Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 review: Really banging headphones

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2

Skullcandy’s original Crusher ANC wireless headphones dialed up skull-rattling bass and this new model continues that same tradition, but with more comfort, sophistication, and added features.

These Crusher ANC 2 headphones remind us of that Beastie Boys lyric, “I like my sugar with coffee and cream,” in that they skew the equation to be more about liking the vibrations of low-end bass with a touch of music added in.

Skullcandy refers to its Crusher effect as sensory bass, which seemed accurate. Despite an adjustable jog wheel to raise and lower the pounding bass effect we’re going to say to these headphones aren’t for everyone.

Anyone on the search for general-purpose wireless ANC headphones has plenty of options. If, however, you do want to be moved by your music, these new Crusher headphones are certainly worth considering.

The sound of Skullcandy Crusher V2 headphones

Without the wild sensory bass accenting low-end frequencies on the music you’re listening to, the Crusher ANC 2 headphones could disappear into a void of dozens of other wireless headphones on the market.

Crusher wheel can be spun or pressed add sensory bass

Crusher wheel can be spun or pressed add sensory bass

This unique aspect defines the headphones in name and feature set, so it’s only reasonable we focus on that first.

A wheel on the left ear cup and be rolled up or down to adjust the bass effect. It did what it was supposed to when we tried it, but it could be hard to pinpoint a specific amount of the effect.

Luckily, the wheel can also be pushed to jump to pre-set intervals like 20%, 50%, and 80%. We generally found ourselves using this method more than spinning the wheel because a voice would announce the amount of the Crusher effect when using the presets.

You can use the voice commands to request more or less Crusher, but this didn’t identify what level it was at either.

We usually found ourselves listening at either the two lower 20% and 50% levels, depending on the specific song that was playing.

Turning the Crusher effect up to 100% was wild on most songs — and usually too intense for us. At 100% the effect swallowed a lot of the mid-range frequencies, though vocals often managed to poke out of the low-end ground swell.

It was definitely hard to ignore the head-shaking effect when it was turned up to 100%. Even if the Crusher effect didn’t consume all of the frequency ranges, it garnered most of the attention and could be distracting.

On the flip side, with the effect turned all the way down to 0%, the headphones still had a big and boastful enough sound. Bass still felt full while the mids were much more present and clear.

If you find yourself boosting and fiddling with EQ settings more often than not, these headphones will suit you well.

They provide a direct physical control to allow you to inject life into any song. Objectively, not every song should be put through the Crusher effect, but you can do it.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 features

Beyond the sensory bass effect, Skullcandy has jammed quite a few features into the Crusher ANC 2 headphones.

Crusher ANC 2 headphones fold and twist slightly for their carrying case

Crusher ANC 2 headphones fold and twist slightly for their carrying case

They have ANC and awareness modes, along with physical buttons for media controls and volume. They also get 50 hours of battery life, support for Multipoint Pairing, and voice control commands.

Instead of Find My, Skullcandy uses Tile technology to locate lost headphones. The personal audio accessories use Bluetooth 5.2 and have 40mm drivers.

The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 weighs 332g (11.7 ounces), compared to Sony WH-1000XM5’s 249g (8.8 ounces) or AirPods Max’s 385g (13.6 ounces) mass.

The headphones didn’t feel heavy or overly weighty when worn and felt much lighter over several hours than AirPods Max did.

Buttons can be configured for different functions, including Spotify Tap and taking a photo. Feeling for the pause button, sandwiched between two other buttons was challenging initially, but slowly we learned to feel for the concave exterior one.

You also had to manually pause music a lot too, as the headphones don’t support ear detection to stop audio when removing the headphones.

Due to the way voice commands work on an iPhone, every time we turned on the headphones and they connected to our iPhone, iOS would serve a popup asking us to allow Skull-iQ access to communicate with the headphones.

Constant notification when Crusher ANC 2 connected to an iPhone

Constant notification when Crusher ANC 2 connected to an iPhone

The popup was annoying. Also annoying was saying, “Hey Skullcandy” out in public.

The actual voice commands worked fine, but overall, the trigger word and remembering its commands were a big “nope” from us.

Should you buy the Skullcandy Crusher V2?

Bose headphones often get criticized for having a distinct sound profile that boosts certain aspects. Still, a lot of people like how their music sounds in Bose’s headphones.

Padding on the ear cups and headband was comfortable

Padding on the ear cups and headband was comfortable

Similarly, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 headphones are not about reproducing music as neutrally as possible. They’re about letting people add a healthy dose of whimsy to the music they listen to.

The buying decision here is pretty straightforward. If you simply want to feel your music, using Crusher ANC 2 headphones is the closest thing to injecting the beat directly into your veins.

They perform well across the board and have features to satisfy all kinds of listeners.

