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6 Tips to Keeping Your Mac Running Fast

Why is my computer running slow?

It’s a question we’re often asked.

Making sure your machine stays running fast can sometimes be hard to keep on top of, but with a few simple fixes, you’re able to keep OSX running smoothly, even if your machine is a few years old.

 

 

  • Removing Malware

The first step is to make sure there is no malicious software slowing down your machine. There are some great pieces of software that can help you make sure your machine is virus free. Malwarebytes helps to remove anything that is slowing down your machine or potentially poses a threat to your machine. It also claims to “protect you from dangerous threats that antivirus doesn’t.” You can try Malwarebytes for free for 14 days, after that licenses start at $34.95 for 1 year.

  • Removing Mackeeper or similar software

You’ll find a lot of software out there that will claim to clean up your machine, when really, it’s doing quite the opposite. Mackeeper is the most notorious of these but certainly not the only one. Mackeeper, by definition, is malware. Malware being “a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software”. Mackeeper can be very difficult to uninstall at times, especially if you want to make sure it hasn’t left any lingering files. A great guide to uninstalling Mackeeper can be found here.

  • Repair Disk Permissions

When you install programs on your Mac, each comes with permission files. These files basically tell your Mac which users can do what with specific files. Over time these permissions get changed by other software and can cause lots of issues with the speed and running of your Mac. Luckily, it’s quite easy to fix this using Disk Utility. Spotlight search for Disk Utility, click on your hard drive (usually called Macintosh HD), and then click Verify Permissions or First Aid on newer versions of OSX. This will scan for any issues. If it does find any issues, you will either be prompted to Repair Permissions or it will begin automatically.

  • Remove Login Items

Too many programs trying to start up when you log in to your computer can result in a very, very slow log in time. If you open System Preferences, click on Users & Groups, then your user account, and then click on Login Items. From there, anything that you don’t require immediately on start up can be removed, hopefully resulting in a fast log in time.

  • Activity Monitor

Spotlight search for Activity Monitor and you will easily be able to see what is using the bulk of your processing power or memory at any given time. By checking what’s using the most of your CPU and Memory, you can decide whether those programs are worth keeping, worth shutting down or whether you might require an upgrade to your RAM.

  • Delete Old Programs and Large Unused Files

It’s also always important to go through your machine every so often and look for old programs or large files that you’re not using. A quick check through your Applications folder, or Control Clicking on folders to Get Info and find out how much space they’re taking up, can be incredibly beneficial in freeing up space on your hard drive and decluttering your machine.

A slow computer is one of the most frustrating things in the world these days, but by following these simple steps, you should be able to keep your machine running like it’s brand new. For more tips and news, check out our other blog posts, or sign up to our newsletter.


Patrick Kirkman
Technician

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What is coming from Apple in 2015?

What can we expect from Apple in 2015? There’s certainly a lot of rumours and predictions making the rounds. Let’s take a look at some of Apple’s biggest products and what we could expect this year.

 

1. Apple Watch

AppleWatch-official10-578-80

While not yet an Apple product 2015 will see the launch of the Apple Watch. In fact, it’s the only product launch that has been officially confirmed by the company. Dates for the launch vary, but most expect it will be in February, possibly on Valentine’s Day. It will be Apple’s first wearable technology and will come in three different versions: Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition. There will be two models: a 38 millimeter model featuring a 272×340 pixel screen and a 42 millimeter version with a 312×390 pixel screen. Unlike other Apple products the Apple Watch will allow customisation in its design with a range of interchangeable straps. The first version of the watch will require an iPhone. If you don’t own an iPhone but would like an Apple watch you will have to wait until late in 2015. The watch will come with a heart rate monitor so health apps are likely to be central focus of the Apple Watch. Pricing will start at $349 in the US (approximately $430 Australian) with no indication around pricing for more expensive models.

 

2. Apple TV

With no significant update in a number of years, there are many rumours circulating around Apple TV in 2015. Some suggest Apple will launch a subscription service with live and on demand TV. Other rumours have suggested there will be support for video games as well as a dedicated App store. A dedicated App store could mean Apple TV is used as a control hub for various products around the home with developers using Apple’s HomeKit tools to create apps. While most rumours suggest that Apple will continue to refine Apple TV, rumours persist that a complete redesign is on the cards one that would once again see it dominate an increasingly competitive product segment.

 

3. iPhone 7

While it seems only recently that the iPhone 6 was launched, Apple has been consistently launching new versions of the iPhone in September each year. This is expected to continue. Over half of Apple’s revenue is generated from this product alone and therefore consistent launches of upgraded iPhones have almost become mandatory for Apple to ensure it remains at the forefront of the smart-phone industry. Rumours for the iPhone 7 focus on the devices camera. Some have predicted the biggest improvement ever for the iPhone’s camera especially the rear facing camera. Other rumours include a built-in Beats Music app, upgraded chip technology, wireless charging and a reversible USB charger.

 

4. iPad

The most likely prediction for the iPad this year is a larger screen. Dubbed the iPad Pro or iPad Plus the screen could be over 12 inches compared to the 7.9 and 9.7 inch models currently on offer from Apple. A partnership with IBM has most people predicting that the new iPad will be aimed at educational institutions and business professionals with a range of new business related apps to be launched. The new iPad may also allow multitasking through custom software allowing a split-screen.

 

5. Mac

 

Retina display has been a staple of the MacBook Pro since 2012. 2015 might finally see a MacBook Air with this same technology. A new 12 inch version alongside the current 11 and 13 inch models has been forecast as has ultra-slim casing, a new trackpad without a button and a fan-less design. It is possible too that the rumoured 12 inch version would be offered in the same three colours currently available for the iPhone 6. Predications for a release date centre around the middle of the year.

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Critical OS X and iOS Security Updates

Apple today released OS X 10.9.2, which includes a fix for a major SSL security flaw that first came to light on Friday, after the release of iOS 7.0.6.

The bug, which was introduced in the form of a single line of errant code that allowed an attacker to bypass SSL/TLS verification routines, left OS X users vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack. Shared wired or wireless networks could allow an attacker to intercept communications on affected machines, acquiring sensitive information like login credentials and passwords, or injecting harmful malware.

While the SSL vulnerability was first introduced to iOS in 2012, it only affects Macs running OS X 10.9. Lion and Mountain Lion users are not affected.

OS X 10.9.2 was first seeded to developers in December and has seen seven beta iterations since that time. Along with an emergency fix for the SSL bug, OS X 10.9.2 also includes FaceTime Audio, new blocking controls for iMessage and FaceTime, call waiting support for FaceTime, Mail fixes for bugs with fetching messages, AutoFill improvements, and several other bug fixes and general improvements.

It is recommended that all users running OS X 10.9 Mavericks upgrade to OS X 10.9.2 as soon as possible to disable the vulnerability. The updates can be obtained by using Software Update, or grabbing one the installers below.

OS X Mavericks Update v10.9.2 (859.70 MB)
OS X Mavericks Update v10.9.2 (Combo) (859.70 MB)

Users of iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads should also ensure that those devices are up to date. The iOS update was released last Friday.

via MacRumors