iOS

Springing Into Summer

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Whew! I'm not sure how but this Spring has just flown by. We are now basically done with all the work to our home and I have unpacked the boxes that were packed during October's evacuation - it feels amazing. I am still in a state of wonder that our home and neighborhood are here. Yes, it's still hard to drive around but seeing all the homes under construction is life affirming. We are also grateful to be able to help our clients who have had major losses get back up and running. All of these things help me to stay in a state of profound gratitude each day as I wander this amazing road called life. 

It also seems hard to believe that it has been two months since I reached out to you - my amazing clients! However I am now ready to once again begin regular communication via my newsletter. This newsletter will be for June and July, then in August I will begin to send out regular monthly news and and important updates I feel can benefit you. This newsletter has lots(!!!) of information so feel free to use the links at the side to jump to what interests you the most. 

Apple's World Wide Developer Conference happened in early June and Tim Cook and his team talked about all the upgrades coming later this year - thoughts and recommendations are below. There has been an uptick in scams via web browsers, robocalls and email so once again security is at the forefront of our minds. Another area that is taking off is home automation - look for more on this topic as we move through the year. We have also been helping many of you migrate to new computers so I will talk a bit about that and why it's important to keep your technology upgraded (both hardware and software).

Ronnie

Holiday hours: Phones are closed on the July 4th Holiday - you are welcome to leave a message that will be returned on Thursday July 5th. 


POLICY REMINDERS

At least once a year I like to publish our basic policies related to both home/office visits and phone/remote support appointments. 

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1. Home and Office visits require a one hour minimum charge and then are billed in 15 minute increments for the remaining time. 
2. There is a flat $25 travel charge for all service outside of Santa Rosa city limits. Distances of over 45 minutes one way drive time may have an increased travel charge. 
3. Tech support phone calls / remote support appointments are billed 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. To serve you best we prefer to schedule these calls in advance unless it is an emergency. 

4. We request that you honor our 24 hour cancellation/reschedule policy. If you do miss a scheduled appointment we will invoice you for one hour's time.

5. Payment is due at time of service* and we accept personal checks and all major credit cards. Our credit card processing is done through Square. 

*IF you do need to be invoiced for payment later, please let the office know when scheduling the appointment. 


APPLE WORLDWIDE DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE (WWDC)

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Apple's WWDC happened in early June and they showed off the upcoming software upgrades in the pipeline for later this year. Mainly, they introduced macOS 10.14 MojaveiOS 12, and for those of you with an Apple watch, watchOS 5. Each of these updates are focusing on a better user experience and are seriously focused on security and privacy - especially via Apple's Safari and watch OS. There are too many individual updates to talk about in a single newsletter but here are some of my favorites:

macOS Mojave

  • Desktop stacks, which group together related icons into piles, auto-tidying your desktop, and expand with a tap. You can also scrub through a stack with gestures to scroll to an individual file that you're seeking out. 
  • Your desktop image can be set to change over the course of a day too. New Apple-designed options of, say, a desert panorama, will change from morning through to noon, evening, and the dead of night as time in your local location changes. (Note: in a much older OS, there was software that did this and I loved it!)
  • Safari is getting some major privacy features - unsurprisingly, given the year's Facebook scandal and Europe's newly introduced GDPR requirements. They will be shutting down cookies that track you across websites, making sure Safari asks permission before it allows the cookies any kind of access to your browsing data. These Safari features will carry over into iOS 12, too.
  • macOS will ask for permission for more features, now including the camera and microphone. It will also provide more robust protection to your file system.

iOS 12
 

iOS 12's main focus is on improved performance (especially for older iPhones/iPads -  hurray!) There will also be some tweaks to the Photos app and a more robust Siri integrated with the ability to build 'shortcuts' to group a series of commands. 

If you are interested you can watch a repeat broadcast of the keynote from WWDC here OR just read through the announcements. 


Of course for both OS's all these features are in the current BETA developers releases and we won't know for sure until the actual release what features made it to the final release. Apple hasn't given us a firm release date for any of this software but we expect it to be this fall.  

See below for how to prepare now.


OPERATING SYSTEM STATUS
(iOS and Mac OS)

In my April newsletter I sent out Mac and iOS recommendations and I have updated the information and recommendations based on the announcement of both a new macOS and iOS. Please read below to see what you should do now!

