Friday, March 21, 2014

Total Cost of Apple Ownership...

Occasionally my friends ask my why I spend so much on Apple computers rather than buy an equivalent Windows or Linux based system for much less.  Below are my typical responses:
  1. At the hardware level, a truly equivalent laptop is typically priced about the same or more than an Apple product.  The problem is that most people compare lesser quality and lesser performing products to compare with Apple's offerings.
  2. Apple computers typically last 4 or more years without issues.  This is good for those like me that like to amortize the cost over a LONG period of time.  For the impatient that can't wait to buy the next shiny model laptop, they can often sell their old laptop for a reasonable price thus reducing the purchase price of the new version.  This article from 9to5 Mac provides some good examples of this use case.
  3. A new Mac includes for free both office software (e.g. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) and comes with many products for personal use (e.g. Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Messages, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, Reminders, and others)
  4. Any software that you purchase through the Mac App Store is amortized over up to 5 computers.  For example, when I purchased some of my favorite professional grade apps like 1Password ($50), OmniFocus ($80), OmniGraffle ($100), Pixelmator ($30), Day One ($10), Apple Remote Desktop ($80), Paprika ($20) and more..., the total cost is spread across 5 computers rather than just one.  Purchasing equivalent professional grade software for Windows costs about the same but you can only put it on one computer.
  5. Its tightly integrated and just works.  All of my essential data effortlessly syncs between computers and iDevices without issue.
  6. When you do have issues with software or hardware, just schedule a genius bar appointment at your local Apple store and they will work hard to take care of you.
  7. For those of you that are newbies to Apple computers, I HIGHLY recommend that you pay the extra $99 to get a full year of scheduled appointments at any Apple store through the One to One program.
  8. For geeks like me, the real tipping point came when Apple switched their underlying operating system to based on UNIX.  UNIX is highly resilient, reliable and offers my favorite working environment: bash shell script.
Hope that helps anyone that might be trying to figure out the pros and cons between getting a Mac versus something else.

Blessings to you and yours!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Are you 1 breach away from giving away access to ALL your online accounts?

Hello friend,

It's happened again.  Another friend's yahoo mail was compromised this week.  Sadly, if like many people that use the same password everywhere the loss of just one password can result in rapid breaches into every other online account they own.  Examples include their bank accounts, credit card accounts, brokerages, Facebook, LinkedIn, Apple iTunes, ... and the list goes on.  Please, please, please, I implore you to use a unique, long and complex password for EVERY online account.  One of my favorite tools toward this end is called 1Password.  Below is a video providing an overview of their product.  Disclaimer: I do NOT work for 1Password nor do I derrive ANY financial benefit from recommending their product.  The only thing that I get is the satisfaction of knowing that users of 1Password can help stem the tide of account breaches and reduce the impact to their online accounts when one of their many accounts are breached.

1Password works on Windows computers, Apple OSX computers, Apple IOS devices, and Android devices and better yet can be synced across all of them.  More info on 1Password at

May the strong password be with you...

Blessings to you!