Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Hi friends!

WOW! What a response we got. Thank you all for taking the time to tell us your favorite tech toy. We wish we could include them all, but unfortunately that would make a verrrrrrry long list even longer!But here are a few of our favorite client responses (not favorite “clients”, silly—just their responses!)

Cristina Romeo: “My Coolstream adapter to my Bose speaker that makes it wireless. Yay!!”

Click here for more info >>

Sam’s Dad: “Sonos” (see, having a tech-obsessed son has finally paid off  😉 )

Wondering what the heck Sonos is?

See below or click here for more info >>

And then there was this…

Joan Sabran: “Sam, the ONE tech accessory I could not live without would be YOU!
I love this accessory because you are the best at what you do and I can always rely on the fact that you make everything so easy to understand.”

Awwwww. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing everrrr?!

Anyway, I’m sure you’re dying to hear OUR top picks, so here they are! (In no particular order)

But first, some Sam & Company News:

We’re sooo sad to say goodbye to Amanda this year, but are SO proud of her for graduating and finding a great job in health care administration. We know she will succeed in all her future endeavors.

Orna is BACK, so feel free to contact her with any billing, booking, (or cooking) questions. (Or if you’re finding it impossible to track Sam down. wink wink)

And now let’s hear from our awesome consultants:
If you haven’t seen any of these guys in a while perhaps it’s time for a little consult? 😉

Rich’s Top Picks:

TP Link Smart WiFi A19 Bulb

Great new Wi-Fi light-bulb system for your smart home.
Works with Amazon Alexa, no hub required.

Click here for more info >>

Nomad Key

Never be without an iPhone charging cable!

Click here for more info >>

Yarone’s Top Pick:iPhone SE

“Powerful in a small package. Definitely go for 64 GB of storage. Way worth the small extra expense over the 16 GB option.”

Click here for more info >>

Jon’s Top Pick:

Sandisk Connect Wireless Stick 
Various prices and sizes

“Love this for traveling. I load up all of my movies on to it and I can stream or download any one of them to my iPad during my flight.”

Click here for more info >>

And finally… Sam’s Picks

Apple MacBook Pro 2016 with Touch Bar!
$1499 – $4299

#1 most ordered computer in a single launch week by Sam & Company!
We ordered EIGHTEEN of these for clients in a seven-day span! (Ours arrived TODAY – yippee!)

The new design is stunning!

  • thinnnnnn!
  • lighter
  • a screen so vivid, it makes others look dull
  • AMAZING new Touch Bar!!
  • Touch ID!

Click here for more info >>

Apple iTunes Gift Cards           SMOKIN’ DEAL!!!!
Various prices
$200 for $164.95 (LOOK OUT for this deal: on now for the holidays but we don’t know how long it will last. Online only)

This is a GREAT deal because not only do you get a discount on all Apps and Movies/Rentals, but it also applies to all of your Apple monthlies—like iCloud Storage, Apple Music, etc.
It’s like getting 18% off all Apple Services. It’s a MUST! – Check for availability. Deal only visible once you login with your account. They will email you the code to enter into iTunes.

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance Starter Kit, 3rd generation

Sam says: “One of Sam’s Favs”
Orna says: “Ummm, actually Sam is OBSESSED!”

  • Control your lights from your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and now your Voice!
  • Works with Amazon Alexa.
  • 16.7 Million colors to choose from! (I know, are there actually even 16.7 million colors in existence?!)

Click here for more info >>

Sony MDR1000X – Wireless noise-cancelling headphones

Finally a headphone to rival Bose!
Cool feature: hold your hand over the right ear cup and it stops the music in that ear and turns on outside microphones to hear who’s talking to you.
Oh, and they sound fantastic!

Click here for more info >>

Soundmatters – Moment

Ever wish you could listen to your iPhone playlists without headphones and without lugging around even a small Bluetooth (but often heavy) speaker? Look no further!
This thing looks and sounds amazing and is soooo small.
Designed for an unusually cool personal listening experience.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Sam & Company readers get a special 15% holiday discount! Plus a FREE charger!
Use promo code: Sam16 (Good through 1/15/17)

Click here for more info >>

Soundmatters – Dash7 + Siri

Another one of our favorite small Bluetooth speakers with amazing sound and even includes Siri control!

