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Tech news, tips, and info

October 2019 


10/15 - There is a new repair extension program for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus for no power issues.  Apple has determined that certain iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices may not power on due to a component that may fail.  For more details click here.

10/08 - The New 32GB and 128GB Apple 10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi - 7th generation models have arrived. 

10/07 - macOS Catalina released. Before upgrading, make sure all of your software is compatible!

10/01 - The New 32GB Apple 10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi - 7th generation should start arriving the this week. 128GB WIFI models arriving next week.  Supplies are heavily constrained.  The 32GB WIFI model will be selling for $329 and the iPad with 128GB of storage is $429.  Don’t forget the AppleCare + for iPad. 


Tech Repair News:  

    Apple has activated a dormant software lock on the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, or XS Max. Only Apple batteries installed by Apple will authenticate the battery to the phone. If a non-Apple battery is used, the iPhone will never show its battery health and always reports a problem with the battery.

Tech Tips: New accent colors in Mojave 

    Mac's are highly customizable, but now you can choose an accent color other than graphite or blue. To change it, go the system preferences General pane.

    The accent color is used in drop-down menus, buttons, and checkboxes. You now have the additional colors of purple, pink, red, orange, and yellow. It's a nice feature to have if you like to customize your Mac's appearance.

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September 2019 

HDD or SDD:  Almost all of Apple’s Product line come standard with Solid-State Drive (SSD) technology. iMac’s come with either a traditional hard drive or a Fusion Drive but can be configured with just an SSD. It’s important to note that older iMac’s and Mid 2012 portables and older can be upgraded with SSD technology.

    What you as a customer should know about the differences in HDD and SSD technology may help you decide if an SSD is the right choice. Traditional hard drives (HDD) use round platters that spin on micro-bearings with a special magnetic coating on the platter that stores data. Mechanical heads float over these platters recording the user's information. Over a three to five-year life span, these traditional hard drives will start wearing out. You may notice a color wheel popping up more often than in times past, indicating the hard drive platters trying to reach a speed in which the data can be read by the mechanical heads. The mechanical components just wear out with hard use in a HDD. SSD drives are not vulnerable to this wear.

    The speed of a SSD is about 10 times faster than a standard HDD. This means the computer boots much faster, Apps load faster, and projects save faster. 

    According to SSD makers, a regular SSD drive has a million hours of use before failing. That translates into about 100+ years of use if the computer runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Of course, any hard drive SSD or HDD remains vulnerable to power surges, liquid damage, and physical damage caused by drops. Just because something is designed to last 100 years doesn't always mean it will, and the user needs to take the same precautions on the SSD that he would if he were using a HDD. 

    With SSD drives, there is one major issue customers need to be aware of: forensic data recovery. Customers considering a SSD upgrade need to continue using current backup technology to ensure that the all-important data is not lost. Data recovery services for a non-functioning traditional HDD still exist and usually can recover up to 90% of the data. This is only possible if the HDD is not physically damaged. A SSD, however, does not have that same forensic recovery services available to it, and when non-functional, the data is lost. Backup is more important for SSD's than regular HDD's. Forensic recovery services usually start at prices around $1000 plus. 

    Always remember these three words - backup, backup, backup. Your data only has value to you, the end-user.


Tech Repair News: Backpack Beware 

    It's September, and the kids are back in school. We would like to take this opportunity to remind parents and students not to shove any Mac portable into a full backpack as it is possible it could be damaged. MacBook’s have become so thin that we have seen our share with a slight bend to them. We recommend carrying a Mac portable in its own carry case.


Tech Tips:  

    You may already know that you can have multiple users on your Mac. But did you know there is another kind of account? A Guess account.

    To turn this option on, go to the System Preferences and click Users and Groups. Next, click the little padlock and enter your admin password.

    Click on Guess User and then check the box, Allow guests to log in to this computer. 

    Now you will be presented with Guest at the login screen. Anyone can use this account. No password is needed. But everything is erased in the Guest user when it’s logged out.

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August 2019  

Are you ready for macOS Catalina? This year, Apple will release macOS Catalina. With any new Apple release, you SHOULD NOT just download and install it without doing your homework first. Several steps need to be accomplished by each user prior to updating their OS. None of these items are difficult to accomplish but does require some research. One of the first things you need to do is determine if the new OS is compatible with your computer. The list provided below indicates the machines that will be able to run Catalina:

MacBook (early 2015 or newer)

MacBook Air (mid 2012 or newer)

MacBook Pro (mid 2012 or newer)

Mac mini (late 2012 or newer)

iMac (late 2012 or newer)

iMac Pro (2017 or newer)

Mac Pro (late 2013 or newer)

    The second item on our list is to verify the amount of RAM that is installed in the computer. If your computer is capable of having the memory upgraded, it should have a minimum of 8GB.

    The third item on our list is connected hardware. Most of the time, this hardware is a printer. All printer manufacturers tend to support their printer offerings for at least five years. You will need to go online and research the companies website to see if they are supporting Catalina for your printer before updating your computer to the new OS or you might have to get a new printer.

    The fourth item on our list is reviewing your software compatibility. The issue most commonly faced is when we are using a critical application from a third-party vendor. Any software produced outside Apple is considered third-party. If you are currently working on a project that is coming due and you use third-party software you probably should delay your update to Catalina until after the project's due date. Most software vendors usually have updates within a short period of time from Apple's release date.

    The last thing we need to do before installing the new OS is to backup the computer. Errors can occur and do happen occasionally, so a backup is critical to ensure the integrity of your data.

    When you are ready to install Catalina, make sure your portable computer is plugged into a power source. If no power source is available, delay your update until one does become available. Hopefully, no one should encounter any issues, but experience has taught us that is not the case. Unforeseen issues, like a failing hard drive, sometimes crashes in the middle of an update.

    If you, back up your data and check these things before upgrading your software, you can make the upgrade process smooth and painless, and keep your mac current.


Apple News: Product Updates  

    On July 9th, Apple has updated its MacBook Air line of portables. They now come standard with a Retina display with True Tone. True Tone adjusts the color and intensity of your display to match the ambient light. Apple has also reduced the price of the updated MacBook Air, making it even more affordable.

    Apple updated the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with an 8th-generation Intel quad-core processor, a Touch Bar with Touch ID, a True Tone display, and the Apple T2 security chip.

    Apple discontinued the 12-inch MacBook.


Tech Tips: My Hard Drive is Full

  Nowadays, we have a lot of data on our hard drives. At some point, your drive becomes so full that you get the message, 'Your startup disk is almost full'. This message means you have too many files on your Mac and you need to free up some disk space. Check your trash to make sure you’ve emptied it. Check your downloads folder and delete files and installers that you may no longer need. You can also free up space by moving files you don’t use to an external storage drive. If your computer is running slowly, it can be a sign that your drive is full. You should have at least 15% free space on the hard drive to run your Mac properly.

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