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For my fellow Macintosh users - here's a little education about malware. If you own Macs like me, you have very little to worry about when it comes to viruses and malware. Notice I said "very little" and not "nothing" to worry about. Yes, there is malware out there that can infect OS X, but it is very rare. Plus, since OS X is based on UNIX, the only way to infect the System is by intentionally allowing the malware to be installed, which would require entering your Administrator name and password at least once. Pretty simple - if you weren't installing software or modifying a System preference of some kind, then don't enter your password. Many of my clients still worry. Clicking a link in a suspect email or visiting a malicious website can certainly open you up to infection, but using common sense should be all the protection you need. With that said, there are a couple of anti-virus/anti-malware applications for OS X out there that... read more

Mac OS X 10.11 “El Capitan” What happened to…? OS X 10.11 “El Capitan” brings several important features to the Mac, but it also removes a few. Here are three things people are missing in El Capitan that I’ve been hearing about the most: Repair Permissions, Dashboard, and Secure Empty Trash. 1) What happened to Disk Utility? I can’t repair permissions anymore! Correct - Apple has removed the Verify and Repair Disk Permissions functions from Disk Utility. The command line program ‘diskutil’ has also had those functions removed. But WHY? Apple changed OS X so developers can no longer assign permissions to files and folders that their software installs. Therefore, repairing permissions is no longer necessary. This is a very good thing! 2) What happened to Dashboard? It’s gone! No it’s not, Apple just leaves it off by default now. It’s very simple to get Dashboard back if you use it: Open System Preferences. Click... read more

As the iPhone 6 is released, many people are being notified on their older models that iOS 8 is available for download. And as usual, many people are blindly clicking through the upgrade without stopping to understand what they're doing and why. Most are also disregarding any warnings to back up their data before performing the upgrade.   Here's a post I saw from just today. It's a response to a friend who had "issues" upgrading: "My friend lost pics of her recently deceased father..."   Please, don't walk around with irreplaceable pictures on your iPhone and nowhere else! You can't keep just one copy of valuable data on a single device that could easily end up in the toilet bowl tomorrow. The iPhone is a smartphone, but that's still a phone. It happens to have a good camera and some slick software, but would you walk around every waking hour with a digital camera that held every one of your pictures, and the only copy... read more

  Not to worry, this is iTunes periodically updating your apps!   Every once in a while you might find a list of files ending in .ipa that just magically appear in your Trash.   Files ending in .ipa are applications you use on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. iTunes doesn't replace the old versions of your apps when updating, it trashes them. It just doesn't empty the Trash for you! It's safe to do so.   Happy Mac'ing!   Paul K. The Mac Doc    

  If you have a Mac and you've suffered a hard drive failure, your search for the term "data loss" or the like has brought you to this article for a reason, so please read on. I promise I'll get to the point.   How do you classify different computer users? How many kinds are there in the world?   Would you go by skill or experience, like Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced? Would you classify them by the type of computer they use? Windows/Mac/UNIX, etc? Nope. The answer, my friends, is two. There are ONLY TWO groups of computer users in this world, and you must always remember who they are:   Group #1 are those users who back up their data.   Group #2 are those users who wish they had.   That's it. Simple, right? I impress this on all my students. Unfortunately, we've all be in that second group at some point, especially those of us who've been using computers a long time. Losing one's data... read more

  For those of you who may have purchased Apple's spiffy $79 external CD/DVD burner (or Superdrive as they call it), it may not have worked when you plugged it into your older Mac. A lot of times a person's built-in optical drive fails, and they see the new external at the Apple Store. They naturally grab one assuming it'll work because they'll be using it with a Mac. Hopefully there's a "Genius" selling it to them who's going to ask which Mac they plan on using it with. I'd think probably not. It turns out it's only the fairly newer Macs that support it. When you plug it in, your older Mac might very well inform you that "This Apple External CD/DVD drive is not compatible with this Mac. Please go to Apple Support to read more." What they show you is a compatibility matrix that seems to makes no sense. I haven't compared every spec of every Mac they list, but 2009 seems to be the general cutoff.   Perhaps Apple requires USB 3, and... read more

If you have a Mac that runs OS X, then there's a simple maintenance procedure you can perform that will help to keep things running smoothly. It's called repairing permissions, and can be done using the built-in application called Disk Utility, located in Applications/Utilities.   OS X is based on UNIX, a very versatile, robust and powerful operating system. It's what runs the Internet. It's what got us to the Moon. And a modern version of it is what runs your Macintosh.   UNIX is based on Permissions. It must know which user has which rights for each file and folder (directory). If permissions for the files that run the System get messed up, bad things can happen. It could be as annoying as one application not launching, or as catastrophic as not booting anymore.   Fortunately, Apple allows you to repair the permissions for the System, but they really don't tell you how or why. I just told you the why, now you need to know when, and how.   When... read more

A recent updater for Adobe Flash caused it to fail on certain older Mac models (like my Mid/Late 2007 Macbook Pro). A fix was released within a week, but keep in mind there are alternatives out there for watching YouTube, such as HTML5.   In addition, you should never download a Flash updater from anywhere except Adobe. Not too many years ago there was a trojan horse made to look like a Flash updater file. Only use Adobe's web site, or an established software update site with direct links to Adobe, such as my favorite macupdate.com.     The Mac Doc

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