Friday, 28 April 2017

Trouble Ahead: Is Your Home Ready For Spring?

While many of us have been busy designing our homes over the holidays and spreading holiday cheer, we were mostly cooped up inside either because of the chilly weather or too much snow. Since the last part of last year until early this month, the weather has been mostly cold and dreadful. But as Spring is fast approaching and the weather improves, the outdoors seems like a great place to be in.

San Diego dwellers can hit the beaches once more and frolic under the sun. While Spring is the best time to show off more skin and enjoy the beauty of nature, it is also the perfect time to assess the condition of your home and do some much-needed Spring cleaning. Our homes go through a lot because of the changing of the seasons and winter is especially hard for it too. Our homes' exterior especially our roof and walls have to battle the elements and keep everyone stay safe and warm inside.

While your heater was in full-mode last Winter, your AC will likely be working all day long to keep the entire family cool and comfy as the temperature soars. And as such can drive electricity bills through the roof. So, what can an ordinary citizen do to save money without sacrificing comfort?

The HERO program — Home Energy Renovation Opportunity — has been touted statewide with direct-mail pieces and on radio and TV. Now approved in 48 California counties, the program is expanding to Missouri and Florida, with the state and federal governments' blessings.

A homeowner can qualify for upgrades in heating, air conditioning, energy-saving windows, roofs, drip irrigation systems, artificial turf, drought-tolerant landscaping, and solar installations — 50 types of projects.

“I know people that have received a whole kitchen and bathroom remodel in the name of water conservation,” said the business owner.

Homeowners with a little equity can get 100 percent financing with no money down, quick approvals, and no credit check. (I received a direct-mail piece offering me up to $49,500 in home improvements.) The program provides HERO-approved contractors to perform the services.


But it has a major glitch. Many homeowners who availed this loan ended up losing their homes because they can’t afford it, to begin with, and the accumulated taxes prove to be too much as well. So, think about it many times if ever you want to avail of this project.

Now, while other homeowners are busy sprucing up their homes, poor renters in the San Diego area may also suffer from the hard blow of Trump’s proposed budget cuts.

San Diego’s poorest renters could be hit hardest under a $6.2 billion cut proposed by the Trump administration for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Right now, HUD provides yearly rental assistance to roughly 25,000 San Diego County families with more than $242 million in Section 8 funds. There are about 100,000 families on the waiting list for assistance across the county.

Many of the cuts were identified in budget documents as not demonstrating results and part of an overall effort by the Trump administration to reduce federal spending. All cuts need to be approved by Congress.

The proposed budget keeps rental assistance at the same levels but doesn’t take into account increased housing costs. It also cuts programs to build more subsidized housing units and eliminates down payment assistance projects for first-time buyers.


Wherever you are in the U.S., seasonal changes always entail a lot of work. Any home improvement project requires money too. While you need to buy the materials, you may be able to save on labor if you roll up your sleeves and do the actual work yourself. Before attempting to do any DIY home projects, make sure you are skilled enough to pull it off or risk doing more damage to your home than good.

If an extensive home renovation is necessary, think twice before making any hefty loans to help you realize your project. Always think of the long-term and your capacity to pay for it over time as well as the urgency of the renovation that needs to be done.

Trouble Ahead: Is Your Home Ready For Spring? Read more on:


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Reboot Your Macbook Pro

Technology is continually progressing and computing updates are constantly released to refine computer features for a smooth computing experience. There have been many creative names given to the operating systems of android smartphones while Windows OS remained in the backseat and did its thing, there has been little talk regarding Apple iOS much more that of an update.

And over the years, the lack of updates and new releases from the Apple’s Macbook line is a cause of concern for Macbook users who are wondering when they can upgrade their computers to match their growing computing needs. The Apple computer line is also not immune from various iOS issues. Let’s take the macOS Sierra, for instance, which made its debut last year and a couple of issues you immediately face once using this operating system.

