Ben’s holiday gift guide: a mix of the fun and the functional

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Choosing holiday gifts for the techies in your life isn’t always easy, so we’ve put together a series of gift guides to give you plenty of ideas. These include category guides, like making musicsmart home and in-car, as well as across personal recommendations from the rest of the 9to5Mac team – with more to follow.

For my personal guide, I’ve opted for a mix of the fun and the functional – ranging from action cams and drones to backup drives. Mix-and-match to the personalities of your lucky gift recipients as appropriate …  Read more

Grab this (Typinator, Intensify Pro, Paperless, Pixa, MacJournal, more!) Mac Bundle while it is only a buck or 2

From 9to5Toys.com:

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We’ve got a nice 9to5Toys Specials deal on this evening and the best part is that it is a name your own price with the bids starting at $1.  The earlier you get in, the less you pay. Here’s the list of apps but frankly Typinator alone is worth it. Go big and 10% of your purchase price goes to a charity of your choice and you’ll be entered to win a Gold iPad 2 & iPhone 6

(Update:6:30am ET: the price is now $3.50)

  • Typinator – $32 – The program the “types” frequently used text for you
  • Hotspot Shield VPN – 1 Year Elite Subscription
  • Starry Night Enthusiast – $80 – Turn your computer into a virtual universe
  • Intensify Pro – $60 – The image enhancer for photographers of all levels
  • Spotdox 3 – $72 – Get access to all your files, on any device, anywhere
  • Data Backup 3 – $49 – Easy, powerful, and flexible backups
  • Paperless – $50 – Fuel your paper-free lifestyle
  • MacJournal 6 – $40 – Multimedia journal for the 21st century
  • Pixa – $25 – Image management and sharing app
  • Must Have Mac App Tutorial – $100 – Learn how to maximize the 9 apps included

 

Getting ready for Yosemite: How to backup your Mac and set up OS X 10.10

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Apple’s latest desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite, 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 or a Time Capsule with at least the same amount of storage as your hard drive. You’ll also need to make sure your Mac is capable of running Yosemite (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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Getting Ready for iOS 8: How to backup your device and set up the new iPhone & iPad OS

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With iOS 8 launching later today, it’s worth taking a look at how you should prepare your device for the new operating system. Before installing the update, it is recommended that you have a backup of your data. This how-to is going to walk you through backing up your iOS 7 device and transitioning it over to iOS 8:

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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: Live a paperless life with Mac, iPad and iPhone

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Remember those promises we were made, about a paperless world? Everything electronic, everything online? Since the world was failing to deliver, I decided a couple of years ago to do an experiment to find out whether it is possible to live a truly paperless life.

Two years later, the bad news is that you can’t entirely avoid the stuff. There are a few documents the government insists I keep in paper form: my passport and driving licence, for example. There are documents that still arrive in paper form, and documents I have to supply in paper form.

The good news is that you can get very, very close. Here’s how I made it work …  Read more

How-to: Setup and use Dropbox to manage and share photos, files

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Before Dropbox became popular, there was iDisk, which was Apple’s cloud storage system. iDisk allowed you to store documents, pictures, QuickTime files, and PDFs in one cloud-based “drive.” This was accessible on all of your Apple products as well as at me.com on a PC. It was practically like having your most important files in Finder on your computer – but everywhere.

Then iCloud came out. iCloud dropped support of iDisk, which meant there was no longer a way to access all of your files in a Finder-like cloud system. This paved the way for third party apps like Dropbox to become even more popular.

Dropbox is free. Dropbox works on any platform: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Dropbox gives you 2GB of storage space for free and they offer incentives to increase your allocated amount of free storage space.

There are two different ways to set up Dropbox:

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OS X Lion loses compatibility with some network-attached storage drives

CNet has discovered that OS X Lion users lose support for Time Machine backups with third-party NAS hard drives. Time Machine in OS X Lion is now only compatible with Netatalk 2.0. This means that third-party NAS (network attached storage) drives will need a software upgrade from their respective manufactures in order to work with Apple’s next-generation Mac operating system. Users of cable-connected external hard drives will not be affected. Drobo, the company behind popular network attached storage devices has noted the issues on their website:

DroboFS, B800fs and DroboPro FS users running Mac OS X Lion (OS X 10.7) will experience problems with Time Machine.

The next official firmware release for all “FS” products will ensure full compatibility with the released version of Mac OS X Lion,  including use of Time Machine.

Another popular NAS drive maker, Synology, has already released a fix in beta form. Other NAS drive makers will likely follow up with their own OS X Lion compatibility updates.

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