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

Macintosh Consulting, Service, & Support

Hurricane Joaquin is Coming: This Would Be an Excellent Time to Purchase, Check, or Upgrade Your Backup Plan!

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Hurricane JOAQUIN could destroy your data and you backup. Prepare now!

Hurricane Joaquin will most likely hit the Mid-Atlantic area, and it will likely destroy some data in some way.

Here in the Mid-Atlantic area, MacMedics clients and friends should unplug their computers and remove and store backup hard drives in a dry place if you’re not going to be around when the rain and wind hits us.

Power surges via power lines and lightning hits via Comcast’s network seem to be the leading cause of damages to our client’s Macintosh computers.

Pro Tip: When disconnecting your computer system from power, unplug everything attached to your network, even the COAX cable from your cable or satellite box as that appears to be #1 surge source (based on past repairs). In regards to power surges, if your power DOES goes out (or starts to flicker), disconnect from power, as surges can also occur when the power comes back on as well!

This might also be a good time to enhance your back up plan by adding an off-site back up. MacMedics hosts Crashplan for our customers. If you’re interested in having us host your off-site backup, just call us at 1-866-MAC-MEDICS.

For our friends and clients in the Mid-Atlantic region, MacMedics recommends that you back up your hard drive via a “clone” use Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner, as that way you can “test” your back up to insure you have a good, bootable copy.

Take that back up put it in a Ziploc bag and have it ready to go with you, if you should need to evacuate. Also, hurricanes bring the rain with them, so plan ahead to protect your computer AND your back up. If you have to leave, put a garbage bag over your computer. If you have a light roof leak, that might be enough to save your computer.

The important thing is to PLAN AHEAD. Your back up is not complete if it’s not:

1. Automatic
2. Redundant
3. Off-Site

Here is the official Federal Emergency Check List for businesses:

• Conduct a room by room walk-through to determine what needs to be secured

• Obtain plastic to cover electronic equipment in the event of roof leakage

• Move electronic equipment away from windows

• Elevate electronic equipment off of the floor in the event of flooding

• Back-Up your systems and if possible store your back-ups off site

• Protect business records

• If you plan on being out of your business for an extended period, consider shutting down unnecessary electric breakers in the event of power surges

• If possible shut off gas valves leading into the business

• Consider alarm systems may not function during extended power outages.

• Remove valuables and cash to a safe location

• Move company vehicles to an area safe from flying debris and falling trees. Make arrangements with nearby parking garages to house vehicles if possible

• Remove expensive items from display racks, particularly near windows.

• Consider window breakage

• Understand your insurance policy and keep it in a safe location

• If you have a number of employees, establish a phone tree to distribute information

Here’s a few more tips from MacMedics:

1. If you do not have Ultra Call Forwarding, be sure to forward your business phone lines to your cell phone BEFORE you lose phone and/or power to your phone system.

2. Your alarm system should contain a small back up battery, but you can extend that greatly, by plugging your alarm system into a high capacity UPS system.

3. If your server is not set to Auto Restart after a power failure, it’s not to late to turn that on.

We have tons of posts on Time Machine and we even have a free White Paper on it If you’d like a copy, let us know. If you’re not using an automatic backup, your data is at risk!

P.S. If you are going to be where the hurricane is, then you DO need to go get a Ziploc bag right now, and put it with your iPhone. That way if you get caught outside or you’re checking out the surf at the beach, your iPhone is protected.

Written by Dana Stibolt

October 1st, 2015 at 7:04 pm

MacMedics Review: “Only place I will ever go for any Mac products.”

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Brought in a MacBook Pro and had the hard drive replaced and all data transferred. Two weeks later the track pad went crazy. I was on vacation and emailed Dana and he answered back immediately. When I returned home, I took the computer back and after consulting with Chris, decided to purchase a new MacBook Air. I was refunded the cost of the newly replaced hard drive and given a fair trade-in discount for my old computer. Great guys to work with and I recommend them highly for the personal service they provide. Only place I will ever go for any Mac products.

