 Apple Fans Since 1982

Minutes 11/6/2014

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Bob called the meeting to order at 7:10pm.


Bob tells the group about a saga that occurred recently. A friend of his family’s iMac was stolen and reformatted before it was returned to them, but they wanted to try and recover the thousands of photos that were on the computer. Mario and others suggested Data Rescue (made by ProSoft, which also makes Drive Genius). So, Bob connected his computer to her computer in Target Disk Mode and connected an external drive for recovery of the data, and booted to the DataRescue bootable USB stick. Luckily, the computer reformatting was NOT done with secure 7-pass erase, so all of the photos were recovered – and, they are now backed up!

Compared to DriveSavers, which can run up to several thousand dollars for recovery of files, the $90 cost of DataRescue is an amazing deal! In addition, backup drives are very cheap nowadays – there’s a sale at Fry’s right now for a 4TB Seagate USB3 drive for only $150.

Be sure to read Mario’s recent article on backups! Bob now has four backups – iCloud Drive, BackBlaze, and two external hard drives.


Bob recently had a problem with Safari, and Activity Monitor showed that ‘launchd’ was over-running and causing a slowdown. Open Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor to see what processes are using too much processor power or memory. It will also show frozen processes by writing them in red and appending (Not Responsive) to the name, and you can force quit the process. The Force Quit menu (Command-Option-Escape) only shows Dock applications, whereas Activity Monitor will let you force-quit any process. (Do not just quit any process you don’t recognize, though – the system processes are listed in Activity Monitor, and those processes may have strange names, but they are important!)


FYI – www.SLMUG.org is on some old Norton list of ‘dangerous’ sites. It’s not actually dangerous, but the previous webhost was known for hosting sites that promoted and had malware, so SLMUG.org has been blacklisted in the past. To get around that in Safari, get rid of the Norton Safari extension in /Library/Extensions.


David shared a video about iCloud’s two-step authentication, which is used when logging into iCloud via a web browser, It offers much better security, but needing your phone and a second generated code can be a hassle. It’s not quite mainstream yet, but Google/Gmail also offers two-factor authentication. (It doesn’t prevent people from spoofing your email address – that is unrelated to account access.) Safari, Chrome, and Firefox all offer a “private browsing” option, about which you can read more at: http://www.imore.com/how-use-private-browsing-safari-os-x-yosemite.

ApplePay is secure because it anonymizes your credit card, so it uses a Device Account Number to pay instead of your actual credit card number. Plus, it bundles transactions together so merchants don’t know what items you bought. (This is one reason many merchants are against ApplePay.) Refunds are easily handled with ApplePay, too. One interesting “side effect” of ApplePay is that once you enter a credit card to Passbook, it sends you notifications of other, in-real-life activity on that card. (So if your significant other wants to surprise you with a gift, they had better buy it using another card!)


A note about Continuity and Handoff with Yosemite and iOS8 – now that computers and iPads can be used to answer phone calls, sometimes all three ring at once! It can startle you the first time!


Everyone has probably heard that MacWorld/iWorld is cancelled for next year, and IDG says it is on “hiatus” – aka it is likely gone. There’s now a void where that meet-up, learning environment, product discovery opportunity is gone. Should we work at filling this? Perhaps we can create a larger MUG comprised of members from other local groups, and together we can put together an annual or semiannual gathering of a few hundred people. Mario and Jenny would like to spearhead this effort and start talking to other groups on behalf of SLMUG. If anyone has contacts with people in other groups, please send them along.


SLMUG is now on Facebook. Everyone who has Facebook should ‘Like’ us! This is just a complimentary piece to our existing channels – information will still be posted to the Yahoo! Group and to the website, but now it will also be posted to Facebook.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:30pm, after which several members reconvened at the local Denny’s.

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