Is Your Mac Running Slower Than It Did When You First Bought It?

If that is the case, chances are that you have clogged up your Desktop with dozens of files. Placing all your "must have” files on the Desktop isn’t the best way to use your Mac, but if you insist on doing it that way, you’ll see some improvement in speed by collecting those files into categories and creating folders for each category. The fewer files and folders you have in the Desktop, the faster your Mac will run.

Sometimes simply restarting the Mac will improve speed performance.

Another option is to perform a PRAM reset (NVRAM on SSD’s) and a SMC reset  Check the links here for additional information and instructions on how to perform the task.

Try this: log out of your normal account and log in with a different account. If that other account seems to be running fine, then you need to perform some system maintenance on your account.

More memory does not necessarily speed up a computer unless you have the minimum or less than what the OS version requires. Even then, more memory is really only for the gamer or video editor. I always recommend the maximum memory for any computer just to be totally certain that low memory is not going to be a problem. If you’re running several applications at the same time (when it is loaded into memory, there’s a dot under the icon in the Dock) and you are low on memory, the system has to temporarily swap them out to the hard drive to make room for the one application that you are actually using. This swapping back and forth slows things down considerably, and more memory can improve on that.

Replacing a hard drive with an SSD will speed things up, but it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem of why your computer is slow.

If you have installed additional fonts on your computer, that will definitely slow down starting up the computer and starting up applications that use fonts, especially word processors. Use Font Book to remove fonts that you really know you’re not about to use, but be aware that you cannot remove any system fonts.

Declutter your disk by emptying your Trash often, including the Trash in Mail - they are not the same Trash.

Perform routine system maintenance. Junk accumulates on any computer. You might have deleted an application by just dragging it to the Trash - and that does not delete all the files associated with the application. Cache files and log files build up over time. Really old email messages and messages with attachments simply use up space, although they can slow down a search somewhat if you have thousands of old emails hanging around. A free utility called ONYX can do the job, but takes some manual intervention. There’s a different version for each version of mac OS X starting with 10.2. CleanMyMac 3 does all the same things with a single click and has some additional utilities that are well worth the price.

Do you shut off your Mac every night? That might not give Spotlight the time it needs to build a snapshot of the files on your Mac. If Spotlight doesn’t have a current build, it takes longer to find things on the Mac. It might take a couple of days for Spotlight to build a complete snapshot on a large file system, so be sure to give Spotlight plenty of time to do its job - and often!

Malware on a Mac can slow things down because some Malware constantly runs in the background snooping on what you are doing and reporting back to its owner. Malwarebytes (not free) or Sophos Home or Avast can ensure that malware doesn’t stay on your computer. Do NOT use more than one anti-virus application on your computer (such as Sophos Home and Avast). Malwarebytes isn’t an anti-virus app, so it can run alongside an anti-virus app. However, do NOT let Malwarebytes run in the background as this will slow down your computer. Only run Malwarebytes manually when you feel like letting it check out your computer’s status.

For additional tips, see MacAttorney’s “Macintosh OS X Slowdown Solutions.”

John R. Carter Sr.

Mac Malware Getting Serious

While some of our members do not have anti-virus software to protect their Macs, below is a link to an article that identifies the increase in threats on the Mac, and what to do about those threats. While the article has been sponsored by an AV software company, that does not reduce the threat. This can provide more information, and let you take the necessary steps to reduce the threat if they feel the need.

Frank Croft 2018-02-07&utm_term=mw_macweek_html

Evolution of the Mac

It's been over 30 years since the Mac was released. Here is a slide show of the Mac through the years, with pictures, specs and prices. You'll note the first Mac sold for $2,495. Below each picture is a small box with the words "show more". Click this to get a description of what you're seeing. An interesting journey.

Now, if you're really interested in Mac history, here is a slide show of the MacBook over the past 25 years. The first Powerbook was introduced in late 1991 and sold for $2,500. A variety of the MacBook is what I've used over the years.

Looking at the intoductory pricing mentioned above, it seems Apple liked a starting price of around $2,500.

Jim Hamm

The future of Mac User Groups

Jim Hamm provides us with a New York Times article (link below) about Mac user groups, suggesting that they may have faded in popularity, as evidenced by the following comment in the article: “We’re all suffering the same thing. We’re not getting new people,” said Bob White, 72, a MacNexus member. “A lot of us are senior citizens.” Since PMUG is going strong, Jim hasn't noticed the impact the internet, forums, Apple stores, etc., have had on Mac clubs.

