Up Your Media Apple Web and Tech Blog

Parksville / Qualicum Beach's only Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT) and Apple Support Professional, Dan LaRocque, posts semi-regular tips and blogs about his day-to-day experiences with Macintosh computer technology, social media, web marketing & design and other technology related developments.

Back Up Your Hard Drive With Time Machine

Backing up your hard drive has never been easier, thanks to the software Apple has been including with your Operating System since Leopard 10.5.

I've done it myself, more than once, it's true. I've had hard drives fail on me without having a back-up of any kind. It was devastating, but eventually I learned, and now I keep redundant back-ups of all my data, thanks to the affordability of external hard drives and the native Time Machine software. Still, I see it every week, and my un-scientific study shows a good 40-60% of people still don't keep a good back-up.

Here's how easy it is to do: blog2-img1

  1. Plug any external hard drive into the USB port on your Mac.
  2. When the Time Machine software launches and prompts you whether or not you'd like to use said external hard drive as your Time Machine back-up, say yes.
  3. Get some sleep.

Seriously, it's that easy. In operating systems Mountain Lion 10.8 and previous, you don't even have to partition the disk, just click yes and ignore. In Mavericks you will have to partition the hard drive as Mac OS Extended (journaled) in Disk Utility, but the software will lead you like an ox by the nose through every step.

The beauty of Time Machine, is that you can access old files that you've changed in the past, and restore the old configuration of that file to the present date. Consider if you've changed your iPhoto library, or deleted an important email, or edited a movie, document or Garageband file. Also, if your hard drive should fail, and the probability of that is 100%, you can restore your entire system, docs, and network settings from that most recent Time Machine back-up.

How to Install the Adobe Flash Update

blog3-img1Lots of emails this week about the new Adobe Flash update and how to install it. They seem to update this plugin every 4 to 6 weeks, and it's essential to many online services like YouTube videos and other sites.

First, go directly to the Adobe.com website and navigate to Downloads.

Select the Adobe Flash update and click to download.

blog3-img2Now this is where most people get tripped up. After downloading the software, you still have to go through several steps to complete the install. Locate the update .dmg (disk mounted image) file in your downloads folder. Double click to launch the installer.

blog3-img3Choose the volume where you wish to install the software (your Macintosh HD) and follow the prompts the installer presents. It will require that you close any browsers, Safari, Firefox etc., before continuing.

You also have to agree to the software terms and conditions.

Once you've completed all of these steps, you should be good to go.

Apple Quick Tips Newsletter Volume VII

logoEmail Webpage Link Or Contents

As with anything Apple, there's always more than one way to skin a cat, or in this case, to email a Safari webpage to a friend. With the webpage open, go to your File menu and choose either the Mail Contents, or Mail Link To This Page. Advanced users might prefer to use the keyboard shortcuts. Alternately, you can customize your Safari Toolbar to show the email toolbar icon

Add Auto-Responder To Your Emails

You can add an auto-responder to your email, so that all incoming emails are automatically responded to with an instant and consistent message. This can be handy when on holiday, or for many other reasons. Go to your Preferences menu in your Mail program and navigate to the Rules panel. Choose 'Add Rule' and give your new rule a name. Select a parameter from the list (ie., sender in address book, subject includes, etc.) choose to reply to message and type in your chosen reply. Apply rule.

Delete Previous Recipients

Your email program will auto-fill the address of any recipient you may have emailed in the past. To edit or delete a previous recipient, navigate to the 'window' menu in your top menu bar, select 'previous recipients' and clean up any addresses you no longer wish to autofill.

mobileChange Email Signature on iPad / iPhone

Your emails don't have to go out with the same old default signature 'Sent from my iPhone'. To customize this line, go the settings icon on your IOS device home screen, choose 'mail, contacts and calendars' and navigate to the signatures tab. Swipe the arrow to the right and input the signature of your choice.

Add Find My iPhone

Every iPhone or iPad user should install and deploy this free app from the App store. Launch the app and sign in using your Apple ID. If you should ever misplace your iPhone, or have it stolen, you can login to iCloud from any other computer and find your device on a map. You can also play a sound on the iPhone to help you locate it, you can lock it and you can even erase it. Keep in mind that the power has to be on for this feature to work, a smarter thief may be able to power the device down to avoid detection.

Add Desktop Shortcut From Your Favourite Website And Change Icon

It's easy to add a shortcut to your favourite website to your desktop, simply open the website in Safari, grab the favicon to the left of the website address in the toolbar, and drag it to your desktop. To change the icon, copy an image you'd like to replace it with, click the icon in your desktop, choose Get Info, and paste the new image onto the old one.

blog4-img3Change Email Profile Picture

Your email goes out with your account profile picture in the top right corner. To change the picture displayed in your mail, go to your Address Book and find your User Card, indicated by the icon shown. Double click on the photo or image displayed, then click Choose to navigate to your iPhoto library and choose a new photo, or through your folders to find another image. You can also use the camera to take a photo using your iSight camera.

Up Your Media Quick Mac Tips Newsletter Volume VI

Manage iPhoto Duplicates with Duplicate Cleaner for iPhoto

This 3rd party application, available for free at your App store, actually works to locate and delete exact iPhoto duplicates. Free up a little disk space and trim down those annoying duplicates.

Create PDFs with the print function.

The easiest way to create a PDF (portable document format - the best format for sharing documents across multiple platforms), open your document in the application where you created it, (safari, pages, word, mail) click print, in the lower left corner of the dialogue box, open the 'pdf' drop-down box and choose 'save as PDF'.

Merge multi-page PDFs with Preview.

Now that you've created your PDF with either the print function, or with your scanner, you can merge multiple one page documents into single documents with multiple pages. Use preview to open both documents, choose the View menu and select 'show sidebar'. Drag the document's icon from the sidebar directly over top of the second document's icon and save the new multiple page document.

Email link from Safari

This one's easy. When browsing in Safari, you can mail the contents of your page by going to your file menu and choosing 'mail contents of this page.' or 'mail link to this page'.

Capitalize with Pages

You can transform your Pages documents to All Caps, Small Caps or none, using the Format > Font > Capitalization feature in the Format drop down menu.


  • Just a quick note to thank you again for coming by……this is working ever so much better. See you next month.
  • Hi Dan,

    I picked up quite a few useful things in class even without a laptop, and enjoyed the course. Do please let me know if you decide to offer an intermediate level follow up. Thanks,


  • Dan retrieved the iPhoto library I had deleted from my boyfriend's computer from a Time Machine backup I didn't even know we had. Thank you Dan, you saved my bacon!

  • Whoa .....fabulous ...wonderful ...fantastic ...beautiful......OMG ...thank you so much. I will look into the photos and see what I can do  ....touble is I don't actually know much about Marilyns life! I will make something up .....!!  wow Wonderful to what you have created...


  • Hi Dan:

    Thank you so much for helping out with my urgent problem the other day, so promptly – and from the arena! I really did appreciate it (and was so impressed!).


  • Hi Dan,

    It was great to meet you and thanks for your help, I love the dual screen and upgrades. I seem to have forgotten how to access the iphoto shots from the original iphoto and can only find the few new ones, can you re direct me.


  • Hi Dan, thanks for the January newsletter. I added my vote to you for "outstanding customer service".


  • Your expeditious replacement of my hard drive is very much appreciated. I had a little trouble restoring the system, but it's now working perfectly (and it seems to be a little faster).In my excitement I forgot to ask about warranty. What do I do?Thank You again

     Trevor W Jackson

  • Just got home. plugged the router and computer in and its working!!!  Go figuure. You must have done something right.


    Al Z

  • Hi Dan,What a difference!  My MacBook is working much faster now, and not getting hung up.  The newer OS and more memory really helped.Thank you.