Gmail Tips

If you use Gmail as your email client, here are many tips to help you get the most from this program. Often you may get a notice from a friend that they are going out of town for a few days and to please hold emails. What a pain to remember (for me, anyway). If they used Gmail they would never have to send out that notice again.

Gmail can hold all your emails, and keeps them for a long time.
Among other advantages, Gmail isn’t tied to one OS or to one device or to one mail program. It can run on any browser, in any OS, and on practically any device. You don’t even need to be connected to the internet to read your emails (see tip #65).

These tips are a little over a year old, so there may have been some changes in the interim. Anyway, you might read them just to see what’s available in Gmail. A bit overwhelming, eh?.

Jim Hamm

Weak iPhone Signal

Here is a tip for the iPhone that you may already be aware of. If at home, or if you’re out-and-about, and you have a weak signal for your mobile phone, here is an article that explains how to use a Wi-Fi network to make a phone call. Most major carriers support this feature.

Notice this feature will work whenever you’re in an area of a weak mobile signal (and we have a few areas in Prescott like that for AT&T) and have a Wi-Fi signal available that you are able to connect to.

I have had this feature turned on for my iPhone 6 for some time, but have never noticed if I’ve actually used it. Could be handy sometime, though. If you have an iPhone 5c or newer you might check to see if you have this feature turned on.

Jim Hamm

Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a function of OS X that, if you’re lucky, you may never have to use. However, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of what Disk Utility is all about if you should ever need to use it. Here is an excellent article from Macworld on Disk Utility that you might want to read and retain for future reference.

On page 2 of the article is a paragraph — Fix startup problems — that you may want to copy and print a document of what to do if your Mac won’t start up. This probably won’t happen, but if it should it’s nice to know what to do.

Jim Hamm

Comment by John Carter

On Page 2 it starts out talking about the older Disk Utility that had Verify Disk and Repair Disk Permissions. That is quite confusing to any reader because on page 1 it clearly states that these two functions were removed from Disk Utility.

In fact, everything on page 2 is about the older Disk Utility and has nothing to do with the new Disk Utility, including how to fix the startup disk. In my view, that second page link is a mistake – it goes to the wrong page.

A Nanosecond

You’ve probably heard of the term “nanosecond”, which is a billionth of a second. But perhaps you, like me, have trouble getting your mind around anything that says “billionth”. But leave it to a lady to really explain something in a manner I — and you — can easily understand.

Here is a short video wherein Admiral Grace Hopper explains a “nanosecond” using a piece of wire. Interesting. Take a look.

Jim Hamm


ATM Touch ID Withdrawals

For travelers, withdrawing money from ATMs is a normal process, but one is often worried about card skimming when doing that. Here is an article describing a process of using an iPhone and Touch ID to make a withdrawal of funds from your bank account. Pretty slick, but Chase bank, which we use, isn’t mentioned yet. I’m sure eventually they will be.

Jim Hamm

Internet Speed Test

Occasionally you may want to check your internet speed to see if you are getting close to what you are paying for from your ISP. Perhaps you may use This is a good site, and I’ve used it many times.

There are others, and I just came across one that is simple, fast, and powered by Netflix: . I compared both sites on my download speed, and they’re close, but not exactly the same, as you would expect.

However, if you just want a quick test of your download speed, you might give a try.

Jim Hamm

Upgrade Now to macOS Sierra?

If you are the adventuresome type (or perhaps a bit foolish, or brave, depending on your perspective), and can’t wait until macOS Sierra is released this fall, here is an article describing how to do the upgrade now. If you should decide to try this, as the article clearly states, back up, back up first.

As for me? Initially I thought — yes, I’ll give it a try. Then, I came to my senses and decided to wait until it is released.

Jim Hamm