Mac OS
See below for hardware recommendations before considering upgrading your software.

Mac OS High Sierra (10.13.5)
YES, with CAUTION

I am recommending upgrading to High Sierra now BUT please read the cautions below. IF you have already upgraded, intentionally or not, OR you have a new computer that shipped with High Sierra, please be sure to install any security updates offered by Apple immediately and be sure that your OS is at 10.13.5 (released recently). NOTE: if you are updating to 10.13.5 you will be asked to 'store documents and data in iCloud" - just uncheck this option. 
 

IF you haven't installed or had us install High Sierra, I am recommending a 'cautious' upgrade. By this I mean that the OS is pretty solid now for most users BUT - and this is a big one - IF you have a lot of older software that needs to keep running DO NOT upgrade. With each new OS, Apple is dropping support for more and more older software.  

HARDWARE RECOMMENDATIONS
Even though Apple's requirements allow both Sierra and High Sierra to be installed on machines from 2010 (in some cases 2009) and later, we do not recommend doing so!! These upgrades will drastically tax older hardware and you will not be happy with the results. We are recommending computers have at least 8 GB of ram, ideally an SSD (solid state drive) and be no older than 2013. Please see the article below about why it's important to keep your hardware current. 

As always - Please call us for assistance with your upgrade if you have questions or concerns. We are seeing a few issues with the install of High Sierra - it is a slow upgrade and requires some patience. Please plan to let the upgrade process proceed uninterrupted. Also - BE SURE TO HAVE A CURRENT BACKUP before you start.

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

COMPLETELY SAFE AND RECOMMENDED Mac OS: 

Mac OS Sierra (10.12.6)

Sierra is very stable OS for your computer. It has been updated enough to have the majority of the bugs/glitches out and third-party support is very widespread. BUT you can only obtain it through us - it is no longer available through the Mac Apps store. 

Mac OS El Capitan (10.11.6)

Apple will most likely stop supporting this OS in the next few months. BUT in the meantime they just released an important security and Safari updates to address the Intel vulnerability. Please be sure to install it!!! We are already seeing issues with web compatibility under 10.11. This means that web browsers and email in 10.11 or earlier are now vulnerable to all that nasty stuff out there.
 

iOS for iPhones and iPads
 

iOS 11.4

YES!  Assuming your device is either new(er) OR IF your device is older (iPhone 6, 6s, or iPhone SE) and you have taken advantage of Apple's battery replacement program, be sure to update to 11.4 to get the most important security update addressing the Intel issue and give you more control of your battery life and encompasses several bug fixes.


HOW LONG SHOULD MY COMPUTER LAST?

First a basic term clarification: 

  • Upgrade refers to a major system (software) or hardware change. 
  • Updates are the ongoing patches, versions, security updates, etc. That are offered throughout the year for all your software. 

Many people consider buying a new computer a pretty large financial outlay and expect their purchase to last a long time.  

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The reality is the average lifespan of a desktop computer is about three to five years. Laptops slightly less if they are used as designed and truly mobile - if your laptop sits at your home/office most of the time then the three to five year rule applies. There are many variables that can reduce the life span though, such as how much you use it and how hard you push it, environmental heat and humidity and dust. So while you might have had, or know someone who has, a computer that has been working longer, this is the exception not the rule. For most of us, two things drive the need to replace a computer - it fails in some way and repair does not make financial sense OR more often we need new software or hardware to be able to do what we want/need to do.

 
Hardware is pretty basic.

If you treat your computer well by keeping it and the plugs and the area around it dust free, having the hardware work for more than three years is pretty typical. IF however you allow dust (enemy number one) to build up, your computer will slow down and potentially fail sooner. If your environment is unusually hot, cold or very damp you will also see issues with a computer before the four to five year mark. Hard drives (where your files are stored) - can fail or can get full but this is often a repair that is worth the few hundred dollars it costs. However this upgrade is much harder and often not an option for the newest Apple computers. Most computers can have the RAM - memory upgraded after a few years for a reasonable cost - BUT this too has changed with Apple's latest product releases. IF you are buying new, be sure to check and buy as much RAM and storage as you can afford because many new machines cannot be upgraded later. 


