Archive

Posts Tagged ‘software’

We Get Questions – Vol. 2

June 30, 2023 Comments off

We continue with our second installment of questions I answer on Quora about the Mac, computers, Chromebooks, iDevices, etc. In some cases, I’ve extended my answers here to make them more complete or to add clarity.

What happens when you try to permanently empty your computer’s trash bin?

I’m sure you know that when you empty the trash everything inside is deleted. Sometimes you can’t delete a file or app because it is being used in some way by the computer. In that case, restart and then finish emptying the trash. Happy emptying!

Currently, can I sell my locked iPad Pro (12.9) to anyone other than the company it’s linked to? What is a good price for the iPad?

If the iPad is locked (and you don’t have either the lockscreen code or iCloud email/password) then it is worthless. Did you steal it? If so, please return it to the company or person from that company you took it from. If you purchased it from someone or the company, you’ll need to go back to that person/company IT folks to get them to disassociate their iCloud account from the iPad.

What are the risks of using a Mac that runs on outdated software?

I’ll mention a couple based on current experience. Having used Macs with newer Oses up to Ventura (but not machines with Apple Silicone yet), my Mac tower running High Sierra is just slow and takes forever to load.

I don’t use Safari with High Sierra because it is not safe to use on the Internet (newer versions are just fine). I can’t get any OS updates and a chunk of apps (save for a few like Zoom and browsers) won’t update. I’m stuck using 10 + years older software. So lack of support, some security issues and slowness are all “risks.” That said, High Sierra remains a capable Mac OS and can still do a lot but it is clearly getting long in the tooth.

Do you think the Apple Vision Pro is worth its high price point?

This is a truly game-changing device that- like many other first gen machines- will sell to a particular high-end clientele to start. But I could immediately see there are tremendous business, education and military uses so Apple will sell a boatload.

The good news is with volume comes a reduction in costs and and we middle class folks, schools, etc. will benefit over time. Higher Ed will be in line to buy these and even some school districts. Remember Macs, Tesla’s and many other higher-end product costs have come town as volume ramped up. It is also possible Apple will develop lower price models much as they have for their iDevices. So let’s see what happens! You might even want to buy Apple stock! 😀 Good luck.

Does Apple have any plans to switch from macOS to a different operating system in the future?

I’ve owned Apple computers and other company devices since 1983 and as a user, I’ve learned that Apple makes its own decisions based on any number of factors- especially when the hardware demands a new OS.

Apple is switching all their devices to Apple Silicon and the Mac OS followed. I don’t see them changing to something else anytime soon. The Mac OS is a robust OS that continues to impress and meets the needs of the vast majority of users. ‘Nuff said!

What are some ways to reuse old computers instead of installing Windows OS in their hard drives?

Google has made it fairly easy to turn some PC and Mac laptops into Chromebooks. Not all so check the requirements. There are a lot of helpful guides out there -here’s one from PC magazine:

How to turn an old laptop into a Chromebook

You can convert an older laptop into a Chromebook without spending a dime. All you need is an hour.

I’ve made the switch on both Mac and PC laptops with success. Also tried iMacs without success. 😀
You can use older machines for lots of things but as they get older, there are increasing security issues if you want to search the internet (for example).

You can also install Linux and other OS on many older computers. The link I provided is just possibility.

That said, if your computer is too old, please recycle it responsibly. Good luck!

I needed to add that the non-profit I work with in Maryland- MacRecycleClinic- takes older Macs (High Serra and newer) and Chromebooks to refurbish and return to the greater Washington DC region (we call it the DMV). More info at MacRecycleClinic.org.

Which is more economical: buying a cheap printer or buying expensive cartridges for a good quality printer?

Actually I would pay a little more for a printer with an eco tank. Brother and Epson offer them and I believe others do too. If you do that… get a better quality printer – it will last you many years. Yes the ink is expensive but the bigger ink tanks will allow you to pay less per ounce and print more pages.
the alternative is to get a laser printer which will provide hundreds of pages of printing. The laser cartridges are also expensive but the trade off is number of pages printed before replacement. They can be recycled for free by the way.
Good luck!

Hi! I accidentally deleted some important photos from recently deleted and iCloud I have no access to them. I only found WooTechy but it requires 40$, isn’t there any other way?

Well if you had a Time Machine backup the answer would be pretty easy. It doesn’t sound like you do so the next question is, are those photos worth the money to recover? $40.00 seems cheap.
What did you use to take the photos in the first place? Are they still on the original device?
How long ago did you delete the photos? iCloud gives you a 30 day grace period:

Finally, please start using Time Machine do this kind of issue won’t happen again. Good Luck!

Is the MacBook Pro 2011 still usable in 2023?

The answer is – it depends. At the MacRecycleClinic in Silver Spring, Md. machines running High Sierra are now at the low end of what we give out these days (we refurbish older machines to donate to those who do not have computers). Our donations are trending more towards mid 2012 and newer machines that can run Catalina and higher.

That said, depending on what you need to do, High Sierra is still very capable for many tasks. We recommend not using Safari as we don’t believe it is as secure as Firefox or even Chrome.
I have a Mac at home that runs HS and it can be slow but is able to browse, edit video and audio, get email and more. But the handwriting is on the wall since Apple no longer supports this older version of the OS (32 bit vs 64 and a newer APFS file management system). Good luck!

What is the most useful software on your Mac that you never use?

Let’s say I never used this software until I found out what a useful tool it is. That would be the Notes app. Who thought it could make such a difference. But now I use it for so many things on a daily basis. Thoughts, notes, poems, passwords (for short retention) and so much more.
Because it is part of iCloud, Notes is shared and updated on all your devices and you can share a note with anyone.

Here’s the most useful thing I do with it: I’ve written a note to my wife and children with a ton of information they will need to know if I become incapacitated or die. I got the idea from my best friend who did the same thing. It proved very useful when he passed. Good luck!

How can I view my photos on my external hard drive that was formatted for Apple but my Apple computer died?

Find a friend with a Mac, connect the external and then save the files to a thumb drive. Most thumb drives are formatted for PC use.

Macs can read PC formatted disks but PCs can’t read Mac disks without extra software (thus your second solution – install software that lets the PC read Mac-formatted drives.)
There are other ways but these might be the easiest for you. Good luck!

How long does it take for a full Mac OS X Time Machine backup?

First time will always take longer depending on how big your internal drive is. I usually set it up to run overnight. Next backups are quick depending what is added, subtracted, etc. from the internal drive. Good luck!

Can you upgrade an iMac to increase speed?

Not really. With a Mac always order a machine with a look forward attitude. Buy as much SSD and memory as you think you will need in 3–5 years. Unfortunately the best answer is to buy a new Mac if you are frustrated with the speed.

Macs today are configured with everything soldered on the mother board (with a few exceptions) so you have to buy what you think you’ll need in the future.

What is the difference between buying a product on Apple.com and at an Apple Store?

The best reason to buy at the Apple Sore is you can kick the tires and ask lots of questions. If you’re fairly new to Apple you want to go and physically see the computers, iPads or iPhones. Try them out. Ask all the questions you might have with someone who knows the equipment inside and out.
They can also help you transfer your data, get your computer or iDevice set up if you want. The prices won’t be different (tho you can buy refurbished machines online at a discount).

Note this applies s to third party retailers like Best Buy and others who can also help you in the same way. Big Box stores like Costco sells Apple products – sometimes for a bit less- but really don’t have folks who can help you in the same way as an Apple or computer store.You can also recycle your equipment at the Apple Store.
Good luck!

How can you fix your Chromebook when it won’t turn on, if it has no battery or no charger?

Hmmm. Where did the battery go? You do know your Chromebook won’t work if it doesn’t have a battery, right? And you need a charger to charge that battery.

The easiest answer would be to just get a new Chromebook and move on. Otherwise, check the model and serial number to find the right battery and charger online. You can install a new battery easily with help from iFixIt.

What are some of the best ways to connect a keyboard to an iPhone/iPad?

There are many Bluetooth keyboards out there – some on the iPad side with a cover as well. I’m using one right now. Good luck!

How can you get Google Chrome to update itself automatically and silently?

So this is what I have found working with Chrome (the browser) on older Macs. If the Mac has Chrome installed, start it and try to update it.

If it won’t, simply go to the Chrome website (Google “Download Chrome”) and download it. Even if the older version won’t update, you can get the newest version just by downloading and replacing the older version with the newer one. Chrome should update itself automatically by the way. (Check About Chrome from the Apple menu on a Mac – a new page will open and Chrome will check to see if it is the latest edition.)

Can you turn an iPad into a laptop without buying anything extra?

If by laptop you mean a computer with a keyboard and maybe a mouse the answer is not really. The iPad meets many requirements of a laptop, but having to peck on the screen is a challenge to productivity. That’s why I have a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. It makes a high difference just in speed. And yes – you can also connect a bluetooth mouse to your iPad as well. But frankly, if you need a laptop, get yourself one.
Good luck!

Tower Computers for Critical Exposure

May 10, 2013 Comments off

Critical Exposure LogoMacRecycleClinic has been working for a few weeks to get a number of PPC towers ready for a Washington, D.C. based non profit called Critical Exposure.

We found out about this non-profit that “teaches youth to use the power of photography and their own voices to become effective advocates for school reform and social change” through Bethany Swain, a former CNNer and current lecturer at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Bethany’s students have gone to Critical Exposure’s offices to mentor their students. One of the Merrill Journalists as they are called, Louie Dane, wrote a retrospective for the Merrill News website.

Maryland journalism student Louie Dane mentors a Critical Exposure participant.

Maryland journalism student Louie Dane mentors a Critical Exposure participant.

When we get a request like this – the first questions we always ask at the MacRecycleClinic is what do you want to DO with the computers and what software would you LIKE to have. The answers to those questions provide the focus we need to put together the “package” they receive.

In Critical Exposure’s case, their students want to do multimedia – video, photo and audio editing. So on top of the “regular” OS X install we do, there were some additional things to add. Since none of these machines can go higher than OS 10.5.8, we had to make sure that the software we included could work with the last PPC Tower from Apple before the company moved to Intel. We would have loved to provide Intel machines with Final Cut Express (donations welcome), but folks are holding on to their Intel towers these days because Apple has not come out with a new update in quite a while. And FCE is hard to come by in numbers (Apple no longer offers it in fact).

That said, these machines run a good, stable and powerful version of the Mac OS and are very capable computers for what Critical Exposures students would like to do. There may be issues with third party software – Flash, Adobe Reader, etc. but not enough to make that much of a difference. These machines are ignored by hackers as well – one less worry.

Read more…

%d bloggers like this: