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by Tom Nelson

The refurb store’s stock remains stable this week, with only minor changes; most notably, Mac minis are no longer in stock. The strange bit of news is the continuing lack of 15-inch MacBook Pros in the store. Ever since Apple announced the new MacBook, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air lineups a few weeks ago, the 15-inch MacBook Pros have gone missing. Hard to believe there isn’t any stock of one of the most popular refurb store models.

2014macbookair

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

This week’s deals include a 2013 13-inch MacBook Air with a 256 GB SSD. This has to be one of the most popular configurations in the MacBook Air lineup. The 256 GH SSD provides enough room for the OS, with plenty of room for apps and documents. Don’t forget to buy an external drive for backup and additional storage, if you need it.

Our second deal is a 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro that requires a compromise. You get a bit more processor and graphics horsepower for your money, but a smaller 128 GB SSD for storage.

The final deal this week is for one of the new 2014 27-inch iMacs with Retina display. This model has the optional Quad Core i7 running at 4.0 GHz, and a 1 TB Fusion drive, a very nice combination for the price. Once again, pick up an external drive for backup use.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Pixelmator is a photo-editing app for the Mac that stands out on both cost, ease of use, and versatility. Wait, that’s three things. That’s the problem with Pixelmator; once you start listing its attributes, you can’t stop.

Pixelmator3

Image courtesy of the Pixelmator Team

Pixelmator is an extremely powerful image editor that makes use of Apple’s Core Image APIs to manipulate graphics with amazing speed. Even better, the Core Image engine knows how to use your Mac’s graphics card to really put the zing in performance.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Finder views underwent significant changes when OS X Leopard was released a while ago. The most notable change was the addition of Cover Flow view, bringing the list of Finder views up to four possibilities. Apple retained Icon view as the default, but the three additional views (List, Column, and the new Cover Flow) are Finder views that can open up new ways of looking at the files and folders you have stored on your Mac.

finderviewbuttons500x353

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Using Finder Views

Finder views offer four different ways of looking at the files and folders stored on your Mac. Most new Mac users tend to work with only one of the four Finder views: Icon, List, Column, or Cover Flow. Working in one Finder view may not seem like a bad idea. After all, you will become very adept at the ins and outs of using that view. But it’s probably much more productive in the long run to learn how to use each Finder view, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each view.

In this guide, we will examine the four Finder views and how to access them, and learn the best time to use each type of view.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

A bootable copy of OS X on a USB flash drive is a great emergency backup tool to have on hand. It allows you to be ready to go almost immediately should anything happen to your existing startup drive.

sandisk_flash_drive

Image courtesy of SanDisk Corporation

Why a flash drive? A bootable external or internal hard drive works well for desktop Macs, but presents a cumbersome problem for notebook Macs. A flash drive is a simple, inexpensive, and portable emergency OS X boot device. Even if you don’t use a notebook, you may want to have a bootable USB flash drive on hand.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Screen sharing capability is built in to the Mac. With it, you can access a remote Mac’s desktop, and view and manipulate files, folders, and applications, just as if you were sitting in front of the remote Mac.

ScreenSharingFinder

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

This makes Mac screen sharing a go-to application whenever you need access to a remote Mac. For example, it’s great for helping someone troubleshoot a problem. With Mac screen sharing, you can see exactly what is happening on the remote Mac, and help diagnose and fix the problem. Mac screen sharing is also an excellent way to access documents and applications on your Mac when you’re in another location. Let’s say you use Quicken to track and manage your family’s finances. It would be nice if you could update your Quicken files from any Mac you have at home, but Quicken wasn’t designed for multiple users accessing the same data files. So, when you’re sitting in the den and you decide to make an online purchase, you have to remember to get up and go to the home office, and update your Quicken account.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

The Mac’s printing system is pretty robust. In most cases, it’s downright easy to install printers and scanners with just a few clicks. Even older printers that don’t have current printer drivers can be installed using a manual installation process. But despite the easy setup process, there may be times when something goes wrong and your printer fails to show up in the Print dialog box, no longer appears in the Printers & Scanners preference pane, or is listed as offline, and nothing you do brings it back to an online or idle state.

ResetPrintSystem

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

First, try the usual printer troubleshooting methods:

  • Check the printer for ink/toner and paper.
  • Cycle your printer off and on.
  • If it’s a USB printer, disconnect it and then reconnect it.
  • Use Software Update or App Store (under the Apple menu) or visit the printer manufacturer’s web site to see if there are any newer versions of your printer’s software or drivers available.
  • Delete and reinstall the printer in the Printers & Scanners preference pane.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

The Apple menu’s ‘Recent Items’ sub-menu lets you quickly access applications, documents, and servers you have recently used. This is a handy feature that saves a few steps in locating and then launching applications or documents.

RecentItemsLocations

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

In previous versions of Mac OS X, the ‘Recent Items’ list didn’t actually help you locate files or applications, it just let you access them quickly, without revealing where they were physically located in your Mac’s file system. In Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) and later, the ‘Recent Items’ sub-menu has a new trick up its sleeve. If you know the secret, the ‘Recent Items’ sub-menu will show you where items are actually located.

Read more on About Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Last week, we reported on price drops for the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Prolineups. This week, we’re happy to see more price reductions, this time in the Mac accessories department, which has dropped prices on all of Apple’s AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and Time Capsule products.

2014macbookair

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

This week’s deals start off with a 13-inch MacBook Air with a 256 GB SSD. This has to be one of the most popular configurations in the MacBook Air lineup.

Our second deal is a 13-inch MacBook Pro that requires a compromise. You get a bit more power for your money, but a smaller 128 GB SSD for storage.

The final deal this week is for one of the new 27-inch iMacs with Retina display. This model has the optional Quad Core i7 running at 4.0 GHz, and a 1 TB Fusion drive, a very nice combination for the price.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Keyboard shortcuts can make using your Mac a much more productive, streamlined, and even fun process. But trying to remember shortcuts for every app you use can quickly burn out your brain cells. And some of us (well, me, at least) have precious few brain cells to spare.

CheatSheet

Image courtesy of Media Atelier

In the past, back at the dawn of computers, software developers usually included akeyboard shortcut cheat sheet with the software package. You could keep the cheat sheet on your desk, and whenever you used the associated app, just glance at it to learn which shortcut performed which function.

This was very important back in the dark ages of computing, because some functions were only available from a keyboard shortcut.

Read more on About: Macs.

by Tom Nelson

Weekly Mac news roundup for the week of March 20, 2015.

AppleA8Processor

Image courtesy of Apple

Is a new Apple TV heading our way? The most recent rumors suggest that an A8-powered Apple TV 4 is due this summer.

Read more on About: Macs.

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