Macs in Chemistry

Insanely Great Science

Apple event 2022


Just in case you missed it.


Apple Event March 8


Are you ready?



New MacBook Pros


The new MacBook Pros are out and they look fantastic, powered by M1Pro or M1Max chips they offer outstanding performance and retain low power consumption. As expected, Apple has added a HDMI port, and an SD card slot, AND has brought back MagSafe.


Details on the chip design

You can also watch the promotional video here




I just got an email about the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC21), June 7 - 11.

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is coming to a screen near you, June 7 to 11. Join the worldwide developer community for an all-online program with exciting announcements, sessions, and labs at no cost. You’ll get a first look at the latest Apple platforms, tools, and technologies — so you can create your most innovative apps and games yet.

What caught my eye was the Swift Student Challenge

We continue our long-standing tradition of supporting students who love to code with this year’s exciting Swift Student Challenge. Showcase your passion for coding by creating an incredible Swift playground on the topic of your choice. Winners will receive exclusive WWDC21 outerwear, a customized pin set, and one year of membership in the Apple Developer Program. This challenge is open to students around the world.

  • Submissions open on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at 6:00 a.m. PDT.
  • Deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 18, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
  • Applicants can view their status by end of business day on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

WWDC 2020 details


Apple have released more details of the lineup for the 2020 WWDC, for the first time ever this will be an online only event.

I suspect many will be interested in the Special Event Keynote and Platforms State of the Union.

Special Event Keynote June 22, 10 a.m. PDT
Platforms State of the Union June 22, 2 p.m. PDT

I'm also looking forward to hearing about the entries to the Swift Student Challenge

Showcase your love of coding by creating an incredible Swift playground on the topic of your choice. Winners will receive an exclusive WWDC20 jacket and pin set. This challenge is open to students around the world.

Now would be a good time to download the Apple Developer App to find out what is planned.

I see that MacRumours has a good roundup of all the gossip around what might be announced.


WWDC 2020 June 22nd


The 31st Apple WWDC will take place just over a month from now. This normally a hugely over-subscribed event with a lottery deciding who gets to attend. This year things will be different, it will be an online event that can be accessible to millions around the globe.


Now would be a good time to download the Apple Developer App to find out what is planned.


Apple updates 13-inch MacBook Pro


Apple updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard, double the storage, and faster performance.


I wonder if we will get a Touch Bar on an external keyboard soon?



New MacPro Tech Specs


Apple announced the new MacPro at the WWDC, the page describing the new machine is up and the technical specifications are here.

The intro movie is available here.


Aug 15 1998 Apple launches the iMac


On August 15, 1998, Apple launched the first iMac into the world, the multi-colored gumdrop-shaped iMac proved to be the perfect launchpad for a revitalised Apple.


The first iMac had fairly modest specs, a 233 - 700MHz PowerPC 750 G3 processor, 128GB of storage, a 15-inch CRT, a CD-ROM drive, and an ATI graphics card. Since then Apple has regularly upgraded the iMac

The latest Pro version boasts up to 18-core 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon W processors (Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz), 32GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory (four SO-DIMM slots, user configurable to 128GB), up to 4TB SSD storage 27-inch (diagonal) Retina 5K display and Radeon Pro Vega graphics 64 card with 16GB of high bandwidth memory, and of course it is available in space grey.


Happy 20th birthday.


WWDC 2018


The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference takes place in San Jose, CA, June 4–8. The opportunity to buy tickets to WWDC18 is offered by random selection. Registration is open until Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. PDT

To register, you must be a member of the Apple Developer Program or Apple Developer Enterprise Program as of March 13, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, and agree to the WWDC18 Registration and Attendance Policy. Your membership must be current, valid, and in good standing from this date until the end of WWDC18.


Status of Lisa 7/7 source release


I just came across this post on the Lisa operating system group.

