handout at PMUG

Learn Via Video, etc.

        Helpful PMUG leader John Carter scores big with this link, www.macmost.com/  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. 

Clip Art, Photos, Recent Discoveries

         What a clever picture.  It grabbed my attention and I just had to read what the article said.  Ever said that?
    Google to the rescue.  Well, first I emailed John Carter to ask where he’d found the photo he posted to the pmug.us website.  

         So, I followed his directions and now I can show it to you.
         Google makes it easy to bring up lots of illustrations, clip art, photos.  Here’s a screen shot of the entry I made:  (Click to enlarge this; click again to get back to this page)
    In the search box I had typed “street sign, confused, lost, unclear” not knowing any more descriptive terms for what I wanted.  The first search page allowed me to select “Images.”  
        A huge selection came up, and I could click Show More Results at the bottom of the page.  Click on any illustration and see what the information says.  Some will be stock photos with an embedded watermark.  That means you’ll need to read about licensing, extended license, additional multi-seat License.  Copyright info is on that company’s page.  Click to view Photos, Vectors, Footage, Audio, Mobile, Pricing.  See the company’s phone number, live help number.
      One photo I looked at had a tiny icon in the upper right hand of the page.  Here’s a screen shot of the list that came up. 
      It was fun, clicking to see how the various languages came up in the illustrations. 
        Try it out on some of your blogging or emails.  Your family will be impressed with your knowledge of other languages.

         Looking up “shepherd and sheep”  I scrolled down and when I’d gotten to the 64th picture I found a photo of my son Peter, holding his sheep on his shoulder.  I had posted it to my blog, www.EncouragingU.blogspot.com months ago and  they’ve put it up for anyone to help themselves to the picture.  Clicking on it brings up that page in my blog, with the verses I posted with it.  And on the Google Image page a person can click, bringing it up as JPG 800x533 pixels. 
         We hadn’t thought that it would be automatically available to anyone else.  Hopefully, if someone wanted a copy they’d write and ask for permission.  Maybe that’s wishful thinking, on my part.

Other Recent Discoveries: 
        Planning on selling that nice, older Mac and upping to something new?  You might get some helpful info here:  http://www.mactip.net/how-to-securely-wipe-your-mac-hard-drive-before-selling-it/
        We did decide to go for a new iMac to replace the G4 laptop that Don’s been using.
What do do with a 10 year-old that’s still running, but is before Intel?  We saw the PC column in Courier about recycling or donating.  Asked for info from Prez Art Gorski and John Carter.  John was first to reply, suggesting we donate it to the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) in Prescott. A very knowledgeable man there was happy to take it, and we’re delighted to be able to help someone that way. 
        Curious about all those nifty computers from Apple before you took the plunge and bought yours?  http://apple-history.com/pg4   lists highlights from 1976 to 2012. 
        Wondering about the security of your Contact list, alias Address Book?  http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/how-apples-address-book-app-could-allow-the-nsa-to-harvest-your-contacts/
        Keeping up with the latest info posted to our PMUG newsblog?  Look into NetNewsWire  https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/10350/netnewswire  I didn’t see a date on this page. 
        With schools and businesses using iPhones and iPads here’s what’s new with features to help the IT shops lock iOS down and make it easier to manage.  http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/02/apples-new-management-features-help-locked-down-ipads-stay-locked-down/
IT’S ALMOST TIME  for nominating PMUG officers for the May election. Give it some thought.  Your experience could mean some encouraging help for others.  You know how much we appreciate your time and your willingness to step up to this challenge.  You help make PMUG a success! 
        Have a chat with Prez Art Gorski, or Vice Prez Dave Rothgery, or Secretary Bobbie Pastor, or Treasurer David Passell.  Or talk to one of the appointed Chairs: John Carter, Ward Stanke, or a Past Prez: Jim Hamm or Howard LaPittus. Each of them has survived as they served our friendly organization!     * * * 

This was today's handout from Elaine Hardt at the PMUG meeting.  See you next time! 

Let's Talk About Flash Drives (Thumb Drives)

   Remember the floppy drives and CDs used for storage and backup of your computer files?  Here’s some interesting facts about the Flash Drives, taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_flash_drive  The whole article is 21 pages long!  
A USB flash drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and rewritable, and physically much smaller than an optical disc.   Page 1.
USB flash drives are often used for the same purposes for which floppy disks or CDs were used, i.e., for storage, back-up and transfer of computer files. They are smaller, faster, have thousands of times more capacity, and are more durable and reliable because they have no moving parts. Additionally, they are immune to magnetic interference (unlike floppy disks), and unharmed by surface scratches (unlike CDs). 
USB flash drives use the USB mass storage standard, supported natively by modern operating systems such as Linux, OS X, Windows, and other Unix-like systems. USB drives with USB 2.0 support can store more data and transfer faster than much larger optical disc drives like CD-RW or DVD-RW drives and can be read by many other systems such as the Xbox 360, Play Station 3, DVD players and handheld devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.
A flash drive consists of a small printed circuit board carrying the circuit elements and a USB connector, insulated electrically and protected inside a plastic, metal, or rubberized case which can be carried in a pocket or on a key chain, for example. The USB connector may be protected by a removable cap or by retracting into the body of the drive, although it is not likely to be damaged if unprotected.
USB flash drives draw power from the computer via the USB connection. 
USB flash drives were invented in 1999, claimed by several companies, contesting various patents around the world.  Trek’s “ThumbDrive” & IBM’s “DiskOnKey” started selling in 2000.  Lexar came out with CF (Compact Flash) card and card read/writer and cable that eliminated the need for a USB hub. Read more on page 3.  
This article claims 1,500 insert-removal cycles for the flash drive’s longevity. It goes on to describe how the innards work and shows some photos, tells what the essential components are, the size and style of packaging.  
USB flash drives have now been integrated into other items such as watches, pens, even the Swiss Army Knife.  Others have been fitted into novelties, such as toy cards, LEGO bricks, images of dragons, cats, or aliens.  See page 6.      
The File system is described, p. 7. Defragging claims are disputed.  USB flash units can be partitioned just like hard drives.  File transfer speeds are greater for the USB 3.0 than the 2.0. 
Common use is to store and transport personal files.  Storing medical information is mentioned. Encryption is supported with some types. Forensic and law enforcement usages are described. 
This article goes on to briefly describe other uses: updating motherboard firmware, booting operating systems, operating system installation media, application carriers.  Other uses are mentioned, such as backup for resellers since they can be removed at night and taken offsite.
Read about uses for audio players, media storage and marketing.  Availability of inexpensive flash drives makes them handy for promotional and marketing purposes, preloaded as a form of advertising. Page 11.
Advantages are noted:  have little power, no fragile moving parts, small, lightweight.  Date is impervious to mechanical shock, magnetic fields, scratches and dust.  Page 12. 
Testing? Is your flash drive going to survive the washing machine?  There are some that retain their memory!  Leave it out to dry completely before using it again.  Channel Five's Gadget Show cooked one of these flash drives with propane, froze it with dry ice, submerged it in various acidic liquids, ran over it with a jeep and fired it against a wall with a mortar. A company specializing in recovering lost data from computer drives managed to recover all the data on the drive. All data on the other removable storage devices tested, using optical or magnetic technologies, were destroyed.
There is a list of disadvantages on page 13. There is little or no advance warning of failure.  Its size means they can be easily misplaced.  
Comparison with other portable storage on page 14: tapes, floppy disks, optical media of CD and DVD.  Page 15 details the Flash Memory Cards, e.g. Secure Digital cards.  
Tells about external hard drives susceptible to damage, page 15.   Encryption and security is described on page 16.
Security threats are mentioned on page 17.  Flash drives may present a significant security challenge for some organizations. Their small size and ease of use allows unsupervised visitors or employees to store and smuggle out confidential data with little chance of detection. Both corporate and public computers are vulnerable to attackers connecting a flash drive to a free USB port and using malicious software such as keyboard loggers or packet sniffers.
For computers set up to be bootable from a USB drive, it is possible to use a flash drive containing a bootable portable operating system to access the files of the computer, even if the computer is password protected. The password can then be changed, or it may be possible to crack the password with a password cracking program and gain full control over the computer. Encrypting files provides considerable protection against this type of attack.
USB flash drives may also be used deliberately or unwittingly to transfer malware and autorun worms onto a network.
Pages18-21 lists 75 references with names and dates of the information that’s quoted. 
Amazon.com/ lists 32,814 results in search for “USB thumb drives.”  See the ratings from users. Customer reviews can give you important aspects to consider.    
We do want to keep our computers happy, and our data safe!                 # # #      
by Elaine Hardt.  This was my handout at the 2-15-14 PMUG meeting.  

Practical Ideas for PMUG

Keeping in Touch:    If you’re on the PMUG mailing list you’ve received some attractive, attention-getting emails from Bobbie Pastor, our secretary.  My curiosity inquired, “Oh, busy gal.  What email writing program are you using these days for those attractive emails you sent out to PMUG?”
And so quickly came her reply, “I use Stationery Pack from Equinux.  I think they are in the Netherlands.  http://www.equinux.com/us/products/stationery/index.html   I bought the family pack so I can use them for PMUG as well.  I don't have all the different programs in their line.  But, I want to.  I just love  them.”
So a quick click and Mac found the site and brought it up.  WOW.  This site offers a lot of very professional-looking stationery:  Here’s the list from the home page: 
Birthday Cards 2 has 38 designs
Team & Business Communication has more than 40 templates.
Stationery Pack Business Edition offers over 200 templates for Apple Mail.
Stationery Pack 1 brings 111 templates in Mail OS X.
Stationery Pack 2 features 122 stationery templates for 660 designs
Birthday Cards give you 32 “humorous and heartfelt” designs. 
Summer Spirit Cards let you share your vacation pics and stories about them.
Love & Romance has 7 email templates.
Season’s Greetings offers more than 100 greeting cards. 
New is Holiday Motion Cards with more than 20 animated greetings. 
At the side you’ll find the notice: “Works with OS X Mavericks.” 
  What is this?  Grillmeister announces you can turn your iPhone into the hottest gadget as you show your friends how you grill and serve, via twitter, facebook and of course, email. It provides lifelike sound effects, graphics, and effects. 

Time to check out How It Works to the right-hand side of home page. 
Right away you notice that most-appreciated word FREE.  Click “Try for Free.” 

Farther down the page it tells some of the possibilities.  How to insert your own photos, make any picture fit. 

You’ll need to enable Cookies to go to the prices page. Now you can go to Buy Now and see the full list with prices.  A “Family Version is for 5 Macs.”  Pay by Visa, Master Card, American Express, PayPal, your check, or Amazon Payments which is labeled New. 

So, now we know where Bobbie gets her email templates! 
You already heard that postage is going up, and you’ve socked in a supply of Forever stamps at today’s prices?  

Here’s some info: 
https://www.usps.com       Prices as of January 26.  

  • Letters (1 oz.) — 3-cent increase to 49 cents
  • Letters additional ounces —  1-cent increase to 21 cents for each ounce
  • Letters to all international destinations (1 oz.) — $1.15
  • Postcards — 1-cent increase to 34 cents
  • http://www.stamps.com/usps/postage-rate-increase/  priority mail small flat rate box is still 5.80. Medium flat rate box is still 12.35.  Large flat rate box increases to 17.45

Fascinating!  What’s Happening Now: 
   How the MacPro is built and assembled.  Video 2 minutes http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/video/#assembly 

   iMac   What features does it have http://www.apple.com/imac/performance/ 

   iPad Air  http://www.apple.com/ipad-air/videos/#video-air   3 min. Video 

   Events from the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2014 in Las Vegas. http://ces.cnet.com 

   What’s inside the “hottest new gadgets”  http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown
   Multimedia at Macworld.com  http://www.macworld.com/column/mwvodcast/  There are 30 entries for 2013 from illustrated articles, videos, comments. 
    Here’s about Mac Apps:   http://www.macworld.com/category/mac-apps/  

January is the month to get organized.  I told about Jacquielawson and their 271 animated greeting cards in my last January’s handout, but let’s take another look today. Click to open it here http://www.jacquielawson.com/  I open Firefox, open Preferences. I need to unclick Block Pop-up windows in Firefox Content, and then click Accept Third-party Cookies from sites visited.  As soon as I’m finished with jacquielawson site I go back and undo both.  
Note: price for one year is $12.00 and for two years it’s $18.00.  Membership allows me to send any cards to anyone, as many times as I like for the duration of membership.  
I went through the collection of cards and have ordered 79 cards for my extended family for the coming year. I can open the Cards Pending and see Date to Be Sent, Date Ordered, Recipient, Card Name, and Options.  Here in Options I can view the card, cancel or edit it. Under Address Book I can save names and email addresses, so it’s quick to order again for each person.  You can have a maximum of 500 names on this Address List!  

So have yourself a Happy Apple New Year.  May your computer and printer be good to you.  May your iThis and iThat all bring you a big smile and be totally dependable! 
See you at the next PMUG meeting.  Check out our newsblog and keep up with the www.pmug.us site.      This was the handout at today's PMUG meeting,  from Elaine Hardt

Look at the Apple Menu

You’re comfortable with your Mac by now; you’ve learned some terminology and you’ve found some shortcuts.  But every time there’s an upgrade to your system there are changes to explore.  (Remember to click on the illustrations to enlarge. Then do Esc. to go back.)
Let’s look at your Apple Menu.  Go to the top menu bar, clear to the left side.  Click on the tiny apple. 

Click on About This Mac.  Now click on More Info . . . 
Up comes a box with headings: Overview, Displays, Storage, Memory  and on the far right side is Support and Service. 

Displays brings up the name, size and graphics info, and you can click to bring up User Manual.  You can also do Displays Preferences where you can adjust brightness, resolution, rotation, and AirPlay Mirroring.  Under Color you have profile info that you can open and also calibrate.  

Storage brings up colorful graphs showing how much memory is used on your HD: audio, movies, photos, apps, backups, and other. It shows how much free memory you have out of the total available. 

If you have a separate device for your Time Machine here is where you see how much memory is being used for those same categories, and it also posts how much free memory is available.

The SuperDrive is shown and lists Disc formats that can be written, such as  CD-R, CD-RW.   

Go back to Overview. Click On Memory and  it tells you how many memory slots you have, each of which accepts which  memory modules, and will say if all memory slots are currently in use.  In small type under that you can click where it says Memory Upgrade instructions.

On the right hand side of About this Mac is Support.  Click to bring up OS X Resources, Help center,  OS X Support.   Under Macintosh Resources you can click to go to User Manual, Specifications, and Hardware Support.  

On the far right hand side of About This Mac click Service. It tells about the limited warranty, & the complimentary telephone technical support.  It tells about the AppleCare Protection Plan. It says that even if your coverage has expired you may still be able to pay for any repairs you need through an Apple-authorized technician.  Here you can click to check your service and support coverage status, and your service and repair options.

Depending on your Mac and the system you’re using this will vary.  I’ve got 10.8.5. 

Back to the little apple on the main menu.  You can rearrange Dock.   Do you use Recent Items as a handy way to find where you recently were?  October issue of Macworld  magazine tells that you can hold down the Command key to get some other choices.  Also, here’s Force Quit

Under File you can choose Quick Look.  
Under Edit you can choose Start Dictation, or use fn fn  (the function key). 
Under View you can do Clean Up, Sort by, and Show View Options.
Under Go, there’s a list of your recently created folders.  
Under Help, is where we’ve probably all gone, at sometime or other.  Helpful links there. 
Look at the other items along that very top menu bar.  There’s DropBox, the icon for the Time Machine backup, day and time, and the very last is Notifications.  

On the top, far right hand side click on the magnifying glass icon.  That brings up Spotlight which does your search.  Type in a word or phrase and your smart little computer brings up a list of possibilities for you to check for the one thing you want.  As you bring your cursor down the list a tiny image of the page will show up.  But where is that document?  Click on Command and the R to bring it up in its folder.  

Just for fun I typed in cow.  One of the documents listed brought up a picture of a cow with our son Peter.  Doing Command R opened it, showing me where it was found.  

Spotlight’s list that appears has Top Hit, Documents, PDF Documents, Images, Messages that mention “cow,” Presentations, Look Up brings your word up in the Dictionary,  and finally Web Searches and Spotlight Preferences.

Here’s a shortcut that’s really handy:  In Pages:  Command + Z puts back in what you accidentally deleted when you did Command X, instead of doing Command C to copy!  

Last, but not least, do you use “hot corners” also known as Active Screen Corners?  Go to System Preferences on the Dock, click on Desktop & Screen Saver. In Screen Saver you can choose hot corners and slideshows. You also choose how soon the slides should start.  When you drag your cursor to one of the corners of the screen the slideshow will begin to entertain you. Moving the cursor away from the corner brings back your normal view of your desktop.

You’ll discover shortcuts that you’ll be happy to use.  You’ll also discover methods that you might not need or use now, but it’s good to keep learning.   
That’s the fun of Mac.    : ) 

This is today's PMUG handout for 10-19-13.  Hope to see you at our next meeting.  

Short & Simple, Of Course, Mac Helps You!

        Using your Mac is easy to do.  Here are some shortcuts.  How many are you already using?  Which ones will you try later today?  