Jim also belongs to the Mac club in Phoenix (AMUG), and has noticed how their membership has shrunk over the years. He enjoys the personal presentations in Mac meetings, and likes to contribute a bit when he can, such as his frequent contributions to the PMUG Blog.

Jim adds, "One can't help but wonder, what does the future hold for Mac user groups?"

John Carter notes that the Prescott Computer Club membership has increased to 140+ recently, and a lot of that increase is due to the flurry of excitement about the Windows 10 release and the public announcements the club makes to get the news out. Just how much attention will the new announcements by Apple this month will bring new members to PMUG is unknown, but due to the high success rate of individuals being able to do their own updates, probably none.

Mac User Groups Fade in Number and Influence, but Devotees Press On

Text Messages That Crash iPhones

                This info is from Ars Technica, "There's yet another iOS bug that causes Apple devices to crash when they receive text messages containing a string of special characters. With further finessing, the same exploit may be able to attack Macs, since OS X is also unable to process the same combination of characters, which are technically known as glyphs."
        Here's a screen shot of the text that causes iPhones to promptly crash.  

Read this article for the warnings and the remedy they suggest:  

About This So-Called Security Program

        Take a look at this serious matter brought to our attention by Jim Hamm.  
        "If you surf the net, you've probably seen ads pop up for MacKeeper, a so-called security program for the Mac. Here is an article about MacKeeper, and its aggressive advertising program on the internet.       
         "My suggestion is to stay far away from this program. You'll see why after you read the article. Having said that, though, I am amazed -- and somewhat jealous -- at how some young, smart programmers in the Ukraine had an idea, developed a program, aggressively marketed it, and rolled in some $26 million dollars. Now why wasn't I smart enough to do this?...(grin)…" Thanks to Jim for this info. 

Compare OS and Browsers

        Here's an article from David Passell which compares worldwide use of Mac vs PC.  He notes, "Also compares different browsers."
        Two shakes later Jim Hamm sends this same link, heading it with "Six surprising facts abut who's winning the operating system and browser wars in the U.S."  His comment is, "Not that it will change what you use, but here are some interesting statistics . . . " 

Internet Videos Show "How To"

           Want to do more on Mac, your iPhone, your iPad?  John Carter found a site for you that has 500+ video tutorials.  
        John says, "There are several places on the Internet where you can get video tutorials that clearly step through the processes one needs to know to accomplish what may seem at the outset to be only for gurus. 
        "For instance, you’ve probably heard about Pixelmator and how it can give you fine control over editing a photo at a fraction of the price of Adobe Photoshop CS. Or, now that Yosemite is out, just how much more can it do and how can you discover how to use those new features? 
        "From iOS to Mac, there is one place dedicated to helping Mac users learn all they can, and even introduce applications you’ve probably never heard of, and that’s"  

Learn Via Video, etc.

        Helpful PMUG leader John Carter scores big with this link,  and you'll want to take a look at this website.  Turns out they have more than 900 FREE video tutorials on how to use your Mac, iPad, iPhone and other Apple Technology.  
        And here's some very welcome news: They never sell, rent or share your email address.  Read details at Policies. 
       No, we're not listing all 900 of their video tutorials.  But look at some of these other helpful categories.  

Here's another list of pages you'll want to check out. 
And this concludes the August PMUG meeting handout that's not getting handed out tomorrow, August 16; it's just posted here for your convenience.  Thanks again to John Carter who keeps an eye out for useful info for us.  
by Elaine Hardt. 

Ideas and Shortcuts

  Jim Hamm presented some helpful tips to the AMUG Senior SIG today, and shares these links with us. 

    more from Lifehacker:
9) (item obsolete - admin)
10) 50 Best Mac Tips:

A Review of Apple's New Router

        "Here is a review of Apple's new router," begins Jim Hamm.   "It gets good marks with one exception: it is not friendly with PCs, which I think is a huge mistake by Apple. One initially needs a Mac or iOS device to set it up. Afterwards, a PC can connect and use it easily. But Apple is missing a huge chunk of the router market by not designing it to be PC friendly to set it up.

        Jim closes with these comments,  "For years I've used use the older Apple Extreme router, and both of them have worked flawlessly. Next time I get a router, it will be this new one from Apple."

Web Developers to Meet

         Here's an announcement from John Carter:  "The Prescott Web Developers has scheduled a meeting on July 13 from 10 AM to noon at the Prescott Library. This is a general membership meeting for web developers. No specific topic has been established. All are welcome.

        "The PCS Developer's SIG meeting will be July 6 from 1-3 PM at the Library. The topic of that meeting is HTML and CSS for web developers. All are welcome."