• How To Create and Use Smart Folders In OS X

    22 December 2014

    Smart folders in OS X is a feature that you may never have had to use however once you take advantage of it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without. The feature displays files by a search filter that you customise, and the results gathered are updated on the go as you add, change and remove files. The benefit of using smart folders is that they keep your files in the same place whilst only showing aliases of your files. Smart folders are merely a supplement of your file structure rather than a replacement. In reality, the feature is an even more helpful tool if you have ever encountered any files with barely any structure at all.

    In this blog, I will be discussing how you can set up and deploy smart folders on your Mac.

    There are two methods you can follow in order to achieve this. Firstly, you can open Finder and choose File > New Smart Folder (alternatively, press the keyboard shortcut: Option-Command-N). The other option is to open Finder and to just enter a search term within the box provided in the upper-right corner to initiate a smart folder based on a keyword.

    Regardless of the method chosen, you will wind up with a Finder window. Whilst entering your search term, Finder will provide ways of extensively defining the term and refining your search beneath the search box, using such criteria and filenames, kinds as well as dates. For instance, under Filenames, select the Name Matches section and Finder generates a drop-down menu to the search box labeled Name. At this stage, you can select to search for files in which your search term appears solely within the Filename or Everything.

    You can take it a step further and refine your search by introducing new criteria. Click the “+” button in the section beneath the search box. The default attribute chosen is File Size, however you can click that attribute and select Other to open a window containing dozens of attributes. If any of the ones displayed in the window seem particularly useful then you can check the box beside them and they will be added to the menu below File Size for simplified access.

    As you introduce new attributes, the search results change accordingly. Once you are content with your smart folder, select the Save button beneath the search box. Give your folder a name and choose a location for it. If you don’t want it to show up in the left sidebar of Finder windows, uncheck Add To Sidebar.

    To edit an existing smart folder, open it, select the gear icon next to the search box and select Show Search Criteria. This will make the banner visible beneath the search box alongside your criteria, which can be edited or using the “+” and “-“ buttons add and take away criteria.

    There are numerous attributes when it comes to creating smart folders and thousands of combinations which can be taken advantage of. In addition to smart folders based on keywords, for example taxes or a client’s name, I personally find the following two smart folders to be incredibly helpful:

    “File size is greater than X” to locate large files consuming space on my Mac’s cluttered hard drive.

    “File extension is X” to view the DOC, XLS, PDF or JPEG files on my system.

    There are umpteen more smart folder attributes that you can associate to various types of media creation. This includes audio, video and photography. If you own a Mac and use smart folders then tell us your favourite or most useful creations in the comment section below.

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  • The Most Exciting Features In Windows 8.1

    17 December 2014

    Software giant, Microsoft have introduced a great list of changes in recent years. Its newest release has been the feature filled, Windows 8.1. Originally, Windows 8 was built with the intention of offering an evermore modern computer experience to businesses and to assist professionals in staying connected to colleagues at anytime regardless of location. Windows 8.1 takes this a step further by introducing new manageability, security, mobility, user experience as well as networking capabilities. These features have been added with the intention of ensuring customers have the most optimal business tablets and versatile modern business PCs powered by the most cutting edge operating system designed for today’s current businesses.

    Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Advances

    Wi-Fi Direct Printing

    You are now able to connect to Wi-Fi printers without adding extra drivers or software on your Windows 8.1 device, forming a peer-to-peer network between your device and the printer.

    Native Miracast wireless display

    Display your work wirelessly absent of any connection cords; simply pair with a Miracast-enabled display and Miracast will utilise Wi-Fi enabling you to project wire-free.

    Open MDM

    While a lot of organisations have investments with System Center and will continue to leverage these investments it is also worth noting that many organisations wish to manage specific classes of devices, such as: tablets and BYOD devices, as mobile devices. With Windows 8.1, you are able to use OMA-DM API agent to permit management of Windows 8.1 devices with mobile device management products, for example: Air Watch or Mobile Iron.

    Mobility Advances

    Broadband Tethering

    Transform your Windows 8.1 mobile-broadband compatible tablet or PC into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing additional devices to connect and access the internet.


    Microsoft have added support for a more extensive range of VPN clients in both Windows and Windows RT devices. They have also included the ability to have an app automatically set off VPN connections.

    Windows To Go

    With Windows To Go in Windows 8.1, the Windows Store is now activated by default. Users of this feature may roam to a non-specific number of computers and access the Windows Store and use Windows Store apps.

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  • How To Easily Archive Emails In Apple Mail

    8 December 2014

    From my perspective, there are three main methods within the Mail app in OS X in which you can prevent a number of emails from overloading your inbox.

    There are two obvious options. You can either delete messages (this is the most straightforward process and should be performed occasionally regardless). Alternatively, you can archive emails in Apple Mail – this will hold them in the main section leaving them accessible from the All Mail box.

    A more efficient way is to use Mail’s Export Mailbox feature. Full disclosure:  this feature in particular requires some upfront work. Specifically, you would need to create mailboxes for groups of messages. That being said, if you choose to follow this method then you can export your mailboxes, which generates an .mbox file on your computer.

    To kick things off, let’s back up. To create a mailbox, open Mail and navigate to Mailbox > New Mailbox. Your mailboxes are displayed on the left hand side of the application window. You can drag and drop messages to your mailboxes, which coincidentally removes them from your Inbox. With this in mind, you are already gaining a level of control over your Inbox.

    Export Mailbox

    When it comes to exporting a mailbox, click the mailbox option from the sidebar and select Mailbox > Export Mailbox. On the other hand, you can right-click on the mailbox in the sidebar and choose Export Mailbox. Subsequently, choose a destination for the .mbox file. Lastly, click Choose.

    (It is worth noting that if you export the same Mailbox after it becomes overloaded with messages once again, Mail will not overwrite the originally exported .mbox files but actually creates a new file. For instance: AcomplishedTasks 2.mbox)

    Now, exporting a mailbox does not get rid of its contents. Subsequent to exporting, if you wish to erase a mailbox’s messages, you will need to delete the mailbox itself or, if you plan to keep the mailbox but not the messages then you will need to move all of its messages to the Mail’s trash.

    Import Mailboxes

    If you decide that you would like to view messages that had previously been exported then you are able to import them back to Mail or an alternate email application; the .mbox format is common and therefore can be read by many different types of email clients. To import back to Mail, open Mail and navigate to File > Import Mailboxes. After this, choose Apple Mail from the import window and select Continue. Finally, locate and click the .mbox file you wish to import and select Choose. For the individually imported mailboxes, Mail generates an Import folder within the On My Mac sidebar area.

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  • 3 Top Ways To Avoid Viruses And Spyware

    1 December 2014

    Today’s rampant security threats are evermore complex, therefore users should be more informed and proactive in their approach to dealing with any that might breach their system.  Fortunately, various programs and tools have been developed over the years to help combat the internet threats and prevent user experience from being ruined. I have drawn up a helpful list in this article, describing the most effective ways that you can lower the risk of infection and attack.

    1. Install reliable anti-virus

    There are many computer users who think that free antivirus applications, for instance those included alongside an internet service provider’s bundled service, are adequate enough to protect a computer from virus or spyware infection. Contrary to this belief, such free anti-malware programs typically don’t provide decent protection from the increasingly growing list of threats.

    Instead, all Windows users should install professional, business level antivirus on their PCs. Choosing this alternative antivirus option means you’ll receive more frequent security updates throughout the day (in turn this provides timely protection against vulnerabilities that are fast-emerging). It will also help to protect against a much larger range of threats (for instance: rootkits), and enable extra protective features (such as custom scans).

    2. Perform daily scans

    There will be times where viruses and spyware threats elude a system’s active protective operations and infect a system. The sheer volume and number of potential and unique threats make it inevitable that especially clever infections will outsmart security software. In another circumstance, users may without realising, instruct anti-malware software to give a virus or spyware program permission to run.

    Regardless of where the infection came from, initiating entire, day-to-day scans when it comes to the system’s overall hard drive introduces an additional layer of protection. These daily scans can be incredibly valuable when it comes to detecting, isolating, and eradicating infections that originally escaped the attention of security software.

    3. Keep anti-malware applications up-to-date

    Antivirus & anti-spyware programs require standard signature as well as database updates. Devoid of these critical updates, anti-malware programs have an inability to protect PCs from the latest threats.

    In early 2009, one of the leading antivirus providers AVG released statistics making it apparent that many serious computer threats are secretive and are always on the move. A lot of these infections are short-lived, however they’re estimated to infect up to a figure as shocking as 100,000 to 300,000 new web sites per day.

