Does Your Favorite Site Support 2FA?

Security breaches on the Internet are in the news almost daily. It is becoming almost mandatory to enable 2-factor authentication on any site that requires a login.

Two-factor authentication is one of best things you can do to protect your online accounts from getting hacked. Two-factor authentication (2FA) also known as Two-step verification is a security process that requires the presentation of two authentication factors: a knowledge factor (something you know like a password) and a possession factor (something you have like your iPhone).

For example, if you have enabled Two-step verification with Google. When you log in to your Google account, you provide your login credentials, then Google will send you a code to enter to complete the login process.

Many major Internet sites support 2FA, but not all. To see what site support 2FA go to There you will find a list of sites that support Two-factor authentication. If you favorite site doesn't, the provides a link to tell them to support 2FA.

Upgrade Your MacBook Pro With An SSD

My family has two early 2011 13" MacBook Pros and they were beginning to feel…well…a bit dated. I decided to upgrade each Mac with an SSD. After researching MacBook Pro compatible SSDs, I chose the Crucial M500 480GB model. In my opinion, the Crucial M500 480GB SSD offered the best value, speed, and disk space.

To prepare for the upgrade I cloned each drive with Carbon Copy Cloner. The process took several hours for each Mac to complete the cloning. Knowing that I was going to have two WD Scorpio Black 750GB drives after the upgrade, I purchased two Anker USB 3.0 Hard Drive Disk External Enclosures for 2.5in SATA HDD / SSD Drives. The enclosures are well made and offer a very simple installation procedure. We now have two portable 7200 RPM USB 3.0 hard disk drives!

A Phillips #00 screwdriver and a Torx T6 screwdriver are needed to install the M500s. I like the toolkits from I removed the screws from the bottom plate of the MacBook Pros to expose the hard disk drive. The SSD is slimmer than the 2.5" hard disk drive so Crucial supplies a spacer to make up the difference. 

After the installation was complete, I attached the each cloned drive via USB and booted the Macs while holding down he Option key. I selected the cloned drive as the boot volume and then let Carbon Copy Cloner populate the Crucial SSD. 

The results are wonderful! The MacBook Pros boot fast and apps snap to life. To keep the SSD in top shape, I  purchased Trim Enabler 3.0 from Cindori Software. Trim Enabler activates the ability for the SSD to handle garbage collection overhead, which would otherwise significantly slow down future write operations. Another benefit of trimming is that it will keep the drives running at top speed. 

Are you looking to freshen up your aging MacBook Pro?

The Ultimate Character Map

I love typography and at times my font library has gotten rather…large. Making it difficult to explore and choose the right typeface for a project. I has discovered a fantastic character map application.

Ultra Character Map from X04 Studios lets you unlock the power of your font collection.

Here are the main features:

Unlock everything your fonts have to offer. Access any character, symbol or glyph in any font and use it in your documents. 

• Have Fun with colors and 3D effects. Create your own clip art by applying colors and 3D effects to any character, symbol or glyph.

• Say it in Emoji. Ultra Character Map gives you access to all Emoji characters available in OS X. To use an Emoji character, just drag or copy it into your document. 

• Compare fonts the easy way. Enter text once, then simply scroll through a list to see a preview in every font. Don't want to look at all your fonts? You can filter the list by style, classification, collection or name. Ultra Character Map lets you preview header or paragraph text and includes preset samples to save you even more time. 

• Print font catalogs and font samples. Ultra Character Map lets you print custom font catalogs, font samples and character maps or save them as PDF documents. 

• Useful tools for graphic designers, webmasters and app developers. Ultra Character Map shows all the glyphs in your fonts (even glyphs that are not associated with a character) and lets you view Bézier curves and copy them to other apps. It also features an HTML entity palette, a Unicode 6.1 grid and panels that display extensive character and font information. 

• Ultra Character Map lets you pick favorite fonts and characters, view characters or text copied from other apps, view the keystrokes that produce specific characters (even if they require multiple steps, such as "Option-N then Shift-N") and much more.

Ultra Character Map is available in the Mac App Store. Email me with your favorite typeface or font tool.

Have you been pwned?

There have been a number of high profile retailers and online service providers that have been the victims of hackers over the past few months. Millions of account credentials have been acquired by the bad guys. How do you know if your account has been jeopardized by a security breach? Go to and input your email address or username. You will immediately see whether you have been pwned (compromised) or not.

The site also offers you the ability to enter in your email address and if it is subjected to a future hack, you will be notified.

Apple's Gorgeous 30-Years of Macintosh Icon Set

Greg Barbosa @gregbarbosa, an iOS developer, discovered a hidden set of Macintosh icons on Apple's Thirty Years of Mac web site. There are two collections (simple and standard) that depict each Mac model from the past 30 years. The simple collection can be downloaded here and the standard collection can be downloaded here.

30 Years Macitosh Icons.png

The iconic Mac collections are not standard fonts. You will not be able to use them as you would a typical font. But for personal use, they can be copy and pasted using Apple's Font Book application.

The Macintosh Turns 30!

Macintosh Picasso.jpg

While watching Super Bowl 18…Apple's legendary Macintosh commercial played I immediately knew that something special was about to happen. A week later Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh and I have been an obsessed Apple addict for 30 years. 

The Macintosh was introduced at a ridiculous price of $2495.00 but that did not matter, I had to get one. This was going to be life changing. So I sold my 3-month old innovative Compaq computer and bought at the revolutionary 128K Macintosh. The best purchase of my life! 

I thought it would be fun to compare what we got in 1984 for $2495.00 and what we can buy today (MacPro) for $2999.00.

Macintosh 128K.jpg

1984 Macintosh 128K Specifications

Introduced 1/124/1985 and Discontinued on 10/1/1985

Processor: 8Mhz 68000 32-bit Processor with a 16-bit Data Path • Slots: None

PMMU: None • FPU: None • Data Path: 16, 8 • L1 Cache: None •L2 Cache: None •2nd Processor: None

Standard RAM: 128k • Maximum RAM: 512K by an Authorized Reseller or 2048K by an unauthorized installer!

9" Built-in Display Monochrome Display with a Native Resolution of 512x342

ROM Size:64K • 400K Floppy • Mouse • Keyboard

Mac OS Supported: 1.0 through 7.0.1 • Support Discontinued 9/1/98

Dimensions: 13.6" H x 9.6" W x 10.9" D • Weight: 16.5 lbs 



2013 MacPro

Introduced 10/22/2013 • Began Shipping Late December 2013

Processor: Quad Core 3.7 GHz Intel Xeon E5 with 10MB L3 cache and Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz • Slots: None

Standard RAM: 12GB 1866Mhz DDR3 ECC Memory • Maximum RAM: 64GB

GPU: Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB of GDDR VRAM 

  • 1280 stream processors
  • 256-bit-wide memory bus
  • 160GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 2 teraflops performance

Display: None…but can support up to 3 4K Displays and 6 Thunderbolt Displays

Storage: 256GB PCI-e Flash-based • No Mouse • No Keyboard

4 USB Slots • 6 Thunderbolt 2 Connectors • Dual Gigabit Ethernet • HDMI 1.4 Ultra HD Slot

WiFi: 802.11ac • Bluetooth: 4.0

Mac OS Supported: OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Dimensions: 9.9" H x 6.6" Diameter • Average Weight: 11 lbs 


In 1984 dollars the 128K Macintosh would cost over $5600.00 today! The MacPro is a virtual bargain with over 10000 times the memory and more than 10000 times the processing power of the original Macintosh. However, both machines are state of the art examples of the genius of Apple.

Mr. Reader for iOS 7

Reeder was my favorite iOS RSS news readers for years. As time passed, Reeder fell a out of favor when I discovered Mr. Reader for iPad. Within a short time, Reeder was deleted from my iPad.

iOS 7 was released and Mr. Reader suffered a bit. Reeder 2 was released and I began to use it again. Reeder 2 is very good on the iPhone, but I missed the power and feature set of Mr. Reader for iPad.

Oliver Fürniß, the developer of Mr. Reader has been working hard to get Mr. Reader 3.0 iOS 7 ready. He recently released the popular app and his efforts are clearly evident. Mr. Reader 3.0 for iOS 7 is terrific!

If you are a fan off RSS, take a look at the vast list of features of Mr. Reader 3.0 at

Apple's 12 Days of Gifts

Apple fans in the United States will have the same benefit that our friends north of the border had last year. 

Apple is offering up 12 Days of Gifts. Go over to the iOS App store and download the 12 Days of Gifts app. Then from December 26, 2013 through January 6, 2014, you can download a gift each day—songs, apps, books, movies, and more. Each day's gift will only be available for 24 hours, so download the free app to make sure you don’t miss out.

Happy Holidays!!!

Tweetbot 3 for iPhone

Tweetbot 3 for iPhone, my favorite full-featured Twitter client, has ben redesigned from the ground up for iOS7.

Some of Tweetbot 3's highlights are: 

◆ Completely redesigned from the ground up for iOS7. 

◆ Native Push Notifications. 

◆ Wi-Fi Streaming let tweets come to you streaming live as they are published.

◆ Mute filters lets you block messages from users without unfollowing them. Mute services, hashtags, people, and even keywords (regex included).

◆ Sync Timeline position, direct message read statuses and mute filters between iPhone, iPad, and the Mac via iCloud or Tweetmarker. 

◆ Customizable Tab Bar. The last 2 tabs are customizable and unused tabs are easily accessible. 

Tweetbot 3's Drafts allows to craft your tweets on your schedule. Tweetbot 3 displays how many pending drafts there are so you'll never forget to come back to them.

◆ Support for multiple services like Pocket, Instapaper, Readability, CloudApp, Droplr, and more. 

◆ Save drafts, add locations and POI's, attach photos/videos, manage your lists, and much more.

Tweetbot 3 is a separate download in the App Store for $2.99. A version for the the iPad is in the works. 

Fantastical2 for iPhone

Flexibits has releases Fantastical 2 for iPhone and this 5-Star app has been completely redesigned and reimagined for iOS 7.

Completely redesigned for iOS 7, Fantastical 2 for iPhone includes many new features including reminders, an improved parser, a new light theme, a week view in landscape mode, background app refresh, TextExpander support, birthday reminders/greetings, and much more.

Reminders are fully featured and allow you to see your events and dated reminders together in the main list. Reminders can be added directly from their Reminders list or new event screen - a simple flip of the item switch will toggle between events and reminders. Users can even set dates, times, and geofences (when I arrive/when I leave) to their reminders.

The parser improvements in Fantastical 2 for iPhone are significant, including the ability to create reminders by starting sentences with "reminder", "todo", "task", or "remind me to." Also new are expanded, expressive repeating events such as third Thursday of every month, every weekend, last weekday of the month, and more. Plus, users can now add alerts with phrases such as "remind me tomorrow at 3PM", "alert 1 hour before", or "alarm 3PM."

Fantastical 2 takes full advantage of iOS 7, including support for Background App Refresh, Dynamic Type, and 64-bit support for the iPhone 5s. Background App Refresh ensures events, reminders, and alerts are up to date even when Fantastical isn't open. Support for Dynamic Type ensures Fantastical shows text larger or smaller, depending on the user's preferred text size. Also new (and exclusive to devices with 4" screens) is an extended keyboard when creating new events or reminders, providing instant access to numbers and symbols for dates and times.


With Fantastical 2 for iPhone, you will quickly and easily create, view, and search all of your events and reminders. The advanced natural language engine is extremely expressive, enabling you to enter event or reminder details in your own style. For example, you can enter sentences such as "Lunch with Devin at 123 Main Street on Friday" and Fantastical 2 for iPhone translates the sentence into an event and adds it to your calendar. And with support for reminders, you can enter sentences such as "todo Pick up dry dinner" and the you will have a reminder, ready to check off.

Fantastical 2 for iPhone is localized in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, letting users enter events in their preferred language. Best of all, Fantastical automagically detects the entered language for an event or reminder regardless of the system's language setting. On devices supporting dictation, events or reminders can be created simply by speaking.

Fantastical 2 for iPhone is on the App Store for a limited-time price of $2.99 . The standard price will be $4.99. Fantastical 2 is iOS 7 only.

