Make Good Use of Your Sidebar

Use this space for anything from simple blocks of text to powerful widgets, like our Twitter and Flickr widgets. Learn more.

To access Website Management, hit the 'esc' key or use this Login link.

Wednesday
Mar232016

My one year Fitbit anniversary!

Last March I decided to pick up a Fitbit Surge to help me track my walking and running activity.  Mac Outpost had already been carrying Fitbit products for about a year, so it seemed like a good idea to take the plunge!

I was initially unsure how easily I would be able to integrate a fitness tracker into my daily routine.  It took me about 2 weeks to get used to wearing a “watch” again, but now I hardly notice it on my wrist!  Overall, my first impression of my Fitbit was that the hardware and software integrated perfectly with my iPhone right from the beginning!  After my quick setup it just “worked”! 

The primary activities I track are running and walking.  With my surge, I’m able to track my exercise with a high level of detail.  My kilometers, steps, calories burned, pace and heart rate are all captured automatically and uploaded to my iPhone (which does NOT need to be present during my activity).  All of those stats are impressive on their own, but the biggest WOW factor for me is the GPS Mapping feature that the Fitbit Surge includes.  After my walk or run I’m able to pull up a map of my activity complete with loads of interesting stats, lap times, distances, etc. 

I was recently in New York City for March break — I’ve included a screenshot of my run in Central Park! 

Over the past year I’ve also been able to monitor details like my heart rate changes (lowering over time fortunately) and average pace (also improving)!  These sorts of long term stats are easy to monitor using the included iPhone-based software.  The Surge also allows me to track my sleeping habits, which could use improvement.

It may be a cliche, but I would say that the Fitbit Surge has changed my life — for the better!  I’m in better physical shape, and I’m getting very useful information about my general health when I’d only be guessing about it before.  If you are considering adopting a walking or running exercise routine I’d enthusiastically recommend the Fitbit Surge!

Wednesday
Mar092016

Backup Woes: An owner’s confession!


We’re very lucky at Mac Outpost because we have so many loyal clients that have dealt with us since the beginning. 23 years now! So many of you know me well from my days on the sales floor or the times I came to your place to fix a problem! But for many newer clients, you’ve never met me because I am stuck behind a desk now! I’m John and along with Peter, I am one of the owners here at Mac Outpost / Outpost2.

Today I am reaching out to share with you my story of data BACKUP (or lack thereof!).

I have 2 Macs that I use personally: an iMac 27” and a MacBook Air 13”. The iMac is my main repository for family photos and all other kinds of important stuff. And I back that up regularly! But my MacBook Air is used daily too and yet I have not been backing that up nearly as much. I figured all my important data was on the iMac. FIRST MISTAKE! All my devices should be backed up. Bad owner!

SECOND MISTAKE: A few weeks ago, the excellent proactive monitoring software MAC OUTPOST SENTINEL which is installed on my MacBook Air sent an alert to Peter about a status failure on my main storage drive. Thank goodness I had Sentinel installed, right?! If I had acted immediately, that would be true! But I was complacent. First, I wasn’t seeing any problem, so why was Peter bothering me?!

I waited 3 days before doing anything, and no, I did not even backup the MacBook Air during those 3 days! YIKES! Then the errors started cropping up. I brought my MacBook Air to the store on Wharncliffe Rd. South and asked Gaven to perform his magic. He managed to save SOME of my data but not all. I discovered too late that I had some old family videos on my MacBook Air that were not backed up. Before Gaven could retrieve any more data, the drive failed entirely and needed to be replaced.

TWO LESSONS: First, don’t feel embarrassed if you don’t have a solid backup solution in place! Second, DON”T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! Get a backup solution in place for ALL your devices: iPads, iPhones, laptops, iMacs, etc. Don’t lose your important family memories like I did. Our staff know how to help so don’t wait til an expensive data recovery is your only option.

Thanks again for all your business over the years and I hope to see you at either of our stores soon!

John Hauffe


Thursday
Mar032016

One on One Training


When it comes to our Apple devices, everyone has different problems or questions. This is the reason that we offer group lessons as well as one on one training.
 
Personalized instruction gives you the benefit of covering a wider variety of topics, more in depth detail, as well as moving at YOUR pace.
 
Hi, I’m Virginia Ritchie and wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. I do the majority of the one on one training at Mac Outpost, and am delighted to provide you with the personalized instruction that many prefer over a class or workshop. Not only can we cover hundreds of topics on Macs and iOS devices together, but we can also tap into my background of audio production to learn GarageBand or Logic.
 
To schedule an appointment or start a conversation please contact me at virginiar@outpost2.ca
 
Some of my most recent testimonials:
 
Joy L:  Virginia is easy to talk to and listens to the problem you are having, even if you are not tech savvy and have trouble explaining the problem.  She was most patient with me and made me feel at ease.  Her sense of humour is a bonus.

Nancy B:  ... thanks for your diligence and sense of humour… I was really discouraged...

Randy D:  Thanks, Mac Outpost! Virginia was friendly and very helpful and just a delight to deal with.

Thursday
Feb042016

Malware Alert - What can/should you do to keep safe online?!



Malware Alert - What can/should you do to keep safe online?!

This blog will discuss some tips and tricks that you can do to help prevent any intrusion on YOUR Apple products. We will also discuss what can be done if you feel you may already be a victim of malware.

Malware: It’s everywhere these days and becoming harder to track, but what is it?

Put simply Malware is defined as software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems. It is malicious code that may be intended to track your online usage or glean your personal information.

Malware can take many forms.

Some Malware is created for profit through forced advertising (online adware), while other forms of malware are designed to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card info, even personal photos or work files. Malware can also spread email spam/scam software as an attempt to extort money from the more vulnerable computer users. Various factors can make computers more vulnerable to malware attacks. Sometimes Malware can even be designed to mimic anti virus software, tricking the computer user into installing the Malware directly into their computer thinking it will help to “Clean My Mac.” With our online digital lifestyles these days Malware is something to be taken very seriously.

So what should you do to keep yourself safe or worse what can be done if you suspect you may already have Malware?

Rest Assured: The Mac Outpost Team is here to help!

To Detect and Protect: Mac Outpost Sentinel.
Wouldn't it be great if your computer could let us know if a problem was developing on your Mac? Now it can with Sentinel. Our simple, non-invasive software proactively reports errors to our trained Apple Certified technicians quickly (in many cases before you even realize something is going wrong)! We have a simple and non intrusive program that we offer to do just that: keep you safe and inform our team of trained Apple professionals of any threats to your computer and its files.

Sentinel Main Features:
• DETECTS AND ALERTS US ABOUT MALWARE!
• Hard drive operational status / capacity
• RAM operational status
• Applecare warranty status
• Time machine backup status
• Remote backup status (if applicable)
• Hard Drive SMART error status
• Other hardware errors
• Maintains personal privacy (we can not see ANY personal info/data or files)

To Mend and Defend: Deep Clean Tune-Up.

Maybe you have experienced some of the items listed below:
System running slow. Excessive popups. Websites not loading correctly. E-mails asking for personal info (apple password, CC info). Apps not loading. Offers from programs to “Clean My Mac.” Time Machine backups not able to run, WiFi is not working correctly, a friend or family member has received an email form you that you don’t recall sending. Your Apple computer “just seems a little off.” etc…
Any and all of the above could be an early sign that you have been infected at some point by Malware!

Rest assured the first step in stoping malware is detecting it. Once detected our service technicians are able to offer a Deep Clean Tune-Up service to help clear off any and all Malware and get you back to where you need to be: enjoying your fast and efficient Apple computer again, while feeling safe and secure online. Our Deep Clean Tune-Up has become a very popular service not just to help destroy Malware but also to help tune up your system in general. This is also a great proactive way to keep your Apple system healthy moving forward.

Deep Clean Main Features:
• Full Apple Diagnostic
• Software/OS Cleaning
• Physical cleaning of computer
• Data BackUp (keep your files safe and secure)
• Malware Removal
• Installation of trusted Security software
• Tune Up (speed up system, fix software problems)
• Review of options for Sentinel protection moving forward

Both our Sentinel program and our Deep Clean Tune-Up service are available at both of our London based locations and serve as great protection for both home users and small business clients. We consider them a excellent additional tool in your personal IT Toolbox to assist our clients in providing improved, proactive service and response. If you are concerned about getting malware or worried that you may have already “picked up a bug” please feel free to contact us right away and we can set up a time to chat in more detail about your personal protection needs. No matter what you feel has happened to your system rest assured Mac Outpost is always a phone call away when Malware pops up!

Thank you for taking the time to review this important blog topic we hope this was helpful as a proactive approach to your online safety. Remember when it comes to Malware and online E-Worms and E-Virus’ it is always best to Stay Alert and Stay Safe!

Mac Outpost is here to help!

Thursday
Jan072016

Fitbit and YOU


The most important reason: YOU 

After the Christmas and Holidays hustle and bustle, we get back to our previously scheduled routines. Some of those are good and some and not as good as they could be for us long term. One of the most repetitive resolutions made for New Year’s Eve is to” lose weight”, “get slimmer”, “find the real me again.” While all good and well meaning, these resolutions are so broad that how would we ever know what the end result is, or how to get there? We have just set ourselves up for failure even before we begin. I want to help you change that for 2016 and beyond.

 
Let me start out by saying I am not personal trainer, nutritionist or health guru, whatever that is. I am a technology loving gal that wanted to make some changes in my own life two and a bit years ago, but had no idea how or where to start. The one thing I had been missing, or didn’t know I needed, was a way to measure progress. Small changes that over time made incremental differences for the better; being able to measure these changes in a way that made sense brought me to my goal. Losing 112 lbs. Yes I lost a human being. I can laugh about that now but when I look back, the desired result was too large and too difficult to even imagine as being possible. Hence the method needed to measure change - Fitbit.

I had been looking at personal health trackers for a while and the concept of visually seeing my progress and tying that to technology I already owned and loved just made sense. To create “doable” daily goals and visually see my progress towards those changed everything for me. Many times I found myself walking up and down the stairs in my home before I went to bed just to get my step goal or flights of stair goal for that day. Something about a green success band for that goal was a mental and emotional high. I did it. Achieving those goals for most days over a period of a year, well, it changed me from both a health and an emotional point of view. You see, anyone who tells you they can give you immediate results are not giving you the truth. It takes time. When it becomes a lifestyle, it lasts. I know.

What we are offering in 2016 and beyond at Outpost2 are Technology Lifestyle Classes - entered around using technology - in this case Fitbit, and marrying that with knowledge gleaned over the past 2 years to help you create and head towards your goals. These classes are 30 min in duration and will be a group format. Our intention is to help arm you with understanding about how to use the Fitbit technology and pair it with the many apps and ideas that are possible. Whether your goal will include running a marathon or just keeping up with your kids, these classes are meant for everyone. No matter where you find yourself today, these classes are for you.

Use this link to sign up for the new Lifestyle and Technology Class.

We may have guests who are nutritionist, personal trainers or other backgrounds that would provide invaluable informations and answers over the course of the next year.
Here is to the first step in the rest of your life. Looking forward to being a part of that journey with you.