Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Episode 2 of a three-part series on using iPhoto on a Mac to fix bad photos.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Episode 1 of a three-part series on using iPhoto on a Mac to fix bad photos.
This installment: fixing pictures that are too dark.Click the image below to watch my video tutorial.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Many new printers from Epson, Canon and Hewlett-Packard come with instructions to NOT install the software that comes with them on CDs. Rather, the instructions say, get the software from Apple, and indeed that is excellent advice. Apple long ago tired of waiting for printer manufacturers to provide software compatible with each new version of OS X, so they started doing it themselves, and on the whole this has been a good thing for Mac users.
In general, the process is
- Connect printer to Mac with USB cable (or wirelessly)
- Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, then click on "Print & Scan"
- Click the "+" at bottom left of the Print & Scan Preference Pane
- Let Apple deliver the software over the internet (totally automatically)
The thing to do next is to "reset the printing system." That gives you a fresh start, and in my experience, resetting the printing system ALWAYS solves the problem, allowing the printer software to be downloaded successfully from Apple. I've never seen it not work.
The trouble is, resetting the printing system wipes out all of the printers in your Print & Scan Preference Pane. Here's what mine looked like before I Control-clicked in the printer list area (outlined in red here for you):
And here's what it looked like after. No printers. But, that's what "reset" means.
After you've reset printing (and wiped out all of your printers) you can click that little "+" (the one next to the "-", not the one in the middle of the screen) and add your printer, the one you couldn't add a few minutes ago. It's going to work this time. You can also go back and click the "+" to add your other printers. It's easier than it sounds and will take just a few minutes per printer. No one likes making extra work for himself but sometimes it's the only way, and like I said before, in my experience resetting the printing system always works. So, as a last resort, now you know what to do.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Every so often I solve a problem and the solution involves some luck. I had one of those the other day. In an attempt to save someone else from struggling with a similar problem I'm writing it down. Or writing it up. Whatever.
The problem involved Time Machine. The Mac was a brand-new MacBook Pro Retina and the Time Machine backup was set to use a Time Capsule for storage. The initial backup progressed a tiny bit (500 MB) but wouldn't go further. By the time I got there to trouble-shoot the estimated time for the initial backup was reported as 122 days.
Funny thing was, everything looked right. The Time Capsule disk was chosen in the Time Machine Preference Pane, there was plenty of room on the Time Capsule, and the connection to the Time Capsule, while wireless, was very strong. Restarting the Mac did not help and neither did restarting the Time Capsule. It was a real head-scratcher.
Out of the blue I had the idea of checking the contents of the Time Capsule. In the Backups.backupdb folder I found backups representing other Macs, but none representing the new Mac. That seemed odd: every backed-up machine should have a folder on the backup drive with its name on it, as shown below (for my Mac's backup).
And where does Time Machine get the name of the machine? From the Sharing Preference Pane, that's where. Here's what MY Mac's Sharing Preference Pane shows. You'll note that my Mac's backup folder has EXACTLY the same name as shown in the "Computer Name" section below (because Time Machine just reads the Computer Name and creates the backup folder to match).
When I looked at the Sharing Preference Pane on the MacBook Pro that wouldn't back up the Computer Name was completely blank. Completely! No one knew why it was blank, but blank it was. And as soon as I entered a Computer Name for the MacBook Pro the Time Machine backup got back to work. The time remaining went from 122 days to 8 hours to 7 hours to 6 hours in the space of twenty minutes. The owner reported a completed backup the next day and it's been backing up fine ever since.
The moral of the story is you have to have a Computer Name, in the Sharing Preference Pane, if you want Time Machine to work.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Apple's Reminders app for iOS is super handy. It is even handier when you use Siri to add items to the Reminders by voice. All it takes is the keyword "Add." So, Kate (this is for my sister Kate who recently joined the iPhone Club), you press and hold your iPhone's Home button, wait for Siri's microphone to pop up, and then say something like…
"Add Gatorade to my Groceries list"and Siri does the rest.
Of course you have to actually have a Groceries list (which you make in Reminders by tapping "Create New List…"). It works with other things too, not just Groceries, and not just Gatorade. I want to make that clear. Just remember to start your request with the word "Add."
Anyhow, if you go into Reminders, make a few lists, and then let Siri do the rest you are going to be one organized person.
Most people write stuff down so they don't forget things. Totally wrong. The point of writing stuff down is to ALLOW you to forget, because knowing that these little things are written down somewhere means you can stop clogging up your mind trying to remember them, and therefore have brain capacity for doing other, bigger, things.
Naturally if you're an iCloud member, and you have an iPad, or a Mac with Mountain Lion (10.8), the reminders you make on your iPhone will show up on your iPad and/or Mac. That's pretty cool too.