Apple File System

When you update to iOS 10.3 on your Apple device, you are going to have Apple's new file system (APFS) installed. Will you notice, or even care? To learn more about what and why Apple is doing this, here is an article worth reading. 

I've done the update on my iPhone and iPad, and did notice the install process took longer than usual. I didn't give it much thought at the time, but, after reading the article, I now realize a lot was going on. It's difficult to comprehend all those 0's and 1's being switched around to a new file system, and still working correctly afterwards.

Congrats to Apple's Engineers. Next up for conversion to APFS will be our Macs.

Jim Hamm

Might Want to Delete Old iCloud Backups

       "If you'd want to delete old iCloud backups to free up more storage space on your iPhone or iPad, take a read on this article," Jim Hamm informs us.  
        "Looking at my iPhone 6 I saw that 462 MB of data was stored there from my old iPhone 5. I didn't really need that backup anymore, so I could have freed up this storage space if I'd needed/wanted to. 
        Jim Hamm goes on to say, "Also, as you scroll down the list of apps you have on your device you can stop any of them from being included in future iCloud updates, should you want to. Since I have plenty of storage space available I let them all continue to be included in future updates. But this is good to remember if, in the future, I start running tight on iCloud storage space."

"Freak" Bug Update

        John Carter passes along some VERY important info.  "Both Microsoft and Apple have announced that they have released a patch for the FREAK bug. See full article here.
        "In this article, it explains a lot more about the 'Freak' bug and what you can do to find out if your browser is safe to use and even if a website you want to visit is safe to use. The article is written for Mac users, but the method for determining if your browser is safe is essentially the same." 

        John continues, "For all users, check this site to determine if the website you want to visit is secure. The sad news is that your favorite website may fail. It could be only because the site does not have an updated security certificate, or it may be vulnerable to an attack by some issue other than FREAK, so you’re just going to have to take your chances if you insist on going there. For example, my personal website is vulnerable because the hosting service is vulnerable.
        "I have tested the latest Safari browser and have determined that it is safe to use - and this was confirmed after the latest Apple security updates have been installed. I have also just updated Windows 8.1 and tested MSIE and found it to be safe. 
        "The Win 10 Beta with the latest updates is secure for MSIE, Firefox, and Chrome.
        "However, Windows 7, even with the latest update, still has the vulnerable MSIE, and this also applies to both the latest Firefox and Chrome browsers on Win 7. Please continue to monitor your Windows 7 update for updates.
        "It is still recommended that Firefox be the browser to use (instead of MSIE or Safari)."
        John concludes with this, "In addition, Apple has just release iOS 8.2 for the iPhone and iPad, and this release fixes the FREAK bug for those devices. See full article here."

No Need to Wait

        "OS X 10.10.2 is OUT, and so is iOS 8.1.3!"  John Carter alerts us, and he follows up with this, "So, for anyone waiting to update to Yosemite, stop waiting!

        And here's his own experience:  "My computer, iPhone, and iPad have been updated. The computer was updated automatically overnight and forced a restart, but that’s because I don’t turn off or sleep my computer and I am accepting automatic updates. 
        "The iPhone and iPad had to be updated manually. I have not had any problems during the first day after the update. But that doesn’t mean that all of the bugs were found and fixed. It does mean that the new OS an iOS are now mature enough to trust - in my opinion."
       And John advises, "If you haven’t updated to Yosemite, simply click on the Yosemite update icon in the App Store and take all the defaults. It will require you to authorize the update with your Apple ID and password. The download can take quite a while, especially with a slow Internet, so make sure that your computer will not go to sleep during the download."
        He concludes with this:   "After the download, just take all the defaults and fill in whatever information it may ask for. After the update to Yosemite, you will need to check for new updates once more and take all that are available. Those updates will be for applications like Pages, Numbers, etc. Take the updates whether or not you will ever be using the application."

Automatic Security Update

        Here's some unexpected news.  Jim Hamm lets us in on this, "Apple has issued a security update for the Mac, which doesn't require any action by you -- it's automatically installed. Further info in the article below. http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/23/7440157/apple-mac-first-automatic-update-ever  A quick search of Apple Security brings up other articles with info on this new fix. 

iOS 7 and 10.8.5 Update

       John Carter reports on his experience with updates. "I updated my iPad 4, my iPhone 5, and Jackie's iPhone 4S.

        "No problems with my stuff. It took a long time, but everything came up normally.
        "Jackie's 4S was a different story. I did that one last.
        "The short story is that Verizon was overloaded with updates, and they couldn't keep up. Apple was also inundated, and they couldn't keep up. Hence, during the update process for the 4S, Apple had a hiccup and the 4S was crippled during the update. Not to worry. A fresh start made everything right — almost.
        "One thing that happened with the 4S that did not happen with the iPad 4 or the iPhone 5 was right after the iOS7 update completed. I got a notice that a new update was available for the carrier on the 4S. I did that, too.
        "When I finally got to use the 4S, it would not connect to Verizon. Getting on the Internet was no problem — but no phone service. A call to Verizon revealed that many people were having the same problem. The fix was to do a complete reset of the phone (wiping all data off) and restore the phone from a backup through iTunes. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention this - MAKE SURE YOU BACKUP YOUR DEVICES BEFORE YOU START THE UPDATE!
        "After the 4S was restored (the second time), I was able to validate the connection to Verizon and everything worked."
                                  Take a deep breath, John has more info to share! 
        "So what's really new with iOS7? I mean, really new? Not just in appearances, but in functionality. The calendar had the biggest surprise. The familiar interface is not only gone, but one of the features is hidden. In order to see your calendar entries as a list, you have to tap on the Search icon. To see the calendar in the month mode, you tap on the name of the month. Then the year shows up where the name of the month was, and tapping on that shows you the whole year. Actually, this is far easier to navigate than it sounds, and I quickly got used to it.
        "I tried to take a snapshot of the screen, but the snapshot does not show everything that you can see. So the image below is a screenshot showing both what the calendar looks like (left side) and what you get when you take a screenshot (right side). (Yes, it was tricky getting this shot.)
        To enlarge the illustration click on it, then click to go back to the post.
        "So what does Jackie think about the update? She was very angry that the phone didn't work, and she had to leave before I got it working again. As for everything else, she's flexible enough to not worry about the changes. Besides, she has me to fall back on.
        "I very much like the new Compass. Apple has added a secondary feature to it - a bubble level. Very neat, especially for me when I need to level my telescope mount."
                                      Here's John's report on the OS X update:
        "So what about the Mac update to 10.5.8. Quite painless on the Mac Mini, the MacBook Air, and my two MacBook Pros. But one thing happened with Mail that I am not very happy about.
        "I have several mailbox aliases below the Toolbar (boxed in red in the image below.) This gives me quick access to my most frequently used mailboxes. 
        "They were all greyed out. No access. I quickly discovered that I had to remove them and add the aliases back in.
        "Then I discovered that NONE of my Rules were active. I had to go through each of my several dozen Rules and reference the action back to the original mailbox that the message was supposed to be moved to (see red circle in image below). The weird part was that when I reset one, that same mailbox showed up as the default location for the next one that I needed to fix."
        "I'm quite sure that many people will have a serious problem with this, and I'm very surprised that it didn't show up in the Beta testing."
                        Here's John's recommendations: 
        "Do I recommend getting the updates right away? To this I always say, why not? How long do you think you will have to wait before you can know for a fact that  you won't have any problems with the update? Can you live without the update? Certainly! But eventually you will be faced with having to update when one or more of your apps are no longer supported with your old operating system— just like when Classic 9 became unusable. And if you trade your device in, you will get the latest operating system anyway.
        "To update the iPhone, you have to have your computer to get the update. I recommend updating the computer first.
        "One last thing. The iTunes update (11.1) modifies the iTunes library. So if you have more than one computer using the same iTunes library, you're forced to update iTunes on every computer. Besides that, if you are accessing the same iTunes library (or iPhoto library) from different computers, you have to shut down iTunes/iPhoto on one computer before launching iTunes/iPhoto on any other computer. This is such a rare situation that it probably isn't even worth mentioning. But if you have, say, a MacBook Air with a small hard drive and a Mac Mini with a large hard drive, it won't be long before you realize that you should have bought a bigger hard drive for the MacBook Air. This cannot be remedied except by sharing files with another computer or by adding an external hard drive to the MacBook Air - and that uses up one of the only two USB ports on the MacBook Air. And you can't run an external hard drive off of a USB port expander along with any other device, even if the USB expander is powered (or so my experience tells me).
        "For the most part, the updates do not change how any non-Apple app looks or behaves. As vendors start providing updates for their apps, this will undoubtedly change.
        "For the iPhone, just take a deep breath and get the updates in a week or so when things have settled down at Apple and Verizon.
        "For the Mac, get it now."   

Consider Waiting Before Updating

        A precautionary word of advice comes from Jim Hamm,  "Here's an article with suggestions to wait before updating to iOS 7 on certain devices. Certainly something to think about and consider. No harm in waiting and see what the blogs have to say about the update."   http://osxdaily.com/2013/09/16/wait-before-updating-these-to-ios-7/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+osxdaily+%28OS+X+Daily%29

Need Anti-virus Software? Or Not?

       Need anti-virus software?  Ward Stanke sends us some very useful information.  Read on:  Snow Leopard and Lion contain a malware blocker!  Here's an article from Macworld.  This malware blocker has been very quietly, but consistently, updated by Apple to handle the most dangerous, and the most recent, malware threats.  
        See this:   Mac Malware "Explosion" Missing In Action.
        Here's an excellent up-to-date web site about Macintosh malware....and an associated Macintosh Malware Catalog that rates the individual threat posed by each piece of malware.  Note that most of the threats listed were either rendered moot by an Apple update, or they never really worked, or they were never seen in the wild or in significant numbers.
        Mac OS X anti-virus software: More trouble than it's worth? Here's a review
       This is an article simply entitled "Wolf." It is about the press crying "wolf" for the past 7 years with regard to the "coming wave of Mac malware": Daring Fireball: Wolf!

Privacy Features in Today's Update

        Earlier today we found out that Apple plans to add a new privacy feature to Safari that keeps online advertising networks and other tracking tools from monitoring user activity. We posted this and we thanked David Passell for this info.  
       Later this afternoon after reading what MacObserver said up came notification for Security update 2011-002 for Leopard and Snow Leopard, iPhone, and Safari.  Read all about it, and keep up with these great improvements.

Warning. . . Just in Time

We have De Previous Prez Allen Laudenslager to thank for this timely warning about the latest updates.  "If you attend the monthly meetings regularly, you should remember Rich Charpentier who presented on how he uses his Mac in his work as a photographer and photo printer."Rich has been blogging for several days on problems he has had with updates to his Mac. If you aren't following Rich's blog, your really should give it a look since he regularly includes not only Mac tips, but some spectacular photos of the local area. "In his current post, Rich talks about his latest round of problems caused by the software update from Apple that updates his HP print drivers and because of the tweaks he needs to print his high quality, large format prints for his customer the updates hose his system. "If any of you have had any problems with your system after incorporating updates, change your process to accept only one update at a time and if you experience any trouble, put that on your 'don't accept this update list' to cut any future problems." Here's a link to Rich's latest post and his blog. Apple Discussions has some give and take on this issue.  (Personally, I think I'll postpone upgrading to the HP 2.5.2 printer software update for my printer-- E. )

Postpone the OS X Update?

        You might want to postpone downloading that latest OS X update.  According to David Passell it is reported to contain an out-of-date and vulnerable Adobe Flash Player.  You can read the full story here.  David says, "I installed the update, and I believe the machine speeded up in its responsiveness. I haven't yet gone to the Adobe Flash Player site to get their latest as advised in the article."
        Today David adds, "I don't think postponing the OS X update is necessary.  However, after doing the update you should go to the Adobe web page and install the 10.1 update."

Word - Firefox Problem Solved

"I just needed to update my version of MS Word for Mac and had a real problem installing the XML reader," begins De Prez Allen Laudenslager.  He goes on to explain the problem and the solution. "When I contacted Microsoft for help, they told me that using Firefox might be the problem.

"While this sounds weird, the tech 'thinks' that Firefox somehow doesn't always properly attach the correct file extension name. Word documents are .doc and updates to applications are disk image files .dmg, etc. That file name extension allows Mac OS and the various applications to decide how to handle the file. One example would be when you double click on the file your Mac knows to open the file in your word processor or in iPhoto or whatever.

"I went back to the site (mactopia.com) using Safari and downloaded the file a second time and was able to properly install the update and open the latest MS Word version files with the extension .docx.

"Just one more trick to keep in mind if you are having trouble downloading files using Firefox as your primary web browser."

Adobe Update

     A notice of advisory and recommended update for Adobe Flash Player was forwarded to us by Jim Hamm.  He says,  "To check which version you're running click the 'About Flash Player' link and it will show you which version you've got. Odds are it's the vulnerable version. To download the newest version click the 'Flash Player Download Center,'  then install the download."
     Now, Art Gorski and David Passell jump in with some important additions to this discussion.
Art passes along this warning: "Adobe has confirmed a critical vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions that could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. There are reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild. Yet another reason to use Apple's Preview instead. Note that many Adobe installers (Photoshop, etc.) will install Adobe Reader whether you want it or not."

Now David tells of his experience with the Flash Player security update:  "Thanks to Jim for the posting regarding Flash Player security, but statement in the blog "click the 'About Flash Player' link (blue) is misleading.

"When you click on that link you are taken to the Adobe Security Page. At first glance it is a lot of verbage and overchoice without clear guidelines. You have to go down into the second paragraph or so to find:

"Affected software versions:
Adobe Flash Player and earlier versions
 Adobe AIR 1.5.2 and earlier versions
To verify the Adobe Flash Player version number installed on your system, access the About Flash Player page, or right-click on content running in Flash Player and select 'About Adobe (or Macromedia) Flash Player' from the menu.  If you use multiple browsers, perform the check for each browser you have installed on your system.

"When you click on above link then you find out what you have.

"In my case when I first went to the page I didn't see that, but the Firefox browser popped up with an update to 3.5.6 which I installed. The Firefox description did not immediately tell me what had changed. If I wanted to dig around I might find that Flashplayer was updated.

"In any case I went back to the Adobe page mentioned in the link in the Blog posting, and then clicked on the 'About Flash Player page.'  I found that I had the secure version.

And David adds, "(Somewhere in the second go-around I got the message 'software update installed successfully' or words to that affect (poor short-term memory).:)"