Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

Syncing Acuity to Google and iCloud calendars

For acuity do you use the icalendar or google calendar….confusing because I have gmail
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I've actually tested both syncing to an ical calendar hosted via iCloud and Google Calendar. The iCloud syncing was in beta for a long time but I can say that it is just as responsive as the Google calendar at this point so either would be fine. Keep in mind you can always add your google calendar to Apple's calendar app so the point becomes moot. Here's a screenshot of both Google calendar and iCloud calendar syncing to Acuity within the same calendar app.

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Lastly, while you are supposed to be able to block times from your calendar program, I do not trust that function. When blocking times, I do so from the webpage. In fact I either use the webpage or the web app on iOS 99% of the time. I only sync my calendar to iCal (now Calendar) so my wife can see my appointment schedule. Lastly, if you choose to sync your Acuity calendar to one of your iCloud calendars, you will have to have 2 factor authentication turned on. Apple forces that when you give third party apps access to iCloud functions.

Macbook Air won't turn on

2010-2011 MacBook Air will not turn on. Adapter's green light will not light up when connected. Assume it's a problem with the battery. Looking for insight and a quick fix!
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I don't think we will need a session for your issue. Here are two things to try to bring your air back to life.

Hold down command+option+P+R all simultaneously. Continue holding down those buttons until the computer chimes a second and third time. Then release.

Another key combo to try is disconnecting the charger and press the following all at once: command+option+shift+power. That should reset the Computer's ability to distribute power throughout the system. If neither of these things works it could then most likely be a hardware issue.

What HD can you recommend?

What drive should I use to backup? Can you recommend one?
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I prefer the Seagate drives.

https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Portable-External-STDR2000100/dp/B00FRHTSK4/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1494893433&sr=1-1&keywords=seagate+backup+plus+slim+2tb

Is it time for a VPN?

Is it time for us to start using a VPN?
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Yes. The federal government just passed a law allowing your ISP to monetize your info. In other words, they can now sell personal information they collect by viewing what you do via your internet connection. Here's the new law: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/34/actions

A VPN (virtual private network) hides your home's IP address by routing all your internet traffic through a third party server. It prevents your service provider from seeing exactly what you are viewing. They only see that you are connected. Not your content. If you do not care about your privacy, there is no need to consider using a VPN. However, if you prefer to keep your browsing habits and history private, you should be in the market for a VPN.

For a great place to get started familiarizing yourself with what a VPN does go to:
https://www.bestvpn.com/best-vpn-services/

Does Apple Recycle?

Does Apple do recycling?
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Yes. They outsource the program through a company called PowerON. More info here:
www.apple.com/recycling

Does the guest user have a password?

You set up my Mac last week and I need the guest user name and password. Currently the guest is the admin and I can not unlock it to download my programs
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The Guest User would not be involved with installing any applications.  The guest user on a mac is there for people to temporarily use the computer and then when signing out of the guest user everything done inside that user is removed.  The guest is never the Admin. The guest user doest not have any authority to install a program.  Your Admin user would do that.  Also, the guest user would never have a password.  If you go into your system preferences , select Users and Groups.  There you will see the name of your actual Admin user.  The Guest user is also there but does not effect the computer.  

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If I set any password for something without the user’s input I would have used “password”.  However, thinking back I remember you went through a couple different ideas of what you’d like your computer password to be in the Admin.  Is it possible you may have forgotten the password you chose?  If so, we can reset it.  I see you scheduled a session.  

Erase Backup drive before use?

Trying to hook up new back up drive…

It’s asking me this… do I hit erase or don’t erase?
Screenshot 2017-03-16 17.33.13
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Yes. If you're using a brand new drive for your Time Machine drive then it's ok to erase it. Most likely it was formatted as a Windows drive. While Apple can read and write to Windows drives, they cannot the the target of a of a Time Machine backup. Erasing the drive will also format the drive correctly format it for your Mac to use it as a backup drive. (MacOS Extended Journaled)

Which iMac should I buy?

Which iMac should I buy?
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The 2 major things to consider with a new mac:

1.  What type of hard drive should I buy?

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Final thought, I recommend the Fusion choice.

2. How much ram should I put in?

On a 27”, don’t worry about it.  You can always add more later.  On a 21.5”, different story.  Apple’s current iMac design on the 21” does not allow for adding ram later.  On the 27”, there is an access door to add ram later.  The 21 does not have the same door.  This means you have to buy as much ram as you feel you’ll ever need at time of purchase.  

What am I paying for?

Am I still being charged for old services I don't use anymore?

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I suggest logging into your ATT account and checking how many data plans you’re currently paying for and cancelling any that are no longer active for you. I see it happen a lot with people where they are paying for services or subscriptions they haven’t used in a long time. You'll also want to login to your iTunes account and check under subscriptions. This will show both active subs as well as ones that have expired. For subs that you are paying for outside the iTunes ecosystem like directly via Wall Street Journal for example, you'll need to log into each of those sites separately.

How do I convert my miniDV library to iMovie?

Do you recommend a product to transfer old Mini DV tapes to a Mac as an iMovie file?
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Your old camera may have an old type of output cable that will connect to the computer like USB or FireWire. If it does, stop. You don't need anything. Just plug the camera in via that cable. Open iMovie. Choose to import media and select the source as your external camera. You might have to put the camera into some sort of exporting mode. However, there is a chance are that your old miniDV camera may not be recognized by iMovie. So instead proceed ahead…

What you'll need is a physical device that will act as a transcoder of sorts. It's called an "analog to digital converter". This box will sit in between your old camera that can play the tapes and the computer. Here's a popular one I've had success with in the past.

Elgato Video Capture
Pasted Graphic

There are others on the market that look and act similarly.

Lastly, keep in mind that if you're importing a great deal of hours of footage, your internal hard drive may be too small to hold that much data. You may want to consider using an external hard drive to store the movie files. iMovie will allow you to choose where the imported media will live.

What phone should I buy my son for his birthday?

Hi Scotty.  I hope you are well.  I’m going to get my soon to be 13 year old a phone for his bday.  What do you recommend?
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13 year olds don't need the largest capacity size so I'd look at going as inexpensive as possible. The smaller 7S would be fine. 16 or 32 gigs. You'll want to have a serious conversation about using data since he'll most likely be going on your data plan. Kids are well known for burning through data plans very quickly due to the amount of video and music they stream daily.

Even though it's his birthday, you may also consider the possibility of getting a new phone for one of the adults in the home and handing down your current one. Just a thought.

My airport network is having problems.

The devices which you installed to boost my wi`fi i n the house have yellow lights on and service is weak downstairs from office.I un plugged the little black box but only two green lights reappeared.What must I do?
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A couple of things at play here. 1st, the yellow flashing is either being caused by the presence of an update available or it could mean there's a problem with the network setup. Since you're experiencing problems with the signal strength it seems likely that the later is the cause.
Open airport utility and see if you can run any updates (denoted by red circles). After any updates are run now take an inventory of the devices present on the network grid. Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 11.57.37 PM
As in the example above, if you see one device showing a yellow triangle, then that device has somehow fallen off the network. Check the power to that device first. Secondly you may need to hold the reset button on the back for approximately 5 seconds until the yellow light flashes rapidly then use airport utility to re-add the device back on to the network. Airport Utility does a very good job of making that process very easy to do.

Photos permissions may cause sync to phone to fail

Photos not completing the iPhone sync via iTunes after a data transfer to a new hard drive.
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The issue could be related to permissions. Quit both iTunes and Photos then hold down the option+command keys and re-open Photos. You'll be prompted to repair the library.
Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 11.52.20 PM
Try after that process is complete, give that a try.

Why aren't I getting my daughter's calendar invitations?

quick question. I am not receiving any calendar invites from Bethany. Should I have something turned on I don't?
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There's nothing to turn on to allow calendar invitations. This probably comes down to the calendar account she is inviting you to. If your family has set up family sharing in iCloud then all members of the family have a common "family" calendar. She could also share a specific calendar to you by right clicking in the calendar in her calendar program and typing the email Apple ID email address associated with your iCloud account.

Most likely she is inviting the wrong email address Apple ID.

If she's using a gmail calendar and you're using and iCloud calendar you should still be able to be invited to the event. (I think) But really it works best if both users are either using iCloud calendars or gmail calendars. Not one in each.

Tricked, not hacked...

Here's yet another example of the strategy bad guys use to trick you into giving up your username and password to any given service. Then they proceed to try that username and password on other services like Amazon, PayPal, random banking sites, eBay, and so on in hope that you use the same combination on multiple accounts.

Common email received:
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Now click on the far right side of the email address to see who it's really from:
Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 6.26.08 PM

Now hover your mouse over the link in the email to see where you are really being sent:
Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 6.24.04 PM

So let's say you fall for it by clicking the link. What happens next? They take you to a page that looks exactly like eBay with one very important exception. It's not. Here's how to tell:
Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 6.23.51 PM

Notice the URL address? That's not eBay. Moral of the story is don't trust the email links. If you feel it's really important, type the website address in yourself in your browser.

How do I change the default application that opens for a file?

Hi Scotty.

My husband started a program called numbers since excel wasn't working. He then saved a couple excel document into numbers. Numbers is now opening all his excel spreadsheets (acting as default) and even new excel documents are being saved there
Looks like numbers is also in iCloud Drive. Is this a quick fix u can help me with?
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You can change the default application that opens any file type by right clicking on the file first and choosing "Get Info". Once you see that window, select "open with" and then choose the appropriate application from the choices given. Finally select "change all". You'll be prompted with a message asking if you're sure. Say yes. Then all files with that certain file extension with open with the new program.

