Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

WWDC 2013 Keynote Highlights

Monday, June 10th, 2013

We tweeted this link earlier today, but we bet most of our users were busy with work and weren’t able to watch the full WWDC 2013 keynote video. Well, now you can view the whole keynote at your leisure on Apple’s site.

And if you don’t have time to sit through the video, here are some of the highlights from this year’s WWDC keynote:

1. OS X Mavericks.  The next OS, 10.9, is named after the famous big wave surf spot in Northern California (see the great documentary Riding Giants by Stacy Peralta), and will be released this fall. Finder Tabs, Tags (in Finder, Apps, and iCloud), and iCloud Keychain are just some of the great new features of the new OS.

2. iOS 7. Some cool improvements have been added to the new iOS, which is also arriving this fall. Here are just a few:

  • Maps – night mode, turn-by-turn walking directions.
  • FaceTime Audio – ability to skip the video and use audio only through FaceTime.
  • Control Center – much easier access to controls and apps.
  • Camera – filters and formats (including a new square format) can be applied with a simple swipe!
  • Activation Lock – this one should hopefully help to decrease the number of iPhone thefts that have been occurring in our fair city.

3. New MacBook Airs! An 11-inch model and a 13-inch model, both of which start shipping TODAY. The 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs have options for 128GB of flash storage or 256GB of flash storage. More info on the pricing and new features can be found on Apple’s site.

4. The new Mac Pro! So many of our clients have been waiting for this. The design is gorgeous and around one-eighth the size of the current Mac Pro tower. The new Mac Pro features a 12-core, 256-bit Intel Xeon E5 processor, flash storage (Apple didn’t state the amount of storage available), and 1866MHz ECC DDR3 RAM (capable of 60 GB/s data transmission). There’s no date set for the new Mac Pro, but Apple says to look for it “later this year.”

5. New AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule? Yes! Surprise, surprise. Both the AirPort Extreme and the new Time Capsule have 802.11ac, which allows the devices to boost a constant Wifi signal in all directions. The 2013 Time Capsule is available with either 2TB and 3TB storage and are available for pick-up in an Apple store starting Wednesday, June 12.

Hurricane Sandy: How to Help in and around New York City

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

We wanted to reach out to our Need Mac Help clients and the greater New York City community with some information on aid organizations that are helping residents that have been impacted by the storm.  If you are a NYC resident who has not been impacted by the storm, these links can also provide ways you can help locally.

Please feel free to contact us if you have recommendations of any local organizations that can help or use help.





  • Volunteer at a Bronx Park – The Parks Dept. is looking for volunteers to help clean up the parks this weekend.
  • World Vision – World Vision is an organization with a focus on children and families in need that is seeking help in cleaning out its Storehouse this weekend.



  • Astoria Recovers – Lists of drop off locations where Astoria residents can donate food, water, batteries, cleaning supplies for the Rockaways
  • Powhatan Democratic Club in Astoria is also accepting donations this weekend. Donate:
    Blankets, shirts, socks, sweaters, jackets, sneakers
    Non-Perishable Food (such as Canned Soup, Canned Food)Drop-off location:
    Powhatan Democratic Club
    41-05 Newtown Road, Astoria
    Friday night 6:30pm-8:30pm
    Saturday 1:30pm-4:30pm
    Sunday 12pm-3pm
  • Occupy Sandy  – Rockaways: Drop-off Locations, Needs and Volunteer Info



  • Community Blood Services – New Jersey Blood Bank
  • NJ 2-1-1 – Hurricane Sandy response and recovery information. Scroll to the bottom for volunteer information.




How to create a secure password

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

I know that all of us at Need Mac Help are constantly reminding our users about the importance of backing up, but I also wanted to write a little reminder on the importance of really strong passwords.

Passwords should be LONG — at least 10 characters.

Passwords should be a mix of upper case AND lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

And most importantly, use a UNIQUE password for each account.  For example, you should never use the password for your email that you use for your online banking.  Similarly, you shouldn’t use the same password for your online bank account and your online credit card account(s).

As far as storing all of these passwords, you want to make sure to never keep them in an obvious place, like a Microsoft Word document called “passwords” or something similar.  The Mac OS X has Keychain Access, where you can securely store all your passwords and notes regarding important log in names and other information.

There’s also 1Password, which is a password manager that also has a nifty password generator.  With 1Password, you create a master password under which you store all your other passwords and important information. There’s also an iOS version of 1Password that syncs safely and securely with the desktop version of the application.

How much data is on my Mac?

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Helping Mac users upgrade their machines, doing data transfers, backing up data – that’s all part of a typical day’s work at NeedMacHelp. When a new client contacts us to book an appointment for data migration or help with backing up, I always ask how much data he/she has on the old machine.  For some users, this question causes some confusion so I thought I would do a quick “how to find out info about your Mac” post.