-Baltimore, MD

Written by Dana Stibolt

September 30th, 2015 at 7:31 pm

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Apple Safari Internet SCAM – Webpage Tells You To Call Phone Number

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Please spread the word about this. We hear about folks who get hooked by this scam and call the phone number everyday. They often pay the $100 – $300 for someone to log-on to your Mac to fix NOTHING!

If you get a message in Safari (like the one below) that says you have a virus, malware, or some other problem and to call a phone number, it’s a SCAM! It will appear to lock your browser so you can’t do anything else. Even if you force quit Safari it will keep coming back.

Here’s what to do: Force quit Safari (Command + Option + ESC). When you re-launch Safari hold the Shift key to prevent Safari from re-loading the scam webpage.

Then download Malwarebytes (formerly AdwareMedic) for free to clear up any lingering garbage in your Mac.

https://www.malwarebytes.org/mac-download/

P.S. Also, please spread the word that Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft will NOT call you to tell you you have a virus. These hackers target older folks to prey on, and they log-on to the computer to fix nothing and also might try to steal your identity.

Apple Safari Internet SCAM

Written by Dana Stibolt

September 5th, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Help Wanted – Bookkeeper for Apple Reseller/Service Provider (Lanham, MD)

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Help Wanted – Bookkeeper for Apple Reseller/Service Provider (Lanham, MD)

Compensation: Commensurate with experience
Employment type: full-time

Help Wanted – Bookkeeper

MacMedics, an award-winning Apple Reseller and Service Provider serving the Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia areas, is seeking a full-time Bookkeeper to manage its daily bookkeeping functions. This position will be based out of our office in Lanham, MD.

Duties will include but are not limited to:

• Customer Invoicing and Accounts Receivable
• Item Purchases and Accounts Payable
• Administration of Customer and Vendor Contracts
• Inventory Control
• Sales Tax Reporting

In addition to the above, the bookkeeper will also pitch in with co-workers in answering the phone, greeting customers, and handling other office functions.

The ideal candidate for this position will have the following attributes:

• At least 2 years experience in a bookkeeping position
• Coursework in Accounting at preferably the college level
• Familiarity with Apple products (Mac users welcomed!)
• Strong oral, written, and interpersonal skills
• Highly organized, detail-oriented, and self-motivated

MacMedics has been in business for more than 25 years and offers a fun, stable working environment. Benefits offered include:

• Competitive Salary
• Quarterly Bonus Plan
• MacBook Pro Computer and Apple iPhone (with plan)
• 100% company paid health/dental insurance w/ a company funded health care savings account
• 401k Savings Plan w/ Company Match
• And more!

If you are an experienced bookkeeper, love using Macs, and are looking for a great working environment at a successful company, we’d love to meet you!

See http://www.macmedics.com/jobs for more info!

MacMedics Review: MacMedics replaced the offending part in 15 (yes, fifteen) minutes!

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A MacMedics 5-Star Google review from last week:

“After the Apple Store diagnosed a frustrating, recurring issue with my MacBook, and estimated a 7-10 day repair time, I visited MacMedics. A quick diagnostic was performed, and MacMedics replaced the offending part in 15 (yes, fifteen) minutes while I waited. You can’t put a price on that kind of service, but the amount they charged was incredibly reasonable and worth it a million times over. Skip the long waits at the Genius Bar and come here!”

Written by Dana Stibolt

August 23rd, 2015 at 11:51 am

MacMedics 5-Star Review: MacMedics was perfect!

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MacMedics was perfect! I called them in the morning and told them about my Mac mayhem and they told me to come right over to the store. They fixed the problem in about 20 minutes and gave me all the information about was wrong with the computer and why. I understand that it may not always be that easy, but it was perfect timing. It was a million times more cost and time effective than any experience I have had at the Apple Store. They also were not condescending like the Apple Store can be. I will always come to MacMedics for all my Mac needs and definitely suggest you do the same. I also noticed that they have refurbished Mac products at great prices so definitely think about contacting them before buying your next iPad or MacBook. It was also great supporting a local business. Thanks MacMedics!

