In This Issue:
Future Meetings: (subject to change)
Do not forget to bring your used ink cartridges.
Minutes of the July 2012 Meeting
by Susan Prescott
The monthly MAGIC meeting began at 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Congregation meeting house north of Freeland. About 18 to 20 people were present. Robert Elphick conducted a Questions and Answers (Q&A) session during the first hour.
At 5 p.m. President Sue Keblusek called the business portion of the meeting to order. Treasurer Bonnie Abney reported a balance of $4,485.67 in the MAGIC treasury. Sue explained that meeting dues are a $2 donation per person each meeting.
Sue called for a volunteer to take charge of the MAGIC ink cartridge recycling program. The position is still open as no one has volunteered. Duties include collecting empty ink cartridges from members and sending them to Empties4Cash, a company that recycles cartridges and pays cash as a fundraiser for organizations like ours. Depending on the volume the volunteer would only need to ship the cartridges once or twice a year.
Sue invited everyone to fill out a feedback form after the main program to help the board improve it's presentations. The form may be used for future presentation ideas.
The meeting was adjourned at about 5:15 and Robert Elphick presented computer maintenance procedures, beyond basic backup. Due to time constraints he was only able to cover defragging computers recommending iDefrag and the more comprehensive program Onyx for repairs. The MAGIC website has maintenance information under Tips and Tricks. Select Software for information about useful software such as iDefrag, AppCleaner and Onyx.
The program next month may be about the new operating system Mountain Lion.
Respectfully submitted by Prescott, volunteer notetaker in the absence of Secretary Penny Holland.
VOLUNTEER NEEDED TO HANDLE INK CARTRIDGE RECYCLING -2 hours per year job
Would you like to do something to help support MAGIC? What if it would only require a couple hours of your time and earns about $50 per year for MAGIC?
Maybe YOU are the person for the recycling job. There's not much to it.
The South Whidbey Commons in Langley, after losing their projector, have applied to MAGIC to donate one of our projectors to them. The older projector had not been used since MAGIC purchased the newer one so it was just gathering dust. The board voted to approve the request and so the projector has been handed over to Cynthia Shelton who is on the board of the The South Whidbey Commons.
MAGIC has been sponsoring the 4-HD Video Club led by yours truly. The club is currently engaged in an ambitious project to provide a documentary to help residents of Whidbey Island to prepare for a major earthquake. The project is nearing completion and the first version will be shown at the Island County Fair in Langley in August.
The documentary contains a lot od interesting geophysics that explains the risks as well as a lot of information about how to prepare and how the county will respond to any earthquake emergency.
We recommend everyone go to the Fair and watch the documentary - it will play at 11 each morning and 2:00 each afternoon. Check the Fair program for details.
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 releases Power Nap-enabling firmware updates for recent MacBooks
by Christopher Breen, Macworld.com
With Mountain Lion, Apple includes a Power Nap feature that allows recent SSD-equipped MacBooks to perform certain jobs while asleep, including backing up to Time Machine, checking for email messages, and performing some iCloud synchronization tasks. But owners of some MacBook Airs (2011 or newer) and retina display MacBook Pro models found Power Nap conspicuous in its absence when Mountain Lion was first released.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Apple made a firmware update for the MacBook Air models—called MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.5 - available via Software Update or directly from Apple. As of July 27, 2012, the update for retina display MacBook Pro models is listed as "coming soon." Once you download the update, you just double-click it to run it. You'll be prompted to restart your Mac and then the update will be applied. On a 2012 13-inch MacBook Air that process took a couple of seconds. To make sure the update was applied correctly, launch System Preferences, select the Energy preference, and look for the Enable Power Nap option in the resulting window.
Java for OS X 2012-004 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 9
This document describes the security content of Java for OS X 2012-004 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 9.
Java for OS X 2012-004 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 9 can be downloaded and installed via Software Update preferences, or from Apple Downloads.