Export As PDF…! In Mavericks

The first feature that I discovered missing from Safari 7 was the ability to print or save a page from the Reader view. In Safari 6 you could choose Reader, then mouse down to the bottom of the window and a pop up display would appear allowing you to either print or save the page with a single mouse click. Apple removed this feature in Safari 7. But in Mavericks, supported apps, including Safari, offer a new File menu item; Export as PDF…


Export as PDF…

Export as PDF…

In Safari, Text Edit, Mail, and other apps, simply select Export as PDF... from the File menu and you have just created a PDF! You can even take advantage of another new feature in Mavericks and add a tag before you save the PDF. 

Bonus Tip: 

To make the Export as PDF… more convenient, add a keyboard shortcut. Open System Preferences and select then Keyboard preferences pane. The click on the "Shortcuts" tab. In the left pane select "App Shortcuts". Click the "+" button found directly below the left and right panes. Now make sure that the "Application" field shows "All Applications". 


Export as PDF…Shortcut 1.png

This is important, in the Menu Title field, enter "Export as PDF…" Note the capitalization for each part of the title and you must use an ellipses . The ellipses is created with the Option key and Semicolon. Now assign your keyboard shortcut. I have chosen Option-P.

That's it! You will see your new shortcut in the right pane. 


Export as PDF…Shortcut 2.png

It will be available in the File menu in apps that support the new Mavricks feature.

Export As PDF…Option-P.png

Email me at with your favorite Mavericks tip. 

WaveJamr by Radtech Rocks!

I was a little jealous that my wife's car offered Bluetooth connectivity.  So nice not to have cables strung throughout the car. I had just purchased one of those pricey Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapters so I could connect my iPhone 5s to my car's stereo system. Then I heard Allison Sheridan over at mention a bluetooth wireless audio receiver from Radtech.

The WaveJamr Bluetooth Music Receiver is fantastic! The WaveJamr converts most speaker docks, dockable alarm clocks, or automobile systems into a high-fidelity Bluetooth wireless system. It works beautifully, I actually set up the WaveJamr while sitting at a stop light. It took no more than 60 seconds. Attached the WaveJamr to the 30-pin cable in my car, paired it with my phone and I was instantly listening to wireless sound. 

If you have an Apple Hi-Fi Home Stereo for iPod, Bose SoundDock, or any 'ol 30-pin devics collecting dust, you can now bring them into the 21st century. The WaveJamr is my number one 2013 gadget of the year. I cannot recommend it highly enough.





The User Library Folder in Mavericks

After upgrading to Lion and Mountain Lion we discovered that Apple decided to try to protect us from ourselves and hid the User Library folder. Alert! You do need to take extreme care when making changes within the User Library folder, but Apple does not hide other folders that I feel could cause far worse problems if tampered with. I won't cover them here, but there are a number of documented ways to unhide the User folder in Systems 10.7 and 10.8.

Mavericks (System 10.9) offers up a new way to expose the User Library folder. You can set a Finder View option (a hidden tag) to make the User Library folder visible.

Go to the Finder’s Go menu (Go > Home); or press Shift-Command-H. Alternatively, you can open your Home folder by following the path /Users/yourusername in the Finder. 

While still in the Finder, choose View > Show View Options or press Command-J
Near the bottom of the View Options window is a setting called Show Library Folder. Select the Show Library Folder check box. Your User Library folder immediately appears. Close the View Options window.

Show Library Folder

Show Library Folder

iOS 7.0.3rd Times A Charm Intro • Tips & Tricks

The Southern California Macintosh Owners • Users Group in Costa Mesa, California featured an iOS 7-palooza. We collected a comprehensive set of iOS 7.0.3 Tips & Tricks You can download the outline PDF that was used as the basis for the presentation. It has been updated to include the iOS 7.0.3 update.

The 7.0.3 update contains bug fixes and other improvements, including the ability to Search the Web and Search Wikipedia from Spotlight. Tip: Scroll a lllllll the way down to the bottom of a Spotlight Search to see the options. Turning on the "Reduce Motion" setting now replaces all the zooming animations with a nice fade effect. 

Just look to the left of this screen and click on SMOG Macintosh & iOS Downloads. Scroll down and click on "SMOG iOS 7.0.3 Intro • Tips & Tricksto download the file. 

What is you favorite iOS 7 tip or trick? Email me at

iOS 7.png

PCalc 3.0 for iOS 7

 PCalc, one of the longest running apps iOS or OS X, is now completely updated for iOS 7. PCalc, a $9.99 universal iOS app that is ideal for scientists, engineers, students, programmers, or indeed anybody looking for a feature-rich calculator for any iOS device. It includes an extensive set of unit conversions, a paper tape, an RPN mode, engineering and scientific notation, as well as support for hexadecimal, octal and binary calculations. PCalc 3 for iOS is based on the popular PCalc for the Macintosh, PCalc 3 has been redesigned from the ground up to give the best handheld iOS 7 experience.

I have collected far too many iOS calculator apps over the years. I have now settled on PCalc 3. It is the fastest, most accurate, and full-featured iOS calculator. I use it every day.

PDFpen Scan+ for iOS

Smile Software, the wizards behind PDFpen and TextExpander have entered the iOS portable scanning space with PDFpen Scan+.

PDFpen Scan+ is a universal iOS app that enables you to one-touch scan multi-page documents, articles, receipts, contracts, invoices, and more, using the iPhone or iPad camera. Scans are cropped, sized to standard paper sizes, and visually enhanced for legibility. PDFpen Scan+ includes OCR (optical character recognition), making it possible to copy the text in a scanned document for use in another document or email message, or to export a PDF containing searchable text to cloud services such as Dropbox, Evernote, Box, Google Drive, and iTunes.

PDFpen Scan+ is available in the App Store for $4.99. 


Do you a favorite iOS scanning app? 

The 2013 iMac

Apple® has updated the legendary iMac® with fourth generation Haswell Intel quad-core processors, NVIDIA GeForce 700 series graphics processors, three-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and faster Fusion Drive and PCIe flash storage and options.

The iMac® is available with either a 21.5" 1920-by-1080 resolution or a 27" 2560-by-1440 resolution LED-backlit display with IPS technology.

All models are equipped with at least 8GB of 1600Mhz of DDR3 memory. 

Retail prices for the iMac® start at $1299.00 for the 21.5" model and $1799.00 for the 27" model.

The 2013 iMac® is a technological all-in-one stunner!

Are you looking to upgrade to the new iMac or are you waiting for the the Mac Pro?

Vert for iPhone | Beautiful Conversion App

Vert makes conversions a simple and visually pleasing experience. Vert is a beatuiful iOS app for your iPhone or iPod touch.

Vert offers 33 Categories with over 800 unit of measurement conversions including Acceleration, Angle, Area, Cooking - Volume, Cooking - Weight/Mass, Currency, Data Size, Density, Energy, Force, Frequency, Fuel Consumption, Illuminance, Length/Distance, Metric Prefixes, Power, Pressure, Radioactivity, Speed, Temperature, Time, Torque, Typography, Viscosity, Volume, Volumetric Flow, and Weight/Mass.

Vert even features clothing sizing for bra cup & band, hats & caps, shirts & blouses, shoes, suits, and dresses. Rock climbing grades are also included.

Reeder 2 for iOS

The legend is back! Reeder 2, one of the premier RSS readers is now available as a universal iOS app. Reeder 2 can act as a stand-alone RSS reader and a client for services like Feed Wrangler, Feedbin, Feedly, Fever, and Readability.

 Reeder 2 has been stocked with a series of Gesture controls including:

• Slide from the left or right edge of the screen to navigate back or forward.

• Pull-to-refresh also works from the navigation bar, no need to scroll to the top.

• Slide any article list entry to toggle un/read or un/starred. Open Settings for more options.

• Slide any folder list entry to get to all articles of the folder instead of the feed list. This gesture can be modified in Settings.

• A swipe from the right edge in the article viewer or in-app browser will open the services panel.

• Slide right or left on the toolbar of the in-app browser to go back or forward a page.

• Tap-and-hold on an article list entry to mark above or below as read.

• Tap-and-hold on a feed list entry for subscription edit options.

• Tap-and-hold on the back button to go back to the accounts list.

Reeder 2 also features the capability to link to many sharing services.

Reeder has been my favorite RSS reader since it's initial release several years ago.