In this issue: Latest operating system recommendations; New MacAtoZ tagline: Sentinel Monitoring: More on malware; Tip of the Day.
May 2015 MSS Newsletter

Latest operating system recommendations

Apple released iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 "Yosemite" right as we were publishing the last newsletter, so we didn't have an opportunity to fully test either operating system. We have now, and we're happy to report that iOS 8.3 is ready to go. OS X 10.10.3, on the other hand, is worth the upgrade for those already running Yosemite, but Mavericks and Mountain Lion users might want to wait a bit longer before pulling the trigger. 

In the case of iOS 8.3, any iOS 8.x user should upgrade now. (If your device lacks storage space, you may need to connect your device to your Mac to complete the upgrade. This is most common on 16 GB devices.) If your iPhone or iPad is on iOS 7 (or 6), our advice depends entirely on which device you have. You can put iOS 8.3 on an iPad 2 or an iPhone 4S, but we don't generally recommend it given how slow everything runs. If speed is not a particular issue for you, there's nothing wrong with running iOS 8.3 on these devices, but you should be aware that if you update to iOS 8.3 and find that you don't like it, there's no going back. 

In OS X 10.10.3 "Yosemite" Apple has finally reach a point of stability. Most new features of the system work well, and the sheer volume of new things borders on jaw-dropping. As we've noted in this space previously, there's no necessity for 10.8 or 10.9 users to upgrade, but 10.6 "Snow Leopard" and 10.7 "Lion" users need to get going as both of those systems no longer receive security updates and there are known vulnerabilities in those systems.

The only hesitation we have regarding 10.10.3 comes from users with lots of different Apple devices on the same network. We've not experienced a problem (and we have gobs of Apple devices), but some folks are complaining that the new networking system in Yosemite is causing random network problems on their Mac. Again, we've not seen this, but 10.8 and 10.9 users who are extra cautious may want to wait for 10.10.4 (currently in beta).

Both iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 "Yosemite" are free updates, but should you want help with the actual installing, we'd be happy to assist. 


New MacAtoZ tagline

Since MacAtoZ's founding in 2006, we've used the tagline, "Macintosh Sales, Service, Consulting and Training." That's been a very functional, if rather bland motto, hindered by the unfortunate circumstance that MacAtoZ doesn't actually do a lot of Sales (we do a little bit to businesses, but we're contractually barred from using our Apple Sales channel to sell Macs to consumers) or Service (we're Apple certified in software not hardware).

Now we do lots of Consulting and Training, and we can certainly help you buy the right Mac or help you get hardware repaired, but it's been clear to us for awhile that we needed to make a change in describing who we are. 

For starters, we wanted our new tagline to be more aspirational. That is to say, we wanted it to answer the question, "Who are we trying to be?" Approached from that direction, the new tagline came to together pretty quickly:"Your trusted advisors for Apple technology."

The best part of this is that you get to decide whether it's true. It's absolutely who we're endeavoring to be, but—and this is the way it should be—you decide whether we succeed.


Sentinel Monitoring: More on Malware

Sentinel (and Sentinel+) both offer 24/7 Monitoring of the health of your Mac. This includes the ability to detect a long list of malware: Ask App for iLivid, Ask Toolbar, Best Youtube Downloader, Buca, Careto,, ChatZum,  Conduit, DNS Changer, FkCodec, Flashback.I, Genieo, GoPhoto, Icefog, Imuler.A, iLivid, iWorm, JollyWallet, MacDefender, MacGuard, MacKeeper, MacKontrol, MacProtector, MacSecurity, MacShield, MacVX, OSX/LaoShu-A, Revir.A, Revir.B, Revir.C, Sabpab, SaveKeep, SniperSpy, Spigot, VSearch, Vidx, and XSLCmd. 

The malware listed here gums up the workings of your Mac in various ways. Some slows down your Mac, others inject ads into your web browser, and still others are full fledged trojan horses intent on allowing bad guys into your machine. Having Sentinel monitoring in place means that we can detect this malware—and we're always adding new ones to the list—and contact you so that we can mitigate the damage ASAP.

An even faster solution is Sentinel+, which includes Maintenance and Security features. Sentinel+ will automatically remove or quarantine most of this malware without the need for our direct intervention. Simply launch the Sentinel+ Maintenance from the pull-down menu and the malware will be taken care of. (Because Maintenance also runs regularly anyway, the malware will get picked up next time Maintenance runs even if you don't launch it manually. Launching Maintenance manually is just the fastest way to get at the malware.)

When Sentinel+ runs, it generally conducts a full antivirus scan of your Mac as part of its Maintenance and Security routines, so if security is your prime concern, Sentinel+ is an excellent choice. That said, Macs have proven quite resilient against everything but adware, and Sentinel detects most of that. 

If you'd like to learn more about Sentinel or Sentinel+, visit our web site at or call us at 503-507-0410.


Tip of the Day

Apple's built-in search engine, Spotlight, received a big upgrade in Yosemite. It now not only searches your Mac, but it can also search the web. Our favorite way to use Spotlight, though, is as an application launcher. 

Let's say that you want to launch Safari. Hold down the Command key and press the Space Bar. A Spotlight search window appears in the middle of your screen. (In previous operating systems, it appears in the top right corner.) Now begin typing "safari" (capitalization doesn't matter). You'll notice that after a few characters—"sa" on my Mac—Spotlight makes a guess as to what you mean and pre-fills the rest of the search term "safari."

Once Spotlight has pre-filled with the application or file you're looking for, press Return to launch, and Safari launches. That sequence again: Command+Space, type "Sa" then Return. Boom! There's Safari. It's hard to think that you could launch applications any faster than that.




Live call reception 24/7
If we're unavailable, Reception will take a message and we will return your call by the end of the next business day.
For general inquiries and potential clients
For tech support help or for scheduling an appointment
This automatically enters your issue into our Help Desk system.
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.

At $120 an hour, MacAtoZ offers one of the lowest Apple certified on-site rates in Oregon. Our innovative remote support program, the MacAtoZ Service Suite (MSS), also provides a wide-range of remote support features at incredibly low-prices. Our Sentinel and Sentinel+ services offers home users 24/7 Macintosh monitoring, maintenance, and security. 

Quick Links

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

Sentinel and Sentinel+: Our Monitoring, Maintenance, and Security services for Macintosh. Proactive IT help for the home user. 

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

MacAtoZ Support: Download the latest version of TeamViewer (MacAtoZ QuickSupport) here.

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. 
© 2015 by MacAtoZ LLC. All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp