Glebe Mac Consulting - Supporting your apple devices at work & home

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Glebe Mac Consulting has the expertise to provide help in many areas, including:   

Learning to use your Mac or iDevice

Just because you hear people saying a Mac or iPad is easy to use doesn't mean that everything about it is obvious.

If you're new to the world of Apple or you find yourself thinking "there must be an easier way to do this" then you'd benefit from some one-to-one training.

The help that I offer is not based on a set script. Rather it is a session where we work through the areas that you most want to cover at the speed that you're comfortable with. We can cover everything from "Where is the power button?" through to "How do I run a company web site?".

Contact me to have a talk about your training requirements.

Click here to see a list of topics that you might want to select from to tailor a Mac OS X training session.

To consider possible areas for training on your iPad or iPhone have a look at the built-in user guide: Open the Safari app then open the bookmarks (the icon that looks like an open book at the top of the screen on an iPad and the bottom of the screen on an iPhone) and navigate back to the top (left most) folder and you'll see a bookmark for "iPad User Guide" or "iPhone User Guide".

Mac OS X Troubleshooting

The modern Apple Mac operating system is a pretty sturdy product but just like any computer system it has its glitches and just like any other platform you can install 3rd party products on top of it which don't "play nice" all the time.

In all likelihood if you have come to this web page then you've got at least one, if not several, of those glitches and the amount of time you're losing trying to cope with the problems is making you think it's worth while having an expert look at it.

What you get from engaging an expert is a knowledgeable dissection of the problem followed by a targeted set of remedial procedures. This is vastly different from having a relative or friend "take a bit of a look" for you!

If my diagnosis turns up a software or configuration problem then I can help.

If it turns up a hardware problem then I can give you the information you need to get the hardware repair rolling.

If it turns up an external issue (such as with your ISP, telco, or web host) I can help you to communicate the issue to them.

Contact me to talk through your specific problem and hopefully we can get it solved quickly.

iPad and iPhone Config

Your new iPhone or iPad is unpacked and in your hands but you're not sure how to use all that slick functionality?

Sure there's lots of info in the help pages and out on the internet but it takes a long time to sift through all that.

In general, to get a new iPhone or iPad configured and synchronised takes about 2 hours of expert time.

So if you're not an expert you may never get around to making your Apple device "just work" - which is a bit of a waste!

Everybody has different requirements and different experience levels so contact me to discuss what is best for you.

Mobile Data Sync

iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

A major benefit of iOS portable devices is the way they enhance your ability to access your data, and other people's data, from anywhere. This is great, but you want to avoid the frustration of having multiple copies of that data and not knowing which copy is the most recent or correct. Hence the desire to synchronise that data as automatically and as quickly as possible.

Types of data that you may want to keep in sync include:

Calendar appointments
Address book contacts
Photos & videos
Documents & notes
Music & podcasts
Browser bookmarks
Passwords, PINs, & account IDs
Application data

There isn't a single solution that suits all people so, based on my experience with all the various devices, I can help you work out the best options for your situation and configure them on all your devices.

Click here for ideas on how it can be done.

Email Portability

The ability to reliably receive emails is now pretty much a requirement for both professional and personal lives. There are two aspects to that which can be a great help or a great hindrance.

A Reliable Address

In the snail mail world a person or a company may hire a post office box so that when they move home or office they don't need to make sure everybody updates their address book. Sure it carries a cost but the long term advantages justify that cost. Those advantages include it being a more "professional" sounding address and the ability to have the mail collected by different people.

In the email world there is a tendency for people to collect and discard email addresses quite quickly. Not only does this lead to confusion but potentially also means that important emails are never received. In the business world this can happen when your  contacts send their emails to a personal address within your organisation rather than a functional address. eg. rather than In the private world it most often happens when you change your home ISP. eg. from to

Contact me to discuss the options that are available for both businesses and individuals to ensure that your address can remain constant "for life".

Accessibility From Anywhere

The advent of smartphones that are able to stay connected to the internet from almost anywhere means that there is a growing perception that, similarly to having a mobile number, you will be contactable by email anywhere and anytime. Depending on your style of life or business you may want to encourage or discourage that, but it's definitely helpful to have the ability if you need it.

Configuring your email account(s) and various internet connected devices appropriately can make sure that you have that connectivity and also, importantly, that all those devices can download and archive the emails they need to.

Contact me to discuss the configuration you need such that your emails are viewable as needed from your laptop, iPhone, iPad, desktop, webmail etc.

Home Networks

Every electronic device you buy these days seems to want to have internet connectivity. That's good, but how do you achieve this connectivity in all parts of your living areas? There's a multitude of choices (along with acronyms and technical jargon) which make it difficult to decide how to build your network and be satisfied that you've achieved your optimum solution. See some of the details on this page.

Contact me for help with navigating your options and to avoid being on hold to a call centre.

Backing up your data

You must have a backup strategy!!

Having a backup of your precious data is one of those things that everybody knows is a good thing, but almost everybody says that it is too hard to do, or remember to do.

It is no longer such a hassle.

  • External hard drives are now both capacious and cheap.
  • Online services offer significant storage for backed up or replicated data at zero or very low cost.
  • Consumer internet connectivity plans are allowing enormous amounts of off-peak data transfers.
  • More software is available that allows "consumer friendly" set and forget configuration.

My recommendation for Apple OS X users, based upon years of both personal and corporate experience and taking into account the options listed further down, is:

  1. Set all your computers to use Time Machine to create hourly backups.
  2. If you have an "always on" machine such as an iMac or Mac Mini, connect your external backup drives to that machine and make them accessible over your network for all other Macs to backup to. Otherwise purchase a Time Capsule to provide a network "share point" for your computers to back up to.
  3. Use an online backup service to back up your important and non-static documents at least once a day, even when you're travelling.
  4. Once a week update, or recreate, a bootable backup drive of each machine.
  5. At least once a month rotate your bootable backup drive to another physical location. ie. you'll need two of these drives.

Click here for more details on storage media, software possibilities, and scheduling strategies. 

Mac Media Server

Using iTunes as a cataloguing tool on a Mac for your music and videos is probably not a new concept for you. What you may not be aware of is that your Mac can be used to view and record television and with a wired or wireless network you can then use it to share the music, video, TV, and documents amongst stereo systems, computer desktops, laptops, and mobile devices in your premises.

Every installation will be slightly different so there is no single solution to setting up your building wide media system. But I can help you navigate the options and configurations. 

See Media Server Components for a description of some of the "usual" components in a Mac media server.

Mac OS X Server Configuration

A solid Unix base with an easy to use graphical interface makes the OS X Server product ideal to deliver network based services to a small business. What's more it can be deployed on a tiny Mac Mini which you can place almost anywhere in your office and then let it "just work". Most of the services that it comes with use industry standard interfaces so it doesn't lock the rest of your infrastructure into Apple products. Amazingly it is now priced at just $52 as an upgrade from OS X Lion - less than 10% of previous pricing.

Core services that are provided by OS X Server can, to a degree, be configured "out of the box" when you run the setup assistant. But unless you've done a reasonable amount of research some of the capabilities might get missed in amongst the various technical jargon. That's where my training and experience can come into play and help get your server up and running and integrated with your business operation with a minimum of interruption.

The out of the box services include:

File Sharing
Web Sites
Time Machine
iPhone & iPad Management

Remote Access

In general if your computer is connected to the internet there will be a way of allowing somebody else (the requestor) to connect to your machine and look at the exact same screen as you are seeing. But don't be scared by this. The functionality must be installed and/or configured on your machine - it's not turned on by default. The great thing about this is that it allows somebody to help you out without them having to be physically at your machine. Though of course there will be times that Murphy's Law is in play and your problem is related to the internet connection and until that is fixed the remote access for the requestor won't work!

There are several methods of achieving this connectivity but you should understand the basics of how the requestor must provide authentication to your machine before you allow it to take place.

Teamviewer is a 3rd party application. To allow a requestor access to your screen you need to download a small application called "TeamViewer Quick Support" from the TeamViewer web site open the .dmg file (disk image) and then double click the application to run it. The application does not need to be "installed" on your machine. The application will automatically show you a unique ID and password which you will need to relay to the requestor before they will be able to connect. This application will also allow file transfers between machines. TeamViewer will happily allow people with Mac and Windows boxes to inter connect.

Screen Sharing / Back to My Mac (Apple)
Built in to Max OS X in the System Preferences Sharing pane is the option to turn on "Screen Sharing". When you turn this on you're telling your Mac to "listen" for somebody who wants to connect. You can configure that the requestor has to know a password, or that a pop-up appears on your screen to ask you if it's OK for them to connect. It's an easy option for connecting within the same private network (such as your household or office). To connect from somewhere else would normally require configuration of your router and firewall but in most cases the iCloud service called "Back to My Mac" can take care of those geeky details.

Messages / iChat (Apple)
Messages (previously called iChat) is an instant message (IM) and audio/video conferencing program provided by Apple for free (similar to Skype) and is most likely already installed on your Mac. As well as allowing you to text and a/v chat it also allows you to share your screen with the person at the other end of the call (the requestor). One of the good things about this is that it allows you and the requestor to  audio chat with each other at the same time as the requestor is accessing your screen. The sharing of your screen is either initiated by you, or you have to accept a request from the requestor, before they can see your screen.  

Small Business Websites

Many small business people think that the mechanics of having a web site are too complex and so they outsource the whole process without having analysed their requirements. There's not that many points to be considered and they should all be explainable in plain English.

Updating information on your web site can now be made to be as easy as entering some text onto a form on a web page, or writing an email, or creating a Word document, or even sending an update from your iPhone. This is done by using a "Content Management System" (CMS) on your web site. Once the CMS is installed then no IT expert is required.

I don't build websites myself but I understand all the concepts and jargon. So contact me to help you navigate through the requirements and negotiations of getting your web site up and running.

Click here to read though the list of things to be considered.

Apple Certified Support Professional 1.6

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