Giving the gift of speed: The SSD upgrade

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader George Robertson wants to give his mate some speed. He writes:

My wife has an iMac from 2010 (model 2389) that she says runs really slowly. I can’t afford a new Mac, but as a Christmas present I would like to make this one faster. It currently has 4GB of RAM. Would adding more make it noticeably faster?

That iMac will hold up to 16GB of RAM. These days 4GB is a little light so it’s not a bad idea at all to bump up the RAM. However, if you do this on the sly and then expect your wife to burst into the room shouting “George, it’s a miracle! My iMac has suddenly turned into a speed demon!” you’re going to be disappointed. A RAM upgrade like this does not a miracle make.

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How to permanently delete your Facebook account

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Amy Campbell has had enough. She writes:

I just heard that Facebook not only tracks everything you post, but also things you’ve chosen not to. That’s a little too creepy for me and I want to delete my account. How do I do that?

According to a report by Jennifer Goldbeck written for Slate, Facebook does indeed keep tabs on when people enter text in the Facebook browser interface and then choose to not share it (a practice the company terms “self censorship"). However—again according to the Slate article—the company doesn’t collect the text you type, only when you fail to share it.

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Maintaining a Boot Camp partition when upgrading the Mac OS

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Mapa is interested in upgrading to Mavericks but has a Boot Camp partition. The reader writes:

I am still running Mac OS X Snow Leopard on a 2009 MacBook Pro with a Boot Camp partition that contains Windows XP. Can I upgrade to a more recent version of the Mac OS without losing that partition?

In researching your questions I’ve seen reports of people having no problem at all—they download Mavericks, update their Macs, and their Boot Camp partition works as well as it ever has. Regrettably, I’ve also read reports from people who can no longer access their partitions.

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How to slim down your inbox

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Robert Matheson desires a tidier inbox. He writes:

For years I’ve allowed all my incoming email to pile up in my inbox. That strategy has broken down to the point where I can’t find my important email. I want to be more organized but don’t know where to start. Any hints?

If you could see the office I inhabit, you might think better of asking me anything about organization. But while the immediate area around me may be a disaster, I’m fairly picky about my inbox—not Inbox Zero picky, but particular enough that the worst of my electronic effluent is not within eyeshot.

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How secure is iCloud?

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader John McKnight is concerned about iCloud’s security. He writes:

My wife has an iPhone 4s and we recently purchased an iPad Air. Both are set up to use iCloud. I don’t like having passwords and other kinds of personal information in the cloud and am thinking of attaching a password-protected storage device to my router so that I can create my own private “cloud.” Just how secure is iCloud?

It would be worth your while to read Apple’s iCloud: iCloud security and privacy overview document. As its name hints, it spells out how your data is encrypted—both when it’s transmitted between your computer and Apple’s servers and when it’s stored on those servers.

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How to transfer backups from Time Machine to a new Mac

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Mike Vogel is curious about configuring a new Mac with multiple transferred accounts. He writes:

My wife and I currently have our own MacBook Pros. As we are transitioning to iPads we are going to replace our oldest laptop with a new iMac. So for the first time I need to set up a Mac with multiple user logins. Both laptops currently run Snow Leopard. Is it possible to set up my profile by restoring from my Time Machine backup, and then my wife’s profile by restoring from her Time Machine backup? Or will I have to use Migration Assistant and manually port over data?

In order, the answer to your three questions are Yes, Yes, and Yes/No. Now to lend clarity to these somewhat unclear answers.

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Keep snooping relatives out of your stuff

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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A reader who wishes to remain anonymous (you’ll see why shortly) is concerned about his curious kin. He writes:

Over the upcoming holidays, members of my extended family will be sharing my Mac to check their email and surf the web. I have some files that I’d like to keep hidden from them. I’m particularly concerned that some of these files will appear in Spotlight. Is there any way to hide them?

I can recommend a few options.

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