Archive for October, 2015:

77-882 Excel 2010

QUESTION 1
You work as a Sales Assistant at ABC.com. All users in the Sales department run Microsoft Office 2010.
You currently have Excel 2010 open and are working on a new workbook. You want to open an
existing workbook that is saved in your Documents folder.
Which two of the following methods could you use to open an existing workbook? Choose two.

A. Click the File tab and select Open.
B. Click the Office Button and select Open.
C. Use the Ctrl + E keyboard shortcut.
D. Use the Ctrl + O keyboard shortcut.
E. Use the Ctrl + N keyboard shortcut.

Answer: A,D

Explanation:


QUESTION 2
You are employed as a financial administrator at ABC.com. You are using Microsoft Office Excel
2010 to create a financial report ready for a meeting with ABC.com senior management.
You want to print a table from your financial report.
Which combination of the following steps will print the table without printing the rest of the
worksheet? Choose three.

A. Select the worksheet that contains the table.
B. Select the table.
C. Click the File tab button > Print.
D. Click the File tab > Print > Print Preview.
E. Select Print Active Sheet in the Print Settings section.
F. Select Print Selected Table in the Print Settings section.
G. Select Print Selection in the Print Settings section.

Answer: B,C,F

Explanation:


QUESTION 3
You are employed as a financial administrator at ABC.com. You are using Microsoft Office Excel
2010 to create a financial report.
The first worksheet in the financial report contains sales figures for each Sales person for the first
quarter of the year. The second worksheet contains sales figures for each Sales person for the
second quarter of the year. The third worksheet contains formulas that pull data from the sales
figures on the first and second worksheets.
You want to view all three worksheets simultaneously so you can see how the totals on the third
worksheet are affected by changes to the figures in the first two worksheets. You currently have
the workbook open in Excel.
Which combination of the following steps would enable you to view all three worksheets side-byside?
Choose two.

A. Use the File tab > Open function to open two more copies of the workbook.
B. Navigate to the View tab and use the New Window function to open two more copies of the
workbook.
C. Open two more copies of Excel 2010 and open two more copies of the workbook.
D. Use the Save As function to save two more copies of the workbook with different names.
E. Resize the Excel windows to display all three copies of the workbook side-by-side.
F. Use the Arrange All > Arrange Vertical function to display all three copies of the workbook sideby-
side.

Answer: B,F

Explanation:


QUESTION 4
You work as the Sales Manager at ABC.com. You are using Microsoft Office Excel 2010 to create
a workbook.
The workbook will be used to track deployments of the company’s product to customers. The
workbook will be updated by members of the deployment team and by other users in the Sales
department. You save the workbook and share it.
One month later, you modify the workbook by adding a formula to a cell in one of the worksheets.
The formula pulls data from other worksheets in the workbook. The formula does not work as
expected. You suspect that the some of the data in the workbook is invalid.
You select some cells and want to validate the data. You navigate to the Data tab but the Data
Validation option is unavailable.
What do you need to do before you can configure data validation rules?

A. You need to inspect the workbook.
B. You need to disable the sharing.
C. You need to disable protection on the workbook.
D. You need to disable encryption on the workbook.

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 5
You work as the Sales Manager at ABC.com. You are using Microsoft Office Excel 2010 to edit a
Sales report.
The workbook contains twelve worksheets named January through December. Each worksheet
contains a sales table listing the names of the Sales staff and the values of their sales for that
month. The format and layout of the table is identical on each worksheet.
You add another worksheet named Totals and Analysis to the Sales report workbook. You want to
create formulas in the Totals and Analysis worksheet that use references to sales values from the
tables on the other worksheets.
What type of cell reference is used to refer to the same cells on multiple worksheets within a
workbook?

A. A Tiered Cell Reference.
B. A 3-D Cell Reference.
C. A Multi-Cell Reference.
D. A Relative Cell Reference.

Answer: B

Explanation:

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70-331 Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013


QUESTION 1
You create a User Profile Synchronization connection. You need to grant the necessary
permissions to the synchronization account. What should you do?

A. Grant the account Full Control on the ActiveUsers OU.
B. Grant the account Full Control on the AuthenticatedUsers AD security group.
C. Grant the account Read permission on the domain.
D. Grant the account the Replicate Directory Changes permission on the domain.
Correct
Answer: D


QUESTION 2
You need to ensure that content authors can publish the specified files. What should you do?

A. Create multiple authoring site collections. Create a site that contains lists, document libraries,
and a Pages library. Create an asset library in a new site collection, and enable anonymous
access to the library on the publishing web application.
B. Create multiple authoring site collections. Create a site that contains lists, document libraries,
and a Pages library. Create an asset library in the authoring site collection, and enable
anonymous access to the library on the authoring web application.
C. Create one authoring site collection. Create a site that contains multiple lists, document
libraries, and Pages libraries. Create an asset library in a new site collection, and enable
anonymous access to the library on the publishing web application.
D. Create multiple authoring site collections. Create a site that contains multiple lists, document
libraries, and Pages libraries. Create an asset library in a new site collection, and enable
anonymous access to the library on the publishing web application.
Correct
Answer: B


QUESTION 3
HOTSPOT
You need to ensure that user-selected subscription content automatically appear on users’ My
Sites. Which configuration option should you choose? (To answer, select the appropriate option
in the answer area.)
Hot Area:

Correct Answer:


QUESTION 4
You need to import employee photos into SharePoint user profiles by using the least amount of
administrative effort. Which three actions should you perform? (Each correct answer presents
part of the solution. Choose three.)

A. Define a mapping for the thumbnailPhoto attribute of the Picture user profile property.
B. Run the Update-SPUserSolution Windows PowerShell cmdlet.
C. Run an incremental synchronization of the User Profile Synchronization service.
D. Run a full synchronization of the User Profile Synchronization service.
E. Run the Update-SPProfilePhotoStore Windows PowerShell cmdlet.
F. Define a mapping for the photo attribute of the Picture user profile property.
Correct
Answer: ADE


QUESTION 5
DRAG DROP
You need to install the appropriate versions of Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and
Microsoft .NET Framework in the server environment. Which operating system and applications
should you install? (To answer, drag the appropriate operating systems and applications to the
correct server layers in the answer area. Each operating system or application may be used once,
more than once, or not at all. You may need to drag the split bar between panes or scroll to view
content.)
Select and Place:

Correct Answer:


QUESTION 6
You copy the content of the SharePoint installation media and software updates to your hard
drive. You need to meet the setup requirements for future SharePoint server installations. What
should you do?

A. Extract the content of each file to the Updates folder by running the /extract:<path>
command.
B. Upgrade the installation media by running the /lang:<lcid> command.
C. Extract the content of each file to the Setup folder by running the /extract:<path> command.
D. Extract the content of each file to the PrerequisiteInstallerFiles folder by running the /
extract:<path> command.
Correct
Answer: A

 

 

 

 

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70-337 Enterprise Voice & Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013

QUESTION 1
You have an Active Directory domain named contoso.com. Your company has a Microsoft Office
365 subscription. Twenty users are enabled for Microsoft Lync Online. The users frequently travel.
The users report that they receive the following error message when they attempt to sign in to
Microsoft Lync from the office:
“Cannot sign in because the server is temporarily unavailable. If the problem continues, please
contact your support team.”
You verify that the users can sign in to Lync when they connect from the Internet. You need to
ensure that all of the users can sign in to Lync. Which alias (CNAME) record should you create in
the internal DNS domain?
To answer, select the appropriate record name and the appropriate record target in the answer
area.

Hot Area:

Answer:


QUESTION 2
Your network contains the servers shown in the following table. You configure the infrastructure
to use hosted Exchange Unified Messaging (UM). You need to create a new contact object for the
hosted UM auto attendant. What should you do?

A. From Server1, run ocsumutil.exe.
B. From Server3, run the exchucutil.ps1 script.
C. From Server3, run the New-MailContact cmdlet.
D. From Server1, run the New-CsExUmContact cmdlet.

Answer: D


QUESTION 3
You purchase a Microsoft Office 365 subscription and configure the pilot users to use the
@contoso.onmicrosoft.com UPN suffix. You need to ensure that the pilot users can perform the
following actions:
? Join meetings.
? Use a SIP address that has the @online.contoso.com suffix.
? Communicate with users who are hosted on Lync Server 2013.
Which three tasks should you perform? (Each correct answer presents part of the solution. Choose
three.)

A. From the Lync Online Control Panel, set up federation to contoso.com.
B. From the Lync Server Control Panel, set up federation to online.contoso.com.
C. From the Lync Server Control Panel, set up federation to contoso.onmicrosoft.com.
D. From the Lync Server Control Panel, update the user SIP addresses of the users to
@online.contoso.com.
E. From the Lync Online Control Panel, update the SIP addresses of the users to
@online.contoso.com.

Answer: ABE


QUESTION 4
Your company has a Microsoft Office 365 subscription and uses Microsoft Lync Online. After a long
network outage, some users reports that they cannot sign in to the Microsoft Lync client and they
receive the following error message:
“Cannot sign in to Lync. You may have entered your sign-in address, user name, or password
incorrectly, or the authentication service may be incompatible with this version of the program. If
your sign-in information is correct and the problem persists, please contact your system
administrator.”
You confirm that other users can sign in successfully. You need to ensure that all of the users can
sign in to Lync Online. Which file should you delete on the users’ client computer?
To answer, select the appropriate file in the answer area.
Hot Area:

Answer:


QUESTION 5
Your company has a Microsoft Office 365 subscription. The company uses Microsoft Lync Online.
You need to ensure that Lync Online users can use dial-in conferencing. The solution must minimize
costs. What should you do?

A. Deploy an Edge Server and add a hosting provider to the server.
B. Deploy an Edge Server and configure the A/V Edge service on the server.
C. Deploy an A/V Conferencing pool.
D. Set up an account with a third-party audio conferencing provider.

Answer:

 

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70-246 Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

QUESTION 1
Your company has a datacenter in Los Angeles that contains a System Center 2012 Operations
Manager infrastructure. You create three unsealed management packs named Pack1, Pack2, and
Pack3. You create an override for Pack1. You create a group in Pack2. You need to apply the override
for Pack1 to the group in Pack2. What should you do before you apply the override?

A. Create a new class in Pack2.
B. Seal Pack2.
C. Seal Pack1.
D. Create a new class in Pack1.
E. Create a new class in Pack3.

Correct Answer: B


QUESTION 2
Your company has a private cloud that is managed by using a System Center 2012 Operations
Manager infrastructure. The Operations Manager management server role is installed on a server
named Server1. You deploy a server named Server2, and then join Server2 to the domain. You log
on to Server2 and install the Operations Manager agent. You specify Server1 as the management
server. You notice that Server1 did not discover Server2. You need to add Server2 as an agentmanaged
device. What should you do from the Operations Manager console?

A. Run the Discovery Wizard – Computer and Device Management Wizard.
B. Import the Windows Servers Base Operating System Management Pack.
C. Modify the Global Management Server Settings – Security settings.
D. Create a new discovery rule.

Correct Answer: C


QUESTION 3
Your company has a private cloud that is managed by using a System Center 2012 Operations
Manager infrastructure. You have a line-of-business web application named App1. App1 stores its
information in a dedicated Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database. You need to create a central
diagram that contains the complete health information of App1. You import the SQL, IIS, and
Windows Server management packs. What should you create next?

A. a Service Level Dashboard
B. a diagram view
C. a dashboard view
D. a distributed application model

Correct Answer: D


QUESTION 4
Your company has a private cloud that is managed by using a System Center 2012 Operations
Manager infrastructure. You plan to create a distributed application named DistributedApp1. You
need to ensure that a folder for DistributedApp1 is available from the Monitoring workspace in the
Operations Manager console. What should you do?

A. Save DistributedApp1 as a new management pack.
B. Save DistributedApp1 in the Default Management Pack.
C. Add the OperationsManagerAppMonitoring object to DistributedApp1.
D. Add the OperationsManagerMonitoringView object to DistributedApp1.

