Improve Battery Life on Your Laptop

Mac laptops (MacBooks, Airs and Pros) outnumber desktops these days, and chances are you have one yourself. low batteryWith all portable devices managing battery life is important when travelling. Here are a few things you can do to help your battery last longer:

Have the Computer Sleep Quickly: sleep mode is the best way to save power without turning off the computer. To adjust the sleep settings go to Apple Menu –> System Preferences –> Energy Saver and shorten the time for sleep mode.

Dim the Screen Brightness: the screen is one of the most power hungry parts of a computer. Dimming the screen brightness one or two notches can help gain usage time for any amount of charge.

Close Unused Browser Windows: web pages often have elements running in the background and can reload themselves periodically. To prevent unnecessary use of power, close any browser tabs and windows you aren’t actively using.

Turn Off BlueTooth if not needed: BlueTooth doesn’t use much power, but if you don’t need it turn this radio off via System Preferences –> BlueTooth

Recalibrate the Battery: after a few years of use batteries don’t charge as well as when they are new. To recalibrate and gain a bit more strength back, recalibrate your battery via this sequence of steps:

    • charge battery to 100% overnight
    • disconnect charger, set computer to Never Sleep
    • run the computer until it shuts off, let battery drain completely
    • reconnect charger and recharge battery to 100%

Don’t forget to restore normal computer Sleep settings when done.

Posted by Adam Rosen on 10 September 2017

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Security Tip: Don’t Reuse Passwords

passwordsEvery day it seems we hear about another hack or security vulnerability, and theft of account and login information from various websites. While it’s impossible for end users to prevent these types of events, you can take some simple steps to enhance your security and reduce your risk when incidents occur.

The first step is one you’ve probably heard before: don’t reuse passwords. If your login information is compromised on one website or via one vendor, using the same password on other websites or services makes those accounts vulnerable as well. By using a unique password for every login, if one gets compromised it limits your risk to just that specific account.

Yes this is a pain, but the extra effort is worthwhile. How do you remember all this? For those who have few passwords, you can create a secure document (like a Word or Pages file) to store your information. For more complex situations and to sync passwords between devices, password management software is available.

Posted by Adam Rosen on 20 April 2017

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Surfing Safely While Traveling

One concern many people have is how to safely use their computers and mobile devices while traveling. Many airports, hotels and businesses offer free WiFi for internet access, but you never know who may be monitoring these connections to serve you ads or potentially access sensitive account information.

A workaround for this is to use your cell phone carrier’s data capabilities instead of WiFi for any internet needs which may present security concerns. iPhone hotspotTo use your iPhone (or other smartphone) securely by itself, simply disable WiFi access while on the go. This will restrict access to cellular data only.

To use other computers or devices you can make use of your iPhone’s Hotspot capability. This feature allows you to share your iPhone’s cellular data connection via a private WiFi network, Bluetooth, or a USB connection. I use this feature regularly to provide support for Oakbog clients while on the road. Click the following link for instructions on Setting up a Personal Hotspot.

Posted by Adam Rosen on 14 December 2016

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Printing from Your iPhone or iPad

Despite the ubiquity of cloud computing, printing out hard copies of documents is still needed on a regular basis. If you’re an avid iPhone or iPad user and are looking to print from your iDevice, solutions are at hand.

AirPrintThe Apple AirPrint protocol is built-in to iPhones and iPads. To print a document from an app which supports printing, tap on the Share button – typically a box with an arrow coming out of the top. From the menu which appears select Print. The first time you use this feature you will need to tap on Select Printer and choose the printer on your network. After that choose number of copies, turn double-sided on or off, and print the document. See this link for Visual Instructions.

Using this feature requires an AirPrint compatible printer on your wired or WiFi network. Most printers made in the past several years have built in AirPrint support. For older models including USB printers that don’t, you can use Printopia on one of your Macs to add AirPrint capability to existing shared printers.

Posted by Adam Rosen on 11 October 2016

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Oakbog Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

Oakbog-10th-AnniversaryIt’s hard to believe, but as of June 2016 Oakbog has been providing Apple Macintosh and iOS consulting services for ten years! Looking back at my calendar, I had one paid appointment for my first month, and twenty seven for the latter half of 2006. In the ensuing decade Apple has broadened beyond the Mac to dominate the mobile space with the iPhone and iPad, while Oakbog has grown to a company servicing over 1000 clients and become one of the most positively reviewed Apple consulting businesses in the Boston area. It has been quite a while since Oakbog has seen any single month with less than twenty seven appointments!

What a long, strange trip it’s been. A hearty thank you to all my clients (and now many friends) who have been along for the ride. I look forward to another successful decade helping with you Apple computing needs, and Oakbog evolving in ways beneficial to all. Who knows if the Mac will even still exist in 2026, but Apple likely will and computing needs never go away. Here’s to the next ten years!

Posted by Adam Rosen on 8 June 2016

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