Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

May 2018

What's wrong with my printer?

I don’t know if you would be the right person to ask about this but I’m having trouble with my printer. It tells me ( or told me) to replace ink cartridges - I did - but it’s still not printing correctly and it also won’t pick up the wireless signal. I may need a new printer but maybe not ...
___________


With most printers there are a few things you can try. in the printer settings, there are usually a couple of different settings. You're looking for "restore network defaults" and/or "restore defaults". Anything close to that. Initiate those commands and it may bring the printer back to life. You can also try cleaning the print nozzles. There's a command for that in the software as well.

As far as the wireless issue goes, it can sometimes be the fault of the wireless network itself. You'd hate to buy a new printer just to find the same problem. The most common issue with printers not able to print wirelessly is that the wifi network has multiple instances of the same name. Or the network has been split into segments. ie: Sells Network 1, Sells Network 2, Sells Network Kitchen, Sells Network Basement. If the network router and repeaters are handling the home IP addresses incorrectly, you could have the printer on one network but your computer is on a different and they wouldn't be able to see each other.

Overall, the money you would use to pay me may be better suited to go toward a new printer. I feel that printers are usually for about 3-4 years then it's time to move on.

Get rid of unwanted extensions

How can I remove map frontier and their annoying ads?
___________


There are several possibilities as to why this is happening.

Open Safari and go to preferences. (under Safari in the menu bar)
Go to extensions in preferences and choose to uninstall any that you are not familiar with.
Under General in preferences, check to make sure your homepage is what you'd like it to be.

If this doesn't solve the issue, it may be slightly more complicated. But not too bad. Join me on a Monday night town hall and I'd be happy to finish it if removing the Safari extension doesn't do the trick.

How can I optimize my Mac?

Scotty-
Looking for a place with instructions on how I can run a optimization program or something on my MacBook Pro. This computer is getting old, is slowing down, and needs to be cleaned up. Disk Utility while running in normal mode doesn’t do much for it. Isn’t there a way to start the computer in something like Safe Mode and do a deep cleaning Disk Utility?
___________


Your hard drive may have an invisible partition on it that will allow you to boot into Recovery mode. You can find this out by holding down the Option key at start up. If your computer has a recovery partition, you will be able to select it there. After in Recovery Mode, you can open disk utility and choose to repair the disk from there. This will allow for a more thorough job than running disk utility while in the OS itself. However, this may not help your cause. There are a few other reasons you might want to consider as well. I have an article on those here.

Safe mode is different. Safe mode can be triggered by holding down the Shift key at start up. What this does is keep non indigenous processes from running at all. So if you had a piece of software causing problems like a Flash plugin or Norton, etc… it would prevent that from running therefore allowing only factory OS processes. It's a good way to trouble shoot third party issues. The problem is, Safe mode is a very limited mode. There are many things your computer can not do when in safe mode. So it's not a mode you want to work in for long. Graphics processes are extremely limited also so your computer will feel very slow while in it.

I do not recommend any "optimizing" software. These usually just add yet more completely unnecessary processes to the running list. The best thing, in my opinion, is to understand how your mac works, what processes are running in the background, the age of your machine vs. the OS's age, what role cache files play in certain programs, etc… Always backup before doing anything. Time machine is great. Be sure it's running.

I may be able to help with cleaning things up remotely if you feel the need. Remote sessions can be scheduled on the homepage of my site here.

Why does my computer get slow?

Scotty-

Why does my computer get slow? Do I have too much stuff on it?
___________


A common misconception is that computers get slow because their hard drive has too much stuff on it. This is rarely the case. My general rule is that you should be concerned about the amount of data you have on your internal hard drive once you get below 10% capacity of that drive. Modern operating systems are able to move data around on the drive so that it can best perform when asked to pull up a file or program. The days of "defraging" a hard drive are gone. Computers do this automatically now.

Computers get "slow" because we update them. When we update computers, the hardware is then asked to run software that was written for current spec hardware. Just like phones, as we update, the computer struggles more and more with each update, to keep up with the current software demands. If we never updated our devices, the speed experience would change very little throughout the device's life. The problem is, we always want the new feature. So we update. When you compare this continuing sloping model to say the video game industry, a terraced model, you can see a big difference. No one ever says "my xbox is running slow. My playstation is running slow". This is because the video game industry works on a different model. They build hardware meant to last for almost a decade. The software updates and games developed are always written and optimized for the very first build of that hardware. In other words, if you buy a video game in 2018 for a gaming system, you are buying a game that was written for a piece of hardware that came out possibly 5 or 6 years ago. In this model, profit is based on selling software that runs on hardware.

The computer industry is opposite. Their profit is based on hardware that runs software. So it is in their interest to encourage you to buy new hardware.

Another reason computers run slow is because they may have started running processes in the background you are unaware of such as Photos Library facial recognition, Flash content, never ending indexing loops, etc… And easy way to see what's going on in the background is to open Activity Monitor and sort processes by CPU percentage. Keep in mind there are two categories of processes. Yours and the computers. You can kill any of the processes that are your own but be cautious killing system processes. You can get into trouble there. General rule: if you don't understand what it means, leave it alone. Another thing to consider here is that just because you find the process eating up major resources and kill it, doesn't mean it won't just come back later. There are many reasons a process might start without you knowing. Too many to describe here.

The last major reason a computer starts to slow is because the spinning hard drive could be failing. But you would usually know that pretty quickly as it would start showing other symptoms like not being able to boot, locking up constantly, or making clicking sounds.

This image is a theme.plist hack