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.

Bulletproof Email Solutions for iPhone and iPad

Now that you've got an iPhone and / or iPad, your email app is sure to be one of your most important tools for staying connected with friends and family while out on the road, or on the beach.

The major cellular providers on the Island, Rogers and Telus, have some obscure and hard-to-find email setup instructions for Apple devices. Shaw, the dominant internet provider, also fails to give a coherent solution for sending and receiving emails while outside your home’s wireless network area. Even if you manage to input the correct credentials, the results are often inconsistent and generally frustrating.

In my experience, your best and simplest bet for email on your mobile device is to use a Gmail account, and filter your existing email through that account. You can continue to send mail using your regular address no matter where you are, whether at home, in a coffee shop, or lounging poolside. Gmail is secure, free, accessible anywhere, and backed by Google, one of the largest, most respected companies in the world.

Navigate to http://gmail.com and click the sign up button, then follow the simple steps to create a Google account. Your Google user name will become your Gmail address, ie., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Adding your new Gmail address to your mobile device is dirt-simple. Just type the address into your mail settings along with your password, and the device will add the rest of the settings automatically.

Once you’ve created the address, you can navigate to the Gmail settings menu to allow you to send email from your existing Shaw, Telus, or any other address. That option appears in the ‘Accounts and Import’ panel of your Gmail settings. Add your existing address in the ‘Send Mail As’ option in the list. You’ll have to then confirm your account via an email that Google will send you.

On the same settings page, you can also choose to use Gmail to check the messages from your other account, thus allowing you to keep just one email account on your device. Because Gmail uses the IMAP protocol, this will help sync your messages across all your applicable devices, ie., if you delete an email from your phone, that message will also be deleted from your iMac, your iPhone, and your iPad.

There may come a day when local service providers catch up with the technology their customers are using, but until then, Gmail will do just nicely, thank you.

Your Startup Disk Is Almost Full - But not for long!

I've seen the same issue on 3 different MacBooks in the past week, a computer that basically ceases to function due to a completely filled hard drive. Your computer needs free space (aka headspace) to be able to 'think', room to place the data while it's busy computing. The original MacBooks shipped with hard drives as small as 60 GB and up to 120 or 160 GB, which at the time was a fairly decent size considering the proportions of the files it was using. iTunes libraries have expanded, cameras have increased their pixel resolutions and people are downloading movies at a rampant pace, leading to the problem of lack of storage.blog9-img1

Luckily there's no reason not to keep that computer on the info super-highway, and the fix is cheap and easy. There are two ways to mitigate this problem, either by upgrading the internal hard drive or by using an external drive to store your files. The former is my preferred method and a 500 GB internal drive can be yours in less than 24 hours and for a cost of around $225.00, complete with a restoration of your old data onto the new drive.

The latter is just as easy and can be as cheap as $100-$150 for a 500 GB or 1 TB drive. Make sure you format the drive using Disk Utility as Mac OS Extended, since your MacBook can communicate with the drive right out of the box, but you will likely have problems dragging larger files onto the drive if it's formatted as MS DOS FAT. Drag your movie files and other large folders directly onto the drive and erase them off your internal disk to free up headspace. If you have a substantial iTunes library you can use the external drive as the source of your music files, same goes with iPhoto and your iMovie media files. You can continue to use the external drive as your Time Machine backup (also highly recommended).

Times are tight and most people don't have the budget to buy a brand new computer every time their older machine fills up. This is quick, cheap and easy way to extend the life of your older machine.


  • 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,

    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,


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


  • 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...


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


  • 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.


  • 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!