Be Careful When You Try to Call Tech Support


Healthcare.Gov for Mac users: what works today

As of today, October 17, 2013, I am able to start an Obamacare application using Opera.

Safari did let me set up the account, but logging in just took me to a blank screen. Ditto with Firefox. But only random ol' Opera lets me actually start an application.  

Opera, this consultant thanks you. Sniff.

Browser Versions:
Safari 6.0.5
Firefox 24.0
Opera 17.0


New steps needed to create Mac OS 10.9 boot disk

Marek Bell on what I've got to go through to start up from a self-made Mavericks USB installation drive.

" It is no longer possible to simply restore the InstallESD.dmg to get a bootable image for USB / Flash drive installation."



Make Apple Mail Choose the Right Email Address for Your Contact

Just because you once had to send an email to your boss's AOL account doesn't mean you ever want to do so again ... but that doesn't mean it's not a good idea to keep your boss's home email account in their Contacts card, just in case.

But if Mail starts choosing "mskittyhaha36@aol.com" instead of "ljeffe@corporate.com" when you're emailing the boss, you have other options besides going into Contacts, and deleting the rarely-used email address.


To choose a contact's default email address in Mail, you have to:

1. Go to Contacts.

2. Click on All Contacts, then select all. (Go to the Edit menu, and choose "Select All.)

3. Click the File menu, and choose New Group From Selection. Name it something simple like "All".

4. Click the Edit menu, and choose Distribution List.

5. The Distribution List window appears. Click the "All" group you created. Default email addresses will be listed in bold. If you see contacts with multiple addresses, check the bold email address is the one you use most often. If it isn't, just click the one you want to make default.

Extra credit: this is also an easy way to view a simple list of your contacts' names & email addresses. Give it a once-over. You'll be surprised which contacts have no email account at all, or one that is severely out of date. Even more credit: to do the same thing, but viewing/changing phone numbers or mailing addresses, click the "Email" column header while viewing the Distribution List.


How to Cancel your Spotify Account

Clients and friends: I am recommending against using the Spotify music service. I've had one too many clients have Spotify sign them up for unrequested services, and the hoops Spotify makes users go through the cancel their accounts is ridiculous.
If anyone needs help canceling an account, here's the process (I kid you not):

1) There is no way to cancel account via your Spotify's user settings.

2) There are no cancellation instructions on Spotify's help pages.

3) The (undocumented) action you must take is to fill out the Help contact form.


4) The help request form has no option for account cancellation or even "Other", so choose "Account or Login problems" and then choose from several incorrect options & just hope for the best. In the details field, tell them you want to cancel your account.

5) The help request will email two auto-responses. The second response will instruct you to search Help or the Community pages for the answer ... and gives no indication of the real thing to do at this point. Reply to this auto-response request by again requesting they cancel your account. Include your date of birth, the approximate date you signed up for Spotify, and your zip code.

Yes. Seriously. This is their process.

Le sigh,


Hold off on installing iTunes 11

Dearest clients, I know you will ignore this post, as no one wants to wait to try out the new & the shiny. But when you call me because iTunes 11 is driving you bonkers, I'll have nothing to offer, but kindness & empathy. It's a new release. It's full of kinks. Wait. Sincerely, I-told-you-so ... er, I mean, Juliet


One of my favorite new things in Mountain Lion: built-in dictation! 10. Activate dictation quickly Enable this feature in the Dictation & Speech panel, in System Preferences. Click the Fn key twice to activate it. (You must be in a text field or writeable document -- like an email or Word doc.) Then press the Fn key again to be done. Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.



Sidebar Fonts in Lion (Mac OS 10.7) Quoting Ben Tomhave over at the Falcon's View:

If your mailbox sidebar isn't visible, click on "Show" on the left side of the menu bar.

Next, to reduce the mailbox sidebar font size, go to System Preferences, click General and change "Sidebar icon size" to small.

Ahhhh…soooo much better.


iPhone Maps tip: zooming in & out

Double-tap with one finger to zoom in.
Single-tap with two fingers to zoom out.