Just wanted to let everyone know the sources to the OS and applications were recovered, I converted them to Unix end of line conventions and spaces for Pascal tabs after recovering the files using Disk Image Chef, and they are with Apple for review. After that's done, CHM will do an @CHM blog post about the historical significance of the software and the code that is cleared for release by Apple will be made available in 2018. The only thing I saw that probably won't be able to be released is the American Heritage dictionary for the spell checker in LisaWrite

It sounds like the Lisa operating system will be available for download from the Computer History Museum, details should be on their blog in due course.

Lisa was a desktop computer released by Apple in 1983, although technically ahead of it's time it was too expensive and was a commercial failure, however it is regarded as a pivotal element in personal computing.


Full details on the Lisa are on the wikipedia page.


Lots of updates from Apple


Mac OS X 10.12.4 improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users. This update:

  • Adds Night Shift for automatically shifting the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum after dark.
  • Adds Siri support for cricket scores 😄, schedules, and player rosters from the Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council.
  • Adds Dictation support for Shanghainese.
  • Improves right-to-left language support for the Touch Bar, toolbar, and visual tab picker in Safari.
  • Resolves several PDF rendering and annotation issues in Preview.
  • Improves the visibility of the subject line when using Conversation View in Mail.
  • Fixes an issue that may prevent content from appearing in Mail messages.
  • Adds support for more digital camera RAW formats.

Xcode 8.3 brings faster builds for large projects containing both Objective C and Swift. Siri support in iOS simulator. Xcode 8.3 no longer supports Swift 2.3 so you will need to update.

Also updates for Pages, Keynote and Numbers.


Apple WWDC 2017


Apple have announced the date and venue for the 2017 World Wide Developers Conference. WWDC will take place June 5-9, 2017 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, USA.


Registration opens Monday, March 27 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. The opportunity to buy tickets to WWDC17 will be offered by random selection. To register, you must be a member of the Apple Developer Program or Apple Developer Enterprise Program. Tickets sell out very quickly so put an alert in your calendar now.


Green Tech according to Greenpeace


According to a report by Greenpeace a number of tech companies are making great efforts towards use of renewable energy, with Apple and several other companies aiming for 100% renewable energy.

Apple has “played a catalytic role within its IT supply chain, pushing other IT data center and cloud operators who help deliver pieces of Apple’s corner of the internet to follow their lead in powering their operations with renewable energy.”

It is interesting to compare the situation with the music streaming services, iTunes gets a final grade of A, whilst Pandora, SoundCloud, Spotify have grades of F or D. It is similar with the Video streaming companies, whilst YouTube gets an A, Netflix, Vevo, Vimeo and Hulu all languish with F or D.

Many of these companies are major drivers for energy use in the tech sector and this is only going to increase.

The energy footprint of the IT sector as a whole is currently estimated to consume 7 percent of global electricity, with an anticipated threefold increase in global internet traffic by 2020.


Adaptors for the New MacBook Pro


The new Apple laptops come equipped with only Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, I suspect the whole industry will standardise on USB-C pretty soon but at the moment there is obviously the need to support legacy peripherals. Fortunately Apple have put together a page describing most of the adaptors that might be needed. This includes standard USB, HDMI, VGA and Lightening cables. Remember up to six devices can be daisy-chained to each Thunderbolt 3 port of the MacBook Pro; and the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter doesn't count as a device against that limit.

Also note.

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016) delivers full Thunderbolt 3 performance on all four ports.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) supports Thunderbolt 3 at full performance using the two left-hand ports. The two right-hand ports deliver Thunderbolt 3 functionality, but have reduced PCI Express bandwidth.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) delivers full Thunderbolt 3 performance on both ports.


Please let there be new MacBook Pros




WWDC hardware rumour 3. MacPro


With the Apple WWDC just around the corner it is fun to look at the current hardware rumours. The latest MacPro was first disclosed at the WWDC in 2013 and so it perhaps is due for an update. That said I’m currently using a MacPro as the desktop workhorse for my work and I’m really impressed, to be honest I can’t see a compelling need for extra performance.

