August 2011 MSS Newsletter
MacAtoZ LLC Hourly Rate & MSS Prices to Change
Beginning on October 1, 2011 the MacAtoZ standard hourly rate will change to $96. This is the first rate increase since 2008 and only the second since MacAtoZ was founded. As you might suspect, it is costing substantially more (and has for a while now) to provide the quality of service that you deserve and that MacAtoZ wants to deliver.
That said, it's worth remembering that MacAtoZ remains much less expensive and a much better value than the "competition." Best Buy's Geek Squad, for example, charges $150 an hour and may not be Apple Certified (depending on who you get). So...with Apple certifications, $1 million in business liability insurance, and access to the wide-ranging knowledge of the Apple Consultants Network—an international brain trust of other Apple consultants MacAtoZ can call upon—you'll find that MacAtoZ remains the best-priced, best-qualified Apple consultancy in the mid-Willamette Valley.
One terrific way to save money on tech support may be the very program you belong to: The MacAtoZ Service Suite (MSS). As a member, you get remote support billed in 15 minute increments of MacAtoZ's standard hourly rate, which means that many problems can be solved much less expensively compared to an onsite visit.
Some MSS prices will increase slightly for new members beginning January 1, 2012
: Tier 1 will be $42 and Tier 2 will be $63. Tier 3 will be unchanged at $90. That is a $2 a year increase for Tier 1 and a $3 a year increase for Tier 2 and no increase for Tier 3. Current MSS members are grandfathered in and will see no increase.
You may wish to encourage Mac-using friends to join MSS before the end of the year so that they can lock-in the lower prices.
MSS will remain an unparalleled bargain. I am unaware of any comparable program at such a low cost. The peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly who you can call with your Apple-related issues may be worth it all by itself.
Finally, let me say that I don't make price changes like these lightly, and I appreciate your understanding and support. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.
In Testing: Lion-Compatible Mac HelpMate 3.2
Remember last month when I said to wait before upgrading to Mac OS X 10.7?
In case you need another reason to wait, it turns out that Lion breaks Mac HelpMate's embedded VNC server all to pieces. In short, Mac HelpMate 3.1 is not compatible with Macs running Lion. Right now I'm testing Mac HelpMate 3.2 which, among other features, offers transitional support for Lion. Well before I beginning recommending Lion upgrades—probably 10.7.3—MacAtoZ will have rolled out a compatible version of Mac HelpMate. As always, Mac HelpMate remains free to MSS members.
When the times comes, if you have the "Automatically Check for Updates" box checked in Mac HelpMate, your version should automatically update the next time you launch the program. If not, or if you prefer to download it directly, the latest version of Mac HelpMate we support will always be available at www.MacAtoZ.com/support
. A "time to upgrade Mac HelpMate" notice will appear in this newsletter when appropriate.
MacAtoZ Vacation Schedule
I will be out of the office from August 8 through August 25 on a combined family vacation/business trip. While I will be checking both voice mail and email daily, my ability to reply may be limited by cell phone coverage and/or Internet availability.
Regardless, if you have a problem that requires remote support, please contact me. While I will not be responding to non-MSS client messages or email until after my return, I will respond to MSS member concerns as soon as I can.
Time during my trip is allocated for this purpose, so you should not feel like you are "interrupting" anything. If you need assistance with an Apple-related issue, I am happy and eager to help.
Tip o' the Day
You can add words to your iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) auto-correct dictionary. Here's how:
1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > International Keyboards > Add New Keyboard
2. Choose Japanese Ten Key (although almost anything with a non-Roman character set will do)
3. Go back to the Keyboard section. You should see a new item: "Edit User Dictionary." Select that.
4. Tap the Plus sign ("+") to add a new word. Enter the word in both text fields and Save.
It may take a device restart for the words to take effect—sometimes the words don't appear immediately—but eventually they appear. (Credit to Adam Dachis of LifeHacker.com)