July 12, 2017

Jul - 12 2017 | By

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For a couple of months, the audio of today’s show is here. Recent shows are here.

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Glenn was in the studio with co-host Mikail Graham. Paul is still in Europe.

 

Listeners were invited to call during the show with their questions and comments at 530-265-9555.

The hour was devoted to Apple products. Mikail said he has been using Apple computers since the late 70s when he got an Apple 2, which he still has.

Mikail had a tip for the users of the iMac — a thin all-in-one computer that comes in 20″ to 27″ models. He called attention to the venting system on the bottom, especially those made in 2007 to about 2013 (later models were made so thin that it limited their reparability). They need to be cleaned at least every 3 years, he said.

The vents draw in dust along with the air, which then covers the components and leads to failure from running too hot. It’s not an easy thing to do but you need to disassemble the iMac to clean it properly. There are videos online to help you and technicians (including Mikail) who will do it for you, if you think it challenges your abilities. Don’t keep putting it off or you can lose your data, he said. If a hard drive dies, it can cost $800 to $1000, at minimum, to get the data off of it.

Glenn wondered if blowing air into the iMac, without disassembly, would help, if done periodically. Mikail said no. You just can’t get far enough inside to do any good. Keeping the area around the iMac free of dust can help.

Mikail said that the other thing you can do is “put a maintenance program on there like one from Titanium Software called “Maintenance” and run that at least every couple of weeks”. It takes a few minutes to run and it will tell you if the drive is failing.

Steve baker came to the mic and talked to Pascal, a reporter from YubaNet, about the Rex fire near Grass Valley. Fire crews hit the fire hard from the air and on the ground, “and took the heat out of it”. It’s now looking good. There are still some evacuations in the area but that situation is being reevaluated. There are no reports of injuries. It’s going to take a couple of hours to mop up and determine the cause.

Glenn asked Mikail about synching his iPhone iPad and Mac Mini. The iPhone and Mac Mini seem to synch, but his iPad is missing some contacts. He wants to get away from using the cloud and wondered how to best do that.

Mikail said you can export the contacts from the “master source” by synching with iTunes. And there is a product called Imazing for the Mac or PC (2.3 for the PC is coming out soon) for $29 or $39. It will do automatic backups over wi-fi and is well worth having, he said.

You can also transfer files manually if you don’t want to use iTunes. The advantage of the cloud, when it’s working correctly, is that changes on one device will be quickly propagated to the other devices.

Mikail is also having an synching issue. He has a new MacBook Pro and a new iPad and everything synchs. But on his Mac Pro and iPhone, the text replacement shortcuts aren’t synching. With shortcuts, you can type something like ‘tty’ and it will expand to ‘talk to you later’, for example. On Apple devices you can set shortcuts by going to settings -> general -> keyboard (for Android go to “language & input” -> “Personal Dictionary” -> +ADD). Some websites may prevent usage of shortcuts, often for security reasons.

To mitigate synch problems make sure you’re running the latest version of the operating system. Also, there’s much to be said for doing a clean install rather than a restore. That way you don’t bring back old “junk” that you don’t need anymore and that may make the computer run slower. To do that you’ll need to install from a USB drive. Or you can do a recovery over the internet but it can take days.

Ross called to say that the changes to Net Neutrality proposed by the government are open for comment, until July 17 (he thought). It’s important to keep this administration from rolling back neutrality. Mikail suggested going to the website secure2.convio.net. <Maybe it’s here>
John Oliver explains Net neutrality

Ross also suggested getting a hepa air filter & putting it under the air intake of your computer to minimize dust

Ross said he has a late 2008 MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard. He asked Mikail what’s the best, most stable operating system since Snow Leopard for his machine. Mikail said the things he looks for are security & compatibility and thought El Capitan would be a good choice. His machine probably won’t be able to handle anything newer.

They both agreed Snow Leopard boots up & shuts down very fast. Mikail added that going to a different OS may mean a slow down, but replacing the spinning hard drive with a solid state drive (SSD) will regain much of the speed. You can get a 500 gig SSD Samsung for $150 on Amazon or even cheaper with brands like Adata, Kingston or San Disk.

If you want to replace the MacBook Pro, there are good deals right now on 2015 models that have 16 gig of RAM, HDMI, 2 USB ports, SD card slot and Magsafe connector for under $2000. They are new & under warranty.

Mikail noted that he uses a 34″ Dell monitor that he loves. They go for about $700.

Chris called. He has an old Mac Book running the Lion operating system. He’s afraid of losing his drawing program called Vector Works if he installs a newer OS. Mikail determined that he does Timemachine backups and said it should be no problem to restore all of his programs after doing the update. Chris clarified that the program he has won’t work on the newer operating system.

Chris also wondered which way the air flows thru his machine. Mikail said the air comes in to the side and is blown out the back.

Gary called. He has a Mac Book running operating system 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard), the last version that can run Apple Works, which he has and likes a lot. The Safari browser is having problems and he wanted to know if it’s possible to reinstall it from the original disks. Mikail said, the problem is that it will need to be updated and the updates will be hard to find. You’ll have to search the internet to find the old updates. And it won’t work until it’s updated, Glenn added.

Paul isn’t expected to return for a couple more Zen Tech shows. Mikail said he has a lot more to talk about on the next show, like the new Mac OS called High Sierra and iOS 11.

Lee called to ask if it’s ok to put a keyboard in the dishwasher to clean it…definitely not. Use a light touch when cleaning or you may knock the keycaps off the Mac and won’t be able to put them on again. Use a gentle cleaner like Fantistik or Green Cleaner or a citrus-based cleaner. Put the cleaner on a cloth first and rub gently.

Someone called (off air) asking for a more precise location of the Rex fire. Glenn said it’s on the town side of Highway 20 as you’re going toward Yuba City, at the intersection of Gibson & Butler.

Last Updated 11:53 PM 7-12-2017