The Tech Guy Blog

Click Show Package Contents to Access Your Photos in iPhoto

If you recently bought a new Macbook to replace a much older Mac, you may have trouble restoring old backups of photos and video stored in iPhoto from the elder machine. Pictures in iPhoto are stored in a blob called the "library". You have to right-click on the icon (which is secretly a folder) and select Show Package Contents, then you can find the original photo files (possibly sorted by year) that can be copied to your backup location.

Replacing Vs. Repairing Your TV

If your home television is not working anymore, you may question whether to buy a new screen or call up the classic "TV Repairmen" (a lost art). While the fix might be easy with a little digging, anything complex may cost way too much or be too troublesome to get repaired. Televisions are pretty inexpensive these days so a good approach is to find great deals on a quality TV. A good, relatively cheap brand is TCL, though Samsung, Hisense, and LG are also reliable. Just don't hang the Television over a fireplace!

Use Edge Instead of Internet Explorer

If you are a Windows 10 user and browsing the web, you should stop using Internet Explorer. At least if you're not forced to for work reasons. It is outdated and insecure at this point, but luckily there is a much better alternative by Microsoft. Their "Edge" browser can import your settings/bookmarks from IE and provide more security. It is also much faster than Internet Explorer and behaves much like Google's Chrome browser. You can read PDFs in Edge built-in, instead of using Adobe Reader.

Rebuilding a Mailbox in Apple Mail

Sometimes, your mailbox database does not visually reflect reality. If you have a situation like a deleted message still appearing in your Apple Mail account, you will probably see an error message. A database is a binary blob of information, so it may need to be updated via a rescan from time to time. In the Apple Mail app, select the particular mailbox in the sidebar, then choose "Mailbox" and "Rebuild" afterward. Your mailbox may appear empty until the attachments/messages are all downloaded back to your device.

Sync Mobile Notes to Read On Your Desktop

If you are typing notes on your phone while at work or AFK, you may want to see those notes on your desktop computer once you get back in the chair. You will need to use a program like Microsoft's OneNote or Google Keep, which syncs to the cloud and therefore your internet-connected PC. Google Keep is like a sticky-note application that allows you to access your notes from most devices. It can make a to-do list, remind you at the right time/place, organize things by colors, and transcribe voice memos. Very helpful for grocery lists too!

Consider Backing Up Your Mac Before Updating to Big Sur

Just in case something goes wrong, make sure to back up your Mac Computer before committing to an OS update as Apple releases Big Sur in the near future.  

1. Move your data to a new drive

2. Create a ghost user account in the internal hard drive

3. Create a copy of the home directory on the external drive.

Check out an in-depth Home Directory episode on Big Sur preparation by watching the latest Hands-on Mac, hosted by Leo! Twit.tv/hom30

Wipe Your Drive and Reinstall if Your Windows PC has Been Infected With Malware

If you've been infected with malware, wipe your drive and start over. Reinstall Windows. If it's a rogue employee of a company you were calling, contact the company and let them know. Any general-purpose operating system is vulnerable to these kinds of malware attacks. If you positively need to use Windows at home, you sort of should become a guru of PC security to protect yourself. Windows shouldn't be your default OS pick anymore.

Digitize Music CDs in a Lossless Format

If you have a ton of music CDs to digitize for backup, storage, and convenience, Mac users can use iTunes to convert the music tracks to the proprietary format Apple Lossless (ALAC) via the import settings. Modern Macs are strong enough to rip a full CD in just a few minutes! If you have a Windows PC, use a FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) ripper like Exact Audio Copy. Don't skimp on audio quality just to save space, disk storage is cheap and getting cheaper! So no need to convert to MP3 as the music won't sound as great and it'll lose bits.

Windows 7 Is Still Fine To Use Offline

If you still insist on using your Windows 7 computer and are scared of using it thanks to Microsoft's lack of continued support, it is still okay to use it offline. If you don't take it on the internet, you significantly lower your risks to catch anything harmful for the PC. Plus, most of your permanent applications will still work as long as there is electricity to power the computer! However, you should still be sure to back up important files onto an external hard drive, as staying offline means no access to cloud backup services.