How I Rescued a Mac Whose Finder Didn’t Work

— How I Rescued a Mac Whose Finder Didn’t Work — I run into some really interesting problems. Here’s a problem I hadn’t seen before– and how I solved it. I got a call from someone with an iMac whose Finder didn’t Work. The Mac started up fine, and the user could sign into her account, but the Desktop files were missing and no menu bar appeared. The machine was running– the mouse worked, the screen was lit up, the Dock was present– but I couldn’t get to the Desktop to open a file, and… Continue Reading How I Rescued a Mac Whose Finder Didn’t Work

Should I Upgrade my iPhone to iOS 10?

— Should I Upgrade my iPhone to iOS 10? — UPDATE: there are two really fun new features that you can only get with iOS 10. First, you can send balloons and fireworks etc. in a text message, like in the Apple commercial. Second, your iPhone (or iPad) will make these sensational mini-movies called “Memories” for you from your pictures and videos, and they’re really fun. Now that iOS 10 has had a few updates, and considering these two great features, I say please do upgrade to iOS 10. Executive Summary: I usually advise waiting… Continue Reading Should I Upgrade my iPhone to iOS 10?

Should I install the iOS 9.3.5 update on my iPhone?

— Should I install the iOS 9.3.5 update on my iPhone? — Apple’s released another iOS update and this one plugs a hole that allowed someone to hack into an iPhone remotely and monitor activity. Text messages, emails, phone calls, location info– you name it. Pretty sophisticated, and pretty serious stuff. You can read about the exploit in the New York Times‘ excellent article. It boils down to this: if you’re on any version of iOS 9, get the 9.3.5 update right away. The easiest way to do it is “in place, over the air”… Continue Reading Should I install the iOS 9.3.5 update on my iPhone?

Option Key tip #12: Open your Library folder

— Option Key tip #12: Open your Library folder — Apple stores a lot of important stuff in your Library folder. Your mail messages, your preferences and settings, your keychains and passwords, and many, many other critical information is stored there. In some ways, your Library folder is the most important folder on your Mac– and you’ve probably never seen it. That’s the way Apple wants it; they don’t want you messing around with your Library folder, so they make it invisible. This keeps you from accidentally throwing your Library folder away, or accidentally putting… Continue Reading Option Key tip #12: Open your Library folder

Option Key tip #11: Delete a Messages conversation with one click

— Option Key tip #11: Delete a Messages conversation with one click — You use the Messages app on your Mac, don’t you? (You should– you can tied it into your phone’s text messaging using your iCloud address, so the same messages show up on both devices, and it’s a lot easier to type on the Mac than on your phone.) Anyhow, sometimes you want to delete a conversation, and when you do it goes like this: 1. Hover over the conversation until you see the “x” 2. Click the “x” and wait for the… Continue Reading Option Key tip #11: Delete a Messages conversation with one click

Option Key tip #10: One-click System Information

— Option Key tip #10: One-click System Information — I have to admit, I thought I might not get to Option key Tip Number 10… but here it is! I’ll bet you’ve chosen “About This Mac” from the Apple menu– it shows you a box something like this. The “System Report…” button launches the System Informatoin application, an important trouble-shooting tool. Not too hard. But, if you hold the Option key, the first item in the Apple menu changes from “About This Mac” to “System Information,” saving you a click. It doesn’t sound like much… Continue Reading Option Key tip #10: One-click System Information

Option Key tip #9: Special Characters

— Option Key tip #9: Special Characters — Our Option key Tip-a-Palooza continues… Your documents will look better if you use the right characters. For example, mañana looks better than “manana,” and resumé looks better than “resume.” The Mac’s always been able to generate these characters (not true for PCs), so why not learn how and start using the right characters today. Check out the handy table below. Character Keystroke(s) • (bullet) Option-8 ¢ Option-4 ñ Option-n, then n é Option-e, then e ™ Option-2 ® Option-r º (degree symbol) Option-0 (that’s a zero) … Continue Reading Option Key tip #9: Special Characters

Option Key tip #8: Option-Empty Trash

— Option Key tip #8: Option-Empty Trash — Ever try to empty the Trash and get a message like this? Of course you have. Then you click “Empty Trash” (or hit Enter on the keyboard), and then you might get this message too: Most likely you will click “Remove All Items” and then– finally– the trash empties. Yay. Skip all of this trouble by holding down the Option key when you choose “Empty Trash” from the Finder’s “Finder” menu. Then it’s a one-stepper. No messages, just a satisfying whooshy-crumply sound. Try it! Note: when you… Continue Reading Option Key tip #8: Option-Empty Trash

Option Key tip #7: Option-Click

— Option Key tip #7: Option-Click — Ever click a link in Safari, hoping to download a PDF, and instead of downloading, the thing opens up in the browser (or worse, in Acrobat)? That’s a drag. Try it fifty times and fifty times it’s the same– you don’t actually download the PDF, you just see it in the browser. But, if you hold the Option key when you click the link, you will download a copy to your Mac for later use. Here’s an example. Suppose you’re looking for tax forms on the IRS website.… Continue Reading Option Key tip #7: Option-Click

Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.4?

— Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.4? — Hot on the heels of the 9.3.3 upcate comes 9.3.4, and if your iPhone (or iPad) is already on 9.anything you should definitely do the update. The 9.3.4 update contains a security fix that blocks a particular exploit and Apple recommends this fix for all iPhones and iPads. You can read about the provided fix on Apple’s website. Apple doesn’t comment on iOS security issues until they have a fix as they don’t want to advertise vulnerabilities before they have plugged the holes. But they do… Continue Reading Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.4?