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ExtraBITS for 26 September 2011

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Those in California can meet up with TidBITS Senior Editor Jeff Carlson at the Mac Computer Expo next week, and if you can’t make the trip, check out Adam’s recent video presentation to the Portland Macintosh Users Group. We also have news of Sprint dropping unlimited data usage for mobile hotspots, Thunderbolt Display connection options, how to enable AirDrop on any Mac, and a Web-based tool that lets you find Macs by their specs.

Meet Your Favorite Mac Experts at MCE -- We attend and write about the big Macworld Expo conference each year, but it’s not the only event to bring together some of the industry’s top Mac experts. Next week, join TidBITS Senior Editor Jeff Carlson and other Mac notables at the Mac Computer Expo (MCE) in Petaluma, CA for a free day of informative sessions and stimulating conversation. Jeff will be demonstrating how to edit video in iMovie for iOS (with a bunch of tips and workarounds), and joins speakers such as Jason Snell, Christopher Breen, Ted Landau, Tom Negrino, Jeff Gamet, and Derrick Story. The event will also display Bert Monroy’s impressive Times Square digital illustration (measuring 5 feet high and 25 feet long, built using over 500,000 layers in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator). If you attend, bring your electronic recycling — anyone turning in a hard drive to be recycled is entered into a drawing to win a new Mac mini. MCE is free to attend, and goes from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, 1 October 2011.

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Watch Adam’s PMUG Presentation about Jobs and Lion -- A few weeks ago, Adam and MacVoices host Chuck Joiner did a joint iChat video presentation to the Portland Macintosh Users Group, talking about Apple in a post-Steve Jobs era, what’s interesting (and not) about Lion, converting email from Eudora, and how Star Trek technology now seems clunky.

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Thunderbolt Display Connection Possibilities -- Can a MacBook Pro run one Thunderbolt Display or two? How about a MacBook Air? A Mac mini? An iMac? The answers vary per model, as Macworld’s James Galbraith explains in this review of Apple’s new Thunderbolt Display.

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Sprint Imposes Mobile Hotspot Data Limit -- Sprint will start limiting mobile hotspot use, when a phone is turned into a Wi-Fi gateway, to 5 GB for both current and new subscribers starting 2 October 2011. Additional gigabytes cost $50 each, billed by the megabyte. Sprint is the last U.S. carrier to offer true unlimited 3G service, which remains available for on-phone data usage — for now!

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Enable AirDrop for All Macs with Lion -- Glenn Fleishman explains a tiny tweak you can make in Lion that enables AirDrop peer-to-peer file exchange to work over local area Ethernet and wireless networks. This enables AirDrop for older Macs that lack the right Wi-Fi chips to work with AirDrop out of the box, and it also adds wired LAN access for even those Macs that do have supported Wi-Fi chips.

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EveryMac’s Ultimate Mac Sort Tool -- Ever want to know which iMacs use the Intel Core i5 processor? Or which Mac models lack FireWire? EveryMac has created a very neat Web-based tool that lets you select from a wide variety of system specifications and see which Mac models match. It’s in beta, so if you see any errors or have suggestions for improvements, drop them a line.

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