A note about hard drives: Also it is important to note that all iMacs today offer a choice of a standard HDD (spinning) hard drive, a Fusion drive (combines standard and SSD drive) or an SSD (solid state, doesn't spin) drive. The newest laptops only offer SSD drives. Why do you care? Simply put: SSD is faster. HDD (spinning drive) is bigger and "may" fail sooner because is spins. Fusion Drive uses both, and gives you a mix of speed and size. Apple's current OS's all run much better on an SSD drive BUT SSD drives are still somewhat more expensive so if you need a lot of storage and still want speed go with a Fusion drive. 
 

Software is more of a moving target with every developer, including Apple, having different requirements.  

Mac OS - Apple releases a new operating system about once every 12-14 months. Once they release a new OS they typically drop support for an older OS - i.e. Last year Apple stopped releasing Security updates for Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) and we expect them to drop support for 10.11. (ElCapitan) soon. We are already seeing issues with web compatibility under 10.11.  This means that web browsers and email in 10.11 or earlier are now vulnerable to all that nasty stuff out there. 


Apple has not really changed the hardware requirements since the  release of Sierra in 2016. BUT this does not mean you should install 10.12 - Sierra OR 10.13 High Sierra on a five +  year old machine. In fact attempting to can cause all kinds of issues, none of which are easy to fix!! If you have a computer that is five years old or older it is truly time to consider new equipment. 

Third Party Software

As you would expect, third party software ranges from software that runs on many generations of hardware and versions of the Mac OS - think Microsoft Office, Firefox, Flash, Adobe Reader to software that often requires a relatively new computer OR at least the latest Mac OS - most often this is financial software / web sites or the Adobe Creative Suite type software. Apple is dropping support for 32 bit apps with the release of Mojave this year. This means that users of Microsoft Office will need to be running Office Mac 2016 or Office Mac 265 (subscription.) Users of Quickbooks need to upgrade to 2016 in preparation for a new version next year. Quicken 2007 is also showing some issues under High Sierra - please let us know if you have questions about alternatives. 

So how to think long term?

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The time to make a decision about how long to keep a computer is when you buy a new  one. When we help a clients decide what computer to buy, we ask many questions  about how they use the computer, how long they like/plan to keep a computer and what is on their wish list of how they might use the computer in the future. Then we look at options, factoring in budget, total storage, RAM (memory), and processor (speed) and I make the best recommendation. However, we always say that planning for a three to five year life is the best - think ahead like this and you will avoid many issues that crop up when using an older computer and have the budget in place to replace your computer in a timely fashion. A bonus? Moving from a three to five year-old computer running a relatively current OS is MUCH, MUCH easier and LESS EXPENSIVE than moving from a five + year old computer that has never been upgraded.
 

Another way to ensure the longevity of your computer is good maintenance -- We are once again offering our Tune Up Special! (Read on for details.) 

During your tuneup we can offer advice on how to get your computers running Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra) or Mac OS 10.13 (High Sierra) or advise on a new purchase. 


SUMMER TUNE UP SPECIAL!! 

$30 off a 90 MINUTES TUNE UP*      

Your Summer Tune-Up includes:  

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  • 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.
  • Verification and  consultation about your backups.
  • Verification of syncing your iOS devices.
  • We are also happy to discuss software upgrades or new computer options
  • 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 7/21/2018 and completed by 7/31/2018. Limited to the first 20 appointments.


UPGRADE SPECIAL

15% OFF YOUR MAC OS UPGRADE TO SIERRA OR HIGH SIERRA    

Your appointment includes:  

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  • Verification your backup is current and complete
  • Verification your hardware meets upgrade system requirements
  • Quick computer diagnostic / verification 
  • Upgrade installation
    (NOTE: you will have time during installation to ask questions about your other devices - iPhone, iPad, etc.)
  • Post-upgrade verification of everyday software: e-mail, printing, web browser, word processing, etc. 

NOTE: If you have software specific concerns please have a list of questionable software ready for John before the upgrade.  

 

Call Today 707.573.9649

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

    

*Offer is good through end of July. Discount applies only to major OS upgrades and requires a two-hour minimum appointment.


PRIVACY, SHARING, AND MORE

What does GRDP and the European Union have to do with you?

