Why you are running out of time to buy the last great Windows computer (a Macbook Pro 16″ 8tb w/64gb of RAM)

Mar 11

Normally there is not great urgency with tech – you wait until your current device _____ (dies, fills up, bogs down, fill in your own ad-lib)

Ideal office setup

We are in a turning point for a generational change for computers – wheter you prefer desktops or laptops, you have a 30-60 day window of time to take advantage of this change.

Believe it or not, this is the last great Windows laptop.

Why the last?
Apple is moving away from Intel chips. If you are a Windows 10 user, you may have seen the headline and not given it much thought. Without a doubt, Apple makes the best engineered laptops with the most versatility. My macbook pro 16” checks all of the boxes – fast processor (8 cores) – check
– loads of memory (64 gigs) – check
– tons of storage (8 terrabytes) – check
– charges from USB C (no huge wall warts) – check
– offers an enviroment that allows me to move seamlessly from my iPhone to iPad to Windows and back and forth (inlcuding the clip board) – check

I started this journey to a new lapto for one simnple reason -I wanted a portable machine that run more than 2 monitors at the same time preferably over a USB C cable. My surface book 2 was constantly overheating and taxing itself running 3 screens and I had to cobble together a nest of adapters and cables to make it run. What encouraged me to make the leap was when Apple offered a laptop with 8 terrabytes of storage – even now, a year on, I have not been able to find a laptop that offers that much storage internally.

What I gained in moving back into a hybrid Mac OS / Windows 10 was the upgrade of using Parallells instead of Apple Bootcamp.

Primary reasons I love this machine and its ability:

  1. Large harddrive – first time in decades I can have access to all my data on one machine – 8 tbs covers 32 years of work, personal records, terabytes of real estate/drone photography and 3 tb of music and movies + 1 tb dedicated to my Windows 10 + data (about 400 gb). Nice transition from using a laptop which maxed out at 1 terrabyte,
  2. Thunderbolt 3 – 4 ports, 2 sides are on seperate I/O Busses which allows for up to 4 monitors at same time. (Some docking stations will allow more than 4).
  3. Fast computer processor – this machine with its Intel i9 processor runs Windows faster (while running Mac OS at the same time) than the Microsoft Surface Book 2 did.
  4. Merge my iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) with Windows 10 with airdrop file swap across all platforms
  5. You can copy/paste from windows to your mac to your ipad to your iphone just like they were all one big machine
  6. Allows 2 dropbox accounts and drive letters to each so in Windows it looks like they are in the same machine – I use one drobox for my work files (mostly to share large files with clients) and I have a seperate personal account that I only use to backup my large photo library. (I keep highres version of every photo in this dropbox – I move the lo-res versions into my main data directory).
  7. Cross OS setup – Windows 10 and Mac OS at same time – which allows for amazing flexibility – moving info from iOS devices to Mac to Windows is seamless – whethers its files, photos, or just copy/paste from clibpard.
  8. iTunes sync my media library better from Mac OS than Windows to my iPhones and iPads
  9. With Parallels essentially two computers at same time
    1. Parallels is a better windows than Windows
    2. Amazing migration feature moved my Microsoft surface book setup in one swoop into Parallels – all the serial numbers, passwords, and fiddly personal windows settings.
    3. Parallels toolbox has some great tools – photo resize, window manager (like windows cursor key for slamming windows to edge) and dozens more
    4. Master puppeteer – amazing to watch how it controls Windows
    5. Ability to run Windows side by side with Mac (Coherence mode) and drag and drop info from one to the other
    6. Run multiple versions of windows at the same time
  10. Legacy – I have some old Windows programs that will not work no ARM Chips or likely make it through the next upgrade so I wanted the most powerful mac on an Infel chip I could find
  11. Intel cross compatibly – likely last generation of Mac to allow this
  12. Find at https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro-16/?afid=p238|sI74p1tcc-dc_mtid_1870765e38482_pcrid_487960499943_pgrid_101595807247_&cid=aos-us-kwgo—slid—product-
  13. fullbackup to Apple time capsule = 8 tb takes 48 full hours to restore, but once its done its 100% of where I last left it. If you only have a 1 terrabyte, it would go much faster.
  14. Also highly suggest you run turbo boost- Turbo Boost Switcherhttp://tbswitcher.rugarciap.com/ as this app has helpd me keep the Mac from burning our its processor while using both Operating Systems at the same time (My belief is that one of the reasons Apple moved away from Intel processors as they were not able to keep up with faster processsors, so Intel has offered a gamer type hyper mode known as Turbo Boost. I have not needed the processor to overclock to run what I need and I have watched my Mac burn out its motherboard (on one bus). Since then I have been using Turbo boost app to disable this feature).
  15. Also just traded in some airline miles for an iMac version that runs my zoom meetings and classes at 5k.
  16. Price at configured $6,699

Data by GB

Data by Number of files

I know its pricey, but I so believe in this, that I now have three of these machines – my main machine (pictured front center on my desk setup), an identical backup machine (this was the one that burned out that Apple replaced under Applecare – took 2 weeks to turn around because it was not a stock machine). That backup laptop sits in a safe and I pull it out once a week to update the data that has changed from the main laptop to it. The third machine is the iMac which as now become my Zoom machine (I could write a whole other article on the importance of getting Zoom offer your main computer). This iMac is likely going to be the last 5k (screen resolution) Intel processecor Mac.

One final though on the cost of having an identical backup laptop. Last time your machine died – add up how much time you were out finding a laptop, installing software, moving your backup (you do keep backups right?) data to the new machine, tweaking all of the settings, adding all of the serial numbers, adding all of your logins, etc. In my case, I spend 8 to 16 hours on such a project. Take your annual income / 2080 work hours (in a year) multiply that by 8 (or 16) and that gives you the value of having an indentical backup to move too.

As a kid I was a huge NASA fan, and one of the takeaways from the space program is that concept of backups – 3-2-1. Three backups are two, two backups are one, and one backup is none. I mention this because I have previously written about a small laptop – the Lenovo Yoga C930 and my primary use for this laptop is just as a daily backup of most important work data – it is a super small laptop that I can safely carry on a trip, toss in a bag, leave in the backseat of a car, or take to a meeting where I meet need to access data, but do not want to lug around a 4lb to 8lb laptop (its smaller than in iPad and runs Windows 10).

Ideal Zoom Setup

Dec 27

2020 has been an odd year – and it has accelerated our future faster than most of us were ready for – and that includes moving meetings from the physical world to the Zoom world.

As we spend hour after hour in the zoom world, I have come to recognize a number of setups including:

  1. Laptop with webcam in the crack between the bottom of the screen and the top of the keyboard – otherwise known as the nostril cam.
  2. Laptop with poor webcam quality (that includes most Apple laptops) – otherwise known as fuzzy cam.
  3. Laptop that stills has plastic film over the webcam – otherwise known as the blurry cam.
  4. Desks with the owners back to a bright window – otherwise known as soon to be in the witness protection program silhouette.
  5. And the list could go on and on an on.

Knowing this, I decided to design a portable zoom setup that I could use reliably for meetings. In order to come as possible to resembling a real meeting, it needed to cover the following items:

  • Good lighting so you could read facial expressions
  • A camera located approximately at eye level and was physically separate from my primary laptop (Macbook pro 16″) or my Zoom /teaching laptop (Microsoft Surface book2) or our conference room setup (Microsoft Surface 4).
  • Adjustability both in depth and height to take into account two person meetings (my wife and I had many parent teacher conferences or school meetings this way) or allowing me to stand
  • A dedicated microphone phone with a clear to read MUTE indicator
  • A dedicated volume knob
  • (and as it turns out, some sound insulation between my office and my wife’s office )

I did some quick research on Amazon and chose the following items:

