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Apple’s next-generation macOS: Big Sur is Available Now!

Posted by Robert Beagle | Posted in Apple, Apple News And Rumors, Big Sur, MacOS | Posted on 06-01-2021

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Apple macOS: Big Sur has arrived. 

Named after the picturesque mountainous section of the Central Coast of California where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise dramatically from the Pacific, the latest macOS promises to elevate one of the world’s most advanced operating systems to a new level of beauty and power.

Big Sur Mac Rentals

But how can you get the most out of Big Sur? Find out what version 11 of Apple’s Mac operating system offers by perusing these tips and features.

Updating to Big Sur

Are you just finding out about Big Sur? If you haven’t already updated your Mac, navigate to the Apple icon in the upper-left corner and select About This Mac. At the next window, select Software update. Then click the Update Now button and follow the prompts to install the update.

Big Sur Control Center

Apple now gives you quick access to several settings by bringing the iOS/iPadOS Control Center to Macs. Apple even added a Control Center icon to the Menu Bar in the upper-right hand corner — click the Menu Bar to manage your settings in the control center.

Now you can quickly access different controls for:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • AirDrop
  • Do Not Disturb mode
  • Keyboard Brightness
  • Screen Mirroring
  • Display
  • Sound
  • Music

Click what you’d like to control to expand and edit your settings.

To add more options to the Control Center, go to System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar. On the left pane, scroll down to Other Modules and select options like Accessibility Shortcuts, Battery, Fast User Switching, and check the Show in Control Center box.

Pinning Controls to the Menu Bar

For even quicker access, Big Sur allows you to pin controls to the Menu Bar from the Control Center. 

One way to add controls is to click the Control Center icon and drag and drop a specific icon to the Menu Bar. Another way is to go to System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar. In the left pane, select a particular control and then check the Show in Menu Bar box.

Extra Tip: To hide the Menu Bar, so it only appears when you navigate your cursor to the top of the screen, go to System Settings > Dock & Menu Bar and check the Automatically hide and show the menu bar box.

Viewing Widgets and Notifications

Much like the latest Control Center, Apple borrowed another feature from its mobile and iPad operating systems.

Now displayed in the same section, click the date and time in the Menu Bar to view any notifications and see default widgets like date, weather, World Clock, and Screen Time. Select a widget to open the corresponding application.

Macbook Pro with Big Sur

Customizing Your Widgets

One of the biggest reasons for Apple finally adding widgets six years ago was the ability to customize its size, details, and more.

To edit or remove from your screen, right-click on any widget. For example, the weather widget allows you to change location or to update based on where you are. You can also reorder your widgets by dragging and dropping them to the appropriate spots on your desktop.

To add more widgets, right-click any widget, and select Edit Widgets. Alternatively, you can click the Edit Widgets button at the bottom of your screen.

You can even download third-party widgets by searching Widgets in the Mac App Store. Now you’ll be able to use third-party widgets in the Notification Center or Menu Bar.

Quieting your Startup

Are you tired of hearing Apple’s built-in chime every time you open your Mac? You can now disable this sound by going to System Preferences > Sound and unchecking Play Sound on Startup box. Now you’ll have a quiet startup until you recheck the box.

More Options for Your Mac’s Battery

Now offering a dedicated system preference for your battery, click the Battery Icon on the Menu Bar to explore your battery preference options.

Big Sur offers more options to either preserve — or get the most out of — your battery. Some examples include tuning options for:

  • How long until the display shuts off battery power
  • Enabling Power Nap in Battery Mode
  • Optimizing Video Streaming on battery power
  • Optimized Battery Charging so Big Sur won’t charge your Mac past 80% until you need the extra boost (saving your battery life)
  • Managing Battery Longevity — select this option to reduce the rate at which your battery chemically ages.
  • Usage History — see your battery level and usage for the last 24 hours or ten days.

Hearing What You Type

Do you have eyesight problems? Apple created this feature for individuals who need to listen to words aloud as they are composed. To set up Speak Typing Feedback, go to System Preferences > Accessibility. In the Spoken Content Section, check the box for speak typing feedback

Now, any letter typed is read aloud by the speak typing feedback feature. After you’ve typed a word, that word also reads out loud with Spoken Content. If you enter punctuation, space, new paragraph, or other characters — these are read aloud as well.

Color Adjustments

Now you can change which colors appear in buttons, menus, and other elements. Or you can select the multicolor option, which changes the accent color of an app based on the developer’s preferences — each app will have a unique color.

To set up different color options, go to System Preferences > General. For Accent Color, choose the first icon.

Mac’s default setting for wallpaper tinting is annoying to some as it changes the shading of many items in macOS. To change the windows’ display to a more neutral tone, go to System Preferences > General and uncheck allow wallpaper tinting in the windows

Trying macOS Wallpapers

Mac has always done that little bit extra when it comes to aesthetics, and Big Sur is no different.

Big Sur adds several stunning new images you can set up as your wallpaper. Just like previous versions, you can choose a dynamic wallpaper that changes between light and dark as the day and night progress.

However, Big Sur offers a wider variety of pictures and cool variations on the usual scenic Apple Themes.


Tech Travel Agent Mark Gillaugh

Big Sur Mac Rentals with Rentacomputer.com

Are you thinking about renting one of the latest available Macbooks, iMacs, or Mac Pros? Tech Travel Agent Mark Gillaugh specializes in Apple rentals, laptop rentals, hotspot rentals, tablet rentals, and much more. Mark will handle any questions you have about the Apple product rentals featuring Big Sur OS. Contact Mark today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 249 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form.

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New Mac OS X Security Update May Crash Computer

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 14-10-2011

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Mac OS X WormApple has just released a very massive security update for Mac OS X as well as a new version of the company’s operating system. However, according to multiple sources, installing the patches may cause your computer to crash and become unbootable.

This new update, known as the Mac OS X Security Update 2011-006, addresses over 70 vulnerabilities found in core components as well as third-party products bundled by default with the operating system. A majority of these flaws have the highest severity rating assigned to them and could result in arbitrary code execution via a remote attack vector.

Two security issues were patched in the Mac OS X kernel with one being patched in CoreStorage, two more in CoreMedia and others in CoreProcesses, CoreFoundation, CFNetwork and the application firewall. Apple is also playing catch-up in terms of security with this update with multiple third-party software packages providing important functionality like Apache HTTPD, BIND, PHP, Tomcat, Mailman, Python and libpng.

One of Apple’s central applications, QuickTime, was also updated with this release, addressing eleven separate vulnerabilities. However, some of these vulnerabilities only affect OS X Snow Leopard. However, even with all the benefits that come with the new update, Apple users should be very cautious about installing it as doing so could result in some more serious problems.

According to a Twitter post by security researcher Dragos Ruiu, “Apple OS X Security Update makes macbook kernel panic at boot.” Ruiu later confirmed that other users have experienced the same problem , more specifically on systems with Lion/Snow Leopard dual-boot configurations. Ruiu added, “If you have two or more os partition on mbp (MacBook Pro) it breaks.”

In addition to Ruiu, Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley from Sophos, a Mac OS antivirus provider, reported installation problems with the newly released iOS 5 mobile OS. Cluley was unable to confirm boot issues for Mac OS X but did advise users to postpone updating if they believe that they may be infected.

Source: Computer World – Mac OS X security update causes crashes, say experts

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Apple Deciding to Wait for Mac OS X Lion Before Debuting Updated MacBook

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 17-06-2011

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Mac OS X LionApple is holding back its latest refresh of its Mac notebook, citing that it is waiting on the new version of its operating system to be released in July before letting the new notebook loose on the public.

This bit of tasty information came from sources quoted by AppleInsider who said that the new MacBook Air models, which will be featuring Intel Sandy Bridge processors as well as the Thunderbolt expansion port, have been ready for quite some time but Apple does not want to release them with the old Mac OS X 10.6 operating system released back in 2009.

The MacRumors.com Buyer’s Guide, which tracks all the intervals by which Apple refreshes its hardware, is in support of this decision. The Buyer’s Guide shows that all the portable Mac products are reaching the end of their typical sales cycle. That is all products aside from the MacBook Pro which was updated earlier this year.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is supposed to debut in July and is far more than your traditional operating system. It connects users to the iCloud, the new storage service from Apple. iCloud represents a big new direction for Apple, who sees it as a way of bringing together all the different desktop and mobile platforms.

Apple overcame the issue of hardware releases not syncing up with OS X release dates by bundling CPU Drop-in discs with the new Macs. The computers came with an older version of the OS preinstalled, while the disc contained the new OS and allowed you to manually upgrade your device.

However, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will only be available for download through the Mac App Store which is installed on all Macs running the current Mac OS release. OS X Lion will not be available on  a DVD in any way which will make it unavailable through traditional retail chains.

It should, theoretically, still be possible for Apple to bundle a voucher code that would permit users to upgrade for free through the App Store. However, Apple is traditionally against registration keys like the ones found on Windows computers.

OS X retail releases have never used them and retail releases for the iWork productivity suite has dropped the need for registration keys completely. The Mac App Store also prevents the need to register your software by using digital rights management to tie the software to your computer.

So, if you are looking forward to the latest installment to either Mac OS X Lion, the new Mac notebook or both, you are going to have to wait a little while longer. But, hey, think of it this way, at least you get them both at the same time.

Source: PC World – Apple Delays MacBook Update, Waits for Lion

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