In this issue: Thank you for 2018; Pricing update reminder; Access Safari tabs on multiple Apple devices; Reduced services in late December/early January; Software recommendations; Hardware recommendations.
December 2018 Newsletter

Thank you for 2018

We have been privileged to serve so many clients during 2018, and as we look back, it is with gratitude for the opportunities you've given us to participate in your lives. 

Much of early 2018 was a waiting game for macOS High Sierra 10.13. Eventually Apple was able to get the operating system to a point where we could recommend it, but it took far too long. We're hoping that we can recommend macOS 10.14 Mojave a lot sooner in 2019. 

We updated our Sentinel monitoring software throughout the year, adding new malware definitions and updating FileVault and SMART disk reporting. Malware in particular is a moving target as the bad guys continue to invent new and exciting ways of trying to mess with our machines. We remain dedicated to stopping them. 

With the Sentinel+ maintenance software we added new features like the ability to repair volume structures on secondary disks, perform extended memory testing, repair file system permissions on installed packages, purge font caches and restart the font daemon, and a whole lot more. In other words, all Sentinel software continues to get better and better.

We switched to Splashtop as our remote support tool of choice in April. We've noticed no drop-off from Teamviewer, the program we used previously. We liked Teamviewer, but not at 3x the price of Splashtop. If you don't already a have Splashtop installed you can get it at

With the hard work of the MacAtoZ team and the patience of clients, my wife Erin and I were able to take our three kids on a month long "trip of a lifetime" to France in July and early August. I remain grateful to everyone who allowed us to burn through 20 years of saved air miles to have this experience. 

We briefly added Joshua Price, an Apple tech from Cincinnati in the middle of the year. Joshua and his family ultimately settled in Eugene, but we were enriched by our association, however short, and wish him well in his endeavors. 

We debuted our newsletter Recommendations section in September, consolidating in one consistent place what we think about Apple's various hardware and software offerings. We've been gratified to see this be so well received.

As we have for years, Ty and Dynee gave multiple presentations for the Salem Macintosh Users Group (SMUG) this year. We will be doing this again in 2019 and invite everyone who might be interested to attend.

Our techs also acquired their Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) certification for macOS 10.13 High Sierra. In addition, Dynee earned a Cisco networking cert—and these things don't exactly grow on trees—to add "Network Specialist" to her job title. Our company's technical team will continue to improve themselves with additional education and certifications in 2019 so we can serve you better. 

We've got some other great stuff coming in 2019 which we're excited to share when the time is right. For now, allow us all here at MacAtoZ to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. We remain grateful to be part of your lives. 

Pricing update reminder

As we announced last month, MacAtoZ will be updating rates effective January 1, 2019—in most cases the first updates in several years. We work hard to be the best possible value for our clients. 

As you probably know, MacAtoZ is the only Apple Certified, Apple Consultants Network (ACN) consultancy in Salem. In fact, MacAtoZ is one of the few Apple Certified ACN consultancies serving residential clients within all of Oregon.

MacAtoZ's standard hourly rate will change to $192. For Sentinel and Sentinel+ clients, our discounted hourly rate will move to $144, and both Sentinel and Sentinel+ services will increase by $1 a month, to $14.99 and $24.99 respectively. Web services clients for whom we provide domain registration, email, and web hosting will increase by $3 a month. 

I want to note also that MacAtoZ is not standing still. Both Dynee and I continue to acquire various certifications (macOS 10.13 High Sierra is our latest Apple one) and we've made numerous improvements to both Sentinel and Sentinel+ services, and those improvements will continue. 

Finally, I want to reiterate my thanks for the opportunity you give us to assist with your Apple-related endeavors. We are honored to serve you. 

Access Safari tabs on multiple Apple devices

Browser tabs. They breed like bunnies, and if you’re like us, you have oodles of tabs open on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. But you may not know that Safari has a great tab-management feature that lets you access all the open tabs on all your devices. (Make sure to enable the Safari switch in System Preferences > iCloud on the Mac and in Settings > YourName > iCloud in iOS.)

This tab overview is easiest to find on the iPad, where tapping the tab  button displays local tabs as thumbnails at the top of the screen and lists tabs from other devices beneath. On the iPhone, scroll down to the bottom of the tab list to see them, and on the Mac, choose View > Show Tab Overview. Click or tap any tab to view it. To close an unnecessary tab, in iOS, swipe left and tap Close; in macOS, hover over the tab name and click the x button that appears.

Reduced services in late December/early January

We will be closing our office from December 24 through January 2 for the holidays. As always, we will continue to monitor and maintain all Sentinel Macs and will contact you if there are problems. 

We wish you all the very best of holidays, and of course a joyous and prosperous 2019! Thank you!

Software Recommendations

macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra. macOS 10.12.6 Sierra is acceptable. Earlier versions should be upgraded ASAP. We do not recommend macOS 10.14 Mojave at this time. You can see your Mac's operating system version by going to the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen and choosing "About This Mac."

iOS 12.1. No other versions are acceptable. Any device that can run iOS 11 should be upgraded to 12.1. You can see your iPhone or iPad's operating system version by going to Settings > General > About > Version. NOTE: There are reports of cellular connectivity problems with the recently released iOS 12.1.1. update. If you're on any other version of iOS 12, we do not recommend an update to 12.1.1 at this time. If you're on iOS 11 or earlier, you should upgrade to iOS 12.1.1 because security considerations, in our view, outweigh potential cellular connectivity issues.

watchOS 5.1.2. Older versions acceptable if necessary; upgrade if your devices (iPhone and Apple Watch) support it. You can see your Apple Watch's operating system version by going to Settings > General > About > Version. 

tvOS 12.1.1. Apple TV models that run tvOS should upgrade to this version. Note that earlier models of Apple TV do not run tvOS and are fine for what they do. You can see if there's a software update available for your Apple TV by going to Settings > System > Software Updates > Update Software.

Hardware Recommendations

  • iMac: iMac10,1 (Late 2009) or newer
  • Mac mini: Macmini4,1 (Mid 2010) or newer
  • Mac Pro: MacPro5,1 (Mid 2010) or newer
  • MacBook: MacBook6,1 (Late 2009) or newer
  • MacBook Air: MacBookAir3,1 (Late 2010) or newer
  • MacBook Pro: MacBookPro7,1 (Mid 2010) or newer
These are minimum hardware recommendations based on what is necessary to run a secure operating system (macOS 10.12.6 Sierra or macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra). 

The following are the macOS 10.14 Mojave system requirements. If your Mac does not meet these specifications, it will need to be replaced by fall of 2020, when High Sierra will no longer be secure.

macOS 10.14 Mojave system requirements
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Mid-2012 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid-2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or later)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or later)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)
  • Mac Pro (2010 or later with Metal-compatible GPU)
iPhone and iPad
  • iPhone 5S or newer. Older iPhones cannot run iOS 12.1 which is the only secure version of iOS. 
  • iPad Air or newer
  • iPad mini 2 or newer
  • iPad Pro or newer
  • iPad 5th generation or newer
The iPad line is made confusing by the multitude of model names and types (Air, mini, Pro, and just plain iPad). Generally speaking, devices introduced in October 2013 and later will run iOS 12.1. Earlier devices will not run iOS 12.1 and should be replaced unless they will not be used on the internet. 

Apple Watch
  • Apple Watch Series 4 is recommended; all versions are secure and acceptable.
Apple TV
  • Apple TV 4K is recommended. Apple TV (4th generation) is fine as well.
  • Older models of Apple TV do not support tvOS and cannot run Apple TV Store apps, though we are unaware of any major security issues. 


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Apple Consultants Network
MacAtoZ LLC provides technical support, upgrade, installation, networking, training and tutoring, web design and hosting, and remote support services for Apple products like Macintosh computers, iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

Ty Davison and Dyneé Medlock, our Apple technicians, are the only Apple-certified, Apple Consultants Network members serving both residential and small business clients in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley.

MacAtoZ has been providing computer services for clients in the Salem area since 2006 (and since 1999 as Our technicians are certified by Apple and carry $1 million in business liability insurance. We frequently present and are well-known at the Salem Macintosh Users Group (SMUG). You can count on us.

Our Sentinel and Sentinel+ services offer home users 24/7 Macintosh monitoring, maintenance, and security. Join today!

Quick Links

MacAtoZ LLC: The main company web site. You can find information about products and services as well as advice here.

Amazon via MacAtoZ: Shop at Amazon via our referral link. Help us to help you. 

Offsite Backup: You should have one, and we recommend Backblaze. Only $5 a month for unlimited data. Get your 15-day free trial here. 

Salem Mac Users Group: Salem, Oregon-area Macintosh and Apple gear enthusiasts. Meets monthly. Visitors welcome!

Apple Consultants Network: If you need help, entrust your computer and your data to professionals. 
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