OS X Mavericks

Apple releases OS X Mavericks

On Tuesday, Apple released the next major improvement to OS X- Mavericks. Notable new features include:

  • Improved battery life
  • Better multi-monitor support
  • Improved integration of Calendar.app(iCal) with Google Calendar
  • Improved integration of Contacts.app(Address Book) with Google
  • Improved Safari
  • OS X Mavericks Server is $20/server
  • OS X Mavericks Client is 100% FREE!

The last part is not a typo. Apple has decided that there should not be a cost for installing Mavericks on a workstation. OS X Server has a small fee.
I’ve been using Mavericks for several months, and am confident to install it on one or two users at each client to test with your unique application set, as well as your server(s). In fact, If you are a flat-rate client, I’ve already begun downloading Mavericks on your server to prepare for deployment.

More information on OS X Mavericks
Schedule your installation today.

Apple announces updates on iPads

  • The iPad is now known as the iPad Air, and is faster, thinner, and lighter. It starts at $499 and will be available Nov 1st.
  • The iPad mini is now available with a Retina display, and is faster. It starts at $399 and will be available in November.
  • The original iPad Mini and the iPad 2 are both available as well for $299 and $399 respectively.

More information on iPad.

Apple announces price drops, updates on MacBook Pros

Both the 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display received speed and battery boosts, available today, with a base price drop of $200. All are available today.

  • The 13″ starts at $1299 for a 2.4 GHz i5, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of Flash Storage, and a 9 hour battery.
  • The 15″ starts at $1999 for a 2.0 GHz i7, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of Flash Storage, and a 8 hour battery.
  • Apple still has a single non-flash based MacBook with an Optical Drive. It is 13″ 2.5 GHz i5, 4 GB of RAM, 500 GB HD, and a 7 hour battery for $1199.

More information on MacBook Pro

Apple announces price, release timeframe for Mac Pro

Apple showed a sneak peek at a stunning new Mac Pro in June, but left us without any information on release date or pricing. They remedied that today. The Mac Pro will be available in December, and they are currently listing these two specs:

  • $2,999- 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Xeon E5, Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2 GB VRAM, 12 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of Flash Storage
  • $3,999- 3.5 GHz 6-Core Xeon E5, Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3 GB VRAM, 16 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of Flash Storage

More information on Mac Pro

 

URGENT: FlashBack Trojan horse has infected 600,000 Macs

FlashBack Trojan Horse has infected 600,000 Macintoshes worldwide.

Fortunately, that’s less than 2% of active Macs.

Every once in a while, a trojan horse (similar to a virus, but tricks the user into installing it, rather than installing itself) breaks through the Mac OS security and infects computers. This isn’t the first time, nor the last time. This particular piece of software uses a bug in Apple’s Java implementation that was recently patched. It then tricks the user into giving away their computer’s login and password by masquerading as Apple’s Software Update.

You are already immune if…
…you are up to date with your software
…haven’t run software update in the last week
…don’t have Java installed. (CrashPlan requires Java, so many of Evolve’s clients do have it installed)

Needless to say, there is a large percentage of Macs that are already immune. Expect Apple to update the antivirus profiles built into every version of Lion in then next day or so, rendering a even larger percentage immune. This summer’s release of Mountain Lion will make it even more difficult to release malware for the Mac.

Am I infected?

The problem at hand is knowing whether you are infected or not.

  • If you are under a support contract with me, I will be checking your network to make sure that you are immune.
  • If you are not under contact, but a regular client, please contact Evolve to schedule a check of your network.
  • If you are not a regular client of Evolve, now is a great time become one.
  • I have also created a tool that you can test whether you are infected or not. flashback test.app

What do I do if I am infected?

The instructions for removal are here (f-secure.com). If you need assistance in removal, contact Evolve.
Once installed, FlashBack will watch your network connections for usernames and passwords. Therefore, every account on every website will need to have their passwords reset. Also, any website that you use a standard password will need to be changed.

How do I protect myself in the future?

Do not assume that antivirus software would have prevented this. The 600,000 infections were before anyone reported the trojan horse at all. Apple is vigilent in making sure that the Mac OS is secure. Lion is much more secure than Snow Leopard. Mountain Lion will be much more secure than Lion.

The biggest way to be safe is to keep up to date with your software.

Disable iPhone sync with iPhoto

  1. So, you’ve setup iCloud, and you’ve setup Photo Stream. Great! Life is easy. Your pictures show up in iPhoto without you thinking about it.

However…

The next time you plug your phone into your Mac, iPhoto launches and asks you to import pictures. Then it tells you that they’re all duplicate. You look around the preferences, and there is no way to turn it off.

Here’s how:

  1. Plug in your iPhone. Ignore iTunes.
  2. Open “Image Capture”. It’s in your Applications folder.
  3. Click on your iPhone in Image Capture.
  4. Change the popup under “Connecting this iPhone opens:” from “iPhoto” to “No application”

 

Black stripe up

When putting a MacBook in a bag, always put it black stripe up. The fans (and only ventilation) are situated in the hinge behind the black stripe. If your machine is hot, and you put black stripe down you are either forcing all the heat through the machine (if the fans have turned off) or are essentially blowing hot air over your screen, which can cause shadows on the lower edge of the screen.

If you put your computer in the bag black stripe up, the heat can naturally escape without coming in contact with components, thus reducing the wear and tear on your Mac.

Now if only Apple would put a sleep indicator on the back side…

Mountain Lion announced

Despite no event, nor any rumors hinting at the announcement, Mountain Lion has made its appearance. That’s not to say that it is available for the public. It isn’t.

It is available for developers to test their software on. This also enables your system administrators to learn the nuances of deploying the new OS before it is released, which then shrinks the gap between release and deployment to your business’ Macs. This is incredibly important due to the second thing that Apple announced today.

OS X will be updated annually.

Is your IT ready for replacing your OS every 12 months? Is it time to Evolve your IT?

MagSafe power adapter settlement

In the event that you have one of the white ended MagSafe adapter that is frayed, here is the link to the support document for the settlement. Fortunately, the Apple Store has been pretty good about replacing these for free prior to the settlement, so I don’t believe that I have any that qualify.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4127

Copying file paths in Mac OS X

Recently, I blogged about the danger of sending large files via email for iowabiz.com. Almost simultaneously, one of my clients asked me for a solution to easily copy and paste a file path from the Finder in Mac OS X Lion. This allows them to discuss shared files via email without the need to actually attach the file.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a solution built-in to Mac OS X. There’s a couple shareware products out that do it, but I felt it was too simple of a problem to pay per computer to solve. Instead, I created a simple Automator script that allows the user to do so via the services menu in the Finder.

Download: Copy URL of item(s)

 

  • To install it, open the zip file and double-click on it. Automator will ask if you want to install it. Do so.
  • To use it, right-click on a file or folder, go to the Services menu, and choose “Copy URL of item(s)”. It will place the URL in the clipboard.
  • The URL is a file:// style, which means that the recipient will need to have any servers mounted before they click on the link. Hopefully, I can figure out how to get the server address and connection protocol, so that I can fix that in a later version.

There is also no warranty of anything. If you like it, send a couple bucks my way via Dwolla.

 

 

 

Thinc Iowa

I’m going to keep this one short, not because I don’t have a wealth of things to say about it, but rather my friend, colleague, and mentor Ben Milne has said it better.

ThincIowa is only a week away. Get a ticket. It’s the best $200 you’ll spend in October.

If you need any more reason to go, they have a nice page to convince you here.