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i Answer - Your Questions!

It is easy to feel as if you are the only one who doesn’t have all the answers, but the truth is, many people probably have the same question as you do! Here i try to answer some of these general interest questions. If you have a question, let me know and you might see your question here. (Only your first name will be used, and questions may be modified to preserve your privacy.)

Recent Questions: 05/27/2019 | 01/14/2019 | 12/8/2018 |

May 27th, 2019 — Michelle says: “My daughter is heading off to college, and would like an Apple laptop. However, she wants one with the older USB-A ports, because she doesn’t want to carry around adapters. Which laptop should she get?”

Well, i totally understand the desire to not have to carry around a bunch of extra adapters to convert the USB-C ports found on all modern Apple laptops to the ubiquitous USB-A found on the majority of peripherals today. i did some checking and it looks like the last laptop to have the old USB-A ports was the 2015 MacBook Pro.

A (potential) bonus to this version - Apple changed their keyboard construction after this model, and the new version has been...randomly problematic for some people. The 2015 model is the last one with the old (potentially more reliable) keyboard. Apple has recently released an update to the MacBook Pro with a revised keyboard, but it is too early to tell if this will solve the issue.

The other thing to consider is future-proofing. Yes, Apple laptops last a long time, as long as they’re treated well (not necessarily babied, simply not abused), but she’d be starting with a computer that’s 4 years old. That’s out of warranty from the get-go. That means if repairs are needed, they will be more expensive. On the other hand, it might keep ticking along without a hitch. As far as software goes, it should still run all the modern apps she’d need without any problem, and be upgradeable to the latest operating system.

Now, there are some 2015 MacBook Pros available on eBay, starting at ~$850. I leave it up to you whether you trust ebay enough to buy a computer there - personally, i’ve had both good and bad experiences.

And good luck to her in her college career!

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January 14th, 2019 — Charles says: “My iPhone just told me that it is running out of space. I checked, and it tells me most of the space is taken up by ‘Other’. What do I do?”

To check how much storage you have on your iPhone, go to Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage. There, you will find a colored bar that tells you several things: how much storage the iPhone has, how much you’ve used, and a breakdown of the things taking up space on your phone, such as “Photos” or “Apps” or “Media” (movies and tv shows).

So what does “Other” mean? Well, think of it like that junk drawer you have in your kitchen. It’s filled to bursting with things you never use but can’t bear to throw out because they might be useful someday, or other things whose purpose has been entirely forgotten. “Other” is much like that. It may be documents that an app needed at one point, or old install files, or files that were once needed by the system.

Sadly, there isn’t a way to tell the iPhone “Clean out that drawer!” You can attempt to delete apps, photos, and so on, but it’s likely that won’t affect that big pile of “Other.” Sometimes, the “easiest” way to deal with it is to reset the iPhone. You can do this by going to Settings -> General -> Reset and choosing “Erase All Content and Settings.” The phone will chuck everything out, and then walk you through the setup process once again. Once the setup process is finished, “Other” will usually have completely disappeared.

Warning: You will be deleting all your information and apps and starting from scratch! This should only be done if you are confident you know what you’re doing. Before erasing your phone, make sure you have backed it up recently, either to iCloud or to iTunes on a computer. Also, be sure you know your Apple ID password, and any passwords needed to set up your email or other accounts.

If you’d like help through this process, you can schedule a Genius Bar appointment at your <a href=" target="storewin">local Apple Store</a>, or <a href="contact.php" target="contactwin">contact me</a> and i will be happy to assist at your home.

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December 8th, 2018 — Rachel says: “I have received multiple calls from people claiming I have called them with telemarketing offers. These are not people I know and I wonder what I can do to avoid this in the future. Suggestions?”

Sadly, this is a growing problem. Basically what happened is that the telemarketers (hereafter referred to as spammers, because that’s exactly what they are) randomly generated a bunch of local numbers to mask the number from which they are actually calling, and your number happened to be in that bunch. Believe it or not, the spammers are legally allowed to mimic local numbers in order to trick people into picking up.

What can you do about it? Short of changing your number, nothing. And even if you did change your number, there would be no guarantee it wouldn’t happen again.

My advice is to start letting all calls go to voicemail. That way, you can check them first: if it’s a spammer, delete. If it’s somebody calling because “your number” called them, delete. If it’s friends, family, or someone else you know, call back.

Irritating? Frustrating? A waste of everyone’s time? You bet! The only upside is that spammers rarely use the same block of numbers for very long, so in a couple of days they will hopefully move on and people will stop receiving calls from “you.”

People are starting to get really ticked off about this - the FTC received <a href="" target="newswin">7.1 million complaints</a> about robocalls this year alone! The government is taking notice: there is the “<a href="" target="lawwin">Deter Obnoxious, Nefarious, and Outrageous Telephone Calls Act” or the “DO NOT Call Act of 2018</a>” in the Senate — sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Catherine Cortez Masto (NV) — to allow the FTC to do something about it.

But if it’s a choice between waiting on Congress to get its act together or starting to screen your calls now, I’d go for the latter.

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