Leeward Oahu Mac & Apple Seminars

Hi Friends,

I just posted this on Facebook.  Is anyone interested in free seminars on learning how to use your Mac Computers?

I know we have the Apple store in town, but honestly that is so far away from home for most of us in Leeward Oahu.

What would you like to learn?

What are you having trouble with?

Email, FB, or comment and let me know.

If I get a group of about 10 people, I think I’ll start something up.


What’s the Best Web Browser?

There’s a lot of hype these days about new web browsers.  Google has a new browser called Chrome, Mozilla Firefox is a very popular browser among techy people.  Apple’s Safari is now on both windows and Macs.  And of course, Internet Explorer is built into the fabric of Windows.

Many people don’t think twice about their web browsers.  They just start whatever is the default on their computer.

But there is good reason to consider alternatives, but which one…

My short answer is the only web browser you should NOT use is Internet Explorer.  Although it comes built into every Windows machine and there’s no way to remove it, it has many shortcomings and security issues.

All of the other modern web browsers are great.  But I believe you will be even happier once you do a little customizing.  So, here’s a 10 minute video explaining some upgrades for your web browser of choice.

And if you’re wondering what I use… I like to use Chrome for general web browsing and Firefox for work and web design.


Tutorial- Desktop Publishing With Pages

Hi Gang,

Just wanted to publish a quick tutorial today.  I started on a little project to help a friend learn to use Apple’s iWork Pages and layout the design for her church bulletins.  Below is the YouTube video.

But if this isn’t your thing, what would you like me to help you with?  Leave a comment on the website or email me.  I love to do these tutorial videos, but I often don’t know what would be useful or helpful.

So, if you have a question about a common program like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Keynote, etc.  Just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.


Help! My Hard Drive Crashed!


I am a firm believer that Apple computers are built well and last a long time.  But of course, nothing lasts forever and there can always be that occasional bad part.

That being said, my friend’s hard drive crashed yesterday (just after the 1 year warranty, so you almost think they time these things).  The problem was he didn’t have a good backup of his iTunes library, photos, songs, apps, etc.

They were all housed safely on his iPhone and iPad, but have you ever tried to get those files onto your computer?

If you’re thinking, just sync the thing to computer with the replacement hard drive…

IpadIf you’ve ever tried that, you know that you will get a warning to the effect that because you’re syncing with a new computer, everything will be erased off the iPhone or iPad.

No!  I don’t want to format the thing, I want to back sync my library onto my computer.

In comes a program called iRip.

I have used iRip in the past to access my music collection on my second laptop, but this became a lifesaver for my friend.

The new version of iRip not only downloads the songs off the iPhone,  but the pictures, movies, books, and podcasts as well.

So iRip came to the rescue and recovered my friend’s library.

So, the moral of the story is BACKUP!

You never know when a hard drive will fail, fall, or go for a swim in lemonaide (that’s another story).

Do you have another solution?  How would you have handled this problem?

I’m Arlen,
I’m a Tech Geek, and I’m at your service!


Freebies galore…

Hi Friends,

Just a quick post today.  If you subscribe to any number of rss feeds having to do with Macs or iPhones, you probably have heard about some of these.  But I thought they were worth mentioning.  Consider it my Christmas present to you.

1. Have you heard of LoJack the service that can possibly help you if your laptop is lost or stolen?  Well there is an alternate program called Hidden for the mac.  Hidden is usually $20 per computer, but until January, they are offering their service free.  Hit their website, signup and install the software before Jan. 1st. for free or $20 afterwards.  Don’t tell any theives, but I’ve had it installed on my computers for over a year.  🙂  http://hiddenapp.com/signup/

2. Myriads of free or low cost apps.  
Gameloft has tons of awesome games on sale or free.
Avallon also has a ton of free games.  I just downloaded a few and I can’t wait to have a free minute to try out a couple.  
appventcalendar.com is a Christmas delight (although the selection was much better last year)
freeappaday.com always has freebies.
Openfeint.com also offers free games
Got any more? leave us a comment.

Well, Merry Christmas!  Hope you are able to take advantage of these Christmas savings and freebies.




Financial Security in an Online World

In todays world, you can never be too safe or secure. This is especially true with our finances. This will be quite a lengthy article, but isn’t your identity and financial protection worth it?

So let’s talk for a moment about financial security as it deals with our computers and online transactions.

But with all these tips, I have to first say there is no such thing as total security. While we can have good practices, we can never be completely secure. However an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So lets focus on some preventative measures we can take. Continue reading

Computer Security For Your PC (Mac users read the tips)

Hi Friends,

Many of you have chosen to use a PC as your primary computer.  But the topic of security eludes most of us.

We know we should have a firewall to protect access to our precious files.  And we know to purchase an Anti-virus program like one of the biggees (Norton Antivirus, McAfee, etc.) But what is Anti-Spyware?  What about Anti-Malware?  Have you heard about HIPS protection?  And it seems like the list could go on and on.  At some point the thought crosses our mind… “Do I really want 5 programs running on my computer before I do anything?”  “My computer seems to be running so slowly these days…”

I have always recommended the Trinity of security Applications: Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, & Firewall.  If you want a list of very good and free software, go to http://www.techsupportalert.com.

But security starts before you install any of these programs.  And these TIPS are for all computer users.

  • Keep your Operating System up to date with the latest software updates.  Windows or Mac, it doesn’t make a different.  Check those updates and install them regularly.
  • Keep your key programs updated as well.  Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Flash Player, Java, Firefox/Chrome/Other Web Browsers, etc.
  • Windows users, I just came across this program that comes highly recommended.  Personally I don’t use a PC anymore so I haven’t tried it.  But the concept is solid.  The program is called GeSWall and it’s available here.  The concept is to build a wall between your computers files and your internet activity, thereby keeping the bad stuff away from affecting your computer and files.
  • One of my favorite internet guru’s, Gizmo Richards, features more great tips on his website.
  • Have you got a great tip too?  Leave them in the comments section for all to see.


Don’t Use the Internet at Starbucks

Hi Gang,

Just a quick tip on security. This one is especially for you iPad owners because sometimes we use our mobile devices without thinking about the security ramifications.

Did you know that if you are on a public wifi like a starbucks or similar location, you should not check your mail or log in to any websites (unless you take some precautions for your security).

The following article will explain this in more depth, but I thought it a good warning because we all need to consider internet security and more so as we become more and more mobile.

Cloak your connection to foil Firesheep snoopers

Even on a “secure website” you may be at risk if the website is not setup with the proper level of security.

I also recommend using a VPN service if you frequently use public internet.
I’ve been pleased with two services in the past (although I am a very infrequent user).

  • hidemynet.com
  • witopia

Have a great day, and be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.


My Favorite iPhone/iPad Apps (Changes Regularly)

I get asked for App recommendations all the time, so here’s a list of my favs for my fans. Love you all! Leave your favorites in the comments section.  -arlen

My Favorite iPhone Apps:
Evernote, BibleReader, ESV Bible, DocsToGo, iAnnotate, Dropbox, Kindle, Mint, Feedler RSS, TripIt, Skype, Wikipanion, IMDB, Flixster… See below for details.

Note taking App- Evernote
Sign up for a free account at http://www.evernote.com. Then you can you use the Evernote App to sync your notes between your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC. Evernote is also a good tool because it backs up your notes so you never lose or forget your notes. Evernote will also sync notes from other Apps like Bible Reader.

Bible App- Olive Tree Bible Reader

High quality often comes are a price. The Bible Reader App is free, but you will need to pay for the Bibles, Commentaries, Dictionaries, etc. That you put add to the app. That said, you can carry a substantial digital library on your iPhone and iPad.

  • Steve pointed out that you can also view two bibles or a bible and commentary side by side in two windows. Great for study and comparison.
  • Tap a verse to highlight or write a note, then sync and backup your notes with a free Evernote account.
  • This app is fast replacing my regular Bible as a great portable study alternative.

Free Bible App- ESV Bible
The ESV is great, accurate translation of the Bible. Now it’s available free on your iPhone or iPad. Neat features include “tweeting” your notes and favorite passages.

Office Suite- Docs to Go
Create and Edit all your office doccuments. Word, Excel, Powerpoint can all be managed with this App. If you want productivity to go, this is my favorite app.

PDF management on steroids. I have a lot of PDF’s whether they are e-books from the Elijahlist or documents shared with me. As the name suggests iAnnotate allows you to add your highlights, comments, bookmarks, etc. to the PDFs. Dropbox integration makes storing and retrieving your files a breeze.

File Mangement- Dropbox
If you’re tired of forgetting a critical file on your computer at home, or tired of plugging and unplugging those USB flash drives, try an online alternative. http://www.dropbox.com will give you a free account to store up to 2 GB’s of files. Then access those files on the go with the Free iPhone/iPad App.

E-Book Reader- Kindle
Read, Highlight, and Annotate your favorite ebooks with this mature and proven App. Shop the vast library of ebooks on amazon.com and start reading today.

Financial Management- Mint
Manage all your financial accounts in one place. Check your credit card balances, bank account, and plan & watch your budget. Mint was recently acquired by Intuit/Quicken so you know the security and usability of the app is first-class.

RSS feed management- Feedler RSS
If you compile all your favorite RSS feeds in a Google Reader account, use this great App to read through the articles in style.

Travel Organizer- Trip it
Trip it makes is simple to manage your busy travel schedule. Simply email your flight, hotel, rental car, etc. Confirmations to tripit and your whole itinerary will be compiled for you. Find local weather and information about your destination too. Simple and organized.

Phone Alternative- Skype
If you regularly use Skype to make international or local calls, why not call from your iPhone at those same low rates? Install the app and start calling.

For Fun-
Wikipanion- A great app to access Wikipedia information.
IMDB- Get all your TV and Movie info here.
Flixster- Watch trailers, add DVD’s to Netflix and a whole lot more.