        To write anything:  click to open Pages.  Up comes a blank document, ready for your report, a birthday blessing for one of your 45 closest relatives, an anniversary poem to send to some family member, or the first chapter of your fiction piece that’s been brewing in your head. 
        Jot down some key ideas.  Do Command + S to save it, giving it a short title. 
        Off the page where you’re writing do a click with the right side of the mouse which brings up a short list.  Choose New Folder and drag this latest writing into it.  Type a name for the folder.
        When you’re ready to add to that first version of the new writing do Command + D to duplicate what you have and add to it.  Keep Version 1 as is; work on Version 2.  As you think of other bright ideas during the day you make a new version and keep it in the same folder.  
        Your busy brain has thought of some important details to add, or some colorful adjectives, or . . . .   That first idea may present possibilities.  A “I remember when…” piece may have poetic notions.  Now you’ve got a document of prose and a document of delightful rhyme.  Keep these in the same folder.  
        As the deadline approaches you put the finishing touches on the one that fills the bill.  Name the final version  “June handout BEST.”  Those other ideas may lend themselves to some other use, so hold on to them for now.  
        With cursor in the background screen do Command + I to bring up Get Info on the left hand side, a nifty box for you to add info.  Keywords you put in can help you find this new writing later.  
        Command + R  when looking at a list from the Inspector you view a tiny picture of the various files.  Put your cursor on the one you want to find.  Command + R then brings it up in the files so you can see where it’s located. (When you see the one you want in Inspector you can just click on the title you want and it will open, but you won’t know what folder it’s in.)  
        To cut, highlight what you want to remove and do  Command + X.  Paste what you’ve then highlighted with Command + V.  To copy, highlight what you want and do Command + C.
        Find it on your desktop or a file list: On the Menu at top of page that lists Finder first, go to File > Label and choose a color.  Your folder will show up in a list with that color bar around the title. 
        Want to enlarge the type under the folders on the desktop? On the main menu bar on the top go to View > Show View Options.  Experiment with enlarging icon size, spacing, text. 
        On the Internet, Command + D  at the URL line of the website lets you add that site to a folder in Bookmarks. Scroll through the little box to find the suitable home for that URL. 
        Command + Shift + 4 brings up the screen shot that you stretch around the picture or text that you want to copy and saves the screen shot as a file on desktop. 
        Command + B makes what you’ve highlighted turn into a bold font.  Do it again over the bold and it toggles to go back to not-bold. 
        Command and + on a highlighted word lets you enlarge it by repeatedly tapping the +.  The opposite, Command and the - will shrink the highlighted word. 
        On Mountain Lion you can do some of this an easier way.  Highlight the word or paragraphs, etc. Then right click with your mouse on that document.  It lists choices, such as spelling, speech, etc.  Look under Writing Tools and it brings up look up in dictionary, thesaurus, search in Spotlight, Google, Wikipedia, and show statistics. 
        If you’ve set Pages to show word count at the bottom of the page:  click on Words and it gives the total number of pages, lines, paragraphs, characters and characters not counting spaces.  
        If you accidentally delete something -- and before you type in something else -- go to Edit on the menu across the top of Pages and click to Undo Typing.  It will replace what you took out. 
        Here’s 8 pages of shortcuts if you’re REALLY into shortcut info for every possible idea: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1343  Keyboard by category
        Let’s Take a Look at Mail: When you’ve clicked to open a New Message and have written a first draft, then you can click on the last tiny icon on the top right.  Your Mac gives you choices of how to make your email more attention-getting with choices of colorful templates such as Birthday, Announcements, Photos, Stationery, and Sentiments.  You can drag in some photo to make this email personalized. 
        Shop on Amazon:  Go to amazon.com and click on Sign in to set up Your Account.  Must allow cookies! Command + (the comma) then choose Privacy > Block cookies from 3rd parties.   Go to Your account to see history, using gift cards,  settings,  etc.  Your balance never expires. (I go back afterwards and change Cookies setting to Never.) 
        Start your own FREE blog:  https://accounts.google.com/  Must allow cookies first.  Then sign in with email address and a password.  Set up your account.  Go to view Dashboard where you have choices to make about web albums, YouTube profile, etc.  Go to www.blogger.com to look at available templates.  Here’s links to info: https://support.google.com/blogger/ 
        Keep up to date:  If you subscribe to NetNewsWire you can be notified when there’s a new entry to the PMUG newsblog  http://pmugnews.blogspot.com and also to the PMUG website:  http://pmug.us/    Take a look here http://netnewswireapp.com/mac           
        (That’s all for now!)       This is the PMUG meeting handout for June 15, 2013
from Elaine Hardt 

So, What Do You Want Them to Know?

         It’s not a cheery handout today.  But as we keep hearing news reports the importance of  security and privacy grab our attention.  Of course, there are things we need to know and do.  Keeping up with the latest information is a necessary precaution for all of us.  Here is just a few possibilities for current sites for you to review. 

ID Theft, Opt Out Directions,  Free Credit Report,  Social Networking Danger

        See  http://www.worldprivacyforum.org   lists articles on ID theft, security, privacy, cloud computing, medical info on HIPAA,  medical identity theft, and more.   
Lots of links are provided on this website. One article brought to our attention was “Top ten opt out list.”   The information goes into detail and when printed out is 12 pages long as it describes the various opt-outs you can use to stop information about you from being collected, circulated, and sold among various companies and government agencies.  
One company is described which builds detailed dossiers on consumers with “information scraped from social networking sites like Facebook, and is combined with public record data.”  Dossiers have been used in political campaigns and other businesses.  According to their quotation from Wall Street Journal this company’s segments recently included   “a person's household income range, age range, political leaning, and gender and age of children in the household, as well as interests in topics including religion, the Bible, gambling, tobacco, adult entertainment and ‘get rich quick’ offers. In all . . .  more than 400 categories, the documents indicated."
This site also gives consumer tips and links on how to get your free annual credit report.   
A February 2010 report discloses Digital Signage Privacy Principles which might be a new term and a previously unexplained form of sophisticated digital information collection.  

Traveling Brings New Challenges for Security and Privacy
        See  https://www.eff.org/wp/defending-privacy-us-border-guide-travelers-carrying-digital-devices.  This website gives 20 pages of information.

Defending privacy at the U.S. Border:  a guide for travelers carrying digital devices   states that “for now, a border agent has the legal authority to search your electronic devices at the border even if she has no reason to think that you’ve done anything wrong.”  
It discusses such agencies as CBP, ICE, TSA.  Which other countries have you recently visited before entering the United States?  What other connections do you have there? 
Be aware of two basic precautions:  make regular backups so if your computer is ever taken, lost or destroyed you’ll still have access to your data, and encrypt the information on your computer.    
It gives details on how and why.  Talks about hard drives, flash drives, mobile phones, details, date and disk encryption, digital cameras. It goes into how to interact with border agents, what to say, how to behave.  The appendix lists 47 sources and their links with descriptions.  
You can click to download a PDF with this material. This might be something you’d want to pass along to your grown kids and friends who plan to travel this summer. 


These are not just the yummy ones Ginger brings to PMUG! Read on . . . 

What Info is Available for Internet Sites to Take? 

        Using Firefox:  are you collecting lots and lots of cookies?   See how to view history and clear what you don’t want saved.  http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-clear-firefox-cache  Using Safari:  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1677 

        See  http://kb.iu.edu/data/ahic.html   Indiana University knowledge base, dated 3-3-13.  Brief description of cache, cookies, history.   How to: for Firefox, Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9,  Chrome, Opera, Safari, Mobile Safari for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android. 
        What personal information does Amazon gather and why? There’s 5 pages to read!  http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=468496  dated 4-6-12.
        Google’s Policy:  http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/  last modified 7-27-12.  Their policy in 8 pages; what they take and what you can determine on your end.  “We will not reduce your rights under this Privacy Policy without your explicit consent.”  Hmmmm.  

Password Managers Can Help
The query to Ben Patterson brings up info he wrote about iPhone, iPad:  http://heresthethingblog.com/2013/04/30/reader-mail-simple-password-manager/

How Safe is My Info on a Thumb Drive?

A handy little thumb drive can hold a lot of info.  But they can be misplaced, lost, mishandled.  Make a plan to store them and use them.  How long of a life do they have?  Probably you’ll want to back one up, then buy a new one & copy over again in a few years?  
An infected USB thumb drive can infect a computer.  This discusses software encryption, hardware encryption. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_USB_drive

An Unexpected Phone Call From Your Grandson 

Oh, it was a young man’s voice on the phone, but he said, “Grandma, I’m calling from Rome and I need help.”  Who wouldn’t be concerned?  How did he travel so far from home?  What’s going on?  Asking a few questions like,  “Maybe you have the wrong number.  What did you say your name was?  What’s your sister’s name?”  Ask anything that only the real grandson could possibly know.  “Give me your phone number and I’ll call you back after I ...“  Make some quick excuse and sound sort of confused.  Your brain’s internal warning device is in full swing now.  You’ve heard about scams like this.  Don’t be cheated out of your $$$. 
Facebook gives crooks the information so they can find information to pretend to be your grandchild. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/01/16/scam-artists-using-facebook-to-target-grandparents/     
Alert your grandkids about posting information on Facebook, etc that would jeopardize you or them!  A good reminder now and then shows you care about their safety.

So, What Can We Do?

While we are bemoaning the loss of truth, honesty, and respect in the world today we of the “generation with years of experience” must continue to be relevant and responsible. It’s part of our heritage, how mama and dad raised us to be decent and trustworthy.  It’s like doing push-ups for exercise.  Now, we’re exercising our brains.  And part of that is continuing communication.  Listen and learn.  Respond as best as you can!  
Let your computer help you keep in touch.  Let PMUG help you learn.  

+ + + 
This was today's PMUG meeting handout from Elaine Hardt, May 18, 2013 

Look at Templates, Also See Videos

The following was March's handout at PMUG. Have you looked at Pages Templates lately?  This is Pages ’09.

In Pages > File > New From Template Chooser  look at the choices.  Click to open and bring up the samples on the screen.  Take a look and see what you’d like to try. (Click to enlarge, then click again to go back to this page.)  
Notice in Pages > Share.  See these possibilities:  
Then take a glance at the resources under Help, shown in this screen shot below.  Looks like Help might help!  
                                            

Some of the following links employ Adobe Flash. If you encounter one, you should open that link using Google Chrome instead of Safari.

Videos and PowerPoint presentations that might be interesting to see:

25 presentations of famous architecture of the past and present

Over 50 presentations of geology, from rocks on earth to rocks in outer space.

Baedeker.com provides 3D views of the world’s most famous buildings and places. (Requires Flash)

Download Google Earth for Mac, PC or Linux.  Zoom from space to street level and tour the world.

Tourism gallery with 7 links.

In Showcase, learn about US presidents and tour their birthplaces, the ocean, the moon, art museums, baseball stadiums, world skyscrapers, soccer stadiums. 

A monthly newsletter with illustrations. The latest is Google Earth 6.2  with features of street view, driving directions,etc.

Videos of animals by categories.

Earthquakes around the world, prepping for disasters, self-defense, top 10 trips to take this spring.

For amazing videos of volcanoes, click here.

30 famous historical figures when they were young.

Life history of world famous people in various spheres of life

Have you found something interesting on the Internet lately?  Want to share ideas?  

           

Hope to see you next time.


January is the Time to Get Organized

         Getting organized is a chore, but it’s so logical that you feel like you’ve accomplished something good.  January brought the end of the month of December, the end of the fourth quarter of 2012 and the end of the year.  Lots of practical things to do.  No doubt, you’re well on your way to achieving that goal.  
Do you have all of the 2013 birthday and anniversary greetings figured out for your extended family?  I do, and I’ve ordered them up already for the whole year. I’d like to tell you a good website to check out.  
Last fall I discovered jacquielawson.com  and for a mere $12.00 I’m paid up for the year of unlimited e-cards from her collection.  They’re amusing, entertaining, musical, and even serious.  
You can choose, designate the dates and the emails for a year!  They notify you when an e-card is sent, and another notification when the person has opened that email.  Your Cards History lists the last 30 cards they’ve sent for you.  Under Cards Pending you can view a card again, edit, or cancel it. 
There is a real Jacquie Lawson, an English artist in Southern England who started this in 2000.  She and her friends have created a total of 235 e-cards, ready for your preview.  Birthday cards, Congratulations, Get Well, Christmas cards, Thank you cards, Invitations, Valentine, etc. You can choose such features as dogs, cats, birds, teddy bears, flowers and many other subjects.  
When you click to preview a card you view the animation, and hear the music. The listings tell you about the orchestration.  One I’m looking at here has “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” from “Children’s Corner” by Claude Debussy, orchestrated by Mike Hughes-Chamberlain. You can choose from 15 different headings for your greetings.
        “An Eloquent Arrangement” is a floral bouquet e-card, and you can rollover to show the meanings of the flowers.  Someone of any age would enjoy these clever cards. 
After going through my list of 62 nearest relatives now I’ve covered the whole year in advance.  I sign in with my password and can look at my account.  It lists the name of the e-cards I’ve chosen, the names and emails of the recipients, and the dates I want it sent.  How simple is that!
        But wait, you say, I want to add a personal greeting.  Yes!  You can choose a Write Your Own Message or a Note Card.  I’ve sent personalized poems this way, and signed it whichever way suits the occasion.  
More than 50 of the most popular e-cards have been made into screensavers for you to download from this site.  Directions tell you how for PC or for Mac. 
After looking through their site I had a few questions and emailed Help@jacquielawson.com  Gary’s reply: “As long as the sender does not delete the card you should be able to save it on your computer.  
“Note: We do not permit the commercial sending of our cards to large lists.  If it’s a small group of recipients that the sender knows it is permitted.  If you’d like to post on a forum that has thousands of members that you do not know personally, feel free to link to our site, using instructions found on http://www.jacquielawson.com/linkpage.asp  
“Please note that since our cards are animated and most of the time the entire message will not show up at the end of a card without having to scroll down, printing them usually doesn’t work out.  Unfortunately, there is no way around this. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.”
        Speaking of writing, a poem can convey a thoughtful message without all the bother of regular sentence structure and punctuation.  It doesn’t have to rhyme, it doesn’t need to follow any pattern at all.  
I just wrote a page-long birthday poem for Granddaughter Joy.  I wanted to mention some highlights of her life and compliment her on her travels, her volunteering, and her service now as an R.N.  Navy nurse. 
The first draft is just a quickie, then let the writing rest.  Go back the next day and start to add more and polish it up. What you write to that person will be treasured more than a simple card from the store with only your name on the card.  You can convey encouragement, appreciation, happy memories,  plans for the future, and other personal notions that come to mind. 

        Now you can see what a help Mac is.  Pages shows you words that may be misspelled,  you can view your writing larger on your screen if you want to (mine is set for 150% viewing on my 27” Thunderbolt Display), you save it as you go, and then you can save the finished writing in a folder with that person’s name in your family file.  
You may want to make a printed copy for posterity.  Pretty stationery paper is waiting for you at Staples and Office Max.  (You do know that postage goes up to 46 cents for the first ounce on January 27, but the second ounce stays the same at 20 cents.) 
        You could send a pretty email to the birthday person, or the person you want to treat to a nice card.  You know where to find the panel to bring up Stationery on Mail.  But you can also subscribe to other colorful backgrounds for an email.  
        Creative Thinkers: this is fun to do.  I’ve created some family “holidays” for my relatives.  Pick a day, make a nice name for it, send out clever emails or e-cards, or even print something up on certificate-looking paper.  Be sure your printer will print on metallic-decorated paper before using that kind.
Mac has some “official-looking” fonts that make your homemade certificates look really nice. 
                  Here’s a few celebrations I’ve established in the family.  
The Brain Award =  sent to any relative graduating from high school or college.  
The Admirable Brother Award (I only have one brother and he’s a really great guy).  
Happy HARDT-Day = to my sons, their wives, and our grandchildren.  
Darlings-in-law Day =  for my daughters-in-law.  
Happy Everyday = an all purpose, any day of the year greeting to my relatives.  
Happy Sons’ Day = a poem for our sons telling how proud of them we are  
A Certificate of Near Perfection = in recognition of some kind of superior achievement.                             
A more original document was the “Congratulations on Your Medical Achievements” which noted the new title of “Lambpa” for our son Peter who assisted his ewe at the birth of her lamb.
    “Winner of the A to Z Award” was personalized by listing alphabetical characteristics of my brother.  
    For our 52nd wedding anniversary back in 2006 I wrote a poem to Don, and I calculated we’d had 18,980 days, or 455,520 hours, or 27,331,200 minutes of marriage.
    For Don’s birthday one year I wrote, “Have yourself a duct tape birthday.  It’s flexible, useful, strong, practical, helpful: just like you.”
Another birthday, I described other characteristics that the letter “P” of Don’s middle name could stand for, instead of “Paul.” -- persistent, practical,  prudent, providing, pleasant, positive. 
        Of course, a PowerPoint slide show takes the cake.  Our son Peter used beautiful photos taken by his wife Carlene and put in nice words to wish Don a happy birthday one year.  
You can experiment with making slideshows with iPhoto, too.  Do a Google search for “Mac: how to make slideshow DVD” and then under Search Tools designate any date within the last year so that the results will match the latest OS you’re running on your Mac.  
         So start that list of “To Do” and be thankful Mac will be your helper.  Of course, check your Calendar, subscribe to PMUG listings for the meetings for 2013.  Then subscribe to be notified of new postings to www.pmug.us and www.pmugnews.blogspot.com/       
         Plan on having a great 2013, and congratulate yourself on keeping up with the latest and the best.   
       

This was today's handout by Elaine Hardt at PMUG. 

Your Surprise for Your Family

With your handy Mac computer you can easily make a nice surprise present for your family.  Here’s three things that only YOU can do for your kids, grandkids, even the old folks!  

  1. Make an “Old Time Favorites” cookbook from recipes handed down to you -- probably handwritten! Collect enough for 24 pages, some from each category.  Write something about who originally made that yummy stuff.
  2. Make an “Shortcut Recipe” cookbook.  This is where you’ve updated and simplified your own favorites.  Instead of feeding 10, maybe change to feeding 2 or 4.  Use modern ingredients, the microwave, convection oven. 
  3. Make a “I Remember When” booklet.  This is not your entire lifetime on 24 pages! Just some interesting highlights that you do recall.  Describe what makes those events significant in your memory. 
Jot down the first ideas that come to mind.  Let it rest a few days.  Reread and then rewrite. 
        Can you picture this as a 5 ½ x 8 ½ booklet which you’d staple?  Would it work better on full size pages, 3-hole punched, in a notebook? Or, a spiral-bound booklet? 
        In Pages go to File > New from Template Chooser.  See if you get any bright ideas after looking at these examples.  
That’s the screen shot pasted here to the left side. 
        With Microsoft Word: Mac 2011 you can go to File >  New from Templates and click to view Online Templates.  There are a lot from which to choose.  
        If you use the Blue Squirrel program, Click Book will do the layouts for various kinds of booklets.  http://www.bluesquirrel.com    Here’s the link for Mac ClickBook: http://www.bluesquirrel.com/products/cbmac/  It’s $49.95 for OS X, compatible with Lion and Mountain Lion.  Note special pricing on Print to iPad, iPhone, Android, or Kindle. They have more than 70 custom layout styles.
        You might even scan and paste in some photos.  Be creative! Picture the compliments!
        Help us spread the PMUG info,  www.pmugnews.blogspot.com   And write and tell us what you’re learning and doing:  edpr@commspeed.net   We want our PMUG to be helpful and friendly. It’s a time to enjoy and participate. 
Words, More Words, and Lots-a Words!
Yes, you use the Mac Dictionary.  How handy to have it on the dock, and easily look up definitions, the Thesaurus, Apple dictionary and Wikipedia.  But what about specialized dictionaries?  There’s a bunch!  
YourDictionary  http://www.yourdictionary.com/  lists most misspelled words,  how to do wild card search, brain training games, etc.
http://www.onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml  know the idea you want to convey but are fishing for that certain word?  Describe the concept and up comes pages of suggested terms.  Good for generating a list of words in some category.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/  extra features make this a helpful site to check on. 
Going to Apple’s webpage brings up www.Dictionary.com/ , a free app for your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.  
http://www.freebyte.com/dictionary/#specialized_dictionaries   lists some specialized dictionaries, free thesauri, translation tools, spellcheckers, games, images, reference desk. 
       Here’s fun with the Mac’s Apple dictionary.  Open it and type in “a” and up comes a list of every entry beginning with that letter.  You’ll find things you didn’t know! Explore and learn. 
       Today, smile at that person sitting next to you and introduce yourself.  Maybe they just moved here from  Last Chance, Iowa or Beanville, Vermont or Fort Necessity, Louisiana.   (Yes, I found those listed in http://www.accuracyproject.org/towns.html  Your birthplace listed there?)  
        See you next time? 
(This is the handout for 11-17-12 from Elaine) 

Up-grade, Frowns or Smiles

You’ve heard about the OS version Mountain Lion.  Have you upgraded yet? 

