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#848: John McAfee, Resend An iMessage As Text, Temporary Image Burn-in on 15" Retina MacBook Pro


Hello all,

After a brief dip into winter that brought some seasonal-type cheer last week, we are back to more “normal” wet and grey stuff. So it goes.

Last week also marked the departure of our good friend Jon Spaulding, a fixture at Small Dog and longtime Tech Tails contributor pictured here with his two favorite “hobbies.” He has moved on to the next step in his career, and we send him off with best wishes and many thanks. You have certainly read his articles here, and if you have called us, there is a good chance you have spoken to him. I learned a lot (and I do mean a lot) from Jon about customer service and computer repairs. He will be sorely missed.

You will see some new faces in Tech Tails over the coming… forever… as well as more of some familiar ones as we try to fill the huge hole left by Jon. Let us know how we are doing.

Thanks for reading,


  John McAfee  

John McAfee is one of the pioneers of antivirus software. Starting in the late ’60s, he did programming and systems work for a number of high-profile ventures including NASA, Univac, Xerox, and Lockheed Martin.

It was while working at Lockheed in the 1980s that he was given a computer virus known as the Pakistani Brain to work with. The Brain was created by a software firm in Pakistan and was the first known virus to affect MS-DOS. It worked by replacing the boot sector of a floppy disk with a startup error message and a phone number to call. The creator’s intention of the brain was to stop illegal distribution and copying of their medical software however, the virus had a major design flaw. It was supposed to just infect users that were pirating their software but instead also infected legitimate users as well, causing, as you can imagine, a lot of negative feedback from customers and the press!

McAfee started work on a piece of software that could scan for and stop the virus. He started McAfee Associates in 1987 to further research and develop antivirus software and by 1989 had quit Lockheed altogether to focus on his company. He left McAfee in 1994 and went on to other ventures, mostly unsuccessful, but always on the cutting edge, such as a company he started in the ’90s to develop a pretty sophisticated chat program called PowWow. It went nowhere, mostly thanks to the efforts of AT&T, it seems. His latest ventures have gone in an entirely different direction, trying to develop natural antibiotics.

The iconic company that bears his name is still at the forefront of antivirus software and will probably continue to be, as it seems unlikely viruses and malware will stop being spawned.

  Resend An iMessage As Text  

I believe iMessage is one of the greatest things Apple has released in recent months (I’m sure many of you will disagree). However, it is not without its faults; when Apple’s iMessage servers are down, for example. Another is when an iMessage will not send because of poor signal. Sometimes in these cases sending the message as a text will work just fine.

Luckily for all of us that use iPhones there is an easy way to resend the failed iMessage as a text. Just tap on the text bubble and choose ‘Send as Text Message.’ The message should be sent as a text immediately and the bubble will go from blue to green to show the change from iMessage to SMS. To my knowledge, this only works in iOS 6.

Another more permanent solution for sending failed iMessages as SMS is to go into your settings. Then scroll down to select Messages — located in the 4th chunk of menus. You should see a switch named “Send as SMS”. If you turn this on then whenever an iMessage fails to send your iPhone will attempt to send as a SMS instead. This is only recommended for those who have unlimited texting or keeps track of the number of texts sent because text overcharges can add up quickly if you aren’t paying attention.

As a side note it should be mentioned that this article’s information only applies to iPhones. iPod touches and iPads (even those with data plans) which can send iMessages do not have the ability to send SMS.

  Temporary Image Burn-in on 15" Retina MacBook Pro  
  MacBook Pro with Retina Display

A customer recently dropped of their 15” Retina display MacBook Pro for an issue I had not yet seen with this particular laptop. When transitioning from a lighter image to a darker one, the screen would experience temporary image burn-in. Every time, the burned-in image lasted about 30 seconds total, and would gradually fade-away. This proved to be very distracting to this customer, as they were working with high-resolution images/graphics, and bought a MacBook Pro with a Retina display for that very reason.

I understood the customer’s frustration, as the computer was only a few months old. We checked it in for repair, and I ran our readily available Apple Service Toolkit diagnostics on it. One of the tests bundled in the toolkit, is an “image persistence” evaluation, which basically tests for this exact issue, image burn-in. Sure enough, the test failed, and those diagnostic results were then sent to Apple.

Having failed the test, Apple considers the display defective, which is most certainly covered by the warranty. I ordered a replacement display, and installed it the following day. The image burn-in was no longer present with the replacement display, and the computer now passed all diagnostics. The customer was very happy to receive their computer back in a timely manner, and I was glad that it was resolved so easily.

Please feel free to stop by any of our stores if you think you may be experiencing a similar issue, and we’d be glad to run the test and take a look at it.

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