Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Solve Mac Printing Problems

Folks, rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll simply tell you the first thing to do is clear the Printer’s “queue” —

1) Open Apple menu and go to “System Preferences” and choose Printers. (You can also use Finder.)
2) Select the active printer and choose “Open Print Queue” button.
3) Select and cancel the print job(s) as desired, canceling them and removing them from the printing queue.

And point you to this article for the more advanced steps:

* How to resolve Mac printing issues

Printing on a Mac is typically reliable. Occasionally trouble arises, however. Here are a few recommended resolutions for returning printing to proper operation.Read more..

* * *

Today’s quote:Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~ Dalai Lama

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

April 28, 2016 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, hardware, how to, printers, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working with Apples, Part 1

Last week I mentioned that I had built an iMac, and would be trying to use it as my “main machine”. And I said that I would describe my “learning curve”, and other “impressions. (For example, I mentioned that I didn’t like the keyboard one itsy-bitsy little bit.)

I have been using Windows PC’s since there was such a thing; and more recently, using Android phones and tablets. I haven’t used Apple products since roughly 1988, when I dumped sold my Macintosh (512K).

First thing you notice about Apple products, I think, is — they are pretty.
Um.. “elegantly designed”, I think people prefer. And some have been evolution-ary.
But are they as “simple to use” – particularly for a Windows guy – as people say?

Generally speaking, here, I found my first week with the Mac to have a very shallow learning curve. Mainly, I had to “get used to” looking up when on Windows I’d look down, or visa versa. And learn where Menu items are placed.

And I had to “get used to” sticker shock. Jeeze does Apple gouge.

As I said above, I really hated the bluetooth (wireless) keyboard, and didn’t really care for the Apple mouse, either (years of right-clicking a 3-button mouse) so I went looking for replacements.

To lay the ‘baseline’ for what I’m talking about, the keyboard and the (gesture enabled) “magic mouse” shown in the picture retail for $70, each.
Yes. Each. $140. Plus tax.

apple-imacMy sticker shock at seeing that resulted in a spontaneous, embarrassing, LOL, that turned heads in the store.

Now, I know, some people will not think twice about paying $70 for a mouse, but I bought a very nice, non-Apple, wireless “multimedia” keyboard and laser (aka “optical”) mouse “desktop set” for less than $25. Including tax.
Or I could have bought a bluetooth keyboard for $20 (and up) and a bluetooth optical mouse for $12 (and up), but I really didn’t need to save the USB port, and wanted my “wireless desktop” set to be able to function with any machine, not just the bluetooth enabled. If I didn’t care about the cords, I could have saved even more. (A USB optical 3-button mouse can be had for $5)
No. The cheapies I selected are not as “elegantly designed” as the Apple devices. But the near-600% markup I didn’t pay will help me get over that.

And to be fair, not everything Apple is marked up that much (300% seems the average). And at least in one area, I was very pleasantly impressed with Apple’s pricing. I built my unit from wrecks and parts, and the OS I had was OS X 10.5 “Leopard” (rather outdated). I ordered a OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” disc from the Apple store, after calling for some information. They shipped me the order for $20. And the person I spoke to spoke real English and was very helpful in answering my questions. (a full-install [not “upgrade” edition] disc of Windows 7 retails for $199.)
Yes, that’s right, OS upgrades are $20 each.

Another area where I think Apple really shines is when you are covered by “Apple Care” (or “warranty”), and need tech support. In my experiences with them, they are almost as knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and easy to understand as I am. I consider Apple’s Customer Support to be the Industry’s “gold standard”, and the other manufacturers could really do well by following their example.

However, if you are not still covered by Apple Care, prepare to be gouged, (Or, call me.) and D-I-Y’ers can expect outrageous parts prices. So if you own an Apple product, you probably want to purchase ‘extended’ Apple Care for as long as you can.

Sorry, out of time for today. Have a great Monday everyone.

Oh, yes. One more thing. On my iMac, the label on the disc faces you (when you put a CD [or DVD] in the slot).

Today’s quote:Whenever science makes a discovery, the devil grabs it while the angels are debating the best way to use it.” ~ Alan Valentine

Silly Poll #3 (cont..) Does “clumping” cat litter save money in the long run?

