Livescribe Smartpens: now available at Mac & PC Doctors

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A Livescribe smartpen is perfect for use during lectures, meetings or conferences. The products allow you to:

  • write notes
  • capture audio recordings
  • upload and store your notes and audio on Echo Desktop or the Livescribe+ mobile app (both available for free download)
  • access your notes and recordings on your linked device

Being able to listen back to your recordings lets you expand on your initial notes and ensures you do not miss out on any information.

Livescribe Echo

After initially setting up your Livescribe Echo using the supplied starter notebook, taking your notes is as simple as turning on the pen and starting to write. To record audio, simply tap the record button at the bottom of your page. Once your notes and audio have been recorded, tap on your notes to replay your meetings or lectures. You can then transfer all your notes and audio using Echo desktop on your computer via the USB cable.This allows you to review your notes and listen back to your recordings as many times as you like, at your own pace.

Livescribe 3

The Livescribe 3 smartpen is the company’s latest addition to their smartpen collection and works in a similar way to the Livescribe Echo, with a few differences. Instead of linking with Echo Desktop, the Livescribe 3 is designed to sync your notes to an iPad, tablet or smartphone, via bluetooth, using the Livescribe+ mobile app. Once you have registered your smartpen on the app, your notes and recording will automatically load onto your iPad, tablet or smartphone in real time.  Also, while the recording function of the Livescribe Echo utilises the microphone installed in the actual pen, the Livescribe 3 uses the microphone and speakers on your linked device, providing audio of even higher quality. The app also gives you the option of converting your written notes into text, so they can used in computer programs, documents and online.


The videos above will help to give you an idea of what to expect from your Livescribe smartpen and explains how you can start using it. If you are interested in purchasing one of these items, you can call us on (07) 3848 9438, or we can show you these devices in action at the Source Kids Expo on 6-7 July. For more information about Source Kids and to register for the expo, visit

Our New Location.

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Mac & PC Doctors has moved to a bigger and better location just five minutes from our previous Annerley one. This location will allow us to expand our company and be able to offer you more when it comes to technological training and MPD Accessibility offerings.
If you are wanting to come visit us, see the videos and images below that outline multiple routes.

This video shows you how to get to our new Rocklea location if you are coming from the City along Ipswich Road.


How to get to our new location if you are coming along Fairfield Road from Brisbane City.


General Directions To 7/1311 Ipswich Road, Rocklea






How to find good apps

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Questions about finding apps

  1. Is a free app any good? There are some great free apps in the App Store so if you come across one that sounds good, go ahead and install it. If it turns out that you don’t like it, you haven’t lost anything.3952984450_953c33c096_m
  2. Is it worth paying for apps? Often to get something of good quality, you do need to pay for it. App developers make a living by selling their creations and when they are a sole operator or small company they need to charge in order to cover their costs.  If an app is targeted at a niche market, then fewer people are likely to buy it and the developer will not recoup money quickly.  As a general rule, this is why popular apps are cheap and less commonly used apps are expensive.
  3. How can I find things in the App Store? I don’t know what to search for! If you search for something like “spelling”, you will get thousands of results. Some of these apps will not be anything like what you want.  The good ones will be hidden among the thousands and it will be like looking for a needle in a haystack! There are two ways to get better results.

Ways to find good apps

  • Do an internet search, making it as specific as you can, e.g. “best spelling apps for 7 year olds”. Refine the results in the search engine’s filter so you get recent results.  Browse through a few of the results and find some apps which other people have reviewed favourably and that sound like they fit your criteria. Remember that many apps are made for an American audience so think about whether they will suit your context.
  • Go to the App Store, scroll down to Categories, choose the category you are interested in and look at the featured apps. These categories have been curated by Apple which means that someone looks at new apps and decides whether they are worth recommending.
    Scroll down from the top of the page until you                            find the categories.

    Photo credit: Helga Weber via Flickr

Maximise Mac Battery Life

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Maximise Mac Battery Life

These 10 power saving tips will maximise Mac battery life

In this post we run through the tips to get maximise Mac battery life on a single charge. This way you won’t have to worry about your battery running out when you need it most. Whether you’ve forgotten your power cable or can’t get to a power outlet these power saving tips will come in handy.

1. Check your battery health

The first thing you should do before trying to maximise Mac battery life is check its health. To do this hover your mouse over the battery icon in the top right of your screen and hold down the option key. You should see “Condition: Normal.” If however you see “Replace Soon” you may need to get your Mac serviced and battery replaced.

2. Determine your battery’s cycle count

After a period of time all batteries run at less than their original capacity. To do a further check on the health of your Mac’s battery:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top left hand corner of the screen
  2. Select “About this Mac”
  3. Select overview and the system report button
  4. Select power from the left hand side bar

There is a section that displays “Cycle Count.” Depending on the model and age of your Mac, you can expect to get about 500-1000 cycles from your batter before it reach 80% of its original capacity.

3. Switch off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

To maximise mac battery life only use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you need it. They both act like a wireless radio that uses battery power. Most people don’t even realise that Bluetooth is turned on. To switch either or both of these off, click on their respective icons in the top right hand corner of your Mac screen.

4. Turn down Screen Brightness

The brighter the screen, the more battery you use. To turn down your screen brightness hold down the F1 key (to increase it press F2). Adjust the brightness to a level where you can still comfortably read the screen.

5. Turn off backlit keyboard.

If your working in daylight there is no real reason for the backlit keyboard. Maximise Mac battery life by switching this feature off. Hold down the F5 key until the light is completely off (hold F6 to switch back on).

6. Turn on energy saver preferences.

Energy saver preferences are what come into effect during periods of inactivity.

To access energy saver preferences:

  1. Open system preferences
  2. Click the energy save icon
  3. Select the battery tab
  4. Adjust downwards the “Computer Sleep” and “Display Sleep” bar to a level that is comfortable

To save more battery juice select the checkboxes that “put hard disks to sleep when possible” and “slightly dim the display when using this power source.”

7. Close unused applications.

One well known tip to maximise Mac battery life is to close apps that your not using. What is often hidden from view is that some apps will still use system resources – and therefore battery life – even when they’re not running.

To check up on this:

  1. Open the Activity Monitor
  2. Click on the CPU tab
  3. Select “All Processes” from the drop-down menu
  4. Sort the apps by CPU%
  5. Close any apps consuming a large percentage (more than 70%)

 8. Turn off Time Machine.

Time Machine is a great way to backup your Mac. However copying data across to another drive uses battery power. Consider switching it off when running on battery power. To do this:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Time Machine and then Options
  3. Un-tick the box that says “Back up while on battery power.”

9. Enable private browsing.

Private browsing allows your to maximise Mac battery life because the browser no longer has to access the hard drive to cache pages and images.

10. Eject disks and disconnect unused peripherals.

Any external devices connect to your Mac, such as a mouse, draw power and reduce battery life. Even when not in use the Mac can spin the disk drive and drain the battery.

While some of these tips save more battery life than others, when used together they can maximise Mac battery life and add valuable minutes until you can next recharge.


Sign Documents On Mac

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sign documents on mac

Did you know that you can sign documents on Mac?

Mac’s preview program makes it easy to add a digital copy of your signature to documents like a PDF.

Why would I want to sign documents on Mac?

You can put your signature on an email, contained within a text document or even overlay it on an image.

How do I sign documents on Mac using tackpad?

The Mac’s preview program has a feature that will allow you add your signature to documents. You will need your laptop’s trackpad or an external trackpad linked to your desktop.

  1. The first step is to open the document you wish to sign in Preview. For example a PDF
  2. Secondly click the Toolbox icon that will appear in the menu above your document.
  3. A new menu bar will open with a range of icons, click on the signature option that appears in the middle.
  4. Press the ‘click here to begin’ button.
  5. Sign your name.
  6. Press any key once done.
  7. Click done.
  8. Next time you click on the signature icon you should see a visual version has been saved. When the signature is clicked it is added to your document.

Are there other ways to sign documents on Mac?

You can also sign documents on Mac using the inbuilt camera.

Follow steps 1-3 as listed above. Then simply write your signature on a white piece of paper and hold it up to the camera on your Mac. The camera will automatically seek out the signature. The next time you click on the signature icon it will be there waiting to be added to a document of your choosing.

Other tips when signing documents on Mac

When you add your signature using either the Trackpad or camera it can be scaled or shrunk without any distortion.

Press command + S or Option + Command + Shift + S to Save As to ensure your new signature is saved to the document.