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#701: Apple Releases Aperture 3, Your Computer Is Not Compromised, 27-inch iMac Screen Issues


Happy Tuesday,

While much of the East coast got hammered with several feet of snow, we’re still making do with an inch or two on the ground in the Mad River Valley. There are vast areas of bare ground to the north and south, and I’m thinking this winter might be a bust for snow lovers in Vermont. Thankfully, continued cold temperates have allowed the ski areas to keep making snow and maintain some excellent conditions.

I’m heading to Cupertino with Don tomorrow for meetings at Apple. These trips are always valuable for Small Dog, resellers, and Apple itself, as we can discuss strengths and weaknesses of what AppleCare provides. Managing the Service department at Small Dog gives me plenty of exposure to every aspect of the support experience, and the feedback provided to Apple is always taken seriously and acted upon. These trips also afford an opportunity to meet with other resellers and service providers to discuss best practices, new offerings, and customer feedback.

I will miss Owen, though.

Thanks for reading, and keep in touch.


  Apple Releases Aperture 3  

Apple today announced Aperture 3, the long-awaited updated to its prosumer photo editing and management application. There are over 200 new features, many of which borrow from and expand on features found in iPhoto ’09.

It’s been two years since the release of Aperture 2, and this new version is a sleek balance between evolution and revolution. Aperture 3 combines powerful performance with iPhoto simplicity to help you refine images, showcase your photography, and manage massive libraries on your Mac. The 200 new features and enhancements will help take your photography to the next level.

Edge-aware, nondestructive brushes will help apply or remove adjustments; adjustment presets will give your images a custom look or emulate a variety of camera types and processing styles; advanced slidewhows will help create beautiful slideshows that weave together photos and HD video clips; full-screen browsing takes advantage of every last pixel on beautiful Apple displays; and upgraders from iPhoto will appreciate that Faces, Places, and all metadata will be preserved when importing an iPhoto library.

Aperture will be ready to demo in our retail stores this afternoon. Swing by and take it for a spin!

  Your Computer Is Not Compromised  

Every so often, a call comes through to our tech support department about a pop-up window saying that the computer is infected with a virus or some other malware. A larger and larger chunk of the Mac community is recent Switchers, those who’ve made the switch from Windows to Mac. If you have a computer running any variant of Windows and you see that message, there is cause for alarm in most cases, especially if you click through the link.

But, if you have a Mac, there is absolutely nothing to worry about! There are no known viruses or malware for Macs running any variant of OS X. There were a handful of viruses for the classic Mac OS, but because that operating system hasn’t been updated in about ten years there is little cause for alarm there.

Search engines do a reasonably good job at filtering out “scareware” web sites, but if you’re a frequent user of the Internet you should expect to see one of these messages at some time or another.

It should be noted that Macs running Windows through Boot Camp or emulation software like Parallels and VMware will need virus protection on the Windows side. If your boot camp partition or virtual machine becomes infected with a virus, your Mac will not be affected. Small Dog offers Symantec Norton Internet Security 2010, which is widely recognized as the best AntiVirus protection available for Windows. It’s truly a required add-on for any Windows or Parallels purchase.

  Follow-up: 27-inch iMac Screen Issues  

A few weeks ago I wrote about a 27-inch iMac with screen flicker issues, and followed up in a later issue of Tech Tails. It seems the flickering screen and other display issues persist, and Apple released a firmware update for the 27-inch iMac to address them.

If you have a 27-inch iMac, this update is a must!

  Unbloat That Inbox  

Originally posted in Kibbles & Bytes #657.

I was on vacation last week, enjoying some fresh powder (6 feet!) and admiring the iPad from afar (no, Steve didn’t check with me prior to scheduling Apple’s Special Event to see if I had a conflict. He’s been warned.).

While on vacation, I wanted to make sure that I was still (somewhat) connected to my crew here at work via my Small Dog email. However, much like the last time I went on vacation, around the second day in a remote location, Mail stopped communicating with the Small Dog email server (or vice versa). It’s probably all a coincidence, but I still wanted to figure out what I could do to make sure Mail and my email stay BFFs.

I have heard grumblings from many people about how Mail and especially Mail for iPhone have issues handling inboxes with a large number of emails. There are several theories about why this is the case, but a good rule of thumb is to limit your inbox to under 1-2K messages. (My last count? Almost 16,000!) This is especially important if yours uses an IMAP protocol, as ours does.

With an IMAP account, it allows users to access their email through multiple means, because whatever actions you take (sending, saving drafts, etc.) always stay synced to the server. (For example, if you have your email account set up on your Mac as well as your iPhone, the same information will be available on both.) So, it stands to reason that once the emails start to stack up, that’s a lot for the server to keep straight, and for it to do so quickly.

So, with the help of our IT Department (who, let’s face it, knows more about email protocols than anyone should), here’s a handy checklist to keep in mind when managing your inbox, whether you’ve had issues with it or you just want to do some preventative maintenance:

  1. Keep your inbox under 1 – 2k total messages (apparently, it’s so important, it’s worth mentioning again).
  2. Store your messages in a folder outside of the inbox, whether it’s solely on your Mac (“On My Mac”) or a folder that is available on the email server (Mine’s called “SDE” with a subfolder called “Archived Mail”).
  3. When moving your messages to your preferred folder, try not to move too many at a time (I like to grab a month at a time, which works out to between 1,000 – 1,500k; ideally you’ll only move a couple hundred at a time, depending on your connection).
  4. As you move the groups, don’t move a new group of email until your last one has finished (Open Window > Activity to preview your progress).

Hopefully, you’ll notice that Mail continues to work speedily and consistently. Mine’s been great so far—I’ll continue to mind these tips and to use Smart Mailboxes to keep myself organized and trouble-free.

Have you had an email nightmares or tips you’d like to share? Email me with your stories!

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