February 2014 MSS Newsletter
New "support@MacAtoZ.com" email
Last month we upgraded our phone support system to 24/7 live phone reception. You can now call MacAtoZ at any time, day or night, and talk with a receptionist should you wish to get your issue on our radar for first thing in the morning.
This month, we're taking a whack at our email system. For any tech support question, scheduling issue, company-related inquiry, we invite you to email us at "Support@MacAtoZ.com"
(capitalization not important) with whatever your interest might be.
By emailing to that address, your message will automatically be entered into our new Help Desk system, routed appropriately, and handled until resolved. It might seem like a small thing from your perspective—you send email, get a reply, perhaps send a follow-up—but on our side, since we handle issues for multiple clients simultaneously, our previous workflow saw dozens of emails flying around at once. This was growing increasingly hard to track, and it's not a system that scales well. In other words, as MacAtoZ grew to help more people, it was getting more difficult, and, with luck, we're not done growing.
Enter our new Help Desk software. By and large, you should notice little difference—though we're aiming to be more efficient and responsive—because the biggest change is on our end: We can help more people, and helping people to the best of our ability is ultimately our fundamental goal. Should you accidentally email one of our other email addresses (info@, ty@, brittany@, etc.) with a tech support request, we'll simply forward your message into the Help Desk software where it will create a "ticket" (a request for help) in the system.
For now, we're only giving out this new email address to MSS clients. Eventually we'll include everybody in the new Help Desk system. We want to make sure it works well for you first.
Security & Privacy: Important Apple & Adobe updates
Updates highly recommended: iOS 7.0.6 or iOS 6.1.6 and latest Adobe Flash (188.8.131.52).
Just yesterday Apple released an important update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This update fixes some SSL security vulnerabilities and is highly recommended
. Depending on which version of iOS (the operating system for these devices) your iPhone or iPad uses, you will be prompted to download either iOS 7.0.6 or 6.1.6. You would not download, or be prompted to download, both. Expect to see a patch for the Macintosh operating systems (OS X) very soon.
To download the appropriate update, make sure your device has adequate battery life (or just plug it in), then go to Settings > General > Software Update on your device. Then choose Install Update. The update should at that point start automatically.
If you use Adobe Flash, you will want to update it as soon as possible since Flash has been found to have another security hole. To see if you have Flash installed on your Mac—Flash does not run on iPhone or iPad—go to System Preferences and look along the bottom for "Flash Player." If you do not have Flash installed, you can obviously disregard this update warning. If you do have Flash installed, click on the Flash Player system preference and go to the Advanced tab. There you will find the version number (the latest is 184.108.40.206) and the button to allow you to Check Now for updates. If you don't have the latest version, click the Check Now button and follow the instructions to install the update. I also recommend that you check the "Allow Adobe to install updates" radio box.
OS X 10.9 "Mavericks": Is it time to upgrade?
Depending on how Apple patches the above security hole, the answer may now be "yes."
As attentive readers and listeners know, we do not generally recommend new Mac operating system upgrades until they reach ".3" status. In the case of Mavericks 10.9, that would mean the 10.9.3 update, and the current iteration is OS X 10.9.1. We've made these recommendations because new operating systems always have bugs, and unless there's a compelling feature or need, it seems more prudent to simply wait and let others suffer the pain of problems that will remain unfixable until Apple gets around to it.
That advice remains true, but for users of OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" it may be time to upgrade to Mavericks regardless.
Apple typically supports the current operating system and two operating systems back (currently, 10.7 "Lion" and 10.8 "Mountain Lion"). If no security patch of the above security issue is forthcoming from Apple for 10.6 "Snow Leopard," our advice has to be that now is the time to upgrade to OS X Mavericks for 10.6.8 users.
Snow Leopard will simply no longer be secure. At any rate, we should know shortly as this issue for OS X must be patched very soon by Apple.
Although Mavericks is a free download, should you wish to assistance in upgrading your Mac or have other questions, please feel free to call us 24/7 at 503-507-0410 or email us at our new email@example.com