Newsletter

August 2012

Newsletter Editor:


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Meeting information

Day: The 3rd Wednesday of the month. 15 August 2012 this Month
Location: Unitarian Universal Congregation of Whidbey Island (see map.)
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. with the first hour dedicated to new users and their questions.
Presentations: •Apple Q & A
•Mountain Lion - what is new.

Future Meetings: (subject to change)
See the Meetings Page on this website.

Do not forget to bring your used ink cartridges.
MAGIC will dispose of them for you and make some change for the group.


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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.

  1. Attend the monthly MAGIC meetings and collect people's old ink jet cartridges.
    Keep them in a box or a bag at your home.(IF you miss a monthly MAGIC meeting, no problem. Somebody will keep them until next month's meeting)
  2. Once or twice a year these get sent to a company (Empties4Cash) who sends a check to MAGIC. YOUR JOB: Sort them, list the number of each type, and send them to Empties4Cash, which even provides you with a shipping number and pays the freight. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS BOX THEM UP, PUT THE BOX ON YOUR PORCH, AND CALL FOR PICKUP. Easy-Squeezie!


Wizard

MAGIC Moments

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by RYE

Donation

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.

Earthquake Documentary

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.


SOFTWARE UPDATES

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.

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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.

Software update

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.

Click here for complete article.



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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
Description: Multiple vulnerabilities exist in Java, the most serious of which may allow an untrusted Java applet to execute arbitrary code outside the Java sandbox. Visiting a web page containing a maliciously crafted untrusted Java applet may lead to arbitrary code execution with the privileges of the current user. These issues are addressed by updating to Java version 1.6.0_33. Further information is available via the Java website here.


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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.

Software update

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.

Click here for complete article.


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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.

Click here for complete article.


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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." Firefox Update

News, Info and Stories

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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.

Click here for complete article.


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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!"

Airplay

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."

Click here for complete article.


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Mountain Lion: What's new

from Macworld

Mountain Lion features

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.

Mountain Lion Article


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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.

iCloud files

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.

iCloud files delete

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.

Click here for complete article


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Ten stellar keyboard shortcuts

by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld.com

Shortcut

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.


  1. Select Safari's address field
    Sometimes I copy a URL and want to paste it into Safari's address field. Instead of using the tab key, or a mouse or trackpad, to select the field, I prefer using the Command-L keyboard shortcut. This highlights the text in the field, and I can then paste my URL and press Return to go to a webpage. In Mountain Lion, you can also press Command-Option-F to go to that field, since it also serves as a search field.
  2. Jump to what's currently playing in iTunes
    I often have iTunes running while I work, and I often browse my library, or the iTunes Store while I'm listening to music. But sometimes I want to come back to the music I'm playing: either in a playlist or in my Music library. A little-known keyboard shortcut, Command-L, does just this. It highlights the current track, and changes the view so you can see exactly where it is.
  3. Paste and match style in Pages
    I work with Apple's Pages from time to time, and I sometimes need to paste text that I've copied from another file, or from a webpage. Since I use styles in Pages, if I paste text, it will show up with its original font and style, not in the style of the text at the cursor. Command-Option-Shift-V is the Paste And Match Style command, so the pasted text inherits the style where you've placed your cursor. This shortcut also works in Numbers and Keynote.
  4. Mark messages as read or unread in Mail
    When I use Apple's Mail, I like to keep messages that need action in my inbox marked as unread. This way their subjects appear in bold text. I even have a special smart mailbox that groups all these unread emails. Sometimes I read an email but want to keep it in that smart mailbox. Selecting a message and pressing Command-Shift-U toggles its read status. If it's unread, it marks it read; if it's read, it sets its status back to unread.
  5. Quickly see information for multiple files
    The multiple file info window (Command-Option-I) changes as you move from one file to another. It's a quick way to view information about a number of files. I often need to check info for multiple files in the Finder. You probably know that if you select an item and press Command-I, you get an Info window for that item. This window shows everything from file size to what application will open the file. If you press Command-Option-I, you see that item's Info Window, but if you click on another item, the Info window will change to show the new item's information. You can also navigate in a folder using arrow keys when this window is visible to see info for all the items in a folder. This is a great way to view information for a lot of files, such as a folder of photos.
  6. Open files without clicking
    Double-clicking is so 20th century. While I sometimes double-click a file to open it, I often use a nifty keyboard shortcut to do the same thing. Select a file and press Command-down-arrow and the file will open with its default application. This is most practical when you're navigating in a folder using the arrow keys to move around. (You can also press Command-O to do the same thing.)
  7. Tab in either direction through the Application Switcher
    Most people know the Command-Tab shortcut. This displays OS X's Application Switcher above all your windows. Here you'll see the icons of all currently open programs. When you keep holding down the Command key, each time you press Tab, the selection moves to the right—let go of the keys to jump that program. Sometimes, though, I accidentally miss the program I want, and need to come back. Instead of pressing Tab to go all the way around, I press the Shift key, then press Tab to cycle through the list in the opposite direction. (So you press Command-Tab, keep Command held down, then add Shift, which results in your pressing Command-Shift-Tab.)
  8. Select whole words more quickly
    When I revise texts that I've written, I often select text, copy it, and paste it in a different location. There's a nifty shortcut that makes this easier when you want to select complete words. Place your cursor at the end of a word, then press the Shift and Option keys. Press the left arrow key to select to the end of the word to the left, or the right arrow key to select to the end of the word to the right. This shortcut also treats punctuation as words, so a press of an arrow key, say, at the end of a sentence will select the final period.
  9. Hop through Safari's tabs
    When I use Safari, I use multiple tabs, rather than windows. Sometimes I have a dozen tabs open at once, and I need to switch from one to another. What's the best way? Using the keyboard, of course. Just press Command-Shift-right arrow to move one tab to the right, and Command-Shift-left arrow to move to the left.
  10. Put your Mac to sleep
    Finally, the shortcut I use at the end of most days is the one that puts my Mac to sleep. Press Command-Option-Eject to do this. If your keyboard doesn't have an Eject button—such as on a laptop without an optical drive—it's Command-Option-power button. And so to bed.

Click here for complete article.


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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.

  1. Apply styles quickly
    Use styles to format text quickly and consistently. Paragraph styles affect an entire paragraph, whether you've highlighted every character of it or simply clicked anywhere in it. Clicking is faster, so don't bother with the careful selecting. To apply a style, you can use the Styles Drawer (View -> Show Styles Drawer), or better yet, use keyboard shortcuts. With the Styles Drawer open, control-click a style name and then, in the menu that appears, choose Hot Key, and select from the shortcut choices in the menu. Now, applying a style is as simple as clicking in a paragraph and pressing this key.
  2. Define your own styles Want to redefine a paragraph style? Format one instance of it by hand, click anywhere in it, and then (in the Styles Drawer) Control-click its name and choose Redefine Style From Selection. Voila! Every paragraph with that style is updated with the new formatting. Character formatting is similar—just be sure you've highlighted the formatted text before Control-clicking the style name in the Styles Drawer.
    Defining a new style from scratch is also a cinch: format a paragraph or some characters by hand, then click the plus-sign (+) button at the bottom of the Styles Drawer. In the New Paragraph Style or New Character Style window that appears, type in a name, and click OK. For paragraph styles, you can Control-click in the paragraph and select Create New Paragraph Style From Selection.
  3. Pages style
  4. Import styles from other documents
    If you already have styles in one Pages document, you can reuse them in another, saving time and ensuring consistency in your written materials. Choose Format -> Import Styles, navigate to the document in the open dialog box that appears, and then click Open. You'll see a list of every style in that document. While you can certainly import them all, if you hold the Command key down you can pick just the ones you want. You can choose to replace duplicates with the imported styles, or to retain both (in that case, a "2" is added to the imported style name).
  5. Take advantage of templates
    Templates give you an enormous head start on your documents. Pages sorts its templates into two basic groups: Word Processing (for text-centric documents like letters and reports), and Page Layout (for things like newsletters, flyers, and brochures). Each template contains professionally-designed styles, and with the exception of the Blank templates, each contains placeholder text which you can replace by clicking and typing.
    Pages style Many templates contain more than one type of page. For example, the Reports templates include Covers, Tables of Contents, Chapter pages, Text pages, and Bibliographies. Reveal these different page types in the Template Chooser by slowly moving your mouse horizontally across a template's thumbnail. Once you've chosen a template, add pages to your document using the Sections button (in Word Processing documents) or the Pages button (in Page Layout documents) in the Toolbar.
  6. Include Address Book info
    Some of the templates—for instance, Envelopes and Letters in Word Processing, and many in the Page Layout section—accept vCards, a standard format for electronic business cards. If your template has placeholders for name and address, drag in a vCard, or an Address Book entry, to fill in the information automatically. Bonus tip: if you select multiple people in Address Book (or multiple vCards) and drag them to an envelope template, Pages will create an envelope for each one.
    Pages style Documents created using a Business Card template show information from your own Address Book card. To make this work properly, create an entry for yourself in Address Book—complete with Home and Work addresses—and then choose Card -> Make This My Card.
  7. Make your own templates
    Choose File -> Save as Template to save a document (you guessed it) as a template. You don't need to worry about where to save it, as Pages will save your template into ~/Library/Application Support/iWork/Pages/Templates/My Templates by default. If (and only if) you accept the default location, your template will appear in the Template Chooser, in a section called "My Templates," complete with auto-generated thumbnails. This is a perfect place for business-related documents such as letterheads, envelopes, and contracts. Share templates with colleagues by copying them to the corresponding folders on their Macs.
  8. Tweak your tables
    If you like things organized in neat rows and columns, you'll find Pages' tables far simpler to use than those in Microsoft Excel or Word. Add a table to a Pages document by clicking the Table button in the Toolbar, or by choosing Insert -> Table. A three-column, three-row table appears, topped by a Header row. Need more rows or columns? Control-click any cell in the table and a pop-up menu gives you options to add rows and columns before or after the cell you're in. Need a super-lazy way to add a row? Press Tab while in the last cell of a table.
  9. Enjoy table time-savers
    If your table crosses a page break, Pages puts a header row on the second page too, repeating the header text from the previous page automatically. Edit a header row by changing the text or formatting, for instance, and Pages updates any other headers associated with the table.
    While you can resize columns (or rows) by dragging, most table formatting is performed with the Inspector (View -> Show Inspector). Click the Table button in the Inspector to reveal an extensive set of controls. My favorite: the option for Alternating Row Color.
    The Table pane in the Inspector has two tabs: Table and Format. The Format tab lets you format table entries automatically, much as you might in Excel. Select a cell, row, or column, then choose from options in the Cell Format menu, including Currency, Percentage, and Date and Time. Once you've specified the formatting, Pages applies it automatically as you enter data into those cells. For example, you could type 7/27/62 and have Pages convert it to Friday, July 27, 1962.
  10. Easily apply formulas
    You don't need to leave Pages to apply simple functions such as Sum, Average, and Count to your table cells. For example, in a report about global warming, you might have a table of temperatures by year. With just a click in the Format section of the Inspector's Table pane you could compute the average temperature for the 1980s, 1990s, and so on. Don't see the formula you're looking for? Create any function you want using the Formula Editor option at the bottom of the Function menu. Bonus: Pages' functions are live and do not need to be refreshed when the data changes.

Click here for complete article.


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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.

Airport 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.

Click here for complete article.


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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.

Personal Capital

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.

Click here for complete article.

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

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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.

Click here for complete article.


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iOS Typing Hints

by Carl Grasso, smalldog.com

iOS logo

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.

  1. Special Characters. If you find yourself having to type words in a language other than English, you may need to use special characters. For many desktop OSs there are key combinations for all the special characters. iOS makes it a bit easier than having to memorize obscure combinations. All you need to do on your iDevice is tap and hold your finger on whatever letter you need alternate forms for. A little window will pop up and you can pick the letter from there. So the next time you're jonesing for an umlaut, just tap and hold!
  2. Change Your Screen Keyboard's Position. If you look at your keyboard, there is an icon in the lower right row that looks like a keyboard. (Keyboard Inception? -Ed.) If you tap this, you can undock the keyboard which will allow you to move it up and down on the screen, or you can split the keyboard. I've found that when holding the keyboard in landscape mode, it's much easier to type with a split keyboard.
  3. Bypass Switching to the Number/Symbol Page. If you tap and hold the exclamation point you'll get the option to insert an apostrophe, if you do this to the question mark you'll get a double apostrophe.
  4. Double Tap It. Two double tap short cuts: you can double tap the spacebar to insert a period, or double tap shift to enable caps lock.

    Click here for complete article.


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    The ins and outs of iPad photo management

    by Christopher Breen, Macworld.com

    Like many of us, Eric Jacobs has parents and those parents are confounded by iPad photo management. He writes:

    My parents bought an iPad last year to use primarily when traveling, for email, and particularly to manage the photos they shoot. But the process is confusing. Can you shed some light on how this is supposed to work?

    I don't blame your parents for their confusion. The iPad's Photos app isn't as intuitive as it could be. Here are the basics on managing photos.

    When you attach the iPad Connector Kit adapter to the iPad and then import photos, those photos are imported into two albums—Last Import and All Imported. You don't have the option to import them into a different album on import. However, you can create a new album and then copy the images to that album.

    To do that, within the Photos app tap the Albums tab, tap the Edit button in the top-right corner of the iPad's screen, and then tap the New Album button in the top-left corner. Name the album and tap Save. In the resulting screen you see Add Photos to nameofalbum and, by default, all the photo events currently on your iPad (you also have the option to choose Albums, Photo Stream, and Photos). Tap an event or album and you see all the images within it. You can select them all by tapping Select All Photos or tap individual images to select each one. When you're happy with your selection, tap Done and the images are copied into your new album.

    To later add or remove images from the album, tap the album to open it, tap the Share button in the top-right corner, and in the Select Photos screen tap Add Photos to go through a process similar to the one I just outlined or tap on images you want to delete and then tap Remove. If you'd like to copy images between albums, tap that same Share button, select the images you want to copy, tap the Copy button, move to a different album and open it, tap on an empty area within that album, and tap Paste. The images will now also appear in that album as well as remain in the original album.

    Photo Manager Pro

    So, you can do much of what you might want to, but it's not an entirely intuitive process. Personally, I've given up on Photos for much of my iPad photo management and turned instead to Linkus' $3 Photo Manager Pro. It does Photos one or two better by providing such features as the ability to move rather than simply copy images, lets you password protect albums, provides the opportunity to transfer files via FTP or view and download images from a web browser, includes a Favorites feature for marking and viewing your images as exactly that, and lets you rate your images from one to five stars. If you're unsatisfied with the Photos app, give Photo Manager Pro a go.

    Click here for complete article.


    By The Way

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    Using iCloud Webinar*

    by Ron Sharp, MAGIC July 2012

    I listened to the "Using iCloud" webinar that took place July 27th, via MacMall. I took a few notes that I thought were interesting and here's the scoop:

    iCloud

    Requirements: You'll need iOS 5 or later on your iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch and OS X Lion v10.7.2 or later on your Mac.

    5 GB Free: You get 5GB of free iCloud space, but your music, applications, iBooks, TV shows and Photo Stream don't count towards the 5GB. You get those free. And you can get more space for a fee. You can purchase the following amounts of iCloud Storage:

    • 10 additional GB (15 GB total): $20/year
    • 20 additional GB (25 GB total): $40/year
    • 50 additional GB (55 GB total): $100/year

    iCloud Mail: iCloud mail is an online mail account like Google's gmail. You have to set up an account which will have the -name@me.com- address. This account will be a new account and will not sync with your existing mail accounts. Once it is set up it will sync with all your Apple devices. It will keep all your contacts and calendars synced.

    Photo Stream: Photo Stream stores the last 30 days of photos automatically, up to 1000 photos, and pushes them to all your Apple devices. The minute you take a photo with your iPhone or iPad it will be stored in iCloud. And it will put them into your iPhoto application on your computer the next time your computer is online. To delete photos, they have to be deleted from devices individually.

    Music: All your iTunes purchases will be stored with iCloud. If you have a lot of music in your iTunes library that you copied from CD's, then to get iTunes to store them you can use iTunes Match, for $25.

    iCloud only works with Mac applications. It will not store files other than from Mac applications. It will store iWorks documents, for instance, Numbers spreadsheets, Keynote presentations, and iCal calendar, iTunes music, etc. You can't store random file folders or videos. You would have to use something like Drop Box service for that.

    Watch a short iCloud video here.


    MAGIC, the Macintosh Appreciation Group of Island County, serves people who use Macintosh computers, software and peripherals. Our goal is to share information and get answers to questions to make us more productive with our use of technology. Our monthly meetings give us a chance to discuss computer problems and share ideas with other Mac users, feature speakers on specific topics, and to keep apprised of Apple news.