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Tom Briant

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

How to Print from Snow leopard to Windows 7

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://. For example, mine is “lpd://

8. For Name, enter a descriptive name that means something to you.

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

Where to go for Christmas present help

Merry Christmas from MacValley! This is not Festivus, the Airing of the Grievances takes place next Wednesday in the comments section.

If you are frantically looking for help with your new Mac, let me point you to Lifehacker's Christmas Guide to New Macs

If you got a new Windows machine, Lifehacker has help for you too.

If you got a new iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad, Lifehacker is where you should go. Likewise for a new Android phone.

Merry Christmas to all, a belated Happy Hannukah, too, and any other holidays as well. Comments are welcome today. I'll check them and my e-mail during the day until 4 PM PST. Then I'm headed for Christmas dinner at my relatives.

Tom Briant
Editor, MacValley Voice

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Special to All-Yes, Even You in Reseda

Merry Christmas to All. If you don't celebrate Christmas, just keep reading, it gets better. is having a promotion today with Agile Web Solutions. They make 1Pass, the great password protection software. You can save 40% today on both Mac and Windows software to protect your passwords.

Gawker Media got hacked this year and a lot of people used "password" as their password. Two close friends of mine got hacked this year. Don't you, a complete stranger, get hacked either. Get off your duff, stop swilling the leaded eggnog from Costco, and go to Save 40% and gain peace of mind.

Don't hesitate, this deal goes away at the stroke of midnight. Then the Ghost of Christmas Future will show you hackers cackling as they break open your bank account.

Tom Briant "The Grinch"
Editor, MacValley Voice and

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Replacing a loved one's Windows XP box with a Mac Mini

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:

1. Keyboards and mice: The Windows XP box probably uses PS/2 connectors for the keyboard and mouse. The Mac Mini only has USB connectors. If you want to use your old keyboard and mouse with a Mac mini, you need a USB to PS/2 adaptor. They look like the photo above, a USB plug on a cable from one end, two PS/2 jacks coming from the other.

You can easily spend $25.00 on this and that's at Best Buy. You can get them at Staples and other large chain office supply stores. Fry's Electronics has the best price of $15 or less.

Remember you want a USB to PS/2 Adaptor. The best brand is Belkin or SIIG.

2. Monitor: If you still intend to use a CRT monitor with the Mac Mini, you'll need a special adaptor, the mini-port to VGA adaptor. That's only available at the Apple Store. At the mall. Which is a zoo!

If you have a HD TV, you can use that as the monitor, as the Mac Mini comes with an HD TV port. Now you'll need a cable!

If you or the loved one you're buying for upgraded to a flat-screen monitor, it should have a DVI input. The Mac Mini already comes with a HD TV to DVI adaptor.

3. Printer: If you or your loved one has a color printer, it probably connects to the computer with a USB cable if you purchased it since 2000. No problems there.

Older laser printers probably have a parallel printer port, which connects to the computer with a thick cable and a plug that's 2" wide. That won't work with a Mac Mini.

If you don't know what kind of printer they have, ask at an appropriate time. If you don't know, 5 $20 bills are always a good solution.

As for software, use the Google. You could also buy them a copy of The Missing Manual-Snow Leopard edition by David Pogue. It's in the computer section of Borders or Barnes & Noble.

You can e-mail me at It's the e-mail address by my picture.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All the News that's fit to upload

#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 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

Moving iTunes from PC to Mac

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

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://: (your ip address)15000 and you ‘ll see the Pulptunes player open up. All your music files in MP3 and M4A format are there, plus you’ve got all your playlists.

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.

2010 - MacValley’s Best Year Since I Can’t Remember When

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: 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 (

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!

Cristael Bengston,

President, MacValley Users Group

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WikiDrinks at MacValley

(This is e-mails between me and Ken Gruberman. I am calling it WikiDrinks.

No, I am not bringing any liquor to tomorrow night's meeting. Thursday is a work day for me and we can't get people sloshed this early in the season.

But anyway, come to tomorrow night's meeting! Looks like lots of fun. Ken will take your questions about the Mac, the iPad, why he's not hosting the Oscars, etc.

If you want to bring your own cookies, you are welcome to do so.)

On Nov 29, 2010, at 8:05 PM, Thomas Briant wrote:

To All:

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

Come to the December 1st meeting, have a cookie, ask some questions

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!


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Voice

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cristael Bengston on our Twitter page

So MacValley's Twitter page is up. And frankly, the darned thing scares me to death. But I might as well gird myself and tackle the Twitter learning curve, beginning right now.

I'm going to document my struggles and progress (!) on our MacValley Blog. It should be interesting.

And here's the opening struggle: I sent a cry-for-help email to Justin Bradshaw, our presenter for last February because I knew he had Twitter (@justinsail) ( And I had my answer by the next day, which was super-nice of him.

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?

Good question. You can't really "get" followers in any specific way... people either want to follow you or they don't. The best way to get someone to follow you (I think) is to follow them. The next best way is to @mention them in a post. That way they'll usually see your tweet and if they like it they'll probably click on your profile and if they like what they see they might follow you there. So just decide what you're interested in, tweet about that, and then follow others who seem to be interested in that stuff too :)

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

Blog Entry for 11-15-2010// of Ipads and Ubuntu Linux

November 15, 2010

Working on articles for next month’s Voice

Hello, this is your editor reporting on his progress for next months Voice.

iPad and its competition

I just checked out the Bestbuy site. Under Computers, they have the iPad and “tablets”. The tablets are cheaper than the iPad and that’s about all I can say for them.

If you go shopping for a tablet computer, you have to consider just how happy would someone be with something other than an iPad? If you think Apple may come out with something better in the spring, then give them an Apple gift certificate.

I’ll give you a list of Elena-Beth’s presentation in the Voice. For now, let me say that it was spectacular. Everyone in the audience who saw it will want an iPad eventually. The editor included.

The Mac and Ubuntu Linux

MacLife magazine published a great article on turning an old Windows PC into a Linux media server. Ostensibly, you can plug your Mac into it and stream music from a central iTunes server to all your computers.

So I have a spare Windows computer that’s too old for Windows 7. I installed Ubuntu 10.10, “Maverick Meercat” and it worked right up. It’s a Mac’s poor cousin.

Next came the steps outlined in the MacLife article. The first piece of software you install is Netatalk. If you use Ubuntu 10.10, you’ll use a current version (2.1.2), instead of the flawed earlier one used by Crunchbang Linux in the article.

You’ve installed the Netatalk software, now you need to configure it. The MacLife article walks you through configuration. I avoided typing long strings and just copied from the article displayed in Firefox and pasted to the Ubuntu terminal application.

You test it using the Finder and connecting to a server. I enjoyed success on the first go.

Now comes the second piece of software, the Avahi-daemon. Ubuntu 10.10 already comes with this software, but lacks a configuration file. No worry, just copy and paste the pre-built configuration file in the article. You then run a couple of scripts, also copied and pasted.
In the sidebar of your Finder, you should end up with an icon looking like an Apple Cinema Display with the name of your Linux box. Mine is named “thomas-desktop”. Just double-click on this icon. The first time you’ll get a dialog box asking for a name and password. You want to enter your Linux user name and your Linux administrator password. Don’t use your Mac name and password!

The next time you do this, remember to click on the checkbox asking if you want to save the password in your keychain. Do this, and you can just plug the Linux box into your Mac.

So far, so good.

Now the bad news. The article glowingly speaks of the Firefly music server software that would let you stream your iTunes library to every iTunes-equipped computer in your house. Well, Firefly is broken. It doesn’t work with iTunes 10.


Volunteers are working on fixing this problem, but the fix won’t arrive in the Ubuntu software repositories for some time.

So that’s what’s happening with me.

If anyone would like to review Angry Birds, write me at I want your article!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

OS X News-10.6.5 just released

OS X 10.6.5 came out today. Your editor took the plunge and installed it.

He installed the default installer that Software Upgrade makes available to you. It's 517 Mb in size.

The installation went smoothly. I did not observe any glitches.

I would expect the Apple Servers to get a lot of traffic tonight. So you may want to wait until the weekend to install 10.6.5. I'll keep posting any features or problems that I notice.

Tom Briant

Our iPad Meeting was a big success

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

Grandpa Mac Portable and Baby MacBook Air

Go to here to see a very interesting picture. It shows a pristine Mac Portable, which ran on lead-acid batteries, next to a new MacBook Air 2010.

The picture is copyrighted, so I'm linking to it.

Read the comments, too, of this article. Michael Allen, one of the team that developed the Mac Portable, has some great stuff to tell.

Tom Briant

The Next Macintosh OS

I found an interesting column by Jean-Louis Gassee, of Apple and BeOS fame here.

He comments on the problems an operating system faces. Primarily it's having to bear the baggage of the previous OS that you can't dump-yet-on your back.

iOS is the forerunner of the next Macintosh OS. It doesn't have any backward compatibility issues.

Again, your comments are welcome.