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  • How To Maximise Your Free Online Storage

    24 November 2014

    The market for cloud storage services has been growing rapidly over the passing years thus increasing the availability of free storage. In this article, I’ve provided a rundown of the best free online storage sources and the specifications of each one.

    2014 has been a fantastic year for technology. From wearable devices to cloud storage services, it’s hard not to get sucked into it all. Between updates to Dropbox and Google Drive, and an overhaul from Apple’s iCloud Drive, Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive, access to cloud storage is now even more straightforward and more affordable than previously envisioned.

    Despite the fact that cost continues to decrease, free storage is always an irresistible prospect. Let’s take a look at how to get free storage from your favourite storage providers. If you wish to upgrade to more than the available free space then you should consider the various paid options on offer.

    iCloud Drive

    For starters, let’s address the service that doesn’t offer any extra storage sans payment outside of the initial available space: iCloud Drive. Apple gives users of this service 5GB of free data, but beyond that you’re going to have to pay. You are able to view the monthly storage plans, which range from roughly £0.79 to £14.99 on a monthly basis here.


    Microsoft’s OneDrive service is free for the first 15GB of storage space, with the chance to gain an additional 8GB from backing up your photos using the mobile app (equivalent to 3GB), and inviting friends and family to sign up for the service. For each person who signs up via the link you’ve sent, you’ll receive 500MB of storage (with a max of 5 people for a total of 5GB).

    Even though the total available free space comes to an impressive 23GB for the OneDrive service, paid Office 365 subscribers can claim unlimited storage as soon as the new service is rolled out to the public.

    Amazon Cloud Drive

    Amazon’s Cloud storage service remains free for basic users, with a base of 5GB free storage space. Although, Amazon Prime members are able to take advantage of one major upgrade – unlimited, free photo storage. Technically it’s not free considering you have to subscribe to the service but, as yet another perk added to the service, one has reasonable grounds to call it a freebie.

    Standard files, including music and videos, are still limited to the 5GB of space.


    Box offers 10GB of free storage for its basic personal accounts. On top of this, you can earn additional storage through installing its app on particular devices. Starting from May 2014, here is a list of applicable devices which if installed on will allow you to take advantage of additional storage.

    From the list, the most notable devices include: Sony’s Xperia, various LG models in addition to HP Windows PCs, Dell and Samsung ATIV tabs.

    The level of free storage unlocked is dependent on the device you use to sign into your box account.

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  • OS X 10.10 Yosemite – Top Best Safari Tips

    18 October 2014

    Safari 8.0 now has a spiffing new flat appearance as well as speed and performance improvements that take advantage of Yosemite’s capability. During the beta build, there was a feature that was especially popular amongst users.


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  • Three Security Technologies To Replace Passwords

    10 October 2014

    Passwords were originally created as a simple yet standard method for protecting user data. Unfortunately, over the years this approach to security has become ever-susceptible to attack from hackers who are coming up with increasingly advanced ways of intercepting personal details. This has forced us into a position where we must frequently rack our brains to come up with a hard-to-remember phrase. Can passwords still be considered reliable for keeping our systems and services secure?


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  • Five Things You Need To Know – Windows 10

    3 October 2014

    Since the launch of the unsettling Windows 8, Microsoft has endeavored to produce a more cohesive and stable user interface in subsequent OS releases. They set the bar of expectations at an all time low with the previous iteration. It is now more opportune than ever for the software giant to put their best foot forward at an attempt to recapture people’s confidence in their services. Microsoft had an event on Tuesday in which they showed off the functionality and appearance of Windows 10 as well as briefly showcasing some new features. Despite how thorough the event was, many questions posed by users remained unanswered. I cover all the major points below.


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  • Windows 9 Release Date, Rumours and News

    26 September 2014

    When Microsoft released Windows 8, and more recently Windows 8.1, their intention was to create a unified user experience; a mix of the traditional desktop format and the new tiles format. The current system however, is a long way from being perfect and there are still many aspects that Microsoft needs to address prior to the commercial availability of Windows 9.


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  • iOS 8 Brings Forth Heaps Of Security Fixes

    19 September 2014

    On Wednesday, Apple announced a long list of security changes which had been included in the newest operating system update. Unfortunately, they had once again neglected to mention just how serious these security bugs could have been to their users.


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