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MacBook Air and Dell Laptop
Copyright: Copyright © 2020 TidBits

​It’s taken as gospel that Macs are more expensive than PCs. A quick look at the Dell Web site reveals laptops for as low as $300. Sure, we can say that the configurations aren’t comparable, that macOS is better than Windows, or that Apple’s hardware quality is superior. Still, our friendly local bean counters have trouble getting past those low upfront prices. 

However, unless you’re Rancho Gordo, the goal isn’t to count beans, it’s to get work done, and that’s a different scenario. Let’s look at a few ways that Macs are not just worth the money but can also be cheaper than comparable systems. We’ll start with a Forrester Research study commissioned by Apple that compared the total economic impact of Macs and PCs in large companies with employee-choice programs. In such programs, every employee gets to choose between a Mac and a PC, providing a sizable group across which to compare numbers, but the conclusions apply to large and small organizations alike.​

Screen Sharing Photo
Copyright: Copyright © 2020 TidBits

Are you the person your friends and family members turn to for questions about the Mac? In normal times, those questions might come over dinner or at another in-person gathering, such that you could look directly at their Mac to see what was going on. Now, however, with everyone staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, answering those questions has seemingly gotten harder. But it doesn’t have to be that way, thanks to a built-in feature of macOS that you may not have known about: screen sharing.

With the Mac’s built-in Screen Sharing app, you can either observe or control another person’s Mac, anywhere on the Internet. They don’t even need to enable Screen Sharing in System Preferences > Sharing. (Don’t worry—there are multiple ways that Apple ensures that this feature can’t be used surreptitiously.)​

13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard and Twice the Storage
Copyright: Copyright © 2020 TidBits

In a move that completes the transition of the MacBook line from the troubled butterfly keyboard to the Magic Keyboard, Apple has released a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. The company also doubled the amount of storage in each of the standard configurations while keeping prices the same, and it ramped up the specs in the model with four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Copyright: Copyright © 2020 TidBits

Whether for work or socializing, we’re all spending a lot more time in video calls these days. But—surprise!—it turns out that many of our group video calls could be more pleasant, less embarrassing, and overall better if we follow a few basic audiovisual tips.​

Copyright: Copyright © 2020 TidBits

Whether you’re working from home or just stuck at home, it can be tough to communicate with colleagues, friends, or family. Sure, there’s email, but that gets hard to manage quickly, and it can be difficult to stay focused with so much news rolling in. For friends and family, Facebook might seem to be the digital town square. However, many people avoid Facebook due to its impressive record of abusing its users’ privacy, failure to protect that user data from hackers, and exploitation by foreign governments. And it’s wildly inappropriate for most business communications.

For an alternative that doesn’t involve relying on overloaded email inboxes or handing everything about your online life over to a corporate Big Brother, consider the group messaging tool Slack, which has become popular with small and large firms, non-profits, academic departments, student project teams, and government agencies. Although it’s aimed at organizations that pay a monthly fee for every active user, Slack offers a free tier with all the features you would need to create your own online community for your workgroup, family, or friends. Everyone can join in since Slack has apps for macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android, and it can be used in any desktop Web browser.