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In this issue: Apple newsbits; Scheduling help; MSS Tier 2 in review.
MacAtoZ LLC
October 2011 MSS Newsletter

Apple Newsbits

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, 1955-2011.  For a person most of us never met, Steve Jobs had an enormous impact on our lives. My eulogy

Apple announces iPhone 4S. 2x faster than the iPhone 4, 7x faster graphics, 1 hour increase in battery life, HD quality video camera, 8 megapixel still camera, and a voice recognition system called Siri. First day pre-orders for the 4S have topped 1 million, making it Apple's most successful launch ever. If Siri works as well as it demos, Apple may have the makings of a whole new, Star Trek-like way of interacting with our computers. Imagine saying to your iPhone, "Email my wife I'll be home early" and having your phone do that. At least in the demos, that's what's promised. Here's an Apple page that shows off what Siri can do. Be sure to watch the video!

Apple release of iOS 5 imminent. If you are using an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2, or late model iPod Touch, Apple will be releasing a new version of the operating system, iOS 5, later this week. iOS 5 brings a great number of feature enhancements and changes. Should you upgrade right away? Probably not. I'll be upgrading a non-production iPad and iPhone to test things, but my main iPad and iPhone will stay on iOS 4.3 for at least a week after the release. Apple more tightly controls the iOS (compared to Mac OS X) so I've less hesitation in advising an upgrade, but lest any "killer" bugs slip through, waiting a week before upgrading seems prudent. 

Scheduling help

Call 503-507-0410 or email TyDavison@MacAtoZ.com. I can't help if I don't hear from you. If I'm with a client or otherwise unavailable, please leave a voice mail message. If you are an MSS member, your calls have priority, and I will return them as soon as I can. 

It is not unusual for me to be booked out about a week, but with MSS remote support we can typically fit in calls to the schedule within 24 hours. Again, if you are an MSS member, your needs are a priority. 


MSS in Review: Tier 2

The MacAtoZ Service Suite (aka MSS) program is comprised of three tiers, Tier 1 being the least expensive. At $40 a year ($42 a year beginning January 1), it's an amazing bargain—perfect people who want easy access to remote computer support when they need Mac training or troubleshooting. See last month's Newsletter or www.MacAtoZ.com for details

MSS Tier 2 includes everything in Tier 1 and adds Internet services like a domain name; your own personalized, ad-free, spam-filtered email addresses; 20 GB of web storage space; a WordPress blog and more. Tier 2 costs just $60 a year ($63 beginning January 1), making a very affordable upgrade over Tier 1. 

  1. Your own domain name. An example of a domain is "www.apple.com" and like Apple Inc., you can have your own. Now why would anyone want their own domain? Well, a domain is a piece of real estate on the Internet, and if you own your domain, you can think of it as owning a piece of the internet. When you have a domain—and this domain name can be whatever you choose so long as it's not already taken—you can have your own personalized email addresses at that domain, your own web site, your own online storage space, and more. This is what having your own domain enables, and it's why you might want one. 

    Now Network Solutions will charge you $35 a year for domain name registration. That's more than the $20 it costs to upgrade from MSS Tier 1 to Tier 2. If you want to play on the Internet, MSS Tier 2 is an amazing value.
     
  2. Your own email addresses. Wouldn't it be great if you could have exactly the email address you wanted? And if your email service provide wouldn't scan your email contents so that they could sell you things? And if it were ad-free and spam filtered? Oh, and it should be able to be used easily on both your Mac at home and on your iPhone or iPad.

    This is what MSS Tier 2 email gets you: Your own personalized, private, ad-free, spam-filtered email, ready for use on all your Apple devices. And because you own your own domain, you never have to change your email address even if you change your Internet service provider. It's the last email address you'll ever need. 
     
  3. Your own Jabber instant messaging account. Apple makes a terrific Instant Messaging program called iChat, but in order to use it you have to sign up with AOL, Yahoo! or Google and give them your personal information. With MSS Tier 2, you get a private Jabber account for use with iChat. No need to hand over private information in order to chat with your family and friends on the Internet. 
     
  4. 2 GB of online storage for web hosting, email or iDisks. MSS Tier 2 lets you store and share files through your own domain's web storage space. Drag-and-drop files to your iDisk (web storage) just like you would with your hard drive. Perfect for backing up files or for sharing them with friends.
     
  5. WordPress blog. Whether it's for a personal soapbox, a way to keep family and friends update on your activities, or a repository of your poems and short stories, a WordPress blog is any easy and powerful way to communicate what you want to online. WordPress is highly customizable, with thousands of themes. Knowledge of HTML not required. If you can use a word processor or compose an email, you can learn to use WordPress. 
The goal of MSS is, of course, to provide you with a set of services that makes your life better. With MSS Tier 2, we're offering you a set of Internet-based services for people who want more than remote support. At a cost of just $20 more than a standard MSS Tier 1 account, these collection of services are a value-rich, affordable upgrade. 

Do you know someone who could benefit from being an MSS member? Refer them today! 

Next month: MSS Tier 3 in review.

Tip o' the Day

Looking for help in learning how to use Apple software like iTunes, iMovie, Pages, and so forth? There's no better way to get started than watching Apple's own free help videos available at http://support.apple.com/videos/

Need to move beyond the videos? I do one-on-one consulting at your home or place of business. Call or email me today!
Apple Consultants Network
I am Ty Davison, the only Apple-certified, Apple Consultants Network member in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley.

My company, 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. 

I've been providing computer services for clients in the Salem area since 1999. I am certified by Apple and I carry $1 million in business liability insurance. I am a frequent and well-known presenter (and former Board Member) of the Salem Macintosh Users Group (SMUG). You can count on me and my company.

At $96 an hour, MacAtoZ offers one of the lowest certified on-site rates in Oregon. Our innovative remote support program, the MacAtoZ Service Suite (MSS), also provides a wide-range of features at incredibly low-prices.

If you're looking to save money on Apple and Apple-related products, check out our MacAtoZ Online Store. (If you're looking for computer memory, we sell that directly.)


MSS

Quick Links

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

MacAtoZ Online Store: Get recommendations on various Apple-related products. Ordering and order fulfillment by Amazon.com. 

MacAtoZ Support: Download the latest version of Mac HelpMate here.

MacAtoZ App Discovery: Recommendations on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad software. Ordering and order fulfillment by Apple. 

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. 
© 2011 by MacAtoZ LLC. All rights reserved.
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