AppleWorks doesn't work anymore--now what?

Apple stopped selling AppleWorks in 2007. In computer life, that is at least a century ago! It was a great program in its day. By the time Apple stopped selling AppleWorks the computing world had changed.

We wanted programs that made fancier documents. Unlike the earlier days, we often sent digital files to people. We needed links that were clickable, spreadsheets with more than one table and we wanted presentations that had transitions, build and outflows.

Apple replaced Appleworks with the iWork suite. It contains three separate programs, Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

Many people were upset when Apple did away with their favorite do-it-all program. Some users clung to older computers that could still run AppleWorks. They refused to move forward.

Now, six years later, their old computers are dying. When they replace them with a new Macintosh those users assume that they can easily move to Microsoft Office because they are still angry that Apple killed Appleworks.

Sorry, guys. It doesn't work that way! Newer versions of Microsoft office can’t even open many of the older Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

While there were companies that produced software that would translate older files to the latest formats, their business dried up long ago. Most of those companies have disappeared.

The only real answer is Apple’s iWork suite.

Start by dragging the icons for Pages, Keynote and Numbers into your dock.

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Now we need to find some Appleworks files. Start by going to the Finder menu. Choose Preferences. Click on the Advanced panel and make sure there is a check in the box “Show all filename extensions.”

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Let’s go find some files. Every Finder window has a search box. We are looking for files that end in .cwk, so type that into the box.

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Wow! It found 190 files on my computer! The next problem is that a .cwk file could be a document, a spreadsheet, a presentation or even an image file. You will have to take a guess about what the file might be. Drag it over the Pages, Keynote or Numbers icon in your dock. If the icon turns dark, that program will try to understand that file.

It worked very well for most of my files, but do you see the one named island.cwk? I know what that file is. It is a drawing of how I wanted our home builder to configure the island in my kitchen. Unfortunately, nothing on my computer will open that file.

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I often remind clients that it is important to save really important files into a format such as .rtf, .rtfd or .pdf. Those kinds of files do not rely on a specific program to open them. Fortunately, my island was completed 8 years ago. That drawing isn’t really important anymore!

--Pat





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Protect your stuff when you travel

Last fall my husband and I took a long and wonderful trip. We were gone for six weeks and we visited Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. Because our trip was so long and the climates we visited were so varied, we took 5 large suitcases and two carry-on bags. Temperatures on the trip ranged from 20 to 110 degrees.

Because our base of operations would be Sydney, we arranged with our hotels there to store our unneeded luggage both when we flew to Alice Springs and when we visited the South Island in New Zealand. In both cases, our luggage was stored in the hotel baggage rooms and there was no evidence of pilfering.

We had all of our luggage when we were on the cruise portion of our trip, so everything was fine then. When we arrived back in Sydney, we had one last night in a hotel. Frankly we were tired--and as can happen in such circumstances, we let our guard down.

We always travel with our cameras and my jewelry in our carry-on luggage. We have done that for years and we have never had anything stolen. When we were packing our bags to come back to the US, we let our guard down. We placed our cameras in one piece of luggage and I placed my jewelry in my primary bag.

I keep wondering why we changed our pattern! When we arrived home and began to unpack, we discovered we were missing a few things. There were two camera bags in the one suitcase. While both contained Nikon DSLRs, Ron’s contained a lesser camera, but our best lens and the flash unit. Not only was his camera gone, the thief went so far as to remove the BlackRapid camera strap. He left it in the bag. He did not touch my bag or camera which had a kit lens attached.

Also gone were some of the contents of my jewelry traveling bag. While I had a number of good pieces with me, most of the high-value pieces were in a smaller zippered pouch that I normally carry just my smaller earrings in. He opened the bag, grabbed the smaller pouch and left the other pieces.

I have read that notice on the airline tickets and on the airline Web site many times. The airline is not responsible for items such as jewelry and cameras stored in checked bags.

Fortunately we have very good insurance and a special plan that covers certain items up to a specified dollar amount, but not everything was on that list.

We had neglected to add that spiffy new lens of Ron’s. I had a number of nice pieces of costume jewelry that I did not even have in a photo. Worse yet, I didn’t have an inventory of what I took.

As I said, we have a great insurance company. They have paid us for the covered items that we lost and could enumerate. We have gone shopping and replaced the items.

We have learned a few lessons along the way. Now, all high-value items are enumerated with our insurance company, we have had appraisals done on both my new jewelry and other valuable items that we did not take on the trip. We also plan to take digital photos of the items we will be taking with us so that we cannot miss any items in our trip inventory.

However, the most important lesson we have learned is DO NOT place valuables in checked luggage!

--Pat
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Recipes everywhere

In the first blog post of this series I showed you how to find great recipes on Pinterest. In the second one, I showed you ways of saving recipes and displaying them on your computer. In this post we will explore ways of accessing your recipes not only on your computer, but also on iPads and iPhones--and you can even use these recipes on a friend’s computer.

While I would like to be able to tell you about a text editor on the iPad and iPhone that would read the rtfd files that I taught you to make on your Mac, unfortunately, that application does not exist -- yet. There are several apps that can handle .rtf files, there is nothing that can handle rtfd files, the ones that contain both text and pictures. They can also be saved without those pesky page breaks that are a remnant of the printed past.

So now we need to find an application that can be used anywhere, that doesn’t use page breaks and one that is platform and device agnostic. I know of only one app that meets all those requirements,
Evernote. Even better, the basic application is free. When you download Evernote, you will need to establish an account. The free Evernote is the place to start. It allows you to add up to 60 MB of content per month (as of 1/2013), and displays a "usage" meter. While a free account allows the user to share notebooks, only paid accounts allow others to edit notebooks. The biggest problem for free account users is that files on iOS and Android are not available when you are not on a WiFi connection. The premium service is available at US$5 per month or $45 per year.

This is the Evernote interface on my computer:

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Here it is on my iPad:

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This is on my iPhone:

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Because there are thumbnails for these files, it is easy to visually identify the recipes.

Now let’s take a look at a recipe, first on the computer:

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On the iPad:

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And on the iPhone:

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They all look good! The text wraps nicely, the pictures re-size appropriately and there are no huge white spaces. This is fine for a small to medium size recipe collection. The search function makes it easy to find a word:

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As your collection grows, adding tags help to narrow the list down:

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Evernote will work well for many people. There is much more to Evernote. Even if you don’t choose to make it your place for recipes, it is a very good way to collect bits and pieces of information. When I help someone set up a new iPad or iPhone, Evernote is one of the first applications that I suggest to them as a must-have item.

I keep talking about helping people. That’s because I am a consultant. I work with Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus. We offer trouble-shooting, technical support and training over at
Bob LeVitus Consulting. Tutoring costs only $60.00 per hour. We have special software that allows us to see your computer and we can work on the things you want to learn. Give us a call at 408 627-7577. Or send an email to urgentrequest@boblevitus.com.

--Pat
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Saving Recipes

In my last entry I wrote about Pinterest as a recipe source. Perhaps you might like to see some of the great recipes I have found. My account name on Pinterest is patfauquet. Use the search function if you would like to see my boards and pins.

While I like having the recipes (along with great photos) there, I have found that sometimes the links stop working. That can happen for a variety of reasons. If the web author moved a file to a new location, the Pinterest link will break. If the recipe was from a blog, the author may have stopped writing or they could have moved to a different web location.

There is nothing worse than loosing a great recipe. So, today I am going to show you how to save a recipe to your computer. If you click on the link to the
Layered Mediterranean Dip that I showed in yesterday’s post, you will see that there are some great photos.

In earlier times we wrote our recipes on little cards that we put into a recipe box. Here is a photo of my daughter writing a recipe card for a friend just yesterday. Of course there are no photos.

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I had a recipe box and cards when I married. I collected recipes from family and friends, beginning in high school. When I married I started using those cards--and loosing those precious recipes. My solution was The Black Cookbook, a composition book that I could write or paste recipes into it. That composition book traveled with me as we moved at least two dozen times. Pages with favorite recipes got tattered and dirty, the cover disappeared and a few pages were lost.

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Two of my daughters decided to make family gifts this past Christmas. They typed all of the recipes from “The Black Cookbook” into a recipe program. They also cooked many of the recipes and photographed the dishes. Then they sent the entire file to Blurb to have it printed as The Fauquet Family Cookbook.

They even recreated the cover! They etched a baking dish with each family’s last name and presented the cookbooks and dishes to our entire family. They were a big hit!

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I really appreciate their efforts. I love the cookbook, but it has some problems. If I want to share a recipe, I either have to write it out or photocopy it. The best part of the present is that each of those recipes is also a data file! I can drop them into an email to share them!

Recipes on Pinterest often come with pictures--sometimes lots of pictures. Those photos make it so easy to see what the recipe author meant when she wrote the instructions. Photos show me how big the pieces were cut, how much of an ingredient she really used.

There are several ways to save recipes from the Internet. The first way is to print the recipe directly from the web page.

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The result has several problems. The first page contains a lot of unnecessary “stuff” in the right column. There is lots of wasted space on the second page and even worse, some of the information was over-typed on the third page. So, to store one recipe, I would need to keep three pages of paper. If I used the print command to make a PDF file, those same problems would exist!

At the end of the recipe on the web there is a link to see a print friendly version of the recipe:

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While the results will fit on a single sheet of paper, there are no photos.

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The next thing to try is to copy and paste the recipe into something like Apple’s word processor, Pages.

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The results are terrible! The recipe is now 7 pages long with lots of extraneous white space. Those white spaces are page breaks that occur when objects such as pictures are too large to fit on the page along with the words. It is impossible to remove those page breaks using a word processor because the program sees the content as pages to be printed.

If printing or PDF files don't produce good results, what is left? There is a great little program built into Mac OS X. It is on every Mac and it is free! Go find TextEdit in your Applications folder. When you first open it, it looks a lot like Pages. The interface resembles a blank piece of paper.

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The secret is in the Text Edit preferences.

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Make sure there is NOT an x in the Wrap to page box.

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Instead of looking like a piece of paper with margins, you will have a box that can be as long and a wide as you want it!

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When you copy and paste the recipe into this space, it will look like this:

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There is some minor clean up to do, but the pictures and the text flow nicely. The file is saved as a .rtfd. That means that instead of just being text, the file is actually a container and inside the container is not only the text but also the picture files.

Saving files in this manner means that I can go back later to see all the details. If I want to print out a recipe to use in the kitchen, I can copy out the text and take it into the kitchen, but I can also see the whole thing on my computer!

I am sure you have a bunch of questions--like what about putting them on an iPad? What about being able to access the file when I am at a friend’s house without my computer? Come back and we will continue in another blog entry!

--Pat
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Pinterest and cooking

While I did not use my computer very much last year, I certainly used other technologies, ones that did not require sitting at a desk or using my hands (arms and shoulder) as much. I would have been lost without my iPad. It allowed me to tap and drag my way through my day. I did most of my reading on my iPad and it was easier for my to type on it than on a traditional keyboard.

While I did not do a lot of involved cooking, I found lots of new recipes that I wanted to try. My favorite source for new recipes was (is)
Pinterest. If you haven’t given it a try, you might enjoy a quick visit.

Pinterest is very visual. Just what will appear depends on you. If you have created an account and have followed people, the things they have pinned will appear.

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There are also links to more generalized (Everything) or specific (Catergories) content.

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If you have signed up for an account, you can save things that interest you to specific “boards.”

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This is my Cooking board. It contains pictures and links to recipes that I have saved for later.

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If I click on a specific picture, it will take me to the Web site that the recipe came from.

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I often emailed the Web site of the recipe to myself so that I could easily save them for later.

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While all of the above images were taken from my iPad, you can also email web addresses to yourself from Safari.

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This looks like a good stopping place for today. However I need to explain why emailed those links. I will do that in my next post.

--Pat
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2012 - The year that I didn't…


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The year of 2012 will go down in my life record as a year when I didn’t.

I didn’t blog much, I didn’t accomplish much professionally and I didn’t do much other than sleep, go to physical therapy and read. You see, I injured my left shoulder in the fall of 2011. By the time I realized it wouldn’t heal without medical intervention it was already January.

Being cured involved either surgery and a lot of physical therapy or just a lot of physical therapy. We also learned that I am not a good candidate for pain reliving medicines. While the pain relief effects were gone in less time than the dosage requirements, the sedative effects took a day or more to disappear. So, I would take my medicine, get a few hours of pain relief, but along with it came hours and hours of sleep. Soon I was a depressed mess! The only real relief came when my physical therapist was reliving pain by releasing pressure points.

After long months of therapy and exercise, I finally began to feel better in September. I could finally spend more than a few minutes on my computer, I could do a few things around the house--but by then we were preparing to leave on a fabulous six week vacation to Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. We arrived home on Thanksgiving night and I was months behind in Christmas preparations.

The holidays have passed. I have time to call my own. So now, back to blogging and back to work on the Doctor Mac Newsletter! There are a few trips on the calendar this year, including two in January, so we won’t be sitting still. However, we will forgo our planned trip to France and Spain in November and December. We missed having Thanksgiving with our family and traveling so close to Christmas makes the holiday just too hectic.

I do have a few plans for the coming year:

  • More blogging
  • Starting a podcast
  • More computer time
  • More time on my new Brother sewing machine!
Did you notice the photo at the top of this post? It was taken by Harry Magiros, a new friend from Australia. Also in the photo are a few of my fellow geeks from MacMania 15. We are sitting beside the pool trading photos and Apple tips. Notice the amazing amount of Apple gear and the fact that none of us are swimming or even tanning! Oh well, such is the life of an Apple geek!

--Pat

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