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Eye gaze on Mac or iPad?

What is eye gaze?iris_-_left_eye_of_a_girl

Eye gaze technology is a method of communication which uses tracking of eye movements.  It is typically used by people whose other physical motor skills are not reliable, i.e. they’re unable to speak intelligibly or use hand or switch control to operate a communication device. It can also be called gaze interaction, gaze-based assistive technology or eye control

How does it work?

The user learns skills such as using their eyes to scan through options on the screen and dwell on a chosen word or symbol.  A special camera tracks these movements and moves or selects accordingly.

The two common ways an eye gaze system is set up are:

What does it cost?

Prices vary.  An eye tracking camera and software paired with a mainstream tablet or computer could cost around $5000 whereas one of the dedicated SGDs with added camera and software may be more in the $20 000 range. Both of the set ups have pros and cons.

Can eye gaze technology run on a Mac?

Yes

A user with a Mac running Parallels or Boot Camp can access Windows programs but only the Windows progams.

No

At this point in time, none of the eye gaze software programs are compatible with MacOS.

Maybe

The latest version of Mac’s operating system, MacOS Sierra, includes the option of enabling Dwell Control.  When the Mac is paired with eye gaze hardware, the user can perform mouse actions such as right click and left click, drag and drop and scroll.

A promising new product is the Eye Tribe Tracker which claims to be compatible with MacOS Sierra. Watch this space for updates.

Can eye gaze technology run on an iPad?

Not at this point in time but we can hope.

How can we help?

If you are looking for an eye gaze system, do some research, decide what’s going to work the best for you and get in touch.

We can offer consultancy, set up and installation and after sales service on your device.  We can also source devices for you.

Useful links:

Information from Apple on Dwell Control

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25153?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s helpful guide to eye gaze

https://www.cerebralpalsy.org.au/about-cerebral-palsy/interventions-and-therapies/eye-gaze-technology-for-children-and-adults-with-cerebral-palsy/#1473737854053-0ad0e066-5c07

Zyteq – Melbourne based eye gaze technology specialist

www.zyteq.com.au

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My phone got wet! What will I do?

Liquid damage is something we see come through the store incredibly often. It can cause extremely widespread damage throughout a device, sometimes ending its life.

What to do if your phone gets wet
What can you do if your phone gets wet?

But should the worst happen, with a couple of easy steps, you can try to stop the damage from spreading.

  1. The first most obvious step is to remove it from the source of liquid. If it is sitting in a pool of water be sure to move it to a dry area to begin trying to save the device.
  2. Allow the liquid to drain from anywhere that it can. If it’s a phone, try standing it up and leaning it against something so that the liquid can hopefully drain from the bottom. If it’s a laptop, try laying a towel on the side of a table, placing the laptop keyboard down onto the towel and letting the screen hang off the edge. This will allow the liquid to drain out through the keyboard and away from the main components.
  3. If you are able to, set up a small fan to blow air onto the device. You can use things like a hair dryer to try to evaporate the liquid, but extended heat on the device can cause issues, so be sure to not use it for too long.
  4. Leave the device be. It can be tempting to start up the device to check if it’s working, but starting up the device while it is still wet can cause it to short out. To be safe, if it’s best to leave the device to dry out for 2-4 days.
  5. After that time has passed, see if the device works. If the unit does boot up, then you may be in luck. However, even if the device is working now, liquid damage can present issues later down the track. Corrosion on the internal components can mean that the device may stop working weeks or months down the track. Be sure that your data is backed up, because it could die at any time.
  6. Lastly, get the machine looked at. If you bring the machine to us for diagnosis, we can assess if liquid has damaged your machine and if so, how badly. We are able to provide an in depth diagnosis and even an insurance report if you’re looking to claim with your home and contents insurance. Unfortunately, liquid damage does void most warranties, but diagnosis fees are often reimbursed by your insurance company.

Liquid and your electronic devices are definitely not friends. The best thing to do is to prevent liquid damage before it happens. Keep liquids away from your machines, or use a bottle with a seal if you need some water nearby.

But if your devices do come in contact with liquid, remember these steps, and you can hopefully save their lives.

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What you need to know about Apple repair 

1. Warranty

All new Apple devices have a one year warranty which covers any hardware fault.  Software issues and accidental damage are not covered.  If you have home contents insurance, some incidents of accidental damage may be covered. Australian Consumer Law also applies.

2. AppleCare and AppleCare+

Apple offers extended warranty plans for all devices.  These plans vary in length and price depending on the device.  They include expert telephone technical support, additional hardware service options, software support.  Some plans also cover accidental damage although an excess may be required.  AppleCare products need to be purchased within 60 days of purchasing your new device.  Talk to our staff about the AppleCare options available for your new device.

3. In warranty repairs

You can take your device to any Authorised Service Provider.  It doesn’t have to go to the Apple Retail Store.  Our technicians are required to have the same certifications as those who work at the Apple Store, we run the same diagnosis tools and access the same source for parts and replacements. The good things about many ASP locations like us is that we don’t need you to make an appointment and you are supporting local, Australian, family owned businesses.

4. Out of warranty repairs

We are able to diagnose your problem using the same diagnostic tools mentioned above and can access genuine Apple parts for your repair.  These are usually ordered from Sydney.

5. Extra services

In addition to Apple repair, we are also able to offer storage and memory upgrades, health checks and virus removal.

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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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How To Take Screenshots On Mac

take screenshots on mac

Do you know how to take screenshots on Mac? Like most things on an Apple Mac, taking a screenshot is easy. Screenshots are used to show someone exactly what you can see on the screen at a point in time.

There are a number of ways to capture just what you need, lets explore them…

 

1. Take Screenshots of the Entire Screen

 

To take a screenshot of your entire mac screen press command + shift + 3 keys in quick succession.

When taking a screenshot of the entire screen ensure that all relevant information is visible before taking the image.

The image will be saved on your desktop as “screenshot” and will have the date and time attached.

 

2. Take Screenshots of A Portion of Your Screen

 

To take a screenshot of a portion of your screen press command + shift + 4.

This option lets you draw a rectangle over the area of the screen that you wish to save as an image.

After pressing the command + shift + 4 keys your cursor arrow will turn into a cross with pixel information.

Position the cross at the corner of the area that you would like to capture. Then click and hold down the mouse. Drag the cross over the portion of screen that you would like to capture. You will notice that as you drag the cross to form a rectangle, that beneath the cross there will be a set of digits. These digits represent the pixel coordinates (one way to measure the size of your image).

 

3. Take Screenshots of an Open Window

 

To screenshot an open window press command + shift + 4 + the spacebar key. This shortcut is not often used but it is a handy option that once captured requires little or no modification.

For this screenshot combination to work you need the window element that you would like to capture to be displayed before capturing the image. These window elements can include menus, sheets, the desktop and any open window.

 

4. Save A Screenshot to Clipboard

 

To save a screenshot to clipboard instead of the desktop hold down the command key and then use any of the shortcut combinations above.

The clipboard is a temporary storage area and is the same place that the computer saves text that you have copied.

Press command + V to paste the screenshot that you have saved onto the clipboard into either a document or an image that you are working with.

 

5. Grab Utility Method

 

If you would prefer not to use keyboard shortcuts then you can use the Grab app that comes with your Mac. To access the Grab app go into your launch pad and then to “other” folder where you will find an icon with a pair of scissors.

The Grab app gives you the ability to perform the same functions as those listed above. There is also the option to set a time delay and take take a screenshot 10 seconds after you have activated the feature.

To access the different features click the ‘capture’ menu and choose between the four different options.

 

So there you have it, five different ways to take screenshots on Mac.

We’d be interested to know, when it comes to using your Mac do you prefer to use apps or keyboard shortcuts to perform certain functions?

(Via: About Tech; take-a-screenshot.org; wikihow; tekrevue.)