June 24 , 2013 - Hammondsport Mac Users Group

ATTENDING: Tom B, Bob S, Dottie E, Jerry L, Janet S and Bill N.


Do you remember a time when you could order something by mail, but had to allow for the obligatory 6 to 8 weeks for delivery? How could we ever wait that long? Now the delay of a few seconds makes us tap our toe impatiently and wonder what is wrong with the internet. At this meeting, we explored various ways to make our Macs faster without great cost or technical knowlege.





1) RAM

Max out the Random Access Memory - it is the cheapest investment you can make to get more speed.

OWC (Other World Computing) - reliable source for RAM memory - low prices, ships fast - Tom recently purchased 8 GB of RAM (two 4GB cards) for $79 for his 2010 MBPro - also shared that many MBPros have been tested to run effectively with 16GB (see report from OWC and specs from Everymac (NOTE: it is necessary to run OSX 7.5 or higher along with with update of firmware EFI and SMC).

View 'How to install RAM' tutorials and videos from OWC, and iFixit for your specific Mac.



Quit unnecessary Apps and Utilities - note the 'running lights' on active Apps in the Dock - the Finder will always be ON.

Stick to one of each kind of background service such as anti-virus, calendars, newsfeeds, etc. Anti-Virus apps are often a big drag on speed.

One great free anti-virus app is ClamXav - download directly from developer (19.9MB) - OS10.5 or higher required. A slightly modified version of ClamXav is available from the Mac App Store.

What are the differences between the version of ClamXav available from maker and the version in the Mac App Store?

  • The App Store version doesn't contain ClamXav Sentry, so it is not able to watch your computer for new files and scan them as they arrive.
  • There is no engine installation phase as the App Store requirements stipulate that everything must be self-contained within the app.
  • Virus definition updates are downloaded on a per-user basis.
  • Updates to the ClamXav app itself are taken care of via the Mac App Store.
  • Mac OS X 10.6 or greater is required for App Store version - 10.5 and higher work

Speed up SAFARI by changing some browser preferences (Safari > Preferences > Security > Uncheck 'Plugins' (read more). This will often help prevent the SPINNING BEACH BALL OF DEATH.

< - - - this is not real but it's still annoying - read more about the SBBOD.

Empty the image Cache, Cookies, History and Trash once in awhile.

  • To empty Safari Cache, go to Safari>Empty Cache>Empty (note: on Mt Lion, Cache is combined with Clear History)

  • To delete Cookies, go to Safari>Preferences>Privacy>Remove All Website Data (or click Details to select specific Cookies)

  • To Clear History of visited sites, go to Safari>History>Clear History

  • To Empty Trash, click and hold on Trash can>Empty Trash

Be sure your HARD DRIVE is not getting too full. A minimum of 10% capacity is required or it will get very sluggish and possibly crash. Click 'Get Info' for HD or simply open a Finder window and read capacity remaining at bottom.

Check the ACTIVITY MONITOR (COM-SHIFT-U) to find out which Apps and Processes are the biggest hogs of your Mac's resources.




Get there faster by using Keyboard commands to reduce mousing time

  • COM-SHIFT-A opens Applications Folder on your Mac

  • COM-SHIFT-U opens Utility Folder on your Mac

  • SPACEBAR in Browsing - moves page view down one screen

  • COM A - select all

  • COM S - save

  • COM C - copy

  • COM V - paste

  • COM [ (front bracket) - return to previous webpage

  • COM UP ARROW jump to top of browser page

  • COM DOWN ARROW jump to bottom of browser page

  • COM LEFT ARROW jump to previous browser page

  • COM RIGHT ARROW jump to next browser page
    See complete list

Create SHORTCUTS (aliases) to folders or files - drag & drop a folder, file or app onto the Dock, sidebar of Finder window or top of Finder window.



Have you ever tried walking briskly through a cluttered room?

Remove most files, folders, apps and dmg installers from the Desktop Folder. Put them into Document Folders. Create Desktop aliases if you need quick access. . Remember, it's the Desktop Folder that needs to be kept cleaned out, not just the Desktop view. It may actually slow down the user's efficiency more than the computer, but it still tends to slow things down. Dmg files are not needed after the installation is completed. They can be trashed or copied to a USB flash drive for later use if needed.

Note: When trashing files from a USB flashdrive or external drive of any kind, be sure to Empty the Trash before ejecting the drive. This will free up actual storage space on the external drive. You will see a change of size noted at bottom of the disk window when done.




Pixelmator - $14.99 at the Apple App Store (Free 30-day Trial) - download (40MB) . Will Pixelmator replace Photoshop? Read Tidbits review.

ToyViewer - free image-manipulating utility - Apple store preview of latest ToyViewer 5.3.0 for Lion and Mt. Lion - download (4.2MB) - with high recommendations by Charles Moore- read his review - older version ToyViewer 5.0 for Snow Leopard here - the 'free rotation' tool is extremely handy.




RoaringApps - website showing application compatibility for OSX / iOS (Lion and Mt Lion)

Computer Desktop Encyclopedia - quick on-line reference for tech terms w/ review by David Pogue of NY Time




CBS Reporter's Computer Breached Remotely - read about it

WiFi in Your Home Can Track Your Moves - new technology called WiSee - read about it

3-D Printed Guns - blueprints banned from internet after 100,000 downloads in two days - read about it

Yahoo Mail - recently there has been a rash of strange emails from friends which look genuine except for the short cryptic web link enclosed in the e-mail, no other message, and also the fact that they didn't send it. Read how to stop possible Yahoo e-mail account hacking .




Free software available from MacUpdate helps you defend against any form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis

Tor - download browser from MacUpdate (33mb) - read more about the Tor Project

Anonym - download from MacUpdate (1.3MB)

JonDo - download from MacUpdates (13.4MB)


Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -