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  • What's the worst that can happen, using a computer, and going online?
    Well, it's a lot like being in love — it's strange at first, there's a learning curve, and you're going to find new ways to do things. Be very careful! Don't talk to strangers. Online, you can have your identity stolen, your money stolen, and your passwords stolen. You can have your computer infected by a virus. You can violate laws you never knew existed. These are real dangers. But the scariest thing with the HIGHEST PROBABILITY of happening is… accidentally, or carelessly, losing your data.

    It happens to everybody: you forget to lock your car… or you leave the kids alone with your Mac… or an electric spike surges through your power cord… or you simply push the wrong button — and POOF! Your data is gone forever. That's when your life (or, at least, your data) flashes before your eyes.

    Each of these situations is unnecessary, and completely preventable. Simply include an external Hard Drive in your computer system, and use it to hold a copy of all the data on your internal Hard Drive. This way, when disaster strikes, you do not face complete ruin. There is a variety of backup applications available for any computer, and some are free. Don't live to regret it — make a backup right now.

    The best backup strategy for a (modern) Mac is to start with an external USB Hard Drive with a capacity equal to FOUR TIMES the size of your internal HD. Partition the ext HD into TWO volumes. The first volume should be the SAME SIZE as your internal HD — use either SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner to "clone" your internal HD, periodically, to this volume. The second volume should be TRIPLE the size of your internal HD — configure your Mac's "Time Machine" app to backup continually to this volume. Keep your ext HD connected and powered ON at all times.

    Using this strategy provides 99% safety for 99% of all Mac users. Just remember to use it!

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  • After upgrading the Operating System, my Mac runs slower than before. Why?
    Your Mac's OS is, in reality, a long list of INSTRUCTIONS, telling your CPU (Central Processing Unit) how to interact with your hardware, software, and data. Spiffy new features make every new OS larger than make the one before. That larger OS takes up more memory (RAM) — which means that your applications, and your data, have less memory to move around in. This can cause your Mac to run more slowly.

    Installing more RAM in your Mac can make a big difference — but if your Mac is already at its maximum RAM capacity, then you're stuck. What then? You buy a new Mac, of course.

    Seriously? Yep. This is how progress happens, in the consumer society — in all manufacturing, but especially in high tech. Software publishers, and hardware manufacturers, want (need) you to buy a replacement unit every year or two. Vendors compete for your business by introducing new features, and then convincing that you need (want) them. It's called "marketing". A new Operating System will provide new features, and give you new, competitive advantages — but it may require a new computer, which requires new software, which requires… you get the idea.

    You have to wonder where it's all going.

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