Creative Cloud – Some Quick Fixes for InDesign

If you are using InDesign (Creative Cloud) and are having a problem with text boxes that appear blank – even when there is still text in them – and the number of times you can “undo” seems to fluctuate, here’s a fix for these problems!

 

Restart Your Computer

Start by restarting your computer by holding down the shift key, which will start up in “Safe Boot” mode, which actually cleans up some caches and temp files in OS X. Once you see the login screen, don’t login. Below it is a “Restart” or a “Back” button that will take you to “Restart” – do that instead, and let it start up as you normally would do.

 

Delete InDesign Preferences

 

CC Indesign blog graphicOnce your desktop is up, hold down command-option-control-shift and launch InDesign. It will ask to “Delete InDesign Preference Files?” – and click YES. This does what it says, so your units and other basic settings will need to be reset, but it gets rid of any weirdness that may be affecting InDesign. It does not affect your window or palate settings.

 

Get in the Help You Need Fast!

If this doesn’t do the trick, please get in touch with us at Central Coast and we’ll take a look. If your computer is your #1 tool for doing business (and making you money!), it needs to work well for you 100 percent of the time. Our billable rate is probably lower than yours – calling in our experts to quickly fix issues that affect your productivity is simply smart business. Email us at service@centralcoastweb.com or call 763.422.3922.

By | October 14th, 2014|Design, Help, Training|0 Comments

ALERT: “Shellshock” Security Threat Can Affect Mac Computers

WHAT IS IT?

Another day, and yet another security threat has been announced. This one exposes a 20-year old hole that’s been in the UNIX OS called “Bash” that resides inside of every Mac. This could allow an outside attacker to have your computer execute commands, and potentially give them access to your machine without your knowledge.

 

DOES IT AFFECT ME?

Likely no – by default Macs do not have externally accessible services turned on – but servers and services that provide a web interface to the outside world are potentially threatened. This would include any service accessible by a web browser; web server, FTP server, email server with webmail, wiki, web or internet sharing, some games, etc.

 

HERE’S WHAT APPLE SAYS ABOUT IT:

“The vast majority of OS X users are not at risk to recently reported bash vulnerabilities,” an Apple spokesperson said. “Bash, a UNIX command shell and language included in OS X, has a weakness that could allow unauthorized users to remotely gain control of vulnerable systems. With OS X, systems are safe by default and not exposed to remote exploits of bash unless users configure advanced UNIX services. We are working to quickly provide a software update for our advanced UNIX users.”

As with most of these announced “possible exploits”, they are just that – possible – but that does not mean they are being used actively.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Don’t install ANY software or updates without asking Central Coast! If a software hack is installed on your Mac that makes it externally accessible, it could open your machine up to attack. Knowing that the industry is working on a fix, we would wait until that is available and install it. Central Coast will announce when its ready.

 

Turn off any services on your Macs you really aren’t using. Go to Apple>System Preferences>Sharing and turn off anything that’s on there you don’t directly understand. Ask if you have any questions. We see a lot of people with Apple Servers they set up themselves for simple file sharing with EVERY service turned on, which is not only reduces performance but gives more than one way for a bad guy to get into your server.

 

If you have a server that has externally accessible services, we are monitoring this issue closely and will work with you to get a plan in place for them.

 

WHAT’S THE LESSON HERE?

No computer are ever really “safe” unless you disconnect your internet connection. People write software, and people screw up, so we’ll never have a fully secure computing world. Reducing your “exposure” is the key to keeping your file, private and financial data safe. Here are the best practices for internet security in general:

  • Don’t install any software or update without asking first. Really, there are no “routine updates”, everything is suspect.
  • Have separate, unique passwords for all services you interact with, and use 1Password, LastPass, etc. to help manage them.
  • If you must use the “cloud”, use it for temporary transferring of data only, not storing data long term. These servers out outside your control and are one breach away from exposing your data.
  • Email delivery of “malware” is on the rise, so don’t click links, accept or install anything that wants to install once you open a message. If its from a “trusted source” like a service or bank you frequent, you should be able to go to their website and and get the same result, so don’t click links in email to get their – do it manually through your browser.
  • Don’t let kids use computers that you use for your business! Get them their own machines to play on. We see a LOT of issues with this!

