NVMUG January 2016 Meeting Report
Northern Vermont Macintosh Users Group
Present: Hartley Jackson, Daniel Hollister, Midge Lubot, Kelly Gonter, and Geof Gonter
There was a discussion about the cost of getting certified for Macintosh repair. This came about because there was a discussion about who can provide warranty hardware support in Vermont, now that Small Dog Electronics not longer does.
There was a discussion about purchasing. Geof has purchased three refurbished computers from Apple and has good luck with them all. Many of the items are returned to Apple because they were not what the customer wanted. They can not be sold as new once the box is opened. They carry a full year warranty and are eligible for the additional two years of AppleCare.
A discussion ensued when Geof mentioned they had recently purchased a Roku 3. The differences between the devices, allowing streaming programs via the internet, were discussed. The devices discussed were the Apple TV, Fire Stick, Google Chromecast, and Roku. Daniel mentioned that the advantage to the Apple TV is SIRI, allowing voice communication, and good scrubbing capability, which allows smoother fast forward, ability to purchase content through Apple, and connection via Air Play with your Apple device. The Roku offers access to the most services and, according to sites on the internet, can be streamed to from your computer, using the wireless. Many services have fees. Geof has not had time to test the connectivity between his Retina and the Roku. The Roku also includes a remote that includes a jack for use with headphone or connect to external powered speakers. A quick review is at http://bestreviews.com/5-best-streaming-devices.
VPN’s were discussed. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It utilizes a proxy server to connect to websites and web services that may be blocked by your employer, school, or if you are in a country were a use of a service, such as streaming, may not be allowed. They also allow a level of security when it is used to connect to company websites. There are VPN providers that are free and those that cost.
Computer security was discussed. The issue of warnings that pop up when you using websites was again mentioned. PLEASE, DO NOT call the number on the warning. The best thing you can do is terminate the application, by holding down on the “Option-Command- Escape” keys and then select the browser in the Force Quit window. The other option is force a restart of your computer, but you may lose any work not saved. Only use Apple, by calling Applecare for issues with your computer or take your computer to an authorized service center/technician.
Passwords were mentioned as well. Kelly uses LastPass (Free and Paid versions available). Geof uses 1Password for work (Paid version, but available for iOS and OSX, but the passwords will be available on the devices). He uses a combination of Pastor and the Keychain Access for his personal computer. There are other applications available.
Have vinyl records or tapes? Special turntables are available that provide the capability to record those records in real time, via a USB connection. Ion, Teac, Crosley, Jensen, Audio-Technica, Numark, and Stanton are some of the manufactures. Some offer a input jack you can use with a cable to record from a tape deck. GarageBand, Audacity, and T-RackS 24 are free applications for recording. ION and Griffin offers software at their website. Software is included with many of the Turntables, but it is not known how much of it works with the Macintosh. Remember that all recording is in real time.
Daniel brought to the group the use of the Seagate Wireless Plus and LaCie Fuel external hard drives that offer a network which can be used with your I device to stream music or videos without your home network. He uses it on trips with his children to watch movies on their iPads. The Wireless Plus is cheaper to purchase, but the Fuel is enclosed a very rugged case. Both are available with a 1 or 2 terabyte hard drive. They stream to 3 different devices at once and have an estimated battery life of up to 10 hours.
It was decided by the members present to create a NVMUG Facebook page. Kelly is working on getting the page up.
Topics for future meeting discussions/presentations were mentioned. The two that came up quickly were the Care and Feeding of laptops and Facebook.