Guide to Cord-Cutting

I came across this back in October and think it's a great guide.
For anyone thinking about "cutting the cord" aka stop paying for cable TV and only using internet this will answer almost all of your questions.

iPhone runs slow or Apps stop working

Apps just stop or my iPhone runs really slow?
Short of turning the phone all the way off and letting it start back up again, try this…

A. Force-quit an iOS app:
1. Double-click (quickly press twice) the iPhone’s Home button.
- you’ll see smaller preview windows of all your open programs.
2. Swipe through the carousel of windows until you get to the preview screen for the app that seems to be having a problem.
3. Put your finger on the app’s preview and swipe up toward the top of the iPhone screen until the preview window disappears.
- The app should now be fully closed.

If you are not sure which app is causing the slowness — or if the whole iPhone seems to be crawling — you can try clearing out the device’s random access memory.
Note: This does not delete apps, but frees up the place they were temporarily occupying in the iPhone’s RAM.

B. Clear the iPhone memory:
1. Unlock the iPhone so you see the home screen or another app.
2. Hold down the power button on the top or side of the device.
3. When you see the “Slide to Power Off” screen appear…
- Let go of the power button
- Press the Home button on the bottom edge of the screen for a few seconds.
- Stop pressing the button when the iPhone’s home screen reappears.
Its memory should now be refreshed and any open apps will reload themselves.

The steps everyone should try first

Take each of these steps that you haven't already tried. Some of them may not be applicable to your model or your situation. Stop when the problem is resolved.
To restart an unresponsive computer, press and hold the power button for a few seconds until the power shuts off, then release, wait a few more seconds, and press it again briefly.
Step 1
The first step in dealing with a startup failure is to secure the data. If you want to preserve the contents of the startup drive, and you don't already have at least one current backup, you must try to back up now, before you do anything else. It may or may not be possible. If you don't care about the data that has changed since the last backup, you can skip this step.
There are several ways to back up a Mac that is unable to start. You need an external hard drive to hold the backup data.
a. Start up from the
Recovery partition, or from a local Time Machine backup volume (option key at startup.) When the OS X Utilitiesscreen appears, launch Disk Utility and follow the instructions in this support article, under “Instructions for backing up to an external hard disk via Disk Utility.” The article refers to starting up from a DVD, but the procedure in Recovery mode is the same. You don't need a DVD if you're running OS X 10.7 or later.
b. If Step 1a fails because of disk errors, and no other Mac is available, then you
may be able to salvage some of your files by copying them in the Finder. If you already have an external drive with OS X installed, start up from it. Otherwise, if you have Internet access, follow the instructions on this page to prepare the external drive and install OS X on it. You'll use the Recovery installer, rather than downloading it from the App Store.
c. If you have access to a working Mac, and both it and the non-working Mac have FireWire or Thunderbolt ports, start the non-working Mac in
target disk mode. Use the working Mac to copy the data to another drive. This technique won't work with USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.
d. If the internal drive of the non-working Mac is user-replaceable, remove it and mount it in an external enclosure or drive dock. Use another Mac to copy the data.
Step 2
If you've started from an external drive, make sure that the internal startup volume is selected in the
Startup Disk pane of System Preferences.
Start up in
safe mode. Note: If FileVault is enabled in OS X 10.9 or earlier, or if a firmware password is set, or if the startup volume is a software RAID, you can’t do this. Ask for further instructions.
Safe mode is much slower to start and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including wireless networking on certain Macs.
The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know the login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.
If the startup progress bar gets stuck for more than a few minutes, or if the system shuts down automatically while the progress bar is displayed, the startup volume is corrupt and the drive is probably malfunctioning. In that case, go to Step 9. If you ever have another problem with the drive, replace it immediately.
If you can start and log in in safe mode, empty the Trash, and then open the Finder Info window on the startup volume ("Macintosh HD," unless you gave it a different name.) Check that you have at least 9 GB of available space, as shown in the window. If you don't, copy as many files as necessary to another volume (not another folder on the same volume) and delete the originals. Deletion isn't complete until you empty the Trash again. Do this until the available space is more than 9 GB. Then restart as usual (i.e., not in safe mode.)
If the startup process hangs again, the problem is likely caused by third-party software that you installed. Ask for further instructions.
Step 3
If the startup process stops at a plain gray screen with a movable cursor, then the login dialog may be active but not visible because of a bug. You might be able to log in by using the arrow keys or the cursor to select the password field and typing your password as usual.
Step 4
If Step 3 fails, the startup volume may be full. If you had previously seen warnings of low disk space, this is almost certainly the case. You might be able to start up in
safe mode even though you can't start up normally. Otherwise, start up from an external drive, or else use the technique in Step 1b, 1c, or 1d to mount the internal drive and delete some files. According to Apple documentation, you need at least 9 GB of available space on the startup volume (as shown in the Finder Info window) for normal operation.
Step 5
If a
desktop Mac (without a built-in keyboard) hangs at a plain gray screen with a movable cursor, the keyboard may not be recognized. Press and hold the button on the side of an Apple wireless keyboard to make it discoverable. If need be, replace or recharge the batteries. If you're using a USB keyboard connected to a hub, connect it to a built-in port.
Step 6
Sometimes a startup failure can be resolved by
resetting the NVRAM.
Step 7
If there's a built-in optical drive, a disc may be stuck in it. Follow
these instructions to eject it.
Step 8
Press and hold the power button until the power shuts off. Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed to start up, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. Use a different keyboard and/or mouse, if those devices are wired. If you can start up now, one of the devices you disconnected, or a combination of them, is causing the problem. Finding out which one is a process of elimination.
Step 9
Launch Disk Utility in Recovery mode (see Step 1.) Select the startup volume, then run
Repair Disk. If any problems are found, repeat until clear. If Disk Utility reports that the volume can't be repaired, the drive has malfunctioned and should be replaced. You might choose to tolerate one such malfunction in the life of the drive. In that case, erase the volume and restore from a backup. If the same thing ever happens again, replace the drive immediately.
This is one of the rare situations in which you should also run
Repair Permissions, ignoring the false warnings it may produce. Look for the line "Permissions repair complete" at the end of the output. Then restart as usual.
Step 10
If the startup device is an aftermarket SSD, it may need a firmware update and/or a forced "garbage collection." Instructions for doing this with a Crucial-branded SSD were posted
here. Some of those instructions may apply to other brands of SSD, but you should check with the vendor's tech support. 
Step 11
Reinstall the OS. If the Mac was upgraded from an older version of OS X, you’ll need the Apple ID and password you used to upgrade.
Step 12
Do as in Step 11, but this time erase the startup volume in Disk Utility before installing. The system should automatically restart into the
Setup Assistant. Follow the prompts to transfer the data from a Time Machine or other backup.
Step 13
This step applies only to models that have a logic-board ("PRAM") battery: all Mac Pro's, MacBooks with a removable main battery, and some others (not current models.) A dead logic-board battery can cause a startup failure. Typically the failure will be preceded by loss of the settings for the startup disk and system clock. See the
user manual for replacement instructions. You may have to take the machine to a service provider to have the battery replaced.
Step 14
If you get this far, you're probably dealing with a hardware fault.
Make a "Genius" appointment at an Apple Store, or go to anotherauthorized service provider.

