When good email disappears: Archiving old messages

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 Chris Sinclair would love to have a copy of his old email. He writes.

My company has used Gmail for a few years and recently switched to Office 365. The IT department said that it would be removing my old Gmail but I wasn’t worried about it because I had a copy of that mail in Outlook (which is the email client I use). I launched Outlook the other day and started searching for an old message. I found it but suddenly it and almost all of my old email disappeared before my eyes. Can I get it back? What’s going on?

Having gone through a similar experience I can tell you exactly what happened. You had a Gmail IMAP account, which feeds messages from a central server. The relationship between your computer and this server is such that when messages are deleted from one, they also disappear from the other unless you’ve taken specific steps to back them up.

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Fix a plug-in-related PDF printing issue in Safari

Dan Moren Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Dan has been writing about all things Apple since 2006, when he first started contributing to the MacUser blog. Since then he's covered most of the company's major product releases and reviewed every major revision of iOS. In his "copious" free time, he's usually grinding away on a novel or two.
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After upgrading to Mavericks, I ran into an issue where I couldn’t print from a site that used a Silverlight-based Web app. In particular, when I tried to use ‘Open as PDF’ or ‘Save as PDF’ from the Print dialog box, instead of getting a nice PDF, I’d get bupkis. Zip. The big goose egg.

It turns out that this is due to the new sandboxing rules that Apple implemented for Safari plug-ins. The feature is intended to keep you safe from security exploits that affect plug-ins, but it can result in unintended side effects—such as, in my case, not being able to print.

After a lot of searching, I finally came across the solution, suggested by this post at Microsoft’s Developer Network. You can tell Safari to let you run certain plug-ins in “unsafe” mode; sounds scary, yes, but fortunately you can enable that mode on a plug-in by plug-in basis, and only for specific sites that you designate.

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5 resolutions for a better digital life

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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It’s the time of year when we make promises for the new year that are routinely broken before that year is a week old. And for this reason, far too many of us simply resolve to never make another resolution. (Because, after all, that’s an easy one to keep.)

But when it comes to the health of your computer and Internet life, it pays to make a greater effort. With that in mind, I’ve resolved to end 2013 with a list of resolutions (and the consequences of not living up to them) to be carried out in 2014.

I will back up my data

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Giving the gift of yourself

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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For many of us, it’s the time of year when families and friends gather to celebrate the holidays, renew old bonds, and give gifts. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a gift in physical form, sometimes the best present is lending someone a helping hand. Here at Mac 911, I’ve established something of a tradition of providing my technical expertise to those I care for. If you’re of a like mind, I’d like to make a few suggestions.

Save those memories

As always, I start with one of the most helpful things you can do—provide the target of your generosity with a backup of their most important data. Ideally you’d give them a hard drive of at least double the size of their startup volume, connect it, and configure Time Machine to work with it. If a hard drive isn’t within your budget, consider picking up a hunk of removable flash-memory storage and copying their most important documents to it. (In most cases this means irreplaceable files like pictures of the grandkids.) If they don’t have a lot of vital files, you could additionally add them to a Dropbox or Google Drive account that you create for them.

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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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