MacMedics Macintosh Service, Consulting, & Sales For Baltimore, Washington DC, & Philadelphia Blog

Macintosh Consulting, Service, & Support

Introducing The Promise Pegasus2: The World’s First And Fastest Thunderbolt 2 Hardware RAID Storage Solution

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Introducing the Promise Pegasus2: The world’s first and fastest Thunderbolt™ 2 hardware RAID storage solution.

The absolute fastest.

The Pegasus2 is the fastest Thunderbolt 2 enabled hardware RAID storage available in the market. Showcasing Intel’s revolutionary Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, the Pegasus2 boasts a staggering speed of 20Gbps – more than enough to effortlessly handle and accelerate any 3D or 4K (Ultra-HD) workow environment.

Pegasus2 + Mac Pro.

Synergize the ultimate innovation of the new Mac Pro and Thunderbolt 2 with the capacity and performance of the industry’s fastest storage solution, Pegasus2. Multiply the Mac Pro’s ash storage capacity by daisy-chaining multiple Pegasus2 systems to achieve massive amounts of additional storage space.

Master the 4K environment.

Experience the ability to seamlessly edit and stream 4K (Ultra HD) content, while backing up those files at the very same time. Boasting the world’s fastest connectivity speed at 20Gbps, Thunderbolt 2 doubles the speed of the previous generation and perfectly supports bandwidth-hogging 4K workflow environments allowing you to never have to experience downtime with your digital creations.

Never stop creating.

Being away from the studio for a shoot doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the RAID protection and speeds of your SAN storage. Pegasus2 pairs together Thunderbolt 2 connectivity and enterprise-level hardware RAID protection in a compact, portable package that you can take with you almost anywhere – perfect for all of you photographers, filmmakers, graphic designers, and other multimedia professionals.

Call your local MacMedics office to place your order for a new Pegasus 2, new Mac Pro or both!

Software Publisher ZeoBIT, Maker of MacKeeper Faces Class Action Lawsuit

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As you may know, we’re NOT fans of MacKeeper here at MacMedics. If you’ve installed it, we recommend you remove it. See our blog post for info on how to do that: http://goo.gl/LUwMsI

Pennsylvania woman sues company that promises computer security: http://goo.gl/uBL9pQ

From the article:

Holly Yencha, identified in the lawsuit only as a Pennsylvania resident, bought MacKeeper from ZeoBIT LLC for $39.95 after finding ads for it online, according to the complaint. She seeks to represent a class including all buyers of MacKeeper nationally, estimating that ZeoBIT’s liability could exceed $5 million.

According to the complaint, the free starter version of MacKeeper identifies harmless programs as “critical” problems. The complaint claims that “under MacKeeper’s reporting algorithm, even brand new computers are in ‘critical’ condition and require repair by purchasing the full version.”

The program, according to the complaint, “provides limited antivirus and firewall protection,” and deletes some temporary files, but does not meet its other promises.

One of our engineers installed MacKeeper on his Mac, and while some of what MacKeeper found in terms of clearing cache files, log files, and unneeded items like language files was technically true, it did report that his MacBook Pro was in pretty bad shape. That’s not the case, since he’s using a MacBook Pro Retina that he has been using for only about 2 weeks. It labeled his unit: Cleaning=Dirty Security=Dangerous Performance=Slow. You can see the screen shots below for more of what it found. If he wanted MacKeeper to “fix” the issues, he would have to buy the full version.

Written by Dana Stibolt

May 7th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

MacMedics Is the Only Independent Apple Authorized Service Provider in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

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MacMedics is the ONLY independent Apple Authorized Service Provider in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. MacMedics’ office in Millersville, MD is close to the Annapolis and Columbia Apple Stores. (Our other office in the area is the MacMedics office in Lanham, MD, which is a good option for those that live or work closer to Washington DC.) So if you’ve got a tough Macintosh repair problem that the Apple Store could not solve, we are the closest place to visit for a second opinion.

MacMedics offers Macintosh help, training, Apple Authorized Service, and Apple Authorized Sales assistance without the hassle of:

A. getting to the mall.

B. finding a parking spot.

C. lugging your iMac or older Mac Pro desktop and walking it all the way through the mall.

D. trying to first get an appointment with an Apple Genius, and then not getting enough time to really pick their brains for expert Macintosh advice.

Plus as an added bonus, most MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air repairs are performed locally right here in our shop. The Apple Store will usually send your unit away for Apple Depot Service.