The $229.99 price is reasonable for the product, but if you won’t use the Crusher sensory bass, there’s no need to spend extra on these over other less expensive wireless ANC headphones.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 — pros

  • Respectable ANC and Stay Aware performance
  • Comfortable padding around the headphones
  • Improved sleeker design

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 — cons

  • Constant iOS notification when connected was annoying
  • No ear dection for auto-pause

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Where to buy the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2

The Crusher ANC 2 are available for purchase at Skullcandy for $229.99.

Best Standing Desk We’ve Used To Work From Home on Mac

Roundup: Standing desks 2023

Boost your comfort and efficiency with these standing desks that AppleInsider has tested and reviewed.

A standing desk can be a wise investment for your well-being and productivity, as it can help you avoid the health risks of sitting too long while working on your Mac.

At AppleInsider, we work from home with our Apple devices in various settings and scenarios. We know how vital it is to have a flexible and comfortable workspace that suits our needs and preferences.

We have tested various standing desks for our home offices and evaluated them based on their features, performance, and value for money. Here is a roundup of the best standing desks we tested for Apple users working from home.

HumanCentric Workflow Desk — solid wood

The HumanCentric Workflow Desk is an appealing combination of craftsmanship and functionality. It is made by manufacturers in the Midwest, USA, using high-quality solid wood.

HumanCentric Workflow Desk

HumanCentric Workflow Desk

This desk lets you customize your workspace to fit your needs and style. You can choose maple or black walnut for your desktop, and both offer a natural and warm look to complement your Apple devices.

Depending on your space and preferences, you can also select the length of your desktop, from 48 inches to 72 inches.

The Workflow Desk has a touch-sensitive controller embedded into the desktop that lets you adjust the height of your desk from 21 inches to 47 inches. This way, you can enhance your wellness and productivity by switching between sitting and standing positions while you work.

The HumanCentric Workflow Desk has a touch-sensitive controller

The HumanCentric Workflow Desk has a touch-sensitive controller

The desk comes with collision detection technology that keeps the desk from bumping into objects when moving up or down, safeguarding you and your equipment.

If you love wood finishes and want a solid-wood desk that offers elegance and functionality, you won’t regret choosing the HumanCentric Workflow Desk. It is a worthy investment for those who value form and function in their office furniture.

Uplift Standing Desk V2 — L-Shaped

The Uplift L-Shaped Standing Desk V2 is a versatile desk that fits nicely in a corner and adjusts to your preferred height. This desk can hold up to 535 pounds and is sturdy and spacious.

Uplift L-Shaped Standing Desk V2

Uplift L-Shaped Standing Desk V2

The L-shape design gives you plenty of space for your Mac, iPad, and other accessories. You can also plug in two devices on your desktop with the power grommet, making it easy to charge your gadgets.

In addition, this desk’s electric height-adjustable mechanism lets you easily switch between sitting or standing, and you can change the height from 25.3 inches to 50.9 inches.

Uplift L-Shaped Standing Desk V2 has a power grommet to charge your gadgets.

Uplift L-Shaped Standing Desk V2 has a power grommet to charge your gadgets.

The keypad lets you save and switch between four height presets with a quick touch. You can also lock the keypad and set maximum or minimum height levels.

The Uplift V2 desk combines clever accessory integrations with a roomy design, making it a valuable asset for users who spend a lot of time at their desks.

Jaxson Compact standing desk — app-enabled

Jaxson Compact standing desk

Jaxson Compact standing desk

The app allows you to save height settings and track your activity using an infrared presence sensor that measures your sitting and standing time. The app compares your data with your goals and reminds you to change position when you sit for too long.

The Jaxson Compact desk comes in various desktop finishes and sizes. We tried out the Bella Walnut option, which had a rich walnut color with a bit of texture.

The iMovr Jaxson Desk Control app

The iMovR Jaxson Desk Control app

You can choose from 24 or 30 depths, 47 to 71 widths, and 0.75 or 1.125 thicknesses. The desktop also has soft-contoured edges that are gentle on your wrists and arms.

The desk has a sturdy base that can adjust the desktop’s height from 21.5 to 53.6, depending on the model. You can select a base with a single-stage or dual-stage mechanism that can handle up to 220 pounds.

The desktop height can move at the speed of 1.5 inches per second, and you can adjust the height level with a push of a button.

FlexiSpot E7 Pro Plus — budget-friendly

The FlexiSpot E7 Pro Plus is ideal for users who want a quality standing desk without spending a fortune. It offers excellent performance and flexibility at an economical price.

FlexiSpot E7 Pro Plus

FlexiSpot E7 Pro Plus

With its powerful dual-motor system, the E7 Pro Plus lets you adjust the height of your desk from 22.8 inches to 48.4 inches. You can use the control panel to swap between sitting and standing throughout the day.

The E7 Pro Plus can handle up to 355 pounds of weight, so you can load it up with your Apple devices and accessories without worrying about stability. You can customize your standing desk with different desktop materials and sizes, ranging from chipboard, bamboo, or solid wood.

The control panel of the E7 Pro Plus

The control panel of the E7 Pro Plus

This desk has handy features that make your work more convenient and enjoyable. It has an LED screen that shows the current height and lets you save height-level presets for different users or tasks.

Additionally, there is a child lock function to prevent accidental movements. The keypad has a USB port to charge your gadgets as you work.

Get the FlexiSpot E7 Pro Plus Standing Desk (frame only) for $499.99 on their website, and add a chipboard top for $80. They have regular promotions, so look out for deals.

FlexiSpot Odin E7Q — heavy duty

The FlexiSpot Odin E7Q can handle heavy loads and let you adjust its height to your preferences. Whether you have multiple monitors or bulky equipment, this desk can efficiently support them.

FlexiSpot Odin E7Q

FlexiSpot Odin E7Q

The E7Q has four powerful motors and a durable carbon steel frame that can manage up to 440 pounds, and you can adjust the height from 23.8 inches to 49.4 inches.

Also, the desk has features that make it safe and convenient. It has an anti-collision function that lets you set how sensitive the desk is to obstacles when moving up or down.

The control panel lets you save three height presets for quick switching between sitting and standing positions. You can also lock the control panel to prevent accidental adjustments by children or pets.

The control panel of the FlexiSpot Odin E7Q

The control panel of the FlexiSpot Odin E7Q

This desk comes with a range of options to customize your workspace. You have plenty of desktop materials and colors to fit your style and environment.

Depending on how much room you have and how much desk space you need, you can select a desktop size from 48 inches to 94.5 inches.

The E7Q is a sturdy and robust workstation that can handle hefty equipment and is best for users who need a desk that can fit their heavy equipment and offer them plenty of room to work.

You can order the FlexiSpot Odin E7Q desk from Office Depot. The retail option is currently discounted from the $1,599.99 retail price.

Lillipad — temporary

Working from home doesn’t always mean having space for a dedicated office or an oversized standing desk. That’s where Lillipad excels — it can fold to a slab and be tucked away in a closet or under a bed.

Lillipad is a sit-stand desk that can fold up

Lillipad is a sit-stand desk that can fold up

The Lillipad sit-stand desk is an all-in-one solution that requires no assembly, has a power strip integrated with the desktop, and can be configured with a monitor arm. It has an operating range from 27 inches to 48 inches and shrinks to 6 inches when set for storage.

The 48-inch tabletop is spacious and can handle up to 75 pounds of load. The legs support the desk from the back, so there’s a little give in the top surface, but not enough to be an issue.

There are three outlets in the included power strip, plus three USB-A ports and a USB-C port for low-power devices. The desk also has an anti-collision function to keep it from problems when raising or lowering.

Ensure there is enough space for the desk to raise and lower

Ensure there is enough space for the desk to raise and lower

We included Lillipad in this roundup because it is one of the only sit-stand desks we’ve seen built for temporary workstations. It’s an excellent concept that helps create the perfect work environment, even if it’s going back under the bed a few hours later.

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iPhone 16 rumored to have vertical rear cameras

The iPhone 12 was the last model with vertical cameras

A new leak suggests iPhone 16 will get a vertical camera arrangement instead of the current diagonal cameras found in iPhone 14. It would look similar to iPhone 12.

Apple tends to reserve the biggest product changes for its more premium pro iPhones, then let them trickle down in later generations. For example, the iPhone 14 Pro got the Dynamic Island, which is expected to arrive in the standard iPhone 15 in 2023.

According to a new leak from Twitter user @URedditor, aka Unknownz21, the iPhone 16 will get a notable design change different from the iPhone 15. The base model iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus would get a vertical camera arrangement instead of diagonal, which would look similar to iPhone 12.

Apple shifted to the diagonal layout to make space for the improving sensors and stabilization motors, but that extra space may no longer be needed in the future. It isn’t clear why Apple would make the change, but Unknownz21 suggests it would make the product instantly recognizable as the new model.

That’s interesting because Apple’s most recent strategy has de-prioritized outward design changes for the standard iPhones. While year-over-year changes are notable and add new functionality to the product, they tend to be inherited from the pro models.

In a follow-up tweet, the leaker states this design change is why they are less bullish on the iPhone 15 standard devices. The vertical camera arrangement at least provides some differentiation from iPhone 15, which won’t be outwardly very different from iPhone 14.

Accuracy still pending

Unknownz21 has a short yet accurate leak history. They shared the “Gobi” AR codes prior to iOS 14 being announced with App Clips.

Since then, Unknownz21 has been sharing leaks about the iPhone 15 lineup and has recently moved to iPhone 16. They showed alleged photos of the USB-C port in iPhone 15, camera arrangement changes, and information about A17 and Wi-Fi 6E.

