Do you miss your Mac sometimes?

During the summer I don’t get to spend so much time at the desk with my Mac. Summer time is working time for me to earn some money to buy more tech to play with. I’ll be working six days a week and I’ll just not have a spare moment to use my Mac and the apps I like using. Of course I can still do some computer stuff with my iPad Pro and the iPhone. Not as much time with the mobile end of computing either. I get visitors in the summer too. Last week my sister was here and I really wanted to spend time with her. Even less time to do some writing or working with photos on the Mac. I did show her how I write by using Dragon Dictate. She was definitely impressed by the speed and accuracy of turning my spoken words into text on the screen.

By the way, I got an email from Nuance, the makers of Dragon, to say there is a new version coming out. Supposedly faster because of making use of deep learning. Deep Learning could just be marketing speak for saying – We have made improvements to the way it works already. The cost of the upgrade is $150 which is a bit steep, but par for the course with Nuance. I should be getting a better discount for the upgrade because of already upgrading twice. I’ve gone from version 3 to version 4 and then on to version 5. The upgrades have been problematic, needing a couple of months and some point releases to make the software usable. Will I trust them this time not to make me a beta tester and pay for the privilege? Nuance are changing the name of the product again too. Is it getting a more Windows program sounding name. Dragon Dictate was OK and Dragon for Mac was alright too. Dragon Professional Individual for Mac is getting rather wordy, don’t you think? Since writing the bit above I got an offer from Nuance to buy for $99 plus the vat. I went with that and now I have to wait eleven days to get the download. The release date is 1st of September. It seems a little weird to pre-order and pre buy, but anyway… Fingers crossed the new Dragon will work properly with macOS Sierra when it is released.

Thinking about macOS Sierra and the beta version

I was toying with the idea once again of updating to the latest beta version of the upcoming operating system. The only way I would do this though would be to put it onto a separate SSD drive. This way I’d be able to boot into whichever operating system would be best to use. All of my documents are on discs other than the boot drive so it doesn’t make any difference to my digital content. The only problem I could possibly foresee would be the backing up of the drive I’m booting from. I use SuperDuper to give me a daily automated backup. I have one backup set to do the Thunderbolt data drive and the other one backs up the system drive. I might have to turn off the automated back ups of the system while using the beta of macOS Sierra. I get halfway towards thinking I’m going to do it and then I back off and tell myself to be patient for a little while longer. It’s not as if I have the time to do the clean install I’m planning to do on Mac OS Sierra. I’ll need to make a list of all my applications and the ones I want to reinstall. I’ll need to doublecheck to make sure I have all of the necessary usernames and serial numbers for each of the applications. One or two applications will require the installation file, Dragon Dictate will be one of those. I have those kept safe on one of the backup drives.

Is there much coming in Mac OS Sierra?

  • Siri for Mac (There is extra functionality even though I can do much with DragonDictate)
  • Memories in Photos
  • Apple Pay on the web (not available yet in Spain)
  • Auto Unlock with Apple watch (I don’t expect this to work on my iMac as I don’t have the latest Bluetooth.
  • Universal Clipboard (I use the application Copied which already gives me this functionality)
  • iCloud Drive (I use the application Hazel to keep my Desktop completely clean. Could be handy to have my documents folder in iCloud though)
  • Optimised Storage (I would be worried how this feature might affect my backup strategy)
  • Fancy twiddly bits in Messages (Fun for some people but not exactly earthshattering)
  • New Apple Music experience (I’m not a subscriber to Apple Music)
  • Tabs in some applications (It will tidy a few things up, but won’t affect me much)
  • Picture in Picture (More useful for people using a smaller screen. I have two 27 inch inch screens to work on)

I do like to have the latest version of the operating system on my computer. It’s a good idea especially for security considerations. I expect I will wait until the final version is released. After going through the above list, there isn’t really anything blowing my skirt up, as they say! Have you gone for the beta of macOS?