This list is a combination of great articles about important Mac news, and some of my personal Mac and Apple related comments.


Apple products to avoid

UPDATE: Apple has gotten rid of two of three of these bad products. The only one left is no. 2. Hopefully that is also not long for this world. 1/3/18

As I write this, most Apple products are due to be refreshed with newer, hopefully better, models. So if you want the latest and greatest, you should wait until mid October to see if the item you are looking for has been upgraded. 

Whenever you do buy, there are a few Apple products to avoid. 

1. iPhones and iPads with 16GB storage.

Unless you never put movies or music on your mobile device, 16GB is likely to be too little storage in the long run. Do yourself a favor and pay a little extra when you buy it, because you can't upgrade the storage of iPads and iPhones later.

2. Any Mac without a Solid State Drive or Fusion Drive.

Since computers have had built in storage, they have used Hard Disk Drives (HDD). But now Solid State Drives (SSD) are available. A Mac with an SSD or Fusion drive can start up 3 to 5 times faster, and launch most apps in seconds. A 5 year old Mac with an SSD would be faster at most tasks that the new version of that Mac that has an HDD.

3. The $1099 iMac

This Mac is really under powered. Even if you do not need much, its slow processor and disk drive will mean that it will be out of date much quicker than the next model up. With the Fusion Drive, the price difference is $300, but you will have a much faster machine that will be usable for much longer.


You should enable Find My iPhone

Apple's Find My iPhone feature is amazing. Not only can it help you find your lost iPhone or iPad, if you have it enabled it also stops thieves from being able to use your phone as their own. Every time an iPad or iPhone is reset and restored as new, it must check on the internet to see if the phone is registered with Find My iPhone. If it is, the phone can not be used without the Apple ID and Password that were used.

To make Find My iPhone even more usefull, enable Send Last Location (iOS 8 or higher). This will make your device log it's location with Apple just before the battery drains completely. Which would be a big help if you can't check the website before your phone runs out of juice. To enable Send Last Location,

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on iCloud.
  3. Click on Find My iPhone (or iPad)
  4. Make sure both Find My iPhone and Send Last Location are turned on (green)


Free Apple User Guides

Apple does not include much in the way of instructions in the box with any of their products. For both iPads and iPhones, the printed documentation is very slight. 

Here are links to free documents that you can read ine the iBooks app on your iPad, iPhone and your Mac if you have uptaded to Mac OS X 10.9.  

On iPad and iPhone, dowload iBooks:
iBooks App for iPad and iPhone

then click the links below to get your free user guides:

iPad User Guide 

iPhone User Guide

Unfortunately, there are currently no iBooks guides for Macs and MacBooks. Hopefully that will cahnge soon. Until then, here is what Apple offers (click Browse By Product if you don't see what you are looking for):

Apple – Support – Manuals


Why you should install Security Updates

From time to time, software creators find errors in their software that could be used by criminals to steal users information. Usually, the error is found before it has been exploited by villains on the internet. When the software creator fixes the error, they make a software update available to their users. At the same time, the software creator owns up to the security flaw that was present in the old version of their programs. 

Once the flaw has been made public, wrongdoers will try to take advantage of the flaw, which still exists on all of the computers and/or smart phones that have not yet downloaded and applied the security update. If you are using a computer that is months behind on security updates, you are far more vulnerable to malicious computer users on the internet. 

To update your Mac, simply click on the Apple logo in the top left of your computer’s screen. Then select Software Update…, then follow onscreen prompts. If you need more detailed instructions click here.

To update your iPhone or iPad, tap Settings > General > Software Update. If there is an update available, then tap Download and Install. Your device will restart. For more detailed instructions click here.


iOS 7 means saying goodbye to your G5.

I like iOS 7 a lot. There are some great features, and a new look that can be surprising at first, but quickly makes iOS 6 look strangely out of date. 

But one effect of upgrading you iPhone/iPad/iPod is that it will never again sync with any Mac without an Intel processor. Syncing an iOS 7 device to a Mac requires iTunes 11.1, which in turn requires Mac OS 106.8 (Snow Leopard). And Snow Leopard can only run on an Intel Mac. If your Mac has an Intel processor but is still running Mac OS X 10.5, you will need to upgrade to 106.8 to keep it working with your iOS 7 devices.

The last PowerPC Macintoshes, running IBM's G5 processor, were discontinued in August 2006, 10 months before the first iPhone was sold. Oddly, iTunes 11.1 can run on Windows XP, which was originally released in 2003.