Mac Lessons for Mom!

The Story of Accularian.

Accularian LogoDana Haynes – Accularian

Hi, I’m Dana Haynes. As a certified Apple consultant, I have been teaching people the secrets of the Mac for over 20 years. We love our Macs, don’t we? I was pretty evangelistic about this little computer platform and introduced it to all the members of my family. When Mom got interested in genealogy, the Mac was just perfect and super fun for getting on the web and finding some really amazing info, quickly. When she realized the power of the web, she wanted to hone her skills and master her Mac so she could really enjoy the benefits of a powerful machine on a world wide web.

Now there’s just one problem if you are a Macintosh consultant and get the whole family to buy Macs… you’re gonna be the one supporting them! So…

When Mom asked me to teach her how to use her Macintosh computer, I decided to record everything I knew. But Mom had a special qualification… she insisted that everything should be presented in a “Step 1, Step 2, Step 3” fashion.

“I can do that.” I thought. But, as I began to record my lessons for her, I quickly realized two things…

First – “Step 1, Step 2, Step 3” was super easy, because that is exactly how the entire Mac menu system is arranged! I would be able to create each lesson in small, bite sized, easily digested parts. Very cool!

Second – This was going to be a lot of work! “Meticulous” and “tedious” are words which came to my mind and the task began to feel pretty daunting. There was a lot of powerful information to cover and I understood clearly that I would be recording these lessons for my seventy plus year old mom, who had very little previous experience with a computer. I knew it would require great patience and a lot of TLC.

These lessons had to be short and compelling. I had to anticipate each and every question, before it was asked, and answer it right there in the same lesson. If I used jargon or acronyms, I had to explain them immediately. Using analogies, stories and relevant illustrations would be important as well. Those became the goals for the first Accularian Macintosh Tutorials back in 2006.

It better be good, it’s for Mom!

If I was going to do this for my Mom, it had to be good, right? The scope of the project would be huge but I knew I could push through it, little by little. Since my mom did not live near me, it would be like writing her a few “post cards” each week and sending them to her in email. Then I realized, “Why should I do this for just one person? Why not package everything up and offer it to the world through the internet? Do it for Mom, but let others benefit too!”

Accularian is Born

Accularian LogoThe First Accularian Logo

That’s how Accularian.com got it’s start. Now, all these lessons, created for Mom, are available for you to enjoy… so you can learn how to master your Mac, too. But things did not stop there…

As word go out, people did indeed subscribe! Mom’s lessons were a hit! Over the years, the library of Macintosh Tutorials has grown to about 200 lessons and there are more being added each week. What began as a sort of “Postcards to Mom” project is now available to people all over the world and has become my full time job.

Everyone who tries the lessons loves them. I am deeply grateful for the response I continue to receive for my original lessons, the ones I created for my mom. It is exciting and humbling to know that I have been able to help so many people.

Get the Free Trial?

In each of the lesson modules, the first several lessons are included as part of my FREE TRIAL. When you click on a lesson link, you see the complete lesson… no teasing, no partial lessons, just my full lessons as they appear for all my premium subscribers. After the first several lessons in each module, you will need a subscription plan in order to move forward and watch the rest of the lessons… so, how do you get a FREE TRIAL? Click HERE.

Well, that’s it. That’s what Accularian is all about… click the link, sign up and enjoy the FREE lessons… but for those of you who would like to get the rest of the story and get a little bit of my history, please read on.

 

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Accularian sounds familiar. What’s with the Name?

Accularian LogoElaine Haynes

Mom was a librarian most of her life Yep, the half glasses on a beaded string… the whole stereotypical librarian thing. Not only that, she was strict! Shhh! Quiet!!!

When I began to realize the scope and potential of creating these lessons for a greater audience, I realized my Macintosh lessons should be a library of Mac goodies for people from all walks of life and, they needed to be accurate. Ahh! “Accurate Librarian!” “Accurate” because that’s what the lessons needed to be and “Librarian” as a tip-of-the-hat to the one for whom the lessons would be created.

That’s how the name was formed. Some folks will appreciate the back story of that “Ah-Ha” moment, as it came to me while I was literally, on my knees praying for help with this whole new venture! It just came to mind. Very cool! I still continue to pray for God to bless these efforts, and even for you, as you enjoy them!

I love to teach the Mac and I am often told that I explain things in a really understandable way. Now that I had a name for my new venture, I knew people would ask me what the name meant; so I came up with a definition. “Accularian: One who explains complex subjects in easily understood terms.” I was thinking about that “Accurate Librarian” notion when I created the definition. Here’s why…

Have you ever been in a library and needed to find some super obscure piece of info (BI – Before Internet) and the reference librarian not only knew exactly what you were talking about, even though you could not explain it, and then almost magically provided the info to you… right in your hand? Well, that’s the thought behind “Accularian!”

I wanted to provide a thorough, step-by-step, inch-by-inch, overview of the Macintosh computer system; one that would not only provide basic training, but make people super excited about what they were learning. It is not unusual for my clients to actually laugh out loud with some of the tricks and tips they learn from my lessons. With all this in place, the Accularian website launched in 2006.

