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Archive for March, 2014

by Tom Nelson

Now that the 2014 baseball season is finally underway, you might want to follow the schedule and game results of your favorite team using iCal or Calendar.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

At the end of spring training, I always head over to the Boston Red Sox web site, locate the schedule, and then either download or subscribe to the team’s game calendar, using the instructions on the web site.

I suppose if you feel compelled to, you can subscribe to a different team’s schedule instead; that’s up to you.

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by Tom Nelson

Mac minis say goodbye temporarily as their stock runs low, but a Mac Pro takes up the slack in the desktop Mac market this week. As always, the refurb store is nicely stocked with notebook Macs and Mac accessories.

AppleRefurb

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Best Deals of the Week **

This week we only found one item in the refurb store that we think rises to the level of a real deal: a 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro. Priced at $1659.00, it’s a savings of $540.00 over the current retail price.

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by Tom Nelson

Memory Diag from Rocky Sand Studio is a memory monitoring utility for the Mac that brings back some of the pre-OS X Mavericks memory graphing functions. In addition, Memory Diag is 100-percent compatible with OS Mavericks, and knows how to display and manage memory pressure.

MemoryDiag

Image courtesy of Rocky Sand Studio

Memory Diag installs itself as a menu bar item. A quick click of its menu bar icon will display a graphical representation of how your Mac’s memory is currently being used. Memory Diag tracks memory used for the file cache, wired memory, compressed memory, application memory, and memory pressure. It also provides a list of apps that are using the most memory at the current point in time.

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by Tom Nelson

How many of you use iCloud Keychain? It’s a great way to store account information, including login data, for all of the sites and services you access with your Mac.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Even better, iCloud Keychain can sync this data with all of your other Macs and iOS devices, so you can easily sign on to your favorite services no matter where you are or what device you’re using.

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by Tom Nelson

I’ve been a map enthusiast for years. I’ve used USGS topographic maps to plan hikes, discover new places, and locate points of interest. I used to have a wall or two full of topo maps, with pins and threads marking out the places I had been or was planning to visit.

Maps

Courtesy of Apple

These days, the maps I view are spread out on my Mac’s display, rather than my walls. Planning routes and marking locations to visit is a much easier task, although no less fun.

I recently gave the Maps application that comes with OS X Mavericks a look-see, and was pleasantly surprised by its capabilities.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Screen sharing is a feature built into all Macs. It allows someone to access your Mac and use its apps, just as if they were sitting next to you.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Screen sharing is a great way to let someone help you troubleshoot a problem, walk you through using a new app, or set up a new feature of the Mac that you haven’t used before.

Another good use for screen sharing is to remotely operate a Mac that may be located in a difficult-to-use area. This is one of the primary reasons I use the Mac screen sharing service; to administer a Mac we use as a mail and web server, because the Mac is in a remote location. Okay, it’s actually upstairs, in a walk-in server closet that’s closely guarded by our cat. It’s best not to disturb the cat when he’s on guard duty, especially if he’s sleeping; trust me on this. So, instead of risking life and limb (especially limb), I take advantage of the Mac’s screen sharing ability to work with the server, as if I were sitting right in front of it.

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by Tom Nelson

Here’s a tip that can save you a lot of headaches: set up a spare administrator account that you can use should some calamity befall your system.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

There are a couple of reasons to have multiple administrator accounts on your Mac. The first is to allow someone else to perform administrative duties; after all, you probably don’t want to be the IT person 24/7.

The second reason is for something that I hope will never happen to you. A pristine administrator account, one that hasn’t been used or is in the same condition as when it was originally created, is very handy for troubleshooting.

When something wonky occurs with your Mac, such as an app that won’t start or always crashes, a display that doesn’t look right, or a network that isn’t working correctly, the cause may be corrupt preference and library files that are tied to a user’s account.

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by Tom Nelson

Making the rumor rounds this week is a report about a new 12-inch MacBook Air to be released sometime soon; well, at least before summer. The rumor can be traced to a single post on a Chinese forum called Weiphone.com (translated post). The author of the post has in the past posted accurate images of Apple products in the early manufacturing stage, although in this case, no images are included.

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Image courtesy of Apple

The gist of the rumor is a 12-inch MacBook Air that will be very thin, using a new click-less touchpad and a fan-less design; there’s no mention of display type or processor. Due to translation issues, it’s not really clear whether the new product will be a MacBook Air, a 12-inch iPad, a new combo tablet, or just a prototyping exercise.

A touchpad that doesn’t include a mechanical click mechanism would have a smaller profile, allowing for a thinner overall design, although in the current iteration of the MacBook Air, the touchpad isn’t the only component that impedes the use of a smaller case.

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by Tom Nelson

Microsoft has issued a security advisory to warn users of PC and Mac versions of Word that a maliciously coded RTF (Rich Text Format) file opened by Word could allow an attacker to gain the same user privilege level as the currently logged-in user and then remotely execute code.

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Image courtesy of Microsoft

While using Word to open an RTF file is the main issue, those using Outlook as their email client have an additional vector of attack. Because the Windows version of Outlook uses Word as the default mail viewer, an email that contains RTF formatting could cause Word to process the malicious code just by viewing an email.

At this time, Microsoft does not have a fix available; until it does, Microsoft recommends not opening RTF files with Word.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Mac minis are still in stock this week, and making its first appearance is the newer iPad Air, at some great prices. In addition, 4th generation iPads have seen a nice price decline.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Best Deals of the Week **

This week’s outstanding deals are popular Mac notebook models. The first is a 2012 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The Apple refurb store lists this desirable notebook for $1,059.00, a savings of over $440.00 off its original retail price.

The other notable deal this week is a 2012 13.3-inch MacBook Air; its attractively low price of $1,019.00 is a savings of $380.00 over its original retail price.

Read more on About: Macs.

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