Archive for Tech Notes

Apple Launches Improved Employee Hardware Discount Program for Mac and iPad

// June 21st, 2012 // No Comments » // Tech Notes, Weird or Interesting News

Apple Launches Improved Employee Hardware Discount Program for Mac and iPad: “Back in January, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced to employees that the company would begin a new hardware discount program in June, offering employees $500 off a Mac (excluding the Mac mini) or $250 off an iPad.

In line with that schedule, 9to5Mac reports that the new program has now gone live. As had been previously claimed, the discount is available to employees who have worked at Apple for at least 90 days, can be used once every three years, and can be stacked upon existing 25% employee discounts on hardware.

Unfortunately for those Apple employees looking to apply the discount to the new Retina MacBook Pro, the model is not included in the program and is not even available through the employee purchasing portal. This is typical for new Apple products, and with supplies remaining tight for consumers it may be some time before availability loosens up enough for Apple to add it to the employee purchasing program.

The enhanced hardware purchase program comes as Apple’s retail store staff has begun seeing salary increases of as much as 25% depending on market and performance. Those raises are set to go into effect in mid-July.

Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories
GM Confirms Siri Eyes Free Integration Coming to New Models Within 12 Months
Google Offers App Lands on iPhone
Twelve South Revamps BookBook for iPad Case
FileMaker Releases Bento 4 for iPad
Apple Releases Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2.1

Apple Retail Store Staff Set to Gain Raises of Up to 25%

// June 20th, 2012 // No Comments » // Tech Notes, Weird or Interesting News

Apple Retail Store Staff Set to Gain Raises of Up to 25%: “Earlier this week, Business Insider reported that all Apple retail store staff would be receiving raises of at least $4 per hour, a claim that the site later backpedaled from somewhat as other sources from the companys stores reported in to note that they had heard nothing of the sort.

But Dow Jones Newswires is now weighing in with its own claims that Apple is indeed raising staff pay by ‘as much as a quarter of their wages’.

Employees began learning of the raises in face-to-face meetings with managers last week, according to three Apple employees in various regions across the U.S. The raises, which are based on performance, will begin appearing in paychecks around the middle of July, two of these people said. […]

The overwhelming staff complaint during an internal review was wage levels, one employee said. Higher-level retail staff, such as its ‘Genius’ tech support teams and ‘Creative’ educational teams were among the most frustrated, this person said. At one store, another employee noted, a nearby competing Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) retail shop had begun poaching employees by offering promotions and higher wages.

The report notes that sales staff at Apple retail stores are currently paid between $9 and $15 per hour before the forthcoming raises are factored in, with Geniuses at the high end of the pay scale earning as much as $30 per hour.

It is unknown just how the raises will be distributed across staff and what proportion will be closer to the 25% end of the raise spectrum, but it is clear that Apple is making a significant effort to increase wages for its retail store workers in order to help retain staff and increase satisfaction amid booming sales and retail store traffic.

Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories
Google Offers App Lands on iPhone
Twelve South Revamps BookBook for iPad Case
FileMaker Releases Bento 4 for iPad
Apple Releases Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2.1
Sparrow Adds Support for POP Email Accounts

Tip: Mac and PC Documents Can “Play Nice” Together!

// August 15th, 2011 // No Comments » // Tech Notes

Tip: Mac and PC Documents Can “Play Nice” Together!: “

From my experience and in conversations I have had with people about Mac computers, I believe there is still a common misconception that Mac documents are incompatible with a PC and vice versa.  In fact, two of the most common reasons I have heard from people for why they won’t switch from a PC to a Mac involve misconceptions about the Mac and the compatibility of Mac documents to “play nice” with a PC.  The first misconception I have often heard from people is that they are worried all of their PC documents will be unusable on a Mac.  The second misconception shared with me is that having a Mac when you have coworkers, teachers, friends, or family members using PC’s will make sharing files a big hassle.

Today we are going to put those misconceptions to rest and assure you that it is easy to open and use documents on a Mac that were made on a PC with Microsoft Office.   I will also assure you that it is very easy to share iWork documents made on a Mac with a PC running Microsoft Office.

1) Opening Microsoft Office Files on a Mac Using iWork

First of all, for those who may not be as familiar with Mac software, iWork is Apple’s document editing software package available for Mac computers.  Pages for iWork is similar to Word for Microsoft Office, Keynote is similar to Power Point, and Numbers is similar to Excel.

Going from Microsoft Office on a PC to iWork on a Mac is easy!  iWork is set up to be able to read and edit Microsoft Office files.  This means simply clicking on any Office File on a Mac computer with iWork installed will open the file in iWork – all ready to edit.  Power Point presentations will open in Keynote, Word documents will open in Pages, and Excel spreadsheets will open in Numbers.  If you receive Microsoft Office documents in an email attachment or on a flash drive from someone who owns a PC, you can rest assured that you will be able to open and edit them.

Occasionally,  a Microsoft Office document will look slightly different on iWork than it did on Office.  The formatting of some documents, animations in presentations, or fonts may not always translate to iWork perfectly.  iWork, for the most part, does a solid job of matching the work that was done in Microsoft Office.  Thankfully, for the rare times when the formatting has been slightly altered, it is usually an easy  and quick fix – such as resizing a picture or picking a new font.

2) Making Your iWork Documents PC Friendly

Unfortunately, Microsoft Office does not open Pages, Keynote, or Numbers files.  Thankfully, for Mac owners with iWork, there is a quick and easy way to make your iWork documents readable on a PC.   When you choose to save your file in iWork, there is a special check box a the bottom of the file saving menu that says “Save Copy As:”.  Place a check mark in the box and choose “Word Document”, “Power Point Presentation”, or “Excel Document”, depending on which iWork program you are using.  Your Mac will then save your file as a document that Microsoft Office can read.

What if you have already saved a file as an iWork document and later realize you want to share this document with someone who has Microsoft Office on a PC?  No problem at all!  Open up your iWork file and in the “File” menu choose the “Export” option.  A menu will pop up that will allow you to save a copy of the file as a document compatible with Microsoft Office.


Another Easy Solution

What many people do not realize is that Microsoft Office is available for the Mac.  If you want to create, use, and share Microsoft Office files on your Mac, one of the easiest solutions is to just purchase Microsoft Office for Mac instead of iWork.  The Office files created on a Mac will be compatible with Microsoft Office for the PC.

This solution will set you back a little bit more money, however.  Microsoft Office is available for $149.99 online while Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are available on the Mac App Store for $19.99 a piece.

It’s Ok to be a Mac Among PC’s!

Hopefully you have seen that, when it comes to working with documents, it is easy to make the switch from a PC to a Mac – even if your friends, teachers, coworkers, or family members are all still using a PC.  Microsoft Office files made on a PC are usable on a Mac with iWork installed.  It is also very easy to save files on a Mac using iWork that any PC running Microsoft Office can use.  For those of you who have been holding off on the purchase of a Mac due to worries about document compatibility, I hope this gives you the confidence to make that jump to a Mac!




Continue the Legacy of Service

// August 5th, 2011 // No Comments » // Tech Notes, Uncategorized, YouTube videos

I’m in this video in the default image 😉

Continue the Legacy of Service: “


Looking for Lion Apps Compatibility Info – Here’s a Good List

// July 20th, 2011 // No Comments » // Tech Notes

Looking for Lion Apps Compatibility Info – Here’s a Good List: “


If you’re thinking about whether to update to OS X Lion right away or hold off, one of your big concerns may be apps compatibility. It’s hard to get a good running start with a new OS if some of your essential apps won’t work with it.

This is definitely a subject I’ve been thinking about for months now, and I’ve been following the status of all of my key apps (everything I’ve got in my MacBook Pro’s dock) to help me decide on how soon to upgrade to Lion. The apps compatibility list I’ve been using is this one. from Roaring Apps:

It has apps organized alphabetically so it’s quite quick to find any app you’re looking for. Each app’s status is indicated with icons that are quite self-explanatory, and you’re of course looking for a green check mark for apps that are critical for you. The table is frequently updated and has helped me out a great deal. Thus far I haven’t seen an equivalent sort of resource from Apple themselves.

Up until recently, I had concerns about two essential apps: OmniFocus and Parallels Desktop – but both look good to go now.

How are things looking for you in terms of Lion and apps compatibility?


Creating a Ward Photo Directory

// July 14th, 2011 // No Comments » // Tech Notes

Creating a Ward Photo Directory: “

Curtis PalmerNot long ago, my wife received a new calling as the ward photographer. Her task, like many of her predecessors in wards around the world, was to create a ward photo directory for the bishopric to use. The bishopric was new, and learning names as well as faces was important.

My wife (and later a second ward photographer) spent hours corralling ward members after church or at ward functions to take family pictures. This was followed by cropping, editing, and creating a document with ward family names and contact information. Finally, printed photos were placed into the pages of the newly created binder with tabs. By the time they finished, there were already move-ins and move-outs to contend with.


How to Make Animated GIFs of Your Own Face

// February 23rd, 2011 // No Comments » // Tech Notes, web site ideas

How to Make Animated GIFs of Your Own Face: “

Filed under: , ,

Liana making cat face in animated gifWe’re living in the era of the GIF. When any brief snippet of video can be turned into an endlessly looping animation that becomes a facsimile of thoughts and emotions in online forums.

This year has already given us a treasure trove of new GIFs. On Funny Or Die, James Van Der Beek updated his infamous ‘Dawson Crying’ GIF with a series of new animations called ‘Van Der Memes.’ And the web circulated GIFS of shirtless U.S. soccer star Benny Feilhaber, snatched from a YouTube video titled ‘Benny Feilhaber Mimes ‘No Air.’

But we know how frustrating it can be browse the web without the perfect GIF in your arsenal. We’ve created a couple of GIFs of our own, and want to arm you with the ability to do the same. Here are the steps we took.

How to Make Animated GIFs of Yourself

1. Record video (we used iMovie)
2. Edit the clip until you have 2-5 good seconds
3. Export .mov files
4. Upload your files to Gifninja
5. Attack the internet!

Liana’s GIFs


1. Eye Roll 2. Safe for Work


3. OMG 4. ZOMG

5. Heart 6. Heart Attack

7. Whip My Hair 8. CATS!

Nick’s GIFs

1. But Why? 2. Look of Disapproval

3. Dreamworks Face 4. Happy Hands

5. LOL Face 6. OMG What?

7. Trollface 8. You Da Man!

Christine’s GIFs

1. I’m Confused 2. High Five!


3. Nope. 4. Nose Pick

5. Raise the Roof 6. Say It Into My Good Ear

7. I Sharted 8. You’ve Grown So Much!


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Lessons I Learned When My Laptop Was Stolen [Laptops]

// October 19th, 2010 // No Comments » // Tech Notes

Lessons I Learned When My Laptop Was Stolen [Laptops]: “

A month ago, developer Nikhil Kodilkar’s laptop was stolen. He had a few security measures in place, but he also learned a lot from the experience. Here are a few of his more important takeaways. More »


How to Fend off Unwelcome Callers [Annoyances]

// October 13th, 2010 // No Comments » // iPhone, Tech Notes

How to Fend off Unwelcome Callers [Annoyances]: “

Creepy stalkers, annoying telemarketers, jilted lovers: The list of people whose calls you don’t want can get long. And you might feel short on options for keeping their profane digits from polluting your sacred caller ID. You’re not. More »


9 Free Resources for Learning Photoshop

// October 8th, 2010 // No Comments » // Tech Notes, web site ideas

9 Free Resources for Learning Photoshop: “


This post originally appeared on My Life Scoop, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about using social media and technology for a more connected life.


If, like most people, you haven’t ‘layered’ since last winter and only ‘merge’ at speeds of 60 mph and over, getting accustomed to the lingo and layout of Photoshop can be daunting. These nine free resources are good places to learn how to lasso, dodge, burn, paint, filter or do whatever else you need to in order to accomplish your desired photo editing task.

If we didn’t mention your favorite Photoshop tutorial, add it in the comments below and let us know how it helped you in your design endeavors.

1. Adobe Tutorials




For a thorough introduction to the basics of Photoshop, starting at the source might be your best bet. Adobe provides tutorial videos that include everything from basic tool tours to step-by-step instructions on how to create a panorama. The commentary is a little vanilla, but it gets the job done.

2. You Suck at Photoshop




Mix together a healthy amount of sarcasm, a handful of cuss words, a narrator apparently bitter about a recent divorce, and Adobe’s tutorials, and you get the more entertaining and appropriately named Photoshop guide: You Suck at Photoshop. Using creative examples (like how to Photoshop a ‘treacherous commitment band’ wedding ring out of a photo), Donnie Hoyle gives step-by-step instructions for practical Photoshop tricks.

3. YouTube




If there’s a Photoshop feat you’re hoping to conquer, chances are there is a YouTube video that can help you. These ten videos will get you started.

4. Toolkit Tutorial




Photoshop icons can be mystifying to the uninitiated, but it’s much easier to figure out how to work in Photoshop if you start with an awareness of its basic tools. This tutorial teaches you what all those little Photoshop graphics mean and when to use each tool.

5. Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheet




Learning the keyboard shortcuts for the most frequent operations will save your time and your wrists. Print out a cheat sheet to keep by your computer for easy reference as you memorize.

6. Photoshop Forums




Sometimes it’s best to ask. If you have a question about Photoshop, find it in an existing thread or create your own on this forum.

7. Special Effect Tutorials




Bored with cropping and color correction? Jump into dramatic layouts and artistic effects — like ‘How to create a space girl photo manipulation’ — on this site.

8. Free Brush Roundup




Like painters, Photoshop geeks choose different brushes to create different effects on photos. Brushes determine the shape of the line that the paint brush tool and eraser create. Experiment with the free brushes that are rounded up on this site. This tutorial will teach you how to install them, and this tutorial will help you ‘brush up’ on potential designs using brushes.

9. Troubleshooting Photoshop for Dummies




Like most large programs, Photoshop occasionally freezes, freaks out or otherwise ignores what you want it to do. Follow the steps in this free troubleshooting guide to fix the problem or to bail by shutting the program down.

These nine resources should have you on your way to being a Photoshop pro. Let us know which Photoshop tutorials and resources you recommend in the comments below.

More Web Design Resources from Mashable:

Top 5 Web Font Design Trends to Follow
HOW TO: Score a Web Design Job
HOW TO: Customize Your Background for the New Twitter
How the iPad Is Transforming Web Design
11 Trends in Web Logo Design: The Good, the Bad and the Overused

Image courtesy of Flickr, Shermeee

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