Technology Explosion

Flash forward to present day and witness the huge improvements in internet video and marketing technologies and the stunning growth of Mac OS X. Over the years, I have been able to hone my production skills and am constantly learning more. You can see this as new lessons are posted all the time. The Accularian lesson series has grown by leaps and bounds. While the older lessons look a little “long in the tooth,” the info is just as valuable as it was in 2006. With each new operating system, I strive to cover important changes and enhancements in my weekly emails to subscribers and everyone in the world can stay up to date through my web site for free.

How Mom Used Her Mac

Mom actually did not start using a computer until she was in her 70’s! Since Macintosh is the easiest computer to use, I never thought of any other choice for her. Mom stayed active on her computer with email and buying things through Amazon nearly to the end! She loved using her Mac to surf the web, make video calls to me and her grand children and she even used “Twitter” just a little bit. Another thing she was able to do was to use her Mac to automate some of the lighting in her home. She ordered books from the local library and participated in several local civic organizations and genealogy groups… all through her little iMac!

Accularian LogoMom & Me – 2010

Accularian went onto the back burner for a few years as Mom grew older and eventually moved in with my family here in Fort Lauderdale. April and I deeply believe that it is a child’s moral obligation to care for their parents in their age, in the same way their parents cared for them in their youth. This became our priority, until Mom passed away in 2011, at the age of 89. This choice, to put our lives on hold, in order to make the most of our time with Mom, is by far; one of the greatest blessings we have ever experienced!

After a time of reflection, regrouping, reassessing and prayer, April and I decided that we wanted to pursue a living by developing businesses online. As a result, I rekindled Accularian in 2013 and April left her career of 16 years with Office Depot to start an Amazon Affiliate business… which is going great!

Now that we see what is possible in this brave new world, our dream is to help empower other folks use technology, and develop their own skills and dreams. The goal… help a bunch of people make a portion, if not all, of their income on the internet. In 2014, we created a small support group called “Freedom for the Family.” FFtF is a free, web based think tank that encourages and trains people how to get started – building their own online business. Anyone can participate for free. Take a look at our efforts at www.freedomforthefamily.com and let us know what you think. Again, our support group is free and meets once a month online through Google Hangouts. Come to learn, but plan to participate by helping others with what you have learned.

Entrepreneurship in Action

Accularian LogoThe Haynes Family – Your Hosts!

So… what you find here at Accularian is a real guy and his family, with a real story behind a real web site providing real services and training. As an Apple consultant, I still run a Macintosh support business here in Fort Lauderdale, just like I’ve been doing for the last 20 years. But, because of this amazing technology, I can now help you… no matter where you are in the world. All we need is a connection to the internet! I have helped people as far away as Korea! We connect online and I can see and run your Mac right from my home office; just as if I were sitting right next to you. Distance no longer matters!

Give me a call. It’s still me that answers the phone and answers your questions. Macintosh support a is fee based service, but I still love to get that occasional call from folks saying, “I just saw your Facebook ad, clicked on the link and read your story. I’m signing up!”

At the end of the day, we are all human and just trying to do our best. I hope you’ll take a look at my contributions and join me.

Enjoy!

danasname

 

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The Quest for Password Prowess – Part 3

Checking our Bearings

Our grand quest for Password Prowess continues. Let’s check our bearings.

These are the stops we were to make on our journey.

  1. The Problem of Passwords
  2. The Purpose of Passwords
  3. The Authentication Process
  4. Password Recovery
  5. Anatomy of a Password
  6. Foolproof Password Storage
  7. Related Security Issues
  8. Password Nirvana

We have vanquished realm one and two. We are now entering our third realm, the authentication process. As I have warned you, this is a longer, more challenging realm. Tangler trees, weeds and vines are common trip points and I shall point them out as we traverse. Stay close.

 

Back On Point

Face of the Black Knight - The Password Dialog Box

Face of the Black Knight – The Password Dialog Box

Presently, we face the Black Knight who defies our attempts to advance, demanding two things, our User Name and our Password.

Now, what was that he said? Did he say our “User Name” was wrong? Did he say our “Password” was wrong? Or, did he say our “User Name and/or Password” were wrong? Our first trip point! But, our nemesis has dropped a tiny clue! Perhaps only one of our entries is wrong! This may be very helpful. We carefully examine our two entries. Our name is correct but the password is just a series of dots. This feels hopeless!

 

Lots of Dots

Dealing with dots in the password field means we very carefully retype our password or grab that small gnome that often lurks nearby, a small checkbox that reads, “Show password.” This small check box, when checked, turns the obfuscation dots into the actual characters we have been typing—another huge help. Those dot are there for our protection. They prevent prying eyes from seeing what we type, in case someone happens to be standing behind us.

Obfuscation Dots in the Password Field

Obfuscation Dots in the Password Field

Another little known secret about these obfuscation dots is that they often morph! Once you establish a password, don’t count the dots when you revisit an authentication dialog box. They most likely have changed in number. This is a device to confuse an intruder from using that “count of the dots” to guess your password. This is another built in protection.

Now, where were we? Ahh, we are still staring into the closed mask of the Black Knight.

