Capital Mac Service Back to School

Capital Mac Back to School Services

 Capital Mac Back to School Services

Let Capital Mac Service help you with your back to school needs

Capital Mac Service can help you get ready for the back to school rush this summer–now’s the time to consider the services we offer students with Macintosh computers:

  • Data recovery from dead Macintosh computers (see this page for more info)
  • Data transfer to new Macintosh computers
  • Hard drive upgrades on older Macintosh computers
  • RAM upgrades on older Macintosh computers
  • Macintosh security consultations
  • Data backup consultations
  • External hard drive advice
  • Macintosh software consultations
  • Macintosh System software upgrades

This is a quick list of Apple Macintosh services that Capital Mac Service can offer you, whether you are in Saratoga County or beyond. Please contact us today for expert Apple Macintosh services on your non-warranty Macs.

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Don’t Let Your Sensitive Data Get Out There!

sensitive data 300x204 Dont Let Your Sensitive Data Get Out There!

Don’t let someone get your sensitive data!

Don’t let your data get into the wrong hands! Just a public service announcement from Capital Mac–this time of year, back to school, is a time for old computers to get sold, handed down, given away, etc. while you shop for brand-new Macs. Let’s remember to WIPE THE OLD DATA SECURELY before giving those computers away! A quick format of the hard drive is not enough–the data can still be retrieved with the right software. Use the built-in secure erase in Disk Utility to write 1’s and 0’s across that sensitive data. Please contact Capital Mac if you need help with this particular–and important–service.

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I just spilled coffee/soda/beer/wine on my Macintosh. Now what?

Liquid Damage New  full 300x209 I just spilled coffee/soda/beer/wine on my Macintosh. Now what?

Did you spill on your Mac?

Liquid damage is one of the worst things that can happen to your Macintosh, or any electronic device for that matter. The very act of introducing liquid (wine/beer/soda/juice/water) of any kind into a live electronic device will usually render that device pretty much dead on the spot. The severity of the damage will be based on a few unique factors such as:

  • How much liquid was spilled on the Mac? A teaspoon or an entire glass?
  • What type of liquid was introduced into the Mac?
  • Was the unit turned on or powered off during the spill?
  • Did you get a chance to turn the computer upside down or towel off the majority of liquid?
  • Where did the liquid spill happen on the Mac?

The answers to these questions will certainly dictate the severity of liquid damage and there’s not usually a happy ending to these unfortunate stories. Most often, heading to the Apple Store to diagnose liquid damage will result in a special quote that is reserved for this type of damage. Depending on the size of the unit, you will either get charged about $800 for a 13″ computer to about $1,200 for a 15″ model (taxes are also not figured in). What happens in this situation is that the store simply boxes and sends your computer out for repair, which usually means a complete rebuild of your computer from top to bottom. There’s no “dickering” with this price–it’s a flat fee built in to any liquid damaged computer. And no, AppleCare does not cover liquid damage–it’s not insurance, it’s an extension of the manufacturer’s warranty.

Your other (limited) options include part-by-part repair for minor liquid damage, if the computer is salvageable. For example, you may only have damage to the keyboard, but the rest of the Macintosh works fine. In this case you would want to just have the top case replaced by a 3rd-party Macintosh repair center–the Apple Store usually will not perform this service (see the previous paragraph). Another option is to contact your credit card company–sometimes, they offer an extended warranty that may even include damage insurance. Lastly, you could cut your losses and sell off the machine for parts on eBay or Craigslist. There is a whole cottage industry forming that will buy liquid damaged Macs and iPhones, repair them, and resell them to the public. You will get a fraction of what you paid, but, it may be better to get your money out of the damaged Mac rather than putting it back into it.

We do invite you to contact Capital Mac in these liquid damage situations–however, your options may be severely limited as noted above. One service Capital Mac can offer is to possibly get your hard drive extracted safely from the machine. Most often, the data and hard drive portion of the Mac is working fine and just needs to be extracted. We would be more than happy to consult you on your next steps and get you back to a working Macintosh. Contact us today!

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Font Preview Not Working in Illustrator CS 5 With Yosemite Fix

So, you are here because you just installed Mac OS X Yosemite and you use Adobe Illustrator 5 and you can’t see the font preview in the type drop-down menu, right? What happens is when you mouse over a font, it will show the preview, but, it will show everything else as blanks. Frustrating! I went through every fix that was given on the Adobe site, including turning off font preview (why wouldn’t you want to see what your fonts look like?), turning on and off the dark menu, killing Illustrator preferences, etc. Nothing worked! Finally, I noticed this nugget on a back corner of the web and low and behold, it solved it! Here’s what you do:

Open the Mac OS X System Preferences and head to ‘Accessibility.’ Once you are in there, select ‘Display’ from the left-hand list and then check the checkbox that says “Reduce transparency.”

If all goes well, you can now see all of your fonts in Adobe Illustrator CS 5 once again. This also has a side benefit that allows you to actually see the fonts (somewhat) when you have the new Yosemite dark mode selected. Normally, I wouldn’t be able to read the fonts since they were all jagged. This solved that as well!

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Capital Mac Service Embraces Your ‘Vintage and Obsolete’ iMacs!

Capital Mac Service is a haven for your “vintage and obsolete” white (or silver) iMacs–we accept them all with open arms, nurse them back to health with memory, hard drive and OS updates if you need them. Don’t hesitate to call today–These brother and sister iMacs will have a new lease on life after tonight!

2014 09 17 19.31.06 300x188 Capital Mac Service Embraces Your Vintage and Obsolete iMacs!

Vintage and Obsolete iMac Support at Capital Mac Service

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A Happy Ending to a Local Macbook Theft!

This particular story excited me because this was one of my early Capital Mac Service customers! I happened to be doing a data transfer to a new Macintosh for this client and they mentioned that their son’s Macbook was stolen out of a car the night before. We talked about various possibilities and ideas to try to figure out where the machine was, including “Find My Mac,” contacting the authorities, scanning Craigslist, etc. Low and behold, I get an email today–about 2 months later–and it said this:

Hi Mark, Not sure if you remember me but you helped me with my computer this summer. And you met my son who just got his Macbook stolen. Well we finally got it back. icon smile A Happy Ending to a Local Macbook Theft!

You can read the entire newspaper article here

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Booting to OS X Gray Screen

Mac OS X 10.9.3 is LIVE!

Following a long beta period, Apple has released the final version of OS X 10.9.3. The update leaves reasonably few modifications, but should strengthen help for 4K displays on 2013 models of the Mac Pro and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. It also restores the ability to sync personal contacts and calendars between a Mac and an iOS device making use of USB, instead of alternate options such as iCloud.

Further inclusions are Safari 7.0.3 — a routine maintenance patch — as well as superior stability for VP interactions using IPsec. The v10.9.3 update may be downloaded through the software update system preference.

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Control Yosemite’s Dark Menu Bar Mode With a Keyboard Shortcut

If you like the new dark menubar feature in Mac OS X Yosemite but hate taking a trip to the system preferences every time to enable or disable it, here’s a fast way to assign a keyboard shortcut to make it toggle much faster.

First, launch the Terminal application from the Utilities folder and enter this command:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist _HIEnableThemeSwitchHotKey -bool true


Hit the return key, and restart the computer. When you come back up, you can toggle dark menubar mode by hitting CTRL+OPT+CMD+T.

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Tired of replacing batteries in your Apple wireless keyboard? It’s time to go solar!

 Tired of replacing batteries in your Apple wireless keyboard? Its time to go solar! Tired of replacing batteries in your Apple wireless keyboard? Its time to go solar!When I first got my iMac, it came with a sweet Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard. I couldn’t believe the freedom that a wireless keyboard could bring. However, I noticed something very interesting after a few weeks with the keyboard–it sucked down batteries like nobody’s business! I’m obviously a heavy Macintosh user and I’m on my computer most of the day and night–and this was not going to cut it for me!

What I found was probably one of the best inventions of all time in my Macintosh lifetime–the Logitech Solar Keyboard for the Mac! This amazing keyboard looks like the original Macintosh keyboard (and it comes in other colors as well!) and it completely runs on solar power–no joke. You simply plug in a small USB dongle into your computer and away you go–the keyboard simply uses any light–not just the sun–to recharge itself while you work. There are no batteries and no hassles! I’ve used this keyboard for a few years and it’s been one of the best sub-100 dollar inventions I have ever used. I’m sure Apple will eventually move to this solar technology on future keyboards!

Purchase the Logitech Solar Keyboard for the Mac from Amazon and help Capital Mac make a small commission with that click!

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Stock up on Amazon-branded iPhone and iPad lightning cables

 Stock up on Amazon branded iPhone and iPad lightning cables Stock up on Amazon branded iPhone and iPad lightning cablesI found cool white or black fully-certified Apple lightning cables on Amazon for a bit cheaper than the real Apple-branded models. Check them out and stock up on these essential cables while traveling or, if your kids steal your cables!

Some third-party cables are not certified by Apple and they simply won’t work. This is a good deal for a decent product.

Purchase these replacement Apple-certified lightning cables here.

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Cool off Your Hot Mac with SMCFanControl

Does your desktop Mac run extremely hot? If so, consider SMCFanControl, which allows you to manually adjust your Mac’s internal fans. I installed it on a Mac Pro and it’s made a dramatic difference in the cooling, though it’s a bit louder now. Find it here:

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Capital Mac Service of Saratoga Review

Some Great Local Reviews of Capital Mac Service!

Screen Shot 2014 07 20 at 2.05.38 PM 300x143 Some Great Local Reviews of Capital Mac Service!The word is out and the reviews are slowly rolling in–Capital Mac Service welcomes your comments on Yelp or Facebook!10553562 1438489683091868 1035518059033459151 n 300x124 Some Great Local Reviews of Capital Mac Service!



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Do I need any particular antivirus software for my new (or old) Mac?

 Do I need any particular antivirus software for my new (or old) Mac?The easy answer: probably not. In the 13 years I was with Apple Computer, I saw about two distinct and separate viruses on a Mac. One of them was a simple Microsoft Word virus that only affected Word documents. The other was a real-deal virus, however, Apple caught that one before anyone really had contracted it.

So, do you need Macintosh antivirus software? Probably not.

I’d be more worried about you losing your data to a hard drive or directory damage issue than getting a virus. Most people on any computer platform equate any problem–big or small–to a virus. Most of the customers I dealt with while working with Apple began with “My computer isn’t working. It’s probably a virus.” Obviously from our end, this was never, ever a virus and almost always a directory damage issue or software problem.

If you were to invest in a virus software for your Mac for peace of mind sake, I would recommend something simple as the Norton suite of antivirus software, if you really want to still run one on your system. Be aware that these types of software will possibly reduce the speed of your Mac, since it has to scan every file every few minutes.

If you are gun-shy about Mac antivirus, or, if you just have questions, just contact us at Capital Mac Service and we can cover your options!



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Another great comment about Capital Mac Service

From a client’s voicemail today for a recent Capital Mac Service data recovery attempt:

“Thank you very much. You know I can’t tell you how happy I am that this hard drive data is safe and it’s wonderful what you did to save it. It’s just so great to know that there are people out there who want to really help you and I appreciate that so much. It’s very inspiring for me. It’s good to see that they’re good people out there who want to help.”

If you need expert-quality and helpful service when it comes to your Macintosh, please consider Capital Mac Service.

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Get Better Macbook Pro Retina Battery Life

I’m on my Retina Macbook Pro a good part of the day and lately, I’ve noticed the battery life has been pretty awful. Here’s some tips and tricks I dug up which actually helped restore my Macbook Pro Retina battery to what it used to be when I bought it, in no particular order.

