Brigitte owned a 10-year-old electronic personal organizer, where she stored all of her hundreds of contact names and addresses. Although it was working fine, she was nervous that it might get lost or stop working, taking all her contacts with it. I researched the organizer, found the exact cable to connect it to a PC, and purchased software to get the names and addresses onto a Windows PC. I then converted these to a format which could be imported into her Mac’s Address Book. She still uses the organizer every day, but now she has a backup … just in case.
Andrea loved sending her iPhoto images through email, but was using Yahoo webmail, and didn’t have an easy way of attaching the image files in each message. I showed her how Mac OS X allows you to view your iPhoto library from any “open file” window, including Yahoo and Gmail webmail, and directly attach images to the email. Now she’s moved on to video clips!
David was a lifelong PC user who had just purchased a new iMac for his home, and was setting up his home photography studio. He had an old DOS database program which needed to run on his Mac. We set up Windows on the Mac through VMWare Fusion, transferred the database files, and reconfigured the program so that he could run it just as easily as it was on the PC.
Astrid needed a laptop for her home (and to take travelling with her), and wanted to take a leap into the Mac world. I recommended a Macbook for her — we went together to the Apple Store to buy it, and set it up for email, photo storage and general home purposes. We set up weekly lessons to step her through using iPhoto: organising, tagging and emailing her pictures, and how to navigate the internet.
Lizzy was seeing popup browser windows warning her of a virus on her computer. She was puzzled, since she had a Mac and believed them to be virus-free. I investigated, and found that these were fake sites designed to trick a Windows user into downloading harmful programs. Although her Mac wasn’t at risk this time, we installed the newest, safest browsers, and made sure that she wasn’t giving her information to fake sites and spam email.
Beata has several Macs which she uses for both home and business, and is often travelling. Her business files are scattered across the computers, and she often cannot find the information she needs. We set out a plan to clean up and centralise her document folders on her iDisk, which allows her to access them from any computer, wherever she is in the world. I also devised a way of naming and managing the files so that she can use smart folders to automatically group files for different categories. Keeping her files in hand is an ongoing battle, but now she’s making them work for her, not the other way around.
Madalina’s iMac was making clicking sounds, and would often freeze. I suspected hard drive problems. We backed everything up, and I installed a new hard drive for her, installed a fresh new system and brought her files back. We discussed how we can make backing up and recovering from disaster much smoother in the future.
Your name here! … Do any of those situations sound familiar? Or perhaps you have a new and unique challenge for me? Please get in touch!