You may have recently been inundated with a flurry of email requests to confirm your desire to continue to receiving communication from various businesses. This is due to new regulations - GRDP - for any entity doing business in Europe. 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation

The US hasn't made moves towards any requirements such as this yet but at some point don't be surprised to see discussions about this. In the meantime IF you are getting requests to stay on a mailing list from a company you know and do business with, it is okay to go ahead and say yes, keep me on your list. OR if you do not want continued contact with the company just use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. I am honestly still undecided on how I will handle this and we are researching the best / easiest way -  but please know we have always valued your privacy and we do not share any information with outside companies and never will. 

Quick Updates and Keep Your Computer Safe!

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If you have been reading my newsletters for a while, you know that we (my husband and I) are in the process of getting the last of the fire related cleanup / repairs done to our home. In fact I am writing this from a hotel room. All is going well and we hope to be done in less than a month. Fingers crossed! 

Life's journey is a path that often contains more curves than straightaways. It seems that since the fires, our roads have more curves and even switchbacks than ever before. Each day I'm grateful that I am moving forward on this road of life. 

In this issue, I have addressed the move to High Sierra, iOS 11, and included some helpful notes on security.

Ronnie


OPERATING SYSTEM STATUS
(iOS and Mac OS)

Mac OS

iOS High Sierra (10.13.4)

OK, with CAUTION; but I prefer Sierra 10.12.6

IF you have already upgraded, intentionally or not, OR you have a new computer that shipped with High Sierra, please be sure to install any security updates offered by Apple immediately and be sure that your OS is at 10.13.4 (released recently).

IF you haven't installed or had us install High Sierra, I am recommending a 'cautious' upgrade. By this I mean that the OS is pretty solid now for most users BUT - and this is a big one - IF you have a lot of older software that needs to keep running DO NOT upgrade. With each new OS, Apple is dropping support for more and more older software. 

As always - Please call us for assistance with your upgrade if you have questions or concerns. We are seeing a few issues with the install of High Sierra - it is a slow upgrade and requires some patience. Please plan to let the upgrade process proceed uninterrupted. Also - BE SURE TO HAVE A CURRENT BACKUP before you start.

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

COMPLETELY SAFE AND RECOMMENDED Mac OS: Mac OS Sierra (10.12.6)

This is my current recommended, very stable OS for your computer. It has been updated enough to have the majority of the bugs/glitches out and third-party support is very widespread.

Mac OS El Capitan (10.11.6)

Apple will most likely stop supporting this OS in the next few months. BUT in the meantime they just released an important security and Safari updates to address the Intel vulnerability. Please be sure to install it!!!
 

iOS for iPhones and iPads

iOS 11.3

YES!  Assuming your devices is either new(er) OR IF your device is older (iPhone 6, 6s, or iPhone SE) and you have taken advantage of Apple's battery replacement program, be sure to update to 11.3 to get the most important security update addressing the Intel issue and give you more control of your battery life.


UPGRADE SPECIAL

15% OFF YOUR MAC OS UPGRADE TO SIERRA OR HIGH SIERRA 

Your appointment includes:  

upgrade.png
  • Verification your backup is current and complete
  • Verification your hardware meets upgrade system requirements
  • Quick computer diagnostic / verification 
  • Upgrade installation
    (NOTE: you will have time during installation to ask questions about your other devices - iPhone, iPad, etc.)
  • Post-upgrade verification of everyday software: e-mail, printing, web browser, word processing, etc. 

NOTE: If you have software specific concerns please have a list of questionable software ready for John before the upgrade.  

Call Today 707.573.9649

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

*Offer is good through end of May. Discount applies only to major OS upgrades and requires a two-hour minimum appointment.


SAFE COMPUTING

Here are some excellent links to keeping yourself safe when browsing the Internet OR handling your email. 

From Apple

How to identify legitimate emails from Apple

How to Avoid Common Scams

From Federal Trade Commission

What to know and do about scams in the news

From Intego
NOTE - I am NOT recommending the installation of their software at this time. 

Top 10 Online Scams to Watch Out For


UPCOMING CLASS

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iPad Just the Basics - updated for iOS 11

All ages

Wednesday, May 30th and June 6th

10:00am - 11:30am

This is a hands-on class that covers all the basic functionality of your iPad including what the icons on the screen mean, what the physical buttons do, and how to customize what is on your screen. We will also briefly cover emailing, contacts, and calendars. NOTE: This is a two part class. What we don't cover the first day will be covered the following week. This class includes a workbook so you can follow along. 

