Tag Archives: MacBook

Everything you need to know about Mountain Lion

Now that Mountain Lion has been released, we have put together a short list of the most talked about new features you should know about.

There are over 200 new features in Mountain Lion. If you want to see the whole list, head over to Apple’s site and check it out. Check out all the new features in OS X Mountain Lion.

If you have an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad these first few features will be familiar to you.

Reminders

Allows you to set up a list of things to remember. You can set due dates and get alerts when they are due, or set a location from your Mac and get a reminder on your iPhone or iPad when you get there.

Notes

Take notes of anything you want. You can now add photos, images and attachments. Share notes through Mail or Messages or pin your notes to your desktop for easy access.

Messages

Send messages from your Mac to anyone with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can also continue your conversation from your own iOS devices. You can also send photos, videos, documents and contacts.

Notification Center

Like the notification center on your iOS devices you can easily get updates when you get an email or message, a software update is available or a calendar alert. Pull it up when you want to see what has changed and then it will disappear so it isn’t cluttering your screen.

iCloud

With the new features from iOS added to Mountain Lion, iCloud will know keep all your devices synced. Set up a Reminder, create a Note, send a Message or see what is new in Notification Center. iCloud will make sure it is the same on everything.

Dictation

Talk anywhere you can type and Dictation coverts your words into text. The more you use it the better it is.

Facebook

Built-in Facebook support so you can share what you are doing right from the app you are in. It will also add Facebook friends to your Contacts and update information when it is updated on Facebook.

Twitter

As with Facebook, Twitter is integrated into Mountain Lion. Tweet links and photos directly from Safari, iPhoto, or Photo Booth.

AirPlay

The feature that I am most excited about. AirPlay Mirroring will allow you to display what is on your Mac to your HDTV. All you need is an AppleTV. Pick up your AppleTV at the Sandy or Logan store and start sharing your photos and videos.

Game Center

Sign in with your Game Center account and see all the game you’ve played and get new ones. Check leader boards and see how you rank. You can also start multiplayer games with your friends.

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper helps protect you from malicious software. With Gatekeeper enabled, you can install apps from identified developers and it is the best way to make sure the apps are safe.

Now that you know you want Mountain Lion, check and make sure your computer can take it.

You need OS 10.6.8 or newer to purchase it through the App Store.

You will also need 2GB or more of RAM. You can check how much RAM you have by going under the Apple menu and selecting About this Mac. If you have less than 2GB of RAM come in and get upgraded.

To see if your computer can install Mountain Lion go under the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen. Click on About this Mac. If you have Snow Leopard click the More Info…. button. If you have Lion click the More Info… button and then the System Report button. In the Hardware Overview window you will see a system identifier. The Model Identifier is your computer model.

Your Mac must be one of the following models:

iMac7,1 (Mid 2007 or newer)
MacBook5,1 (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro3,1 (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
MacBook Air2,1 (Late 2008 or newer)
Mac mini3,1 (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac Pro3,1 (Early 2008 or newer)
Xserve3,1 (Early 2009)

Data backup, more important than you think.

Why do we need to backup our files?
We love how reliable our Macs are, but we feel terrible when someone brings their computer in for service and their hard drive has worn out, they don’t have a backup, and they have lost their documents, photos, or other important files.

Why do drives wear out? Hard drives are mechanical devices, with moving parts. Even though these days they are very reliable, they will wear out just like any other mechanical device. They spin at 5000-7000 rotations every minute, and we work them hard, so we can see why it’s usually not a matter of if, but a matter of when, our drive will eventually stop working. We are moving towards more reliable forms of storage (flash memory in the MacBook Air or iPad, SSD drives in the MacBook Pro or iMac), but most of us will still be using hard drives for years to come.

Sometimes your hard drive is working fine. but someone just accidentally deleted an important file or our laptop was lost or stolen. Either way, we always want to have our important information in two places–then we have a backup for when something goes wrong.

So what do we do? We can backup stuff onsite and offsite.

Onsite backups will protect against a failed or damaged hard drive. They are quick and easy to recover from.

Time Machine is the easiest way to automatically backup your computer. The first time you use it your whole computer is backed up. After that anything that has been changed is backed up every hour. Time Machine is easy to set up, recover from and is very much worth using. You can get an Apple Time Capsule to set up a wireless backup over your network or get a external hard drive. Then follow Apple’s simple set up guide to get started.

