Tips For Thanksgiving Tech Support

Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US. It's when gather with family, eat more than we should, watch American football, and when the "computer" people get to help out family with their technology needs. Assuming your Grandpa Jimmy has Mac/iOS devices, here are some tips to make your life easier.

  1. Install the free version of LogMeIn. This will make that phone call in March a lot easier because you can actually see what is happening on their Mac. They also have free iOS apps to allow you to troubleshoot on the go.
  2. Install either Crashplan or Backblaze and pay for it as apart of their Christmas present. I love Time Machine, but this is a hands off and fireproof approach. You can also log in and check the status of the backup from the web.
  3. Run all OS and firmware updates on the Mac (hang off on installing Mavericks until you return at Christmas)
  4. Make sure all of their iOS devices are running iOS 7.0.4.
  5. Make sure iCloud backups are on and can make a successful backup.
  6. Make sure automatic app updates are switched on for iOS and the Mac (App Store).
  7. Check the camera roll on their iPhone. Figure out some sort of workflow to deal with their pictures. If you need a strategy, I know just the thing to help.
  8. Have a conversation about passwords and using unique ones for each website they use. This is a great time to get them setup with 1Password on Mac and iOS.
  9. Sign them up for a free Dropbox account (don't forget to use your referral link).
  10. Run the Verify Disk tool (on the Macintosh HD partition) that is found in Disk Utility on the Mac. If need be, boot into the recovery partition and repair the disk. Repair permissions while you are at it.

These tips won't keep your family from all technology disasters, but it should make your life a little easier when trouble hits.