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  1. #1
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    MacBook 2009 new to me

    I've been looking for an alternative to my ageing 17" MacBook Pro. It's still working flawlessly but cannot run the latest macOS nor iBooks Author. Money's tight so I was fortunate enough to become the owner of a second-hand 9-yr old MacBook almost a week ago.

    About this Mac shows:
    macOS Sierra 10.12.6
    MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009)
    Processor 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory 8 GB
    ... and asks me if I want to download/update High Sierra, the newest version of macOS.

    Already it's vying for attention and daily use with my Linux Mint Cinnamon laptop. I hate to say it but - it really does 'just work'.

    Whilst I love the speed of Linux Mint Cinnamon, I'll admit that I've spent a lot of time getting a couple of things to work (like intra-OS network shares and scanning) which I take for granted with Windows.

    I haven't (yet) got AirDrop working in Sierra with my iPhone/iPad but otherwise it's a testament to how older hardware may still have a huge amount of value.

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  3. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I wonder if you could install a Linux distro on your 2009 MacBook, should it ever become too ancient to use as a MacBook?

  4. #3
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    I wonder if you could install a Linux distro on your 2009 MacBook, should it ever become too ancient to use as a MacBook?
    Apparently you can, either as dual-boot or as a replacement for macOS. However, I won't be doing so. I bought it second-hand to use on a day-to-day basis and to show others who are interested in alternatives to Windows.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    If you installed Elementary OS on it, most people would think that you still have the MAC OS. Elementary looks and feels just like the MAC.

    Elementary is what is on my old eMachines computer, and it runs surprisingly well.

  7. #5
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    If you installed Elementary OS on it, most people would think that you still have the MAC OS. Elementary looks and feels just like the MAC.

    Elementary is what is on my old eMachines computer, and it runs surprisingly well.
    I tried Elementary OS Freya just over a year ago on an HP laptop but didn't get on too well with it. I had issues with both wifi and USB. I didn't like that I had to turn power management off to sort the wifi issue. Things may have improved with a newer version but I gave up quickly at the time. I may have another look in the future but for older, lower-powered devices I prefer Linux Mint XFCE... just less time spent learning the idiosyncrasies of widely different distros as I usually use Linux Mint Cinnamon.

    (I'm really fortunate to live less than 10 mins away from an Apple store and have signed up for a free hour-long MacBook familiarisation session on Wednesday.)

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    (I'm really fortunate to live less than 10 mins away from an Apple store and have signed up for a free hour-long MacBook familiarisation session on Wednesday.)
    It would be funny if you brought your MAC book to one of these sessions with Elementary OS installed on it. At some point you ask them a question; I wonder how long it would take them to figure out that you have Elementary OS on the computer rather than MAC OS!

  9. #7
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    I've just returned from my hour-long MacBook familiarisation session. It was excellent and answered a whole raft of questions I had prepared. There was only me and a chap in his 80's with a MacBook Air so we both had the chance to ask loads of questions in addition to the actual familiarisation.

    I know that Apple prides itself on 'it just works'... but IMO this often just isn't the case. I had an issue with transferring photos from my iPhone to my MacBook. I'd scoured the web with Google for hours but couldn't find the right answer. Our tutor today gave me the answer in just a few seconds...

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    It may 'just work' until your MacBook is several years old and they have by that time long since quit issuing updates etc for your particular MacBook.

    I wonder if that guy would know an easy way to transfer Voice Memos from an iPhone to a Linux Mint computer. I've been using Dropbox as the middleman, and that's been working well; but it would be nice to be able to plug in the wire and be able to copy them directly over. Oh well; I've researched this issue and found that Dropbox is one of the few ways (if not the only way) to accomplish this.

    Glad you got such quick help.

  12. #9
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps
    I wonder if that guy would know an easy way to transfer Voice Memos from an iPhone to a Linux Mint computer.
    It looks like the recordings are in Apple's proprietary .M4A format and can be transferred to a Win PC using iTunes (or see Copy & Export iPhone Voice Memos to PC or Mac). Once transferred you should then be able to navigate to them using the Windows File Manager, i.e. Explorer. Have you tried that?

    Hope this helps...

    EDIT: Jim, have a look at this thread. Any help?
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2018-05-05 at 15:30.

  13. #10
    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    an easy way to transfer Voice Memos from an iPhone to a Linux Mint computer
    Play them into the Mint's microphone while recording
    Lugh.
    ~
    Dell Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
    i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 2 x 256G SSD, 4TB HD

  14. #11
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    I've just updated the MacBook to the latest macOS - High Sierra - and looking forward to my 'MacBook Intermediate' tutorial session on Sunday.

    One thing I've noticed is that it was very noticeably faster to backup my iOS devices then download/verify/install the latest iOS update (2.5GB) using iTunes on the MacBook compared to iTunes on my PC. I have no idea why this was. Possibly because macOS and iOS now use the same filesystem (I think)?

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    Glad you're enjoying your Mac, Rick. I'm going to try to monitor these forums at least once a week, so if any Mac questions come up, I'll be happy to answer them.

    I've been looking over your thread. If your Mac is older than 2012, then AirDrop won't work with your iPhone. See this article for more details: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203106 It has to do with Apple not implementing Bluetooth LE in Macs until 2012.

    In addition to iBooks Author, Pages can now create eBook projects that syncs with iCloud (so you can open the project files on your iPhone or on a PC at iCloud.com). See this article for more details: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208499 Apple informed me iBooks Author still offers functionality Pages doesn't yet, so I'm running both Pages and iBooks Author.

    On your iTunes observation, unless your Mac has an SSD, it has a different file system from your iPhone (the Mac is using HFS+/macOS Extended Journaled and the iPhone is running APFS/Apple File System), but iOS and macOS share the same underlying OS technologies (both are based on an implementation of BSD UNIX/Darwin which is why in the early days Apple says iPhone's "run OS X"). iTunes overall has better performance on the Mac versus Windows, so you'll likely notice the performance distance. iTunes on Windows hasn't really been "tuned" as much for Windows as it is for Mac.
    Nathan Parker

    Visit my blog at http://weathertogether.net

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  18. #13
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    Glad you're enjoying your Mac, Rick. I'm going to try to monitor these forums at least once a week, so if any Mac questions come up, I'll be happy to answer them.
    Hi Nathan... it's good to hear from you. It's been a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    If your Mac is older than 2012, then AirDrop won't work with your iPhone. See this article for more details: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203106 It has to do with Apple not implementing Bluetooth LE in Macs until 2012.
    Many thanks for the link. I worked out how to use AirDrop (more by luck than judgement) but the article you linked to provides much more info. I've saved it for future reference as several of the youngsters in my extended family are at university or preparing to go... and they all seem to have or be preparing to buy MacBooks/MacBook Pros. It's a long story but since 2 days ago I now have a 2012 MacBook Pro (and can AirDrop) and my friend's daughter now has the 2009 MacBook.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    In addition to iBooks Author, Pages can now create eBook projects that syncs with iCloud (so you can open the project files on your iPhone or on a PC at iCloud.com). See this article for more details: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208499 Apple informed me iBooks Author still offers functionality Pages doesn't yet, so I'm running both Pages and iBooks Author.
    Thanks again... that's good to know. I've been using Notes as an aide-mémoire but like the idea of an ebook for greater flexibility, like an index with hyperlinks. After owning a Kindle for years (and giving it away 2 years ago), I'm really interested in what e-publishing has to offer as an alternative to all my .txt files for notes (and even recipes), etc.

    (I've often wondered why Jack Dunning publishes his ebooks (which I've bought every one of except the latest) about using AutoHotkey - a Windows-only scripting language - in a format that isn't native to Windows... Now I'm beginning to see why. )

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    On your iTunes observation, unless your Mac has an SSD, it has a different file system from your iPhone (the Mac is using HFS+/macOS Extended Journaled and the iPhone is running APFS/Apple File System)...
    I'm just about to swap the MacBook Pro's HDD for a same-capacity Samsung Evo 850 SSD (when a tiny little torx screwdriver turns up) using this article as a reference then wait for an opportunity to trade up to a newer 15" model. I guess I'm going to have to get rid of my 17" MacBook Pro (whilst it still has a small amount of residual value) to help fund this. Shame... 'cos the 17" screen is beautiful. (At my age a 'Retina' display is wasted... )
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2018-05-07 at 16:02. Reason: Corrected typo

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    Nathan Parker (2018-05-06)

