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Mac Emergency Guide: What to Do When Mac Problems Arise

Mac Emergency Guide: What to Do When Mac Problems Arise

When you use your Mac for everything, the possibility of inevitable meltdowns can keep you on your toes a bit. However, being careful about things doesn’t always prevent a problem from occurring: there always the possibility that your Mac won’t start up, or it could start up but then present you with a message you probability wouldn’t want to see. While you shouldn’t dwell on these worries, this guide will hopefully inform you of what you should do once an issue does occur.

Inaccurate Battery Life

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    You just charged your Mac fully and are ready to go on your trip. You start up the Mac in the airport terminal during a layover and find out that your Mac is almost dead! What happened between then and now? Nothing, so why is the Mac almost “dead”? This usually happens when your Mac’s battery is un-calibrated. A pop-up warning comes up when your Mac’s battery is low, and once the pop-up occurs, your Mac turns off and waits for you to charge. An un-calibrated battery will send this pop-up and turn off as usual, even with an almost full battery.

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    How do you perform a calibration? Once your Mac is fully charged, use your Mac as usual and let your Mac die out. Once dead, allow your Mac to charge in full. That’s it! Your Mac is fully calibrated, and all battery totals that show up from now on are accurate. If percentages are still off, then it may be time to get a new battery. To find out your battery’s capacity, click the Apple symbol at the extreme upper left > About This Mac > More Info. Then, under “Power” you can view battery info.

    Full Startup Disk

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      The years of heavy Mac use, saving every photo and video that comes by you, has caught up with you. Your Mac’s startup disk is full, which means that your Mac doesn’t have enough memory to even, well, start up! Due to this, you can’t go back and login to delete the files—this won’t work. Instead of just going out and purchasing a new Mac, a more reasonable solution is to purchase an external hard drive. Once you’ve provided your computer with more than enough memory to start up again, you should then move toward clearing out your Mac.

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      One program I always recommend is Magican. By presenting you with all the unnecessary files that is filing up your Mac, Magican allows you to clear files both present and hidden. Another great tip is to add your music and multimedia to your external hard drive—both alleviating the weight from your Mac, and providing you with a safe place for your precious library in the case of any future crashes.

      A “Dead” Mac

      You may have encountered a situation in which your Mac just isn’t starting up at all. Like a fever in a human body, a Mac that won’t start can be the signal of many things. Our first task is to identify what the problem is, so let’s go in order from solutions to the most trivial problems that may cause a “dead” Mac, to the most serious. First off, connect your Mac to a power source and let it charge until the light turns green.

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        This may sound too simple to fix anything, but you’d be surprised by how many people have encountered this problem and discovered all their Mac needed to do was charge. After a full charge, if you find that your Mac still won’t startup, then something less trivial may be occurring. Next, while we’re at it, let’s unplug all unessential connections to the Mac. Many times, when they are acting up, this can also cause the Mac to act up as well. Still not working? You may have to start up with your OS X installation CD, which will restart your machine from the beginning.

        A Stuck CD Disk

        Many times, the disk isn’t stuck if it doesn’t eject immediately after pressing the button. In many cases, this is done to prevent you from accidentally ejecting a CD, like when you’re watching a movie. If you want to increase the volume, guess which button is right beside the volume key? The eject button! You don’t want to accidentally eject your movie, so in many cases, when you want to eject a “stuck” CD, try pressing the eject button for three to five seconds. After releasing, wait another three to five seconds for the CD to come out. Still not working? No problem just yet.

        Now, go to the desktop and find the CD there. Once found, click and drag the CD file over the trashcan. No, it won’t delete its contents; this is a second way to eject a CD. Simply drag over the trashcan and release, but if that doesn’t work, right-click and eject the pesky CD from there. These are usually the solutions to this problem.

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        Forgetting Your System Password

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          An issue that you hope to never encounter is forgetting your Mac’s login password. Your Mac just wants to do its job and protect your stuff, but you forgot your password. What do you do? First, you’ll have to look for the installation CD. After inserting and pressing the power button, immediately press and hold “c”, causing your Mac to startup with the inserted CD, at which point you will then be asked to reset the password. Once done, restart the computer and follow the directions. It’s simple, but something no one wants to have to do every day. Choose a password that is strong and memorable.

          Do you have a tip for solving an emergency Mac issue? Is there an issue you’d like covered? Let us know in the comments below!

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          Last Updated on May 14, 2019

          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

          Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

          1. Zoho Notebook
            If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
          2. Evernote
            The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
          3. Net Notes
            If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
          4. i-Lighter
            You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
          5. Clipmarks
            For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
          6. UberNote
            If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
          7. iLeonardo
            iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
          8. Zotero
            Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

          I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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          In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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