Mac

Is there an advantage to using an Apple TV instead of a Mac Mini as a set top box?

Apple TV 4K

Episode 1555

Bruce from Las Vegas, NV

Bruce upgraded to an LG C7 TV, and it's been the best TV he's ever owned. He has an older generation Apple TV, not the new 4K version that's out now. He's wondering if it would be better for him to get a Mac Mini instead. He wants to know what the difference would be between Apple's tvOS and macOS. Leo says the new Apple TVs support UHD and high dynamic range (HDR). One of nice things about using an Apple TV is that it's automatic, Bruce would just have to plug in the HDMI cable and everything would work. The other thing it does is Dolby Atmos sound.

Where can I buy parts for my MacBook Air?

Apple MacBook Air

Episode 1525

Rico from Cerritos, CA

Rico is trying to replace the cracked LCD screen on his MacBook Air. He's having issues with the LCD layers underneath the glass. Where can he buy a replacement part for that? Rich says that Rico should go to iFixIt. They not only will show him how to fix issues like that, but they also offer the parts and tools to do it.

Another option is to buy a broken MacBook Air for parts. He can check OWC at MacSales.com. They have parts as well, but mostly for upgrades.

How can I merge multiple contacts databases?

Contacts on Mac

Episode 1523

Dale from Santa Monica, CA

Dale has an Apple and Outlook contact list. He'd like to merge them. How can he? Rich says that the iPhone doesn't do a good job where the contacts are located. But the Mac contact app does. So Rich says to sync all the contacts to his Mac. Add them in his contacts app, and then sync it. Then, Rich recommends using Google contacts as his main contact manager. He can add his Google account in there by clicking the plus sign.

Why can't I connect to the internet with my old Mac?

Apple iMac

Episode 1512

Joy from Thousand Oaks, CA

Joy is trying to reset the password on her old Mac and she's having issues. She googled putting code into the Terminal and it messed things up. She found the original disk, but because it's so old, it automatically goes to the dial up modem when attempting to connect to the internet. Leo recommends going into recovery mode by holding down CMD + R while booting up. In the Utilities menu of the installer, there is a reset password tool. She keeps running into problems connecting to the internet, though. Leo suggests plugging the Mac directly into the router via ethernet and rebooting.

How can I do voice dictation on my Mac?

Microphone

Episode 1510

Tracy from Los Angeles, CA

Tracy wants to know how her husband can do voice dictation on his Mac. Leo says to go to the System Preferences pane for keyboard settings and enable voice dictation on the Dictation tab. Then he can tap the function key twice on his iMac, and that will trigger voice dictation. It's pretty accurate. It won't be perfect, but it'll be 80% there. He can even do voice editing.

Can I reset my user account on my Mac?

macOS

Episode 1504

Max from Gardena, CA

Max wants to know if there's a way to reset an account on macOS without destroying the data. Leo says he can delete an account without erasing the data and then recreate it. That should clean everything out. He'll have to be an administrator, and he'll have to make sure he doesn't check the box to delete the data.

Here's a Knowledge Base article from Apple on how to do it from support.apple.com.

He can also reset the password to recover the account.

Why do I lose my external hard drive when my Mac Mini goes to sleep?

Mac Mini

Episode 1490

Mars Worm from The Chatroom

Mars Worm in the chatroom is having issues with his hard drive unmounting in his Mac Mini when it goes to sleep. Leo says that computers going to sleep has always been a pain, going back to the early days. Hibernation is even worse.

There is a tech note from Apple about that here, at support.apple.com. It's also talked about at blog.grapii.com.

Why is my Mac running so slow?

Mac Pro

Episode 1470

Timothy from Fresno, CA

Timothy started a new job and he's using a 5-year-old Mac Pro. Leo says that's not that old, actually. Leo prefers them to the recent models. Tim says that there's not a lot of RAM — only 4GB. Leo says that 4GB is OK for most things he'll do online and for documents. But he recommends running the activity monitor to make sure all the RAM is functioning. Sometimes, though, a program doesn't release the RAM when it no longer needs it, and it may be that is what's happening here. The hard drive may be slowing things down as well.