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Tom Briant

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Troubleshooting a problem with Flavours and PathFinder 6.x

I’ve enjoyed the Flavors app, allowing me to change the appearance of my Mac to an extent. It’s a lot of fun; but not every app loves it back. I found Pathfinder to be that one application.

After I set up Flavours and installed a theme or two, Pathfinder would not work correctly. The spinning beach ball of death sprang up. 

After several attempts to fix this through repeated running of Fix Disk Permissions, which did no good; I finally remembered seeing an item under the Flavours menu. 


Flavors troubleshooting exclude apps


That was the Troubleshooting…item on the menu, which led to the four item submenu of Exclude Applications, Clear Flavours cages, Reinstall help tool, and send diagnostics.


I clicked on Exclude Applications and got this window. The section you want, Hard Exclusions, lies at the bottom.


Troubleshooting pane



Click on the Select button and you can choose which app(s) to exclude:


Hard exclusion list

As you see, I have already selected Path Finder as an excluded application. To add additional apps, just click on the Add button to bring up a standard file dialogue box. If you want to remove one, just click on the Remove button. Click on Close to end the selection. 


Since I did these steps, Path Finder has not had problems. 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog




Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekend Wrapup

Former Apple Ad Exec Explains Why The New Christmas Ad Is Perfect

Apple's iOS Completely Blew Away Google's Android For Shopping On Christmas

Maybe it's time to admit that Apple is doing the exact right thing with its iPhone business.

Futuristic Mac Pro Has Power to Spare

These Pictures Of Apple's First Employees Are Absolutely Wonderful

The first iPhone was a miracle.

And yet, the iPhone experience we all enjoy today didn't happen overnight. It took years of Apple adding feature upon feature. By today's standards, the original iPhone was a useless brick. 

As a reminder of how far the iPhone has come, we've put together this slideshow on how the first iPhone was pretty crappy.

12 Things Samsung's Galaxy S4 Can Do That The iPhone 5S Can't

Teens In The UK Are Calling It: Facebook Is Dead And Buried

16-18 year olds ...... mostly they feel embarrassed even to be associated with Facebook.  Parents have worked out how to use the site and see it as a way for the family to remain connected.  In response, the young are moving on to cooler things.

Instead, four new contenders for the crown have emerged: Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp.

Oh Look, It's MySpace Reprised!

The author compares Facebook to MySpace, saying:
"anyone who forgets the similar meteor-shot of MySpace a number of years ago, and the subsequent crash, isn't very bright."

Inside The Sleazy World Of Reputation Management, Where People Pay To Control What You See On The Internet

The crux of the work is to trick the search engines, mainly Google, into pushing bad news low in the search results while leaving good news (some of it maybe even fake) up high.

Counterintuitively, Google unintentionally helps the reputation management industry. Google keeps tweaking its search algorithm so that it always delivers the best results. Just when a reputation management company successfully buries a negative story under a bunch of spin, it often reappears again in the top search results. And the person must open the checkbook again.

FINANCE PROFESSOR: Bitcoin Will Crash To $10 By Mid-2014

Since inception, Bitcoin has had a flawed DNA.  It was dreamed up in a virtual world -- by computer geeks -- but was to be applied in the real world.  To assume currency can be computer generated, run in a decentralized manner and outside of the central banking system and controls is farcical and economically dangerous.

In Bitcoin World it is not uncommon for prices to change by 20 or 30 percent in a given day, making Bitcoin toxic to economic growth.

I predict that Bitcoin will trade for under $10 a share by the first half of 2014.

Bitcoin's Five (Big) Advantages Over Gold

Overstock CEO On Bitcoins, Gold, Austrian Economics

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 10 lessons for the new Mac user | Macworld

Top 10 lessons for the new Mac user | Macworld: ""


For you  lucky people who got a new Mac for the holidays and now wonder what to do with it, let me point you to Chris Breen (of Macworld) who has 10 great lessons for the new owner. 


Click on the link above and Read and watch these lessons before going any further. 


Tom Briant 

Editor, MacValley Blog



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Editor, who is the Geek Brother-in-law, with comments on getting a new Mac with OS X 10.9 and sharing your big iTunes library.

Good Morning! You’ve wondered all week about that big box with your name on it. Could it be your kin have decided to get your a new iMac? 

If you answer “YES,” then have a mimosa to celebrate. Just one though, and don’t drink it near the new computer.


You have questions, I have answers

“What gives with this keyboard? Can’t I use my old keyboard?"

The Apple keyboard looks different from most, if not all, Windows keyboards. IF it’s not to your taste, you can use your old Windows keyboard. 

