Computer Trivia

I just read a couple of articles regarding computers that I found interesting, and am sending them to you for your possible interest. The first article talks about the decline in demand for HDD's, which isn't surprising given the better performance from SSD's. What I found interesting was the direct comparison between an HDD and an SSD. What a difference. The price for an SSD has been steadily dropping and will, I assume, soon replace the HDD altogether.

The following article shows the decline in computer and tablet shipments after a peak about six years ago. This puts pressure on computer manufacturers as demand for their product declines. The same phenomenon --saturation-- has affected mobile phones as well. Apple has recognized this and is stressing their "service" sales, such as music, 'cloud' storage, etc.  

As with just about any product or industry, saturation or obsolescence eventually kills demand and manufacturers are left to scramble to find a product to start selling as a replacement. Such is life. Think about the guy building a carriage to be pulled by a horse, about 1905, when he heard this strange sound: putt, putt, followed by a cloud of exhaust. What could this be, he wonders?...🤔...A 'horseless' carriage?

Jim Hamm

Apple Care Support

Apple Care support for your Apple devices and Apple software is free during their working hours. You do not need a valid AppleCare warranty for this service. The AppleCare warranty is for covering damage or loss of your device.

This free service is available for any device for up to seven (7) years from the date it is released.
The number to call is 800-692-7753
When you get connected, simply respond to the first automated question with “Technical support,” or “Billing,” or whatever main topic you need assistance with. Don’t bother going into any detail - that comes later when you start talking to a human.
The next automated voice will then ask you for the name (i.e., MacBook Pro) and serial number of the device you are working with, so have it ready.
If you need assistance after hours, you will need a valid AppleCare warranty for the device. Otherwise, you will be charged for that service.

John R Carter Sr

Syncing Messages with iCloud

If you have an iOS device and a macOS device, you may have noticed that some content in Messages is not synced between these operating systems. The reason is that SMS messages are not synced. So if you get a message on your iPhone/iPad and not on your Mac it’s because it was sent as an SMS message.

Another thing that you may have noticed about macOS Mojave is that in the iCloud preferences you no longer see Messages as an app that you can select to sync with iCloud. Messages is synced in iCloud in Mojave by default. In iOS 12 and below, you will still see Messages as an app that you can select to sync in iCloud, and it should be selected.


If you are texting with someone from your iOS device who doesn’t have an iOS device (i.e., Android), the text message will be displayed in green instead of blue, and that message is actually an SMS message and will not be synced with macOS. 

Using Messages in macOS, you cannot send a text message to a phone number that is not a registered iOS device but you can send a text message to any email address.

John R Carter Sr

What Mojave Broke and How to Fix It

This is a great website to read just to know what could be wrong with Mojave after you have updated to it, and what you can do to fix what’s broken. 

Here are the things that are covered:

  1. SMS Messages (to non-Apple devices) not delivered

  2. Weird fonts

  3. Bluetooth devices not connecting to your Mac

  4. Freeze or slowdown at login

  5. Apps no longer working

  6. Apps and security changes in Mojave

  7. 32-bit apps and other non-working software

John R Carter Sr

Keyboard Shortcuts for Moving Files

Moving a file or folder from one location to another is easy using the keyboard shortcuts. Open Finder and select the source file or folder, then use Cmd-C to copy. In Finder again, go to the new location and use Option-Cmd-V. That will move the folder or file to the new location. No need to have two windows open or to drag and drop. Of course, if you just want to copy the folder or file, use Cmd-V at the target location.

John R Carter Sr

Apple Revenue

Early on, when I first got into Macs, I viewed Apple as a computer company. Then, they released the iPhone, followed by the iPad, which is as big a part of Apple as the computers. The following graph shows that now computers are a very small part of Apple.

I've read that Apple products are overpriced, and that may or not be true -- how does one measure this? But Apple does build a quality product, of which I'm mighty appreciative. And for every dollar of sales Apple hangs on to 24 cents profit. I wonder if any other companies are able to do this?.

Jim Hamm


iPad Tips

If you're running iOS 12 on your iPad, here are some tips that you might try. I just tried all of them on my iPad, and they worked. But the problem, for me anyway, is my fingers are trained to accomplish the same objective as these new gestures accomplish, but in a different fashion. Is it worthwhile switching? I don't know yet.

Now, for awhile, I'll try these to see if it's worth retraining my fingers. BTW, these tips are courtesy of Small Dog Electronics ( This is a great company to shop for Apple products. They are quite honest in dealing with their customers. They also publish a newsletter which you can sign up for, if interested.

Jim Hamm

When Apple released iOS 12 in September 2018, the main change for iPad users was a revamped collection of gestures similar to those used by the iPhone X. As it turned out, these new gestures were in preparation for the release of the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that dropped the Home button and Touch ID in favor of Face ID. Just as with the iPhone X, the elimination of the Home button requires new gestures.

Luckily, Apple did a great job on these, so once you learn them, you’ll probably find them even faster to use than before. And if you’re still using an iPad with a Home button, rest assured that it still works as you expect.

Show the Home Screen

Although those whose iPads have a Home button will likely stick with pressing it to return to the Home screen, there’s a new universal gesture that works on all iPads running iOS 12. Just put your finger at the bottom edge of the screen and swipe up with a quick, decisive gesture that goes about a third of the way up.

Show the App Switcher

Again, those with a Home button on their iPads are accustomed to double-clicking it to bring up the app switcher that displays large thumbnails of recently used apps. But if you want to retrain yourself to use iOS 12’s new gesture, swipe up from the bottom to the middle of the screen (more slowly than the gesture for returning to the Home screen) and pause briefly until the thumbnails appear. 

Switch Between Apps

iOS 12’s new trick for switching back and forth between apps is slightly different depending on whether you have an older iPad or one of the new 11-inch or 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. On the new iPad Pro, swipe left and right along the bottom edge of the screen to switch between previously used apps. (This is exactly the same gesture you’d use on the iPhone X, XR, XS, and XS Max.)

On an older iPad, however, you need to swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen just slightly—not even enough to display the entire Dock—and then swipe right or left.   

Open Control Center

In iOS 11, Apple combined Control Center and the App Switcher, but in iOS 12, Control Center gets its own screen and its own gesture, again mimicking that of the iPhone X series. To open Control Center, swipe down from the top right corner of the screen. You need to start the swipe in the rightmost 10% or so of the screen—if your finger is too far to the left, you’ll open Notification Center instead.  

Bonus Tip about the Dock in iOS 12

OK, so this isn’t a gesture, but’s a new feature of iOS 12 that’s available only on the iPad. By default, iOS 12 shows a divider on the right side of the Dock and three icons to its right. What’s the deal with those right-hand icons? Two of them are recent apps that you haven’t already dragged to the left side of the Dock. The third one might also be a recent app, or it might be an app you’ve used recently on your Mac or iPhone, at which point it will have a little badge in the corner indicating which machine it comes from.  

If you dislike either of these features, you can turn them off separately. Disable the recent apps in Settings > General > Multitasking & Dock, and turn off the Handoff app in Settings > General > Handoff.

It can be tricky to pick up new ways of working, but if you sit down and play with iOS 12’s new gestures, you should get the hang of them quickly.

5G Cellular

You may have read or heard about the next upgrade in cellular technology: 5G. You might ask, do I want to know more or even care? As for me, I did want to know more -- so I read this article, which is good, BTW -- and I admit I'm not all that excited about 5G. 

Yes, 5G is about 20 times faster than 4G, which most of us use. And there are some advantages, such as downloading a movie in 17 seconds instead of 7 minutes. But, as I understand it, many more small cellular antennas would have to be installed in your neighborhood (ugly?) to use 5G, and you'd have to buy another cell phone.

Like it or not, I suspect 5G is coming.

Jim Hamm

Phishing Quiz with Google

If you’ve heard a talk about computer privacy or security, you’ve probably heard the admonition “Don’t click on a link in an email unless you’re sure of what it’s linking to.” (or some variant thereof). Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has put together a quiz to illustrate what that looks like and how to do it. There are eight samples, so it doesn’t take long.

You can access the quiz here <>

This page is safe and the quiz results go nowhere beyond your computer. The quiz requires you to make up a user name and an email address (they don’t leave your computer and you can use anything you like. It’s just used to make the test emails more realistic.)

When taking the quiz, hover your mouse (or finger, if on a tablet or phone) over the link to see the actual link address. Then try to decide if the email and its included link is a fake (phishing email) or real.

Give it a try. You will probably learn something about what to look for. It can be tricky if you aren’t paying close attention. I didn’t get them all right the first time I tried it. It also illustrates how deceptive fake phishing emails can be.

Ward Stanke

Check Sender Email addresses for Spam Messages

If you get any email where the sender email address ends in .pw, ignore it, no matter how legitimate is seems.

From the above link:

These are the top ten subject lines from .pw URL spam over the last two days:

• Subject: How to sell your Timeshare
• Subject: Reusable K Cup for Keurig or single-brew coffee maker
• Subject: Reusable single-brew coffee cup you can fill with your coffee blend.
• Subject: Are your home possessions covered in case of a  catastrophe?
• Subject: Elmo's Learning Adventure Gift Package
• Subject: Make Learning Fun - With Elmo & the Sesame Street Gang!
• Subject: Are your appliances and home systems covered?
• Subject: Refinance Today, Save Tomorrow
• Subject: Nothing is more EFFECTIVE for High Blood Pressure
• Subject: Mortgage Rates

And add this one that I just got today: Final Notice

John R Carter Sr

View Any Video File With MPV

How long have we said that VLC is the best way to view “almost” any video file, regardless of the extension?

Well, MPV will display ANY video file, regardless of extension - or so it is touted. The interface is simple and easy to use. There is an executable for macOS, not sure about iOS. Although there is no official GUI, when I installed and ran it, I got this:


Check out MPV here:

John R. Carter Sr.

Mac and iOS Tips

If you use a Mac or iPad or iPhone, you may find the following tips to be quite useful. The first link lists 33 of the best tips for the Mac. The second link lists 41 great tips for the iPad and iPhone. One can spend a fair amount of time browsing and trying the various tips. 

As one example, I found that outside air quality can be found by opening the 'Weather' app on the iPhone and scrolling to the bottom. I hadn't tried this previously. Unfortunately, the air quality where I live in Scottsdale showed "Very Unhealthy". Yuck! Air quality is an issue we often face in the wintertime due to thermal inversions.

Anyway, I hope you find these tips to be helpful.

Jim Hamm