Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2019

by Tom Nelson

Forty-nine years ago, April 22, 1970, Earth Day was born, at a time when many cities in the US were covered in hazy smog. Pollution in many forms was contributing to environmental problems, causing health concerns, and many species were becoming lost to us, not to be seen again.

On the first Earth Day, many of us spent the day cleaning up roads, rivers, or ocean beaches. The spirit of that first Earth Day helped move forward the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

This Earth Day we can celebrate the recovery of many species and their habitat. Our cities generally have much cleaner skies, and our dirtiest rivers have become places where life now thrives.

Earth Day reminds us there is always more to do, and not everything requires large-scale projects. In many cases, just like during that first Earth Day, individuals can bring about large-scale changes with small, simple commitments.

Earth Day at OWC
OWC believes in environmental stewardship and has worked to build sustainable practices at all levels of its business. Wind power, geothermal heating systems, and solar are just some of the green power sources that OWC makes use of. Recycling, conserving water, reducing product-packaging size, and reusing shipping material all help contribute to a low environmental footprint.

How to Help Reduce Your Environmental Footprint
There are many ways you can reduce your environmental footprint, but an easy place to start is to consider this three-point system whenever you need to replace an item, such as your Mac or iOS device:

  • Upgrade your electronics where possible.
  • Reuse your products when you can.

Recycle your electronics when the time comes.

Upgrades
Upgrading can allow you to increase the productive lifetime of your favorite device, keeping it out of the landfill for as long as possible. For the Mac users amongst you this can take the form of:

RAM upgrades, which can allow your Mac, the macOS, and its apps to perform better, be more responsive, or simply let you run more apps at one time. In many cases, the performance increase seen by adding more RAM can remove the need to replace an older Mac.

If you have a Mac that allows additional RAM to be added, this can be a very cost-effective way to lengthen the life of your Mac. Check out the My Upgrades Guide to see if you can add more RAM to your current Mac.

Storage upgrades not only let you store more data locally on your Mac, they can also bring about a performance improvement by freeing up space for the macOS and its apps to make use of.

But that’s only the beginning of what a storage upgrade can do. If you’re using older, spinning disks as your primary storage environment, you’re missing out on the big performance increase you can get by upgrading to SSDs. Solid State Drives come in many forms and performance levels. You can replace a basic 3.5 inch or 2.5 inch rotational drive with an SSD equivalent and see an immediate improvement.

You can also make use of some of the newer storage technology to really put your Mac on the fast track, by replacing what may be a slower internal drive with a super fast Thunderbolt-based external storage system that will blow the doors off your Mac and bring new capabilities to it, whether it’s a desktop or laptop.

Of course, don’t forget you can reuse the older storage system you’re ‘re-upgrading’ as part of your backup or archive system, or perhaps as slower speed bulk storage. The point is, don’t toss out your old drive, place it in a new external enclosure and use it with your Mac or other hardware.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

iCloud is a fantastic way to share calendars, contacts, reminders, bookmarks, and files, including photos, among your devices. The macOS and iOS take care of keeping all of this important information in sync, ensuring that what you see on one device is the same as when you connect with another.

However, from time to time you may discover that you accidentally deleted an item on a device, and now it’s gone from iCloud; it’s likely to be missing from your other devices as well. Getting the information back used to be a problem that required a lot of finagling. But Apple added the ability to restore your data from iCloud’s own internal backup system, giving you peace of mind and an easy way to get the data back.

If you’ve deleted the wrong file or event, you may be able to get the missing information back using these techniques.

Recover Data From iCloud
iCloud backs up most of the data stored on it using its own internal backup system. And for the few items it doesn’t actively back up, it will keep deleted items around for a limited time, just in case you change your mind. If you accidentally remove an item, you can probably take advantage of iCloud’s backup system to recover your data.

The method for recovering information from iCloud differs slightly, depending on the type of data you have lost, but in all cases it starts with accessing the iCloud website from one of your devices. We’re going to demonstrate how to perform the recovery using a Mac, but the process is similar enough that it should work for any of your Apple devices.

