El Capitan Is Here!: Heres What To Do To Prepare Your Mac

October 2, 2015 / no comments

So finally, Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan is about to become available. Installing a new OS is perhaps the most intense thing you can do to your beloved mac and it should be done with care and following a few basic rules.

First of all BACKUP!

Make sure you have a sound backup via time machine and I would even go further and make a manual backup of your most important files to an external hard drive (i.e photo library, documents etc).

Space, space and more space.

Secondly, Make sure you have enough space on your hard drive. Typically you should alway be running Mac with at least 10-15% of your hard drive empty. This allows the Mac to utilise that space to aid keeping speed up. El Capitan needs roughly 15-20gb of free space to install.

Maintenance is Key!

Lastly, make sure your Mac is in tip-top condition before embarking on your upgrade adventures. This means clearing the decks of old files, emptying trashes and generally making sure the wild cat is purring before you give it a bath.

The way that we keep on top of maintenance of Macs for our own and for our clients is to use CleanMyMac by a company called MacPaw. This piece of inexpensive software is a marvel indeed. It allows you to scan your Mac for System Junk (Stuff thats left over when you install new software), Empty large caches of data, old iOS updates (which can be huge), unnecessary languages, these take up quite a lot of space. CleanMyMac also has a maintenance mode that will scan the Mac and go through all the protocols to make sure that the mac is functioning exactly as it should.

There are a lot of bogus Mac maintenance apps out there ( lets not even mention the keeper that shall not be named mac) but this one really does find huge amounts of lost space and keeps everything running smoothly. It even monitors your memory usage and allows you to easily check on attached drives via the menu bar.

If you are going to install El Capitan we would highly suggest you investing in CleanMyMac to make sure you start off in the best possible scenario for the massive brain transplant that is a Mac OS update!

 

Happy Mountaineering!

 

Click Here to Visit CleanMyMac

Smart Stuff

January 11, 2014 / no comments

It seems that everything these days is given the moniker “Smart” but what does it really mean?

Well, in a nutshell, its an easy way of saying that the device/object/thing is interactive, usually via WiFi or bluetooth and more than likely via a mobile app. The idea of the connected home has been a fantasy since the 60’s, but now it is slowly becoming a reality.

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Make Address Labels For Your Christmas Cards

December 9, 2013 / no comments

Its a basic and very simple little thing, printing address labels. It happens to be something that many people miss on their Macs, however. You can customise the look and feel and add a logo or icon depending on the holiday.

Most label packs will have a Avery number or equivalent which means you do not need to layout etc just type in the number and away you go. 9-5 Mac has posted a nice brief article on how to nail this time saving task!

 

[button link=”http://9to5mac.com/2013/12/07/how-to-print-customized-address-labels-for-holiday-card-envelopes/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+9To5Mac-MacAllDay+%289+to+5+Mac+-+Apple+Intelligence%29″ size=”medium” newtab=”on”]Click Here To Read[/button]

Sapphire to make your tech sparkle!

November 12, 2013 / no comments

So according to reports it looks like Apple may be looking to replace the Gorilla Glass on its devices with Sapphire. At the moment Sapphire glass is 10-30 times more expensive than Gorilla Glass from Corning, however, it appears that Apple has invested heavily in the development of the production process of Sapphire glass (which is already used for the home button on the iPhone 5s).

Apple has made a deal with the manufacturer, GT Advanced Technologies, and together with a Solar Panel Company Apple acquired to access its Ion Particle Accelerator technology, it will be able to manufacture the thin slices of sapphire at a much lower price. This may mean that before long the entire screens of our devices will be super hard waring.

Personally, I look forward to the day that I don’t have to apply one of those awful bubble blighted screen protectors.

Adobe Creative Cloud – Not for everyone!

August 31, 2013 / no comments

So Adobe have finally switched to a subscription model. There is nothing wrong with this inherently and the positive side of this method of software delivery is already apparent, more regular updates and a much smoother transition between versions. The one sticking point, however, is the price. Its simply too expensive for most to afford, add on top the ridiculous premium Adobe have added on top for users in the UK ($49.99 per month in the USA  Vs. £46.88 per month for us in the Uk – Not exactly a fair exchange rate!!) and it becomes untenable for many, especially if only needing three or four of the applications.

 

So thankfully, other software developers have caught up and some would say even begun to exceed the skills and knowhow of Adobe. MacAppStorm provided a list of excellent alternatives to the big apps that Adobe hawk under the Creative Cloud banner.

 

[button link=”http://mac.appstorm.net/roundups/graphics-roundups/the-best-alternative-apps-to-everything-in-adobe-creative-cloud/” size=”large” newtab=”on”]Visit Mac App Storm[/button]

Going Paperless

February 12, 2013 / no comments

My office is far from spacious and as such the paper mountain is just simply not an option. Despite most of the world going digital, so much of our lives is still paper based.

Until companies, governments and our employers get with the programme we still have to an accumulation of dead trees.

This is where technology can really play its part in simplifying your life and streamlining how you handle your paper work.

The first thing you should think about is investing in a really powerful scanner. Not the kind for scanning photos but the kind that can scan quickly and two sides at the same time. The Fuji Scan Snap range of scanners are pretty flawless.

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The Scan Snap ix500 is the latest from Fuji and packs many brilliant features but the most interesting is the ability to scan straight to you ios devices.

It is certainly not cheap but its super speed double side scanning and the fact it handles all different sizes of paper at once means you can fill it with invoices, bills, business cards and receipts and in a couple of seconds the whole lot is digitised.

 

There are lots of services and software out there for the storage of your docs. Here are some links to some that you might find useful.

Evernote – The ever useful and ever free evernote is superb for scanning to and is often integrated into the scanners software.[/one_half_last]

Paperless – I use this software as its very similar to the Finder you have on your mac and it has basic OCR (optical character recognition  what this means, in a teeny tiny nutshell, is that the documents you scan are converted into searchable pdfs, saving time in tagging and naming files as all the text is searchable.

Yep – This little gem is great for those of you that like to use tags to organise your world. You can download a demo from their website.

 

One of the other elements of my near paperless life is the ability to make reasonable scans with my iPhone. I only have an iPhone 4 and yet the camera is more than suitable enough to scan documents. There is an app that makes things very simple and that is Genius Scan.

There are hundreds of scanning apps for iPhones and I have tried many of them and this one is heads and shoulders above the rest.

The main trick for me is its ability to auto crop and size your snaps as well as converting to High Contrast black and white which means that those wrinkled up thermal printed receipts that are normally so difficult to capture are made super clear and easy to read.

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Genius Scan – An iPhone app I simply can’t be without!

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What do you use? do you have any gems to share? If so please leave a comment below :)

Cheat Sheet

May 24, 2012 / no comments

 

Who doesn’t like a little helping hand now and then?

With the tons of apps we all seem to have installed on our macs these days its no surprise that its no shortcut learning keyboard shortcuts, especially for those apps you do not use all the time.

This is where the beautifully simple cheat sheet comes in.

Simply install and then whenever you need a prod/reminder of the keyboard shortcuts just press and hold the command key et voila!

http://www.grandtotal.biz/CheatSheet

Xmind – Mind Mapping Software, now FREE!

November 16, 2008 / no comments

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XMind is a piece of software that helps those of us who need to visualise our thoughts in order to stay organised. Having recently gone open source, XMind is now completely FREE!.

 

Its not the prettiest mind map software going (think omnigraffle etc) but for free it certainly is amazing value!

 

No, this one is definitely worth a look and has many powerful features.

CLICK HERE

 

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