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

Windsor Senior Center

9231 Foxwood Drive, Windsor, CA 95492

Fees

$45 for residents / $50 for non-residents

INSTRUCTIONS TO SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS

  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: 

    "Senior Computer - iPad", click "Show Courses"

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

Apple's Big Announcements!

June has swept in with glorious weather and a bit of green remains on our golden hills. Local schools let out last week and traffic is already lighter - hurray!! June is the month the world seems to melt into summer mode - a slower pace, longer days and permission to be lazy. All of which I classify as a good thing in this crazy, hectic world today. I'm doing my best to comply which is often easier said than done.

This newsletter is a bit late because I elected to send it AFTER Apple's World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) which kicked off this week. Jillian has some highlights of the WWDC keynote below, and there will be more information and news in our July Newsletter. The tech world of course never seems to slow down which is a good thing. I always feel that the benefits of technology outweigh the drawbacks. My personal love is teaching technology to my clients - helping people learn to use and enjoy their technology is fun! With all this new tech I'm thinking business looks good.


APPLE'S BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS

By Jillian Dorman

At their annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 6, the opening keynote was full of exciting news! It was the biggest display of product advances that I can remember in a long time! Apple announced new operating systems for both computers and mobile devices that will power new and more advanced iMacs, Mac Book Pros and iPads/iPhones. There was also fresh information about the Watch, Apple TV, and a robust new iMac Pro.  Also, the HomePod, a totally new and exciting device was introduced. Below you will find just a few highlights of the products announced and we will offer more details soon to come. The HomePod, Apple's home smart speaker with Siri, warrants an article of its own, so look for an article from our tech John Wentworth next month!

MAC OS 11

MAC OS 11 will be the force that takes Apple into the augmented reality work of the future. But there are improvements we will enjoy now in the aptly named follower of Sierra, High Sierra. One of the most welcome updates will be the addition of a side bar in Photos for greater ease of use. There are changes to Safari that will help with ad spam, and a more efficient way to store video data, just to list a few.

For our mobile iPads and iPhones, iOS 11 will similarly be full of improvements in cluding a new capabilities for the "dock," a redesign of the Control Center, and a brand new App Store that should make searching for or learning about apps a cinch, and finally, I know many of you will welcome the ability to organize and store files in a spiffy new app. You will use it like files and folders on your computer. This article tells you more about the tips and tricks coming your way. 

Both iOS 11 and MAC OS 11 are now in beta test. Apple is predicting a fall release for both, but we'll keep you posted as they near availability, with our usual recommendations on upgrading.

iMAC

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The new version of the iMac will benefit from more powerful processors (Intel 7th generation), better built-in graphics, the ability to expand RAM (21" to 32GB, 27" to 64 GB) and 27" displays up to an impressive, brighter, 5K resolution with up to a billion colors. These machines will have outstanding performance and will smoothly run High Sierra. These new computers are built for the imminent work ahead in virtual and augmented reality. It is exciting to know the machines are available for order now. You can learn more here. The MacBook and MacBook Pro line received similar improvements.

iPAD

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Have you been waiting to get a new iPad? The 10.25 iPad Pro looks amazing. A great size, it can double as a note pad because the ability to write with the pencil is very much like the real thing. In fact, the on-screen keyboard is the size of a conventional keyboard. It is powered by the same chip as the larger iPad Pro. It is faster that previous iPads in processing and graphics, has four speaker audio, 4K video recording, and optical image stabilization to improve your photos. Ronnie has already ordered hers and she will provide a complete review in the months to come. 

Again, this is just a brief of some of the announcements from a very big collection of news. If you'd like to read more comprehensive information about everything, here is more information if you want to look it over. Check out this article, too. 

Finally, although a full compliment of changes were announced across almost the full line of Apple products, there was not a peep about an new iPhone. Apple traditionally announces iPhones in the fall, so we'll have to wait and see about the iPhone 8.


TECH TIPS

I am using this email from our local bank, Redwood Credit Union, for this month's tips-- both computer and iOS. We are still getting several calls weekly about folks who have been compromised. The indicators are these attempts to cause havoc in our computing life is only going to increase. The is a great article with easy to follow steps. 