So far, Unknownz21 hasn’t provided any reason to doubt their claims. They tend to align with other notable leakers, however, due to the increasing volume from Unknownz21, their credibility as a leaker is now riding entirely on the iPhone 15 lineup reveal.

Apple is expected to reveal the iPhone 15 during an event in September, so until then, we treat Unknownz21’s leaks as reliable. The iPhone 16 lineup won’t be released until 2024.

How to build an Apple I replica computer

Retro computing lets you get to grips with technology’s history, showing how far modern computers have come. Here’s how to build your own working Apple I replica.

Computers have come a long way since Apple first started in 1976. In those days when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak first put together the original Apple I computer kits, everything was sourced and assembled by hand.

Apple was a tiny company based in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage, and Apple sold kit computers out of the garage.

Apple I kits consisted of a huge motherboard, several dozen logic chips, large power capacitors, diodes, resistors, A ROM chip, and a 6502 CPU designed by MOS Technology and licensed to Motorola.

The 6502 was a common CPU in the 1980’s – being used in Apple, Atari, and Commodore computers. It was the first truly low-cost microcomputer CPU and was the key element that enabled the personal computer revolution to happen.

For the Apple I, it was also left as an exercise for the user to build a homebrew power supply and obtain a keyboard sourced from a company called Datanetics, which later made the Apple II keyboard.

You can see a 1979 photo of Jobs with an Apple II at the Computer History Museum’s website.

The Apple I was sold in kit form – no completely assembled units were sold.

The machine was first released on April 11th, 1976 – just ten days after Apple was founded on April Fool’s day of the same year. As a joke, Steve and Steve decided to set the price of the machine at $666.66 US dollars.

The Apple I’s sales were small, mainly due to its extremely limited capabilities. There were also much more advanced kits from other companies available, such as Sinclair of the UK, whose machines offered built-in video, graphics, a keyboard, a cassette port, and later, color.

Steve Wozniak’s original Apple I computer, built in the Jobs family garage and housed in a wooden box, was originally on display at Apple’s own internal museum at R+D Six on 1 Infinite Loop, in Cupertino, CA, but it now sits in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.

The original Apple I's location: an internal museum at Apple's R+D Six, on the left.

The follow-up computer, the Apple II, shipped two years later in a fully assembled case, complete with internal power supply and keyboard. It included a graphics mode and supported BASIC, which had to be loaded from floppy disk, or a ROM-based add-in card.

A second model, the Apple II+ a year later supported built-in BASIC, and booting from an external floppy disk.

The Apple II was Apple’s first killer product, and when the Apple II’s first killer app VisiCalc was written by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston a year later, Apple became Silicon Valley’s first hit billion-dollar personal computer company overnight.

Apple II computers flew off the shelves as accountants and other business people used VisiCalc to manage their businesses and automate bookkeeping and forecasting.

The Apple I was severely limited, mainly because RAM was extremely expensive at the time, and the machine supported 4K or 8K of RAM expandable to 32K. The Apple I was text-only, and lacked a graphics mode, color, and sprites for game creation.

The machine had no operating system – BASIC could be loaded from an optional Compact Cassette, a popular audio format of the 1970s, provided the user also built the optional cassette expansion interface card which fit the machine’s single expansion port.

Without BASIC, if the user wanted to program the Apple I they had to use Motorola 6502 assembly language and the machine’s built-in monitor, WozMon.

The original Apple I advertisement.

The original Apple I advertisement.

Fast-forward forty-five years

In today’s world, printed circuit boards (PCBs) can be designed in hours or days in software, the file saved and uploaded over the internet to PCB production houses all over the world. The purchaser can have boards at their door within a week – almost for no cost.

Combine this with modern advances in processors and microcontrollers such as FPGAs, flash EPROMS, and IoT devices such as Arduino, and you have all the makings of a new retro computing revolution.

Several enterprising entrepreneurs have recreated the original Apple I PCB and now sell them online including on eBay and Etsy. You can purchase one of these boards and repopulate them yourself with parts, building a brand new working exact replica of the original Apple I.

You’ll need to also find an original working Apple I ROM chip, and build your own custom power supply for the board or find one prebuilt online. The Apple I’s original documentation can also be located online, but be aware the document is still copyrighted material owned by Apple, Inc.

A replica Apple I PCB for sale on eBay from seller

A replica Apple I PCB for sale on eBay from seller “newton-computer”. The cassette interface PCB is also included.

RC6502 replica PCB

If you’re not up to the task of buying and assembling everything needed to make a new original Apple I, there’s a better way. Tebi of Norway has created a tiny new PCB called RC6502 which uses the original Apple I ROM, a single SRAM chip, a 6502 CPU running at 1MHz, and a single 6821P PIA chip, also originally made by Motorola.

The board also requires a single Arduino Nano, which you have to load a program into, as well as a few other small components. You can also make an optional backplane PCB to add other features including a video display unit.

Assembled RC6502 computer.

Assembled RC6502 computer.

The RC6502 is open source, and you can download the Gerber files and order your own online, or order a board from sellers on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and a host of other online outlets. A Gerber file is a computer-generated schematic of an electronic circuit that is used to produce a PCB.

The big advantage of the RC6502 is its size and low component count, as the total cost to build the board is under $50.

Getting started

Let’s take a look at the bare PCB:

RC6502 replica Apple I PCB.

RC6502 replica Apple I PCB.

In the upper left corner, there are 3 components: a 1MHz crystal oscillator chip, a common 555 timer chip, and an MCP23S17-E/SP Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) chip. The last one, made by Microchip Technology Inc. of Chandler, AZ, helps the board communicate with an Arduino Nano.

The MCP23S17-E/SP can be a bit expensive and difficult to find due to supply chain issues caused by the COVID pandemic, but they are slowly becoming more available.

DigiKey seems to have a huge stock now, or try AliExpress. We found ours on AliExpress, but it cost $7 including shipping during the shortage.

Use a 1Mhz crystal oscillator chip. The original Apple I also ran at 1MHz.

Use a 1Mhz crystal oscillator chip. The original Apple I also ran at 1MHz.

In the upper right corner of the board is a space for Arduino Nano headers, which you must solder in so you can plug an Arduino into them.

Below that are 3 common logic chips: 74HCT138N, 74HCT04N, and 74HCT00N. These are logic gates, multiplexers, and inverters and all cost around a few dollars each.

Under the three logic chips are a single SRAM chip (HM62256BLP-7 made by Hitachi, or an equivalent), and a single flashable EPROM, in this case an Atmel AT28C64-15PC). You’ll also need a USB programmer device to flash the Atmel chip.

The “-7” at the end of the HM62256BLP-7 indicates the RAM speed – in this case 70ns, but you may be able to get slightly slower chips to work, possibly as slow as 100ns (or “-10” at the end of the chip model name). In most cases, if the speed is close, the RAM can be slowed down to match the board speed.

Hitachi HM62256BLP-7 SRAM chip.

Hitachi HM62256BLP-7 SRAM chip.

To the left of the RAM and EPROM is a Motorola 6502 CPU, running at 1 MHz, although you may be able to get the 6502’s modern equivalent, the 65C02 to work also. 65C02 is a modern replacement for the 6502, and is made by Western Design Center (the successor company to MOS Technology), located in Mesa, AZ.

The 65C02 uses a more modern design, uses less than 1/10th the power of the original 6502s, and can be run at variable speed up to 14MHz. Pin 37 is a clock input pin so the CPU can be driven by an external oscillator – in this case the 1MHz crystal.

WDC's newer W65C02S6TPG-14 CPU, which can run at up to 14MHz and uses less power.

WDC’s newer W65C02S6TPG-14 CPU, which can run at up to 14MHz and uses less power.

If you don’t use a 65C02, you’ll need to source a working used 6502, or a New Old Stock one from online sellers. They can be found on eBay, sometimes on Amazon, on AliExpress, or a host of other overseas sellers.

While MOS Technology made the original 6502, they were later licensed to Motorola so you may see 6502 models from both companies. The 6502 was also later licensed to Rockwell International and UMC.

You can still find NOS Rockwell and UMC 6502’s which are decades old but have never been used.

A NOS UMC 6502, date code

A NOS UMC 6502, date code “9028T” – 2nd week of 8th month of 1990.

Usually, chips have a date stamp code on them with the week, month, and year they were manufactured. The year is typically listed first in the date code – but not always.

In the photo below, the 6502 date stamp code is “0988” – indicating September, 1988.

6502 CPU and Motorola MC6821P PIA chip. A MC6822P may also work.

6502 CPU and Motorola MC6821P PIA chip. A MC6822P may also work.

In most cases, it’s generally better to get the newest chips possible as some early production runs may have had problems, and in most cases, chips’ materials degrade over time. So a chip made in 1992 would be generally better than one made in 1979.

Usually, genuine Motorola 6502s have the Motorola “M” logo on them, but not always. Some chips end up as e-waste in China or India and are pulled from boards, refurbished, and resurfaced, usually with a generic print on them, such as the one shown above.

Be aware that some chips from China are fake and while they may work, they may not be reliable or work for long.

You will also need some IC sockets, jumper headers, PC motherboard-style plastic jumpers, various resistors, and ceramic capacitors – mostly, but not all 104’s or 0.1uF.

For a full list of the Bill of Materials (BOM) for the project, see Tebi’s GitHub page.

