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Showing posts from October, 2016

Extending Battery Life

So you have a smartphone or laptop that you've owned for a year or two and the battery seems to lose charge very quickly.  However, some batteries in a friend's identical device seems to have lasted for years longer!  So what's the deal?

The deal is that modern devices use lithium-ion batteries, and it is very easy to mistakenly misuse a lithium-ion battery. 

What?  A misuse a battery?  How does THAT happen?

The common killer of lithium-ion batteries is heat.  Heat just sucks the life out of a lithium-ion battery, and they never, ever recover.  My goal for battery care is to always avoid unreasonable heat.  So here's the short list of the rules I follow for long battery life:
Never leave a device in a car.  Cars interiors can get very hot.  If I leave my device in the car even once for 15 minutes, where the temperature can get over 120 °F, I have forever stolen some life out of my battery's soul.Never leave a device in the hot sun.  This is really a variation of the…

Powerful Utilities for Mac Performance and Optimization

A lot of people as me about the best utilities to install to improve Mac performance and reliability.   This is a great question, and I'm going to answer that here.

I use just about the oldest supported Mac, and it works great.  But it has taken some work to make it great.  If you have a slow Mac, it is likely easily fixable!

Here is my step-wise procedure for trying to address a slow Mac:

Common Mac Performance Issues

There are a few common things that greatly slow down your Mac:
Out of Date softwareLack of Disk StorageSick Hard Disk DriveSlow Hard Drive Lack of MemoryBad "repair" software My Speed-up-that-Mac procedure
Restart.  There's nothing like a restart to clear out memory.Empty Trash, which frees up some disk space. Software Update.  OS updates and core applications should be kept up to date.App Update.  Applications and  Plug-ins should be kept up to date.Disk Utility First Aid/Repair. Networking: Restart all networking equipment (wifi router, modem)Restart …

Update on MacOS Sierra

At this time we have installed Sierra on about 50% of the Macs we maintain, and so far it is going well.  Performance and reliability seems on-par with El Capitan:
No kernel panicsNo significant bugs/failures or "first party" app crashes No app compatibility issuesNo performance issuesNo data migration issues (we use Migration Assistant)  Here is our hardware minimum:

4 GB of RAM.  We have Sierra running well on machines with 4 GB of RAM.   Although the majority of our Macs have 8 GB, 4 GB is totally acceptable.  We haven't had a machine with less than 4 GB of memory for several years.

As we've said earlier, if you're upgrading from less than 4 GB of RAM and need to buy new RAM, we suggest buying 8 GB.

Amount TodayAdviceRough PriceLess than 4 GBGo to 8 GB$40 4GB +Do nothing$0

Non-Traditional Drive.  As of earlier this year, we no longer have any traditional hard drives in our Macs.  All of them have been upgraded to either a hybrid drive ("SSHD"), or a…