ICanHelp

iCanHelp! is a technical support business servicing the Aitkin, Brainerd Lakes and surrounding areas in central Minnesota. We specialize in servicing Apple products like Macs and iPhones but also do work on Windows PC in general as well.

[08/21/19]   Note to area ISPs: If you are in the business of offering wifi built into your modems, then please be sure to add your customer's printer back to their new wifi network when you replace their modem/router. I receive at least one call a day and two already this morning from people who had their modems replaced and now their printer won't work because it is no longer on their network as the SSID and the password has changed. I do not have the time to help all of these callers and it is unfair to ask them to pay me $75 or more to come to their home to reconnect their printer to their network. If you are a customer of any ISP and your modem and router are the same piece of equipment, be sure that the technician replacing your modem/router reconnects all of your devices to the new wifi network. This goes for Computers, Printers, Alexas, AppleTVs and so on. When your ISP replaces your modem/router it will cause all of your connected devices to go offline unless they update these devices with the new SSID and password. I would love to help everyone but I simply can't.

youtube.com

Retrieving data from damaged iPhones: Repair expert says Apple misleading customers

Apple is lying to customers. That’s a harsh statement but it gets worse. They aren’t just lying, they are actively deleting comments in their discussion forums that educate customers that data recovery is actually possible. Apple is a publicly traded company. They are knowingly lying to customers. We need a Right to Repair law in this country. We need to hold these companies responsible for their lies and misleading customers.

https://youtu.be/K98JYRBGyrg

A few months ago, The National took a documentary look at allegations that Apple was indulging in abusive business practices, including regularly overchargin...

[03/29/19]   If you use Microsoft Office 365 on macOS 10.12 or 10.13 and can’t sign in, you aren’t alone. Removal and re-install will not solve the issue. You have to download an older version of Office 2016, activate it and redownload the updates. Just Microsoft being wonderful again.

[03/22/19]   iCanHelp! is moving. I will be out of my Aitkin office at the end of the month. After more than 3 years, I am returning to my more mobile roots. Working primarily out of my home I will be doing more on site work in Client’s homes and businesses. My contact info will remain the same. To schedule a meeting with me, contact me via text, email or phone and we will schedule a time. With the recent opening of the Shared Office Space in the Butler building, I will be using this resource for face to face meetings and classes right next door to my current shop location. I thank everyone for their business in my current Butler Building location and look forward to serving the Aitkin area for a long time to come.

[01/07/19]   PSA: How to spot and avoid scams. First off, the large tech companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, HP, Dell and others, will NEVER EVER CALL YOU! Your ISP will never call you. These companies will never call or email you with specific information about you or your account. If you see a pop up on your computer or phone reporting you somehow have a problem with your computer, and there is a phone number to call in the pop up, NEVER CALL IT! These are always, 110% of the time scams.

If you get an email from one of these companies that looks very legitimate with a link you are supposed to click on to log into your account to take some action, NEVER click the link! If you want to check the legitimacy of the link in the email, hover your mouse over it. Most email programs will show you the URL to which the link goes. If the URL is ANYTHING but the root domain of the company supposedly emailing you, it’s a scam. For instance, if it’s an email from Apple say about your iCloud account, the Primary domain should be apple.com/, if you see a domain that is something like apple.com.myscambusiness.ru/password-reset, the primary domain is the part right before the /. So in this case the Primary domain is myscambusiness.ru. It matters not that apple appears before that Primary domain.

All of these types of emails are phishing attempts. They try to trick you into giving them your real password. They then use these passwords to steal information from you, or worse, use these accounts to purchase products which they ship to themselves and you are left with the charges.

Here is a good general rule of thumb to go by. No large company will ever willingly spend more money than the must supporting their clients. This means they will never call you. They don’t want to talk to you. Talking to you costs them money. This is why finding a tech support number for these companies is difficult. So if they go out of their way to make it hard for you to call them, then they will most certainly never call you.

When doing anything on your computer or phone, be absolutely skeptical of ANY request for your password or information about yourself. If you yourself need to call one of these companies for support, be sure you are calling the actual company. You can not type HP Tech Support into Google and actually get HP. There are hundreds of scam (and a few legitimate) companies out there that claim they do HP Tech Support. Sure, they can, just as anyone with technical knowledge can assist you with your HP product. HOWEVER, this does not mean the company you are speaking to is actually HP. I would estimate the majority of these companies are scams, and sadly Google is perfectly happy taking their advertising dollars even though they know most of them are scams.

Speaking of Google, Google has absolutely zero phone or email tech support. Unless you are a paying customer of one of their business products like G-Suite, they offer absolutely no person to person technical support. So all calls, emails or popups claiming to be Google can be utterly ignored. Same is true for Microsoft. Zero support for their free products like Hotmail.

