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Mac OS High Sierra Review

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Another wonderful day in the world of software. September 25th was the official release day of Apple’s newest software update, High Sierra.

The most recent hype from Apple has been the recent release of the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iOS 11. Little attention is spent on what once was the cornerstone to Apple’s success. For the longest time, The Mac has consistently wavered around 10 – 15% market share of all computers in the wild and experts do not see that number moving much as the future of Apple (and the world) favors mobile.

One of the most important purchases I have personally made in 2017 has been my MacBook Pro 15 inch Touch Bar. I purchased the middle tier option, leaving me with a hefty price tag and a touch bar that I rarely use. During Apple’s last announcement of the Mac OS, I was hoping Apple would discuss how we could get more use out of the Touch Bar. Unfortunately, users were disappointed. This review is to go over the most exciting parts of the new operating system and what you can look forward to when you decide to download the most recent Mac OS update.

To download Apple’s newest operating system, use this link to be directed to the MacApp Store.

Before I begin my review, I do have to put my former Apple lanyard back on and mention that you need to make sure your computer is completely backed up and the data is safe. You DO NOT want to lose any important information on your computer. I have been there and it sucks. Anyways, former lanyard back off.

Apple File System

The Apple file system has always been one of my most favorite functions of Mac OS. It’s easy to navigate or find a file that may be tucked away. Although there is not a significant difference in the way we search, I do like the added functionality of the “Recent” tab within Finder. Finder has always been my friend for all things search, more specifically the the “Spotlight Search.” I find myself constantly hitting the Command (or Apple button to those users that are old school Apple fans) and the spacebar. It loads a screen, as you can see below, and it allows you to search for essentially anything you want. In the video below, you will see a brief example of how I use my computer to find or locate a file that I most frequently use.

There is a catch to the new Apple File System that you need to be made aware of. If you use external hard drives like I do, I recommend that you also convert your hard drives to the new Apple File System. This will give you the same quick search functionalities as High Sierra does.

Although this is not a significant upgrade to the overall file search and structure, it is a setup for what’s next. And what that is has yet to be determined.

Virtual Realty, Metal 2, and 4k Video

Again, this is another setup for the future of Apple. Most new monitors have the functionality for 4k Video, but the additional of Metal 2 and virtual reality is important and will allow individuals who use virtual reality to explore on the Mac. Read more on Metal 2 or VR.

Safari 11

Do you have websites that automatically load a song or video? Well now, you won’t have to worry about crapping your pants when your headphones are in. Safari 11 helps with that. The other update to Safari is the ability to add content blockers and autofill efficiencies. The autofill is such a time saver for me. The ability to use my touch bar or the iCloud Keychain auto remembers my information allows a forgetful person to not worry about what their password or basic information may be. Thanks Apple! 🙂

From my overall assessment, Apple is trying to make your search on Safari a pleasurable experience that has little to no distractions. Which is good because in today’s world of content, there are distractions. I appreciate the additions, but they are by no means substantial.

Photos

Yet again, another photos update. Personally, I rarely look at my photos on a Mac. All I want to know is if they are properly synced and located on iCloud Drive to make sure I can obtain them at any time. I may have opened the photos app once or twice? If I am the anomaly I apologize to all you photo editors, but with the world going more mobile, the additional features of photos are nice, but is it really needed?

Siri

I tested Siri the same way I did on iOS 11 and it’s still not there yet. All of the same features and functions are not available on the Mac. One of the features that I am particularly excited about is the type to Siri feature. Sometimes when I am working, I don’t want to be distracted. Not only have I gotten rid of Siri on my Touch Bar, but the ability to not talk to Siri is a high bonus for me. I rarely use it, and when I am working in a quite office, I don’t want to be that guy belting out requests to Siri.

 

In conclusion, this update seems more or less like a “S” update. Similar to the iPhone 6s and it’s predecessors. High Sierra looks nice, I have a new background that I can use. (Yay?) I am not sure why I feel this way, maybe it’s the marketing behind Apple, but I get so excited for the software updates and update almost immediately, and my expectations are so high and then I am disappointed by the limited amount of “new things.” I shouldn’t feel the need to have new things, but I do. The Mac OS is the best software on the planet, yet I am unsatisfied for some reason. The positives, like everything else with Apple, it just works. And for that, I thank the software team at Apple. Apple’s setting us up for something truly remarkable and if I could guess, it involves the technology with the iPhone X.

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How Office Design Enhances Productivity

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Did you know that how your workplace design can impact the productivity of your employees? Aside from this, office design also affects employee safety and health. A study by international architectural firm Gensler in the US states that even small workplace designs such as lighting and spatial layout affects employee productivity. So how does environment impact the health, safety and productivity of employees?

Sitting Down

Our work has a big impact on your health. Most of the time employees spend a lot of time on their desks, so they are becoming sedentary. As we all know, sitting down for long periods of time has adverse affects on our health. It makes us gain weight, which in turn can lead to more problems like heart disease and obesity. Getting sick could lead to more days away from work or hospital stays, which could inhibit productivity of the employee.

Designing office spaces that encourages movement or walking can help curb these problems for employees and employers alike. There are workstations that are designed to be used in either sitting or standing position. An open space design also encourages employees to walk from one section of the office to another. Sometimes something as basic as an ergonomically correct chair can help prevent ailments like back aches.

Lighting

Good lighting can help people see details clearly and increased visibility can help increase productivity. But, this does not mean to say that you can skimp on lighting in the office because a 1983 study shows that poor lighting is connected to low production levels and social satisfaction among employees. Many offices are composed of cubicles to give employees privacy to do their work. However, the cubicle arrangement also blocks natural light, which means that some employees are not exposed to natural lighting during an entire work cycle.

Humans are wired to seek natural lighting. In fact, all office workers in Europe must have exposure to natural light. Employees who had the best views were the most productive and were most likely to describe themselves as healthy.

Noise

Acoustics is another key contributing factor to productivity. To achieve acoustic comfort, the office must have appropriate acoustic support that is conducive to interaction, confidentiality and concentrative work. If it is too noisy, workers will not be able to communicate with each other let alone concentrate.

Other Factors

Aside from these factors, employers should also provide workers with suitable ventilation, access to greenery and the gym to help encourage healthy lifestyle. Even something as basic as giving them access to increase or reduce temperature in the office can impact their productivity. Employers should also encourage employees to personalize their workstations so that employees are happier. Work space design should allow employees to socialize with each other easily while at the same time giving them access to views and privacy, so that they can work properly and productively.

Good lighting, comfortable furniture, pleasant color schemes, and access to views or natural lighting can help generate positive energy in the office and employee mood. 79% of UK based employees report that a good working environment is important to their sense of job satisfaction.

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Things To Think About Before Quitting Your Day Job

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If you’re thinking about quitting your day job to go full time as a businessman or freelancer, there are many things you need to consider first. First of all, your job is like a security blanket. Letting go of it might sound adventurous at first, but it also comes with certain risks. Before you result to flipping a coin or removing the petals of a flower, here are some things you need to think about before taking the plunge.

Flexibility

Going into business or freelancing will give you flexibility for better life-work balance. Going to business for yourself will allow you to adjust your schedule so that you don’t feel like you’re chained to your desk the whole day. This is very beneficial, because you can work out your own schedule to fit your lifestyle. If you have children for example, you can be home when they are sick or when they’re home from school. Going into business or freelancing is also a good option for people who like to travel.

Benefits

One of the many reasons why people stick to their day job is the health benefits. This is a big factor to consider should you decide to quit. Health, dental, and retirement benefits can be expensive to put up on your own. Before deciding to stop working, make sure that you can afford to pay for these on your freelancing or business income. Work up a number before you decide to see how many clients you need to sustain paying for insurance on your own. Knowing how much you need will also result in a smoother transition when you leave your job.

Nest Egg

It is also easier to leave your day job if you have your finances in order. If you’re not sure if you can afford it, try to figure out how much you need as an emergency fund to serve as a buffer. This isn’t strictly for emergencies like getting sick. This will serve as funding for daily expenses until your business becomes profitable. One of the best ways to figure this out is to write several business plans to flesh out your ideas. Not only will this allow you to strategize if plan A does not work, it also gives you an idea what you will do using different scenarios.

Your Job Is Failing You

Do you feel yourself stretched too thin or unfulfilled? This might be because your job is failing you and quitting might be the answer. A business or going freelance, on the other hand, will give you time to think about or try new ideas. It will be like breaking out of the 9-5 routine and going on an adventure on uncharted waters. If you feel trapped, quitting and starting a business might just be a good option for you.

Self-Starter

You also need to ask yourself if you’re a self-starter. When you’re in charge of your own schedule, it might be tempting to get up later or to procrastinate starting something. When you don’t have a boss looking down your shoulder, you need to be a self-starter and self-motivator to get yourself going.

Deciding to quit your job to start a business or to go freelance full time is a big decision. Considering the above factors will help you decide if striking it out on your own is a good fit for you. It is also best to remember that you can find another job if it does not work out for you.

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Make The Most Out Of Meetings

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Companies invest lots of time and energy to conduct business meetings. It can be frustrating if the meetings fail to bring the desired result. Meetings can be painfully boring and you may try to avoid it, but with proper steps, you can come out with a winning smile from the conference room.

Be prepared

You are invited to a meeting with a definite purpose. Be prepared to be an active participant in the discussions. Try to know the topic of discussion. Keep your notes ready. Plan how you want to execute your points. The more you do your homework, the more confident you feel about the proposed meeting.

Develop a plan and write a summary

Once you know what you want to accomplish in the meeting, you need to develop a plan to execute it. Write all the major points you want to communicate in the meeting on a paper. Avoid complex language. If you use lucid language, everyone can follow and understand you. If a written summary is ready in your hands, you feel more confident before entering the venue. Be prepared for the questions. Try to answer the questions patiently.

Network

Try to build a network for yourself when you participate in meetings. Arrive early and have some time to get to know the people. Mingle with all the participants of the meeting with some casual conversations. Building a good working relationship with the people outside your team can help you progress in your career.

Smart use of time

It is very important to finish your presentation within the time limit. Do not stretch the duration of the meeting with an unending series of questions and answers. People may not encouragingly listen to you if you extend it too long. Participants should not feel that their time is wasted.

Participate and encourage participation

Most people do not find meetings engaging enough. They either play with their phones or whisper within themselves. You can impress everyone with your listening skills. Do not distract yourself from the discussions. Ask appropriate questions after each of the presentations at the meeting. When you present, try to maintain eye contact with the participants. Appreciate when they ask you good questions. You can add some variety in the stiff environment of the meeting by arranging some creative games in-between.

Learn from the past

If you have been to business meetings before, you already have a clue how to go on with your idea. Learn from the mistakes you made before. If this the first time you are participating in a meeting, get some information from your team or review the past presentations made by your seniors.

Time to shine

When you are invited to an important meeting, make the most of it. Do not be apprehensive. Take it as a chance to show your potential as an employee. Your seniors will appreciate your efforts when you prepare yourself hard for the event. When you participate actively in the discussions and ask intelligent questions, you get a chance to impress your colleagues.

 

Meetings are a part of the modern corporate world. You cannot afford to miss all the meetings. If you can prepare yourself well for the meeting, you feel more positive and confident.

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