Back to Basics

2018 Has Arrived


2018 has arrived and I am most definitely grateful to have a New Year to focus on. It seems as if many of us have had challenges over the past year and moving forward is a good thing in my opinion. Since I don't believe in resolutions, I will be focusing on what I want to expand and change in my life for 2018. These words feel exciting - hurray! I am going to keep this intro brief but please note there is a lot of information in the rest of this newsletter - you can use the sidebar at the left to jump to what interests you the most.

Happy New Year!

Helping you get the most from your technology is our passion!

We provide the guidance you need to gain confidence, while learning to take advantage of everything your technology offers. It's as rewarding for us as it is for you!


Technology Simplified is now officially the name of my company!  I am pleased the name better reflects what we do for you.


  • Checks or other payments need to be made to "Technology Simplified". 
  • All emails have moved to the new addresses (below) and we ask you to update your contacts.
  • Postal address for snail mail (below) is in effect also.
  • Phone number remains UNCHANGED.


Technology Simplified
1585 Terrace Way #310
Santa Rosa, CA 95404





I'm proud to say that I have now been in the business of technology support/training for 20 years. In order to continue to help our clients step into success, I am implementing a modest fee increase, which is in keeping with the quality service we provide yet still very competitive. 

Beginning March 1st, the cost per hour of all our services will increase by $10. We enjoy working with you and love supporting your computing and technology endeavors. We truly value our business and personal relationship. If this rate increase presents a problem or brings up concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. 


To ease the transition to our new rates we are offering a limited time special to help you get your technology in tip top shape. Appointments for our tune up special must be made prior to January 30, and all appointments must be completed before March 1st.  See below.


We are always being asked about classes and we are working on the details of tailored small classes available in Santa Rosa on an ongoing basis. If you are interested, please contact Jillian to be put on our list. In the meantime, Technology Simplified delivers iPad class at the Windsor Sr. Center. See below for details.


In late December, Apple was called on the carpet by several news outlets for 'slowing down' older iPhones and iPads intentionally. The result of this is that Apple is stepping up taking public responsibility and creating a positive experience for users of older phones with older batteries.

apple logo.png

A Message to Our Customers

Click here to read.


I have never recommended upgrading to a new OS before several months have passed and I am not yet ready to recommend High Sierra.

IF you have already upgraded, intentionally or not, please be sure to install any security updates offered by Apple immediately. 

You can check which version of the Mac OS you are running by clicking on the Apple Menu - and selecting 'About This Mac" 

How to avoid upgrading to High Sierra for the time being

Apple is 'pushing' this upgrade - when you get the prompt at the upper right corner of your screen click on 'Details' which will open the App Store and then simply Quit the App store. Nothing will install. IF you want to be very sure High Sierra doesn't install accidentally you can go to your Applications folder and look to see if you have a file called "Install  Mac OS High Sierra," then drag this to the trash. Don't worry you can download it again when it is safe to install. 

iOS 11

I feel that it's now safe to install iOS 11 if you have an iPhone 6S or newer. On any model older than a 6S it significantly slows your phone down. On an iPad I recommend you have at least an iPad Air 2.  

** Also see above note about battery replacement if you plan to upgrade an older device. 

Remember we're happy to help you with any of this should you need it and/or have any questions.

Check your iPad version here.

Check your iPhone version here


windsor ipad class

iPad Beyond the Basics - updated for iOS 11

All ages

Wednesday, February 21st and Wednesday, February 28th

10:00am - 11:30am

Now that you know how to get around your iPad and use some of the built in Apps you are ready for more!! Topics covered will include an in depth look at customizing your iPad, tips and tricks for making your iPad easier to use. Take control of understanding iCloud and how it works with your Apple ID. See how Safari works as you learn to surf the web and find what you need. Learn how to take and share photos. We will also look at some favorite third party Apps that help in the kitchen, with travel, and more. This class will be taught in a lecture format as well as hands-on; participants are required to bring their own iPads to class. This class assumes a working knowledge of navigating your iPad, sending Mail, etc. Class content can be adjusted to the skill level of the attendees, based upon what works for the majority. 

Please sign up online or at the front desk in advance. 


$45 for residents / $50 for non-residents


  1. Click on this link
  2. Select "Senior Programs" from choices on the left
  3. Scroll Down the list of Course Categories on the Right to: 
  4. "Senior Computer - iPad", click "Show Courses"

  5. This page will have all the information you need to sign up.


90 MINUTES FOR $90 ~ TUNE UP*   

 Your Tune-Up includes:  

tune up special
  • Basic verification and repair (as possible) of your Mac OS operating system and hard drive. Updates to the same.
  • Updating any third-party software you run. Removal of any questionable / outdated software.
  • Scan for and remove malware.
  • Verification and  consultation about your backups.
  • Verification of syncing your iOS devices.
  • Each appointment includes approximately 30 - 45 minutes of time for questions and/or training.

Call Today 707.573.9649

to book an appointment with John, our Technology Simplified Tech/Trainer. 


* Offer does not apply to troubleshooting / diagnostics or major Mac OS upgrades. Appointments must be booked by 1/30/2018 and completed by 3/1/2018. Limited to the first 20 appointments.

Christmas is on the Horizon

Dear clients,  


With all that has happened in our beautiful county this fall it seems unreal that Christmas is on the horizon. Local businesses, wineries and restaurants are all decked out for the holidays. But the festivities seem to have a subdued quality to them this year. The over the top commercialism seems wrong when so many are still struggling to find their footing after the fires. For me personally I am shifting my focus to both what I see and that which is inside and unseen. My eyes and spirits rejoice as I drive around. I am struck by the contrast of what was and what is already renewing. We have had enough rain that grass is growing and burned areas are already regenerating. My spirit and heart want calming and soothing - both components of the Winter Solstice that falls on Thursday, December 21. The solstice invites us into the quiet for reflection, renewal (likes seeds after a fire) and then ultimately rejoicing for the coming light. I found this page to have some interesting heart felt readings if you are so inclined. 

My wish for you this holiday season is to find those things that warm your heart and nourish your soul and celebrate them. 

We are so grateful to you our clients for your continued referrals and support of our business. 

Ronnie & Team


Please take note of our limited holiday hours. We want our team to be able to enjoy their holiday with friends and family!

Friday, December 22nd CLOSED
Wednesday, December 27th RETURNING

New Year's
Monday, January 1st CLOSED
Wednesday, January 3rd RETURNING


I have never recommended upgrading to a new OS before several months have passed - the reason why has just been (sadly) justified by a very, very serious bug just discovered.  NOTE: If you are NOT running High Sierra this issue doesn't affect you. 

Major macOS High Sierra bug allows full admin access without password.

system preferences.png

A serious bug in macOS High Sierra lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login screen of a locked Mac.

By the time you read this Apple will have released a security patch. While bugs in new OS's are not uncommon this is one of the most serious security flaws I have ever seen. Shame on Apple. They really need to work on quality control before rushing OS's out to the general public. 

IF you have already upgraded, intentionally or not, please be sure to install any security updates offered by Apple immediately. 

You can check which version of the Mac OS you are running by clicking on the Apple Menu - and selecting 'About This Mac" 

How to avoid upgrading to High Sierra for the time being

Apple is 'pushing' this upgrade - when you get the prompt at the upper right corner of your screen click on 'Details' which will open the App Store and then simply Quit the App store. Nothing will install. IF you want to be very sure High Sierra doesn't install accidentally you can go to your Applications folder and look to see if you have a file called "Install  Mac OS High Sierra," then drag this to the trash. Don't worry you can download it again when it is safe to install. 

iOS 11 

I feel that it's now safe to install iOS 11 if you have an iPhone 6S or newer. On any model older than a 6S it significantly slows your phone down. On an iPad I recommend you have at least an iPad Air 2.  

Remember we're happy to help you with any of this should you need it and/or have any questions.

Check your iPad version here.
Check your iPhone version here


iOS 11  |  Control Center

In iOS 11 the Control Center received a major upgrade / interface change. Too many nuances to list here, so here is a link to a good article. However, knowing how to access the Control Center is very important; to quickly access the home button on any iPhone other than a X, simply swipe up from directly above the home button toward the top of your screen. On an iPad, simply swipe up to the top of your screen from directly above your home button.



Mac OS  |  Take a Screen Shot

This is an oldie but goodie-- often it is helpful when something cannot be printed or you need to capture a dialog box message. 

How to:

  1. Press Shift-Command-4.
  2. Move the crosshair to where you want to start the screenshot, then drag to select an area.
  3. When you've selected the area you want, release your mouse or trackpad button.
  4. Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop. This is an image file that can be printed or emailed. 