Correct Answer: A


QUESTION 5
Your company has a datacenter in Los Angeles that contains a private cloud. The private cloud is
managed by using a System Center 2012 Operations Manager infrastructure. You plan to create a
distributed application named App1. You need to ensure that a folder for App1 is available from
the Monitoring workspace in the Operation Manager console. What should you do?

A. Run the Protect-SCOMManagementPack cmdlet.
B. Save App1 in the Default Management Pack.
C. Run the Import-SCOMManagementPack cmdlet.
D. Save App1 as a new management pack.

Correct Answer: D


QUESTION 6
Your company has a private cloud that is managed by using a System Center 2012 infrastructure.
The network contains a Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) infrastructure and an Operation Manager
infrastructure. You create and deploy a three-tier service to VMM. You plan to view service
diagrams in Operations Manager. You need to identify which management packs must be imported
to Operations Manager for the planned diagrams. The solution must minimize the number of
imported management packs. Which management packs should you identify? (Each correct
answer presents part of the solution. Choose all that apply.)

A. the Windows Server Operating System management pack
B. the Internet Information Services 7 Monitoring management pack
C. the File Services management pack
D. the Microsoft SQL Server Monitoring Management Pack
E. the Monitoring Pack for Active Directory (AD)
F. the Windows Server DNS 2003/2008/2008 R2 Monitoring Management Pack

Correct Answer: ABD

 

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98-349 Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)


QUESTION 1
You are employed as a senior administrator at ABC.com. The ABC.com network consists of a
single domain named ABC.com.
You are running a Windows Operating System Fundamentals training exercise. You are currently
discussing the use of PowerShell.
Which of the following suitably describes the purpose of PowerShell?

A. For diagnosing Active Directory replication problems between domain controllers running
Microsoft Windows operating systems.
B. For connecting to a failover cluster.
C. For controlling and automating the administration of the Windows operating system and
applications that runs on Windows.
D. For backing up and restoring your operating system, volumes, files, folders, and applications
from a command prompt.

Answer: C
Reference:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn425048.aspx


QUESTION 2
You are employed as a senior administrator at ABC.com. The ABC.com network consists of a
single domain named ABC.com.
You are running a Windows Operating System Fundamentals training exercise. One of the
trainees would like to know where to navigate to, to modify the default Internet Explorer home
page.
Which of the following options should you recommend?

A. To navigate to History in Internet Explorer.
B. To navigate to Bookmarks in Internet Explorer.
C. To navigate to Internet Options in Internet Explorer.
D. To navigate to Recent Pages in Internet Explorer.

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 3
You are employed as a senior administrator at ABC.com. The ABC.com network consists of a
single domain named ABC.com.
You are running a Windows Operating System Fundamentals training exercise. You are currently
discussing a program or process that runs in the background without the need for user
participation.
What are these programs or processes known as?

A. A Windows service.
B. A Windows process.
C. A Windows application.
D. A Windows task.

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 4
You are employed as a senior administrator at ABC.com. The ABC.com network consists of a
single domain named ABC.com.
You are running a Windows Operating System Fundamentals training exercise. You are currently
discussing Windows Defender.
Which of the following is a benefit of Windows Defender with regards to protection?

A. Threats that are labeled as severe or high can be removed from the system automatically
although the Windows Defender interface is not running.
B. Updated action options are easier to recognize.
C. A maximum cache size is retained.
D. Supplementary Group Policy settings offer improved Windows Defender management.

Answer: A

Explanation: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd996615(v=WS.10).aspx


QUESTION 5
You are employed as an intern in ABC.com’s IT department. The ABC.com network consists of a
single domain named ABC.com. All workstations on the ABC.com network have Windows 7
installed.
You have been instructed to make sure that a workstation that currently makes use of FAT, makes
use of NTFS. You want to achieve this using a specific command.
Which of the following is the command you should use?

A. Change C:/fs:ntfs
B. Switch C:/fs:ntfs
C. Convert C:/fs:ntfs
D. Modify C:/fs:ntfs

Answer: C

Explanation: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb456984.aspx

 

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Review: Apple shines up OS X with ‘El Capitan’

In Mac OS X 10.11, most of the improvements are under the hood

Apple’s new Macintosh operating system, OS X 10.11 “El Capitan,” is named after a prominent rock formation in Yosemite National Park. That’s fitting because the new OS is designed with rock-solid stability in mind. El Capitan is the 12th iteration of the OS powering Apple’s desktop computer lineup, and as the name implies, it on the shoulders of its predecessor.

Just as iOS 9 was built on the foundation laid by iOS 8 for mobile devices, El Capitan improves on the many changes introduced in 2014’s Yosemite — which included new features such as Continuity and a smarter Spotlight search tool. El Capitan adds more polish than features, though there are quite a few of those to explore, as well.

Among the changes made to apps and sprinkled throughout the operating system are better security and a move to Apple’s Metal graphics technology (which debuted in iOS) for the system and apps. (Metal replaces OpenGL.) El Capitan also cements in place the adoption of Apple’s home-grown programming language, Swift, which allows developers to write apps with smaller latency and more efficient performance.

Like other recent OS X releases, El Capitan is a free download from the App Store. The system requirements are 2GB of RAM and 8GB of available storage. El Capitan will run on Macs that date as far back as mid-2007. (If you’re still using a Mac from 2007, though, you should really look into upgrading your hard drive to an SSD for more 2015-like performance.)

But while older Macs can run El Capitan, those systems can’t take advantage of all of its features. For instance, although El Capitan is designed to take advantage of both the CPU and the GPU for processing power, only Macs with modern graphics cards — basically, those released since 2012 — will be able to utilize this feature. (More on this below.)

Metal and Swift

The addition of Apple’s Metal graphics technology is good news for gamers and other users. Metal is a set of application program interfaces (APIs) designed to supplant OpenGL. The Metal API is actually an Apple-designed combination of OpenGL and OpenCL, which debuted last year in iOS 8. (OpenCL is used to take advantage of every processor on a computer, CPU and graphics card included.)

Metal was designed for efficiency — a requirement for mobile devices that need long battery life — and is a much lighter API for graphics compared to OpenGL, letting the graphics card be used more effectively and freeing up the CPU for other tasks. For desktops and laptops, Apple rewrote OS X system software (like the Graphics stack) to take advantage of Metal, resulting in a 50% improvement in rendering performance system-wide and 40% better efficiency (the latter will help laptop users by prolonging battery-charge life).

Apple boasts that El Capitan is 1.4 times faster than previous OS X versions for app launching, twice as fast at switching apps and four times faster at opening PDFs. At the same time, Apple claims a 70% reduction in CPU usage compared to apps written using OpenGL.

Adobe representatives on stage during Apple’s September 9th event claimed an eight-fold improvement in using the Adobe After Effects graphics software. Users should find that their systems are more responsive with smoother animations and faster application launches. There is also the promise of future improvements for games and other apps; however, those games and apps must first be rewritten to take advantage of Metal.

Another under-the-hood technology available to developers is Swift 2.0, which is designed to simplify coding (relatively speaking) while making it easy for OS X software to take advantage of the built-in hardware — such as using the graphics card for data processing when possible. I’m not a programmer, but anything that allows developers to streamline their software is a good thing.

Not everything in El Capitan is behind the scenes and waiting for developers. There are some user-facing features as well.

The first thing astute users may notice is that El Capitan uses a new system font: San Francisco. This font is designed to make text more legible for Apple’s high-definition Retina displays. It works as intended, but the difference will probably be overlooked by any but the most fastidious font fanatics.

OS X gets a new enhanced-for-Retina system font: San Francisco.
The updated Finder builds on Yosemite’s improvements by applying a new split-screen app mode in addition to the full-screen mode that debuted in Yosemite. The split-screen mode can be enabled in a couple of ways. First, you can drag a Finder window to the top of the menu bar and then drop that window on an existing full-screen app space in Mission Control. Or you can press and hold the green button on an app window — doing so will make that app fill up half the screen and any open windows display in miniature, letting you select one to fill the other side of the screen.

A clear divider separates the two apps, and each operates independently. The divider can be dragged from side to side to adjust each app’s window size. The menu bar at the top of the display automatically changes to accommodate the front-most app, which is normal app behavior Mac users are accustomed to.

It’s an elegant solution, one I like a lot, but it’s not necessarily obvious to new users. Of course, it’s also very similar to Microsoft’s implementation in Windows 10.

Managing windows via Mission Control also received attention in El Capitan. Any window dragged to the title bar will activate Mission Control, which lets you move apps to different virtual desktops. Dragging an app window into any existing Space automatically places the window there; dragging the window into a Dpace occupied by a full screen app activates a split-screen view; and dragging a window to the upper right of the display creates a new Space with that window in it.

Spotlight, now with more Siri

Spotlight receives some really useful upgrades in El Capitan. Yes, you can move around the search field and results window; they’re no longer locked in place at the center of your display. There’s also added functionality in search results: Spotlight can check sports data (such as information about favorite athletes or scores, team schedules and standings); it can check weather conditions and forecasts; and when you search for a company’s ticker symbol, it can look up stock prices.

The biggest improvement comes in the form of queries, similar to the ones you can ask Siri on iOS. Spotlight now supports natural language search, which generally means Spotlight is as useful as Siri, even though the searches have to be manually typed rather than spoken aloud as you would with an iPhone.

At the iPhone 6S launch event, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, demonstrated this function by typing a search for emails from Phil Schiller that had been ignored. The search results showed unread messages from Schiller. I’ve used Spotlight to search for documents and videos created during certain time periods, as well as to search for New England Patriot game scores and standings.

There is one minor caveat: When you type a Spotlight search query, you can’t press Enter; you have to wait for the results to display after you finish typing them in, even if that takes a while. While this is taking place, there’s no obvious indicator that a search is in progress. It’s a little annoying, because many users will be inclined to press the Enter key to make sure a search is in progress. That effectively selects the first result and closes the Spotlight search window. That could result in, say, an app launch you didn’t intend. Big deal? No. Annoying? Usually.

For developers, Apple has designed a new API that can display search results of in-app content, which means better search results when developers incorporate this feature in their apps.
Apple app changes

Safari gets a number of useful additions this year, but they’re mostly tweaks, such as pinned sites, audio muting and — Apple TV users will welcome this — built-in AirPlay support for videos.

About that last feature: Videos will now get an additional control icon; tapping the AirPlay icon lets you choose any Apple TV in range so that the video plays through it instead of in the browser window. Previously, this was only possible via third-party plugins, such as ClickToFlash.

While the built-in functionality lacks advanced features found in third-party plugins (ClickToFlash lets you download content instead of simply playing it, for instance), Apple’s addition to Safari is stable and works well enough for most people who just want a no-fuss way to stream content to Apple TV. Safari also supports HTML 5 picture-in-picture to enable custom controls for HTML 5 videos and streaming of FairPlay content.

Pinned Sites, which keeps a small, active tab of any website you wish to keep in the Tab section of the app, just to the left; these tabs stay open, yet out of the way, for quick access to frequently visited sites.

A load-blocking API for extensions, which lets Web developers block content from loading from a large collection of sources, using minimal resources without hindering Safari performance — and perhaps actually improving it.

Force Touch mouse events support, which will enable developers to add interactivity based on the amount of pressure exerted in a tap on supported laptops, as well as haptic feedback.
And better audio/video content control: You can now easily silence sudden audio/video from a background or foreground tab, such as when a video or ad loads that you didn’t really want to play/hear. From within the Web address bar, clicking on the speaker icon will instantly mute all Safari content. Then Safari will show you which tab has the offending content when you click and hold on that speaker icon. Super simple and super useful.

Mail snags a feature from iOS by gaining more gesture support in the Mail list; the gestures perform different behaviors, depending on whether you swipe left or right with two fingers. These gestures can trigger events like deleting, flagging or marking mail as read (without actually opening the message).

Mail also fixes a problem inherent to full-screen apps that require multiple windows. In Yosemite, when a new message was created while Mail was running in full-screen mode, it wasn’t possible to view other messages; they resided in the main window behind the message being composed. In El Capitan, it’s now possible to minimize the message window and access other emails and mailboxes; and if you’re writing more than one email, they show up in tabs, similar to tabs in the Safari browser.

While iOS 9 offers improvements aimed at predicting what a user will do or what information will be needed, there are now aspects of Mail in El Capitan that offer this, too. For instance, data detectors have been improved, offering suggestions at the top of an email body when they detect phrases in a message that could yield calendar entries, like “Let’s go out for dinner at five.” This is called suggested events; the same proactive behavior also accounts for potential contacts.

Notes

Notes has been updated to bring feature parity with its iOS 9 counterpart, including instant checklist creation, support for inline video and images, and URL snippets with preview. There’s a new button that triggers an Attachments view, which organizes attachments from across all of your notes into one area, split into categories like Photos & Video, Sketches, Map Locations, Websites, Audio and Documents.

All of the new Notes features are accessible via the app’s toolbar. And beyond the Notes app itself, there is now an extension in the Share button of supported apps that lets you add content from within that app to a new or existing note. Of course, any addition, subtraction or modification to your notes is synced across every device signed in with that Apple ID.

Maps

Like Notes, Maps has been improved in El Capitan to create functional parity with iOS 9. Specifically, you can plan routes using public transportation with Transit view, which supports walking directions as well as subway, train, ferry and bus information. Like iOS 9’s Maps, Transit data has been surveyed so that Maps shows you the most efficient routes, exits and drop off stops to get to where you’re going. As before, you can send those directions to the iPhone from your Mac.

Security

Behind the scenes improvements include security additions, with the most important one in El Capitan called System Integrity Protection (SIP). At its core, System Integrity Protection is a security policy that is applied to every running process. This process protects system files and only allows modifications from the system’s installer app and software updates. Code injection and runtime attachments to system binaries are no longer permitted.

What this basically means is that SIP does not allow unauthorized manipulation of important system files, which should help prevent security breaches.

Bottom line

There’s a wealth of new features in El Capitan that seem minor — until you need them. (You can, for instance, find a lost cursor on the screen by shaking your mouse back and forth rapidly, and you’ll be able to eventually download extensions to the Photos app for manipulating your images.)

These may not be ground-breaking changes to apps and the operating system, but this collection of small additions makes using El Capitan a little faster, smoother, easier and better. And the under-the-hood technologies lay the groundwork for richer apps down the road. It’s these usability iterations found throughout El Capitan that make the biggest difference.

As with any major software upgrade, make sure your apps are supported before moving to El Capitan. If you’re hesitant about upgrading, it isn’t a bad idea to hold off a while and see if any major bugs are discovered. But because this version was vetted throughout the summer with a public beta program, I’m not expecting any showstoppers now that the final version has arrived.

In a nutshell: El Capitan does what it is designed to — streamline OS X across the board, making it more efficient to run and flat-out easier to use. It’s free, it runs well and I recommend it.

Installation advice

If you’ve decided to take the OS X 10.11 plunge, make sure to back up your system before upgrading. Apple’s built-in Time Machine feature works well — all you have to do to turn it on in System Preferences and plug in an external hard drive; the Mac will automatically ask if you want to use it to start a backup. (Alternatively, there are other third-party utilities like SuperDuper that offer more control if you’re more technically minded.)

This is also a good time to run a diagnostic on your Mac’s file system. To do this, restart your computer holding down the Command and R keys at startup and then use Disk Utility to check for unseen problems. You can also use Alsoft’s DiskWarrior, a much better third-party alternative. My feeling is that DiskWarrior is the rare piece of software that should be in everyone’s arsenal, regardless of experience level.

OS X 10.11 installer

Once backups and diagnostics are out of the way, El Capitan can be obtained from the Mac App Store and will download to your Applications folder. To manually install it, double-click the installer icon, enter your username and password and select your target destination. The installer does the rest.

Here’s an important point: If you have more than one Mac in your home and/or limited bandwidth for downloads, you can use the same installer on multiple machines. Copy the file from the Applications folder to another Mac via AirDrop in a Finder window or transfer it to an external disk. Just sure to do this before running the El Capitan installer. If you don’t, when the installation is complete, the Installer will delete itself.

 

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