Tom Briant

Run WordPerfect 5.1 on your Mac-and for free*

*This assumes you already have WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS

A blog lets me put up articles on interest to a few people. A few switchers from the PC may pine for WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. I admit that I consider one of the best word processors I ever used.

Edward Mendelson has posted a link at WP Universe for a .DMG file containing what you need to run WP 5.1 on an Intel Mac. It uses the DOSbox application to provide the emulated operating system. Mr. Mendelson's installation sets up a system to print to your default OS X printer.

I've tried it out and it works pretty well. Do read the ReadMe.pdf that comes with it for essential instructions.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Tom Briant

The November Voice is up

The November Voice is up! I'd appreciate your comments on my Editor's column.

You can contribute to the Voice! Bring on your brief articles, your artwork created with a Mac, your photography.

But don't complain the Voice doesn't reflect your interests! If you don't tell me what those interests are, how am I to know?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What's in your trick or treat bag? (I mean your hard drive)

If you bought a MacBook Air 2010, congratulations! I played with one recently at an Apple Store and wanted it.

All laptops have the problem of limited hard drive space. Unlike a desktop, you can't attach another drive to it. You have to monitor how much space you've used.

I recommend you download the Omni Group's Omni Disk Sweeper. It's FREE and periodic use helps you see how full your hard disk, SSD, or flash drive has become.

Warding off the vampire of power outages

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

iPad everywhere except Costco

You may have read that the iPad is coming to, oh, Target (now), Walmart (in November), ATT and Verizon stores (October 28), and of course, your Apple Stores and Best Buy. Where can't you find the iPad? Oh, and don't forget Sam's Club warehouse stores.

Oh, Costco. According to Apple and Costco failed to come to terms. Costco will just sell the rest of its iPods and that's it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Welcome to America, Linus Torvald!

This news was buried inside MaximumPC magazine. Linus Torvald, the father of Linux, recently became an American citizen.

Thank you, Finland, for sharing him with us.

The December issue of the Voice will contain an article on using Linux, particularly Ubuntu Linux, with your Mac. Why would you want to use Linux? If you have an old Windows XP box around, like I did, converting it to Linux can add years to its life. You can't run Windows 7 on it, but you can run the latest version of Linux on it.

And Linux is the antecedent of Android and Chromium, two operating systems from Google that will give Apple iOS competition. The iPad is the king of tablets right now, but Android and Chromium look to give it competition. And nothing fuels Apple like competition.

In the meantime, America and California can drink a toast to this new citizen.

Is it too late to nominate him for Senator on November 2nd?

Tom Briant
Editor, Macvalley Voce

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apple holding event October 20th

Apple announced that they will hold an event to announce OS X 10.7 at 10:00 AM, 10/20/2010.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Target Sells the iPad and How to Print from an iPad for free

I went to the Northridge Target today and didn’t see the iPad on display. I saw iPad accessories, but no iPad. No line eagerly awaiting the “magical and revolutionary device” either.

The Northridge Target store, just to give some location, is no more than 20 minutes from the Apple Store at the Northridge Fashion Center or the BestBuy on Tampa Avenue. That includes time to get the kids buckled into their seats. So my guess is that if anyone in Northridge wanted a iPad real bad, they have purchased it already.

Target only sells the iPad in the stores. If you want to order it via the ‘Net, go to Apple.

I’ve made fun of marketing in this blog and elsewhere, but I gladly admit that Apple has covered a lot of territory between the Apple Store, Best Buy, and now Target. Got those demographics covered!

Onto other iOS device news. Tech blogger Amit Agarwal wrote and published on his blog how to print from a smartphone with a DropBox account to a Windows computer and its attached printer. I recommend seeing the video he posted, too. My link is to his article. Go there first.

Look around on Lifehacker and you’ll also find a method using OS X Automator to accomplish printing from a smartphone using DropBox to a Mac and its local printer.

And yes, there’s a way to do this with a Linux computer, too. Mr. Agarwal has a link to that in his article. I’ll leave that to the Linux enthusiasts.

I’ve played with the Windows version and I must say it solves the problem of printing from a Mac to a Windows 7 machine better than any solution I’ve tried.

Simply install Dropbox, download and install this script, and…and you’re printing. It’s GENIUS.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Your Input is Highly Desired by the Editor

If you would like to write for the Voice, but don't have a topic, here's an idea or two:

The Voice needs writers on digital photography. The editor has a digital camera, a point and shoot Canon that he keeps in a drawer. If you take photographs regularly, you can share them with us.

Heck, if you just want to write about the neat sites where you can find wallpaper for your monitor, write about that.

What About HDR photography? Share your knowledge of HDR with us!

The Editor

Monday, September 27, 2010

We'll All have grey hair eventually

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

His Master's Voice Gets an Update-the iPad comes to Target

Target will start carrying the iPad on Sunday, October 3rd. Lots of people who wouldn't go near an Apple store will now have reason to take a peek at the magical and revolutionary iPad.

Apple should do a cross-promotion with Justin Long (Mac), John Hodgman (PC), and the Target bull terrier. I'm imagining an update on the classic RCA Victor His Master's Voice graphic, where the dog listened to the Victola? How about a dog listening to an iPad?!

No news yet on the rumor of a mini-iPad in time for Christmas. Nothing would surprise me, though.

This latest move by Apple, though, shows it intends to get out ahead of the game. Can 7/11 be far behind? :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blog for Tuesday 9-21-2010

Tuesday Blog 9-21-2010

You all remember the Dilbert cartoon where Wally fools his Pointy-Haired Boss into believing that an Etch-A-Sketch is his new laptop? To reset it, Wally tells P-H B, you need to hold it and shake it!

Well, you can make your iPad into a 21st Etch-A-Sketch with an Etch-A-Sketch app and (!) the official Etch-A-Sketch case from Headcase. It even has knobs (non-functional, unfortunately).

The Etch-A-Sketch case costs $39.99, while a real Etch-A-Sketch costs $17.99.

On the topic of new vendors for the Mac, not the i-Devices, but the real Mac; Adobe announced Photoshop Elements 9 for the Mac and Premiere Elements for the Mac. Heretofore, Premiere Elements was only available for the Wintel machines.

Each application costs $99, but you can get both together for $149.

Let’s get back to the iPad for a moment. The built-in Movie application only plays a few video formats. To play other formats, Windows formats, even odd-ball formats, you need something like VLC Player. And guess what? VLC Player for the iPad is now available in the App Store. No need to jailbreak your iPad.

Earlier this year, we had a demonstration of MacSpeech from Nuance. Well, MacSpeech is now Dragon Dictate. If you already bought MacSpeech, you should get an e-mail shortly.

Well, that’s it for right now. What news have you got? Comments are open.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Oops! Amazon let loose the date for Office 2011 for the Mac. It's October 26.

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

Hot Deals for MacValley Members Only for September 2010

Special Offers For Apple User Group Members
with User Group Discount Codes
August 17, 2010

The offers on this page are brought to you by the Apple User Group Advisory Board and are exclusively for current members of Apple User Groups. So that we may continue to make offers such as these available, please do not distribute the page URL or password to non-members.

User Group Leaders: please distribute this page URL and password to your members via newsletter, email, listserv or other private method. Do not make links or password publicly available.

That’s why you’ve got to log onto the Voice at THAT’S WHERE THE SECRET PASSWORDS ARE! This is a teaser page only.

Computer Memory, Flash Drives, Hard Drives: 15% off

EDGE Tech Corp, an ISO 9001:2008-certified company founded in 1986, is a leading supplier of computer memory upgrades, portable computing products, storage devices, and other experience-enhancing technology solutions. Learn more about their products at

Apple user group members receive 15% off all Apple memory upgrades, portable hard drives, flash drives and more at EDGE Tech Corp.

Apple Memory Upgrades:

Portable Hard Drives:

Flash Drives:

This worldwide offer is valid through December 31, 2010.

Home Inventory: 25% off

Home Inventory, a Macworld GemFest 2010 pick, is designed to help easily create and maintain an up-to-date inventory of the items and collections in any home. Knowing what you own, how much it's worth and being able to offer proof of possession is crucial when filing an insurance or police report. Home Inventory keeps track of this information and also serves as a record keeper for important information such as warranties, repair histories, and digital copies of owner's manuals for your items.

Regularly priced at $34.95(US), this user group special price is $26.22(US). Free trial version also available.

Buy now at:

This worldwide offer is valid through December 31, 2010.


All Eltima Mac Products: 20% discount

These made-for-Mac products allow you to decompile Flash, extract SWF elements from Flash movies, compress SWF files without quality loss, playback your favorite media files, sync your Mac with numerous devices, manage your downloads, and recover PDF passwords – all of that you can do with the help of Eltima software solutions for Mac.

Flash Decompiler Trillix

Flash Optimizer

Elmedia Player

Syncmate (powerful sync tool)

Folx Downloader

Recover PDF Password


These Mac products usually range from $19.95 - $399.95(US), and with special user group pricing will be reduced to a range of $15.96 - $319.96(US). Try before you buy versions are also available for downloading.