Start by opening your browser and accessing the iCloud website at www.icloud.com.

You will likely need to sign in using your Apple ID.

Warning: If you’re using a web browser that is not under your control, perhaps a browser at a public location, or on a friend or colleague’s machine, be sure not to set iCloud to remember you and login automatically.

Once you’re logged in you’ll see the iCloud home page, with icons for all of the iCloud services. Scroll down until you find the Settings icon.

Click or tap the Settings icon.

Scroll down, if needed; you’re looking for the Advanced setting at the bottom of the page. At this point in our guide, you can jump to the appropriate section below for instructions on recovering your data.

Recover Data From iCloud
iCloud backs up most of the data stored on it using its own internal backup system. And for the few items it doesn’t actively back up, it will keep deleted items around for a limited time, just in case you change your mind. If you accidentally remove an item, you can probably take advantage of iCloud’s backup system to recover your data.

The method for recovering information from iCloud differs slightly, depending on the type of data you have lost, but in all cases it starts with accessing the iCloud website from one of your devices. We’re going to demonstrate how to perform the recovery using a Mac, but the process is similar enough that it should work for any of your Apple devices.

Start by opening your browser and accessing the iCloud website at www.icloud.com.

You will likely need to sign in using your Apple ID.

Warning: If you’re using a web browser that is not under your control, perhaps a browser at a public location, or on a friend or colleague’s machine, be sure not to set iCloud to remember you and login automatically.

Once you’re logged in you’ll see the iCloud home page, with icons for all of the iCloud services. Scroll down until you find the Settings icon.

Click or tap the Settings icon.

Scroll down, if needed; you’re looking for the Advanced setting at the bottom of the page. At this point in our guide, you can jump to the appropriate section below for instructions on recovering your data.

Recover Deleted Files
In the Advanced section of the iCloud settings, click or tap the Restore Files item.

iCloud will scan its internal backups, looking for recently deleted files. The results will be displayed in a list, with each file including its name, the app that may have been used to create the file, the size of the file, and the date it was deleted.

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Look through the list to find the file(s) you wish to restore, and then select the file by placing a checkmark next to its name.

Once you have all the files you wish to recover checked off, click or tap the Restore button.

The selected files will be restored.

Click or tap the Done button to close the restore window and return to the iCloud settings window.

Note: Files are kept around for 30 days after they’re deleted. If you’re looking for an older file you may be out of luck, at least with the automatic iCloud recovery system.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Smart folders and the Dock just seem to be made for each other. You can configure a smart folder to display just the files or folders that meet your specific criteria. Need a folder that just shows the image files you worked on this week? Or perhaps a folder that only shows new music you’ve added to your Mac? Add these smart folders to the Dock, and you’ll have a quick way to view and work with their files without having to browse through the Finder to find them.

If you’ve been following Rocket Yard guides, you may remember that you can use the Terminal app to create Recent Items stacks for the Dock that can show recently used apps, documents, and servers. And while the premade recent items stack is helpful, it doesn’t allow you to use your own search criteria to create the items in the stack.

Smart folders give you all the power of the recent items stack, but with complete control over what the content of the smart folders will be.

Creating Smart Folders
Let’s start the process by exploring how smart folders are created. For an example, we will create a smart folder that displays image files you’ve worked with over the past week.

Start by having the Finder as the active app; you can do this by clicking on the desktop or opening a Finder window. Once the Finder is the front most app, follow these instructions:

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

From the Finder menu, select File, New Smart Folder.

An empty smart folder window will open. In the window’s toolbar, make sure Search is set to This Mac.

At the far right of the window, click or tap the plus (+) sign. This will display filters you can use to build the smart folder’s search criteria.

Use the first dropdown menu to select “Date Last Opened,” and the second dropdown menu to select “this week.”

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

 

The smart folder will be populated with any files or folders that meet the above requirements of being opened in the last week.

To further refine the search, click or tap the plus (+) sign at the far right of the window.

A second search filter will open. Set the first dropdown menu to “Kind,” and the second dropdown menu to “Image.”

A third dropdown menu will appear that you can use to select the type of image  (JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PNG); for this example, select the “All” option to display any of the image file types.