So what’s the best thing to do if you get one of these popups claiming your computer has 150 viruses? Close it. Just close it. Ignore it. 10,000 other people got the exact same popup you just did. What if you can’t close it? What if it just keeps popping back up? In these cases you need a bigger hammer... metaphorically speaking of course. If you can’t close the popup, you have to Force Quit or End the Task of the web browser you are in. So if you are in Google Chrome, you have to do a Control+Alt+Delete on you PC to bring up the task manager. You can them select Google Chrome and End Task. This will forcibly close Chrome but will get rid of the popup.

Here’s how most scams operate. They get you on the phone somehow. They convince you to let them control your computer. NEVER DO THIS. But in many cases people do let them. They click some buttons and up comes a screen showing you your computer has hundreds of viruses and your personal information has been leaked to hackers, and your IP address is being monitored. (None of this is likely true until this very moment you let them into your computer.) Then these scammers tell you they can solve your problem for $49 or $99. Then they usually spend a few minutes pretending to do work after which they tell you the issue is bigger than they thought and it will take hours to fix. At this time the price jumps to $149 or $199, BUT WAIT!!.. they have a deal for you. Instead of $199 for this single fix, they will offer to “help” for a full year for great deal of only $299, or $499 for 2 years. If you’ve encountered a tech support company like this after calling a phone number, it’s a scam. At this point these crooks have had access to your computer for who knows how long. You must assume they have all your stored passwords and any credit card or bank information you have stored on your computer. Turn your computer off, take it to a local repair shop. The very best bet is to have them completely backup and wipe your system. You will have to do the work or resetting all your passwords and securing your bank account.

Lastly, as I said before, be skeptical. If someone calls you, or a website is soliciting a call from you, it is almost certainly a scam. Do NOT call them. Do NOT call them just to see or make sure it’s a scam. As soon as you call them you are on their list. All they need is a phone number of a person they deem a possible target. They will not leave you alone after that. They will keep calling.

When in doubt, ignore it, close it, and move on with your business. Please share this if you would. So many people get taken for so much money, we really need PSAs like this run every night during the news, but they don’t, so we must educate everyone ourselves. Protect yourself and protect your family. Talk to them about scams and how to spot them.

[10/06/18]   URGENT: Do NOT do the Windows 10 1809 October update. It is deleting files from some users.

So this little vehicle was stopped in traffic outside my office in Aitkin just a minute ago. Apple is truly mapping all of the US I guess from scratch. Thanks for visiting Apple!

parallels.com

Parallels: Mac & Windows Virtualization, Manage Mac, VDI & RDS Solutions

Did you know you can run Windows, or virtually any other operating system on your Mac? Parallels is an application that allows you to host "Virtual Machines" or VM for short. This VMs enable your Mac to run Windows 7, Windows 10, Linux or even different versions or different instances of macOS. Do you have one program that only works in Windows? Run in it a VM and eliminate the need to have multiple computers in your life. Have the best of both worlds. A copy of Parallels can be purchased for about $70 and a copy of Windows (OEM version) can be purchased for about $35.

https://www.parallels.com

parallels.com Creator of the No. 1-selling software for running Windows® applications on a Mac. Parallels provides desktop and application virtualization across devices

MOTHERBOARD

This is why you should not leave your laptop plugged in all the time. This is also why battery health and maintenance is critically important. Lithium ion batteries are most unstable when at 100% charge. If your laptop is charged and just sitting on your desk, unplug it before you go to bed. Modern laptops will only drain a couple percent overnight. Additionally, leaving your laptop plugged in for weeks at a time is terrible for the battery. Think of batteries like muscles. If you don’t use them you lose them. Lithium ion batteries begin to break down if left at 100% charge for long periods of time. You may think you are saving your battery but you are doing it harm. Exercise your battery, drain it once a week at minimum and don’t leave them plugged in if you can help it.

https://www.facebook.com/motherboardtv/posts/10155869639457561

Burnin' down the house.

Print to Size – perfect images, no waste

If you are printing from your iPhone or iPad and want some quick easy to use app that makes your life very flexible in order to print photos on any size paper or multiple photos on one piece of paper, take a look at this app. Easy and cheap for what it does with lots of paper options.

youtube.com

The World’s Best File Naming System

This is a great tip. I agree with everything in it, most notably the date structure. Date structures in everything should be YearMonthDay ie 20180304. Using this structure, a numerical file list will always be in the exact chronological order. Give the video a watch. All good information.

https://youtu.be/1lutNrHI_ac

To sign up for a free email course for more tips about organizing, backing up, and archiving your files, visit https://getprostorage.com/how-to-archive-email...

rogueamoeba.com

Rogue Amoeba | Farrago: Robust, rapid-fire soundboards

Hot Dang! This is an awesome little app. I wish I hosted a radio show or podcast so I had a need for this. I had wondered why an app like this didn't exist. Radio shows are always seeming to use these overly complicated and unstable sound clip software. So it you need an awesome little soundboard app, check out Rogue Amoeba's new offering!!

https://rogueamoeba.com/farrago/

rogueamoeba.com

grc.com

GRC | InSpectre

Trying to figure out if your Windows PC has been patched to fix the massive Speculative Execution CPU bugs known as Spectre and Meltdown? Try out InSpectre. InSpectre checks for both Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. This app was created by Steve Gibson a well known and very well respected security researcher. You need to patch systems that are vulnerable ASAP.

https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm

grc.com InSpectre - Inspect Windows Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerability

youtube.com

Apple's iPhone Battery Repair Drama is EXAGGERATED!

Wonders never cease. Somebody actually posted a factual, explanatory video on the Apple battery nontroversy. If you see a headline “Apple slowing down old iPhones” you are being lied to. Apple is NOT slowing down old iPhones. It has nothing to do with the age of the phone. Apple is throttling iPhones with bad batteries to prevent random shutdowns. The same phone with a new battery would work at 100%. This has NOTHING to do with the age of the iPhone. Apple is one of the few manufactures that even offer battery replacements. iPhones are one of only a handful of top tier phones that you can even do a battery replacement on since most are so glued together you would severely damage the rest of the phone to swap out your aging battery. Apple’s problem was not informing the customer that they had a bad battery. Does your car tell you when it’s battery is bad? No. It just doesn’t start. Batteries are a consumable product. If you use them, they wear out. All batteries, in every product ever have been consumable. What is the misunderstanding here??

If your iPhone’s battery is failing, I can swap it out for $40 or $50 depending on the model. If you are near an Apple Store, they will now do it for $30 (down from $79). Batteries don’t last forever. If your phone meets your needs and still runs a modern version of iOS, it is well worth the replacement cost of the battery.

https://youtu.be/8k3TT-T-vyw

Recently, Apple has been in the news (and not the good news) for throttling older devices. Is it planned obsolescence by design from an evil company—or just ...

Battery Life

Check your battery for wear rate. Batteries wear out. They will need to be replaced at some point. Shops like mine do it for $40 to $50 depending on the model of iPhone. Apple will do it for $80 to $100. Batteries are like tires on your car, if you use them they will wear out over time. You wouldn’t junk your car because of worn out tires. Don’t junk your iPhone because of a worn out battery.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/battery-life-check-runtimes/id1080930585?mt=8

Yesterday Net Neutrality died when the Trump administration’s FCC voted to kill it. Please call your Congressman and Senators and urge them to introduce and support legislation to reinstate Net Neutrality. Without Net Neutrality your internet will get slower, your bill will go up and your access to content will be limited or blocked altogether.

macrumors.com

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix

Ok. Well this is straight up embarrassing. If you are already running 10.13 High Sierra, please set a Root user password or your machine is completely and utterly insecure. I can not imagine how this got through Apple's QA testing, but this is a MASSIVE OVERSIGHT. Until Apple fixes this in an update or you set a Root user password, do NOT let anyway near your computer for any reason. If you are not running High Sierra yet, then do not worry, this does not effect you. #ShameOnYouApple

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/11/28/macos-high-sierra-bug-admin-access/

macrumors.com There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with with a blank password and no security check. ...

airsquirrels.com

DropStream | Effortless video and audio streaming to Apple TV and Chromecast

My new favorite app! If you have video files that you want to stream to an AppleTV or Chromecast, this little $10 app is a must have. Brand new on the market but does an amazing job and it is super easy. Drag your video file, select your destination device and click play. (One quick note: By default they re-encode the video file and have a quality setting of "Good" selected. Once you install the app, go to DropStream > Preferences and uncheck the option to "Always re-encode media streams". If you don't do this, your video files won't look as good as they could look.) I needed this during Halloween when I used an old TV and an AppleTV to make it look like ghosts were walking by my attic window. I was able to use iTunes to get the job done, but this app would have made it much easier. Check it out!!

http://www.airsquirrels.com/dropstream/

airsquirrels.com Forget buying a new gadget just to watch your favorite shows. DropStream works with Apple TV, Chromecast and a ton of other AirPlay-audio enabled speaker systems.

ecamm.com

PhoneView for Mac: Save the data you love

My new favorite Must Have for people that do business with their iPhone. This little app catalogs a whole bunch of stuff, but most importantly an archival history of your calls and messages. It allows you to export your call log as a tab delimited file for use in any spreadsheet program and gives you detailed information like Type of call, Date and Time, Duration, Phone number and the Name of the caller if they were already in your contacts. It is fantastic and will save me hours of work. Check it out!!!

http://www.ecamm.com/mac/phoneview/

ecamm.com PhoneView for Mac

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301 Minnesota Ave N, Ste 1
Aitkin, MN
56431

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