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: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23049/smcfancontrol.

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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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Can’t Run Older Software On Yosemite? Try This.

If you get the warning about no Java being installed when trying to run older software, such as Adobe Creative Suite, on Yosemite, you may just have to install this older Java component which is still available through Apple at this site.

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Capital Mac Service of Saratoga Service Area Reminder

Just a quick reminder that Capital Mac Service of Saratoga can also service Macintosh computers in these locations:

  • Latham
  • Colonie
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Clifton Park
  • Troy
  • Schenectady
  • Glens Falls
  • Albany
  • Milton
  • Wilton
  • Woodstock
  • Bennington, Vermont
  • Hoosic

Capital Mac Service is open for business and ready to consult with you with any of your Macintosh computer troubleshooting needs, including hard drive upgrades and networking advice. Contact us today!

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Some words of advice before installing OS X Yosemite

Please follow some simple procedures BEFORE you try to install the new Yosemite OS on your Mac, which was released on October 16th.

1.) **BACKUP YOUR DATA**. I cannot tell you how many mornings we would be flooded at the Genius Bar with installations of new operating systems that would go bad and data loss would occur.

2.) **CHECK YOUR SOFTWARE! Things like older versions of Microsoft Office and Adobe products are probably not going to fare well historically. You may have to wait for them to put out patches or updates.

3.) **CHECK YOUR HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS! Just because Apple *says* your Mac will run it, often that means it will run it like molasses if you have a slightly older computer. Remember this from every new iOS version that destroyed older iPhones.

4.) **WAIT FOR A WHILE! Just because it came out TODAY, it doesn’t mean you have to have it TODAY–and that’s what “.1″ updates are for weeks later. Waiting a few weeks/months will surely flush out bugs that Apple hasn’t even conceived of yet. Do you hear me audio software people?

5.) **DON’T INSTALL ON PRODUCTION MACHINES! If you have ‘production machines’ such as graphic designers and printers, you may want to put this on NON-production machines first. If your computer is hosed from a new OS, you no longer make money until it’s fixed.

If you have any issues after installation, please contact us for troubleshooting issues.

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Original Macbook Air Loses Sound

Has your original Macbook Air lost sound?

mw 08 showfloor 4 23 300x199 Has your original Macbook Air lost sound?

The original Macbook Air can lose sound–for no reason!

This seems to be a strange–yet common–issue with the original Macbook Air, model 1.1. This is the very first Macbook Air that Apple released, and you can tell which model I’m talking about if you have a small drop-down door with the headphone jack and USB port hidden in it. It also has vents on the bottom of the unit. This particular Macbook Air, for no rhyme or reason, will tend to just lose the sound–all sound, with no warning. Do you have this Macbook Air no sound issue? The usual cause of the issue is either a bad sound card, or, the ribbon cable that ties the sound card to the logic board. If you have this issue and you are local to Capital Mac Service, give us a call and we can probably fix you up and get you back to listening to your favorite songs in iTunes in no time!

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No Power Macbook Pro

Your Macintosh Just Died. Purchase a new Mac or repair your current model?

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It may be time to replace that Macintosh.

After 6 years, your trusty old iMac has finally bitten the dust. Capital Mac just told you that to repair this iMac, it will cost you about $500 for a new logic board. Do you replace the computer or repair it? That’s a tough choice for some people and Capital Mac founder, Mark H. Delfs, is here with some advice.

“If the computer is in the 2-3 year range, it’s most likely repairable, but only if you keep it $300 or less. If it’s between 4 and 6 years, it’s most likely not worth repairing if the quote goes over $150-200. It’s simply not worth the investment for a computer that will not be performing anywhere close to the computer you would buy today,” Delfs says.

The general trend is to keep today’s computers for anywhere between 3-4 years and then sell them on eBay or hand down to family members. By that time, most of the software will want to be upgraded as well as the RAM memory and hard drive. Take the money out of the computer rather than putting it into a computerized black hole.

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Capital Mac Video Series: Intro to Applescript

This is a very introductory video about Apple’s built-in scripting language, AppleScript, including making the computer talk, dialog boxes, creating a simple magic 8-ball game, introduction to AppleScript editor and the basics of a variable. Brought to you by Capital Mac Service of Upstate New York.

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Capital Mac Video Series: Basic Mac Maintenance

A quick Capital Mac Service instructional video showing some basic Macintosh maintenance that anyone can do with the wonderful software ‘Cocktail,’ covering cache rebuilding, too many files on the desktop and built-in maintenance tasks. These tips should help speed up your Macintosh and are super easy to perform!

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Macintosh Dropping Wifi

Is your Macintosh wifi connection dropping? A possible solution!

wi fi icon mac apple thumb 300x209 Is your Macintosh wifi connection dropping? A possible solution!One of the biggest complaints going is how your Mac suddenly drops wifi connection. This is a vexing problem, and often hard to figure out what is happening. Most of the time, like it or not, this wifi dropping issue tends to be environmental. This simply means that the problem is happening on a certain wifi connection, usually at home or at work, but, most of the time only in one place. If this is the case, try this simple trick that can sometimes resolve this issue.

Sometimes, the very channel your Mac’s wifi card is using (think of wifi channels like radio stations–they all have difference frequencies) is very crowded, or, is getting mixed up with another channel, maybe from a neighbor’s home. You can tell your own router to change this channel, which can alleviate some of these dropping issues and fortunately, Apple gives you a way to get a suggested channel that may be better for you just by using the internal wifi diagnostics in higher versions of the OS, like Mavericks 10.9.2.

Start first by entering the wifi diagnostic tool on the Mac by holding down the option key and clicking on the wifi menu in the Mac’s menubar. You should see “Open Wireless Diagnostics” at the bottom. Go ahead and choose this. Now, you may be asked for the administrator password, which you can put in. Now, In the “Windows” pull-down menu choose “Utilities”, and then select Wi-Fi Scan –>  Scan Now. You will now notice in the lower right hand corner of the window, a box that contains a few suggestions for better wifi channels to use. These channels should be changed in your router settings, which is another article. If you’re comfortable with your router settings, you should be able to head to your router configuration page and tune into these new suggested channels.

Of course, tinkering around with channel settings in your router may be beyond your comfort zone, and if so, contact Capital Mac Service for a possible on-site visit to help with this situation.

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