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Wednesday
Jun242015

LETS RECYCLE TOGETHER!

 

The summer is officially here, and Mac Outpost is happy to announce our annual summer recycling event!  Our local community has recycled "tons" of unwanted,  sometimes ancient technology over the past few years.  The best part? It's free!   Just drop off your unwanted electronics and batteries at Mac Outpost on Wharncliffe Rd. South this Friday or Saturday (June 26/27) from 11am to 4pm.

Let's face the facts: Electronics have a life span.  Once they've reached the end of their useful lives, they should be disposed of responsibly and safely. We've partnered with Zubicks of London to ensure the recycling and reclaiming of any possible resources, for as little waste product as possible.

#HowDoesThatEvenWork? I'm glad you "hashed".  Zubicks can reclaim many of the basic materials that are present in old computers.  In fact, many modern technology gadgets can be almost completely disassembled, melted down and recycled.  Sort of like in the "Terminator" movies!

Like many people, I've been planning to have a garage sale to just get rid of my old technology.  Sadly, many seasons have come and gone and my garage sale plans never showed me the tens of dollars I could have made!  Recycling my stuff responsibly clears up potentially hazardous materials in my basement, and has given me a sense of relief!

Bring your old stuff by and together we can save our small corner of the earth! See you there!  REMINDER: Mac Outpost on Wharncliffe Rd. South this Friday or Saturday (June 26/27) from 11am to 4pm.
Thursday
May282015

Data transfer tips


DATA… we all have it, right?  And likely loads of it too!  If you’re like most of us you have likely accumulated plenty of important data over the years. Whether it’s photos, videos, music, playlists, documents, emails or even our favourite bookmarks in our web browser, these are examples of how DIGITAL our lives have become. Migrating from an old computer to a shiny new one can be a daunting task! This process is called a data transfer.

Removing the shrinkwrap from a brand new computer or iOS device is always an exciting process. But sometimes that’s where the fun ends and the questions start. What do I do with my word files? What about my music library  … where’s my WIFI password? And who can handle this FOR me?

Whether transferring your data from an aging Mac or from a PC, the first step is to look at the amount of data that you have, as well as what transfer method you’ll be using. This is important because many modern computers now have SSD (solid state hard drives), which are smaller than the spindle style hard drives of years gone by. Be sure that there is enough space on your new bundle of joy, to handle all the incoming files.  And what’s more, do you have the required cables to connect the computers to ensure a steady (wired) stream of data from the old to the new?

Take the time to do a bit of spring cleaning. You’ll no doubt find files you simply no longer need. These could be old school assignments, blurry photos, or even projects that are no longer relevant.  Clean up your desktop too (if it’s cluttered), by putting the documents in a proper home. If your computer has multiple users, plan to move only the accounts you need.

One of the tools that Apple provides is Migration Assistant. It doesn’t affect any of the files on your OLD computer, it is a handy utility to help bring the data across to the new Mac.  When configured correctly, it can even transfer apps, as well as selected user accounts.

The next step is to make sure that all the versions of software as well as the two operating systems are compatible. When leaping forward from the old to the new, this interim step can become quite a headache for most of us. When transfers are handled by an Apple Certified Technician the issues or hiccups are no longer in your hands!

Call us if you feel overwhelmed and we will help!

Thursday
May212015

Don't wait till the last minute!


It’s almost that time!

With your exams all done and school out for summer, its time for some TLC for your hardest working friend... your computer. While you are not using it over the summer, now is the perfect time get your computer in for a Tuneup! For just $99 plus taxes, we can run a full diagnostic test on your computer and make sure all the components are running to specification, make sure all your updates are done, and perform a hard drive optimization to help speed up your computer.

If you have recently upgraded to Apple’s newest operating system, OS X Yosemite, you may have noticed your system running more slowly. This can usually be solved by a simple RAM upgrade - the newer OS is more memory-hungry than the old one! We can look to see how much memory your computer has, what it can support and make a recommendation for an upgrade!

Don’t be like your friends and leave your computer until school starts! Beat the rush and bring your computer in for a Tuneup by July 31st and save yourself $10.00 if you mention this blog!

Thursday
Apr092015

Top 11 Misconceptions About FileMaker

Since FileMaker’s first days under the Claris banner up until today, they have accomplished quite a lot; they have not only become a subsidiary of the ever-powerful Apple Inc., but have released many versions of their database application software which has culminated to their newest release, FileMaker 13.

Whether you are a current FileMaker user or your last experience was back on FileMaker 7 (released more than 10 years ago), you’ve probably heard some misconceptions about what FileMaker can and cannot do. Today, we thought we’d clear some of these misconceptions up for you. So, here it is, CoreSolutions Presents: “Top 11 Misconceptions About FileMaker”

FileMaker is Mac only software. FALSE – Contrary to what some believe, FileMaker is compatible with both Mac and Windows. For example, some of the supporting FileMaker Pro operating systems include: OS X Yosemite v10.10, OS X Mavericks v10.9, OS X Mountain Lion v10.8, OS X Lion v10.7, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Home Premium, among others.

If you cannot code, you cannot use FileMaker. FALSE – There are plenty of FileMaker users, who have zero experience coding, who have mastered the functionality of FileMaker. New development tools have made it the easiest it’s ever been to transfer your paper and Excel sheets into a FileMaker database. Much of the creation of databases revolves around simple drag and drop functionality and FileMaker Pro 13 is loaded with prebuilt starter templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch. The starter solutions include everything from simple contact and task management solutions all the way up to content management systems.
 
FileMaker is much too simple to handle my database needs. FALSE – Alluding to the previous point, FileMaker is very user-friendly and an easy to understand software. However, this simplicity and easy to use nature should not take away from the true magnitude at which FileMaker can operate. As they say, looks can be deceiving; it may look simple, but it can more often than not handle your database needs just fine.

I can do it all on my own, I don’t need a developer. FALSE – Some think that FileMaker is so simple that they would never need to hire someone else to build something they could do themselves. Developers who are experts with FileMaker often have numerous years of experience that can help you build and deploy your solution faster and mitigate many challenges before they arise. Additionally, expert developers will be able to help with your systems analysis and workflow discovery. This saves you money in the long run. To ensure you are truly hiring a FileMaker expert; FileMaker has a certified developer program in which they vet potential members and have benchmarks that developers must reach to maintain their certified status.

FileMaker is a non-relational database. FALSE – FileMaker is not only a relational database; it is a relational platform. Since version 7, FileMaker allows multiple users to contribute to the same project from different locations. Cross-platform relational databases allow for teams to construct and build databases in an ever-interconnected workflow.

FileMaker only has single-user software. FALSE – FileMaker has countless features that utilize multi-user functionality. A few examples include:
FileMaker Pro allows users to manage and share important information with their teams. It allows you to share data and materials, using iPads, iPhones, Windows or Macs, through a network with up to five other users.
FileMaker Go 13 allows iPhone and iPad users to receive up-to-the-minute information through the FileMaker Server using mobile communication.
FileMaker Server 13 allows FileMaker Pro users to instantaneously share information with their team; there is not even a restriction on the number of networked clients you can have.
FileMaker WebDirect (available in FileMaker Server 13) allows you to run and share your solutions directly on a web browser.

Any third party backup software can be used to backup information on the FileMaker server. FALSE – To ensure everything has a proper backup and none of your data is lost, the built-in backup scheduling feature in the FileMaker Server must be used. It is the only way to properly backup data and ensure everything is saved correctly.

FileMaker can run in a small office, up to 5 users in a peer to peer user environment. Technically True – While this is technically possible and this technique may have been used in the past (peer-to-peer sharing), it is in your best interest to not share peer-to-peer FileMaker databases. FileMaker Pro cannot backup to the database automatically, FileMaker Server can. The risk of losing data is so much higher in peer-to-peer sharing. Don’t make this mistake and risk losing hours of time spent working, pieces of data inputted, and potential profit for your business.

FileMaker is just a database application. FALSE – As mentioned earlier, FileMaker is a platform which allows for the collaborative construction of databases throughout a team of FileMaker users. FileMaker can be accessed via Mac, PC, iOS, and Web browsers.

You cannot create your own custom themes on FileMaker. FALSE - You bet you can! You can get creative and make your own theme or modify existing themes. FileMaker has inherited a simple and elegant design focus from Apple Inc. Some of the tools FileMaker has added include gradients, patterns and effects (emboss, engrave, drop shadows, etc.) to fit all your customizing preferences.

FileMaker is NOT a secure system. FALSE – FileMaker Server uses powerful AES 256-bit encryption. So, what does that mean? Advanced Encryption Standard is the design that the US government has used since 2002 and was the first encryption algorithm that was publicly created to be approved for the NSA and all their top secret information.


So there you have it. Hopefully, you have learned something new and you have enjoyed the read.
CoreSolutions Software Inc. is an industry leading custom software solutions firm based in London, ON. We have 25 years of experience building innovative customizable software applications, alongside our exceptional service and support. We create solutions that simplify complex data and solve complicated problems; we give you the tools which empower you to manage your solution.

CoreSolutions Software – Going Beyond Software.
Do you agree with our misconceptions list? Feel free to send us an Email, send us a Tweet, send us a smoke signal… however you need to reach us, we are willing and ready to respond. Our website is www.coresolutions.ca.

Thanks For Reading.

Kyle Mayer, Marketing Manager, CoreSolutions

   
Wednesday
Mar112015

48 Hours With my Fitbit Surge!

When winter turns to Spring, people invariably turn their thoughts to the great outdoors.  After a long, hard winter of overeating and sedentary living those thoughts can often expand to include exercise and fitness.  I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about committing to wear a fitness device.  Since the advent of the smartphone, many of us have stopped wearing watches.  I am no exception to this way of thinking.

The Fitbit Surge fits comfortably on your wrist (it comes in a small and large band option). I was able to set it up and "sync" it to my iPhone in about 10 minutes.  Ever since, it has automatically forwarded my heartrate, steps taken and calories burned directly to my phone (and also to the Fitbit dashboard in my web browser).  Seamless!

The biggest feature I was originally interested in was the built-in GPS run-tracking feature.  As a test, I started a "run" with the GPS on.  After I finished, the Fitbit Surge found my phone at home and synced up the GPS data so I could "see" a map of my run with interval times!  Just what I've been looking for!  I'll be using the feature quite a bit as the weather improves...

One feature I have yet to try is sleep monitoring (I've been taking off the Fitbit Surge as I head to bed).  As I grow more accustomed to the Surge I may try wearing it to bed so I can gather data about my sleeping habits, see how many times a night I wake up, etc.

Recharging is accomplished with the included USB charging cable.  It usually takes about 2 hours for a full recharge, and that should easily last throughout the day. I've read that runners that use the GPS monitoring feature should be able to get up to 5 hours (a slow marathon) of use while recording that run before exhausting the available power.  The chances are that YOU would run out of energy before the Fitbit ever would!

I've added a link to a great (and much more detailed) review of the Fitbit Surge.  Stop into Outpost2 at the White Oaks Mall to pick up yours today!

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/01/fitbit-surge-depth-review.html

Stay healthy!

-Peter Miazga, Fitbit Surge Trainee 

 

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