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.




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.


The Top 3 Security Apps To Protect Your Mac-Repost

Hi Gang,
I just found this great article on Security Apps for your mac. Worth reading and installing.

I have iAntivirus on my Mac and run the scan from time to time to ensure my Mac is safe and bug free.

The other two are great suggestions and I plan to look at them more closely in the near future.

Here’s the link to the original article.


Cheap Software!!!

MacUpdate regularly bundles software together and offers it at huge discounts.

Their bundle right now is $50. and includes 11 programs. For the price, they are offering some great products if you need them and don’t already have comparable programs.

My recommendation is if you’d consider purchasing 2 of the programs below the bundle is worth it. Or if you are considering running windows, Parallels alone retails for $80 and this bundle would be worth it.

Click here to see the website.

1. Parallels v5
If you want to run windows XP, Vista, or 7 alongside your mac programs this is a great program to use. Note: you must have a windows installation CD to use windows. A comparable program you might have is VMware Fusion.

2. MacScan
MacScan is an excellent anti-virus program for the Mac. Historically Macs have not had many viruses so anti-virus software has been unnecessary. However with the popularity of Macs, iPhones, and the coming iPads, we may see a rise in viruses for Macs.

3. Hyperspaces
If you use “Spaces” to organize your work, hyperspaces adds some nice enhancements. This is a fun program that makes using spaces more useful.

4. Websnapper
If you have ever wanted to save a web page as an image or PDF, this is the program that will do it for you. Note: this is a plug-in for Safari. If you’re using another web browser like Firefox, this won’t be useful for you.

5. Hydra
Is a simple and powerful program to create High Dynamic Range images. High Dynamic Range or HDR is a technique where people using DSLR cameras can take 3-5 pictures at various exposure settings and combine them into one. The result is an image with great vibrant colors. If you have a DSLR camera or your consumer camera has a feature like “Auto Exposure Bracketing AEB) you’ll have fun playing with your pictures and this program.

6. SpellCatcher X
Is Mac OS X’s spell checker, dictionary, thesaurus, etc. on steroids. Great tool for writers and people who write or blog a lot.

7. Timeline 3D
This is another fun program. If you make timelines, chronology, are a history buff this would be a really fun program to play with.

8. Back in Time
Most of us use Time Machine to backup our data. It’s a great backup tool. But it has some limitations when you want to restore data or restore a previous version of a file. “Back in Time” overcomes many of these limitations.

9. ForeverSave
Never lose any work you’ve done because of a program crash or mistakenly deleted file. Enough Said.

10. MacDVDRipper
Backup your DVD Collection to your hard drive.

11. (First 10,000 people get) DVD Remaster Pro
Use this program to make copies of your DVD’s. Movie DVD’s we buy are special size DVDs so they won’t copy nicely to Blank DVDs we buy. A program like DVDRemaster Pro bridges the gap to compress the DVD so it will fit. This is why there is no DVD copying software included with Macs.

Bottom line: If you would use Parallels or any 2+ of these programs, this bundle is worth considering.


Switching to a Mac ?

As many people switch from PC’s to Mac Computers a variety of questions and situations occur.

Apple has some good information and tips on making your “conversion” simpler and easier.

You can find their “Switch 101” webpage here. http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/

Have Fun playing with your new Mac. And relax, experiment… that’s how we all learn about our new technologies.

If worse comes to worse, put in those install DVD’s and make a fresh start.

Perhaps we should talk about backing up data next.

🙂 arlen