Blue Mountains Adult Tech Classes FAQ

Folks have been asking me all kinds of questions about my classes. I figured it would be a good time to get all the answers in the same place. So here we go with the Blue Mountains Adult Tech Classes FAQ

Do I need to have a Mac for your class?

We do have some training Macs in the shop you can use during the class. These Macs are programmed to reset themselves every class.

What is the minimum age for your classes?

The age limit has more to do with the student. As long as the student can learn something and not interfere with the class I am happy to have them enrol. However, students under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult as we are not a babysitting service.

What is the Maximum age for your classes?

So far the record was 91. The were learning how to send emails. Classes like this are better to be personal training as it does require more focus on the side of the trainer.

How many people are in each class

While I have taught classes with 20 people, I tend to want to have smaller groups. The perfect size is 3-10 people. Class sizes will depend on how many people we can fit in the room with their devices.

Are your classes hands-on?

Yes!! in fact I tend to tell folks if they do not have a computer they should consider using one of our training Macs. People tend to do better if they can test out what they learn.

I’m not very tech-savvy do you have classes for me?

Yes, all of the classes are set for folks who do not have much skill in computers. Any of the classes that require more advanced knowledge will be clearly marked.

Are your classes a series? What happens if I miss a week?

Each of our classes is designed to be a stand-alone class. This means if you only need one class then that is ok. You do not have to take the previous class. In the future, there may be classes with multiple parts however they will be clearly marked.

Can you teach Windows?

I can teach anything but at a basic level. While I am good at computers my focus is iOS, macOS & Linux. Many of my classes are cross-platform and will apply to any kind of computer.

Do you do personal training?

Yes, we do have Personal Training Classes available. If there is a topic you are interested in please let me know and I will see if I can design a class for you.

What happens if I break one of your Training computers?

I dare you to try.. No, honestly the computers are programmed to reset themselves. Unless you physically damage the computer there is nothing you can click on that will destroy the computer. (Don’t Physically damage the computer … that will make me mad and you don’t want to pay for it)

What is the cost for one of your classes?

Blue Mountains Adult Tech Classes cost about $22 per person (Price subject to change) Personal training is $75.

When are your classes?

Personal training can be done almost anytime during business hours (We are open Saturday) Group classes will be posted here.

Can you teach even a senior?

That is what I do best. Most seniors are my best students once we get past all the fear of computers.

Smartphone Questions and Answsers

Here is the most common questions for smartphones last year!

I have an old iPhone 6 should I get it fixed?

At the time I wrote this post the iPhone 6 is an old phone. Apple is no longer producing security updates for this device. If you are only going to use it as a phone and occasionally text there is no reason not to get it repaired however do not expect any of the new apps to work on this phone.

Does my iPhone need Anti-Virus?

No. While malware on iOS does exist Apple does a very good job at patching security holes before it becomes a problem. All the Anti-Virus apps for iPhones I have ever encountered have been a scam! Do not install them.

How long will it take for you to fix my iPhone 11?

I tell people that it will take 1 hour to repair an iPhone 11. Honestly, I can do the repair much faster than that but I like to make sure that the repair is done properly. (That and people tend to interrupt me while I am doing a repair so delays happen)

My iPhone is acting odd. Have I been hacked?

Hackers act in two ways. Either they are trying to be so quiet and subtle that they will avoid doing anything to make your device act odd. Or they are going to be in your face “I AM A HACKER I OWN YOU”
It kind of defeats the purpose to try to be sneaky and then make your phone do odd things.

I need a new phone can you get the photos off my sim card?

Photos have not been stored on sim cards for decades now. We can do a data transfer but your sim card will have nothing to do with it.

Do I have to get my phone repaired at Apple?

No, but if you own an iPhone 13 or 14 you should because of the warranty. That and most repair shops use third-party parts. While there is nothing wrong with third-party parts Apple will give you a better deal if your phone is still under warranty.

Do you replace iPad Batteries?

I can … however the chances of me getting the screen off without cracking it are not very good. So I tend to include the cost of the screen in the cost of the repair. (Otherwise, I will lose money in the process,,,, the Whole point of having a business is to make money)

So for the most part I tell folks to get their batteries replaced elsewhere.

What makes you better than the other Phone repair shops in Lithgow?

If you want to hear bad things about other businesses I’m not the person to talk to. But what I can say is that I have superior customer service, and my 90-day warranty is a point of pride. While others see the 90-day warranty as a legal obligation, I see it as an excuse to show off how I actually care about my customers.

Can you teach me how to use my iPhone?

Yes, we will be offering classes on how to use your iPhone.

Where can I get my iPhone 11 screen repaired in Lithgow?

I can fix it… No, really I can.

Apple has a new iPhone do I need to upgrade?

No. There is a good chance there is nothing wrong with your current iPhone if it is newer than an iPhone 8. If you were thinking about upgrading then sure get a new phone but there is nothing stopping you from using the iPhone 8.

I don’t want to learn new iPhone software do I need to update iOS?

One of the things people do not understand is that computers and smartphones get EASIER to use every update .. not harder. If you update iOS there is a good chance you will enjoy it and already know how to use it. if not I do offer classes.

Will updating my phone break it?

Can you imagine the amount of money that Apple would spend to fix a problem that was caused by a software update? I mean we are talking Billions! So to prevent that Apple makes it so every update is flawless as possible.

iPhone 11 Repairs Lithgow

Nothing is worse than having an iPhone tumble off your car hood and land face-first on the pavement. In contrast, I can not help you prevent dropping your phone in the first place. What I can do is have your iPhone 11 repaired quickly and with a 90-day warranty, in Lithgow even!

iPhone 11 Repairs Lithgow
iPhone 11 Repairs Lithgow

iPhone 11 fixed in Lithgow for just $220

At the time of writing this blog post, the current cost of getting an iPhone screen fixed is $220. While I hope the price will go down (You should call to check the current price)

  • 90 Day warranty
  • Glass screen protector for an extra $15 (Normally $35 and we put it on for you)
  • Fast and friendly service
  • Most repairs can be done same day!

Phone repairs 90-day Warranty

Yeah yeah, I know that it’s the law that we offer the warranty for 90 days. What makes us different is that we actually WANT to fix your phone if there is something wrong during the warranty. This would cover anything involved with the repair that was not caused by after-the-fact damage (Sorry if you drop your phone a second time that would not be covered under the warranty).

Let’s say that after you got your phone repaired with us and the colour was not right, or maybe the touch is not responsive. Please bring the phone back in because it may be a defective part!

I have dealt with other companies who have tried to get out of the repair by finding every excuse to not cover a repair. That is frustrating and dishonest. The way we look at it. We want to do all the iPhone 11 Repairs in Lithgow. The only way that will happen is if we earn your trust. You can’t earn trust by trying to weasel out of a warranty claim.

Glass Screen protector with every repair for only $15

We hate it when you get a Phone repaired get it home and POW!!! Cracked iPhone screen!!! So we are offering a glass screen protector with every repair. Normally we charge $35 for the screen protectors but because you have trusted your device with us we will do it for $15

Unless you put screen protectors on all day most people are not very good at putting the protectors on without having huge bubbles! So we will do it for you and be ready to go when you pick up your phone!

Fast and Friendly Service!

Unlike many techs we actually like people. Kevin (AKA “Mac”) has been known to talk your ear off about almost any topic! We are a member of the Lithgow community and are more interested in getting to know you and not just repairing your iPhone 11.

Most repairs can be done on the same day! We try to keep iPhone 11 screens in stock so anyone in Lithgow can drop off their phone and have it repaired the same day!

Call today to have your iPhone 11 Repairs Lithgow

iPhone Notifications class

Are notifications driving you nuts? New class! “How to get control of your notifications and spam!If you are missing important messages because your phone is flooding you with notifications! This is the class for you!

Class is taught at basic levels so even if you have never used a smartphone you will understand every step! (Perfect for seniors who think they are Computer Illiterate )

  • Part class part tech support!
  • First 30min we talk about what can be done. Second half we help the students deal with their notification problems!
  • $22 per person
Book a Class

iPhone Cables!

Sure I do mostly repair iPhones, Macs, and Samsung devices, but we do have a growing stock of Mac and Phone-related retail items! iPhone lightning cables, Charging cables, Power Banks, and Solar power banks are just a few of the items you will find. While we are not the only place to find iPhone cables in Lithgow we do have the biggest smile and a vested interest in making sure the cables suit your needs.

This week we have added new iPhone cables to the mix. This time with colours!

iPhone Cables Lithgow 2790

Why get coloured Cables for your iPhone?

It may sound like a silly thing until you have had your iPhone charging cable swiped by a family member for the fifth time. Because most iPhone cables look alike it can be hard to tell which of the cables belongs to you!

We have a few of our clients who have purchased colored iPhone cables for each of the members of the family. (Turns out the toddler has a dragon hoard of phone cables and claimed all of them are “MINE”) by having the cables all different colors you can always tell if its your cable the teen is using from across the room.

No more fighting over iPhone cables.

Test the cable before you go!

Now and then someone will buy a cable and find out it was the wrong one. While we are happy to exchange that cable it is a better idea to test the cable before you walk out the door. We are more than happy to connect your iPhone to our PowerPoint and make sure everything is working!

Who knows maybe you just have a dirty charging port on your iPhone 11! if that is the case we will clean it out for free and save you the money on the cable.

Come and get your iPhone cables in Lithgow

How to spot a cloned Facebook account

So the other day we had my wife’s Facebook account copied by a scammer. For us it was obvious that the account was copied … but how can you tell? Here is the list of ways we noted that the account was fake.

Not a lot of content in their profile feed

Most scammers who use this technique are playing a numbers game. So they are going to create as many profiles as they can. This means they are not going to take the time needed to write posts. There will be a few images copied from the public section of the profile and that is it.

Question any profile that has limited posts.

Not already on your friends list.

I had scammers copy my Stepfathers Facebook account a few times. I got a strange friend request from my Stepfather. Looking at my friend list I noted that he never unfriended me and the account was still active.

A common trick scammers will use is to add as many of your friends to the list before they start the scam.

They talk about money right out of the gate.

This is common. They will mention some kind of deal they discovered or that they are in need of money. This should always raise alarms (even if they are who they say they are)

Scammers who are pretending to be a friend will try to avoid any personal conversations as that will tip you off that they are not real. So their best chance is to start talking about money right away.

Odd hours of activity

Most scammers are in different parts of the world. So they will often be active while the real person is asleep. So if you get a message from someone at 3:45 AM.. There is a good chance something is fishy.

They don’t know you!

While they can do a little bit of research about who you are .. they do not know the relationship between you and the person they have copied. In my case having my stepfather talk about the money he wants to give me via bitcoin was a red flag (as our relationship was strained over money issues)

Start talking about something that happened to someone else or that is very unlike you. If you get comments like “That is great” or simple answers there is a good chance they are a scammer.

“The Baby ultrasound went well did you get the photo?” (No baby here…)

Will AI artists replace human artists?

While many of you folks think of me as being a computer geek and programmer this is a relatively new scheme in my life. I’m also an artist and have been so since the day I was born. I come from a long line of artists and five generations of paintings hang in my living room. I paint, animate cartoons, sculpt, tell stories and a touch of FX make-up. So what do I think about the iOS apps that have Artificial intelligence to create art? Will it replace us, artists? (WARNING going to get philosophical here)

We have to start with “what is art?”

Yep, I just opened that can of worms. While many people feel that art is the ability to draw with a level of skill or paint the perfect tree bowing in the wind. Or even make a photorealistic image of a sunset. It’s more than that.

Art is the physical manifestation that creates emotion beyond the artists involvement

Kevin C Mason

Art should trigger an emotion. Even if that is only the joy of using crayons in children’s colouring book with your kids. Art makes you think, dream and remember. Art will trigger the deepest emotions. Or confused why someone gets paid to throw paint on a wall when “I could do that”

Even if the only person who gets any benefit from the art is the artist themselves it is art.

So what about the AI Art app on iOS?

This week I downloaded the AI App called Wonder

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/wonder-ai-art-generator/id1621278575

I have been using this app to quickly generate art for our D&D game. (Did I mention I am a geek) While I can draw and paint characters myself I wanted to see how the app worked.

The concept works like this. You download the app onto your iPhone. Sign in. Then put a phrase into the search bar and select a style. In seconds the AI creates 2-4 different images.

The app combines artwork that is found on the net and alters it drastically. Filters content etc.

For example, I used the phrase “Robot reading a book”. It took the entire process of opening the app and downloading the results less than 60 seconds.

I have to admit it is fun! For me, it ticks all the ADHD buttons. My love of art and stories, the creativity of using a phrase and the code monkey part of my brain that would love to see the code behind this app.

Problems with the APP

Now, this has more to do with the technique and not the app creators themselves. As I personally feel they have done a great job with the app to the point where I have subscribed and even considered getting a lifetime subscription in order to support their efforts. . . . but

Uncanny Valley

You know those video games where you see the digital version of a person and it makes your skin crawl? That is called “the uncanny valley.” There are many theories of why this happens. My personal belief is it’s a throwback instinct from the caveman days when other species of “humans” would compete for resources. EWWWW A Neanderthal KILL IT !

The app will often throw up images of people where face is not right. Or the hands and legs are way off. (We are talking body-horror levels of NOPE!! ) While this is a problem at the moment never assume that tech will stay the same. After all the computer you are reading this blog post on would have filled up an entire building in 1969

As long as the uncanny valley is a thing I’m not expecting the portrait painter to be out of work.

Copyright & Trademark

My wife and I have had many conversations about this app and its copyright as she is a IP lawyer. (Website coming soon) While the app does protect itself by allowing the artist to take down their works. They even go out of their way to make sure that trademarked items are removed. But you need to understand that taking down copyrighted materials and trademarks would be a full-time job.

As a graphic artist, business or publisher who may want to use this app for quick art you may have problems with copyright & trademark. Do not expect to use this app to create Star Wars paintings to sell on eBay and not get a nasty letter from Lawyers who get paid more in an hour than you do all week.

Missing something

There is a reason why digital art is fantastic but nobody lines up to see it like Van Gogh’s Stary night. Something is missing. The micro mistakes that make a painting unique. The reason why a symphony in person sounds better than the digital version created by midi. The tiny almost imperceivable mistake of the third violinist is .00001 seconds slower than the others. Or the brush has a stray hair that makes each brush stroke unique.

OK cool, but will it replace artists?

In some cases yes. This does mean that graphic artists trying to save some money can spend the money to have a subscription to apps like this. However, when we go back to the original definition above about what is an artist … AI app is lacking something .. heart and soul this is not a lack of talent by the programmer just the nature of art.

Is your Apple device still safe?

The news is flooded with some scary reports of Apple devices being vulnerable to being taken over by hackers. But the Mac Cybersecurity community is wondering why this is news because Apple already released an update to fix the problem.

Let’s talk about this “Hack”

So what is this hack all about? There is what is called a bug bounty. This is what happens when a cybersecurity researcher finds a hole in the security of a major corporation and then reports it to that corporation for money. It’s how the good guys in the hacking world make money.

From there the company will research a fix to the security hole and create a fix via a software update! This is one of the reasons I am ways telling folks to update their devices. But are you safe to use Apple products?

Yes!! you are safe!

Unless you have a job where the prime minister knows your name there is a good chance that none of these hacks will ever be used on you. In fact, I know about only three people that are skilled enough to use this kind of hack. (They are too busy working to fix hacks like this to use them … and they are working for the good guys) Your ex is not going to have the skill set to use this kind of hack.(Their full-time job and degree would have to be in Cybersecurity to even understand how to turn on the software needed) The scammers who call on the phone are not skilled enough to use this hack. If you think they do .. then run software updates and relax.

But why is this a big deal in the news?

I listen to a lot of Mac-related cybersecurity podcasts. (yes I am thank kind of geek). Many reporters are confused about why the mainstream media is making a big deal about this. Apple has already produced an update and all you need to do is run software updates on your Computer, iPhone or iPad and you are protected.

The only thing that seems to make sense is that the iPhone 14 is coming out next month so any news report that you can slap on the word “Apple” will go viral.

Still, worried?

If you are still worried about being hacked then you really need to start by having a good password that is different on every account that you use.