Posts filed under How To

Animoji Performs "Bohemian Rhapsody"

The new iPhone X packs a serious punch when it comes to technology!! And with all great technology comes fun, right? If you can't have fun with tech, then you're doing something wrong (is it ok if I coin that phrase?).

When Apple introduced Animoji (animated emoji) on Stage at WWDC earlier this year, I immediately knew that I had to use this technology to create a music video for Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". That song screams for Anomoji to perform in their place, right?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you "Bohemian Rhapsody", performed by Animoji!

How did I make it? It required a little bit of creativity, Apple's new iPhone X and Final Cut Pro.

Posted on November 9, 2017 and filed under Design, How To, iPhone, Opinion.

Getting Creative with "Do Not Disturb While Driving"

When Apple came out with iOS 11, I was so excited for the β€œDo Not Disturb While Driving” feature. I was hoping this would help me never be distracted by my phone while on the road again! Unfortunately, I quickly realized that my phone acts as my GPS. I need my Maps App (whether you use Waze, Google Maps, or Apple Maps), to be active on my phone! And that does not happen when β€œDo Not Disturb While Driving” is enabled.

So, if you prefer not to use this feature while driving, what else can you use it for? We will discuss exactly that in this post.

Posted on October 6, 2017 and filed under How To, iOS, iPhone.

The Importance of Staying Current with Software

My father, a practicing pediatrician, constantly advises patients to eat healthier foods. In response, they complain of how expensive eating healthy is. My father always replies, β€œThink how expensive your doctor and hospital bills will be if you don’t take care of your body. Plus, you will feel a lot better!”

In much the same way, staying current on our software ensures the best, fastest working systems possible. Effective technology allows businesses to increase profitability and everyday users to simplify their lives. As we keep our software up-to-date, we will need to consider (1) why software updates are vitally important, (2) how often we should update our devices, and (3) how to update our systems.

Posted on September 29, 2017 and filed under How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Opinion.

My Top 5 Favorite Features of iOS 11

At precisely 10 AM in Cupertino, CA, iOS 11 became available for iPhone and iPad. As a wannabe-technical-nerd, I wanted to be one of the first to download it. By the time dinner came around, I installed the update, tested many features, and was ready to tell my wife about all the awesome updates. Here are 5 of my favorites.

Posted on September 22, 2017 and filed under How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Opinion.

Help! Windows Server 2012 R2 is Stuck on "Updating Your System"

I know exactly what you're thinking... "Has Kevin gone mad? Why is he talking about Windows, and Windows Server at that?" Well, the truth is, I use and support Windows on a daily basis, even Windows Server. Today's post may not be for everyone, and that's completely ok. Truth be told, it's primarily for me. I love it when someone else gets something out of my posts, but in some cases, the only person that may get something out of a post is me. Documenting processes and resolutions is a key part of my business, and that can sometimes leak out to the public.

Today's post is in response to a problem I encountered last week. I had several Windows Server 2012 R2 servers to update. When I checked for updates, there were over 200 available updates, nearly all of which were "critical". They obviously needed to be applied, so I began the process. At 99% completion, I was told that one of the updates had failed (impossible to know which one), and all pending updates were going to be undone. After about an hour of "undoing changes", the servers restarted. That's when things went from bad to really bad. The following screen appeared, and stayed there, even after hours of waiting, with no progress being made:

Posted on April 10, 2017 and filed under How To.

Unlock Your Mac with Your Apple Watch

When Apple announced macOS Sierra and showed us all the new features that would be included, there was one feature that stood out immediately as one that I would use many times every single day... unlocking my Mac with my Apple Watch! To say that I love this feature is an understatement.

If you read my post on improving security (click here), then you know that longer passwords are better (i.e.: more secure) than shorter passwords. The expected side effect... it's less convenient and takes longer to log in to your Mac. This tip will save you a ton of time (not to mention digit fatigue)! In this post, I will explain how it works and walk you through the steps you'll need to go through to make it work for you.

Posted on October 3, 2016 and filed under How To, Mac, Watch.

10 Tips for Safer Online Computing

Technology is wonderfully amazing!! Sit back and think about it for just 10 seconds... can you imagine working, playing and relaxing without your laptop, iPhone, iPad, etc? When is the last time you checked your email, Instagrammed (that's a verb, right?) or surfed the web? You're reading this so I know the answer already. We're all connected all the time.