It’s also important to know that the Apple Store does not perform data recovery. If you think your data is at risk, having anyone look at it further or trying to copy the data in any way is usually a bad idea. As hard drives fail, they generate heat, and as they generate heat they fail further. We’ll remove the drive from your computer and put it right on our data recovery equipment to try and rescue your data. Our fee for this type of recovery is only $399 with a free 500 GB USB hard drive. Read more about our process and levels of pricing here.

Our expert Apple Certified employees stand ready to help at anytime. We are super proud to be an award-winning Apple Authorized Service Provider, an Apple Authorized Value Added Reseller, an Apple Authorized Government Reseller, and Certified Members of the Apple Consultants Network.

We’re a great alternative to either buying a new Mac or bringing a sick Mac computer to the mall. MacMedics is also a repeat winner of Apple’s “Commitment To Excellence Award”. In fact, we’re the only Apple Authorized Service Provider in Anne Arundel or Prince Georges counties to win this award, according to Apple. This award recognizes us for several things, but most importantly for accuracy and speed of Macintosh repairs. There’s a reason that MacMedics is the most frequently referred service firm for tough Mac service cases, like LCD replacements, liquid damage, vintage or obsolete Mac equipment, and Macintosh data recovery. With well over 65,000 in-lab and on-site service cases and our staff’s combined Mac experience of over 200 years, MacMedics IS the place to bring your sick Mac!

We also perform Hard Drive Upgrades (under warranty or not) and expert Macintosh Data Recovery, two things you simply can’t get at ANY Apple Store. Plus, if you do need a new hard drive, we can upgrade the size, speed, and you get a 1-year warranty from MacMedics (and usually there is at least another 1-year of warranty from the manufacturer), compared to like-for-like hard drive swap at the Apple Store, plus there you only get a 90-day warranty.

Come visit either of our two fully-staffed and stocked Macintosh Service & Sales locations in Lanham, MD (1 Mile from I-495/I-95 just inside the Beltway of off Rt 50 and Martin Luther King Hwy.) or in Millersville, MD (near BWI Airport 1/10 of a mile from I-97).

For folks that live in Anne Arundel County or more specifically, Annapolis, Davidsonville, or Bowie and work in the Baltimore metro area, MacMedics in Millersville, Maryland IS the most convenient option for Apple sales and service. We stock all of the most common Apple, computers, iPads, iPods, and Apple accessories, like MacBook & MacBook Pro batteries, PowerBook, iBook, and MagSafe power adapters, back up hard drives, and FireWire & USB cables.

Also, in comparison to the Apple Store, our Apple Warranty and AppleCare service is the fastest. Most Apple warranty repairs are generally complete within 24-hours. With our Millersville and Lanham office being 1 minute from RT 50 or I-97, it’s super easy to get to us and drop off your repairs quickly. Pull up right at our office door and you can be inside in 10 steps.

Got a problem and want to talk about it? Just pick up the phone and call your nearest MacMedics office. It’s unlikely that you can get anyone at the Apple Store on the phone, and most other places just send you to voicemail. You will only get voicemail here if every single phone line we have is tied up (and that does happen).

MacMedics has been in business and fixing Macs all over town since before the Apple Store or anyone else. We are very proud to be approaching 25-years of service to the Central Maryland, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Northern Virginia area!

Come Play Some Mini Golf & Network with Other Creative Professionals at the Production Club of Baltimore’s Event on May 22nd

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MacMedics is the event sponsor of the Production Club of Baltimore’s Mini Golf event on May 22 at the Arundel Golf Park near BWI Airport. Come play some mini golf with Production Club of Baltimore and American Advertising Federation of Baltimore members and network with other creative professionals!

MacMedics is giving away an iPad mini as a door prize, so bring your business card to enter.

Buy tickets here: http://pcbgolf.eventbrite.com/

MacMedics supports Apple Macintosh Creative Professionals in Baltimore & Washington DC

Apple’s MacBook Air lineup updated with faster Haswell processors, now starting at $899

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Apple released refreshed MacBook Air models overnight with new faster Haswell processors and new lower prices. The MacBook Air 11″ now starts at $899 and the the MacBook Air 13″ starts at just $999!

The 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models are now faster than their predecessors and $100 less.

Faster Speeds

Both the 11- and 13-inch models now sport a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. The previous models had a 1.3GHz processor. We have both the 128GB and 256GB MacBook Air (Previous model) available at deep discounts at both MacMedics offices in Baltimore and Washington DC!

Longer Battery Life

You can now expect a better battery life of up to 12 hours of on the new and improved 13-inch MacBook Air.

MacMedics is an Apple Authorized Value Added Reseller and an Apple Authorized Government Reseller serving Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC as well as the entire Mid-Atlantic Region.

Written by Dana Stibolt

April 29th, 2014 at 7:38 am

MacMedics Rescues Data From A Power Computing PowerCurve 601/120 Mac Clone From 1995

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We see this from time to time: a customer has an old computer that has been stored in an attic or garage for 20 years or so, and they decide that they want the data from it before they dispose of it.

In this case, the computer in question is a Power Computing PowerCurve 601/120 Mac clone that was introduced in 1995. It has a 1GB Seagate Medalist SCSI hard drive.

We were able to copy the data that the client wanted to a USB thumb drive and return it to them within 24 hours. The old computer will be recycled by MacMedics.

Do you have a tough Macintosh data recovery project that you need help with? Our prices start at $399 and include a free 500 GB USB hard drive for your recovered data. See more at: http://macmedics.com/recovery.htm

Written by Dana Stibolt

April 23rd, 2014 at 10:01 am

What is Heartbleed?

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This MacMedics Blog post was written by Brent Amersbach a MacMedics Engineer from our Baltimore office:

Update 4-15-14: Worried about Heartbleed? Here’s a master list of what passwords need changing and what is safe. Click here for the current list.

Update 4-11-14: Need help figuring out how Heartbleed works? Check out this easy to understand cartoon that explains it quite well. http://xkcd.com/1354/

There’s a lot of fuss about the Heartbleed vulnerability today. People are freaking out, and I think it’s important we understand what exactly it is and what it means.

Background: The IP protocol uses two types of transport protocols to move data: TCP and UDP. TCP provides a persistent connection that maintains state, and assures all packets ultimately reach their destination (retransmitting if necessary). UDP just fires packets off and hopes they get where they need to go. It’s used for quick exchanges (like a DNS lookup), or for realtime communications where a retransmitted late packet is useless (like VOIP or streaming video). When you layer SSL/TLS security on top, TCP has a clear way to terminate the connection via a RST (reset) or FIN (finish) packet. UDP does not, and so it was recognized that if we wanted to secure UDP we needed a way to tell the endpoints when it was OK to deallocate resources and “close” the connection. This was accomplished through the implementation of a “heartbeat” in the UDP version of TLS (DTLS).

The Exploit: OpenSSL is a library used to add SSL/TLS support to web servers and other Internet services. As of versions 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 beta, there is a flaw that can cause the server to transmit a random 64k chunk of its memory as part of the heartbeat. This can be used to try and find private keys, passwords, or other private info currently stored in RAM. This vulnerability was introduced two years ago when the heartbeat was added to OpenSSL, and has been out there this whole time. It is not a flaw in SSL/TLS itself, nor does it affect any other SSL/TLS implementation (such as Microsoft IIS). Older versions of OpenSSL are also not vulnerable. The flaw is fixed in OpenSSL 1.0.1g

What it can do: The most worrying thing that could leak is the private key for the server’s SSL/TLS certificate. This certificate is used by your browser to verify the website’s identity. An attacker who obtained the certificate’s private key would be able to clone the certificate and use it to impersonate that site in a later man in the middle or phishing attack. It’s also possible that user passwords could be captured should they currently be in memory and the attacker happens to get that particular 64k chunk. Harvesting passwords would be a much more time consuming process, and the attacker would have to catch your password while you’re in the process of logging in.

What you need to do: Most likely, end users do not need to do anything. You may want to avoid using vulnerable websites for the next couple days until it settles down, but since it’s difficult to know what sites are affected, that essentially means not using the Internet. That isn’t really practical for most of us. The responsibility for this is on any website administrator using OpenSSL to get themselves updated. In order for you to be affected by a compromised certificate, you would need to be the victim of somebody interfering with your Internet connection. This would be either by inserting themselves between you and the Internet, or by changing the DNS servers your computer uses to find websites on the Internet. Standard good practices apply. Do no click links in email even if they seem to be coming from valid senders, do not install software you did not specifically go looking for (as in from ads and popups), and be wary of using secure websites when you’re on public WiFi hotspots. Generally the targets of these attacks will be sites an attacker would want to impersonate (like banks or major online retailers). Small private web and email servers are less likely to be a target, but if you are administering such a server it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep an eye on server logs for any suspicious activity in case one of your users’ password was captured.

Major websites are already in the process of patching the problem (if they had it to begin with), and have been since Monday. While the exploit is bad, it is not something it does the average Internet user much good to be concerned about. Administrators of smaller web and email servers should be moderately concerned, but are likely not the target. Administrators of major websites whose certificates and user passwords are desirable to hackers know who they are and are already fixing the problem.

