November 2, 2013
Check Our Facebook Page Also Please
Unfortunately, we often don't keep this page as up-to-date as we should. You can usually find more current postings at our FaceBook page. Please visit us there (virtually) or at our monthly meetings.
November 2, 2013
Next AIMUG Meeting
The next Aquidneck Island Mac User Group meeting will be held on Saturday, December 7, at 9:00 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 177 Miantonomi Ave, Middletown, RI.
We will discuss the usual current events and member questions/comments/suggestions.
We hope to see you there.
August 11, 2013
August 2013 Meeting Notes:
John Abell presented a beginner's overview of how to use Facebook. He walked through the features and configuration steps.
The group discussed the pros and cons of Facebook and how it can be used. Members noted that Facebook provides an important way to connect with friends and family, especially younger family members.
John also discussed the new Airport Extreme and Time Capsule. They support WiFi standard version 802.11ac.
As part of the Facebook discussion, John mentioned use of RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication) as an alternate way of collecting and viewing updates to your favorite web sites. John suggested "Feedly" as a good RSS tool (http://cloud.feedly.com/#welcome). Steve G suggests "Vienna" as another RSS tool (https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/18789/vienna).
A member discussed problems with slow streaming download of video at home. We discussed the various causes for slow streaming and ways to improve performance. Steve suggested use of "MiniUsage" (a small menu-bar application; https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/33169/miniusage) or "MenuMeters" (https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/10451/menumeters) to monitor your network download rate.
A member asked about recording audio on an iPhone or iPad. Steve suggested the Apple provided "Voice Memos" or freeware "SmartRecord".
The next meeting will be Saturday, September 7, at 9:00 am.
July 27, 2013
Member Needs a Used iMac
An AIMUG member is looking for a used iMac produced in the past three years. It will be used with high demand software so needs a good processor package. Screen size and installed RAM not critical. Will pay current going rate for it. Please contact John Abell at (401) 683-2065 or if you are looking to upgrade your computer or replace it with portable or iPad. Call for further information.
July 27, 2013
July 2013 Meeting Notes
We discussed the various ways to listen to radio stations on-line:
Define your program preferences with Pandora
Build your own playlist via PodCasting
Link to radio station web page audio feeds
Internet radio "tuners" to plug into your old-school audio system
Scott's bathing habits and his selection of radio sources
We reviewed the soon to be released new Apple products
The new cylindrical MacPro
The new TimeCapsule
We discussed the new Apple ad campaign emphasizing the impact Apple has had on how we live life and emphasizing Apple's roots in America/California
We discussed wireless network security and how to protect your WiFi network
Don't broadcast your network name (SSID)
Put a reasonable password on the connection
Use an Apple TimeCapsule and create a guest network
Limit your network to only specific devices as defined by the media access control address (MAC address)
Turn on the firewall on your Mac
July 27, 2013
Ocean Research Live Video
For those of you interested in ocean research ...
One of our members has a daughter aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer (I hope I am reporting that correctly). He recommends this link to view live video streams from the ship as it performs deep sea research and study.
Coincidentally, I (Steve G) went to sea a few times on this class of ship when I was doing sonar system development for the Navy many moons ago.
A related link is the Inner Space Center at the University of Rhode Island, which provides the Okeanos video feeds and feeds from other research ships they manage. These are live feeds and depending on when you catch them, you may see someone making breakfast or someone making deep sea research history - science on the hoof.
June 01, 2013
Notes from the June 2013 AIMUG meeting
Notes from the June 2013 meeting:
- A member asked about a problem with a Mail rule to delete certain messages; the rule works and deletes the messages but the messages return later. This may be a case where mail settings need to be changed to delete messages from the server when they are deleted on the Mac mail client.
- A member asked how to edit photo metadata (location, description, etc.) on an iPad. Others suggest that the iPhoto app for the iPad provides this capability.
- A member asked for suggestions on where to get 35 mm slides and 8mm movie film scanned. Two suggestions were FotoBridge and ScanCafe.
- A member asked if AdobeReader is required for any reason. Others suggested that Apple Preview and open source application Skim provide equivalent capabilities.
- If you want to delete an application (like AdobeReader), just deleting the app removes most files, but other may remain. Apps are available to delete applications; two of these mentioned are AppCleaner and AppZapper.
- We discussed use of FaceBook. At least half of members present said they use FaceBook at least occasionally.
- John Abell suggested that it would be great if each member could post one item of interest to the group on our FaceBook page.
- We discussed password management tools. Two that are in use successfully by members are 1Password and LastPass. These tools and their benefits have been discussed at length in previous meetings.
- Scott suggested a small game introduced to him by a young friend - FlowLine.
- Steve gave a brief show and tell on Apple TimeMachine data backup software and TimeCapsule hardware.
May 27, 2013
Notes from the May 2013 AIMUG meeting
Notes from the May 2013 meeting:
- We discussed POP vs IMAP mail protocols. Very briefly ... most mail systems (Cox, gmail, etc.) will support both protocols. POP is older and simpler to configure, but IMAP has more features that support synching across two or more devices (computer, iPhone, etc.).
- We had a long discussion on iPhone photo tips. This - and digital photography in general - is a recurring theme. There are lots of photographers in the group and there is lots of good advice to be had in this area.
- We discussed use of third-party printer ink suppliers. One member recommended Ink Technologies as a good source.
- We discussed use of Time Machine and Time Capsule for system backups.
- Many other topics were discussed and many member questions were addressed by the group.
November 6, 2012
Notes from the November AIMUG meeting
We discussed new products released: iPad mini, iPad 4, Mac mini, and Macbook.
Two members passed their iPad minis around the room for the group to get hands-on experience.
We discussed the shakeup in Apple management.
We discussed the impending arrival of Windows 8 and the related hardware products.
Many members had similar problems with frequent loss of network connections through Cox. Nobody had a solution to suggest except possibly replacing old Cox provided modems. If anyone has an explanation or fix for this problem, please send a note.
October 30, 2012
Notes from the October AIMUG meeting
We briefly viewed a short tribute video posted to the Apple web site on the anniversary of Steve Jobs' passing
We reviewed the features and changes in the newly released iOS 6, iPhone 5, and iPad
We did a quick demo on how to check your network connection speed using speedtest [http://www.speedtest.net]
Dr. Scott testified to the benefits of vitamin D-3
One of our members discussed problems with emailing large PDF files. We discussed the option to compress the PDF file as one possible solution. Many approaches can be found via a Google search, but here is a link to one: [http://www.wondershare.com/howtos/compress-pdf-in-mac-os-x-preview.html]
October 30, 2012
Notes from the September AIMUG meeting
Mike Santos briefed the group on use of "Lastpass" to manage passwords securely. Tools like Lastpass allow you to create and remember unique and strong passwords for all your internet activity while only needing to keep track of one master password. The key point is to create a good strong master password (at least 8 characters, mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation) that you can remember easily. [http://lastpass.com]
We discussed how to download the Mountain Lion updater and load it onto a USB thumb drive to install on all your Macs without having to download the very large file multiple times.
We briefly discussed the Cox Cable app for streaming TV [http://appshopper.com/entertainment/cox-tv-connect-for-ipad]
We discussed using Yelp to find reviews of local eateries [http://www.yelp.com]
A member is looking for an inexpensive used Mac. We discussed various options, including purchase of a refurbished Mac directly from Apple. These machines are about 10% cheaper, like new, and provided with the full new product warranty. [http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac]
Another option for educators or government employees or contractors is Apple discount programs for those groups. [http://store.apple.com/us-hed/findyourschool?aid=AOS-US-Edu-Footer] [http://www.apple.com/r/store/government/]
Steve noted that the MacTracker application provides a free database of all Mac products ever made. This is a great tool if you are trying to figure out what Mac you have or what the original features of a model were. [http://www.mactracker.ca]
Members suggested using OpenTable and foursquare to find restaurants with available tables [http://www.opentable.com/home.aspx] [https://foursquare.com]
August 07, 2012
Notes from the August 4 AIMUG meeting
Steve and Scott discussed features of Mountain Lion and experiences from installing it. So far, no big problems. There are application incompatibilities however. You can go here for a table of compatible and incompatible applications. Some other useful references are the Wikipedia entry on Mountain Lion, the MacWorld story on installing Mountain Lion, and the Apple Mountain Lion summary page which includes a short summary video.
We discussed methods for keeping track of passwords and other important bits of information. Products discussed include Apple’s Keychain, LastPass, and Moxier Wallet. John cautioned us all to be very careful when poking into Keychain or, even better, just leave it alone and use one of the other tools that are more user friendly.
Scott (I think) mentioned that if you want to check your network health you can use SpeedTest or one of the many similar tools. Such tools tell you what the total end-to-end speed is. If the speed is slower than it should be, you’ll have to do some detective work to determine where the bottleneck is.
Steve noted that for some reason Apple has dropped support for RSS feeds from their Safari and Mail Products. Since we have been trying to encourage members to use RSS as a tool for receiving news updates from AIMUG, this is particularly confounding. Steve recommended Vienna as a pretty good free RSS reader that is completely independent from Google. If you don’t mind Google looking over your shoulder, Google Reader is another good tool.
July 07, 2012
Notes from the July 7 AIMUG meeting
We discussed a form of malware that corrupts users' DNS server selections. You can go to the FBI web site to check to see if your machine has been affected. It is very unlikely that you have this problem, but it is very easy to check. Go to the web page and click on the link identified for english language users.
We discussed news from the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) including MacOSX Mountain Lion, iOS 6, new Mac Books, etc.
John Abel recommended his favorite new toy, Satellite Eyes, which replaces desktop art with a satellite view of the location the software thinks you are at.
We discussed the power limits and issues associated with USB hubs.
We discussed how to remove apps from your iPhone/iPad.
We discussed how to locate your wireless router. Steve suggested iStumbler to locate local wireless networks (and identify which WiFi channel they are using) and WiFi-Diagnostics, a built-in Apple tool to debug your network, including graphing signal strength.
John Abel noted that the LDS church makes their genealogy library available on Thursday evenings. For those interested in genealogy, this is a great resource.
We discussed strategies for installing software updates. Steve Gaul discussed his ritual of occasionally using Applejack to test and clean-up the Mac then install the latest MacOSX combination updater.
We discussed software patents and the many court battles ongoing between Apple and other high tech companies.
Steve gave a brief on using RSS to receive AIMUG news using Apple Mail software on the Mac. John suggested using an app named Reeder (or maybe Feeddler) to subscribe to RSS feeds on the iPad.
June 02, 2012
Notes from the June 2 AIMUG meeting
We discussed various rumors about soon to be released new software and hardware. The Apple Worldwide Developers' Conference which starts 11 June should reveal lots of new and interesting stuff. A good site for such rumors is MacRumors.
Scott told us about his experiences with high end TV/stereo remote controllers from Logitech and their iPad integration. More detail is available at: Remotes and Harmony Link.
John talked about Zinio, a good source for iPad/iPhone compatible magazines. The App is available in the iTunes store here.
John talked about using MacUpdate Desktop to keep his applications up to date.
John talked about Cricket as a relatively cheap provider of cell phone service.
One of the members asked about utility applications to clean junk from his cache memory (these are memory buffers that save temporary information like URLs, icons, fonts, etc. that should be cleared of the deadwood occasionally). The consensus of the group seems to be that such periodic house cleaning is a good idea, but we must be careful not to do more harm than good. Maybe we'll talk about this in a future meeting. Some free/cheap tools for this kind of cleanup include: AppleJack, Onyx, TinkerTool, Cocktail, and Lion Cache Cleaner.
Several members discussed the trials associated with using Safari (and other browsers) to interact with Bank Newport. If someone would like to put a tutorial together on this, we can post it to the web site.
One of our members asked if anyone had experience scanning documents directly from a scanner to an iPad. Nobody admitted to such experience. A quick Google search (Google: Scan ipad wireless) turned up a Brother app and an HP app among other possible leads. I was unable to test either of these.
Steve did a quick demo of how to subscribe to an RSS feed using Apple Mail and Safari. As an example, he showed how to subscribe to the AIMUG RSS feed. This tutorial has been added to the AIMUG web page here.
May 23, 2012
New eMail Address
We have set up a new eMail address for the group. If you have questions or comments that you would like the club gray-beards to consider, send a note to the following address:
I make no guarantees that we will be able to answer all questions or post all comments, but we will make an attempt at sharing whatever seems appropriate.
May 23, 2012
John Abell has mentioned a couple times in our monthly meetings the emerging WiFi technology called 802.11ac. This is a new, very high speed, and high capability replacement for the more familiar 802.11a/g/n WiFi.
John sent the following note and link on the subject …
Dave Hamilton is a bit hyper, but this video clip gives an excellent run down on the new ac router and where we are on using it and VPN with Macs.
Note that (if I have the numbers right) the bandwidth supported by this and by 802.11g/n is much higher than the bandwidth supported by even the fastest cable service. This technology won’t speed up your external connection, but it might help if you are trying to move high rate data between multiple machines on your network. Also, you get some other useful features as mentioned in the video.
May 13, 2012
Notes from the May 5 AIMUG meeting
First, I must apologize for not sending out the customary meeting invite for the 5 May AIMUG meeting. In the handoff from John, I fumbled the ball. We did hold a meeting, but many of you apparently thought there would be no meeting; we had a very small group.
As usual we had a good discussion of current events (plans for the Apple World-Wide Developers Conference planned for mid June, latest rumors, experience with the new iPad, etc.) and we went around the room. Topics discussed (sorry … I didn’t note who said what) include:
- We talked about converting 8mm movie film to DVD capable and editable formats. One of the members suggested FotoBridge as a convenient place to get these conversions done.
- We discussed how to deal with unwanted eMail messages. One of the members suggested that sometimes using the “Unsubscribe” link on unwanted emails is a bad idea. Mass eMail “bad actors” often send messages to thousands or millions of random addresses. When you respond in any way, including the unsubscribe link, you confirm that your address is alive and your address may be sold to other bad actors. However, if you are receiving email from some reputable business you have done business with, then using the unsubscribe link should be OK.
- Scott mentioned that we used to have a “bounce” option in our email systems which allowed us to refuse an email such that the sender thought it had been bounced by the email system as invalid. This function is no longer standard in Apple Mail, but you can add the equivalent. This link gives a tutorial on how to add a Bounce Service to Apple Mail. This also has the benefit as giving a quick example on how the Apple Automator tool can be used to add capability to your Mac.
- One of the members mentioned AllAboutFiles (99 cents on the App Store) is a nifty tool to get an idea of what is occupying space on your Mac hard drive.
- One of the members mentioned MashDuo as a good tool for eliminating duplicate tracks in your iTunes.
- Scott demonstrated using RedLaser (free from the iTunes store) to read bar codes from products to look up details and prices.
- Steve mentioned using a menu bar app called Caffeine (free in the App store) to temporarily keep his Mac from going to sleep, iStumbler (free) to find available WiFi networks, and Wi-Fi Diagnostics (built-in tool in Lion, but hidden) to monitor WiFi signal strength and noise.
April 14, 2012
Apple has begun to ask iOS device owners for the answers to security questions as part of an effort to beef up Apple ID security. iPhone users began widely reporting the change on Thursday, though the changes actually began happening sometime in the last 24 hours. Not all iOS users have seen the request pop up yet, however, leaving some confused about whether the prompt is legitimately from Apple.
For more on this.
Apple has posted a "Flashback Malware Removal Tool" along with another update to the Java installation.
You can find the malware tool here.
This tool is also installed with the Java update which you can get through the "Software Update" tool found under your Apple menu.
You can read more on this here.
April 7, 2012
April 7 Meeting Tidbits
Francesco Bertocci, one of our own, has recently released his app, Photo Sendr on the iTunes store. The app allows you to send multiple photos from your iPhone in one email rather than having to send each photo separately. The app is $0.99--go try it out and leave a review! PhotoSendr on iTunes.
- -A Tip for a Hard to Read Screen
If you're having trouble reading or seeing things on the screen of your Mac, here's a quick fix: hold the Control key and scroll up on your touchpad or mouse. This will zoom in on your screen. You can move around your zoomed screen by moving the mouse. Control+Scroll down will get you back to your regular screen.
- -Tech Education Opportunity for Kids
InternalDrive Tech Camps is a company that runs Technology Camps for kids aged 7 to 17 in over 60 prestigious universities across the country including MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Brown, etc. Students can take week-long courses on subjects ranging from Robotics and Programming, Game Design, Movie Making and Film Editing, Web Design and 3D Modeling, and lots more.
Your friendly WebMaster, Katherine Gaul, will be Directing the iD Tech Camp at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
As a side note, working for iD is an amazing experience for any tech minded person over the age of 18. You can apply here.