Available for: Mac OS X v10.6.8, Mac OS X Server v10.6.8, OS X Lion v10.7.4, OS X Lion Server v10.7.4
Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in Java
iPhoto, Aperture get Mountain Lion updates
by Philip Michaels, Macworld.com - Jul 25, 2012
Apple's iWork suite may have been updated to add Documents in the Cloud support, but those weren't the only Apple-built apps to get a Mountain Lion-inspired refresh on Wednesday. Apple unleashed a spate of software updates aimed at taking advantage of features in the newly unveiled OS X 10.8.
iPhoto, for example, now supports new sharing options introduced in Mountain Lion. Version 9.3.2 of iPhoto '11 adds Twitter and Messages to the photo management program's sharing options. (Messages is the renamed iChat app introduced in Mountain Lion that lets users transmit images, files, and text to users on Macs and iOS devices.) In addition to Mountain Lion compatibility, the iPhoto update also promises performance and stability improvements. The 975MB update requires OS X 10.7.4 or later.
Likewise, Aperture gains Mountain Lion support with Wednesday's 3.3.2 update. The update also tackles an issue that was affecting performance when some users entered and exited Full Screen mode. The photo program's Auto White Balance feature can now correct color using Skin Tone mode, even when Faces is disabled, and the Library Inspector lets users sort projects and albums by date in addition to name and kind. The 530MB download requires OS X 10.7.4 or later.
iMovie and Apple Remote Desktop also received updates, though they don't seem to be connected to Wednesday's Mountain Lion debut. iMovie 9.0.7 offers a fix for a problem with third-party QuickTime components that was causing iMovie to unexpectedly quit in some cases. It also takes on a pair of MPEG-2 issues—one with previewing MPEG-2 video clips in the Camera Import window and the other involving importing MPEG-2 clips from a camera. The 1.26GB iMovie update requires OS X 10.7.4.
Release notes for the 3.6 update to Apple Remote Desktop are a little more vague, promising only to address several issues related to overall reliability and compatibility. The update features new attributes in the System Overview Report as well as support for IPv6. It's a 10.3MB update that requires OS X 10.7 and later.
Apple releases MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 1.0
by Roman Loyola, Macworld.com - Jul 18, 2012
If you're sitting in front of your brand-spankin' new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro (or standing, which seems to be the trend nowadays), you might want to take a break after reading this and run Software Update. Apple has released the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 1.0.
According to Apple's documentation, the update fixes a problem with "increased CPU power consumption" and it also "improves compatibility with some USB devices." Apple recommends the update for the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models that were release in June. That also includes the new Retina MacBook Pro.
Besides running Software Update, you can also download the update from Apple's website. Update 1.0 is 76.64MB and requires OS X 10.7.4.
Non Apple Updates
by Ron Sharp
If you use non Apple Software, check your preferences for each to see if they are set to update automatically or manually. If you prefer them to be set manually, then check for updates periodically.
Another place to check for non Apple "Add-ons" is in System Preferences. The bottom row, "Others" (in Lion) should be checked for updates also. Some specific apps, for instance, if you have Adobe Flash player or Flip4Mac, click on them to check for updates and update settings.
If you use Firefox browser, then select "Add-ons" under the "Tools" menu and select your "Plugins," then click the link "Check to see if Plugins are up to date." ￼
News, Info and Stories
CD/DVD Burning with Ease
by R.J. Murphy, smalldog.com
￼I've always been a little frustrated with burning CDs or DVDs on my Mac, as it's never been the simplest process…especially DVDs. With the slow migration away from physical media, the need to address this issue doesn't really make the cut with Apple. I understand that physical media is on the decline, but I still use CDs and DVDs on a fairly regular basis, as I'm sure others do as well.
I came across a brilliantly simple application recently, and I've been using it for all my CD/DVD burning needs ever since. The name of the application is Burn, and it's as simple to use as it sounds. Need to burn an audio CD? Drag the desired song files into the application, arrange them in whatever order you'd like, insert a CD-R, and click Burn.
It's the same idea with a DVD. Any time I've wanted to burn a DVD, it's pretty much the same reason each time: To get the video onto a DVD-R so that it can be played in a DVD player. That's it. I don't need a menu or fancy graphics. Burn does just that, and I love it. Download Burn here, and enjoy disc-burning simplicity at its finest.
AirPlay? It's Magic
by Dawn D'Angelillo, smalldog
Every once in a while, there is something new in technology that comes out and it is just magical. Remember when the AirPort first came out? I couldn't wait to show friends who came to my house…"watch this, I'm surfing without wires!"
The latest magic that has entranced me is AirPlay. AirPlay is a feature in Mac OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion) that allows a Mac to wirelessly send a video signal to an Apple TV. When I saw this put to the test in our Manchester, NH store, I was blown away. "Do it again!" Completely across the room, I was able to display the demo screen top onto a giant TV. No wires, no hassle — it just worked.
I started to do some digging about AirPlay and found that magical though it is, not every Mac is capable of putting the magic to work. It turns out that AirPlay Mirroring will only work if you have an iMac, MacBook Air or Mac mini from mid-2011, or a MacBook Pro from early 2011, according to Cult of Mac.
Simplified, it turns out that AirPlay encoding (H.264) that needs to be done entirely on the GPU (graphical processor unit) without involving the CPU. The GPU that can handle the H.264 encoding wasn't put into Macs until 2011. Owners of pre-2011 Macs who want to use the AirPlay feature aren't completely
out of luck though. As Apple said years ago, "yeah, there's an app for that." AirParrot is an app that sends the H.264 encoding to the CPU. All that's required is Snow Leopard or newer OS, a multi-core processor and for best performance a decent wireless router that supports 802.11n and of course, an Apple TV.
AirParrot has a limited trial available here if you want to check it out to see how it works. Be aware, this may make your Mac run hot as according to AirParrot's developer, David Stanfill, "AirParrot uses a non-trivial amount of CPU, which can result in the fans kicking and the machine getting a little warm."
Mountain Lion: What's new
A quick, visual tour of the most important new features in Apple's latest operating system: OS X Mountain Lion. CLick on the link below.
Up close with Mountain Lion: iCloud
by Serenity Caldwell, Macworld.com
When Apple introduced iCloud at 2011's Worldwide Developers Conference, the company touted the online service's ability to seamlessly sync your contacts, calendars, reminders, notes, images, documents, and other data, along with a free mail account, remote access to other iCloud-enabled computers, and a locator for lost portable devices.
While iOS 5 took early and extensive advantage of iCloud on the iPhone and iPad, OS X Lion did less with it: You could sync your mail, contacts, calendars, reminders, and notes, and send images to your iPhoto library via Photo Stream, but not documents or program settings. With Mountain Lion, however, Apple has added new features to iCloud and integrated those sorely missing from its desktop OS.
Documents in the Cloud
The biggest of these additions is called Documents in the Cloud. This feature allows the app you're using to store your documents in the cloud, wirelessly and remotely; you can then access them from any computer or iOS device you've linked to iCloud that has that application installed. Unlike your Mac's traditional Finder, each app has its own iCloud Document Library; there's no master list of all your cloud-based documents. That could make for some confusion if you use multiple apps—text-editing programs, for example—to edit the same kinds of documents.
When you open a file in an iCloud-supported app, the Document Library window pops up. It looks similar to the template selection window of apps like Pages—a single-pane window with the dark-linen background with files shown as icons or in a list (your choice). In Icon mode, you can organize files by name or date; List mode lets you sort by size, too. Along the top of the window, there's a search bar (in case your list of files grows unwieldy) and a toggle that lets you switch from your Document Library to the standard Open dialog for files on your Mac.
If you've never used the app before, the library will be blank. You can populate it by dragging files from your Mac or from the Document Library of another application. By default, files you drag will move to the Document Library—just as they would if you dragged the file from one folder on your hard drive to another. If you want put a copy of the file in iCloud, you must hold down the Option key as you drag it into or out of the Documents Library. (You can duplicate a file within your Documents Library by holding down the Option key, dragging it out, then dragging it back into the window; alternatively, you can Control-click on the document in question and select Duplicate.)
If you like to organize your files into folders, you can do so iOS-style, by dragging one file's icon on top of another's. That will create a folder containing both of them. Unfortunately, folders can't be nested, but you can drag them from Document Library to the Finder (or to another Document Library) just as you would a file.
