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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sharing your iTunes library with your new iPad

You may wonder what you’ll have to do with your Mac’s (or Window’s) library of music and video in iTunes.  You don’t have the luxury of stuffing them all into the new iPad’s limited storage capacity. You can’t hook up an external drive through the 30-pin port on the iPad and a USB adaptor. What do you do?
If you just want to play the music and videos in iTunes, then you use Home Sharing.  Start iTunes on your Mac and make sure you’ve set up Home Sharing. Go under the Advanced menu and click on “Turn on Home Sharing” You’ll need to enter your Apple ID, which you set up when you set up this Mac, and your password, which you also set up when you set up this Mac. Click on “Create Home Share” and you’re on your way. (Figure 1)

Now go to the Music app on your iPad and select “More”. (Figure 2) You want “Shared” Go there and you’ll see the music libraries you can tap into. As you see from Figure 3, I have two iTunes libraries worth of music. One from my Mac and one from my Wintel 7 machine. This solution works with protected music and videos with DRM.
For you advanced users; no, I could not get the Linux app forked-daapd to serve up music for the iPad Music application. I don’t know why. So for the time being, use a Mac or a Windows machine with iTunes to serve up tunes to your new iPad.
Now what about videos? If you downloaded a movie from iTunes to your Mac or Windows , how can you show it on your iPad? You don’t have to rip it, you just set up iTunes and Home Sharing. Now use the Videos app on your iPad. Go to More to select the Mac’s or Windows iTunes library. You’ll see your iTunes videos library divided into movies, TV shows, and music videos. (Figure 4)
One final tip: Sometimes your iPad won’t recognize the shared library. Relax, take a breath, and go back to your Mac or Windows machine.
Turn off Home Sharing, count to 10, and then restart it.
 Enter your Apple ID and password.  It’s the classic computer solution. If something doesn’t work, restart it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Quicken 2007 for Lion-More of the Same and That's a Good Thing

A version of Quicken came with the first two Macs I bought in 2001 and 2006. I paid for subsequent upgrades. I am sure that Quicken thought this out to some extent.

Quicken only offered Quicken Essentials for those of us upgrading to 10.7. Quicken Essentials got lots of bad press. Those reviews and the fact that the Mac was the only part of the personal computer business that actually grew in recent years, must have finally gotten Quicken's attention. Lots of competitors came forth to challenge the once-mighty Quicken.

So Quicken wised up, rewrote Quicken 2007, and offered it for the low, low price of $14.99.

So finally getting to the point, should you pay $14.99 to order or download this updated version of Quicken 2007?

I can say, Yes, because it works just like the old Quicken. You don't have to convert your Quicken files if you used Quicken 2005 through 2007 for Mac (but not Windows!).

If you used Quicken 2004 and earlier, you may encounter some problems. Exporting your Quicken data as a QIF file from that old version and then importing the QIF file into Quicken 2007 may pose some problems:

Lion Compatible Quicken Mac 2007 Not Allowing Import From QIF

Updated: 3/13/2012 | Article ID: SLN59631

Some Quicken Users are reporting that the From QIF option is grayed out when attempting to use File > Import to get data into Lion Compatible Quicken Mac 2007.  Others are reporting that they can select File > Import > From QIF, but the QIF they want to select is grayed out and cannot be chosen.  There are certain conditions that must be met before attempting to import a QIF:
  1. There must be a Quicken Data File Mac (QDFM) file open in Lion Compatible Quicken Mac 2007 for the data to be imported.  If there is no open file, the From QIF (and other Import options) will be grayed out and cannot be selected.  To confirm that a QDFM is opened prior to attempting to import a QIF, open the Accounts List (Command + A), which can be blank, but will display the file name across the top of the list.
  2. The QIF file itself will be grayed out if the selection made in the File > Import menu is From Web Connect, rather than From QIF. Web Connect files will have a QFX extension, rather than QIF, and if the mouse slips to Web Connect when making the Import From selection, the QIF file will not be a selection that can be made. To confirm the correct import selection has been made, look at the Browse window just above the file names to confirm that it does not say "Please select a Web Connect file to import."
If you have confirmed that both of these conditions have been met, and you are unable to select From QIF or the actual QIF itself, please click here to provide your contact information including your phone number (in case we need to work with you directly).

So in conclusion, if you used Quicken 2005 to 2007 for Mac; Quicken 2007 for Lion will import your old data files with no problems.

If you have an earlier version of Quicken and try to export a QIF file from it in order for Quicken 2007 for Lion to import it...this is problematic and NOT an automatic slam-dunk. Read the excerpt from Quicken's Web site to help you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How to Restore from a Backup of your Hard Drive

Good evening! Here's the companion piece to the "backup you will" piece by Bonnie Ornitz. How do you restore a backup (Mac and Windows 7)

Lost and Found...

by Valley Mac Solutions on Saturday, January 28, 2013 at 9:03am

In the last article we talked about how easy it is to backup your data on both MACs and PCs.

You bought the external disk drive and set up your system to backup automatically.  Awesome!

So now that you’ve prepared for the inevitable, what do you do when you or someone with access to your computer accidentally deletes important files/folder?

This article covers the steps necessary to restore deleted files and folders on both MACs and PCs.

Mac Users:
Open the folder that contained the files/folders you want to restore.
Launch the Time Machine application from either the dock (single click) or from the Applications Folder (double click) on your hard drive.
On the right side of your screen there should be a dateline.
Click within the timeline to jump directly to a date/time (displaying the folder’s contents on that date).
Click the file/folder to restore to select it.
Click the “Restore” button at the right side of the Time Machine button bar. If you want to restore all the contents of the folder, click the “Restore All” button instead.
Your files/folders will appear in their original location. Restore time depends on the amount of data being restored.

PC Users:
Open up Computer from the Start Menu.
Click “Control Panel”.
Click “System and Maintenance”.
Click “Backup and Restore”.
Click “Restore my files”.
Your choices are Search, Browse for files, Browse for folders.
Now you can browse or search the most recent backup for your deleted files or folders.  Select files/folders that you wish to restore.
Next you can restore them back to the original location or choose a different location.
Click Restore.
The window will display “Restoring files” and a progress bar will display the status of the restore. Restore time depends on the amount of data being restored.
Your files/folders will reappear in either their original location or the alternate location that you chose previously.

In the event of an actual hard drive failure, there are steps involved prior to restoring depending on the type of failure and severity of data loss. Some disk drives are user replaceable and others are not. You may also need to recreate the base OS (Operating System) on your computer. Please contact the manufacturer’s web site for details.
Meanwhile, aren't you glad that you backed up your computer?



Bonnie Kay Ornitz
Valley Mac Solutions
(818) 217-0122

Fast Mac and Apple Product Solutions

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Backup Your Mac (or PC), you will

We're featuring a guest blogger today. Bonnie Kay Ornitz, who runs Valley Mac Solutions.

If you're a Macvalley member and want us to promote your business, just send me a blog entry. 

Backup your computer, you will.
by Valley Mac Solutions on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 7:31am ·
It's that dreaded clicking or whining we hear as our hard drive says it's final goodbye. Like Murphy's Law, it usually happens at the worst possible time, when an important work or school project is due, or you've just returned home from a cruise and can't wait to share your vacation memories with friends and family.

While we cannot prevent the inevitable, we can be prepared. Corporations spend a lot of time and money preparing for a disaster, so there's no reason why each of us can't spend a few minutes and a few dollars to do the same.

The solution is simple. Back up your data!

Let's take a look at a simple and inexpensive backup strategy for both Mac and PC users. The first thing to do is buy an external drive whose capacity is at least the same size as the hard drive on your computer. There are advantages to buying even larger drives and partitioning them for multiple uses, but we’ll address that in a different article. Good deals can be found at local as well as online retailers.

Mac Users:

Time Machine was released in conjunction with Mac OSX Leopard in October 2007, so if you purchased a new Mac or upgraded to Leopard, Snow Leopard or Lion in the last 4 years, the software comes bundled with the Operating System.

Connect any compatible USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt drive.
If you haven’t specified a Time Machine device yet, the first time you connect an external drive, Time Machine asks if you would like to use it for a Backup Disk. Click “Decide Later”.
Format Disk (since most are formatted for PCs):
Run Disk Utility (Applications/Utilities folder) - I like to keep a shortcut in the dock for easy access.
Click on the icon of the disk you plan to use for backups.
Choose Format: Mac OS Extended (journaled).
Enter Name: Time Machine (that's what I call it).
Click the Erase button.
Close Disk Utility.

Configure Time Machine:
Click the "Time Machine clock" icon at the top of your screen.
Click "Open Time Machine Preferences".
Click "Select Disk" and a window will pop up giving you choices.
Select the new disk you just plugged in and click "Use For Backup".
Click the toggle button to the "ON" position.
Close Time Machine Preferences.
Time Machine will run automatically and you can rest easy knowing that your data has been duplicated in the event of an internal hard drive failure.

PC Users:

Microsoft released Windows 7 in October 2009. It has a good backup tool bundled with the Operating System.

Connect a USB drive and take the following steps to configure and run the backup:
Open up Computer from the Start Menu.
Right Click on your local drive and select Properties.
Then click on the Tools tab and click the “Back up now” button.
In the "Backup or restore your files”, window click the link “Set up a backup”.
Windows will search for a suitable drive to store the backup or you can also choose a location on your network.
Select your new USB drive and click "Next".
In the window that appears saying "What do you want to back up?" click "Let me choose".
Select the check box for each item that you'd like to back up. I also recommend that you check the box "Include a system image of drives: (C:)". This will create a bootable image that can be used to restore your system if the computer can't boot from the internal disk drive. Click "Next".
Click "Change Schedule" and pick when and how often you'd like to back up your system. I recommend daily. Pick a time that your computer will be powered on, but not peak usage since it may slow the system down a bit.
Click "Save settings and run backup". You can monitor the progress of the backup if you'd like.

Backing up your computer is like buying insurance. You hope that you’ll never need it, but if something goes wrong, you’ll be glad that you have it.

Next time we'll take a look at restoring data on both platforms.



Bonnie Kay Ornitz
Valley Mac Solutions
Fast Mac and Apple Product Solutions and Training
(818) 217-0122


Monday, March 5, 2012

What I'm looking forward to Wednesday

Hi everyone, I'm back.

Now about this big Apple event on Wednesday.

I'm looking forward to the 99 9/10% certainty that Apple will bring out the iPad 3. Which I plan to buy in some model. I don't need a cellular model, so I'll skip to the Wi-Fi only models.

Yes, I'd like the nice super-duper high resolution screen. I have bad eyes and appreciate all the help I can get.

I'm looking for some software that will let me send video, audio, and Keynote presentations from my iPad to my Mac(s), which run 10.6.8 and 10.7.3. So if you want to clue me in on your favorite piece of software in that regard, please do so in the comments.

I'm not going to rehash the rumors. Well, here's one. Apple will keep the same pricing for the iPad 3 as it had for the iPad 1 and 2. Which is good. I read rumors that Apple planned to charge a premium.

See you back here Wednesday evening.

Tom Briant
Editor, MacValley Voice



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