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Sam & Company readers get a special 15% holiday discount!
Use promo code: Sam16 (Good through 1/15/17)

Click here for more info >>

iPhone 7 Plus 
$769 – $869 – $969
– or –
Apple iPhone Upgrade plan: $37.41- $41.58 – $45.75  per month
(includes AppleCare)

This was our choice this year, and an easy one to make.
The dual cameras with the new Depth-of-Field portrait effect is incredible.
Time to throw away your other cameras!

Without depth effect:

With depth effect:

Here’s how to use the new Portrait Mode >>

Apple iPad Pro
From $599

Apple’s latest in both 12.9” and new 9.7” is fantastic—especially with the Apple Pencil!

Available at Apple, BestBuy, Target

HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 (now in White and FAST!)

Always our favorite all-in-one

Click here for more info >>

SanDisk Ultra 128GB Dual Drive USB Type-C

Great thumb drive for those lucky enough to be using the new MacBook Pro.
Perfect to transfer files between the old and new!

Click here for more info >>

Sony PlayStation VR – Virtual Reality Headset
$399 (out of stock right now but changes daily)

The coolest way to experience Virtual Reality without the need for a computer. Connect to any PlayStation 4 and have fun!

Click here for more info >>

Sony PlayStation 4 Pro
$399 (out of stock right now but changes daily)

Brand New 4K experience for a game system.

Click here for more info >>

Texture–All-you-can-read Magazines for your iPad
$9.95 month for the Premium Plan
Special now on their site: $75 for 12 months

Click here for more info >>

Logitech Harmony Elite Remote

Easily the best do-it-yourself (or even better, with Sam) programmable remote to control your entire Audio/Video system.
Now even works with Amazon Alexa for voice control!

Click here for more info >>

Anki Cozmo Robot Toy

Super fun robot with a personality!

Click here for more info >>

Apple AirPods
Sorry, not available yet. Rumor has it they will ship within 3 weeks.

Amazing new wireless earphones from Apple.

Click here for more info >>

Apple Music Family Subscription

We love Apple Music and having unlimited access to the biggest music library anywhere. And especially paired with Sonos.

Click here for more info >>

TP Link Smart WiFi (White only)

Most affordable way to begin your journey into SmartHome lighting.

Click here for more info >>

Luminar  – Photo Editing App

One of the hottest new Photo Editing apps and it works directly with Apple Photos!!

Click here for more info >>

Apple Watch Series 2
$269 +


  • Much brighter and faster
  • Fully water-proof
  • Built in GPS

Barbie Hello DreamHouse

What would a holiday gift guide be without a High-Tech cool gift for our daughter??
This brand new amazing dream house has smart home features better than most real homes!

  • Connects via WiFi with full voice control.
  • Open/close the front doors with your voice!
  • Move the elevator with your command!!

WARNING: You might have house envy 😉

Click here for more info >>

Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell

See who’s at the door on your iPhone—even when away from the house!

Click here for more info >>

Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Controlled Robot

Super fun for Star Wars fans!

Click here for more info >>

NetGear Orbi Home WiFi System

Best of the new generation of WiFi systems for your home.
Incredible speed and range!

Click here for more info >>

Call Sam & Company to discuss upgrading your existing Apple Airport system: 818-222-2101

Roli Blocks Modular Music
$79.95 + $179.95

Amazing and FUN!
One of the coolest music making devices we’ve ever seen: a must for the musician in all of us.

Nanoleaf – Aurora Smarter Kit

Just plain cool!
Programmable wall art.

Click here for more info >>
Also available at >>

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Do you check your phone bill?

“Sam got my AT&T phone bill down from $495 a month to $175, plus my devices now all share the same data pool. My plan is now even better! I can call or text anyone in the US, Canada or Mexico and can even use the phone WHILE in Mexico (with data!).

 Sam also removed other old items that I had been unnecessarily paying for YEARS.

 Sam & Company is saving me $4000 per year. Nobody knows how to talk to a utility company like Sam.”

~ Renvy Pittman

Read more…

Sam’s Top Holiday Gift Ideas 2015

NEW Apple TV 4  (32GB or 64GB)
$149/$199Hot NEW tvOS App Store (just like the iPhone)
Cool games • Siri Voice Touch remote, Super Fast! (MUST HAVE!)
Click here for more info >>FYI: Costco currently has the 64GB model for $10 less >>

Amazon Echo                                     Family Pick!
We LOVE this thing!
Orna: Hey Alexa, how many teaspoons in a tablespoon? Set the timer for 5 minutes! (Aja, in five minutes we’re going to tidy up your toys and do homework!)
Aja: Hey Alexa, play “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift

Ozeri Nouveaux II Electric Wine Opener

Our favorite electric wine opener. Cool blue color!Ozeri Wine OpenerClick here for more info >>

Sofia + Sam Lap Desk Memory Foam Cushion

Sam purchased SIX different lap desks and chose this one.
“Super comfy, memory foam and smooth surface.”Sophia & Sam Lap DeskClick here for more info >>

Anker PowerPort 10 Port USB Charger               Travel Pick!

$39.99Perfect to charge the entire family’s iPhones, etc.
Great when traveling—you know, when there’s just one outlet in the hotel room.

iTunes Gift Cards

COSTCO DEAL until November 30th:
$79.49 for 4x$25 cards
Look for other iTunes discount deals on Black Friday.You can buy them online at Costco too—FREE shipping >>
iTunes Gift Cards

Philips X2 Fidelio Premium Headphones (wired)

Sam owns headphones from just about every company out there, and he would NEVER have thought he’d choose Philips to be his fav…

Jabra Move Wireless Bluetooth Headphones          Great Deal!

Our favorite wireless headphones. (Work great wired too)
Amazing sound and comfort. (Sam would recommend these even if they were $200!)
Nice colors.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless with Active Noise Cancellation

Best hi-end luxury wireless headphones.
Sennheiser Momentum 2 Headphones Wireless

iPhone 6s/6s Plus                          We LOVE the iPhone 6s Plus!

price varies
3D touch • amazing 12MP camera • front 5MP for awesome selfies • super fast touch ID • NEW live photos (brings your photos to life!)
Big upgrade—even from the iPhone 6 (see our Sam & Company blog for why you should upgrade >>)
Apple iPhone 6 S and 6 S Plus

Apple Watch Sport

Need we say more…?
Apple Watch

iPad Pro

$799 – $1079
with Apple Pencil for iPad Pro – $99
12.9” Retina Display • 4 speakers and ultra cool Pencil… and optional wireless keyboard cover too. (The cover includes a full keyboard) Awesome!iPad Pro with PencilClick here for more info >>

Anker Multi-Angle Aluminum Stand for iPad

Favorite iPad stand • small and sturdy.Click here for more info >>

Steel Series Nimbus Game Controller for the NEW Apple TV and iOS

Hands down best game controller for iOS… and now the NEW Apple TV!
Nimbus Remote Control

Philips Wireless Lighting Hue Starter Kit  Tied for our FAV tech toy!

Imagine being able to change the color and brightness of any lamp using these bulbs from your iPhone or Watch.
Now HomeKit compatible so you can use Siri to control the lights.
Philips Hue Light Bulbs

Sonos Play:1 Music System                       Tied for our FAV tech toy!

Fantastic wireless music/speaker system
• choose from various speakers sizes
• stream Pandora, Spotify, TuneFM, and your iTunes library
Call  us for details:  818-222-2101
Sonos Play 1
Sonos Play:1 Holiday Deal: $50 off 2-pack of Play 1 Speakers – $349
Click here for more info >>

Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer         Orna’s Pick

Wireless scale and BMI analyzer.
Just step on it and it automatically uploads your data to your iPhone/iPad or Watch. Pretty cool.Withings Scale

Blue lounge CableBox—Cable Management Organizer

Overpriced but worth it!
Does a great job of hiding all those messy wires and power adapters.
Bluelounge Cable Box

Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500                 Our clients love this, as do we!

$409 (Don’t let the price scare you—it’s strangely worth it.)
• BEST high speed, double sided scanner
• scan wirelessly to your iPhone and iPad
• Ultra high speed scans and great software for the paperless office
• Super-cool business card scanner too
Fujitsu Scansnap ix500

Logitech Logi Circle Portable Wi-Fi Video Monitoring Camera with 2way talk

One of the coolest home webcams on the market.
• rechargeable
• move it anywhere in the house and keep track of what the kids/dogs are doing
• even has two way audio
Logitech Webcam

Apple 27” Retina 5k iMac

Price varies
Best desktop computer ever.
Call us to help you configure it for the best possible experience.
Apple iMac

Apple 12” MacBook – Gold!

