The MacValley blog
Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.
The MacValley blog
Editor: Tom Briant
Sunday, December 26, 2010
I finally figured out how to print from my MacBook to a Deskjet 932 attached to my Windows 7 box. I got a lot of help from the comments at My First Mac on my article on connecting a Windows 7 box to a Snow Leopard box. This is a group effort.
Andre Da Costa, Microsoft MVP, figured out how to do it between Leopard 10.5 and Windows 7. Now some factors changed between 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard handles printing as a System Preference, not a Utility program.
So here is how I did it.
First, the Windows side:
1. You want to go to the Control Panel and select the “Programs and Features Pane”.
2. Click “Turn Windows Features on or off”.
3. Go to Print and Document Services
4. Click on the plus sign immediately to the left of “Print and Document Services” so that you can turn on the individual services within Print and Document Services.
5. Turn on the LPD protocol
6. Now go to Printers and select the printer you want to share with your Mac.
7. Ensure printer(s) are shared. Make sure the shared name is one contiguous word, like “Deskjet_932”
On the Mac side:
1. Start the Print & Fax System Preference.
2. You see a list of printers in the left-hand sidebar. At the bottom you see a plus and minus sign.
3. The plus sign adds printers, the minus sign removes printers. So click on the plus sign!
4. Click on the “Advanced” icon
5. For the Type, you want “LPD/LPR Host or Printer”
6. For Device, leave it at “Another Device”
7. For URL you want to enter “lpd://
9. For Location, enter a descriptive name that tells you where you put the printer
10. For Print Using, you want to use the specific driver for that printer. Do not use Generic Postscript printer! Use “Select Printer Software…” to find the printer driver for your printer.
11. Now click on the Add button to add the new printer.
You’re done. Try printing a picture or CNN article as a test.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
If you want to replace a Windows XP computer with a Mac Mini, especially at this date, you need to keep several things in mind:
Sunday, December 19, 2010
#1 Microsoft still planning to introduce Windows 7 tablets. I suggest that Mrs. Steve Ballmer have Brian X. Chen’s article from Wired tattooed on Mr. Steve Ballmer. Someplace that hurts.
#2 Good news. Nisus Software will sell their word processor Nisus Writer Express for 1/2 price, $22.50, for one day. Tuesday, December 21st. No coupons, just show up with your plastic in hand to make the purchase. That’s www.nisus.com on Tuesday, December 21st.
#3 Least funny article of the year. Joshua Kor’s article in the Huffington Post about his failed experiences as a switcher was a fake! A satire! I say we yank his computer and give him a pencil and paper. That’s about all he’s up for. Idiot.
#4 But on to good news! If you want help with Spotlight, try out the beta of Houdah Sofware’s new Tembo. I’ve tried it and found it most helpful. It’s in beta now and will come out in the new Mac App Store in January. Get the beta here and try it for yourself.
That's all for now.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I also write for the My First Mac web site. In talking to the editor, Chris Kerins, he told me that many switchers to the Mac had installed iTunes on their Windows machines. They probably set up playlists, too. Now how do they transfer their music and associated metadata, such as playlists and song ratings, over to the Mac successfully? That's their #1 question.
Kirk McElhearn at Macworld tackled this question. His post is here. I suggest you read it before moving your years of music over to your new Mac from your aging Windows XP box.
Well, I set up a test Mac using an external hard drive I keep for such purposes. I installed Snow Leopard and then ran Software Update twice to bring the machine up to date. No Terminal work involved.
Well, Kirk's procedure works without a great deal of pain. I will summarize it for you.
First, make sure you use the latest version of iTunes, which is 10.1, on both machines. Run that software update! This procedure demands at least iTunes 9.
Second, on the Windows side, open iTunes preferences by going to Edit>Preferences. Click the Advanced tab. You want to check the "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" and the "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library"
Then you go to the File Menu. Go down to Library. It will have several selections. You want Consolidate Files. Check it and then click OK. iTunes will then do housekeeping to make sure all the files's locations on the drive agree with their location in the library file. Be warned, this could take a while.
After you've consolidated your library files in the iTunes folder and made sure the library file is accurate; now it's time to copy the iTunes folder from your PC to your Mac.
Kirk pointed out that a lot of people have opted for wireless networks in their homes instead of laying down Ethernet cable. Wireless networks, by and large, run slower than wired ones. Kirk suggests you use an external hard drive instead of wireless networks. Even with a wired network, it took me over 3 hours to copy 67 Gigabytes from my Windows machine to my test Mac.
I'll refer to Kirk's article for information on where to find your iTunes folder on your Windows machine. It varies on whether you use Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.
Now, do you already have an iTunes folder inside of your Music folder? Assuming you haven't put any music in it, you need to move this iTunes folder out of the Music folder. Just move it to the Desktop for now.
Once you've copied all the files into your Mac's Music folder, you can start up iTunes on your Mac. When I did it, iTunes recognized the library and files. But then it took a few minutes to process them.
When this processing was done, iTunes played an interactive tutorial on how to use iTunes.
Additional issues. You must remember your iTunes account passwords. If you've had several different ISPs and different e-mail addresses, you've probably had at least two iTunes accounts under which you purchased music. Dig them out!
If you forgot your passwords, iTunes will let you reset them. Now remember to write them down!
Lastly, if you don't intend to use iTunes on your old Windows machine, go under the Store menu of iTunes and choose "De-authorize computer." You only get to have 5 computers running iTunes. Don't waste it.
To summarize: Moving your iTunes library and associated data from your Windows machine to your new Mac is relatively easy, involving no editing of files if you remember to use the latest version of iTunes on each machine. It does take time to copy files from the Windows box to the Mac. Remember to find your iTunes accounts' information if you have to authorize protected media.
And if you're done with iTunes on the Windows box for Heaven's sake, DE-AUTHORIZE IT!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Sharing Music Between Computers
Hello, I’ve been working on sharing music between my 3 computers. One Mac, one Windows, one Linux. I’ve let my inner nerd fly his nerd flag!
Anyway, let me outline this situation. You want to host a party or family celebration. You’ve got the perfect music for it. The problem is that you keep your music on your Mac back in your bedroom. You keep your music on a separate external hard drive.
You don’t want to run a cable from your bedroom to the stereo in the living room. You’ve got house-wide Wi-Fi courtesy of your ISP’s router, though.
You do have a netbook available. It’s a cheap Windows XP netbook used for looking at cat videos on Youtube and it has built-in Wi-Fi.
The solution? Hurry up, download Pulptunes for Mac, and configure it.
Pulptunes is a Web server for iTunes. To configure it, you need to provide it with the location of your iTunes XML file, which you will find in your /iTunes folder. Pulptunes makes it easy and assumes you keep your iTunes library on Macintosh HD. If you don’t keep your iTunes library on Macintosh HD, though, it’s easy to direct Pulptunes to that library.
Even better is that Pulptunes incorporates a Flash-based Web player for MP3 and M4A files. Take that cheap netbook, open its Web browser to http://
If you ripped Bing Crosby’s Christmas album for this occasion, you probably ripped it to M4A format.
Pulptunes has versions for Mac, Windows, and Linux. I would say that you’ll find the Mac and Windows versions most useful, because Pulptunes works hand in glove with iTunes. To make it work on Linux, you have to copy an iTunes.xml file and edit it. That’s a pain.
If you’re not into iTunes, try Sockso, a simple Java-based Web music server.
December 1st was our last meeting for 2010. And it was a doozy. Ken Gruberman presented ‘Hallmark Studio for Macintosh’ from Nova Development. It’s like having your own personal designer for cards, calendars, and other goodies, all with that unique Hallmark look.
And what a prize drawing we had! Ken brought a bundle of software from Nova Development. Two boxed editions of ‘Hallmark Studio’, one ‘HGTV Home Design’, along with ‘Thomas & Friends Misty Island Rescue’ for the kids and grandkids. Plus so much more.
And to top it all off, Ken’s wife, Ellen Snortland, brought the Grand Prize -- her outstanding Kransekake. It’s a Norwegian Christmas treat you have to see and taste to believe. Find out more on Ellen’s website: http://www.authenticscandinaviangoodies.com/ And Ken and Ellen also write for the Huffington Post.
It’s been such a great year for MacValley. We’ve had some outstanding presenters. Beginning with Apple Consultant Network expert Justin Bradshaw, who presented a Freebie Special, on to Jay Gonzales of MacSpeech. Our own Tom Briant gave an amazing presentation on iTunes. MacValley emcee and Apple Listed Consultant Elena-Beth Kaye showed us how to use iPhoto to transform vacation snapshots into absolutely great photos. And so much more (www.macvalley.org/meetings)
I am so proud of our group, and I am deeply grateful to each and every one of our presenters and our prize donors. These are the people whose generosity makes MacValley the get-together place for all LA MacUsers.
As is traditional, we will have no meeting in January. Arnold and I will be going to MacWorld, and we hope to see you there.
We’ll be back in February with Arnold’s second presentation on how to keep your Mac and your online accounts secure.
I don’t know how we’ll ever top 2010. But we’ll be planning for some top-of-the-line presentations in 2011, so stay tuned.
And may you all have a Happy Holiday Season!
President, MacValley Users Group
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
On Nov 29, 2010, at 8:05 PM, Thomas Briant wrote:
I've got the cookies (one box of chocolate chip, one box of oatmeal raisin), Juice (2 jugs of Apple juice), and glasses (10 oz) from Costco. Receipt will go to Shirley with annotations.
The tequila on the receipt is strictly for me.
Hey! Share some of that with the rest of us! We could finally have a *real* Holiday party! :)
Looking forward to Ken's presentation.
Me too. Now, in all honesty I can present Hallmark Card Studio in about 10 minutes. Is there anything else anyone would like me to demo?
I want to get his opinion on the iPad vs every other tablet.
That's simple: there's the iPad, and then there is … every other tablet. No comparison.
So far the best the other tablets can say is that they're cheaper. In every respect.
Indeed. It's just like all the iPod knockoffs that came out a year or so after the original iPod was introduced. They got the form-factor thing down, but the one-thumb operation and super-transparent user interface thing? No one else figured that out. They still haven't. Ever tried to use a SanDisk MP3 player? Or a Zune? I have.
The OS is the key, and that's where iOS shines. Android is … OK … using an Android phone is like what the iPhone would've been like had it been designed in Soviet Russia of the 60s. It works, it's utilitarian, but that's about it.
As for Apple and Mac news, the Mac rides high. If you're gonna get an iPad, might as well have a Mac to go with it.
Ya sure, you betcha!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
A Holiday Message from MacValley’s Editor
Greetings to you reading this blog. If you haven’t visited us before, well, welcome.
This site is dedicated to everyone who has a Mac in their life and needs to know how to use it.
If you come to us from the Windows side of computing, welcome even more. Your editor works at a Windows machine 5 days a week and owns a personal Windows 7 box sitting to the right of him. So we won’t make your life more complicated by casting aspersions on Windows. I will make fun of Steve Ballmer and Steve Jobs from time to time, but NOT YOU, gentle reader.
I invite you to our holiday meeting this Wednesday, December 1st. We will have a great presentation by Ken Gruberman of Hallmark Card Studio for Macintosh.
We will have a question and answer session, as always. Come and ask questions.
We will have cookies and juice. These cookies and juice come from Costco, that cornucopia of holiday refreshments.
So come visit us Wednesday night. E-mail me if you have any questions. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask. We’re all idiots at something or other. Cooking and auto repair are my knowledge holes. Thank God for Jiffy Lube and Trader Joe’s!
Editor, MacValley Voice
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Hi Justin --
When you presented at MacValley last February (and a fine presentation it was) you talked about your Twitter page.Now both MacValley and I have Twitter pages (@macvalley and @cristaelb) and I am going through my usual learning curve.
I was wondering if I could ask you a very simple question. I am following 10 people, and I have 4 followers. And I can't remember how I got my followers to follow me.
I've read four books on Twitter, and I've tried Twitter 'Help', and I can't find a word on this, anywhere.
Can you help me?
I tend to get followers when I post about specific things. Many companies and people have constant twitter searches that when you post something about "iPad cases" for example, they will see it and maybe follow you. But who knows... it's mostly a crapshoot.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I’ve been President of MacValley for five years now, and like everybody on the Board, I’ve sweated my way through finding presenters, locating raffle prize donations -- Oops! -- I mean prizes for the prizedrawings. Getting our meetings up online -- thank heaven for Sprint phonecards. Getting our website up. And of course, getting our Blog page and our Twitter page up -- we’re still perspiring a little on this one.
