AppleSauce, February 2011 - South Australian Apple Users' Club

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AppleSauce, February 2011 - South Australian Apple Users' Club

Contents February 2011

AppleSauce this month 3

Peter Carter

Presidential keyboard 4

Grant Ward

Silicon 6

Word of the month

Nick Vandome: Mac OS X Snow Leopard 7

In the library...

Barrie Coppock

The inner workings of the Mac: Hands-on and

‘Hands off!’ 9

‘Your files will never be truly safe without a

backup’

Charles Martin

Piles of inkjet printers 12

What to do, what to do, what to do...

George Engel

A Mosaic screen saver 14

‘...something you never dreamed could take

place on your Mac’

Dudley Booth

Peering behind the Mac App Store counter 15

A new way of buying Mac software

Adam C Engst

User Interface conservatism versus liberalism 18

‘... the real problem... is that it reduces the

usability of the platform as a whole’

Adam C Engst

The view from BC 20

Travels with my iPad, iPad magazines, 10.6.6 and

all that...

Mike Millard

The Web page 22

URLs, URLs, and more URLs

Computing at Entropy House 24

‘The fine print...’ 28

Cover picture: Somewhere between Edithburgh and Glenelg on 3 February 1981

during the final leg of the first kayak crossing from Pt Lincoln to Adelaide.

Mt Lofty is faintly visible in the background. Pic by Peter Carter

South Australian Apple Users Club, PO Box 411 Glenside 5065

SAAUC’s database is maintained with FileMaker Pro


Prescript...

AppleSauce this month

Peter Carter

The first issue for 2011: the 21st century

seems to be passing rapidly. As with most

editions, much of the content has come from

elsewhere.

From TidBITS we have two items, the first

looking at Apple’s new Mac App Store. Patterned

on the existing iOS store, it promises

to make finding and obtaining software

easier, provided you have Mac OS X 10.6.6

or later. One side effect is the likely demise of

collections like the Disk of the Month that we

have been offering over the past year or so.

Nicholas Pyers, the man behind the scheme,

has been having server problems in recent

months, so the scheme may now be finished.

The other item from TidBITS is more philosophical,

considering compliance and noncompliance

with user interface guidelines.

From other user groups we have a short item

on a screensaver system built in to Mac OS

X, another surveying the important topic of

backing up, and a third examining the economics

of inkjet printers.

The regular features, including Mike’s perspective

from BC are here, and with this year

being the International Year of Chemistry

‘Word of the month’ looks at that element

important to electronics, silicon.

In local content, Barrie Coppock reviews one

of the new books in the library on Mac OS

X Snow Leopard. (and our treasurer Susan

Harrap recently bought some more new

books for the library, so there are more worth

reviewing.)

Another editor recently included this in an

editorial:

‘I had to dig in the dirt to get enough

material to fill this issue of the newsletter.

There’s not a lot of stuff out on the

’Net that one can just pull in and use in

a User Group newsletter — things like

copyright, suitability (get my drift?). And

I don’t want our newsletter to be just full

of reprints from Adam Engst’s excellent

publication TidBITS, even though they

are gracious enough to let user groups

freely reproduce their original material.

OK, I need new material. You can supply

that. Please send it to me!’

I can sympathise with that: I have exactly the

same problems. It’s all very well being able to

reprint TidBITS and other user group items,

but they are all accessible to you as they are

to me. If a club’s magazine is to reflect that

club then it must contain items from within.

I really would like to see commitment from

SAAUC members to contributing to Apple-

Sauce. It is your magazine.

Grant has participated in some

TDU-related rides of late, and that

suggested to me that I choose a front cover

picture from a kayaking expedition of 30

years ago, which, together with its preceding

Kangaroo Island circumnavigation, inspired

a number of others to go on expeditions of

their own. You can read about the circumnavigation

and crosing at .

In 1981 I had yet to buy an Apple (an Apple

][+), as I was still using a TRS-80 clone.

Other things have changed too. In those days

we had no direct communications while we

were at sea. When we needed a spare part I

had to be driven to a farmhouse with a telephone.

Today, I carry a mobile phone (in waterproof

case) and a marine VHF transceiver

and therefore have access to the world. With

a 3G WiFi device I even have Web access to

vital weather information. Then there is GPS.

Definitely changes for the better.

As Grant mentions, the Club AGM is on a

Saturday this year, 5 March, and not the usual

Friday. I have advised the committee that

I will not accept nomination to it this year

(after some 20 years off and on), but that I am

willing to continue as editor and webmaster.

It didn’t fit here, but there is a corrigendum

on page 11.

February 2011

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Contents


Presidential keyboard

Grant Ward

Welcome back to a new year. I can’t believe

how quickly the time has passed

since I wrote my December musings. I hope

everyone had a good break and maybe even

received some new ‘toys’ to play with. December

was sort of an expensive month for me

as I decided to buy myself some well earned

presents in the form of a new bike, an iPhone

and Garmin GPS for the bike (none of which I

regret spending the money on!).

After getting 24 years out of my previous bike

I thought it was time to treat myself to current

technology like indexed gears and 20

speed instead of 12, and get ready to participate

in my first Tour Downunder Community

Challenge Ride which I’ve always wanted to

do. Earlier last year I jumped back on the bike

and was enjoying it immensely after many

years of not riding due to a running injury

(and many of you would remember my ‘fail’

two years ago when I fell off my bike whilst

stationary and sustained a spiral fracture that

put me on crutches for about two months and

kept me off the bike for another year).

I thoroughly enjoyed being part of more than

7000 cyclists on the ride although it was a bit

crowded in the first 50 km and then again at

the finish in Strathalbyn. After 135 km I was

still feeling quite alive as you can hopefully

tell from the photo.

I’ve been playing around with some free GPS

applications for the iPhone and have found

EveryTrail to be quick, simple and effective

for logging tracks. Another one I tried is

Motion-X GPS Lite and although it is more

powerful, it does require more fiddling after

Just like our Apple devices, my new

bike is ‘Designed in California’ (Marin

County to be precise) and then

manufactured in Taiwan

recording to share the track

on the Web (unless you

Twitter or Facebook, which I

don’t). For anybody who is interested, I have

uploaded this ride to EveryTrail’s website and

it is available at .

From there you can also look at other rides

I’ve recorded, including the post TDU Public

Participation Ride organised by Phil Anderson

for the morning after the last day’s racing.

The Garmin GPS for the bike is a marvellous

piece of kit which I’m still learning all about

so consequently I haven’t uploaded the rides

as it saw them. It is pleasing to see that it is

now a Mac-friendly device but I have yet to

verify this is true. I recall many years ago

Peter Wiechmann had major issues trying to

get a Garmin GPS to talk to a Mac (even with

Virtual PC if I remember correctly).

Enough about my fun times, and onto Club

matters. The most important matter to mention

is the Annual General Meeting coming up

in March. In an effort to maximise attendance

and to make it possible for members who can

only come during daytime hours, we have

chosen to run the AGM on Saturday 5 March

rather than the night before which would

have been the expected date. There will be no

evening meeting that month, so please don’t

February 2011

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Contents


Presidential keyboard

travel to the hall the night before. We will

also be running a raffle on the day with some

awesome prizes. Since tickets will only be

available on the day, your chances of winning

are much higher, but you do have to be at the

AGM.

Talking raffles, it was a very pleasant surprise

to learn that one of our members received an

early Christmas present in the form of winning

one of the prizes in the AUSOM iPad

raffle that we were selling tickets for.

Over the Christmas break Mike Summers

has obtained a 3G/ADSL WiFi router and 3G

dongle which will be setup to provide a WiFi

hotspot for members’ use at meetings to allow

you to check mail, browse some Web pages,

use FaceTime, etc. from your iOS device, laptop

or any other WiFi capable device. Keep an

eye on googlegroups for information on how

to access this once we have it ready.

The Club has also taken up a double subscription

to Australian Macworld so there will be

two copies of this publication arriving in our

library collection every month.

It has also been a busy two months for Apple

software updates. I have downloaded over

2.7 GB of updates that have been released

since early December. The 10.6.6 Combo

update (which is needed if you wish to access

the new Mac App Store that was launched

earlier in January) is now over 1 GB so you

definitely can’t use a 1 GB flash disk any more

so it might be time to upgrade if you use this

facility. I recently saw a TV ad for a reputable

brand 8 GB flash device for less than $20 so

it shouldn’t be too costly to upgrade. There

is still no new Disc of the Month due to the

issues the producers are experiencing in uploading

the images.

Lastly, there has been a bit of interest in the

fact that Steve Jobs has taken medical leave

from Apple again and has handed the reins

over to the COO Tim Cook again. The share

market reacted as expected (negatively) but

what would they know. Tim kept the company

going very well previously in Steve’s absence.

Phil Anderson and myself after his

leisurely participation ride

February 2011

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Defining...

Silicon

Without silicon, and its properties as

a semiconductor, electronics would

be very different: one has only to think of

vacuum tube radios and the early computers

similarly based on vacuum tube technology.

After oxygen, silicon is the second most common

element in the earth’s crust, as a major

constituent of many minerals, the silicates.

As silicon dioxide crystals it even forms gemstones.

Pure crystals of silicon itself are rare.

As pure silicon, it is grey in colour, with a metallic

lustre. Like glass, it is strong, but brittle.

As a semiconductor, silicon’s electrical conductivity

is between that of a conductor (e.g.

a metal) and an insulator (e.g. glass), and

that conductivity can be varied by adding

other materials — dopants — into the crystal

structure, and by applying a voltage or other

source of energy (such as light to photovoltaic

cells).

Silicon for electronics use is reduced from

silica at some 1900° C in electric furnaces,

and the silicon is then purified by a number of

chemical methods. It can then be formed into

ingots by pulling a seed crystal from molten

silicon which has been ‘doped’ with other elements

such as boron or phosphorous to give

the desired characteristics.

Word of the month

Silicon and integrated circuit samples

The ingots are then sliced into wafers, on

which the circuitry is formed by a series of

process of deposition, etching, and so on. The

individual circuit units, the ‘microchips’ are

then separated, tested and packaged for use.

Silicon has many other uses. As silicon carbide

it is a common abrasive, and the element

is used in making various glasses, ceramics

and cements. Combined with oxygen, carbon

and hydrogen it forms synthetic plastics, the

silicones, with a wide range of uses.

Cross section of transistor

n = doped with phosphorus: excess of

electrons

p = doped with boron: excess of holes

(positive)

Images: Wikipedia

Emitter

14

Si

Silicon

28.0855

2

8

4

Left: Monocrystalline ingot

formed by lifting from

molten silicon

Below: Wafers, with

circuits ready to be separated

Base

Collector

February 2011

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Review...

In the library...

Nick Vandome: Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Barrie Coppock

Have you left a SAAUC meeting with a

couple of magic hints to solve a computing

‘how to’ problem or techniques to

make you more expert with certain software?

Turned into your driveway and hurried into

you home to apply it on your beloved Apple

computer? Now just what did they say to do?

Can’t quite remember! Didn’t have time to

write it all down trying to keep up with the

informative discussion! Why doesn’t it work

for me? Sound familiar?

Some of the more recently acquired books in

your SAAUC Library such as Mac OS X Snow

Leopard might be just the books for you to

borrow and peruse. They are concise ‘how to’

books suitable for the less experienced computer

operator with reminders to point them

in the right direction in using their computer

for a range of purposes. A little like a First

Primer to get started and enough information

to follow up by further questions or reference

to more detailed books such as the very

worthwhile The Missing Manual series also in

your Library.

Your Committee, conscious of the widely

varying skills, interests and expertise of Club

members, spends much time discussing

whether we have the appropriate focus on

subject matter and format of both the monthly

evening and day time meetings. Is the Club

meeting the needs of its members and what

can we do to ensure that it is? Part of those

discussions focused on the suitability and

range of books we have in the Library. It was

decided to increase both the number of books

and the range of expertise covered. So new

books have been purchased and our Librarian

Susan Harrap and Committee will welcome

feedback from members. Should you have

a particular interest which is not being met,

please let a Committee member know and we

will see if it can be addressed. On the other

hand, should you have a particular interest

and some experience in an aspect of computer

use that you feel might be beneficial to other

club members, please feel free to approach a

Committee member to offer assistance in this

regard. That would be greatly appreciated.

The title of Mac OS X Snow Leopard for this

book may be somewhat a misnomer. I have

not as yet installed OS 10.6 Snow Leopard

on my iMac which has OS 10.5.8 Leopard

installed and before so doing decided to read

the book for potential help. Really, the book

is more about using OS X more generally, but

inclusive of 10.6 Snow Leopard. There is an

interesting introduction to OS X and its environment

with a brief explanation of Unix and

the Aqua Interface of OS X. Many of us are

not familiar with this background information.

The book then proceeds to explain much

about how to actually use your computer

in easy to follow, well illustrated steps. The

basics are very well presented.

Now each of us has a mainstream use for our

computers such as photographics, music and

movies. Indeed this will nowadays for some

increasingly include iPods, iPhones and iPads.

February 2011

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Nick Vandome: Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Some of us still use computers for office work,

correspondence, spreadsheets and databases!

The book proceeds to introduce software applications

for these uses with the exception of

iPad (otherwise in the Library).

Mac OS X Snow Leopard has 10 sections:

Section 1 Introducing Snow Leopard

Contains an introduction to OS X, its environment

and installing it with other helpful

basic information including shutting down.

Section 2 Getting Up and Running

Introduces the Dock, Trash, System Preferences,

organising Desktop items and ejecting

them

Section 3 Finder

Using the Finder effectively, Toolbars,

Searching and working with windows and

folders.

Section 4 Digital Lifestyle

Covers iPhoto, iTunes, iPod,iMovie, iDVD

and Garage Band.

Section 5 Getting Productive

Looks at, among others, Dashboard, Spotlight

Search, Address Book, iCal, Preview

and iWork. There is an introduction to OS

X Applications and Utilities, Printing and

creating PDF documents.

Section 6 Internet and E-mail

Provides valuable guidance to this digital

world sometimes intimidating to the novice.

Further assistance from a more experienced

member or your ISP may be required. Deals

with Safari, Mail and iChat.

Section 7 Using MobileMe

My perception is that few members use this

facility but for those who do or would like

to, this section should be helpful.

Section 8 Sharing OS X

Is about adding, deleting and switching

Users, User accounts and family controls

within User accounts. There is a brief reference

to sharing OS X with Windows Users.

Section 9 Advanced Features

For the more advanced user this covers

AppleScript, writing and using scripts, Automator

and Networking.

Section 10 Maintaining OS X

Reminds us of the importance of a robust

maintenance regime, starting with the

backup program Time Machine. It ventures

into Disk Utility, System Profiler, updating

software and restoring preferences before

addressing problems with programs and

general troubleshooting.

To upgrade?

The big advantage of this sort of quick

reference book is just that. Quick reference!

Reminder style information is readily to

hand to set you in the right direction. The

more advanced usage does require more

background expertise and understanding but

the basics are still there to start your process.

So where does this leave me to install Snow

Leopard? Taking advice from the more expert

members of the Club, I shall upgrade as

much as sensibly possible in Leopard from

the Updates Machine, back up to my external

hard drive, burn a DVD of my iPhoto libraries

and then follow the process recommended

by these gurus very carefully to minimise the

fear and trepidation I have in installing a new

operating system. This support is a major

reason I joined SAAUC!

Mac OS X Snow Leopard is #303 in the

Library. The In Easy Steps website is at

.

February 2011

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Maintenance...

‘Your files will never be truly safe without a backup’

The inner workings of the Mac: Hands-on and ‘Hands off!’