Do you remember all those names of the previous Mac operating systems?  Look at Wikipedia to flash back to Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard. Maybe you have Lion?  I postponed that until last month, then made the leap to Mountain Lion, two weeks later. 
Maybe you have an automatic sense about these technological things and will know what to do and when and how.  Others of us are still fiddling with previous challenges.
LET’S LOOK AT PAGES           
After years of using Microsoft Word ‘97 it was Dan and Erica Simpson who demoed Pages at their home SIG.  So, that was the time to do it.  And now I‘m up to  Pages ’09, version 4.2
I heard that Lion would not accept my old Word documents, but PMUG people Allen Laudenslager and John Carter and Jim Hamm were an encouragement.  It was time to see what Pages can do with those old documents saved on my Mac.  
I clicked to highlight the name of one old Word ’97 document and did Command I  (lower case i)  which brings up Finder, Spotlight Comments and Info on that document:  Kind, size, where it is, date created, date modified, preview, sharing and permissions, and Open With option to open with Word, Text Edit,  Preview, Pages and several other options.
 With trepidation I chose Pages and  “Use this application to open all documents like this one”  and Change All, hoping it could read my mind.  It did OK.  All the previous several hundred writings I had written since 1997 in Word 97-2004 now open up in Pages.  The only disappointment is that page margins are not exactly the same.  Some documents need to have margins set wider since that was the way I’d initially laid it out when I wrote it in Word ’97.
When you’re writing in Pages it lets you choose Save As Word Document when you do Option Shift Command S.
Here’s a list of features of Word: Mac 2011 http://mac2.microsoft.com/help/office/14/en-us/word
Opening Help when you have opened Word: Mac 2011 you can go to  File Formats for saving documents, and that introduces you to such abbreviations as .docx — .doc — .rtf — .htm — .docm — .xml — .xml — .mht — .dic — .thmx
Word: Mac 2011 does let you choose AutoRecovery for anytime from 1 to 120 minutes.  
You can choose to Password Protect your document in Word and in Pages
You can highlight text that you’ve written using  Word:Mac 2011 and do Command + C to copy, then paste it Command + V into a Pages document.  It does copy over into Pages in the same exact font you started with in Word.   
MORE ON PAGES ‘09: Here’s their directions under Help:  Saving a Copy of a Document.  
To save a copy of a document in OS X v.10.6 (Snow Leopard) or earlier: 
     Choose File > Save As, and then specify a name and location.
When the document is copied in this way, the original document is closed; the document that remains open on your desktop is the new copy you created. To work with the original version, choose File > Open Recent and choose the previous version from the submenu.
To save a copy of a document in Mac OS X v.10.7 (Lion) or later:
  1. Choose File > Duplicate.
    An untitled copy of the document is created. Both copies remain open on your desktop for you to view or edit.
  2. Close the window of the untitled copy, type the document’s name, and then choose a location from the pop-up menu.
  3. Click Save.
Pages lets you email a document by choosing Share >Send via Mail.  You then choose which version, Pages, Word, or PDF.  The new email message opens with the document version attached to it.  
Here’s the link to 5 pages of comments and suggestions from the Macworld Forum: 
One contributor gave this quick tip: “I have even gotten old Mac write pro documents (system 9!) to open with this trick, as well as old AppleWorks files too old to go easily into Pages. Find the old document, then change the file extension at the end to .txt then right click and tell it to open in Pages. You'll hit some scribble at the top and bottom, but it's gold for opening 10 year old files you don't want to retype!”
Try this to open an Old Unix Executable file.  Highlight the title of the document in the list, do Command I  and under Open with choose Text Edit.  It came up, so I now save it. It still is listed in my Archives as Kind: Unix E...le File, but when clicked it opens in Text Edit.  I’ve made a new copy of it and saved as pdf with Adobe Reader. 
YES, WE ARE HAVING FUN.            
What have you discovered about Mac and your Apple products?  If you have some interesting info to share on our newsblog why not drop me a line at edpr1@commspeed.net.  The RSS feature was discontinued by Google, so you’ll have to be creative at checking out www.pmugnews.blogspot.com  so you can benefit from our members sharing their talents and time with you. 
So far this year I’ve posted 309 articles, but last year it was 339.  Top contributors for 2011: 1st = Jim Hamm,  2nd = John Carter, 3rd = David Passell.  Nine other members sent me articles to post last year.
Aren’t you glad you came to PMUG!  Prescott Mac User Group keeps going with friendly, helpful people like you who ask questions and share answers!    
                                                                     
This is today's handout at the PMUG meeting! 

Getting New? What to Do?

Size up what you’ve got.  What do you use your computer for?  

How long have you had it?
Having any troubles at this time?
Research.  Look at what’s come out since then.  
       Changes since your last Mac?  
              Memory, speed,
             Size of screen,  shiny or not?  
             Small screen of the iPad in place of a laptop?
               Battery life
                APC - Backups   Do you need more capacity? 
What would you like to be able to use your computer for?
What improvements would you like to have?
Write a list so you can review and add to the ideas you have. Brainstorm with someone. 
Print off info from websites and compile a folder of applicable resources.
Then, make that next big decision!  Apple can help you do your best!  
                                                                         
Check out resources in this list.  Your busy brain will come up with other ideas, too!
Where can I get it fixed, or where can I buy a new one? Try this link. Also see list of Apple stores that sell iPod, iPad, Apple Computers, AppleTV, iPhone. 
Some Apple Stores in the valley: 
Arrowhead Mall 623-707-2860
Biltmore, 2502 E. Camelback Rd.   602-606-1470
Scottsdale Quarter, 15169 N. Scottsdale Rd.  
  corner of Scottsdale Rd. and Greenway Pkwy,  480-627-5501 
Repairs and refurbished Apple computers:
Desert Computer Solutions 16213 S. 33 St. Phoenix. 602-295-5918
New & used computers, accessories, books, parts, services, fix your computer: 
 MacMedia store 15525 N. 83 Ave #108,  Peoria.  623-850-8000  (Look at their map to more easily find this location.) 
                             Prepare before you get that new computer. 
Apple Stores will help you. http://www.apple.com/retail/learn/one-to-one/terms.html  Terms on the Apple store One to One service. Data migration, personal training, group training and open training at an Apple store. 
Tips and links to sites with cleaning applications to remove unneeded files, etc. http://guides.macrumors.com/Cleaning_Your_Mac's_Hard_Drive
How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4413     Do not let either computer go to sleep while you are attempting to migrate; this tells how to disable sleep on both computers.  
What’s the latest?  http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/getting-ready-to-cross-ivy-bridge-the-laymans-guide-to-intels-latest-processors/   Go for Sandy Bridge now or wait for Ivy Bridge?   Ask if the new system has Ivy Bridge or be prepared to find the processor’s specific model number and compare it to part lists from Intel or other trusted sources.   Intel will make several versions available under Core i5 and Core i& names.  Describes USB 3.0 support, Thunderbolt ports.  
The new 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros feature Intel’s speedy new Sandy Bridge Core i7 quad-core CPUs, available up to 2.3GHz, along with AMD Radeon HD graphics processors (GPU), with up to 1GB of dedicated video memory.
Despite new update, new Apple MacBook Pros continue to crash when running multiple programs. Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/despite-update-new-apple-macbook-pros-continue-to-crash/#ixzz25o2ChEEc
Get ready for Mountain Lion OS X 10.8   http://www.macworld.com/article/1167629/get_your_mac_ready_for_mountain_lion.html    Backup.  Disable FileVault. Disable third-party encryption.  Run software update.  Check for Mountain-Lion compatible updates to third-party software, setup iCloud account, maybe have an extra drive handy. 
Pre-install Tasks:  Disk Utility, click First Aid and click Verify.  Feeling cautious, run Apple Hardware Test http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1509
Going to sell an old Mac?  Do you want to deal directly with some stranger?  Be careful, plan ahead.  
How to prepare your old Mac for sale or recycling: 
http://www.apple.com/recycling/   Get an Apple Gift Card for its value, recycled.
                                                                     
This was today's handout at the PMUG General Meeting at the Prescott Public Library.  Hope to see you at the October meeting! 

August Handout at PMUG

Necessary?  Needed?  Neglected?
        How are you saving what you’re saving?  Let’s take a look at the problems & possibilities. . .  
        Saving some information used to be done with paper and pencil.  Then: onion skin paper, carbon copies, black and white photographs, Polaroid pictures, wire tape recorders.  Remember?  But what of that is still legible, able to be viewed or heard?   
        How about those floppy disks,  old CDs, DVDs, even more recently, thumb drives?  How long will these be useful?  
        Here’s what I posted to PMUG newsblog on July 4, 2012:  “You didn't expect CDs and DVDs to last forever . . . but how long will they still be good?  John Carter grabs our attention with this information, "   Here's an interesting article that attempts to explain the reasons why you might not want to rely on CDs and DVDs for an archive of your favorite images, videos, and documents. The life span of such a media is dependent on more than just how the CD/DVD is made — mold and rot are also factors."  This MakeUseOf article was posted yesterday, and it tells how to check your disks for deterioration.”  
        CostCo, WalMart, other stores might be able to copy from some of these for you.  
        So, how are you saving writing, pictures, slides, emails you’ve sent and received?  
        How often do you back up to Time Machine?  Have you tried to copy back from Time Machine to get the practice before you actually and fervently need whatever it is?
        What about scanners?  Are the all-in-one printer devices better?  Do you keep paper copies, too?  
                           Mail Recipients . . . Need to Update?  
        You’re writing an email and start to fill in the To line.  Mail guesses the wrong names.  It’s time to update that list.  
        Mail > Window > Previous recipients.  An alphabetical  list comes up of people who you’ve sent to, or who have sent to you.  You can sort this list by name, email address, or the date that address was last used.  
        There’s a search field where you can enter a word or name.
        If the person is already in your address book you’ll see a little icon ahead of this person’s name.  Double click to bring up that entry.
         To add someone to the Address Book click on Add to Address Book.
        To remove someone from the list click Remove from List.
        Need more detail?  Go to Mail > Help and enter a key word in the Search.  
                                                       Tried the Word Clouds?

        On your June handout the Word Clouds were briefly mentioned.  Let’s look some more: 

Here’s the website I’m using now.  (Click to enlarge the screen shots posted here)     http://www.tagxedo.com/app.html     

Click on Word - Layout Options for categories: Word, layout, skip, advanced.  
Choose colors, tightness, frequency, theme preferences, font preferences. 
Under Shape you have 113 choices of shapes for your cloud. Click on Load at the top of this menu ……
Then enter the text you want the cloud to use.  
When I’d done that I clicked to Save and brought it up on my screen.  Command-Shift-4 lets you take a screen shot of what you’ve dragged your cursor on.  That then, was what I pasted and shrunk by its handles to make the size of this illustration.  

        Look at Shop for gift ideas, using Word Clouds.  Check out the blog,  http://blog.tagxedo.com/  and also look at FAQ.  How creative can you be?  Try Tagxedo and see!           

        Using Pages go to Inspector, then Metrics Inspector and unclick Constrain Proportions.  This allows you to “fatten” up your pasted illustration so you can then use it in ClickBook, the Blue Squirrel site to make booklets.  That program shrinks your writing, so that’s why photos or illustrations need to be dragged wider, but not necessarily taller.  
   Experiment, that’s the fun of Mac computers!  
Then share what you’re learning and doing

See you in September at PMUG?  

 Practical.  Interesting.  Macintosh!  
This is today's handout from Elaine Hardt. 

Mac Will Help YOU Write!

If you put your memories in writing they’ll last longer,
    Your life experiences may help someone else grow stronger;
Consider the challenges, troubles, decisions, success, too,
    You can pass along helpfulness by writing how you got through.
Have you written something about yourself for posterity? Not yet?  Will it be one exciting chapter of your own life story?  Will it be a very short overview of the important events of your life?  Will it be an update of something you wrote earlier as a personal remembrance? Could it be a creative piece, telling about your view of life since you turned 29 again? 
 Let’s take a look at some of the helpful ways Mac will make it easy for you to write something for family and friends.  
  1. Jot down any ideas you have on Mac.  Don’t fuss with spelling, just write those words that pop into your head right now.  
  2. Save that document.  No, it’s not done But give it a name and add “v. 1” on that name so you’ll recognize it as the first version of your brainstorm.
  3. Make a folder, give it a good name.  I keep my most recent working-on folder on the desktop.
  4. You’re going to put all the versions into this same folder.  Let it rest.  Go do something else and let your clever brain do some silent push-ups.
  5. Go back to Mac and now see what you want to add to the v. 1 page.  After that do Command + D  to duplicate the previous page, and make additions and corrections to that new page.  Name it v. 2.  Save both versions. 
  6. You are having fun.  It’s creative.  Picture in your mind the person or persons you’re writing this for, and this helps you formulate the vocabulary you’ll use.
  7. Soon you’ll figure out your target date.  When does this have to be finished?  How long or short do you want it to be? 
  8. Quoting someone?  Be careful.  If quoting a friend or family member consider asking permission if you’re giving the finished piece to others.  I like to get written permission.
  9. Stating facts?  Check and see that you’ve got the info down correctly.  
  10.   Could this make a nice booklet? With BlueSquirrel’s ClickBook for Mac www.bluesquirrel.com I’ve made booklets of up to 32 pages.  The program takes your normal-size page writing and automatically shrinks it down to various sizes.  I prefer the size that’s a regular sheet of paper folded in half.  There are nice envelopes just this size for mailing the finished booklet.
  11.   Do you have photos to drag into the writing?  You’re probably looking at v. 4 by now?  Each new experimentation of layout I do as a separate version and keep all the previous versions in that master folder. With iPhoto you can fix your photos.  Click on Edit to see the tools. 
  12.   When you look at the list of what’s on your desktop click once on the title of that folder.  Do   Command + “i” and you can enter key words in Spotlight Comments on the left side at the top.   This will help you find the folder later when you put it in some other location on Mac!  
  13.   Time to play with fonts.  Do you have Font Book listed in your applications?  You’ve got LOTS of fonts there. Scroll down the list of fonts and experiment.  You might like the look of Helvetica, or might think Comic Sans MS looks nice.  If you are using ClickBook you’ll enlarge the size of the font one or two sizes larger because it will be automatically sized smaller to fit the layout you choose.  
  14. Using Pages I like to click on the Inspector and scroll over the name of the story, or the poem, or the chapter’s title.  Then I enlarge the font size and also do Text, and enlarge the character spacing.  Sometimes I also like to add more space to the line, such as 1.1 or more.  
  15.   Also, if you’ll be using ClickBook you will want to go to Graphic Inspector to see if you want a shadow or offset, opacity, or blur on the photo. Click on Metrics and unclick Constrain proportions.  If you don’t do this the people will be shrunk down to look skinny.  I stretch the photos sideways to compensate for the automatic ClickBook sizing.  
  16.   Back on Pages settings: if I’m making a booklet I may resize the left & right margins smaller and also the top and bottom settings to make them smaller.   Experiment.
  17.   All along, you save the piece as you play with it. Give each version a new v. # and put it in that same master folder.
  18. One nifty thing that you will do before that final version is printed out =  do Command + F for find, and Mac searches for any word you specify.  Did you spell Cousin Frederika’s name correctly?  Do a Find to find out.  You can also make sure that any --  got fixed it to be —.
  19. How about some clever little pasted in image?  Go to the Internet and do Google Images.  Click to bring it up.  You can scroll through lots of photos, clip art, etc.  Find something and drag it off to your desktop.  Make it larger or smaller.  Drag sideways a little to compensate for ClickBook. 
  20. Maybe your printer does color.  Mine is b&w so I find pretty paper from OfficeMax or Staples and turn the page sideways for a booklet cover.  If your writing is going to be full-page size you’ll find a lot of pretty paper. 
  21. Staple the booklet with this useful stapler,  www.bluesquirrel.com/products/staplers/ , or do 3-hole punch for a notebook, or get it spiral bound. 
Let’s have fun making word clouds. You can order t-shirts, coffee cups, posters, using a word cloud that you create. I made one for the cover of a booklet I wrote a few weeks ago. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_clouds  history, types described, 
http://www.wordle.nettry theirs
http://tagcrowd.com/    another to try
http://worditout.com/    make personalized gifts  FREE
Use Mac to write:  keep your fingers and your brain nimble

This is today's PMUG handout by Elaine Hardt.  See you next time? 

Yes, You CAN Find It

Mac makes it easy for you to find what you’ve written and saved. Of course, it does take a little effort on your part. So you wrote about your dog, but you gave the piece a cute little title. Now, where is it? You could try Command + the space bar which opens the Spotlight at the upper right side of the menu bar. With a few key words typed in you might get some clues as where to look. You can click on an entry there and it will open, or hold the cursor there and it will identify where it is filed.

Better yet. Give yourself an assignment. Go to that list of stories or articles or poems you’ve written. Click to open one of them and see what key words would help you find it next time. Then close the piece, click on just the title in the list of documents. Do Command + i and it opens the Spotlight Comments box with the info of Kind, Size, Where, Created, Modified, Open with, Preview and Sharing & Permissions. Put in some key words in that Comments box. Close and smile; you’ve just made your life easier with Mac. Next time one of those key words might help Spotlight find your document.

You already know you can find things by date when you click View to make it sort by date. If you just wrote this piece last week or last month perhaps you can find it by date. When you have Finder open on the screen you can do Search For and choose Today, Yesterday, Past Week.

Finding That Comma!

Something sent to me for posting on the newsblog had some commas misplaced outside, instead of inside the quotation mark. I needed to check the whole document while it was still on my mind.

