Blog — Tips and Tricks from the Mac Zen Team

Updating vs. Upgrading your OS — What to know and what to do

Over the last few years, in a predictable tide of announcement, anticipation and launch, Apple has released successive operating systems (A.K.A. macOS) for its Macintosh line of computers. Each year these new versions improve performance and reduce the overhead of existing features, as well as add additional features to take advantage of new technologies. 

If the computer is like a car, then the operating system is like the steering wheel, pedals and gauges. It is how we interface with the car, how we input our desires, and then how the computer gives us feedback on our inputs.

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Like deer caught in the headlights of the aforementioned car, this often leaves people very confused about whether to upgrade. On one hand, we’re told that the operating system needs to be updated in order to get security updates, and on the other we’re concerned about “slowing down” our computer, especially if it's getting long in the tooth.

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Neil's Mobile Work-Spots - Hide+Seek


f77bf2db a88b 4531 bc1f 04b94d39d781This cool new café specializes in excellent coffee, brewed in a variety of methods — though the friendly staff and superb treats are great features too. There’s a variety of seating, from a hide-away bar at the back, to tables right in the large front window. It's a fantastic addition to Oak Bay Village, and several other services are nearby including a branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library. I'm a fan.

The Document Status Dot

The red “close”dot in the top left hand corner of the window, will have a dot if there are unsaved changes to the document.

When you save the document, the dot disappears.

Take Control of Your Kids' iPhone and iPad Usage

Some kids have their own, some use their parent's. Whichever the case, and regardless of their age, they are quite adept at using an iPhone, iPad or iPad touch. It is quite humbling to watch a 4 year old child making his way through a particular game, but it is horrifying to be witness to your child deleting apps and data inadvertently.

For those parents who are willing to entrust the safety of their Apple devices to their children, here are a few tips to make sure that their curious minds and your sanity remain intact.

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Use Screenshots to Get Better, Faster Technical Support for Your Mac

"I promise it was misbehaving before…"

Everyone's experienced this before. You come up against some bizarre issue that has you stymied, and lo and behold as soon as you try and explain the problem, it disappears. Often you get someone in to help (even if it's a smart nephew or niece), and it's not reproducible. The best action you can take straight away is to capture the moment. This is where screenshots come in, and we're going to learn the keyboard shortcuts to do so.

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Changing Your Display Settings on the Mac to Suit your Viewing Needs

Every Mac Display and External Monitor has what's referred to as a "Native Resolution". This is a screen resolution where each pixel that the computer outputs is equal to a pixel that the LCD panel displays. My particular 15" Macbook Pro has a Native Resolution of 1680 x 1050.

This setup can sometimes be a bit to fine to work in for some, and it's fairly straightforward to increase the apparent size of the display so that everything looks larger.

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