Ask The Nice Guy - Blurry Photos, Email Scams, Backup Problems

This is the 11th post in a series called Ask The Nice Guy. In this series I will attempt to provide answers to the various questions I get asked throughout the week.

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in this blog post, boiled down to five word (or less) summaries.

  1. Blurry Photos On iPad
  2. FedEx Email A Scam
  3. Time Machine Not Backing Up

QUESTION 1: Improving Quality Of Photos Taken With iPad?

The pictures that I take on my iPad are blurry, but the ones synced from my computer are clear. Any suggestions for improving the quality of the pictures/video from the iPad?

My guess is that you have an iPad 2. If that is the case there is not much you can do to improve the quality of your photos due to the camera itself.

The rear camera on the iPad 2 is less than 1 megapixel. When you combine this with a small lens you end up with subpar photos.

The rear camera on the iPad 3, iPad 4, and iPad mini is 5 megapixels. The higher megapixel count on these models allow for better photos.

Here are a couple tips for taking better pictures with your iPad:

Keep It Steady

Because the iPad is larger than your typical digital camera, it can be more challenging to keep steady than a smaller device. You may want to prop the iPad against something or use both hands to hold the iPad steady while someone else taps the screen to take the photo.

Proper Lighting

The lens for the iPad's camera is quite small so it can't let in as much light as dedicated digital cameras. If you attempt to take a photo with the iPad in a poorly lit room you will not be happy with the results. Make sure that there is plenty of light and you will end up with better photos.


QUESTION 2: FedEx Email A Scam?

Is there a scam /virus going around regarding FedEx? I got this message today saying they were unable to deliver a package to me on Dec. 20th and to download this attachment and bring it too the nearest office. The English did not seem correct and I think I smell something bad.
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Note: This was a question I got back in December before I was doing the Ask The Nice Guy blog series.

Yes! This is a very popular scam. If you clicked on the attachment your computer might have been infected with a virus. People are ordering so much stuff online these days that they often fall for this ploy. If FedEx could not deliver something to your house they will leave a door tag on your front door with information and instructions regarding the package delivery.

If you actually were expecting a package you can always go to FedEx.com and type in your tracking number.

If you receive an email that doesn't seem quite right, it probably isn't. I receive emails like this all the time and I just delete them.


QUESTION 3: Time Machine Not Backing Up?

Apparently my Time Machine hasn’t backed up my Mac in 16 days!! What should I do?

If you are receiving a message that Time Machine has not backed up in so many days it is most likely because the external hard drive that it is backing up to is not connected properly to the computer. Plug the external hard drive back into the Mac and click on the little Time Machine menu bar icon in the upper right corner of your Mac.

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You can then click Back Up Now and initiate a Time Machine backup.

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This problem is quite common. Many times the external hard drive will get nudged or a kid will yank the cord out from the back of the computer. This disconnects the drive from the Mac and it no longer backs up!


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