If you live in Nashville, Comcast has a surprise for you…

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This photo shows speeds you can get from Comcast if you call them and ask for this secret deal. At least it’s a secret for the moment.

You see that 257 number? You can get that for $70/month with a 2 year contract with Comcast if you call and ask for it. For a little perspective, I’m paying $52/month for 25. So for $20 more a month I can get 10x the speed.

Why is Comcast doing this? Google Fiber is coming to Nashville and it’s rumored they’re going to be making their service available soon. When is soon though? Google Fiber speeds are 1000 Mbps. 4x this new speed Comcast is making available.

Comcast is trying to get the jump on Google and tempt you into signing a 2 year contract with them so Google doesn’t steal you away. For some, a bird in the hand is better than one in the bush.

I know a number of people who are flocking to it now. Who knows when Google will make their new plans available and they want faster speeds now.

Personally, I hate Comcast. They make my job so much harder than it has to be and I can’t wait for Google Fiber.

The 25 Mbps is fine for me for now. I’d rather not be locked up in a 2 year contract with a company with one of the worst reputations of customer service in the country.

Either way, I wanted to let you guys know what’s available if you want to jump on this. It’s really not a bad deal. Until Google is up and running….

What You’ve Been Waiting for Since the First iPhone

UntitledAndrea is one of those people that if something happened to her iPhone, the only thing she would care about are the photos. She’s in the prime of her career in a broadway musical touring all over the world in a leading role.

You can imagine the memories she’s capturing are some of the sweetest she’ll look back on.

Andrea isn’t the best at backing up her phone to her computer, though. She’s busy with other things that keep her from religiously grabbing her computer and plugging in her phone to sync and back up.

Unfortunately, that made for a mess when things went wrong with her phone and she had a couple nightmare experiences at the Apple Store. I won’t go into detail, but we got it all sorted out and she’s a happy camper. Especially once we got her set up with iCloud Photo Library.

Why You Should Delete Your Photos

Clearing space off your mobile device and keeping those memories safe

My clients are always asking me what to do when they run out of space. Both on their phones and their Macs.

A few days ago my client from Arizona, Bobbi, called because her iPhone was full and she was about to go house hunting in a new city and needed to have plenty of space to take photos and videos.

She was worried that she would do something wrong and accidentally lose years worth of photos that were on her phone.

I don’t blame her! Who wants to lose photos like these? 🙂

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So why was she scared?

Have you ever plugged your phone or iPod into your computer and it erased all your music? I’m sure you’ve at least heard of this happening to one of your friends. Well, this happened to Bobbi years ago and she was still worried something like this would happen again, but with her photos.

This is a real fear many people have. It’s not just you. Even years after that incident most people are paranoid about plugging in their phones into the computer.

I want to put those fears to rest and give you the confidence to plug in your iPhone or iPad, know they are copied and safe so you can clear off some space and start capturing more memories.

The first thing you need to know is what iTunes is doing when you plug your iPhone or iPad into the computer. 

  1. iTunes will not delete your photos automatically when you plug it into your computer!
  2. iTunes is not importing your photos for you.
  3. iTunes will always ask before deleting your music.

There are 3 simple steps to having confidence your photos are safe.

This is by no means the only way to accomplish this, but it’s probably the fastest and the way Apple intended. If you are using the brand new iCloud Photos service, these instructions are not for you. Another post to come about iCloud Photos for Yosemite and iOS 8.

**Steps 2 and 3 are optional, but recommended.

1. Import the photos to your computer – When you plug in your phone, iPhoto may pop up automatically and you you will see the photos that are stored on that device. That does NOT mean your photos are in iPhoto. YOU MUST CLICK IMPORT! If iPhoto doesn’t pop up automatically just click on the icon and it should show you the photos on your device.

I use Adobe Lightroom to manage my photos so most of my photos have not been imported into this library.

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2. Verify they have been copied – At this point you’ll want to click on the Photos button on the left or Events to make sure the items we selected were imported (copied.) After that, look further down the list in the left-hand column and click on your iPhone or iPad from that list. The photos you just imported should now be in the “Already Imported” section.

3. Back up your computer – This can be accomplished many different ways. I recommend using Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner to back up to an external hard drive. I usually buy these for a cheap backup, but I’ll never be caught without an online (or off-site) backup. I use Crashplan for that. It’s the fastest and most reliable online backup that I have encountered. It’s only $59.99/year and you don’t have to worry about plugging anything in. Yes, I think Crashplan is better than Carbonite.

When you’re ready to mass delete media from your device don’t delete one by one! Use Image Capture! To find Image Capture, use Spotlight, the magnifying glass at the very top right hand corner of your Mac to search for the word Image.

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You can highlight a range of photos using the Shift key, then hit the delete button at the bottom (circle-backslash symbol.)

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This is really only scratching the surface when it comes to photos, but it should at least get you moving and able to free up some space on your devices and know that your photos are safe.

I know some of you have quite a mess (so to speak) of photos, so if you need further help, please reach out to me! Helping you sort out these sorts of things is why I do what I do!

If this post helped you out, please share it with your friends and family!

Question: Have you ever lost any of your photos? What are you doing now to prevent that happening again?

A Mother’s Day Special You Don’t Want to Miss

“This is supposed to be intuitive, but I don’t get it… What am I missing?!”

Mother’s Day is coming up, and lots of people are giving or have given their spouses, mothers and grandmothers technology. What most people are not giving them is the skills to use those devices.

As a trainer at Apple for 6 years and now as a consultant, I see so many people who buy Apple devices and don’t learn how to use them. Something I hear often is, “This is supposed to be intuitive, but I just don’t get it!” And, “This is too hard” or “The younger generations grew up with this stuff and it’s so easy for them.”

I’m not going to say learning to use new devices isn’t challenging, but it’s certainly something anyone can become confident with and even master. That’s why I created this Mother’s Day Special, to help those special ladies in your life get the most out of their Apple technology and, as a bonus, you can get relief from being on-call as tech support!

Whether they just got a new toy, or they want to organize their photos and create a photo book, I can help!

Why You Should Only Pack 2 Electronic Devices on Your Vacation

When visiting a country that often brings people to tears with its beauty, you don’t want to skimp on the things that help you capture the moment. That may be a pen and your journal, charcoal and sketch pad or your favorite camera.

On my trip to Peru, I brought my two favorite cameras and a journal.

Camera #1 is my Fuji X100T – It’s a medium sized, lightweight yet incredible camera. It’s tack sharp, truly impressive when taking pictures in very low light situations, and has a simple, easy to use design.

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Camera #2 is my iPhone 6 64 GB – The video is incredible and it’s really easy to take panoramic photos. It’s often difficult capture the awe of incredible places. For me, video is the answer when the photos just aren’t good enough. I love hearing the sounds of a river or waterfall, and watching friends’ faces light up at the beautiful sights we’re taking in.

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We go on vacation to get away and recharge. Connecting to the internet, especially social media and email, can seriously hinder that process. no-facebook-logo-webBut if you can’t completely let go, I would encourage you to only bring your iPhone and not your computer.
If that’s not enough for you, here are a few bullet points that explain why should you leave your other devices like a laptop at home:
  • You’re more in the moment: The longer you’re away from outside influences, the more those things start to fade away and you can truly be present. Let the stress slip away.
  • Less stuff to carry around: All your gear adds up. It’s not just the laptop, but the charger and other cables you would use.
  • Less risk of loss due to theft or damage: Do you want the weight of “what happens if some one steals my bag?” hanging over you the whole trip?

Now, let’s see what this X100 can do…

Click on the photos for the high resolution version.

Moray

This is Moray, my favorite site of the whole trip. Something about this place is incredible. You stand at the top and look down and think, what did these people know then that we don’t know now? Each level has it’s own temperature. From top to bottom there is a 27 degree difference (Fahrenheit). As you’re walking along the trail you go from hot to chilly depending on the wind that catches you.

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The X100 lens is so sharp!

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This scene in real life had me in tears it was so incredible. I wish it translated better in camera.

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The low light sensitivity is awesome. I was able to get great shots of everything I wanted in a really dark museum without using a flash. In fact, I’ve never used the flash on this camera. It has never been necessary.

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I wish I took photos inside this place. The garden through the doors was just as dramatic as the lighting outside. So beautiful, and you would have never known walking by.

This shot above is a big reason I love this camera so much. It’s not a great photo, but I would have never gotten this shot with my old camera, and my iPhone would have done a poor job too.

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This is the famous Machu Picchu. It’s a city in the clouds and absolutely stunning. Taking photos  just seemed futile after a while.

And this is why I love my iPhone so much!

Video… Be sure to click the gear and switch the playback to HD. The quality of YouTube at 480p is pretty bad and doesn’t show off the video at all.  These aren’t going to win any awards, but they help me remember the moment.

Our guide surprised us with a flute player creating the sound track for our walk through Pisac. Little touches like that made the trip stand out.

Here you really get a sense of how high up we are and how steep this mountain is. You wonder how in the world they got these stones up here from miles away.

The Fuji takes decent video, but the iPhone does a much better job. It smooths everything out automatically, the quality is outstanding and it focuses much faster than the Fuji.

Since you’re going to be taking a lot of photos and videos with your iPhone, you’ll want to make sure you have enough space to store these items. Not just on your phone but on iCloud too in case of theft or damage.

Let’s take a look at how much space you have available on your iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Usage.

Usage is broken up into three categories: Battery, Storage, and iCloud Storage. Today we’ll just look at the last two.

Storage: This is how much space you physically have available on your phone to take photos and videos, store apps etc. You cannot upgrade this storage. To have more, you have to buy a whole new phone. I would recommend having at least 5 GB free.

I used 15 GB on this trip, your milage may vary.

*If you’re in the market for a new phone, it’s really convenient having 64 GB instead of the baseline 16 GB. With everything we do on our phones now, it’s easy to fill them up.

iCloud Storage: This is how much space you have on Apple’s servers to back up your phone. You get 5 GB for free. I pay $0.99/month for 20 GB of iCloud storage. This was just enough to make sure my phone was always being backed up on my trip. When I had wifi.*

Before I left I had 15 GB free. I just checked my phone now and it turns out I’m almost out of space. To free up that space, I’ll make sure that I’ve imported all my photos and videos to my computer, then delete them from my phone. After that, I’ll have plenty of iCloud storage again.

*If you need extra help in this department, please reach out to me! I can straighten all this out for you and your family on site or anywhere in the world.

Only taking these two devices left me feeling free to be in the moment all through the trip. You can walk around not worried about all the gear you left at the hotel or in the car, and not be weighed down with a bunch of stuff in your bags.

In addition by not checking in with email and social media, you can slowly let it go and just enjoy where you’re at, being present and relaxed.

If you’re interested in the X100T and the accessories I recommend, click here.

If you want to see more pictures of my trip, click here.

Question: What do you take on your trips and why?