July 23, 2012 - Hammondsport Mac Users Group

ATTENDING: Tom B, Jerry L, Bob S, Larry T, Stafford L, Bob G and Ed M.



The group shared various questions from our Mac experiences. Some were answered, some not. We decided to continue with more Q+A at the next meeting.


What causes an app to launch or a file to open unexpectedly when I simply hover the cursor over its icon for a very brief time?

          A - Sometimes low batteries in a wireless mouse will cause erratic cursor behavior such as false clicks or unintentional drags; try unplugging the mouse and use only the trackpad to see if problem persists. Also interference from other devices such as cell phones, microwaves, or phone base stations can cause erratic cursor behavior.

How can I activate the built-in camera on my Mac to see if it works?

          A - Launch Photobooth, Facetime, Quicktime, iChat, Skype or any application that uses a camera.

What is the best format for sharing videos on the web?

          A - By using Quicktime Pro ($29), it is possible to export a video for web which results in fairly small m4v files

Is it a good idea to upgrade to OSX 10.8 (Mountain Lion) as soon as it is available?

          A - Various opinions on this answer; no consensus - (read about the little details in Mountain Lion)

How can I move an e-mail photo from my Mail account to my iPhoto?

          A - Click on 'Save' next to attachment icon to get drop-down menu; select 'Save to iPhoto'

How do you create a folder system within Adobe Lightroom to keep track of files?

          A - Unanswered

Where are 'cookies' kept on my mac and how do I add or remove them?

          A - Cookies can be viewed in the Preferences of each browser; Safari>Prefs>Security>Show Cookies; to remove a specific cookie, click on it, then 'Remove' or click 'Remove all' to start fresh; websites will resupply a new cookie when you visit; in Firefox, go to Preferences>Privacy>Show Cookies

Where is the closest place to find help for a mac application?

          A - In the Desktop Menu at far right; each application has its own Help menu.

If I reset my iPad, will I lose my purchased apps and downloaded e-books and have to buy them again?

          A - When you reset your iPad, you will be prompted by iTunes to back up all data. When you later restore to the same iPad or to a new one, right click on iPad in devices to 'transfer purchases.' You can also download apps for free using your apple ID that you purchased them with.

How can I manage all my different passwords and usernames?

          A - Use the on-board Keychain App (found in Utilities Folder) to remember passwords for apps and devices on your computer; try 1Password for internet sites and log-in screens (see link below)

How can I take a picture of a portion of my screen or website?

          A - Use keyboard shortcut COM-SHIFT-4 to capture a selected part of any screen view.

How can I capture a picture of an entire window on my mac?

          A - Use keyboard shortcut COM-SHIFT-4 then SPACEBAR to capture a complete open window.

When I begin typing a word, numbers (rather than letters) appear. What causes this?

          A - Many Mac keyboards have a miniature number pad located in the J,K,L area which is activated by pressing the num-lock key (F6); usually the key lights up when active, producing numbers rather than letters from certain keys.

Is it possible to use my mac as a recording device to capture a 60-minute lecture?

          A - Yes - try the free app Audacity (see links below).

How can I securely erase a disk before parting with my computer?

          A - Boot up from your OS install disk; then use Disk Utility (found in Utilities folder) to erase your computer's hard drive; most secure method is 35-passes.

How do I clear files from a USB flash drive?

          A - Drag the unwanted files into the Trash; then empty the Trash; then eject flash drive.

Why do I keep losing my internet connection after going on-line?

          A - After checking for possible loose or bad cable connections, try swapping out your ISP DNS numbers for universal ones which meet all the latest standards. Go to System Prefs>Network>Ethernet. Put in, or,,, - read more about this at MacHighway.


One of the best places to look for help is under the 'Help' menu at the top of your computer screen. Every app has its own on-board resource guide. Find general mac info under the Finder (Desktop) Help Menu.

MAC HELP MENU - find answers built into every Mac - just a click away

APPLICATION HELP - no need to go online for help - it's all in your computer!

APPLE DISCUSSION FORUMS (online) - a great place to find help from other Mac users.

iFIXIT - the greatest take-apart/put-together website with lots of question/answer forums



1 Password - free 30-day trial ($49 to buy) - manage all your website passwords with one click. Read a review. If you already use 1Password, here is a great tip.

Audacity - free sound app - record live music, lectures, instruments with your Mac - edit, refine and export in variety of formats including MP3.



How to Make Anything Disappear - the invisible cloak!

Apple Spy in the Sky? - can Google and Apple technology see everything?

How I Write - by Glenn Fleishman - longtime Mac advocate explains his work flow approach.

How to check your MacOSX for DNSchanger malware - helpful freeware to find and fix

Cheatography - contributed collection of shortcuts for almost every stopic under the sun



T-Shirt Wisdom

The First Help Desk (from scroll to book)


Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -