June 14, 2010 - Hammondsport Mac Users Group

ATTENDING: Tom B, Bob S, Jerry L, Gene N. and Bill N.


(see how an animated GIF works here)



Everyone shared their favorite ways of backing up files, as well as humorous experiences doing so. Jerry mentioned that in the pre-computer era, Kodak would routinely ship backups of all their important documents to area salt mines for safe keeping.

The backup methods used by most of us are:

1) Burn files to CD or DVD using Disk Utility found on every Mac.

2) Copy computer HD to external HD (OWC sells a great firewire/USB enclosure with HD)

3) Upload files to web space such as Apple's MobileMe iDisk or Carbonite.

4) Use 3rd party software such as SuperDuper ($28) or Carbon Copy Cloner (free).

5) Time Machine (Apple application built into latest Macs for automatic backup to an external HD).

6) Use an old mac computer to store data files via firewire or ethernet.

7) Publish photo files in permanent books via Apple's iPhoto, Blurb, Lulu or other web publishers.

8) RAID - Jerry gave an excellent in-depth presentation file backup, especially using the RAID method (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks). See his notes and illustrations here (PDF).

CardRaider is a handy Mac application that will recover image files from camera cards which have been accidently deleted. The important thing is to not use the card until images are retrieved because each usage destroys more of the original data.

Tip - Make an encrypted Disk Image to backup important documents, numbers and data by using Apple's Disk Utility. The Disk Image (.dmg) can then be copied to CD, DVD or a portable USB drive to carry with you. See another tutorial at MacInstruct.

Other Diverse Discussions

Fond memories of the 'old days' of photography (10 years ago?) prompted many stories: pinhole cameras to record busy office buildings devoid of workers; using a screw driver to intentionally short out capacitors in a Fender tube amp to make it safe to repair; taking long 4-minute exposures at night on the 'Bulb' setting with 35mm camera and the reciprocity formula; making pinhole cameras from 126 film cartridges using your finger as the shutter; and creating stereoscopic dual images with point and shoot cameras by shooting one picture leaning on left foot and second picture on right foot.

Bill mentioned an interesting scam going around - a small metallic cylinder is being sold to elderly people as a miracle hearing aid at very, very low cost. The metal cylinder does absolutely nothing but when people see it in a person's ear, they talk louder.

See a photograph of the Finger Lakes from the International Space Station (thanks to Bob's son, Robert, who works with the NASA astronauts).

Another topic of discussion was the perceived need for local news access via the internet (emergency updates, 911 information, current local events, weather warnings - especially during power outages) which can be accessed via dial-up phone line and battery-driven computers with modems or by landline phones. Some existing access points for local news and information are:

NYSEG site listing current power outages in New York State by specific local areas.

Nixle - you can set up a free account to have e-mail alerts sent for breaking news in a specific locality

Tellme - dial 1-800-555-TELL (8355) - at prompt say 'weather' or town/state or zip.

Friends & Neighbors- local TV show (Saturday 9am) from WETM (Elmira) featuring interviews of area residents by Henry O. Dormann.

Interesting Software Discoveries

iStopMotion - try this $49 application for hours of fun making animated movies with a DVD camcorder. See some kid-made samples here.

PDFLab - freeware that lets you split, join and create PDF documents as well as insert images and blank pages - easily create PDF documents out of several images - OSX Tiger - (download 3.3mb)

Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -