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Category: Apple

Taking Care Of Your Computer

Computers, much like people need you to take care of them. They need a regular check-up and protecting from some of the ‘diseases’ and ‘illnesses’ that they can get. Of course, you look after yourself with food, water and a visit to the doctor. If you’re feeling under the weather, you pick up some medicine and have a guess about what might be wrong. For an Apple Mac, you’d see Mac Everything – because they just know things.

But in general, you take care of yourself enough to prevent anything too serious.

So here are some routine maintenance tips for your computer.

Clean It Up

You might be disgusted and surprised about the filth that is secretly hiding in your keyboard, mouse and the openings in the computer – like the USB ports. Dust and grime build up and can wreak havoc on your system. To clean a keyboard and some of the more accessible surfaces, use a cleaning putty. Looking and feeling like the slime you played with as a child and is once again popular this picks up crumbs, dust, and other lints. For more dust-laden areas, like fans, for example, you can use a compressed air canister to blast it out the way without your system being damaged.

Vent Awareness

Every year millions of people take their laptops to the store they got it from and complain that it has exploded. It overheated. Because, of course, they were engrossed in their favorite series and completely forgot that those vents are there for a reason. To get air into the unit to keep it cool. This isn’t about the maintenance; it is just a must.

Downloads

There are some safe downloads, and there are some not so safe ones. The issue is that some malicious people like to use popular downloads to attach viruses and malware to. Once you open that file ready to install it will just ruin your machine in no time. So be careful where you download programs, always use the source of the product rather than third-party sites because it is free.

Shut Down

Leaving your machine on standby each and every night is going to clock up the hours of it working nonstop. Every night, once you are finished close your computer down property, consider this a rest for you both. Avoid cold booting too. This is where you hold down the off button rather than wait for the shutdown to process. The extra minute or two will protect your machine and doesn’t it deserve that?

Uninstall

When it comes to the running and memory, go through and delete all of the files that you are no longer using, and then uninstall programs that you are no longer using too. They take up valuable running space that just wastes your time.

When it comes to your computer, you should take care of it, as you would a car. They cost a lot of money and are used many times a day.

The iPad Health Dump

The Ipad has literally changed the way of entertainment over the last few years. First, it received some criticism. Some saying it was just a big phone without the phone, and that there are various security issues with it. However, it has stood the test of time and it has become a grade a companion for millions of people across the world. The Ipad is used expertly by many, but there are still some areas of concern for some. So, here are some hints and tips that can not only help you get the best out of your Ipad, but to keep it safe too.

Use A Case

So many people don’t use cases or screen protectors. Their size makes them more vulnerable to a drop than a phone. Make sure you protect it. Get a solid back case that wraps around when not in use. You can use a screen protector too if you wish to keep the screen free from scratches and abrasions. You can find some cool cases at ithingum.com. Depending on what you use it for dictates the case needed. For example if you work on a construction site get something solid and hard, but if you use it around the house something softer is fine. Don’t ruin your Ipad by a silly drop. Mistakes are made, so try to protect it as much as you can.

Virus Protection

Staying with protection, you also need to protect it from external threats. Many people think their phones and tablets aren’t at risk from viruses, but they are essentially computers and as a result can become affected just the same. You open a dodgy email attachment that has been designed to attack IOS then you could be in trouble. They have built in security, but you would be better off using software to protect it from attack. You could lose all kinds of photos, messages, and other memories if you haven’t backed it up in some time. Here are some of the better security apps you can make the most of.

Don’t Leave It In Direct Sunlight

You may have seen the message that comes up. Warning that the system cannot work because it is too hot. This is a great addition by Apple that can stop it breaking, but remember, it still gets damaged. Doing this can sizzle the internal components. You may not notice anything right away, but over time it make become sluggish and not charge properly. Don’t leave it in direct sunlight because it will be damaged, if you have to keep it face down and ensure it is under a cover for enhanced shade.

Charge It Right

Try to ensure you charge the device right so that it doesn’t lose charge over time. The newer products are better but if you have an older one and you don’t charge properly you could end up losing huge chunks of it. This is why sometimes it jumps from certain numbers down to one or two, simply because the device is confused. You can find the correct charging methods from Apple themselves.

