top of page

What You Missed - January 27, 2021

It was a cold rainy night, but we were all joining from home rather than venturing out in the rain. Kens background looked like he was in a clean prison cell and he said it was good of us all to come visit him in prison. We had 47 participants when Ken starts the meeting. At least one of the participants was sitting by a fire with their power out, using a cellular connection to connect. Macnexus had two new members joined this month but they were not at the meeting tonight. Glad to have you join the club.

News and rumors: Al Trivett was unable to attend tonight due to power outage and some tree damage. Ken presented an email from Al with the news and the links to the stories are listed below. There is the possibility that the Apple Watch 6 with the oxygen sensors may be helpful with Covid symptoms. If you bought an Apple device last year, Apple is extending the free Apple TV+ offer until July 2021. Apple Watch 7 may have glucose monitoring included. iOS 14.4 has been released and all iOS 14 users are strongly recommended to install it as soon as possible as it addresses a possible security issue. TvOS, WatchOS and HomePodOS also got updates recently. Big Sur should be getting an update soon and it may be a viable upgrade once the update is out. Big Sur seems to be running fine on Ken’s new M1 MacBook but he suggests waiting for the upgrade before you install it. Ken noted that as he will be gone, Pete Lozzi would be doing the 1st Saturday workshop at 9:00 AM on Pages and suggested that people should see Pete when he does an extensive class on a subject.

Tech Q & A: There was a question on Migration Assistant where you have a Time Machine backup of a Mac with two users: Do you need to create the users on the new Mac before you use Migration Assistant? It is best to hookup the Time Machine disk to the new Mac and then start up the Mac. Migration Assistant will create the users as needed from the Time Machine backup. A member commented that the mailbox contents on his old Mac were in bad shape and hadn’t set up Mail on their new computer yet. Ken noted that if you set up Mail by inputting the accounts the mail that is on the server will be loaded on the new Mac and any mail that had been downloaded on the old Mac will stay on the old Mac. It may help with cleaning things up.

A member had been helping a friend with a cellular Apple Watch and was wondering how you test if the cellular connection is working. Ken suggested powering off the iPhone connected to the Apple Watch and asking Siri to make a phone call. If the call goes through, then the cellular connection is working. Ken suggested Googling “How to turn on and off Split Screen on an iPad” when split screen shows up suddenly. That is what he does when it happens to him. One person at the meeting asked about a problem sending texts to people who don’t have an iPhone, some of them weren’t getting the text. You want to go to Settings on your iPhone and make sure under “Messaging” that send as SMS and MMS are turned on.

A member set up a new laptop with its users own Apple ID. When trying to AirDrop something to any device, the AirDrop item only went to the new laptop. It puzzled Ken and he wasn’t sure what was causing this. (Ed. note: Both WiFi and Bluetooth must be active on all the devices.) When using FaceTime on a laptop, Alexa suddenly took over the audio somehow; another puzzler for Ken. In the meeting chat, someone asked about an item that shows up in the Finder called Remote Disk which they could not remove from the list. Remote Disk is a hangover from the days when Apple dropped DVD players from desktop computers. Remote disk would allow you to connect to a laptop with a DVD player and play the DVD through it on your Mac. A member noted that it seemed their Time Machine backup wasn’t working. They had a 2 TB disk that they had partitioned into two 1 TB disks and when they switched to the second partition the backup seems to start working. Ken was concerned that the external drive might be showing its age and it might be time to consider replacing it.

Before starting his talk, Ken showed us several spam emails he had received all appearing to be from legitimate companies, noting that his account was locked or inactive and asking him to log into his account via the link in the email. Hovering over the from address showed that they were not from the companies they said they were. He had also gotten one that was from Ken Spencer, but with a different email address. You should never click on links in emails like this.

Ken also noted that it was the beginning of a new year and a good time for some password maintenance. Ken has a procedure for passwords that is easy to remember and is relatively secure. He starts with a base password, in his example “macnexus1”. He then adds a two letter prefix, the first letter of which is capitalized. These two letter come from the first two letters of the website it is for, Am for Amazon and Ap for Apple as examples. For sites that should have more secure passwords, he adds a special character only using !, $ or ? as they can be found easily on the number keyboard of an iPhone. Ken always lets Apple’s Keychain remember the login name and password as it is stored in a very secure place and will let Safari autofill the name and password.

For Mail, Ken suggested not using your Internet provider as your email address as it makes it hard if you change providers as usually you will only have 30 days to advise everyone of your new address. Using iCloud or Gmail allows you to change Internet providers without affecting your email. Ken has several email addresses, a personal one he only gives out to friends, one for sites that require an email that he is not sure of and business address.

Apple Mail is integrated with many Apple programs allowing you to send a photo directly from Photo app, Safari, etc. When sending mail with attachments such as photos you should limit the size to 10 Mb or less. Apple Mail will use Mail Drop if the size exceeds that. It will instead send a link to the attachment that is stored temporarily in your iCloud account. Apple Mail recognizes if you get an email mailing list and makes it easy to unsubscribe. It has data detectors that will find addresses, dates, etc., inside emails and allow you to transfer the the information to another program. Ken then went live to give us some examples. He sent an email to himself with the subject line of Party and the text of the email containing the date and time of the party, the address and a password for the party. Upon receipt of the email, he opened it and then hovered over the date. A little arrow appeared. Clicking the arrow revealed a popup of his calendar on that day and allowed him to add the event. He could do the same with the phone number and could add it to his contacts. Once the date had been added to his calendar, he could go to the calendar, double click on the item and have the option to open the original email so he could see the password for the party.

When sending an email to a group, using bcc (blind carbon copy) allows you to send the email so each recipient sees only their name on the email. If you don’t see bcc when you start a new mail, in, go to the View menu and select “Bcc Address Field.” Once added, it will show up whenever you start a new mail. If you are sending to a group where everyone should be able to reply to all the people, use cc. Ken’s email suggestions included always using a subject and keeping the text short and to the point. When doing replies to an email with several questions, you can add your reply after each question and change your text to a different color so the answer shows up clearly. When sending to a group, limit your recipients per email to less than 50 so that you will not be suspected of spamming.

A person asked why does an email notice pop up during Zoom meetings. Ken thought it might be a notification setting. He turns on “Do Not Disturb” when he does meetings. Another question was about having email deleted from an iPhone but wanting it to stay on a Mac. Ken wasn’t sure why you would want to do it and wasn’t sure that it could be done as the account is shared among your devices. You can easily search emails, including ones in the trash, to find an email. On your Mac, if you are having trouble reading the text in Mail, open the email. Right/option click in the tool bar to customize the toolbar and add the “Smaller Bigger” tool. Clicking on either one will change the font size for the entire message body.

When adding a new mailbox, put it under one of your accounts, not under “On My Mac”. That way the new mailbox will be available on all your devices. In Mail preferences, in General add “Junk” when searching. In Composing, set your default account to send from and deselect increase quote level. In Signatures, you can choose signatures for each account and set your own signature. Rules are available if you get email from specific addresses that you want to send directly to trash or a specific mailbox. Be careful when doing rules to avoid setting them too broadly. In the list of mailboxes you can manually change the order they are displayed in, otherwise they will be shown alphabetically. This is handy if you want to easily drag mail to a specific mailbox.

It was 9:00 pm and raffle time again. As usual there were four $25 gift certificates, two $100 gift certificates for the members present at the meeting and one $100 gift certificate for the entire membership. Ken used Siri to select random numbers for the winners (from 1 to 55) tonight and all were quickly awarded. Then SIri picked one number from 1 to 344 for the entire membership certificate. Karen Downs was one of our winners tonight, her first win in 27 years of membership, except for a demo disk of FileMaker some time ago.

I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting and remember to invite someone to check us out, either at the general meeting or one of the workshops.

Tonights Links

New studies show how Apple Watch can help detect COVID-19 prior to symptoms

and testing

Apple again extends Apple TV+ free trials, subscribers now get free access until

July 2021

Apple Watch 'Series 7' rumor claims glucose monitoring is on the way

Apple releases tvOS 14.4 with bug fixes

Apple releases watchOS 7.3 with Unity watch face, wider ECG support


iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 released with new Find My Items support, improved

HomePod mini Handoff

Apple launches 'New World' creativity series for 'Today at Apple’

*For many more informative, up to date Apple/Tech news items see our MacNexus


Recent Posts
bottom of page