Gift a Stress Reduction Practice for Everyone! Even children!


The Daily Clean Your House Flow, an easy self-help acupressure flow that works for all ages.

Balancing your energy can make the difference when it comes to managing that "thing" called stress, letting go of overwhelm, having clarity and focus, increasing productivity and handling feelings. Sounds good for the holiday season right? Easy self-help acupressure can help you do all of that and more, no matter the time of the year. 

You can see the first 90 seconds of the animated video of the Daily Clean Your House Flow. Go here to see why kids, parents and teachers are finding it so useful. And discover why so many people are using it during work and at home. The video and companion books make great holiday gifts!

Deborah Myers, acupressurist and Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner, is passionate about showing others how we can help our bodies be healthier and happier. You can also read about her work here

Ronnie says: "I use this process faithfully every day!!! It really works."


trees for a change.png

Greening our Planet - Trees For a Change

Give a tree gift that will grow for years to come... Help restore fire devastated forests and make a difference

Holiday Schedule and High Sierra

Happy Monday!


Please see our upcoming holiday schedule below.

PLEASE just say no to High Sierra - I am still not recommending it. Apple is pushing the install but I do not think it is ready yet. 

Have you ever wondered how to use another app while you're on the phone?? I'll show you how with the tech tip down below!


Holiday Schedule

Closed: Wednesday 11/22
Open: Monday 11/27

Jillian Vacation
November 22 until November 27

John Vacation
December 1 until December 11

Closed: Friday 12/22
Open: Wednesday 12/27

New Year's
Closed: Monday 1/1/2018
Open: Tuesday 1/2/2018

How to use another app during a phone call on your iPhone

Yes, even when you are on a phone call with someone you can access your Contacts, E-mail, or any other app during the call. 

1. Press Speaker - then Press the Home button to switch to your primary / home screen.

iphone speakerphone.jpg

2. Open your Contacts or any other app and retrieve the info you need.

3. When you are finished simply tap the green bar at the top of the screen to return to your call.

return to iphone call.png

(Note: you can also access your Contacts from the Phone screen and return to the call using the green bar.)


To ease the burden of getting your technology back up and running again, we would like to offer 10% off all services through November 30th.*

Certainly there are many who could benefit from our assistance. If you would like to refer someone you know and they become a new client, we'd like to give you a 10% discount on your next appointment!! 

*If you pay travel charges they will still apply this offer is good for all services.


Help a Friend Who Lost Their Home


Sonoma County Recovers
Complete resource page with links to a wide variety of vetted and official resources

Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund

United Policy Holders
Non-profit aiding in navigating everything to do with your insurance

iPhone 7 and iOS 10


Apple's new releases were major last month. iOS 10, iPhone 7 & 7+ and Mac OS Sierra (10.12). Some of our team loves to be in on the first round and even testing the beta versions of Apple's newest software. While I never recommend my clients follow this path of beta installs!!!!, it is great to have a team willing to share their thoughts of Apple's latest and greatest software and hardware. See below for John's take on the iPhone 7, iOS 10, and upgrade recommendations. The upgrade to Mac OS Sierra also hits hardware hard - Apple has finally increased the hardware requirements for Sierra and most computers from 2010 and older will not run it. It is hard to tell exactly which devices from 2010 will run Sierra - in my case my 2010 laptop is on the "okay" list until we look further and it is one revision too early. So when the time comes we can help you decide whether your computer can be upgraded or if you would be better off buying a new computer. 

Apple has spent the last few years focusing on their iOS hardware and in my opinion done a disservice to their computer using faithful. Many of the current computers in the Apple lineup haven't seen a hardware upgrade in over a year. Except for the MacBook, their laptop lineup is woefully out of date especially for the MacBook Pros!! This website shows the upgrade cycle of all Apple Products. Hopefully Apple has a laptop revision in the works - Rumor is saying that this month we will see some new hardware - my fingers are crossed. 


