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#943: Safe Surfing; Use Terminal to Find Files; iPhone Photo Management


Hello Fellow Technophiles,

Regular readers will notice that I have not used a picture of myself as the main image for this week’s Tech Tails. While I am definitely the eye candy that really sells this newsletter, I thought that I would share a picture of some of the team members that work behind the scenes here at Small Dog Electronics answering our tech support line and repairing computers.

As you can see, the vintage white iMac comes in three sizes and so do our technicians. I have put their articles in order this week from tallest to shortest. Ben helps you stay safe on the internet, Kevin explains a useful Terminal command for finding lost files, and Erich talks about managing your photos on your iPhone.

Thanks for reading Tech Tails!


  Staying Safe Online  
  malware virus trojan

Using the Internet can be very dangerous. There are many individuals who are constantly attempting to infiltrate the computers of unsuspecting Internet users to steal money or personal information. There are many different commercial antivirus software packages available to prevent these attacks, and they are widely used. A huge number of the computers that are brought to me have some kind of antivirus software installed on them by the user.

The popular perception is that once an antivirus software is installed on a computer, the user can freely browse the internet and download any file at all, and the antivirus software will protect them. This could not be further from the truth.

Installing antivirus software on your computer is similar to wearing a bulletproof vest every day. The bulletproof vest will protect you against some types of attacks, but not all. Similarly, antivirus software is constantly being updated to protect against the newest virus attacks, and will never detect every kind of virus. There are simply too many different types of viruses being created every day for antivirus software programmers to keep up with.

It is true that a bulletproof vest does offer some protection against physical attacks. However, if a person enjoys wandering down dark alleys in a major city late at night, it will only be a matter of time before something bad happens to them, even with a bulletproof vest. The same principle applies to avoiding virus attacks. The only near-guaranteed way to stay virus-free is to avoid shady websites and downloads.

  Finding With Terminal Instead of Finder  

There are many Terminal commands that one can use to expand control over OS X. We are all aware of Spotlight and Finder, but many find that the Terminal offers a wider range of options than the GUI. Today I will talk about the find command and how to use it.

The syntax for the find command is as follows:

find ~/ -name testing.rtf

The first word will always be find, the second will be the directory or folder you would like find to search, the third will alway be -name and the last is the file you need find to search for. As you can see I used the master level of the home folder to start the search by using the ~ symbol. This ensures I will not miss the file I am looking for. Please see the example below.

Find also allows you to search for a file type instead of a specific file. Just replace the file with the file type and include an asterisk, which is Terminal’s wild card symbol, in front of it. See the example below.

  iPhone Photo Management  

iPhones are pretty awesome cameras and they are pretty awesome displays for photos as well. They’re actually such awesome cameras that almost everyone fills them up with pictures, and then you’re out of space and can’t take any more photos. To see what’s taking up space on your iPhone, you can navigate to a breakdown of what’s taking up space and how much.

Go to Settings (the gray gears) > General > Storage & iCloud Usage. Under the heading of Storage you’ll see Used (what’s actually taken up on your phone) and Available (how much free space you have). There is another option, Manage Storage, which gives you a breakdown of how much space each app is taking up as well as the option to remove that app and its data right from there.

Photos & Camera is the number one culprit for taking up space on most of the phones I see. It’s just so easy to take photos like crazy and run out of space. The biggest culprit is videos; a short video can take up more space than a few dozen photos, or maybe even a hundred or more, depending on the length of the video.

There are a number of different solutions. A common one is to move them onto your computer and remove them from your iPhone. Another one is to upload them to an online service and there are a lot of options here. Facebook, for example, is where many of my best photos can be found. But for the real bulk of my photos I don’t really want to share them with the world, I just want to hold on to them. For this I use iCloud Photo Library. I do need to pay for extra iCloud storage space, but $0.99 per month gets me 50GB. It can take hours or even days to upload an entire Photo Library, depending on the size and the upload speed, but it’s really great when it all gets uploaded. There are two options: Optimize iPhone Storage, meaning you get a low resolution thumbnail on the device and a full version available to download in iCloud, and when you try to view that photo it will download for your viewing. The other is Download and Keep Originals. I do that on my Mac, where I have a ton of available space, but not on my phone.

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