I'm Christian Boyce, a Mac, iPhone, and iPad consultant.
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Schedule Outgoing Emails on Your Mac with SendLater

Schedule Outgoing Emails on Your Mac with SendLater

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Let's say you send a lot of emails after business hours, because that's when you have time to do it, but you don't want the recipients knowing you're working so late. Or, maybe you want your emails to be at the top of your recipients' mailboxes the next business morning rather than buried under other messages that came in after yours.

Or, maybe you want to be sure you remember to send a Happy Birthday email to your friend on the 29th of November but you're thinking of it on the 22nd.

If you're using Apple's Mail app on a Mac, a Mail plug-in called SendLater gives you the power to do all of the above. I use it here and I absolutely love it.

(Plug-ins add features and options to other programs. SendLater adds a "send this email later" option to Apple's Mail program, so you'll still be using Mail, but with a new option. There are other ways to delay the sending of an email but in my experience, SendLater is the nicest way to do it.)

Here's what an outgoing mail message looks like after you've installed SendLater: totally normal, with a "Send Later" button added.

Sendlater button

(This is the message I want to write today, and send in a week.)

When you click the "Send Later" button you get options, as shown below.


If you want the message to go out on a certain day, at a certain time (I I do here), you use the Time and Date option. If you want to wait a few minutes, hours, or days from now, use the Time Distance option. If you want to send the message at a certain time on the next working day, or at a certain time tomorrow, or at a certain time today, use the Special Date option.

Here's a nice touch: no matter which option you choose, the next time you write an email and click the Send Later button, the options you chose last time are still there! So, if you want to send a bunch of emails over the weekend and have them go out at 8 AM Monday, you only have to choose "Next Working Day 8:00 AM" once. SendLater remembers your settings until you change them yourself.

Another nice touch: clicking the little calendar icon Calendar icon in the SendLater pane gives you a fun pop-out, which lets you choose a date by clicking and a time by dragging the clock's hands.

Date and time picker2

When you schedule sending a message with SendLater the message stays on your Mac, in the Mail program's Outbox, until the moment for sending arrives (or until the next time you launch the Mail app after that time). So, if you're hoping to write a bunch of emails and have them go out while you're away from your Mac you should leave your Mac on with the Mail program running.

SendLater works with Apple's Mail program on OS 10.7 or higher. You can try it for free; click here to download it. (Click here to read more about SendLater, at the programmer's website.) Registering the SendLater plug-in costs $9.95 and in my opinion it's completely worth it.

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iOS 8.1.1 Update: Something to be thankful for

iOS 8.1.1 Update: Something to be thankful for

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Turkey cartoon Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is more than a week away, but Apple's given iPad 2 and iPhone 4s owners something to be thankful for today: a fresh new iOS update, with performance improvements galore. It's iOS 8.1.1, the best version yet, and if you're on 8.anything it behooves you to get the iOS 8.1.1 update now.

iOS 8.1.1's release notes are a little on the vague side:

"This release includes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s."

Some have interpreted this to mean that the update is meant only for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s but this is not the case. There's something for i-everyone, but especially there are performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.

I can tell you from personal experience that the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s are much, much snappier with 8.1.1 than they've been with any other version of 8. If you have an iPad 2 or an iPhone 4s (or both. like me) and were a little disappointed after upgrading them to iOS 8 because the performance was lousy (also like me), 8.1.1 is the upgrade for you. (It's also the upgrade for everyone else with iOS 8 installed. You might not notice dramatic performance improvements but one of those "bug fixes" from the release notes might solve a problem for you.)

Naturally you're wondering "well, how much faster is it?" I don't know. I'm wondering too. But, I can tell you that the iPad 2 was a real drag to use under 8.0, 8.0.2, and 8.1, with slow-motion responses to Home button presses, slow-motion app launching, slow-motion rotation... and now it's as good as new. Same with the iPhone 4s. "Snappy" is as much about how something feels as anything else, and believe me, with 8,1.1, everything FEELS faster. A lot faster.

iOS 8.1.1 is an upgrade I completely recommend.

Here's a handy link to Apple's site, explaining the two ways of installing 8.1.1. There's "over the air" which is sort of the lazy way to do it, and there's "via iTunes" which is a bit more work but could be your only option if your iPhone or iPad is close to full. I just barely was able to upgrade the iPhone 5s and the iPad 2 over the air as I use those devices a lot and they were almost out of storage space. The iPhone 4s had plenty of room. All three devices updated without a hitch.

The update from 8.1 to 8.1.1 is not very big in terms of space taken up on your device but it delivers big improvements. If you're already on 8.0.2 or 8.1, the 8.1.1 upgrade is a no-brainer, so go get it. If you've been waiting on the sidelines for a really stable, really fast version of iOS 8, wait no longer-- unless you're Mom, in which case you can wait for me to do the upgrade for you, when I come to put up your Christmas lights.

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Book Review: Fearless Genius

Book Review: Fearless Genius


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Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley, 1985-2000, by Doug Menuez.

This coffee-table book of photographs documents Silicon Valley's rise from the mid-1980s to 2000, in vivid, candid, unposed black and white. It features photos of many of the famous key players of the time, as well as photos of those whose contributions did not receive the attention they deserved. Steve Jobs is there, of course, (the beginning of the book is devoted to the creation and launch of the NeXT computer), as are Marc Andreesen, Steve Capps, Susan Kare, John Warnock, Clement Mok, Ross Perot, and even President Clinton (along with many more). Far from "glamour shots," these photos capture reality, with all of the intensity, exhilaration, and exhaustion that was everyday life for those who sought to change the world-- and did.

Menuez's captions, and especially his thoughtful assessment of the evolution of the industry, are valuable additions. You can see some of the pictures, and their captions, on the Fearless Genius website. With the photographer's permission, some of my favorites are presented here.

The Day Ross Perot Gave Steve Jobs $20 Million. Fremont, California, 1986.

The day Ross Perot gave Steve Jobs $20 million

Steve was a consummate showman who understood the power of a compelling setting. This was never more apparent than at this incongruously formal lunch he hosted for Ross Perot and the NeXT board of directors in the middle of the abandoned warehouse he planned to turn into the NeXT factory. He told Perot that they were building the most advanced robotic assembly line in the world and that “no human hands” would be assembling hardware. He predicted that NeXT would be the last billion dollar a year company in Silicon Valley and that they would ship ten thousand computers a month. Perot, who was then championing a movement to reform education in the United States, was blown away by the presentation and invested $20 million, becoming a key board member and giving NeXT a crucial lifeline.

Susan Kare Is Part of Your Daily Life. Sonoma, California, 1987.

Fg menuez 03 susankare

It’s not a stretch to say that Susan Kare’s playful icons and user interface design have impacted the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. Susan was part of the original Mac team and designed the original Mac icons and much of the user interface. Leaving Apple with Steve after his ouster, she became a cofounder and creative director at NeXT Computer, where she oversaw the creation of its icons and logo, working with the legendary Paul Rand. Later she designed or redesigned icons for many other computer operating systems, including Windows and IBM’s OS/2. Here she’s listening to Steve at an off-site meeting with her colleague Kim Jenkins (right), as he discusses the unfinished tasks facing the company. Kim, a key member of the marketing team, came to NeXT from Microsoft, where the education division she started was profitable beyond anyone’s expectations, giving real competition to Apple, which had previously dominated the education market.

Steve Jobs Outlining the Digital Revolution. Sonoma, California, 1986.

Steve Jobs outlines the digital revolution

Steve lists the workflow ahead for his team at a company meeting at a Sonoma resort. His outline included everything that remained to be converted from analog to digital. Indeed, everything in the world that was not by then digital would soon be, as the digital revolution raced ahead.

President Clinton Is Really Smart. Mountain View, California, 1995.

Fg menuez 13 presidentclinton

During his reelection campaign, President Bill Clinton attended a fund‐raiser thrown by the top CEOs of Silicon Valley. L. John Doerr (center), interacting with Clinton, helped organize the visit at the home of Regis McKenna. During dinner, the CEOs peppered Clinton with questions related to complex technology, trade, and economic issues. Listening patiently, the president smoothly delivered a point-by-point response to each guest in turn, revealing a jaw- ‐dropping breadth of knowledge about all the issues, even obscure aspects of encryption technology. Everyone pulled out his checkbook and donated generously to the campaign.

This introductory video, featuring the photographer himself, is well-worth your time. In it, Menuez explains how the project came to be. The video includes several photographs from the book as well as others that for one reason or another did not make the cut.

I enjoyed this book very much. Recommended.

Available at Amazon in hard-cover or as a Kindle book. Also available from Apple's iBooks store.

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