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Tales From IT – How I Became Known as a Major Company’s iPhone Guy December 11, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos, Tales from IT.
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Did you miss us? We are back with an all-new Tales From IT, where our host reveals some of the biggest challenges and greatest successes he’s had working as an IT consultant. Today we will be showing a new side of IT, the one where a company gives you room and board to work for them.

Maniac has fifteen years of iPhone experience but rarely uses it in a corporate setting. It just so happened that a major company he started working for exclusively used iPhone and iPad mobile devices, and the people using them would be in regular need of repairs and upgrades. Since most of his peers at the company were Android exclusive users, they had a disadvantage troubleshooting Apple’s quirks.

The second day of work, a third-party software update was released that bricked a large number of older phones and put them in an endless shutdown loop. Maniac was asked to fix them and if possible to recover the important data locked in each of the broken phones. He succeeded. Within two days his peers referred to him as the “iPhone Guy”. How did he do it? Watch the video below to find out!

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Tales from IT – Dealing With The Red Ring of Death July 27, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos, Tales from IT.
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We’re going to switch positions for today’s Tales from IT, and talk about a major issue I had to walk myself through. The Xbox 360 was a great console with a lot of great games. However, two out of every three Xbox 360 consoles would completely fail for no reason after just a few months. My first Xbox 360 failed after just four months of regular use, and at the time it failed Microsoft would not acknowledge any hardware issues with the console.

I was a broke college student who spent the last of his money on a very expensive console that broke for no reason. How could I get it fixed? This is without a doubt one of the most frustrating personal stories I will ever tell, and over a decade later the time has come to tell it.

Tales from IT – That Time Maniac Wore a DOOM Shirt in a Private School June 19, 2018

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Most of the time on Tales From IT, Maniac tells a story about a time when he was expected to fix an essential computer despite only being called once the computer is past the point of no return. Today, Maniac will be sharing a funny story about a unique IT job he got called for at a Private School. It was a simple job, nothing essential was at stake, but once he got there he realized he stuck out like a sore thumb.

Tales from IT – Restoring a MacBook Without Bootable Media April 12, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos, Tales from IT.
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Maniac is frequently asked to fix other people’s broken computers and electronics, including products made by Apple. Typically, when he’s had to reset virus infected computers to their factory defaults, if the computer cannot perform an internet recovery his clients need to provide him the computer’s installation media. He was disheartened to discover that media was lost, and unlike Microsoft, Apple does not offer official downloads of their older computers’ essential system software on their website.

At this point, Maniac realized he needed help that only an Apple Genius can offer. Only two Apple stores currently exist in Maniac’s home state, a state with a population of several million people. Could the Apple Store help him, and how? Watch below and find out!

Tales from IT – Connecting a FireWire 800 MacBook Pro to a Thunderbolt 3 iMac December 11, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos, Tales from IT.
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If you need to get your data copied off of a Mac without taking it apart, Apple built a feature into the OS X operating system called Target Disk Mode. Simply hold down the “T” Key as you turn the computer on and your Mac instantly becomes an external hard drive capable of being read by other Mac computers.

However, certain older Macs have limits on what ports can be used while in Target Disk Mode, and many of those older ports are no longer used in modern Macs like the recent iMac. The 2010 MacBook Pro, for example, can only use its 9-Pin FireWire 800 port in Target Disk Mode, and in order for another computer to connect to it in Target Disk Mode, it needs to be compatible with that port. Newer Macs no longer offer FireWire ports in their computers, and instead include newer Thunderbolt-branded ports. While faster and more capable, Apple users need to purchase an adapter to make the Thunderbolt port work with a FireWire device. Thankfully, Apple does make a FireWire To Thunderbolt adapter, its really expensive, and it doesn’t fit the new Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports included in all new iMac models. You would need to get a second, even more expensive adapter, to connect a Thunderbolt 2 device to a Thunderbolt 3 port.

So it came to be that in order to perform a direct peer to peer data connection between two Macs with just seven years in age apart, Maniac would need to buy no less than one cable and two separate adapters. Maniac called every Apple Tech Support, Genius and personal friend he knew familiar with Apple products and not a single one of them (on either coast) admitted to attempting what he wanted to do, although a few admitted it would probably work on paper.

So what happens when your 2010 MacBook dies and you want to get the files off of it? Will nearly $100 worth of Apple cables do the trick? Watch and find out!

Tales From IT – Restoring Time Machine Backups to a New Mac Using Migration Assistant December 6, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos, Tales from IT.
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We’ve got an all-new Tales from IT, where we follow-up on an IT story we previously talked about.

Maniac’s girlfriend had a 2010 MacBook Pro which recently died on her. Thankfully, she had kept regular Time Machine backups before the computer died, and while they didn’t include files she had made in the last two months, the vast majority of her programs and documents were safely on her time machine drive.

Mac data is not compatible with Windows PCs, so to recover her data she needed to buy a new Mac. Macs have an internal program called Migration Assistant which is designed to copy data from older Macs using three possible methods: Ethernet, Target Disk Mode, or Time Machine. The first two options were not possible, so we attempted to move all the data from her Time Machine backup.

Here’s how it worked, some tips for what not to do, and some errors you can expect if you decide to perform this procedure!

Tales from IT – Diagnosing and Replacing a Broken MacBook Pro Hard Drive November 14, 2017

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We’ve got an all-new Tales From IT video today, where Maniac talks about some of his most difficult or most interesting experiences fixing computers and other electronic equipment.

Maniac’s girlfriend is a graphic artist and because of that, uses a Mac for her computing needs. One day, while working in Photoshop, she received an odd error message Maniac hadn’t seen in nearly a decade. Will he be able to discover the problem with her computer and fix it? Watch and find out!

Tales from IT – What Happens When You Use a Third Party MacBook Power Adapter June 29, 2017

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Long time readers will know this site never has anything good to say about third-party accessories and today is no exception. In today’s new Tales from IT, Maniac tells a story about a time when his advice was given, subsequently ignored, and what the consequences of ignoring his advice were.

Unlike typical Tales from IT, this was not so much a cute story about the silly things that can happen on the job as much as it is a warning to everyone not to buy important accessories from third parties. That money you believe you are saving buying parts from third party resellers is just going to be wasted when you discover the part you bought either doesn’t work at all or breaks your system when you get it.

Tales from IT – Setting Up Four SmartPhones on Christmas Eve May 1, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos, Tales from IT.
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Today’s Tales From IT is a much more personal story, because this time we are going to talk about a job Maniac did as a favor to his girlfriend’s family.

Christmas time was coming, and Maniac’s girlfriend was getting an all-new smartphone from her family. In fact, her mother, father and sister were all getting new smartphones. The problem was they all had data from their old smartphones that they wanted to bring over to their new ones, and one of the new phones wouldn’t work at all.

Sit back and relax as Maniac tells the story about the time he had to activate and fully recover previously saved data for two Android phones and two iPhones on Christmas Eve.

Tales from IT – Upgrading an Obsolete Laptop with a Solid State Drive April 27, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos, Tales from IT.
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We’re back with an all new Tales From IT, a series where Maniac talks about some of his most noteworthy computer technology repairs.  Today, we’re going to be talking about Solid State Drives (SSDs for short).

One of Maniac’s clients had an unusual desire to buy already obsolete used computers. This wouldn’t normally be much of a problem if he was using them to run legacy software, but this client expected them to act as if they were brand-new top of the line PCs just because they were “refurbished”.  After buying a laptop he was told would not work well, he called up Maniac to complain the laptop was slower than dirt when trying to run essential software he installed on it like Quickbooks.

Because the laptop was so old, Maniac’s options for improving the laptop’s speed were limited.  The RAM was already maxed out and could not be upgraded, and because it was a laptop, internal components like the CPU, GPU and Motherboard could not be upgraded at a reasonable cost.  The only option left was to upgrade the laptop’s hard drive with a SSD.

Would the new drive make the computer any faster?  Would it even work?  Watch and find out!