Charles Martin

At a recent VMUG Novice and iSIG meeting,

we talked mostly about how to protect

your Mac investment and maintain it as

well. I thought some of those points might be

useful to the larger audience here.

Macs are relatively expensive machines, and

like most other expensive machines require

a modicum of maintenance. Many users get

the impression that they need to do very little

or nothing in this regard: until a crisis occurs

and data is lost. That’s a mistaken impression,

but likewise you don’t have to make ‘running

the ship’ your full-time job as you do on a PC

either. As the old ad says, “a little dab’ll do

ya.”

Here are Rules 1 to 3 of Basic Mac Maintenance:

Backup! Backup! Backup! I really cannot

stress this enough. l know we all think of

our Macs as very reliable, and they generally

are. But hard drives (which is where your data

is actually stored) are exactly like lightbulbs

in terms of their life expectancy: they will

probably last years, but they could fail at any

time. The inside of a hard drive is made up

of many fragile, moving parts, some of which

spin at speeds that rival the inner workings of

your automobile. They are sensitive to dust,

to age, to static, to shock. They generate heat

and vibration. Your files will never be truly

safe without a backup.

If you are using a Mac running 10.5 or later,

you have an automatic backup system built

in called Time Machine. Simply attach a large

external hard drive (which are ridiculously

cheap these days) to your Mac and Time Machine

will take care of the rest. After initially

copying over everything on your Mac`s hard

drive, it will update that backup every hour

that the external drive is on and mounted.

If you need to take the machine away for a

while, no problem: it will automatically resume

when you return. Apple also sells a

combination hard drive and wireless router

called a Time Capsule that makes this automatic

backup wireless and invisible: until you

need it. Time Machine really excels both at

recovering individual files that are ‘lost’ (accidentally

thrown away or otherwise) as well

as doing full recoveries in the event of hard

drive failure.

For people on earlier systems or who would

like additional protection, there are clone

programs that add the advantage of creating

bootable backups (meaning you could start

up from the external hard drive if you had a

problem), something Time Machine doesn’t

offer. The main programs used for this are

Carbon Copy Cloner (donationware) and

SuperDuper! ($US32). They both do pretty

much the same thing: some people tell me

they prefer SuperDuper’s interface. There are

free versions of each so you can try them out

yourself, and decide which one you prefer.

But what about keeping the Mac running

smoothly beyond just backing up? what can

we do to prevent hard drive or other mechanical

problems in the first place?

February 2011

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Apple


The inner workings of the Mac: Hands-on and ‘Hands off!’

Again. you don’t really need to do much, but

what little you need to do, you really should

do. The first thing I like to tell people to help

keep the Mac running smoothly is to avoid

letting the hard drive get too full. Over the

years, I have found that Mac OS X likes to

have lots of ‘temporary’ free space available

for various purposes. Two of the biggest are

‘virtual RAM’ (for when you run out of real

operating RAM), and burning CDs and DVDs.

Both of these require large swaths of open

space on the hard drive, so my guidance is

simple: keep at least 12 GB of space free on

your computer’s hard drive at all times (caveat:

super-power-users and Mac Pro owners

with really large amounts of RAM should

keep even more free space available).

You may have heard rules like ‘keep 20% of

your hard drive free’ and such, but that’s excessive

(and starts to get ridiculous as today’s

hard drives get larger). The key here is to

make sure you manage your files a little bit. If

you are bumping up against that limit routinely

(as I am), you either need a larger hard

drive or you need to start thinking about how

to offload some of the less accessed stuff so

that the machine can run efficiently.

For example, I now have a very large 60 GB

photo library (thanks, Camera SIG!). Do I really

need to have every photo I’ve taken since

2005 on my laptop? Well, no. I should split

the library up (perhaps by year) into smaller

ones, the older of which can go on (a second)

external ‘media’ type drive. This is also a good

place for large movie projects, extra iTunes

libraries, and TV shows I’ve bought and will

watch later.

The other main advice I can offer is that every

so often (this interval will be set by you and

your usage patterns), you should run a utility

program to help the OS maintain itself. Mac

OS X actually does a lot of the work automatically

but, just like a boat in the water, use and

time make for ‘barnacles’.

Disk Utility (included on your Mac) has a

facility called Repair Disk Permissions, and if

you do nothing else you should run this every

few weeks or months. If you have a bootable

backup or your original Restore DVD (or a

retail OS DVD), you can boot from that and

run Disk Utility from there, which also allows

you to Repair the Disk (meaning the directory).

This helps prevent minor issues (which

happen all the time and are perfectly normal)

from becoming major ones. To continue the

car analogy, think of this as a ‘tune up’.

Going beyond that, there’s a much recommended

third-party utility called OnyX and

another one from the same company called

simply Maintenance. Both are free, the former

is merely a more complex version of the

latter. Versions are available for almost every

past version of Mac OS X. It will not only repair

disk permissions but also make sure the

other little ‘self-maintenance’ jobs the Mac

does itself are done correctly. It even goes

beyond that to do some ‘extra’ maintenance

that helps keep things from building up into

issues. I like to think of OnyX/Maintenance

as being like an oil change, which also helps

me to remember how often I should do it:

every few weeks or months depending on my

usage of the computer.

There are other programs out there that claim

to do the same thing as Onyx/Maintenance,

but these are the ones I know best. Last tip:

every couple of years, Apple tends to release

a major new version of OS X. Since I have a

bootable backup of my hard drive (as well

as a Time Machine backup), I take this opportunity

to do what mechanic might call a

‘full flush’: I update my backup right to the

moment, boot from the backup, and erase my

original hard drive (and by this I mean I zero

it out, an option that takes a couple of hours),

then restore from my backup. PC users would

call this a ‘major defragging’. I encourage

novices to use caution (or a professional Mac

consultant or tech) to do this the first time

so you fully understand what is going on.

It really puts the zip back into a hard drive,

locks off any ‘bad’ sectors and generally puts

everything back in its proper order. The effect

doesn’t last, of course, but every year or two

I find it to be a good thing to do, particularly

when you’re doing a major update anyway.

February 2011

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The inner workings of the Mac: Hands-on and ‘Hands off!’

So remember these simple rules:

1 Back up. Do it whichever way, however often

you prefer, but do it. Once you have set

it up, it should be automatic so as to make

sure it is always done.

2 Always keep at least 12 GB or more free

space on your computer’s boot drive.

3 Run Disk Utility and/or the third-party

utility of your choice every so often (at least

three or four times a year is recommended).

4 (Optional) Erasing the hard drive and

restoring from a backup can make OS upgrades

extra efficient and keep your Mac’s

hard drive operating at peak. Hard drives

should be considered eligible for upgrade

or replacement every few years to be on the

safe side (this is normally about as often as

you replace the computer so for most it will

be a non-issue).

Links

Apple Web page about Time Machine:

Corrigendum

Office 2011? Nyet!

Mike Millard

A corrigendum to the prescript to the

December issue of AppleSauce:

Peter mentioned that I have installed

MS Office 2011 for Mac recently. Not the

case, actually. I have Office 2008, and

only use that when necessary (which is

quite rarely). I find I can do pretty well

everything I need to using iWork ’09’s

Pages (including creating each issue of

the ApplesBC club newsletter).

And I second Peter’s contention — elsewhere

in the newsletter — that TextEdit

is a very capable word-processor in

its own right. (Except that since Day 1

TextEdit has never let you

change the bloody margin width — they

can be any width, as long as it’s one

inch! )

SuperDuper!:

Carbon Copy Cloner:

There is always space in AppleSauce

for your contribution

OnyX/Maintenance:

Charles Martin is Program Director of

the Victoria Macintosh User Group in BC,

Canada:

February 2011

AppleSauce Page 11

Contents


Economics...

Piles of inkjet printers

George Engel

While I was looking for some Christmas

ornaments in my utility shed the other

day, I kept moving around my three almostnew

empty Epson and Canon Inket Printers.

In the house we have three more inkjet printers

that I rarely use anymore. I have one on

my rarely-used PC, one on my Mac tower and

one on Arlene’s iMac. Then there’s the Canon

Selphy, my 4×6 color inkjet printer, along

with the two dozen packs of ‘Premium Glossy

Photo Paper’ under the desk, gathering dust.

All of this equipment hardly being used anymore.

Why is that?

It appears that the three inkjet printers in

the shed ran out of ink, and the cost of a set

of inkjet cartridges for the Epson printer ran

about $US56.00 for a set of six cartridges at

Best Buy and Staples. Fortunately for me, I

replaced the whole Epson printer, with a full

set of cartridges for only $US49 at Wal-Mart.

The next time, I replaced that printer for only

$US39 on sale, again with a full set of inkjet

cartridges. It happened again with my Canon

printer, same scenario. As it happens, I put

the older printers in the shed, taking out the

empty cartridges to Staples for two dollars

each. That’s a twelve dollars return I used

when I bought the new printer. That meant

What to do, what to do, what to do...

only $US27 after my ink cartridge rebate.

Whoa! All of this and I get a one-year warranty

besides? Today’s peek at Wal-Mart shows

me a Canon Pixma MP250 for just $US32.00,

with cartridges! So short-term, it’s cheaper

to just deep-six your old/new printer when

it runs out of ink? It appears so, and there’s

something wrong with that!

Second, the cost of my glossy inkjet paper

is prohibitive, priced from ten dollars to

$US19.95 for 20 sheets, depending on sales

and where you shop. So, figuring on the varying

cost of paper and the non-varying cost of

ink, my 8×10 color photos costs me around

seventy cents to a dollar apiece. And, I have

around 20 packs of paper just sitting there,

looking up at me.

For a professional, who works in the field and

gets paid for their work, this is the cost of doing

business. But for the home consumer, this

can get to be an expensive hobby.

What really brought this to a head was a recent

14-day cruise trip we made to Portugal,

London, etc, where I took in the neighborhood

of 3,600 pictures, all in high resolution

of course. After I threw away around 1,500

of them (duplicates, etc) That’s still around

2,000 pictures. You want how many printed

copies of the trip? I

don’t think so! Sending

that many prints out,

I’d have to take out a

second mortgage.

The answer for me

of course, was to use

SAMs or CostCo for

printing out my photos.

My 200 final 5×7s for

the Scrapbook costs

were pretty cheap, as low as twelve cents

apiece, with a two day wait time. Being an

average Mac User, and not a professional,

this is what I do now, so my color printers

just mostly gather dust, except for that really

special photo or my friends’ request.

I can hear your next question coming... ‘But

what do you do for all your black and white

printing?’ Actually, it’s all my black printing,

but who’s quibbling over semantics? After

running the numbers through my feeble

brain time and again, I finally bought myself

a Brother HL-2040 laser printer on sale for

$US79.00 (retailed around $US119.00.) Later

that year on Black Friday I bought another for

a neighbor for $US49 (with toner cartridge)

at Best Buy. The next year I gave my HL‐2040

February 2011

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Piles of inkjet printers

Brother

to my wife for her iMac and I bought a Brother

HL-2170W (wireless) for myself. At under

$US100 on sale! We get around 3,000 copies

or more on each toner cartridge using the

draft mode. I use the wireless printer for my

Mac Tower, my PC and the iMac, and Arlene

can still print to both printers, since her printer

is hard-wired and she has wireless on her

iMac. (Just received a Best Buy flyer in the

mail with a Brother HL-2270 Wireless Laser

Printer for $US99.99 and a HL-2230 Nonwireless

for $US69.99 on Dec 22 2010)

For the average consumer, that toner cartridge

can last you somewhere between a year

or two, and the cost of another toner cartridge

online is around $US21 from Amazon and

$US60 retail at Staples. Guess where I get

mine?

Financially, my switch from inkjet to laser

printer was the best decision I could make for

my printing needs. My color printing is now

fewer and far between since I use SAMs or

CostCo for color printing. All my color photos

are burned to CDs or DVDs for friends and

family and shipped out that way. They print

what they want. I have relatively few hard

copies now. If I have a special request or need

for that extra special touch, I’d go to a professional

printer for that.

Lastly, I mean no offense to all you good professionals

out there, but for the average home

consumer in this tight economy, inkjet printers

are an unwelcome and financial burden.

I’d rather save my money for an iPad. For me,

today’s economical monochrome laser printers

are real money-savers!

But then again, that’s just my opinion! (Anybody

need an empty inkjet printer?)

Lakeland (FL) Mac User Group:

Where ink jets

belong

Image snarfed from Pharyngula, , after PZ

snarfed it from somewhere else

February 2011

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Idling...

A Mosaic screen saver

Dudley Booth

Now you can have an ever-changing

Mosaic as a screen-saver on your Mac

Desktop. (I am using OS X 10.6.5 on my desktop;

I don’t know if it works in Leopard or

Tiger.) Windows users can only salivate when

they see this :-)! This is quite clever and may

fascinate you for hours.

First go to System Preferences. Next, click

on the Energy Saver and move the sliders for

Computer Sleep and Display Sleep to somewhere

round fifteen minutes. This will allow

the Mosaic to get running and not interrupt

too soon when the scenes begin to look interesting.

Now click on Desktop and Screen Saver. With

this panel open, click on the Screen Saver

button. The usual thing is to have the Screen

Saver come on after about five minutes of in-

‘...something you never dreamed could take place on your Mac’

activity, so set it to five minutes (although for

this exercise the duration isn’t too important).

Hopefully you have a large collection of photos

on your Mac, the more the better as you

will soon see. (You’ll need 100 images for

this to work – Ed) In the list of image files

on the left of the image panel, click on a file

that contains your photos — your iPhoto file is

ideal. (Do not click on any of the abstract pattern

folders that are included with all Macs or

you will not see anything very interesting. We

only want to have your personal photos in the

Mosaic.)

Directly below the files list window panel are

two check boxes: Use random screen saver

and Show with clock. Be sure both these

boxes are not checked. Below the image window

panel are three small boxes described as

Display Styles. Click on the right hand button,

which is the Mosaic button. There may be a

bit of a delay the first time you try this as your

Mac has to analyze your photos to know how

to make them fit the mosaic.

You may soon see the photo window panel

changing to the mosaic design, but be patient

as it can take about thirty seconds to get

started. As soon as you see the mosaic begin

click on the Test button and the changing

mosaic will slowly fill your computer screen

with something you never dreamed could

take place on your Mac. All of your photos

will become a patchwork quilt that dissolves

to create a new and ever-changing picture. I

guarantee your eyes will stay glued to your

Mac screen for hours.

Have fun!

February 2011

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Review...

A new way of buying Mac software

Peering behind the Mac App Store counter

Adam C Engst

Citing over 1,000 apps at launch, Apple

has thrown back the curtains on the Mac

App Store, releasing it as the primary aspect

of the Mac OS X 10.6.6 update. Like the iOS

App Store, the Mac App Store presents an

easily parsed interface for finding and viewing

information about apps: .

A single click purchases a paid app (or gets

a free app), causing its icon to fly into your

Dock and show a progress bar while the app

downloads to your Applications folder. All

downloaded apps add their icons to your

Dock, but you can of course drag their icons

off. Looking forward, the App Store app on

your Mac will provide updates as they’re approved

by Apple.

Apple has announced that the Mac App Store

served over 1 million downloads in its first

day: the numbers have undoubtedly continued

to climb, and I expect we’ll see more

crowing from Apple as the Mac App Store

achieves future milestones.

Look, feel, shop

Although the public face of the Mac App Store

is a small application called App Store, Apple

did integrate the Mac App Store deeply into

Mac OS X. Along with the animation that

causes icons of purchased apps to fly into

the Dock and show an animated download

progress bar, there’s a new App Store menu

item in the Apple menu, and the dialog that

appears when you double-click an unknown

document type offers to let you search the

Mac App Store. There are also various new

frameworks and internal OS support for developers.

The App Store application itself is essentially

a Web browser, displaying the Mac App Store

interface just as iTunes displays the iTunes

Apple

Store and App Store for iOS devices. That

makes sense, of course, since the Mac App

Store will change constantly, but what’s unfortunate

is that it’s a mediocre Web browser,

offering only Back, Forward, and Search

controls, along with five hard-coded buttons

(and associated menu items, but no keyboard

shortcuts) for Featured, Top Charts, Categories,

Purchases, and Updates. Wouldn’t it be

nice to have tabbed browsing, though, so you

could Command-click multiple items in the

Mac App Store to open them in separate tabs,

and then flip back and forth quickly to compare?

February 2011

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Peering behind the Mac App Store counter

You can, in fact, see all the information about

an app via the Web, on the Mac App Store

Preview Web site (shown below displaying

Things). But you can’t see any of the lists of

featured apps, app categories, or the like via

the Mac App Store Preview site, so it’s mostly

useful because it makes the Mac App Store

searchable by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other

search engines.

I do have two minor gripes. First, couldn’t

Apple have come up with an icon for the App

Store application that wasn’t round and blue?

It’s difficult enough to distinguish between

Safari, iTunes, and iChat, and with a few

more similarly badged programs installed,

the Command-Tab application switcher becomes

downright confusing. Second, would it

have killed Apple to call the Mac App Store’s

application ‘Mac App Store’, rather than just

‘App Store’? Now we have the Mac App Store

with the App Store application, and the App

Store (which is for iOS apps, remember) with

the App Store app. Sure, it makes sense when

you’re looking at any given instance, but it’s

hard to talk about clearly.

Existing Apps

Sowhat happens if you

already own a copy of an

app in the Mac App Store?

One of two things. First,

if the version of the application

on your hard disk

matches the version of the

app in the Mac App Store

exactly, the button showing

the price will instead

read ‘Installed’, and you won’t be able to buy

it. That makes sense, since Apple doesn’t want

the customer service load of people accidentally

buying applications they already own.

Applications that fell into this category for me

included BBEdit, Transmit, and Things, along

with Keynote, Pages, and Numbers from

iWork ’09.

Unfortunately, the side effect of this is that

developers are now hearing from existing customers

who think an Installed badge means

the application is fully integrated with the

Mac App Store, which isn’t true. For instance,

you can’t rate an application you bought

outside of the Mac App Store, which seems

like an oversight Apple should fix: if you own

an app, you should be able to rate it. More

notably, what won’t be happening, according

to a number of developers I talked with

on Twitter, is that previously installed and

subsequently recognised apps will not seen as

purchased by the App Store application, and

thus won’t be eligible for updates through the

Mac App Store.

More common will be the situation of having

an older version of an application on your

hard disk than is in the Mac App Store, since

many developers will have created updates

specifically for the Mac App Store. I own

Fetch 5.6, but the version that Jim Matthews

of Fetch Softworks submitted to the Mac App

Store identifies itself as 5.6.3, and thus isn’t

identified as being installed.

February 2011

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Peering behind the Mac App Store counter

In that situation, you can still purchase the

application (or download it, if it’s free), and

it will silently replace the existing file in your

Applications folder. I verified this by downloading

the free Garmin Training Center app

and watching it replace my older version.

With free apps, this is probably desirable,

since now the Mac App Store will manage

updates for Garmin Training Center for me.

With paid apps, though, you’ll want to be

careful to avoid buying what you already own.

If you have questions about how the Mac

App Store relates to existing applications,

give Macworld’s FAQ a look — it covers all

the basics: .

Pricing and speculation

Many iOS apps are priced at $US0.99 or

$US1.99, and although some iOS apps have

aimed for higher price points, there has been

much discussion about whether the App Store

has driven prices so low that only extremely

popular apps can sell enough to cover development

costs.

That same concern has been floated with

regard to the Mac App Store, but some initial

analysis by Richard Gaywood for TUAW

would seem to show that a large percentage

of apps are priced between $US10 and

$US50, matching their existing price points

outside the Mac App Store. Less common are

apps priced above $US50, and even fewer are

priced above $US100, also matching existing

pricing structures. Instead, the other large

chunk of apps is priced under $US5: lots of

those are games ported from iOS.

Although many long-time Mac developers are

jumping into the Mac App Store (the oldest

app there would appear to be Fetch, which

first shipped in 1989, followed by BBEdit,

PCalc, and StuffIt Expander in 1992), most

appear to be doing so with justified caution.

There are exceptions: the Pixelmator team

has announced that it will be moving all sales

and distribution there in the next few months,

and Sophiestication’s CoverSutra is now available

solely through the Mac App Store. And

I’m sure that many iOS developers see the

Mac App Store as an extension of what they’re

already doing in the iOS App Store, and see

no reason to establish their own online store.

There’s no question that the Mac App Store

offers significant benefits to users and developers

alike, including improved discovery

of new apps, easy installation, automatic

updates, re-downloads when setting up new

Macs, and elimination of serial numbers. And

unlike the iOS App Store, developers aren’t

locked into it, so there will be much less consternation

over Apple’s approval policies.

But downsides remain, beyond the 30-percent

transaction fee that Apple takes. Most

concerning to developers is that Apple owns

all the customers, so as a developer, you have

no connection with the people who have

purchased your product. That’s a concern for

marketing in the future, of course, but it will

also make product support more difficult. Expect

to see a lot of apps in the Mac App Store

asking you to register with the company in

some form or fashion. There’s also currently

no way to provide discounted upgrade pricing

for major new releases, something that’s

standard in the software world.

And of course, many useful and popular applications

can’t be sold through the Mac App

Store at all because of Apple’s restrictions.

Apple won’t accept apps that install resources

into the OS (the version of BBEdit available

from the Mac App Store doesn’t install command-line

tools, for instance), or that need to

run as the root user (like the backup program

SuperDuper or the firewall software Little

Snitch). Apple’s restrictions also eliminate

all system preference panes, screen savers,

and other utilities that aren’t implemented as

standard applications.

Despite these problems, I think the Mac App

Store is a good thing, and I believe it will become

the primary way that Mac users acquire

standard Mac applications. That’s in large

part because Apple’s Mac sales are way out of

proportion to the sales of any Mac developers

I know: it’s clear that most Mac purchasers

simply aren’t buying software. But the success

of the iOS App Store shows that vast numbers

of people will buy when Apple reduces friction

in the process. In the end, the Mac App Store

is grease for software sales.

February 2011

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Musings...

‘... the real problem... is that it reduces the usability of the platform as a whole’

User Interface conservatism versus liberalism

Adam C Engst

John Gruber, who puts a lot of thought into

small things, has posted on Daring Fireball

an excellent discussion of user interface

conservatism versus liberalism. He writes

:

There’s a conservative/liberal sort of fork

in UI design, in the sense of traditional/

non-traditional. The conservatives see

non-standard custom UI elements as

wrong. Liberals see an app built using

nothing other than standard system UI

elements as boring, old-fashioned, stodgy.

This has been on my mind of late as well, and

the highly liberal interfaces of the App Store

application and the new Twitter application

bring them to the forefront (Tim Morgan

pores over the details in his blog: ).

What has happened to the Apple Computer

of the past, with its vaunted Human Interface

Guidelines?

Well, things have changed, as Gruber points

out, and Apple itself has become a UI liberal

over the history of Mac OS X. The Finder,

iTunes, iPhoto, Safari: they’ve all served

as UI experiments for Apple, although it’s

hard to see the experiments being coordinated,

given how different those applications

are. The screenshot above is a joke,

by the way. Apple does still publish Human

Interface Guidelines for Mac OS X and for

iOS: ,

.

The

question is, are they being followed?

The problem with UI liberalism is not that it

necessarily makes for bad interfaces. On the

contrary, there are some very good interfaces

that provide new and innovative ways of interacting

with virtual tools. And the problem

with UI liberalism is not even that it’s easier

to create a bad interface, though that is certainly

true, since a UI conservative can create

a decent interface merely by slavishly following

the rules and relying on standard controls.

No, the real problem with UI liberalism is

that it reduces the usability of the platform as

a whole. That’s of little concern to the individual

developer, who just wants her app to

stand out, but it is — or at least it should be —

of concern to Apple, whose platform becomes

harder to use with every app that reinvents

the steering wheel.

February 2011

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User Interface conservatism versus liberalism

To be fair, platform usability is less of a

problem in iOS than it is in Mac OS X. Users

interact with only a single app at a time,

enabling mental models to swap with app

switches. And the dictates of the small screens

often override what would be ideal in a larger

space: let’s hope that explains the hidden

Search field in Apple’s iBooks app, which can

be found only by being told about it or exploring

the app like a video game. Plus, as I’ve

said before, the magic of iOS devices is that

they become the app that’s running, so it’s

less disconcerting when each app’s interface

looks radically different. And finally, because

most iOS apps are quite simple and used for

short durations, unusual interfaces don’t

radically increase the learning curve or reduce

productivity.

But on the Mac, platform usability is a big

deal. To start, many of us use multiple applications

simultaneously, viewing both on

the same screen and switching back and forth

with merely a click. Even more important is

the fact that Mac applications work together:

you expect to move data from one application

to another seamlessly, whether by copy-andpaste

or built-in mechanisms like Apple’s

Data Detectors. The more you use applications

in concert — and many of us spend our

entire days at our Macs — the more you benefit

from the consistent user interfaces designed

by UI conservatives. And when applications

rely on consistent user interfaces, they

become easier to learn as well, which translates

directly to the bottom line when we’re

talking about productivity applications.

For better or worse, though, UI liberalism

would seem to have the upper hand within

Apple, with iOS developers, and, increasingly,

with Mac developers. Apple’s full-screen

interface for iPhoto ’11, for instance, may or

may not be a good interface on its own, but

it makes iPhoto ’11 harder to use for anyone

who has experience with previous versions of

the program, not the least because now there

are two largely distinct interfaces for the program,

each with its own pros and cons. And

until Mac OS X Lion ships with Mission Control,

switching from iPhoto ’11 in full-screen

mode to another app causes iPhoto to drop

out of full-screen mode, making it even more

frustrating to move back and forth.

Who knew that Kai Krause, with his

alien-inspired interfaces for Kai’s Power

Tools, , was merely a few

decades ahead of his time?

February 2011

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Musings...

The view from BC

Mike Millard

Travels with my iPad: Chapter 94.2

General Use: I feel I got good use out of

the iPad when we went away for Christmas.

(This was three days on Vancouver Island,

near Parksville, staying with other family

members in a holiday condo.) Our Honda

CR-V has an ‘iPod input’, which got used for

the first time: we listened to Christmas music

through the car’s audio system while driving,

which sounded very good. The condos all have

WiFi access, so we made Skype phone calls

to my siblings in Australia (gathered at our

sister’s place in Wagga Wagga) and to other

rellies in Edmonton. And it was a great way

to check on the BC Ferries website, , to see how busy things

were for coming home! (It’s a 90-minute ride

on a car ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo,

on Vancouver Island. At Christmas, things get

very crowded, so making a reservation, often

weeks ahead, is a wise thing to do! I read

somewhere that the ferry to Kangaroo Island

costs much more for a given distance and

run time.)

AirPrint: Printopia is a widely-commended

Mac OS X app that allows printing to a networked

printer from an iOS device. (You install

it on one Mac on the network: the printer

Travels with my iPad, iPad magazines, 10.6.6 and all that...

can be connected to any Mac on the network

from which the printer is shared, or to the

USB port on an Airport Express router. It

gives you a seven-day free trial before deactivating

itself.) It does work, quite nicely, with

limitations...

Printopia: At time of writing (beginning of

January), it is at v1.0.4, the version I tried.

In an iOS app that allows printing, your

networked printers should show up in it:

just select the one you want to use. For my

Canon inkjet, I could specify printing on A4

or photographic (4x6) paper, how many copies

I wanted and even duplex printing. This

worked consistently.

Limitations: I wasn’t surprised that they

could not offer me the full gamut of options

one has in the regular OS X Print dialogue

box: I’m sure that will come in good time.

To print, the Mac on which Printopia is installed

must be logged into the user account

into which the machine was logged to install

the program: if you log into another account,

Printopia won’t work! (That’s the main

‘Ooops!’ I’ve found with it.)

AirPlay: This works very nicely. I have a

small stereo system plugged into the Audio

Out on the Airport Express, and play music

from my iTunes library through that. From

the iPad, it seems like anything coming out of

the iPad speaker can be redirected via AirPlay

to a set-up like mine and play it. (I have a free

app that lets me ‘tune in’ to almost any CBC

Radio stream and listen to it via AirPlay.)

A Radio App: The CBC here in Canada has

a free iApp that does a lot very well: . You can ‘tune

in’ to any of its three English-language networks

if you can get a WiFi connection. The

network has broadcast units in all capital

cities and several smaller centres all over the

February 2011

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The view from BC

country. In Vancouver —

or in Adelaide, for that

matter — I can hear what

is being broadcast from

the studios in Inuvik, a

small town way up north

on the Arctic coast! I’ve

looked, but the ABC

doesn’t seem to offer

anything comparable.

There is a paid app called

‘Home Radio Australia’ that, they say, gives

you “all ABC stations”.

iPad magazine subscriptions

Since the iPad was announced a year ago,

many magazines said they would publish

editions tailored for viewing on an iPad.

Initially, many copies sold, but more recently

the number has fallen noticeably. Perhaps we

need more time to see if circulation flattens

out over the longer term.

There have been rumours that News Limited

is working on a tablet-only daily newspaper,

dubbed The Daily, to be launched in mid-

January.

10.6.6 and All That

On 6 January Apple released the Mac OS X

10.6.6 update for Snow Leopard, and with it

the ability to get into the new Mac App Store.

I installed it a couple of days later on my iMac

with no apparent glitches: so far... And thus

came the Mac App Store, which opened its

doors around 09:00 North American Eastern

Standard Time the same day, offering

wares both gratis and at cost for Mac

OS X.

The App Store — that’s all it’s

called — has products from both Apple

and third-party developers. To get

into it you must run an app named

‘App Store’. This comes with the 10.6.6

update, or in Software Update if you

are running any version of Snow Leopard:

the 10.6.6 update puts its icon into

your Dock automatically. Your existing

Apple account, for Mobile Me or the

iTunes Store, is used to charge for purchases,

or you must set one up.

Click on the icon for an app to see more

details about it. A tag shows its price,

or ‘Free’, or ‘Installed’ if it detects it is

already on your system. (It will usually

detect an app you already have,

acquired pre-App Store, but not in all

cases!) Clicking on the price tag starts a

download to your Mac: when that is complete,

the app is installed automatically and an icon

for it is placed in your Dock. Apps already installed

are checked to see if there are updates

for them: in the Updates section of the Store

app, you can click to get those updates. You

are allowed to re-download an app if it gets

lost or damaged on your machine. App details

are displayed in various sequences but not by

name: I found it a bit of a mess :-).

At this stage, the existing Apple Online Store

remains, so you can continue to buy prod-

ucts ‘in a box’. That’s why Apple’s Aperture

costs $US199.99 from the Online Store, but

the download from the App Store costs only

$US79.99. It will be interesting to see how

many ‘big’ apps like those from Adobe and

Microsoft are offered from the App Store.

Some, like Mac OS X, may be just too big to

be downloaded feasibly.

In closing...

Please drop me a line if you have any comments

or questions on this article: . Thanks.

February 2011

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Links...

The Web page

Every year has one or more themes. This

year is the Year of the Solar System, exploring

our neighbourhood in the Universe.

NASA’s portal page is at :

‘There are a lot of solar system space

missions coming up, plus — as always — a

plethora of astronomical events taking

place, so NASA has decided to declare the

“Year of the Solar System” (YSS). But this

year is so big, it won’t fit into an Earth

year — however, a Martian year just about

covers it, so from now until August, 2012

we’re celebrating.

‘“During YSS, we’ll see triple the usual

number of launches, flybys and orbital

insertions,” said Jim Green, the director

of Planetary Science at NASA headquarters.

“There hasn’t been anything quite

like it in the history of the Space Age.

History will remember the period Oct.

2010 through Aug. 2012 as a golden age of

planetary exploration.”’

It’s also the International Year of Chemistry:

‘The General Assembly of the United Nations

has adopted a resolution proclaimed

2011 as International Year of Chemistry,

with UNESCO and the International

URLs, URLs, and more URLs

Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

(IUPAC) at the helm of the event.

2011 is the 100th anniversary of the Nobel

Prize in Chemistry awarded to Marie

Curie. So the IYC will provide an opportunity

to celebrate contributions of women

scientists. The general goals are:

‘“to increase public appreciation of chemistry

in meeting world needs, to encourage

interest in chemistry among young

people, and to generate enthusiasm for

the creative future of chemistry.”’

See for details.

The Noun Project has, as its mission, ‘sharing,

celebrating and enhancing the world’s visual

language’. It ‘collects, organizes and adds

to the highly recognizable symbols that form

the world’s visual language, so we may share

them in a fun and meaningful way.’

See the growing collection at .

Choosing a digital camera has been the

topic in a number of articles in these pages.

Here’s another view of it:

‘What is the ideal camera for the person

who... well, you know...

‘The person who never seems to be able to

operate, or be happy with, these modern

digital cameras. The person who more

often says “Oh, I’m so upset, I couldn’t

get a picture of that because this damn

camera never works right” or the person

who goes to take a shot but then quietly

puts the camera away realizing it’s full

and remembering that one does not quite

know what one does when the camera is

full. And so on.’

Read Greg Laden’s view at .

February 2011

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The Web page

There are many collections of quotes

from various people, and computing is a

rich source. We can thank the Linux community

for the one at .

A couple of

examples:

28. “Perfection [in design] is achieved, not

when there is nothing more to add, but

when there is nothing left to take away.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

50. “Programming today is a race between

software engineers striving to build bigger

and better idiot-proof programs, and the

universe trying to build bigger and better

idiots. So far, the universe is winning.”

– Rick Cook

There are more general quotes at :

5. “Any fool can use a computer. Many do.”

Over the years Apple has had its ups and

downs, with ‘a roller coaster ride of product

releases, technology milestones and carefully

choreographed media events that first saved

the company from ruin, and later helped propel

it to dizzying heights of market and mind

share dominance… with a fair bit of infamy

thrown in along the way’.

There’s a video chronicle at .

HyperCard was once the software tool ‘for

the rest of us’, but Apple eventually allowed it

to languish. Now there comes BayCard*:

‘BayCard is a modern day HyperCard

clone. BayCard was designed to allow

non-programmers to bring their own visions

to life without the need to learn how

to write code. Like HyperCard, a BayCard

document can be thought of as a stack of

index cards. As a result, BayCard documents

are usually referred to as stacks.

Each stack contains a background that

appears below all cards.

‘So what can you actually do with Bay-

Card? Use it to organize your life. Or

perhaps to design a presentation. You can

even use it to design a simple point-andclick

adventure. The best part about Bay-

Card is that you can utilize the program in

* With yet another round blue icon.

ways we never even envisioned.’

It’s all explained at .

Icons have been part of the Mac from its

beginning in 1984. Some of them have secrets,

hidden histories and subtle jokes. Find

out about them at .

Here’s another source for Mac maintenance

advice: .

Kink the Cat now has his own made on a

Mac website: :

‘Kink the cat here. Hanging out with

my crew. Getting the snax, watching the

birds, running amok. Usual kat stuff. It’s

always lunchtime around here, know what

I mean?

‘So, come on in, curl up on a chair and

hang out with me. Check out the photos

and the news.’

February 2011

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Incoherent comment...

Computing at

Computing at

Entropy House

One gives presentations on several topics

to Instructor courses, so when one ran

a recent course at a country high school the

plan was to connect to

via the school’s WiFi network.

The MacBook found the network, but no

way was the network going to let a strange

machine connect. Workaround was to use

one of the school’s machines, but that meant

swapping machines mid-presentation, and

then back again. Distracting.

A week or so later one was assisting with another’s

presentation at organisation C’s headquarters,

where one has regularly connected

to its network. Not this time. Nothing could

see it. Powered down the router and restarted

to no avail. No Web access. Two presentations

disrupted in as many weeks.

Solution was to buy a 3G mobile WiFi device,

so one can work independently of others’

networks. One can even connect in the field,

which is potentially very useful.

One of the first computer network systems

was the Cambridge Ring, developed by

Maurice Wilkes and his team at Cambridge.

Sir Maurice was one of the pioneers of computing

in the UK, and died recently at the age

of 97.

At the end of WW 2 Wilkes returned to

Cambridge University and became head of

the Mathematical Laboratory. After visiting

the US and meeting Howard Aiken, John

Mauchly, Presper Eckert and reading von

Neumann’s seminal paper, First Draft of a

Report on the EDVAC, the Electronic Discrete

Variable Automatic Computer, he and his

team began work on EDSAC, the Electronic

Delay Storage Automatic Calculator. EDSAC

became the first the first stored-program digital

computer to go into service, and was the

basis for a number of subsequent machines.

There’s a lot more about Wilkes and his

work at .

The UK Computer Conservation

Society has commissioned a replica of

EDSAC, to be built at Bletchley Park. Seems a

fitting tribute.

Wilkes’ first research student was an

Australian, John Bennett, who after working

on the design of EDSAC worked for Ferranti

developing subsequent commercial machines.

In 1956 Bennett returned to Australia as the

first professor in computing science at Sydney

University, where he led the team working

on SILLIAC. He was also one of the driving

forces behind the Australian Computer Society,

the organisation for computing professionals

in this country. Sadly, like Wilkes,

Bennet is no longer with us, passing away last

December.

Both these men would have been described

as ‘computer scientists’. But is ‘computer

science’ a science? Here’s one view, by two

professors at MIT:

“Computer science is not a science. Its

significance has little to do with computers.

The real significance of the computer

revolution is that it is a revolution in the

way we think, and in the way we express

what we think. The essence of this change

is the emergence of what might best be

called procedural epistemology — the

study of the sctructure of knowledge from

an imperative point of view...”

Abelson, H and Sussman, G, ‘Computation:

An introduction to engineering design, in

Logo in Australia: 10 years on, CEGV, 1985

Abelson and Sussman taught the introductory

programming course at MIT, using the

Lisp dialect Scheme. Their text, The Structure

and Interpretation of Computer Programs is

commonly known as the ‘wizard book’.

February 2011

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Computing at Entropy House

A different, and much later view, is expressed

by Peter Denning in ‘The Great Principles of

Computing’ in the September–October 2010

issue of American Scientist, pp 369 – 371, and

accessible at .

Denning reviews the history of computing,

from Church and Turing in the 1930s to

today, noting how views and understandings

have changed. He notes:

“Traditional scientists frequently questioned

the name computer science. They

could easily see an engineering paradigm

(design and implementation of systems)

and a mathematics paradigm (proofs of

theorems) but they could not see much of

a science paradigm (experimental verification

of hypotheses). Moreover, they understood

science as a way of dealing with

the natural world, and computers looked

suspiciously artificial.’

From there, he continues:

‘Today, there is an agreement that computing

exemplifies science and engineering,

and that neither science nor engineering

characterizes computing. Then what

does? What is computing’s paradigm?’

Denning then looks at three views over time:

‘computing is the study of phenomena

surrounding computers.’

‘computer science equals programming.’

‘computing is the automation of information

processes.’

The second would be Abelson and Sussman’s

view.

So what is computer science?

“All this leads us to the modern catchphrase:

‘Computing is the study of information

processes, natural and artificial.’

The computer is a tool in these studies

but is not the object of study. As Dijkstra

once said, ‘Computing is no more about

computers than astronomy is about telescopes.’”

To Denning then “Computing may be the

fourth great domain of science along with the

physical, life and social sciences.” But perhaps

Abelson and Sussman were right in their view

that computing led to a revolution in the way

we think and express our thoughts.

Pierre Igot recently reported yet another

Word 2011 bug in his Betalogue blog, writing

“Here’s a rather unique bug in Microsoft

Word 2011 that a Betalogue reader

pointed out to me in an e-mail. It’s fairly

easy to reproduce, but comes with a word

of warning: Make sure you have saved all

your current work in Word 2011 before

trying it, because it will make Word inoperable

and you’ll have to force-quit it,

thereby losing all unsaved changes. (And

another warning that will be familiar to

TV viewers and video game players: Do

not try this if you have a history of epilepsy.)”

Grant is not the only SAAUC cyclist:

your editor, with bicycle designed in

Bradford on Avon by Dr Moulton, and

built somewhere else by Bridgestone.

Treasurer Susan Harrap is another

regular rider.

You can read the original posting at . Another editor has described

this as an ‘easter egg’, which it is definitely

not: it is a classic case of bad programming

that should never have been allowed to remain

in a commercial product.

February 2011

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Computing at Entropy House

Hardly a month goes by without a document

in some horridly inappropriate format

turning up. In December Outdoors WA sent

out its Christmas newsletter, a graphics

intensive .docx, all 3.7 MB of it. As a PDF it

was only 1.3 MB, but how true to the original

is anyone’s guess because there were several

odd typographic problems, as happens when

Word files are moved about.

Then local organisation R sent out a flier as

an InDesign document (!). Took them a week

to wake up and send a PDF. And contributors

to organisation O’s magazine persist in sending

single paragraphs as Word attachments

instead of putting the text into the body of the

message.

Organisation B has announced that it will

shortly introduce a new logo, and all the

changes to stationery, website, magazine, and

so on. One made it clear to the designer of

the previous magazine template that one was

unhappy with headings in all caps and other

‘features’, and have pointed this out to CEO.

One will wait to see what happens.

Anyone wanting to walk and work at the

same time can now do so with the TrekDesk

Treadmill Desk. The desk surface is 183 by 86

centimetres, can handle 25 kg of equipment

and fits most standard treadmills. Height is

adjustable from 118 to 144 cm from the floor.

Cost? $US480. Read about it at .

Method at Entropy House is to work for a

while and then go pull some weeds or other

domestic task.

Neologisms, new words, are constantly appearing.

AP recently reported that the tech

slang ‘app’ was voted the 2010 ‘Word of the

Year’ by the American Dialect Society, ahead

of Cookie Monster’s ‘nom, nom, nom, nom.’

The word was chosen as the term that best

summarised preoccupaton with computer or

smart phone application.

Another new word appeared in comments on

the Respectful Insolence blog:

‘A “gnoron” is like a moron, except that

where a moron is lacking in intelligence

(something they cannot help, of course) a

gnoron is someone of decent intelligence

whose own willful ignorance has brought

them to an equivalent state of incompetence.’

Posted by: Antaeus Feldspar

From Boing-Boing: ‘“My friends just had

a baby and one of the grandmothers made

an amazing quilt that looks like an iPhone...”

There’s a nap for that!’

Apple vs Android

February 2011

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Computing at Entropy House

Artist Xavier Antin has made an installation

piece, ‘Just in Time’, with four devices

spanning 100 years of desktop printing to

produce a book. Output from each printer is

the input for the next:

• magenta (stencil duplicator, 1880)

• cyan (spirit duplicator, 1923)

• black (laser printer, 1969)

• yellow (inkjet printer, 1976)

There has been no spirit duplicator at Entropy

House (although one frequently prepared

material for printing on them), but at some

stage there have been examples of the others,

and dot-matrix impact printers. See the story

at .

USB memory devices come in all

manner of shapes: Bader Models is now

making them in the shape of aircraft

fins, like this Qantas example. Not

cheap, but from

One lives in hope

These are iRings (iron rings), tyres for

driving on the Moon:

Displaced footnote

There wasn’t room on page 21 for a footnote,

so it has been displaced to here:

* The heading ‘10.6.6 and All That’ is a reference to

the book 1066 and All That: A Memorable History

of England, comprising all the parts you can

remember, including 103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings

and 2 Genuine Dates by Walter Carruthers Sellar

and Robert Julian Yeatman and illustrated by John

Reynolds, and originally published in 1930.

February 2011

AppleSauce Page 27

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‘The fine print...’

South Australian Apple Users’ Club Inc

Directory 2010 – 2011

Meetings

President: Grant Ward

Vice President: Peter Wiechmann

Secretary: Judith Watts

Treasurer: Susan Harrap

Editor: Peter Carter

2010 Committee: Nick Carter, Barrie Coppock,

Eric Montgomery, Mike Summers

To contact SAAUC:

PO Box 411 Glenside SA 5065

NodePhone (08) 7127 1000

Web site:

Two meetings are held each month, except January, at

the Salvation Army Centre, Marion Street Unley.

The Friday meetings are on the first Friday of the

month, commencing at 7:30 pm, with the library and

update machine available. Meetings normally alternate

between presentations and special interest groups

(SIGs).

Wednesday meetings are normally the following

Wednesday, and do not have a set format.

For more detail, see the Web site Meetings and

Calendar pages.

Directory references

Fullers: Map 52 C2

Gregory: Map 200 E5

UBD: Map 130 K5

Zone 54H grid:

02816 61301

Latitude and Longitude:

34° 66' 52.9" S

138° 36' 31.2" E

Hughes St

Charles St

Mary St

Arthur St

Unley Road

N

Whittam St

Culvert St

Maud St

Marion St

Frederick St

Oxford Tce

AppleSauce

AppleSauce is the official organ of SAAUC Inc., and is published eleven times

per year, February – December.

AppleSauce is an independent production and has not been authorised,

sponsored or otherwise approved by Apple Computer Inc.

Opinions expressed in AppleSauce may not be those of SAAUC or its officers.

Guidelines for Contributors

Articles and artwork on any topic relating to Apple computers are welcomed.

E-mail to the Editor , or post to the Editor’s

business address (Pelagos Productions, PO Box 133 Brooklyn Park 5032).

Deadline is the third Friday of the preceding month.

Submissions must be spell checked, in ASCII text format (.txt, not Word

.doc, Pages or AppleWorks .cwk), with graphics as separate files. Text and images

may be combined in a ZIP archive. (If in doubt, please ask.)

The Editor reserves the right to edit as required: authors will be contacted if

major surgery is necessary.

Advertising

Small advertisements from financial members will be accepted and published free of

charge, provided they are signed by the person(s) placing the advertisement.

Business advertising rate is $50.00 per page (or by negotiation) with submission as

PDF file. Page size is A4 landscape (842 * 595 pixels), and commercial advertising

deadline is the second Friday of the month.

Advertisements must not conflict with the interests of the club. Publication does not

imply recommendation or endorsement by SAAUC Inc.

Copyright

Except where otherwise stated, this publication is copyright © 2011 by SAAUC Inc.

Authors and advertisers express their own opinions and are responsible for the

accuracy of their submissions.

Permission is granted for the reproduction of original articles contained in this issue

by any non-profit organisation provided the author, title and publication credits are

given, and a copy of the publication is sent to SAAUC. Contact the editor for text and

graphics files.

AppleSauce is prepared with BBEdit from Bare Bones Software, and Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator,

and Acrobat Professional. Folder navigation is aided by Default Folder from St Clair Software, Web site

maintenance by Fetch from Fetch Software

February 2011

AppleSauce Page 28

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