Capacities up to 56TB and speeds up to 1527MB/s

OWC Continues Growth and Expansion on Three Continents

OWC continues its acquisition and expansion including much improved sales nd support for European customers.

OWC Continues Growth and Expansion on Three Continents

March 19, 2019

WOODSTOCK, Ill., March 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- OWC®, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, today announced it has acquired InXtron, a leader in the design and manufacturing of high-speed Thunderbolt and USB external storage enclosures, connectivity solutions like docks and PCI expansion boxes, and digital signage solutions. InXtron's engineering, supply chain, warehousing, marketing, sales and support staff are headquartered in Taiwan. Today's news follows OWC's January 3 announcement that it had acquired Akitio, a premium external computer storage products and accessories brand. As a result of the acquisitions, OWC is now the manufacturer with the largest selection of Thunderbolt-compatible devices in the world, along with a broad array of premium, high-speed storage solutions.

"The acquisitions of Akitio and now InXtron will be strong contributors to our overall growth and capabilities as an organization," said Larry O'Connor, OWC Founder & CEO. "In addition to the expansion of our product line, access to new customer segments and much stronger brand presence in Asia, both companies have excellent support, R&D and engineering teams spread across several facilities, which is key. We already have an incredibly strong team at OWC. These moves bolster our resources and knowledge in areas like Cloud technology, new storage software development and new integrated hardware and software approaches for truly next generation workflow solutions."

OWC also announced it is dramatically expanding its presence in Europe with the recent acquisition of Belgium-based distributor Trinity Distribution. The move includes a 15,000 square foot warehouse facility in Belgium and is expected to cut order fulfillment time for European customers from an average of 7 days to 2 days, while bolstering local language technical and sales support for Europe.

The company is also pleased to announce a significant expansion of its Woodstock, Illinois headquarters and distribution center. Beginning in the spring of 2019, OWC expects to break ground on a planned 20,000 square foot addition currently under review. The new space will be used to expand OWC's world-class distribution center and warehouse, as well as its light manufacturing and technology refurbishment capabilities.

"We are very pleased to be enhancing our physical presence on three continents simultaneously as we dramatically expand our engineering might, our distribution and supply chain capability, our product portfolio and our global brand awareness as we deliver on high-quality localized customer support in Asia and Europe," continued Larry O'Connor. "We've always prided ourselves on providing exceptional products and an exceptional customer experience. All of this expansion is meant to build on and accelerate delivering the solutions that supercharge our customers' workflows and their lives."

About OWC

Other World Computing (OWC), founded by Larry O'Connor when he was 14 years old in 1988, is dedicated to helping tech enthusiasts and industry professionals do more and reach higher. Our trusted storage, connectivity, software and expansion solutions enable creative professionals, producers, educators and government entities to get the most out of their technology investments, protect valuable digital assets and expand their hardware's capabilities to keep up with the demands and evolution of their work. OWC features an award-winning technical support team that is on hand 24/7 as well as an unparalleled library of step-by-step installation and support videos. In everything we do at OWC, we believe in making a better world where technology inspires imagination, and everything is possible.

© 2019 Other World Computing, Inc. All rights reserved. Apple and Mac are the trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Intel and Thunderbolt are trademarks of Intel Corporation registered in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other marks may be the trademark or registered trademark property of their respective owners.

Make an Old Dog Run Like a Young Puppy
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Apple 2019 iMac 5K: 64GB OWC Memory Costs *Less* Than 32GB from Apple

See my recommended Macs for photographers and similar higher-end users.

Contact Lloyd for consulting on choosing and configuring a system, backup and fault tolerance, etc.

The 2019 iMac 5K can take up to 64GB memory.

Why would you go with 32GB memory from Apple, when it costs *less* to install 64GB?

MPG recommends buying the 8GB memory configuration of the 2019 iMac 5K, then upgrading the memory with 64GB of OWC memory, for a savings of about $550 (as this was written). Basically, you can get 64GB for less than 32GB from Apple. Plus you can get some money back for the existing modules it came with.

It’s an easy DIY install that takes only a few minutes: open the back panel, remove the existing modules, insert the new modules, reboot—see the install video.