Being connected has it's obvious benefits, but it also introduces a significant amount of risk. Malware, spyware, viruses, hackers... these are all things that can ruin an otherwise great day. But they don't have to, if we're doing the right things! To help keep you safe, I created a list of 10 simple things that everyone can (and should) be doing. There is no rocket science involved here. Mostly common sense infused with many years of my own experiences.

Posted on September 30, 2016 and filed under How To, Opinion, Mac, iPhone, iPad.

Using Custom Notification for VIPs iOS

This post comes from a recent reader question: "When I receive an email from a specific person, I want to be notified in a way that it looks and sounds different than any other email. How do I do this?!"

With phone calls and text messages, we can edit a contact entry in iOS so that when that person calls or texts, the ringtone or sound differs from that of everyone else. This is a great feature because it allows you to determine who is texting or calling without looking at your phone. Wouldn't it be great if we could apply that same principal to incoming email? While we can't set a specific sound for each individual when we receive email from them, we can use a relatively new feature in iOS called VIP to distinguish VIPs from everyone else. As long as that VIP list is short, it will do exactly what you're looking for. Here's how it works.

Posted on September 29, 2016 and filed under iOS, How To, iPhone.

Markup Attachments Right On Your iPhone or iPad

One of the coolest, most powerful (and sadly the least used) new features in iOS 9 is the Markup tool in Mail. This feature allows you to quickly add signatures, lines, arrows, magnification circles and text boxes to any PDF or image file with the tap of a button. Once the changes are made, another tap allows you to easily send that file via the Mail app.

This is a great tool for signing contracts, marking up documents, annotating images and more. So why aren't more people using it? Quite frankly, because I think that most people don't know that it exists! So that's why I wrote this post. To educate and encourage you to use this tool. So let's dive in!

Posted on June 1, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone.

Change the Way People See You On FaceTime and Skype

FaceTime, GoToMeeting and Skype are great tools that help us to stay in touch with those that we care about... family, friends, colleagues, etc. The fact that we can, with the click of a button, instantly see someone else regardless of their location is a modern miracle!

With that in mind, today's post will focus (no pun intended, sort of) on the camera element of these calls. Most laptops today come with a built-in HD webcam above the display of your laptop. If not, or if you use a desktop as your primary system, there are plenty of options to add an after-market HD webcam (I prefer the Logitech HD Pro C920 camera). Even with the best cameras on the market, there may be a need to make adjustments to that camera that the built-in software can't offer.

Posted on May 31, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, Mac.

Managing Dropbox Upload and Download Speeds

Today's post comes from a Dropbox user: "I've been using Dropbox for a long time and only lately noticed that it takes forEVER to upload files to Dropbox (it seems fine when downloading). Is there something I can do to speed this up??"

The short answer is yes... most likely (how's that for non-committal!). Dropbox syncing will only happen as fast as your Internet connection will allow, and keep in mind that your download speeds are usually much faster than your upload speeds (this is typical, especially for home Internet). Having said that, there is a simple change that you can make to your Dropbox settings that will give you full access to the speeds you have.

Posted on May 26, 2016 and filed under How To, Opinion, Mac.

Creating Complex but Easy to Remember Passwords

Everyone knows that in today's tech-heavy world, it's crucial that we use good, strong, hard-to-guess passwords to prevent others from accessing our personal and/or sensitive data (bank accounts, medical records, email, etc). Unfortunately, that often means using passwords that are nearly impossible to remember. As a result, we negate the entire effort by writing our password on a sticky note, and posting it on our screen.

Raise your proverbial hand if this is you.

Fortunately, I have some tips on how to create a strong password, and at the same time, make them easy to remember.

Posted on May 20, 2016 and filed under How To, Opinion.

Fastest Way to Batch Rename Files in OS X

Prior to the release of OS X Yosemite (10.10), the process of batch renaming files on a Mac required 3rd-party software. Some apps were better than others, and usually the good ones cost a few bucks (or more) to get the job done.

Apple included the option to batch rename files in Yosemite, and of course, this is still a feature in El Capitan (10.11). While it may not be obvious (at first) just how to do this, it's super-easy once you know how.

Posted on May 19, 2016 and filed under How To, Mac.