Basic Technical Tips

Here are a couple of essential things you should do to keep your Mac in the best of health.  Really simple!


Keep your System Software up to date

Apple's Automatic Software Update installs any important updates that may apply to your version of the operating system.

It does this using your internet connection to access updates from Apple's servers.

  • Apple regularly provides security fixes and upgraded versions of application software such as iTunes, Mail and Safari.

  • As a general rule you should install all recommended updates because this ensures that your machine is running the way Apple intends.


Keep your Disk Operating System healthy

The Disk Utility application (located in the Applications:Utilities Folder) is an important tool for keeping your Mac in good health. There are two diagnostics available from the First Aid tab on the application window.

These are:

  1. Verify/Repair Disk Permissions
    You should run this about once per month.
    Don't bother with " Verify " - just run the " Repair " option. Repairing permissions ensures that the proper user privileges are set for all system resources.

  2. Verify/Repair Disk
    This utility checks for disk corruption, misallocated files and media problems with the disk and only needs to be run if you suspect something is wrong with your Mac.

If the Disk Verify routines identify problems you will need to fix them with the System Installation disk that came with your Macintosh

A Cautionary Note About Third Party Utilities

Various utilities are advertised online purporting to be some kind of digital salvation for your Mac. Not true!

Most of the time you'll find these are MacKeeper which we DO NOT RECOMMEND installing.

Google MacKeeper, TuneUpMyMac,  MacTuneUp, iDoctor, MacBooster etc.  These are all virtually the same thing and the company that writes this abomination is compelled to stealth it using other names and new websites to mask it's appalling reputation -  See this article.

We repeat - DON'T INSTALL ANY OF THESE APPLICATIONS .

If you have then contact us and we'll help remove them and all hidden components.

Your Macintosh does not need a slew of third party tools to perform maintenance tasks - as a modern Unix operating system all of the utilities for basic computer health are built in.

If you really want to micro-manage your Unix environment we recommend OnyX Utilities and Sophos Anti Virus (both free) but both unnecessary for everday maintenance of your Mac - Disk Utility is all you really need.


iPhoto File Management

We often get people asking how they can have more control over the management of their photographs. Apple's iPhoto  provides great tools for organising your photos into logical groupings, adding effects, and cleaning up faults like red-eye, oversaturation, under-exposure etc.

However, iPhoto's default settings move the images directly into iPhoto's library and this can be confusing for many people - where does iPhoto store my pictures? (actually your iPhoto libraries are a "package" located in the "Pictures" folder, but let's not get into that stuff here - there are easier ways to manage your photos).

Fortunately the behaviour of iPhoto can be changed and you can even have multiple iPhoto libraries located anywhere you'd prefer. This Macworld article very clearly explains what you'll need to do if you wish to wrench back control over your photographs using externally referenced libraries.

But, do remember, with great power also comes great responsibility.