Below, MPG recommends the 64GB of 4 X 16GB modules for the best price, until and unless you are confident of going to 128GB (not clear this is possible), in which two pairs of the 64GB as two 32GB modules (4 X 32GB) would be the ticket.


Which Camera System 📷 is Best?
Which Lenses to Choose?🌈

Avoid costly mistakes and get the ideal system for your needs: diglloyd photographic consulting.

Apple iMac Pro: Higher-End Graphics Option, and up to 256GB Memory

See my recommended Macs for photographers and similar higher-end users.

Contact Lloyd for consulting on choosing and configuring a system, backup and fault tolerance, etc.

Today, Apple announced two worthwhile but expensive new options for the iMac Pro.

Up to 256GB memory (+$5200!) makes the iMac Pro much more “pro” and clearly differentiates it from the 2019 iMac 5K, at least for the tiny fraction of users who can use and afford it.

The improved GPU option is the +$700 Radeon Pro Vega 64X with 16GB of HBM2 memory. It looks to offer incremental gains over the Vega 64 option.

The iMac Pro comes at a premium, but it does have dual Thunderbolt 3 busses, a big plus. But my bet is that the 8-core iMac Pro will substantially underperform the 8-core 2019 iMac 5K.

Recommended baseline Apple iMac Pro for high-enduse
Recommended Apple 2019 iMac 5K for high-end users
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Apple 2019 iMac 5K: Two Hits with One Big Miss

See my recommended Macs for photographers and similar higher-end users.

Contact Lloyd for consulting on choosing and configuring a system, backup and fault tolerance, etc.

Today’s announcement of the 2019 iMac 5K is welcome indeed, but bittersweet for one key feature reason, and one personal reason.

The 2019 iMac 5K is essentially a CPU and GPU upgrade which are terrific upgrades and very welcome if one is buying fresh—the CPU should be a huge upgrade for Photohop and Lightroom users and similar.

  • Improvement: faster CPU options, with 6 or 8 cores
  • Improvement: faster GPU option.
  • Unchanged: user installable memory, 4 slots (not soldered on).
  • Unchanged: same display.
  • Handicap or feature: lacks the T2 chip which avoids some problems, but also lacks hardware encrption.
  • Handicap: lacks 10 gigabit ethernet.
  • Handicap: single Thunderbolt 3 bus with only two ports.
  • Handicap: requires macOS Mojave

MPG recommends buying the 8GB memory configuration of the 2019 iMac 5K, and upgrading the memory with 64GB of OWC memory, for a savings of about $550 (as this was written). Basically, you can get 64GB for less than 32GB from Apple.


2019 iMac 5K: still a single Thunderbolt 3 bus

From the Apple sales page: “Connectivity It’s very well-connected” = huh? The 2019 iMac 5K has the poorest set of ports of any Mac desktop. Apple does not mention that if you add an external 5K display, more than half the Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth is consumed.

Here’s the rub for me and other high-end users: a key problem and headache for me with the 2017 iMac 5K has been the single Thunderbolt 3 bus with only two ports, crippling my ability to use my Thunderbolt 3 devices simultaneously and throttling peak performance, and making a 2nd 5K display highly undesirable due to it gobbling up most of the bandwidth.

The 2019 iMac 5K retains a single Thunderbolt 3 bus with only two ports. If this is the means of differentiating the 2019 iMac 5K from the iMac Pro, then it’s a sad story for customers hoping for a less expensive version of the iMac Pro.

The personal reason, presumably relevant only to buyers in a similar situation, is that in essence I’d have to spend $5230 to get a faster CPU and GPU—that’s it—the display is the same, the SSD would be the same, the 64GB memory would be the same. While I’d love the upgrade, I don’t have that kind of money.

Recommended Apple 2019 iMac 5K for high-end users

The iMac Pro has two Thunderbolt 3 busses, but that costs another $1200, and my bet is that the 8-core 2019 iMac 5K will outperform the 8-core iMac Pro for most all tasks most photographers do. Thus the iMac Pro is also a flawed choice—and both come at a very high price.

