Category Archives: Computing

Are you backed up?

Time MachineWould you be concerned if your hard drive crashed today? Would you lose any irreplaceable data, like photos, work projects, or vital documents? What if you dropped your laptop on the kitchen floor or into the tub? Without a good backup, everything that is not backed up will be gone forever.

Thankfully, there are lots of easy solutions to keep all your electronic data safe from disaster. The easiest solution for me is the one that does it automatically, without my input. Out of sight and out of mind means that backups will happen without any actions on my part. This is good because if I have to do it manually, it won’t get done. Here are some quick, cheap, and simple ideas to keep your most important things safe. This post is Mac centric, but the principles can be applied to almost any OS.
Continue reading Are you backed up?

Hide Your Spam Count

I rarely, if ever, get spam in my Gmail inbox which is great. Spam filtering is probably the best reason to be using Gmail in the first place. However, most of the time I use Apple Mail to check my e-mail, and it has an unread count of all the spam sitting in my spam folder. When I glance at my inbox, I see two highlighted numbers: an inbox unread count, and a spam folder unread count. I wanted the spam count number removed because it was distracting me from my inbox count. Luckily, for those of us as pedantic as I am, there is a simple fix for this if you use Gmail.

We are going to create a new filter that marks all spam messages as read. That way, in your Apple Mail, Outlook, or even the online inbox, you won’t be bothered with seeing the unread count in your spam folder. Log in to your Gmail account online and click on the gear icon -> Settings -> Filters. Click: “Create a new filter” and in the box that says “Has the words” type: in:spam Finally, click “Create filter with this search.” I also check the box to have the new filter apply to the messages already in the spam folder.

Google will give you a warning, but it can be dismissed in this case. Now, the spam can mount up colossally in your spam folder, but you won’t see it or think about it and can simply focus on your inbox. Great!

Dedicated IP

Severe geek-note here: now has a dedicated ip address. Our site can now also be viewed by typing in

Why? Well, Bluehost offered it so cheaply that I couldn’t resist. I mess with the site enough that if it goes down because I’ve messed something up, I can still access it via its IP address. Also, if a nefarious website on our shared web host gets banned, it might prevent our site from being banned along with all the sites on the server. Maybe.

Back to the Mac

What does Apple have in store for us Mac users? “Back to the Mac” implies there will be emphasis on the computer/operating system side of things (instead of the focus on iOS, if you hadn’t noticed the release of new iPhones, iPads, and iPods). An update to iLife? A new MacBook Air? A new operating system called Lion? Wait and see what Apple has up its sleeve on October 20th.

Setting up your Mac

If you have a brand new Mac, or will be buying one soon, it could be very helpful to check out Lloyd Chambers’s website on how to set it up to run in a very high performance, efficient way. Simple but effective ways to make your new Mac better are to get rid of bloatware, use multiple hard drives and make use of partitions. This is all best done the day your new Mac arrives so make sure you read his site prior to a big computer purchase. His Mac setup article is here (and just follow the links at the bottom of each page for the article to continue.)

Good luck and enjoy!