Before installing macOS Sierra, uninstall or disable any antivirus software on your Mac, as that may be causing issues.

Press the power button on your machine while holding down the Shift key on your keyboard. Boot your Mac into Safe mode, then try installing macOS Sierra again. It might also be worth switching from a Wi-Fi connection to a wired connection before you download and install.

macOS Sierra problems: macOS Sierra won't start

If you've installed macOS Sierra, but your Mac won't start, then restart your Mac and hold down Command, Option, P and R, which will reset the NVRAM (non-volatile RAM).

Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup chime for the second time. Release the keys after you hear the second startup chime. The PRAM will be reset as well.

For other ways to fix a Mac that won't start, check out our guides How to Use OS X boot options to troubleshoot your Mac and How to fix a Mac that won't start.

macOS Sierra problems: Mac runs slowly after macOS Sierra upgrade

If your Mac is running noticeably slower after upgrading, there are a number of things you can try to speed up macOS Sierra.

First of all, try restarting your Mac to see if that helps. If it doesn't, force-quit any apps that appear to be taking up a lot of RAM. You can identify these by using Activity Monitor (in /Applications/Utilities) to establish what apps and processes are using up the most CPU or RAM. Its CPU tab lists active processes, with a real-time view of what's going on.


Now, regardless of your iOS version or whether you are simply just having a hard time to turn on your Mac computer, do you know what to do or will you wait for a miracle to happen and wait for it to turn on by itself? Here is a rundown of what you need to do to get your computer back up without spending a lot of money in getting it checked and fixed by a professional.

How to fix a Mac that won't start up: Check your Mac turns on

First, let's check that the problem is that your Mac won't start up, and not that it won't turn on - those might sound like the same thing, but there's actually a big difference.

Press the Power button on your Mac. If you don't hear a start-up chime, you don't hear any fan or drive noise, and there are no images, video or visuals of any sort on your display, then your Mac isn't turning on at all. You're not even getting to the point where it refuses to start up.

A Mac that doesn't turn on calls for a different approach to one that doesn't start up. If your computer doesn't turn on then you need to do the following:

Check your power connection: Don't be the cliche, check that the power is on and the Mac is plugged in correctly. Or if it's a laptop be sure that the battery isn't dead - and if it needs charging give it a while to attempt to charge before concluding that it isn't going to work.

Try a different power cable or adaptor: It may be that the fault resides with the power cable. If you have a friend with a Mac power cable that fits your machine try it to see if that solves the problem. If it does it could be a simple fix that involves finding a secondhand power cable on eBay (we’d advise against buying third-party power cables that aren’t made by Apple as they are much more likely to be faulty and possibly dangerous).

If you recently had a power cut that could be responsible: Your power adaptor could have been damaged in a power surge and you may need a new one.

It’s possible that the cable was lose and pulling it out and plugging it in again will solve the problem, but we doubt it will be that easy.


The world of Apple is not for everybody. It has so many idiosyncrasies only loyal Apple computer users can relate to. Using it requires a different knowledge and skill set considering that Apple computers are built differently than the rest of PCs most of us are familiar with.

Even though Apple rarely updates their computer line and operating system, what they have now in place does the job and works for most of their users. And if in case its use is no longer a positive experience for the user, they have the choice of waiting for when a new model is eventually released or switch to a Windows PC that you can find all over the market as a replacement.

The blog article Reboot Your Macbook Pro was originally seen on


Sunday, 23 April 2017

The Edge Of An Apple Macbook

Mac users are usually long-time Apple users. From using the bulky old Macs to the more modern and sleek Macbook Pros, they have established a strong bond between them and their device. No one will argue that Macbooks are great. And they are also built to last a long time, unlike most Windows PC. Older Mac models and newer Macbook pros, they all do the same job. Mac users do not feel that they need to continually make an upgrade because their device still works.

But while the majority won’t trade their Macbooks for a Windows PC anytime soon, a growing number of Mac users are actually considering of making the switch from Mac to Windows because of lingering hard drive problems.

There are lots of things that Apple needs to fix, but one of the most glaring right now is the product line. Sure, we’re on the usual annual cycle of iPhone upgrades. We’ve seen new iPads in recent memory. But what about the Mac? The venerable computer that used to be Apple’s core product is now just an afterthought.

To be fair, the much-ballyhooed MacBook Pro with Touch Bar saw the light only a few months ago, but it’s pricey, underpowered, and connector-challenged.

What about the desktop? Where are new Macs? The iMac hasn’t been refreshed in 521 days. The Mac mini hasn’t seen any changes in 883 days. And the Mac Pro? Apple should be embarrassed selling a computer that hasn’t been changed in 1,184 days at the same price as when it was launched. That top-of-the-line Mac features three-year old technology at three-year old prices. (Thanks to MacRumors whose Buyer’s Guide keeps track of release dates.)

This is the most prestigious computer company in the world, and their top-of-the-line computer is more than three years old. How can the top management at Apple think this is normal? Perhaps they all use iPads, and they expect us all to switch to that platform, but it’s obvious that there are still millions of people who use computers.


But if you are an adamant Mac user and are willing to ride the tide with your trusted device (no matter how old it is), there are different tips you can try to overcome common Mac hard drive problems to keep your sanity intact.

Not all of us can rush out and buy the latest Apple hardware every year. For most folks, the fact that Macs hold their value is owed to how long the computers last. Even so, we can recognize the signs of a Mac that’s not quite in its prime anymore. Booting it up seems to take forever, the latest features of macOS just aren’t enjoyable, and modern software seems to drag. Don’t rush right out to buy a new computer when that happens, though. There may be a few things you can do to an old Mac to make it feel new again.

Upgrade Your Hard Drive to SSD

If your older Mac still has a mechanical hard drive, the best upgrade you can make to revitalize it is to replace that disk with a solid-state drive (SSD). SSD drives don’t have any moving parts, so they’re exponentially faster than their older counterparts. Upgrading to an SSD drive might not be cheap, but it’s less expensive than purchasing a new Mac. You’ll reap the benefits of an SSD in a number of areas – booting up, opening apps, and moving files around.

Make sure you can make the swap without too much trouble. You should also be sure to pick an SSD that’s compatible with Mac. Crucial’s Mac SSD compatibility page is a good place to start, as is Other World Computing. Both sites offer installation guides to help you know what’s involved in the job.


The following tips are a great help to ensure your Macbook works at its 100% for as long as it can.

Is your Mac out of storage space, or getting dangerously close? If so, there are lots of things you can do to free up some much-need disk space. In many cases, you don’t even have to remove personal files and media. From finding and removing duplicate photo libraries to learning how to better utilize some of Apple’s cloud services, we can help you figure out what’s eating your storage and, more importantly, how to fix it.

  1. Clear out downloads folder.

  2. Delete apps you don’t use or need.

  3. Check for duplicate iPhoto libraries.

  4. Use DaisyDisk, or a utility like it.

  5. Let AppCleaner help you clear out old, unnecessary files.

  6. Scan your photo library for duplicates.

  7. Utilize iTunes in the Cloud for movies and TV.

  8. Transfer old photos and videos.

  9. Limit what Dropbox is storing on your hard drive.

  10. Enable iCloud Photo Library.


We live in a free world where all of us are free to make our own choices. If you feel that you are more comfortable using a Macbook Pro than most regular Windows PC, feel free to make that choice. Apple has superior features that appeal to a certain demographics and they continue to be loyal Mac users through the years. But once you feel that your Apple computer no longer meets your needs, you are also free to make the switch to a different brand and make and experience a different computing experience.

The post The Edge Of An Apple Macbook is republished from The Mac Zealots Blog