Tech

  • How to Free Up Space Used By Time Machine’s Local Backups on Your Mac

    Time Machine doesn’t just back up to external drives. Enable Time Machine on your MacBook and it will create “local snapshots,” too — potentially taking up over 100 GB of disk space on its internal storage.
     
    These local snapshots appear as “Backups” when you look at the visual overview of storage in the About Your Mac window.CHRIS HOFFMAN has written a good article about  how you can free up that space and get more room on your Mac.
     

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  • How to Free Up Space Used By Time Machine’s Local Backups on Your Mac

    Time Machine doesn’t just back up to external drives. Enable Time Machine on your MacBook and it will create “local snapshots,” too — potentially taking up over 100 GB of disk space on its internal storage.
     
    These local snapshots appear as “Backups” when you look at the visual overview of storage in the About Your Mac window.CHRIS HOFFMAN has written a good article about  how you can free up that space and get more room on your Mac.
     

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  • Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF

    An update from the EFF on Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF - download the PDF.

    PROTECTING THE DATA ON YOUR DEVICES  AND IN THE CLOUD
     
    We have fewer rights at the U.S. border than in the interior. Still, we can all take action before, during, and after our border crossings to protect our digital privacy.  See more at the EFF site.

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  • Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF

    An update from the EFF on Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF - download the PDF.

    PROTECTING THE DATA ON YOUR DEVICES  AND IN THE CLOUD
     
    We have fewer rights at the U.S. border than in the interior. Still, we can all take action before, during, and after our border crossings to protect our digital privacy.  See more at the EFF site.

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  • FBI Enlists Geek Squad

    By Tom Jackman January 9 
     
    At a giant Best Buy repair shop in Brooks, Ky., Geek Squad technicians work on computers owned by people across the country, delving into them to retrieve lost data. Over several years, a handful of those workers have notified the FBI when they see signs of child pornography, earning payments from the agency.  Read full article at Washington Post
     
    NOTE - In this case, the alleged files weree in "unallocated space" - they had been deleted.  The tech had to intentionlly scan for dleted files and would not have been able to see or recover them without special tools.

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  • FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Camera & Nexus 5X Phone- Camera Not Recognized

    Infrared image using FLIR camera

    The FLIR ONE is a thermal imaging camera attachment for iOS and Android devices.  The FLIR model for Android uses a micro USB connector while several newer devices including the Nexus 5X employ the newer USB Type-C connector.  Many micro USB to USB Type-C adaptors do not support the 5X being the host and the FLIR being the device (using a USB C to C cable to a Mac, for example, the Mac is the host and the 5X is the device).   Using a non-compliant connector the FLIR ONE Android app does not see the camera.

    The VicTsing USB 3.1 Type-C to Micro USB Convert Connector  does work with the Nexus 5X and FLIR ONE.  The FLIR app connects to the camera and appears to work well.

    Web searches return warnings about using un-tested micro USB to USB C adaptors or USB Type-C to female micro USB cables for charging.  A good discussion by Geoff Hoff can be found here.  Using the app Current Monitor by Eric Johnson, the VicTsing USB 3.1 Type-C to Micro USB Convert Connector appears to be safe to use for charging.  The charge current started in FAST mode, then when the phone reached 95% charge it switched to TAPER mode and reduced current through 100%.  Nonetheless, I plan on using the adaptor only for the FLIR and sticking with the USB C charger that came with the Nexus 5X.

     

    Thermal image of Max 

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  • Boosting Performace of Older Macs

    Older MacBook Pro computers made between 2009 and 2012 are routinely retired because they seem slow or will not hold a charge.  These models can have several more useful years with some simple and inexpensive upgrades.  The newer models - like the mid 2012 has a CPU almost as fast as the 2015 models.  Apple has made major improvements in battery life and the beautiful retina display however the perceived speed hasn't changed much.  If you bought your son or daughter a shiny new Mac when they started college in 2012, that computer, with a few upgrades would be a perfect computer for their high school sibling.  

    3 Simple Upgrades for about $250 can save you from buying a new $1,800 Mac.

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  • Daniel's Mac Security Guide

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    Last update March 11, 2016

    Mac / OS/X Security Recomendations

    • Keep your software up to date.
      • Always update your Apple software from the Updates section of the Apple App Store.  Click the Apple icon on the top left of the display, select "About this Mac" and click on Software Update.  Never update by way of a link on a webpage or an email.
      • Update non-Apple software from within the application or from the company's web site.  Beware of ectra or bonus software downloads during updates.  Oracle's Java updates are notorious for installing unnecessary toolbars.  Less scrupulous companies are often the source of unwanted add-ons that can steal data or show unwanted ads.
    • Make Time Machine backups
      • Select the option to encrypt backups.
      • Keep at least two backups each at a different location and at least one disconnected.  See my article on The Dangers of Cloud Sync.
    • Install anti-virus software.
      • I use Sophos Home, a free AV program for Macs.  Sophos.com
      • Install anti-malware software
        • I use Malwarebytes from Malwarebytes.org.  
    • Set a login password for your Mac
    • Keep your Mac behind a good firewall.

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