Intel's Xeon E3-1200 V4 (Broadwell) and the equivalent E3-1200 V5 (Skylake) Xeon processors have been launched, and so an upgrade to the CPU would seem to be an obvious step. GPU provides a more interesting discussion, the existing MacPro has either Dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics processors with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each or dual AMD FirePro D700, each with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM. However Nvidia introduced a new GPU the Tesla P100, based on its new Pascal architecture and targeted at high-performance computing.

Currently there are 4 USB ports and 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Mac Pro, I’m finding the Thunderbolt 2 ports are unused so the rumours suggesting 10 USB 3.0 ports seem plausible, but Thunderbolt 3 must be included surely?

One thing I’d like to see is the RAM increased, currently the MacPro can accommodate a maximum of 64GB (four slots of 16GB), I’ve managed to max that out on numerous occasions.


WWDC hardware rumour 2. MacBook Pro


With the Apple WWDC just around the corner it is fun to look at the current hardware rumours. The MacBook Pro currently looks well overdue for an update and so there are plenty of rumours about an imminent update.

One of the more intriguing suggestions is that an OLED display touch bar will replace the physical function keys, this would presumably allow developers to create and display custom application specific function keys. The other rumours suggest a thinner and lighter form factor resulting in elimination of all but USB-C ports. Connectivity could be enhanced by incorporation of 4G.

The current MacBook Pro processor is now rather out-dated, and a move to Intel Skylake processors seems certain, this might be expected to improve both performance and battery life.

Upgrades to both GPU and display have all been suggested in various rumours with some suggesting the introduction of a touchscreen. Personally I’d keep touchscreen with tablets, but with more scientific applications using the GPU to improve performance this could be an important upgrade.

There have also been rumours of introducing touchID into the laptops as an extra security measure.


WWDC hardware rumour 1. New Display


With the Apple WWDC just around the corner it is fun to look at the current hardware rumours. Just reported on Slashdot

MojoKid quotes a report from HotHardware: If you head over to Apple's website, the Cupertino outfit will happily sell you a 27-inch Thunderbolt display for $999, at least until its inventory runs out. Word on the web is that it's nearly out of stock and Apple doesn't plan to replenish them. Instead, Apple will launch a new version of its Thunderbolt monitor, one that's been upgraded to a 5K resolution and has a discrete GPU stuffed inside. It's an interesting product actually, if you think about it. Depending on the task, it can take some serious graphics muscle to drive a 5K resolution display. It amounts to over 14.7 million pixels (5120x2880), compared to Apple's current generation Thunderbolt display which runs at 2560x1440, or less than 3.7 million pixels. Apple's thinking is likely that if it integrates a GPU capable of driving a 5K resolution into the display itself, it won't have to worry about trying to balance graphics performance with thin and light designs for its future Mac systems.


Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference


Apple today announced that it will hold its 27th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) from June 13 through 17 in San Francisco.

Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website ( now through Friday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Tickets will be issued to attendees through a random selection process, and developers will be notified on the status of their application by Monday, April 25 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. For the second consecutive year, there will be up to 350 WWDC Scholarships available, giving students and STEM organization members from around the world an opportunity to earn a ticket to meet and collaborate with some of the most talented developers of Apple’s ever-growing app ecosystem ( Additionally, this year, we will provide travel assistance to up to 125 scholarship recipients to ensure aspiring developers with financial limitations have an opportunity to participate.


MacPro in the Applestore


When I logged in the morning the first message I noticed announced the eagerly awaited MacPro was now available for order at the AppleStore with delivery on December 30th, within an hour or so that delivery time had changed to January, when I check now the delivery has moved to February. Well at least it is free delivery.


It will be interesting to see how long it takes Apple to sort out supply and demand.



I was just looking at a few of the images of the internals of the new MacPro, I wonder how long it will be before someone produces a replacement transparent cover and subtle lighting for illumination. Could look pretty cool.