You do need a USB connector on the end of the cable from the keyboard. I”ve gone over this topic here in this blog.


“How will I rip all my CD’s again? This Mac lacks a CD and DVD drive!"

If you ripped them to mp3 or m4a format, you’ll have no trouble. If you need to buy an external DVD drive after Christmas. you don’t need to buy Apple’s SuperDrive. Less expensive drives will work just fine. 

STEP #1: Open a Finder window with your old music library folder

STEP #2: Open up iTunes

STEP #3: Click on the Library folder . Now Drag the folder from the Finder window to the iTunes Window. ITunes will make copies of them and put them into your music library.


“Help! i just got a beautiful new MacBook Air, but with only 256 GB SSD space. I have iTunes on my old Windows machine with a 60 Gb library. Can I share the library from the Windows machine to the MacBook Air?

The iTunes Home Sharing feature was meant for people like you. 

Look at the very top left-hand corner of iTunes 11 for Windows. Click once on the downward facing triangle. A menu drops down. 

The second item in the menu is Library. Click once on the rightward facing arrow. 

You get a submenu with two items. Click on “Turn on Home Sharing…"

Where to turn on home sharing

Now enter the e-mail address and password you set up when you set up your Apple ID when you set up your Mac or started buying music from iTunes.


Windows Sharing 12 25 2013


You’re set to go  on the Windows machine serving fresh hot music this Christmas Day!

Windows home sharing 12 26 2013


Now on your Mac, go under the File menu and go down to Home Sharing.

Click on the rightward facing arrow to turn on Home Sharing


Mac itunes home sharing 12 25 2013



Mac itunes home sharing 12 26 2013

You may run into this problem if you have not previously authorized this copy of ITunes for access to the iTunes sore


Mac itunes home sharing 12 27 2013






Click on the Authorize button and you’re good to gol


Look in the Shared section of your iTunes Sidebar and you’ll see your shared  libraries. As  you can see, I have two Windows machines, (Windows XP and Windows 7) serving up music to my Mac. In turn, my Mac’s music library appears in the Sidebar of my Windows computer. 

Mac itunes home sharing 12 28 2013Mac itunes home sharing 12 29 2013



Here is the Mac’s Music Library being shared with the Windows computer. 



Windows home sharing 1 1 14



That’s all for now! Merry Christmas


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog





Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Quick guide: OS X Mavericks for Windows switchers | Computerworld Blogs

This is the link to a piece by Jonny Evans of Computerworld about switching from Windows to the Maqc and getting your first Mac 

Christmas Day. 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



Quick guide: OS X Mavericks for Windows switchers | Computerworld Blogs: ""


Monday, December 23, 2013

Integrating a Brand New Mac with 10.9 with an old Windows XP computer-It can be done with the Wormhole Switch

You’ve heard all the reasons for dumping Windows XP. Microsoft won’t support it after March 2014. Virus developers will try to exploit its vulnerabilities. It doesn’t support new technologies, like Thunderbolt and USB 3.0. It won’t support new software. And so on and so forth.

I thought about this and then I came up with reasons you might want to keep Windows XP on hand.

No, it won’t support the new hardware. Windows XP, however, supports several olderĖ†technologies, such as using the parallel port (remember that?) as an input for scanners and ZIP & SyQuest drives. You might have a serious investment in peripherals using the RS-232 serial port, such as computerized sewing machines. Sewing the sails for racing yachts. You’ve spent a lot of money on this stuff and expect to get many more years of service out of them before you have to scrap them.

Then the questions about software arise. You may use software.that runs fine on Windows XP, but will not run on Windows 7 or 8 no matter what you do. This is the software that connects to the above mentioned computerized sewing machines connected by serial cables.  As for replacing the payroll software, hey, it works. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” comes to mind on these occasions. 

You’d like to connect a brand new Mac to the old warhorse XP machine, but how to do it without making the XP machine more vulnerable to malware?  How can I share text and graphics between the two machines? And you’d like to keep what remains of your sanity and not fuss with exotic configuration files.

I believe I have found the answer in the JUC400 Wormhole Switch. I have successfully configured it to work with a 2003 vintage Windows XP machine and my Mac Mini running 10.9.1. I have exchanged text and graphics via a shared clipboard and can drag files from one desktop to another. I did this over a USB 2.0 connection without a connection to the Internet. 

