Reader Ingrid Sorenson finds some elements of OS X a little too subtle. She writes:
In the past I used to assign labels to folders so that I could more easily find them in long list views and on the desktop. Now that OS X uses colored dots instead of coloring entire folders I have a lot of trouble finding labeled items. Is there anything you can think of that will help my folders stand out?
Yes. I’d suggest changing the icon on the folders that you want to easily identify. Like so.
Reader Bengt Hamsten needs a little extra help understanding the whys and wherefores of Photo Stream. He writes:
When I take a picture with my new iPhone 6, a copy immediately lands on my other iPhone 5, my iPad, my MacBook Pro, and my iMac. But if I want to delete that picture, I must delete it separately on all five devices. How can I delete a picture on all devices with one action?
A reader who wishes to remain anonymous has a bone to pick with corporate IT. He writes:
My company forces us to change our email password every three months. I suppose this makes us more secure but it’s really inconvenient for me because sometimes I forget to change the password on one of my devices, that device tries to get my work email, the company’s system locks me out when it receives too many instances of the wrong password, and then I have to reset my password and start all over again. Can you recommend a technique that will prevent this from happening?
Depending on how open your IT department is to new ideas, you might forward them a copy of Microsoft’s So Long, And No Thanks for the Externalities: The Rational Rejection of Security Advice by Users. It and other security studies suggest that the “best practice” of changing passwords every couple of months has outlived its usefulness. Not only are attacks more varied and swift than when these policies were put in place, but it often causes users the kind of frustration that leads to greater security lapses (taping their new password to the monitor or simply creating a single-character variation from the old password, for example).
Reader Al Young has had it with the cruft that appears on his iPad. He writes:
I spend a lot of time surfing the web on my iPad. In the last couple of years it’s become more frustrating because of all the pop-up ads that hide the stuff I want to read. Is there some way to get rid of it?
Let me begin by saying that a lot of the websites you enjoy rely on ad revenue to stay in business—this one included. The tradeoff for you getting “free” content are the ads that are placed before you. That said, I’m sympathetic in those cases where pop-up ads obscure what you’re trying to read and bear minuscule Close buttons that you have to tap 20 times to dismiss.
Reader Daniel Conlan is overwhelmed with calendars and would like to do something about it. He writes:
Last year, some people at my work set up a lot of Google calendars for our workgroup. We’ve since had a reorganization and a lot of these calendars are now unnecessary. How can I get them off my Mac and iOS devices?
You can easily hide them or, if you like, get rid of them altogether. We’ll start by hiding them.
There’s a mysterious network bug in OS X 10.10 Yosemite. The symptom is that the shared name (as viewed in the Sharing System Preferences pane) of one or more of your OS X devices keeps changing. It may start out, for example, as “My MacBook.” Check back later and it will be “My MacBook (1).” Still later, it will have morphed to “My MacBook (2)” ad infinitum. These changes occur without any action on the part of the user.
Adding to the annoyance, the multiple names begin to populate the Shared section of Finder sidebars—as seen on every Mac within your local network. The result is that your sidebars soon wind up with several numbered items representing the same drive, all but one of which fail to connect to anything. If you’re lucky, there are no other overt symptoms. If you’re not lucky, you may find that the renamed volume loses its connection to iCloud or other shared services.
Reader Richard Spitzer is concerned about using a third-party SSD drive with his Mac running Yosemite. He writes:
I just read an article that Apple is disabling the TRIM function for third-party SSDs in the Yosemite OS update. I have installed third-party SSD drives (in my case Samsung) and until I saw the article was thinking about updating from Mavericks. Should I hold off and what does this mean in the long run?