Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

Is Quickbooks secure?

Is paying someone through quickbooks secure? Here's my receipt:

Image 2-18-20 at 6.47 PM

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Yes. Just always be mindful that you are actually at quickbooks.com however. If you don’t feel comfortable with a link provided in an email, you can always type in the site directly then enter the invoice number for instance.

The good news is that usually you are expecting an invoice so you know it’s coming therefore can be less suspicious like in the case of these flowers. If however, you did not order flowers then NO, that would be a major issue. Quickbooks security is very good otherwise.

Regardless of the company, any payment is going to be secure as long as you see the lock on the left side of the URL bar. As long as that's there, it means your data is encrypted from you to the recipient. Never do business with a non-secure site. http: vs. https: That's the difference.

What is the googlesoftwareupdatebundle?

Scotty, I had a webinar that used GoMeet and when I tried to open it, the site said that I needed Chrome (which I had sent to trash) as the browser. I downloaded Chrome, at least thought I had and think that I now have deleted it. Tried various fixes to get rid of the little bugger on the screen but have failed. I haven’t tried to open it however. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

IMG_2712
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What you are looking at is Google's software asking to install. This particular software is "supposed" to keep Chrome up to date however it's not personally something I want running on my system. You don't have to install it. You'd just have to update Chrome manually whenever you felt the need to. Keep in mind that Chrome is 100% an advertising agency. All their products are designed to sell ads as effectively as possible. So I don't particularly want another piece of their software running on my system than necessary.

Among other places, Google places one or more of these files in your user's library. It's probably more than I need to get into in a post as it can be a little dangerous going into any of the hidden folders on a Mac as they are hidden for a reason. But to best solve your issue, I suggest just emptying the trash then going back to google.com/chrome and redownloading a new copy. You can alway run the bundle when you see the prompt then delete the intrusive files at a later date.

It's dangerous to go alone...

So this just came in to me today. An email suggesting that I update Adobe Flash. It's. Critical update…


Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 8.08.26 AM

On the surface it looks legit but no no no! Let's take a minute to see ways we can spot this terrible scam.
By hovering over the incoming address and clicking the right corner of the email address, you will see the actual email address. Not just the name associated with it. In this case, there are two s's in the name. Adobe would not send from this address..



Moving on, you see the very inviting download button but by hovering over the link it will reveal the actual link you would be going to. Notice the spelling here. .gq would not be an Adobe URL.



But let's say you even go so far as to click that link. What happens next?

Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 8.10.17 AM

It takes you to another very convincing site that looks exactly like something you would really see if you were updating Flash by Adobe. But look closer. The URL at the top bar is some garbage link. This is all baiting you in. They've stolen the logos and design from Adobe's site and made their own scam site in hopes that you'll click the next download button. So what if you did click that?



If you're running the latest version of macOS Catalina, you'd see this new window. It's your computer telling you something is about to download. In this case "mysslgo.com" is pure garbage. If you don't know what it is, don't allow it. That's the general rule we should all be following. But what if you do allow it?



You'd then see a file in your downloads with some bogus name like the one above. The good news here is that nothing bad has really happened to you yet. But you're very very close to the Sun right now. If you've fallen this far, there's a good chance you'll just keep going. Eventually you're computer will try to stop you once again by asking you, the boss, to allow this terrible thing by entering your admin password. The bad guys can't install anything on your computer without you granting permission. The whole scam is to convince you that this install really needs to happen. The fact that the bad guys use the word "flash" is beside the point. They are only using that word because they know we've become conditioned over the last several years to updating flash. (Side note: Adobe is no longer supporting actual Flash updates and it will be phased completely out of browsers this year). They could use any word like firewall, security, open port, dark web, or anything else to try to frighten you into interacting with their links. If you are ever in doubt, simply take a screenshot (command+shift+4) then drag over the area you'd like to capture. Send that screenshot to me and I'll give you my thoughts. 9/10 times it's fake.

You are your best defense. Don't type in your admin password unless you have a good reason to do so.

How do I "save as"?

