MVCUG Meeting Notes
September 14, 2019
Thanks to the five members who bothered to show up to help plan the upcoming year for MVCUG. And a very special thank you to our two newest members for being part of that process. The officers are very appreciative. If you did not attend, you don’t get to complain about our upcoming topics—just sayin’.
This was our annual membership meeting that included the election of officers and topic planning for the coming 11 months. It was also the membership renewal month, so if you haven’t paid your membership dues for 2020 yet, please be prepared to do so the next time you attend. Please bring cash or cheque to our treasurer, Carolyn McLain. The membership dues are $25 per year (September through August) and that covers everyone in your household.
If you are wondering just what your membership dues get you, here’s an overview.
- Monthly presentations of personal computing topics by our geeky officers. While our meetings are open to the public and we don’t charge admission, we do encourage all attendees to join the group by paying dues after attending two free presentations. This helps us “pay the bills” for the group (website hosting, email service, etc.). This benefit also includes all the questions and answers, tips, favorites, and computer term education we provide each month. Donuts, bagels, and coffee are not included—please put your donations to cover the refreshment costs in the can on the table, thanks.
- MVCUG website. Our website offers more than just general information about the group and topic for the upcoming meeting. There are notes (ands some presentation slides) from previous meetings with links to software, tips, and tech stories talked about at our meetings. There are useful and interesting links to all kinds of personal computing information in the right sidebar. The meetings tab provides the lineup for the current year of slated topics. The officers tab shows the current slate of officers and email links for the president and one vice president. And the members tab provides links to our Facebook page, information on how to get on the MVCUG mailing list, and one more membership benefit; discounts on professional consultations.
- Professional consultation discounts. John and I will come to members’ homes to troubleshoot problems or train you on personal computing skills at a considerable discount to what we’d normally charge. Right now, that would be only $35 an hour (terms and conditions apply). If we are troubleshooting and can’t resolve the problem, you don’t pay anything. You may also email, phone, or instant message your questions to either one of us and we will be pleased to help you free of charge, providing we have enough information to formulate an answer. We both can help you with Apple devices and software. All Windows PC questions should be directed to John.
- Hardware Checkout: We have a projector and a film negative/slide scanner for members to check out if you need to make a presentation or want to digitize your old photos. They each require a small deposit—contact John if you are interested.
After the usual general club business we jumped right in to the election of officers with John opening the floor for nominations. There were no specific nominations or volunteers to take an office, but when John asked if there was a motion to keep the current slate of officers for another year, it was so moved and seconded by two members present. The motion carried without opposition, so your officers until the September meeting of 2020 are as follows:
- President: John Buono
- Treasurer: Carolyn McLain
- Vice President (Windows): Mike McLain
- Vice President (Macintosh): Barry Midgorden
- We do have one regular volunteer that also should be recognized, even though it’s not an elected office. And that’s our webmaster, Jim Emmons. Thanks, Jim, for keeping our website going and up to date!
Tips & Favorites
Tips and favorites were fairly short this month John, Mike, and I each brought something to share.
- Windows (Mike McLain)
- Ease of Access
- Microsoft provides operating system settings for folks with disabilities that can help us all as we age and our eyesight deteriorates. There are three features that can help with being better able to see and read what’s on screen. 1) You can enlarge everything, 2) enlarge just the text, or 3) turn on Magnifier, which provides a magnified view of just what the pointer cursor is over. Find Ease of Access in the Windows 10 Settings menu.
- macOS (Barry Midgorden)
- Upgrading to Catalina
- The next big version of the Macintosh operating system (version 15.0 Catalina) will be available in October. Before you push that upgrade button we want you to know about a potential pitfall if you are using some older, legacy, third-party software. Catalina is the cut-off for macOS to support 32-bit applications. All applications must be 64-bit compliant to run in Catalina and beyond. Here’s a link to an Apple knowledge base article regarding this transition. At the end of that article is one way you can use to determine if you have 32-bit apps that need to be upgraded before moving to macOS Catalina. Another option—with more features—is to download the free application Go64 from St. Clair Software. It will scan your system and identify 32-bit apps like the built-in system tools from Apple, but provide more options, like direct links to developer websites and tracking of upgrade costs so you can plan your spending for getting the upgrades you need. If you’d like an inside take on what a developer has to do to be 64-bit compliant, watch (or listen to) this episode of MacVoices, an interview with St. Clair Software’s Jon Gotow. Bonus tip for reading this email: for a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know, get Joe Kissell’s ebook Take Control of Upgrading to Catalina for only $12.99 (there are bundles and discounts available).