We decided to try one of these tiny laptops—unbelievably small with that gorgeous Retina Display.
New Apple Macbook

Braven 805 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

• fantastic, clear, crisp wireless sound.
• comes in many colors, too.
Braven 805

Braven Balance Speaker – Periwinkle (wireless)

Isn’t this the coolest color ever?! And great sounding too.
Braven Balance Speaker

Satechi Bluetooth Wireless Numeric Keypad

Best wireless numeric keypad.
Satechi Wireless Bluetooth Numeric Keypad
Click here for more info >>

Dell P2715Q 27” Ultra HD – 4k computer monitor
(Yes, you are reading right, I—Sam Purkin—did mean to recommend a Dell!)

• Best 4K Monitor for use with any MacBook Pro or MacPro.
• Half the price of Apple’s Thunderbolt display and night/day better picture quality.
• Use it as a second giant Retina display with your laptop.
Dell Computer Monitor

Canon SELPHY CP910 Wireless Compact Photo Printer

AirPrint enabled portable, wireless printer
Print from your iPhone or iPad without any software
Canon Selphy photo printer
Click here for more info >>

Polaroid Tiny Zink Printer

• wireless printing from your iPhone—no ink required
• great looking photos
• photo paper becomes stickers, too!
Polaroid Zink Printer

iPad Air 2
$579.99 and upOur pick over the iPad Mini because it’s so light and we prefer the larger screen size.iPad Air 2
Better pricing at Costco >>PLEASE don’t bother with any 16GB device—just not enough room! (Same applies to the iPhone 6S)

HP Officejet Pro 8625 All-In-One Printer
$159.99Our absolute favorite!
HP Printer on Amazon
Called the 8620 at Staples (cheaper) and 8625 at Costco (best return policy)>>

Sonos Play:5—NEW Design                              Oprah’s Favorite Too!

Sonos’ largest and loudest speaker!

Seagate Slim 2TB Portable Hard drive
$79.99Hands down our favorite portable hard drive.Seagate Portable Slim Hard DriveClick here for more info >> 


Sign up by December 31st for an ADDITIONAL 10% discount on


Call for details:

(818) 222-2101 Calabasas

(310) 530-2101 Los Angeles

iPhone 6S, El Capitan, iOS 9, and NEW Apple TV

NEW iPhone 6s & 6s Plus:
Are you confused about the iPhone upgrades?
Wondering what phone to buy, and where to get it, and what to do with yours????
Sam is the local expert on helping you get the BEST deal on your new iPhone. Plus, he will help you choose a sensible phone plan for you and your family.
STOP getting bullied by your phone carrier—ask Sam for help:
(818) 222-2101
So why upgrade now?
Sam Says: This is by far the best iPhone Apple has ever released, and I think it’s even far superior to last year’s model – iPhone 6. If you’re still on the 5s or earlier, this is a no-brainer upgrade. Our clients spend more time on their iPhones than any other device. With all these new features and camera improvements it makes this decision an easy one, and sooooo worth it!
FYI: Orna and I went with the iPhone 6s Plus this year—even after returning ours last year thinking they were too big. Guess what? The 6S Plus is big… but we both LOVE it, and it’s so much easier on the eyes too. (For the over-forty crowd, ask me how to set your texts to a bigger font—whatever phone you’re on)
Some of the new iPhone features that we LOVE:
  • HUGE improvement with Touch ID – it recognizes your fingerprint so fast, it almost feels like you didn’t lock your phone
  • NEW Live Photos – all of your gorgeous, still photos now come to life. Camera records 1.5 sec of video before/after the photo – so cool!
  • NEW 12MP Camera and 5MP Front Camera for much better selfies
  • NEW 4K Video and Video Optical Image Stabilizer (6s Plus only) – breathtaking, razor sharp video!
  • NEW 3D Touch – screen is pressure sensitive. (Biggest game changer feature)
  • Faster WiFi and more LTE Bands (23) for better/stronger cellular reception
  • WiFi Assist – uses your great, high speed wifi when the cell signal is low – finally, good sounding phone calls
  • Peek and Pop – new feature that lets you preview an email, text message or photo without actually opening the app
Sam recommends purchasing the new iPhone using Apple’s own iPhone Upgrade Plan which includes Applecare plus an Unlocked iPhone – meaning you can use your new iPhone anywhere in the world with a local sim card. Call Sam for details: (818) 222-2101

Don’t forget to ask us about the AMAZING New Apple TV
#1 on our Holiday Gift Guide! (Coming soon!)
$149/$199  (no longer available on Amazon)
  • Siri voice search with the new remote – ‘Siri, show me all James Bond Movies’ – it searches across iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, etc.
  • Siri ‘what did they just say’ – your show rewinds 15 seconds and closed captioning is turned on for those 15 seconds. How cool is that?!!
  • Gorgeous new interface
  • Touch screen remote control
  • New tvOS App Store – download/install apps and games just like the iPhone and iPad
  • Create music playlists and have them sync back to your iPhone
  • Stunning HD screensaver that change based on the time of day
  • Siri/Touch Screen remote works like a ‘Wii’ remote
  • Connect new Bluetooth video game controllers


Some of the hot new features of iOS 9:

  • New ‘Back to’ button – great when you press a link in an email and it takes you to Safari; you can now quickly return to the email you were on
  • Swipe across a group of photos to highlight them instead of clicking one by one!
  • Better Siri – ‘Siri, show me photos taken last week’ or ’show me all photos from Disneyland,’ or ‘calculate a tip on $62.79’  and you can invoke Siri now at any time using only your voice (Hey Siri).
  • Siri’s NEW proactive assistant provides you with relevant contacts and apps—simply Swipe to the right from the first home screen and it will show you recent contacts, suggested apps, etc. If you always call your wife at 6pm, it will automatically have her contact icon available at 6pm. It (securely) learns your habits.  It’s 3pm and you usually turn on your running playlist, so when you hit the gym and connect to your Bluetooth Headphones, Siri will automatically serve up that playlist.
  • Use Siri to turn on NEW Low Power Mode – great when you’re running low on Battery Power; turns off various background activities to preserve battery
  • The entire keyboard now shows upper and lowercase letters to indicate if the shift key is up or down
  • iPad Slide Over feature to see or use two apps on the same screen
  • iPad Picture in Picture – watch a video on top of anything else you’re working on
  • Brand NEW ‘NEWS’ app – tell the app which sources you like your news from, like CNN, etc. and it then creates a custom newspaper with feeds from all of your favorite sites.
  • New Selfies and Screenshot smart albums in the Photos App – quickly find all those selfies!
And… it’s a FREE update!

Hot new features in El Capitan OS X 10.11:
  • Think of El Capitan as a very much improved Yosemite—faster and more secure.
  • Many bug fixes across the entire system
  • Major improvements to Apple Mail iMAP accounts (iCloud, gmail, etc.) – Mail starts up almost instantly and now shows you the new emails in your inbox before it starts syncing every other mailbox on your computer. HUGE speed difference!
  • Improved Security – this is a major reason to upgrade! – new ‘System Integrity Protection’ helps keep rogue software (MacKeeper) and other malware from infecting your Mac (If this is the ONLY reason you do the upgrade, please DO it!)
  • New Full Screen Split View – have two apps perfectly aligned side by side
  • Natural language search – type things like “Keynote presentations I made in May” or “emails I received from Orna” or “Documents I worked on last week”
  • Apple Photos extensions – great new photo editing tools
  • Brand new NOTES app – insert photos, maps, video, drawings, etc. Now more similar to our beloved Evernote.
And… it’s a FREE update!

NEW iPad Pro – 12.9” Screen – 78% larger screen than the iPad Air 2!
  • Highest resolution of any iPad ever
  • Finally an iPad designed for content creation
  • NEW Apple Pencil – amazing new device that really feels and works like a pen; perfect for taking notes, drawing, and painting
  • NEW Apple Smart Keyboard

NEW Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Keyboard
  • Redesigned wireless trackpad with Force Touch and 29% wider surface – rechargeable using the lightning cable
  • Magic Keyboard – ultra thin and redesigned keys – rechargeable using the lightning cable

Apple Watch OS 2.0:
  • Native Apps that no longer require the iPhone to be in range = much faster apps
  • Super powered Siri – Huge upgrade
  • New Clock faces – use your Live Photos as a watch face
  • Time Travel
  • Nightstand mode – put your watch on its side and it shows a clock – great for traveling
  • Cool new Emoji’s
  • 20 pre-written replies for iMessage

How do you include Emojis in an email?

Being professional when writing an email is usually the best way to go, but what if you’re interested in adding a little flare? Including an emoji in your next email or newsletter can make it memorable, different and just flat out adorable.








Adding an emoji from your iPhone is simple, but how can you do it from your computer? The process is actually  just as simple.

Here’s how:

  1. Hold control + Command + Space Bar
  2. This will bring up a window, which will sync all of your favorite emojis from your iPhone.

How cool is that?!

Try it out in your next email and see how it works out.

Just in case you’re wondering what exactly an emoji is, here’s the Wikipedia definition >>

Should you get an iPhone 6?


The new iPhone 6 is here and pre-orders begin on Friday, Sept. 12th. Launch date is Sept. 19th.

We HIGHLY RECOMMEND pre-ordering the phone on Apple’s online store or directly from your wireless carrier.

If you qualify for the fully subsidized price the prices are $199, $299, $399 and $100 more for the 5.5”

Users in the US can get upgrade status via text message.iphone6-setup-hero-201409

  • AT&T: *639#
  • Sprint: 1311
  • T-Mobile: #874
  • Verizon: #874

Key features

  • iPhone 6 has a 4.7” screen; the larger iPhone 6 Plus screen is 5.5” (iPhone 5 has a 4” Screen)
  • Storage capacities are bigger: 16GB, 64GB and now 128GB
  • The iPhone 6 is thinner and 25% faster with improved optics including the new improved Retina HD screen. The iPhone 6 Plus also has Optical Image Stabilization for less shaky videos. (Great for moms taking kid vids)
  • iOS8 is now included as a free download for older hardware starting on Sept. 17th. Amazing new features!
  • New camera focuses twice as fast thanks to ‘Focus Pixels’
  • Clearer voice calls
  • You can now use WiFi for cell calls—not just for data. If you have bad cell coverage at home but strong WiFi this is life-changing!

Looking to trade in your existing iPhone?

We recommend Gazelle for some of the best trade-in pricing available. (We’ve done the homework for you.)

They even ship you a box and cover shipping to send back your iPhone.

Warning: iCloud backups are not as complete as a good local computer backup. Make sure all your data is safely backed up PRIOR to upgrading your iPhone.

Call us if you need help. (We’ve migrated hundreds of iOS devices)

Los Angeles (310) 530-2101
Calabasas (818) 222-2101

Sam & Company turned my entire home into a full functioning Apple network that rivals the IT guys at work. While they are helping you maximize what you have bought (but have no idea how to use), they also TEACH you what’s going on, so that you get 1-on-1 training WHILE you are getting your problems solved. Simply one of the absolute best customer service experiences I’ve ever had.

Drew Ohlmeyer (Sr. Bureau Producer, NFL Network)

Sam & Company is your trusted source for everything Apple.

We’ve been in the Apple business for over 25 years. Our knowledgeable, trustworthy consultants are conveniently located all over the LA area. We can assist you with all your Apple needs including Local and Offsite backups, Mac and iOS system upgrades, iCloud setup. Ask about our special tutoring rate.

Why Upgrade to Mavericks 10.9?

We advised waiting to upgrade to Mavericks 10.9—Apple’s brand new operating system—when this upgrade was first launched in early November, but the timing is now right, for a number of reasons:

  1. Since its release, 4 months ago, 3rd party Apps have ironed out their kinks and are now running smoothly with Mavericks.
  2. Apple has now released 2 updates to Mavericks and are now at 10.9.2 that fixes many bugs.

Many clients are reporting that in addition to the 200+ new features, Mavericks runs and feels faster than Mountain Lion!

PLEASE NOTE: If you’re hesitant about a new OS because you don’t have time to learn new things… fear not! There’s really nothing new to learn; many of the changes are visual and ‘under the hood.’ It looks and feels very much the same… but better!

Some clients that chose to upgrade on their own had major issues, and we had to rebuild MANY computers from the ground up.

There are different ways to upgrade a Mac


It is very important to prepare the hard drive and apps for the upgrade so it goes as smoothly and safely as possible.

In addition to installing the update correctly, our consultants will:

  • Ensure that you are fully backed up (absolutely essential before any OS upgrade)
  • Prepare and optimize the hard drive, clear out old cache and log files, repair disk permissions, upgrade third party apps (Office 2011, Photoshop, Filemaker), Internet apps and plugins, printer drivers, etc. prior to the installation which helps with the transition to Mavericks


Sam’s Highlights and Top New Features for Mavericks


Free upgrade to iMovie 2013—big new design changes, layouts and features. Turns iMovie into a fantastic, easy to use editor and organizer for all your home movies!

Free upgrade to iPhoto 2013

Free upgrade to iWorks 2013 (Pages, Numbers & Keynote) – Full iCloud integration

The only way to get the new iPhoto, iMovie and iWorks 2013 is to upgrade to Mavericks


  • faster browsing
  • shows shared links so you can see what links were posted by people you follow on Twitter
  • advanced per page memory management! (e.g. If you have many tabs open and one or two webpages have flash, this will not cause interference with the other pages)

File/Folder Tagging in the Finder—great way to organize files

Better battery life—apps go into hibernation mode to reduce battery and processor usage = App Nap and Compressed Memory (better memory usage)

Maps and iBooks now on the computer—find directions in Maps on the computer and send them to your iPhone

Contacts and Calendars

  • cleaner look
  • Smart Paste Contacts—paste in a full address and Contacts puts things in the correct location

Better iCloud integration and sync with iPhone/iPad iOS7

iCloud Keychain—sync passwords between the Mac and iPhone/iPad

Improved Dictation—no internet connection required. No time limit on how long you can talk. Words appear on screen as you talk—no need to pause. Amazingly accurate!


  • websites can now send notifications to keep you up-to-date on events
  • Mac receives notifications while sleeping so all are available when you wake it up

Mail & iMessage

  • messages can be replied to without opening the iMessage App
  • Mail notifications can be replied to without switching to the Mail App

Export as PDF is now a menu item—instead of having to do this from the print menu

Multi-Display support—multiple monitors each get their own menu bar and spaces… finally!


We highly recommend Sam & Company to perform the upgrade. This way we can make sure you are fully backed up prior to the upgrade and prepare all of your apps for Mavericks compatibility.

We also prepare, optimize and check the ‘health’ of the computer’s hard drive—SO important prior to installing a new operating system!


Sam & Company is the most trusted and experienced Apple IT company in the Los Angeles area—since 1989.

Please contact us to set up an appointment.

Calabasas: 818-222-2101

Los Angeles: 310-530-2101



Apple’s new operating system, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, was released yesterday. Please DO NOT be tempted to download and install it at this time.

There are many reasons not to upgrade at this point; one of the most significant being that if you use Apple Mail with Gmail or Google Apps, there are major bugs that could take down your email completely! There are also Safari bugs.

For more information, read this article from TidBITS: Mail in Mavericks Changes the Gmail Equation.

Please hold off on upgrading until:

  • Apple fixes these bugs
  • We’ve had a chance to test and use it
  • All other programs on your computer are updated to work smoothly with Mavericks

We will let you know when it’s safe to do the upgrade
As always, we recommend that OS updates—especially a major upgrade like Mavericks—is performed by Sam & Company. This gives us a chance to confirm that you are fully backed up (hopefully to more than one device/location) and that your computer is properly prepared for the OS upgrade. The Mac/iPhone/iPad sync/connection is now more intricate than ever; an improper OS upgrade on one device can lead to data corruption everywhere.
It’s much easier and more cost effective to have us do the upgrade then to fix a mess!

“I have been a lifeguard in Los Angeles County for 42 years now, and there are two fundamentals that save lives on the beach: 1) RESCUE and 2) PREVENTION.
When I met Sam, he became my “lifeguard”… not only did he rescue me from my iPhone, iPad, MacBook and iMac problems, but he put me on the cloud, sync’d them all to each other and otherwise prevented me from drowning in the riptide of my devices. Now has set me on a clear course of prevention from needing to be rescued again…  it is good to know, however, that if I ever do get in trouble, Sam will be there to save me!!!”

– Gregory J. Bonann (Creator, Executive Producer, “BAYWATCH”)

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A Mom’s iPhone Contract with Her Teenager

We love this Mom’s contract with her 13-year old son on receiving his first iPhone.

The Mom Contract

Gregory’s iPhone Contract

Posted by Janell Burley Hofmann, 12/25/2012


Dear Gregory

Merry Christmas!  You are now the proud owner of an iPhone.  Hot Damn!  You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift.  But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations.  Please read through the following contract.  I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it.  Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership.

 I love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.

 1. It is my phone.  I bought it.  I pay for it.  I am loaning it to you.  Aren’t I the greatest?

 2.  I will always know the password.

 3.   If it rings, answer it.  It is a phone.  Say hello, use your manners.  Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”.  Not ever.

 4.  Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm.  It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am.  If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text.  Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected. 

5.  It does not go to school with you.  Have a conversation with the people you text in person.  It’s a life skill.  *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.

6.  If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs.  Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money.  It will happen, you should be prepared.

7.  Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being.  Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others.  Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire. 

8.  Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

9.  Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room.  Censor yourself.

10.  No porn.  Search the web for information you would openly share with me.  If you have a question about anything, ask a person – preferably me or your father. 

11.  Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public.  Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being.  You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

12.  Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts.  Don’t laugh.  Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence.  It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life.  It is always a bad idea.  Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you.  And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear – including a bad reputation.

13.  Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos.  There is no need to document everything.  Live your experiences.  They will be stored in your memory for eternity.

14.  Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision.  It is not alive or an extension of you.  Learn to live without it.  Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO – fear of missing out. 

15.  Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff.  Your generation has access to music like never before in history.  Take advantage of that gift.  Expand your horizons.

16.  Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

17.  Keep your eyes up.  See the world happening around you.  Stare out a window.  Listen to the birds.  Take a walk.  Talk to a stranger.  Wonder without googling. 

18.  You will mess up.  I will take away your phone.  We will sit down and talk about it.  We will start over again.  You & I, we are always learning.  I am on your team.  We are in this together.

It is my hope that you can agree to these terms.  Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life.  You are growing up in a fast and ever changing world.  It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get.  Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine.  I love you.  I hope you enjoy your awesome new iPhone.  Merry Christmas!



What do you think? Would your teenager appreciate this?

New iPad Mini – New updated iPad – New iMac – New MacBook Pro Retina – New MacMini

Apple Live Event – October 23/2012

iPAD Mini 


NEW iPAD mini
23% thinner than the 4th Gen iPad
.68lbs – 53% lighter than the 4th Gen iPad
Black/Slate Black back – White/Silver back
7.9″ diag vs. 9.7″
FaceTime HD
21.9 square ” vs. 29.6″ square inches for iPad Mini
50% larger surface area for surfing the web – yet thinner and lighter than droid tablet
67% larger when in landscape surfing
Dual Core A5 Chip
5MP iSight Camera
1080p HD Video
LTE Ultrafast wireless
Lightning connector
10 hour battery life
WiFi Version: 16GB – $329, 32GB – $429, 64GB – $529
Wifi & 4G LTE Version: 16GB – $459, 32GB – $559, 64GB – $659
Pre-Order 10/26
WiFi Ships 11/2
Celullar 4G LTE version ships 2 weeks later
New iPad 4th Generation
A6X Chip – 2x faster
Facetime HD
Expanded LTE
Lightning Connector
Same Pricing as previous generation iPad
New iMac
.5mm edge – 80% thinner
21.5″ and 27″
Fully laminated – no space between glass and screen
Anti-Reflective coating
75% less reflection than previous iMac
All individually calibrated
Dual Microphones
Better speakers
8lbs lighter
3TB HD or 768GB SSD
New Apple Fusion Drive – 128GB Flash Storage + 1or3 TB HD – fused together into a single volume – faster read/write.
One drive visible – OS and all apps go onto the SSD portion. Whatever benefits flash the most – the OS figures it out and puts those on SSD.
21.5″ – 8GB, 1TB – $1299 – Ship in November
27″ – 2.9 Quad i5 – $1799 – Ships in December
New MacBook Pro 13″ – .75″ – 3.75lbs – 1 pound lighter – 20% thinner
Dual Thunderbolt, HDMI, USB3
Retina Display
75% reduced glare
29% higher contrast
No CD/DVD drive
FaceTime HD
Dual Microphones – helps dictation
$1699 – 2.5Ghz i5, 8GB, 128GB Flash
Available today
New Mac Mini
2.5 i5, 4GB, 500GB HD – $599
Available today
Other Facts:
3 Million new iPods sold in first 2 weeks
5 Million iPhone 5’s sold in first weekend – most ever
200 million devices now running iOS6 – in one month!
300 Billion iMessages sent in one year, 28000 per second
Shared Photo Streams – TRY THIS!
700,000 apps
275,000 iPad apps
35 Billion Apps downloaded
1.5 Million books available on the iBooks store
New iBooks app – full continuos scroll, tap on a quote, share via twitter, etc.
100 Million iPads sold in 2.5 years
iPad – 91% of web traffic
iBooks available for 80% of high school curriculum
2500 US Classrooms with iBooks Textbooks
94% Fortune 500 using or testing iPad

Ask about our special tutoring rate! - (818) 222-2101 (310) 530-2101