Leah Michaels
Baltimore, MD

MacMedics Reviews: Two Thumbs Up!

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Two thumbs up!

Two thumbs up! When my MacBookPro began making ominous grinding noises during my travels I feared the worst, and set out to buy a new one – a cost I could ill-afford… Apple doesn’t repair laptops more than 5 years old, so the store in Baltimore helpfully suggested that I consult with a good ‘repair shop’ before buying and gave me short list of reputable service providers to chose from. Two places in town could have helped but the turn around was more than a week – too late for my next flight. However, MacMedics assured me a 24 to 48 turn around, well worth the longish drive to Severna Park. Their service speaks for itself: – professional welcome and diagnostic on the spot, within a few minutes of my arrival I understood the problem (fan was shot); – Recommended replacement of fan, hard drive (to solid state for best performance). – They called the next morning (less than 24 hrs) for pick up; – They had done what they promised, ensured that nothing was lost from my old hard drive, completely updated the operating system, answered all my somewhat anxious questions and replaced – as a courtesy – rubber tabs under the laptop for which I knew Apple charged about $10 a pop. So, the laptop is working very well, the mechanics have been cleaned and renewed, the operating system has been updated, and I saved over $1,000. What’s not to like?

Baltimore, MD

Written by Dana Stibolt

July 26th, 2015 at 9:31 pm

MacMedics Macintosh Data Recovery Case Files: Army Ranger

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You might recall on Veterans Day we put out an offer for a free data recovery for a veteran who needed some help recovering photos of their service, important life events, and all of their data. Nobody stepped forward.

I am happy to report that we found an Army Ranger who was in need of our services after he dropped his 13” MacBook Pro.

The metal on the edge of the right palm rest (where the hard drive lives) was dented out from the impact of the fall where the force pushed the hard drive so hard it pushed out on the metal in an imprint of one of the edges of the hard drive.

We never really thought that we would be helping to the degree that we did. We were not able to recover 100% of the data due to the damage, but we got most of it. The number of photos of gravesites, combat memorials, and fallen comrades this Ranger had been staggering. It was our honor to bring this data back to him at no cost.

In the process of recovering his data, we decided that we would also fix his broken MacBook Pro screen as well.

If you see a veteran, let them know that you support them, and if you have the ability to pay for their meal, toll, haircut, or help them out with a repair bill why not do it? He told me they are not looking for a free ride, but as Americans there is no way we can ever re-pay the debt to our service men and women. So, if you can do something to acknowledge their service and sacrifice, you should.

MacMedics 5-Star Review: Amazing service!!

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Amazing service!! Had a Mac that I recently acquired for my children. Brought all three kids to the store and Chris K. took amazing care of us. Even helped me entertain the kids. A+++ service. Will be going back to see them again.

Doug R.
Pasadena, Maryland

Written by Dana Stibolt

July 14th, 2015 at 7:13 am

5-Star Review: MacMedics Of Severna Park Has Been Very Helpful, Instructive, And Considerate

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MacMedics of Severna Park has been very helpful, instructive, and considerate in every interaction with them concerning my MacBook Air . From the first moment of the first phone contact I spoke with a person who was not only a good listener but also alive and quick to set up my appointment! At their facility I received thoughtful attention, sensitive assessment of my situation, and pertinent advice including viable, clear options from MacMedics President Dana himself. My decisions about these options were respected, and my concerns addressed sensitively. He also rapidly answered a followup query a week later, providing extra advice about security, dealing with every segment of the problem patiently. I heartily recommend MacMedics of Severna Park to any Mac customer who wishes to be treated well by experts who also
demonstrate kindness and a sense of humor!

Jani W.
Bloomsburg, PA

Written by Dana Stibolt

April 30th, 2015 at 8:02 pm