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:
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.
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.
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.
Today is the day! Apple has scheduled to hold this year's Fall event today, September 07, 2016 at the famous Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, located in San Francisco, CA. The BGCA has been home to some of Apple's most significant product announcements including the iPhone 6s in 2015 and the Apple II in 1977. This event is expected to shed some light on some of their flagship products such as iPhone, MacBook, iOS, macOS and tvOS.
OS X is great for having little hidden gems throughout. It's no surprise when I recently discovered this one... an easy way to display a welcome message on the login screen.
Whether using this for self promotion or security, it's definitely a handy gem.
Apple kicked off their annual WWDC event with their greatly-anticipated keynote, held in the historic Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA (the remainder of the conference will be held at the Moscone Conference Center in downtown San Francisco).
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!
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.
Have you ever wanted to catch someone in the act of moving your laptop with your knowledge? Laptops are portable, and friends can be mischievous, so it's bound to happen, right? Well, with this simple tip, you can now thwart their devious efforts (and have some fun at the same time)!
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.
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.
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.
If you're using a Mac, there's a very good chance that you are using the built-in Photos app to manage your precious photos and videos. It's a great, easy-to-use tool for those countless photos and videos that you take on your iPhone, iPad, SLR and even scanned photos.
Over time, your Photos library is likely to grow, and if you're like me, it will get pretty large, pretty quick. These growing libraries are like trees... they need to be pruned every so often to keep them at a manageable size. There's the wrong way to do this pruning (a.k.a.: archiving) and the right way. In this post, I will walk you through the steps I take to archive my photos the right way.