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Mac hardware macOS

Radeon RX 580 with Mac Pro

  I usually write about my clients’ computing woes, but even Mac consultants have their own problems. A few weeks ago my 2009 Mac Pro starting exhibiting serious issues. I had kernel panics and hard crashes a couple of times a day. When I restarted the machine, it wouldn’t boot most of the time. The fans…

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Mac hardware Networking Security

Frequently encountered issues with Macs

  While my regular clients hire MacMaven for IT and information security work, I often get calls from new clients with computing problems. An analogy could be made with plumbing. A plumber’s big jobs involve installation of pipes, sinks, showers, etc. Oftentimes a plumber is called to deal with a clogged toilet. These are the…

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Security

CISO vs Director of Information Security

Companies that require information security leadership typically hire someone in a CISO or Director of Information Security position. You might be wondering what the differences are between these security top dog roles. At their core, they have the same responsibility – to protect a firm’s data and systems. However, what a recruiter or job ad…

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iCloud iOS devices macOS Security

Messages in iCloud considerations

  In the latest versions of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, you now have the option of storing your iMessages in iCloud. There are two benefits. First, your messages are synced across your devices. When you delete a conversation on one device, the conversation is deleted on all your devices. Second, your older messages…

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Security

Don’t store passwords or other sensitive data in the Contacts app

In light of the recent Facebook data harvesting incident, I took a closer look at developer access to the Contacts app in macOS and iOS. The first time you open a third-party application that wants access access to your contact info, you’ll get a prompt asking for your permission. It’s bad enough that the app…

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Security

Should I know my employees’ passwords?

If you’re a business owner or manager, you might feel that it’s your duty to maintain a list of your employees’ passwords. After all, you might need access to their documents or email when they are out of the office. Even worse, an employee could resign without notice. So knowing their passwords seems the logical…

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macOS Server

Upcoming macOS Server changes

  On January 24, Apple announced that fundamental changes are coming to macOS Server in the spring 2018. The following services will be deprecated: Calendar, Contacts, DHCP, DNS, Mail, Messages, NetInstall, VPN, Websites, Wiki. In an unspecified future release, these services will be removed. It appears that Profile Manager, Open Directory, and Xsan will remain.…

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Security

Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities

  It’s now more important than ever to keep your Macs and iOS devices fully updated. Apple has addressed the Meltdown vulnerability in High Sierra 10.13.2. A supplemental update to 10.13.2 addressed the Spectre vulnerability in Safari and Webkit. Apple has also released Safari 11.0.2 for Sierra and El Capitan. Note that Apple has not…

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Miscellaneous

Google Home first impressions

  This holiday season, Google put a full-court press on Amazon to bring attention to its Google Home devices. Google and Walmart sold the devices at loss leader prices. This was my net price for each device, not including sales tax: Google Home: $79 sale price at Walmart – 20% Google Express app coupon –…

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Mac hardware

iMac storage options

  While Apple provides solid state drives on its laptop models, the stock iMacs use slow spinning hard drives. The more expensive models include a Fusion drive, which is a combination of a SSD and a spinning hard drive. With a Fusion drive, frequently accessed files are stored on the SSD, for faster retrieval. The…