Macs

Reset a Mac User Account Password

If you have an old user account on your Mac that you can no longer access, there's a way you can still get into it as long as you have an "Administrator" account on that Mac. Just get into the System Preferences from the Apple Menu and click "Users & Groups". Then click the lock icon and enter the admin name and password. Select a user, and then click "Reset Password".

How can I protect my Mac?

Apple MacBook Pro

Episode 1357

John from Los Angeles, CA

John wants to know if keeping his Mac on while he's walking around will damage the laptop. Leo says not if he puts it to sleep. It stops reading the drive that way.

What is a hardware password? A hardware or firmware password will keep the computer from starting up in any way other than its designated startup. On the Mac, he'd go into Utilities and set his firmware password. It's very important not to forget it, though.

How can I control my HAM radio with my computer?

Episode 1298

Ed from Tennessee

Ed is blind and has trouble controlling his HAM radio with his computer. Leo says if he has software that is designed to control it, and a cable that converts USB to RS232, then it should work. The chatroom says that they haven't gotten it to work on Macs either. Macs don't work because they don't recognize COM ports. Windows, by contrast, is backwards compatible and has support for that. He'll also need drivers. If the COM port adapter came with software, then that could also be the issue.

Has my Mac been infected with ransomware?

Episode 1276

Victoria from Corvales, OR

Victoria has an 09 iMac that runs El Capitan, but she got bit by ransomware. Leo says that's odd because the only ransomware is called "Transmission" and it's been eradicated after only being out in the wild for a day through Bittorrent. She gets a pop up that says "your computer is infected," though. Leo says that doesn't mean she has ransomware. It's actually a phishing scam trying to get her to install malware. And she can't get infected by it anyway. What it does mean is that the website is infected and she should avoid it.

How did PCs get so cheap?

Episode 1247

Mike from Burbank, CA

Mike notices that when a laptop goes on sale, the price drops are really not that significant. Leo says that's because he believes that computers are already at rock bottom prices. Competition has driven the price as low as it can go and margins are razor thin. That's why support is terrible on this hardware. Apple doesn't drop the price because they like their profit margin and they also offer some degree of support. They're also the only ones who make Macs. So they can charge whatever they want.