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How to regain optical audio out on later Mac devices

Let me start off by saying it was a surprise (and not a pleasant one) to have bought a Mac mini 2018 to find out that the surround sound wasn’t working for some reason.

 

The answer was simple - Apple no longer have optical out on any of the newer hardware. None.

 

The last devices that have TOSLINK capability are:

 

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) through MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) through MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)

iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014) through iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2014)

iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015)

iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014) through iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)

Mac Pro (Late 2013) 

Mac mini (Late 2014) 

 

That gave me a dilemma. My Logitek surround system relied solely on the optical audio feed.

 

I wasn’t about to give up so an hour of Googling ensued. After a few blind alleys I hit on a possible answer - HDMI which supports 8-channel/24-bit audio at 192kHz, Dolby Surround 5.1, and traditional stereo.

 

Now I just needed a “hole” to plug the TOSLINK into.

 

Again, there were quite a few - but all with limitations (stereo only etc.)- except one:

 

 

 

https://www.ellies.co.za/product/hdmi-to-hdmi-toslink-audio-extractor/

 

Specifications:

 

https://e-systems.co.za/System/FabSheets/0BPHDAE.pdf

 

The important part is “Supports digital audio format: DTS-HD/Dolby-True HD / LPCM7.1 / AC3 / DTS / DSD.”

 

The device is manufactured in China which Ellies brand as there own.

I’m trying to discover the true manufacturer and I’ll post an update when I do.

 

The price? R800 ($55) locally. I’m convinced this price has been loaded.

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How to join two .avi files

So, you've just downloaded what you thought was going to be one file only to find out it's actually spit into numerous files like cd1.avi, cd2.avi.

How do you join them together easily?

The first way is to spend some of your hard earned cash any buy a package with a flashy front end or simply use what's built into mac os x - cat :-)

Firstly open a terminal window and cd to the folder that contains your files.

Then enter the following command

cat file1.avi file2.avi > my file.avi

Replace the names with something sensible - you get the idea. That's it! Easy.

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The Difference between Apple Sport Watch and Watch.

What's the difference between the Apple Sport Watch & Watch (apart from the price)?

The biggest difference is that the Sport edition features an Ion-X Glass cover - the same material used in the windows of the space shuttle and high-speed trains. The glass is changed at a molecular level through ion exchange. Smaller ions are replaced by larger ones resulting in a surface layer far tougher than standard glass.

The Watch goes one big step further. The face is made of sapphire, the second harder transparent material on earth (diamond being the hardest - maybe that'll make it onto the next version of the Watch but I very much doubt it).

The Sport is sold with the Sport band. The Watch is available with the Sport band, Classic Buckle, Milanese Loop, Link Bracelet and Modern Buckle.

The bodies also differ - the Sport is manufactured from 7000 Series aluminium and the Watch features "heavy duty" 316L stainless steel.

Other than that, as far as "the works" go - they're all identical.

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On this day in Tech History - November 16th

November 16, 1982

Steve Jobs writes a letter to McIntosh Labs asking for rights to use “Macintosh” as the brand name of Apple’s still-in-development computer. 

McIntosh Labs makes high-end stereo equipment, and while Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh project, intentionally spelled the name with a letter “a” to differentiate Apple’s computer from McIntosh’s audio products, Apple was denied a trademark because the name was phonetically identical. Since the Macintosh team had become attached to the name, Steve Jobs wrote the letter hoping to get permission or a licensing arrangement. Gordon Gow, president of McIntosh Labs visited Apple headquarters for a product demonstration after receiving the letter. However, McIntosh lawyers advised Gow to rejected the request.

It wasn’t until March of 1983 that Apple secured a license for the name Macintosh. In 1986 Apple wholly acquired the trademark for an undisclosed “substantial” amount of money.

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