Ask The Nice Guy - Upgrade To Mavericks, Windows XP Support, App Stuck

This is the 15th 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. Upgrade To Mavericks
  2. Microsoft Support for Windows XP
  3. App Stuck In Portrait

QUESTION 1: Upgrade To Mavericks?

Should I upgrade to Maverick on my Macbook Pro?

I am a proponent of keeping your tech gear up to date with the latest software. Generally, my answer is that yes you should upgrade to the latest version. I would be remiss if I didn't throw out a few bits of caution.


Older Apps May Not Work Anymore

If you have older apps on your Mac, you may find upgrading to a new operating system may cause those older apps to stop functioning. This happens because Apple removes old technology from new operating systems to make things work better but it can cause apps that relied on that old technology to no longer work.

A Small Percentage Of Operating System Upgrades Fail

The odds are slim, but you should ALWAYS have a current backup of your computer before performing any operating sytems upgrade.

If you have questions about upgrading your Mac to Mavericks or would rather have me do it for you contact me


Increased Security

Apple is constantly improving the security of the software that runs your devices. With Mavericks, Apple has increased security by sandboxing more of the Apple apps and various plugins. They have made other improvements to make your Mac more secure as well.

Learn more about Mavericks Security features.

New Features

Apple has included over 200+ new features with Mavericks. Some of the highlights include:

  • iBooks app
  • Maps app
  • Increased battery life for laptops
  • Improvements to Safari app
  • Improvments to Calendar app

Other Benefits

New software will often require the newest version of the operating system. I think it is much harder for people to adjust to the various changes to software if they skip multiple versions.

Here is an example.

A client of mine in Northfield had Tiger (10.4) installed on their iMac and that particular computer "died". They purchased a new iMac and it came with Mountain Lion (10.8). The amount of changes was signficant and it took them awhile to adjust. Had they upgraded to each new version as it came out there would have been much less to adjust to each time and the transition to Mountain Lion would have been less jarring.

QUESTION 2: Microsoft Support for Windows XP?

My son tells me that after April 1st, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP, leaving my computer vulnerable. Have you heard anything about this? If this is true, is it time to upgrade?

It is true that Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP in April 2014.

From Microsoft's website:

As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

In my professional opinion, anyone running Windows XP should either upgrade to a newer version of Windows or purchase a new computer. Windows XP came out in the fall of 2001 and is ancient in the world of technology. Windows XP is much more likely to get infected with viruses and malware than Windows 7 or Windows 8.


I have a slight problem with iPad. My iPad normally rotates the screen depending on which way I hold it. One of my apps doesn’t do this, it is just stuck on vertical. How do I fix this without messing up all the others?

If your iPad is rotating the screen depending on how you hold the iPad and seems "stuck" on a particular app, it may be because that app won't rotate. Many games will only work in landscape mode. There is nothing wrong with your iPad in this case.

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