Best site(s) for more-or-less objective info on Macs?

Things not necessarily Nisus. Chat about the latest Apple release, your adorable three-toed sloth, or whatever else you fancy.
Post Reply
David Sharp
Posts: 40
Joined: 2008-07-06 23:21:27
Location: Paris, France
Contact:

Best site(s) for more-or-less objective info on Macs?

Post by David Sharp » 2015-10-15 00:03:41

Hi,

Is there a site, or sites, where one can get reasonably reliable info and advice on Macs?
Most sites are so advertising-laden that their objectivity cannot be assumed.

I have a host of questions, such as:
  • What to do when IPhoto, which one more or less understood, is suddenly replaced by "Photos", which clearly involves a new learning curve? (So far, all I've done is stopped taking photos, which is not a great solution)
    What the hell is this "MacKeeper" program that is regularly advertised on web sites I visit? (The MacWorld site, which I occasionally consult, carries ads for the damned thing, so I can't really expect them to help out)
    What is the best way to keep two separate Macs synchronised without having to use the dreaded cloud?
    How can I ensure that the camera on the top of my screen isn't being used to spy on me without my knowledge?
etc., etc.

Many thanks for any advice. David Sharp

exegete77
Posts: 180
Joined: 2007-09-20 17:58:56

Re: Best site(s) for more-or-less objective info on Macs?

Post by exegete77 » 2015-10-15 09:17:00

Howdy. Two items I offer sights.

Avoid Mackeeper at all costs. I had researched a couple years ago. It is essentially invasion ware (may not be a term), and accomplishes nothing useful.

I have a small tab that made to act as a flip over the camera. I keep the flap there unless I am doing video conferences (two times a week for two hours each).

Hope this helps a little.
iMac 21.5” / MBP 13” Retina
Mac user since 1990

dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Best site(s) for more-or-less objective info on Macs?

Post by dshan » 2015-10-17 23:42:24

David Sharp wrote:Hi,

Is there a site, or sites, where one can get reasonably reliable info and advice on Macs?
Most sites are so advertising-laden that their objectivity cannot be assumed.
Ans: There are heaps of good Mac sites, e.g.:

http://tidbits.com/ (their Take Control series of ebooks are very good too)
http://www.imore.com/
http://www.macintouch.com/
http://sixcolors.com/
http://9to5mac.com/

Oh yes, I almost forgot - http://www.apple.com

And then there are sites that cover Apple as well as others, e.g.:

http://arstechnica.com/
http://www.theverge.com/
https://www.yahoo.com/tech

I have a host of questions, such as:
  • What to do when IPhoto, which one more or less understood, is suddenly replaced by "Photos", which clearly involves a new learning curve? (So far, all I've done is stopped taking photos, which is not a great solution)
Ans: Learn Photos, it's not difficult. Start here: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH21290 and then use the app's Help menu and various online resources (of which there are a shedload covering Photos), etc..
What the hell is this "MacKeeper" program that is regularly advertised on web sites I visit? (The MacWorld site, which I occasionally consult, carries ads for the damned thing, so I can't really expect them to help out)
Ans: As exegete77 said, avoid this piece of adware/malware at all costs. Been a lot written about it lately, use Google and you'll find out what a piece of junk it is. MacWorld did publish some articles on it a while back, including a couple telling you how to uninstall it if you were foolish enough to have installed it. Oh, and this one too: http://www.macworld.com/article/2968332 ... -back.html
What is the best way to keep two separate Macs synchronised without having to use the dreaded cloud?
Ans: Use the cloud, it's not "dreaded" it's great. But if you insist on being a Luddite then you can mount one Mac's drive on another over your LAN and use a sync utility to keep them in step. I've used SyncTwoFolders but there are many others.
How can I ensure that the camera on the top of my screen isn't being used to spy on me without my knowledge?
Ans: Look at it. If the little green light is on then it's in use, if it's not then it's not. There was a hack a while back for older Macs that could bypass switching on the light, but not for more recent Macs (I can't recall now how recent, maybe 2012 and later? Use Google to find the details.) Also, ensure you have good security set up on your LAN, Macs, etc. so no one can get unauthorised access to your Mac to begin with. When you're not using your Mac shut it down or put it to sleep (on MacBooks put the lid down when it's not in use).


[/list]etc., etc.

xiamenese
Posts: 422
Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Location: London or Exeter, UK

Re: Best site(s) for more-or-less objective info on Macs?

Post by xiamenese » 2015-10-20 04:04:54

I too say emphatically, "Stay clear of MacKeeper!" When it first came out, I thought it sounded useful and installed it. I ran it and it created absolute havoc on my system,

Being a sensible sort of bloke, I had made a bootable back-up of the system before I installed MacKeeper, so I immediately wiped the HD and did a clean re-install of the system, my apps and all my files. I lost a day doing it, but that's all.

Every time I see an ad for MacKeeper, I wonder how it can still be around.

Mark

User avatar
Elbrecht
Posts: 335
Joined: 2007-03-31 14:59:22
Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Re: Best site(s) for more-or-less objective info on Macs?

Post by Elbrecht » 2015-10-20 04:45:32

HI – 
How can I ensure that the camera on the top of my screen isn't being used to spy on me without my knowledge?
for "El Capitan" there is "Micro Snitch" [App Store] from the makers of "Little Snitch" & "LaunchBar" [www.obdev.at]

HE
MacBook Pro i5
SSD 840/850 Pro
macOS Sierra 10.12.6
Nisus Writer Pro 2.1.9

David Sharp
Posts: 40
Joined: 2008-07-06 23:21:27
Location: Paris, France
Contact:

Re: Best site(s) for more-or-less objective info on Macs?

Post by David Sharp » 2015-10-27 07:53:51

Many thanks for all those answers. I guess I'm going to have to do quite a bit of work to get back up to speed with using my Mac.
The "Take Control" books indeed sound promising.

I'm far from being a Luddite, but the continual changes, such as the sudden appearance of "Photos" to replace "IPhoto" without the slightest warning, give me the feeling of no longer being in control.

dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Best site(s) for more-or-less objective info on Macs?

Post by dshan » 2015-10-28 02:29:24

David Sharp wrote:Many thanks for all those answers. I guess I'm going to have to do quite a bit of work to get back up to speed with using my Mac.
The "Take Control" books indeed sound promising.

I'm far from being a Luddite, but the continual changes, such as the sudden appearance of "Photos" to replace "IPhoto" without the slightest warning, give me the feeling of no longer being in control.
I'm sorry but that is simply not true. Apple announced the coming of Photos for the Mac months before the app was released, they explained why, integration with Photos on iOS, the wonders of keeping all your photos in iCloud and all the rest of it a long time before it happened. Various pre-release versions were made available for the adventurous too as I recall (I wasn't adventurous). From memory it was about six months (at least four anyway) before Photos for the Mac actually appeared following the announcement (many complained about how long it was taking). There was endless discussion of it on many of the websites I listed previously, and many others too.

This was one of Apple's better telegraphed changes, they've done lots of other things with way less official warning over the years (the single USB-C port on the new MacBook for example, and even with that there were quite accurate rumours months previous).

David Sharp
Posts: 40
Joined: 2008-07-06 23:21:27
Location: Paris, France
Contact:

Re: Best site(s) for more-or-less objective info on Macs?

Post by David Sharp » 2015-10-28 04:55:16

dshan writes:
I'm sorry but that is simply not true. Apple announced the coming of Photos for the Mac months before the app was released, they explained why, integration with Photos on iOS, the wonders of keeping all your photos in iCloud and all the rest of it a long time before it happened. Various pre-release versions were made available for the adventurous too as I recall (I wasn't adventurous). From memory it was about six months (at least four anyway) before Photos for the Mac actually appeared following the announcement (many complained about how long it was taking). There was endless discussion of it on many of the websites I listed previously, and many others too.
This is no doubt true for people who follow closely what Apple is doing, and are engaged with the ins and outs of how software works on a day-to-day basis. But it wasn't true for me.
Photography is not my main activity (that's writing, whence my presence on the Nisus boards), and I really wasn't prepared to have to take time off to learn a new way of handling my photos.
I knew that IPhoto was due to be replaced by Photos, but I assumed that either the basic commands I was used to would remain the same, or that I'd be offered an easy path to switch from one program to the other. Neither of those things happened.

For me the change came when I bought a second Mac that came with Yosemite, while my main machine was still on Mavericks. I used Time Machine to migrate my data from the latter to the former, and was surprised to see that during the initial period, IPhoto still displayed on the new machine.
Suddenly, without any prior warning as I recall, all my pictures had been migrated into Photos on my new machine, and I instantly found myself unable to function as I'd been used to doing. I suspect—but I don't have forum messages to prove it—that a lot of other casual users of IPhoto have had similar reactions to me.

I think there are two root causes of this problem: one is that of all software packages that are bundled "free" with computers. The provider obviously has to ensure that they at least work, but they have no real motivation to cater to the needs of each and every user. That's one of the reasons why I appreciate Nisus; apart from the fact that it's a superb program, the money that I've paid for it means I can make demands, ask questions and receive replies.
The second problem, I suspect, is specific to a company like Apple, which is simply far too rich for its own good, and probably making too much money off IPhones to care all that much about computers. But that of course is only speculation; it may not be true.

All that having been said, I intend to make a try at adapting to "Photos": no doubt it's pretty simple once one gets into it. But I do resent having to learn, and then unlearn, things every few years!

Post Reply