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Updated August 10th, 2022.

NHL Playoffs Schedule for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Calendar apps


NHL Playoffs Calendar for iPhone and Mac
NHL Playoffs calendar in iCal (ics) format for iPhone, iPad, Mac, & Google Calendar. Times, dates, TV stations. Updated with scores as games go final. Includes links to 3-minute video highlights.
(updated April 29, 2024)

Leagues Cup Soccer Tournament Schedule for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Calendar apps


Leagues Cup Calendar featured image
Leagues Cup Soccer Tournament schedule for iPhone, iPad, and Mac calendars. Works with Google Calendar too. Updates automatically. Free.
(updated May 13, 2024)

NCAA Women’s March Madness Calendar for iPhone, Mac, and iPad


Women's March Madness logo
March Madness NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament calendar in ics (iCal) format. Updates automatically! Teams, date, times, and TV. Works with Google Calendar too.
(updated March 18, 2024)

NCAA March Madness Calendar for iPhone, Mac, and iPad


March Madness Calendars for iPhone and Mac
March Madness NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament calendar in ics (iCal) format. Updates automatically! Teams, date, times, and TV. Works with Google Calendar too.
(updated March 18, 2024)

Mac Troubleshooting Guide: Resolving “Filter Failed” Error Message in macOS Sonoma When Printing


Filter Failed featured image
Solve the "Filter Failed" error message on your new Mac and restore your printer's function with these easy steps. Ideal for macOS Sonoma users.
(updated February 5, 2024)

2023 Women’s World Cup Soccer Tournament Calendar for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Calendar apps


2023 Women's World Cup featured image
Women's World Cup Soccer Tournament schedule for iPhone, iPad, and Mac calendars. Works with Google Calendar too. Updates automatically. Free.
(updated August 26, 2023)

UFL Schedule for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Calendar apps


UFL Calendar main image
UFL calendar in iCal (ics) format for iPhone, iPad, Mac, & Google Calendar. Times, dates, TV stations. Updated with scores as games go final.
(updated March 17, 2024)

World Baseball Classic Calendar for iPhone, Mac, and Google Calendar


2023 World Baseball Classic calendar in ics format (for Mac and iPhone users), also in Google Calendar format. Dates, times, teams, TV.
(updated March 5, 2023)

How to add your COVID-19 vaccination record to your iPhone’s Wallet, for Californians


Add your COVID-19 vaccination record to your iPhone's Wallet app, for quick, secure access. This article tells you how.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Major League Baseball (MLB) Playoffs Calendar for iPhone and Mac Calendars


MLB Playoffs Calendar
Here's the Major League Baseball (MLB) Playoffs Calendar in ".ics" format for your iPhone and Mac. Subscribe to the calendar and get updates as game times and teams are determined.
(updated October 29, 2023)

NBA Playoffs Schedule for iPhone and Mac


NBA Playoffs Calendar
NBA Playoffs Calendar for iPhone and Mac, updated as games are played and the schedule is announced. Subscribe and the NBA Playoffs will appear each year. Also works with Google Calendar.
(updated April 29, 2024)

Sneaky Prime Video scam


Amazon Prime Video Scam featured image
Crooked website, masquerading as Amazon Prime Video registration page, almost tripped us up. Would have been expensive.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Five Mac Safari shortcuts that you can’t live without


Five essential Mac Safari keyboard shortcuts featured image
Speed up your web browsing with these five essential Mac Safari keyboard shortcuts.
(updated November 1, 2022)

2024 NFL Prime time Schedule for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad Calendars


NFL Prime Time Schedule
2024 NFL Prime Time Schedule for your iPhone, iPad, or Mac Calendars in iCal (ics) format. Also works with Google Calendar. Subscribe once and have it every year.
(updated May 15, 2024)

Modem’s OK, but internet doesn’t work? Here’s a fix.


Modem's OK, internet service provider says everything's fine, WiFi signal is strong, but you can't load web pages or get mail? Here's a fix.
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to sync your AOL contacts with your iPhone and iPad


Here's how you get your AOL contacts onto your iPhone. Step by step instructions. AOL says it can't be done but they are wrong about that.
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to make and use Shortcuts in iOS


Use Shortcuts to automate things on your iPhone and iPad. Includes step-by-step instructions for making a shortcut that reminds you to charge your iPhone when the battery falls below 50%.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Can’t send mail from Mac Mail app? Here’s a fix.


If you can't send mail, but you can receive, and you're using the Mac Mail app, the cause could be malware. Here's the simple fix.
(updated November 1, 2022)

One-handed quick-swipe method for deleting email on an iPhone


Here's a quick, one-handed way to delete emails and text messages. Once you've done it you'll wonder why you ever did it any other way!
(updated July 19, 2023)

How to opt in to the COVID-19 Exposure Notification Express system on an iPhone


Here's how to activate the no-app-required COVID-19 Exposure Notification Express system on an iPhone. What it does, and how it works.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Solve the “Attachment is Too Long” issue in Messages


Sending attachments to non-Apple people-- the green ones-- can fail with an "Attachment is Too Long" error. Here's how you fix that.
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to use Widgets in iOS 14


Widget are an essential feature of iOS 14. Here's a brief iOS 14 Widget tutorial: what Widgets are, how to add Widgets, how to stack them.
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to get your AOL calendar onto your iPhone and iPad


Here's how to get the AOL calendar onto your iPhone and iPad in iOS 12, 13, and 14. AOL's documentation says it can't be done, but it's wrong.
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to get rid of “HPDeviceMonitoring.framework will damage your computer” pop-ups on your Mac


How to get rid of HPDeviceMonitoring.framework pop-up featured image
Here's how to fix the pop-up messages saying "HPDeviceManager.framework will damage your computer" in three easy steps. (HP's method takes 12 steps.)
(updated November 1, 2022)

Another Apple Event, November 10th, 2020, 10 am Pacific time


Apple's going to show us something new Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 at 10 am Pacific time. I'm betting it's new Macs, using Apple Silicon.
(updated November 1, 2022)

New Products to be announced at online Apple Event October 13th, 2020


New iPhones and a new HomePod too! Watch Apple's October 13th announcement on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV.
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to password-protect a Word document on a Mac


Here's how you password-protect a Word document on your Mac. You can require a password for opening a document and another for editing.
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to password-protect an Excel document on a Mac


How to password-protect an Excel document on a Mac
Here's how you password-protect a Excel document on a Mac. Step-by-step instructions. Easy as pie. Keep your private stuff private.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Major Apple iCloud issues September 29th, 2020


Apple's having big iCloud issues tonight. If you can't get your mail, or sign into iCloud, or synch your calendar... it's not you, it's them.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Display Zoom comes to iPhone X, Xs, and 11 Pro in iOS 14


iOS 14 enables "Display Zoom" for the iPhone X, Xs, and 11 Pro. It makes everything bigger-- icons, buttons, text. Thank you, iOS 14!
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to use the Back Tap feature in iOS 14


iOS 14 introduces "Back Tap," allowing you to perform actions with a double-tap or triple-tap on the back of your iPhone-- even in a case.
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to solve “this page was reloaded because of a problem” in Safari 14 with macOS Mojave


If Safari 14 doesn't load pages properly on your Mojave Mac you might need to reinstall the system. It's easy, and it works. Here's how.
(updated November 1, 2022)

How to add web page shortcut icons to your iPhone’s Home Screen


You can add shortcut icons for web pages to your iPhone's Home screen. They look like apps. When you tap one you're taken to that web page.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Seven Tips and Shortcuts for the Mac Calculator app


The Mac Calculator app has hidden powers. Here are my favorite Mac Calculator tips: conversions, paper tape, commas, scientific functions, more.
(updated November 1, 2022)

2022 College Football schedules for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad calendars


Add the 2020 college football schedules for any team in America to your Mac, iPhone, and iPad Calendar apps-- or to your PC or Android.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Eleven ways to add attachments to a Mac Mail message


Everything you need to know about attaching files to Mac Mail messages. Includes eleven ways to do it! The Definitive Guide.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Why do some Mac Mail attachments appear as icons but others don’t?


The Mac Mail app shows attachments as icons, unless they're single-page PDFs or images. If you want everything to be icons that's doable.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Best ad blocker for Safari on the Mac


You need an ad blocker for Safari, and Wipr is the best one. It's cheap, it's easy, and it works. Get it, set it, and forget it.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Four ways to control which app opens for a given document


Many of us double-click icons and whatever happens, happens. Here's how to control which app is launched, and then some.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks on your iPhone and iPad


COVID-19 has canceled most live fireworks shows, so put on your own pyrotechnics show with a free iPhone app.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Apple Special Event at WWDC20


Apple's World Wide Developers Conference kicks off with a keynote speech at 10 AM Pacific time on June 22nd, 2020. Watch it at apple.com.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Fantastic special offer on fantastic creative software


Great creative Mac apps: Affniity Publisher, Designer, & Photo. 90 day trial. $49 each, one-time payment. Designer & Photo available on iPad too.
(updated November 1, 2022)

My Ten Best Tips for the Mail app on the iPhone and iPad: Shortcuts, Swipes, and Taps


Here are my top ten tips for using Mail on an iPhone (or an iPad). They make using Mail faster, easier, and more efficient. Give them all a try!
(updated November 1, 2022)

Top 10 things to do to maximize your Mac’s performance


Maximize your Mac's performance by making it faster and easier to use. Change a few settings now and save time and effort day after day.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Mac Mastery Series: Save Time and Effort with Smart Folders


Find Word documents opened in last 2 weeks, or images more than 1000 pixels in height & width. Or... you name it. Automatically. Here's how.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Mac Mastery Series: Save Time and Make Things Easier by Customizing the Finder’s Toolbar


How to Customize Finder Toolbar featured image
Add text labels to buttons in Finder Toolbars. Remove unwanted buttons. Add buttons you want. Add favorite apps and folders to the Toolbar.
(updated November 1, 2022)

Mac Mastery Series: Rename Multiple Items at Once


Rename multiple items at once
Rename multiple files at once using the Finder's "Rename Items" feature. Change "IMG0245" through "IMG0745" to "Texas 1" through "Texas 501."
(updated November 1, 2022)

Mac Mastery Series: New Folder with Selection


New Folder with Selection
Clean up and organize your Mac's desktop the fast and easy way using the Finder's "New Folder with Selection" command.
(updated April 20, 2020)

Add airline tickets to your iPhone’s Wallet


Add airline tickets to Apple Wallet
Add airline tickets to Apple Wallet app and always have up-to-date flight information. Boarding passes pop up when you arrive at the airport.
(updated April 20, 2020)

XFL Schedule for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Calendar apps


XFL Calendar
XFL calendar in iCal (ics) format for iPhone, iPad, Mac, & Google Calendar. Times, dates, TV stations. Updated with scores as games go final.
(updated March 25, 2024)

Make web pages easier to read on an iPhone using Safari’s Reader feature


Safari's Reader View
Safari's Reader feature makes web pages much easier to read on iPhones. Strip out ads, increase font size, change background color.
(updated April 20, 2020)

2023-2024 College Football Bowl Game Schedule for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Calendar apps


College Football Bowl Game calendar in iCal (ics) format for iPhone, iPad, Mac, & Google Calendar. Times, dates, and tv stations. Updated every year.
(updated December 3, 2023)

How to activate Microsoft Office 365 when stuck on “Loading”


Office 365 Mac activation featured image
Microsoft Office 365 for the Mac seems to have a bug that prevents activation in El Capitan and Yosemite. Here's the fix.
(updated April 20, 2020)

MLS Playoffs Calendar for iPhone and Mac


MLS Playoffs Calendar Featured Image
MLS Playoffs Calendar for iPhone and Mac, updated as games are played and the schedule is announced. Subscribe and the MLS Playoffs will appear and update each year.
(updated April 20, 2020)

Best Online College Football Schedules


Best online college football schedules
Here is a collection of the very best college football schedules available online. Teams, times, TV-- you name it, it's here.
(updated September 16, 2021)

Apple Special Event: September 10th, 2019


Apple Special Event
Apple will hold a "Special Event" on September 10th, 2019 at 10 a.m. PDT. Let's see what they announce. My guess: new iPhones, in purple and green.
(updated October 4, 2019)

Mac Option Key tip #08: Option-Empty Trash


Skip the "Are you sure?" dialog when emptying the Trash by holding the Option key. Also helps when something won't delete. Try it!
(updated April 20, 2020)

Mac Option Key tip #07: Option-Click to Download in Safari and Chrome


Option Click to download
Trying to download a PDF form in Safari or Chrome? Hold the Option key as you click the link and the document goes to your downloads folder.
(updated April 13, 2020)

Mac Option Key tip #06: Option-Drag to Duplicate


Option-drag animated gif
The Option-Drag technique works all over the place. It's one of the handiest Mac things to know. It lets you make copies of things, rather than move them.
(updated September 8, 2019)

Show pixel dimensions of an image without opening it, on a Mac


Image dimensions are important: hi-res for printing, low-res for online viewing, etc. Quickly get the image you want by using this tip.
(updated October 3, 2020)

Mac Option Key tip #05: Rotate the Other Direction


Rotation Arrows with and without the Option key
Rotate pictures 90 degrees counter-clockwise in iPhoto, Photos, and Preview. If you want to rotate the other direction, hold the Option key.
(updated April 20, 2020)

Mac Option Key tip #04: Reveal a Contact’s Groups


Contacts icon
The Mac's Contacts app reveals the Groups a contact is in, at the press of a key. Of course it's the Option key. This will help you one day.
(updated April 20, 2020)

Mac Option Key tip #03: Close All Finder Windows


Command-Option-w
Close all of your open Finder windows with a keystroke. You know about Command-W; try adding the Option key. Or, Option-click a Close button.
(updated April 20, 2020)

How to send messages with balloons and other screen effects from an iPhone or iPad


Here's how to send animated balloons & other screen effects from an iPhone or iPad. It's easy & fun-- but you need to know how! Here's how.
(updated October 12, 2020)

How to remove adware and malware from your Mac


Malwarebytes: This scan found some malware.
Adware and malware take over your searches, spy on your browsing, and slow down your Mac. Remove it with Malwarebytes for the Mac. Here's how.
(updated April 20, 2020)

Mac Option Key tip #02: the Battery Status Menu


Option key with menu bar battery icon
Hold the Option key while clicking on the Battery Status menu on your Mac laptop and find out whether your battery is in good shape or not.
(updated April 21, 2020)

Mac Option Key tip #01: the WiFi Menu


Option key plus WiFi symbol
Hold the Option key, then click on the WiFi menu to see some interesting stuff about your network. Handy for trouble-shooting. Try it!
(updated April 20, 2020)

Blinking Yellow Light on an Apple Airport– what it means, what to do


Blinking yellow light on your Apple Airport needs attention. Fnd out what the problem is and update firmware using the Airport Utility.
(updated October 4, 2020)

Apple’s WWDC 2019 Keynote Speech


WWDC 2019 Keynote Speech
How to watch Apple's June 3rd 2019 WWDC Keynote Speech on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV. What to expect. Possible surprises.
(updated April 13, 2020)

How to get your AOL email working again on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac


iPhone and Mac users: did your AOL mail quit working, all of a sudden? Here's what to do.
(updated October 15, 2022)

How to Fix iMessage “Waiting for Activation” on iPhone


Is iMessage on iPhone stuck, "Waiting for activation"? Apple's suggestions don't always work. Here's how to activate iMessage the right way.
(updated October 8, 2020)

Clean up text with Paste and Match Style


Edit menu/Paste and Match Style
If things look messy after you paste some text, undo it and try "Paste and Match Style" instead. It's right there in the Edit menu. And it works great.
(updated April 20, 2020)

How to Open PDFs on a Mac with Preview instead of Acrobat Reader


Acrobat Reader is complicated and no fun to use. Here's how you can set Apple's clean and elegant Preview app as the default app for PDFs.
(updated July 16, 2023)

Apple’s Special Event March 25th, 2019


Apple Event March 25th 2019
Apple introduced Apple Card, Apple News+, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade at its March 25, 2019 special event. Watch the show, read my summary.
(updated July 19, 2019)

How to set up a Time Machine Backup


Time Machine set-up
Time Machine backup software is part of the Mac system. It will back up your Mac automatically, every hour. Here's how to set it up.
(updated November 6, 2019)

How to quickly Capitalize words you’ve already typed on iPhone and iPad


Here's the easy way to fix things when you forgot to capitalize something while typing on your iPhone.
(updated September 15, 2020)

NFL Post-Season Calendar for iPhone and Mac


NFL Calendar logo
Get the NFL Post-Season schedule into your iPhone or Mac's Calendar app. Calendar includes teams, times, and TV info. Updated with scores. Also works with Google Calendar.
(updated October 1, 2020)

How to forward (or delete) part of a text message conversation on an iPhone or iPad


Delete or forward part of text message conversations on your iPhone, maybe NSFW photos. You can delete an entire conversation; this is better.
(updated October 5, 2020)

How to Print Mailing Labels from an iPhone or iPad


Print mailing labels from your iPhone or iPad. Or, make a PDF of labels and email them to someone else to print from a computer.
(updated November 13, 2022)

How to Make and Use Smart Folders on a Mac


Smart Folders can quickly show you all of your images, all recent documents, and more, Quit losing time hunting for files. Use Smart Folders.
(updated April 21, 2020)

Extend your iPhone’s battery life by closing unneeded Safari tabs


Close all 418 tabs
Long-forgotten Safari tabs, running in the background, can drain your battery, but closing one at a time takes forever. Here's how to close them all at once.
(updated April 29, 2019)

Apple’s iPhone XR available for pre-order


iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 Plus
The new iPhone XR (slightly cheaper version of iPhone XS) is available for pre-order. I prefer the XS for a few reasons. Ask me about it.
(updated April 29, 2019)

How to watch Apple’s October 30th, 2018 event


Apple's October 30th Event
How to watch Apple's October 30th event, and what to expect. New iPads are a good bet, as are refreshed MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs.
(updated April 13, 2020)

iOS 12: First Impressions, and advice


iOS 12
iOS 12 is out, and even though it's the first version of 12, it's good enough to install right now. It's faster than iOS 11 and easy to get used to. My advice: if you're on iOS 11, upgrade to 12.
(updated April 29, 2019)

How to sync text messages between your iPhone and your Mac


You want your iPhone's text messages to sync with your Mac and iPad-- all messages, green and blue both. Here's how you set it up.
(updated October 4, 2020)

How to watch Apple’s September 12th 2018 Special Event


Apple Special Event September 12th, 2018
Here's how to watch Apple's September 2018 announcements on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
(updated April 29, 2019)

How to Get Amazon Prime Video on your Apple TV


Get Amazon Prime Video onto your Apple TV and authorize it easily. An Amazon Prime account gives you access to a lot of movies and TV shows.
(updated July 21, 2019)

iOS 11: Should you install it? (No, not yet)


iOS 11... not yet!
iOS 11 wasn't so good. iOS 12 is better. If you're on 11, go to 12. If you're on iOS 10, go to 12. iOS 11 never really hit its stride but 12 is great.
(updated April 29, 2019)

Christian Boyce on the radio


Hear me discuss Apple's new iPhones and the other things they introduced in their September 12th 2017 event. Should be an interesting talk.
(updated April 13, 2020)

Watch the Apple Special Event Tuesday, September 12th, 2017


Red and blue Apple logo from invitation to September 2017 Apple Event
Here's how to watch Apple's event on September 12th, 2017. It starts at 10 AM Pacific time and you can watch on your Mac, your iOS device, or your Apple TV.
(updated April 29, 2019)

Free 4th of July Fireworks Apps for your iPhone and Mac


Christian Boyce dressed up like Uncle Sam
A free fireworks app for your iPhone & iPad, & another free fireworks app for your Mac! Don't play with fire-- use these apps instead.
(updated July 4, 2019)

How to make a free WordPress Blog (Part 3)


WordPress logo
How to make a free WordPress.com website, including review of major features in the Dashboard. Posts, pages, menus, themes, and more.
(updated May 31, 2019)

How to make a free WordPress Blog (Part 2)


WordPress logo
WordPress.com blogging basics: how to make a new post, how to edit it, how to add an image to a blog post, how to create & assign categories.
(updated April 13, 2020)

How to make a free WordPress blog (Part 1)


WordPress logo
Learn how to make a free WordPress blog using this easy tutorial. All you need is a web browser and an internet connection.
(updated June 14, 2019)

How to fix poor iPhone cell reception in your home and office


Animated GIF showing decreasing cell phone reception.
Improve reliability & sound quality of phone calls made from your iPhone by turning on WiFi Calling. The feature is easy to turn on, & free.
(updated June 6, 2019)

How to use the Memories feature in iOS 11’s Photos app


iOS 10 Photos app icon
iOS 10 introduced a feature called "Memories" in Photos. It makes shareable mini-movies of your photos & sets them to music. Here's how to do it.
(updated July 5, 2019)

Make Your Own iPhone and Mac Text Replacements for Auto-Correct


Text Replacement examples
Add custom Auto-Correct text replacements to your iPhone & Mac. Save typing: xpand a short string into a longer one Make fewer typos.
(updated July 13, 2019)

Essential Mac Add-on Apps


Moom, Paste, and Alfred-- essential Mac add-ons
Three apps that make using a Mac easier, faster, and nicer. I install these on my Macs and you should too! The apps: Moom, Paste, and Alfred.
(updated July 22, 2019)

How to Quickly Unlock Your iPhone or iPad with iOS 10


Press Home to Unlock
iOS 10 removed "Slide to Unlock" & replaced it with a much-harder-to-use "Press Home to Unlock." Make unlocking an iPhone easy with this tip.
(updated April 29, 2019)

How I Fixed an iPhone that Couldn’t Get Mail Unless On WiFi


iPhone's Mail app worked on WiFi, but not on cellular. Yet Safari worked fine whether on cellular or WiFi. Hmmm. Here's how I fixed things.
(updated October 3, 2020)

How I Rescued a Mac Whose Finder Didn’t Work


Sad Finder
The Mac started, but I couldn't open a Finder window or see any files on the Desktop. Fixing it was easy once I knew what to to.
(updated April 29, 2019)

Know when it will rain, down to the minute


Darksky is the best weather app. It tells you when it will rain in your exact location. Highly recommended. Very precise. The best.
(updated April 13, 2020)

New MacBook Pros Introduced at Apple’s Special Event


Apple introduced new MacBook Pros with "Touch Bars" and they look really cool. This article includes links to the introductory movie and the design movie.
(updated June 7, 2019)

“Paste” for the Mac– Like Copy & Paste on Steroids


Paste icons with examples
The "Paste" app extends Copy & Paste, letting you copy unlimited things and then paste them anywhere, in any order, at any time. I love it.
(updated July 13, 2019)

What You Need to Know About Mac Ransomware


Mac ransomware ransom note
Ransomware hits the Mac. Here's what you need to know to keep your Mac safe. This is serious; you could be locked out of your own machine.
(updated July 13, 2019)

Should I Upgrade my iPhone to iOS 10?


iOS 10 logo
Thinking of upgrading to iOS 10? Here's what you need to know.
(updated April 21, 2020)

Best Mac Anti-Virus Package: Intego Internet Security X9


Intego Internet Security X9
Intego's Internet Security X9 is the best Mac anti-virus package you can buy. Includes network protection. Unobtrusive, yet effective.
(updated July 21, 2019)

Mac Option Key tip #12: Open your Library folder


Library Folder
Your user "Library" folder is really important-- so important that Apple hides it. Here's how you can find it and open it up.
(updated August 29, 2019)

Mac Option Key tip #11: Delete a Messages conversation with one click


Messages icon, 256 x 241
Cut your work in half in the Mac OS Messages app. Deleting conversations used to be click-the-x, wait for a box, then click Delete. Now it's one click.
(updated April 13, 2020)

Mac Option Key tip #10: One-click System Information


Apple's System Information app can be accessed by going to the Apple menu while holding down the Option key. You save one click this way. And you look cool.
(updated July 19, 2019)

Mac Option Key tip #09: Special Characters


Special characters
You can type many special characters using the Option key. This post includes a handy cheat sheet for commonly-needed characters like "ñ" and "é" and "."
(updated September 4, 2022)

Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.4?


iOS 9.3.4 Update
Should you update your iPhone to 9.34? If you're already on 9.x, then YES. Learn about the 9.3.4 update and why it's probably right for you.
(updated April 21, 2020)

Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.3?


iOS 9.3.3 icon
Should you update your iPhone to 9.3.3? Probably. Read about the fixes provided here and install the update soon.
(updated April 21, 2020)

Should I update my Mac to 10.11.6?


10.11.6: thumbs up!
Should you install the 10.11.6 update on your Mac? Probably yes. Download 10.11.6 Combo Update and install it the "pro" way.
(updated April 21, 2020)

How to get better Google search results


Google Search Tips: eliminate results you don't want
Google can give too many search results, including some with terms you don't want. Here's how to eliminate results you don't want. The trick? A minus sign.
(updated August 29, 2019)

How to search Google for the newest results


Google Search Tips: how to get only the newest articles.
Want Google to show the newest, freshest articles-- like when you're searching for the best tacos in Austin? Here's how to get what you want.
(updated August 29, 2019)

How to search Google for different kinds of pictures


Google Search Tips: search for different kinds of pictures
Search Google for photographs, line drawings, cartoon-like, artistic, and more. Want pictures labeled for reuse? Here's how.
(updated August 29, 2019)

How to search Google images by color


Google Search Tips: search images by color
Search Google for images by color. Sometimes they make it easy for you with big "red" and "blue" buttons; I show you how.
(updated August 29, 2019)

How to restrict your Google search to a single website


Restrict a Google search to a single website. Handy for filtering out results and returns better results than searching at the site itself.
(updated April 13, 2020)

RepairPal.com helps you when you need car repairs


RepairPal.com
RepairPal.com provides a range of estimates for car repairs and certifies and rates shops that pass their inspections. It's a great resource.
(updated August 29, 2019)

How to Expand Storage on MacBook Pro Retina and MacBook Air


Transcend JetDrive Lite
There are two ways to upgrade MacBook Pro Retina and MacBook Air storage. One is very easy; the other is slightly less easy, but worth it.
(updated August 24, 2020)

How to Show (and Hide) Invisible Characters like Paragraph Marks in Microsoft Word on a Mac


Light blue marks in your Word documents are "invisible characters" (returns, tabs, & spaces). Here's how to turn them off, and back on.
(updated October 3, 2020)

What to Do When You Can’t Log Into Your User Account on a Mac


Can't Log Into User Account Mac
If your Mac turns on, but won't log into your user account, there may be an easy fix. Here's how to revive a sick user account on a Mac.
(updated May 30, 2021)

How to Open a Mac App from an Unidentified Developer


Unidentified Developer
Here's how to open an app that your Mac says can't be opened due to being from "An unidentified developer"-- while keeping your Mac secure.
(updated November 26, 2019)

How to Watch Apple’s WWDC Keynote


WWDC Logo 2017
How to watch Apple's 2017 WWDC keynote on your Mac, your iPhone, your iPad, your iPod touch, or your Apple TV. You can even watch it on a PC.
(updated April 21, 2020)

How to Block Porn Sites and Phishing Sites AND Speed Up Your Home Network


Open DNS
Block porn sites, phishing sites, and make your network faster with one simple change. Use OpenDNS's server numbers at no cost. Here's how.
(updated September 4, 2019)

Should I update my Mac to 10.11.5?


10.11.5 thumbs up
Download 10.11.5 Combo Update and install it the "pro" way. Should you install the 10.11.5 update on your Mac? Probably yes
(updated April 21, 2020)

Should I install the iOS 9.3.2 Update?


Should I install the iOS 9.3.2 Update? Easy answer: yes-- unless you are thinking of updating an iPad Pro 9.7 inch. In that case, don't.
(updated April 21, 2020)

How to Improve the Sound of Music on your iPhone


Boom for iOS logo
Enhance and improve the sound of songs played on your iPhone using Boom for iOS. It's truly amazing. Free five-day trial.
(updated April 21, 2020)

WiFi security hack exploits the January 1st, 1970 iOS bug


An iOS bug can cause iPhones, iPads & iPods to self-destruct. Can be triggered over WiFi. The problem is prevented with the 9.3.1 update.
(updated April 21, 2020)

How to Print from an iPhone


iPhone to printer
Here's how you print from an iPhone (or iPad). Print from Mail, Notes, Safari, and many other apps, through the air to a networked printer.
(updated January 20, 2020)

Should I Update my iPhone or iPad to iOS 9.3?


iOS 9.3 icon
Wondering whether you should update your iPhone or iPad to 9.3? This article will help you decide, and shows you how to do it the best way.
(updated April 21, 2020)

Should I Update My Mac to 10.11.4?