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

February 18, 2013 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, hardware, PC, software | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Warning For Apple Users

I have long been advising owners of computers – even Apple computers – to make sure they run an antivirus (any device that connects to the Internet needs an antivirus) and keep it up-to-date.  Also true: the outright *myth* that Apple is immune from viruses and hackers persists. Guess what I saw in my InfoSec headlines yesterday?

Attackers set sights on Mac OS X with Apple malware toolkit

“The growing success of Apple’s Mac OS, bolstered by iPhone sales and new iPad tablet users, has caught the attention of cybercriminals who are setting their sights on Apple users.

Danish IT-security firm, CSIS Security Group, has stumbled upon a new Apple crimeware toolkit targeting Mac OS X. Security researchers at the organization discovered the toolkit being sold in low numbers on several black hat hacking forums.Read more..

Also: New MAC OS X scareware delivered through blackhat SEO

Researchers from Intego have intercepted a new scareware sample targeting the MAC OS X. Read more..

(Geek Speak Translation: A “malware toolkit” is a simple-to-use program that creates custom viruses, and takes advantage of known weaknesses. See, (computer_security). They are [typically] used by ‘hackers’ who aren’t really into computer programming, called “script kiddies”. “Blackhat SEO” refers to criminal manipulation of search results, so their ‘poison’ websites appear at or near the top.)

I know that my posting this will not do anything to dispel common perception; but for those of you who are Apple Mac owners, and want to prevent Identity Theft and to surf the web (more) safely, I re-recommend purchasing and installing Norton for Mac, or downloading ..

Today’s free download: Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition

“Free antivirus that works simply and beautifully. Just like your Mac.

Overview: As Apple computers grow more popular than ever, they’re an increasingly-enticing target for hackers. And these hackers aren’t just mischief-makers — by targeting your computer or applications you use, these criminals are out to steal and profit from your valuable personal information. Don’t let them. Get free Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac today.”

Please! Let your Apple using friends and family know – Apple is in the hacker crosshairs now. (And also tell ’em “hacker” translates to “cyber criminal” these days.)


Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 4, 2011 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, cyber crime, free software, hackers, Internet, News, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mac Printer Problem

The other day I received a phone call (at Aplus Computer Aid) from a man whose printer had suddenly stopped working. All the lights were on. The cable was plugged in. He hadn’t moved the printer or computer, changed any settings, or installed/uninstalled any software.
So he was puzzled.

So I had him try the usual Printer Troubleshooting Steps
* Was the printer getting power (plugged in)? Yes.
* Turn the printer off, and then turn it again. Resolved? No.
* Is the USB cable plugged in securely? Yes.
* Delete old print jobs. Resolved? No.
* Is the printer showing in System Profiler? No.
* Restart the computer. Resolved? No.

Hmmm… Now I was puzzled.
The fact that the printer wasn’t showing up at all in the Profiler meant that it was almost certainly not a software (driver) issue.. And all the lights on meant it (probably) wasn’t a power issue. So I kept coming back to the USB cable, and he kept telling me it was plugged in just fine, and that he hadn’t touched it.
So I told him to “humor me” and plug it in to a different USB port.

This resolved his problem.
It turns out that he had made a change recently. He had replaced his keyboard with a new wireless mouse and keyboard set.
Keyboard? What’s that got to do with a printer???Keyboard-USB

His printer’s USB cable had been firmly and securely plugged in — to the old keyboard. The one that he had unplugged to make room for the new wireless one. Apple likes to put convenient USB ports on their keyboards, and..
Normally, I run into this “it IS plugged in” with powerstrips. Is the powerstrip plugged in?

Today’s free link: Apple’s Support page for troubleshooting printer issues provides the step-by-step methods for resolving most printing errors. Those with driver issues (software) should look here.

Today’s free download: In sticking with my Mac theme today.. is a website dedicated to listing the best in free (Open Source) programs for your Mac. All kinds of categories, so whether you’re looking for an anonymizer or image editor, you’ll find something here.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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May 21, 2009 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, hardware, how to, printers, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Scareware Targets Macs — MacSweeper

MacSweeper marks the first time a rouge “cleaning tool” has been developed and targeted to Mac users, indicating the platform is gaining enough users that it is catching the attention of malicious code writers, according to security firm F-Secure.

