Mac OS X Yosemite is available!

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YosemiteApple’s latest operating system, Mac OS X (10.10) Yosemite, is now available for free in the App Store. For anyone running Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or later, you can now download the free OS.

There are some restrictions, as Yosemite will only work on the following models:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

You also need 2 GBs of RAM to run the OS and 8 GBs of hard drive space available. If you fit these requirements, then go get the new OS! It was just unveiled this week, after the latest keynote speech had finished (they mentioned it would be available immediately after the speech ended, however it took a few hours to get the download fully online).

There are many small improvements to the OS – the most notable one that a lot of Apple enthusiasts are excited about is the ability to make phone calls with your iPhone using your Mac. Apple worked quite a bit on trying to make the integration between the two devices seamless and more integrated. They also finally included AirDrop, between the iOS and the OS X systems, allowing you to easily share files now between your phone or tablet and your Mac.

The Notification Center has also received a hefty update, making it infinitely more useful. For anyone who enjoys staying connected to the outside world, you now have the ability to share your notifications on the various social media sites out there.

You can further review all of the really interesting upgrades, and download your copy of the new Mac OSx, Yosemite here.

 

Mac Tips for Techs: Carbon Copy Cloner

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apple logoAs I’ve been getting into my blog-writing career here with Everon, I have been writing a lot of posts about Macs. My love of Macs started before I got into IT. Now that I am in IT I realize that, although I know a lot about the Windows OS, I am not as familiar with Macs, despite owning a few. In all reality, anything you do with a PC can be done on a Mac. (And there are many really cool tools that help you achieve your goals.)

In previous blogs, I have discussed a great cleanup tool called Onyx. I also discussed using the Network Utility tool for a Mac. In my latest blog, I want to discuss a tool that, before we were aware of the tool, we had tried for DAYS to get this working. This tool took our days of work and finished the job in 30 minutes. (I know: anyone who is more Mac-savvy probably could get the job done quicker, but for a Windows engineer, this was a tough task). The tool is called Carbon Copy Cloner.

Carbon Copy Cloner effectively and easily clones a drive in its entirety, so you can put a new drive in and change out hard drives. This is extremely important for many reasons. First off, if your drive is showing SMART errors, and you know the drive might fail soon (which you can find out by using Onyx), you will want to get a new drive in there ASAP. Also, in our case, the client wanted to go from a 240 GB drive to 1 TB in order to increase his disk space. I would also recommend using this if you want to use a solid state drive, as that is becoming the go-to for fast, reliable hard drives.

You can purchase a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner here: https://bombich.com/. However, you can also demo a 30-day trial, which works great for cloning one drive onto another. When starting up CCC, you simply choose your source drive and destination drive (also really great for complete backups), and allow it to copy.

carbon-copy-cloner-image-copy-your-hard-drive_2Once done, if you were copying your bootable drive, you could then put the new drive in and boot off of it.  If you are using it for backup, you could then mount the image and grab whatever you need. It is literally a one-for-one copy of your drive.

This product has a ton of other features, but I am not going to get into the details about those, as you can go to the site and review yourself. However this is my go-to every single time now for closing and replacing hard drives for a Mac. I would strongly urge you to review this product as well.

Up next for my Mac Tips for Techs: NetSpot. Your go-to tool for reviewing wireless networks.

 

5 Things You Need to Know About the BashBug

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1. Don’t Panic.

As our favorite galactic traveler’s companion reminds us (ref. Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy), It’s important to keep problems in perspective. The Heartbleed Bug incited widespread panic for what turned out to be limited reasons. This new security bug is reported to be even bigger than Heartbleed, but it, too, has a relatively limited reach. It only affects Unix-based systems that use Bash. The best way to address it is to keep updated on the patches which are sent out. Some routers are also affected, and so updates will be pushed out to handle those as well.

2. What is the BashBug?

Bash is one of the central programs to the modern Unix operating system. It’s used to issue commands to the kernel of the OS. It is a little like the Windows command line. Mac’s desktop operating systems are built on Unix, and that’s why people are concerned. The BashBug is an exploitable nuance of the Bash shell that someone could use to observe and possibly modify an unknowing computer’s information. Basically, it’s like leaving your car window down.

3. I have an iPhone, should I be worried?

No. The iOS is a different operating system from the Desktop OS of MAC, known as OS X.

4. What if someone w/ a Mac emails me? Will my company be at risk? Can I “catch” the Bug this way?

No. The vulnerability is specific to Unix-based OSes. It can’t be transferred between operating systems. Windows has a fundamentally different underlying program, and it does not include Bash, which is the host for this bug.

5. What’s this thing about routers? 

Some routers run on a variation of Linux. Manufacturers will also be pushing out updates to resolve this. Please contact your system administrator (which might be us) to resolve it if you have concerns. We can be reached at 888-244-1748.

BashBug

Mac Tips for Techs: Onyx for Mac — your #1 cleaning tool

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OnyXOnyx for the Mac. If you are not a Mac Genius, but you know a bit about IT, you may have wondered how to clean a Mac like you can a PC. This is the tool that can take you where you need to be!

Onyx has been likened to Piriform’s C-Cleaner tool, however, this tool has many more functions than the Piriform tool you are used to using on a PC. First off, you can get the Onyx download from here. (Take note of your OS, as you must download and install the Onyx version that works with your OS. You can also use that link to get some older versions of Onyx for the older Mac OSes as well.)

When you launch Onyx for the first time, you are immediately requested to check the SMART status of the hard disk installed in your Mac. This is highly recommended and only takes around 30 seconds, so let that scan. It will let you know if there is anything it finds that needs to be resolved. From there you can use the Disk Utility application to resolve SMART errors on the disk. Regardless of whether you have SMART errors, you can still proceed to work within Onyx for other items.

The latest version of Onyx has many tabs: Verifying, Maintenance, Cleaning, Utilities, Automation, Parameters, Info, and Log. Onyx is well known for its Cleaning tab, in which you can choose to clean your System cache, User cache, Internet cache and cookies, Fonts cache, Logs, Mics items, and Trash. (In the trash tab, you also have a chance for securely deleting the trash, which means the files deleted are securely overwritten with jumbled data.)

In addition to the Cleaning tab, you can also do so much with the other tabs:

The Maintenance tab allows you to repair permissions, build and run scripts and rebuild aspects of the OS.

The Verifying tab runs the same SMART and structure checks of the hard disks and partitions that run on start-up of Onyx, so if you need to re-run those commands, you can run them from there.

The Utilities tab has many sub-tabs with a wealth of functions. I would suggest you go through this and see for yourself what you can do, as there are too many to name here. You will need to understand IT quite a bit more than normal, however, as some of the commands in the Utilities tab can be a bit daunting.

The Automation tab allow you to do several of the Onyx options all in one. It is very helpful if you want to set up a bunch of tasks to run off of one push of the button.

The Parameters tab is one of my favorites. This tab is really good for customizing your Mac, as you can set up animated desktop backgrounds, customize Finder and Dock options, and even edit options for some of Apple’s most-used applications (Safari, iTunes, Quicktime). You also have the ability to edit and display messages on login, and customize the spotlight, mission control, and others.

The last two tabs are self-explanatory: Info and Log. Both display exactly what you expect them to. The Info tab shows model information, processor, RAM, disk info, OS, profile, antivirus protection information, and whole host of other info. Basically, anything and everything you might be looking for to learn about the Mac will be stored in here. The Log tab shows the logs that are written based on the functions of Onyx, in case you need to review why a function did or did not work.

This is an extremely powerful tool that should be a part of any Mac IT engineer’s repertoire. It is even a great tool for anyone with basic information on Macs, as it can help keep your mac clean and healthy for years to come.

If you would like to review Onyx on a Mac, feel free to call in to our Mac engineers at Everon IT: 888-244-1748.

 

Mac Tips for Techs: Troubleshooting network issues on a Mac

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If you are used to Windows and have to troubleshoot networking on Mac, it’s a bit different of a process. The commands you are used to running in the cmd prompt on Windows don’t apply to a Mac, since the Mac uses a Linux-based OS. You can fudge your way through some basic commands. However, what if you need to do quick networking, and you don’t have the ability to Google-search your commands? Mac actually has a really nice built-in tool called Network Utility that can help when you’re trying to figure out why your Mac cannot connect online.

Network Utility can be found on your Mac by searching with the spotlight. In the upper right hand corner of your desktop, you can click on the magnifying glass and type: Network Utility. This will launch a window that gives you a multitude of commands to be run on the various network adapters available to you.

Jeff article 9-8-2014

If you need to see whether your adapter is getting an IP address from the DHCP server, simply check the Info tab. You can choose the adapter you need to check, and when it pulls up, you get the MAC address (called “hardware address” on a Mac), the IP address, link speed, status, vendor and model. On the right you also have packet information.

Your next tab is Netstat. This allows you 4 options:

  1. Display routing table information
  2. Display comprehensive network statistics for each protocol
  3. Display multicast information
  4. Display the state of all current socket connections

Your next tab is the Ping. This allows you to either enter an IP address or a hostname for pinging. It will also allow a constant ping, if necessary.

Your next tab is the nsLookup tab. This allows lookups on the IP address or hostname, depending on what you need.

Your next tab, like nsLookup, is Traceroute. It will allow both IP address or hostname, depending on your needs.

The next tab is something you normally don’t have built into PCs, but can be very useful, is the Whois search. You have many options for whois servers to use, or you can enter your own. This information is obtained when connected to the Internet, so you can use that feature here instead of going to one of the Whois servers.

The next tab is the Finger tab. This tab is not very well known, and it is a very early form of status updates, according to Apple. You probably will not find this tab very useful, however it is still built into Macs for use, if necessary.

The last tab is the Port Scan tab. This is a great tool if you are an engineer wanting to know what ports are open on a network. You can choose to only test ports between a certain amount, or you can test an entire network. The scan takes a bit to bring back the open ports, however, it can be very useful when working on a firewall.

Of course, all of these commands can be done through the terminal (Mac’s equivalent of the command prompt). However, if you are troubleshooting the reason that a Mac cannot connect to the Internet, and you are not a Mac Genius, this is the best tool for you.

If you need help with your Mac, we do have Mac engineers on staff here at Everon IT to help with your Mac needs. Call us at 888-244-1748, we’ll be glad to help!