Dorchester — Jul 8th 2014

After John opened the meeting, David gave a talk and demonstration of Image Capture both as a stand-alone app and as built in to Preview. Actually his live demonstration was frustrated by the fact that whilst his Epson Printer/Scanner printed fine over the network , he could not get the scanner to respond. Several members printed documents from IOS devices via Printopia installed on David’s Mac. Printer network problems proved a significant topic for Q & A later.

Lionel gave an update on Cloud storage proposing the case for it as the most secure way of backing up. Before the cloud, various storage devices could be used but are subject to risk of fire theft damage etc. and are best stored off site for added security. But all this is not very convenient or readily accessible. The advantage of Cloud storage is accessibility from anywhere on almost any computer and you can share data with people if you so wish.

Cloud options available are iCloud, other commercial clouds or your own website though Lionel discounted the latter for reasons of security. In addition to storage, iCloud incorporates syncing services, email etc. Lionel listed a number of commercial sites mostly similar in use to Dropbox i.e. you download an App which sets up a folder into which you can drag anything you want to transfer to the Cloud. His list Microsoft One Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, each of which offers some free storage. Other commercial providers include Backblaze, Carbonite, Crash Plan, Mozy, Dropbox, SugarSync and Box. Several offer some free storage – check out deals. PC World also offer large amounts of storage for annual charges.

There are downsides. Cloud storage is reportedly susceptible to snooping by security services e.g. FBI and can even be frozen whilst under investigation. ADSL broadband suffers from very slow upload speeds. Lionel explained ADSL in some detail hoping for significant improvement as fibre optic service get introduced. 3G Mobile services are not as fast as ADSL but upload is as fast as download, 4G improves on this. Lionel suggested the best solution is to use the cloud selectively storing only for too important to lose files and files you might wish to share. Eric uses iDrive which he strongly recommends as once the initial backup has been made future ones are just updates to changed files.

Sheena wondered why she was using up all her iCloud free storage, amassing photos. Tom demonstrated on his iPad how to turn off photos being uploaded to the iCloud (Photostream). He concurred with Mick that you needed to do the same on all your devices.

Lionel’s HP network printer loses its connection after his computer had been asleep. Switching the printer off and on remakes the connection. The general opinion was that HP printers have a built in sleep function which may need to be disabled.

Tom also has network problems with his printer with AirPrint and simply cannot get it to respond to any device. Mick suggested that he pinged his printer to see if was connected to the Network. Fun was then under Mick’s guidance using Network Utility pinging various devices from David’s computer, which was connected to the projector. Network Utility is located /System/Library/CoreServices but the word Network showed it up instantly in Spotlight.

David gave a brief description of the destruction by hacking of his partners Textiles website built using Fasthosts on-line Sitebuilder, showing how using FTP he was able to look at the site damage inspecting individual file contents using Text Edit with the Open & Save Preferences set to “Display HTML file as HTML code instead of formatted text. Now introduced to FTP and the excellent Transmit App they would be downloading the rebuilt site at regular intervals as a back. Mark recommended Google as an excellent alternative to Fasthosts.



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David Moon said…

Network Utility can be reached by opening System Information, Apple Menu (Hold down option key) and then click on Window Menu.
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