The device cost me $39.95 at Fry’s Electronics, but you can get it at a better price now at Amazon, Tiger Direct, NewEgg, and B&H Photo

Installation Problems and How I overcame them

So I set up my vintage Windows XP box with an appropriate 15” CRT VGA monitor to the immediate left of my Mac Mini and 23” Samsung monitor


Windows XP and Mac Mini side by side

I had previously used my Wormhole Switch with my Windows 7 box, which caused problems downgrading to a Windows XP machine. I resolved this problem by running the installation program for the latest driver. They had these programs for both Windows and Mac, but you only need to run one. The program upgrades the program held in flash memory in the housing. Just follow the on-screen directions.

I plugged one end into the XP box and the other end into a USB hub with my Mac Mini. It took a while, but finally everything synced up and I could move my cursor from one screen to another with both the Windows mouse and the Mac’s Magic Trackpad. I exchanged text and graphics clips via the clipboard and dragged files back and forth. You might want to keep an Ethernet connection between the two machines if you need a volume of files and folders between them.  

Configuration of the Wormhole Switch

Once the connection between Windows XP and OS X 10.9 occurs, you only need to select which side the other machines lies on. 


This is the Mac side. You click on the Wormhole icon to make it the foreground app. Then click on the left-most menu “Wormhole Switch” and set the position of the Windows PC.


Mac preferences

This is the Windows XP preferences. You right-click on the Wormhole icon in the System Tray. Again you set the position of the other computer.

Windows Preferences


As you can see from the screenshots, you have more options you can set. You can choose to automatically go between desktops by moving your mouse to the edge of the screen or by setting a hot key. 


For $40 or less, the JUC-400 Wormhole Switch provides a cross-platform melding of keyboard, pointing device, clipboards, and even the ability to drag a few files from desktop to desktop. It requires minimal configuration and no editing of configuration files (I’m looking at you Synergy) You may need to upgrade the programs stored in flash memory in the cable housing, but that’s a simple process. 

It would be nice if it offered cross-plateform audio, too, but that’s a minor quibble. 

If you need to integrate an older Windows XP machine (and its older user, too) with a brand new Mac running 10.9.1; then the JUC-400 Wormhole Switch provides an answer.

Note: When ordering make sure you get the JUC-400 cable and not another Wormhole switch. j5create makes several of these, some intended for Windows only and some for Windows and Android systems.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog









Sunday, December 22, 2013

How to Troubleshoot the Four Most Common "Oh Sh*t" Mac Problems

A link to an article from dealing with moment of aggravation with your Mac.


BTW, I highly recommend All kinds of ideas, from Macs to Windows to making breakfast burritos. Check it out.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



How to Troubleshoot the Four Most Common "Oh Sh*t" Mac Problems: ""


Make OS X more to your liking with Flavours











Back in the day of Classic OS, Arlo Rose’s Kaleidoscope allowed you to customize your Mac’s interface to the nth degree.



Unsanity followed Kaiedioscope on the early versions of OS X, allowing you to customize. But then it went away, as Apple foiled Unsanity’s plans


Customization in the era of 10.9

Now Interacto offers Flavours, which lets you customize the appearance of windows in OS X. You can also choose a custom desktop


An online store offers a wide selection of desktops submitted by users. If you don’t find one you like, you can mix your our creation using Flavours.


Herre are examples of two color schemes. The first is Ferrrari Red.


ITunes in Ferrari red


The second is Shadowstone


Itunes in shadowstone




One downside to Flavours, as opposed to past appearance managers, is that it doesn’t give you a new set of icons to match your scheme. In the past, Panic’s CandyBar application solved that problem, but right now Panic offers CandyBar on an as-is basis. They still like their app, but they can’t keep up with the way Apple manages icons. 

 Liteicon from freemacsoft can help you with changing icons. It’s not as full-feateured as Candy Bar, but it’s free. 


Flavour’s price changes with the exchange rate between the Euro and the dollar going up and down. Right down it’s $19.90.


Flavours also warns you at installation time NOT to use any 3rd party application uninstallers such as App Cleaner or AppZapper. Use only the uninstall feature built into the program. Just go under the Flavours menu to find uninstall.




Flavours returns some control over OS X’s appearance to you. If your inner designer wants different windows and other elements (but not icons) check out Flavours. They offer a trial version.  



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Run Classic Mac OS on a Mac Plus Emulator in Any Web Browser

Need I say more? If  you want Classic OS without the hassles of emulators, click on the link below.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



Run Classic Mac OS on a Mac Plus Emulator in Any Web Browser: ""


Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Saturday roundup of articles for you

Apple Mac Pro: 9 Ways It Wows

Apple's 12-Core Mac Pro On Sale Dec. 19, Starting at $2,999

Apple's dark tower Mac Pro ship date quickly slips to February 2014

In public, Apple’s rivals in the smartphone market have tried to downplay the technological advances Apple introduced in the iPhone 5s. But it turns out that one breakthrough -- Apple's speedy, 64-bit A7 microprocessor -- has set off a panic inside its competitors.

