January 20, 2010 - Hammondsport Mac Users Group


Being an open-ended format, the meeting resulted in varied discussions covering a wide spectrum of topics.

Showing off his new unibody MacBook, Bob S. presented the first question of the meeting: Why isn't this working? (For some unknown reason, the wireless connection kept dropping off after logging into the library's wifi network.) Bob finally fixed the problem by doing what most of do - kept fooling around with stuff until it mysteriously started working.

Tom B. shared some striking photos sent from Mexico by John D, one of our HPORTMUG members.

Larry T. shared a couple of his favorite websites Mac-Ave by Jessi Group,Inc and Sound Bytes. Both originate from the Rochester area.

Tom B. asked if anyone had used the built-in VPN option of Internet Connect on Macs or knew how to set it up. No one did. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is useful in assuring secure privacy when using public wireless networks. Open Internet Connect and click on Help in the Menu to find out how to set up VPN. Also a free VPN software called Hotspot Shield is available for download but many users resent the ads incorporated into it (read reviews at Versiontracker). Commercial VPN software is available as well.

Jerry L. shared some tips about cleaning the ink head on his printer when it became dried out from lack of use. He used water as well as alcohol to soften the dried ink and all seemed to work well afterwards.

Tom B. showed a couple excerpts from recent documentaries that aired on CNBC about the history of Apple. One is called Welcome to Mac (1hr 30min) and MacHeads (1 hr). DVDs of both are available on-line. Both movies contain interesting interviews with various people associated with the development of Apple computers.

Bob S. discovered that PhotoBooth uses a 'flash' when capturing your picture in dim lighting. And we all saw with our own eyes that this was true as Bob demonstrated. The Mac display goes blank white at the instant the camera shutter fires, illuminating the subject. Amazing how clever those Apple designers are!


Safari - Updating to Safari 4.0.4 and Security Update 2009-005 really improves speed and reliability of the browser.

AppleWorks 6 - for those who still use this wonderful application (works on OS 8.1 - 10.5), if it seems to be getting sluggish and launching slowly, try trashing the Recent Items. (Go to HD > Users > Home > Documents > AppleWorks User Data > Starting Points > Recent Items - delete all the shortcut aliases, then empty Trash. Relaunch AW and notice the difference in speed.

iFixit - now has step-by-step repair tutorials for iMacs (as well as all Mac laptops). Also iFixit has a new feature called Gadget Teardowns of contributed photo tutorials from readers for a variety of items including a Droid, a Starbucks Barista coffee maker, TV Remote, even a banana.

Wayback Machine - see archived pages of any website from 1996 to present. For example, this is what looked like in April 1997.


NEWS goes dark - more creepy things about Wikipedia, WikiLeak, and WikileakS. (what's with the 's' now?) - maybe it's good to avoid sites where truth is determined by mob rule.

Chicken wire vs. WiFi - having trouble getting a good wireless connection? (Maybe this was Bob's problem).

The Apple Lisa unveiled January 19, 1983 - what made the Lisa special?


Simple list of amazing FREE Open Source Mac software - some of the best free apps we know and use.

AppleJack - the one fix to have if nothing else works. Read a good review and explanation at MacFixit of what exactly AppleJack does. In a nutshell, this is how to use AppleJack:

At Boot up chimes, hold 'Command S' for single user mode;
At prompt, type 'applejack auto restart'
Takes about 10 minutes to perform.
Runs these 5 tests:
Correct any Disk problems.
Repair Permissions.
Clear out Cache Files.
Repair/check several plist files.
Dump the VM files for a fresh start.


Bob and Jerry both brought stands for their laptops. Jerry uses the Antec USB-Powered Notebook Cooler ($25 at Amazon) while Bob employs the less costly foldable tripod device. Bob has the X-Stand Notebook Riser ($29).

Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -