Interview: Apple Mac Pro one year on, with Sanjiv Sathiah

Interview: Apple Mac Pro one year on, with Sanjiv Sathiah

It’s hard to believe Apple’s Mac Pro is now a year old, having been first unveiled at last year’s WWDC. With the new Mac Pro now working its way onto desktops across the creative industries, we caught up with Sanjiv Sathiah, news editor at and Electronista (and devoted Apple fan!) to find out his thoughts on the mighty Mac Pro a year down the line, and why it still reminds him of a Sith Lord…

It’s been a while now since you originally reviewed the Mac Pro for Electronista/MacNN. Have your opinions changed at all?

“Like all Apple enthusiasts who first saw the new Mac Pro teased at last year’s WWDC, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. It radically reimagines workstation computing in a way that no one else but Apple could have delivered. I’m just as excited about it today as I was the day I saw it; it really is an amazing piece of technology.

“For me, it is an embodiment of the Apple design and engineering philosophy. If you look at previous Mac Pros, it’s like Apple just instantly jumped ahead a decade in terms of workstation design. It is the ultimate in refinement, stripping away everything that could be considered non-essential, leaving behind only exactly what is needed to power professional workflows right now.

“The new Mac Pro is a stripped down and lean machine, designed for both speed and heavy lifting. There is not a single component that could be considered a bottleneck, with optimal bandwidth a key consideration right throughout its system architecture. It really is a joy to use, and of course, it looks simply stunning.”

What’s the general reception been like with staff at Electronista/MacNN?

“Like me, I think everyone in the team loves what it has to offer the Apple power user. It is the most expandable Mac Pro yet, but at the same time it is just 1/8 the size of the previous generation and also manages to be substantially more powerful across the board. Some of the team miss the chassis space of the older model, but this was not always fully utilised by Mac Pro owners in the past.”

Has uptake among professionals and consumers matched your initial thoughts?

“I haven’t seen any official sales figures that break out Mac Pro sales on their own. However, Apple’s Mac revenue was up in the last quarter year-on-year by 5%, and it seems likely that the new Mac Pro played some role in that.

“The fact that it took Apple over six months for supply to catch up with demand shows that it has been hugely successful. Some of that was due to pent-up demand, no doubt, as a new model was overdue. But, it would seem that the wait was well and truly worth it.”

Are there any specific tasks that you think have seen the best performance uplifts since the upgrade?

“The new Mac Pro has incredible CPU, RAM, GPU, storage and connectivity bandwidth. Even the entry-level model fitted with quad-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU and dual-AMD FirePro D300 GPUs offers serious computing power.

“You have to remember that the new Mac Pro is optimised to utilise both the CPU in combination with the GPUs for computational processes in a number of OpenCL-compatible professional applications like Final Cut Pro among many others. The GPUs alone provide between 4-7 teraflops of processing power, depending on model configuration.

“Mac OS X’s support for OpenCL benefits users in all types of pro applications, including those using 3D intensive modelling CAD applications, through to realtime 4K movie editing, photo editing and music making. Scientific applications also benefit tremendously from the new Mac Pros. I use Logic Pro a lot and have enjoyed nothing but smooth sailing since upgrading to the Mac Pro myself.”

And have you seen any particularly clever Mac Pro setups or uses?

“I have seen one hooked up to six Thunderbolt displays, which was cool. The potential is definitely there for some incredible setups thanks to the six Thunderbolt 2 ports that Apple has built into the device. With the daisy-chaining capability of Thunderbolt, you could actually hook in another 30 Thunderbolt utilities in addition to the six Thunderbolt displays, which is pretty wild.”

What about that design? Still love it?

“Oh yeah; it is the coolest-looking computer I’ve seen in a long time. It reminds me of Darth Vader in the way that its case lifts away to reveal its inner workings. Very Sith indeed. I’m looking forward to seeing the same polished anodised Space Grey finish applied to some other products from Apple – perhaps it might appear on the rumoured MacBook Air redesign…?”

Are there any accessories you definitely recommend?

“Yes actually. While I can’t wait for Apple to release its own Thunderbolt 2 displays, LG has made an outstanding Thunderbolt 2-equipped QHD IPS UltraWide monitor. The 34UM95 is 34-inches on the diagonal and is packed with 3440×1440 pixels for a total of nearly 5 million pixels. It’s impressive and makes for a nice companion to the Mac Pro.”

What improvements, if any, could you see Apple still make to the Mac Pro?

“My list of grievances with the Mac Pro is very short. I simply wish that for all its incredible connectivity, Apple had included an SD card slot in the machine, even if people can still connect a camera to it over USB. Some users might have preferred six USB 3.0 slots and just four Thunderbolt 2 ports. Other than that, for me, it is absolutely perfect.

“I think Apple has ticked all the right boxes with the new Mac Pro. It is a bandwidth beast. If you need a machine that will crunch through processor intensive tasks, the Mac Pro exists for that very purpose. It’s perfect for prosumers too, who might do quite a bit of general computing as well. And although the AMD GPUs are optimised for parallel processing tasks, they still perform really well for a bit of Mac gaming in your downtime – each of the GPUs in even the entry-level model has more grunt than the latest Xbox One or PS4.”

So can you see Mac Pro on many Christmas lists this year?

“Absolutely. And the Jigsaw24 Mac Pro configurator is a great place to start when looking to build your dream machine!”

– You can read Sanjiv’s full review of the Mac Pro for Electronista/MacNN here.

Jigsaw24 Mac Pro configurator

Want to know more about Apple’s Mac Pro? Email or call 03332 409 306. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Casper Suite version 9.4 adds BYOD tools and Android support

Casper Suite version 9.4 adds BYOD tools and Android support

JAMF Software have just launched version 9.4 of their Casper Suite device management tools. The major addition is Casper BYOD, which brings iOS and Android management tools to the Suite in order to better support – you guessed it – bring your own device programmes.

JAMF’s goal for this round of updates is to help end users become more productive and self sufficient, and to that end they’ve added self-service and BYOD tools that are designed to be simple, lightweight and easy for users to access without help from technical staff. Here’s the key info…

Casper Self Service for Mac, iPad and iPhone

JAMF have added new features to their self service toolkit, allowing users without admin access to download software and App Store apps, install eBooks, receive notifications from central IT and auto-configure their own email, contacts, calendars and WiFi/VPN profiles – all without having to raise a helpdesk ticket.

Users on iOS devices can now use the native Casper app to access self service functions, allowing them to download apps, files, eBooks, web clips and more, as well as configuring their email, calendars, contacts and WiFi and VPN settings, so they get a more seamless experience when moving between their desktop computer and any mobile devices.

Big benefits for IT here include the ability to send out push notifications and, hopefully, a massive reduction in the number of helpdesk tickets you have to handle. JAMF have made sure that configuration information still stays central, though, so you can have visibility over who is using which WiFi or VPN profile (and who’s tried to jailbreak their device) even if you’re not configuring it directly.

Casper BYOD

The biggest change in Casper Suite v9.4 is the appearance of Casper BYOD, a lightweight management interface that will let IT teams manage iOS and Android BYOD deployments unobtrusively. It includes tools that allow you to remotely wipe corporate data and settings, remotely lock devices, enforce encryption settings and passwords, and inventory devices and their data from a single, central console.

The key thing here is that wipes and inventories only cover corporate data, so ends users can rest assured that their private data is their own, and they’ll receive notifications whenever the IT team takes action that may affect them. They also get to keep all their personal preferences and settings (as long as they meet the company’s security requirements, such as mandatory passwords).

Casper Simplified Enrolment

Finally, Casper Suite v9.4 includes a vastly simplified process for enrolling users. It requires far fewer steps than before to set up, and users can be enrolled automatically as soon as their device is detected on the corporate network.

If you’re free later, JAMF Software are running through all the changes in a webinar at 2:00pm Central time (8:00pm UK time.) Sign up for the Casper Suite v9.4 launch webinar here.

Want to know more about managing your Macs and mobile devices? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or at For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook


Sign up for Casper Suite training courses now!

Sign up for Casper Suite training courses now!

The Casper Suite is all about making the life of system administrators easier by improving management and deployment of Apple Mac and iOS devices. And JAMF’s own accredited courses are designed to make it easier to learn and develop the skills necessary to get the most out of Casper Suite.

Whether you’re just about to get started with Casper Suite or want a refresh in best practice, these courses are essential if you want to manage OS X and iOS devices. Below, we’ve given you a breakdown of the three courses that JAMF are running in the new year in the UK. Take a look and give us a call on 03332 409 306 or drop us an email at if you have any questions about pricing or availability.




Certified Suite Essentials (CSE) – To learn the basics of Casper

London on 15th-16th May

What is it? It’s a two-day course that’s perfect for anyone who is completely new to the Casper Suite or looking for a bit of a refresh. It’s focused around hands-on exercises that cover common management tasks for OS X and iOS devices, with the aim of building a solid foundation and providing core information for day-to-day management.

What’s covered? JAMF Software Server (JSS) administration basics, enrolment methods, inventory and reporting, building and managing packages, managing policies and profiles, imaging, Self Service, mobile device management, and app and eBook distribution.

Who’s it for? Anyone new to Casper or looking for a refresh, but has basic OS X and iOS familiarity.

To enquire about pricing or to register your place, email us


Certified Casper Administrator (CCA) – To become a Casper expert

London on 15th-17th April


What is it? This is the original Casper Suite certification. It’s a three-day course that consists of hands-on exercises (not the strenuous kind) that challenge system administrators to demonstrate just how good they are at OS X management with the Casper Suite.

What’s covered? Inventory (including acquiring computers, generating inventory reports, tracking licensed software, application usage and extension attributes), Packaging (including fundamentals, creating OS and application packages and best practices), Management (including deploying software and updates, running scripts, Self Service, Managed Preferences and restricted software), and Imaging (configurations, autorun data, pre-stage images).

Who’s it for? System administrators with 3 months’ experience with Casper Suite, and who have received JumpStart or attended the Casper Suite (CSE) course.

To enquire about pricing or to register your place, email us


Certified Mobile Administrator (CMA) – To become a mobile expert

London on 18th-19th April

What is it? This is a two-day, hands-on course designed for Casper Suite administrators managing iOS devices. It covers many aspects of provisioning, deployment and management required for iOS deployments. The course is focused on building complete iOS workflows that account for the entire lifecycle of the devices in your organisation. Both Casper Suite and Apple tools for managing iOS devices (such as iTunes, Xcode and iPhone Configuration Utility) are covered in depth.

What’s covered? iOS settings management, mobile device management framework configuration, app distribution, remote management functions, iOS device inventory collection, Sync Station (OS X) provisioning and management, common iOS distribution and management workflows.

Who’s it for? Casper Suite administrators with basic iOS and OS X familiarity.

To enquire about pricing or to register your place, email us


Dr Brian Jones and the Old Flame (Part 3)

Dr Brian Jones and the Old Flame (Part 3)

For the third part of his Moroccan adventure, Dr Brian Jones is transported to the not-too-distant future, where he catches up with a familiar (albeit more wrinkled) face…

Missed the previous parts of the story? You can see Part 1 here or catch up with Part 2 here.

If all this time travelling is making your head spin, you can always head over to for our best Mac offers. Just click the image below.

Apple Mac Offers