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Maintain your MacBook battery

The battery is the key component of any portable device, but did you know that battery maintenance is important to keeping your MacBook healthy? With proper maintenance and calibration, you can keep your computer's battery performing at its optimum, providing you with more juice when on the go.

Battery Calibration

A Mac portable is just that: a portable computer. It was designed to be plugged and unplugged to allow the battery to discharge and recharge on a normal cycle. As such, if you use your machine plugged in all the time, then it is important that you discharge (or calibrate) your battery every so often. If you rarely use the battery, then Apple recommends completely discharging the battery and charging it again at least once a month. If you use your notebook frequently on the battery and plug it in to "top off" the battery, then a full discharge cycle is required less often.

Follow these steps to calibrate the battery:

1. Plug in the power adapter and fully charge your MacBooks's battery until the light ring or LED on the power adapter plug changes to green and the onscreen meter in the menu bar indicates that the battery is fully charged.

2. Allow the battery to rest in the fully charged state for at least two hours. You may use your computer during this time as long as the adapter is plugged in.

3. Disconnect the power adapter while the computer still on and start running the computer off battery power. You may use your computer during this time. When your battery gets low, the low battery warning dialog appears on the screen.

4. At this point, save your work. Continue to use your computer; when the battery gets very low, the computer will automatically go to sleep.

5. Turn off the computer or allow it to sleep for five hours or more.

6. Connect the power adapter and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged again.


Checking Battery Condition

If you hold down the Option (alt) key on your keyboard while clicking the menu bar battery icon, then you'll see a Condition option. The battery condition can be in either one of four states: Normal, Replace Soon, Replace Now, or Service Battery.

Normal means that the battery is operating properly. 

Replace Soon means that the battery is functioning normally, but is currently holding less charge than it did when new, and may need replacing.

Replace Now means that the battery is functioning normally, but holds significantly less charge than the battery when new, and needs replacing before it could possibly do harm to your hardware.

Service Battery means that the battery isn't functioning properly or your computer has noticed a change in its behavior. You should take your battery and/or computer in for servicing if this problem continues after a few restarts.  


Long-term Storage

If you don't plan on using your Mac portable for more than a six-month time period, then you'll want to properly store your Mac's battery with a 50% charge. This will ensure that it won't fall into a deep-discharge state, or lose capacity and therefore have a shorter life.

Temperature is also a huge factor when storing your computer. You'll want to ensure your Mac and its battery are stored in an environment where the temperature is between 50ºF and 95ºF (10ºC and 35ºC). Anything more or less, and you could seriously damage your battery over a long period of time.

Find extended Wi-Fi network details

Did you know that you can quickly access information about your router, and check if your network is performing well? See your BSSID, signal-to-noise ratio, and even the transmit rate between your router and computer. All it takes is a press of a button and a click of your trackpad/mouse.

If you hold down the Option (alt) key and click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, it will  provide you with details about your router and the network you're using. The items in gray (except for "Wi-Fi: On") are all pieces of additional information seen only in this mode.

• IP Address: This is your computer's IP address.

• Router: Your router's IP address. You can type this into your browser to access your router's web interface.

• Internet: This tells you if you are able to access the internet or not. If not, open Wireless Diagnostics.

• Security: Your router's security. Most routers on the market offer WPA2 Personal, and it keeps your network encrypted.

• BSSID: This is your router's MAC, or hardware address. It acts as an identifier for your router that lets it talk to other network-connected devices.

• Channel: This is your WLAN channel, and it determines which radio frequency the router uses to transmit information.

• RSSI: Received Signal Strength Indicator measures how well a device "hears" a signal from the router. It's useful for determining if you have enough signal to get a good wireless connection.

• Noise: This measures how much radio noise is interfering with the RSSI signal. Signal-to-noise ratio is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels.

• TX Rate: The transmit rate is the speed of the data that is transmitted between your router and your computer. Right now I have a speed of 450 Mbps.

• PHY Mode: This is the wireless protocol that the router uses, according to the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard.

• MCS Index: This number corresponds to the protocols uses to encode the radio signal.

 

Launch files and apps on a scheduled date

If you've ever wished you could schedule the opening of a specific file, or set an application to launch on a specific date and time, either on a one off basis or on a recurring scheduled event, you can actually do both right in macOS with the help of none other than the default Calendar app.

• Open Calendar in macOS and create a new event, either by clicking the [+] plus button or by double-clicking on any date
• Double-click the event to display event details
• Click on the date and time section
• Pull down the "alert" menu and choose "Custom…"
• Pull down the "Message" menu and choose "Open file"
• Directly under the menu, pull down the next menu and choose "Other...", then use the file browser to select the file you want to open on a schedule
• Choose "OK" when finished

Once the date arrives, the selected file will launch automatically in the default application at the date and time specified in Calendar as the alert. Use the “repeat" function to set the file to consistently relaunch on the given date and time provided. These can be standard, or custom repeating schedules like every last Friday of the month. The repeat feature is an excellent additional trick for repetitive tasks that use the same file, like a weekly or monthly earnings report, tax document, expense sheet, or whatever else requires regular use on a scheduled basis.

 

Safari ".com" shortcut

Posted in Safari Tips & Tricks

In the previous versions of Safari you could navigate to a URL without having to type ".com". The same can be done in Safari 10 with one extra keystroke.

Entering "apple" in the location bar of Safari will yield you Google search results for those terms. However, including a trailing slash will cause Safari to add the ".com" to a logical location in the address, and take you to that URL. So, "apple/" will take you to "apple.com". Finally, if you type “apple/macbook”, Safari will go to "apple.com/macbook”.

Sharing Apple notes

Posted in Notes Tips & Tricks

One of the features macOS Sierra brings to the table is collaboration, specifically in Notes. Sharing notes is a great way to collaborate with your friends, family or coworkers.

Sharing notes is simple. Open Notes - you’ll find the app in your Applications folder or in Launchpad. You’ll see a new sharing button next to the share button on top. Click on it, and you can type in names or email addresses from your Contacts.

Once you choose people to share with, you can send the invitation in several ways:

• Mail
• Messages
• Link
• Twitter
• Facebook
• AirDrop
• LinkedIn

Once the person accepts the invitation, they are free to edit the note as long as they are running iOS 10 and/or macOS Sierra. You can change the level of access that each person has too.

Keep in mind that you can only share notes stored in iCloud, not notes stored on your device. You also can’t share password-protected notes. It’s easy to see which notes you’re sharing because the person icon will be presented in the list.