Mini’app’les Meeting, Tuesday Jan. 20 at 7:00 p.m., Q&A at 6:30 p.m.


The next Mini’app’les meeting is Tuesday, January 20th, the third Tuesday of the month, at the HackFactory (3119 E. 26th Street Minneapolis, MN 55406). At 6:30 p.m., members of the board and other knowledgable people will be available if you have specific questions you would like answered. We will do our best to address your question and help you troubleshoot the issue.

A complete backup system has multiple parts such as a remote backup and a local backup. At 7:00 p.m., we will look at some of the software options for local backups. Aside from Apple’s Time Machine, we will look at some of the more “traditional” backup programs, cloning software, and syncing software and the pros and cons of each. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

Think you’re getting the best deal on Amazon?


Jason Del Rey over at Re/code has an article about a study from a company that helps clients keep track of competitors’ prices.

The study of Amazon’s pricing uncovered some interesting tactics. First, Amazon doesn’t have the lowest prices across the board, which may not surprise industry insiders but might surprise Amazon shoppers…Amazon identifies the most popular products on its site and consistently prices them under the competition…But when it comes to the HD cables that customers often buy with a new TV, Amazon actually pushed up the price by 33 percent ahead of the holidays. One reason is that the cables weren’t among the most popular in their category, meaning that they have little impact on price perception among shoppers. Secondly, Amazon most likely figures (or knows) it can make a profit on these cables because customers won’t price-compare on them as carefully as they would on more expensive products.

“Amazon may not actually be the lowest-priced seller of a particular product in any given season,” the report reads, “but its consistently low prices on the highest-viewed and best-selling items drive a perception among consumers that Amazon has the best prices overall — even better than Walmart.”

You still need to price-compare while shopping at Amazon. Aside from looking at other stores, looking at the price history of an item can also be helpful. offers the price history on items sold by Amazon by using the URL or the ASIN of a product. You can create an account with CamelCamelCamel and set price watches for items. When the item goes below your set price, you will get an email telling you what the current price is. They also have a Chrome browser extension that will display the price history when you are looking at an item on Amazon. Here’s an example of what CamelCamelCamel can show you. It’s a handy tool.


The best and worst things about the iPhone 6


Gordon Kelly, writing for Forbes, put together a list of what he thinks is the best and the worst things about the iPhone 6. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list, but he does cover the main things that are brought up by most people. Do you think he’s right? Did he miss something, good or bad? Let us know what you think.

Article – Troubleshooting 8 known iOS 8 issues

Dec28 has a good article on troubleshooting 8 known issues with iOS 8. The issues they cover are

  • Wi-Fi connectivity issues
  • Battery drain
  • Safari slow page loads
  • Low volume through earpiece during phone calls
  • iMessage errors/can’t connect to server
  • Apps not updating/stuck downloading
  • Slowdowns/sluggish behavior
  • No phone calls in or out

If you are having any of those issues, you can check out their possible solutions.

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.