The Casey Digital Design Blog

Mac’s Not Immune Anymore

Mac’s Not Immune Anymore

Hello fellow Mac users. We are moving into the PC world more every day. If you have antivirus, spyware and malware removal tools and use them regularly, you’re a smart person. Mac’s are no longer immune from these things just because they are Apple computers. Those days of being safe because you’re on a Macintosh are long gone.

Dark Web

Since the web and Internet are my business, I feel it’s my responsibility to know as much as possible about the Internet. The more I know the better. I recently spent a little time learning about the Dark Web. I feel if I don’t know something, I’m more likely to fall prey to it.

Staying Safe

I thought my Mac based system was secure. I use a VPN, regularly run malware detection software, delete suspicious cookies, use an Ad Blocker, etc. Reading about the Dark Web was disturbing. I decided to run a deep scan of my whole system with Mac versions of Bitdefender’s Antivirus and cross check with AVG Antivirus, as well as running MalwareBytes malware removal tool, CCleaner and PrivacyScan. I checked all my drives and compressed archives from my years in business. That meant deep scanning nine drives and partitions. The process took about 24 hours in total!

Was I Protected?

Well, I wish I could say it was 100% clean, but despite my efforts I located and removed adware, malware and a few viruses engineered for the Mac. Without running complete and deep scans with excellent software, not all these threats showed up. It shows how diligent we need to be to protect our data and privacy.

 

New Updates at Dynamic Family Chiropractic

Check out the new website changes at our customer’s website at Dynamic Family Chiropractic!

 

Left Brain & Right Brain People a Myth

No Right Brain & Left Brain

My son Adam had mentioned that new studies had shown that they have debunked the theory of dominant right and left brain hemispheres. I had to do some research and see what the facts were on this.

Well, I guess I can’t claim my artistic side comes from my right brain anymore. I feel silly now looking back on recommending the book “Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain” to my design students. I guess we should all stop saying we are “left or right brained” people.

Scientific research has now shown that everyone actively uses both sides of their brains for creative and analytic tasks. All the techniques to develop the separate hemispheres of the brain, if they do anything, are not because we have dominant hemispheres of the brain.

Science progresses and we often find “truth” becomes myth. The science that was based on personality linked to bumps on one’s head and the idea of falling off the flat earth now seem ridiculous. Now the right and left brain belief has been shown to be untrue. All of us, like myself, who believed this “fact” now seem pretty stupid. From now on I won’t be claiming that the right or left brain was a cause of this or that phenomenon. Sorry if this blew your creative right or mathematical left hemisphere!

There is a link to the science behind this discovery here.

 

Cut & Paste Files on a Mac!

Yes Virginia! There Is A Copy-Paste Function To Move Files In The Mac OS!

I’d love to take credit for this one, but the source is another website. My Adam the computer science major and I debated this one. I have to admit Adam, you were correct!

The Short Answer

If you want the short answer and are a seasoned Mac user:

  1. Select files you want to move in the Finder.
  2. Select “copy” or use the key commands “Command-C”
  3. Open the place where you wish to move the files to in the Finder.
  4. When you wish to move them, instead of the standard copy command “Command-V” instead use”Command-Option-“V””
  5. The files will be moved to the new location.

For more instructions on how this works, here is a link to the source website:

http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/29/cut-and-paste-mac-os-x-lion/

Fix Apple Keyboard Function Keys

Ever have one important key go out on a keyboard and don’t want to buy a new keyboard over one key? Here is a way to work around a broken command, control or option key by remapping another key to do it’s job. This is on a Mac using Mavericks 10.9.5 OS:

Go to the System Preferences located in the Dock:

Locate the Keyboard setting

At the bottom of the dialog box, select “Modifier Keys”

After clicking on “Modifier Keys’ you’ll see the default settings for the command, control, option and cap lock modifier keys. By default they all match their original name, but they can also be remapped to do the same thing when other keys are pressed.

Remap the key of your choice to the new modifier key by changing the function the key applies. In my case I changed the control key’s function to “option key”

Exit the settings by clicking “ok”

Now the key you remapped will apply that broken keys function. In my case now my control key acts as the option key.

Secure Your Website & Improve SEO

Google has announced they will be giving preferential ranking to secure websites over sites that it considers insecure and those having “mixed content” or secure and insecure items.

  • How do I know if this affects my website?
  • If you have a HTTP based website it affects your site.

One indicator is seeing an icon of the letter “i” in a circle in your url address bar at the top of your web browser. This indicates a website is insecure according to Google’s new ranking criteria. The traditional “http” website prefix will also be different on a secure website. A secure site is indicated by the prefix “https” vs. “http”. This issue is easiest to fix in WordPress based websites by locating and installing particular plug-ins and the understanding of how to configure them.

Google’s intention is to increase security for users of the Internet. One disadvantage is the change may cause problems with a website’s previously established search engine rankings. This is particularly true in the area of social media popularity and traffic rankings. Either choice creates problems:

  • Make the change to a secure website and meet the new Google security standard, but potentially hurt previous SEO efforts
  • Ignore the new security requirements and keep previous social media SEO, yet have your website appear insecure.

I personally feel the benefit in my particular situation lies in following the path of security laid out by Google. Since they dominate the SEO and Search markets, they will set the standard and eventually the benefits of keeping those social media benefits will be outweighed by the loss of SEO benefits and customer confidence that your website is secure.

*A safe middle ground might be devising a strategy to inform your social media channels of this change and start planning on ways to circumvent some of the social media dropoff. Consult with your digital marketing and web development consultant on creating a plan to inform, prepare and then make the leap from insecure HTTP over to a certified and secure HTTPS website.

Protect Your Rights!

Show your stance on social issues in a way that makes a difference: Your financial support. This link contains links to and descriptions of organizations and agencies that are reputable and make a real difference. Even if you can only spare a dollar, those dollars enable these groups to protect the rights of many Americans.
 

Airbrush Wolf

MichaelCaseyWolf1990Before there was Photoshop, there was airbrush! I remember spending many hour learning to airbrush, until I discovered Photoshop. It was amazing what you could do with it compared to a traditional brush and it added an “undo” button! This wolf painting is an original work I created in airbrush and fine sable brushes for a commission for a friend in 1990. Sorry about the transparent white signature over the wolf, just trying to slow down art “borrowing” of my work online. Hope you like it!

Where are the basic business practices?

Common complaints from customers about their experiences working with website designers:
The following are the most common complaints I hear and my responses about how we do business:

  • The designer doesn’t call us back or respond to emails.

We check texts, messages and email daily and respond directly and quickly.

  • They said they were a website designer, but they don’t know what they’re doing.

We have been designing websites, digital media and marketing for over 20 years and I have taught digital media and design at a college level for six years. Unfortunately there are “website designers” out there who just install WordPress or buy some software and call themselves a “website designer”

  • They don’t care if the website has problems, even when they are told about it!

We care very much about everything we create and our customers. We are primarily are a word-of-mouth business and your opinion means very much to us.

  • They did a poor quality job for a fairly low price, but the website isn’t presentable and they won’t fix it or refund our money.

We take pride in our work. That would be unethical and something we don’t do. I’m always sorry to hear a customer had that experience.

  • They did a basic job, but now want significant amounts of money to finish it.

Our estimates are very clear, we define our work, the project and hourly rates, etc. There are no surprises at the end of the project. Some web designers will underbid on projects to get the project, then later add on expensive fees to finish the work and hold the client’s website hostage.

  • They have another full time job which is their priority and don’t keep up on our website.

We have multiple clients, but I am committed to my customers. Casey Digital Design which is my only full time business. I understand the need for a full time job, but their employer deserves their attention and commitment.  The customer also deserves the complete commitment of the website designer to devote quality effort and attention to their project.

  • They designed our website the way they wanted and didn’t listen to what we needed.

When we design a website with our client, their goals define the “function” or the core concept that is our guide for designing the “form” or website. We work together with our customers and I assist them in creating the digital communications and website design that works for them.

  • They can’t be reached and we can’t gain access to anything!

We share and communicate everything we’re working on with our customers. I never liked the idea of the “webmaster” that keeps control of everything.

  • We want to leave, but the designer won’t give us the passwords or basic website files.

When we complete a project, we provide all passwords, usernames and a database/file backup of the entire website to our client on DVD disk.  If all fees have been paid for the website, the client should have access to all relevant usernames, passwords and files. * Check your original agreement on ownership of the website design itself. In some cases it is the intellectual property of the designer by default.

Unplug and Verify!

Verify every variable before presenting to your potential customer!

Many things can be different between your office and a presentation room. These are things you may not notice or take for granted, until they become a problem on location at the time of presentation.

Since I been surprised by this type of experience myself, lately by both Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office, I highly recommend some preliminary verification, setup and preparation. When you are presenting work, especially through Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office remotely, there are some things you might want to walk through first:

  • Is your laptop battery charged?
  • Do you have an AC adapter and all required projectors, connectors and adapters.
  • Will your presentation application require Internet access to function on location?
  • Will it require a username and password?
  • Are you 100% sure you have the correct username/password required?
  • Will you have Internet access to present at the location?
  • Will it be easily available both on location and in the particular room in which you’re presenting to the customer.
  • If you need it, will the person you’re meeting with have the Internet password? (I advise you avoid needing it in the first place. It can be annoying to an interviewer or client to have to locate a password for you.)
  • Don’t assume anything. (I would suggest completely disconnecting your laptop or device from the Internet and network, then seeing what would happen if you had to present completely disconnected.)
  • Are there any other surprise passwords needed on-site? Any there any network drives your computer is linked to in your office network that won’t be available? Is there a VPN password, Internet log-in or even something as basic as a laptop login or an Internet plugin that may be required?

I have seen all these things delay, interfere or stop presentations.

  • What if the power goes out, you drop your laptop, the battery wears out or your hard drive fails? Avoid disaster easily by always bringing a hardcopy backup and be prepared to use it!
  • If your audience has to wait more than 2 minutes due to technical issues, fold up the laptop and hand out your attractive collateral and meeting guides that you brought just in case.
  • Laugh it off, apply your natural charisma and present your material. (This is much more impressive to your client than making them wait. No presentation is worth waiting very long for while you “fix the problem”. The client rightly expects you to have done all that before you arrived.  Trying too long to “fix” a presentation will make you run over your allotted time and says to your client that you don’t value their time.)