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#890: Mac Insomnia, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP Mail Settings, The New A7 Chip and 64bit iOS



Fall is here, and I went to the first (and probably my only) fair this past weekend. The Deerfield Fair, in Deerfield, NH, is what I believe to be the best fair in the NH area and by far has the largest turnout. It’s always crazy to get in and all I really do is gorge on tons of unhealthy food — but it’s always worth it. I love fall more than any other season with all the seasonal foods and beers. It’s nice to wear layers once again.

Apple just released an update to iOS 7 — 7.0.2. This update fixes the security issue where one could bypass the lock screen without entering a passcode via the Control Panel. I also like to think that it makes my phone a little zippier, but that could just be me. I do love iOS 7 more and more every day — I have been using it for about 4-5 months now, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me an email. I’ll always answer to the best of my ability.

Have a great week and layer up!


  Mac Insomnia  

From time to time, customers come in with a general issue that their laptop or desktop doesn’t ‘sleep’ when they tell it to. Occasionally, I’ve seen this on my own computers since I switched to a Mac. Sometimes, it can be an actual hardware malfunction, but most of the time, there is something within the software that prevents the computer from sleeping.

I did some Apple forum research a while back about it, and found various suggested solutions — none of which worked for me. I finally came across a user who combined a nice little GUI to a helpful Terminal command with an application called “Sleep Check.”

Sleep Check essentially makes use of the Terminal command “pmset -g assertions”. The command itself lists certain power assertions in the Mac OS that, when active, will prevent the system from sleeping. One example of these power assertions is Internet Sharing, which allows you to share the internet connection on one computer with another computer or device.

While the coding in Terminal can be incomprehensible to the average user, “Sleep Check” adds a very simple, but pleasant interface to the power assertions command, informing you exactly what is preventing your system from sleeping, and how to disable it. When these conditions have been disabled, Sleep Check will finally put your Mac to sleep.

Sleep Check is a very small, unobtrusive application that takes up about 98KB of hard drive space.

Downloaded it here.

  SMTP, POP3 and IMAP Mail Settings  

Other common questions we get from customers at the Service Counter involve email on their portable Apple devices. The most common one is: “I changed my email password this morning, and I can receive new mail, but I can’t send mail anymore. I get an error that my password is incorrect, but I’ve re-entered it and know it’s right.”

SMTP, POP3 and IMAP are all protocols for communicating with mail servers. A protocol is simply a set of rules for how an email client (Outlook, OS X’s Mail, your iPhone, etc) communicate with your mail provider’s servers (Gmail, Hotmail, FAHC, GMAVT, UVM, etc.).

Clients use either POP3 or IMAP to receive mail from mail servers, and SMTP to send mail to servers. For receiving mail, IMAP is newer, and today, more implemented than POP3. IMAP is a two way highway between your device (called the “client”) and your provider. It can completely sync all of your different configured devices, phone, computers at work and home, tablet, etc., with the provider’s server. So if you read, write, delete or move mail around in folders on one device, it is synced with the server and then with all of your other devices.

POP3 is less flexible. It was used heavily when server space was less available for providers to allow long term storage for all of customer’s email. Mail clients configured to use POP3 instead of IMAP as their receiving email protocol can download their email, which they can then keep on their computer/device while at the same time deleting it from the server. Then all mail is kept locally. This was popular when email storage space was limited AND one’s only access to email was from a single computer at home or work.

SMTP is the protocol for sending mail from a client to a mail server. Mail goes from your client to the mail server differently than it is received. Why this is so doesn’t really matter here, but when you change your email password, the important thing to remember is that on many devices, including iPhones, you must change your password for both incoming and outgoing email.

If after a password change for your email, you find you can receive mail on your iOS device but can’t send it, there is just one more step to take care of it:

  • From the “Home” screen, tap the “Settings” icon
  • Tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”
  • Select the account you wish to modify
  • Tap SMTP under “Outgoing Mail Server”
  • Tap the primary server
  • Enter your new password in the “Password” field

After that, you should have no problems sending mail.

  The New A7 Chip and 64bit iOS  

Apple recently released the iPhone 5s and is boasting a wide range of new features, from new hardware to an entirely new OS. While the media is focusing largely on the fingerprint scanner, I would like to take a look under the hood and talk about the new A7 chip that powers the phone. Apple was very proud to announce that this is the first 64bit phone to ever hit the market. There is no doubt that engineering a 64bit chip in a device that fits in your pocket is an impressive feat; however, very few people seem to understand how it will affect performance.

One of the biggest differences between a 32bit and a 64bit system is the ability to access memory. A 32bit system can only access about 4GB of RAM while a 64bit system can access up to 17 exabytes, or 1 billion gigabytes of RAM. In today’s world, that that is practically limitless. It is important to remember that so far, we are only talking about hardware. A 64bit chip is useless if the operating system and the applications are not written to utilize the processor.

While these numbers are quite impressive on paper, how they translate performance in the iPhone 5s is a different story. The new chip will increase performance, but probably to a lessor degree then people are lead to believe. One reason for this is that we currently do not have a need for more RAM than is supported by a 32bit system. Until the public starts pushing the capabilities of these devices to their maximum, additional RAM would be a waste. The iPhone 5s is shipping with 2GB of RAM and the likelihood of of breaking the 4GB mark is relatively low; at least any time in the near future. Cost and physical size issues aside, more RAM means more battery and this will be a major hurdle for mobile devices on which people rely so heavily on battery life.

More than anything, the new A7 chip is an exciting glimpse into the future of mobile computing. While it may be a bit ahead of its time, the notion of 64bit systems that can go anywhere opens up the possibilities of what our mobile devices are capable of and will change the way in which we use them.

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