Friday, October 31, 2014

New Article about CITRT - The Community of Church IT People

Most people who work at churches and ministries are in behind-the-scenes positions. There is a group of these modern day heroes of The Faith who focus on IT that began gathering as peers in 2006 to and encourage each other. They have formed the Church IT Network, and their impact is huge!

If you'd like to read this article, click here!

Monday, October 20, 2014

OSX 10.10 - Yosemite

Apple released the latest version of their Mac operating system last week, OSX 10.10, dubbed Yosemite. It is the second version of OSX after the big cat series (Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion), and like it's predecessor (Mavericks) is a free update. But is it ready?

A Little History
Mavericks (OSX 10.9) was free, but made a lot of folks unhappy with the file read/write issues it had. Apple tried to fix them, but never did. So we recommended skipping over Mavericks unless you couldn't avoid it ('cause you bought a new Mac) or because you needed to use an app that required it.

Yosemite may be ready, but it's too soon to tell. Files seem to open faster, and that's good! But even though files open more quickly, it seems to use a lot of memory, and so far we've seen some system crashes. Let's give it a month and see if it stabilizes, and see if we can give it a thumbs up.

Update (10/31/2014)
I'm running into the following issues which Apple has not yet been able to resolve:
  • Though files open a little faster than in Mavericks, I still see a lot of spinning color wheels that weren't there with Mountain Lion and its predecessors. It has been suggested that the way I connect to the network may be the cause, so I have ceased connecting to our network and only work locally now. Still, the issue persists.
  • Apple thought they found the cause in my sound setting bouncing from device to device, but it still happens. I think the issue may be related to me having two Thunderbolt Displays daisy-chained together, but that is an acceptable configuration with Apple.
  • Talking with colleagues, the problems they are seeing is printer drivers and some apps.
So, upgrading from Mavericks is probably okay (check out your printers and third-party apps for compatibility, though). But if you're on Mountain Lion or Lion, I suggest waiting this out for a bit to see if it improves.

Update (11/19/2014)
I've installed 10.10.1, hoping for significant improvement. The same issues persist, but I've also seen enough of a pattern to identify another. Preview often crashes when opening PDFs, and sometimes cannot print. Opening the same files in Acrobat works without error. I think they may have broken Preview...

Update (4/21/2015) - Go For It!
The update to 10.10.3 seems to have solved most issues, and I think folks can finally move forward! Files that open with native Apple apps, like Preview, open at a reasonable speed now, and that is key. Files that open with non-native apps (Microsoft Office, Adobe, etc) take longer than I'd like, but I think Yosemite is finally good to go!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

No More Fax!!

I am so excited to announce that we no longer have a fax line! w00t!!

For years 99+% of fax traffic into our office has been junk fax. But there were a couple of clients that still preferred to communicate with us via fax, so we had to keep the fax phone line up and running. We cut our line costs by switching it to a service via (we were able to keep our original fax phone number), and they would email us incoming faxes. But guess what! Those were almost all junk too! Which makes sense, really.

Today we got word from those last clients that preferred fax that they could switch to sending us scanned attachments via email instead. So I wasted no time and cancelled our fax service! I feel so free!!  ;)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New Article on Video Calling

With video calling technology so prevalent and, truly, at most of our fingertips, why doesn't it take off? Why don't we see (pun intended) more people making video calls?

Click here to read my brief article on video calling!