Failure Inexplicable

We have entered our credentials with perfection but our attempts are still in vain. Now what?

As the King, you are the one who created the password! You know what it is. You wrote it down and double checked your notes. The “Caps Lock” key, another potential tangler, is not on and you have carefully typed your password at least six times! What gives!!!?

Close-up of Caps Lock symbol in the dialog box. Make sure it's off if you are not using ALL CAPS!

Close-up of Caps Lock symbol in the dialog box. Make sure it’s off if you are not using ALL CAPS!

Anger begins to boil within your heart. You once again begin to feel old emotions of inadequacy. Take a deep breath and pause… remember what your wizard said, “It will require some delicate self examination and patient endurance.”

 

The Beast Within

Is it not curious that silicone, metal, bits and bytes hail such emotions? How many times can we be challenged before we start taking it personally? This is a very personal test!

Allow no impatience to enter your heart. Resist the temptation to hunt for the sledgehammer. Here again is that emotional component we face as we pass through this Password Purgatory. We need wisdom. Pause. Think.

 

In the Employ of the All Mighty

“None shall pass!” The Knight growled.

“But, I’m the King!” We retort.

The Black Knight is unmoved. Nothing happens. It matters not. I am the King! Why is he not responding to me? I’m the boss… or am I? Then we get a fresh idea! Yes. Yes. Now we remember!

“Who summoned you?” We demand.

He does not answer but we remember, the Black Knight works for God! The priests crafted him as an icon and he reports directly to God!

“Which god!” You gasp, incredulously.

You know, the one who lives in your computer!

 

Meet Root!

The god of your computer is an invisible user named “Root.” He controls everything that happens in the system, everything! In essence, even though you paid for that computer, you do not own it… in a digital sense. In fact, compared to “Root,” your “Administrator” privileges pale.

This topic is a completely separate journey, one I hope to take with you one day. It travels through the realm of “Permissions.” This is a fascinating world full of amazements and power, but I digress.

While it is true that this all powerful “Root” commands the Black Knight, our Black Knight may be summoned by a variety of entities, human and otherwise!

 

Who Summoned You?

“Who summoned you?” We call again.

iTunes Icon“iTunes.” Comes the reply.

“Who, from the land of iTunes, has made this request?” We parry.

“The iTunes store.” Comes the reply.

Armed with this new information, we realize that the User Name and Password combination to access the iTunes store is a different song from that of the computer access tune we learned earlier. Our computer level authentications will not work here. “Who summoned you?” is a revealing question.

 

Into the Soul

“Who summoned you?” opens the mask of the Black Knight and allows us to pier through his face and begin to see his soul. Knowing the answer to the question, “Who summoned you?” allows us to unlock a good bit of the mystery that surrounds this, so called, Black Knight.

Many entities possess the ability to summon the Black Knight. For example: we, as humans, can summon the Black Knight’s dialog box by attempting access something on our computer such as “Software Update.” These are local events. In most cases, they will require our normal computer login name and password.

We are now getting pretty comfortable with the computer itself requesting our credentials permitting changes to the operating system or updating some application. Applications themselves sometimes ask for permission to access things on our computer such as our contacts, or perform actions on our behalf. We use our regular credentials here too.

As we look into the heart and soul of this Knight, we begin to understand his intent is for our protection.

 

Trust No One

I must interject a dire warning before we proceed. There is one entity with whom we must deal most shrewdly when our credentials are requested.

“Who?” You ask.

“Another human being!”

Never, never, never give your User Name or Passwords to anyone! When you provide this information, you essentially allow them to become you. They now have all the powers, authority and persona of the King. Are you sure you want to do that? There are times it becomes necessary, this is true. Just make sure that you have provided these credentials to a very trusted ambassador. If it ever becomes necessary, you can always change passwords if trust is lost.

Finally, there is one other entity to discuss. When a website or foreign server requests credentials, things change.

 

Foreign Relations

When we ask our computer to contact other kingdoms, anything outside our home or office, our computer will eventually encounter the sentinels of those kingdoms. Amazon LogoFor example, we attempt to negotiate with the King of MyBank or the popular King of Amazon, their knights ask for User Names and Password combinations too.

Let’s be very clear. These foreign gatekeepers have absolutely no interest in our local credentials. They are only interested in the credentials you established during your original visit to their kingdoms. If this is your first visit, their systems will ask you to create your own credentials, which may be of vastly different character, than those of our own realm.

The face of the distant knight most certainly looks different too. It may not be a dialog box. He may show up as some lines of text on a web page and, don’t think of trying to invoke the name of “Root” there either, they have their own gods. Dealing with other kingdoms is easy, if we respect and accept the laws.

 

Laws and Languages

The laws of other kingdoms may require that we augment our native language as we craft passwords by using additional symbols such as * or ^ or %. Their laws may require upper case, lower case, symbols, numbers… any manner or combination of the above! When we travel abroad, we must know the language and the laws. More importantly, we must conform, despite any feelings of inconvenience. As your friend and wizard, I feel compelled to remind you that protests do no good and only provide fertilizer for more tangles. We must keep our heads.

Looks familiar but it's not. This is the iTunes store log in screen and has nothing to do with our Black Knight!