In Pages, the writing program I use, I opened the document and did Command + F for Find. I put a comma in the blank by the word Find. One by one, as I went Next each comma in the writing came up highlighted. I could see the ones which were properly placed, and several that needed fixing. How easy is that! Find not only finds words that you want to locate, but can help you use your punctuation correctly. Sometimes in a font the exclamation mark looks too close, so I find each of them, highlight one of them at a time and change it to italic!


 Finding Help For Your Grammar

Need some help with punctuation or grammar? Here are several websites, quick and easy to read. Info from Purdue University, examples, etc. Examples from Stage Door, short and to the point. Lots of links, samples, specific info from the University of Northern Iowa.

 Finding Info on the Internet

What a relief. We no longer have to correctly type in http:// and the correct and complete URL of some site. Key words can help Google or Yahoo, whoever, come up quickly with a list of suggested sites. One of them on the first page is probably the one you want!

 Finding Yourself on the Internet

Yes, the search engines know where to find you. Take a look. I’ve used Google as the example, but try also other search engines listed & described here.

Where do you live? Google Maps can show you. Enter your address. Click on the Yellow Man and drag towards the marker Google has placed. Neighborhood streets that have been filmed by the Google camera vehicle are shown now in blue. Up comes street view.  Don’t like what they show? You can contact them about your concerns. What does your old house in Phoenix look like now? Are they keeping the yard looking nice?

If you enter your name in the Google search box and place quotation marks around it you can find websites that mention you by name, or other people with YOUR name. Interesting to see how many of “you” there are in the US.

You can also put your name down under Google Images and see what comes up! In my example, up came book covers and people’s photos from websites that have quoted a poem or writing of mine.

Been mentioned on the Daily Courier lately? Look under Find It for classifications such as Archive, Photo Gallery, Sports, etc. If you want to submit a great photo this is where to go.

Finding What Apple Is Doing

Keep up with the latest on Discussions and Widgets. Anyone download the “Boredom Button”? The Apple Store has items and prices, but also links to education, business, international stores, government and military, special deals, and click to talk to an Apple Specialist.

Appreciating Others

        If you missed yesterday's PMUG meeting here's my handout:

               Appreciating Others

        Well, Mac users, what better use for your skills than to write something on the computer -- writing that can be in different fonts, different sizes, different layouts -- and today I want you to consider writing that expresses your appreciation for someone.
        Your skills, abilities, and experiences can put you in a position to show appreciation to others. You can find words and even punctuation to assemble a writing that someone will be surprised to receive!
        Birthdays, promotions, graduations, heading into new territory, going into the hospital, the university, the armed forces, etc. these are but a few opportunities for you to gather up words in a picturesque way. Got a color printer? Add photos or illustrations. Got only black ink? Buy some pretty paper at Staples or OfficeMax. You can find a variety of certificate paper, too. Consider: your printer might not handle metallic paper.
        Here are some suggestions. Write something. Let it rest until tomorrow. Go at it again and see what improvements your clever brain has thought of over night.

A poem, rhyming or not
Old songs with new words
ABC list of the person’s great qualities
75 reasons why you deserve a special birthday celebration. (I wrote 16 and repeated them!)
Bragging on your kids to your siblings
Bragging on your siblings to your kids
Encouragement that’s descriptive
Acrostic poems don’t have to rhyme, just start with a letter of the alphabet that spells something going down from the top line.
An acrostic from the middle of words lined up to describe this special person’s qualities
Declare an imaginary holiday to celebrate any special occasion

        My niece argued a case before the court in Boston, and the video was put out by her college there. Yes, I could have just emailed, “good job, Teresa!” But why not make my compliment clear. Besides emailing her we sent CC to her mom and dad: “Don and I watched the Flip4Mac program that brought up the video from Teresa in court.  We brought the picture up to full size on our big screen. Ed and Deb, you must be proud of Teresa and Andy for both going into law.  You did a good job raising those two cute little kids. Teresa looks confident and well-prepared.  She speaks clearly and carefully, making her points understandable.  We enjoyed watching her.”
        The emails went first, of course, but then a nice printed-out piece of paper went to brother Ed and his wife Deb —and Teresa— via the post office.
        Pages makes it easy. Fonts make it fun. Here’s a couple of examples to nudge you into action.  Click to enlarge this screen shot:

        Explore what you can do with all those words you’re accumulating! Surprise someone!
        Of course, save a copy on Mac. Make a folder for this writing and associated correspondence. You can drag an email to the folder. Do Command + “i” when you highlight the title of this new document. Put some key words at Spotlight Comments which will make this new writing easier to find next time.
        So, 2, 4, 6, 8 who do you appreciate? Have you told this person recently?   This is a good time to let Mac help you do a nice job of giving compliments!


Find Some Fun

If you missed today's PMUG meeting here's the handout.

Let’s spend some time relaxing and enjoying our Mac computers. See some interesting sites, then write something of your own. Share with friends and family!

Unusual days to celebrate, http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/january.htm

Unusual names of towns in the US, http://www.accuracyproject.org/towns.html

Quotations from the Famous & not so famous, http://www.great-quotes.com/

Historical events, birthdays of famous people, etc. http://www.scopesys.com/today/

Animated computer, http://www.bentbay.dk/how_your_computer_works.htm

Gadgets, http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/usb-gadgets/

2,000 uses for WD-40, http://www.wd40.com/files/pdf/wd-40_2042538679.pdf

Links to imaginative inventors and “stuff,” http://www.uen.org/themepark/imagination/invent.shtml

All kinds of on-line dictionaries, http://www.freesearching.com/dictionary.htm

Cute animals, http://thedesigninspiration.com/articles/70-cutie-baby-animals-bring-your-a-good-mood/

Natural wonders, http://listverse.com/2008/01/03/top-15-amazing-natural-wonders/

10 unusual weather photos, http://listverse.com/2010/12/19/10-more-amazing-weather-phenomena/

Art, http://www.sharegoodstuffs.com/2011/08/famous-people-in-unusual-art-by-jason.html

YouTube - unusual recipes, http://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/a2019/8-dishes-inspired-by-tv-shows-112099/

Cars, trucks and motorcycles from car shows, museums, and collectors; photos and info, http://remarkablecars.blogspot.com/

Address Labels & Envelopes: How To

You’ve noticed the stores’ decor, your kids’ wish lists, and even your calendar. Yes, the December holidays are on the way! Surprise, surprise!Mac is ready to help. It’s easy, it’s logical, and it’s even fun! Let’s take a look at how to address all those cards you want to send to family and friends. Perhaps you have business connections and will send out some official Holiday Greetings to these people. Here’s a Few Articles & Videos Here’s an article with comments following. Here's several videos about printing labels and envelopes from Address Book. Look here for Avery addressing labels. You’ll note an extensive product list: sizes, colors, labels for various uses and for various types of printers. Also, note that Avery offers a free newsletter and free templates for work, home, school, and play. Take a look at this I found Easter Bunny & Father’s Day templates, among others! Set Up A Group in Address Book Your Address Book is your helpful assistant. Click on it to open. You probably already have a nice list of friends and relatives. Click on the + under Group and make a new Group, “Christmas.” Go to one of your groups you’ve already set up and click on someone’s name and drag their V-card to the new group. They can be in different groups at the same time. You most likely already know to click on the + at the bottom of the Name list so you can add a new name to that group. Let’s experiment. Click on the name of the Group to highlight it. Go to the top menu on your screen and get File > Print. On the page that comes up you choose the printer you’ll be using, copies, labels. You can also print out the list on a regular sheet of paper. Under Mailing Labels you can choose to print directly to the envelope, labels, lists, and pocket address book. Under Layout > Page choose Avery or one of the other products there. Choose the Avery label number; for me it’s the 5160. That prints out a page of 30 address labels. You’ll see the measurements of the margins, number of rows and columns on the page, and the gutters. Note: do not run a page of mailing labels through the printer for the second time. Keep that printer happy! At the menu at the top go to Preferences and click General. Choose a font size from the Pop up menu. Do you want these printed out in alphabetical order or by zip codes? Specify. If you want to print the addresses on the envelopes instead of making labels then you can choose a font. By default it’s Lucida Grande -1. Click on Set and up comes your entire font listing, so you can make a choice there. Layout is where you choose the envelope size. Orientation lets you choose which way you’re going to feed the envelopes in to the printer. You’ll set it up for your own printer’s set up. Experiment and have fun.

Here’s an app to Print Envelopes

Here’s a handy-dandy app from Ambrosia called Easy Envelopes. ($9.99) Take a look here.

Want Someone to Do it For You? You can order personalized stamped envelopes from the USPS Postal Store:  Print your own postage stamps on demand. Look here. They give you a postal scale; it calculates and prints the correct postage amount. You can get a 4-week trial offer. If you have an Intel-based Mac and use Windows installed or a PC emulator you can get even more features. It’s a FREE download. Here  you can print postage stamps with your picture on it. Recently, my niece, Alisha, did this for her thank you notes, choosing a photo of her and her hubby, Joe. DYMO printable postage, no monthly fee, no commitment; it’s for PC and Mac. PRACTICAL.  INTERESTING.  MACINTOSH! This was today's handout at the November PMUG meeting.  For handouts from earlier months look down the Labels list to Handout at PMUG.  Click to bring up 22 short, fun handouts. If you have the new Lion OS there may be some variations to these directions.  Try it out and let us know. # # #

Be Prepared!

        Not just a Scout motto, but a good reminder to all of us, “Be Prepared.” Our main consideration today is be prepared by backing up what’s on your computer. Hopefully you’ve got an exterior drive that’s lit up, doing its job with Time Machine, as you’re writing on your computer. So what happens when the unexpected happens? What about an electric surge or malfunction of the transformer out there in the alley?
        Surge protector strips might help. How about an APC Back-UPS device? Or, better yet, a whole-house surge protector from APS?
        We experienced a problem just last week with the alley transformer. Four neighbors were also affected. Interesting what got fried and what didn’t. Good-bye to my dishwasher, microwave, fluorescent light in the laundry room, 3 radios, the doorbell, and a couple of surge protector strips. Thankfully, not hurt were the computers, printers, TV, and washer and dryer.
        SOS to some knowledgeable guys from PMUG. “Would an additional backup device that’s only plugged in once a day to use, then unplugged, be a good idea?” was my query.
        John Carter emailed, “For my iMac, I have a 500GB USB powered hard drive that is solely dedicated to being a fairly recent clone of my internal hard drive, and once I update the clone, it is put away in the closet. I only update it once every few months. I also have Time Machine backing up to a 1TB hard drive. If I should lose my internal drive — or the entire computer — I can boot up off the clone and restore from the Time Machine. I also have another 500GB USB powered hard drive that I back up my personal files to. This one gets updated fairly often and then is unplugged and put aside. Now, I have two machines, an iMac and a MacBook Pro, and they are pretty much a clone of each other. The MacBook Pro has its own Time Machine hard drive. So if one goes down, the other is brought up to date from the backup of the down machine and I’m no worse for wear. And since both machines have the same operating system and complete set of applications, I only need one bootable clone for both machines.
        "Industry standard backup methods is to have one set of full backups onsite and another duplicate set of backups offsite. The onsite backups are incremental every day and the offsite backups are full backups once a week. The weekly backups are rotated every four weeks so that only four devices are needed for the weekly backups. One device is used for the daily incremental backups. These daily backups are accumulated on that one device until the end of the week when it becomes the full weekly backup. A duplicate is made of it and sent offsite. Every fourth week one of the weekly backups comes back from offsite and becomes the next daily incremental backup device. Once a year, or as often as the company’s policy dictates, the backup devices are replaced with new ones.”
        John summarized, “You can never have too many backups. Choose what is critical to you and be very paranoid about it.”
        Jim Hamm wrote, “I recently purchased a small external drive from Amazon, a Buffalo Technology MiniStation Stealth 500 GB USB 2.0 portable external Hard Drive HD-PCT500U2/B (black). It is very small, quiet and only $50. I’m quite pleased with it and would buy another one.”
        David Passell went into detail, “I bought two My 500GB Passports about two (or three) weeks ago from Best Buy. One was specifically for Mac, the other for PC. I set up/partitioned my Passport for Mac as a clone for the Mac HD;  I purchased the fully featured SuperDuper. The internal Mac HD was 120GB and was getting limited in free space. I created a sandbox, in a much smaller partition, on the passport from which I always start. I also have some items I save on a partition that is just "passport.” It works very well. if I disconnect it (while the Mac is off), the Mac will restart from its internal HD. When starting/restarting, hold down the OPTion key and select the drive or sandbox to start from. The System Preferences startup disk does not work.
        "As for the PC Passport, I connected it to a Windows 7 Dell. it backed up the machine two ways. (1) I used the 'smart' software that came with the Passport and found it only backed up Data. I used the backup software that is part of Windows and it backed up (I think) the whole computer. I am really not very familiar with Windows and have difficulty telling where anything is, or what is running.
        "As for writing to the PC Passport if I plug it into the Mac: I obtained Mac Fuse and NFTS 3G. That combination of 'other' system preferences allows transparent writing to the disk. Before installing those, I could only read from an NFTS-formatted drive. Formatting a drive to NTFS is another matter. It appears more involved. Several forums simply say find somebody with a Windows machine.
        "I bought a Seagate Free Agent several weeks ago. It had a lot of movie promotional material on it; one movie I could watch free, and about 150GB of movies I would have to 'subscribe' to. It seemed clunky and I returned it.
        "I purchased a WD My Book 3TB drive hoping to replace the 500GB that I have been using since 2008 for Time Machine. It was PC formatted but I repartitioned it for Mac OS extended Journaled it to use for Time Machine and other things. It was totally unsuitable. It would not automatically mount on Mac turnon. I reformatted it (on a PC) to NTFS, restored the software that was on it, and returned it for credit."
        David’s recommendation: “As far as power surges are concerned, I strongly recommend putting a UPS (I've been using an APC for years) between your equipment and your power lines. I also installed a power surge protector right inside the main breaker box (keep one hand behind your back and wear rubber soled sneakers when you do this :).  I also have a UPS between the power line and my VCRs and DVD recorder. That way recordings and timer settings are seldom lost except for very extended outages.   
        Jim wrote again to emphasize, “The most important thing about backing up is to do it. Another aspect that's important—and which I just recently did—is to have a bootable backup clone. A couple of programs to do this, and which are mentioned often in blogs, are Super Duper and Carbon Copy Cloner.”
        Don got us started now, buying two APC Battery Backup units that each handle 6 outlets. But, that’s just the start, so the project continues . . .
        Review the basics: A 5 minute video about Time Machine http://www.cultofmac.com/82299/how-to-easily-back-up-your-mac-with-time-machine-video-how-to/
        A helpful article from Macworld on what and how to backup. http://www.macworld.com/article/156601/2011/01/what_how_backup.html
        So, what do you think, and how can YOU be prepared? Are you backing up? Are your backups secure?
        See you at Saturday's PMUG meeting!

How to Make Your Own Holiday Special

Food is a topic close to our stomachs!  We probably think about it three times a day.  And food brings up memories.  Think how much fun it would be to share those memories with your family.  Mac can help you create a unique holiday gift. (Yes, it’s time to plan for the holidays!)  
Go through those old cookbooks or recipe boxes and find what’s uniquely yours.  You might choose to do a collection of a dozen special desserts, for example.  You could retype some of them, or scan.  Maybe you can find some old photos to illustrate your pages.
Don’s Ma made German Christmas bread every year. When I asked her for the recipe she brought out her German newspaper clipping and translated it for me.  Oh, it was work!  Peel all those potatoes, chop them and mix the huge amount of batter.  I saw how easily I could simplify that part by using instant mashed potatoes. I started making it every year.  
This summer I got the bright idea to share the booklet-making info with my Writers’ Networking group.  I did a Google search and found  http://www.live-like-a-german.com/german_recipes   The writer was asking for favorite recipes, so I emailed Ma’s recipe to her.  She likes it and asks for a photo of Ma.  Digging through old photos I found one from 1954 of Ma in her kitchen by the stove with the big old tea kettle.  What fun!  It might be published on the Internet soon. 
You could make a specialized little booklet of favorites from family potlucks.  ClickBook is a program that sizes your pages for booklets.  It’s about $49 from www.bluesquirrel.com  
In Pages click Command + P and on the left side  is PDF. Scroll down and click Open PDF with ClickBook.  (Click to enlarge this little screen shot.) 

You’ll see all the choices of page formats.  I use the  Side-by-Side (folded) for booklets that are regular sized paper folded in half.  This fits nicely into the greeting card envelopes size 5 ¾ x 8 ¾”.
There are more than 60 choices of format in ClickBook.
You will want to make some samples to view how your choice of fonts will look.  Since ClickBook sizes your whole page on Mac into a half-size printed you’ll want perhaps a 13 or 14 point type.  

Photos will be automatically sized, so you experiment.  An unstretched photo makes the person look very, very thin.  I go to Inspector > Graphic Inspector to add a shadow or reflection and to set opacity.  Under Metrics go to where you uncheck Constrain Proportions.  Now you can drag the photo sideways to fatten it up.  
As you work on this project make one document, then do Command + D to duplicate it and fiddle around with that first copy.  Do this for each “improvement” you think you’re making.  If you change your mind you can easily go back to one of the earlier versions without pulling out your hair.  Put all the versions in one folder on the desktop. 
About a 32 page booklet is fat enough for my stapler.  Each sheet of paper yields 4 pages for the booklet, so that’s 8 sheets of paper.  
It’s fun to try out various fonts. When I’m using Helvetica the question mark and the exclamation marks are too close to the last letter of the word when it shrinks down.  On the document in Pages I highlight the last letter of the word and the exclamation mark next to it.  
Going to Inspector and the large T, choose the slider on Character to enlarge the space there.  
Also in Pages > Inspector choose the first icon on the drop down menu so you can set the margins and header spacing.  
Here are some interesting websites that may give your creative mind some fresh ideas. 
http://cakewrecks.squarespace.com/contact/    Photos of fancy decorated cakes. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_culinary_fruits  list of fruits by region where they grow.  
List of inedible fruits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_inedible_fruits  some are poisonous, some only unpalatable for human consumption. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_culinary_vegetables   listed by variety.  Each one is a link to its own page with illustration, culinary & medicinal uses, top countries where produced, etc. 
http://cookit.e2bn.org/historycookbook/   What a list:  recipes from Prehistoric times through Medieval, Victorians, to Postwar/Modern.  Includes picture galleries of these times and places.
How about a child’s recipe book?  Ask the youngsters in the family for their favorite recipes and art  work.  
Consider starting a family blog.  www.blogspot.com  Post writing and photographs. You can set who can enter the blog, so you don’t have to let the whole world view your efforts unless you want to do so.   (See what I mean?  You can be more creative with your Mac! ) 

(This was today's handout at the PMUG Annual Picnic.)