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.

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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!

New Chrome Extension: Checker Plus for Gmail!

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Google Chrome is a very powerful and versatile browser. Likewise, Google’s Gmail service is dependable, user friendly and very customizable.  Programmer Jason Savard has brought these two tools together for something I can’t help but get excited about: his new Google Chrome extension CheckerPlusForGmail. This extension brings to Chrome features we didn’t know we could have with webmail.

The amount of options this extension gives you is unbeatable. From managing multiple gmail accounts, desktop notifications, even letting it read your emails to you while you work on something else!

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Example of the Rich Notification which appears when an new email is delivered.

 

The emails can even be read, achived, deleted, marked as spam, or even replied too with even opening another tab! Genius!

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I hope you find this as time saving as I did!

http://jasonsavard.com/checkerPlusForGmail

How to use PST files in Outlook for Mac 2011

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You finally took the plunge and switched from your Windows PC to a Mac! Goodbye, viruses and BSoDs! To make sure you can still work, you should probably install Office for Mac 2011. Using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook means that you can easily share files and emails with your co-workers just like you did before.

But what do you do with your PST files full of archived email from Outlook for Windows? You are in luck! One of the many new features that Outlook for Mac 2011 brought with it is the ability to read PST files. Follow these simple steps to load your PST files into Outlook for Mac 2011.

1. Launch Outlook and click on the File menu in the menu bar. Then click on Import…

 

2. Select Outlook Data File (.pst or .olm) and click the right arrow.

 

3. Select Outlook for Windows Data File (.pst) and then click the right arrow.

 

4. Navigate to the folder where your PST is saved and select it.

 

5. Outlook will import your PST. Depending on the size of your PST, you may want to go get yourself a nice refreshing glass of lemonade to enjoy while it finishes.

 

6. Outlook will let you know when it is finished processing. Click Done.

 

7. Now you will see a section in the navigation pane called On My Computer and under that you will find your imported messages.

That’s it! You are all ready to read your old email on your new Mac!

Are you thinking about making the switch from Windows to Mac? Give Everon a call if you have questions.

Apple’s redesigned iMac

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The new iMac - Image courtesy of apple.com

Apple recently announced a number of new products but one of the most exciting was the new iMac. Aside from the radical new design that dropped the optical drive and slimmed the body down to 5mm at the edges, there are some pretty exciting things going on under the hood.

Fusion Drive - Image courtesy of apple.comTo go along with up to 16GB of RAM, faster quad-core processors, beefed up graphics, and USB 3.0 ports, Apple has included Fusion Drive. No, this is not some new way to make Macs more expensive. When the iMac is configured with both a solid state drive (SSD) and a conventional hard drive, the operating system and the built-in apps will come loaded on the SSD and the hard drive will be ready for all of your documents, games, movies, and other data. As you use the machine, the operating system will automatically move your most frequently used programs and data to the SSD, allowing them open more quickly. Programs and files that you use less often will automatically be moved to the hard drive, making sure that you get to use all of the storage. The new iMac has SSD options up to 768GB and hard drive options up to 3TB, so there is plenty of room for all of your stuff.

All of these speedy improvements make a pretty compelling argument for the iMac as a powerful all-in-one workstation that will not have a huge footprint on your desk.

Check out the new iMacs here: http://www.apple.com/imac/

If you are thinking about upgrading your workstations or have questions about integrating Macs into your office, call Everon @ 888-244-1748.