Musings Archive

Simple Samurai Tip: Scheduling the Energy Saver

Ever wish your Mac could put itself to sleep, turn itself on, shut down or restart at a specific time or day rather than relying on you to manually initiate those things? You can! And the scheduling feature is already built-in to OS X.

Just follow these steps:

  • Click on your Apple menu (in the upper left corner of your screen)
  • Now select System Preference

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 1.07.23 PM

  • Now click on the Energy Saver icon

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 1.07.40 PM

  • Now click the Schedule button

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 1.07.59 PM

  • Now adjust the tasks and schedule to your liking!

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 1.11.08 PM



Macworld remembers the G4 Cube

Always nice to see my beloved, ill-fated, Apple Power Mac G4 Cube getting some much-deserved love.

Check out Christopher Phin’s “Think Retro” column today over at Macworld’s website: Behold the G4 Cube, Apple’s most epic computer ever


And if you’re still not convinced that the Cube remains “the most awesome computer Apple has ever made,” head over to – still an active forum for Cube owners and admirers, despite my neglect of the site overall – so we can change your mind!

This is why you shouldn’t muck around with your fonts

Bad things happen when you don’t fully understand the implications of adding/moving/replacing/deleting fonts on your Mac.

Yes, that San Francisco font is pretty and you may prefer it over Helvetica Neue, but if you are bad at following the directions you found on that random site on the Internet, this is what happens.

Save yourself the headache — Contact us before all of your dialog boxes end up looking like this 🙂



New hourly rates for 2016

I hate to do it, but the time has come. It’s been a few years since MacSamurai’s rates have increased. In that time, business has been booming and I owe that to all of you. But with a booming business comes not just additional income – but additional expenses. Costs and expenses keep going up, while the rate you’ve been charged has remained the same. Unfortunately, it’s hard to justify continuing to pick up the slack on this end, so a small bump is needed.

Effective Jan 1, 2016 MacSamurai’s hourly rate is $150/hr (1 hour minimum, 30 minute increments thereafter).  Any open invoices or estimates will remain as quoted/billed, of course. Remote support sessions will remain $100/hour (30 minute minimum, 15 minute increments thereafter).

If it’s any consolation, MacSamurai accepts Apple Pay now! So you can pay that slightly bigger bill with nothing but your iPhone or your Apple Watch, which somehow maybe makes it hurt less?

My New Year’s Resolution: Continue providing you with the best possible value by giving you the support you need, when you need it, at a fair price, and almost always with a smile 🙂

Check out the Services & Rates page for additional info.


When old school technology meets new school technology

Sometimes the miracle of modern technology is most evident when needing to interface with not-so-modern technology.

This just happened…

Client’s friend is at client’s apartment. I am not at client’s apartment. I am on the street, en route to the subway to see another client, as usual. Client’s friend needs to print an airline boarding pass and needs to leave client’s apartment in 15 minutes. Client’s only printer is out of toner. New toner cannot be obtained within the time frame needed. Panic ensues.

But… client has a fax machine.

So client’s friend calls me (at client’s insistence) and asks how they can print to the fax machine. They can’t – it’s an old-school stand-alone fax. But I have a new-fashioned HelloFax account, which I can easily access from my iPhone. So I tell client’s friend to EMAIL me the boarding pass so I can EFAX it to client’s fax machine from my iPhone.


Three minutes later client had a paper copy of her boarding pass spitting out of client’s fax machine and I was back to my leisurely stroll to the subway.

And that, my friends, is why I get the big bucks. Creative problem solving on the fly, at your service 🙂

Samurai sword-wielding man terrorizes 5th Ave Apple Store

Yesterday a mentally disturbed man entered the famous 5th Avenue Apple Store (aka The Cube) brandishing an actual Samurai sword. Thanks to a solid security staff and NYPD response, he never made it past the spiral staircase.

At first I thought one of my clients was running around town doing some well-intentioned promotion for me. (#macsamurai!)

Then I realized that this level of derangement is far beyond what I encounter in my daily rounds 🙂

According to witnesses, the man was also screaming “I just want an iPhone!” Can’t we all sympathize a bit?