Carbonite for Mac Eats Up CPU

If you use the Carbonite cloud-based backup tool for Mac, you may notice that your computer’s fans are running loud and often, and that the Carbonite daemon is running at 80-120%. This gets really, really annoying after not too long.

I’ve dealt with it for two years by pausing backups while I’m working on my computer, hoping that Carbonite would release a new version that fixed the problem soon. That has not happened yet, and I grew tired of trying numerous fixes mentioned around the Internet, only to have the problem continue.

Screenshot_1_9_13_4_04_PM

Finally, I saw that someone used a different backup tool called CrashPlan. I am on their 30 day free trial and am really digging it so far. The pricing is at or below that of Carbonite (depending how much space you need) and it seems to be running quite smoothly so far.

I really like the extra configuration and security settings that you just don’t get with Carbonite. It allows you to set schedules for CPU and bandwidth usage so that you can maximize your time efficiently. You can even choose what type of encryption you want to use on your stored backups, and if you set a password, your backups will be protected by that as well.

There doesn’t seem to be any restriction on file types, either. I remember Carbonite had a thing for a while where they wouldn’t let you back up video files, which just seemed dumb. They might still have that stipulation. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, because I’m ditching Carbonite for good now.

What do you use to back up your system and how well does it work for you?

Apple Mail “smtp.xxxx.com:xxxxx” offline

I have 2 gmail accounts configured under “Mail” and over the last few days 1 of my accounts when sending a new email shows the “smtp.gmail.com:xxxxx” as “Offline”, if I forced a send from it, I would have to type my password in again. Then it would send, but go back offline.

Even when re-setting the password under the Mail Account Prefs, no difference.

Here’s what worked for me.

1. Start a new message

2. Pull down the “smtp.gmail.com: xxxx” menu and select “EDIT smtp server list”

3. Click on the account that’s going “Offline”, select “Advanced”

4. Fill in the password and close.

I don’t know why, but the account that was having issues did NOT have my password saved (even though it was “saved” under the normal account preferences area).

All seems well again, even after closing and opening mail etc.

The very strange thing is, the “EDIT smtp server list” seems to be a sub-menu under the normal Account preferences, that can’t be accessed except the above way. Odd.

Hope this helps.

iTunes App Store Category ID’s

I’ve been developing a web app that queries the iTunes Store database. Apple doesn’t make it easy to find out category ID’s, so I figured this might save someone some time now that I have done them all.

6000 – Business
6001 – Weather
6002 – Utilities
6003 – Travel
6004 – Sports
6005 – Social Networking
6006 – Reference
6007 – Productivity
6008 – Photography
6009 – News
6010 – Navigation
6011 – Music
6012 – Lifestyle
6016 – Entertainment
6017 – Education
6018 – Books
6020 – Medical

7001 – Action
7002 – Adventure
7003 – Arcade
7004 – Board
7005 – Card
7006 – Casino
7007 – Dice
7008 – Educational
7009 – Family
7010 – Kids
7011 – Music
7012 – Puzzle
7013 – Racing
7014 – Healthcare & Fitness
7015 – Simulation
7016 – Sports
7017 – Strategy
7018 – Trivia
7019 – Word

Practical Security Round-up

We here at Geekamongus care about you, the visitor, so we offer some news and tips about staying secure:

iPhone
Here’s a good reason to set your iPhone to *not* auto-join Wifi networks, especially those AT&T Wifi Hotspots.

Antivirus Software
There is no need to pay for antivirus/security software for your Windows computer.  Save your money.  As cnet suggests, use one of the many free programs available.  Personally, I prefer MSE or Avast.

Facebook
Considering there may be 1.5 million Facebook accounts up for sale on the black market, now would be a good time to rid your computer of malware and then change your Facebook password.

While you are at it, you may want to learn about (and restrict) all the personal data Facebook has unilaterally decided to share about you.

Microsoft SharePoint Security Warning
SharePoint administrators and users, beware: Serious XSS flaw haunts Microsoft SharePoint

The Google Overlords
Afraid of Google?  Here’s a good way to anonymize yourself when doing Google searches or using many of their services:

Read more on the project page. Download the Firefox plugin here.