10.11.4: I say thumbs up!
Wondering whether you should upgrade to 10.11.4? This article helps you decide. Includes info for Macs on 10.11 and for Macs on older systems.
(updated April 21, 2020)

How to delete an email from your iPhone with a single swipe!


Here's a tip
Delete an email from your iPhone with one swipe! No need to swipe left and tap delete. No need to open the message and tap the trash can.
(updated April 21, 2020)

How to forward a voicemail message from your iPhone


iPhone phone icon
Here's how you forward a voicemail message from your iPhone to someone else. Send it as an email, as a Message, and other ways too.
(updated April 21, 2020)

How to watch Apple’s March 21st 2016 keynote


Apple Special Event Loop You In
You can watch Apple's March 21st keynote presentation using an iPhone, an iPad, a Mac, or an Apple TV. Here's a link to the replay.
(updated April 21, 2020)

How to Make “Recent Items” More Useful


This is how I do it.
Increase the number of items in the Apple Menu's Recent Items list from the default 10 to 50 and increase your odds of finding what you want.
(updated April 21, 2020)

How to Turn On the Mac’s Scroll Bars


Scroll bars give you visual information at a glance, IF they're turned on. They're off by default. Here's how to turn them on.
(updated October 9, 2020)

Three cool things you can do with your iPhone, using apps that came with it


Three cool things you can do with your iPhone, using apps that came with itPart of the fun of the iPhone is discovering "new" features that were there all along. Here are three that might be new to you. 1. See if something is level. Believe it or not, you check for level using the Compass app. The way you do it is you swipe left while looking at the Compass. This brings up the little-known second page of the Compass app, which is really a level. After swiping left, lay the iPhone down flat to see if your pool table is level (watch the bubbles ) or put it on edge to see if your paintings and TV are hanging straight on the wall. Whether flat or on edge, when it's perfectly level the screen turns green. Easy, useful, and fun. [caption id="attachment_5359" align="alignnone" width="320"] Testing for level, iPhone laying down flat[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5361" align="alignnone" width="568"] Testing for level, iPhone on edge[/caption] 2. Have it read out loud to you. You have to take a trip to the Settings to enable this feature: go to Settings, then General, then Accessibility, then Speech, then Speak Screen (turn it ON). You will be able to control the speaking rate later so don’t worry about doing it now. [caption id="attachment_5391" align="alignnone" width="320"] Settings, General, Accessibility, Speech[/caption] The Speak Screen feature has been around since iOS 8 and it’s still one of my favorites. Works in Safari, works in Kindle, works in Books. Works just about everywhere. (The feature is called "Speak Screen" but it actually reads more than just the "screen." It will speak until it runs out of text, scrolling down past what you see on the screen, and even turning pages in Books. Yes, that's right: it turns pages in Books.) I use this feature to have my iPhone read news articles to me while I cook-- sort of like listening to the radio. After you've turned on Speak Screen, having your iPhone read to you is just a swipe away. But it's a very particular swipe: a two-fingered down-swipe, starting above the glass. You'll be an expert after doing it once, so give it a try. See the picture below. Of course this works better if your iPhone is displaying something worth reading. Do it with a web page, or in News, or somewhere else with lots of text. For web pages (in Safari) it makes sense to switch to the Reader mode, by tapping the Reader button at top left of the screen. [caption id="attachment_5378" align="alignnone" width="320"] Web page in Safari, regular mode[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5381" align="alignnone" width="320"] Same web page in Safari, Reader mode[/caption] Reader mode simplifies the layout (making it nicer for you to read by eye as well). So bring up a web page— maybe this one!— and then switch to Reader mode, and then…. put TWO fingers at the top of the screen. Actually, put them ABOVE the top of the screen—- on the part…
(updated March 29, 2016)

Mac OS X 10.11.3 update: don’t do it


I’m seeing a lot of problems with Apple's 10.11.3 update. If you’ve already installed the 10.11.3 update and everything seems fine, consider yourself lucky; if you haven’t installed it, play it safe and don’t install it. I've never seen a more problematic update. UPDATE: the 10.11.4 update is out and I've seen zero problems with it. Read "Should I Update My Mac to 10.11.4" for more info. UPDATE #2: now we're at 10.11.5. It too has no problems. See my article about how to install 10.11.5 the pro way. (Join the mailing list and get notices like this in your email. Just click the big blue button.) You’re probably wondering what’s so bad about the 10.11.3 update. Well, nothing— unless you’d call a Mac that won’t start something to be concerned about! When things go wrong with 10.11.3, they go wrong very quietly-- the update appears to install, and then the Mac restarts, which is totally normal— but then it doesn’t finish restarting. It gets about 75% of the way through the startup and stops. Turning the Mac off and on again doesn’t help. Repairing the disk after starting from the Recovery Disk sometimes helps; reinstalling the system sometimes helps; waiting a really long time sometimes helps. In my case, I had to reinstall the system, and then delete my own user from the system, and then restore my user from a Time Machine backup. It took a long time. See below. If you simply must be 100% up-to-date, and can’t bear to be on 10.11.2, give yourself the best chance possible by installing 10.11.3 via the 10.11.3 Combo Update, the way the big boys do (except when the big boys are lazy and complacent, as I was when I updated using Apple’s automatic Software Update last week.) [jpshare] Combo Updates include everything needed to take you from the base system to the current version. In this case, it means it has everything needed to take you from 10.11.0 to 10.11.3. The automatic update only contains what’s necessary to go from 10.11.2 to 10.11.3. Installing stuff that you already have (such as the stuff that got you to 10.11.0 to 10.11.2) might seem like a waste of time but in my experience, it never makes things worse. In a way, with Combo Updates you’re refreshing the system, and that’s good. Combo Updates are always available but never via the automatic Software Update mechanism. Instead, you have to search for them on Apple’s site. I’ve done the work for you here— use my Big Blue Button. Personally, in the case of 10.11.3 I wouldn’t even do the Combo Update. I’d wait for 10.11.4. In addition to my own misadventure with it, I’ve seen three Macs with the same won’t-start-all-the-way symptom, and I’ve read about another one (Adam Engst’s, he of the TidBITS newsletter fame). That’s more trouble than I’ve seen for any Apple update in 25 years of helping people with their Macs. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of…
(updated May 27, 2016)

iPhone and iPad Productivity Apps 50% off at the App Store


Hot on the heels of the Mac App Store's 50% off sale on Productivity Apps, Apple's put iPhone and iPad productivity apps on sale too. Choose from: Things: (to-do list/project organizer-- syncs with Mac version) Clear: (another to-do list organizer-- simpler than Things, syncs with Mac version) PCalc: (advanced calculator) ... and several more. This is your chance to get productive on the cheap. Click the big blue button and explore.
(updated January 24, 2016)

Mac Productivity Apps 50% off at the App Store


UPDATE: the sale is over. But, the apps are still great. Check them out and if you don't get them now, put them on your wish list. Apple is discounting productivity apps by 50% for a limited time. Apps include: 1Password (best password manager-- syncs with iOS counterpart) Magnet (tiles windows on your screen-- neaten things up!) Things (to-do list/project organizer-- syncs with iOS counterpart) Clear (simple to-do list manager-- syncs with iOS counterpart) ... and many more. This is your chance to get organized for cheap. Make it your late-January resolution. Click the big blue button and explore.
(updated July 7, 2016)

1Password password manager half off


1Password is the best password manager and you can get it at a discount.
(updated April 13, 2020)

How to recognize phony virus scams on Mac and iPhone


Most of the blog posts I write are positive, upbeat, "Looky what you can do with your Apple thing!" articles. Lots of how-tos, lots of reviews, all designed to help you do more with your Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Basically, I show you what to do. This time, I'm going to show you what not to do. Namely, I'm going to show you how not to be taken in by expensive fake virus scams. I hate to take up time and space doing this but I've seen enough instances of this scam that I feel an obligation to let everybody know about it. I ran into one of these scams myself (late) last night. Luckily I was still awake enough to figure out what was going on, and to dissect the scam a bit so I could explain it better to you. I'll explain what happens, how it happens, show you some examples, and show you what to do (and not do). What Happens You're using a web browser like Safari, Firefox, or Chrome on your Mac (although this can happen on any computer-- and on an iPhone or iPad). All of a sudden a box like this pops onto your screen. Or maybe it's more like this one: Or maybe this one: Sometimes you'll hear an alert like an air-raid siren, sometimes you'll hear a message read out loud to you about how you need to Stop Right Now because your machine is at risk! Regardless, it gets your attention, and usually it's a show-stopper as far as your web-browsing is concerned. You have to deal with that box, one way or another, and in many cases, it keeps coming back. Important Fact #1: Apple is not watching what you do with your Mac. They have no idea that you've gone to this website or that one. They do not pop up messages saying "Your machine's been compromised, so please call this toll-free number." They don't. Neither does Microsoft, neither does Adobe. (Neither do I.) Google is watching where you go on the web but they are not popping up messages telling you to call them. If it's not Apple, not Microsoft, not Adobe, and not me popping up those messages, who is-- and why do they do it? Well, if you haven't guessed already, the answer to the first question is "bad guys" and the answer to the second question is they want to scare you into calling that toll-free number. Once they have you on the phone, they'll ask you to install something that allows them access to your machine (yikes!), and some time after that they'll ask you for money. It might take half an hour, it might take an hour-- I've heard about it taking longer than that-- but eventually they will get around to asking you for money. The bad guys spend a good bit of time and effort to convince you that something's wrong with your Mac, that your passwords and bank records…
(updated October 9, 2018)

How to know when it’s going to rain


UPDATE March 2020: Apple likes the forecast.io people so much they bought the company. UPDATE: forecast.io has changed. It's still great, but it's now called darksky.net. Read my new article about darksky.net, written in October 2016. When it comes to rain, most of us have questions like these: "Do I have time to walk the dog before it rains?""Can I put off cutting the grass until tomorrow?""Do I need to carry an umbrella with me all day?""Is the rain going to stop soon?" These are simple yes-no questions, yet the typical weather forecast doesn't come close to answering them. Instead, they give us the ol' "40% chance of rain in Santa Monica" routine, with little or no specificity. What are you supposed to do, wear 40% of a raincoat? Wear it 40% of the time? Even if they say "Afternoon showers" that's not narrowing it down enough-- are you going to get wet if you go out to lunch? If you leave work at 4 will you be leaving before, during, or after the rain? These are reasonable questions to ask. What we need is a forecast that tells us things like "The rain will stop in 20 minutes." Something like the picture below. Thankfully, fortunately, someone's figured out a better way to predict the weather, especially when it comes to rain. The company's called Forecast.io, and they've developed their own "hyperlocal precipitation forecasting system"-- and it works. I don't know how they do it, but it works. UPDATE October 2016: Forecast.io is now Darksky.net. See my article about Darksky.net and the Darksky app. (That is, it works if you're in the United States or in the United Kingdom, or in Ireland. "More coming soon," they say.) Forecast.io's weather predictions focus on precipitation, and especially what's going to happen in the next hour. They're confident enough in their predictions to say things like "Rain starting at your location in 10 minutes." Originally, that's all they did: predict precipitation for the next hour. Now they've expanded into making predictions for the next week. I've used Forecast.io's predictions during Southern California's recent El Niño storms, as well as during thunderstorm season in Central Texas, and dang if they aren't pretty close to right on the mark. Here's how you can use Forecast.io's hyperlocal precipitation forecasting system for free. Go to the www.forecast.io website. Allow the site to use your location-- that way, you don't have to tell them where you are. They'll figure it out. On a Mac, Forecast.io's website looks like this (click for a larger version): Bookmark the site, add various locations (your hometown, your friend's place, Dad's new home in Oregon, etc.), and you'll always be just a click away from knowing when it's going to rain. Notice there's always the "Current Location" option near the top left. No matter where you are, one click provides the local-est weather report you can get. Also notice that big globe. If you click on it you'll start an animation. Click the…
(updated April 13, 2020)

How to Track your Mileage Automatically, Using the MileIQ app on your iPhone


UPDATE: MileIQ will give you $40, and give your friends 20% off an annual subscription, when you refer them using your special link. You could pay for your own account through referrals, assuming you have enough friends. MileIQ is an iPhone mileage tracker, and you need it if you have to keep track of your business-related mileage. Maybe you get reimbursed by your company, or maybe you need the miles for your taxes. I used to track my mileage in a little notebook, or rather I tried to, but it was easy to forget to do it, and that's exactly what I did! At tax time I would simply guess how many miles I drove for work and I either cheated myself or the IRS. That's not going to be a problem for me in 2016 because now I'm using the MileIQ iPhone app. MileIQ keeps track of everything! Turn it on once and let it do its thing in the background-- it'll know where and when you start a drive, and where and when you stop. (If you turn MileIQ off it won't be able to track your drives automatically. You'll get a warning message if you do turn it off, in case that happens accidentally.) [jpshare] Think of MileIQ as "FitBit for your car." That pretty much sums it up. You can categorize your drives immediately upon arrival or (usually) sometime later, when you think to do it. Doesn't matter at all-- MileIQ remembers the drives forever, including little maps of starting and stopping locations, so you'll be able to recognize and categorize things down the road (so to speak). MileIQ is working really well for me and I'll bet it will work for you too. MileIQ is free (at the App Store) for up to 40 drives per month. You can upgrade to unlimited drives for $5.99/month, or save 20% and get a year for $59.99. The cost is probably tax-deductible so the real cost is even less. MileIQ will discount the annual plan by another 20% if you use this link (and MileIQ will give me credit for referring you, so we both win). That gets your first-year cost down to $47.99. Once subscribed to an annual plan, you can refer others and receive a referral fee yourself when they upgrade to an annual plan. Do that enough times and you're playing with house money. The app is easy to set up and it's even easier to use. After installing the app on your iPhone you'll create a MileIQ account and you'll allow MileIQ to access your location. The app walks you through a three-step tutorial and you'll know enough to use the app after that. From then on, it's as easy as swiping left or right (left for personal drives, and right for business). Here's an example of a drive that needs classifying. Since this was a personal drive I will swipe left. MileIQ lets you combine two (or more) trips into one (maybe you…
(updated April 13, 2020)

How to Trade-in your old Smartphone for an Apple Store Gift Card


Pile of old phones
Apple is offering a trade-in program for old smartphones via this link. Just go online, click a few buttons, and see how much your old phone is worth. It doesn't have to be an Apple iPhone (though it can be) and you don't have to use the trade-in value toward a new iPhone (though you can). They'll take a BlackBerry, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, LG, or even a Samsung, and if it qualifies, Apple will pay you with an Apple Store gift card. If you'd rather have cash, look into It's Worth More and Gazelle. Prices vary so check them both. See below. If you have an old phone sitting around in a drawer now is the time to take it out and get something for it. ALSO: use this link to see about trading in your old iPad, Mac, or PC with Apple, this link for Gazelle, and this link for It's Worth More. DOUBLE-ALSO: Amazon will take a variety of things. Here's how Amazon describes their Trade-in program: "The Amazon Trade-In program allows customers to receive an Amazon Gift Card in exchange for hundreds of thousands of eligible items including phones, electronics, video games, books, DVDs, and CDs. The process is easy and convenient with free shipping, an immediate offer, and no required registration or listing." Pretty nice. They also pay for shipping. You should check it out.
(updated April 13, 2020)

2015-2016 College Football Bowl Game Calendar for iPhone and Mac


UPDATE: I've created the 2016-2017 College Football Bowl Game calendar for you. Click here to get it. When asked whether you want to subscribe, click YES. UPDATE: here is the 2016 College Football schedule, for each team in America. The nice people at collegefootballcalendar.net have put out a calendar showing every college football bowl game. It has dates, times, teams, and TV channels (and it will update to show the scores). Subscribe to the calendar, set it to refresh daily (so you get the scores), and you'll be all set. Here's how you do it. Use this link to go straight to the right place. When you get there look for a "subscribe to the bowl games" link (upper left). If you're using a Mac, when you subscribe to the calendar (as with any calendar) you'll get a box like so: Don't change anything there-- that's the address of the calendar, and it won't work if you change it. You can make changes in the next box, the one that shows up after you click "Subscribe." You can change the Name, the color, the refresh frequency (change it to "Every day"), and you can come back and change it again later if you'd like. Hint: where it says "Location" you should choose "iCloud" if you can. That way, when you add the calendar on your Mac, it will show up on your iPhone (and iPad) too. If instead of using your Mac, you're subscribing by using your iPhone or iPad, you'll get this screen: Tap "Subscribe" and you're all set. Note, however, that this will not automatically add the calendar to your Mac. And, it's harder to get rid of a calendar when you add it this way, so add it from your Mac if you have that option. (Hint: Settings/Mail, Contacts, Calendars/Subscribed Calendars, tap the calendar, tap Delete Account button). As always, if you're stuck, contact me and I'll help you out. It's good to know how to subscribe to calendars so learn it now and be able to do it with other calendars later (sports teams schedules, phases of the moon, movie releases, and so on). BONUS: Our friend Scott Craver at southendzone.com has created the NFL post-season schedule. Whether on an iPhone or a Mac, simply click this link: webcal://www.southendzone.com/ical/postseason.ics. As above, click the "Subscribe" button, then choose a color, a refresh frequency, and save it with your iCloud calendars if possible so it's available on all of your devices without doing any more work. Hint: set the refresh frequency to 1 day or less so you'll get the schedule for next week's games in a timely manner. Those games aren't set until the first round is finished.
(updated April 13, 2020)

The Clever Coffee Dripper


I think of The Clever Coffee Dripper* as an essential Mac accessory because it makes the coffee that fuels this here website (and a lot of other stuff that keeps me up all night.) The beauty of The Clever Coffee Dripper is the water doesn't just run though the cone and into your cup. Instead, it stays in the Dripper, steeping as it were, until you set it down on top of a cup, which activates a valve, releasing the brewed coffee. The longer it steeps, the stronger the coffee, and you will quickly figure out how long is just right for you.It comes with a coaster and a lid. The coaster keeps the counter from getting any stray drips, and the lid keeps the coffee hot while it's steeping and after you've served the first cup. I get two medium-sized cups out of a full cone of water, and the second is almost as hot as the first. Ridiculously easy to clean and the coffee is fantastic. Mom likes it too. We both say "go get one." The Clever Coffee Dripper takes a number 4 paper cone filter,* so order some of those too. I also like the Aeropress.* Dad introduced me to this one. Perfect if you want to make one really great cup of coffee at a time.
(updated December 22, 2015)

How to password-protect a Numbers document on your iPhone or iPad


Here's how you password protect a Numbers document on your iPhone or iPad. Open with Face ID or Touch ID also.
(updated October 15, 2020)

How to password-protect a Numbers 3.5 document on a Mac


Apple's Numbers 3.5 app on the Mac has a nice feature that lets you protect a document with a password. Without the password, the document won't open. You don't need this every day but someday you will, and here's how you do it. (You do it exactly the same way you do it for a Pages 5.5 document. If you know how to password-protect a document in Pages 5.5 you know how to do it in Numbers 3.5 too.) First, get your Numbers document up. Go to File and slide down to Set Password... Next, enter a password, enter it again, and enter a hint. The hint is there in case you forget the password. Warning: I can't get your document open if you forget the password. Give yourself a good hint. If you check the box to remember the password in the Keychain you will never have to enter it again, as long as you're logged onto the Mac with the same username and password. That reduces the value of having a password on the document so my advice is to NOT check that box. That's all there is to it. From then on, whenever someone tries to open that document he'll get a box asking him to enter the password. Even if he's a she. Get it right and the document opens right up. Otherwise, the document remains closed. Don't check that "Remember password in my keychain" this time either. That was easy.
(updated December 19, 2015)

How to password-protect a Numbers ’09 document on a Mac


You can password-protect a Numbers '09 document. That means no one can open the document unless he has the password. This can be very handy if you share your Mac with other members of the family, or if you have roommates who "borrow" your stuff, or if you have a very, very special cat. You password-protect a Numbers '09 document just like you password-protect a Pages '09 document: 1. Open the Inspector (View menu/Show Inspector) 2. Click on the Document button in the Inspector (top left), then click "Require password to open" 3. Enter a password, enter it again, and enter a hint. The hint is very important because no one will be able to get you into a password-protected Numbers '09 document if you forget the password. That's all there is to it! From now on, when you go to open that document, you'll be asked for the password. If you get it right on the first try the document will open right up. I would not recommend saving the password in your keychain because if you do, the system will not ask for the password anymore. That sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it. If you don't remember the password just keep trying. The hint shows up on your third try so don't give up after two. Easy stuff, when you know how.
(updated December 19, 2015)

How to password-protect a Pages document on your iPhone or iPad


You can password-protect a Pages document on your iPhone or iPad. No one can open it without the password. This way, if your iPhone or iPhone is unlocked, your document is still protected. It's really easy to do.With a Pages document up on your iPhone or iPad, look for the wrench at top right and tap it. Tap where it says "Set Password" Give your document a password, enter it a second time, and enter a hint. There's no back-door into a password-protected Pages document so the hint is essential should you forget the password. Pages documents show locked icons when they are password-protected. See below. When you try to open a password-protected Pages document on your iPhone or iPad you'll see a message asking you to supply the password. If you can't remember it, try again. If you still can't remember it, try one more time-- the password hint doesn't appear until the third failure. And that's all there is to it.
(updated November 20, 2015)

How to password-protect a Pages 5.5 document on the Mac


Here's how you password-protect a Pages 5.x document on your Mac.
(updated April 13, 2020)

How to password-protect a Pages ’09 document on a Mac


You might have a reason to want to password-protect a Pages '09 document. Maybe it's your Christmas list. Maybe it has performance review notes. Maybe it's your diary. Whatever it is, you might not want people to be able to open it unless they're invited. You need a way of locking your Pages '09 document so it can't be opened without a password. Here's how you do it. In Pages '09, look at the Document section of the Inspector. You get to the Document section by clicking the button at the top left of the Inspector. See below. (If the Inspector isn't showing, look in the View menu for "Show Inspector" or just click the blue Inspector button in the Toolbar.) At the very bottom of the Document section of the Inspector you'll see "Require password to open." Check that box, choose a password, enter it a second time, and you're done. It would be good to include a hint because there's no way to pry the document open without the password. Here's a picture of what you're looking for in the Inspector. Your protected document will get a new icon: When you try to open it you'll be asked for the password. Enter it successfully and the document opens right up. Get it wrong, and the document stays closed. Nothing to it when you know how.
(updated December 19, 2015)

Book Review: Becoming Steve Jobs


Looking for a good book on Steve Jobs? "Becoming Steve Jobs" is a good one. Better than Walter Isaacson's Jobs biography.
(updated October 14, 2020)

Watch Me Now: How I Came to Want an Apple Watch


When Apple introduced "Apple Watch" last September, I was more than a little skeptical. Here's what I wrote back then: "I usually don't generalize but there are two kinds of people: those who wear watches, and those who don't. This is going to be interesting to watch (pun) because anyone who wants to wear a watch, and has the money to buy a $349 Apple Watch, probably already has a fancy watch on his wrist, and if there's one thing I know about "Fancy Watch Guy" it's that he likes the watch he has now. I suppose we may see people wearing two watches at once. Otherwise there are going to be a lot of Rolexes gathering dust on the dresser. The people who don't wear watches have their reasons, and those reasons will still be there, Apple Watch or no. For example: I keep banging it on things, it catches on stuff, it's too bulky, I'm afraid of losing it, if I want to know what time it is or to send a text message I just pull out my iPhone." (Here's a link to the whole article, if you want it.) I am pleased to announce that even at 52 years old I am open to changing my mind. And, when it comes to Apple Watch, I've changed my mind. Careful readers may recognize that, in September, I was making the same mistake with my assessment of the Watch as I did with the original iPhone. I was thinking "the Apple Watch is a watch, and I don't need a watch" the same way I thought "the Apple iPhone is a phone, and I don't need another phone." Of course I was wrong about the iPhone, and I was wrong (but am no longer wrong) about the Apple Watch. Both devices are both poorly named: the "watch" part of Apple Watch-- that is, the time-telling part-- isn't the important thing, just as the "phone" part of the iPhone doesn't describe 90% of what we do with it. I'm now thinking of the Apple Watch as "a super-portable computer/communication device that is always with me, literally no more than arms' length away, that adds value to the iPhone and (by the way) also tells the time" in the same way that I now think of the iPhone as a hand-held computer/iPod/web browser/email machine/address book/camera that also makes phone calls. If I look at it that way-- that is, if I think of Apple Watch as a super-portable computer/communication device that is always with me, literally no more than arms' length away, that adds value to the iPhone and (by the way) also tells the time-- $349 for the low-end model is palatable. Three hundred and forty-nine dollars for a watch? Out of the question (for me). But $349 for a clever device that adds value to my iPhone, frees up my hands (because I don't have to pull out my phone), and makes things a little more convenient for…
(updated December 19, 2015)

Secrets of the Mac OS Dock


Secrets of the Mac OS DockWe use the Dock all the time without thinking much about it. But, it turns out there are a lot of "Dock things" worth thinking about. The more you know the better you can use it. That goes for me too: while writing this article I learned some stuff myself. Here are some "Dock things" I think you should know. 1. Move it around. The Dock can be placed at the left edge of the screen, the right edge of the screen, or the bottom of the screen. You can go to System Preferences/Dock and position the Dock at left, bottom, or right, but it's more fun to do it by holding down the Shift key, clicking and holding on the little line (see picture), and dragging it to different locations on the screen. Yay. 2. Make it as big as you can. Why squint at tiny icons when you can put off getting glasses by making the icons bigger? The Dock will make the icons as big as it can (or, as small as necessary), depending on how you adjust the Size in the Dock Preferences. Suggestion: make it "Large." Bonus: drag the little line-- same one as in the previous tip-- to resize the Dock. No need to go to System Preferences/Dock (although you can do it that way if you want to). When the Dock's at the bottom, drag the line left or right. When the Dock's positioned at the left or right side, you still drag the little line left or right. Sort of weird but it works. 3. Click and hold. Oh, the things you'll discover if you click and hold on an icon in the Dock! Firstly, if you click and hold on the icon for an app that's running, you'll produce a little menu with "Quit" at the bottom. This is a nice way to quit things. If you have trouble quitting something (maybe the app has crashed) try holding the Option key. "Quit" becomes "Force Quit" and it will really pull the plug on the app. Do this only when you have to as it is rough on the app. (You may have to choose "Force Quit" twice if a program is really stuck.) There's other great stuff in those menus. Slide to Options, then notice "Keep in Dock" (perfect for that app that is in the Dock sometimes, but disappears other times), "Open at Login" (which means the app will launch every time you turn on your Mac), and my favorite, "Show in Finder," very handy when you wonder where the real thing is (because the icons in the Dock are just remote-control triggers to the real things). 4. Drag documents onto icons already in the Dock. Why would you want to do that? Because when you do, the icon you're dropping onto is the app that will open your document. For example, let's say you have a PDF and it opens with that abomination "Adobe…
(updated July 4, 2016)

Six Ways to Use Touch ID on iPhones and iPads


Six ways to use Touch ID
Here are six ways to use Touch ID on your iPhone and/or iPad. The more you use Touch ID the more you'll like it. Huge time-saver.
(updated April 13, 2020)

Easy Way to Move Apps from Screen to Screen on the iPhone


Rearranging apps on your iPhone is easy: you tap and hold on any app's icon, then all of the apps start jiggling, and then you drag the apps to place. Nothing to it, as long as you're not trying to move things from one screen to another. Yes, you can drag an app to the edge of the iPhone's screen, and if you do it exactly right you'll jump to the next (or previous) screen. But it's not easy, and it gets harder if your iPhone's in a case, because the case gets in the way as you approach the edge of the screen. I do it a different way, and my way's easy. I call my technique the "15 Puzzle" method, because it reminds me of the puzzle shown at the top of this blog post. I demonstrate the regular "hard way" and my 15-Puzzle "easy way" in the movies below. Spend two minutes and you'll be moving apps like a pro. The first movie (below) demonstrates "the hard way." Click or tap the picture below to start playing the movie. Turn up the volume so you can hear what I'm saying. The second movie (below) shows you "the easy way." Click or tap the picture below to start playing the movie. This movie also has sound. Easy and fun. You should try it. (Yes, I stopped recording before I tapped the Home button to stop the jiggling. Ooopsy.) I hope you learned something here. And I hope you liked the format. I learned only this week how to record the iPhone's screen and my voice at the same time, and if the comments are favorable I will do more like this.
(updated December 19, 2015)

Why Don’t Photos Sync between my iPhone and Mac?


Hmmm!
If you took a picture with your iPhone, and expected it to land on your Mac, but it didn't-- here's how to fix it. iCloud synching requires WiFi.
(updated July 12, 2019)

Turn Your iPhone Sideways


Many apps rotate to match the iPhone's orientation, so if you happen to hold it sideways, those apps will still be right-side-up. But some apps do more than simply rotate. For some apps, turning the iPhone sideways gives a completely different view. Here are three such apps. 1. CalculatorHere's how the Calculator app looks vertically: And here's how the Calculator looks sideways. It's a whole new thing! Sideways, the Calculator has enough functions to satisfy a math major.Bonus Tip: launch the Calculator quickly with a swipe up from the very bottom of the iPhone. Start with your finger on the plastic below the screen and drag up. You'll see the Calculator and a bunch of other handy stuff too. This method is available no matter what else you're doing on your iPhone. 2. StocksHere's how the Stocks app looks vertically: And here's how the Stocks app looks sideways. Totally different. Wow!Bonus Tip: if you put your finger on the graph and drag, you'll see the exact value and precise time for the point you're touching. Bonus Tip #2: if you touch somewhere else, and drag left or right, you'll bring up the chart for the next stock in your portfolio. 3. CalendarHere's how the Calendar app looks vertically: And here's how the Calendar app looks sideways. Really different, and really handy. Bonus Tip: it's easy to change the day or time of an event when the iPhone is sideways. Just put your finger on the event, hold it for a moment, then drag to the new time slot. Drag the white knobs (they appear when you tap and hold on an event) to make the appointment longer or shorter. Tap somewhere else when you're done.Not all apps will be this different when rotated sideways. All you can do is try. For apps that involve text input, turning the iPhone sideways gives you a bigger keyboard, with larger buttons to tap. Cheaper and faster than buying glasses. Keyboard, vertically: Keyboard, sideways: Cool stuff. Try it!
(updated November 21, 2015)

How To Track Your Steps for Free with Pedometer++


-- How To Track Your Steps for Free with Pedometer++ -- A lot of people wear sleek, high-tech bracelets on their wrists these days. (A smaller group of people wear less sleek, high-tech, non-removable bracelets on their ankles.) Either way, they're tracking their steps.Here are some of the bracelets that you might see being worn today: FitbitFuelband JawboneAnkle monitor (free, sort of)Turns out you don't have to buy a bracelet (or have a judge award you one) to know how many steps you take in a day. All you need is an iPhone 5s or newer, and the right app.(Note: Older iPhones can sense motion too, but not like the newer ones. The newer ones use a special data-gathering, motion-sensing chip called the M7, and it's on all the time because it uses almost no power. The older iPhones don't have it.)For me, "the right app" is Pedometer++.* It's easy to use and it's free. Here's what it looks like: From the chart it's easy to see that I walked a lot on Sunday, but not a lot since. Oopsy.At the top you have two buttons: one on the left for settings, and one on the right for sharing. The Preferences include an option to remove the little ads from the bottom of the screen for a "Generous Tip" of 99¢, a "Massive Tip" of $1.99, or an "Amazing Tip" of $4.99. You can also set your daily step goal, and whether you want to see the current step count on the icon, the same way Mail shows you how many unread messages you have.The Sharing button works as it does in most other apps: tap it to share with others via instant message, email, or tweet. (You can export your chart to a comma-separated values file (CSV), which you can email to yourself and open with Numbers or Excel, but that option is in the Preferences panel. I wouldn't have guessed that Export would be under Preferences, but it works, and now you know.) When you hit your step goal for the day you get a confetti celebration, like so: (It's animated, but I was not able to capture this momentous occasion on video. You'll have to see it for yourself on your own iPhone.)UPDATE January 18th, 2015: I had to work at it, but I got the celebration on video. Tap or click on the picture below to see it. Pedometer++,* on first launch, will display step data from today, yesterday, and maybe the day before yesterday. That's because the iPhone's M7 chip has been recording data all along. You weren't using that data, but the M7 was recording it. Pedometer++* reads the data that's already there and displays it. The fact that the data is being gathered whether you choose to view it or not is sort of spooky, at least at first. The good news is, since the data's being gathered anyway, apps like Pedometer++* don't have a battery-draining effect. So how about that? You think…
(updated July 6, 2016)

Season’s Greetings, and a Present for You


-- Season's Greetings, and a Present for You -- It's been a super year for me and my blog. I published my 400th article, doubled the blog's readership, and connected with readers from around the world. With your help-- comments, suggestions, and encouragement-- I turned this blog into a forum for helping a whole lot of Mac, iPhone, and iPad users in a really big way. I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you for your support. With Christmas just barely behind us I'd like to offer Season's Greetings, and a late gift: a consolidated list of my favorite tips and recommended apps for Macs, iPhones and iPads, plus some money-saving websites and a couple of Google tips. The tips are free, as are some of the apps; the apps that cost something are worth their prices or they wouldn't be on this list. Shortcuts Best shortcut (Macs): Command-Tab. Use it to switch from app to app. Press the Command key by itself and nothing happens, but if you hold it down and then tap the Tab key (upper left on your keyboard) you'll see an overlay on the screen with all of the apps that are running. Keep the Command key down and tap the Tab key until you've highlighted the app you want to bring to the front. That app will pop to the front when you let go of the Command key. Don't hold the Tab key down-- just tap it. (Command key stays down, but the Tab key gets tapped.) This technique lets you quickly and easily switch between apps, even if they are completely covering the screen. No more dragging windows around to make some other app visible. Just do Command-Tab until the app you want is highlighted. Then let go. Bonus: if Command-Tab goes forward, would you expect Command-Shift-Tab to go backward? Of course you would. Turns out that Command-` (near upper left on your keyboard) will also go backward. Finally, with an app highlighted, keep the Command key down, and type a Q to quit it. There's no quicker way. Best shortcut (iPhone and iPad): Dictation. Use it instead of typing. Look for the microphone to the left of the spacebar and tap it any time you're typing. Incredible time-saver. "Any time you're typing" includes in an email, a text message, when doing a Google search, and more. If you see the microphone the app knows how to listen. So try it. Apps Best free text editor (Mac): TextWrangler.* TextWrangler makes short work of text-processing jobs that Word and Pages can't do at all. For example, suppose you're given a list of names, like this: George Washington Thomas Jefferson Abraham Lincoln Theodore Roosevelt Now suppose you want the list to look like this: WASHINGTON, George JEFFERSON, Thomas LINCOLN, Abraham ROOSEVELT, Theodore And now suppose the list is a lot longer, and copying/pasting and selecting/formatting each name isn't practical. This is a job for TextWrangler,* as it can do the job for you,…
(updated April 13, 2020)

How to Fix Yosemite’s Spotlight Search


I get a lot of complaints about Yosemite's Spotlight search. Generally the complaints are "Spotlight finds everything except what I'm looking for!" Actually, what often happens is Spotlight does find what you're looking for, but it finds so many other things that the thing you're looking for gets lost in the soup. For example, here I'm looking for my Christmas shopping list. I bring up Spotlight and type in "Christmas" and I get this: Yes, the shopping list is in there, but geez, I wasn't looking for a Wikipedia definition, or Christmas music, or a dictionary definition. I know it's cool that Spotlight can find all that stuff but just because it's cool doesn't mean I want it. Here's how you can fine-tune Spotlight so it finds only the stuff you want. Go to System Preferences (under the Apple menu) and click on Spotlight (top row). Look at all those places that Spotlight searches! and also... The more places Spotlight searches, the more it finds. It might be a good idea to uncheck some of those boxes so your Spotlight results don't include things you're not interested in searching for (example: "Fonts"). Item #21 ("Bing Web Searches") is new, introduced in Mac OS Yosemite, and that one deserves extra attention. Click the button "About Spotlight Suggestions & Privacy" and read all about it as you may not feel comfy knowing Microsoft is doing the web searches (Bing is a Microsoft thing). Apple says they told Microsoft not to track you, but these days, who (besides North Korea) really knows? You also may want to re-order the categories, so the stuff you want is at the top of Spotlight's search results. Just drag the categories up or down, to suit your preferences. Here's how I did it (you can't tell by the picture, but on my Mac, everything else-- that is, items 13 through 22-- are unchecked): Now that I've made these adjustments to Spotlight's preferences, when I search for "Christmas" I get a simpler list-- more documents, no Wikipedia, no music, etc. In fact, the thing I was looking for is at the very top of the list. How about that. See below. Now you know how to adjust Spotlight's settings, and if I ended right here you would have gotten your money's worth. Even so, I have a handful of bonus tips for you. Bonus Tip #1If you're looking for a particular kind of thing, let's say an image, you can restrict the results of a Spotlight search by typing "kind:image" after your search term. See below. (For other ways you can restrict a Spotlight search, see this article on Apple's site.) Bonus Tip #2You can use Spotlight to search your address book. This is very handy, as it saves you from opening the Contacts app first. In fact, it saves you from opening the Contacts app at all, as Spotlight shows you the contact information right in the Spotlight window. It's super-easy and super-fast, and you don't even…
(updated January 7, 2017)

How to Print Mailing Labels from your iPhone or iPad (2014 Edition)


icon for myCardLists
UPDATE: I've updated my how-to article on printing mailing labels from your iPhone or iPad. Please click here to see the 2015 version. Thank you. You can use your iPhone or iPad to print mailing labels for any or all of your iPhone/iPad's contacts. It's December already-- if you want to get those Christmas cards out you'd better get crackin'. Printing mailing labels will help. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, how about joining my mailing list? I have hundreds of Mac, iPhone, and iPad how-to articles on my blog already and you'll get an email every time I write another one. (I wrote about printing mailing labels from the iPhone and iPad in 2012, but things changed so much that I wrote a new post in 2014. This is the new 2014 post.)Step 1: download the very excellent myCardLists* app from the App Store. It'll cost you 99¢-- a bargain. myCardLists* works on the iPhone and on the iPad as it is a so-called "universal app." I've been looking for an app that can make mailing labels for a long, long time; I can stop looking now, and so can you. Once upon a time we could use Avery's "Templates Everywhere" app to print labels, but it was pulled from the App Store. The replacement was Avery's "Design & Print" but I am sorry to say it is almost unusable. It crashes for no reason, the buttons don't respond when you touch them, and worst of all it prints lousy labels. The City and State are on the same line as the street address (!) and they don't line up with Avery's own labels! Yes, it's free, but's horrible to use. Trust me: the 99¢ you spend on myCardLists* is the best money you'll ever spend. Here's how you use myCardLists.* (Note: I am going to show screenshots from myCardLists on the iPhone here. It works identically on the iPad-- it's just bigger.)Launch the app. You'll see this: Do what it says and tap the "+" (at top right) to add a new list. You'll name it in the next step. I chose "Christmas 2014" from the scrolling list. Now we have a list. We could make more lists while we're at it (maybe you want to send a lot of Christmas cards, but invite just a few to a party). One list is enough for us here. Once again, do what it tells you: "Tap to add names." On the next screen touch the plus sign with the Santa hat. That leads to this screen: Now you have a decision to make, but it's a no-brainer: choose the top option. This lets you pull contacts in from your iPhone's Contacts app. You don't want to type the names and addresses in by hand (though you can, and you can even do some of each). You'll get a message saying "myCardLists would like to access your contacts." Nice of them to ask (actually, it's required by iOS). Allow it.…
(updated December 19, 2015)

How to Get Rid of Ads in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox on the Mac


Here's how you remove ads and adware from web pages with a simple plug-in. This speeds up your web browsing because you're downloading less material. There are roughly a billion active websites, and whichever ones you go to, I am positive that you aren't going there for the ads. You'd never do that. No one likes ads. Ads distract from the information we are looking for when we visit websites in the first place. Worse than that, they slow things down, because they have to load (that is, they have to come to your Mac from a server, over your internet connection). Plus, sometimes they cover up what you want to see, forcing you to click to make them go away, and sometimes they're sneaky and invisible, taking you to websites you didn't intend to visit. If they're made with Adobe Flash they're even worse, as Flash ads shorten battery life, make your Mac run hot, and sometimes make it crash. Which NYTimes.com home page header do you prefer? The standard one, with ads? Or the cleaned-up one, without ads? I think I know the answer. Cleaning things up is easy. I'll explain it all shortly, with links to everything you need. But first we need to talk about a different kind of ad-- the kind that takes over your browser, changing your search engine and home page. The kind that keeps popping up no matter what you do. This kind of ad comes from adware, a very close relative to malware. It's important to get rid of it, so even though I've brought up "adware" second, I'm going to tell you how to fix it first. Adware is designed to inject ads into everything you view on the web, even if the original page didn't include ads. The people who create adware are looking to get paid, and get paid they do-- every time one of their advertisers' ads is shown. Some adware, notably Genieo, tries to convince you that they're doing you a favor. Others, such as Vsearch, try to hide in the background, hoping you won't find them so you won't be able to remove them. If your Mac's web browsing is full of pop-up ads that you can't get away from, your Mac probably has "adware." You need to get rid of it. Here's how you get rid of it: you use the excellent AdwareMedic, shown below. Adware Medic Note: AdwareMedic is now Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for the Mac. It's still free! And the links here still work. Malwarebytes If you're using Mac OS 10.7 or higher, you can use AdwareMedic to clear out every piece of adware known to Man. If you're using 10.6 or older, you'll have to remove the bad stuff by hand, and it's a chore (I know, I've done it). The Safe Mac website has instructions for doing it by hand, in case that's your only option (or in case you don't want to install a program from a total stranger and…
(updated August 31, 2021)

Schedule Outgoing Emails on Your Mac with SendLater


Here's how you can write an email today, and have it go out tomorrow morning. I use this all the time. Super-handy.
(updated January 22, 2021)

iOS 8.1.1 Update: Something to be thankful for


Thanksgiving is more than a week away, but Apple's given iPad 2 and iPhone 4s owners something to be thankful for today: a fresh new iOS update, with performance improvements galore. It's iOS 8.1.1, the best version yet, and if you're on 8.anything it behooves you to get the iOS 8.1.1 update now. iOS 8.1.1's release notes are a little on the vague side: "This release includes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s."Some have interpreted this to mean that the update is meant only for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s but this is not the case. There's something for i-everyone, but especially there are performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s. I can tell you from personal experience that the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s are much, much snappier with 8.1.1 than they've been with any other version of 8. If you have an iPad 2 or an iPhone 4s (or both. like me) and were a little disappointed after upgrading them to iOS 8 because the performance was lousy (also like me), 8.1.1 is the upgrade for you. (It's also the upgrade for everyone else with iOS 8 installed. You might not notice dramatic performance improvements but one of those "bug fixes" from the release notes might solve a problem for you.) Naturally you're wondering "well, how much faster is it?" I don't know. I'm wondering too. But, I can tell you that the iPad 2 was a real drag to use under 8.0, 8.0.2, and 8.1, with slow-motion responses to Home button presses, slow-motion app launching, slow-motion rotation... and now it's as good as new. Same with the iPhone 4s. "Snappy" is as much about how something feels as anything else, and believe me, with 8,1.1, everything FEELS faster. A lot faster. iOS 8.1.1 is an upgrade I completely recommend. Here's a handy link to Apple's site, explaining the two ways of installing 8.1.1. There's "over the air" which is sort of the lazy way to do it, and there's "via iTunes" which is a bit more work but could be your only option if your iPhone or iPad is close to full. I just barely was able to upgrade the iPhone 5s and the iPad 2 over the air as I use those devices a lot and they were almost out of storage space. The iPhone 4s had plenty of room. All three devices updated without a hitch. The update from 8.1 to 8.1.1 is not very big in terms of space taken up on your device but it delivers big improvements. If you're already on 8.0.2 or 8.1, the 8.1.1 upgrade is a no-brainer, so go get it. If you've been waiting on the sidelines for a really stable, really fast version of iOS 8, wait no longer-- unless you're Mom, in which case you can wait for me to do the upgrade for you, when I come to put up your Christmas lights.
(updated December 19, 2015)

Book Review: Fearless Genius


Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley, 1985-2000, by Doug Menuez. This coffee-table book of photographs documents Silicon Valley's rise from the mid-1980s to 2000, in vivid, candid, unposed black and white. It features photos of many of the famous key players of the time, as well as photos of those whose contributions did not receive the attention they deserved. Steve Jobs is there, of course, (the beginning of the book is devoted to the creation and launch of the NeXT computer), as are Marc Andreesen, Steve Capps, Susan Kare, John Warnock, Clement Mok, Ross Perot, and even President Clinton (along with many more). Far from "glamour shots," these photos capture reality, with all of the intensity, exhilaration, and exhaustion that was everyday life for those who sought to change the world-- and did. Menuez's captions, and especially his thoughtful assessment of the evolution of the industry, are valuable additions. You can see some of the pictures, and their captions, on the Fearless Genius website. With the photographer's permission, some of my favorites are presented here. The Day Ross Perot Gave Steve Jobs $20 Million. Fremont, California, 1986. Steve was a consummate showman who understood the power of a compelling setting. This was never more apparent than at this incongruously formal lunch he hosted for Ross Perot and the NeXT board of directors in the middle of the abandoned warehouse he planned to turn into the NeXT factory. He told Perot that they were building the most advanced robotic assembly line in the world and that “no human hands” would be assembling hardware. He predicted that NeXT would be the last billion dollar a year company in Silicon Valley and that they would ship ten thousand computers a month. Perot, who was then championing a movement to reform education in the United States, was blown away by the presentation and invested $20 million, becoming a key board member and giving NeXT a crucial lifeline. Susan Kare Is Part of Your Daily Life. Sonoma, California, 1987. It’s not a stretch to say that Susan Kare’s playful icons and user interface design have impacted the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. Susan was part of the original Mac team and designed the original Mac icons and much of the user interface. Leaving Apple with Steve after his ouster, she became a cofounder and creative director at NeXT Computer, where she oversaw the creation of its icons and logo, working with the legendary Paul Rand. Later she designed or redesigned icons for many other computer operating systems, including Windows and IBM’s OS/2. Here she’s listening to Steve at an off-site meeting with her colleague Kim Jenkins (right), as he discusses the unfinished tasks facing the company. Kim, a key member of the marketing team, came to NeXT from Microsoft, where the education division she started was profitable beyond anyone’s expectations, giving real competition to Apple, which had previously dominated the education market. Steve Jobs Outlining the Digital…
(updated September 7,