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NVMUG March 2016 Meeting Report

Northern Vermont Macintosh Users Group
Saturday, March 12, 2016 Meeting Room 224, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital
St. Johnsbury, Vermont

Present: Hartley Jackson, Bruce Shields, Warren Walker, Daniel Hollister, Homer May, Bill German, Tom Cuddihy, Jane Fuller, Midge Lubot, Kelly Gonter, and Geof Gonter


The meeting opened with a discussion about a possible announcement from Apple on March 21. Speculation is there will be a smaller iPad Pro and iPhone introduced. The 12” iPad Pro was discussed and it was pointed out that once the pen and keyboard is purchased, the price of an entry level 11” MacBook Air is exceeded.

Daniel said he is considering purchasing a flip phone just for calls and using his iPad for browsing with a cellular plan. He said it means about a $10 savings a month and he wouldn’t have to fight with the small keyboard.

A discussion about “Apple versus the FBI” on cellphone privacy was started by a question from Daniel. One of the issues is that many people keep private information, such as medical and financial, on their smartphones. There other law enforcement agencies are waiting to see what happens so they know if they stand a chance getting a favorable decision for them as well. There was a consensus that Apple is in the right, but not all agreed.

The use of safe browsers was discussed. Stephen recommends going to “Google Take Out” if you would like to see the info Google has on you. Google mines your data as you browse and search using their browser. To see what Google Take out is all about, use your browser to go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Takeout and/or http://mashable.com/category/google-takeout/. Google’s agreement with schools says they will not mine data from school accounts. Microsoft does not mine data from Office 365, as their business model is not selling data information, unlike Google.


Geof gave a presentation on upgrading Macintosh laptops.


With the exception of the 13” MacBook Pro with the optical drive, you can not upgrade the memory on the Apple laptop line. You must order your laptop with the maximum amount of memory you think you will need for future use. Daniel recommends maxing out the MacBook Airs to 8 GB of memory. The MacBook Pro Retina line max out at 16 GB.


Internal Data Storage -

The drive in the 13” MacBook Pro is replaceable from it’s 500 GB 5400 rpm drive to a larger and faster drive. A solid state drive is also installable. The MacBook Airs and MacBook Retina series all use solid state drives, which can be replaced or upgraded with the proper tools. Solid state drives for the latter are available at Other World Computeing and Transcend models where available (Jet.com, Amazon.com, and B&H Photo as examples). Solid state drives, along with increasing memory, can speed up computers with rotating hard drives considerably. You need to look at the read/write speed when you are purchasing solid state drives. Try for Read/Write speed of around 500 MB/s.

TomDesktops –

Tom asked about replacing the hard drive on a three year old iMac. He said his is having some issues, slow and beach ball spinning. It was recommended that he run OnyX. Stephen recommended Etrecheck to check the drive to see if it reports any issues. Replacement requires a removal of the glass and LCD to replace the drive and one has to be careful of the small connections on the logic board to make sure there is no damage to the wires. Bill offered assistance and left contact information with Tom.

There were miscellaneous discussions at the end of the meeting about removing aliases from the dock in the finder, as well as the sidebar. El Capitan was also discussed and the advantages of moving to it.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 16, 2016 in Room 224 in the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital from 10:00 am to 12:00 PM.

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