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Joe Kissell

Joe Kissell

Joe Kissell became a TidBITS contributing editor in 2006 and now lives in San Diego after more than five years in Paris. He has written more than four dozen Take Control books, including the best-selling Take Control of iCloud, and numerous print books about Mac OS X. He is also a Senior Contributor to Macworld and the creator of Interesting Thing of the Day. (December 2012)

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Panorama X Brings the Legendary Mac Database Back to the Future

After six years of development, ProVUE software has released Panorama X for macOS — a completely rewritten and modernized version of the powerful relational database that was one of the first Mac apps. Joe Kissell explores its capabilities, old and new, and muses on who would benefit from this tool.

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CrashPlan Discontinues Consumer Backups

Code42 Software has announced it’s discontinuing the CrashPlan for Home backup service, and will focus exclusively on the business and education markets in the future. Joe Kissell explains why he’s angry about this news and now hesitates to recommend CrashPlan even to businesses.

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Aunt Agatha Ponders Her Digital Legacy

Joe Kissell invites his imaginary aunt to a private ask-me-anything about his new book, “Take Control of Your Digital Legacy,” in which he discusses the challenges and rewards of preserving your data for future generations.

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How to Migrate to a New Mac

Moving your data from an old Mac (or a PC) to a new one can be a complex undertaking. Joe Kissell provides a detailed walkthrough of the process for each of several common scenarios.

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New Parallels Desktop 12 Improves Speed, Gains Take Control Book

A major upgrade to Parallels Desktop brings improved performance and new features, plus a brand-new Take Control book.

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Why Your Bits Might Be Flipped (and What to Do about It)

We all experience misunderstandings about technology from time to time. Joe Kissell explains why it’s not your fault, and how he approaches the subject of tech misconceptions in his new book, “Are Your Bits Flipped?”.

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FlippedBITS: 1Password Versus iCloud Keychain

Recent versions of OS X and iOS have a built-in password manager called iCloud Keychain, which generates random passwords for you and syncs across devices automatically. So why would anyone need 1Password (or another third-party password manager)? Joe Kissell shares a long list of reasons, making a strong case for going beyond Apple’s free tool.

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Catch Up with the Latest Dropbox Features

If you thought Dropbox was just for syncing and sharing files, think again! In the course of writing the second edition of “Take Control of Dropbox,” Joe Kissell discovered numerous useful Dropbox capabilities that even loyal, long-time users may have missed.

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Do Cool Things on the Command Line with Five Quick Recipes

Why would a modern Mac user want to go back to a command-line interface? There are lots of reasons, and Joe Kissell provides five of them here. These quick recipes, which require no prior knowledge of the command line, enable you to do useful things that Apple doesn’t provide a way to accomplish in OS X’s graphical interface.

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1Password 6 for Mac Adds Teams, Expands Sync Options

AgileBits has released version 6 of 1Password for Mac with a number of major new features, including support for sharing passwords among a group, a unified view of all your password vaults, an improved password generator, and iCloud syncing for more people. Joe Kissell covers what has changed and introduces the all-new, second edition of “Take Control of 1Password.”

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Save Space and Uninstall Apps with CleanMyMac 3

MacPaw’s CleanMyMac 3 is a multipurpose Mac maintenance tool and uninstaller. Joe Kissell thinks it’s effective, attractive, and easy to use — a worthy addition to any Mac user’s toolbox. But he also points out that it’s not a complete maintenance solution, and that some of its recommendations should be skipped.

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11 Stupid Backup Strategies

How confident are you in your backup strategy? Confident enough to be certain that your data would be 100 percent recoverable even if a meteorite hit your house? If you find yourself making any of 11 common mistakes when it comes to backing up your Mac, Joe Kissell would like to offer you some advice (and a book).

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Joe Kissell’s Reflections on His First 50 Take Control Books

Joe Kissell has written 50 Take Control titles since 2003, and he’s learned a thing or two from the experience. He shares some reflections on the past, present, and future of Take Control — and invites you to a party to celebrate Book #50!

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iCloud Photo Library: The Missing FAQ

OS X 10.10.3 brings the new Photos app to the Mac, and with it, the iCloud Photo Library sync feature that has been available to iOS users for months. But iCloud Photo Library has turned out to be confusing to many users. In this FAQ, Joe Kissell answers the most common questions and points out some of iCloud Photo Library’s surprising behaviors.

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IRS Offers iTunes Credit for Tax Refunds

U.S. taxpayers expecting a small-to-medium refund this year can opt to receive it in the form of iTunes credit (with some qualifications).