Looks familiar but it’s not. This is the iTunes store log in screen and has nothing to do with our Black Knight!

The iTunes Store is a fine illustration. While you can use just about anything you want for your local computer password, including nothing at all, this is not the case in the Land of Apple. The iTunes store imposes strict conventions on password creation. It must be at least eight characters in length. It must have at least one capital letter. It must have at least one number. It must have some other character, etc.

Patiently developing our communication skills with other kingdoms brings some of the richest rewards of owning a computer. It opens amazing opportunities for entertainment, education, enlightenment and enjoyment. This is where many people spend a vast majority of their time. I want to encourage you to explore the depths of these riches. There was a time when we needed great sailing ships to visit the library of Alexandria, now it and a million other kingdoms with massive libraries offer portals to their lands, right on your desktop!

 

Through the Woods, Into Root’s Domain!

Well, we are now at the end of this forrest! In discussing the soul of the Black Knight, we now see how truly loyal he is to us. He may not be as powerful as we originally thought but he is every bit as obstinate. Crafted by the priests to do Root’s bidding and for our protection, we are almost beginning to appreciate the once formidable fellow.

In the next realm, you are to stay close by my side! It is a realm of great magic, incantations and power. Deadly mistakes can be made. The Black Knight, who seems to be quickly becoming our friend, will not be there. What we are about to do is something few dare try. We will be speaking face to face with Root and even borrowing his powers! We must use caution.

On to Part 4

 

Enjoy!

danasname

 

 

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Welcome!
Permit me to introduce myself.

Dana Haynes

Hi, I’m Dana Haynes

Thanks for stopping by.

Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes – Apple Consultant

If you want to learn how to master your Macintosh computer you’ve come to the right place. If you feel like you are not getting the most out of your Mac, I’ll show you how to get it operating properly and give you some amazing tricks, tips and short cuts that will actually make you laugh. I’m not kidding!

I can’t tell you how many people see demonstrations of things that are built right into their Macs, that they never knew existed, and they literally shake their heads and laugh with surprise! That’s what I love about producing my video lessons. I love empowering people with tools and technologies that make their lives more fun and more meaningful.

 

Way Beyond Email

If you are just using your computer for reading email, looking at Facebook or browsing the web, you may be in for a huge shock as you discover that you can boss your computer around with your voice, chat with loved ones face to face via iChat… no matter where they are in the world, and even run a million dollar business from your desktop. What are your dreams? How can I help you reach them, using this amazing technology? It’s what I love to do!

So, the little video above pretty much gives you the overview about what Accularian is all about but I thought I might take a few minutes and tell you a little bit about me and how I have arrived at this happy place in my life.

 

About Dana Haynes

I grew up loving technology in Dayton, Ohio. In every sense of the word, I am a Midwesterner. I was transplanted to South Florida (Miami area) in 1983, but Ohio is home. I have been an Apple consultant for more than 20 years now, and as part of that discipline, I developed a bunch of Macintosh lessons for my Mom. It was a lot of work! Being an economizing Buckeye, it made sense to offer these lessons to the general public as well. Since Mom loved ’em, I knew others would too.

 

Launch and Relaunch!

With absolutely no experience in the online world, I launched Accularian.com in 2006. I got some great marketing help from The Buyer Group, a PR firm in South Florida and we gained about 100 subscribers pretty quickly. In those days, I assumed that if I built it, they would come. They came, but they quickly left because there was nothing new to offer after the initial launch. That was OK. I got some really amazing experience and I was just beginning to homeschool my daughter. Frankly, I had no time to do anything else.

My wife, April worked a grueling, thankless job at a big box office supply store, full time so I became a homeschooling dad, a rare breed! Fortunately, as a part of the homeschooling efforts, I could take my daughter with me to my Macintosh support calls with local clients. She became know as our “Vice President in charge of Charm!” This is how it was.

Fast forward to 2013. My daughter is older and my wife is now free from that awful job that had an insidious hold on both of our daily activities. We could not even schedule a simple weekend away because they always “needed” her.  She had the demanding job, but we were both shackled by it.

 

“She’s Outta There!”

In November of 2013, April finally left the soul sucking job! Now, for the first time in our lives, we are free! We now have ton’s of time to devote to our own online businesses. She has a rapidly growing Amazon business and I am busy producing valuable content for Accularian, while supporting clients and their technologies through the internet and via phone. It’s an absolutely amazing experience for us; as we see what life, in this information age, and earning an income online is really all about.

 

A Mac for All Seasons

Our Macs are an extremely powerful tools. They help us communicate, build relationships, memories and so much more. What you may not know is that your Mac also has the power to take verbal commands from you, write letters by dictation, run every light and appliance in your house and save you tons of money in doing so. I am using all of this technology and just waiting for the right people to share it with. I estimate that I am saving about $100.00 per month in electricity by using my Mac to run a small modest home. You can do this too and best of all, you already have the most expensive component of your own home automation system, the Mac. From there, you can build an amazing system piece by piece for just a few dollars.

My Macintosh, running Indigo Home Automation software, tells me the weather, reads the Bible verse of the day each morning, tells us where our spouse is based on iPhone locations and a lot more. This is the power of a “SmartHome.”

In addition to Home Automation, you should know that all of the video, audio and web materials you see here at Accularian are produced on an iMac and a Macbook Air. I am writing this as I sit outside, under starlight, and posting it via wireless internet to the world. You gotta understand how absolutely amazing this all is for this kid from Ohio!

When you consider the possibilities of what you can actually do with a little imagination and technology, it’s pretty thrilling. The problem comes when it feels like there is an absolute mountain of information to sift through in order to accomplish some of the simplest things or learn something that would help us fulfill our dreams. That’s what Accularian is for. I distill this information and get it to folks who love to dream and love technology. Come join us and let’s have a blast together.

Join us. Share your ideas. Tell us what you want to learn and we will get on it. The sky is not the limit, it our imaginations! Let’s do what Walt Disney told us to do, “Keep moving forward!”

 

What to Do Next

Well, that’s a little about me, my family and my business. Tell me how I can help you. You can email me by clicking this link: Contact Dana  or better yet, get started watching some videos! Fill out the form on the bottom of this page and watch the two important Preventative Maintenance videos. After that, sign up for all the great lessons here at Accularian. They are affordable, fun, and family friendly so you’ll want to get the kids involved too. Let me know what you think or what you might want to learn next. Most importantly… keep moving upward and….

Enjoy!

Macintosh Tutorials

 
 

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Accularian’s First Commercial

Our First Commercial

It’s funny. I have been so busy constructing the Blog and producing videos, I forgot to share with you all one of the most fun things we did six years ago when we initially started Accularian.com. It’s our first commercial!

How It was Made

Addy is one of my local clients with a bit of acting experience and Michael is just the kid next door (6 feet now!) and the music was just me banging out something on Garage Band. I am not even a musician! All the parts were recorded in front of a Green Screen and the whole thing edited in a Macintosh program called Final Cut Pro. The Green Screen was replaced by a shaded background I created in Photoshop and it all got published on YouTube.

What you are seeing above is the actual YouTube video. Please click the “ThumbsUp” button at the end and share it with some folks. That would be awesome!

As always,

Enjoy!

Macintosh Consultant

 
 

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For the Love of Macintosh – Part 1

iMac
 

Essence of Macintosh Absence of Words

Have you noticed that Macintosh computer owners seem to posses near fanatical devotion to their Macs, an inanimate object? I am both one who notices this perplexing devotion and the giddy devotee. For years, my fond attachment to this little computer platform has largely defined my life. In 1986, I acquired my first Mac or perhaps it acquired me. From that time, I have been unable to explain, even to myself, what impetus seizes heart and imagination. I am vexed at my lack of words, unable to explain my feelings, yet, at the same time, comforted to know that I am not alone. Millions of Mac users are likewise entwined in this perplexing love affair. It’s becomes a fellowship.

In this series, we will examine the phenomena sometimes referred to as the “Cult of the Mac.” We must choose our words carefully. Not because someone is watching, but because cheap words would have no place in the realm we are about to explore.
So, how do I say in words, that for which there are no words? Can we parse adjectives, adverbs, pronouns and prose to craft a meaningful explanation of something so inexplainable? Let’s struggle a bit together to come up with some worthy language to describe that special, unspoken, bonding feeling Mac users have not just for their Macs but for one another. What is this “thing,” this emotion, this insane loyalty to a hunk of silicone and metal that captures our hearts and fires our imaginations? How is it possible that a little box of bits can revolutionize, at core levels, the world and the individual? In the heart of many Mac users, this emotion, this sense of pride, this firm confidence flows like a vast river. It’s quiet. It’s deep. It’s always there. If this is the effect, what is the cause?

Those who have owned a Macintosh computer for longer than a few months and especially for those who dumped the Windows operating system in favor of Mac OS, know this feeling well. They vainly attempt to describe it as “freedom” or “fun” or “fantastic.” Now, in an effort to set the stage for what we are about to explore, let me try, perhaps also in vain, to choose a term we might agree on. This term describes perceptions of Macintosh, and all things Apple. My chosen term attempts to elucidate the shared experience of millions and millions of Apple aficionados. The word is: “Quintessence.”
Quintessence speaks of an intrinsic character of perfection, the distilled essence of something profoundly suited for an apt purpose—the perfect example. The ancients pondered the possibility that Quintessence was the fifth element beyond earth, water, air and fire. In this realm, I tread lightly. I feel invited. Here, I am a guest, not a conqueror.

A Warning to Outsiders

As we begin our quest, I must warn you. Should you be in the dwindling ranks of naysayers who scoff at the notion that one might be so drawn to an inanimate object that he or she refers to the relationship as “love.” I caution you. Your time is short. Eventually, you too will join us. Your scoffing will cease and your criticisms will dissipate. Someday, you too will become “one of the crazy ones.” You too will find it difficult turn away from the siren’s song. Prove me wrong by reading no more. We’re gonna talk Mac! That’s just what Mac people do.

Next, delicate beginnings, as we consider Apple advertising. The stage is set.

