In This Issue:
Future Meetings: (subject to change)
Do not forget to bring your used ink cartridges.
Minutes of the December Meeting
By Susan Prescott, MAGIC Secretary
The Macintosh User Appreciation Group of Island County (MAGIC) met at 4 p.m. at the Useless Bay Country Club (UBCC) on Wednesday, December 21, 2011. About 18 people attended. One of the dining halls was set up with round tables for holiday festivities. The bar was open for members to buy drinks and MAGIC paid for freshly baked cookies from the UBCC kitchen. Projected on the big screen was a cozy fireplace complete with crackling sounds. It is a free download, Fireplace Live.app, from the App Store.
Business meeting: President Elphick called the meeting to order about 4:15 p.m.
Treasury: Treasurer Sue Keblusek reported $2,095.51 in the treasury. A basket to collect the suggested dues/donation of $2 was passed around. The collection goes directly to the country club for MAGIC's use of its facility.
Board elections: Robert reported that all the board positions have candidates except Vice President of Presentations. Anyone willing to take this position should contact Vice President Penny Holland. Elections will be January 18, 2012, at the regular member meeting. To learn more about the board and its function, visit the About page of this website.
Classes: Robert announced a Macintosh Essentials class series to begin Saturday, January 14. The cost of the classes is $50 and a deposit of half is required. Registration is online through PayPal.
Ink cartridge revenue: Penny Holland has been collecting spent printer ink cartridges from members, for recycling in exchange for cash for the club. She shipped a large box off and received $54.45. Unfortunately many of the Canon and Epson cartridges were not accepted. Members should check with www.empties4cash.com/cartridge-price-list.html to determine if their empty cartridges are worth money for recycling. Individual printer manufacturers have recycling programs don't pay anything.
Holiday party: Nancy Ruff introduced a new story theme, "The Outage." A laptop was set up for each member to write three or four sentences to move the story along. Only the last sentence or two would be visible. Last year's story was read as an example.
Adjournment: The business portion of the meeting ended about 5 p.m. The bar was open and soon the warm cookies arrived. Every person was invited to share their name and a little about themselves. There were several new members in attendance.
Questions and Answers: Robert fielded and answered questions while cookies were munched, drinks sipped and the story progressed. A member asked, "Why does the calendar freeze in iCloud?" Robert suggested a program about iCloud glitches may be presented at the February 15 meeting.
About 5:45 p.m. the annual projection of collected funny pictures were run on the big screen.
The general meeting dispersed about 6:30 p.m. after a full reading of "The Outage."
The board of directors met in Freeland on January 7 and discussed a number of issues including future meeting places, upcoming schools and proposed schools. The board approved the expenditure of a new iPad 2 to be used for classes on iPads and as a loaner to MAGIC members interested in testing an iPad before buying one of there own.
Future Meeting Places
The meetings for January and February will be held new Whidbey Telecom facility in Freeland. Whidbey Telecom have graciously allowed us to have these two meetings gratis. In March we will probably visit Chris Douthitt at his school in Oak Harbor to see his Video studio and hear from him and the students who make the videos. After that we have yet to find a home for the monthly meetings.
Board of Directors Elections
Penny Holland has taken on the role of heading the nomination committee. Elections will take place at the January meeting and be effective for two years for most of the elected officers. Please note that the list of Officer Duties are posted on the MAGIC website. Here is a summary of Penny's activity at the time of writing:
PRESIDENT - Sue Kablusek
Please volunteer or nominate someone by contacting Penny at
Another Essentials class will be held in January and February starting January 14th. We also are planning an iWork school concentrating on Pages to begin February 18 2012. Details can be found on the Education page of the MAGIC website as they are forthcoming.
The school broke even financially, partly due to several "no-shows". We might ask for deposits in the future so that we can fill the classes and reduce the chances of turning people down for the limited spaces. Several people were turned down for the last one.
MAGIC now has a PayPal account. This is now on the website to allow people to make donations to MAGIC directly. Also it will provide a mechanism for deposits on future schools (see above). It can be found at the Donation Page.
