Our Current Methods

Attached: Our Current Methods
Message from info@j2mac.com:

http://bit.ly/j2currentmethods I am inspired to create a doc that has all of our current methodologies. I'm going to update it from time to time, and rely on Google Docs to keep revisions.

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The Usual Scenario

Client buys a new Mac

Typical Purchase

Single CPU for home or small biz. Client should walk out of the Apple Store with at least:

  • Mac

I think everyone should have a laptop as their main computer, buy maybe they really want an iMac.

  • AppleCare

Maaaybe someone wants to buy at Best Buy and get their extra coverage, but I want every Mac to have AppleCare. Businesses can negotiate for custom AppleCare quotes.

  • External hard drive
    (See the section on Backups for current software selections.)

This can be a 1TB or 2TB Time Capsule, but if they already have a wireless router, then an external drive with FireWire is essential. In San Antonio, the 3 brands that both are available and don’t suck completely are LaCie and G-Tech (Apple Store) and Seagate (Best Buy). 

The number of LaCie d2 Quadra drives we have unpacked and installed has probably entered 3 digits: FireWire 800 is now standard on every Mac except the MacBook, and the extra option of eSATA rocks. Until recently, we spec’ed the 500GB model, but since the 1TB unit is $154 on Amazon, that size has entered the sweet spot of price-per-gigabyte.



  • Consumers

If a client uses an email address given them by their ISP, we immediately start pushing them to sign up for a Gmail address. If they don’t want to do it, fine, but it’s easy to assure them that the process, described below, is quite easy and painless.

So, obviously you sign ’em up http://gmail.com. Then we turn on forwarding in the ISP’s webmail, and the vacation responder as well, to say, “Thanks for writing me. Please know that, from now on, you can find me at yaddayadda@gmail.com.” Also, in Gmail settings, we configure a filter that “labels” any mail sent to the old address as, for example, “satx.rr.com” or “sbcglobal” or whatever.

Other Gmail settings to tweak are: keyboard shortcuts ON, IMAP enabled, and HTTPS/SSL enforced.

Obviously, we are usually going to configure Apple’s Mail.app. See this hint for a good tweaking of Google’s recommended config for Mail (I am going to comment on that hint with a couple of amendments that I have found useful). But I want people to get familiar with the Google webmail interface. Show them filters and labels. Consider showing them Docs, Calendar, and Buzz, and even Wave if they’re a bit nerdy.

  • Businesses

Business clients are always asked who their email host is, if any. 

New Mac setup

  • Run Software Update.
  • Next, System Preferences:

    1. Desktop & Screen Saver: Turn off “Translucent menu bar,” and demo RSS screensaver.
    2. Security: Turn on the Firewall and enable Stealth Mode. Consider “Require password to wake from sleep.”
    3. Keyboard: Turn on “All controls” for a tab-able interface.
    4. Trackpad: Turn on “Tap to click.”
    5. Sharing: Anonymize computer name. Consider File and Screen Sharing for desktops, but turn off every service on laptops.
    6. Accounts: Configure second admin account called “Administrator,” with the same password as the primary user. On laptops, turn off “Automatic login.” On any Mac, turn on “Allow guests to log in,” and turn off “Allow guests to connect to shared folders.” Consider additional user accounts and fast user switching.
    7. Date & Time: Make sure network time service is enabled.
    8. Time Machine: (See section on Backups.)
  • Next, install freeware: See this blog post for Things I Download on Every Mac. Direct links are included.
  • Safari: Turn on Autofill for “User names and passwords,” and “When a new tab or window opens, make it active.” Set new windows and new tabs to open to “Empty Page.”
  • Mail.app: Bold unread messages. See above for configuring Mail for Gmail.

  • On-site
1 Partition on external hard drive. SuperDuper backup will live side-by-side with Time Machine.
Time Machine
SuperDuper (Carbon Copy Cloner is great, but just not as clean, and not anywhere near as FAST as SuperDuper. Also, CCC can’t co-exist with Time Machine backing up to the same partition.)
  • Off-site
MobileMe Backup is fine for basics. If they don’t have MobileMe, consider MozyHome (free) or Carbonite ($5/month and unlimited, use coupon code TWiT.)

Posted via email from J2 Tech Blog

Author: jjmarcus

Apple Specialist, Mac Whisperer, Cloud Wrangler - Your Remote CTO

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