At this point, you’ve created a basic smart folder that will show any image file you’ve opened in the last week. And while this may be all you need, there are further refinements to the search filters you can make.

Hold down the option key. You’ll notice that the plus (+) sign has changed to display ellipses. Click or tap the ellipses to add additional restrictions to the current search criteria. You’ll see two filter sets appear.

The first allows you to select Any, All, or None, if the following conditions are true. The second criteria set allows you to set the conditions that are being tested. As an example, if you don’t wish to have any PNG image files included in the smart folder, you would set the menus as follows:

Set the first dropdown menu to None.

Set the second group of menus to Kind, Image, PNG.

You’ve created a smart folder that will display all of the image files you have opened during the last week, except PNG files.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

With the release of macOS Mojave, the ability to take screenshots underwent a bit of a change. Gone is the old Grab screenshot utility; in its place is the new and improved Screenshot app. And while the new Screenshot app brings new capabilities, the old keyboard shortcuts that you’re used to using are still present, and work as expected.

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

That makes transitioning to the new Screenshot app a fairly easy task.

In this Rocket Yard guide, we’ll look at how to take advantage of the new Screenshot app, with a number of tips and a few tricks.

Screenshot App
Let’s start with what hasn’t changed. Although the app has a new name (Screenshot), it’s still located in the /Applications/Utilities folder. If you used to have Grab installed in the Dock, you can drag the Screenshot app to the Dock as its replacement.

All of the keyboard shortcuts you used for screen capture will still work as expected.

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Command + Shift + 3: Captures the entire screen.
  • Command + Shift + 4: Captures selected area.
  • Command + Shift + 4, and then tapping the spacebar when the cursor is over an item, captures the selected window, menu, Dock, or other UI element. The element you wish to capture needs to be present on the screen before you invoke this keyboard shortcut.
  • Command + Shift + 5: Launches the Screenshot app.
  • Command + Shift + 6: Captures the Touch Bar, if your Mac is equipped with one.

So far, from a keyboard shortcut perspective, the Screenshot app isn’t much different from its predecessor.

Screenshot App: The Basics
Let’s take a look at what the Screenshot app can do. Launch the Screenshot app by using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 5, or navigate to /Applications/Utilities and double-click or tap the Screenshot app.

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

The Screenshot app will open, with a floating palette positioned just above the Dock. The palette contains 8 buttons that perform various tasks. Starting from the left-hand side and moving to the right, the buttons are:

X: Close or quit the Screenshot app.

Image of a screen: Capture the entire screen. When clicked or tapped, the cursor will change to a camera icon. Clicking or tapping again will grab a screen shot of the entire screen.

Image of a window: Captures a selected window; when this button is selected, the cursor changes to a camera icon. As you move over various UI elements, such as the desktop, window, menus, or dock, each element will be highlighted. Clicking or tapping will take a screenshot of the selected element.

Image of a dotted rectangle: Captures a selected area; when clicked or tapped, a selection rectangle will appear on the screen. You can then use the handles on the rectangle to resize the selection as needed. You can also drag the selection rectangle about by placing the cursor within the rectangle; once the cursor changes to a hand, you can move the selection about. To take the screenshot, use the Capture button in the Screenshot palette.

Image of a screen with a round camera lens in the corner: Records the entire screen. You can start the recording by selecting the Record button in the Screenshot palette.

Image of a dotted rectangle with a camera lens in the corner: Records selected portion. Use the same methods as outlined in dotted rectangle, above, to select an area to record. When ready, click or tap the Record button in the Screenshot palette.

Options: Provides a menu to select various Screenshot options, such as where to save, timer delays, or Microphone selection for video recording. Options should be selected before taking a screenshot or recording the screen.

Capture or Record: This button’s name will change depending on the Screenshot function you’re using: Capture for taking screenshots or Record for taking video. The button can also be absent when it’s not needed.

Screenshot App: Advanced
Most of the advanced features can be found within the Screenshot app’s Options button. The items listed under Options will change, depending whether you’re taking a screenshot or a video recording.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »