migformac news

Special Edition: Coronavirus Notes, March 2020

In this issue:

  • In Focus: migformac support in the days to come
  • How to stay in touch with family and friends: iPhone/iPad group audio and video calls
  • The wonderful world of positive podcasts
  • The power of calming music and words
  • Good news and acts of kindness--share yours!
  • Time to laugh!!
  • About migformac
Everyone's safety and health are paramount, so I am no longer doing on-site appointments at clients' homes and offices. However, I am available for virtual appointments! We can phone chat, video conference, text and email. I can also observe or take control of your computer remotely, with your permission, if a problem requires that.

I am also helping clients who have recently purchased new Mac devices with data transfer from old to new and a few other problems that require hands-on assistance. They drop off their equipment at my house (no direct personal interaction) at a mutually-agreeable time. I wash my hands and sanitize all surfaces both before and after my work, and then they pick up when finished. All of these alternative methods of service have been quite successful!

I'm very interested in supporting my clients, and I enjoy thinking-outside-the-box for solutions that work for every person. Feel free to give me a call or email me if you have questions or need help.

Time to reach out and connect with family and friends! You can use the Messages app on iPhone/iPad to have one-on-one audio or video chats or you can gather a group together to see and hear each other.

Here's how:

  1. Open Messages and start a group conversation. Or go to an existing group conversation.
  2. Tap the contacts "avatars" the top of the screen of the group conversation (see photo below).
  3. Tap FaceTime, then start your call. Your people will get a screen to accept the call.

For other FaceTime options, check out this Apple Support how-to.

Big picture
I LOVE PODCASTS. They are free, they are diverse, they are plentiful, they make me think, laugh, cry, take action, meditate, question. They also help with my exercise routine! When my one hour podcast is over, I've completed my workout. Yeah! They are especially important for me now. There are at least five new podcasts from reputable news sources on the Coronavirus, but I am seeking a calm from the storm.

My #1 favorite podcast is the TED Radio Hour. This is a theme-based compilation of 3 or 4 TEDtalks woven together with a narrative. The awesome Guy Raz ("one of the most popular podcasters in history") has passed the reins on to Manoush Zomorodi as the new host of the show. Her first show came out this week with the theme: Reinvention. Good stuff.

I also came across a beautiful podcast called Meditative Story which combines storytelling, orchestral music and meditative interludes in a seamless audio experience. Check it out.

How do you find podcasts? On a mobile device, go to the pre-installed Podcast app; on a Mac desktop or laptop, go to iTunes application and then choose Podcasts in the top left menu of media selections. From there, you just search for the name of the podcast you want to download or browse based on categories.

Download a few on your mobile device, strap on some earbuds and go for a long (socially distanced) walk! Below are a few featured podcasts for our time.

Big picture
How do I calm down during these scary times? Over the past few days, I have portion-controlled my news intake which has helped a lot. I want to stay informed, but too much news makes me rattled and nervous. Solo physical activity also helps immensely.

I am also drawn to music and words that are gentle and uplifting. NPR producers have put together a playlist called "Isle of Calm: 6 Hours of Soothing Music." You can listen to the 6 minute story about this project here, and you can stream this collection on Spotify and Apple Music. Don't want to pay for a music streaming service? You can create your own (ad-supported) playlist on Pandora. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you have access to thousands of songs (without ads) and the ability to create your own playlists.

And then there are books! I'm not in the mood for murder, dystopias and political thrillers these days, but positive reading puts me in a different, better place. I just discovered that as an Amazon Prime member, I get to download one free ebook a month in Prime Reading in addition to the free and discounted collection of books that can be downloaded on any mobile device.

I also use OverDrive and Libby apps on my iPad for checking out local public library materials: ebooks and audio books, magazines, music, television shows, videos and more! My local public library (Durham County) has also set up a way for all Durham Co. residents to get a temporary library card with just a mobile phone number while all branches are closed. Now that's cool!

Big picture
Got funny videos or favorite podcasts or websites like The Good News Network? Or uplifting articles like this one from CNN about amazing cultural experiences you can have from home?

Shoot me an email at mig@migformac.com and share yours. I'll post some in future migformac newsletters!

Here's a spontaneous spirit-of-kindness story (and photos) from a client in Chatham County:

Big picture
Big picture
I saw a short clip a while back of "Dog Named Stella" but this is an extended version! Make sure to watch to the end of the clip. Labs rock!

About migformac

I typically come to clients' homes and offices to help with anything Mac related: iMacs, Mac laptops, iPhones, iPads, iPods, iCloud syncing, Photos organization, as well as Mac, Microsoft and Google applications. I also assist with wireless printers and other peripherals. I teach Apple technology classes to small and large groups and make Apple-related presentations to even larger groups.

Feel free to call or email me if you have questions: mig@migformac.com.