Going away for a while

Business 1 Comment »

Due to a medical condition, I will be away starting the evening of Tuesday, March 22 and returning on Monday, April 4.

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Closed on Wednesday, limited availability tomorrow

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Glenn RitzelWe at MacTechnologies lost a friend over the weekend, so we will have limited availability tomorrow, especially in the afternoon, and will not be available at all on Wednesday. All messages and questions received on that day will be addressed at our earliest opportunity starting Thursday.

Thank you for your understanding.

Upgrading MobileMe calendars

Advice, Support No Comments »

If you use MobileMe and take advantage of the option to synchronize your data, like contacts and calendars, you might be aware that Apple has changed something behind the scenes and has asked you to “upgrade” your calendars. What may not be clear is what that means and how best to do it.

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A cautionary tale about passwords and security

Advice, News 1 Comment »

Ars Technica published this story about the hacking of a firm whose business is to secure networks and protect others against the kind of hacking it suffered. It’s an interesting and instructive tale about how hackers operate and why it’s important to use secure, unique passwords for the different sites and services in your life.

Spoiler: It’s not so hard to “hack” when basic precautions are not taken.

Once this article rightly scares you, think about your passwords and whether you use the same ones everywhere. If you do, it’s time to change them. To help keep track, I recommend PasswordWallet, a Mac or Windows app with a related app for the iOS devices. PasswordWallet will let you track your various passwords and even offers tools to take you to sites and enter the passwords for you. It has facilities to synchronize the passwords among your various devices and keeps all of your information in an encrypted file protected by a single password.

Verizon iPhone

News 1 Comment »

By now you’ve probably heard that Apple has released a version of the iPhone 4 for Verizon’s network. Just a few points about this:

  • While it is essentially the same design as the current iPhone 4, there is a slight difference in the position of the ringer switch so existing cases won’t fit quite right.
  • On Verizon’s network, you cannot use the Internet while on a call unless you are connected to WiFi.
  • The Verizon version and AT&T version cannot use the other’s network.

For more information, see the MacWorld article here and Verizon’s page here.

AirPrint for all

Advice 1 Comment »

Apple last week released iOS 4.2 for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. Among the included features is AirPrint, the ability to print from these devices to a network printer. Unfortunately, as released, AirPrint only recognizes 11 printers in the world, and yours (probably) isn’t one of them.

For a list of the compatible printers, you can look here.

Offering this feature in such a limited way seemed a bit lame by Apple’s standards so I thought there had to be more to it. It turns out that the ability to print to most printers was included during the development of OS X 10.6.5, but removed just before release. Although it’s unclear why, the speculation was some intellectual property conflict.

Fortunately, there are workarounds that will probably work with your printer. One is easy, but has be paid for. The other requires a few more steps but is free. I’ll review both, but even if you opt for the former, take a look at the steps for the latter as I include a suggestion for adding a PDF printer to your Mac, something that might help you in other ways.

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Black Friday and Safari extensions

Advice No Comments »

Maybe you’ve heard that today is Black Friday, so named because it’s the biggest shopping day of the year, the day that many retailers go from being in the “red” to being in the “black”.

Personally, I’d rather eat nails than go out shopping today, but fortunately, many online retailers offer great deals too, making your holiday shopping far less painful. Some notable retailers to check out if you’re in the market for new equipment or software are Apple, Buy.com, and Amazon.

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And now for a vacation

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I will be away on vacation starting today and returning on September 20. My wife and I will be traveling to the deserts of Arizona where we will be introduced the joys of cold-air ballooning. We will board the craft this afternoon, and then sit motionless and stationary for approximately two weeks as we get acquainted with the local flora, fauna, wildlife and sand. Our adventure will be capped off by a hearty “I told you so” to the guy who thought up cold-air ballooning in the first place.

As we swelter and dehydrate in the western sun, Ed Covelli stands ready to provide comfort and shade in my absence. He can be reached via e-mail, or at the main office number of 212/201-1465.

Eddie on vacation

Business No Comments »

Ed Covelli will be leaving tomorrow to set out on a worldwide cruise aboard a boat of his own construct, made of tongue depressors, model glue and shellac, using novelty, oversized tablespoons for paddles and a slightly torn Greatest American Hero t-shirt as a sail. Because of the prevalent headwinds throughout the planned course, his journey is expected to take 3 years, but due to the miracle of stop-motion photography and his expected-to-be-rapidly-consumed stock of Red Bull and Turkish coffee, he will be back to work on the morning of Tuesday, July 6.

While Eddie is on the high-seas, I stand by to assist in whatever capacity I am able. You can reach me at the office number of 212/201-1465, send an e-mail, or an IM to “ktekinay”.

iOS 4.0 for iPhone available

Advice, News 2 Comments »

Apple has released iOS 4.0, the renamed OS for their portable devices like the iPhone and iPad. This version will work on the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and upcoming iPhone 4, but not on the original iPhone. Some of the new features require an iPhone 3GS or better.

There is no cost for the upgrade and you can download and install it all through iTunes. While the list of benefits and improvements is long, there are also some bugs of the annoying variety. My advice is to wait until Apple fixes some of them in a 4.0.1 update (or whatever they call it) before taking the plunge.

You can read more about the upgrade and its new features here.

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