In 2015 I wrote this post about installing an SSD drive. Back then SSD drives were expensive and the whole process I described was a bit complicated. Now SSD drives have dropped dramatically in price and you can just replace your existing drive with an SSD one. I can’t think of any reason why you should not be using one. All MacBooks now come standard with an SSD drive. If you have an older one that you’d like to upgrade you should be able to take your Macintosh computer to a local dealer and have them install an SSD drive. Otherwise you can have a go at installing one yourself.
It can be a bit of a pain trying to print from you iOS devices or an Android phone. Apple have helped by introducing Airprint, but not all printers support Airprint so in some ways this has made the problem worse. Yet again Google have come to the rescue. Google allow you to set up any of your printers as a ‘Google cloud printer.’ Here’s how.
One of the most popular posts on macintoshhowto is this 6 year old article on how to clean an Apple mighty mouse. It’s had over 200 comments!
Here’s a video so you can see what it looks like.
Apple recommend rubbing a piece of paper over the top of the scroll wheel, but I find turning the mouse upside down and running it round in circles is much more effective. The paper must be new and clean. An old piece of paper doesn’t work.
I’ve been using this method 2-3 times a year for 6 years and my Apple Mighty Mouse with scrollwheel is still going strong.
I have lots of ‘subscription’ emails arriving in my inbox. Some I have subscribed to, some I am not sure how I ended up being subscribed. I just found a great tool for unsubscribing from them all in one go. It’s called unroll.me and here are the results, I unsubscribed from 54 email lists!
An article at theatlantic.com
I just read a fascinating interview with Tristan Harris, former Google employee who worked on Google Inbox.
His thesis is simple. Google, Apple and Facebook all want their products to be one that we use. Therefore they have a system of rewards built into their apps that train us to come back again and again. The average smartphone user looks at their device 150 times a day. Each App want’s to grab our attention every time we pick up the phone. Tristan argues that a better product would be one that does what we want it to, not one that manipulates us into using it more.
This video makes the point well.
Is this article he talks about the ethics of the companies who are behind most of the technology we use and how they deliberately manipulate to be addicted to their product. “Never before in history have the decisions of a handful of designers (mostly men, white, living in SF, aged 25–35) working at 3 companies”—Google, Apple, and Facebook—“had so much impact on how millions of people around the world spend their attention … We should feel an enormous responsibility to get this right.”
Best of all he has some good ideas as to how we can take control over our iPhones. Stop unnecessary notifications. Get rid of distractions from your phone’s home screen. “Checking that Facebook friend request will take only a few seconds, we reason, though research shows that when interrupted, people take an average of 25 minutes to return to their original task.”
That itch to glance at our phone is a natural reaction to apps and websites engineered to get us scrolling as frequently as possible.
Read the interview here.
Or catch his TED talk here.
He has started a group called Time Well Spent who are encouraging developers to design apps with the user in mind.
Tab Launcher is a great little app that sits on the side or top of your screen. It’s like a manilla folder where you can put commonly used files. It makes accessing them much quicker. The great thing is you don’t have to actually move the files into tab launcher. Your files stay exactly where they are but this is an easy way to access them.
Apple AirPods can only be turned off by putting them back in their carry case.
Lots of people have commented on the possible increase in EMF exposure from Apple AirPods, but how bad are they? I’ve done some measurements with a field strength meter. Here is a graph to give you an idea.
When you use the new Apple Airpods on a mobile phone call a you are getting approximately 10 times the EMF than if you were just holding the iPhone up to your ear and talking. We already see these levels on wifi devices. The difference is that the Apple AirPods are in your ear, not on the table, and they remain there for long periods of time. They are constantly transmitting at this level – they never turn off.