that makes it the perfect time to get some kind of speedbump out there, but make the real news and excitement the Blu-Ray support.

I expect we'll see really this very soon too... Note - you can currently read data via a Blu-Ray Drive. Can also burn Blu-Ray discs with Toast. But the real fun will come when Apple adds Blu-Ray support to the OS and ideally burning via apps like iMovie/iDVD. We'll see... and hey - we're ready to go with Player/Burner Multi-Drives - Blu-Ray Read and Write options starting from $149.99 are in stock and ready to go. Blu-Ray works great under Windows with Bootcamp too. :)

Reader Specials Page Exclusives and Offer Highlights
Access your Reader Exclusive Special's Page for all your specials.

That readers specials page is where you'll find all the extra savings offered just for you. In addition to standard freight specials starting from $2.50 and same day order processing without silly rush fees, your reader's special page brings extra savings of some of our most popular products.

A great place to see some of these deals regularly highlighted is our Hot Deals Blast. This e-mail is sent out 3-5 times per month and offers updates on our various special deals as well as limited stock offers. You can check out our recent Hot Deals Blast Online. If you'd like to subscribe so it can be dropped to your e-mail in box, that's at no cost online here.

And as always - be sure to check your Reader Exclusive Special's Page for those best deals not otherwise listed via our regular site.

OWC Quick Tip - Slim down unnecessary Data on your HD

Sure hard drives cost less and less every day.... but is that reason waste unnecessary space on the drive you have now? While no doubt you'll upgrade when more space is really needed, no reason to be wasting space unnecessarily in the mean time. In the era of Apple's 'Time Machine' - extra junk on your hard drive also means less time traveling since space on your backup drive could also be getting wasted just the same on as is on your main drive.

To help you squeeze those extra bits and bytes, OWC's Chris Stevens has put together a nice Quick Tip for Slimming Down your Mac. Just as hard drives have gotten larger, seems so have those little extras. I hope this article helps you save that space for data you really need. :)

Check out more Quick Tips Archive, Hardware/Software Review articles, and more - all in the OWC Product Reviews and Editorial center.

For fun and of interest

Not just in a galaxy far, far away... you can know have your own motorized R2D2 video projector or webcam. Words hardly do justice and, well, you'll have to watch their intro video.

Noticed a couple things lately... first off, haven't been seeing much or anything in the way of Apple TV advertisements for a good month or so. Also have noticed the new Microsoft 'I'm a PC' TV spots - and their pretty darn good. And why wouldn't they be? I mean come one, those Microsoft spots we're, at least in part, made with a Mac!

Perhaps the new Apple, Inc. has lost some of its sentimentality. You see the iMac turned 10 years old on August 15th with not a peep out of Apple. Arguably, the Bondi Blue 233MHz iMac G3 was one of those products responsible for the turnaround at Apple right after the return of Steve Jobs. Perhaps Apple didn't want stories reminding the world of where things were 10yrs ago. At the same time - amazing how fast a 233MHz G3 was back then too.

An oldie, but a goodie... and all in good fun. When windows has 'killed your day' - make those windows boxes and drives into dominos. Video on YouTube.

That's going to do it for this round. Knowing my timing with things, after a few short hours of sleep will be waking up to see the Apple store down and new Macs on the march. That would be great as am all geared up and ready to write the next newsletter. Always more to cover and even when it feels these are running long, well, still seem to barely scratch the surface. Our team here has an amazing amount of knowledge to share and I think the next step will be some blogging with a wider pool of contributors. More on that when the time has come for more on that...

It's been over three months since last put out our full newsletter. Seems like a lot longer even with so much that's happened.

My Grandfather passed away in July. This WWII veteran was an amazing man who I miss and without comparison I know my Dad misses as well. It's not just the stories of family, faith, and history I was lucky enough to get first hand - but also the values that shaped who my father became and that which ultimately helped to shape my outlook on life. A little piece my Dad passed on to me resonates strong - and that's to work smart. First and foremost, if your going to do something, do it the right way first. Next, it's not always about working harder, sometimes it's about working smarter - think about it before you do it... so it is done right the first time. Commonsense stuff really... but not necessarily common. My grandfather was a real doer too. During the cold war and before there was effective Radar - the Airforce had a program called 'Operation Skywatch'. I didn't know the history at the time, but as a kid when visiting Grandpa and Grandma, I played on the then still solid and standing - first commisioned Skywatch tower - built by my Grandfather and neighbors right behind his house. In a time when a Soviet invasion was on the list of possibilities, over 20,000 of these towers ultimately were built and manned by concerned citizens until improved Radar removed the need. I'd call those interesting days indeed. Hard to put it all into context, into words. I miss my Grandfather and am glad that my wife and first two children got to meet him before he passed.

It would only be just over 3 weeks later on July 30th that my wife would give birth to Devin Murphy O'Connor, our third child. My son Larry now 3.25yrs, and daughter Julia now 1.5yrs welcomed their new sister who already now is two months of age. Definitely interesting times with three little ones at home.... sleep finally normalizing again for all of us. :) It's really been great seeing how close Larry and Julia are - and with Devin so close in age hoping all three can have that closeness. God willing, probably be working on a fourth child too - but still settling down with three in the mix for now. :) Happy to share some photos our our new baby girl and all of my kids online here. :))

There is so much craziness in the world... crazy weather, lately crazy bank crises... but life goes on. People pass on, but are not be forgotten. New life emerges and I hope to do my darnest to give the very best there. We live in interesting times, but that's hardly unique to say. It's always an interesting time, just the context and where it fits in your own time line as to how those times are interesting to you. We have a lot to thankful for and a lot of sacrifice past made for that today. At the end of the day, it's the people - family - friends - that are important above all else.

The technology we get to use and ever more depend on each day hopefully helps us have more time for those people important to us. Ideally, with the right tools - this technology helps us get work done faster so we have more time. This technology helps us share and communicate with photos and more.. but beyond the technology, still nothing like getting together with people - even if just on the phone. Ideally, all our great technology leads to more - not less time spent with the old school ways of staying really in touch.

Have a great day, thanks for reading, and can't wait to be back soon with those latest new Macs to talk up. :)

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