This worldwide offer is valid through December 31, 2010.


iMedia Converter for Mac: 38% discount

iMedia Converter for Mac is an all-in-one converter that supports DVD ripping and video conversion. It lets you rip DVDs and convert videos directly for use with iPad, iPod, iPhone 4, Apple TV, or other devices. Easily convert DVDs and videos to almost any format of your choice, including WMV, AVI, MP4, MOV, FLV, and more. Fully support camcorder video files like AVCHD (MTS/M2TS) and JVC (MOD/TOD).

The usual retail price is $49 (US), and the Apple User Group price is $30 (US), a 38% discount.

This worldwide offer is valid through November 15, 2010.

10% Discount on IPEVO Point 2 View USB Doc Cam

The Point 2 View’s versatility starts with its multi-jointed stand and weighted base. Three points of articulation mean that you can position the camera at most any height and angle. And the camera’s ergonomic grip, as well as a universal monitor clip, give you even more view options.
- Great tool to demo your iPhone or iPad
- Plug-and-play for your Mac, no driver required.
- 2.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor
- Full auto-focus with up to 1.5 macro
- Compact, versatile and portable

The Point 2 View retail price is $69.00 (US); this special Apple user group member price is only $62.10 (US).

Show and tell at:

This U.S.–only offer is valid through September 30, 2010.


50% Discount on The Hollywood Edge sound effects
The Hollywood Edge has been the library division of audio post pioneers Soundelux and Todd A/O for the past 20 years. T.H.E. offers over 60 collections of the highest quality, cutting edge and realistic sound effects available.
These award-winning sound effects are perfect for radio, TV, film, gaming, educational and web applications, and are embedded with Soundminer metadata and available on CD/DVD, hard drive and on-line delivery. General categories include Hollywood Edge Premiere Editions, Edge Editions, Animal, Background, Cartoon, Historical, Sound Design Tool Kits & Production Elements, Ambience, Science Fiction, Game Effects, Foley Effects, Evil and Eerie Editions.
Ranging in price from $49.95 to $9,495.00 (US), this special Apple user group provides 50% off specific sound effect collections, including items already discounted. To view these effects, click on “MUG Sounds” under the Categories list.
Hear the difference at:
This worldwide offer is valid through September 30, 2010.


20% Discount on hField Wi-Fire Long Range Wi-Fi Adapter

Wi-Fire is a range-extending USB device that enables you to connect to Wi-Fi networks as far away as 1000 feet, three times the typical Wi-Fi distance. Wi-Fire’s new v2.0 Mac software provides the look and feel of Airport. Reviewers love it . . . MacObserver: “A must-have accessory.” Macenstein: “We were pretty much blown away by its performance.” Engadget: “Worth every penny!”

Retailing at $49.00 (US), this special Apple user group member price is $39.20 (US).

Get connected now:

This worldwide offer is valid through August 31, 2010.


33% discount on Quick Start Your Mac training

Let help you learn how to use your Mac with their expert video tutorials that show you the how-to's of using Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Included are over 4.5 hours of training videos that cover everything from PC to Mac migration, a complete Mac OS X Basics section, and a guide to all of the common applications found on a Mac. A must-have for every new Mac user!

For more information:

This Apple user group member offer for Quick Start Your Mac is $50.00 (US), a great savings from the usual retail price of $74.95 (US).

This worldwide offer is valid through April 30, 2011.


Updated Offer – New Mach 3 Composites Macbook Protection Case: 27% Discount

Mach 3 Composites is introducing their new Carbon Fiber case for your MacBook. It features a new hard shell, light-weight, low profile, checkpoint friendly case. These cases are hand-made and designed to help protect your Apple laptop. All case exteriors have a high gloss finish with 100% carbon fiber, interiors are padded, and covered with a high-quality soft liner. They come in four sizes to best fit your needs.

Retail prices range from $151.99 to $199.99 (US), depending on your laptop size, but Apple user group discounted prices range from $110.00 to $146.00 (US). Shipping will begin in early April.

Give your MacBook piece of mind:

This worldwide offer is valid through December 30, 2010.


O'Reilly: New Discounts for User Group Members

O'Reilly Publishing is offering new and better discounts for groups. User group members can get a discount of 35% off all books and 45% off all ebooks (PDF, ePub, Mobi, Android) from O'Reilly, No Starch, Paraglyph, PC Publishing, Pragmatic Bookshelf, SitePoint or Syngress books that are purchased directly from O'Reilly by phone or online. Add in free shipping for orders over $29.95 (US) and the offer gets even better.