 

We’re here to help! Let us know if you think you may have opened the door to issues on your machine, and we’ll get things back in order and secure. If we haven’t seen you in a while, now may be a good time to go through your Mac and make sure everything is operating its best.

 

Email us at service@centralcoastweb.com.

By | September 26th, 2014|Apple Software, Design, FAQ, Featured, Help, Photography, Security|0 Comments

CCS FAQ – Our Most Popular Questions

q_aHere’s a quick rundown of the questions we hear most often from our customers.

 

Understanding your ROI

Q. Help me understand the return on my investment when I hire Central Coast for my tech resource.

 

A. There a couple ways to think about this from both a big-picture and detailed point of view.

 

First, our hourly rate is likely to less than your billable rate for your clients. For example, if you are a graphic designer charging $125+ an hour for your services, by purchasing a Maintenance Plan or Service Plan hours, you will be paying us less than what it costs you do your own tech support. Additionally, before you think about hiring a person on staff to do tech support, consider the total cost to carry that headcount. Using Central Coast would be a third to half of that cost for a 10-15 person agency, for example. Our Service Plans are affordable and help you meet the needs of your budget.

 

Second, we are experts and this is what we do. Out team of technicians has a collective experience that far outweighs even the most avid “office tech.” We can likely fix things faster, maintain things at a higher level, and ensure your business won’t have to deal with as many emergencies that disrupt business. That said we work alongside you, as there are a number of things that can be done on your end to maintain the basics while we stay accountable for the more intricate areas.

 

Finally, if you are in business to make money (and we hope that you are), then your tools are your life line to your customers. They help you communicate. They help you create deliverables. They help you collaborate. There’s no excuse for NOT having them function the way you need them to so that you can do great work. When you do great work, we are happy.

 

Don’t Block Out the Sunshine!

Q. We’re thinking of moving our company to live in the Cloud. What do you think?

 

A. We have a separate post dedicated to this issue. Click here. In a nutshell, Central Coast is NOT a fan of Cloud Computing! There are other options that cost less money in the long run, are far more secure, have easy access through VPN from offsite…but most importantly, keep your data and your clients’ data under your control. Cloud providers do a bang-up job of marketing the perceived pros, but rarely mention the cons. So do your research before you leap to the cloud, because if you change your mind, getting your data back out can be a painstaking process and be highly disruptive to your business.

 

Cost Efficient and Convenient

Q. What’s the difference between buying my equipment from the Apple Store, and buying from Central Coast?

 

A. We offer hardware as a service to our customers, and give the best pricing possible.

 

Before you purchase anything, we look at what you need from a functionality standpoint, along with the other equipment you already own and the other components that need to connect with your new equipment. We ask about things that the Apple Store or an online retailer wouldn’t know – such as how the equipment will be used, the software it will run, the other components it needs to connect with, to how fast your Internet connection will run, even personal preferences. Purchasing technology hardware is rarely a standalone decision.

 

Once your equipment arrives, we deliver it to your location, set it up for you, and make sure it’s functioning the way you need it to. And if something goes wrong, we’ll help make sure it gets fixed so you aren’t left hanging out there alone to figure it out.

 

AppleCare is a wonderful investment and something we always recommend. It costs a small fraction of what you already investing in the hardware. Machines do have problems from time to time in their first few years. AppleCare is three-year smart insurance plan. We can take care of getting this for you too.

 

What’s Included?

Q. When I purchase a new Mac, does your service include moving my photos and music?

 

A. Yes! We’ll move them all over, along with your other data, settings, bookmarks, etc. It will be 100 percent seamless for you.

 

Accounting Software

Q. Do you know of a good alternative to Quicken for Mac?

 

A. Yes – try Moneydance. It imports Quicken file and is only $49. We hear great things from our clients about this software.

 

Internal Storage

Q. How much internal storage should I have on my Mac?

 

A. Upgrading the internal storage device of your existing Mac to a 512GB or 1TB Flash Drive is a huge performance benefit that will greatly enhance the long-term viability of the machine. You should balance the cost against having a faster computer, which also extends of the value of its usefulness later on too.

 

Worth the Space?

Q. We don’t want equipment “clogging up” our office space. Is Apple Time Capsule an option?

 

A. Yes, however, be aware that an internal drive is not serviceable in the Time Capsule, so a drive issue (and these do occur) means the unit is not longer working – period. Even if it happens under warranty, your data will be lost with a new unit replacement. Time Capsules are great for backing up your office machines, but they are not a server, and shouldn’t be used as one.

 

My Font Library Needs a Tune Up

Q. What happens when we hire Central Coast to do a “font review” on our Mac?

 

A. New OS and Creative Suite versions are less tolerant of older TrueType and Postscript fonts. When we clean up your library, we’ll convert your “must have” older fonts to the modern OpenType versions, and help you learn font management.

 

Backup Systems

Q. What’s the difference between Crash Plan and Time Machine? Do we need both?

 

A. Time Machine is a local backup of your entire computer, and a fast way to recover your data in an emergency. Crash Plan is set up to automatically update everything with no inconvenience to the user, but takes some time download back to a new machine, and cannot be used to directly recover from a startup drive failure like Time Machine can. Depending on how and who is using the machine – we’ll talk with you about a backup plan that will work best for you. The most important thing is that you know you need one.

 

 

Update: It might be time to upgrade your Mac

13MBA_PF_Open_Mavericks_SCREENWhen is the Right Time?

With “Mavericks” finally getting more stable, Apple has released its new OS X “Yosemite” – the tenth version of the operating system named OS Ten (it looks like Apple is done with cat names. They only had one horse name, and have now moved on to parks). It is the only OS that will run on new Macs.

 

Now that Yosemite is released, it will not run the current 10.8 (“Lion”) or 10.9 (“Mavericks”) – and that can be a big issue.

 

Should you upgrade to Mavericks if you are still on Lion? It depends. OS X 10.8.5 is finally stable, and everything works on it, so now would be a good time to do the upgrade. Adobe, Microsoft, Extensis and others have gotten all the issues worked out and things are working pretty well, but Mavericks OS is a complete re-write and likely will affect software, networking, printing or some other mission-critical thing you need to do. That being said, you need to have a Mac that will eventually run 10.9, so being at 10.8.5 is a great start. There are a number of complicated items involved in the update so contact us and we’ll make sure its done correctly.

 

Hardware Update

The current line of Macs are all very fast, stable and feature-packed. If you have an older Mac, we recommend getting one now. Right now. The MacBook Pros and iMacs were recently updated and are the fastest designer Macs out there. The 15″ Retina MacBook Pro and a 27″ Thunderbolt display are an excellent choice for those who need to take their work on the go.

 

If you have a lot of apps running at the same time (press command-tab and look at the list). Its convenient, but each of them requires some RAM and hard drive space while its running. OS X takes about 1GB itself, and Photoshop grabs up to 70 percent of the RAM in your Mac when its running, so you can see how quickly it gets used. We recommend no less than 8GB of RAM, and if the Mac will take it, go to 16GB or 32GB. Many Macs even just a couple years old can’t expand to that level, and that reason alone is a good one to upgrade your hardware.

 

The latest Macs all have the option of either Fusion or SSD hard drives – both of which and far faster than traditional hard drives. Fusion drives combine a fast RAM area with a spinning hard drive, and store the OS and most used apps in that area for quick access. Solid State Disks or Flash Storage are up to 5 times faster than spinning drives. That speed comes at a higher cost however, and SSDs are still far smaller in capacity than spinning drives, so many designers are opting for the 1TB or 3TB Fusion Drives.

 

We’ll need to custom order new Macs with the features you need as many of them are not easily upgradable after purchase – so adding the faster processor, hard drive and RAM options need to be done day one. Also, the order time on new Macs has been 8-10 days so plan accordingly.

 

Software Update

In order to run Adobe CC, you will need to be on OS X 10.8.5. Coming from 10.6.8 is $19.99 for the OS, but you’ll also need to update your Microsoft Office to 2011, and Suitcase to Fusion 5. Note that older versions of apps may not run under 10.8, so if you have any questions on these apps – ask.

 

Many people have older font libraries that will need updating to be used properly by the latest OS X and applications. We know a lot about fonts and can assist with that process or take care of it for you. It’s astounding the number of people who do not know how to use font management tools. We can help!

 

We’ve offered this before, but feel free to send us your System Profile and we’ll determine the best course of action for your existing Mac – upgrade or replacement. Go to the Apple Menu>About this Mac and then System Report. Click File>Save and save the report to your desktop and email to service@centralcoastweb.com.

 

Enjoy, and Let Us Know If We Can Help With Anything – It’s What We Do.

 

-Ed Klemz, Owner, Central Coast Solutions

By | June 15th, 2014|Apple Hardware, Featured, Help, Products, Upgrades|0 Comments

Update: It might be time to upgrade your Mac

October 2013

We’ve been getting a lot of end-of-year budget planning questions and it brings up an important piece of news that will affect many of you. Apple will soon be releasing its new OS X 10.9 “Mavericks” (I guess they’re done with cat names and have moved on to horses) and when they do, it will be the only OS that will run on new Macs. What that means is if you buy a Mac with 10.9 it will likely not run the current 10.8 – and that’s going to be a big issue.

OS X 10.8.5 is finally stable, and everything works on it, so now would be a good time to do the upgrade. Adobe, Microsoft, Extensis and others have gotten all the issues worked out and things are working pretty well, but this new OS is a complete re-write and likely will affect software, networking, printing or some other mission-critical thing you need – so there is no need for you to be an early adopter. That being said, you need to have a Mac that will eventually run 10.9, so being at 10.8.5 is a great start. There are a number of complicated items involved in the update so for sure contact us and we’ll make sure its done correctly.

HARDWARE:
The current line of Macs are all very fast, stable and feature-packed. If you have an older Mac, we recommend getting one now. Right now. The MacBook Pros and iMacs were recently updated and are the fastest designer Macs out there. I’ve gone with the new 15″ Retina MacBook Pro and a 27″ Thunderbolt display for my setup and its an excellent choice for those who need to take their work on the go. Contact me for more details, but as an incentive we’re giving $100 off any new Mac system with AppleCare, to all of our clients.

If you are like me, you have a lot of apps running at the same time (press command-tab and look at the list). Its convenient, but each of them requires some RAM and hard drive space while its running. OS X takes about 1GB itself, and Photoshop grabs up to 70% of the RAM in your Mac when its running, so you can see how quickly it gets used. We recommend no less than 8GB of RAM, and if the Mac will take it, go to 16GB or 32GB. Many Macs even just a couple years old can’t expand to that level, and that reason alone is a good one to upgrade your hardware.

The latest Macs all have the option of either Fusion or SSD hard drives – both of which and far faster than traditional hard drives. Fusion drives combine a fast RAM area with a spinning hard drive, and store the OS and most used apps in that area for quick access. Solid State Disks or Flash Storage are up to 5 times faster than spinning drives. That speed comes at a higher cost however, and SSDs are still far smaller in capacity than spinning drives, so many designers are opting for the 1TB or 3TB Fusion Drives.

We’ll need to custom order new Macs with the features you need as many of them are not easily upgradable after purchase – so adding the faster processor, hard drive and RAM options need to be done day one. Also, the order time on new Macs has been 8-10 days so plan accordingly.

SOFTWARE:
In order to run Adobe CC, you will need to be on OS X 10.8.5. Coming from 10.6.8 is $19.99 for the OS, but you’ll also need to update your Microsoft Office to 2011, and Suitcase to Fusion 5. Note that older versions of apps may not run under 10.8, so if you have any questions on these apps – ask.

Many people have older font libraries that will need updating to be used properly by the latest OS X and applications. We know a lot about fonts and can assist with that process or do it for you.

I’ve offered this before, but feel free to send me your System Profile and I’ll determine the best course of action for your existing Mac – upgrade or replacement. Go to the Apple Menu>About this Mac and then System Report. Click File>Save and save the report to your desktop and email to me.

Enjoy, and let me know if we can help with anything – its what we do.

-Ed

By | October 7th, 2013|Apple Hardware, Help, Upgrades|0 Comments

Apple Expert Repair & Service

We get it. You don’t want to think about how your computer works. You just want to know that it will.

We’re a different kind of Macintosh sales, service and training experts, because we see your world from the other side of the glass—the productivity, get more done an hour earlier side. We don’t ask what do you need, but why do you need it.

We make it a point to get to know how you work and how your business works before we ever open our mouths and start speaking “geek”. Actually, we try not to speak “geek”. We prefer to speak “painless creativity” and “happy returning client” instead.

At Central Coast Solutions there are no dumb questions—ever. Come, learn, create.

Contact us today for help fixing your computer or software problems and learn how to prevent them ever happening at all.

By | March 12th, 2011|Apple Repairs, Apple Service, Apple Support, Help|0 Comments