Still having trouble doing “save as”... thank u!
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After you've first named a file, the next time you save the file, it will just continue to save a version of that file as the exact same name as before. However, if you want to create a new version of the file and name it differently, then you may find that "save as" is not apparently available. To reveal that option, in most programs you can go under the File menu in the menu bar and hold down the Option key. That should give you the option to "Save as".

Unwanted calendar alerts

Husband and I r continuing to get calendar reminders on our phones even though we deleted the calendar that was populated with son's stuff. What should we do?
I am going to be uptown working all morning so away from my home computer but home this afternoon. Thank you for your help!
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Calendars. If this is a google calendar, by default events placed in a Google calendar have a 10 minute prior alert unless you turn those off. So I wonder if that’s what you’re talking about. If so, you would go to google.com, log into your account, go to calendar preferences, then find the 10 minute prior reminder and turn it off. If it’s more of an iCloud calendar issue then I may need to be in front of it in order to better understand what’s going on.

My google is offline

it is saying google appears to be offline due to a network problem
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Google offline is a little vague. I assume you may be referencing your gmail email that may just be labeled “Google”. If this is the case, Google recently changed the way they authenticate which now requires re-entering your password with an account that has been set up in Apple Mail or iPhone. You could also see a message similar to “imap.gmail.com server is unavailable”. This has been very common over the last month. A couple ways to deal with either of these, you can re enter your password in settings for either device or you could also just delete the account and re-add it once again. You will not lose any data by doing so.

Backup drive not detected

I am getting a pop up that says my computer has not been backed up by Seagate Backup Plus Drive for 27 days...
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Any messages from Seagate can be ignored as you should be using Time Machine to manage your backup. That being said, eventually we would want to remove the Seagate software. It’s not hurting anything now other than just bothersome. Most drive manufacturers have their own versions of backup software, none of which would I ever rely. Time Machine is what I highly recommend.

You may also be describing a very common issue where you've associated two different external hard drives to Time Machine but are only currently leaving one connected. To see if this is the case, open system preferences, then time machine, then choose "Select Backup Disk".



If you see two drives that are colored an olive green, then you'll want to select the older drive you are no longer using and choose "remove disk". That should take care of the problem. This has been a mistake on Apple's part that when a computer backs up to two different drives, if the drives have not been swapped out in over thirty days, instead of seeing a message that states "we haven't seen the OTHER drive in more than thirty days" it instead says "you haven't backed up in thirty days" which is extremely misleading.

Very common Gmail imap error

Why is Gmail giving me the error.
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I’m going to guess that you may be referring to a common gmail error having to do with imap.gmail.com outgoing server issues.

If so, this has become a very common error within Gmail. The easiest remedy is to just delete the email account then re-add it once again. That usually takes care of it. The reason for this error is due to changes Gmail has recently implemented which requires authentication via a web browser. So when re-adding the gmail account, it will automatically open a safari window when you enter your password. That should resolve the issue. Hope this helps.

Time Machine is giving an error.

I am getting new messages that my "backup" is not going through. You fixed it last time but not sure it is a problem.
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While time machine is a very good backup method, sometimes it needs a little love to get back on track. There are many things that could be causing your backup issue. No way of knowing what the actual cause is. Some possibilities are:

1. Drive needs to be reformatted and backup started over.
2. Backup drive has failed.
3. Your Mac may be wanting to back up to two separate drives and it hasn't seen one of them in more than thirty days.
4. Drive is not mounted. May need to be unplugged and reconnected.

Which wifi routers do you recommend now?

Will you remind me of the routers (number and size) that I need to order ?
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The routers I prefer now are made by Netgear. Orbi is the model. There are several different versions. 2, 3, 4 packs and so on. Considering the square footage and construction of your home, you might consider the new 4 pack: Amazon.com: Netgear Orbi RBK14-100NAS Whole Home Mesh WiFi System - up to 1.2Gbps high-Performance WiFi with up to 6,000 Square feet of Coverage. Expand Your Home’s WiFi Coverage to Eliminate WiFi Dead Zones: Computers & Accessories

Or the tried and true 3 pack: Amazon.com: NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with 2.2Gbps speed (RBK23) Router & Extender replacement covers up to 6,000 sq. ft., 3-pack includes 1 router & 2 satellites: Computers & Accessories


The only complaint I have with the Orbi line is that there are too many variations from which to choose. They really need to streamline their product line. It's too confusing for the average buyer.

