Upgrade Backblaze 6 to Backblaze 7

Do you use Backblaze to backup your Mac? It’s a great way to create an off-site backup of your Mac’s data. When CrashPlan eliminated their backup service for home customers, I recommended that most of my residential customers switch to Backblaze.

In the fall of 2019, Backblaze version 7 was released. Backblaze tends to automatically upgrade itself, but for reasons I haven’t been able to identify Backblaze version 6 doesn’t seem to always upgrade itself to version 7. Here are instructions on how to manually upgrade your Mac to Backblaze version 7. Version 7 adds compatibility with macOS Catalina (aka macOS 10.15). For a little bit more money, it also adds the ability to increase the file retention feature from 30 days to unlimited. Read More from “Upgrade Backblaze 6 to Backblaze 7”

How To Disinfect Your Mac, iPhone or iPad

Years ago I wrote an article about cleaning your Mac or iPhone screen. Given concerns about COVID-19 and the flu, it’s useful to point out that Apple provides cleaning guidelines for all of your Apple products. In particular, Apple appears to have recently updated their article with guidance on how to disinfect your Apple products. If you’re the only person who uses and touches your device, you don’t need to disinfect it since you can’t catch a disease from yourself. But if you put your device onto unclean tables or other hard surfaces or you need to let others use your device(s), then Apple recommends using a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe or another wipe that contains at least 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Be aware that these wipes can break down the oleophobic coating on iPhones and iPads. They could also negatively impact the coating on your Mac’s Retina display. Thus, you should only wipe the device gently. Also, be sure to avoid getting moisture in any of the openings in your device. To be extra safe, you should turn off your device while you’re cleaning it, then make sure the moisture has evaporated before you turn on the device. Apple points out that you should not use bleach on your Apple products.

How To Organize Screenshots & Reference Photos, Part 3

Part 1 & Part 2 of this photo organizing tutorial help you declutter your main photo library by neatly organizing valuable screenshots and reference photos into folders in the Notes app. When you separate informational images from precious photo memories, you begin streamlining your photo collection to what matters most. And as an added bonus, you find your saved reference material more easily.

Going forward, I recommend creating a new habit of saving all informational images directly to the Notes app. This will save you endless time and effort. In the future you won’t need to take time out to organize these types of photos and most importantly, you can quickly search for what you need.

Before I walk you through how to save new informational images directly to the Notes app, write down the total number of photos in your Photos app as well as the number of screenshots (hopefully, your screenshot count is zero). Then compare these numbers to when you began this photo organizing project — and celebrate your accomplishment!

This Tech Tip comes from Mirja Heide of RefreshFotos. Mirja specializes in digital photo management and training for Apple products and offers individual Q&A sessions and custom photo organizing programs. So whether you’re looking for training to organize your photos yourself, a guided program with coaching and training to help you accomplish your goals efficiently and in a timely manner, or a photo manager to complete the project for you, Mirja is delighted to help. She’s the founder of RefreshFotos, a tech consultant & instructor, an abstract photographer and a Certified Photo Manager with a serious passion for organizing and all things creative. Learn more at RefreshFotos.

Read More from “How To Organize Screenshots & Reference Photos, Part 3”

How To Organize Screenshots & Reference Photos, Part 2

In Part 1 of this 3-part tutorial, you began organizing your informational images by moving important screenshots to the Notes app and then deleting them from the Photos app. In Part 2, I’ll walk you through how to organize reference photos which include images of furniture, books, cars and clothing. Like with screenshots, remember to ask discerning questions to determine whether or not the reference photos are truly meaningful to you. Choose whether you’re going to work on your iPhone, iPad or Mac computer. Then move all valuable reference photos from the Photos app to the Notes app. Afterwards, delete the reference photos from the Photos app.

This Tech Tip comes from Mirja Heide of RefreshFotos. Mirja specializes in digital photo management and training for Apple products and offers individual Q&A sessions and custom photo organizing programs. So whether you’re looking for training to organize your photos yourself, a guided program with coaching and training to help you accomplish your goals efficiently and in a timely manner, or a photo manager to complete the project for you, Mirja is delighted to help. She’s the founder of RefreshFotos, a tech consultant & instructor, an abstract photographer and a Certified Photo Manager with a serious passion for organizing and all things creative. Learn more at RefreshFotos. Read More from “How To Organize Screenshots & Reference Photos, Part 2”

How To Organize Screenshots & Reference Photos, Part 1

In this three part series, I’d like to share a few methods for better managing screenshots and reference photos that don’t actually belong in your main photo library where you keep meaningful photos of family, friends, vacations, special events, artwork and creative projects.

Many photos and screenshots are informational…photos of books, recipes, products you like, things you want to remember and reference. There’s a better way to organize these types of images than mixing them in with your most precious photos. The key is to create a new habit of saving them to the Notes app on your iPhone/iPad. If you’re using iCloud, the notes will automatically sync to your Mac computer.

This new habit won’t require extra time — it will actually save you time and also help you find the information you need more easily.

I’ll begin with how to organize screenshots (Part 1) and reference photos (Part 2) already saved in your Photos app, then I’ll share how to save new informational images directly to the Notes app (Part 3).

This Tech Tip comes from Mirja Heide of RefreshFotos. Mirja specializes in digital photo management and training for Apple products and offers individual Q&A sessions and custom photo organizing programs. So whether you’re looking for training to organize your photos yourself, a guided program with coaching and training to help you accomplish your goals efficiently and in a timely manner, or a photo manager to complete the project for you, Mirja is delighted to help. She’s the founder of RefreshFotos, a tech consultant & instructor, an abstract photographer and a Certified Photo Manager with a serious passion for organizing and all things creative. Learn more at RefreshFotos.

Read More from “How To Organize Screenshots & Reference Photos, Part 1”

Use eDrawings Viewer, A Free Way To View AutoCAD (.dwg) Files

Do you ever need to open AutoCAD files? If you’re renovating your home or office there’s a chance that an architect or contractor might send you an AutoCAD file in .dwg format. eDrawings Viewer is a free application that lets you open and view these files.  It’s been around for at least 15 years. The developer makes their money selling other applications which allow architects and others create .dwg files, so I expect eDrawings Viewer to remain free. Download it and give it a try.

 

Setting Up An Auto-Reply In Gmail

Do you use Gmail? Would you like to setup an automated reply email to indicate that you’re going to be on vacation or out of the office? Google provides some simple, step-by-step setup instructions for their Vacation Responder. Since Gmail’s interface changes often, I do not think it makes sense for me to re-write them in this article as they could change without notice.

Here are some related notes.

Your automated reply is sent to people only the first time they contact you. It resets after four days and if that same person emails you after four days then he or she would receive your automated reply a second time.

You can have your automated reply sent to everybody or only to people who you have saved to your Google Contacts list. If your Gmail account is provided by your employer or school you can choose whether your automated reply is sent to everybody or only to people in your organization.

Email messages delivered to your spam folder will not get your automated reply.

Email messages from a mailing list will not get your automated reply.

The Importance Of Monitoring One’s Backups

This week’s Tech Tip is a cautionary tale. Last week, I offered some guidance on how to prepare for a Genius Bar appointment and the importance of knowing that you have a current Time Machine backup of your Mac, before taking your Mac to the Genius Bar. Recently, I had two clients take their Macs to Genius Bar appointments. In each instance, Apple erased all of their data. One client, who I’ll call Bill, had a current Time Machine backup and we were able to use it to return his Mac to a functioning state after Apple returned it to him in a non-functioning state. The other client, who I’ll call Sally thought she had a current Time Machine backup, but, it turns out she didn’t.

Bill’s incident highlights the importance of know which version of the Mac operating system is installed on your Mac. Sally’s incident highlights the importance of knowing how to monitor your backup systems, backing up daily as well as the need to have a second, redundant backup system. Because she had Backblaze performing backups, we were able to recover all of her data, but she could have had a less stressful time if she’d really had a current Time Machine backup. Read More from “The Importance Of Monitoring One’s Backups”