Order from the O'Reilly Store online or by phone at 1-800-998-9938 ( extra shipping costs outside U.S.).

This worldwide offer is ongoing.



Softpress Freeway: 25% Discount

Freeway gives you all the legendary ease-of-use and features that launched the desktop publishing revolution. You can quickly and effortlessly lay out your website, embed images and content, then publish your work as standards-compliant HTML. Upload to your server, .Mac or to a folder. You supply the creativity, Freeway handles the code.

User Group members can buy Freeway Pro, regularly $249 (US) for $186.75 (US), and Freeway Express for $59.25 (US), a 25% discount.

Build your website now.

This worldwide offer is ongoing.


Eltima Software multimedia products: Pay 20% less

Eltima Software is a global software development company, specializing in Flash software development for Mac users. All flashers will see the true value of Flash Decompiler Trillix for Mac, Flash Optimizer for Mac and SWF & FLV Player for Mac. With these products, managing Flash files is easy: decompile, compress or just play them back.

Regular prices for Eltima's Flash software range from $19.95- $99.95 (US). Using the coupon code gives user group members 20% off.

Get your Flash products here:

This worldwide offer is ongoing.


40% Off Mac|Life

Mac|Life is THE mac magazine that changes all the rules. Mac|Life recognizes Apple’s dynamic role in work, play and life and will appeal to core Apple users. With fresh insight, in-depth how-tos, stunning design and exclusive information, Mac|Life helps users realize their full potential. Mac|Life is the ultimate magazine about all things Apple.

Mac|Life is offering a Apple User Group member charter subscription rate of $14.95 (US) for 12 issues, a savings of 40% off the basic subscription price.

This worldwide offer is ongoing.


Join the Peachpit Club

You can save 35% on all Peachpit books by becoming a Peachpit Club Member. Membership is free and easy. All you have to do is answer a few questions in Peachpit's online survey, which you can access from any book page. After you fill out the survey, you'll save 35% by entering the coupon code at checkout. (You cannot use this discount in conjunction with any other coupon codes.)

Apple user group members get 35% off the normal price . . . PLUS, if you spend more than $55 (US) in one order, your discount will expand to 40%!

Join the Club:

This offer is ongoing.


Macworld Magazine

Macworld offers Apple user group members a special subscription offer. Macworld magazine is the ultimate Mac resource! We pack each issue with industry news, future trends, practical how-tos, in-depth features, tips and tricks, and more; we provide the tools Mac professionals and enthusiasts need. Best of all, you can depend on our unbiased, thorough product reviews and buying advice. Stay informed about what’s new, exciting, important. Become a Macworld reader.

Normal Price: $27.97 UG Price: $15.00(US) for 12 issues

This offer is ongoing.

For more information on user group special offers, contact your Apple User Group Regional Liaison.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Read All About It! The Voice is Up for Members.

MacValley News 9-1-2010

The September Voice has been posted on the Web site.

Read All About It-Our September presentation on Web Security. Dull? Wait until some hacker swipes your credit card and goes to Vegas! Also, the return of Ken Gruberman in October to MC the presentation of Panorama by Provue Software. Panorama is a wickedly fast database.

For November, it's elections and Elena-Beth Kaye's iPad presentation.

Cristael's Corner-Cristael talks about our Fall lineup of presenters.

The Life of Briant-The editor gives a list of ten things in Response to Microsoft's PC versus Mac campaign.

The iPad Column, written by a guy who doesn't even own one. This month, Special Guest Columnist John Moltz of Crazy Apple Rumors breaks the story of a serious design flaw in the iPad.

Ant and Frankie P. of gives their list of 16 things to do when you get a new Mac.

Robert Mohns of Macintouch compares Apple's Magic Trackpad to Wacom's Bamboo Touch Tablet.

Stickies on Your Mac! Not the paper notes, but the Stickies program built into your Mac and how to use it to full effect.

Members Only Discounts! Our Apple Ambassadress Fran Cohan has rounded up good stuff for us members.

Who won the good stuff at last month's prize drawing? Read and find out, then show up to win yourself!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It’s the Annual March of the iPods!

Tomorrow, September 1st, Apple holds a music-themed event in Cupertino. The invitations show an acoustic guitar with the cutout in the shape of the Apple corporate symbol. So what does it portend?

The End of the Apple iPod Classic?

I loved my Apple iPod Classic holding all my music with lots of room to spare. So will Apple stop making them?

Prognosticators are divided. The advocates of keeping the Classic point to the niche market of enthusiasts who rip their music in uncompressed or lossless compressed formats for maximum fidelity. They enjoy the all the space a hard disk offers. It would cost a bit more to replace hard disks with flash memory for the same capacity.

The advocates of killing the Classic think Apple wants to make all the devices use flash memory. It’s faster than a hard drive.

What New Features to Add to the various iPods?

Prognosticators believe Apple will bring out a new iPod Touch. The question is: Will it have a front-facing camera so that it can participate in Facetime, Apple’s video chat between iOS devices technology? Have to wait and see. Other suggest that a camera is coming, but only on the rear and recording video in standard definition. So maybe next year for front-facing high definition cameras on the ‘Touch.

What About iTunes?

Apple should bring out a version 10 of iTunes tomorrow, too. Prognosticators have wish lists of new features:

They’d like the whole iTunes for Mac rewritten to speed it up!

They’d like wireless syncing between your Mac and your iPod

They’d like more cloud integration, so you don’t have to store all your music on a local device.

They’d like iTunes to include a separate category for home movies, apart from iTMS bought shows.

They’d like to read the book they bought on the iBooks store for their iPads on their Macs, too. Kindle has apps for both the Mac and the iPad. Why shouldn’t Apple?

We’ll Just Have to Wait.

Tonight is not the night to buy a new iPod. Millions of aficionados and prognosticators will sneak looks at Apple’s presentation or the coverage by various blogs. Sadly, my employer expects me to do non-Apple related work tomorrow, so tune in Thursday for the next episode of the MacValley Blog.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Mac descends from the Maytag

Your 21st Century Mac: descendant of a 20th Century Maytag washer.

I recommend you look at Microsoft’s latest attempt to confuse you about Macs versus PCs. Go ahead, take a look. This is what the sowing of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt looks like.

After suppressing the urge to throw a cream pie at Steve Ballmer at the next Microsoft shareholder’s meeting, I thought hard about the Mac versus the PC.

Your 21st Century computer owes a lot to the predecessor, the 20th Century washing machine. Mechanically, both the Mac and the Maytag feature a motor with a shaft attached to a spinning object. Every so often, the mechanism, whether hard disk or washing machine, breaks down and has to be replaced.

You also process data the same way you process clothes. You put data or jeans in, add a program or soap to process, and take out the finished product at the end of a cycle(s). Simple as that.

You have more choices with a Mac or PC than a Maytag. Your “soap” can make the computer do a wide variety of tasks. You want to define what you want your computer to do.

Think about it. Don’t consider price of the computer or its brand. Just define what you want to do with the computer as specifically as possible.

Now find the piece of software that performs the tasks you specified. For example, consider word processing software.

Pages for the Mac has a default file format that no Windows program can open. Pages, though, will happily read and write in Word 97/2004 .doc format. It can save to PDF format, and now in ePUb electronic book format. Windows programs can easily open those 3 formats.

Microsoft Word comes in both Mac and Windows flavors with its latest file format, .docx, readable and writable by both programs. It can also read and write older versions of Word. The same applies to Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel.’s Writer program has a default file format, .odt, that its Mac, Linux, Windows, and Solaris versions share. It also reads and writes Microsoft Word files all the back to version 6.0.

Once you’ve decided what programs perform your desired tasks, NOW start shopping for hardware and their associated operating system (Windows 7 vs OS 10.6 Snow Leopard).

Now I get to deliver my pitch for Macs

First, how do you make a backup to ensure you don’t lose any data in case of system failures? Snow Leopard comes with the Time Machine backup software baked right into the system. You only need to buy an external hard drive of appropriate size. Plug it in and you can rest easy.

I tried Windows’ built-in backup software and it didn’t work for me. I finally started using a Linux-based system. I put in the live CD, reboot into Linux and it copies my Windows system to my external hard drive overnight. It works well, but it’s not as convenient as Time Machine.

Second, if you’d like to keep your tax accounting on a separate disk that you could detach and store in a fire-proof vault, it’s a royal pain to do that with Windows. With OS X 10.6, just use the SuperDuper! software to copy your internal Macintosh HD to an external hard disk. You then use the System Preference (Mac’s Control Panel) for the Startup Disk to switch to that external hard drive. Simple as pie.

Finally, consider aesthetics. The Mac’s interface simply looks better than Windows. A lot of Windows users have attempted to copy the Mac’s look for Windows. No one wants to copy the look of Windows for the Mac.

What do you think? Put your thoughts in the comments or e-mail me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How Windows Users can add training wheels to their new Macs

Hey, Where’s the Start Button?! (And How to Get it back)

By Thomas Briant

The Mac desktop differs from the Windows desktop in many respects. First, it lacks a prominent Start button and menu in the lower left-hand corner.