For Time Machine backups, all you need is a external hard drive. You can pick one up at Expercom for about $100. We have drives from 500GB to 3TB, portable and desktop varieties.

Offsite backups will protect against flood, fire or other natural disasters. They are also good in case of thefts where someone takes your computer and backup hard drive.

There are numerous offsite backup options available. A couple of the most common are Mozy and Carbonite. These are both online services that will automatically back up your files.

Mozy offers home, small business and enterprise backup options. The home option starts at $5.99 per month, and you can try it for free. You can get the small business option starting at $9.99 per month per computer, with small reductions for yearly plans, or you can choose the enterprise option with IT controls and customize it to fit your company’s needs. You might need to call or email them to get a price quote for this one.

Carbonite gives you two options, home & home office and small business. The home & home office backup plan starts at $59 per year, and the small business plans start at $229 per year. Both options offer a free trial.

LaCie CloudBox is an external hard drive that also offers an online backup service through their website. Anything saved to the external hard drive is also saved online.

These are just a few of the choices available out there. If you find one you like that you think others might be interested in, let us know and spread the word!

Is your MacBook Pro not going to sleep?

I’ve recently had a problem with my MacBook Pro not going to sleep while it’s plugged in. A few customers have recently come to me with the same problem, as well. Sometimes, I would notice that the fan would run all night, but I would open my computer up and nothing would really be going on that should make it stay awake.

The first place that I would encourage anyone to look for this is in System Preferences >   Energy Saver. Make sure “Wake for network access” is not checked.

The fix for me in this case was in the system preferences, under Print and Fax. I’d selected “share this printer over the network” a long time ago for one of my printers, but it was now keeping my Mac from sleeping.

If you’d like to dig deeper, you could run this terminal script to get an exact view of what your machine’s settings look like.

I tried typing the following query in the Terminal

$ pmset -g

It should give an output similar to what you see here (in the figure below), but if you’re experiencing the problem, you’ll see something like:

sleep                    0 (imposed by 35)

The application in reference for me ended up being this Print and Fax preference, but we would expect that other applications could also keep your computer from sleeping, and running one of these checks could help you get closer to the answer!

15 Years and counting! A walk down memory lane, plus a chance to win a 13-inch MacBook Pro

Expercom opened for business in May of 1997. It has been a great 15 years supporting the Apple community. It’s also a little crazy thinking of how much Apple has changed in those last 15 years.

In 1997, we were selling beige Power Macs, Performas, and even some Quadras. How many of you have even heard of a Quadra? Steve Jobs had just returned to Apple as an advisor, and wasn’t put in as interim CEO until later that year. How have things changed?

1997 2012
Apple revenue $7.08 Billion $108 Billion
Desktop Power Mac G3 iMac
Processor 233MHz G3 Quad 3.4GHz i7
Memory 32MB 4 to 32GB
Storage 4GB 1000GB+
Mac OS 8.0 10.7
Screen 640 x 480 CRT 2560 x 1400 LED
Laptop PowerBook 2400c 13-inch MacBook Air
Processor 180MHz PPC 603e Dual-core 1.8GHz
Memory 16MB 4GB
Storage 1.3GB 256GB
Screen 800 x 600 Active Matrix 1440 x 900 LED
Mobile Device Newton 2100 iPad (3rd Gen)
Processor 162MHz RISC 1GHz A5x Dual Core
Memory 4MB 16/32/64GB
OS Newton 2.1 iOS 5.1
Screen 480×320 grayscale 2048×1536 Retina Display

In 1997 we had never even seen an iMac (came out in 1998), an iPod (2001), Mac OS X (also 2001), an iPhone (2007), or an iPad (2010) before. My, how things have changed in 15 years. Can we imagine life without some or all of those devices?

Here at ExperCom, we have thoroughly enjoyed serving our loyal customers over the past 15 years, and we look forward to serving you for many, many years to come. Some of you have been with us for almost that long, and we appreciate every one of our customers; whether you bought something from us 15 years ago or your first Apple product today. We would not be here if it weren’t for you and we want you to know that 1) we recognize that fact and 2) we appreciate you very much.

To celebrate our anniversary, we are giving one lucky friend of Expercom a free new 13-inch MacBook Pro, worth $1199. Please enter on our facebook page by May 31st. Tell your friends. We hope YOU win!