How-to: Use Apple Mail rules to automatically filter out unwanted messages

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Preventing unwanted messages from showing up in your inbox can be integral to enjoying email. In this article we will walk you through the process of creating mail rules that will direct messages to other folders or the trash based on conditions you specify. We will also discuss how to update rules to include additional senders or other criteria, and provide some common-sense guidance about effectively using mail rules in general.

Mail rules allow you to direct messages out of your inbox into another folder or trash automatically, based on their sender or other conditions. Rules can be set up on iCloud.com if the email address is the one you use for iCloud (it can end in either @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com).

For your other email addresses, rules can be set up in the Mail app on a Mac. If you set up rules using iCloud.com they are very effective, immediately directing messages to the specified folders on all your devices. If you set up rules using the Mail app, they are effective only after you start up your Mac and open the Mail app.  At the end of this article, I will make some practical suggestions about how to address that, and other aspects of using mail rules.

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How-to: Create and sync keyboard shortcuts between iOS 7 and Mavericks

Keyboard shortcuts that allow for quick entry of longer strings of text were introduced with iOS 5. The feature allows users to enter a short bit of text and have it automatically converted to a longer message. Now with iOS 7 and Mavericks, keyboard shortcuts will sync between iOS devices and the Mac through the “Documents and Data” setting in iCloud.

In this how-to you’ll learn how to create and sync sync keyboard shortcuts in iOS 7 and Mavericks.

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How to build a 4K Hackintosh on the cheap for fun and profit

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Over the years, building ‘Hackintosh’ computers has become both a lot easier and more popular. For those unfamiliar, a Hackintosh is essentially a machine running OS X on non-Apple approved and manufactured hardware. There are many reasons to build a Hackintosh instead of buying a Mac directly from Apple. They can be more expandable, faster, have more features and configurations, run quieter and can be a great learning experience.  One of the biggest reasons to go down the road of building your own, however, is price. It’s no secret that Apple charges a premium for its products, especially if you don’t need some of the hardware (Thunderbolt for example). And thanks to the ongoing growth of the Hackintosh community, the process has become very easy over the past few years.

Back in 2011, Seth took a stab at building a Hackintosh. He originally intended on it being an affordable, baseline model without many bells and whistles. He ended up building a $750 ‘beast’ that competed with the best iMacs of the day, though. Now, it’s my turn to make an attempt at building a Hackintosh, but with an added twist. I am building one capable of performing on par with the highest-end Macs and capable of powering a 4k monitor. And, I want it took look ultra-sleek on the outside and be absolutely silent. I don’t want to be able to hear the hard drive, fans, or anything else –essentially nonexistent in my office. Most of all, I want to do it on a budget of about $1500, not including a 4k display.

Let me preface this with something, though: I have never built a computer, Windows or OS X. In fact, up until this project, I was pretty clueless as to what went into building a computer. So if I am able to successfully build this machine, pretty much anyone can. My best friend for this project was easily tonymacx86.com, which we have praised in the past for its clear breakdown of compatible parts and software guides.

Let’s start by discussing the parts that I decided to use for this build.

Full parts list at Amazon:

  • Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core Desktop Processor 3.5 GHZ – $320
  • Corsair Enthusiast Series 650W Fan – $99.99
  • Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H Z87 LGA 1150 Motherboard – $222
  • TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter – $43
  • Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 RAM – $160
  • SanDisk Extreme SSD 120 GB SSD – $117 (or any SATA 3 SSD)
  • EVGA GeForce GTX760 Graphics Card – $265
  • Seagate Barracuda 2 TB HDD - $80 (or any 1-4TB SATA3 HDD)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 Case – $132
  • Seiki 39-inch 4K Display – $499 (Varies wildly though)

Total cost without display: $1439. With 4K display, under ~$2,000…

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How-to: Take advantage of Zoom and Large Text in OS X Mavericks

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OS X Mavericks has numerous features and settings that make text and images more visible. In this article, I will discuss many options and methods to take advantage of those features in different ways. In pointing out many different ways, I hope to help you find a method that will be a good fit for you.

Use System Preferences, Displays Settings:
Access System Preferences from the dock or the Apple on the menu bar, and click on Displays. Then click on the Display tab. Choose Scaled, and the different resolution settings available are displayed. The options available vary, depending upon what resolution your model of the computer is capable of displaying. Adjust the settings by choosing different options—the lower the numbers are in the setting, the larger objects will be displayed. Below are examples of the display setting options you will see on a white MacBook, an older iMac, and a MacBook Pro with Retina display …  Read more

How-To: Start using Maps in OS X Mavericks

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Apple has finally implemented a maps app in the OS X platform, and it seems to have been worth the wait. After being noticeably missing from the system, Maps (and iBooks) are helping achieve a greater consistency between the iOS and OS X platforms. After running the free Mavericks update, the Maps app icon will automatically be added to your dock.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to use the new app for everything from searching for locations to getting turn-by-turn directions set directly to your iPhone.

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Mavericks How-to: Use iBooks for organizing, reading, and shopping

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iBooks was introduced in 2010 for the iPad. With Mavericks, 3.5 years after iBooks came out for iOS, Mac OS X finally gets in on the action. Unlike iOS devices that have to download iBooks from the App Store, the Mac comes pre-loaded with it. This how-to will discuss how to organize and read your books, and how to shop for new books in the iBooks Store.

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How-to: Setup and use iCloud Keychain for Mavericks and iOS 7

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iCloud Keychain is a brand-new cloud service in OS X Mavericks and iOS 7.0.3 and launched with the new operating systems on October 22nd. iCloud Keychain stores your usernames, passwords, Wi-Fi networks, and credit card information so that you can easily fill in forms or logins whenever you need. This will sync across Safari and with third party apps that support iCloud Keychain. Your information is securely protected using 256-bit AES encryption, preventing unauthorized use of your information. iCloud Keychain also includes a powerful password generator, which will create unique passwords for your online accounts so that you no longer have to come up with secure or hard-to-guess passwords.

This article will teach you how to setup and use iCloud Keychain for iOS and OS X.

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Getting ready for Mavericks: How to backup your Mac and set up OS X 10.9

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Apple’s latest desktop operating system, OS X Mavericks, is available today. In this post, we’ll take you through the steps required to protect your data by backing it up, upgrading the OS, and getting started with the latest version of OS X.

Before you get started, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need. To backup your data, you’ll need an external hard drive with at least the same amount of storage as your hard drive (or a Time Capsule). You’ll also need to make sure your Mac is capable of running Mavericks (we’ll show you how below), and you’ll want to make sure you have an iTunes account to purchase the update.

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How-to: Mark up and caption images using Preview on OS X

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Preview is a built-in Mac application that has many features that doesn’t get a lot of press. One of them is the ability to place a caption inside the body of the image. Another is to mark up images to remove confidential information. If you double click on an image outside of a photo editor like iPhoto or Aperture, it opens in Preview and can be edited.

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How to: Use a password manager to have strong, unique passwords for each website

Image: redorbit.com

Image: redorbit.com

Evernote, Adobe, even Apple … just a few of the companies who have found their user data compromised by hackers in recent times. The possibility of a hacker being able to access one of your web accounts is worrying enough – but if you use the same email address and password for almost all the websites you use, the risk becomes huge.

The first thing a hacker does when they get hold of a list of usernames and passwords is to use automated software to fire them at a whole bunch of popular websites. That means your online security is only as good as the most vulnerable of the websites you visit. Not good.

The answer, of course, is to use a unique – and strong – password for each website you access. But that creates its own hassles. Strong passwords aren’t easily memorised. Sure, we can ask our browsers to store logins for us, but when you might use several different computers, an iPhone and an iPad, you’d have to login once from each device as soon as you chose the password so it gets stored before you forget it. Not very convenient.

Which is where password managers come in. When you see the instructions, it’ll look like a long process, but it in fact takes only 10-20 mins if you have two or three devices …  Read more