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#829: Gmail in iOS, Easy CD/DVD Burning, Time Capsule, Mac to School 2012


Hello readers,

It’s been another hot and crazy week here, with humidity through the roof and people fleeing to the country to find places to get cool. I happened on a new one for me this weekend in Huntington, VT. The only thing I will say is that it’s not in Dave Hajdasz’s book “Take the Plunge—An Explorer’s Guide to Swimming Holes of Vermont,” which is pretty good for people looking for a place to dip.

I must say I find myself a bit lost—the last few introductions have been kind of a conversation based on feedback from all of you, and this week I am back at square one. The next big thing for us is, of course, Mountain Lion; it’s due to drop tomorrow or even (gasp) today…

I have to say that I mostly skipped Lion, and I let my .me account quietly slip into oblivion when MobileMe shut down, and I have not made the upgrade to new hardware that can take advantage of the new OS. Mountain Lion looks pretty sharp, though, and will probably even get a troglodyte like me to get with ‘all things new and hip.’ I’m sure we will have plenty of reviews from our end, and please let me know what you all think.

Thanks for reading,


  Gmail on iOS  

Did you know that there’s more than one way to access your Google account email, contacts, and calendars from your iOS device? I’m here to help you choose the best way for you to get access to your Google data from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

If you navigate to the Settings app on your iOS device and tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars… and then Add Account…, you’ll be greeted with a number of options, including Gmail. If you tap Gmail and continue through the prompts (find instructions here), you’ll be able to configure access to your email, your personal calendar, and you’ll also be able to sync Notes from the Notes app on your iOS device into your Mail application on your Mac. In this configuration, you’re able to show a maximum of 1,000 recent messages in your Google account’s inbox and you’ll be able to check for messages as frequently as every 15 minutes.

Depending on your needs, there may be reason to try a different configuration. Google supports Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol which Apple offers as a feature of their iOS operating system. In order to configure your iOS device, follow these instructions.. Upon configuration, you may note that your Inbox contains relatively few messages. If you navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars… > Exchange Account, you can tap Mail Days to Sync. This allows you to set the duration for messages to appear in your Inbox.

Configuring your iOS device this way has some key benefits. Instead of 1,000 recent messages you can choose to have no limit at all! And, because your iOS device is using Exchange to talk to Google’s servers, mail messages are automatically pushed to your device as soon as you receive them, which is much faster than checking every 15 minutes. You will note that your list of Google contacts under the My Contacts group (viewable at or at can be synced. You will also note that your calendar can be synced.

However, there is one key difference between calendar syncing using Exchange. If you navigate to on your iOS device, log in, and tap the Sync icon, you can choose your device and check off all the shared calendars you access at or via iCal delegates.

Lastly, there may be some reason to keep both account configurations on your device, with the Gmail account configured with mail and calendars off but notes on. This will give you the limitless, push email experience along with access to all your shared calendars while still allowing you to sync notes to and from your Mac and iOS devices.

  CD/DVD Burning with Ease  

I’ve always been a little frustrated with burning CDs or DVDs on my Mac, as it’s never been the simplest process…especially DVDs. With the slow migration away from physical media, the need to address this issue doesn’t really make the cut with Apple. I understand that physical media is on the decline, but I still use CDs and DVDs on a fairly regular basis, as I’m sure others do as well.

I came across a brilliantly simple application recently, and I’ve been using it for all my CD/DVD burning needs ever since. The name of the application is Burn, and it’s as simple to use as it sounds. Need to burn an audio CD? Drag the desired song files into the application, arrange them in whatever order you’d like, insert a CD-R, and click Burn.

It’s the same idea with a DVD. Any time I’ve wanted to burn a DVD, it’s pretty much the same reason each time: To get the video onto a DVD-R so that it can be played in a DVD player. That’s it. I don’t need a menu or fancy graphics. Burn does just that, and I love it.

Download Burn here, and enjoy disc-burning simplicity at its finest.

  Using an External Hard Drive with Time Capsule  

I recently received a tech support call from a customer wondering how to attach an external hard drive to their Time Capsule to expand their storage capability. It is a very simple process to do.

You’ll first need to format the disk as Mac OS Extended if you’re on a Mac or as FAT32 if you’re running Windows. You’ll need to do the formatting from your computer as the AirPort Utility doesn’t support formatting external disks.

Step two is to plug it into the USB port on the back of your Time Capsule. You can also plug in a powered USB hub into that port and gain multiple connections into your Time Capsule.

Step three, launch the AirPort Utility, click on your Time Capsule, then enter your devices password. You should see an icon on the top of the window called Disks. If you click on that you can set access privileges for that external drive.

Your drive should now show up in finder as a shared network volume.

  Mac to School 2012  

You can’t ignore it much longer…back-to-school time is fast approaching. In order to get a jump on what you need, take a look at what we’ve put together—from the lightweight Mac you can carry to each class to the Office software you’ll become besties with pulling an all-nighter while writing a paper, you’ll find it in one place at a low price.

It’s no secret that tech gear is a large part of back-to-school shopping, so we aim to make it as easy and affordable as we can! Check out all the Mac to School specials here:

  SPECIALS: Bundles, Etc. for Students (and Beyond)  

Whether you’re headed to high school, college, grad school or are a student of (and for) life, we have some great bundle opportunities for you to take advantage of.

Currently, we have stock of end-of-life machines, also known as “EOL” or “closeouts.” What this really means is that what was brand new one day has just been replaced by the current model Mac. All of our closeouts are new-in-box unless otherwise specified. (Note: further deals can be found on Demo models!)

We also have some savings we can offer on G-Tech hard drives. (And you don’t even want us to get into how important it is for students to back up the work they’re doing…) Plus, you’ll save on some iPad accessories by Hammerhead and a fantastic HP laser printer that’s perfect for printing out all of those term papers and includes AirPrint, too!

   MacBook (used) with 3-year Mack Warranty
   LIMITED TIME! HP LaserJet P1102W Wireless Laser Printer w/AirPrint
   MacBook Air 11in 1.6GHz i5 4GB/128GB w/ AppleCare | Save $60
   G-Technology G-Drive Slim 500GB Hard Drive with Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station