  • Zap the PRAM. This is done by restarting the Retina Macbook Pro and holding down the Option, Command and P and R keys simultaneously. Do this until you hear 3 system chimes and let go–it will take a few seconds. For some reason, my battery life shot up exponentially after this trick, which was before I even installed OS X Yosemite.
  • Get the backlit keyboard dialed back. What I mean by this is simple–I never realized it, but, you can tell the Retina Macbook Pro to shut off the backlit keyboard when you walk away from the computer, or, stop typing. I used to just have it on all the time for no real good reason. Instead of simply turning it off, go to the System Preferences –> Keyboard –> and adjust where it says “Turn off when the computer is not used for…” Simply slide it to a very low number, say for instance 10 seconds. This means when you stop using the computer, the backlight will just shut off completely. This also has saved an immeasurable about of battery power.
  • Watch the display brightness. Simply turning down the display brightness–not setting it to automatic–does have a nice effect on battery life.
  • Run your updates. A majority of the population doesn’t run software updates. At all. Run them–they are safe and Apple approved. Some of them are battery tweaks and will help you get better battery life.
  • Update to OS X Yosemite. Battery life seems to have gotten better with the new Mac OS X Yosemite. It’s a free update and it does seem to help with the bad Macbook Pro Retina battery issues.

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I have a Macintosh. Why would I ever need to back it up?

 I have a Macintosh. Why would I ever need to back it up?Computer backup is one of those things like airbags; hopefully you will never need it, but, it’s there regardless. On average, today’s 3-5 year old Macintosh is going to blow a hard drive. You know, that place where every single photo you have EVER taken is stored. EVERY single document you have typed since the early days of college. That James Brown song that you found on some strange website 14 years ago. Now, imagine if all of that data was just……gone. It happens and it’s not Apple’s problem. When you walk into an Apple Store Genius Bar with this problem, they will kindly ask you if you backed up BEFORE the computer is in a death spiral. Since I’ve performed that very job for Apple, I can assure you that more than 50% of those customers answered “What is backup?” At that point, your Genius will probably sigh and begin the long, sad, awkward conversation on how you just lost all of your data.

Fortunately for you, faithful Apple soul, the answers you seek before this catastrophe are about to be laid out before you. First step, get a hard drive. I’m going to make this VERY easy on you and give you a link to the very hard drive I’m talking about–a simple 1 terabyte hard drive that will back up your computer–any computer–for about $70 bucks. Click here to go buy that on Amazon and get your data SAFE. That hard drive is about a small as a deck of cards and connects to your computer with ONE simple cable. That’s it.

You’re probably thinking: “Once I plug in this mysterious hard drive, what do I do to get it backing up?” Easy. The answer is click on “OK” when you see a message that states “Do you want to use Time Machine to backup your personal data?” Just say yes. Time Machine is the built-in software that allows your vulnerable Mac to back itself up to this new magical hard drive. As a matter of fact, it will save your life to the point of backing up EVERY SINGLE HOUR while that hard drive is plugged in. This is literally one of those set-it and forget-it moments thanks to Apple.

From that point on, your data is safe and secure!

Capital Mac is ready and able to talk about any of your data backup needs. Let us know by contacting us today–we can get you a hard drive and go over your backup options!

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Saratoga Springs Race Course

Do you need Macintosh service while in town for the Saratoga meet?

Screen Shot 2014 07 19 at 10.57.19 AM 300x240 Do you need Macintosh service while in town for the Saratoga meet?

If you have Macintosh problems while in town for the Saratoga 2014 Meet, give Capital Mac a call!

This time of year is the BEST time of the year to be in Saratoga Springs! With the running of the 2014 Saratoga meet, the city of Saratoga Springs is flooded with horse trainers, jockeys, track support staff and the tourists that make it all possible. The only time it’s not fun to be in Saratoga for the meet is when your Macintosh goes down–who do you call? Do you hike a half-hour down to the Apple Store in Crossgates Mall? That may not be something you want to do while in town for the Saratoga meet. If your beloved Macintosh is having problems during the track season, at least give Capital Mac Service a call–we’re located right up the road from Saratoga Springs in Malta, New York and we can help diagnose, and hopefully fix, your older Macintosh issues. We can even travel to you in the city of Saratoga to get your Macintosh back on track–and if we can’t help, we’d be glad to get you some options while you’re in town.

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