Blog — Tips and Tricks from the Mac Zen Team

Is $240 Worth An Extra 2-3 Years On The Life of Your Mac?

actuator arm close up data 33278Everybody considering buying a new Macintosh ought understand that the standard off-the-shelf models aren’t always the best value. Many are standard builds that have a lower cost of entry to enable new Apple users to enter the desktop market (don’t get me started on cheap Windows computers). As such that deal that you may see at local retailers aren’t always going to work out in your favour in the long run.

If you’ve ever asked us about what type of Mac you should be replacing your aging one with, you will likely have heard me advise you on storage, and the differences between Solid State Drives and traditional hard drives. These days, it’s not the processor that you should be made aware of. The single most significant change in how computer’s operate over the last ten years has come about with the advent of Solid State Drives.

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iPhone Pano Mode

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It’s the summertime and of course that means I’m outside hiking and biking. Or so I claim - there’s no proof except for photographic evidence, right? And there’s no better evidence than a nice big panorama shot that captures the entire stunning vista before you.

The iPhone 4s was the first Apple device to include a Panorama feature, allowing you to take one very wide photo with a single click (and a lot of slow, steady panning - what photo and movie buffs call swivelling horizontally from a single fixed position.) There are a few tips and tricks to this, however.

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June Apple WWDC Means New Hardware Announcements and New Operating Systems

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Monday June 4th through to the 8th is Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook will once again take the stage and undoubtedly wow us with new computing hardware and its latest upcoming operating systems. Apple will often have a live webcast (is that still a word?) which many of us will be glued to.

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Apple iCloud's Backup Utility

You have likely heard the term “the cloud” mentioned quite a lot in the last few year with regards to storing your information. It may seem like a mythical place and you may have wondered how one can tap into this magical ability to have your data both here and “there”, wherever “there” is.

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Backups, Backups, Backups

I’ve always been a little excessive when it came to recording information. My first computer was a BBC Model B (yes that BBC), which had 32K and a tape deck to load programs and games. My favourite game—a space simulator (very rudimentary—this was the early 80’s)—had the ability to save my progress back to a cassette tape. Every time I made any progress, I saved my game, and for some reason was very consistent recording the date, time, planet I was on, and the amount of credits I had.

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Backing up to RAID

Most of the time, a single external drive is all you need for simple, effective and easy backup of your important files. With Time Machine and especially the Time Capsule, you can even back up multiple computers wirelessly to the same device. But in a couple edge cases this type of solution doesn't quite hit the mark.

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A Screenshot is Worth a Thousand Words

A screenshot is worth a thousand words

yosemite capture specific windowNow that Macs are so common in households (and more and more offices everyday) you may find yourself needing to share what’s on your screen with someone else. Usually this need arises because you would like to show someone else how to do something or you are having a technical issue that you need to share with a tech support provider (such as Mac Zen!). And even though almost all of us have a smartphone with a very capable camera these days, taking a photo of your computer’s screen is low on the list of how to share your screen.

Sharing what is on your Mac’s screen is incredibly easy to and there are a variety of options available…

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Laptops in the Classroom

When I’m not out helping Mac Zen clients, I work 9-5 at a local tech company called Kano/Apps. It’s a great place to work for many reasons, but one of my favourite things about it is the sheer amount of whiteboard space.

slack imgsFor someone who spends so much time working on the computer, it seems odd to be so drawn to writing in a physical medium. But whiteboards are ubiquitous in tech companies - in fact, Aitan has a huge one hanging in his office, marked out with a tight grid of schedules and to dos.

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