October 18, 2010 - Hammondsport Mac Users Group

ATTENDING: Larry T, Marcia S, Diane B, Tom B, Bill N, Bob S, Gene N and Jerry L
TOPIC: Emergency! (How your mac might help)

On a cold winter evening last year, a power outage occurred in the Hammondsport area which lasted for several hours. Everything went dead black, although landline phones with a dial tone still worked. Tom discovered that his Mac laptop, reverting to battery power, could still be connected to the internet via the built-in dial-up modem. However, there didn't seem to be any site that could give him up-to-date information about the blackout. In subsequent days, he found no mention of the outage or its cause in local newspapers, radio or TV. This event inspired Tom to investigate possible ways of communicating with others in the event of a local emergency (such as power outage, storm or terrorists attack). He set up a trial blogsite called Local Emergency as a potential way to share information in the Hammondsport, NY area. He also discovered that there were quite a few emergency sites already in existence. Here are some of the possible emergencies and helpful ideas that might be considered :

No electricity

Read how to access the internet during an electrical power outage by using a telephone land line and dial-up internet. (Ex: Earthlink provides 20 hours per month of dial-up time for its high-speed ISP customers in Hammondsport (776-4718). Find all local access numbers here.

  E-mail, info blog, twitter, etc via dial-up internet over landline or cell
  Photo upload site to share emergency photos, conditions, situations, maps
  Links to emergency information sites - local and NY state
Weather phone 1-800-555-TELL (8355) - dial number, say 'weather'- then town/state or zip (other topics include News, Gas Prices, etc.)
Use computer cam (built-in or external such as IceCam2) with wireless home network for security, surveillance, safe observation, babysitting
Use Skype (audio-only for dial up) - connect free to other skype users anywhere in the world, or pay to call landline or cell phones. For older Macs, find older versions of Skype here.
LED Headlamp ($25-50) - 11 hours of light on three AAA batteries
Emergency Radio (such as Eton FR500) - $45

Eton Clipray LED Light - handy crank-powered flashlight (1 minute =10 minutes of light) has USB port for charging a cell phone as well - $15 +7 shipping)
  Use laptop as portable flashlight (battery-powered) w/ screen color set to white
  Use laptop as a clock, alarm, timer
  Wirelessly network 2 macs via Filesharing - how to step-by-step
No safe water Solar Water Purification (SODIS method) - - - PDF manual - - - article in Nat Geo
  Emergency Plan Supply Kit - See Check List



Beware! Jerry shared his concern about recent suspicious e-mails he has received with the names of actual friends enclosed in the reply address which ended with <friends @ yourfanbox .com>. The message invited him to set up a profile to share photos with the sender. He didn't reply. Instead he contacted the real friends via a new e-mail and discovered they had not sent any invitations.

Battery Charger - LaCrosse BC-700 Alpha ($29 at Amazon)

Improved rechargeable batteries - 8 pack ($20.64 at Amazon)

palindrome - Bob taught us a new word when it was pointed out that BOB, MOM and WOW all have something in common.


Stuxnet malware has infiltrated industrial computer systems worldwide, according to the Christian Science Monitor . Cyber security sleuths say it's a search-and-destroy weapon meant to hit a single target. One expert suggests it may be after Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant. Other reports on Stuxnet - - - CNN Report on Stuxnet - - - Iran Nuclear Plant Hit by Worm - - - Symantec Report.

Segway Owner Dies in Cliff Accident - the owner of the company (not the inventor) of the vehicle that is suppose to revolutionize the world perished in a freak accident recently.

Nobel physics prize awarded to inventor of Graphene (a carbon sheet that's only one atom thick but is stronger than diamond and conducts electricity 100 times faster than the silicon in computer chips)


How I'd Hack Your Weak Passwords

Security Precaution- turn OFF automatic file opening in Downloads in your Browser Preferences.
(Ex: Safari>Preferences>General - uncheck the box 'Open safe files after "downloading")


Edimax EW-7708n ($49 at OWC) - WiFi card upgrade to 802.11n (WPA2) for older cardbus PowerBooks that contain the 802.11b card. See how it goes in the laptop here.

ClamXav - free anti-virus software for Mac

1Password is an application that manages all your website passwords with one click. Read a review of 1Password. Download 16.3mb free trial ($39 to buy).

WannaBe - tiny text-only web browser for OS9 or Classic X - very fast, even on dial-up (download 400k)

TIP: Speed up any web browser by turning off 'Display Images' and all 'Java' options.

OSX Lion - next operating system for Apple? Read about Lion in TidBits and SmokingApples.


One Second After by William R. Forstchen - - - What is EMP? (commentary by the author) - - - sobering novel about suddenly losing the things we take for granted.

*Start your own blog - it's free and easy to do. (The word 'blog' is a shortening of 'weblog').

Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -