to commonly asked questions.

August 2016

Can I get the music off an old iPod?

Scotty- I am one of your client's fiancé and she suggested I contact you. I have two old Ipods with a some old music on them. The mothership for both of them  is dead and gone. My question-is it possible to transfer from the Ipods back to another computer? If so, I would happily pay to have that accomplished as II am afraid that I could lose the music forever. Thanks

Official Apple Answer: No

Unofficial Answer: Yes. But you'll need a third party piece of software like
iRip. Music on an iPod is generally considered a one way journey. It was not meant for you to be able to pull the files off. That would have lead to the ability to more easily steal music. However, there is sometimes a need to actually retrieve the music from an iPod due to circumstances like the one you mentioned. There are several programs that will do this but iRip is probably the most straight forward way to do so. I'd be happy to assist if you need but I would suggest you give it a try first. iRip costs $25 and is available here.

Do not fall for these tricks!

I tried to take a screen shot of a window that has appeared on my computer several times in the past 24 hours; but lost it before I could send it to you.  It’s title is: “personal files are unprotected” and is accompanied elsewhere (and at different times by a small window) by a request to scan files and then clean the junk files.  I see no Apple ID on either of the screens; the first one is “powered by Amazon” and the smaller second one simply has a robot looking (Michelin Man) icon on it.  So far, I have done the scan, and it is now saying that I can clean 2.7 GB of junk files, but I hesitate to go any further until you can confirm that is legit?!  Where would it have come from without any Apple or other ID?  It seemed to have come out of left field???

No No No! These "cleaning" pieces of software are not a good idea to have anything to do with. They are setting you up to try to convince you that you have some terrible problems. They will show you all the files they say are corrupt. Then they will tell you to call a phone number for help. There is nothing wrong. These are completely unnecessary. They will tell you your computer is unprotected. They will say your social security number may have been exposed. They will use words like "firewall", or "open ports" to try to convince you you need their help. They are lying. They will use icons that are very close in design to Apple's own intellectual property to try to subliminally convince you they are the good guys. They are not. Here's an example:

This is Automator. It's a program that comes on every Mac and it is written by Apple. It's a program that allows technical users to write their own set of commands of sorts. Most users will never use it but it lives on every Mac and is completely harmless.
Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 11.29.57 AM

Here's the logo of one of the terrible pieces of software I mentioned before. Notice the similarity in design.

Do not do business with any of these type companies.

Is online backup a good idea?

I am thinking of using an online backup service for my Macs and Windows computers and family phones.  Someone has mentioned iDrive.  Do you have any experience with iDrive or other online backup services?  What is your take on cloud backup services?  Thanks

I'm not a fan of online backup services such as iDrive, BackBlaze, Mozy, Carbonite, or Crashplan. Here are my reasons:

Slows traffic on your home network as it uploads data constantly via your wifi router.
Takes a longer period of time to restore your data if you have a hard drive failure.
Not as easy as time machine to restore the entire contents of a drive.
Permissions on files can be effected. (gets a little technical)
You are constantly paying a fee.

What I do like and trust completely is a physical hard drive connected to your mac using the built in software called Time Machine. Not to be mistaken with Time Capsule which is a wifi router Apple manufacturers. I do not like that product. But the software Time Machine is very good in my opinion and it's very rare that I ever see a failure of any type to retrieve data as long as time machine was running. Leave your drive connected. If you'd like to use an online backup service in addition to time machine then I wouldn't dissuade you. But every person I work with should have a time machine drive connected to their computer at all times. In a perfect world you would have two that you rotate every month. But I realize that may be asking a bit much for people to be expected to go to those lengths.

In addition, using dropbox, google drive, or icloud drive to store documents and iCloud photo library to store your pictures is a great way to double up on backup.

However if online backup services are the only things you'll use then it's better than nothing.

How can I turn on items in the left column tool bar?

I am unable to see that left column in the finder...the "Toolbar" is greyed out in view. I need this to get "back to my mac"

Click on the desktop so that you are in the Finder. Now go to the top left hand corner of your computer and select "preferences" under the word Finder in the menu bar. Now check the box next to "may to my mac". The item should now appear in your finder window on the left hand column. You may have to hit "shared" in order to display items within that category.

I can’t view the sidebar

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.27.10 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.28.16 PM

Now open a finder window and look on the left hand column.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 1.31.42 PM

Can't get to email stored in a folder

Emergency. I'll seeks up next time when we're back in town
In Charlotte, I put all mail related to s big project in a newly created mail folder, thinking I would see it in my mailbox when I arrived last night in Chicago. It's not there before I really create a problem, what can I do?

The most likely explanation is that when you created the folder, you chose to create it using the "on my mac" option instead of in the respective cloud of whatever email account you are using. Each email account has the ability to store folders in the cloud (on its server) so you have access to them on other devices. (as long as its an imap or exchange email account. pop email does not support this function)

One possible solution is to utilize "back to my mac". If you are away from home, you may be able to remote back into your iMac while away. If you have "back to my mac" enabled on the home computer within iCloud settings in system preferences then you might see it as an item in the left column of your finder window. You could select it and choose to "share screen" then move the items within email however you'd like. Note: "back to my mac" only works if the routers on both ends allow it to. Your home router is fine, but whatever router you may be connected to away from home could block that service.

Do you work on PCs?

Scotty, do you work on Windows machines. PCs?


Do I need a surge protector?

Do I need a surge protector or is the one (see picture above) sufficient?

In my opinion there is no such thing as an effective surge protector. I see computers all the time that are plugged into uninterrupted power supplies or surge protectors and they still get fried when a storm hits. There's also a thing called brown power and Charlotte seems to have seen a lot of it lately. Brown power is when there is an increase or decrease in power coming into your home. That slight flux can also damage your computer or TV. So surge protector simply make us feel better about ourselves but ultimately, if lightning hits, if your computer is plugged into the wall in any way, that lightning will find its way to the device. Only safe thing to do is unplug your computer during storms.

All that being said, any surge protector is fine but if the big one hits, it won't matter.

AppleID relationships and other issues.

I've run into some issues:

1) find my friends: I'm getting message "location not available" is there a step we need to complete?
2) Are son and dad still attached?
3) In photos I cannot see video, move pictures, and there is an exclamation point in the corner of older pictures.

Thank you, Scotty! Sorry to bother you ... Just wanted to keep you informed.

1. On the device you are hoping to locate, be sure to first check a few settings. On the phone go to Settings/iCloud/Find My iPhone. Be sure that "Find My iPhone" is turned on and "Send Last Location" is also turned on. Next, within the Find my Friends app on each phone, select the "Me" listing at the very bottom. On the next screen be sure to turn on "Share My Location" and then below that, chose the device you wish to be located from. Most of the time that will be one's iPhone.

2. in regard to son and husband still being attached, not 100% sure what you mean but I think you mean: are they still associated to each other. No they should not be. Other than being logged into the same Apple ID to make purchases under the store, each person in your family has their own iCloud account completely separate fro the others. It is that AppleID that each member of the family logs into iCloud, messages, and FaceTime. We went into husband's AppleID and removed the other related email addresses and phones earlier.

3. This is a larger issue that may need to be addressed in person. You could try the following fix first however: Hold down the option+command buttons and open Photos. You should be presented with the option to "Repair" the library. Try that first. If that does not succeed then we may need to look further into that issue separately.

Lone airport utility?

Do u remember an airport we velcroed to back of tv in kitchen. I think maybe that one was forgotten. We are having trouble downloading Apple TV movies. That airport is yellow and has phone jack that is not connected to anything?

I only updated the airport devices I saw listed in the airport utility.  I left with all devices green.  An airport express can blink yellow if it’s having a problem or if it simply needs an update.  I updated all the devices listed so it may be offline for some reason.  Not sure what room your AppleTV was in but if it was the room across from the kitchen downstairs where the xbox was temporarily then any Apple TV placed at that television should still be getting an adequate signal since it is so close to the larger router in your data closet on the other side of the house near the stairs.  If you would like to re-add the airport express, you can hold down the reset button on the back and then use airport utility to re add it to the network.  

Putting the time machine clock back in the menu bar.

Hmmm. I don’t have a small clock next to the time display! Is my computer backing up?

If you would like to backup time machine clock to appear in the menu bar at the top of the computer, go to system preferences then select time machine. Next check the box in the window that says "Show icon in menu bar." From there you can check your backup status right from the menu bar. You can also look at the status directly from the time machine system preference window while your there as well.

My computer hasn't backed up in over 30 days

Hey Scotty,

My Time Machine says it’s not backing up for 30 days… it says… "check that it’s available to select a new disc… "
I cannot figure out what to do.  Do you think I need to schedule a session?

May be nothing. When we choose to have time machine back up to more than one drive, for instance: a home backup and an off site backup that we rotate, if you do not rotate the other drive back in within 30 days, your computer will display the message "your computer has not backed up in over 30 days". This wording is poorly written. What it should really be saying is "we haven't seen the other hard drive you're backing up to in over 30 days". So this may be the issue if you were using 2 different drives to backup. One way to see if your current drive is doing its job with Time Machine is to select the small clock in the menu bar (right hand side near the time display). You'll see a "Last backup" and then a time. If the time is very recent you're fine. If it says pending or failed then it's time to explore other possible issues. Those could include that your backup drive is too small for the amount of data on your computer, or that the drive has failed. Check those issues out first then schedule if you feel you still need to go further.
This image is a theme.plist hack