  20. #14
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    Glad to help out on here! I may even perioidcally post a thread with some Mac tips I've picked up over the years, just to give you some perioidic doses of my Mac wisdom. :-)

    I know my way around Apple's support articles (and Macs in general, as I used them for about ten years before my brief Windows stint, and now back to Macs), so I can direct you to some solid information. Websites I also recommend bookmarking are: support.apple.com, Macworld.com, AppleInsider.com, MacRumors.com, and MacSources.com. I frequent those for Mac news and information. By the way, you can AirDrop between an older Mac (that doesn't support Bluetooth LE) and a newer Mac. On the newer Mac, you basically need to click "Don't See What You're Looking For", then "Search for an older Mac". It temporarily hides any active iOS devices, but it is a great way to AirDrop files from an older Mac to a newer Mac or vice versa (I use it between my old 2011 iMac and new iMac Pro all the time).

    For notes, I use Mac/iOS Notes mainly for to-do lists (I don't use reminders much). Evernote and OneNote can run on Mac/iOS if you need more power. Pages and iBooks Author both export to ePub. Pages now has much of the functionality of iBooks Author, but there's still some interactive stuff only iBooks Author has. My academic research remains in Nota Bene (which I purchased when on Windows, but it runs on the Mac under WINE) since I can store all my research and academic references in a single program. I've also added Scrivener to my workflow for outlining my papers and for first drafts. I also use it for drafting work projects since it has good project tracking capabilites (it runs on Mac, Windows, and iOS). Right now, I'm not running Microsoft Office on my Mac. I use Scrivener for rough drafts, Nota Bene for academic work, Pages for "nice looking" documents (letters, etc), and Nisus Writer Pro as my every day Word replacement. I have Mellel as a backup which also syncs with the iPad in case I needed to perform more powerful word processing on the go. I've been using Numbers for spreadsheets and Keynote for presentations. So far I've been able to open and export to Microsoft Office format with my PC colleagues at work, and they haven't noticed I'm not using Office. If I ever need it, I'll breakdown and install it, but so far, so good.

    When swapping the SSD, you might be able to use SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the data over to the new drive, but in this case, you might be better off backing up your Mac over Time Machine, installing clean High Sierra on the SSD, then running Migration Assistant to migrate the data from the Time Machine backup to the SSD. That way you don't encounter any mess with going from HFS+ on the non-SSD to APFS on the SSD. One other thing to keep in mind is Time Machine backups themselves still use HFS+ for now, even when stored on a SSD or backing up from a Mac with a SSD. Currently Time Machine doesn't support APFS, and "converting" a Time Machine drive to APFS will break the Time Machine backup beyond repair.
    Nathan Parker

    Visit my blog at http://weathertogether.net

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  22. #15
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    Websites I also recommend bookmarking are: support.apple.com, Macworld.com, AppleInsider.com, MacRumors.com, and MacSources.com.
    I had already registered with the forums at MacRumors.com but will check out the others - many thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    By the way, you can AirDrop between an older Mac (that doesn't support Bluetooth LE) and a newer Mac. On the newer Mac, you basically need to click "Don't See What You're Looking For", then "Search for an older Mac". It temporarily hides any active iOS devices, but it is a great way to AirDrop files from an older Mac to a newer Mac or vice versa (I use it between my old 2011 iMac and new iMac Pro all the time).
    I had no idea... . Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    For notes, I use Mac/iOS Notes mainly for to-do lists (I don't use reminders much)...
    I'm used to using Notes on my iOS devices but wasn't too impressed until recent changes. I've been using Day One on iOS for the last 3 years for journalling and am pleased it's also available for the Mac. I'm somewhat relieved to hear what you wrote about colleagues not noticing you weren't using Office on your Mac. I had wondered about this as, up to now, all my docs have been created in Office 2010 in Windows. Now I'm trying to make a gradual move away (yet still share files), I wondered if I would end up using LibreOffice more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    When swapping the SSD, you might be able to use SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the data over to the new drive, but in this case, you might be better off backing up your Mac over Time Machine, installing clean High Sierra on the SSD, then running Migration Assistant to migrate the data from the Time Machine backup to the SSD.
    I like this suggestion. I've always preferred clean installs of Windows rather than successive upgades so carrying out a clean install of High Sierra sounds a much better way to go than the article I linked to. I already use Time Machine for backups (but now have to get more backup storage).

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