11 iPhone Apps You'd Have To Take From My Cold, Dead Hands

Getting a 27-year-old Mac Plus onto the web

Apple signals end to OS X Snow Leopard support
Declines to patch Safari 5.1, surest sign that it's given 10.6 the support boot

Yes, Someone Can Spy On You Using Your Own MacBook Webcam

That's because it's possible for hackers or even the federal government to bypass the security feature in the iSight camera, researchers at Johns Hopkins University say.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Stick a piece of tape on your camera. Seriously.

You Should Never, Ever Leave Your Webcam Uncovered When You Aren't Using It

The Incredibly Clever Way Thieves Stole 40 Million Credit Cards From Target Customers

The hackers went through the physical checkout systems inside every Target store. That's nearly 2,000 stores

The hack focused on Target's point-of-sale, or POS system. As shoppers swiped or punched in their numbers on the checkout keypad, the hackers copied every single number, according to Brian Krebs, whose tech security blog has broken scoop after scoop on password hacking.

The thieves now have 40 million blank cards with correct numbers and PINs, and can withdraw cash from ATMs at their leisure.

Here's What To Do If You Shopped At Target After Its Black Friday Data Breach

A list of five things you must do to protect yourself from credit card rip-off.

On some level, you have to admire what Facebook has done here. It spent years making itself a free and easy place for business to market themselves or sell actual products. Then, as soon as these businesses grew addicted to Facebook's users, Facebook began charging for access to them.

Why Owning an Inexpensive Kindle Could Cost You Hundreds

Survey indicates Kindle users spend $443 more annually than regular Amazon members

Bitcoin - A Primer from the Chicago Federal Reserve
Good background mixed together with horrible propaganda

This article gets into the technical details of bitcoin more than other articles I've seen.

Bitcoin solves the two challenges of controlling the creation of a unit of digital currency and avoiding its duplication at once. Validation is difficult to do, and those who do it are rewarded for doing so by being allowed to create new bitcoins in a controlled way.

The bitcoin protocol provides an elegant solution to the problem of creating a digital currency-i.e., how to regulate its issue, defeat counterfeiting and double-spending, and ensure that it can be conveyed safely-without relying on a single authority.

once created, the bitcoin has no value other than in exchange, contrary to a gold coin.

Bitcoin is free of the power of the state, but it is also outside the protection of the state. How likely is bitcoin to remain so if it gains wide acceptance and the incentives to hijack it grow accordingly?

Investors may not want bitcoin to be a real currency

If bitcoins were treated as a real currency, gains would have to be taxed at regular income tax rates, which could get as high as 39.6% for the wealthiest bitcoin users.  In contrast, if bitcoins are treated as an asset-similar to the way they will be treated in Norway-they could potentially be taxed at the much lower long-term capital gains rate of 20% for investors in the top tax bracket.

Why Bitcoin Will Never Be A Currency — In Two Charts

What Bitcoin really needs is a central bank to stabilize its value. When the demand for Bitcoin goes up, they need to print more to keep it from skyrocketing. That is, they need to decide whether they want Bitcoin to be a Ponzi scheme for techno-libertarians or an actual medium of exchange. See, the technology of Bitcoin really is revolutionary, and the currency of Bitcoin is holding it back. In other words, Bitcoin really could have use as a payments system if it had a stable value. But it doesn't, so it's just a dotcom stock.

Big Bitcoin Law Suit Between Mt. Gox and CoinLab

If you think that keeping the world's most popular Bitcoin exchange up and running is easy, think again.

If the Bitcoin community seems remarkably calm about Mt. Gox's problems, that's because they've been through rough patches with the exchange before.

The Definitive History Of Bitcoin

Thursday, December 19, 2013

old-new-mac-pro-100220843-orig-100220845-orig.jpg 1,200×900 pixels

This is the new Mac Pro against the old Mac Pro in the Macworld Labs. Oooh, I like it, but that price! It’s more than I paid for my last car!


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



old-new-mac-pro-100220843-orig-100220845-orig.jpg 1,200×900 pixels: ""


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tinkertool-You should add the appropriate version to your toolbox of Utilities

My last post reviewed Intego Software’s Washing Machine utility package. I mentioned that it doesn’t do everything, such as alter your screenshot’s file format and file location. Well, here’s a utility to solve problems like this.

It’s a utility that doesn’t get publicized in mass e-mails or in Web pop-ups; but i heartily recommend it to  you. It’s Marcel Bresink’s Tinkertool. What it does is put a graphic interface on hidden settings that Apple didn’t give you a graphic interface. According to Apple, you have to type in the defaults command followed by the parameter to alter into Terminal. 

If you bought a Mac to get away from working at the Terminal, then  you’ll appreciate Tinkertool. You download it from


It comes in a .dmg file. When you click on it, you get this warning:


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 1 31 03 PM


Click on “Agree” and you get the Tinkertool 5.0 application, an HTML page with Frequently Asked Questions in  English and a link back to the Web site for future reference. 

Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 2 03 51 PM

When you drag and copy Tinkertool to either your Applications or Applications/Utilities  folders, you click on it and get this window.


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 1 58 09 PM


Look in the middle and you see how to change the screenshot file format and the target folder for screenshots. So if you have a series of projects and you want separate folders for each set of screenshots, now you can change them with ease. That’s under the General tab. 

Under the Finder tab at the far left-hand  side you can change whether to see otherwise hidden and system files that OS X normally hides from you. You can also set OS X to NOT save all those .DS files that crop up when you save a file on a Windows server . 


Finder tab  2 12 15 2013


Two final tricks. First, if you don’t want other windows open on your screen to distract you, you can use the Dock tab to set Single Appleication Mode:


Dock Tab 12 15 2013


Second, what if you move to another Mac and want to keep all these settings? Siimple, export a Tinkertool .ttps file


File Import and Export Menu 12 15 2013


File Dialogue box for ttps





Tinkertool, a free utility from Marcel Bresink Software, let you change many servings for your own user account that would otherwise require you to type in commands at the Terminal prompt. You can also import and export settings files from the same version of Tinkertool.


Tinkertool does not alter anything that Apple did not make available. You do not need to enter your user password to use Tinkertool. You will need to use it on each user’s account on a Mac. You have the option to import and export .ttps files that contain all your modifications.


Make sure to read the FAQ file included on the .dmg file that you download. If you use earlier versions of OS X, earlier than Mavericks, you will need to use versions specific to that operating system. 



Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Voice









Intego's Washing Machine simplifies keeping your Mac clean and tidy

Intego is not the first utility developer on any platform to use household appliances as a metaphor for what they accomplish. It is to Intego’s credit that they didn’t try to make this utility an “everything and the kitchen sink” utility



Washing Machine requires at least a Core 2 Duo Intel processor, OS X 10.6, and 50 Mb of free disk space. It costs $29.95 for a single user license, $49.95 for a 2 user license, and $79.95 for a 5 user license. If you just use it yourself, you might want to look at the software bundles advertised on,, and Maclife come for the opportunity to buy this and other utilities at a cheaper price.


What it is and isn't

Washing Machine has three main missions:


1. Reclaim disk space from the junk that has built up.

2. Track down duplicate files and eliminate them if you want to.

3. Organize your Desktop, your Dock, and your Smart Folders.


It doesn’t delve into various settings that Apple doesn’t provide a graphic interface for, such as setting the screenshot file format and file location. It doesn’t offer an option to set the User Library file to visible instead of hidden. It doesn’t repair permissions or your hard drive or defragment it. Too many utilities, (I’m looking at you Onyx) offer a plethora of features, but can confuse users with that plethora of choices. 

You can try Washing Machine for free in evaluation mode for 30 days. You can do a dry run of each of the features, but it won’t affect your current settings. You have the option of buying a license at any point. 


Reclaim Disk Space

Reclaim goes after those areas on your Mac that attract junk. Digital dust bunnies as it were. 


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 9 55 39 AM


As you see from the picture, you select  Reclaim, Duplicates, and Organize at the upper left-hand corner. The settings for the current operation are displayed below.


By default, Washing Maachine examines your Caches, your Downloads, your Languages, your Logs, and your Trash. You slide the buttons to deselect a category. 


As Washing Machine analyzes your files, it displays the  progress of the analysis on the right-hand side. On the left-hand side, it displays useful tips and inspiration quotes about the value of organization and cleanliness.


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 10 06 53 AM





So click on the large blue SCAN button to begin the cycle. Intego does not indulge in gratuitous visual and audio effects to simulate a washing machine at this point, a point in their favor. 


After it completes, it displays the examined areas on the left with a graph on the right. I would have preferred a a bar or pie graph myself. Below the graph you see a slider to set just how aggressively you want to attack your digital trash. In the evaluation mode, it’s set in the middle and you can’t change it.