How to I get my brightness up and fonts bigger?

I have googled - I have gone to preferences and accessibility - nothing about fonts. I cannot lighten my screen or enlarge my fonts and really am handicapped with this small dark font/ Can you advise?
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A couple things to consider.  As of the most recent update, there’s a new feature called “Dark Mode”.  I wonder if maybe the brightness issue may be a result of dark mode being turned on.  To check to make sure it’s off, you can go to System Preferences and select General.  There you will find the ability to turn off Dark mode.  



As for increasing the size of fonts globally across the computer you might first take a look back in System preferences once again but this time under “Displays”.  It’s possible a different resolution may work better for you.  In this same area, you can also increase the backlight brightness of the screen.  
Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 2.05.12 PM


If that still has not solved your issue then you can next look under the Finder menu item called “View”.  There you can choose “view options” and from that you can increase or decrease the size of icons on the desktop as seen below:



If that does not address the font size issue, you can further look back to system preferences under General to find “Sidebar icon size”.  It’s just under the same area you may have seen when working with dark mode.  

Hope that helps.  

Can I use Pages to send to Word users?

Scotty: I am trying to send the attached document to individuals who are not able to open it. Is there a way to convert it to Word? Or should I just got to the UPS Store print it then scan it in so people can read it. This is being sent through my laptop and it is converting documents to the apple programs. I know we talked about this when you were here but I can’t remember what I should do.
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Looks like you’re using Pages to edit the document. You CAN save it as a word document in Pages before you send it. Pages has a function built in that allows you to send it as a .doc document. In the menu bar, with Pages open, look for the word “Share”. Then select email a copy. Lastly chose to share a word doc. That should do it.

The difference between word and pages is the extension it uses. (The suffix). Example: project.pages. vs project.doc

Am I on iCloud?

Our other iMac is not connected to my iCloud. And I couldn’t figure out a way to get it done. Is it because it hasn’t been updated in a while? I think we are running version 12
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If you go to the black apple and select “about this Mac” it will tell you what operating system you’re on. iCloud started becoming fully implemented into the Operating system by 10.12 so if you are on MacOS 10.12 it will talk to the cloud. You would just need to check in your system preferences under “iCloud” to make sure you are signed in with the same appleID you are using on your phone and other computer.

Why did my hard drive die so fast?

Yesterday my computer was fine and now today the hard drive is dead.
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Hard drive can die in one second. They are spinning mechanisms that rotate 5400 times per second they’re entire life. When they stop spinning, that’s it. Modern hard drives are called “solid state” or “flash” hard drives. They do not have moving parts. They last much longer in my experience.

A spinning hard drive (also called a SATA drive) can die quickly. Some SATA drives die slowly over time and can be more noticeable as performance degrades (the spinning beach ball for example).

What has Apple done to my appleid?

Scotty, can you help me please?

IMG_0031
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Looks like Apple has shut down the account to make any new purchases from some reason. They could have detected what they considered fraud activity. You may be able to get it open again by either calling Apple directly or trying to log on at appleid.apple.com. They also have a chat service that works well.

https://getsupport.apple.com/?caller=cups&PGF=PGF63005

Why are my son's text messages coming to his computer?

For some reason my son's new computer is receiving all the texts from all phones on the same iCloud. How do I fix it?
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The computer is receiving texts because it's logged into his iCloud account under the app called Messages. To stop texts from coming to his computer, open Messsages then go to preferences. (Located under the menu bar at the top of the screen when Messages is open.
Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 10.01.00 PM

From this screen you have many options. Sign out completely, disable the account by just unchecking "enable this account" or uncheck phone numbers an email accounts associated to his iCloud account individually. If you see multiple phone numbers listed, that would mean that your son's iCloud account is associated to multiple phones. In which case, you may want to log out of his account on those other devices.