MacWorld/iWorld conference takes place January 26 to the 28th. 2012, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Note: This Software Update section of the newsletter lists the most relevant Apple updates. Not all updates are listed for all products. Additionally, I'll add other pertinent updates on occasion.
Apple updates Brother, Lexmark drivers
by Jonathan Seff, Macworld.com
Do you like printing and scanning things? Are you running OS X 10.6 or 10.7? Then it's your lucky day—assuming you have Brother or Lexmark hardware connected to your Mac and get excited by printer driver updates.
Apple has released Brother Printer Drivers 2.8 and Lexmark Printer Driver 2.7 for users of OS X 10.6 or later. The downloads include the latest drivers for Brother and Lexmark devices, and should show up in Software Update if you've used a printer/scanner from one of those companies in the past. As usual, the incremental updates via Software Update are pretty small, but the full downloads weigh in at 149.6MB and 182.9MB for Brother and Lexmark, respectively. Both are available from Apple's Support Downloads page.
iTunes 10.5.2 addresses iTunes Match problems
by Jonathan Seff, Macworld.com
Hope you're in a firmware-updating mood, because Apple's released updates for both the MacBook Pro as well as the AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule.
On Monday, (Dec. 12, 2011) Apple updated its iTunes software to 10.5.2, with unspecified fixes for problems with iTunes Match. Apple's brief description reads "iTunes 10.5.2 includes several improvements for iTunes Match and fixes an audio distortion problem when playing or importing certain CDs."
iTunes Match is Apple's $25-a-year service that stores your iTunes library in the cloud, matching the tracks in your library with those in Apple's 20-million-song catalog—meaning you don't have to upload them yourself—and letting you upload the ones it can't match (for a total of 25,000 tracks not purchased from the iTunes Store). It is currently available for U.S. customers only.
You can download iTunes 10.5.2 directly from Apple's iTunes download page. At the time this story was posted, the software wasn't showing up in Software Update, and the Apple support page for the update was still showing iTunes 10.5.1.
iTunes 10.5 requires OS X 10.5 or later, and is also available for Windows XP (SP2 or later), Vista, and 7.
by Gregg Keizer, Computerworld
The company also patched six Firefox vulnerabilities, and released a security update to the nearly-two-year-old Firefox 3.6 to quash a single bug there.
Mozilla also tweaked Firefox's Interface on Mac OS X 10.7 to support Lion's two-fingered swipe gesture for navigating backward and forward through already-viewed pages or sites.
The Windows version did not spot any noticeable interface changes.
As part of the upgrade to Firefox 9, Mozilla also patched a half-dozen vulnerabilities, four of them rated "critical," the company's highest threat warning. The other flaws were rated "high" and "moderate."
The most serious of the six was actually a bucket of 23 memory bugs that developers found and fixed in the core browser engine.
"Some of these bugs showed evidence of memory corruption under certain circumstances, and we presume that with enough effort at least some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code," Mozilla wrote in the accompanying 2011-53 security advisory.
Mozilla also released Firefox 3.6.25, the latest security update for the still-supported 2010 browser, re-patching a single flaw on Mac OS X that was originally—and incorrectly—addressed in late September.
Firefox 3.6 may be on its last legs: On Dec. 1, Mozilla offered those users a newer edition in an attempt to move them to the rapid-release schedule that produces an upgrade every six weeks.
It's unclear how successful that offer has been—Mozilla hasn't released its own data—but statistics from Irish metrics company StatCounter showed that Firefox 3.6's share has dropped by eight-tenths of a percentage point since the first of the month, more than during all of November.
Firefox still does not sport the long-promised "silent update" mechanism that will put it on par with Google's Chrome, which upgrades itself without any user interaction.
Silent updates, which have been on Mozilla's radar since the summer of 2010, have been again delayed, according to the company's website: The final piece of the service is now slated to appear in Firefox 12, currently set to release in April 2012.