From Windows 95 to Windows 7, you users of Windows computers always started there and still start there. With a Mac, though, it’s different. You’ve got this Dock thingy with some applications in it across the bottom of the screen.

Where’d the Applications go?! Surely that Dock can’t hold all of the applications? Help Me!

Take A Deep Breath. Your Mac has all its applications in the Applications folder, which you will find at the bottom, or ro
ot, level of the Macintosh HD drive, which is the Mac equivalent of the C: drive on a Windows machine.

Now move your mouse pointer to the lower left-hand corner of your screen. You’ll find this icon, which represents the Finder. The Finder is the equivalent of the Windows Explorer. Double-click on it to open a window.
Now to get a pseudo-Start Button for you. In the Finder Window, you’ll see a Sidebar to the left of the main window that displays a list of all the hard drives attached to your Mac. You want the icon that resembles a bare hard drive called Macintosh HD.

Click ONCE on that icon. You will see a list of folders on this drive. You want the first one, named Applications.

You’re going to drag the icon down to the Dock’s right-hand side to create the pseudo-Start Button. Look at the right hand side of the Dock. You want to find the icon that looks like an @ sign on a spring.

Now to create the pseudo-Start Button. Click and HOLD on the icon for the Applications folder.

Now drag it down to the right of the @ sign on a spring. Now release. You should see an Applications folder in your Dock.

Click on it. You’ll see icons of applications, probably not in a vertical list. To get a vertical list, right click or control-click on the Application Folder in your Dock. You’ll see options.

Sort by Name. Display as Folder. View Content as List.

You’re set to go. You’ve got training wheels.

Steve Jobs May Not Love Us, But We Love Ourselves

By Cristael Bengston

In January at the 2010 MacWorld, there was one great big no-show, and that was Steve Jobs. Everyone expected MacWorld to be a flop. Apple was absent. Adobe stayed at home. Almost all the big guys were in absentia. MacWorld was a pocket-show, with barely enough floorspace to turn around in. Gloom and doom were the order of the day.
But on opening day, as I came slowly down the escalator to the doors of MacWorld, I glanced over at the showroom, and I saw people crowding the aisles. And as I walked from one booth to the next, I found myself in the middle of wall-to-wall MacUsers.
I looked all around me, and I realized that not that many young people were there. I didn’t see that many business suits either. Instead, there were 20,000 middle-aged and older Mac Users, all jammed up against the booths.
That was when I said to myself, “Baby, I’m home.” Because that was the day all of us diehard middle-age and older MacWorld fans turned out. We proudly confounded the pundits, and we brought a gleam of hope to all those who sport the occasional gray hair.
And that’s what makes it such a challenge to be President of MacValley, a User Group that, like all user groups, has been through monumental struggles over the past six to eight years.
Jobs and Apple’s Marketing department do not wish us well. There actually are a few Apple Geniuses who belong to User Groups, but when they’re at work at the Apple Stores, they have to keep their membership a deep dark secret. Sort of like being gay -- Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Hackers and Geeks regard Apple User Groups with unmitigated scorn. Everyone in the press keeps on predicting the imminent demise of User Groups. If they notice us at all. And yet we Mac Users survive. We keep right on going to User Group meetings, even though we’re smack in the big middle of one of the worst recessions in American history.
So how come us pesky User Groups haven’t all humbly closed our doors and gone home to weep about the good old days?
Because our Macs are still our dream machines. And because as we get older our dreams don’t die. They just get more intense.
We may never be in today’s Major League of Geeks and Hackers. But we are as passionate about our Macs as anyone out there. Our Macs bring us programs for writing our novels and screenplays, for doing our artwork, for turning out our calligraphy, for designing a winged bicycle or a one-person spaceship.
Small business owners, home office workers, or domestic users, bare-bones beginners or advanced users, as long as we have our Macs, we know we are individuals. We are important. We are unique. We have something to offer.
So, go ahead and sneer, all you twenty-seven year old zillioniares. Stick your noses up in the air, all you babyfaced hackers and geeks. And Steve Jobs and Apple Marketing, for all we care, y’all can stay home from MacWorld and sit around and suck your thumbs.
Because us User Group types, we don’t care about any of you. That is, unless we are closely related to you. Do geeks and hackers have families?
All of us User Group types passionately love our laptops and our iMacs. We’re hooked on our iPhones and our iPods and even our brand spanking new iPads. And we are here to stay.
So, all you overaged Apple executives and all you underaged geeky geniuses, just you-all go and deal with it.



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