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NVMUG November 2020 Meeting Report

Northern Vermont Macintosh Users Group

Attending: Bruce Shields, Midge Lubot, Jane Fuller, Stephen Farber, and Geof Gonter

November 21, 2020

Meeting Minutes for the Northern Vermont Macintosh User Group

Held via Zoom online

Bruce talked about his fixing his issues with Catalina with kernel panics and Safari crashing. He has an iMac that is a couple years old and running Catalina. He still gets an occasional lock up with Safari (He has switched to Firefox for fewer issues). He was having kernel panics on a regular basis. He had an older USB hub attached and when he pulled the hub from the computer the kernel panics stopped. It was recommended that he purchase a USB 3.0 hub to replace it. Often older peripherals will become faulty and cause issues.

Bruce’s wife is running an older version of Office, 2007, on a 2009 MacBook. They are not able to run the version with a newer operating system. It would require upgrading Office or utilizing open source software like Libre (https://www.libreoffice.org/) or Open Office (https://www.openoffice.org/product/mac.html). Both are free, can open, and save Office documents. I recently had an offer to get 5 copies of Office, plus a Microsoft Office 365 account, for a reasonable price (under $30.00). I’ll pass on the link, should I get the offer again.

Someone mentioned about opening and annotating PDFs. In addition to Adobe Reader, preview will open PDFs and allow text blocks to be added to forms and Office offers an online convertor in Word to make them totally editable, if one subscribes to Office 365.

We discussed seasonal effective disorder and what devices could be purchased to assist in getting through the winter months. Verilux manufactures several devices called HappyLight (https://verilux.com/collections/happylight-therapy-lamps-boxes) that is said to help people with issues. You can find other lamps and devices by searching “seasonal affective disorder” in your search engine.

Question: Who might the first to purchase a M1 Mac? Jane mentioned her Macbook Pro is very long in the tooth and has issues. She may soon be in the market for one. We would be interested in any experiences NVMUG members have, if they have made the big purchase.

What information is Apple getting from applications on your computer? It has been reported that your Apple computer is transmitting information, your IP, the applications you open, and, other information to Apple. However, Apple has reported that they delete some of the information, like your IP number shortly after receiving it, and do provide information to some third parties. They also say the reporting of the starting an application is to insure that the certificate for the application is current, assuring a secure application. Remember that unless you are running through a Virtual Private Connection, you ISP already has your IP number and browsing history, even when you are using a Private Window.

Electronic recycling was discussed. By Vermont law, the recycling of electronic waste is mandatory. The Vermont E-Cycles program provides FREE and convenient recycling of computers, monitors, televisions, printers and computer peripherals to residents, charities, school districts, and small businesses. Locations in the NEK are in Albany, Brownington, Burke, Cabot, Canaan, Concord, Danville, Derby, East Ryegate, Glover, Greensboro, Hardwick, Holland, Hyde Park, Island Pond, Jay/Westfield, Lunenburg, Lyndonville, Morgan, Morristown, Peacham, St. Johnsbury, and Westmore (per https://anrweb.vt.gov/DEC/EWaste/facilitylist.aspx). If your town is not listed, it is often possible to possible to to take the items to town that does provide the service.

Our next meeting will be a Zoom meeting on December 19 at 10:00 am. Sorry no Christmas goodies this year.We may know then about the possibility of meeting face to face, but it currently does not look good.

If you wish to attend, please send me an email by 9:30 am, on that date, so I can send send you an email invitation to the meeting. The meetings will continue to be online meetings instead of the meeting room at the Northeastern Regional Hospital in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont. Right now that looks like it will not be before January 1, 2021

After a discussion with Midge, we decided there will be no October meeting, The next NVMUG meeting will be a Zoom meeting on November 21, at 10:00 am. There is a lot going on in the Apple World right now, new iPhones, iOS 14, Apple Silicon, macOS X Big Sur, and the switch to ARM processors from Intel. We will try to decipher the anew Apple developments and how they may affect your future with Apple devices.

On Facebook? Visit us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/477957755742285/.

Geof Gonter



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