Lately, many of is with Macs and iDevices are finding unsolicited invitations to random events (usually SPAM sales) in our calendars. Needless to say, people have been feeling less than happy about this garbage, and it seems there’s been no way to remove these without hitting “decline” (which lets spammers know they’ve hit a valid spam location).

Although there currently appears to be no way to stop this spam, CNET has come up with some ways to remove them from your calendar without alerting spammers that you exist – and a method of ensuring these don’t get into your calendar in the future.

Check out this article at:
http://download.cnet.com/blog/download-blog/block-apple-calendar-spam-ios-macos/?ttag=e415&ftag=TREf2961de&tag=nl.e415&s_cid=e415&ttag=e415&ftag=TREf2961de

Techconnect.com has an article that lists all the various adapters necessary to use your peripherals (wired printers, external hard drives, monitors, iDevice connectors, etc.) with the new Thunderbolt 3 technology. Granted, Thunderbolt 3‘s power is amazing – can push up to 100W of power, the data transfer speed is 40Gbps, it can run two 4K monitors, and power tons of devices at once. But this power comes at a cost. Firstly – the only connective technology with which it’s directly compatible is USB-C. If you have ANY older devices, you’ll need to shell out more money for new adapters to suit your varying peripherals.

So, be ready – if you’re preparing to dish out between $2,400-$3400 on a new MacBook Pro – remember to build a few hundred more into your budget if you want to work with all your previous devices.

MacBook Pro Thunderbold 3 Adapter Guide (techconnect.com)

As you all know, I’m a big fan of using my DSLR for most of my photography, but it’s rather bulky to carry – so often, I count on my Smart Phone to capture a moment or scene (in my case, an iPhone 5S). I love it’s convenience, but compared to the captures I can get on my Nikon, there are often issues I have to repair.
Noise (blocks of off-color pixels) is a major issue for me. I get it in skies, shadows, areas that should be smooth look broken and pixellated. This is a particular problem in Southern California, where the lighting outside can often be quite harsh. Please note, this software is Mac only.
Enter MacPhun Noiseless (and Noiseless Pro, as a Photoshop Plugin). With some truly intuitive settings, noise can be easily cleared from an image, while clarity and detail can be maintained and enhanced. Check it out by clicking the banner:

Just a warning! People using the Transmission BitTorrent client software may have given hackers access to their computers. According to a MacWorld.com article, People who downloaded a new version of Transmission this past Sunday and Monday (August 28th and 19th, 2016) may have installed the affected software, capable of spreading malware through your system.

If you may be affected, please read the article at: http://bit.ly/2c2Akkc

UPDATE!
You should be informed – I heard back from Parallels today – SAME day I requested their flexibility – and they DID do the right thing! As I’ve been a loyal customer for many years, they honored my purchase, and offered me a new license key for the new version of the software! They ARE trustworthy!

As you all know, I believe in offering both praise an condemnation when appropriate. I praise Parallels today, for doing what’s right!

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Many of you have seen me teach using Parallels to emulate the Windows environment on my Mac. Overall, I’ve found it to be the most reliable, user friendly emulation software among all the alternatives.

I’d delayed my purchase of their version 11, because I had no need of it until I upgraded my Virtual Machine to Windows 10. That was July 28th. Yesterday, Parallels announced the release of their Version 12. Oddly, their “free upgrade” for recent purchases section only allows free upgrades for software registered between August 1st (25 days prior to the release) and October 30th (when people won’t be able to buy the old version, anyway).

I’ve contacted them about the 2 day discrepancy – almost NO software company declines to offer free upgrades for purchases less than 30 days.

I’ve touted Parallels’ virtues to many of my students and clients over the years. I have my request to extend the free upgrade date on escalation. I’ll keep you updated on the outcome, as I’d never again suggest this software to anybody, if they choose to enforce their unreasonable and draconian rules in this situation.

One set of my favorite plugin developers, MacPhun, has released an article on their blog about the expected changes in the upcoming MacOS Sierra. While I’m usually quite hesitant to upgrade my OS (I don’t like buying software upgrades for my existing apps – and what happened with Mavericks and it’s lack of video codecs is inexcusable), some of the revelations about the new Mac native photography apps are intriguing.

I skipped Mountain Lion, I’ve skipped El Capitan – but I might consider Sierra (after a good, long, healthy wait to the .2 update version).

Check out their article at: MacPhun

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 1.37.40 PMToday, March 31st, 2016, is WORLD BACKUP DAY!!!

Many of you in both my live and online classes have heard me, very strongly, tell you to BACKUP your data! As I’ve mentioned before, the only time you miss having a backup is when you need it and don’t have it. 

I always recommend more than one method of backup, just to be safe. Hard drive space has become very reasonably inexpensive, and cloud space can often be had for FREE (my 2nd favorite price, as I often say) ?

Some strategies you might mix and match:

  • A CLONED backup of your system, or just your startup drive. Cloning is creating an exact replica of your hard drive (please note, for this discussion, I’m not referring to “Disk Imaging”, which creates what is essentially a zipped file of your cloned hard drive, but doesn’t use the suffix .zip). You need a hard drive with space that matches the size of the drive you’re backing up for this. As for software, Windows users have the options of Macrium Reflect Free, Paragon Backup and Recovery (Advanced) Free  ,   Acronis True Image 2016 (not free), and several others. I do a weekly clone of my startup drive, so that in the case of disaster, my system is only one week behind. However, please note that I do the next strategy daily.
    For Mac users, there’s DejaVu, Carbon Copy Cloner, Super Duper!, Data Backup, along with many others . Note that there no longer seems to be much FREE cloning software for Mac, but that’s because the MacOS has Time Machine built in – we’ll discuss that momentarily. With any application you choose, I recommend getting one with the following features:

    • Exact duplicate clone capabilities
    • Creation of a bootable backup (contains the files necessary to start from and use the backup drive, should your original drive go “bad”)
    • Duplication of the startup drives “Recovery Drive” feature (I know Carbon Copy Cloner does this on the Mac, but am unsure what does in the Windows world)
    • The ability to SCHEDULE your backups on a regular basis – so that you don’t have to remember to do them – your system does it automatically.
  • A duplicate backup of all my “Work” drives, which includes my USER FOLDER from my startup drive. I do this nightly, scheduled with the same backup software I use for my weekly backup of the startup drive. Every night, the drives (or folders) that contain my daily changes are duplicated to a secondary drive. Note that my user folder is in there, so if I ever need to reinstall from my cloned drive back to a new hard drive, I can also move my user folder into place, and my emails and documents, etc. are up to date. On this drive, I don’t duplicate my startup drive. Since I have several drives in my computer, I need quite a large capacity drive for this backup. However, since it only changes the file that have been changed that day, the backup process is quite quick.
  • Mac users may also take advantage of the MacOS built in “Time Machine”. This requires quite a lot of storage space, but it does an hourly (give or take) backup of all changes made to your system. The advantage of this is that you can store and restore files from many months back, in case a file gets corrupted, accidentally deleted, or just plain messed up. The DISadvantage to this is that the drive is not bootable (you can’t start your computer from it), so there’s downtime if you must replace your original hard drive, while Time Machine copies your files back to the drive.
  • ONLINE backup into the “cloud” is also a great option. Some systems automatically upload your files to their cloud, but you may need to pay for the service. Please note that these will NOT backup your system files, so an Operating System reinstallation would be required). But, your work files will be saved offsite, which is always safe. Nowadays, there are what seem to be a Zillion choices out there for this service. One popular service is Carbonite, and another is Backblaze, there’s also iDrive,  CrashPlan,  Pogoplug (I love this option, because it also offers a hardware “personal cloud”)….. I could go on for days on this. Some of these plans offer a free option for a small amount of space. In addition, there are FREE:
    • Dropbox – 2GB – file size limit 10GB
    • Box.com – 50GB – file size limit 250MB
    • OneDrive Windows – 5GB – file size limit 10GB – or 1TB with an Office 365 plan
    • Google Drive – 15GB – file size limit – varies – but up to 5TB for non-converted files
    • Verizon Cloud – 5GB – 1200KB from phone
    • Amazon Cloud (w/ Prime) – 5GB for video and files, unlimited for photos – file size limit 2GB
    • Copy.com – 15GB no max file size limit
    • hubiC – 25GB Free – got 30GB with code

Oh, and DON’T FORGET TO BACKUP YOUR CELL PHONE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS. Use a cloud to do automatic uploads, use iTunes, or whatever software you have to get those photos on your harddrive and back THOSE up. I’ve seen such sadness when someone loses their phone, corrupts the data, accidentally resets the phone… PLEASE remember that those photos will not be easy to recover, if they’re recoverable at all.

In my line of work, there’s been a lot of money to be made by people having NOT backed up their data – please save yourself the money of data recovery, the heartache of lost files and work. Find a strategy that suits you and remember to BACK UP!!!

Oh, and if you ever do need to have data recovered, I do recommend DriveSavers, in Novato, CA. Their “cleanroom” work is the best in the business. If you ever need a discount, please feel free to use my code DS16297.

****Broken hard drive image, courtesy of DriveSaversDataRecovery.com

As almost all of my students know, I’m a bit of a type geek. So, imagine how fulfilled my inner geek feels, when I find blog post about Typefaces, Type Structure, Type families, Type anatomy, and Type Classification, the use of Type in Paragraphs, Typographic Terms like kerning and spacing, Page Layout and Type, and so much more!

Although this article is written with a focus on software development, the article is about DESIGN. Knowing what you’re using, and why. As I always say “in design, you can always break the rules, but first you have to know what the rules are!”

I seriously recommend this article to all my design students, my motion graphics students, my still image students, and anyone else who feels that Type is more than just a way to make a word show up.

http://www.imaginarycloud.com/blog/a-typography-workshop/?ref=webdesignernews.com

I’m a Software Instructor and Mac Consultant – not an iPhone expert, so I was pleased to find an answer to a question today.

I have a 16GB iPhone 4, which has quite a lot of apps, music, video, photos and books on it. So, I’d expect to have a lot of space used on my phone. However, even with all this stuff, I was losing storage space to a “little item” called “Other” in my iTunes view of my phone – I was losing 2.6GB of space!!

I knew I could restore from a backup, but I’d just spent quite a bit of time clearing some photos and didn’t really want to spend an hour restoring from backup.

Fortunately, I found a very simple solution that worked perfectly:

On the iPhone, Go To “Settings/General/Usage/Music and then swipe left to right over the “All Music” entry and select Delete, then re-boot the iPhone.” He stated, ” you think it would delete all your music, but id doesn’t” (sic)

This was listed at: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3418045?start=75&tstart=0

Research is my friend!

The Macworld Help Desk has a really helpful article about what to expect when upgrading to Mac OS 10.8 (currently 10.8.2) Mountain Lion. The article can be seen at http://bit.ly/10n5gNc

Personally, I haven’t performed this upgrade, but there’s really only one reason for this at this point. I HAVE upgraded to Lion (10.7) and do not particularly like it. It’s GREAT for new users, but for those of us who’ve been using the Mac for a long time, we have to jump through too many hoops to do anything with real control. This is the same issue with Mountain Lion, and from what I see, Mountain Lion has some improvements over Lion. So, you ask, WHY have I upgraded to Lion, and skipped Lion?

Well, I NEED my old applications that run in Rosetta. “But” (you say), “Lion doesn’t run Rosetta either, so how can this be a good reason?”

In my efforts to keep my old apps running, I found the ONE version of VMWare Fusion that allowed us to install Snow Leopard as a guest operating system so I can run my old Snow Leopard installation (my favorite OS so far, btw) in emulation – much the same way I run Windows. Now, I need you guys to know that installing Snow Leopard’s Client OS may be breaking the “letter of the law” unless you use the Server version.

The ONE version of VMWare Fusion that will allow the use of Snow Leopard’s Client (means end-user version) will stop working if I upgrade it, and the old version will not run on Mountain Lion – simple as that!

Oh, and I should tell you that I HAVE tried using the Server version of Snow Leopard in Parallels and VMWare. They work fine, but don’t have the same capabilities as they do when emulating Windows – they don’t allow copy/paste to work between environments, and they don’t allow drag and drop of files from the main environment to the virtualized one (a VERY helpful feature between Mac and Windows – non-existent in Mac to Mac emulation – can you believe it?!)

All this, so you can understand the implications of upgrading your Operating System on the Mac. It may not affect you as most of you have been using the Mac for a short enough time that you don’t have any older programs that require Rosetta. But if you do, you may wish to take heed.


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