- iOS (John Buono)
- How to find the magazines in News+
- If you have an Apple device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac) running the latest version of the OS, you have the News app, which you can use to consume a custom curated feed of feature news stories from around the globe. If you choose to subscribe to News+ you additionally get access to hundreds of magazines and some additional newspapers. John provided a demo of how to find the magazine catalog, subscribe to one or more, and share articles with others. There’s a one-month free trial for new subscribers.
Even though we had scheduled an extended question and answer session, we didn’t have very many questions posed. Here are the highlights (in no particular order).
- Q: Charles: When I delete an email message, what happens to that message?
- A: John: While this is seemingly a very simple question, the answer is rather long and complex.
- To begin with, the answer depends. There are two different email protocols that you work with if you get mail on you local device—POP3 or IMAP, and each does something different. And if you read your email exclusively via a web browser, there is yet again a different answer.
- But to make things easy, let’s discuss each separately.
- This is a very old email protocol that is still in use today, but is fading rapidly. If you selected this when you set up your email, (and for discussion purposes if you don’t know, assume this is what you are using), your email messages are sent down to your device, as a copy of the messages on the email server. Think of this as a post office, that is making a copy of your mail.
- When you read and then elect to delete a message, the local copy is placed into a special folder called trash (or sometimes deleted messages; same thing). Then, depending on how you set up you email, the message will stay there until a specified time goes by. The message will then be deleted, which means you will not be able to read the message. Until then you can open the folder Trash and read the message, or move it back to your inbox.
- The amount of time varies from immediately to 30 days, and is a parameter than can be set in your mail preferences. If you don’t set it, figure a default of five days, but the easy way to check is to delete a message and then check the trash folder and see how long before it is deleted. There are some mail programs that won’t delete a message until you purposely tell it to do so.
- But you can always go into the trash folder and if you delete a message there, it will be immediately deleted.
- However, the message is not deleted on the server. The message is still there and will remain on the server until either you log into the email server and delete the message (see Server email below) or if your email provider has a default time (normally 60 days but varies widely), the message will be deleted then.
- This is a lot like POP3 for deleted message, except rather than making a copy of the message, and leaving the original on the server, there is a synched copy of the message made and sent down to the “client” on your local device. What this means is that whatever you do to the local message is done to the remote message. Read flags, delete, etc.
- When you delete a message locally, the operation is like the a message with POP3, except this time if you delete the message locally, the message will be deleted on the server and gone forever.
- Server Email
- When you delete a message on the server through an email client and a web browser, the message is placed in a special folder called trash, delete, or something similar. The message will remain on the server in that folder until you delete the message from that folder, or until a specified time has elapsed that can be configured while online reading your mail.
- Q: Barry: Is there a way to get Turner Classic Movie content after cancelling cable (or satellite) TV service?
- A: Carolyn: There’s a TCM app on Amazon Fire TV.
- Note: Indeed there is. In fact there is a Watch TCM app for iOS, Android, and Apple TV (4th generation), too. Unfortunately, you still have to have a valid cable or satellite TV subscription to access content through the app, according to this FAQ page. So, at present in any rate, there is no equivalent subscription service like CBS All Access for Turner Classic Movies content.
- Q: A new member (I apologize, I have not learned your name yet): I’m getting bugged by Dell to update the BIOS on my PC. Should I do it?
- A: John (and Mike, almost simultaneously): Yes, do it! They have fixed a bug, added capabilities, or plugged a vulnerability. Just don’t do it during an electrical storm; you don’t want to lose power during the process—it could hose your computer and make it unbootable.
- Q: Charles: Malwarebytes for Mac; paid or free version?
- A: John: The free version is fine for macOS. Upgrade to the paid version for Windows, maybe. If you are running Windows 10, then the built-in security provided by Windows Defender is great and most home users don’t need any other commercial malware protection, provided they using safe computing practices.
- Note: Barry: The main difference between the paid and free version of Malwarebytes is the ability to run in the background and actively scan your system for threats in real time. I use the free version and only do a manual scan when I get an update notice.
Well, we did it, thanks to the input of the members present. We have an exciting slate of topics planned for the coming year. There is always the possibility that something may change, but at least we have a plan going forward. The entire slate will be posted to the MVCUG website before too long, so check the Meetings tab often to see what’s coming up. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at what’s on deck for next month.
- Saturday, October 12, 2019
- Optimizing Your Searches
- 15 tips that will blow your mind and change your searching forever.
- Check our website and our Facebook page for a tantalizing description (coming soon). Mark your calendar and join us next month.
Thanks for reading to the end. Happy computing!
Barry “Bazza” Midgorden
Vice President (macOS)
Mountain View Computer Users Group
Sierra Vista, Arizona