---

Improve your online security with a digital spring cleaning!
Spring is here, which means it's time to clean up those digital dust bunnies and keep your information safe online. Here are some helpful online security tips:

Change your passwords
Update your login information for sites you use frequently. Long, complex passwords that use a combination of letters, numbers, and other characters are best. Don't use your kids' names, birthdays, or any information that can be readily found on social media. Read more tips on creating a strong password

Declutter your device
Review your apps and delete the ones you don't use. Then review the privacy settings of the apps you do use to ensure you're only sharing the information you choose.

Purge your digital files
Take stock of your online files, including those in the cloud. Delete documents you no longer need that could contain private information.

Tidy your privacy settings on social media
Assume anyone can see your social media posts. Remember, your personal information can help hackers uncover your passwords, so you may want to limit sharing to friends and family.

Give your software a safety makeover
Software updates are critical because they fix flaws that make your devices susceptible to hackers. This applies to not only your computer's operating system, but also popular browsers and media players. 

Following these steps will help ensure your online privacy and keep your accounts safe! For more security tips, visit redwoodcu.org/security.

redwood credit union

System Upgrades, Computer Updates, and Tech Tips

Wow!! It is so green outside!! I LOVE IT!!! 

Now that I am well on my way to getting my mobility back (still in process but better everyday,) I am loving the beautiful green hills that are Sonoma county at this time of year. When I look around and see the green hills, the daffodils and yellow mustard weed I just get happy - don't you? It must be the Irish in me. The amount of rain this winter has pretty much banished the drought in most parts of California but I sincerely hope everyone remembers that water conservation should still be a priority in this changing world of ours. 

It has become apparent to me over the last month, while we have been doing a lot of security audits, that many folks are still confused or unsure about the upgrade cycle of their computer(s) in relation to both hardware and software. Below is an article that helps you understand the reasoning behind and the process of keeping your computers upgraded. 

We are now looking towards Apple's spring announcements - a March event where we are expecting to see new / refreshed iPads and possibly iMacs and laptops is the rumor. I will keep you posted as more information (not rumors) is available.


UPCOMING CLASSES
SAVE THE DATES!** 

*NEW* classes at Shutterbug Camera in Santa Rosa

iPhoneography

Wednesday, March 29th from 2pm - 5pm
-and-
Monday, April 17th from 10am - 1pm

  • Do you want to know how to work with your photos on iPhone or iPad? How to shoot, import, acquire, organize, share, and edit.
  • Having photos on your iPhone/iPad is great fun, but...
  • How do you delete the ones you don't want?
  • How do you share with friends and family?
  • What about organizing...Can it be done?
  • What is the difference between your iPhone/iPad camera and the photos app?
  • Can you print from your iPhone or iPad?
  • How do you print iPhone/iPad photos using Shutterbug's printing services?

This class will answer these questions and show you how to set up your iPhone/iPad so you are ready to have fun with your iOS.

#30094  Min. 6 Max.10
Cost -   $69.00

**Registration is not yet open. I will e-mail you when it does.


UPGRADING YOUR MAC OS

I am currently recommending very strongly that anyone running ANY OS earlier than and including 10.9.5 to upgrade to either El Capitan - 10.11.5 (you will need help to acquire this) OR Sierra 10.12.3. IF you are running Mac OS 10.10.5 Yosemite, you will want to plan to upgrade before the end of this year. 

You can check the compatibility of your non-Apple software apps here at RoaringApps and the hardware requirements here. Please know you can contact us for an evaluation and help with this. 


HOW LONG SHOULD MY COMPUTER LAST?

First a basic term clarification: 

  • Upgrade refers to a major system (software) or hardware change. 
  • Updates are the ongoing patches, versions, security updates, etc. That are offered throughout the year for all your software. 

Many people consider buying a new computer a pretty large financial outlay and expect their purchase to last a long time. 

The reality is the average lifespan of a desktop computer is about three to five years. Laptops slightly less if they are used as designed and truly mobile - if your laptop sits at your home/office most of the time then the three to five year rule applies. There are many variables that can reduce the life span though, such as how much you use it and how hard you push it, environmental heat and humidity and dust. So while you might have had, or know someone who has, a computer that has been working longer, this is the exception not the rule. For most of us, two things drive the need to replace a computer - it fails in some way and repair does not make financial sense OR more often we need new software or hardware to be able to do what we want/need to do.

 
Hardware is pretty basic.

If you treat your computer well by keeping it and the plugs and the area around it dust free, having the hardware work for more than three years is pretty typical. IF however you allow dust (enemy number one) to build up, your computer will slow down and potentially fail sooner. If your environment is unusually hot, cold or very damp you will also see issues with a computer before the four to five year mark. Hard drives (where your files are stored) - can fail or can get full but this is often a repair that is worth the few hundred dollars it costs. However this upgrade is much harder and often not an option for the newest Apple computers. Most computers can have the RAM - memory upgraded after a few years for a reasonable cost - BUT this too has changed with Apple's latest product releases. IF you are buying new, be sure to check and buy as much RAM and storage as you can afford because many new machines cannot be upgraded later. 

A note about hard drives: Also it is important to note that all iMacs today offer a choice of a standard HDD (spinning) hard drive, a Fusion drive (combines standard and SSD drive) or an SSD (solid state, doesn't spin) drive. The newest laptops only offer SSD drives. Why do you care? Simply put: SSD is faster. HDD (spinning drive) is bigger and "may" fail sooner because is spins. Fusion Drive uses both, and gives you a mix of speed and size. Apple's current OS's all run much better on an SSD drive BUT SSD drives are still quite expensive so if you need a lot of storage and still want speed go with a Fusion drive. 

Software is more of a moving target with every developer, including Apple, having different requirements.  

Mac OS - Apple releases a new operating system about once every 12-14 months. Once they release a new OS they typically drop support for an older OS - i.e. Last year Apple stopped releasing Security updates for Mac OS 10.9.5. This means that web browsers and email in 10.9.5 or earlier are now vulnerable to all that nasty stuff out there. We fully expect Apple to drop support for Mac OS 10.10 within the next few months.

Until the last few years this also meant the the newer OS's would require the newer hardware. This changed way back with 10.8 (Mt. Lion). Since Mt. Lion was released in July of 2012 Apple has not really changed the hardware requirements UNTIL the current OS release Sierra. BUT this does not mean you should install 10.12 - Sierra or even 10.11 - on a five +  year old machine. In fact attempting to can cause all kinds of issues, none of which are easy to fix. 

Third Party Software.

As you would expect, third party software ranges from software that runs on many generations of hardware and versions of the Mac OS - think Microsoft Office, Firefox, Flash, Adobe Reader to software that often requires a relatively new computer OR at least the latest Mac OS - most often this is financial software / web sites or the Adobe Creative Suite type software.

So how to think long term?

The time to make a decision about how long to keep a computer is when you buy a new  one. When I help a client decide what computer to buy, I ask many questions  about how they use the computer, how long they like/plan to keep a computer and what is on their wish list of how they might use the computer in the future. Then we look at options, factoring in budget, total storage, RAM (memory), and processor (speed) and I make the best recommendation. However, I always say that planning for a three to five year life is the best - think ahead like this and you will avoid many issues that crop up when using an older computer and have the budget in place to replace your computer in a timely fashion. A bonus? Moving from a three to five year-old computer running a relatively current OS is MUCH, MUCH easier and LESS EXPENSIVE than moving from a five + year old computer that has never been upgraded.
 

Another way to ensure the longevity of your computer is good maintenance -- We are once again offering out Spring Tune Up Special! (Read on for details.) 

During your tuneup we can offer advice on how to get your computers running Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) or 10.12 (Sierra) or advise on a new purchase. 


SPRING TUNE UP SPECIAL!! 

90 MINUTES FOR $90 ~ SPRING TUNE UP*   

Your Spring Tune-Up includes:  

  • 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.
  • Verification andconsultation 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
Rob or John, our Design Solutions Tech/Trainers. 

* Offer does not apply to troubleshooting / diagnostics or major Mac OS upgrades. Appointments must be booked by 3/10/2017 and completed by 4/30/2017. Limited to the first 20 appointments.


TECH TIPS 

iPhone - Saving Photos from Messages

If you take a photo using the camera icon within Messages (texting), it isn't automatically saved to your iPhone. If you take a photo you really like, you'll want to manually save it. It's nice that iPhone doesn't automatically save those photos so that you aren't accidentally taking up too much space or saving private photos meant only for the conversation. But if you send a photo you like, here's how to save it to the Photos app.  NOTE: you can use this same process to save an image someone sends you via Messages. 

- Once you send your photo touch and hold on the image in the Messages window for that conversation and you will see these options - choose Save

 

Mac OS - Stopping Automatic Audio in Safari

In Safari the default settings allow for some video to start playing as soon as a web page fully loads. This can be nice for some content BUT really annoying when you want to read an article and the video content is an ad. You can quickly stop the audio portion of the content by going to the address bar in Safari and touching on the blue speaker icon.

It is possible to completely disable any video from playing automatically in Safari - however - this will make is more complicated for you to get the video you do want and for most folks I do not recommend it. 

Update on MacBook Pro Review

REVIEW OF NEW MACBOOK PRO

Early last month my new MacBook Pro arrived - hurray!! It replaced my aging 2010 MacBook Pro and the timing was perfect. I love this new laptop. Apple has really thought out the design. While not massively different from earlier laptops at first glance, there are definitely major changes some of which are great, others not so much. I am not typically a fan of the 'first' generation or major revision of anything but I do think Apple has done a great job with this one. 

What I don't love

First let's get the "not liking so much" out of the way. Apple removed ALL the connector ports except the headphone jack and replaced them with USB C (Thunderbolt 3) ports. These ports are for everything from charging your laptop to connecting external devices (hard drives, monitors, projectors, etc.). This means that I had to buy all new adapters and of course add adapters where none were needed (i.e., to connect my Time Machine backup drive). Pretty much the pain in the neck it sounds like. But as more manufacturers begin to build USB C devices this will change.

My other big complaint is the price jump these devices took!!! Several hundred dollars - again, once we get past the first generation I'm sure we will see the price drop. 

What I love

What I love - the Touch Bar!!!! Wow!!! at first I was a bit skeptical that Apple was giving us a bar at the top of the keyboard instead of a touch screen but having used PC's with touch screens and now this Touch Bar, I'm in love. It makes so much sense to be able to type and simply reach a finger up to the Touch Bar to correct the spelling of a word, insert a smiley, adjust my volume up/down, send an email and so much more. I am still learning all the uses for the Touch Bar. Right now it is primarily only Apple Apps that use this technology but as more Apps are developed to take advantage of the Touch Bar, I believe it will become indispensable. Even better, it incorporates Touch ID so I can unlock my laptop or pay with Apple Pay using just my fingerprint. Slick! 

The keyboard is great but a tad noisy. I love the easy touch of the keys and find I am typing faster and with fewer errors (I am a very good typist). They do make a tapping sound as you type but it's not that bad. The trackpad is huge - I thought is would be real pain with errors caused by inadvertent touches but this is not happening at all. The extra "real estate" of the trackpad is great for using gestures when needed but honestly I'm using the Touch Bar more often. 

So to sum it up I think the new MacBook Pro is a great new laptop for Apple and definitely a buy IF you need one right now. However, if it is not critical that you replace or buy a laptop right now, I would wait for the next generation and hopefully lower prices. 


TECH TIPS

iOS 10 - Magnifier Short Cut

How often do you find yourself wishing that the text, numbers, or an item you are looking at was a bit larger? Especially the 'fine print' or customer service number on a card! This tip turns your iPhone into an easy-to-use magnifier. I love this and use it all the time.

Here's how:

  • On your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch open Settings > General > Accessibility. 
  • Scroll all the way to the bottom of Accessibility and tap on Accessibility Shortcut and choose Magnifier.
  • Now when you triple-click the Home button on your device, the Magnifier will appear.
  • Just point your camera at whatever you want to see better!

 

Mac OS Sierra - Searching Photos

In Mac OS Sierra, Photos got a substantial upgrade including a very robust method of searching by description, i.e., I can search my Photos library for beaches and almost all my photos of beaches show up - very impressive and somewhat scary in its accuracy.  You can try searching for pie, flowers, birds and so on. Whatever objects you think might be in your library. This expanded search is available due to what they are calling "Computer Vision" which is a fancy term for artificial intelligence or AI.