I have decided to leave Facebook and to post my tech info here. I hope you like it. No ads, no junk, just tech info that hopefully you can use to enhance your device experience.

If you are looking to have a web presence, go to https://mespn.com/#about, maybe we can help you.

This blog is responsive and will work on ALL your devices.

Most of the tech will be about Apple prodicts, I don't do Windows. So if that is what you are looking for, this is probably not the place.

As you can see in the upper right of the page is a search entry. You can search for anything on this blog. You can also see post by day, using the calendar. Just click on a day that is underlined. Example, type in the word scanner to see how to use your iPhone as a scanner...

You will initially see the 10 most recent posts, you can search for anything else that may be on here. So come back often. You can also click on the Menu, the three horizontal bars on the left side of the heading, and choose Archive, then choose any month listed.

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Comments are implemented now. Just click on - View Comments or Comments depending on your device. (No login required)
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There is also a REQUIRED verification field question to make sure you are not a bot.
Be sure to enter the answer, before selecting the Add Comment button
Sorry but this is necessary to insure the integrity of the comment system, since no login is required.

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Enjoy your adventure.


Option and Command keys open up new opportunities….

Never ever ignore the Option (⌥) Alt key button on your Mac. It has the power to save your day. What follows are just a few essentials from among all the many useful tricks you can unlock with this button.

Unselect this
Selected an item in Finder and you want to unselect it? There’s an Option tip for that:
Command-Option-A and the item(s) you have selected will be unselected.

Find that file
Here is the quickest way to find any file on your Mac: Command-Space to open Spotlight.

Here is another quick way to find a file (when in Finder): Command-Option-F, this will open a new Finder window but your cursor will be placed in the search field – just start typing the item you seek.
Navigate nested files
Most of us keep files (documents, images and so on) inside folders which we then keep nested inside other folders.

This can make it difficult to find things (though you can search for items).
Sometiems you’ll have numerous folders inside a folder when you open it in List view, and you won’t want to manually open each one. You don’t need to, just
Option-Click the little triangle in a folder to open it and all the folders it contains.

Unlock the Menu bar
Everything in your Menu bar  – from application menu items to Wi-Fi and beyond –  may have hidden features you can only get to if you press Option while clicking the item.

Take the Wi-Fi icon. Click on this and you’ll normally see your available networks.
However, click this while depressing the Option key and you’ll see lots more information on your connection and a range of diagnostic tools. It’s worth exploring all the application menu items you use most to see what’s hidden there, such as:

Safari problems
When you reload a website Safari will sometimes load elements of that site from its cache (store of opened things), but you can override this with the Option key. Usually when you tap the View item you can Reload the Page. However, tap the View item and Option and you’ll find you can Reload Page from Origin, which means you get a completely fresh page.
(You can also increase and decrease text size now).
Another useful one is that when you press Option and tap the Safari menu you’ll see an option to Quit and Keep Windows.

Focus more
Working in an application and want to hide all the other open ones on your Mac? Just tap the application in your Dock and then press and hold the Option button – a new item appears called Hide Others. Tap this to remove all your other active applications from view. (You’ll also see a new Force Quit option).

Make and take space
When working in an app you can resize it by dragging the corners – but if you hold down the Option key when doing so you can resize the window from its central point.
The benefits of this may not be immediately obvious – where I most use this is when working in multiple windows/apps, when I might try to minimize the size of all the windows I need in order to make all of them as easy to see as possible – using Option to do this means the content I want to focus on can occupy the window more centrally.
Try it to see what I’m attempting to explain.

Options to get things done
Most creative apps have Option-based secrets to help you in your work. For example, Pages lets you Option Drag to copy graphics, Option and an arrow key (L or R) lets you navigate text by word, rather than by character, or use the Up/Down arrows to skip through paragraphs. EXPERIMENT in the applications you use most to find more.

Save images
When you Save an image in Preview, you’ll be given seven different formats to choose from in the Format drop down box. However, tap Option while choosing the image format and you’ll find 18 choices you can select. (Oh, and when Saving an existing image, Preview gives you a new way to access the Save As command when you tap Option and the File menu).

File management
You can use copy and paste to take a file from one folder to store it in another. Tap Command-C to copy the item, and then tap Command-Option-V to move the original file to its new location.

Get out of trouble
If an application causes your Mac to freeze, always remember to try pressing Command-Option-Escape to access the Force Quit Applications menu. Alternatively you can try Option-clicking the application icon in the Dock.

Do Not Disturb
Hold down the Option key and click on Notification Center to immediately enter Do Not Disturb mode. (You’ll see the icon grey out). This is the quickest way to enter (and exit) this mode.

Change default app
Did you end up being tricked into always opening items of a specific file type in a specific application but want to open them up in another?
Get back to the light – find a file in the file type you want to manage and right-click it. Hold down the Option key when the contextual menu appears and you should see an

Always Open With item – click that and pick the application you want to use in future with this file type.

Don’t forget, most applications hold their own Option/alt secrets. Experiment to find the ones you need!


Command-Space
I always mention Command-Space in all my hint collections. It’s the keyboard combination I use most on Macs (and iPads) to open search, where I can quickly find apps, content or even do quick sums.

Command-Tab
Use this to quickly move through your active applications.

5 Siri shortcuts
There are many ways to make use of Siri; here are five to save you time. 
Open [App name].
Turn up/down brightness or volume.
Find any named file.
Open System Preferences [name of preference]
What’s my Mac’s serial number?

Use those icons
Almost every document/file you work with will show a small icon at the top of the window beside the file name.
This tiny icon acts as a form of alias – you can drag-and-drop that alias (and hence the docment/file) into different folders on your Mac, the Dock, or even drop it into other apps – use it to place an image in a document, for example.

How to save screengrabs in a different format
Your Mac saves screengrabs as PNG files by default – but I bet you use these to illustrate blog stories, send to people in messages and more and would prefer to save them as JPGs.
The great news is you can:
Ask Siri to open Terminal
Exactly as written, type: defaults writeapple.screencapture type JPG
Now you will save JPGs, not PNGs. Smaller files, easier to use.

Print in one swipe
Here’s how to print any document in one swipe, though first you need to set it up:
Open System Preferences>Printers & Scanners.
Look to the Printers list and select the printer you want to use.
Drag-&-drop the printer icon from the list to your Dock
The printer icon will now be in your Dock.
In future, all you need do to print any document you are in (or find in Spotlight) is drag-and-drop the document icon to the printer icon in the Dock.

Find those accents
If you need to type an accented character, such as è, just tap and hold the letter you want to add the accent to. After a short delay a menu that shows all available accented characters will appear, tap the one you want or type the corresponding number below the character to type it.

Use text clippings
I make lots of use of text clippings. I think they are even better than keyboard shortcuts for pasting regularly used text into any app.
It’s very easy to make them – select the text you want to use and re-use, drag-&-drop the text to the Desktop and a text clipping will appear there containing the copy you want to use.
In future all you need to do is drag-&-drop that item from the Desktop into any app and your text will automatically be entered.

Where am I?
If you’ve used Spotlight to find a document it is possible you don’t know in which enclosing folder that document is situated. It’s easy to get this info – just Control-click the file name in the app title bar and you should see it there.

What the ¿
Shift + Option + ? = ¿
Option + Shift + k to type an Apple logo: 
Make forms great (?) again
Do you get annoyed because your Mac won’t accurately move between sections when you try to fill in forms? Go to System Preferences>Keyboard, and click the All controls radio button for Full Keyboard Access.

Save better
When you Save an item and want to save it into a specific folder, you don't need to hunt through the Finder to get to that folder -- just begin typing its name in the search field. The folder should be revealed, just tap to save the item into that folder. Simples.
Open the default Mail app and the inbox you’d like to manage
Give a two-finger tap on any of your emails to enter edit mode
Use a two-finger drag to select multiple messages.

At the bottom of your iPhone or iPad, tap Mark, Move, or Trash (If it shows Archive, tap and hold on Archive to get a popup menu to Trash messages)

Here’s how that looks on iPhone:



If your Mac desktop is cluttered, here is a PDF document to show you how to de-clutter your desktop.

https://mespn.com/OrganizeYourMacDesktop.pdf

Please leave any comments at the bottom of this blog message.
Be sure to watch Voice Control, very cool...

Enjoy the video:
Did you know you could lose operation of your scanner by updating to MacOS Catalina? Apple has been saying for years to developers to update their 32 bit software to 64 bit. Well the time has come and some developers have not listened. So now the users of older scanners that required 32 bit software drivers are down and out, or are they?



As it turns out there is a company that has scanner software available now to be able to run most of your older scanners under Catalina.

It is called Vuescan. You can go to their website and download a trial version with no restrictions, to make sure it works on your scanner with Catalina, before you buy.