Recommended baseline Apple iMac Pro for high-enduse

SEVERE Security Issue: Google Chrome Might Claim Current Version When Actually Out-of-Date and At-Risk

In the screen shot below, the About Google Chrome window claims that Chrome is up to date. But Chrome is actually way out of date as the current version of Google Chrome (as of today) is Version 72.0.3626.121 — much newer. Yet the status reports up-to-date.

The implication is simple, but dire: a Google Chrome high severity security bug gone unfixednd will remain so unless the user manuall updates.

Without updates, bugs like the recent high security CVE-2019-5786 severe security bug will not get fixed because Chrome thinks it is up to date, thus exposing the user to security risks going back to the last manual download (which is the only way I was able to update Chrome).

Unlike most security bugs, the attack potential of bug fix in Google Chrome for CVE-2019-5786 was not theoretical; Google states “under active attacks” at the time of the patch.

Updating Chrome manually

Compare the versions before/after*. This is a surefire method since the latest version, downloaded manually, ensures it really is the latest.

  1. Open About => About Google Chrome and check the version.
  2. Download the latest version at Use Safari if necessary, using Chrome to download Chrome failed instantly and 100% of the time. Perhaps it is related to the failure to detect the current version, a double bug.
  3. Compare version numbers.

* Amazingly, Google doesn't list version numbers on that download page.

It would be a reasonable position to not run Chrome at all given the risk of running an out-of-date browser well months beyond when the publicly details of Zero-day exploits have been released.

Chrome is actually way out of date — actual version is 72.0.3626.121

Not a fluke

I’ve seen false version status bug for years now, so it’s not a one-off, and it’s not related to mac OS High Sierra vs mac OS Sierra. I sent feedback within Chrome, I wonder if it will get addressed. I can see how automatic updates could fail, but it’s just insane that one can manually check for updates and that fails to display the most current available version. That’s really, really BAD.

As with all bugs, something must trigger it and most likely that trigger is lacking for most users. But it’s a virtual impossibility that I am the only one having this issue with Chrome. Whether it is 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000 whatever, I have no idea. Anyone experiencing this bug is at risk.

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Why 64GB Memory Matters, and Why It Might Not Be Enough

See also Just How Does the 2018 Mac mini Pan Out When Deploying for Professional Use?

Usually 64GB memory is enough, and in the 2017 iMac 5K, 64GB is the limit.

Working in the field recently, the 2017 iMac 5K was running slowly. Investigating, it was clear that there was not enough memory—the system had begun to use memory compression and swap file space.

Shown below is memory usage on Photoshop assembly a 237 megapixel stitched panorama composed of ten 45-megapixel 16-bit images from the Nikon D850. The system was forced into compressed memory mode with associated swap file on disk. Performance thus drops.

Maybe the next iMac can have more memory slots? Probably not, and unfortunately that means a lot more cost to get to 128GB—more expensive memory modules.

~10 GB of swap file used and 9GB of compress memory while assembling panorama
64GB for iMac 5K

2017 or 2019 models
$550 savings vs Apple!
64GB costs *less* than 32GB Apple!

Apple Costs me 1/3 of my Monthly Cell Phone Data by Downloading Unwanted macOS Mojave

So here I am below (the Sprinter van in the Alabama Hills). I need ALL my data for remote internet access. When I hit the limit, it drops to 11K/sec (AT&T flat out lies about how bad it drops, repeated experience prove this). So If I use up my data, it’s big fing deal.

So what does Apple think to do when using a cell phone for data? Download 6+ GB macOS Mojave, apparently just in case I might want to install it (I don’t and haven’t for 4 months now).

macOS downloads using cell phone data when
user never asked for Mojave

So Apple has chewed up 1/3 of my monthly cell phone bandwidth, so if I run out of data, I get to work at 11K/sec for the rest of the month—so I can have something I don’t want and did not ask for. Real genius design there.

Alas it’s just one more aspect of the sloppy and inconsiderate and dangerous (security) issues with Apple Core Rot—when it comes to sensible and robust design, no one at Apple thinks any deeper than an iPhone screen protector.

Presumably I am supposed to uncheck “Download newly available updates in the background” in App Store preferences. I had inadvertantly left it there, checked. But I don’t consider a major system reinstall an “update”; it is of a sort, but it is a major system change with a complete reinstall. In any case, Apple should NOT be chewing up cell phone bandwidth like this.

f1.8 @ 1/2500 sec, ISO 20; 2019-03-06 16:00:30
[location “Alabama Hills”, altitude 4660 ft / 1420 m, 58°F / 14°C, panorama]
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]
OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD
Gen 2!
Blazing fast, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB.

Apple Core Rot: macOS Finder File Copying: Fails to Replace "dot files" When Replacing a folder = DATA LOSS

Apple Core Rot extends to all areas of macOS. See Apple Core Rot: It’s Big Things, and Hundreds of Little Ones, that Together Add up to Chaos and also Apple Quality Control: Enough is Enough.


The macOS Finder ought to be rock solid, but it is rife with bugs

In particular, serious bugs exist withi macOS finder file copying. Data loss is a very real possibility. Do not rely on the macOS Finder to copy files! If you must do so, use diglloydTools IntegrityChecker to update the originals, the validate the copy or copies.

Just a sampler of the bugs related to the macOS Finder and file copying:

Replacing a folder doesn’t replace invisible files = DATA LOSS

Replace isn’t really a replace; it’s a “scan and screw it up” algorithm. Your best workaround is to delete the destination folder yourself, then copy a full fresh copy (if even that can always be trusted, which is dubious).

You don’t use or create invisible “dot” files? Well some of your software might. Yikes.

This bug came up while verifying files with diglloydTools IntegrityChecker; it flagged a discrepancy between the originals and the copy. I was able to repeat the bug at will (at least 5 times over two hours).

Conditions under which I verified this bug repeatedly:

  • macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra (likelly to be an issue with macOS 10.14.3 Mojave and maybe prior versions also).
  • Copying a folder from an APFS volume to a macOS Extended volume.
  • Changed file is an an invisible "dot" file (file starting with a "."), in this case ".icj".

It’s unclear if this bug affects only invisible files or whether there might be other conditions under which it might occur. It’s also unclear if the type of file system is involved (did not test).

Steps to reproduce

  1. Copy a folder with dot files to another destination (I used ".icj").
  2. Change one of the dot files.
  3. Repeat the copy. When the Finder offers Cancel or Replace, choose Replace.

PROBLEM: the copied folder contains old data in the invisible ".icj" file.

The bug is easily verified with IntegrityChecker (alternately, your choice of 'diff' program).

Or, the ".icj" file can also be opened and viewed; obviously different content = data loss.

Below is what IntegrityChecker showed after the file copy:

# original folder
diglloyd-iMac:MPG lloyd$ icj status ~/Desktop/TripPhotos/
FILE STATUS SUMMARY for 37 folders 2019-03-05 13:03:29
# With hash: 251
# Without hash: 0
# Missing : 0
# Hashed: 0
# Changed size: 0
# Changed date: 0
# SUSPICIOUS: not available, no hashing done
# copied folder — repeated copies do NOT fix the problem
NEW FILES for /Volumes/Master/TripPhotos/...
FILE STATUS SUMMARY for 37 folders 2019-03-05 13:03:39
# With hash: 247
# Without hash: 4		<=== WRONG = data loss
# Missing : 0
# Hashed: 0
# Changed size: 0
# Changed date: 0
# SUSPICIOUS: not available, no hashing done

Reader Question: Moving from a 2010 Mac Pro to Newer Mac such as 2018 Mac mini (UPDATED with Reader Comments)

See my Mac wishlist.

Ron K writes:

I’ve been reading your 2013 Mac Pro 2013 in MacPerformanceGuide, and I have a question.

I presently use a (maxed out?) mid-2010 Mac Pro. Primary boot from an OWC Mercury Accelsior II PCIe SSD, another SSD in the spare optical drive, and several other hard drives (4 internal, and 8 external).

Still using the stock graphics card and a pair of NEC MultiSync displays (NEC PA272W and NEC PA242W). Lightroom, Photoshop CC 2019, and plug ins are very slow (45+ seconds to clean “noise” using Skylum’s Creative Kit as an example). I use the SSDs for primary processing, and then move files to externals after initial processing.

The 2013 Mac Pros are readily available for my budget: I’m just not certain what kind of performance improvements I would realize over my current set-up. I’m still passionate about my photography at my age, I don’t have the cash to drop on a 2018 or newer Mac. I would appreciate your thoughts, as always.

DIGLLOYD: the best value available today is the 2018 Mac mini which has a wide range of configurations from a base 4-core processor + tiny SSD and 8GB memory to fast 6-core processor + 2TB SSD + 64GB memory + 10 gigabit. I recomend buying it with 8GB, then installing 64GB OWC memory—save a good chunk of money.


Costs in transitioning from old technology include connectivity (where do all the internal drives go?). If moving to Thunderbolt 2 you have such costs just as with Thunderbolt 3, so better to go to current technology, Thunderbolt 3. I would not try to move the OWC Accelsior SSD forward since an enclosure would be required. Basically, some stuff just has to be left behind.

Displays can be handled by an adapter like this for Thunderbolt 3.

I recently bought a base-model 2018 Mac mini for use as a test mule and secondary backup replicator/verifier machine, and just all around stuff. I attach the NEC PA271Q to it. Great machine, and big plus that it has dual Thunderbolt 3 busses.

When buying a Mac mini, buy the largest SSD (internal flash drive) you can afford and need, but not less than 512GB, 1TB strongly recommended. Memory is upgradable but the CPU and SSD are soldered on.

See recommended accessories further below.

William M writes:

Lloyd, I read your latest blog post response to a reader on the 2018 Mac mini with interest, and have noted your praises of its features and capabilities when configured with adequate RAM and storage.

Several years ago I tried to use a Mac Mini Late 2012 with maximum RAM and storage for my photographic work. Although clearly not up to current or even then current performance, it was adequate for LightRoom and Photoshop, if slow. At least for a while.

But I found that with intensive, and by that I mean continuous, use for several hours it overheated and on more than one occasion simply shut down with the case too hot to touch. I found some improvement by placing a small fan over the case, but still a problem.

I ultimately broke down and ponied up for a Mac Pro 2013 with 64Gb of RAM, D500 graphics, and 1Tb of internal SSD. This has been a very satisfactory machine to this day with no problems as a result of extensive use for prolonged periods of time.

Have you, or others, experienced challenges with the 2018 Mac Mini overheating? I do not believe that Apple’s engineers ever intended it for continuous intensive use for prolonged time periods, although my fan cooling method would probably work.

I had been thinking that my next machine for photographic work would be the an IMac Pro or a new Mac Pro when it arrives later this year, but the specs on the 2018 Mac Mini are intriguing. Any issues with over hearing in the 2018 Mac Mini?

DIGLLOYD: I’d rather have an iMac Pro any day over a 2018 Mac mini, for multiple reasons: (1) the built-in 5K display, (2) 8 or more CPU cores, (3) GPU and memory bandwidth. But there is that price differential thing.

However, a fully loaded 2018 Mac mini is a $4200 machine, which is not far off from where an 8 core / 32GB / 1TB iMac Pro can be had (OWC has had factory sealed refurbished iMac Pro models as low as $3879, availability is sporadic but several times now).

I would not judge the 2018 Mac mini by what its predecessor did, just as the 2017 iMac 5K and 2015 iMac 5K are far superior to predecessors which could get outrageously hot.

The 2018 Mac mini uses a new relatively low power CPU and the SSD and memory are all several generations past the 2012 models. I have not noticed heat issues.

Here is a sampler of what I”ve done with the 2018 Mac mini, at an ambient temperature of ~70°F to 80°F. At no time did the mini seem stressed:

  • Ran MemoryTester 'stress' for quite a while. The 2018 Mac mini gets warm but not hot.
  • Ran numerous benchmarks during for my 2018 Mac mini review. The 2018 Mac mini gets warm but not hot.
  • Ran IntegrityChecker on 20TB of data (simultaneous verify of 10TB of data on two different volumes taking ~12 hours). The 2018 Mac mini gets warm but not hot, and no unusual fan noise.
  • Copied (continuously) about 90TB of data over several days. The 2018 Mac mini gets nicely warm, but not hot, and I never heard the fan ramp up.

Apple Apparently IGNORES Researcher’s Report of 0-Day Exploit for macOS KeyChain

Apple was recently embarrased for its Facetime bug in iOS and (far worse) for having a non-functional security bug reporting process.

But now it seems that this Apple has a pattern of failing to make any viable process available for reporting security bugs! Except for a small and exclusive group of researchers, a policy that without a doubt endangers Mac users (and now with two proofs of that in a month).

A reasonable person might conclude incompetence and lack of concern; the former certainly seems to be true, that latter probably not except that where is the process, publicly available process? Weeks to fix a severe problem is unacceptable to the point of disbelief.

To wit, way back on Feb 4 or so, security researcher Linus Henze reported a 0-day as discussed in Claimed 0-Day Exploit for Stealing Every Password in Your Keychain on macOS Mojave and earlier macOS, and summarized below.

As of March 1, Linus Henze has provided (for free) the bug details to Apple, with no response and without reward. How can Apple be taken seriously when it ignores severe vulnerabilities like this?

All the posturing in the world by Tim Cook to the press doesn’t fix this outrageous situation.

Summary of the 0-day

The claim by Linus Henze is:

In this video, I'll show you a 0-day exploit that allows me to extract all your keychain passwords on macOS Mojave (and lower versions). Without root or administrator privileges and without password prompts of course.

This is not the first time. You might remember KeychainStealer from @patrickwardle, released 2017 for macOS High Sierra, which can also steal all your keychain passwords. While the vulnerability he used is already patched, the one I found still works, even in macOS Mojave. I won't release this. The reason is simple: Apple still has no bug bounty program (for macOS), so blame them.

Apple talks a good PR story (congratulations to Tim Cook for his persuasion), but the bottom line is that a mind-blowing run of serious security flaws in macOS is prima facie evidence of software development incompetence chained to a calendar-based ship-it-testing-be-damned schedule.

What MPG wants to know is whether Apple acknowledges or denies this bug and (particularly important) if Apple is paying bug bounties for such stuff, so that the Bad Guys don’t get hold of it. Tim? Where’s the beef, is it a nothingburger or what?

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

TESTED: 8TB OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD

See also OWC ThunderBlade Gen 2: up to 8TB SSD, Runs Cooler and Faster at Lower Cost and Banishing the Drone of Spinning Hard Drives: and Fans: Moving to 8TB OWC Thunderblade SSD.

This is about as fast as a Thunderbolt 3 SSD can go (2.7 GB/sec). The speed is jaw-dropping across the entire 8TB of capacity for both reads and writes.

OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD: Sustained Transfer Speed

Transfer speed across the various I/O sizes is similarly impressive:

OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD: Speed vs Transfer Size

OWC Thunderblade 8TB Thunderbolt 3 SSD: speed across the full 8TB of capacity


World of Panasonic

Plugging in an Unknown Thunderbolt or USB-C Device is Electronic Unprotected Sex: the “Thunderclap” Vulnerability

I wonder if Apple can even address this issue?

Basically, NEVER plug in a device that is not your own. The “social engineering” required to compromise a computer is surely in use by national security agencies to compromise targets, but it could become fairly common if the risks are not plugged.

Consider the juicy prize of compromising a public library or airport kiosk, etc with a compromised USB-C charger. Dang. NEVER charge at a public charging station with a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C charger suplied there. Bring your own power adapter and use that. (For similar reasons, I never use public WiFi but instead use my own personal WiFi hotspot via USB cable to my phone).

Hope that Chinese parts in your Thunderbolt 3 peripherals are all free of secret hardware compromises (impossible to know of course). With whole Huaweii fiasco, this idea is far from farfetched. I wonder if Thunderbolt 3 product vendors should be doing security audits of the chips they use?


Modern computers are vulnerable to malicious peripheral devices

These vulnerabilities allow an attacker with physical access to a Thunderbolt port to compromise a target machine in a matter of seconds, running arbitrary code at the highest privilege level and potentially gaining access to passwords, banking logins, encryption keys, private files, browsing and other data. Attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities can also be carried out by seemingly innocuous peripherals like chargers and projectors that correctly charge or project video but simultaneously compromise the host machine.

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