In this issue: New laptops; New phone system redux; Vacation days; MacAtoZ quality assurance
July 2012 MSS Newsletter

New Mac laptops

First, the new MacBook Pro 15" with the Retina display looks stunning. The price is high compared to the rest of the lineup, starting at $2200, but that's not far off historical pricing. I remember buying a G3/500 Pismo PowerBook for about $3000 a decade or so ago. 
The other laptop updates look good, with either price reductions or the same pricing along with new technology. The MacBook Air excepted (because it never had one), this is likely to be the last set of Apple laptops with built-in CD/DVD drives. While an external "SuperDrive" is available for $79, if having a built-in drive is important to you, these laptops merit special consideration even if they're not Retina display models. 
Notable: The MacBook Pro 17" has been dropped from the line-up. If a 17" is a favorite of yours, best to look for a close-out deal on the now previous model. 
The Mac Pros saw a very slight upgrade with no Thunderbolt addition. That's really almost inconceivable since the rest of the Mac line has it. I strongly suspect this means that my next desktop Mac will be an iMac. Unless you do 3D modeling, video production, or other processor-intensive work at which the Mac Pro excels, it looks like the iMac is the way to go. 
Watch the full stream of Apple's WWDC 2012 Keynote.

New phone system redux

MacAtoZ changed its phone system in late January. Now, between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM, Monday through Friday, your calls are answered by a real, live human being. I am very pleased to report that feedback from callers has been overwhelmingly positive, though admittedly I'm not surprised. Who wants to punch buttons and try to navigate some horrible phone tree system? Give me a person any day! (And if I do say so, our receptionists are pretty fantastic.)

If I'm available, the receptionist will take your call and transfer it to me. When I'm unavailable, you can leave a message with the receptionist or in a voicemail on my phone, and expect a return call within 24 hours unless otherwise advised by the receptionist. (Occasionally I have client work that spans several days leaving me unable to returns calls as quickly as I'd like. I'm working on a solution to this.)

Call MacAtoZ at 503-507-0410.

Vacation days

I will be on vacation from July 31 through August 19. If you need assistance during that time please call (503-507-0410) or email ( Although I will be on vacation, I build time into my schedule so that I can continue to assist remote support clients (you!). Your call or email is not an imposition or a disruption. Athough it may take me slightly longer than normal to get back to you, I remain eager to serve you to the best of my ability. In you need help, please contact me.

Quality Assurance

If you've used MacAtoZ recently, you may have received a follow-up call from Caro Nicholl, with whom we've contracted to provide quality assurance follow-up calls. Caro has a Masters Degree in Counseling as well as more than five years of call center experience. Caro's role is to ensure that you're fully satisfied with the work we've done, to find out if there is any additional help needed, and to ask your assistance in creating online ratings, reviews, and testimonials.  

In that latter respect, if you'd like to submit online ratings, reviews, or testimonials, please contact Caro at

Tip o' the Day

Later this month Apple will release Mac OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion." As with previous operating systems, I strongly recommend that you wait to upgrade. The first release is always bug-ridden, and I have every expectation that Mountain Lion will be the same. I'm sure it will become a great operating system, but rarely is this true immediately. Typically, the first "safe" upgrade is the ".2" release (as in 10.8.2) with the ".3" release being the one where I'm comfortable recommending the upgrade generally. 

 If you have any questions about operating system upgrades, please contact MacAtoZ. 
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.)


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 

MacAtoZ Support: Download the latest version of Mac HelpMate 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. 
© 2012 by MacAtoZ LLC. All rights reserved.
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