  • Webcam stand – $27.98 – envision the adjustable desk lamp you might of had in your childhood – without the lamp – it has a solid weighted base, but can also be removed if you want to put small holes at different distances in your desk.
  • Dedicated webcam – $29.88 – I wanted HD – so 1080 was minimum – and I wanted one that was adjustable.
  • LED Ring Light – 10″ – $19.79 – if you have watched any YouTube videos – you will notice the YouTubers have a ring light around their camera – this lights up your face and is adjustable as well.
  • Microphone stand with visual cue if mic was muted – $15.99 – this one has a big button on the front with a red light (that I put a sticker on to remind me that RED was Live, dark was MUTED). This has eliminated one of my largest frustrations with zoom meetings – when a speaker is speaking and they are not aware there mic was muted, or they are fumbling around in settings look for the unmute button
  • Volume Knob – $27.19 – For a long time I was using my Apple Airpods for Zoom meetings, but when I moved to the microphone and after waring our 3 sets of Airpods – I realized I needed a dedicated volume knob.
  • Sound paneling – $23.99 for 6 pack that is 12″x12″x0.4″ – this has worked really well – my daughter and I installed them from desk top to ceiling in my office – not only has it improved the acoustics and eliminated the odd echo I experienced on phone calls, it has done an amazing job of blocking my sometimes loud teaching voice. My wife has her office down the hallway – maybe 15′ from mine – and this has virtually eliminated any sound transmission.
  • Some miscellaneous velcro, or 3M double sided tape.

For $150 to $250 (depending on how much acoustical sound paneling your office needs) – you can setup your own Zoom studio.

PS: I am a big believer in always having a sperate zoom computer for meetings because:

  • Zoom is a resource hog and I have watched it melt down a laptop doing too many other things at the same time
  • Zoom constantly reorganizes all of my carefully laid out windows
  • If you screen share, you do not really want to screen share work you are doing for other clients
  • When I just need to listen in on a zoom meeting, I can roll my desk chair about 24″ to the right, and be on my primary computer getting work done.
  • Speaking of that – I would add a 2nd HD webcam to your setup – my 2nd cam is not on the stand, but is located between the two monitors (for better eye contact) and I can switch to that setup when I have moved computers as it looks like I am still engaged on the original zoom meeting.
  • One more thoughts – next time you are in a zoom meeting – do a quick screen shot of your live photo – I do mine looking thoughtful – and then post it as my avatar – so I if need to leave the room to answer the door, make tea, etc. It is not disruptive to the attendees.

Microsoft Duo – tablet, computer or phone?

Sep 10


I have been using the Duo for about a week – once I got passed the setup phase (finding all of my favorite iOS apps and installing them) – I must admit I really like the device – I like holding it, I like carrying it, and I like reading from it, especially the Kindle app. I screencast it to a portable projector (photos below) and I can see the potential of teaching a class with the powerpoint on one side, and a PDF of the book on the other side. I still have not setup the phone, and not sure I would really use it that way.

I received my Microsoft Duo today via Fedex and I will admit I was really excited to see what a foldable dual screen pocket device looks like and to see how functional it is.

These devices have only started to land today, so some of my favorite tech reviews (Marquez, Unbox therapy, etc.) have not done hands on reviews yet.

As a mostly iPhone/iPad user, it took a while to get Google (Android) all setup on the device and download my favorite apps – Office, Kindle, the remote web cam at our cabin, etc.

Office 365 did run out of the box and I was able to test out Powerpoint and Adobe acrobat side by side – which allowed me to run a CCIM presentation next to the CCIM textbook.

I was even more impressed that I was able to screencast the device to a nearby monitor – which allowed me to run a PowerPoint wirlesslessly, all while holding something about the size of a moleskin notebook.

Microsoft started selling the Duo today – you can find it at their website here.

My first impressions are:
-amazing build quality (hardware)
-its going to take some time to get used to Android software/setup
-it is really cool to read a two page Kindle book side by side
-the dimensions are slightly wider than my iPhone X, about the same height and each side of the Duo is much thinner – when folded its about 125% of the depth of my iPhone X (in short, very portable)
-the software adjust nicely to the mode you hold in it – one screen, two screen, tent mode, laptop mode (w/virtual haptic keyboard) – it all is seamless and fast
-the size, heft and holdability of the device is amazing – part Moleskin notebook, part cigarette case (with that cool Airpod case clicking sound)

As I have more time to use the device, I will be pushing out updates this to this website.

Lenovo – Dual screen laptop, smaller than an iPad, ideal teaching device

Sep 08

Lenovo Yoga Book – C930 – short tech review

by Todd Clarke CCIM CIPs

The Lenovo Yoga book has been a game changer – its uber portability, versality and feature set have made it my go to for the backup laptop – whether that is business meetings, traveling or teaching for CCIM.


My full video review can be found here – http://www.nmapartment.com/yogareview



Ten Reasons to own this 2 in 1 :

  1. Amazing keyboard doubles as e-ink reader
  2. Slim and light – smaller than an iPad
  3. Runs Windows 10
  4. Has a Micro SD Slot – supports up to 512 gigs
  5. Touch screen + e-ink screen – pull up a PDF on one side, and your powerpoint on the other – both support stylus
  6. Relatively fast – 4 gig memory, 128 gig storage – works great for MS office, research tool, etc.
  7. Works great as a backup computer, take to meetings computer,
  8. Fingerprint reader for quick login

9. Versatile setup – use as laptop, tablet mode, tent mode and more
10. USB c Ports – easy dongles to HDMI, display port, etc. also charges from USB C

It was $1,299 to $1,400 when I bought it over a year ago – Lenovo shows it on their website for $859(http://www.nmapartment.com/yogabook)  and I have seen some deals on it for closer to $599.

Santa Fe Tech course – Friday, June 21st, 2019

Jun 12

Counts for 4 hours of Core Ethics for all NM Licensees


100 Apps in 100 minutes competition

Jun 12

Watch Todd Clarke and Todd Kuhlman, fellow CCIM instructors duke it out in trying to present the most relevant apps in our business

at https://youtu.be/Wjj3bhxHS44


For the Santa Fe Assocation of Realtors course – 7/18/2014

Jul 18

The following are links and documents from todays presentation.
Complete the 2014 ULI Value / CAP rate survey here

Prezi from today – Ethical use of social networking Prezi-CCA-EthicalUseofSocialMedia-072014

List of iOS apps – click here

Today’s powerpoint presentation can be found by clicking here- SantaFe-Tech-SocialNetworkingWebinar-07182014-v5

CCIM 2013 annual seminar – 97 apps in 90 minutes

Seattles Gigapixel camera + easter eggs

Feb 02


Microsoft has created a gigapixel photograph of Seattle – http://gigapixelartzoom.com/


Note everyone was happy – check out these protestors?.


Can you find the space ship?

Discovered Easter eggs include:
“Error 404: Site Not Found” banner
Pink Floyd Guy
A game of picnic-person-beer-pong?
A 4-circle, 1-square fashion show
Yellow mannequin & a person holding an “O” sign
Front stoop/Sidewalk yoga
Rooftop spaceship
Painter with easel on the sidewalk
Rooftop chalk circle drawers
Lego building and construction site
Photographer and two subjects on some stairs
Four people proud of a painted cloud banner
A woman planking on a man in the park
A blue mannequin and a person holding a “.” sign
Several ballet dancers above a “shark-filled” pool
A giant white snake held by three people.
Someone wearing a blue dinosaur/dragon head mask
Someone carrying a painting across a street
A recreation of “Thriller”
Three people in a row painting in a park
Two upside down people near a gas station
Four artsy cars in a parking lot
A man painted purple next to a guy holding a sign of a television
A man on his back kicking a woman high into the air above him on the sidewalk
A sidewalk artist painting a woman in a bikini snow suit
A man on crutches narrowly avoiding a lot of banana peels

Thanks to Gizmodo.com

iTunes updated to version 11

Dec 14

Many iPhone, iPad and computer users have had a love/hate relationship with iTunes. Originally introduced to help manage music collections and sync to iPod, iTunes has grown to a full blown media server, but unfortunately, the frame it was built on was often slow, cranky and unwieldy.

Today Apple has released version 11 of iTunes, which is a significant improvement over all of the previous versions.

Unfortunately, iTunes still does not do a good job of managing apps and app documents

iTunes and iOS device app management

I have also found that iTunes is not suited for managing large collections of movies or TV Shows – as it just takes too many clicks to scroll through our family’s collection.

iTunes Movies and IOS device management

iTunes and Device management has experienced an improvement significantly in ability to tell which device your media is on.
iTunes and device management

Wired Magazine shares their thoughts on the iTunes update here


Join the two T’s of Technology this Saturday

Oct 21

Watch the video of 100 apps in 100 minutes at – https://youtu.be/Wjj3bhxHS44

October 26th, as they (Todd Clarke CCIM and Todd Kuhlman CCIM) share the latest and greatest apps in this 90 minute session in Denver at the CCIM 2013 Live conference.