You see a display of files to possibly delete in the form of a hierarchical tree Click on the boxes to decide whether to delete or retain individual files 


Use the slider to select how aggressively you want to cleanse your Mac and click on the blue button in the middle at the top. 


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 10 21 42 AM




Duplicates lets you find duplicate files not just in your User folders, but on locally attached  hard drives. That would include additional internal drives and external hard drives connected by USB, Firewire, and Thunderbolt. You can also manually add Network Attached Storage devices and any volumes within them.

It begins with you clicking on the Duplicates tab in the upper left-hand corner. You see six categories of files that attract duplicates. 




Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 10 27 36 AM


Deselect any categories and select the Blue Scan Button.


Now you select which drives to examine. By default, your User folder is examined. If you want another user’s User Folder examined, you need to log out of your account and start up with their account. 


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 10 37 03 AM


Now on the left-hand side you can select the locally attached drives with just a click in the box. To add a Network Attached Storage device, you need to go to the “+” and “-“ buttons below the left-hand window. You get a File dialog box to select it. It takes a little effort, but you can do it.  The right-hand side lets you select drives to exclude from your search. 


I should warn you that the analysis of possible duplicate files takes a while. So be patient. Put on some good music. 


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 10 54 09 AM




When you finish, you will see a display of duplicate files on the left-hand side. Click on each title and the right-had side displays the individual files to delete. Click on the boxes to pick those to delete.


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 11 35 46 AM



You can find other programs to reclaim lost space and find duplicate files. Washing Machine’s Organize feature, though, is a unique feature. 


You organize three areas of your Mac


1. The Desktop area. I have seen too many users stuff their desktops full of files and folders until they can’t see what’s on it. 

2. The Dock. This feature suggests the best set of apps to use, as you use these apps the most.

3. Smart Folders. Washing Machine offers you a set of preselected Smsart Fodlers. Smart Folders are part of  the Searchlight technology first introduced way back in 10.4. They serve as saved searches for files. I would hope a future version of Washing Machine would help users set up their own Smart Folders in addition to these preselected ones.

Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 11 41 49 AM


You start by selecting the Organize tab on the upper-left hand corner. Below that you get to select the categories you want to organize. 


Under the Desktop category you see the files and folders on your Desktop and “bins” you can move these files into. 


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 11 51 43 AM



I ‘m proud of my Desktop. I have only one file on it, an alias to my printer. Some of you, though, may not be. 


Now the Dock features lets you organize your Dock in a more convenient manner than just dragging files from an open Finder windows to the Dock. So I give it points for convenience over the default Mac setup. 


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 11 58 49 AM


But Washing Machine reminds you if you are in Evaluation Mode that you need to purchase a license to actually make the changes. 


Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 11 56 52 AM



Smart Folders in Washing Machine are preassembled for you. You only need to drag them from the left-hand column to the right-hand column, where they will end up in your Finder’s Sidebar. 

A word of caution. These Smart Folders do not search for iWorks formats (.pages, .numbers. and .keynote). They search for the Microsoft Office formats. 



Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 12 14 07 PM


And if you want help at any time, just click on the encircled i in the upper right-hand corner. You will see an overlay resembling a blueprint explaining how to use a particular feature. 

Screen Shot 2013 12 15 at 12 14 51 PM



Washing Macine combines two features, Reclamation of wasted space and identification of duplicate files with their subsequent deletion, along with a new one, organization of the Desktop, the Dock, and installation of Smart Folders into your Finder’s sidebar to aid in organization.

I would say this app is intended for users who need a convenient way to clean up their Macs. Some operations such as setting up Smart Folders are made more convenient. 


Depending on how stuffed your Mac is, you may need to dedicate a whole evening to this. Fortunately, the program is stable and did not crash on me while I ran it in evaluation mode. 

If you think about buying this, check out,, and to see if they have any bundle of software that include Washing Machine. You could save yourself some money and pick up another desirable program.

(All test and screenshots used the evaluation version of Washing Machine. The developer did not provide me with a free license to sway my opinion)

Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog








Saturday, December 14, 2013

Deals: $120-$270 off MacBook Pros with CD/DVD drive; up to $570 off Retina closeout models

From, check out this article on getting areal on a MacBook Pro from an authorized reseller. 



Deals: $120-$270 off MacBook Pros with CD/DVD drive; up to $570 off Retina closeout models: ""


Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth has the Saturday roundup for you

Apple Scores Legal Victory Over Samsung In South Korea

Why Apple Is Rejecting Bitcoin Apps

Apple is simply protecting itself from legal repercussions until regulators can come to some sort of consensus on how to treat the digital currency.

Bitcoin is not illegal, but it is also not legally recognized by governments as a currency. This gray area is what is leading Apple to reject Bitcoin-transaction apps.

11 Bitcoin Myths

The Perfect Steve Ballmer Quote To Illustrate What Went Wrong At Microsoft

In the last five years, probably Apple has made more money than we have.  But in the last 13 years, I bet we've made more money than almost anybody on the planet.  And that, frankly, is a great source of pride to me.

Ballmer explains that from day one, his job at Microsoft was to think about money.

This is the problem with Ballmer and his run at Microsoft.  His starting point for any decision at the company centers on money.  He thinks about how Microsoft will make, or lose, money on a product.

Twitter quickly reverses policy on user blocking after backlash

Twitter quickly reversed a controversial policy on user blocking after a backlash over a system that would have let someone who was shut out by another to still be able to see that user's tweets.

The change, unveiled late Thursday, also would have meant that users who were blocked by others would know not that they've been blocked.

The policy purportedly was aimed to curb retaliation against users who blocked other users.

5 Ways Hackers Get In And How To Stop Them

Identity Theft Now Costs Far More Than All Other Property Crimes COMBINED

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth has a fresh crop of articles for us to read

Apple iPad is the Black Friday winner

22 Ways Apple's iPad Video Mixes Fantasy and Reality

Apple's desktops overtake Dell as most sought-after PC for the holidays

for the first time ever, Apple's desktops have overtaken Dell to be the most sought-after PCs for the holiday shopping season

In Apple vs. Samsung, the lawyers win

Apple said in a filing that it is seeking to recoup part of the more than $60 million in lawyer fees

Apple and its court-appointed e-books monitor

Wall Street Journal slams judge in Apple e-book trial
the same judge who convicted Apple of violating anti-trust law a few months ago
This story might get a lot more interesting.

Here's A Problem With The Theory That Android Is Taking Over The World

Apple's iOS, which powers iPhones and iPads, is destroying Google's Android in mobile shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

There's a jaw-dropping gap in usage between the two platforms.  It suggests that the focus on smartphone market share misses a bigger picture about how the platforms are actually used.

What’s up with bitcoin hate?

2 Million More Passwords For Facebook, Google, Twitter, Other Sites Were Stolen And Posted To The Net

Here Are The 20 Worst Passwords You Can Use

What to do when internet fraudsters use your credit card
It can take up to eight months to set things straight

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dave Barry’s Gift Guide - Dave Barry -

Dave Barry’s Gift Guide - Dave Barry - ""



Good Morning, All. Hope you have finished the Thanksgiving holiday in good order. A special shout-out to our friends celebrating Hanukkah. 


Above you see a link to Dave Barry’s guide to Holiday Gift Giving. Please, take a look at this. You need a good laugh. 


Happy Shopping Season to all of us. Be ready to walk. You need to exercise from the back parking lot to the mall.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog 


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Senior Corespondent Arnold Woodworth with more Saturday offerings

Apple Has 500,000 iPhone 5Ss Being Made Every Day, Its Highest Ever Output

Apple’s ground-breaking bet on its clean energy infrastructure

Apple Confirms Acquisition of 3-D Sensor Startup PrimeSense

Voice and motion command of these wearable devices that are coming is going to be one of the standards that Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook are going to be competing on.

TV Is Dying, And Here Are The Stats That Prove It

Bitcoin, not gold, has the Midas touch

It's an alternative to paper currencies. It can be traded anywhere in the world. It has a limited supply. And it should be a secure haven if financial markets start to crash. That is a fairly accurate description of gold. It is also an accurate description of bitcoin.

While bitcoin has been soaring in price, gold has been falling.

At the start of this year, you could pick up one of those bitcoins for $13.  Looking back, that was the steal of the year.  The virtual currency jumped to a record of $947.

bitcoin may be a nerdish fad ...... a short-lived mania that will collapse soon and leave everyone who climbed on board feeling stupid.  But the most likely explanation is that bitcoin is emerging as a serious currency.

The goldbugs will tell you that the price of gold is being suppressed - it would be a lot higher if it was not being manipulated downwards. Others will argue that bitcoin is a faddish bubble, a nerd-ish equivalent of 17th century Dutch tulips. Its soaring price tells us nothing - except that people are as easily fooled as they always have been.

The actual answer is more interesting.