At the same time that it shipped Firefox 9 for desktop computers, Mozilla also released a new Android version of its browser that features a reworked interface for smartphones, and its first designed for tablets.
Firefox for Android can be downloaded from Google's Android Market.
Windows, Mac and Linux editions of Firefox 9 can be downloaded manually from Mozilla's site; people running Firefox 4 or later will be offered the upgrade through the browser's own update mechanism. The next version of Firefox is scheduled to ship Jan. 31.
News, Info and Stories
Fix Lion's erroneous autocorrections, permanently
by Lex Friedman, Macworld.com
Sometimes, one person's hint is another person's incredibly obvious feature. In this case, I was the guy who needed a hint that—once it was pointed out to me—I felt silly for not thinking of on my own.
I was getting frustrated by Lion's built-in, iOS-style autocorrection. I normally like the feature, which corrects misspellings as you type, but it was making life difficult for me when I searched my email for messages from Macworld senior editors Chris Breen and Scholle Sawyer McFarland. When searching for messages from Chris, I'd type "from:breen" into Gmail; for Scholle, I'd type "from:scholle" instead. Lion unhelpfully wanted to replace their names with "green" and "school," respectively.
I griped on Twitter, and Flying Meat Software's Gus Mueller shared the easy fix. If Lion's autocorrecting a word that you'd prefer it simply leave alone, let it make the correction, then fix the word so that it's spelled the way you'd prefer again. Next, Control-click (or right-click) on the word in question, and choose Learn Spelling from the contextual menu that appears. From now on, Lion won't autocorrect that word any longer.
Now, I already knew about the Learn Spelling option, but in my mind, I used it to fix words that my Mac mistakenly gave the "red squiggly underline" treatment. But indeed, as Gus pointed out, Learn Spelling fixes rogue autocorrections, too.
If you'd prefer that Lion never autocorrect the words you type, remember you can go to System Preferences, click on the Language & Text pane, navigate to the Text tab, and uncheck Correct Spelling As You Type.
USB 3 on a Mac
contributed by: tvalleau
It's worth noting USB 3 devices are faster, even with USB 2. Here's something you may find interesting.
While Mac's don't support USB 3 yet, USB 3 is backwards compatible with USB 2, which is what recent Mac's have. USB 3 used in under USB 2 conditions (which I'll call USB 3/2 to save typing) is much faster than USB 2.
For example, the ADATA S102/16GB USB 3 memory stick is about 50% faster than even the fastest USB 2 stick I've found.
And for more of a surprise, how about this: the $19 Transcend USB 3 card reader (TS-RDF8K) is nearly twice as fast as my fastest USB 2 card reader (500MB copied in 11 sec vs 20 sec.)
So, if you're into moving data from your camera faster, get a USB3 card reader even if your computer doesn't support USB 3 yet. As usual, however, YMMV.
Scrolling the New Way for New Users
by Carl Grasso, smalldog.com
Over the holiday weekend, billions of people got new Macs (not a scientifically accurate number), and many of those users are new Lion. I'm betting aside from the squeals and screams of joy at getting one of the greatest computers currently in existence, the phrase, "Why isn't this scrolling in the right direction?" was uttered.
When you first start up Lion on a laptop (or a desktop with a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad paired with it), it will show you that scrolling doesn't function in our commonly accepted method before it will let you into the system (i.e. when you move your scroll wheel up, the text doesn't move down). Apple's "natural scrolling" method now means that text moves in the direction of your finger—just like it does on an iOS device.
I've found this works fine on a touch device like the Magic Trackpad, but for those of us who still use mice with a physical scroll wheel, it's not as good. The good news is that you can return your Mac to the old fashioned way by going into System Preferences (go to the Apple in the top left of your screen or go to Launchpad) and choose the Mouse preference pane. At the top of the window, you'll see "Move content in the direction of finger movement when scrolling or navigating." Uncheck the box next to that if you'd like to return to the tried-and-true method of scrolling that we're all used to.
As Apple moves toward greater integration of Mac OS and iOS, as well as a shift toward touch screens on all their devices, this new way of scrolling is going to become standard.