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 4.33.39 PM

Second question: iCloud drive is a dropbox-like service that apple now offers. Numbers, Keynote and Pages all now want to save your documents to iCloud by default. When you save documents you can choose where you save them in the save menu box.
Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 4.37.26 PM
If you are looking for documents that had been previously saved in iCloud, just open a Finder window and click on the iCloud Drive icon in the left side of the menu.

I just got a new router from my ISP and now my airports don't work.

We just switched to direct tv and also got fiber wire internet. We can get up to a gigabit of speed. The airport light is yellow and also the express are yellow.  Can you tell me how to get the airport on line? Or is this something that you need to come out for?
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It’s common for a new service provider to come into a home and disconnect the existing network.  If you are happy with the current coverage of the single ATT router they have given you then I would suggest not reconnecting the Airport devices.  However, if you feel your coverage is better with them, then you can reconnect them but it can be a little complicated.  This is due to the fact that having two routers on the same network can conflict in identical IP addresses being handed out by two routers at the same time.  In general, one would put one router into bridge mode and allow the other router to pass out numbers.  This is not always the best method but it can get a little complicated.  

I deal with this all the time.  I don’t like to try to force business for myself but in this case, you may want me to solve it for you.  It’s a little more involved than I can describe in an email.  With that said, I do suggest you first see if they simply unplugged the ethernet cable from the back of the Airport closest to the ATT router.  There should be an ethernet cable leaving the ATT router and going into the lower most input on the back of the Tower looking Airport extreme.  If it’s an older flat model, then the ethernet port for input would be the one closest to the power plug.  (The far left most as you look at the back of the flat router)

Do I need SEO?

Do I need SEO?
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This is SEO.  Not domain registration.  This is an add-on service that someone sold you.  By the looks of this, it looks to be completely unnessasary.  SEO is search engine optimization.  Personally I view SEO as complete snake oil.  It’s an attempt to raise your Google ranking by adding keywords or tags to a website and other methods in hopes that your search results will be higher.  Google has told us what they look at when ranking pages. 

 Among their criteria is the frequency at which a page is updated.  The number of other websites that link to you.  In other words, if other people think your site is worthy of placing a link to you on their own page, then google ups your credibility a little as well.  Google sees all.  I strongly suggest you have a conversation with this company and find out what services they are performing for you in return for your money.

Great article here: http://techli.com/2013/12/the-truth-about-internet-marketing-part-2-seo-is-a-scam/#

Here’s more info directly from Google itself.  https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en

By the way, if Google senses that a website is trying to game their system (for instance, adding keywords like “Brittany Spears naked” inside the metadata of one’s site in hopes of getting more search results, google will blacklist you.  And if Google blacklists you, you are invisible.  

I do want to say there are some benefits to SEO but those benefits usually come when the person or company in charge of building and managing the day to day content of your website (your web designer) works on your content.  Arguments can be made on both sides but in the end it comes down to this:

1.  If you’ve ben using a SEO service have you seen a benefit?
2.  Does the benefit you’ve seen justify the cost of paying for that service?
3.  What is the purpose of your website?  Are you a small business functioning mainly on word of mouth or do you rely 100% on how people find you on the web?

Ultimately, in Google’s eyes, nothing beats hard work when it comes to ranking a website.  If your website just sits there and is never updated or content never added, your rankings aren’t moving up.  But if you blog, add content, stay active on social media, your rankings will improve.  

I suggest looking at Google’s free service called Google analytics.  It’s a couple of lines of code you put into your website that will give you a wealth of information like:

How did people find me?
How long did they stay?
What links did they click on?
Which of my pages are most popular?
What page on my site lead them to another page on my website?

These are all very good pieces of information in determining how to design and edit your page to best take advantage of visitors.  

You're not being "hacked". You're being outsmarted.

The word "hacking" is being incorrectly used in the news these days. You are far more susceptible to being tricked or fooled, than you are being "hacked". The term hacked makes us think there is some terrible code running that someone installed on our computers. Bad guys don't have to work that hard. You're way over thinking it.

All they really need to do is send you an email like this one and hope you fall for it. Or just get one of these and sit back and wait for you not to notice.

What is a Doube NAT error?

Why is my network flashing?

unknown

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 7.20.52 PM

unknown

Suggestions?
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A double NAT error is not really anything to be concerned with in your case.. It means there are 2 devices functioning as routers in the same network. Your main Apple Airport Extreme wants to distribute IP addresses in the range of 10.0.1.x but the modem/router in the chain just before that router (given to you by your ISP) also wants to hand out numbers but in the range of 192.168.x.x. When a router detects another router on the same network you get this error. In general you can just select to ignore the error. But if you wanted to solve it completely you could but the airport extreme into bridge mode. It would then stop handing out 10.0.1.x numbers and instead rely on the modem/router given to you by your ISP to distribute the IP addresses to devices in your home. I don't personally like to do this because I feel the Airport does a better job handing out numbers than the modem?router given to you by your ISP. Overall, I would just ignore the issue.
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