For the few people who have not yet heard of it, bitcoin is a purely digital currency, minted in limited quantities by a pre-determined algorithm.  No one knows who invented it, and no one controls it.  Right now, there are 11 million bitcoins in circulation, and the algorithm will eventually create around 21 million of them.  And that will be all - production will stop, and there will be no more.

The point about bitcoin is that it is designed to be all the things that gold was back when the precious metal was a currency. It has a limited supply. It is not controlled by governments or central banks. It is not anonymous, as some people occasionally claim, but it is a lot more private than money held in a bank account. It is a store of value.

Bitcoins, bubbles and babble, oh my

The one bubble nobody can doubt is the bubble in bubble calling.

Bubbles are always the result of policy and I'm still quite confident that we are in the midst of an unprecedented global coordination of policy that are purposely set on fueling bubbles.

Bitcoin Is Moving Just Like South Sea Stock Before The Bubble Popped [CHARTS]

This is just for fun, I have no idea if or when the bitcoin train will ever get derailed.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Posts from Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth

The 11 Best Apps For Getting The Most Out Of Your Mac

Apple Wins Another Patent Fight Against Samsung in Germany, but Samsung Still Profits

Samsung has made billions more in profits from copying Apple.  That makes the loss of SEP royalties and the $930 million damage awards just a cost of doing business.

Facebook's 10 Most Misunderstood Privacy Facts

Five virtual currencies other than bitcoin


Google settled another privacy lawsuit today, promising to pay $17 million for circumventing users' privacy wishes.

The case centered around Apple's Safari browser, which had certain default privacy settings concerning tracking and cookies. Google, according to this lawsuit, went around those settings and used cookies to track user activity, even where users had specified that they did not want to be followed.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's Saturday the 16th and time for another batch of articles gathered by Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth

Still Got a First-Gen iPad?  Don't Ditch it Yet.  "Old" is not the same as "obsolete."

Numerous retailers now offer bounties for older iPads.

The iPad can serve as a hand-me-down device that can grow with your child

Over three-plus years of ownership, my iPad has been the least problematic computing device I have ever used.

Come On, Apple Fans, It's Time To Admit That The Company Is Blowing It

The bottom line is that, by trying to maintain its price points and super-high profit margin, Apple has radically underperformed the market for the past couple of years, especially in tablets. Because of the importance of the platform and ecosystem for long-term value, this is a shortsighted decision.

Apple & Samsung take massive 109% of mobile industry profits while competitors lose money

In fact, when tablets, notebooks and other mobile devices are included, Apple earned more than Samsung, LG, Nokia, Huawei, Lenovo and Motorola's mobile divisions combined.

How Windows Has Evolved Over The Last 30 Years
Includes a few comparisons with Mac OS.
Windows OS was incredibly primitive compared to Mac OS until 1995.

Top 5 free apps for investors

Analysis: Only one-third of Samsung smartphone sales are of iPhone class

Samsung: no disputing we sold Apple's property and owe a 'huge sum of money'

I'm beginning to think that Samsung will end up with a net profit for violating Apple's patents -- even after the future court award for damages

Judge Koh ruled Apple cannot pursue damages due to lost profits for four out of the five patents originally leveraged at the start of the retrial, a decision that could be worth $114 million to Apple's final payout.

The one property remaining - the '915 patent for "pinch-to-zoom" - is still important

MacRumors Hacker Promises Stolen Passwords Are Safe

The hacker behind Monday's breach of an Apple-related rumor and news website has promised to not leak any of the 860,000 passwords he stole. 

But he said that any users who'd reused the same password on other sites had only themselves to blame. "We're not terrorists," he said.

How long do hard drives last?  See the graph.

On average, 80 percent of all hard drives are still in use after four years. Through extrapolation, I figure that the median life span of a hard drive -- the point at which 50 percent of drives will have failed -- is about six years.

if your hard drive hasn't failed yet, it probably will soon. Be sure to back up early and often.

Judge Tips Google's Way in 8-Year-Old Books Saga
Google won a critical victory for its Google Books project

"In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits.  It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders ... generates new audiences and creates new sources of income for authors and publishers. Indeed, all society benefits,"
--  Denny Chin, United States District Court Judge

JPMorgan Shows Exactly How To Not Use Twitter

Their starting tweet:
J.P. Morgan@jpmorganFollow
It’s a #TwitterTakeover: We'll host our 1st live Q&A on leadership & career advice w/a leading $JPM exec on 11/14. Use #AskJPM to submit a Q

Their ending tweet:  Tomorrow's Q&A is cancelled. Bad Idea. Back to the drawing board.



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