Life after iWeb: The state of Web design on the Mac
by Adam Berenstain, Macworld.com
It hasn't been a great year for iWeb users. Apple's lone Web design app wasn't updated with the release of iLife '11, and future versions—much less a successor—are in doubt. Even if iWeb's prospects are as bad as they seem, there's more to creating websites on the Mac than just one program. Whether you're looking for an easy-to-use iWeb replacement or a more sophisticated program with more powerful features for you and your site's visitors, a host of applications is available for every skill level and budget. Here are some of the highlights and how current iWeb users could find them useful.
The iWeb problem
Professional and prosumer options
Template-based consumer apps
Free applications and Web-based services
If your budget is zero, you may not even need a dedicated design application, thanks to social media sites. Odds are you're already using Flickr for photos, YouTube for videos, or Blogger or WordPress to share your writing (and more) with the world. The ubiquity and ease of use of these services can't be denied. But even if you're comfortable with some or all of them, packaging that content in a single site of your own design can be a great way to present yourself online.
No matter what the future holds for iWeb, or what your needs are, the Mac Web design scene offers plenty of alternatives. With so many choices, you're bound to find a new tool that's right for you - and probably some new skills along the way.
Clean out Launchpad completely
by Lex Friedman, Macworld.com
￼Launchpad takes the iOS home screen springboard and recreates it on your Mac. Some users love this new Lion feature; others aren't sold. If you're among the latter, you can ignore Launchpad pretty easily: Remove its icon from your Dock, turn off the Launchpad gesture, and you can live fairly Launchpad-free from then on. But what if you want to get a fresh-start with Launchpad, configuring it to give you quick access only to those apps you choose?
You could manually remove entries from Launchpad while it's onscreen by holding down the Option key and clicking on the jiggling apps. But that won't work on stock Apple apps, which seem permanently affixed to Launchpad's surface. And it's a laborious process if you have a lot of apps.
But there is a way to empty Launchpad completely—removing even Apple's own apps. The crux of this trick is wiping out the contents of the database Lion uses to know what goes where in Launchpad. To do so, launch Terminal (which, as always, is in /Applications/Utilities) and paste in this sequence of commands at the command line:
Now, open Launchpad again. It'll be as blank as the faces on those guys in Apple's 1984 commercial. Of course, if you purchase an app from the Mac App Store, its icon will show up in your newly naked Launchpad.
Getting the apps you want back into Launchpad is simple: You can just drag the apps you'd like to add directly onto Launchpad's Dock icon. (Merely dragging icons onto the Launchpad icon in the Finder won't work; you must drag onto the Dock icon.)
Miss the old, overstuffed Launchpad? You can get it back by forcing Lion to rebuild your Launchpad database with this Terminal command:
How to shop at the Mac App Store
by Roman Loyola, Macworld.com
Got a new Mac for the holidays? Congratulations! We bet you're anxious to get started using your new Mac—in fact, you might be reading this on that new Mac right now. The key to getting things done is to have the right software. Your Mac comes with plenty of software to get you started: Mail, Safari, iCal, Address Book, iLife, and more. But where can you find software that's not already on your Mac? One place—and perhaps the easiest source to use—is Apple's Mac App Store.
The Mac App Store is filled with thousands of software programs for all different types of people and tasks. You can find recipe databases for the family chef, artistic effect filters for photographers, audio software for musicians and DJs, system utilities for the Mac expert, and upgrades to OS X Lion for your friends. And, of course, there are games, games, and more games.
But wait—you say you've never bought anything on the Mac App Store? Don't worry, we're here to help. In this tutorial, we'll go through the steps for buying software on the Mac App Store. It's very easy.
Step 1: Go to the Mac App Store
Sounds simple enough to start, right? It is, if you are running OS X 10.6.6 or later. If you have a brand new Mac, that includes you, since it's probably running the latest version of OS X, Lion (10.7).
If you are using an older Mac with OS X 10.5.x, you need to buy an upgrade to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (OS X 10.7 Lion isn't necessary to access the Mac App Store). Once you upgrade, you then have to use Software Update to update OS X to the latest version of Snow Leopard, 10.6.8, which includes the Mac App Store app. (You can then decide if you want to upgrade to OS X Lion, which you can buy in the Mac App Store. Or you can get your shopping done first and then upgrade to Lion.)
Assuming you've got Lion or the latest version of Snow Leopard installed, you should have the Mac App Store app. Look in your Applications folder, your Dock, or (if you're running Lion) in LaunchPad—it looks like the icon at the top of this article, a blue circle with an A inside. Open the app, and you're in the store.
Step 2: Sign In
If you've shopped at the Mac App Store before, you're probably still automatically signed in. If not, you need to sign in with your Apple ID. If you've used the iTunes Store before, you can use the same Apple ID. Click the Sign In link in the Quick Links section on the right-hand side of the Mac App Store window. (You don't need to sign in to browse the contents of the store, so you can wait to perform this step when you're ready to make a purchase.) A pop-up box will appear and prompt you to sign in with your Apple ID.
If you don't have an Apple ID, click Create Apple ID and create one—you will need to enter credit card information or a PayPal account.
Step 3: Look around
There are different sections of the Mac App Store to help you find the right app for your needs. The New and Noteworthy section features apps that have just entered the Mac App Store. The What's Hot, Top Paid, and Top Free section show which apps are popular at the moment. Apple also has a Staff Favorites section, as well as a Top Grossing section.
You can also peruse apps by category, either by clicking on the Categories button at the top of the Mac App Store, or by using the categories pop-up menu in the Quick Links section.
Of course, you can also use the Search field in the upper right corner to find an app based on its name, or to perform a search based on the type of app you are interested in.
Step 4: Buy an app
Found an app you want to buy—or, better yet, a free app you want to try? Great. When you're ready to buy, look for the price of the app in the upper left corner of the app's page. The price is actually a button. Click on it, and it changes to a button that reads Buy App. Click the button again to buy the app. If you haven't signed in, you'll have to do so at this point. If you don't have an account, you'll have to create one to complete the purchase.
After you've purchased the app, the Mac App Store downloads the app and installs it on your computer. (Your credit card or PayPal account will be charged for the purchase.) If you are running Lion, your Mac's screen will switch to Launchpad and you'll see the new app's icon at the end of the list as a dimmed icon with a progress bar labeled Downloading. You can do other things while you're waiting for the app to download; just click any blank space (or press the Escape key) to leave Launchpad. The new app will continue downloading in the background. If you want to check the progress of your download, you can reopen Launchpad, or you can check the Purchases section in the Mac App Store app. In the latter, your new app will be at the top of the list, displaying a progress bar and the amount of time left on the download. Below that app are the other apps you have bought (if any).
The amount of time it takes to download a new app depends on the size of the app and the speed of your Internet connection. You can pause the download if needed by clicking the Pause button next to it in the Mac App Store's Purchases screen; to resume the download, just come back to the Purchases section and click the same button, which is now labeled Resume.
Step 5: Use your new app
When your new app has finished downloading, it will be listed as Installed in the Purchases section of the Mac App Store, and the app's icon in Launchpad will no longer be dimmed—the app is ready for you to use. You can launch your new app just as you would any other app: by double-clicking it inside the Applications folder, by clicking it in LaunchPad, or, (if it's in the Dock) by clicking it in the Dock. You can also customize where it appears in Launchpad, if you want. (We have a separate article on how to rearrange apps in Launchpad.) ￼
Update your apps
Apps purchased through the Mac App Store are also updated through the Mac App Store, so you might want launch the Mac App Store app every once in a while to check for updates—just click the Updates button in the toolbar. You can also look at the Mac App Store icon in your Dock on in Launchpad; if the icon has a red badge with a number on it, there are updates available. (The red badge does not appear on the Mac App Store icon in your Applications folder.)
