My Rules for…

This is something of a hodgepodge of things but I couldn’t find any better way of detailing some of the golden rules (well mine anyway) when it comes to IT and those that support it. So here are my top 5 rules when dealing with…

What to Mac to buy

Buying a mac is not as easy as it used to be and for that reason this rule has some layers to it. For a while Macs, like everything else, were getting bigger and faster so getting the latest required very little in the way of thought. You could literally walk into an Apple dealer, close your eyes and point and chances are whatever your finger landed on it would be faster and hold more data than the thing you had at home.

However, this is no longer the case because drives have become faster but more expensive so if you tried the same trick today there is a good chance it would be faster but the drive might be smaller.

So my first layer for buying a new Mac (or iOS device for that matter) is start with middle of the range. So not the most expensive and not the cheapest but always try and get the Fusion drive option and enough ram. (8GB is usually enough)

Next, if it is a Mac that is going to sit on a desk, consider NOT getting a laptop. A laptop is more expensive than a desktop because what you are really paying for is portability.

Next, if it is to be a laptop, there are three things to consider… weight, size of the screen and does it have a hard disk big enough to accomodate your current data set.

Internet Providers

Walk into any restaurant anywhere in Canberra and just randomly shout out “step forward all those who hate their ISP” and very quickly you’d be forgiven for thinking the place was being evacuated due to a bomb scare.

It doesn’t really matter who your internet provider is these days they all seem to have gone to the same business seminar that suggested that they should a) get you off the phone as quickly as possible b) under no circumstances fix the issue c) blame you and your equipment and d) never keep appointments.

I have three very simple steps when it comes to dealing with ISPs.

Step 1: Call and complain and give them a chance to do the right thing. At the time advise them that if the issue is not fixed by (choose your date here) that you will be referring the matter to the Telecommunications Ombudsman without any further contact with them.

Step 2: Under no circumstances RESET the modem by sticking something long and pointy into the reset hole. Turning ON and OFF is fine but never reset.

Step 3: If the promises (if any) in step 1 are not met, contact the Telecommunications Ombudsman emmediately.


Rather than repeating myself I will refer you to my page on dealing with scams.

How to mange your data

Under no circumstances would I advise fragmenting your data across multiple drives. I always reckon that your whole life should fit on one drive and be backed up to – at least – one other drive. Adding off site backup to your local backup is a good idea also. Which leads me to the last point…

New hard disk or delete stuff

I maintain that if you get to the point where your drive is just not big enough resulting in moving data to external hard disks or wrestling with the prospect of deleting photos it is time for a new hard disk (first) or a new Mac. You should never be having to decide if one wedding photo is better than the other in order to save space. And besides, by the time it gets to this point the odd photo here and there is not going to make that much difference.

I really hope that this little pointers help now or into the future.

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    • Susan Banks on April 7, 2019 at 7:49 AM
    • Reply

    So helpful Renny. Especially the internet providers bit. Thank you

    • Margaret Day on September 2, 2019 at 9:05 PM
    • Reply

    Thanks Renny, there’s always food for thought in your emails.

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