Do I have screentime set correctly?

Child still has access to apps. Thanks for info. Here is a screenshot of Tomas’s screen time. It’s all by instructions but he has access to many apps. Is there something I’m missing. Thanks

Screenshot 2020-01-20 at 9.08.01 PM

The list above looks good in terms of what apps are always allowed. Therefore, if your child still has access to other apps during his/her "ofttimes" then there's another setting that needs to be addressed.

1. Do you currently have a Screentime passcode enabled? (A four digit code your child DOES NOT know)?
2. Do you have Downtime enabled with custom or normal limits such as Mon-Fri 10pm-7am but weekends Dif times?
3. Do you have "Block at downtime" selected at the bottom of the downtime screen?

IMG_05D334121C11-1

Be sure you turn that on.

Troubleshooting printers on your Mac

Hi Scotty, I’ve been having trouble with my printer and computer connecting. It says “looking for printer” when I open the printer page on my computer. Any tips?
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Steps to printer troubleshooting:

1. Make sure you are on the correct network. Sometimes people have more than one network in their home. Your computer/device needs to be on the same network the printer is on.

2. Delete the printer from system preferences and re-add it. If it doesn't show up when you try to re add the printer, it's most likely the printer's fault. Time to head over to the printer.

3. In the printer's settings, there's usually a "Reset Network settings" or similar. You can use that function to clear the printer's memory before you rejoin the network.

4. Tell the printer to rejoin the network. You'll use something like "Printer Setup Wizard". There's usually the word "wizard" in the title. That will go out and find the network again and allow you to re add it.

5. After you've re-added the printer to the network, go back to system preferences and try to add it again.


That usually solves most printer/computer relationship problems. When adding a printer you can choose "AirPrint" as your driver. I prefer to use that. Other choices include the manufacturer's driver or Secure AirPrint. I suggest just using "AirPrint" if available. Lastly, you can sometimes solve printer problems by reseting print system defaults. You do this by right clicking in the printer column in printer system preferences. This deletes all printers from the computer's memory. However, this is not normally the solution. Most of the time, it's a network issue between the printer and computer. Networking is usually at fault.

Using Screentime with Downtime

You came to our house in November. I’m trying to figure out why our son has access to some apps after screen time shuts down. Most are blocked but a few that should be aren’t and these are the ones he uses most (Instagram, YouTube). Thanks
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You'll want to check the settings within ScreenTime. Specifically two areas.

1. Downtime. With downtime you can tell the device to shut off access to most apps on the phone. For example, from 10pm to 6am you might deny the phone's ability to use Safari, texting, Weather, etc…. The one non-negotiable exception is the phone itself. The FCC regulates that you cannot cut off the phone from making/receiving calls. This is for safety reasons like using 911 service.

2. Always Allowed. You may have enabled Downtime but there is another setting in Screentime that lists all the apps that are either allowed or not allowed during the downtime period. By default, Apple leaves Phone, texts, and maps on although you can remove the latter two if you'd like. So check that the apps you don't want accessed after the Downtime kicks in are listed in the "not allowed" area of the list.

Also, make sure you have implemented a passcode for your child's screen time settings. Otherwise, they can just give themselves more time. Lastly, there's always the possibility that your child knows the 4 digit code. Children are very very very good at using context clues to solve technological problems.

Can you recommend a printer?

Do you have a particular printer you like?
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All printers are terrible. Let's get that out of the way first. Secondly, if I am being forced to buy a printer (under protest) then I'm going to get an HP Officejet 6000-8000 series. Anything in that range is adequate.

DO NOT enroll in HP's "insta-ink" scheme. Its basically a dirty subscription service that has treated it's customers so badly, I'm just about ready to hire monks to chisel my documents out in stone instead of print.

I agree with these guys:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S2lYXf-uu0
This image is a theme.plist hack