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Jun
01

The Best Characters to Use When Naming Files and Folders

The Best Characters to Use When Naming Files and Folders

Back in the early 1980s, DOS filenames couldn’t be more than 8 characters long with a period and a 3-character extension. That was limiting, so when Apple developed the Mac operating system in 1984, it allowed longer names and eliminated the need for an extension, although Mac OS X’s Unix roots meant a return of the filename extension in 2001. Since then, filename restrictions have loosened to the point where it’s easy to think that they no longer exist.

If only that were true! In some ways, the situation has become even cloudier, thanks to additional limitations from file-sharing services like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box. (Google Drive’s native Web interface reportedly has no naming limitations, but files whose names contain Windows or macOS forbidden characters may not sync via Google Drive’s desktop software.) Plus, people tend to move files between operating systems more than ever before—if you’re sending a file from your Mac to a Windows user through Dropbox, you need to make sure that all three can deal with the filename.

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Jun
01

Business Uses of the Apple TV—Really!

Business Uses of the Apple TV—Really!

Many people have an Apple TV in the living room, hooked to a large-screen TV. It’s a great streaming media box for Apple TV+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and a slew of other services. It even supports a bunch of games. Don’t let the Apple TV’s consumer focus fool you, though. It’s also a highly useful device for businesses in two important ways: digital signage and presentation display.

Apple TV for Digital Signage

For businesses that need to post signs, it’s easy to print something out and stick it on the wall. But that can get out of hand quickly, and once you have more than a couple of sheets of paper posted, people won’t read them. And, let’s face it, a piece of paper taped to the wall isn’t exactly eye-catching. Professional-level design and large-format printing can help, but then costs start going up quickly, and print signs aren’t easy to update.

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Jun
01

Copy and Paste between Your Apple Devices with Universal Clipboard

Copy and Paste between Your Apple Devices with Universal Clipboard

Everyone is accustomed to using the Copy and Paste commands on the Mac, but fewer people know that you can also copy and paste between your Mac and your iPhone and iPad. Apple calls this feature Universal Clipboard, and it’s so deeply integrated into macOS, iOS, and iPadOS that it can be easy to miss. You won’t find a switch for Universal Clipboard or any other mention of it in System Preferences or Settings.

To use Universal Clipboard, all you have to do is copy some content—a bit of text, an image, a video—on one device, switch to another device, and paste it into an app that can accept the copied content. It’s a great way to move data between your devices. (When going from Mac to Mac, you can also copy and paste entire files in the Finder.)

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May
02

Apple Discontinues macOS Server—Start Your Migration Plans

Apple Discontinues macOS Server—Start Your Migration Plans

In a move that should surprise no one, Apple has discontinued macOS Server, which started out as a server-focused version of Mac OS X and eventually morphed into a set of add-on network servers for macOS. Exactly what was in macOS Server varied over time, but in 2018, Apple trimmed it to just Profile Manager, Open Directory, and Xsan. That was made possible in part because Apple integrated Caching Server, File Sharing Server, and Time Machine Server into every installation of macOS 10.13 High Sierra and later. If you’re still using macOS Server, you can continue to download (look through your purchases) and use the app with macOS 12 Monterey, but it’s time to start planning your migration since Apple says macOS Server won’t work at all in the next version of macOS. Contact us if you need advice on the best way to proceed.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Daniel Megias)

May
02

Copy and Paste Like a Pro with a Clipboard Utility

Copy and Paste Like a Pro with a Clipboard Utility

For our money, perhaps the most unheralded innovation of the computer age is Copy and Paste. No one thinks about the clipboard—that virtual shelf where copied text and images sit—because it just works. We all use Command-C to copy something and Command-V to paste it without having to retype the text, reimport the graphic, or whatever. Copy and Paste is a huge timesaver because it lets you reuse or build on work already done.

What if you could make Copy and Paste even more powerful? With the right clipboard utility installed on your Mac, you gain two major new features:

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