1.  To find out what version of OS X (the Mac operating system) your machine is running:

  • From the Apple menu located in the upper left hand corner of your screen, select About This Mac.

  • The window that opens will show your OS X version.  In the example below, the version is 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard).

2.  To find out what processor your machine has and how much memory (RAM) it has:

  • From the Apple menu located in the upper left hand corner of your screen, select About This Mac.
  • The window that opens will show Processor and Memory.  In the example below, the Processor is a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and it has 2 GB of RAM.

3.  To find out how big your hard drive is, and how much data is on your Mac:

  • Select Finder by clicking on your Desktop or on the Finder icon located in your Dock (the Dock is the bar of icons that sits at the bottom or side of your screen).

  • The window that opens will show a list on the left hand side that includes a section called “DEVICES.” Under devices, there will be a hard drive icon that looks like the one in the example below.

  • Make sure you are still in the Finder and select “File” in the upper left hand corner of your screen, and then select “Get Info.” A window will open that lists the following:

* Version (the version of the operating system)

* Format (the format of your hard drive)

* Capacity (the size of your hard drive)

* Available (how much space is currently available on your hard drive)

* Used (how much data is currently on your hard drive)

In the example above, the size of the machine’s hard drive is 158.86 GB, of which 43.07 GB of data has been used.

Mayor Bloomberg Orders Mandatory Evacuation for Zone A New York City Residents

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg just announced a mandatory evacuation for New York City residents living in Zone A.  Low-lying Zone A areas include Battery Park City, some areas in Manhattan along the Hudson River and East River, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Far Rockaway, Broad Channel, South Beach and Midland Beach.

For a full map of Hurricane Evacuation Zones A – C, click here.’s “Ready New York: Hurricane Guide” can be downloaded here.

The MTA is shutting down tomorrow, Saturday, August 27  at Noon.

Charge your devices in advance, make sure you have flashlights, and be safe, New York!

Upgrade to Lion Special!

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Apple hails 10.7 Lion as the “best version of OS X yet,” with over 250 new features and a revolutionary new installation process.

During this summer, NeedMacHelp will be offering our Upgrade to Lion Special.  We will upgrade your computer to Lion* and bring you up to speed on all the new features. No DVDs or a trip to the store necessary. For users not running at least Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard (the minimum requirement to run Lion), we will help advise you on updating or upgrading your system.

Best of all, the whole appointment is 10% off.

Call 646-924-2727 now to schedule an appointment with one of our Apple Certified Macintosh Specialists!

*OS X Lion is $29.99, payable directly to Apple.

OS X 10.7 Lion – Highlights

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The latest Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, will be available from the Mac App Store in July for a mere $29.99. Apple maintains that Lion will be available ONLY through the App Store, and has not mentioned any plans of releasing it as a DVD.

Among the awesome features in Lion are:

New Multi-Touch® gestures that enable you to view Mission Control, switch between open apps, a two-finger scroll, tap to zoom, pinch to zoom, and swipe to navigate (which means that if you have an iMac or a Mac Pro, you will probably want to go and get yourself a Magic Trackpad).

System-wide support for full screen apps, which allows you to have multiple full-screen apps open at the same time.

Mission Control, a unification of full-screen apps, Dashboard, Exposé, and Spaces that gives you a view of everything running on your Mac.

Launchpad, which is a new home for all your apps.  No need to go hunting around in your Applications folder anymore.  One click on the Launchpad icon in your Dock and you get a full screen view of all your apps.

A completely new, which will have the dual-column layout and conversation views similar to the ones iPhone and iPad owners are familar with.

Auto Save, which eliminates the need for manual saving AND lets you revert to the last saved version if you’re not happy with the changes that you’ve made. Versions allows you to see every new version of a document each time you open it, and you can move between versions in the timeline to compare or revert to an earlier version.  I know so many of our clients will be thrilled to have these two features.

Before downloading this upgrade from the Mac App Store you MUST verify that you meet the following two (2) criteria:

1.  Your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion.

2.  You must be running the latest version of Snow Leopard.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to set up an appointment so we can help you upgrade your machines when Lion arrives.

Busy, busy week here at NeedMacHelp! Sorry for the belated post!

Make Japan earthquake and tsunami donations via Google and iTunes

Monday, March 14th, 2011

According to Google and Apple, all donations will go to the Red Cross.  To donate via Google, click here.  If you prefer to donate via iTunes, click here.

Droptext allows you to edit Dropbox files on your iPhone

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Droptext allows you to edit Dropbox files on your iPhone (via @cultofmac)

Fantastic article – The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son With Autism

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Fantastic article – The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son With Autism on Twitter