Batch Change Photo Titles in Photos App (Handout)

iPhoto had a very handy Batch function where one could re-title a batch of photos while appending a sequential number to the end of each title. Unfortunately this feature is missing in Photos. However, a couple of clever mac users have written an AppleScript and Automator Application that restores this capability*.

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Really Highlight Visited Web Sites

Safari changes the color of sites you have visited, but it is a rather subtle change from a dull dark blue to a dull purplish blue. My old eyes have trouble with that, and of course my old brain can barely keep up with where I am, much less where I’ve been. The solution is to highlight visited sites in a much more distinctive color. Unfortunately there isn’t a simple preference for this, but it can be done pretty easily with what’s known as a Style Sheet or .css file. Here is how to do it.

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Want To Keep Using iPhoto?

If you upgrade to Yosemite 10.10.3, you also automatically get the new Photos app and your iPhoto library is automatically migrated to Photos. Although there are some important bug fixes in the 10.10.3 upgrade, you may for various reasons want to opt out of Photos and continue using iPhoto at least for the short term.

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Buried in the Ad-valanche

AdvalancheHave you noticed there seem to be more and more pop-up and other ads while you are browsing the internet? Your Mac may be infected with adware. Fortunately, there is something you can do about this annoying scourge.

The line between adware, usually just annoying, and malware, usually destructive, is becoming blurred. Multiple adware infections and/or aggressive adware can compromise the operation of your Mac as badly as malware that is actually designed to disrupt your computer use.

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New Ford Gags on USB MP3 Drive

C-Max UpchuckI loaded a small Windows- formatted (FAT-32) USB with selections from iTunes for use in the audio system of my Jeep. Worked great, so I thought I’d do the same for my wife’s new Ford C-Max. It upchucked with a “This file is corrupted and cannot be played” message. The Sync by Microsoft logo on the dash should have been a clue. However, I found a fix.

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A $6 Large Format Printer

Large Format PrinterHave you ever wanted or needed to print something bigger than a single 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper, perhaps a scale drawing or a sign or poster? One way to do it is to take your image file to an outfit like Kinko’s or Printfast and have them print it on their large format printer. It will look professional and be priced accordingly (about $20 for a 1 ft x 1 ft to $60 for a 3 ft x 4 ft). But there is a much less expensive (and faster) solution.

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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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Keep The Keys!



Your software license keys, that is. If you ever have to do a “clean” reinstall of OS X, that is, completely erase your hard drive and install a new copy of OS X, you will probably be presented with windows like the one shown below when you try to run some of your software after restoring your data from a backup.

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Google Maps for iOS: Semi-Lost in Space

The Google Maps iOS app finally has turn by turn navigation and it’s had good reviews, but one of the reasons I mostly use a stand-alone app (Navigon) is that it does not require a wifi or cellular connection. Google Maps does, at least to set up a route initially. The answer as to whether it needs one after that is both Yes and No.

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Speeding Through a Scroll Zone

Do you get tired of scrolling down long lists? When you are filling out an online address form do you ever wish you lived in Alabama or Alaska instead of Oregon? (Hey, could be worse, you could live in Wyoming.) You don’t have to scroll down those long lists. Here’s how to zip right to where you want to go.

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Speech-To-Text: Apple vs Dragon Dictate

I tried out Apple’s new Speech-to-Text capability built into Mountain Lion for dictating the notes for a Keynote presentation and it seemed to me there were a lot of errors. I’ve used Dragon Dictate for Mac for a few years. I haven’t been too impressed up to now, but I just got the new version, 3.0, which supposedly fixed many of the shortcomings of earlier versions, so I was interested in comparing it to Apple’s Speech-to-Text capability.

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Location, Location, Location

The three most important factors in selling a piece of property. It’s the real estate agent’s mantra. I’ve come to think they are the three most important features of the iPhone camera as well.

I’ve found the iPhone camera disappointing in many ways. It’s hard to hold steady, no exposure control, digital rather than optical zoom (there goes the resolution), wavy video artifacts if you pan, and more. There are some good points as well, but I really mostly use it when I don’t have one of my other cameras available.

But the iPhone has one great feature. It’s the iPhone Location Services, aka GPS, that tags every photo and video with a geolocation, and the iPhone GPS blows away the GPS in either of my cameras.

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Hidden Gem: Disk Use Summary

OS X has such a multiplicity of features (and new ones are added with every update) that no one can be aware of them all. Within this vast array I often come across one that is new to me and very useful.



This particular hidden gem was, as far as I know, introduced in Lion. It is a really handy overview of the amount of storage available on all of your hard drives, internal and external.

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Sync Squared – Chronosync to DropBox

My wife has a MacBook and I have three Macs, plus we each have a couple of IOS mobile devices. I’ve used Chronosync for years to keep selected information on our Macs synchronized. We each also use our separate DropBox accounts to keep selected data synched between our computers and IOS devices. It recently dawned on me that Chronosync can sync between DropBox folders or folders inside DropBox folders just as easily as between any other folders or files. This is very useful for data that we want to share in common on our mobile devices.

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Smart Phone, Slow User

Last week I had another one of those Duhreka! moments; a combination of Eureka!, I found it, and Duh!, it should have been obvious, you moron.

Myrl had gone back to Texas for a week on a family matter, and she left me a list of phone numbers where she could be reached. I started creating a group of temporary Address Book entries for the hotels and other places that weren’t already in my Contacts, when I realized there was a much simpler way.

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Taming the Lion: Changing App and Window Auto-Reopen Behavior

Lion’s default behavior of reopening all apps and windows that were open when you shut down is often very handy. For instance if you have to restart because of a problem, log out temporarily for privacy purposes, or anytime you want to pick up right where you left off after shutting down.

Sometimes, though, I have a dozen apps and dozens of windows open and I don’t want to wait for what seems like hours until everything is reopened when restarting, especially on my older, slower MacBook Air. Here are some solutions, other than manually closing each app before restarting.

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Moving Movies

Some of the most moving movies I can recall include Schindler’s List, Il Postino, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Sophie’s Choice, The Deer Hunter, Doctor Zhivago, Babette’s Feast, The Pianist, Forrest Gump, The Pawnbroker, Children of a Lesser God, Cinema Paradiso, Amadeus, Das Boot, Chariots of Fire, Door to Door, Sweet Land, Rabbit-Proof Fence, and The World’s Fastest Indian.

You might check these out if you haven’t seen some of them, but that’s not my main purpose, which is to talk about stuff at least tangentially related to Apple. If you are familiar with my quirky sense of humor you may have guessed that the title is a double entendre. (Not the usual risqué one, though.) What I really want to talk about is moving a movie rental in iTunes to a different computer, iPad, iPod, or iPhone.

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Time (Machine) Warp

Time machine provides a great automatic backup for your entire computer, from which you can recover and restore individual files, folders, or even your entire hard drive. Once in while, though, Time Machine seems to slip through some sort of time warp and come out the other side leaving the current backup in the past and starting a whole new backup.

Mostly this occurs when you change hard drives, get a new computer or update OS X to a new version, but very occasionally it just happens.

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Style versus Substance

When web sites first starting popping up in the 1990s, they were mostly text, with some formatting and styling. Truth be known, many of those first websites were pretty ugly (my own among them.) We could choose colors, or make text bold, add a picture, and even (shudder) make words blink. To style our pages we applied formatting instructions to the HTML tags.

For example, if I wanted a sentence to be bold or red I could do this:

<p><b>This part is bold.</b></p>
<p><font color="red">This is red</font></p>

The basic approach was to lay out our web page and then apply some styles or formats to it – much like a painter might draw a picture.

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World’s Best Spell Checker?

Once in a while while I am typing a document in Pages, TextEdit, etc. the spell checker flags a word, but can’t come up with a suggested spelling. Often it is a technical term that is not in its dictionary, and I’m not sure of the spelling either. But I’ve found a much better “spell checker”. Google
Just copy and paste the word into Google’s search box, and you will get a polite message saying something like “Searching for correctword, search for misspelledword instead?” I am amazed at how often Google guesses the correct spelling, even from badly mangled words. It must have an astounding database of common and uncommon misspellings and/or an amazing algorithm for choosing the best result.

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