Opening a file in the Document Library is as simple as double-clicking it. Files stored in iCloud retain their full Versions history, so you can use Auto-Save, restore past versions of your files, and duplicate them with ease.
Back in the Document Library, files can be shared by selecting them and clicking the Share button (or by Control-clicking on the file). Though you can't share folders, you can select multiple files; not all sharing services support sending more than one, however. (Twitter, for example, will only let you share one picture at a time.)
If you no longer want a file, you can move it to the Trash by dragging it there or Control- or right-clicking it and selecting Move to Trash. Once you do so, that file will be inaccessible from all iCloud-connected devices.
When Mountain Lion initially shipped, Apple's TextEdit, Preview, and the iWork suite all supported Documents in the Cloud. Third-party developers can also integrate Documents in the Cloud into their apps, but only if those apps are sold in the Mac App Store; apps that aren't in the Store can't support DitC.
Welcome to the System
Mountain Lion also supports some new iCloud syncing options. Mail, calendars, and contacts still sync that way. But now tasks and text snippets sync via the new Reminders and Notes apps (respectively), rather than through Calendars and Mail.
Speaking of Mail, iCloud syncs a bit more of your data now: recent senders, favorites, signatures, flag names, smart mailboxes and mail rules (across OS X only), and your account information.
Safari also gets an iCloud boost: Synced tabs allow you to start browsing the Web on your iPhone and immediately pick up where you left off on your Mac. Macs running Mountain Lion will have a Cloud icon in the Safari toolbar; click on it, and you'll see a list of your iCloud-enabled devices and any open Safari tabs or windows below them.
Unfortunately, you can't manually refresh this list, so you have to wait for iCloud to catch up and sync if you've just opened a new tab on one device; that said, the process is usually fairly quick, taking no more than a minute or two.
Ten stellar keyboard shortcuts
by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld.com
One Mac expert picks his favorite timesavers.
Among computer users, there are two types of people: mousers and keyboarders. I'm the latter. I like to use keyboard shortcuts as often as possible to save time and to keep my hands on my keyboard. Here are ten of my favorite keyboard shortcuts for the applications I use most.
Nine tips for taming text in Pages
by Christian Boyce, Macworld.com
Far more than Apple's "version of Word," Pages is full of powerful, time-saving features that help you make great word processing documents quickly. Three of the best are styles, templates, and tables. Gain some familiarity with these features and you'll make better documents in less time than ever before. Here are nine tips to get you started.
Mountain Lion and the ancient AirPort Base Station
by Christopher Breen, Macworld.com - Jul 31, 2012 8:30 am
Reader Nick Hamilton finds himself stuck between old hardware and a new operating system. He writes:
I have an older AirPort Express Base Station. I recently installed Mountain Lion and have found that its version of AirPort Utility doesn't work with this Base Station—when I try to select the base station I'm told that I need AirPort Utility 5.6. I downloaded that version but when I attempt to install it Mountain Lion tells me it's not supported. What do I do?
Mountain Lion is telling you an untruth. That version of AirPort Utility will run on your Mac (even under Mountain Lion) and work with your Base Station. The fly in the ointment in this case is the installer. It simply refuses to install this perfectly fine utility.
The way around is to extract the utility from the installer package. For this kind of thing I always turn to CharlesSoft's $20 Pacifist. Pacifist lives to open .pkg package files, .dmg disk images, and .zip, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, and .xar archives and extract their contents. I ran this very package through Pacifist, located the application, extracted it, and it ran like a champ on my MacBook Pro—allowing me to configure an ancient AirPort Express Base Station.
Personal Capital Web-based financial management
by Jeffery Battersby, Macworld.com - July 20, 2012
Over the last several years I've had the opportunity to look at a multitude of personal financial applications, all of which offer useful collections of tools for managing your money matters. Of all these apps, none comes close to offering the breadth of features and capabilities of the free, Web-based Personal Capital.
As is the case with all applications of this sort, setup is the initial hurdle you have to clear if you hope to track all of your financial data. Personal Capital makes this process incredibly easy, although it's important to note that in order to use this application you will already have to have some kind of online relationship with all the financial institutions you want to track using Personal Capital.
Adding accounts to Personal Capital is easy, all you need to do is select or search for the bank, credit union, credit card, or investment company you want to track data for and then enter your current login information for that entity. Personal Capital will then log in to the site and begin aggregating your financial data. If the financial site you're connecting to requires additional authentication information, like your mother's maiden name or the first elementary school you attended, personal Capital can handle this too, without any problems. This is in stark contrast to Mint which always seems to need me to log in to fix some sort of authentication problem related to the extra questions banks require you to answer to see your financial information.
One problem I've had with every financial application I've used is their inability to automatically collect data from all the financial institutions I use. Most notably, my local credit union and the company holding the 401k money I had at a former employer. In short, I have never been able to connect to and retrieve data from these institutions no matter what application I've used. Personal Capital connects to them both without a hitch.
This isn't to say that Personal Capital is perfect. It's new enough that, while I was able to connect to all my bank accounts, I was not able to create links to the credit cards issued by some of those banks. I don't expect this to be a persistent issue (when I contacted tech support at Personal Capital, they stated that the card was currently in beta and should be available soon.) But depending on the financial institutions you use, this could mean you may not initially be able track some of your financial information.
Once you've added all your accounts Personal Capital offers the usual graphs, charts and reports for tracking your financial data. You'll receive automated messages when you have bills due and updates on the current status of your investments, including information about the stocks held within mutual funds or your 401k plan. The information offered about your accounts is detailed and, in some cases, broad investment guidance is offered. So, for example, if your 401k is over allocated in a certain area, you'll see a message stating that your portfolio doesn't meet Personal Capital's baseline allocation expectations for your investments. But, no specific advice is given on how you should change those allocations.
Personal Capital is free, so you might expect that, much like Mint, every page you visit within the Personal Capital site will be filled with ads. But Personal Capital has no ads for interest free credit cards, banks that offer higher interest rates than your bank, or free checking when yours charges a fee. What you will see is offers to make a few bucks if you refer friends to Personal Capital. That's it.
So, what's the hook? Personal Capital is a registered investment advisor and the hope is that you'll like what you're getting for free enough that you'll hire Personal Capital to manage your finances. In order to be a a potential customer you must have assets that exceed $100,000. If you do, you're assigned an investment advisor who will make some initial contact with you. Interestingly, once that contact is made, there is no hard sell for these services. If you want more guidance you are welcome to contact the advisor with basic questions about your finances, but the onus is on you to pursue Personal Capital if you want them to mangage your assets.
Macworld's buying advice
Having used Personal Capital to track my income and investments for several months now, I can say that this is by far the best personal financial tool that I've had the pleasure to use, on my Mac or on the Web. Minimal account connections hassles, detailed financial information, and the options to speak directly with a financial advisor make Personal Capital, hands down, the best free finance tracking app available.
Wizard's advice: I get nervous about putting sensitive personal data out on the web or in the cloud. How secure is it? Not 100%. Be very careful what you put out there. Robert
iPhones, iPods, and iPads
Force iOS to use YouTube site instead of app
by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld.com
The default YouTube app that comes with iOS was great back in 2007, but it hasn't seen a significant update in years and is lacking many features compared to the newer mobile YouTube website (m.youtube.com) that Google launched two years ago.
A reader points out that you can stop iOS from launching the native YouTube app when you click on a YouTube link, and force it to use the superior YouTube mobile website instead. To do this, simply disable YouTube under Settings > General > Restrictions.
Once you've done that, all YouTube links you click on in an iOS browser will open YouTube's mobile website; the native YouTube app will also be hidden. If you decide you want to revert these changes and go back to using the YouTube app for those links, go to the Restrictions settings and toggle YouTube back on.
iOS Typing Hints
by Carl Grasso, smalldog.com
There are many hidden features in iOS that many people are unaware of. I'm going to try to go through them periodically to pull them out of the shadows. This week, we'll focus on typing.