But our November 3rd meeting showed me just why it’s so great being President of MacValley. First of all, we had a total of 45 people show up for the General Meeting. That hasn’t happened in a couple of years.
Not only that, six people were brand new visitors. And five people were returning former members of MacValley. Out of the eleven, we had two new people join MacValley, plus two of our returning members renewed their memberships.
How did these new people find out about us? One found out about us online. The others learned about us from active MacValley Members. It looks we’ve got some buzz going.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Recently the power went out at editorial headquarters. The wind blew hard in the Valley, so the power went out for 15 minutes.
The power outage didn’t affect my MacBook, since it went over to its battery. It did affect two external hard drives.
I use a trick that I picked up from M. Christopher Stevens of Otherworld Computing. You can move your User Folder for 1 or more user accounts to a larger external drive. M. Christopher describes the procedure in detail here.
He does include some caveats at the end. You must ALWAYS have your external hard drive with your data powered up and plugged into the Mac before starting the Mac. Most of the time, you will have no problems. When the power goes out at 3 in the morning...that’s a problem. Even if the power went out for 15 minutes. Your Mac has lost contact with the external hard drives.
So I solved this problem with the purchase of an external uninterruptible power supply (UPS) from Fry’s Electronics. It cost me $50. The brand is APC. It’s compact but heavy. The instructions are simple to follow and well-illustrated.
Now OS X comes with UPS management software. Just go to the Energy Saver preference pane. It looks like a light bulb, either conventional or compact fluorescent, depending on which version of OS X you have.
My UPS included a cable with an RJ-45 plug on one end, for the UPS, and a USB plug on the other, for the Mac. When I plugged them in, I got a new icon on my menu bar. Now I know the UPS connects to my Mac.
So if you try this trick to put your user folder on an external hard drive, plug that external hard drive into a UPS!
Monday, October 18, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
By Cristael Bengtson
Whenever I go online and do a Google search for ‘Mac User Groups’, there’s almost always someone on a forum who’s dissing User Groups.
User Groups are a bunch of graybeards trying to figure out how to use their iPhones. They have raffles. They don’t want to talk to anyone under 40.
And the punchline: User Groups, as a breed, are dying out, if not already dead. Good riddance. Who needs ‘em.
Here are some facts:
There are as many User Groups out there as ever. Memberships may be smaller. Some groups have closed their doors. Yet, for every group that dies, another group springs up.
The graying of User Groups has been a long established fact. What hasn’t been noticed is that some of those gray-hairs are middle aged people who have recently decided to join up.
There are members in almost every group who are beginners or basic users. There are also a few members in most groups who have Mac expertise ranging from good to professional. For example, MacValley’s emcee, Elena-Beth Kaye, is an Apple Listed Mac Consultant. And almost half of our presenters over the past two years have been members of the Apple Consultant’s Network.
We have a prizedrawing at each meeting, and we’re proud of it. At our August meeting our main prize was a donated copy of ‘Freeway 5’. We’ve also given away fantastic t-shirts from MacWorld, along with DVD’s of ‘Matrix’ and ‘Star Trek’.
We do talk with younger people at our meetings. At MacValley, all age groups are welcome.
Who needs us? How about your Mom? Your Grandpa? Your Aunt Nellie? Or your kid sister who’s always making frantic calls, yelling for help with her latest Mac snafu.
At MacValley, we provide a space where people of all skills levels can feel welcome, where they’ll be treated like intelligent human beings. And in the Mac world, that can be hard to find.
This means we’re providing valuable services to the entire Mac community. By being inclusive, rather than exclusive, User Groups are helping to make sure that anyone who has paid the premium price for an iMac, or a Mac laptop, or an iPad, will be getting more of their money’s worth out of an expensive piece of Mac equipment. In addition, they’ll have that sense of security that comes from being a part of a Mac Support Group, with folks who are more than willing to share their Mac know-how with others.
Every little bit of help and support does count.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Let's see what dumb things Microsoft is up to. Microsoft held a funeral parade for the iPhone and Blackberry to celebrate its release of Windows 7 Phone to manufacturers. They held this exercise in silliness just for hardware partners, not for the local Eyewitness news cameras. But I'm sure some video will leak out.
But the prize for silliness and a sense that marketing types are just naturally high comes from this ad for Norton Antivirus. Just watch it.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010