Configuring Mail's rules
by Christopher Breen, Macworld.com
Many of us live and die by email, and because we do it makes sense to organize that email so that you can quickly find the messages you need. One way to organize email is to create filters or rules to automatically file it as it's received. In this week's Macworld Video I show you how to do just that.
In this video I specifically addressed Apple's Mail email client, but all email clients have some kind of rule or filter capability built in. Of course if you have an account that lives largely on the Web—a Gmail account, for example—you can create filters within the Web client rather than in the email client on your Mac. (Though there's no harm in doing both.)
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How-To: Resurrect Your AppleTalk Printer in Snow Leopard
by Dave Greenbaum, gigaom.com
Did Snow Leopard leave your old AppleTalk printer out in the cold? Grab a hot cup of cocoa and warm your printer up with some of these handy tips to continue to use your classic AppleTalk printer with your state of the art operating system.
Print Via USB
Of course! Get a longer USB cable if possible, but what if your printer doesn't have a USB port? It may have an old-style parallel port probably marked "LPT." For those people who have not seen them, here is a picture of one of these ports. Support for laser printers with these can be spotty, so use at your own risk. Not all the USB to Parallel Port adapters work well with the Macs, so do some research beforehand or buy from a place with a generous return policy.
Print Over IP
Some printers that support AppleTalk support other protocols such as IP. Many old LaserWriter workhorses such as the 16/600 fall into this category. If you are in a large office, ask your IT staff for help, but for those in a small office environment who are their own IT person, follow along! The hardest part is figuring out how to configure the IP address of the printer.
Step one is to find an open IP. Don't try to use DHCP settings because if the IP address changes for some reason, it will be invisible on the network. Look at the IP address on your Mac by going to System Preferences and then Network. Your IP address will be in the format XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX. If you are using an Airport router, it's probably 10.0.1.x, other routers will most likely be 192.168.1.x or 192.168.0.x. I always make printers .150 simply because I was taught that in school. Why? Just because. Avoid numbers in the low single digits, one hundreds, or two hundreds. Other devices may use these. To be extra safe, open up terminal and ping the address you decide on just to make sure nothing else is using it.
Actually configuring the printer may be tricky. Some will let you do it in the printer's control panel in a "Network" or "TCP/IP" sub-menu. Let Google be your guide and simply search for your printer and TCP/IP settings or address. I wish I could be more specific. Some printers will have a "Printer Utility," but those may not work in Snow Leopard. Try and print a test page so you confirm that you set the IP address correctly. Since HPs are such popular printers, here's a link that covers most of its printers.
Next, go to the "Print & Fax" system preference pane and click the plus icon and then "IP" icon. Which do you choose from under the "Protocol" options? First try "HP Jetdirect-socket," even if it's not an HP printer. If it's an older printer, start with LPD. Newer printers might accept IPP. Just type the IP address. Even if the IP address says valid and complete, that doesn't mean you are talking to it. Most likely, Snow Leopard won't be able to figure out which driver it to use. You'll need to select it manually from the "Print Using" drop down. Since the printer worked in Leopard or Tiger, you'll most likely have the driver already. Click "Add" and then run a test print. One of those three protocols should work. If not, you have other options. ￼
Personally, I've had to do this with quite a few clients lately, printing to the larger business machine class multifunction copy stations, and it works like a charm.
Use a Parallel (or USB) to Ethernet Print Server
These boxes cost around $50. In my experience, I've rarely seen an Ethernet-only printer. As stated earlier, they usually have a parallel port as another port option.
You'll need to confirm the print server supports printing over TCP/IP, but I've found that most do. It may have a Windows-only configuration utility, so be sure to check if it supports Mac out of the box, if you don't have access to a Windows machine. Follow the procedures in the Print Over IP option above to pick an IP address and add the printer.
Alternatively, if you have a Airport Express or Airport Extreme, hook the printer up to that if the printer supports USB.
Use a Windows Machine as a Print Server (GASP!)
If you've tried everything else and it just doesn't work, or you happen to have an old PC lying around, you can make it into a print server. Install the printer normally (if there is such a way) in Windows and make sure it works. Then go to "Add Printer" and click on "Windows" and your PC and the associated shared printer should appear. If it doesn't, additional info can be found in this Apple Support document. Not all printers can be shared over Windows, but if it worked over ethernet, it should work over Windows via Print Sharing. Setting this up is not easy nor for the faint of heart! Often times a firewall needs to be configured on the PC to allow printer sharing.
Buy a New Printer
If your primary method of printing was via AppleTalk, your printer is probably pretty old, so maybe it's time to buy a new one. A new printer has easier-to-find consumables and is most likely more energy efficient than your old one. Sure, you've already got money invested in the toner for the old one, but check its specs as compared to a new printer. Look at the material and labor cost of retrofitting your old printer versus buying a new one. You might be surprised at the ultimate value of buying a newer printer.
None of these solutions are a perfect guarantee you will be able to use your old printer forever, but they might help you get life out of the old bucket of bolts for a while longer, saving you money while letting you enjoy the features of Apple's latest and greatest cat.
Pioneer introduces new AirPlay audio receivers
by Joel Mathis, Macworld.com
Pioneer this week (Jan. 6, 2012) introduced two new AirPlay audio systems that can play audio wirelessly from the listener's iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
The company unveiled the $499 N-30 and the $699 N-50 networked audio players on Wednesday. In addition to the AirPlay feature, both models include a 2.5-inch LCD screen to display music information—including album artwork—and both can be remotely controlled from your iOS device using Pioneer's free iControl app. Both are Wi-Fi-ready and Bluetooth-enabled to allow playback from music libraries on any compatible computer.
In addition to those basic capabilities, the pricier N-50 also includes gold RCA jacks for improved sound reproduction, along with two features—Advanced Sound Retriever and Sound Retriever AIR—designed to offer a song's full sound even when played from compressed digital formats like MP3 or Internet radio.
A year after its introduction by Apple, AirPlay has finally become widely available in new products by audio manufacturing companies. Pioneer jumped in with both feet last spring, introducing its first line of AirPlay-compatible receivers while the market was otherwise taking its time getting up to speed. Both the N-30 and N-50—part of Pioneer's "Elite" line of receivers—are now available.
Screen Cast On-Line - Lion Tutorial
from Tom Johnson*
For those running Lion now or in the future.
This video is about two hours long and is a much easier way to comprehend the new features of Lion.
Note - The purchase must be done from a Mac running Lion i.e. it will not download to a Mac running Snow Leopard unless you select the "video only" option. It can be found at href="http://www.screencastsonline.com/appstore/scotutorforlion/
The Snow Leopard version can be viewed at: http://www.screencastsonline.com/appstore/scotutorforlion/snowleopard.php
Take a look at the Apple Store Reviews on this product. Here is one:
Worth every penny and then some... by Gerald Corder
Computer Support - sort of
from Penny Holland MAGIC support specialist*
The joys of Computer Support and getting paid for it.
iPhones, iPods, and iPads
Simulating traditional painting with the iPad
by Kyle Lambert, Macworld.com
Digital art doesn't have to look sterile and cold. Digital artist Kyle Lambert shows us how to create a painting that looks like it was made the old-fashioned way.
One of the major criticisms of digital art is the clean and unnatural results it can produce compared to traditional tools. In a number of cases this is certainly a valid argument, but many of the problems come down to the tools and methods used by the artist. In this slideshow we'll take a look at some techniques and app features that can help iPad artists achieve a more natural quality when painting with the iPad.
How iOS multitasking really works
by Fraser Speirs, Macworld.com
There's one bit of iOS misinformation that I keep hearing. Even supposedly authoritative sources such as Apple Geniuses don't seem to get it. It has to do with how multitasking works in iOS.
Here's the statement I keep hearing, and it's wrong:
All those apps in the multitasking bar on your iOS device are currently active and slowing it down, filling the device's memory or using up your battery. To maximise performance and battery life, you should kill them all manually.
The iOS multitasking bar does not contain a list of all running apps. It contains a list of recently used apps. The user never has to manage background tasks on iOS.
Except in a few cases, which I'll explain, the apps that appear in the multitasking bar are not currently running. When you press the home button, iOS will tell the app to quit. In almost all cases, it quits, it stops using processor time (and hence battery), and the memory it was using is eventually recovered, if required.
The five faces of apps
iOS apps can exist in any of five states of execution. These are:
Active and Inactive are not relevant to this discussion. Most of the confusion is around what happens as an app goes from Active to Background to Suspended to Not Running.
When you press the home button, the app moves from Active to Background. Most apps usually then go from Background to Suspended in a matter of seconds. (Suspended apps remain in the device's memory. This is so they can resume more quickly when you go back to them. They're not using processor time and they're not sucking battery power.)
You may think that if an app is resident in memory, you might have to remove it manually in order to conserve memory. But you don't: iOS does it for you. If you launch a memory-intensive app such as a game, iOS will start to purge Suspended apps from memory and move them to the Not Running state. That is, they will be completely removed from memory and will launch afresh the next time you tap their icon.
Here's the confusing part: None of these states are reflected in the multitasking bar. That bar always shows a list of recently used apps, regardless of whether they're in the Background, Suspended, or Not Running states. (You may also have noticed that the app that is currently Active does not appear in the multitasking bar.)
Let's take an app that downloads largish files from the Web, such as Instacast, my favorite podcast app. When Instacast is Active, it can start to download new podcasts. By default, if I hit the home button on my iPhone, Instacast would get five seconds to run in the Background state before it would be moved to Suspended. That would interrupt the download of my podcasts, which can take some time. (They're large files.)
But iOS allows apps such as Instacast, which have time-intensive tasks that can run in the background, to ask for a reprieve. The app declares its downloading of podcasts as a "background task." This allows Instacast an extra period of Background running, after I hit the home button, to complete its downloads.
Instacast doesn't have all day. An app gets about ten minutes of Background running time before it is forcibly suspended by iOS. But regardless, this isn't a feature regular users should worry about.
Indefinite background running
So all apps get five seconds of Background running, to clean things up, and some apps (such as Instacast) can request a ten-minute extension. There are, however, a small number of apps that genuinely need to run indefinitely in the background, and iOS allows this.
There are exactly five kinds of apps allowed to run indefinitely in the Background state in iOS 5:
All well-written apps in the above categories should become Suspended when they are no longer performing the task in hand. When Instacast finishes playing a podcast, it should be Suspended. There are some built-in apps that also run continuously in the background on iOS—the most-used one is probably Mail.
As long as these apps are running in the Background state, they will consume memory, CPU time, and power. It's also important to know that an app which is enabled to run indefinitely in the background can do anything that it can do when it's Active. This may include much more than just playing audio or tracking your location. For example, as long as Instacast is playing audio it can also continue to download new episodes in the background.
In general, though, you would know that you were using such apps. The developer has to declare which category of Background running they require, and part of the App Store review process is to check that these declarations are not being abused—although App Store review is never a perfect catch-all.
I said earlier that "the user never has to manage Background tasks on iOS." The only exception to this is when one of these Background-running apps either goes berserk or will not Suspend itself properly. In such a case, you may want to manually kill the app from the Multitasking Bar. This, however, is an unusual situation and not a normal part of being an iOS user. I do think, though, that iOS could do a better job of showing which apps are currently in indefinite Background running, perhaps similarly to the way that apps using Location Services are shown.
Let me wrap this up by giving you a quick summary:
By The Way
Bits & Pieces: Lawmakers seem intent on approving SOPA, PIPA*
by Ron Sharp, MAGIC
"The two bills, SOPA and PIPA for short, appear headed toward approval this year, unless opponents can change the minds of many lawmakers. Dozens of legislators have voiced support for the bills, despite reports from digital rights group Fight for the Future that more than 1 million people have sent email messages to Congress in opposition."
Everyone probably gets video links sent to them, some interesting and some not so. Here’s a few I consider interesting: