March Newsletter

FHS Library

Back up to Google Drive?

I know, some of you have already tried this and it didn't work. Some of you have no idea how to even get started. Some of you have already made the change. For those of you that have already made the change - come by for a cup of tea or to say hello. We can also discuss things you can do that are pretty neat. For the other two sets, I would encourage you to bring your computer by and I will help you set everything up.

Yosemite Update?

Big surprise - there is a new operating system for your Mac. Last year there was the Maverick update. I was hesitant to switch but loved it. Now we have Yosemite. First, you have to decide if it is time to make the switch. How do you make this choice? Mostly for me it came down to wanting all my computers to work the same. I messed up and updated my home computer to Yosemite and then had to adjust when working on my work computer. This was driving me crazy. Another issue to look at is if you are using the Smart Notebook to design lessons. I think most of us don't, just because of time. If you use Smart Notebook, do not make the change! Now, if you have decided that you want to make the change there are somethings to be aware of:
1. If your computer goes to a white screen, write a workorder right away.
2. You will be asked to set up your iCloud. If you do not have a work iTunes account, I would recommend setting one up. There are directions for how to create an account that is not backed by a credit card on the ITD Self-Help page.
3. Once you set Yosemite up and you have set up your iCloud - your Mac will hook up to your iPhone or iPad. This depends on what account you used to set up your iCloud. If you use your personal account, Merry Christmas. Your contacts and every account are now linked. You can make changes to this in the setting menu of you iPhone or iPad. The issue occurs when you are in a meeting and have your phone on silent but don't have your iPad silent and your Mac silent - it can be embarrassing when your iPad and Mac start ringing during a meeting. (Yes, I learned this the hard way.)

Apps for Yosemite

Most of these recommendations are coming from a post I found from Kevin Purcell on I am only pulling 6 of the 18 he recommended. What was my criteria? Cost!
I focused on free apps. These are in no particular order.
Adapter - this a conversion utility. It uses drag-and-drop to convert just about anything. (audio, video, and image)
BitTorrent - This is a handy tool for transferring content, especially large video files or zip files that you want others to edit. It works like Dropbox and is free.
TeamViewer - I am so trying this! This software allows you to utilize the "Back to My Mac" solution cross-platform. This means that if you have a file on one computer and it is somewhere other than work, you can log in via TeamViewer and copy the file to your current location. The software does have to be loaded on all the computers you want to access and it is free for personal use.
VLC Media Play - is a free alternative to QuickTime.
Handbrake - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this program! This baby will convert videos into different file types. Got an avi file and need it to play on QuickTime? Open Handbrake, click a couple of buttons and it is done. I have this loaded to my work computer if you want to see it work.
Ejector - I read this description and wasn't sure how much we would use this. Then I found out that we are getting Mac Airs and several people are wanting to get external dvd drives. This is one tool you need to explore if you are thinking about getting an external dvd drive. It allows you to eject specific things from your mac. So you can eject just a flash drive or you can eject the flash drive and the dvd drive. Since this is free, it might be worth playing with.
Reflector - This one cost money! It is loaded onto a single computer for $19.99. The company is a vendor for RCSD and you can use your EEF money. (Things to think about next year.) It allows you to turn a Mac or PC into an AirPlay receiver. I have this purchased on one machine in the library for us to test out.