Monthly Archives: April 2016

Is It Time To Replace Your Mac?

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Know if it is Time to Replace Your Mac

Everyone already knows hardware from Apple lasts a long time. However, as with everything, there comes a time when your Mac will no longer be useful and become obsolete.

The majority of the time when a computer needs replacing, it is obvious. If unsure when you may be in need of a replacement for your Mac, here are some signs:

Slower Applications

As time goes on applications are getting more demanding and bigger. Eventually, the Mac you currently own will no longer have the capable to keep up with demands. To help with performance in short-term, you can use an earlier software version. Unfortunately, if you want new functionality and features this option becomes unreasonable.

The Latest OS X Will Not Run On Your Mac

Apple provides their users with the latest version of OS X for free to be sure we are all using it. However, when Mac’s are unable to run their latest version, a new purchase soon becomes necessary.

Each fall a new version of OS X is released by Apple, with the current version being OS X 10.11 EL Capitan, and is compatible with the majority of Mac’s since 2007.

If your Mac is unable to run El Capitan, Apple likely has downgraded it to obsolete or vintage status. For these products, repairing them will not come cheaply. Points of non-Apple service may be able to work on vintage products, however.

For products with a status of obsolete, parts can no longer be ordered by service providers.

Components Are Too Expensive; Do Not Work

Mac parts are expensive, and thankfully they generally last for long periods of time. You must decide if a new part is worth the cost or a better solution would be to purchase a new Mac when a part needs to be replaced.

If the issue is when your battery dies, you are able to continue using the Mac by plugging it in. Keep in mind, faulty batteries are typically signs of other system components on the verge of breaking. Apple’s battery replacement program can be rather expensive.

It is almost impossible for end users to replace parts on Mac’s, including their batteries which are glued to their logic board. Apple has steadily increased prices for these components, on top of their labor costs.

When faced with a choice of whether to purchase a new Mac or pay a bill for a new laptop display or logic board, where would you rather put this kind of money?

Enjoying Your Mac for the Long Haul

Luckily, Macs do not need replacing that often, they are generally very high-quality machines. If you need to buy one, however, this experience can be an enjoyable one.

Tired of Windows? Mac Newbie Keyboard Tips

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Mac Navigation is Different From PC

Switching to a Mac after being a Window user can be a shocker for many users. Windows shortcuts which you have been accustomed to using no longer work, helpful keys are missing from the Mac keyboard such as End and Home. Functions of Apple’s ctrl key are unlike Windows.

No need to worry! In no time at all your memory will adjust to a Mac’s keyboard, and when you understand some simple differences between Windows and Mac, expect it to be quicker.

Equivalent to Window Keys

On Mac, command or cmd key, located on either side of the spacebar is equivalent to Windows Control key. Several Window shortcuts work on Mac as well when cmd is used instead of Control. For example, Windows shortcuts for cut-copy-paste is ctrl+x, ctrl+c, ctrl+v and when used on Mac they become cmd+x, cmd+c, and cmd+v. 

There is a key named control (ctrl) on OS X. This is placed between option and fn keys on the spacebars left. Mac’s ctrl key is used for some keyboard shortcuts you soon will discover.

(Windows) Alt+Tab = (OS X) Command+Tab

Switching applications on Mac with cmd+tab is just as simple as it was on Windows with Alt+Tab. With OS X cmd key in the same location as Windows alt key, this shortcut is already memorized for you.

(Windows) Home/End = (OS X) Command+Arrow Keys

Mac keyboards are missing the helpful Home and End keys which are located on PC keyboards. For Home use cmd+left arrow and for End use cmd+right arrow. Using cmd+down arrow to bring you to a selections bottom and to go the beginning use cmd+up arrow. 

Using Enter on OS X to Rename Files

When working on Windows, hitting the Enter key opens the file in the default application. When hitting Enter on Mac while having a folder or file selected allows it to be renamed. When selecting cmd+o the file can be opened by use of the keyboard.

(Windows) Alt = (OS X) Option

The option key is one that will be used often, giving the ability to type special symbol, diacritical marks, and characters. Many but not all shortcuts using alt on Windows are replaced with option. 

There are hidden options you are given access to by way of the option key. For example, using a Word document, if you open the File menu and hold down the option key, there is a new option available – Save As… – when option key is released this new option goes away.

This is just a handful of handy Mac shortcuts available to you. A Mac keyboard may feel strange to you as of now, but after first few weeks of use, you will feel right at home. Of course, if you need a refresher for PC shortcuts, here is the list you can follow.

Troubleshooting Memory Leaks or Low RAM in Windows

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Troubleshoot Common RAM Issues

Throughout the last several years RAM amount available has increased on personal computers. Memory usage increases due to many factors, and laptops are commonly shipped with 8 GB RAM.

The capabilities of your system are limited by how much RAM is being used. What should you do when experiencing low RAM or a memory leak?

About RAM

Random Access Memory or RAM, is a type of storage, which is different than a hard-drive. This storage is not maintained when systems are powered down. You likely have 2-8 GB RAM, depending on the age of your system.

What Uses RAM

Some RAM is used for every application opened on a device, some using more than others. The performance of a system is limited by how much RAM is available and how much is in use.

Checking What Is Using RAM

Task manager is one of the several programs allowing your to check what you RAM is being used on. Right-click on Taskbar and select Task Manager. Click on Processes. Here you will see each process using RAM, with the cumulative system usage shown at the bottom of the panel. Clicking on the Performance tab shows a system overview, where you can see CPU Usage and Memory.

If not happy with Task Manager, access Resource Manager in the Performance Tab. Look under the Memory tab for a look at active memory processes.

Commonly Seen RAM Issues

RAM can be fast and efficient, most times, but there are some issues that are commonly seen that have easy fixes.

System is Slow When Several Programs Opened

The reason could be resource heavy applications using all available RAM. If you see this issue often, it is recommended to purchase and install more RAM.

Plenty of RAM But System Is Slow

This can have different meanings on different systems or software being used.

An example would be in 2014, Mozilla Firefox browser had a memory leak issue. A memory leak is when RAM memory allocations are managed incorrectly by an application, causing unneeded memory to be retained by the application, store objects that are no longer able to be reached in the memory. Either way, system memory can be drained completely by the application. If you believe a memory leak is using all your RAM, give this a try. Open Task Manager > Performance tab. Keep open Task Manager, and open most commonly used applications one at a time, monitoring it for about 1-2 hours. If you notice the blue line in Physical Memory Usage Graph rising continually when you are not using the system, there may be a memory leak.

Get the facts on RAM and ROM here.

This covers only a few memory issues and explains what a memory leak is. If you still have issues or are unsure what to do, bring your computer to a professional.