References:

Security Now episode 450 (Discussion of Heartbleed starts at about 44:15): http://twit.tv/show/security-now/450

Ars Technica: http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/04/critical-crypto-bug-in-openssl-opens-two-thirds-of-the-web-to-eavesdropping/

Written by Dana Stibolt

April 9th, 2014 at 4:08 pm

A New/Old MacMedics Client Has This To Say: First of all, I have three things to say: “use them”, “use them”, “use them”.

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It’s no secret that MacMedics can handle pretty much anything our clients can come up with (even when other Apple service or consulting firms can’t).

Here’s a recent MacMedics review a customer left for us. He had been to see us 20 years ago, and when he ran into a tough problem he remembered us and came back. He also got to witness our data recovery skills and customer service for another client who happened to visit MacMedics in Millersville, Maryland at the same time he did.

“My MacBook from 2009 stopped working with Quicken. I went to an online Quicken specialist, supposedly, and after 5 hours of working on my computer, they couldn’t fix the issue. I remember a company that I used 20 years ago, and called to see if they were still around – they were. When I brought my computer to them, after a day of working on my computer, like they said, they had the problem fixed!

First of all, I have three things to say: “use them”, “use them”, “use them”.

Initially I spoke with their technician, Chris over the phone, who encouraged me to use their in-house lab services, costing $199. After having my computer fixed, I bought additional memory, by my request for $85. One thing that was reassuring was Chris’s people skills. He assured me that they will find a solution and that they could take care of the problem. During the repair process, Chris stayed in touch and told me his game plan, this wasn’t a simple fix; especially since another company wasn’t successful in resolving my problem.

Side note: After having my problem fixed – A college kid came in disheartened, having her hard drive quit. Watching Chris at work, reassuring by giving her a plan of action and a worst case scenario – you could see the change of this client’s demeanor, to that of calm in a matter of seconds. I have no doubt that he had another happy client.

Thanks again!!”

What can we do for you?

If you have a tough Macintosh service or repair problem, come visit us and let us put you at ease.

If you can’t get in touch with your Apple Consultant, Apple Reseller, or Apple Service Provider, then you need to call MacMedics, where we jump right in to solve your problems with SWAT Team like precision.

Call any of our local MacMedics offices for in-lab or on-site help anytime!

MacMedics Went Above And Beyond For This Apple Service Customer

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This reviewer had the following to say about our famous MacMedics In-Lab service after visiting us on Millersville on March 1, 2014:

After having many problems with my Mac, I went to the Apple store twice and spent over 5 hours in store (and they were still unable to fix my Mac even though it was still under warranty). After leaving the Apple store and still having a computer that didn’t work, I found the MacMedics store information and brought in my computer.

Not only was every single employee beyond professional, understanding, and polite, they were also were able to fix my computer in less then 2 days!

I have nothing but great things to say about MacMedics and would highly recommend this store to anyone who has an Apple product related issue!

If you have a tough Macintosh service issue, come visit us in either our Millersville or Lanham office. No appointments are ever required. If you need help carrying your Mac in, just call us from your car, and we’ll run out to carry it in for you.

MacMedics can fix any Mac even if it’s on Apple’s “Vintage” or “Obsolete” list. we also offer advanced data recovery and liquid spill repairs.

Written by Dana Stibolt

March 30th, 2014 at 7:56 pm

MACMEDICS IS THE PLATINUM SPONSOR OF THE 20TH ANNUAL BALTIMORE PRODUCTION & PAPER SHOW

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Baltimore’s greatest design production and paper show is turning 20 …
but it’s your night to shine.

On March 27th, join the creative community and discover the latest product lines, techniques and services from the area’s best vendors that will help you dazzle your clients and their audiences.

We’ll also unveil the new PCB brand, and a DJ will spin tunes from the last 20 years while you enjoy great food, an open bar and lots of mixing and mingling—all for $25.

We invite you to help us celebrate our platinum anniversary in real style: get out your tuxedo T-shirt and go formal. It’s an evening of platinum opportunities you won’t want to miss.

Thursday, March 27, 2014
5:30 – 8:30 PM
Martin’s West
6817 Dogwood Road
Woodlawn, MD 21244

PCB Members FREE
Non-Members $25
(Cash or Check at Door)
Light Fair, Beer, Wine, Soda
Free Parking

Register here! http://productionclubofbaltimore.org/ai1ec_event/20th-annual-production-paper-show/

Written by Dana Stibolt

March 13th, 2014 at 2:19 pm