In all seriousness, this must have been frightening for all who witnessed it. I’m just glad that no one was injured and that Seppuku was prevented.

via and DNAinfo

Wayback Wednesday: Classic Edition

I was going through a box that I pulled from storage and came across some memories…


On September 13, 2000 Apple released a $29.95 “preview” Public Beta version of Mac OS X (codenamed Kodiak). It was available to the public. Anyone with $30 could buy it and use it and give feedback on it.

This was the first public availability of the “Aqua” UI. The Mac OS X Public Beta expired and stopped functioning in Spring 2001.

Mac OS 9.2.1 (Limelight) was released on Aug 21, 2001. It required a PowerPC G3 processor (although the original PowerBook G3 was not supported), 32 MB of physical RAM, with virtual memory set to at least 64 MB, and 320 MB of hard disk space. It promised noticeably increased performance over its predecessors and it delivered on that promise. Four months later, Mac OS 9.2.2 was released as the last update for the Classic Environment.

For a graphical trip down Mac OS X memory lane, check out An Illustrated History of Mac OS X and for a detailed history of the Mac OS, head over to Christina Warren’s excellent Mashable article from a few years ago: The Evolution of Mac OS, From 1984 to Mountain Lion


Giving new life to your older MacBook Pro

With rare exception, current generation Apple laptops can’t be upgraded – or even repaired after accidental damage – in any meaningful or easy way after purchase. That’s the tradeoff we’ve made for wanting our Macs to be thinner, lighter and sleeker. To accomplish that, displays are fused to the glass, proprietary Solid State Drives (SSDs) store all our files, RAM (memory chips) is soldered directly to the logic board and even the batteries are glued to the case. This trend started with the original MacBook Air and through the introduction of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display and it’s now the rule, rather than the exception.

And yet, as recently as the 2009 Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs himself said, “Our pro customers want accessibility: […] to add memory, to add cards, to add drives.” He was introducing the “Unibody” MacBook Pro that day. And he was right!

If you still have one of those Unibody MacBook Pros, made between Early-2009 and Mid-2012 (or an older 2006-2008 Aluminum model), you’re probably struggling to keep up with the demands of newer operating systems and newer technologies on the web, etc. Your computer is slow. Just watching a YouTube video can be a chore. The machine drags, the fans start racing, your super-fast Internet connection feels wasted because the video may download fast, but the playback is still choppy and the audio stutters. But you have a distinct advantage over owners of newer MacBook Pros because you can install a few hardware upgrades and make your 6/7/8 year old Mac perform almost as well as a new one, for only a fraction of the cost.

mbp-upgradesUpgrading your RAM to the maximum it will support (8GB-16GB, depending on the exact model) will cost you an average of $75-$150 for the RAM itself. It’s not even difficult to install on your own and the tools you’ll need to pop the bottom case off for installation aren’t expensive either. But the real life-changer will be replacing your internal storage (which is probably a 5400RPM platter-based hard drive) with an SSD/Flash drive. For under $500 you upgrade up to a 1TB SSD that will really make your Mac fly. While replacing your hard drive is almost as simple as installing RAM, I’d still recommend professional installation since there’s a bit more to it than just popping the old drive out and the new one in. There are more screws and more steps and more things that can go wrong. Although you’ll pay an average of $150-$200 to have a professional take care of this for you, it’s worth it for the peace of mind. And the end result is that for about $800, tops, you can have your older MacBook Pro performing almost as well as a new $2500 model. Both the battery and the Superdrive can also be replaced if you’ve got a few more $$ to spend.

Here’s a direct quote from an email I received from a client of mine last month, after I maxed out his RAM at 8GB and installed a new 1TB SSD running Mac OS X 10.10.x Yosemite into his Late-2008 MacBook Pro 15″ (a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo – a machine that Apple now officially classifies as “Vintage.”)

Laurie, you are the best! My Mac runs like a Ferrari now! I want to see if I can get it to run for ten more years!

He is a real “car guy” so he recognizes appreciates vintage beauty paired with fast speeds and smooth performance.

If you’re interested in hearing about what upgrade options are available for your own “vintage” Mac, get in touch and we’ll prepare a complimentary no-obligation quote for you.

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