getting help

Bookmark This NOW: System Status

        Probably this will be the handiest website for you to bookmark!  Jim Hamm strongly suggests, "Here's a site published by Apple that will alert you to a known problem with a particular Apple System. 
        "Let's say, for example, you're having a problem with iCloud Mail. Is it your computer, or ? A quick check of this site will alert you if it is a known problem that may be system-wide. If there's no alert showing, then take a closer look at your computer."  
        He closes with this, "You might want to bookmark this site -- it could be helpful."  But as soon as you view that site you WILL see its usefulness. 

Fix Your Mac

        He calls it fun!  Allen Laudenslager sends this:  "Some of us go back to the days when we literally built our own computers from parts. My first 'ready-made' computer came with three books about an inch thick with troubleshooting and repair guides. Now you are supposed to send it back to the manufacturer if anything goes wrong.
        "For most users this is just fine, but some of us old timers still like to dig in and fix things ourselves. I just found the ultimate Mac Fix-it Yourself site.  It includes a troubleshooting guide.  Fun even if you aren't planning to fix your Mac yourself."

Finding Help

Hopefully, PMUG members and friends are gaining help when they need it.  Last week's update for Mac was an example of needing and finding help.  A quick email brought quick replies from David Passell, Art Gorski, and John Carter.  The technical details I didn't need; I just needed my printer to obey my commands. After following the suggestion to turn off the Firewall, since my Mac goes through a router, everything is fine.   Anyone else finding the help you need?  Want to pass the info along?

Migrating From Windows to Mac

If you or a friend are going to migrate from PC to a Mac here's what you want to know.  John Carter is our guide, "The easiest way to migrate from a Windows platform to the Mac is to use Parallels. This is accomplished simply by installing and launching the Parallels Transport Agent on the Windows machine, and then installing Parallels on the Mac and launching the Parallels Transport application on the Mac and selecting the method of transfer (USB, network, or external drive). When the two programs start talking to each other, Parallels will create a Windows partition on the Mac and transfer everything (all applications and all data files) from the Windows machine to the Mac. The install disk for Windows may be required.

"The entire transfer can take up to four hours or more depending on how much has to be transferred and what mode of transfer you use (USB, network, or external drive).

"If you do not own Parallels, purchase the Parallels Switch To Mac edition, which includes the USB transport cable, for $99.99 from Parallels."  John is reassuring, "The migration process is quite simple and easy to follow, but if you feel uneasy about doing the migration yourself, then email John Carter.

A Helpful App for Helping Others

Now, we hear from John Carter,  "I keep finding applications that allow me to 'see' a client's computer screen and assist them with their problems. The latest one that I have tried out (and Jackie is right now using it to assist one of her clients) is CrossLoop. It is a program you have to download and install on your computer. Creating a login is optional. You can either share your screen with another user or view their screen. It is all free.

"CrossLoop is different from Skype screen sharing in that you can optionally control the mouse of the accessed computer and take over control of that computer, if they so allow it. It is also different in that you have to use a phone line to talk to the other user while using this application. So for those people who don't use Skype, this is by far the best alternative to screen sharing.

"Jackie and I really like this app. It's simple. It's clean. It works! And it's FREE!"

"CrossLoop is VNC without the admin panel and all the hassles that go with trying to make VNC work between two computers. CrossLoop works in the most simple fashion possible. I got CrossLoop working between my Mac and the Windows XP OS on my Mac under Parallels with no feedback loop issues and absolutely no hassles in getting it to work.

"If you haven't tried CrossLoop as a replacement for VNC, you don't know what you're missing."

Transfer Video to DVD?

This morning's email brings a request from De Prez Allen Laudenslager.  He's received a note asking about transfer of a video to DVD.  Can you help?

"My name is Aarti, and I am new to both Prescott and Macs. I have a MacBook Pro and am looking for some help.  I volunteer with the Veterans History Project, which conducts interviews with local veterans for the national that is organized and archived by the U.S. Library of Congress.

"Our video equipment is the Sony Handycam 105. It was donated by Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, the Handycam only uses mini-DVDs, which can't be placed into a Mac. Furthermore, the camera does not have a port through which to be connected to the computer.

"I am at a loss for how to transfer the video to DVDs that I can submit and give to the Veterans. I borrowed a PC to copy the files from mini-DVD to my external hard drive. But, these files are .vob, .ifo, .bup. None can be opened by my Apple software. I tried advice I found on Internet searches, and downloaded a couple of different "ripping" softwares to convert those files to .avi or.mpeg. Still no success.

"Would any of you have advice? Thank you!"
Aarti Pani

Finding Info on the Internet

Looking for Something?  Finding Info on the Internet A few interesting sites when you’re looking for some info. Year by Year lists highlights from 1900 to 2008: world events, U.S. Events, economics, sports, entertainment, science, notable deaths  Describe the concept and it lists possible words you want.     Local weather with animated radar map, weather history for this location, sports weather, state extremes, astronomy links, local weather stations, warnings. You can submit weather photos for their display. Library of Congress, articles, podcasts, copyright, folklife, lots and lots of categories to explore.    Lists 20 search engines, type in the search box and go to the site. Handy if you want to quickly look at some smaller search engines for comparison. Use wildcard % search. See FAQ   Search for images to drag and use.

Finding Something on This Blog

There IS a way to find something posted earlier on this blog. Maybe you've not noticed it before but look at the very top of the screen. In the Search box, next to Search Blog, I typed in Music. The obedient little search feature looked through ALL the postings in the whole blog. Up came the postings from 11-17-08, 12-2-08, 12-5-08, 12-16-08, 12-28-08 and 9-11-09.

Now you don't just need to scroll through the titles of all the entries to look for your key word, or even settle just for Command + F. That command only works on what's visible on the screen. Try it, you'll like it!