Everyday Tips from the ComputerMom 

October 2016
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Thank you to everybody who came by my booth at Medfield Day - what a lovely day it was, and it was so nice to meet so many of you! I'd like to welcome new subscribers to my newsletter - hope you enjoy it!

This month's issue is all about new operating system releases. Both Apple and Microsoft had major releases recently, and both companies are automatically downloading the new versions onto systems that can run them, whether you are ready to upgrade or not. You might not choose to upgrade right away, but eventually you must. Fortunately most of the time upgrades go smoothly, but when they don't I can always help straighten things out!

Don't forget to read this newsletter to the end - there's a bonus for you, free ink, if you have the right printer!

Julie Marto 

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Well, Microsoft is at it again. No sooner did you all get accustomed to Windows 10 than they issued a major update with some noticeable interface changes. The Anniversary Update was released in August, but Microsoft did a phased roll-out, and most people are just getting upgraded now.

If you haven't gotten the update yet, here's what to expect:
  • The update can take up to two hours, so if you find yourself staring at a system that is updating for a long time, don't worry - it's perfectly normal! Unfortunately it's often a surprise that you are being updated, so if your system mentions updates as you are shutting it down, turn it on again right away and let it complete the update when you weren't planning to use the system.
  • Even after the update is finished, it can take as long as 10 more minutes to log into your desktop. Again, don't worry, as it's normal.
  • Unlike other updates, Microsoft will have left all your preferences and default programs intact. If you find they have changed, something has gone wrong.
  • I have seen some issues with device drivers after the upgrade, particularly touch-pad drivers and scanner drivers. If a peripheral device doesn't work after the upgrade, you will most likely have to uninstall and reinstall the manufacturer's software.
  • The biggest visible difference is a newly designed start menu. There is a column of settings icons on the far left, and all of your apps will be listed in the middle. The tiles on the right are unchanged. Look for the power button at the very bottom of the settings column on the right!
I have been manually upgrading to the latest version when clients drop off systems with me, in order to make sure all goes well. Although I have seen a couple of failed upgrades, in general it's gone smoothly and without incident. However, if your system already has some sort of virus or malware issue, the upgrade can be problematic. If that's the case, please give me a call for a flat rate service
New Mac OS Sierra

Right on schedule, Apple released their newest version of Mac OS, called Sierra. And, as expected, it doesn't work on some of the older systems that the previous versions of OS X supported. Additionally, Apple is taking a page out of Microsoft's book and is automatically downloading the new version to Mac owners, rather than waiting for you to download it yourself. 

Because Mac security relies on updates supplied by Apple, it's important to install the latest version of the Mac OS that your system can run.   If your system is capable of running it, your Mac will download it. However, you have to agree to install it. My recommendation is to hold off for a month or so, to let the early adopters work out the bugs, but eventually you should upgrade. As the upgrade process takes several hours, if you want me to do it for you it should be a drop off service. As with the Microsoft upgrade, I will go ahead and install Sierra on your system if it's dropped off with me for some other service.

The table below shows the systems that have been left behind with this major new release. You can find your model information and version of OSX by looking in the Apple menu and choosing "About this Mac". OSX El Capitan is version 10.11.x. If your OSX version is 10.7.x, 10.8.x, 10.9.x or 10.10.x and you are on the unsupported list, I can still upgrade you to El Capitan as a drop off service even though it's no longer available in the App Store. My recommendation is that you upgrade ASAP, or consider buying a new system.

El Capitan Eligible Systems
Sierra Eligible Systems
iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
iMac (Late 2009 and later)
MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
MacBook Air (2010 and later)
MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
MacBook (Late 2009 and later)
Mac Mini (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac mini (2010 and later)
MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
MacBook Pro (2010 and later)
Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
Mac Pro (2010 and later)

Free Ink!

Doesn't it always happen? You buy new ink for your printer, and then it dies! Well, I have a bunch of HP cartridges to find new homes for. Check your printer (especially if it's an older one) and if I have the right ink for you, just give me a call or an email and I'll leave it for you on the bench in front of my house!

Here's what I've got:

Number Color
HP 920 Red
HP 935 1 each: Blue, Red, and Yellow
HP 934XL Black
HP 950 Black
HP 951 Multicolor
HP 74XL Black
HP 15A c7115A LaserJet Toner (black)