Solder sockets and basic parts

First you’ll want to solder in all resistors, ceramic capacitors, the one electrolytic capacitor, one small momentary-on push button switch, and the jumper headers. Take your time and verify all solder joints.

There are two types of IC sockets: one kind (the cheaper kind) has flat leaf-like connections and a plastic surround which sits flat against the PCB.

While less expensive, these are also less reliable: the small metal leaves that hold IC pins can get dislocated, and it’s impossible to see under the plastic housing since it sits flush.

The other kind of socket uses rounded raised pins, with round holes on top, and is often gold-plated to prevent corrosion – even decades into the future. The second type of socket costs a little more but is well worth it.

They also allow you to inspect the top side of solder joints on a PCB to ensure there are no unwanted bridges between holes (known as vias).

Note that sockets and ICs usually have a semi-circle-shaped notch on one end. Usually, PCBs also have markings with a semi-circle notch. Solder sockets in so the notches match the PCB markings.

The notches ensure ICs get inserted the correct way matching the sockets. This prevents fried chips due to backward insertion.

You’ll also need to solder on the tiny reset switch, or headers for an external switch, power, and power LED in the upper-right corner of the board.

The long pin header along the bottom of the board has a variety of connections, including power and other features. See the GitHub page and documentation for a complete pinout of all the long jumper pins.

An initial build with all small components installed looks like this:

Initial RC6502 small parts assembly: everything except the ICs, crystal, and Arduino.

Initial RC6502 small parts assembly: everything except the ICs, crystal, and Arduino.

Install chips

Next, solder in two rows of pin socket headers for the Arduino Nano in the upper-right corner of the board, and install all chips in their sockets except the Atmel EPROM chip.

EPROM means Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. You’ll need to use a USB programmer device on a PC to flash the EPROM chip.

Once flashed, insert the Atmel chip in its socket. Also, solder in the 1Mhz crystal in the upper left corner of the board.

Be very careful when inserting ICs into their sockets to insure no pins get bent or miss the socket holes.

Next, add small plastic jumpers to the jumper pins as described in the documentation. There are jumpers for RAM amount, PIA-enable, ROM-enable, and others. Each jumper setting modifies how the board behaves.

Backplane and optional video

An earlier version of the RC6502 Apple I used a backplane board, which you can still build, and several daughter cards which the jumpers enabled or disabled. But the newer version of the board is a Single Board Computer (SBC) design which is self-contained.

If you want to use the backplane board, you’ll need to use an angled header on the SBC for the long header connector so that the board can be plugged in vertically into the backplane.

If you want to use an actual video display with the board, you’ll need to add two small, additional boards (called Video Display Units), and the backplane board. If not, then you’ll connect to the SBC board over a serial connection via the Arduino.

See the document on the GitHub page for a full description of the system bus and pinout.


If you want to power the board using the Arduino’s USB connection, and you’re not using the backplane, add a jumper to the two-pin header just next to the power LED marked “USB Power”.

If not, the backplane supplies power from its DC power jack on pins 17 and 18 of the long header on the SBC. For the Arduino USB connection, you may want to get a USB cable with a power switch on it so you can turn the power on and off.

Once everything is ready connect the Arduino USB cable, plug it into your Mac, and throw the power switch.

Arduino connection

Once powered on, you’ll need to launch the Arduino IDE app on your Mac or PC and under Tools->Boards->Arduino AVR Boards select Arduino Nano. Once selected you may also need to set the serial port under Tools->Port if it doesn’t select automatically.

Once connected in the Arduino IDE, upload the PIA Communicator sketch program to the Arduino using the IDE as mentioned in the documentation. This lets the IDE’s serial monitor communicate with the Apple I and display its output in a window on your Mac.

If you have trouble connecting, check the baud rate – the rate at which data is transferred across the serial connection. It should be set to 115200.

If everything works as planned, in the serial monitor in the Arduino IDE you should see a single exclamation point: “!”. You can now type in any hexadecimal address to display its contents.

PIA Communicator also lets you upload both 6502 assembly and BASIC programs to the Apple I and run them. Once you have BASIC loaded on the Apple I you can type BASIC programs directly into the Apple I over the serial connection and run them.

BASIC switches the command line prompt to display a “>” instead of the “!” in the serial window.

Built-in apps

Three apps are built into the Apple I ROM. These are listed on the back of the RC6502 PCB under the CPU, along with the ROM memory addresses in hexadecimal you need to access them. These are:

  1. Integer BASIC (E000)
  2. Krusader Assembler (F000)
  3. Woz Monitor (FF00)

To run any of the three programs, at the “!” prompt type the hex address, followed by a space, then a capital “R”, then press Return. For example, to load Integer BASIC on the Apple I from the Arduino serial window on your Mac type:

You should see the serial window prompt change to: “>”.

You’re now in BASIC and can type in BASIC programs. Once a BASIC program is entered, type run and press Return to run it.

The world of retro computing is expanding and the RC6502 is a quick and inexpensive way to get started with an Apple I build.

Also be sure to check out Tom Owad’s remarkable book Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage ($6 PDF) – which contains an introduction by Steve Wozniak himself.

How to recover Notes stored on your Mac

Apple’s Notes app stores local copies of your Notes on your Mac. Here’s how to find them.

Apple’s Notes app lets you store notes locally and in iCloud. For both types of notes, macOS makes a local copy and stores them for the Notes app to use. Should you need to find these for any reason, or if for some reason you need to recover the thumbnail images for notes, you can do it locally on your Startup Disk.

You might want to do this if you’ve accidentally deleted a note, or want to recover a cached thumbnail from a note that was deleted long ago. You might also want to use the local files if you want to reinstall macOS, or set up a new Mac, although in the latter case, you’re probably better off syncing all the Notes to iCloud and then re-syncing the new Mac to it to download everything.

Trying to move the existing local Notes data over to a new Mac by copying the local files may work, but you may only obtain partial results, and the potential for losing data via this method exists.

To view both local and iCloud notes in the macOS version of the Notes app, first click the sidebar icon in the main window’s top left corner to reveal notes in the sidebar, then click the small hidden turnable arrow next to both the “Notes” item under the “iCloud” heading, and the one under “On My Mac”.

Click the sidebar icon, then the hidden arrow to reveal notes.

The small turnable arrow next to both items is hidden until you hover over them, which is a strange violation of Apple’s own Human Interface Guidelines.

Once the Notes items are revealed in the sidebar, click on each one to display iCloud or local notes in the main window’s right-hand pane.

You can also create new folders by clicking the small New Folder “+” icon in the main window’s lower left corner. The new folder gets created under either “iCloud” or “On My Mac” in the sidebar, depending on what the default account is set to in the Notes->Settings window from the main menu.

Notes also allows you to share Notes from other internet services such as Google, Microsoft Exchange, OneNote, Yahoo!, and others.

To add an internet account go to Notes->Accounts from the main menu. This brings up macOS Settings pane, from which you can click the “Add Account” button on the right to add a new internet account.

Local Notes

For local notes, the Notes app stores everything in:

~/Library/Group Containers/

In this folder you’ll find local Notes preferences stored in a subfolder in /Library/Preferences/ Many of the settings in this .plist file are private to Apple and may or may not be modifiable.

Some, but not all cached note thumbnails are also stored in the ~/Library/Group Containers/ folder, but in a /Thumbnails/Recent folder. A .png and a .json description of the thumbnail are stored here.

Notes removes these thumbnail caches at times it sees fit, but which is undocumented.

A much larger thumbnail cache is also stored in ~/Library/Group Containers/ but in the /Accounts folder in a folder with a UUID as its name. This folder contains a folder named “Previews”, which in turn contains .png files, each named with a unique UUID generated by Notes.

This folder can get quite large and it’s not clear the logic Notes uses to empty it when you delete individual notes in the app. To save disk space you may want to go through and manually clean out ancient files that are no longer used.

Also in the same /Accounts subfolder, is a folder entitled “Media”. This is where Notes stores any items you may have pasted into your individual notes: large images, videos, links, and other items.

The logic Notes uses for clearing this folder is also not documented by Apple.

There is another subfolder in /Accounts, named “LocalAccount”, but oddly not much ever seems to be stored here – local or not. iCloud items and media are never stored here, but to date, we’ve not seen anything from local individual notes stored here either, no matter how long they’ve existed.

Invisible files

Also stored in the ~/Library/Group Containers/ folder is an invisible preferences file named To view this file, you’ll need to show hidden files in Finder, which we’ve discussed previously.

This file contains some metadata used by the Notes app – mostly just UUID settings and some POSIX user and group ID info.

The local database

In ~/Library/Group Containers/ you’ll also see several lock files which are used while Notes is running, and which are deleted or unused when it’s quit. There are a few other files and folders such as state, database backup files, and temp files. You can ignore most of these.

But the really important file is named “NoteStore.sqlite”. This is a local SQLite database file, which stores all the notes and info associated with them. SQLite is an open source standard and the NoteStore.sqlite file can be viewed with any database app which can read .sqlite files.

Easy-to-use free SQLite viewer apps include Liya, DBeaver, and DB Browser for SQLite. If any of your notes are protected by passwords you’ll need those passwords to be able to view the databases.

Most of the info in the database file are merely references back to the media on disk, and so it may take some searching to find what you’re looking for.

iCloud Notes

For Notes stored in iCloud, most of the note data is stored on Apple’s iCloud servers via the CloudKit framework and API in a remote database. If you have an Apple developer account you can view some of this data via the CloudKit web interface.

When you add a new note to the Notes app under the “iCloud” heading, the Notes app automatically syncs them to iCloud servers via CloudKit (actually the background daemon cloudd does the syncing).

In macOS Ventura, iCloud stores some partially mirrored iCloud Notes data locally in:

  1. ~/Library/Containers/
  2. ~/Library/Containers/Notes/Data
  3. ~/Library/Containers/Notes/Data/Library/Notes

But most of the iCloud Notes data gets sent to the iCloud servers.

In ~/Library/Containers/Notes/Data/CloudKit you’ll find one or more UUID-named folders, each containing a database and other folders. You’ll also find a “cloudd_db” folder. These are mostly local caches of CloudKit databases, records, and indices used to speed up Notes data access, but they may or may not also contain some records.

There are also folders for the Notes Quick Look extension, and Spotlight indexing in the ~/Library/Containers/ folder.

Notes iCloud syncing has been a contentious issue for users for years, and Apple has yet to fully address the issue, although Notes syncing across devices does seem to have improved somewhat in recent years.

The biggest sync problems seem to arise where a huge number of notes are stored in the Notes app, or when one device hasn’t been synced in a long time and the synchronization data is far out of date for a particular device.

Save $1600 on MacBook Pro 14 w/ 64GB RAM, 2TB for 24 Hours

Get a loaded MacBook Pro for $2,499.

B&H’s latest Deal Zone offers shoppers incredible savings on a loaded MacBook Pro with Apple’s M1 Max chip, 64GB of memory and a 2TB SSD. Save $1,600 instantly on the powerful notebook with free expedited shipping.

For 24 hours only, Apple’s MacBook Pro 14-inch is discounted to $2,499, a savings of $1,600 off the original MSRP. This model in Space Gray features the powerful M1 Max chip with a 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU, along with 64GB of memory and 2TB of storage. These upgrades make for a highly capable machine and help future proof your purchase.

Along with the staggering discount on the system itself, B&H is throwing in free expedited shipping within the contiguous U.S. At press time, units are in stock and shipping right away, with delivery before Mother’s Day to many locations.

This special Deal Zone offers one of the biggest discounts we’ve seen on the Late 2021 MacBook Pro line, with the deal lasting through 8:59p.m. Pacific Time on May 10, or while supplies last.

There are plenty of additional sales this week, knocking double and triple digits off the latest hardware and closeout models. Here’s a sampling of the bargains, with hundreds of items on sale in our Apple Price Guide.

iPhone 16 Pro models to have larger displays

iPhone displays could get bigger

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to maintain a similar display size with thinner bezels, but a new rumor suggests even bigger displays are on the way for the iPhone 16 Pro series.

This is a tiny jump in display size, but it will add to the overall bulk and weight of the iPhone. If these new display sizes are exclusive to pro models, then it will show Apple is further separating the base iPhone from pro iPhone with features and physical size.

Another follow up tweet from Young says the increased display sizes will mean increased aspect ratio. As bezels shrink and display sizes grow, the overall form factor will need to change — and the software with it.

Ross Young has insight into Apple’s future plans and a fairly accurate history. His insight into display technology helps map out Apple’s future device lineup, even though it tends to shift forward from time to time.

AirTag foils $1.1 million armed robbery

AirTag tracker helps find robbers

Two Chicago men were arrested for a $1.1 million armored truck armed robbery after being tracked down via an AirTag hidden amongst the money.

According to a report from Chicago’s WGN9, a hidden AirTag led to the arrest of two men who stole $1.1 million from an armored Brink truck. The device was hidden in one of the plastic money bins, likely placed there by the asset owner.

The men removed seven plastic bins containing about $100,000 each and ten deposit bags worth $50,000 each. After transporting the stolen money across town and through a few hiding spots, the money and the AirTag arrived at the suspect’s hideout.

Apple’s AirTag, witness testimony, and various traffic cams led authorities to a residential address. Police recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash hidden in the ceiling and basement.

“They were created for lost goods and Apple doesn’t advertise them being used for recovering stolen items, but they’re certainly being used for that more and more,” said retired FBI agent and CEO of Veracity IIR, Doug Kouns. “Perhaps the owner of that particular branch of the company was safeguarding themselves by randomly throwing an AirTag in every so many bags or bins, and in this case it worked out.”

Get a MacBook Pro 16-Inch 32GB RAM for Just $1999

Get a MacBook Pro with 32GB RAM for $1,999.

The lowest price on record is in effect on Apple’s MacBook Pro 16-inch with an M1 Pro chip and 32GB of memory. Not only can AppleInsider readers snap up exclusive savings on the laptop itself, but AppleCare is also $80 off with coupon.

With the coupon and instant rebate, the savings total $900 off for the Late 2021 configuration that sports 32GB of memory, double that of the standard 16-inch MacBook Pro. The system runs on Apple’s M1 Pro chip with a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU and has a 512GB SSD.