Northern Vermont Macintosh Users Group
I wondered who we would have at the meeting.
Kelly and Geof Gonter had written that they would be at a whole day meeting learning about home buying, Bruce Shields is maple syrup sugaring. Gordon Alexander is in Myrtle Beach until April. Frada Kaplan’s husband had to work that day so she would be missing. Then Midge told me Stephen Farber had broken ankle and could not drive.
Fortunately, two members who had not been at a meeting for a long time were already there with Midge Lubot when I arrived: Tom Cuddihy and Russell Carlson. Neil Raphel and Barry Hayes arrived later.
Russell Carlson is interested in buying an older Mac laptop. Russell wants a laptop, because it is a computer and he needs a larger scean than on an iPad.
Russell Carlson looking
Russell’s iMac was refurbished when he bought five years ago for $100 off. He has had no trouble with it. He would like to buy a laptop that was adult owned without to many miles on it. He wants it for Internet access and email. He is concerned that the later laptops have built in batteries which are probably more costly to change.
Tom Cuddihy said, as a rule of thumb, laptops last about five years. Desk tops last longer, probably because they are not packed so closely together or are less apt to be dropped.
Russell had looked on eBay and Craig’s list for used laptops. He said some looked questionable and some sound like an honest seller looking for an honest buyer. He would like some kind of hardware guarantee.
Someone said that Square Trace Company is a business part of eBay that provides a 30 day plan that covers a lot of things. He recommended looking up Square Trade Laptop Guarantee. Someone said that 2 or 3 year old used Mac laptops were in the $700 - $800 range, and 5 years old were probably around $300.
Midge said she believed MacMall was good, and Neil Raphel said Amaon’s return policy was good.
Someone mentioned the Systems Plus store in Lebanon next to the Coop that sells the Mac and other computers. Midge said she met the nice woman who owns it.
I said I believe that if you are taking your Mac there for repairs, you might want to go to that store in Lebanon, but if you want to buy a Mac or iOS device from them I would recommend their other store in Hanover. The salesman in the Lebanonstore says they don’t have some Apple products in stock because they do not sell very well. The store in Hanover is run by woman who is very Mac friendly. The store features Apple products and the staff knows Apple products
Midge said there is something about her computer. When she looks where she is typing sometimes her cursor has jumped up 4 or 5 lines. Midge said she may have imported some software related problems when she just dumped her former stuff on her present Mac. She said things like this happened when her older lap top got old. Midge’s 15 inch MacBook Pro was bought in July, 2009.
Richard Lubot liked Appleworks. He has iWorks on his computer now, dragged in from Midge’s Mac. Midge is using OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard now. now. OS X 10.7 was Lion, 10.8 was Mountain Lion, 10.9 is Mavericks.
TidBITS reported today that this security update included OS X10.8 through 10.9, but did not include Snow Leopard. TidBITS speculated that Apple may have decided it was time to stop updating Snow Leopard to save money because it is old, though as many as a fifth of Mac users still may be using it. They also said it could be because the latest problems may simply not have affected it. They said it may be time to consider upgrading, and that you could upgrade to the other levels fore $19.95 or all the way to Maverick for free.)
Mavericks interface is more like that on their iOS devices. It is an attempt by Apple to make it easier for iOS users to use MacBooks, and make it easier to switch between working on a Mac to and from working on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. The Maverick is faster, and the battery lasts longer than before upgrading
Tom Cuddihy brought his iPhone 5C. He bought it on November 8 and likes it very much.
Tom Cuddihy with his iPhone 5
This is a replacement because he had trouble with the one he initially got. Sometimes when texting he would not get the alert. He called tech support twice about it within 3 months. The third time he called his initial support contract had expired but tech support said this was an on-going case so he was bumped upstairs. He said tech support was fast. They said it was obviously not a software problem. It can only be a hardware problem. They sent him a new one.
Tom bought his iPhone through US Cellular. His 5C cost $99.99 with a 2-year data plan. The 5S was sold for $199.99. US Cellular gave them a better monthly bill than Verizon for similar needs.
Tom reported having unlimited texting and unlimited sending and receiving of pics. They have a certain number of minutes which he doesn’t pay attention to becase they never reach the total allowed. When you connect using WiFi and a router instead of the telephone company, it does not count against your data plan.
Tom’s family has three phones. Each smart phone was required to have a data plan even if you don’t think you need one. It costs them around $200 a month for 3 phones—a lot of money.
I know nothing about iPhones and data plans, so searched and found some information about AT&T and Verizon iPhone data plans to better understand my notes. Then I emailed Tom with questions.
It is a good thing I checked with Tom because the plans were very similar, except that AT&T and Verizon sites now show a different plan than when Tom bought his iPhone. So, my interrelation of my notes would have been wrong. Their AT&T and Verizon plans now permit more phones to share time on one data plan.
Tom emailed that it might cost about $100 a month for one phone, but he is not sure. He has the minimum amount of allowed data usage; there is more dataavailable for a higher cost. US Cellular has a new plan whereby several phones can share a central pool of data, so he is going to check that out. Perhaps it’s cheaper if the phones on his plan don’t use too much data.
Midge said she has no texting plan on her phone. She just texts and it cost 20 cents each. At NVRH they do not use telephone cell towers so there is no cost, but if i goes over cell towers it is very expensive.
Richard sends one text message a week in response to a text from work. It costs 20 cents each time to say, “Thank you.”
Someone said that the worst thing to do to get in touch with their adult kids is to call them, but text them and they answer right away.
Tom said that Apple people can text and talk to each other through iMessage. He said WhatsApp is something similar. (WhatsApp Messenger is a subscription messenger service created for smart phones that recently sold to Facebook for big money.)
Neil Raphel said, for most of his problems he has to call up the help desk, and they usually can solve it. With multiple machines, insurance can be expensive, but he makes sure that he has one policy on one machine.
Neil’s graphic artist’s computer has a 24 inch screen, but he also has a monitor with a much larger screen that uses to create his graphics . (I can’t remember how big he said it was.)
I have a this on a 13” MacBook Air, with the original of my notes on my 23” ViewSonic (11.5” x 20.5”) monitor. I can move stuff from one screen to the other. Someone mentioned that Apple may be coming out with an iPhone with a larger screen. Neil said he wished the screen on his iPhone was bigger.
Tom said Steve Jobs made the iPhone the size it is because he wanted you to beable to do things with one hand.
I think Apple will have more than one iPhone screen size because I always carrymy iPod Touch in my shirt pocked even when I have my iPad or MacBook with me. And I am sure Apple would like to sell more than one thing to everyone.
Neil said that in the future all applications will probably be on WiFi and you won’t have applications on your computer. In the old days everyone had a monitor and connected to a computer.
Neil also said Drop Box is a real convenience when you are on the road,
Some people are getting messages that they have a software update from Apple asking if they want to ”install in now or install it later.” Then if they check “installit later,” the next time they turn their computer on they find it is already installed.
Neil gets lots of spam, as many as 500 spams a day, maybe because he has a business account. He marks it as junk mail, and spam still comes through. Some may be the same spam from different “sources.” They have sent out spam from his account also. He gets messages from banks he has never heard of, and maybe 17 messages a day from “Paypal” that here is a problem with his account.
Barry Hayes said he has a problem with Facebook. When he is on someone else's page he cannot “Like” or “Comment.” He opened a Facebook page and told us, “It does not even have a “Like” button.”
Someone told him, “Your problem with the finding the Facebook solution is that you are over thirteen years old.”
The debate whether to use Chrome or Safari continues. Midge said she uses Chrome, and has had no problems.
Neil said cannot pay his phone bill online through Safari. He has to change browsers, or get rid of Safari and reinstall it.
Someone recommended using both.
Tom uses both Chrome and Safari but mostly lately just stays on Chrome because it has fewer problems with different sites
Barry cannot use Mail merge in Pages, it is in AppleWorks - so he uses AppleWorks. Someone said whatever you can do in AppleWorks you can do in FileMaker
Chrome has an incognito menu or window. When you close it all the information goes away. Some people like Private Browsing - with some level of privacy.
Neil said he has the be careful what he watches on NetFlex because his son uses it and it shows what you have been watching.
Neil said that Stephen Farber gave a good presentation about privacy on the internet. It had some information about how you could know who is tracking you on the internet. Neil said there is more interest in privacy now and he would like Stephen to do another program on privacy.
Today was National avoid computers for 24 hours day 24 hours. Did anyone notice it?