Brewster Academy Blogs


Mac 101

Macintosh operating system tips and tricks.

Mac 101: Get your Mac to Read to You

Did you know that your Macintosh has the ability to read to you? Just follow the steps below to learn how. Continue reading “Mac 101: Get your Mac to Read to You”

Backups – A Success Story

This is a True Story

Over March break a member of our community installed a suspicious application onto their computer, which resulted in a thief taking control of their computer and  their files were taken ransom. What do you mean, their files were taken ransom? The thief took control of the computer and all of the files were encrypted/scrambled and had an unbreakable password placed on them. The user was then informed and asked to pay a ransom for the hackers to unlock their files. Since there was nothing anyone could do (not even the FBI or Apple) the user was in a tough spot.

Fortunately, they had backed up their computer using Time Machine just before March break. We (ITD) were able to help them restore ALL of their files from that backup and the user was back in classes with all of their files in very short order.

The moral of this story is, anything can happen to your computer, so be prepared by backing up your files regularly. Brewster and Apple both work tirelessly to ensure that our users are as protected as possible at all times. However, you never know when your computer will crash, or a thief will steal your stuff. Backing up your files is the ONLY way to protect them!

Play any DVD on your Mac with VLC

Have you ever tried to play a DVD on your Mac only to have your computer ask you to change the ‘Region Code’? Continue reading “Play any DVD on your Mac with VLC”

Why Tech Refresh?

There is a common issue at the help desk: “My computer is running slow!”   I am usually met with long sighs when I ask “Have you done your Tech Refresh Updates this month?”

Why is it so important that you do a monthly Tech Refresh?

Having your computer run on the most up-to-date operating system and browsers,  making sure that all your applications are on the current versions, and just restarting your computer can make overall improvements in performance. Restarting your computer is like when you get a good night’s sleep – everything begins in a refreshed state.  Clearing  cache and cookies in all your browsers will also boost productivity.

Continue reading “Why Tech Refresh?”

Preview the Web Address of a Link in Safari

Have you ever received an email with a link and you were unsure whether to click it or not for fear of being a victim of a “phishing attack“?  Or, while browsing a website you come across a link within an article and wonder, “Where will this link take me?”    Before clicking on that link, take a sneak peak of where you will be re-directed.  Safari users have a tool, that when enabled, will provide a view of the URL in the bottom left corner of your window, prior to clicking on it. This is a security tool that can prevent you from clicking on a potentially harmful website.

Continue reading “Preview the Web Address of a Link in Safari”

Safari Reading Lists

There are many times that you are browsing online and do not have time to read an article or would like to save it for future reference.   The Safari Reading List will keep all those interesting articles organized in one place until you have time to come back and read them.  Safari Reading List is not only easy to use but also makes your articles available when you are offline!   Your Reading List will be available on your iOS device and your OSX laptop.

Reading List is a bit different than Bookmarks,  think of Bookmarks as a more permanent place to store your favorite websites and Reading List as an easy place to save those must- read articles that you really do not need long term.

Continue reading “Safari Reading Lists”

Safari-Show the full web address

Safari by default displays only a shortened version of the URL.  To display the full web address, you can enable the option in Safari Preferences.

To do so, Click Safari > Preferences > Advanced >  Then check the box next to Show full Website address

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Here is what you see without this enabled:

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When you check the box for full website address – this is what displays:     Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 4.22.51 PM 1.png

You will know exactly where you are on a website when viewing the full address.

View the Favorites Bar in Safari

When Yosemite made its debut, the Safari favorites bar is turned off by default.  The Favorites Bar Menu is  a quick way to access all the sites that you visit most often.  Here’s how to view, add to and edit the Safari Favorites Bar.

Continue reading “View the Favorites Bar in Safari”

Mac 101: Keyboard Shortcuts – The Arrow Keys & Swipe

Forward & Previous Shortcuts

The following short cuts will help you navigate between open web pages in Safari & Google and also in your Gmail. We all use the “back & forward” icons at the top of a browser to go backward & forward in web browsers.  Instead, you can use Command Key Shortcuts or trackpad swipe gestures.

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Continue reading “Mac 101: Keyboard Shortcuts – The Arrow Keys & Swipe”

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