Troubleshooting Your Mac

A common problem when trying to solve an issue with your Mac is understanding just what has happened, and being able to explain it to yourself, or anyone who may try to help.  Here is an excerpt from a blog titled Tech Tails by Small Dog Electronics that lay out some basic steps for troubleshooting your Mac.

Troubleshooting your Mac: A Guide to Narrowing it Down By Moses Laporte

As a tech, I have a unique perspective on the Apple world and the underlying factors that contribute to faults in our technology. It seems to me that the majority of issues that I handle day-to-day are often quite straightforward fixes, and yet it becomes difficult to translate that experiential knowledge into relatable and useful information that customers can use to build their own troubleshooting skills. Therefore, I am reaching out in this article to try and explain some common issues that find their way onto my bench, and how they might be diagnosed properly. A customer who is informed about the inner-workings of their machine will always experience more straightforward and reliable service from repair depots, and find that being armed with the right amount of experience makes resolving issues far less painstaking. This workflow reflects many of the steps I follow in order to track down points of failure in the event of malfunction.

Here are the basics:

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3/15 Social Media

Using Social Media – by Jim Teece, President and CEO of Project A

You’ve heard of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and a host of other “social media” sites.  Jim Teece, who is co-founder of, as well as President and CEO, of Project A, talked to us about Social Media; what it is, and how to make use of it in our busy lives.

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2/15 Under the Radar – Handout

Peter DeGroot helped us to explore some useful but often overlooked features of OS X: Tags, Recent Items, Changing a Tab to a Window and Vice-versa in Safari, Narrowing a Spotlight Search, Grab app for Screen Shots, Adding Aliases to Finder Window Menu Bar or Sidebar.


Click on the PDF icon to see Peter’s handout.

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1/15 Evernote

Mike Davis gave us a great presentation on Evernote, and how he uses it in his daily life and business.

Here’s a link to the Evernote website:

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12/14 Yosemite

Todd Derek provided us with a great overview of Yosemite, Mac’s new version of OS X.  

Todd has provided a couple of links to help in our learning about Yosemite.

Apple’s What’s New in OS X Yosemite 

And for those of us new to Mac, Apple’s New to Mac for Yosemite users.

In addition to Yosemite, Todd talked about Cloud versus Local storage.  Here’s a link to his site with more information.

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11/14 iOS 8

Mike Davis provided us with a great overview of the new features available on your iOS devices through the new version – iOS8.  In addition, he started his presentation with a recommended process to follow when upgrading software on your device.

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10/14 Quickbooks and Quick for Mac

Paul Collins provided an overview of Quickbooks Online for Mac, a full accounting system for business owners.  To see a tour of this software product, you can go to

In addition, Paul provided a quick overview of Quicken for Mac 2015, the Intuit software produce that came out this past summer.  It is the replacement of Quicken Essentials for Mac, or Quicken 2007 for Mac.  A tour of this product is available at

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9/14 Fantastical Calendaring App

“Fantastical” by Sugeet Posey

Sugeet Posey gave us a a presentation of  *Fantastical*, a calendaring app that can be used on the iPhone, iPad or the Mac.  Sugeet demonstrated it’s natural speech recognition, its user-friendly views and interface, and some of the unique capabilities of the app as compared to Apple Calendar.  The Fantastical app uses your Calendar data, so your Calendar data continues to be synced between your devices through iCloud, whether you have Fantastical on one or all of your devices.

At the end of the presentation, Sugeet raffled off three free downloads of the software; one for the Mac, one for the iPad, and one for the iPhone.  Thanks to Sugeet and Flexibits, the developers of Fantastical, for providing the free downloads.

For more on Fantastical, visit their website.

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iPad & iPhone Kung Fu – by Stan Tusan

July 2014:

pastedGraphicpastedGraphicStan Tusan has provided us with his review of a new book titled iPad and iPhone Kung Fu – Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks for iOS 7″ by Keir Thomas.  Click on the graphic at left to read Stan’s informative review.

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AshMUG Talk List – problems for iCloud email users

We are currently experiencing problems with iCloud email users not receiving all of the emails sent from Ashmug-Talk. If you are concerned you’re not receiving emails, please go to the Community Menu Item above, and then click on Email List Archives to see the most recent emails. We hope to have the problem resolved soon.

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7/14 Talk to your Apple device

“Talk to you Apple device” by Todd Derek

Todd covered Top 10 Ways to Interact with Siri, dictating to your iOS device and your Mac, and a preview of the new iOS8 (coming in fall) feature of adding your voice to text.
Todd also introduced a great website,, which covers a lot of great information about how to use Siri, and commands to use for Siri and dictation.

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3/14 – Making a Short Film

“Making a Short Film” by Carl Prufer
Carl discussed his experience in making short films, and demonstrated a method and device for using his iPad. He showed a number of his own short films, as well as some award-winning films.

Carl was involved in corporate television production and has continued to produce short videos since retiring. His short film on competitive rowing, “An Easy Row”, was shown at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

Following are a few of the url’s Carl used in his presentation: – blog of Brandon Li, videographer – a website by Sony on general information about film making – free music for use in your own videos from the artist Moby

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Got cache? Or, why can’t I see the changes I’ve made on my website?

pic_disp.phpNowadays, many of us maintain our own blogs or websites, using various tools, either on our computer or online.  Over the past 3 or 4 years that I’ve been creating websites, one of the issues raised by many frustrated users in user forums is “I don’t see my changes!!!”.

When you are developing or editing your blog or website using online tools (such as WordPress, Joomla, Google Blogger) the answer usually comes down to one of two things, both related to cache:

  1. The web browser is presenting the older view of your page from the data saved in cache.
  2. You are using the back button on your browser instead of refreshing the page.

Or, (only occasionally) you’re too fast for the host server.

What does that mean, what does it do, and how do I overcome it, you ask?  Well, let me give you some background information and examples to illustrate.

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2/14 – Evernote

Paul Collins gave a presentation on Evernote, and how he has used it since 2008 to save and find a wide variety of personal information.

Evernote is an information capture, indexing, and retrieval service with native client software on Mac, iPhone/iPad, Windows, other mobile devices, plus direct web access. It can be used to store (and share) text, images, web pages, and more.

Paul Collins is a Mac and iOS developer for DigitalFish, a software company focused on digital media and computer animation. He has worked happily for years on Open Door Networks software and continues to contribute to the Art Authority iPad app. He is currently contracted to Intuit’s Small Business Financial Services division.

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1/14 – Favorite Apps

A number of our members gave short presentations or demonstrations on some of their favorite apps.  

Yvonne Fried presented an app for iOS called Prep & Pantry.  She demonstrated how it can be used as a tool to inventory groceries and supplies, and then convert that information to a shopping list.  It can be purchased through iTunes.  For more information, here is their website:

Stan Tusan, a local artist, gave us a quick overview of “iPad for Artists“.  He showed us a number of sites showing apps, tools, and examples of artists who’ve created art on an iPad.  Here are some links:

  • David Hockney, Artist – david hockney art on iPad
  • iPad Styluses –
  • 15 Best iPad Art Apps –
  • Jorge Colombo, Artist –
  • Deni Jones, iPad for Artists Flip Thru Video –

Linda Gamble demonstrated two of her favorite apps:

  • Words with Friends – an iOS app that allows you to play Scrabble with others through the internet.  It’s available on the App store.  For more information, here’s their website:
  • iSpeak Spanish – one of a number of iSpeak apps for iOS that assist you in speaking a new language.  It’s available from iTunes.  Fore more information, here’s their website:

Peter DeGroot gave us a quick overview of a number of his favorite apps, both for the Mac OS X and for iOS.  Peter will provide a PDF of this, which will be posted here soon.

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11/13 – Basecamp

Yvonne Fried gave a great presentation on Basecamp,  an indispensable project management tool for those who work with others and need to keep people in the loop as well as track documents, to do’s, and calendars.  Basecamp is an online tool which allows you to share and collaborate with others for managing any type of event or project.

To learn more, go to


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10/13 – Siri – Handout

Marcia Bolsinga gave a presentation on “Siri – It’s Wish Is Your Command”.  Marcia demonstrated a number of Siri’s capabilities, including features new in iOS 7.

Though Marcia was not able to get to it during the presentation, the handout includes some notes on other Voice Activated capabilities of iOS  – Dictation and Voice Memos.

PDF iconClick the PDF icon for a handout on the presentation.

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AshMUG’s Annual Membership Drive, Survey and Raffle

AshMUG’s Annual Membership Drive, Survey and Raffle

September marks the beginning of a new membership year for AshMUG.  Our membership drive began at the September meeting, with an introduction to the new online membership signup process, and the introduction of AshMUG’s survey. The survey is designed to allow us to learn more about what our members need from AshMUG.

At our October 8th meeting, we’ll be holding a raffle for paid-up members who have completed the survey. A drawing will be held for three great prizes; a $500, a $200, and a $100 Apple Store gift card.  You don’t need to be present at the meeting to win, but you must be a paid-up member, and you must complete the survey by October 6th, end of day.

So to become an AshMUG member, and get entered in the raffle, click on the Join Ashmug menu item at, complete your membership form, and pay your annual dues.

To complete the survey, go to

Good Luck in the Raffle!

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9/13 – Learn to Get Organized – Link

Todd Derek of Derek Enterprises gave us a presentation titled “Learn to Get Organized and Discover Data  you Never you Had”.

Todd’s presentation addressed understanding where your data is stored (cloud or local), how to organize your data, and some methods for sharing your data.  This link to his website will provide you with a view of the materials Todd used for this presentation.

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Apple Special Event – 9/10

Apple Special Event – 9/10

Watch the Keynote from the September 10, 2013 Apple Special Event, where Apple introduced the new iPhones.

Click on the blue video icon to see a video of the Keynote presentation given at this Special Event.

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