Newsletter Vol. 01

 Apple's new Photos app & you 

The new Photos app for Mac OS X
As you've probably heard, iPhoto and Aperture are being replaced with Apple's new Photos app for Mac OS X.  We've upgraded several clients to Photos and the verdict is in - we love it!

All Your Photos - Everywhere

The new app is faster, has a streamlined design and best of all, your photos sync everywhere. Everything you shoot with your iPhone or import into the new Photos app can be backed up to Apple's iCloud Photo Library and shared seamlessly across your devices. Of course, their storage plan has a price, but it's reasonable.

If you don't want to use iCloud Photo Library for syncing and storing, you can keep using the new Photos app as an iPhoto replacement, but you'll be stuck with the old My Photo Stream feature for syncing photos across your devices.

Here is a great article reviewing the features and limitations.

The Photos app only runs on Yosemite.
Haven't made the upgrade to Yosemite yet?

You still don't have to, but Apple is no longer going to support or develop iPhoto or Aperture. Even further, once you upgrade your Mac to 10.10.3 iPhoto no longer works, only the Photos app will.

If you DO want to make the leap to Yosemite, before upgrading, do your homework to make sure you are ready!
  • Can your Mac run Yosemite well?
  • Do you have enough RAM or hard drive space?
  • How will the upgrade impact all your other apps and software?
  • Are your iPhones and iPads ready?
  • Are you fully backed up before you do anything?

Here are the full system requirements to get the Photos app up and running and fully syncing to all your devices and computers.

Need Guidance?
If you have any questions, or need help in taking the plunge, please reach out.

Internet (and Mac) running slow?

Your Mac uses the internet more and more.
Not just when you are actively online, but in the background when you’re unaware of it too.
So if your internet is slow, your whole mac can be running slow too!
To remedy this try changing your DNS settings to Google’s Public DNS - it’s Free and powerful!
It sounds “techy” but it’s fairly easy to do.
Here’s how:

1. From the Apple menu, click System Preferences, then click the “Network” icon.
2. If the lock icon in the lower left-hand corner of the window is locked, click the lock icon to make changes, and when prompted to authenticate, enter your Mac’s login or administrator password.
3. Select the connection type (in the left sidebar) for which you want to setup Google Public DNS.
For example:
• To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, select Built-In Ethernet, and click the Advanced button on the right.
• To change the settings for a wireless connection, select Wi-Fi or Airport, and click the Advanced button on the right.
4. Inside the Advance window click the DNS tab.
5. On the lower right click the “+” button to replace any listed addresses with,
or add, the Google Public DNS info, if none are listed.
• You’ll have to click the “+” button for each address, there are two (see in bold, right down there)
The Google Public DNS address are: and

It should look like this when you’ve done it correctly:

6. If that’s what you see then click the “OK” button and on the next page the “Apply” button.

Lastly quite System Preferences, and restart your web browser (i.e.. Safari, Chrome, Firefox).
You should be able to notice an increase in your surf speed and hopefully your whole Mac.

If not drop me an email.
Comments (1)

Detailed Wifi info from the menu bar

If you want very detailed wireless connectivity data from anywhere within Mac OS X it’s simple.
Simply hold down the Option key and then click on the WiFi menu icon.

Option-clicking will display a sub menu under your active wifi connection that shows:
- What wireless band you are using (PHY Mode)
- The routers SSID (BSSID)
- What channel the wireless router is using
- Which encryption method (Security)
- The Received Signal strength Indicator (RSSI) (the stronger the signal, the closer to 0, so -20 Good -90 Bad)
- The transmit rate
- MCS index (an über geeky stat that lets you calculate the available data rate of your wireless hardware).

You can also mouse-over other SSID’s to see a slightly more condensed version of this information. All of this can be helpful for avoiding potential channel conflicts, or when troubleshooting wireless problems.

And yes, I called it the WiFi menu rather than AirPort, since Lion is moving away from the AirPort references, at least in regard to the menubar.

Mac Running Slow?

Try Repairing Permissions
It won’t harm your computer to try it and it just might solve your problem!
Here’s how:
- First Quit all your running Applications.
1. Open your Utilities folder (Go menu > Utilities - see below).

2. In the Utilities folder double click on Disk Utility.
3. In Disk Utility, single click your “primary” hard drive from the disk list.
4. With your hard drive selected and highlighted, click once on the “First Aid” tab.
- It should look something like this:

5. Now click the “Repair Disk Permissions” button to repair permissions.
It’s going to take a while, so sit back and smile - your almost a Mac Genius!
- A list of items should start moving through the main window of Disk Utility and a progress bar on the bottom right will begin.

6. When Disk Utility has completed it’s task:
a. Quit Disk Utility.
b. Restart your Mac.

See if that helps. If not, drop me an email.
Comments (1)

Get your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch ready to upgrade to iOS 8

Just follow these simple steps and you should be on your way to a trouble free upgrade.
1. Import your photos and videos to your Mac
2. Update any Apps that have an available update
3. BACKUP your device to iCloud or to your Mac via iTunes
4. Then upgrade! Settings > General > Software update

Learn more about iOS 8 from Apple.

Email web pages

Share a cool site or article with a someone in a snap!

Ever search the Internet and find an article that you'd love to send to someone?
Using Safari, you easily can.
You can send them a link to the page, or you can send them the page's entire contents, including all graphics and links that will work as long as the destination pages still exist.
Here's how:
1. From within Safari go to the File menu, choose either:
• Mail Contents of This Page - keyboard shortcut - Command + i (the letter "i")
• Mail Link to This Page - keyboard shortcut - Command + Shift + i (the letter "i")
2. Mail automatically opens and creates a new message containing either the webpage displayed in it, or a webpage link in it.
3. Type an email address in the To field, type a message to your friend if you'd like, and then click Send.
It’s that easy.

How to empty the trash

Too many items in your trash can slow down your Mac. Emptying it is simple, and can be very effective.

There are 2 ways to empty the trash.
Here’s how:
1. Click and hold on the "Trash Can" icon in your dock.
2. After holding the mouse down for a few seconds, you'll see the option menu pop up.
3. Roll your mouse to the "Empty Trash" text and then let go of the mouse clicker.


1. Along the top left of your computer screen, where it says "Finder".
- You may have to click on the desktop to get to the Finder.
2. Click on the Finder menu and choose "Empty Trash"
(see screenshot below)
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