Windows users should already be aware of the rogue antivirus products, which use pop-ups and/or fake ‘scans’ to produce a list of “problems” that sound really scary or important (thus the moniker “scareware) — if you purchase the product to ‘solve’ the issues, your problems have just begun.
This is simply a version targeting Mac users.

Here is a video from F-Secure explaining the details and methods used.

Yes, all you Apple fans.. it’s time to stop thinking you’re immune from hackers, cybercriminals, and malware.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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April 11, 2009 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, cyber crime, hackers, phraud, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Apple releases 41 patches for Leopard, Flash

Keeping your software patched and up-to-date is a vital part of safe(r) computing these days. I cannot recommend enthusiastically enough that you enable “automatic” updating wherever and whenever it is offered.
A “patch” (aka “update”) closes ‘holes’ (aka “vulnerabilities”) that hackers are “exploiting” to take control of, or plant malware on, (your) machines.

There is an active exploit out there for the Flash player (Those animations on Webpages) that affects anyone who has not disabled Flash– whether you’re running Windows, Mac, or Linux.
If you like having Flash animations, you should visit this page on the Adobe Website which will analyze your version of Flash Player to see if you need to update.

Mac users should visit Apple Update and get these important updates.

Today’s free link: A repeat today, because you really should know about this free tool: the Secunia Software Inspector will scan your machine’s installed programs and determine if they’re out-of-date, or there’s patches missing– and it will help you resolve the problems it finds.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 29, 2008 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, how to, PC, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mailbag: reader questions answered, Apple Edition

Today I am going to answer a few questions submitted by readers, in the Q’s and their A’s format.

Q: Will the programs I have on my old Mac run on a new “Leopard” system?
A: There are enough differences in the new OS X 10.5 that some programs may need to be replaced with the latest versions that are “Leopard-compatible” (Norton AV often needs this, for example) to run at their best. The keyword is “may”: most programs will work just fine once you visit Apple Update.
Please note— if you intend to migrate your programs and data from an old machine to the new Leopard machine, make sure you have updated all the software (programs) on the old machine before initiating the migration. Leopard will/can refuse to accept programs that aren’t current.

Q: I am thinking about buying a new iMac and I was told Apple runs on Intel circuits now. Does this mean I would be vulnerable to viruses, worms and spyware like Windows? What security programs would I need?
A: While it is true that Apple runs on the same type of “circuits” as Windows PC’s now, it is not your hardware that is vulnerable to malware and hackers, but the lines of software “code” (programming) that make up your applications/programs.
Now to the second part of your question… The lines of code that make up the Mac operating system (the most recent being OSX 10.5 “Leopard”) are not currently being targeted by the bad guys.. simply because there’s too few machines running it (and the ones that are do not contain credit card number databases). However, some of the programs you would have on your Mac are being targeted for exploits– QuickTime (a media format/player) and the Safari browser, notably. (Neither of which you need, btw.)
And now the last part: as things stand, today, if you are running a fully updated Leopard machine, and the firewall is on, you really don’t need a “protection program”. That statement may not be true this afternoon, or next week, or next month (for future readers, this was written 05/19/08 ) and so you may, for peace of mind, want to install the Norton Internet Security 2008 package*.

Today’s free link: I’m keeping with a Macintosh theme today, and so today’s app is for Apple users. I don’t want it said that I never think of you guys! Watch TV on your iMac with Miro, a C/Net Editor’s Choice. Description: “Democracy Player is a free and open source internet TV/video podcast application, with a beautiful, easy to use interface. You can subscribe to any Internet TV channel, including video podcasts, video RSS feeds, bittorrent feeds, and video blogs. A built-in Channel Guide lists hundreds of channels of all types, all free to subscribe to. Browse videos, download, and watch fullscreen– all in the same application.

* Folks, please don’t write to tell me “Norton is evil”. Read the reviews for NIS 2008. It may open your eyes.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 19, 2008 Posted by | advice, antivirus, Apple, computers, hardware, how to, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments