Newsletter Status


Just a remind that Mini’app’les newsletters starting in July 1978 are available on this website and can be accessed from the Newsletter tab.  We transitioned from printed, mailed newsletters in April 2014. Most of the newsletters included are from Dan Buchler’s collection as provided by Bruce Thompson.

I just added October 1993 which was missing, thanks to Tom Ostertag who had it in his collection.   We are missing about 11 newsletters noted below though all of these may not have been published.  If you have any of these, let us know and we will arrange for scanning and addition to the collection.

Missing months    1-79; 6,8,11-80; 3-86; 7-87; 1,2-93; 8-02; 8-03; 5-08

iPhoto with OS X 10.10.4


I still use iPhoto since Photos does not do everything that iPhoto does.  So today I upgraded an old MacBook to Yosemite OS X 10.10.4 and iPhoto would not work.  It said to search the Mac App Store and download a new version, but no new version was found.  Apple dropped it when Photos was released.  A little Googlin’ revealed that if you had iPhoto before you could get it from the Purchases tab of the Mac App Store.

Lo and behold, there it was but it had an Open button since iPhoto was already installed. Clicking the Open button did no good and gave me same error.  Checking, I found that I had iPhoto 9.6 which had been working with Yosemite just last month.  Checking a newer Mac, I found that iPhoto 9.6.1 was working fine with the  latest Yosemite so I copied it over to the old MacBook where it worked fine.

I wondered what I would have done if I didn’t have 9.6.1 to replace 9.6.  What if I deleted 9.6 before checking the App Store?  I did so but there still was an Open button under Purchases because iPhoto was also on the backup drive.  Anyway, once I removed all copies of iPhoto from the MacBook, the App Store presented me with an Install button and subsequently installed iPhoto 9.6.1.



A new social app, Meerkat, was introduced at the SXSW (South by South West) conference in Austin TX last week.  I discovered it through a tweet by Mashable who was using it at the conference to give a virtual tour.  Since then, I have checked in occasionally and experienced a live bike tour through the San Francisco water front and  a walk through New York in the recent snow storm.  It is essentially a moving webcam with sound.  It only runs on iOS devices and is one-way video.  That is, the person hosting the video can show what they want, but viewers only participate through text messages that appear on the screen for other viewers to see.

It is works with Twitter for users to post the link to the Meerkat session and uses Twitter account for the viewers to login.  Viewers’ Twitter icons appear in a scrollable horizontal stream at the top of the screen.  Touching an icon shows the Twitter user’s account name and short description that you normally see in Twitter.

Each Meerkat broadcaster has a score which appears to be related to the number of users that follow them in Twitter multiplied by the time they broadcast plus some factor of the number of real-time viewers.  They are displayed on a Leaderboard screen by this score.  At the present moment, the Leaderboard shows Mashable with the lead with jsneedles in hot pursuit, both with scores over 60,000.  Jeff Needles who is a producer at is on a 24 hour Meerathon to try and become #1.  Notable other high scorers are Jimmy Fallon who shows his daily rehearsal and Guy Kawasaki who is promoting his new book. Jimmy, with his millions of users, does not need to be on very long for a high score, but Jeff with about 800 users needs the time accumulation.  KARE11 was also Meerkatting some of their news broadcasts the last few days but I haven’t seen anything today.  You could see the studio and off-air talk during commercials.

Any Twitter user can setup a Meerkat session which is suggested to be scheduled with a tweet to their followers.  If you fire up the Meerkat app, you will see some of the sessions in progress on the main screen. This seems like a little random or maybe being modified.  When I first connected to Mashable, I saw a list of about 6 more. Recently, I see primarily the ones that I follow.

Meerkat has its own Like list which you select from the Leaderboard and then can edit from your own profile.  When they first started about a month ago, they were using the Twitter “social graph”and were growing very fast.  Twitter recently bought a similar company/product named Periscope and cut Meerkat off.  Meerkat can still use Twitter for login credentials and promotion through tweets and probably will expand their services in future updates.  Expect Twitter to bring Periscope online to compete.

I discovered that when you click on a link like  in Twitter or Tweetbot which I use on my iPhone. you go to a web page showing the Meerkat session.  The screen shows the session apparently without adding you to the list of viewers.  You don’t have to download the Meerkat app.  I am not sure if you have to register through this mode since I found this after I had already registered through my Twitter account.  Meerkat appears in the iOS Settings for Twitter access.  You can also find sessions by searching for #meerkat in Twitter.

There is also a web site that will show you a random Meerkat session from which you can switch to other sessions.  This best done on an iPhone since Meerkat is formatted for a portrait display.

Note that Meerkat sessions are not saved on their web site but are saved on the broadcasters device and could be posted somewhere later.  I haven’t tried broadcasting myself but it may have some use for our user group.

jsneedles is closing in on Mashable and may be #1 when you read this.

Please comment if you learn anything more or if I got anything wrong.

Newsletter Archive


For the last 36+ years, the Mini’app’les User Group has distributed a newsletter.  Many people have contributed to what is now our documented history.  I just finished scanning the last issues and converted all to text in a PDF format.  You can find them all under the Newsletter section of this site.

Please review and let me know of any problems such as miss-scans or rotated pages.  Occasionally during the Summer months, the July and August issues were combined.  I have scanned all issues that I had access to.  If you have other issues of the newsletter, please contact me  and we can arrange to include them in this archive.

We are also looking at a way to add a search capability or a method to index this information.

Newton Gene in OS X – Inkwell


I happened to be reading about the Apple Newton and its handwriting recognition capability named Inkwell. Remembering that it was once a part of OS X, I searched for it. I found the following article that shows a history of OS X features and when they were introduced. Inkwell was introduced with Sherlock in OS X 10.2 Jaguar back in 2002, but the article indicates it was dropped.

Can it really be that long and when was it dropped? Another article indicated that it was still around in 2012. It also said that doesn’t show up unless a pen-based tablet is attached. I dug out my old (10 yrs?) Wacom Intuos GD tablet and attached it to my new Mac Mini running Yosemite. When opening System Preferences, a new extension name “Ink” had appeared. Unfortunately, the tablet didn’t work. I downloaded the latest driver from Wacom but it still didn’t work. The tablet works on my old Power Mac G5 running Tiger 10.4. From the Wacom legacy driver website, it looks like Wacom finally dropped support for this tablet after Snow Leopard 10.6

So if you have a newer tablet than I do, rest assured that the Inkwell handwriting recognition technology from the Newton is still available. Read the following articles for more info.