User Group Tips o’ the Month

Some of you may know (and now the rest of you will, too) that I’m one of two Vice Presidents serving the Mountain View Computer Users Group in Sierra Vista, Arizona. It’s a multi-platform group that focuses on personal computing topics for Windows, macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and Android users. It started as a Mac user group in the late ’80s, but that’s a story for someone else’s blog.

Anywho, we have recurring tips of the month segments at our meetings for Windows, macOS, and iOS. At our last meeting on October 9, I provided the tips for Macs and iPhones and I thought I’d share them here.

Happy World Backup Day!

Please join me in reciting the World Backup Day pledge.

“I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31. I will also tell my friends and family about World Backup Day — friends don’t let friends go without a backup.”

If, like me, you have a backup strategy implemented, then take this opportunity to make sure it’s working correctly — restore some files from your backup.

If you don’t have a backup plan in place, I can recommend a great ebook; Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, by Joe Kissell. If you’re not a Mac user, sorry, I don’t have a book recommendation for you.

And don’t forget to backup your iPhones and iPads (and iPod touches, if you have them), too. Turn on iCloud Backup or connect your iOS device to your Mac (or Windows PC) and back it up with iTunes.

As some wise guy once said, “Don’t be an April fool. Be prepared. Backup your files on March 31.” All I can add to that piece of wisdom is to continue backing up your files every day of the year. 😃

Get Emojified!

Some time ago a client with both an iPhone and a Mac, who enjoyed using emoji on her iPhone, asked if there was a way to use emoji characters on her Mac. My answer to her was, “Why yes, Virginia, there is a Great Pumpkin!” Well, maybe not in those exact words, but this paraphrased quote is seasonally appropriate and in keeping with the theme of my latest Bazz MacGeek Quick Tip. Here, see for yourself.

Sorry for not posting last week. I was preparing for my local computer user group meeting (the Mountain View Computer User Group) and ran out of time. The meeting, that my fellow geek, Mike McLain, and I ran was yesterday and we covered the topic of “YouTube, why is it worth watching.” I had prepared this tutorial screencast so as to have something to demo how to upload and put into a playlist. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading (and watching). Please post your comments below and I’ll be back again next week with another blog post.

10 Timeless Typing Tips: the Missing Post

I started working on a 10-part series of posts of tips for better typing on a Mac this week. Actually, it began as a single post with 10 tips, but it gradually ballooned beyond my capacity to get it all done before my self-imposed posting deadline. That’s when I changed my mind, thinking I had enough material for ten week’s worth of posts, and decided to break it down to one tip per week.

The 10 tips are from a presentation I did for my local computer user group back in 2004, which was essentially a book review of Robin P. William’s The Mac is Not A typewriter.

The Mac is Not a typewriter book cover

However, as I progressed through the old Keynote slide deck and converted the content into blog posts, I realized after a few hours that I had quoted the book directly a number of times as part of that presentation. So I changed my mind again and decided I didn’t need to go to the trouble of creating my own versions of these tips — and risking plagiarizing Ms. Williams — I could just tell you about the book and provide you with a link. So here goes.

As a graphic designer and a self-proclaimed Mac geek I was already familiar with many aspects of typography that this style manual addresses when I became aware of it. But it was (and still is) a delightful read. Ms. Williams approach to writing about design and technology is entertaining as well as educational. She explains why using the typographic principles outlined in her book will help you create better documents. It’s easy to read and can be digested in convenient “helpings”.

My favorite tip — and my most frustrating pet peeve about text I receive to be put into a design — is “Use only one space after periods, colons, exclamation points, question marks, quotation marks — any punctuation that separates two sentences.” Ms. Williams goes on to explain why in compelling terms while bringing historical and technological context. It may be a hard habit to break, but your written words will look so much better.

It may no longer be in print, but it is still available new and used on Amazon and from the publisher, Peachpit. The tips in the book may be subtle, but they can make a big difference if you spend a lot of time writing for any kind of printed publication and even for the web.

Thanks for reading this week. If you have a copy of The Mac is Not a typewriter or get a copy, let me know in the comments what you think of the book. Maybe share your favorite tip.

New Mac Security Podcast

Greetings Mac users!

I recently started listening to a new podcast focused on Mac and iOS security called, The Checklist. It’s hosted by Ken Ray (of the daily Mac OS Ken podcast) with security geeks Nicholas Raba and Nicholas Ptacek of SecureMac, Inc  It’s been going for about seven weeks now and I thought some of you may be interested in the content. Each episode is fairly short (approximately 30 minutes), and covers a short, five-item checklist of security-related steps.

Even if your not a podcast listener, the content of each week’s list is freely available for you to read on the episode’s web page. Episodes that have aired so far cover these topics:

I am really enjoying the podcast and you might find some timely information for your daily Macintosh computing. A new episode comes out every Thursday.

Happy listening (or reading),