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#883: Apple Power Adapter Swap Program, Keychain Access, Backup Follow-up


Happy Tuesday,

I would call myself an Apple fanboy. I switched to a iPhone from Blackberry when the iPhone 4 came out, and have never looked back. I switched from PC laptops to a MacBook Pro in my first college go-round. I singlehandedly made my whole family take the plunge into iOS devices last year, and I’ve become their means for tech support.

I’ve noticed lately that there have been a lot more smartphones released since Apple first announced the iPhone and it seems that companies (and some of the public) are harboring a grudge against Apple. Most of my friends who are Android users always want to point out my iPhone’s flaws or bring up how the glass is fragile. We may be a small percent who own iPhones, but I like to think that it is a proud percent. The way I see it, we love our Apple products and we know why we keep coming back. So, why cant we just get along??

We have a great Tech Tails for you this week. Kyle responds to some questions about his previous data recovery article. Jeremy touches on Keychain access and what benefits those bring and Taylor has some news from Apple to share.

Have a great week everyone!


  Data Recovery Responses Received  

I have received a few responses from my article I wrote a few weeks ago, The Trials of Data Recovery, that actually gave me some similar tips.

When the controller board on a hard disk drive fails and is no longer accessible, you can effectively replace the controller board on the hard drive with one from another drive of the exact same make and model. There should be no difference between the two sets of platters, therefore the controller won’t freak out because it’s a different set of hardware.

According to information gathered (note that more information still needs to be gathered), the hard drive needs to be exactly the same so the controller board that is being swapped from one to the other has no issues when accessing the platters. It seems possible to swap the platters and actually have some hope that the data is readable. Swapping would be required in the event that the motor of the heads had malfunctioned and couldn’t spin or read the platters on the failed drive.

Another note is that both drives are condemned; once this procedure is started, you can no longer replace the board and expect it to live out the rest of its life. It will fail eventually; it’s only a matter of time. These methods are more then we typically attempt at Small Dog, save for a possible extreme case. There is no guarantee that these methods will work, and they also void any possibility of replacement under warranty.

Two responses suggested that I start a drive graveyard of dead or dying drives to build up the chances of being ready for one of these situations again. More research is needed for this technician and I’m sure my colleagues might not like the idea of a large box of dead hard drives sitting in the tech room that is already too small, but if this seemingly recurring event continues to happen, I’m tempted to try this little trick.

Of course, the moral of the story is to always back up!

  Keychain Access  

Whenever I explain the organization of the Apple Operating System to a customer, I like to use the analogy of a neighborhood. This wasn’t too hard to come up with considering Apple defines your user folder as the “home” folder. Within your home are various rooms (i.e. Documents, Pictures, Movies, Music, etc), and within your home, you can rearrange things however you like. It’s when people start saving things outside of their home folder that issues can arise with how the operating system is designed to work.

When this happens, I explain that by doing so, you’re essentially digging up other people’s yards within your neighborhood. Often, people think saving data to their hard drive requires simply dragging and dropping to the “Macintosh HD” volume on their desktop. I suspect this is one reason why Lion and Mountain Lion have — by default — removed immediate access to the root level of the user’s drive.

Within this analogy, I like to introduce a great utility called Keychain Access. Not unlike a ring to save various keys you might own, Keychain Access saves all passwords that you may use on a daily basis. As long as you know your administrator password — the one created when setting up your user — you can retrieve any forgotten password that you’ve used.

To do so, go to Go > Utilities > Keychain Access. Once the window appears, simply navigate to “Passwords” under the Category sidebar. Within that, double click on the one that you’ve forgotten. From there, a secondary window will appear and by checking “Show Password”, Keychain Access will ask for your admin password. After entering it, you’ll have your much-needed password.

  Apple USB Power Adapter Swap  

Apple has announced that, starting August 16th, they are going to be offering a USB Power Adapter swap program to replace customers’ third party (non-Apple) power adapters. They are now offering this at a special price for customers with third party power adapters because there have been several reports of these malfunctioning or causing safety issues. While not all are unsafe, Apple is offering this a solution to help.

Here’s how it works:
Bring in your adapter and associated iOS device. Apple offers one swap per device, at a special discounted price. We will need to verify that the iOS device (be it an iPad, iPhone, or iPod) has not already been used for this program via the serial number.

Pricing on the third party adapter replacements will be $10. While some third party adapters have had malfunctioning issues, not all do. We won’t be able to verify if your third party adapter is one of those — just that it is a non-Apple adapter. If you use a non-Apple branded USB power adapter for your iOS device, we recommend bringing it in for us to offer a swapped unit for you.

A timeline for this program has not been offered yet, but it was announced as a “limited time” program, so please, take advantage of it while you can.

  Free iPad Briefing in Manchester, NH  

Do you use an iPad at work? Or think you may want to?

Register for our free iPad in Business Briefing on Tuesday, September 17 from 9am – 12pm (check-in begins at 8:30) at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH — it’s open to anyone interested in learning about how to use iPad in a business environment.

We’ll have a representative from Apple on hand to present, as well as our partners Zco Corp. (App Developer) and Burlington Bank Card (iPad/iPhone POS System) to highlight their solutions.

Topics will include integration, security, deployment, apps and of course, how using iOS and working with Small Dog Electronics can provide an ideal solution for your business.

Visit our Seminars page for more details and to sign up:

  SPECIAL | ViewSonic Special  

Mac to School - Save $25 on ViewSonic VX2703 27in 1080p Monitor


Watch your favorite movies, play video games or check out the latest YouTube sensation on this 27” LED HDMI Monitor.

See all Mac to School specials here: