Apr 13

The first time you start up a new Apple computer it asks if you want to transfer data from another computer. If you select yes, it opens Migration assistant, and gives you the option to connect to another computer. There are various ways you can connect. Some are very slow! Some are fast.

  • The slowest is to use wifi. If you connect your computers using wifi it may take days (literally days) to transfer the data across.
  • A faster way is to connect the 2 computers using an ethernet cable. This is still fairly slow.
  • The fastest way is to use a thunderbolt USB-C cable to connect the 2 computers together.

I recently used Thunderbolt to connect my new MacBook Pro to my old Mac Mini and it reduced the transfer time from days to hours.

Ethernet can transfer at speeds up to 1Gbps.

Thunderbolt 3 can transfer at speeds up to 40Gbps. It’s 40 times faster!

This is what a Thunderbolt (USB-C) cable looks like:

You simply connect the thunderbolt port of one MacBook directly to the thunderbolt port of the second MacBook.

If it doesn’t work, check out this article on the different types of USB-C cables that Apple sells.

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Apr 06

When I unboxed my new MacBook Pro I booted it up and followed the prompts to connect my old MacBook Air to transfer my old files across. For some reason it did not recognise my old MacBook Air. I used the USB-C cable that came with my new MacBook Pro to connect the two computers together. It didn’t work.

The next day I tried again, this time with a different cable, and it worked. The USB-C cable that is supplied with new MacBook Pro is NOT a thunderbolt cable. So you cannot use it to transfer data. Apple saved themselves some $$$ by throwing in a cheaper cable that you can only use to charge. Read on and I’ll explain the differences.

A not thunderbolt cable.

This is what a USB-C Thunderbolt cable looks like. It’s also what a NOT Thunderbolt cable looks like. They look exactly the same! Some of Apple’s cables USB-C cables are Thunderbolt and some are not. The ends looks the same, the cable looks the same, but they are not the same.

Have a look at these 2 items in the Apple Store:

These cables are both USB-C. (That refers to the shape of the connector on the end). But one is a ‘Charge Cable’ and one is a ‘Thunderbolt Cable’.

The one on the left will charge your computer. That is all it will do. The one one the right will charge your computer and it will also allow you to connect to another computer, or a SSD drive, iPad or any other Thunderbolt device.

They will both charge your computer.

It gets even more confusing if you head down to JB HiFi and but another USB-C cable because it’s possible to get a USB-C data cable that has a slower charging rate!

When you buy a USB-C cable you can get ones that charge fast, charge slowly, transfer data fast, transfer data slowly, or don’t transfer data at all. Apple’s charging cable does not transfer data at all.

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Apr 29

I wanted to order a cable to connect my old KORG Midi controller to my new MacBook Pro. One end needed to be USB-C, and the other end needed to be an older USB connector that I wasn’t sure of the name of.

Here’s a great chart from RS-components in Australia that names all the USB connectors to help you easily find the one you need.

https://au.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=ideas-and-advice/usb-cable-guide
Continue reading ⟩
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Sep 04

Recently I’ve discovered Macdroid and it’s running very will in Catalina with my Google Pixel 3.

I find the ‘Android File Transfer’ app very unreliable. In a previous article I recommended another solution called Pocketshare but it also has its problems. Macdorid is working wonderfully for me.

Step 1 is to Enable USB debugging.

  • To do this open the “Settings” on your phone, scroll down and select “About phone.”
  • Scroll down to find the ‘build number.’
  • Press the build number repeatedly 7 tiles until it says ‘you are a developer.’
  • Scroll down to “Debugging” and press “USB Debugging” to ON

Step 2 is to run Macdroid and plug your android phone into the USB port on you Mac.

  • You’ll get a screen on your phone asking if you want to “Allow USB Debugging.”
  • Press ‘Allow’
  • In your notifications go to the USB notification and select ‘File transfer’ as follows:

Your Pixel or Android Phone will mount on your desktop and you can access it like a regular USB drive. The free version allows you read-only access. The paid version allows you to write files to your Android phone as well as read them.

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Jan 07

migration-assistant

Some of the newer macbooks and macbook airs do not have an ethernet port or firewire port, so you can’t connect them to an older macbook to copy your old files and settings accross. What do you do? Continue reading ⟩

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