Tag Archives: OS X

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)

Flashback malware: How can I keep my Mac secure?

We have had several customers ask us about the Flashback malware that has been getting a lot of publicity lately. One thing that we love about our Macs is how secure they are, especially when compared to Windows, Android, or other OSes out there. But with the increased popularity of Macs, we’ll probably see more attempts to go after Mac users.

We don’t want to take a casual attitude towards any security issue, and we are glad that Apple doesn’t either. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • We have not seen any customers that actually have been infected with Flashback (as of this writing). So although there is a lot of publicity, we hope that the actual problem is not as large as the press is making it out to be.
  • Apple patched this particular security issue in Java a while ago. So if you keep your Mac OS up to date, that is the best way to stay secure. If you haven’t run software update recently, do it!

Am I at risk?
Probably not, but if you would like to check and see if your Mac has the Flashback malware on it, you can download a free utility on github from programmer Juan Leon. This utility will check for the Flashback, but not remove it. If you have Flashback on your Mac, you can find some instructions at F-secure to remove it, or you can bring it in to one of our retail stores and we can help you out.

Beyond Flashback, what else can I do to keep my Mac secure?
The most important, and an easy step, is to make sure that Software Update is running regularly (you can check in your Apple Menu, System Preferences, under Software Update). We would recommend letting it check once a week. When it finds an update, make sure and install it.

You can get some security software for your Mac. Many ISPs (like Comcast) will provide you with security software, or here are a few good programs you can download:
Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition (Free)
Virus Barrier Express (Free)

Also, this issue was caused by a vulnerable version of Java. Java has seen other security issues in the past. If you don’t need Java anymore, you can disable it. The Java Preferences utility is in /Applications/Utilities; uncheck the boxes next to the versions listed in the General tab. Some programs still need Java, so be careful with this step.

Gatekeeper
We are looking forward to Mac OS X Mountain Lion, coming out this summer. Mountain Lion will include Gatekeeper, which will make Mac OS X, the most secure OS in the world, even more secure. Read more about Gatekeeper and what it will mean for security on the Mac here.

Update (4/11/12)

Apple has a new knowledge base article about Flashback, and it looks like they will provide a tool to remove it soon.

For now, security company Kaspersky Lab has a free removal tool that is easier to use than the instructions provided above.

Update (4/12/12)

Apple has a new item in Software Update that not only patches the Flashback vulnerability but also deletes all known variants. More information can be found by clicking here.

In short, make sure you run your software updates!