Home Page in Safari

If you should have a problem with Safari opening a home page that you don't want, read the following note from a friend. Safari kept opening 'Yahoo' as the home page, which she didn't want. She found a solution, and I am posting this FYI and possible help someday.

Jim Hamm

"I think I solved my problem. I happened to look at Safari advanced preferences and noticed the box for stopping plugins was checked. Sometimes I have issues with not being able to open a file because Safari has blocked the plug in. So I unchecked it thinking maybe I'll be able to open such files in the future.
Turns out when I launched Safari again the Yahoo search page did not appear. So I went back to Safari prefs and changed my homepage. Yay! abc15.com now shows up at launch.
Still don't know why I had the Yahoo issue, but glad I can have my preferred home page and Google as my search engine."

Brave Browser

If anonymity is important to you as you browse the web, you might take a look at the Brave Browser. Info here. And here is another article with a more complete description of the browser.

Although the Brave Browser has been available for about three years, I haven't tried it yet. It has about 3 million users at this time, and expects to have 5 million by years' end. It is said to load web pages twice as fast as Chrome and Firefox, because it's downloading less web content.

To financially reward the advertisers it offers, it has what it calls "Basic Attention Tokens", or BATs. Not sure I understand all I know about this. If you do decide to try the Brave Browser, let me know what you think.

Jim Hamm


Don't like Google tracking everything you do when doing a web search? Do you use an Apple device? Here is an article describing how to enable DuckDuckGo as the default search engine on your device.

In a separate article I read that DuckDuckGo does use the Google search engine for web searches -- based on a contract they have with Google -- but hides your identity. Thus, you get the power of Google but still maintain your privacy. I also include the full link below to the article.

Jim Hamm


Phishing Warning!

If you get an email from ANY company that is sent to “undisclosed recipients” with a dire message to login to fix your account, TRASH it or put it in JUNK immediately. This is a phishing attempt to capture your login information.

So please look at who the message is sent to before taking any action, and even then it is best to NOT click on a link in a message that supposedly takes you to a login page on your account.

It is best to use your browser to go to your account and login that way. Then, if that company has a special message for you, you will find it there.

John R Carter, Sr.

Apple's Catalina OS

Apple's latest OS --Catalina -- is available for a beta download, should you have an interest:


And here is one review of the features in Catalina:

And this article describes how 'Find My' Mac works:


This looks to be quite an OS.

Jim Hamm

Free Virus Scan

ESET offers a free offline scan of your computer for viruses and malware. It is currently doing a scan of my computer as I type this. If you'd like to try it, you can download the scan module here. You answer a few questions about the scan, then click start. You can continue to use your computer while it completes the scan, and it works on a PC or Mac.

It has currently scanned 130,000 files on my computer -- and is about half done -- and hasn't found anything yet -- and hopefully it won't. Of course ESET offers a paid version, which they hope you will eventually buy, but you don't have to in order to get the scan. Here is an article describing other virus scanning programs you might consider trying.

If you're running Windows 10 on a PC, here is an article you might read using Windows Defender offline to do a virus scan. I have not tried this one yet, but plan to read more about it.

Jim Hamm

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 (http://www.smalldog.com/). 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.