You can download it from:
https://www.hamrick.com


If you’ve updated your Mac to macOS Catalina, then you’ll notice a specific app missing; iTunes. You’ve probably heard that iTunes was going away, but now that it’s truly gone, you’ll have to manage your devices differently.
You might have used iTunes to back up or restore your iPhone, sync specific items with your iPad, or simply manage your devices.
The bad news is that you can’t use iTunes on Mac to do this anymore. But the good news is that there is another way and it’s super easy.
Here’s how to use Finder instead of iTunes on Mac to manage your devices.

Connect your device to Mac
Grab your lightning cable and connect your device to your Mac. If it doesn’t open automatically, open Finder using the button your Dock or the menu bar.
Now you should see your connected device in the Finder sidebar. Go ahead and click it and we’ll get started with what you can do!

General device management
At the top of the Finder window, you’ll see your device’s name, storage, and battery level. Right beneath, you have tabs for General and then various media types like Music, Movies, TV Shows, Files, and more.

The General tab gives you a basic maintenance area for your device. And it should look quite similar to what you used to see in iTunes. You have three sections for Software, Backups, and Options.

You can also see the storage used on your device by moving your cursor over the sections of the colored bar at the bottom and have a convenient Sync button.



So, managing your device in Finder is pretty close to doing it in iTunes.

Syncing media
As you move through and click the various tabs to the right of General, you can see your other items just like before and sync what you like. Make your picks and click the Apply button at the bottom of that section to sync.



Keep in mind that if you’re using iCloud for things like your music library or calendar and contacts, you’ll see a message that you’ll need to disable that on your device in order to sync with your Mac.




When you finish with everything you need to do with your device, click the Eject button next to it in the sidebar before you unplug your cable.



Will you miss iTunes for device management?
Managing, syncing, and backing up your device is just as easy with Finder as it was with iTunes.
Enjoy this list of keyboard shutcuts for MacOS Catalina

Possible Relocated Items in Catalina

When you upgrade to Catalina, one of its more curious habits is leaving a folder in /Users/Shared, with an alias to it on your Desktop, named Relocated Items. This is normally put in place to welcome you when you first log into your newly upgraded system. According to Apple (https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/mac-help/mchl8ae423a3/mac), when you upgrade “all your files and data are carefully reviewed to ensure they’re valid and authorised, undamaged, and in the correct locations.” This Relocated Items folder is supposed to contain those which “couldn’t be moved to their new locations” on the System and Data volumes, and with them is a PDF document explaining what to do about them.

If you’re really lucky, the same can happen again, during a Catalina update, or when upgrading from a Catalina beta version. If there’s already a Relocated Items folder in the /Users/Shared folder, then you’ll be pleased to know that the existing folder will be renamed Previously Relocated Items, and the newly relocated items placed in a new folder named Relocated Items.

Why are there Relocated Items?
During the installation of Catalina, macOS transforms your regular single boot volume into two: the new read-only System volume, and its companion Data volume which contains all the writeable files such as your Home folder. These two volumes make up a Volume Group, which is rooted in the System volume. As that’s read-only, its folder layout is fixed, unlike that of your old boot volume.

(NOTE: Right click to open a full size of the images)

This converts a Mojave volume which looks roughly like this:



together with anything your or others might have added, into the new root System volume, which looks like this:



Although the installer knows where to put most things, there are often strays and unexpected files and folders. You might, for example, have created a new top-level folder, or one of your apps might have written a file somewhere outside of the usual places.

The Relocated Items folder should contain all those waifs and strays found during volume conversion. Rather than silently deleting them, or hiding them somewhere that you won’t find them, the Catalina installer puts them all together in the one folder.

What’s in Relocated Items?
What’s in this folder varies a great deal. In my case, there were a few meaningless bits of detritus from Apple apps. Some users find large Photos libraries, apps, and all sorts of other files. So the first thing you should do is look thoroughly inside the Relocated Items folder, and read the accompanying PDF.

Chances are that you’ll be none the wiser. The relocated items will mean nothing to you, and you’ll be able to put them in the Trash and empty it. If there are important files there, you should obviously rescue them and find them a new home on the Data folder.
Some users have reported that certain files which get put in the Relocated Items folder are protected by SIP, and can’t be trashed. If that’s the case, you should be more attentive to those items, and this suggests that there might be a problem with your Catalina installation. All system files protected by SIP should be relocated correctly, the great majority moving onto Catalina’s new System volume.

If you’re in any doubt what a relocated file is, or why it’s there, leave it for the time being. Come back a bit later and see if you can then make an informed decision about what to do with it. Don’t rush to reboot in Recovery Mode, disable SIP, and do all sorts of other manoeuvres to remove all protected files, for instance. If in doubt, leave the file(s) in that folder and ask for advice.