Mac OS Sierra

It is currently a "hold off, please do not install" - why?? Sierra is shaping up to be a very good OS upgrade BUT as always until it has been out awhile, we recommend holding off on installing it so the third party peripheral and software manufacturers can catch up. Right now there are documented issues with ScanSnap products, some Quicken versions, Adobe CC, and so forth. This is normal and not unexpected. We fully expect to be giving a green light on Sierra before the end of the year. Apple's Photos 2.0 (only available in Sierra) is great and I too am anxious to get working with it. Patience will serve us well. 


iOS 10  

I am giving iOS 10.0.2 a 'GO' for installing. This update has some fun new features which John mentions below and a complete list is available here. As always be sure you backup your iPhone completely before you upgrade. 

ALSO - be sure your iOS device can run iOS 10 and remember IF your device is more than a year or two old, any new OS will run slower. Apple increases the hardware requirements every time they release a major update. 

iPhone 7 and iOS 10  - By John Wentworth

I picked up my iPhone 7 on Friday and here are a few quick thoughts!

  1. I went with the Plus, the larger model. I've stuck with the smaller version for the last few years, thinking that the Plus would be too large for my needs. After looking at how I use my iPhone, I decided that the benefits of a much larger screen would outweigh the inconvenience. So far, I think I was right. Reading, browsing the web, and using my iPhone as a GPS in the car have all become much more pleasant than before. I'm unable to type with one hand, as I was able to on the smaller phone, but that's about the only downside.
  2. The loss of the headphone jack is a shame, but hasn't been too bad so far. An adapter is in the box, and extras are $9 at the Apple Store. If you only have a single pair of headphones, I'd say that leaving the included adapter attached to your headphones will probably work out well for you.
  3. This thing is fast, fast, fast! I'm coming from an iPhone 6S, which is just last year's model. The 7 still feels quicker in tasks like browsing and switching between apps. Benchmarks say that it's faster than any MacBook Air ever released - that's really something!
  4. Storage sizes have been doubled from past years. This is great news for those of you who have purchased the smallest-capacity phone: since the least-expensive phone now comes with 32GB, you'll be far less likely to run out of space.
  5. I haven't been able to test out the new camera, but I'll be going on vacation shortly, and it'll get a workout. All of the example photos that I've seen online make it look like this is a great bump from prior years.
  6. Battery life is amazing. I haven't had to worry about it once since I got it.

iOS 10
I've also been using iOS 10 since it went into beta a few months ago. I've been happy with it - it's a refinement of iOS 9, so if you're comfortable with iOS 9, you should be just fine with 10. 

Lock Screen
The most noticeable change is to the lock screen: swiping left will no longer take you to the passcode screen, but to a list of widgets. This has been great for checking my calendar, the weather, and the like. 

Ronnie's Thoughts
Apple also drastically changed the way email/Mail appears on screen. This is especially noticeable on an iPhone. Now your threaded conversations are all in one list with gray separators. It takes some getting used to but I think this is a good change. Apple has already updated iOS 10 twice so the current version is 10.0.2 - 
the .2 update fixed some major headphone issues I was having.

iPhone / iOS TIP

Apple's Health App allows you to register as an organ donor!

In the Health app on iPhone, you can create a Medical ID with important information in the case of an emergency. Your Medical ID can be accessed from the emergency dial screen without unlocking your iPhone. When creating your Medical ID card, you'll have the option to sign up as an organ donor with Donate Life America's organ donation registry. 

Here's how:

  1. Tap on the Health App icon and click on Create Medical ID (add as much or as little info as you want)
  2. As you're creating your Medical ID, you will reach a page with the option to sign up as an organ donor.
  3. Click on "Sign Up"
  4. Enter the registration information, then tap Continue. Make sure all your information is correct then tap Complete Registration with Donate Life.
  5. When you open the Health app and tap Medical ID from here on out, you will see the heart and title Organ Donor. Scroll to the bottom of your Medical ID in the Health app if you need to edit your organ donation registry or if you would rather sign up after setting up your Medical ID in the Health app. 


We are so excited!!!!  We have now thoroughly tested our new remote support software and will begin using it immediately. 

The company is Splashtop and the software we have licensed from them is their SOS Support. The biggest benefit of this software is how easy it is to activate and use. If you schedule a remote appointment Jillian will send an email with a link to be activated when you are on the phone with your tech. 

This software is very safe and secure and does not allow any sort of unattended access - you must be in front of your computer for us to connect to it remotely. 

So what type of appointments can a remote be used for? 
We can do most types of training via remote, troubleshooting printer software, updating and/or cleanup of third party software, helping with installs of new software (other than major OS releases or those that require a restart) and much more. 

Remote pricing is as follows: 
5-15 minutes $25 flat fee
16 to 30 minutes $50 flat fee
Anything over 30 minutes will be charged at the regular hourly rate

How to Customize Your DOCK


The Dock is the bar of icons that sits at the bottom (by default) or side of your screen. It allows you to quickly access frequently used programs (apps/software) and files or folders.

The items in the dock only require a single click to open. So if you want to access your Email you click on the postage stamp icon. For Photos you click on the rainbow flower, music notes for iTunes, etc.

You can see what applications are open and running by looking for a small black dot below the applications icon in the dock. If you press and hold on the application's icon you will get a pop up menu such as the one below (L) from Safari. This popup will show you what windows are open for that single application, it will also allow you to quit the application and depending on the application you may see other choices. If you click on the word "Options" will see another pop out (R) and you will be able to tell an application to "keep in dock" by clicking on the words. Note:  you can also tell the application to open when you turn on the computer from here.

Customizing Your Dock

The Dock keeps application icons on the left side. Folders, documents, and minimized windows are kept on the right side of the Dock. If you look closely, you can see a vertical separator line that separates these two sides. You can customize how the icons in the dock are arranged by just dragging an icon to another location The Trash and the Finder are fixed icons that cannot be moved - they will always present at each end of the Dock.

You can customize how the Dock behaves and where it lives by going to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Dock. OR by holding the Control Key down while clicking on the separator line on the right most side of the Dock.


Adding and Removing Dock Items

The Left Side of the Dock
If you want to add an application to the Dock, click the Launchpad (rocket ship) icon in the Dock or go to your Applications folder. Then, drag an app icon from the Launchpad or folder to the Dock. The icons in the Dock move aside to make room for the new item.

The Right Side of Your Dock
This is where you can put frequently used files or folders or where minimized application windows land. You put an icon for a file or folder on the Dock by dragging it directly to the right side - the Dock will "open" a space for you. NOTE: When you add a folder or file to the Dock, it is only a link to the original item. If you move the original, the link will be broken and if you remove an icon from the Dock, the original stays put.

To remove an item from the Dock, drag its icon several inches or more off the Dock and wait a couple seconds - you will see the word "remove" appear. Then release the icon and it disappears. When you remove an item from the Dock it doesn't permanently remove it from your computer. If you want that item back in the Dock, locate the app, file, or folder in the Finder or Launchpad, and simply drag it back into the Dock.

Minimizing Windows

If you minimize a window (click the round, yellow button in the upper-left corner of any window), the window slides down into the Dock. It stays there until you click its icon to bring up the window again.

Folders in the Dock

By default on a new computer, the Dock contains an icon for both your Downloads and Documents folder - to change the way these folders (or any you add) appear and behave, hold the Control key and click (or right click) on the icon in your Dock for downloads and you will see a popup menu like this.You can easily change the sort option to your preferred method of sorting items. You can also change how the icon appears (I prefer folders) when you click on it. You can also choose how to display folders in the Dock. You can either view them as a folder icon, or as a stack. Stacks display a folder's contents as a fan or grid when you click them in the Dock.

The Trash

The right most icon on your Dock is the Trash (its icon looks like a waste basket). Drag any documents, folders or items you no longer want to the Trash remove them. 

When you move something to the Trash, you still haven't completely deleted it. You can click the Trash icon in the Dock to see what it contains. When you're ready to permanently delete files or folders that you've dragged to the Trash, click and hold the Trash icon in the Dock and choose Empty Trash.

If you drag a disk or other mounted volume to the Trash, it changes to an eject icon to let you know that this action ejects or removes the item rather than erasing or deleting it.

Calendar Tip - handling 'tentative events'

If you really want to transition to a digital calendar but are having trouble figuring out how to handle 'tentative events', this is a great idea from reader Dick G.

"Often, particularly for "distant future dates", an activity is only semi-confirmed initially and I am holding a specific date pending further confirmation of details. 

I find it helpful to preface the name of the activity with a "?" symbol to remind me it is a tentative date. I use up to three "?" to define how tentative the event is on the schedule. 

As details are confirmed, I remove or reduce the "?"'s preceding the calendared event. It helps to separate "soft plans" from "hard plans." It is analogous to "penciling in" an event on a paper calendar." 

Thanks Dick for another great tip!!