 

 

In this series of articles, Dana Haynes, a certified Apple consultant from Fort Lauderdale, Florida will examine that mystical glue that bonds Mac users to their machines and one another. Dana is a grateful husband, home schooling dad and creator of the Mac Lessons series at www.accularian.com. Dana may be reached at info@accularian.com or by phone at 954-726-9525.

 

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Enjoy!

Apple Consultant

 
 

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Accularian News…
Accularian Relaunch Official!

Macintosh News

Major Upgrade Complete

This week marks the official relaunch of Accularian.com.

This press release went out to media outlets all over the world through PRWeb and I wanted to share it with you. Please let your friends and family know through FaceBook, Twitter and Email that we have these great Macintosh lessons available.

 

Subscriber Referral Fees Now Active

Accularian has an affiliate program in place and you can earn commissions by your referrals. Contact me directly regarding this and I will show you how to do it. It’s really pretty cool.

Here’s a link to the PRESS RELEASE at PRWeb.com. Here is a link to an AUDIO FILE of the release in my best newscaster style,  and here is a link to a HARD COPY of the release.

Thanks for your continued support and encouragement.

Enjoy!

Mac Tutor
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Tech Support Stinks?

“How may I provide excellent service for you today?”

My friend Tina just spent eight hours, over the last several days, on the phone with her internet service provider, trying to solve connection issues. She spoke with a number of off-shore support people, and was eventually moved up to a senior level technician who still was unable to resolve the issue. Finally, today, she called me. I asked a couple of questions and the problem was fixed in less than five minutes! I did nothing amazing. I have no secrets or special talents. I have a good amount of experience but more importantly, I do not follow a script.

Large corporations must gear their tech support operations to handle “most common denominator issues” and they must have a system that gives the average employee the ability to troubleshoot a wide variety of issues. Part of this system is that this employee must follow that carefully designed script; a series of yes or no questions and general test suggestions for problem resolution. For us, the customer, just this part of the process can be quite frustrating. So often, we have already tried the basic suggestions they offer. Regardless, they must follow that script in order to confirm, for their notes, that we have indeed performed these tasks. In some cases they actually get in trouble if they do not follow the script.

Steps to Success

Here are some suggestions which may help, as you call any tech support team.

1. Allow them to follow their script. Be very patient. Take notes on absolutely every step they are asking you to do. Learn their process. These scripts, with their corporate jargon, do not change much. This will be a killer help if you ever need to call back. If you call back some other time…when the rep asks you what the problem is, you calmly walk through “all the things I’ve tried before I called you.” using their exact jargon and steps. This could possibly save you a bit of time. You may need to remind the rep that you have “tried that per their suggestions” and are now ready to “escalate” the issue. Ask, “How do we escalate this issue?” and allow that to become the new reason for your call.

2. Learn their lingo. Listen to the words they use and use those same words when you are discussing the issue. It may feel like tech speak, but speak it.

3. If an agent puts you on hold and there is no music… they can hear everything you are saying. Let that one sink in just a bit. Don’t complain about the #$@* service. No music means they have muted their mic so it sounds like you are on hold but you are not. They did not just put the phone down to go “check the file”, they are wearing a head set. You are not on hold. On the other hand, background music is a good indication that you are really on hold.

4. Get a case number. Many times, your case may not be escalated to a more knowledgeable rep without this number. If you are calling back in, explain immediately that you have a case number and wish to speak to a second level support team.

5. If you feel like you are getting nowhere with a particular rep, end the call by saying, “You know what, I need to go. I will call you back if I am still having problems.” Then call right back to get another rep. You’ve got that case number now… right?

6. You can shorten the long and drawn out “quality control farewell” when your issue is successfully resolved by once again using their script lingo before they do. “Thank you so much for providing such excellent service today and I will require no further assistance. I am completely happy with your performance and I do not wish to sign up for long distance service or a new credit card at this present time. I will indeed call you in the future and recommend you to all of my close friends and family. Thank you and good day.”

Things to try before calling

Make sure it’s all connected properly.

When I resolved my friends issue, I really did nothing amazing. I just made sure that everything was connected the way it should be. Here’s what happened…

Me: Look for a large telephone like cable plugged into the back of your Macintosh. Unplug it and plug it back in.

Tina: Ok. Found it. Done

Me: Trace that cable down to the Cisco Router. What hole is it plugged into?

Tina: “Internet”

This was the problem.

Me: Remove it from the Internet socket, and plug it into the socket labeled 1, 2, 3, or 4.

Tina: “Done”

Me: “Now move your modem’s cable from 1, 2, 3, or 4 and plug it into the Internet plug on the router. Restart the router and the modem”

Tina: Done…everything works! Why couldn’t the support people do this?”

Me: “They follow a script.”

Power cycle your devices.
Make sure you have turned off the computer, the modem and the router and turn them all back on again. Don’t dive down on the floor to unplug stuff. If your modem and router are on the desk, simply unplug the little black power cord to the device for a few seconds. The absolute, number one fix for most technical problems is a good ol’ fashion restart.

Check other devices which may be connected to the same service line.
If you use a cable modem and have Cable TV service and the Cable TV is out, your internet will not work either. Someone hit a pole with their car. Wait for the crews to fix it. If you have DSL through a phone company, see if you have dial-tone on your phone. No dial tone, no DSL. Call the provider to report the outage.

One computer works but the other one doesn’t.
If you are on a wireless network, could it be possible that you are on a neighbors network and not yours, which you believe to be inoperable?

Call us.
Seriously. If you get stuck, utilize the free tech support your provider offers. If the free support is not working, call us. We are fee based but can cut through a lot of junk so you don’t have to. I am a certified consultant and that usually carries some weight when I must talk to a service provider. I especially rely heavily on telling them all the steps I have walked through before I called. It seems to help.

Calling tech support and customer service can be a pain. But let’s try to put ourselves in their shoes. Do we realize that every single call that individual gets, all day long, is someone telling them about their problems? A bit of compassion and genuine concern for the rep and a “how’s the weather where you are?” can be another really big help in making the experience better. Now I certainly hope that I have provided most excellent service.

Enjoy!

Mac Tutorials Guru

Dana

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Rhea Perry’s Home Business Conference
A Brief Review

Making Money with My Macintosh

Making money with a Macintosh based website like Accularian requires diving into a tool box of skills, which for me, is just beginning to get stocked and organized. So, a few months ago, when I heard that Rhea Perry from “Educating for Success” would hold a “Home Business Conference” about online entrepreneurship, I knew I had to attend.

Last week, I had the pleasure to go to that conference. It was very helpful in adding new goodies to my toolbox, which I know will benefit this website. In addition to the tool set, I gained a bit of philosophy. I want to share my experiences with you since so much of what we do on our computers and on the Internet could be used to make money.

Fascinating Business Philosophy

The purpose of the “Home Business Conference” is to introduce families to alternate sources of income. In comparing these alternatives to the traditional job model, Rhea presents a passionate point that the traditional job model, based on her experiences, comes close to legalized slavery.

I tend to share Rhea Perry’s perspective. Fostered by the need for organization, we endow an employer with the power to tell us when to come to work, when to leave, when to take a break, when to eat and even when we can go to the bathroom. In the traditional job model, we must often get “permission”, based on the company’s schedule, to participate in simple family events such as a wedding, a child’s graduation, going to church or even the doctor because we might be scheduled to work at that time and work must be the priority. In this environment, the company comes first, not me, not my family. Sure, employers are often very cooperative, but even then, there looms a subtle disdain for the employee who makes too many of these requests.

The Myth of Job Security

I know too many friends who are in situations where their careers are constantly flashing before their eyes with threats of demotion or firing. We hear about people who, for years, have worked tirelessly for their employer, only to be terminated just before retirement. This is just one example, you probably have some of your own. Rare indeed is the company who knows how to really motivate their employees and has the resources, generosity and heart to do it.

Job or Family – What is the Priority?

In the traditional job model, we sell our very precious time to the company for a paycheck. We trade hours for dollars. These are hours we can never regain and they are all used to benefit someone else first, then us! Don’t get me wrong. For some of us, this money-green strait-jacket may fit very well. But studies have shown that 80% of us who wear this snug little fashion statement are not very happy with the lifestyle it provides as we frantically rush to barely squeeze in what we really love doing with family and friends. Often times, to compensate for the absence of solid home relationships, we develop better relationships with the gang at the office, neglecting the gang at home. We spend more waking time commuting and working than we do with our family. Izzy Hyman of IzzyVideo.com laments in the FoolishAdventure Podcast that prior to starting his work-from-home internet business, he only had about ninety minutes a day with his young children. Many of us are in the same situation and it does not need to be this way.

Comfortable Careers

We get very comfortable in our careers and are extremely reluctant, if not outright terrified, to investigate the possibility of change. In some of my surveying, I have witnessed a fog that creeps in and clouds normally sound thinking when I even bring up the possibility that there may be a better way to live than trading hours for dollars. We get understandably nervous when we consider a change to our routine. A change in the path means challenge. It means we need to learn new skills and cut away a form of social vegetation, regarding the sanctity of the job, that has grown up for years like a shield wall of protection. Why not simply stay on the well worn path? It’s easy. It’s safe. Just stay! No new growth ever occurs on a well worn path. The real question then becomes, “Do we want to grow?” I emphatically say, “Yes!” If something is not growing, it is dying!

Squandered Talents

I watch some really good people walk this well worn path. Some are truly amazing in their creativity and talents but never live up to their God given potential, fearing the changes needed for growth. An amazing dream lays dormant in the heart. We perhaps feel the tug to try, but instead of soaring, or even looking over the edge of our feathered nest, we pull up the covers and settle in. We live “languishing lives”. The sparks of creativity and the possibility of true freedom were long ago crushed by that concocted cage called the classroom and cookie cutter teaching that ingrains the brain to only pursue that bright shiny future of a safe, secure job. Entrepreneurship is rarely taught in our schools and universities.

My heart truly goes out to these people when I see their amazing talents, the cage door is wide open, but from their perspective, no light of hope breaking through. The strait-jacket holds their wings close, tight and secure. An Internet based business has the power to change all this and our entire family. No one is saying you will get rich, but if you could just replace a good portion of your income and only commute to your desk, would it not make you just a bit curious? My appeal, from this platform, would be to put this conference on your schedule for next year. Make it a priority.

A Family Conference

The “Home Business Conference” is an annual event in Huntsville, Alabama and is primarily designed for families who home school their children, but anyone can register. At its core, the conference uses a biblical world view to frame its content, which I found refreshing and powerful without being preachy. Unlike most conferences produced by the corporate world, God was invited to this one.

Rhea Perry is a living example of someone who escaped the traditional cage and makes a good living, working for herself. Her kids “got it” too. At 18, her son Drew, having been given the freedom to explore his passions and desires for entrepreneurship, developed a method to buy and sell houses on eBay. In doing so, he made a small fortune, enabling the family to bring their father out from the corporate world and into a life of deeper fulfillment at home, with his family.

I would emphasize again…this conference is for families! I was so impressed with the number of children, even young ones, who sat through some fairly long and detailed presentations. When I asked the kids what they thought, they all seemed to “get it” and were able to articulate their own dreams and intentions.

The Presenters

Another very impressive aspect of the conference was the quality and diversity of the speakers. Drew Perry, Rhea’s son, spoke about his experiences in creating and selling businesses. Dan Celia, a well known financial expert and talk show host, spoke about managing finances in this changing economy. Joel Salatin talked with us about the amazing things he and his associates are doing in the Non-GMO farming industry. (This was such an impressive presentation, I think I want to be a farmer next!) Frank Deardurff taught us about web design. Teresa Ball, of SendOutCards, presented the opportunities afforded by network marketing. Larry Goins showed us how to use the Internet to buy and sell Real Estate online. World renowned internet marketing guru, Armand Morin was amazing as he talked about making money with a membership site, as we do here at Accularian. Rhea spoke about the power of finding a mentor and Jennifer Navarrete ran a “Social Media Lounge” during the breaks, where she interviewed the presenters and streamed the content live on the Internet! You can see some of those interviews at her web site. In addition, Jennifer gave a rich, targeted presentation about the power of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. To cap everything off, the Sunday morning session was actually a mini non-denominational church service officiated by Ken Pounders of Priority Evangelism. And at the end of the conference, Rhea gave out over $1500.00 in prizes to families who had submitted videos for their home-based business ideas!

Let’s Fly Together

I can enthusiastically recommend the conference to families who desire and dream to get out of the 9 to 5 rut and investigate the possibility of self employment. It is an eclectic mash-up of world famous talent, exciting information, like-minded people who can cheer you on, and some really good entertainment too. Go to their website for information about next year’s conference.

One of my biggest takeaways from the conference is that anything is possible but it doesn’t all have to happen right now. Pace yourself. Work on your dreams every day and build them because it’s your children’s, children’s future you are paving.

Finally, I learned that the world of Internet marketing is powerful, so always watch for new ways to promote your business… by the way… have I told you about our Golden Accularian membership?

Now go rattle some cages and…

Enjoy!

Macintosh Consultant

Dana

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QuickTip
Marquee Selections

In the video about cleaning up your desktop, I performed an action that I knew would generate some questions so I am doing a few lessons on how to select items in the Finder. Many of these same techniques can be used in most Mac applications as well.

Before you are going to perform an action on something, you first must select it. If the items are right next to each other, we call them contiguous items. If the items are not right next to each other they are non contiguous. There are different methods for selecting items based on your choices.

Hold down the shift key while clicking on items. This will add to an existing selection and works pretty much throughout all programs on a Mac. To deselect something from a group or add items at random…non contiguous… then hold down the command key.

These are powerful tips that every user should know. They will hugely help your productivity.

 
Enjoy!

Apple Genius
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Welcome!

Greetings Mac Fans!

If you want to learn some really cool tips, tricks and productivity tools or if you are new to the Macintosh, you have come to the right place! We are Mac fans teaching Mac stuff with unfettered enthusiasm and focus. Take a look at the FREE SAMPLE LESSONS and you will instantly see what we are talking about. Need a little more info to solve a problem? Search our site by clicking the link to the right or view in depth lessons by clicking the link above on the right that reads “Go to Lessons”.

Got Windows on a PC?

While this site is geared to the Mac, we know we have lots of folks visiting from the Windows PC side… checking out the Mac and trying to determine if it is right for them. This site can not be viewed in IE7 (Internet Explorer 7). Please download a current version of IE. If your system does not support IE9 or above… yup… it’s time to come on over to the Mac! But… don’t feel like you have to do this all by yourself. We have helped tons of people move from the PC to the Mac. Our online and phone support services can help you. Call us at 954-726-9525 and we’ll see if we can help.

Well, take some time to poke around here at Accularian.com. Let us know what you think and especially drop us a comment if there is something you want to learn. We are always open to what people want to learn.

Enjoy!

danasname

PS – There are so many video lessons here that do a far better job of showing off the Mac than a blog post could ever do. Click THIS LINK to subscribe to all the Macintosh content here at Accularian.com and see for yourself how much fun the Mac can be! Full access to the Macintosh Lessons is just $69.00 for six months… that’s $11.50 per month. Give it a try.

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