Oct 19

Yosemite – Yes or No?


If you are running Mavericks and with Apple supporting hardware all the way back to 2007, it’s really not a question of if can you upgrade to Yosemite but rather would you want too?

About now I bet you are wondering why I would even question an Apple upgrade. Surely its faster? Surely its zippier? Surely there are new and exciting features just bursting to get out?

Yosemite is faster and it is zippier – thats all true. But what is also true is that many of the really cool features like Handoff and instant Hotspot will only work if you have – pretty much –  the latest of everything Apple. Your Mac cannot be older than 2012 and your iPhone has to be iPhone 5 or better. But that’s not what worries me because if you want those features then its probably time to upgrade anyway, no my issue is purely cosmetic.

I have to be honest and say thats it is not a cosmetic issue that is going to stop me from upgrading because I can get around it with some fiddling and a few choice applications. But just before you start that download I would like you to be aware of two aspects of the new update that might make you gag once the upgrade has finished and you see your new Finder for the first time.


I said a few months back that the new icons were breath-takingly, overwhelmingly, stupendously ugly. I felt that the new Mail icon was misshapen, the Finder icon clownish and the System Preferences icon – for one – seemed out of step with the design and looked unfinished. I ended the article with a hope that these were ‘place holders’ until the final release. I also remarked that deep down I suspected this hope was actually hopeless. Sadly I was right.

No one else seems to be commenting on these so  maybe it’s  just me but I think it’s worth looking at these and making your own mind up before it is too late. But one set of icons that a lot of people are raging about seems to be the folder icons. And yes, for the record, I think these are ugly as well.

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 2.07.57 pm


Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 3.07.52 pm




The dock has changed as well to something more like what it used to look like in 2000. Gone is the 3D, glass shelf look, for a flatter ribbon shape. Its not something that bothers me all that much but it can be a bit of a shock when you first see it.

This image, from Reddit, probably illustrates this point (and the icons I mentioned earlier as well) the best.


Yosemite is definitely a faster OS and, if you have the latest stuff, has some great features that will close more of the gap between your Mac and your iOS devices better than ever before. Just be ready for the new look.

Now, I am off to look for a set of icon replacements.

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/yosemite-yes-or-no/

Sep 30

Shellshock- are you at risk.

bash_shellshockAbout a week ago a security flaw was discovered the Unix operating system. This immediately began sounding alarm bells around the world because the Unix operating system is imbedded in a lot of technology these days- including your Macintosh.

Despite the fact that this security issue is widespread and potentially disastrous –  in realistic terms there is little or no chance that your Mac will be exploited using this technique. Nevertheless Apple (moving a little slower than others if I’m honest) released a security update to plug the hole that has been there – by the way – for decades.

You will need to download the correct update depending on which version of the operating system you are running (Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and so on)

If you are unsure what your operating system is go to the Apple menu and choose About this Mac.

10.7.x is Lion, 10.8.x is Mountain Lion and 10.9.x is Mavericks.

All of the updates can be located here.

The process is very quick and does not require a reboot but if you receive a regular health check from us this will be done as part of your next session.

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/shellshock-are-you-at-risk/

Sep 29

Have the Mac read your files to avoid mistakes

DSCN6870Eye don’t know about you but I suffer from word blindness. In case you don’t know what that is, it is a condition where you write something down and no matter how many times you look at it, read it (even out loud) it looks OK to you. This is because you KNOW what you MEANT to write so your mind fills in the blanks…. or is blinded to the mistake.

One method to avoid this is to have your Mac read your emails or fiels before your send them or give them to others and this is how its done.

1. Click and drag all or a portion of the text.

2. Right mouse click and choose Speech and then Start Speaking.

3. The Mac will start reading the text and if you hear something off, simply right mouse click again and choose Speech and then Stop Speaking. Correct the mistake and then start again.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.50.02 pm

If its a long email or file it might be a good idea to do this in chunks because once the talking starts it will go on – relentlessly – until the end and you might very well become a little deaf to the errors…as well as blind.


Oh, and the errors were on purpose. Just me being silly. :-)


Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/have-the-mac-read-your-files-to-avoid-mistakes/

Sep 29

Seldom used features part 6

question_makrs_cutie_mark_by_rildraw-d4byewlHere are two features of the MacOSX I bet you don’t use because, well, because they are not often spoken about and, unless you watch Apple keynotes at 3am in the morning, Apple has never advertised.

Imagine you have a dozen or so files that you want to put into a folder. In years gone by you had to create the folder, give it a name and then drag the files to the freshly minted folder.
Not any longer.
In Mavericks you simply select the files you want, right mouse click and choose New Folder with Selection and the folder is automatically created and the files inserted.

See a demonstration

The other quick and dirty feature involves sharing. Admittedly this is a little more skewed towards people with Twitter or Facebook accounts but it works just as well if you want to share something via email.

If you have a document or picture you want to email to someone, simply right mouse click on the file(s) and choose Share and then Email.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.21.45 pm

Of course if you wanted to Tweet or post the file on Facebook you could choose one of those instead.

The same action can be found in most Mavericks applications but the one most likely to be used is found in Safari.

Imagine you are surfing the web and you find an article or a page that just must be shared!!!

In the menubar of the browser is an icon that looks something like a box with an arrow coming out of it. By clicking on this icon you are presented with the , now very familiar, sharing options of email, Facebook and so on.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.27.03 pm

If you choose Twitter or Facebook from the list the page is neatly clipped to a little note – that you can add your own thoughts to – and then it is quickly posted. (or tweeted depending on your chosen social media obsession)


Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.33.45 pm

Happy organising. Oh, and happy sharing.

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/seldom-used-features-part-6/

Sep 26

Bend gate – meh!

bendy-iphone-6-dataIn advertising it is consider a badge of honor if 9/10 mums, or chemists or doctors agree or recommend …..such and such.
I doubt it very much if anyone would feel compelled to take any product seriously that boasted 9 out of 10,000,000 people think this brand of toothpaste (or anything for that matter) is the best. You’d be putting faith in a group of people that represented 0.00009% of the population.

Crazy! But that is precisely what people are doing when it comes to the so called “Bend-Gate”

As it turns out only 9 people have reported that their iPhone 6 Plus has bent in their pocket but the fact that they were able to video this and then post it on youtube has made it a bigger issue than the actual launch. As always this is perpetrated by slavering trolls who sniff and scratch about the internet just waiting for anything to go wrong with an Apple device just so they can post about it – no doubt to make them feel better about the fact that their phone is a half baked copy of something they were to stingy to buy in the first place.

But before it was revealed just how few people were affected by this no one ever asked where this stuff was coming from!

Was it an isolated manufacturing fault? Was it user abuse or just outright stupidity?
I for one have never felt the urge to sit on my phone and use it like a cushion- in much the same way I have never been tempted to use my flat screen TV as a coffee table.

It’s common sense that a thin metal box, when sat upon, will likely bend.

It’s called physics.

Thankfully ConsumerReports entered with controlled testing and, surprise surprise, discovered that the whole thing was overblown. Their conclusion was that while the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were not the strongest phones in the world, they were well within acceptable guidelines. As a matter of fact their testing revealed that it takes 90 pounds of pressure to bend an iPhone 6 (6 plus) – about the same as 3 pencils.

Interestingly they found the Galaxy Note 3 took 150 pounds of pressure to bend – perfectly consistent with the fact that it is 40 grams heavier and 1.4mm thicker…… so it has more meat on its bones. So obviously the answer is…treat the phone according to its size and weight.

Common sense I guess, but then common sense is not all that common so maybe these people should have tried holding the phone up to their ear instead of their brains.

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/bend-gate-meh/

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