February 24, 2014 - Hammondsport Mac Users Group

ATTENDING : Tom B, Nancy D, Ed M, Ed V, Larry M, Jan S, Bob S, Ed W, Al J.


How to use basic Apple apps (Safari, Mail, Address Book, TextEdit, Preview, FaceTime, iPhoto, iTunes)



For the second month in a row, we welcomed new Mac users to our group. It was interesting to hear that some had used Macs much longer than the rest of us, back to the days of Apple II and 128k processors! Many good and divergent discussions ensued. We didn't get very far on using the basic Apple apps but that was OK. That is why we have this website to cover the other stuff.

Tom demonstrated a few of the basic apps such as Safari (setting a new homepage, adjusting preferences, etc). Also we looked at the Mac Mail app - how to set up a new account, or add more accounts to Mail to funnel several on-line accounts directly to your computer.

Discussed pros and cons of shutting down mac or letting it sleep - most agreed that with modern macs, it was better for your computer to just let it sleep when not in use, rather than constantly shutting down and booting up.

The question of how to remember so many passwords came up. One very good solution is to obtain 1 Password from AgileBits (free trial - $49 to buy but well worth the price in the time it saves you). An inexpensive aid in creating and remembering a unique password is to use an ACRONYM which includes at least one CAPITAL and a NUMERAL. Example: Mcaf2u (Mac computers are fun to use).

Setting up additional user accounts on your Mac (System Preferences> Accounts) - admin, standard, login only - can have many accounts.

Dock preferences - hiding on/off - appearance - location - add/remove icons - tiny light beneath app icon indicates it is running

Safari - web browser - Preferences, Homepage changeable, scrolling with trackpad, blocking pop-ups, deleting cookies, marketing behind free sites, games - all are gathering info (what people are looking at, searching for, interested in) - discussion of free stat counter for web designers - webhost for is MacHighway

Setting up Mail first time - adding an account - online mail (such as Gmail, Yahoo, Roadrunner, etc) can be downloaded directly to your Mac - it's good to have more than one e-mail account - keep one for friends and family and another for filling out forms online where an email address is required - scamming and phishing email was discussed - one way to prevent some of it is to use good e-mail etiquette - Yahoo and Gmail also provide account options which let you view past monthly login locations and ISP numbers - you can see if someone is logging in from an unknown location.

Command-Shift-4 - the best reason to buy a Mac - see many other useful keyboard shortcuts here.

MacMost Video - different ways to launch apps on your Mac (6m30s)




such as . . .

Todos - one click shows all apps on your mac - then click on any of the tiny icons to launch that app.

NameChanger - batch change the names of a mess of files with one click

iStumbler - discover all the invisible networks in your vicinity such as Wifi, Bluetooth, Bonjour - see example

Jan S. asked about finding the appropriate version of software to run on pre-Mavericks and pre-Lion systems. Older versions of software are available in places such as Old Apps For Macs. Also many software sites still provide older installation versions for OSX systems such as Snow Leopard (the final Apple OS capable of running PPC apps via Rosetta).




At the end of the meeting, Tom helped Ed M. upgrade the RAM in his 2007 white MacBook 2.16ghz from 1GB to 3GB. It was an easy job and took about 10 minutes. Maxing your RAM is the cheapest way to make your Mac run faster. OWC (Other World Computing) is a great place to buy memory. They also provide video tutorials on installing memory for your specific computer.

Also Ed W. recommended swapping out your old HD for a new SSD (Solid State Drive) for speed increase, as well as more capacity.

A recent article describes a study done of the life expectancies of Hard Drives.




StartPage - great search engine to use for a home page (if you like your privacy)

DuckDuckGo - anonymous search engine - no history or caches kept of your searches

Slimboat - small super-fast browser (Mac, PC, Unix versions)




HEART POWER? Could your heart power its own pacemaker? Read article

GROW A NOSE? Has nothing to do with telling lies. Read article in National Geographic.

GROW AN EAR? Related article: ear on arm. Read article in New England Journal of Medicine.

HEAR BY TOUCH? Ishin-Den-Shin transmitting sound through touch - see demo

High Tech Disappearing Car Door - see video - you won't believe it.

Newcandescent - is this the answer to the banned incandescent light bulb? 60w = $3.90 each incl tax + shpg




Is The Light From Your Computer Screen Disrupting Your Sleep Rhythms?

Using a smartphone, tablet or laptop at bedtime may be staving off sleep, according to Harvard Medical School scientists, who have found specific wavelengths of light can suppress the slumber-inducing hormone melatonin in the brain. In 2012, the American Medical Association's Council on Science and Public Health made this recommendation: "Recognizes that exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of various electronic media, can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children and adolescents. This effect can be minimized by using dim red lighting in the nighttime bedroom environment." Read the full article at Bloomberg Technology.

f.lux - free app that automatically adjusts light temperature from your computer screen to match natural lighting to help you sleep better later - download from CNET or from its creator - works with Mavericks (1.3mb) - use earlier versions for Leopard or PPC



Here's what an eavesdropper sees when you use an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot

Facebook can see what users type, even if it isn't posted!

Lightbeam - Firefox add-on that shows who is collecting info from the sites you visit

Cicada - internet mystery

Outernet - 'free' universal web access via satellite WiFi? Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? This is spoooooky. Read article by Charles Moore

Recent Apple security flaw in code iOS7 - iOS6 - Apple TV 6? Security Updates available here from Apple. John Gruber comments on this matter. What exactly is the code concern? Read here.

2-25-2014 SECURITY UPDATE : security updates for iPad2, Apple TV and MacOSX Mavericks (10.9.2) available now at Apple - also you can go to this secure test URL ( ) to check whether your browser is safe to use or needs the security patch from Apple.



How to Return to Classic Yahoo Mail Format - if you don't like the new 'improved' version, log out of Yahoo mail, then turn off javascript in Safari preferences. Then log back into Yahoo Mail - you will have to manually enter username and password with javascript off - ignore Yahoo plea to turn on javascript, then continue to classic mailbox. Reactivate Safari javascript in Prefs.

How to Renew Your Welcome - some news websites offer 'complimentary viewing' for limited time, then shut you out . To 'renew' your welcome, just trash that site's 'cookie' in Safari>Prefs>Privacy>Cookie>Details> Select the correct cookie, then click Remove.

DO NOT CALL (NY) - register your phone numbers for Do Not Call (NY) - note: some marketing calls are legal (such as charity fund-raising, political, in-state merchants and companies with whom you have done business.

DownRightNow - quick report on current status of major website issues (user report - driven) - check out this site the next time your having problems with Yahoo mail, Netflix, PayPal, etc.



Caffeine may boost long-term memory - read article in Medical News Today.

Co-founder of Greenpeace, Dr. Patrick Moore, PhD, told U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Environment & Public Works on Feb 25, 2014: "There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years" - read more here and here


Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -