What You Missed - February 24, 2021

It had been a very blustery day, but all was calm as we started our Zoom meeting tonight. I remembered tonight that 2020 was going to be the year we had to find a temporary meeting place as our usual space was going to be renovated. Good thing Zoom became so popular.

Pete started the meeting at 7:00 pm with 50 participants. He was his usual outgoing self as he got all the Zoom stuff set up and answered questions. He was going to talk to us about pixels in his favorite form: Photos. Al Trivett was back tonight posting his Apple news in the chat list (links are below). A member noted that today would have been Steve Jobs 66th birthday. Tim Cook had a nice tribute to Steve on the 9 to 5 Mac website. Pete was doing a presentation when Steve Job passed and he had a friend of his in the audience show the story on a HP tablet (Pete was working for HP and HP had tablets). Someone noted that Apple had released the Quick Take Camera 26 years ago also. Bob White related that the MacNexus board had a debate about buying one to loan out to club members. They did get one and several members at tonight’s meeting remembered using the camera. (Ed. Bob’s further note: After a year or so, we sold it to a member for almost full cost.) Pete’s hope is that this year Apple works on maintaining what they have put out rather than doing more new stuff. He would like the Apple devices in his house to decide which device is going to answer his “Hey Siri” questions, rather than have random devices answer as he has now. Al Trivett had noted that certain Traeger grills now can be controlled with the iPhone. Ken had another option for a grill: “The Original Meater” is a wireless thermometer that you insert in the meat. It has two thermometers. One checks the meat temperature and the other end tracks the grill temperature. Pete seems to really like it; it sends him alerts as the meat gets to the temperature he wants.

There was a question about the recent headlines about a virus infecting Macs including the new M1 chip macs. Pete noted the odds of someone doing a “Brute Force” attack on one of our Macs was very slim. A brute force attack requires physical access to your machine. Most of us don’t have anything on our computers that would make it worth the time and effort.

However, you should look out for “cons” which are much more likely to happen. I have received eight voicemails recently saying my iCloud account is at risk and not to use any of my devices until I talked to the people who called. So many voicemails to delete — all from phone numbers close to mine. You can also be approached via email or messages, so be very careful of clicking on links you don’t recognize. Pete told us about client who had been helping a friend set up an Amazon account. Somehow the client’s contact list was compromised and her contacts were getting an email saying she had been injured and couldn’t leave the house so she needed $200 gift cards that you could send to the person who sent the email. Pete’s client was getting phone calls from friends checking to see if she was OK and, in one case, a friend brought over cash to help out. Pete was able to help her with what had happened but she was embarrassed by the questions. For most people, having a strong passcode on any device that you use outside of the house, be it a phone or laptop, is the best protection.

It was asked if it is wise to try to find someone to repair a printer that has been sitting idle for awhile that wasn’t printing correctly. Pete’s answer was “No” because the going rate for repair will exceed the cost of a new replacement printer. Pete strongly recommended (as did other members) considering an HP printer with the Instant Ink program. Instant Ink lets you subscribe to a certain number of pages per month. New ink cartridges will be sent shortly before) you need them. There is no extra charge for the ink you get beyond the subscription cost. HP communicates with the printer to determine when new ink is required. If you go over the number of pages in a particular month, you pay an additional fee. Bob White noted that he had saved $90 over two years with the program; several other members had similar savings. If you turn off your printer for a while, you may get an email from HP asking you to turn it on again so they can query ink levels and sheets printed. You sign up on a monthly basis and can quit at any time. Pete has heard that there may be a similar program for laser printers coming later this year.

A member asked: If you receive help for a computer problem via remote access, is there a way to tell if the helpers have taken anything they shouldn’t? Pete said there isn’t an easy way to tell, so if you go that route only do it with a company or person (like Ken Spencer) that you trust. Pete had a link to a YouTube channel where the person on the channel will let scammers have access but he tracks all that they do and engages them as they are in the process. The link is below.

Why does my Apple Watch sometimes open my Mac and other times doesn’t? Pete explained that if you take off the watch, it has to be reauthorized with the iPhone before it will work to open the Mac. This is to prevent someone from taking your watch and putting it on and opening your Mac. One member had discovered that there was an Instagram account using their name and Facebook photo that they had not created. They were asking if this account could be stopped. Pete said it was doubtful it could be, based on his experiences with companies like Facebook who own Instagram. (Ed. note: This has happened to me twice on FB. Both times, I registered a complaint from my real account providing the information about the scam account. Within several hours, I was notified the phony account had been deleted.)

Another question was: “Why don’t my iMovie projects sync across my iPad and Mac?” Pete said that iMovie doesn’t sync across devices yet — the project files are just too large and varied to reliably move them across devices” This is prior to an iMovie being “exported” or “shared.” Once exported, it can then be shared across and played on pretty much any device that can play a video.

After a short break, Pete started in on the Photos app on the iPhone. Photos is available on all Apple devices including the Apple TV and the Apple Watch. He first showed the Apple website page on Photos (https://www.apple.com/ios/photos/ ) which gives a general description of what the app can do. Photos curates your photos so you can see photos from a specific day, month or year. If you have a Photos widget enabled on your iPhone, you can have it display photos from previous years. Curation tries to find the best photos you have taken by analyzing all your photos to make the determination. Pete’s widget displays photos of people he is in contact with frequently. Photos will find Magical Moments in the “For You” tab. It makes a video of the moment with music and the photos and videos that are related to that moment. If you like that video, you can use the share icon to send it to yourself or someone else. At the bottom of the screen are adjustments you can make for the music style that plays or the length of time the items are shown. What options you have depends on the amount of content in the Magic Moment.

You can edit video (trim it) in the Photos app. You can edit RAW images (either imported or shot with an iPhone 12 Pro with RAW enabled), search your photos for people, places, colors, animals, etc. Photos will give you effect suggestions which you can try by holding down on the image and lifting your finger up to see before and after effects. As you scroll down in Albums, you will see People and Places. Photos will try to identify people in Photos and will ask you to confirm the selections by clicking on pictures that have the correct person. It will then use the selections to identify more photos, so you may click on two or three photos and see that 10 or 12 photos have been added. Pete tries to review People and Places a couple of times a month to get good results. Places will show you a map of all the places you have taken photos if the location was tagged on the photo. Photos taken with your iPhone have this information automatically; you can add it to other photos in the Photos app on a Mac. You can zoom in or out on the map to get more locations and as you zoom in you can see more detail on where photos were taken. The icon at each location displays the number of photos from that location. Album view will also list the media types your photos are split up in, from videos, to time lapses, etc. To create an album, you click on the + at the top of the screen.

Pete started to talk about editing and someone asked if you can apply edits you had made on one photo to other photos. Right now you can’t do that in Photos. You select a photo to edit, tap edit and you will get ellipses at the top of the screen. Click on that and you will see all the other apps you have on your phone that can edit the photo. This lets you edit the photo with an app and save the edited photo to your album. Pete has an app called BitCam which makes the photo look like a 8 bit display on an early Mac, and another app called ReType that lets you add typed text to your photo. (Ed. Note: Retype is no longer on the App Store; it does work so far in iOS 14.)

Photos is nondestructive. You can always revert to the original image after you have done some edits. This even works when you duplicate a photo and edit it. You use the share icon and scroll down the list to find duplicate. You can make a duplicate of a duplicate if you want to try out different effects. When you tap the Edit button, there are options displayed at the bottom of the screen.There will be three icons displayed but you can scroll to see all the options available. The best way to learn what they do is to experiment; you can always revert tot the original image if you don’t like what you have done. First is the Magic Wand which tries to improve the image as best it can. Sometimes you will like what it does, sometimes not. Second is the exposure slider. All sliders will have a dot on them which shows what Apple thinks is the best setting for that slider. Third is the Brilliance slider — followed by Contrast, Black Point, Saturation, Vibrance, Warmth, Tint, Sharpness and Vignette.

On the bottom row of icons is first the sliders then Filters and finally Crop. Crop lets you crop, rotate and Keystone the photo. In Crop mode, you can flip the photo and/or rotate the image. There is an icon that looks like a box which allows you to select the aspect ratio for the photo — handy if you are fitting the photo to a specific frame size or to display on a wide screen TV. Once you have selected an aspect ratio you can move the image around to best fit the ratio.

In the share button, you can text the photo or email it or many other options including make wallpaper or watch face. A good option for large files, like videos, is to choose share iCloud link, which gives you a link to the image/video on iCloud that can be easily accessed. As usual, Pete was surprised to see that he had used up all the time, while he still had more he could go over.

But, it was raffle time and Pete was the designated number caller, asking Siri for numbers between 1 and 53. As usual we had four $25 gift certificates and two $100 gift certificates for the members that were present and one $100 for the general membership. Choosing the numbers went quickly although the number 8 did show up twice during the $25 drawing. But we ended up with all the random numbers we needed. I look forward to seeing you a the next meeting and remember to ask someone to check us out, it's only a click on a link to see what we do.

Links:

MacNexus General Meeting Zoom Recordings:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=MacNexus+Channel

MacNexus FaceBook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/macnexus/

MacNexus Web Site:

https://www.macnexus.org

Zoom Help Center - https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us

Getting started guide for new users - https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360034967471-Getting-started-guide-for-new-users

Zoom Hot keys and keyboard shortcuts:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/205683899-Hot-keys-and-keyboard-shortcuts

Getting started with iOS:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362993-Getting-started-with-iOS

Apple Support Channel - YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYFQ33UIPERYx8-ZHucZbDA

Contact Apple for support and service - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201232

Apple Service and Repair Information - https://support.apple.com/repair/products

Tim Cook remembers Steve Jobs on what would have been his 66th birthday - https://9to5mac.com/2021/02/24/tim-cook-remembers-steve/

QuickTake 100 Launched - https://thisdayintechhistory.com/02/17/quicktake-100-launched/

Traeger grills and smokers can now be controlled directly from Apple Watch - https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/02/22/traeger-grills-and-smokers-can-now-be-controlled-directly-from-apple-watch?

Smart Meat Thermometers - https://store-us.meater.com

How to automatically change Apple Watch faces at certain times or places - https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/09/28/how-to-automatically-change-apple-watch-faces-at-certain-times-or-places

MacBook Pro will regain SD card reader and HDMI port in 2021, Kuo says - https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/02/23/macbook-pro-will-regain-sd-card-reader-and-hdmi-port-in-2021-kuo-says

What Is Phishing? - https://www.phishing.org/what-is-phishing

The 10 Best Practices for Identifying and Mitigating Phishing - https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/topic/the-10-best-practices-for-identifying-and-mitigating-phishing/

Top 10 Secure Computing Tips - https://security.berkeley.edu/resources/best-practices-how-to-articles/top-10-secure-computing-tips

How Instant Ink works - https://www8.hp.com/us/en/printers/instant-ink.html

HP Instant Ink Review 2021, the Things You Should Know! - https://besttenreview.com/hp-instant-ink-review/

Kitboga Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm22FAXZMw1BaWeFszZxUKw

Identity Theft and Social Media: What you Need to Know - https://www.retirementliving.com/identity-theft-and-social-media

How to create a new iMovie project on iPhone or iPad - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210410

Photos User Guide - https://support.apple.com/guide/photos/welcome/mac

Share photos and videos on iPhone - https://support.apple.com/guide/iphone/share-photos-and-videos-iphf28f17237/ios

Browse photos by day, month, or year - https://support.apple.com/guide/photos/browse-and-view-photos-pht56eafa987/6.0/mac/11.0

Find people in Photos on iPhone - https://support.apple.com/guide/iphone/find-people-in-photos-iph9c7ee918c/14.0/ios/14.0

The 10 Best Camera Apps for iPhone in 2021 - https://www.lifewire.com/best-iphone-camera-apps-4176231

10 Best Photo Apps For Incredible iPhone Photography (2021 Edition) - https://iphonephotographyschool.com/photo-apps/

What is Aspect Ratio and Which Aspect Ratio is Right for You | You'll be surprised - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KKVsOEiHuc

Understanding Aspect Ratios in Photography - https://photographylife.com/aspect-ratio


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