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Archive for October, 2014

by Tom Nelson

Weekly Mac news roundup for the week of October 31, 2014.

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Image courtesy of Microsoft

Microsoft reveals details about the future of Office for Mac, including the release of a new version of Outlook for Mac.

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by Tom Nelson

The Mac makes it easy to connect to a local network or the Internet. In most cases, the Mac will make the connection automatically the first time you start it up. If you only use your Mac in one location, such as at home, then this automatic connection may be all you’ll ever need.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

But if use your Mac in different locations, such as taking a MacBook to work, you must change the network connection settings each time you change locations. This tip assumes you have already been changing the network connection settings manually, and that you have the necessary network configuration information for each location.

Rather than change the network settings manually each time you change locations, you can use the Mac’s Network Location service to create multiple “locations.” Each location has individual settings to match a specific network port’s configuration. For example, you can have one location for your home, to connect to your wired Ethernet network; one location for your office, which also uses wired Ethernet, but with different DNS (domain name server) settings; and one location for the wireless connection at your favorite coffee house.

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by Tom Nelson

Finder tabs, ushered in with OS X Mavericks are very similar to tabs you see in most browsers, including Safari. Their purpose is to minimize screen clutter by gathering what used to be displayed in separate windows into a single Finder window with multiple tabs. Each tab acts like a separate Finder window, but without the clutter of having multiple windows open and scattered around your desktop.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Finder tabs work independently of each other. Each tab can have its own view (iconslist,column, and coverflow), and each tab can contain information from any location in your Mac’s file system. One tab could be looking at your Documents folder, while another is peering at your Applications.

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by Tom Nelson

Back in August, I mentioned that Apple was investigating graphics failure issues with 15-inch and 17-inch 2011 MacBook Pros. All of the Macs under investigation were exhibiting early failure of the AMD graphics processor. The usual problems being reported were distortion of the image on screen, including blank horizontal lines seen running across the display, or the display having an unusual tint, either in one area of the display or as a gradient across the entire display.

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Image courtesy of Apple

Now it seems the law offices of Whitfield, Bryson, and Mason have also been looking into the issue, and believe they have uncovered enough information to go ahead with a class action law suit targeting Apple and the unusually high failure rate of select 2011 MacBook Pros.

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by Tom Nelson

With the release of OS X Yosemite, the Finder has picked up a few new tricks that can make you a bit more productive. Some of these tips may make it easier to work with files, while others can help you see the bigger picture.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Now that you’ve upgraded to OS X Yosemite, it’s time to see what new features are in store for you in the Finder.

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by Tom Nelson

The Apple refurb store is known as the place to get deals on Macs and other Apple products. And while I tend to look for the low-price, value-packed models, the refurb store is also a good place to check out high-end configurations of Apple products.

I don’t generally pick high-end Mac models because of their higher cost, but in this week’s Steals & Deals, I’m highlighting both low-cost and high-end configurations. In both cases, you’ll find that the refurb store offers excellent value.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Deals of the Week

This week’s deals seem to revolve around small, as in the smaller size of a Mac model. In this case, the deals are an 11.6-inch MacBook Air and a 21.5-inch iMac. If you need the ultra portability of the small MacBook Air, or you have a desk that a 21.5-inch iMac would fit perfectly on, this may be the week to check out the Apple refurb store. Tell them, “Tom sent me” and then give them a wink!

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by Tom Nelson

Memory Clean from FIPLAB is primarily intended as a memory cleaning utility that can free up RAM when needed. But the folks at FIPLAB went further and delivered a well-designed utility that can quickly show how your RAM is being used, and provide instant information about the amount of free RAM currently available.

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Image courtesy of FIPLAB

f that was all Memory Clean could do, it might not have risen to the level necessary to make the cut as a Tom’s Mac Software Pick, but Memory Clean also provides additional services that raise this app above other utilities that can free up space.

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by Tom Nelson

Weekly Mac news roundup for the week of October 24, 2014.

This week finds surprising benchmark results that leave the Mac Pro as the second fastest Mac. Wendy Boswell attempts to shine a light into the darkest reaches of the Internet.

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by Tom Nelson

It’s nice to have such an easy-to-use compression tool integrated into the Mac, but you may not know that there are a handful of options you can configure for Archive Utility that may meet your needs better than the defaults Apple has set up.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

The Mac has built-in support for zipping and unzipping files. You can simply double-click a zipped file to expand it, or select multiple files and compress them, all from the Finder. There are no apps to launch, or so it seems. But behind the scenes, Apple’s Archive Utility is hard at work, carrying out the compression or expansion of files, as required.

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by Tom Nelson

Safari has a wealth of special features designed for web developers, all gathered together under a hidden Develop menu. Depending on the version of Safari you are running, the Develop menu will display three or four groups of menu items, such as the option to change the User Agent, show additional features like the Web Inspector and Error Console, debug JavaScript, or disable Safari’s caches. Even if you’re not a developer, you may find some of these features useful.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Before you can use the Develop menu, you must first make this hidden menu visible. This is a fairly easy task, much easier than revealing the Debug menu.

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