Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID

Two-Factor Authentication and One-Time Passwords

MacMAD Meeting Topic for June 20, 2017

Your Apple ID is your single set of credentials for everything from Apple, including:

  • Email
  • iCloud files, calendars, contacts, etc.
  • Photos
  • purchases on the iTunes store
  • buying hardware on the Apple Store

This is pretty important stuff, right? You don’t want your credentials to fall into the wrong hands!  Until recently, those credentials consisted of only your username and password, which seldom change. If a bad guy got hold of those, he’d have complete access to your Apple identity.

To help prevent that, Apple set up Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).  With 2FA, in addition to username and password, you must also give a verification code. Verification codes are sent to your phone or other trusted device. The verification code is different each time you log on.

Two-Factor Authentication is optional for users. However, you may now be forced to use it if you use certain apps — those which access your iCloud account.

Some apps require access to your files in iCloud, and therefore need your iCloud credentials to do so. This is fine, but you don’t want them to have the keys to your entire kingdom, do you? You don’t want a calendar app to order a new Macintosh, or delete your photos.

To control such apps, Apple now requires them to access iCloud using a One-Time password. This allows them to bypass 2FA, but using a special password which is only useable by that app for limited purposes. Once you give a one-time password to an app, and it uses it, it can never be used again for any other purpose.

You do not need to store or remember one-time passwords. If for some reason you need to re-authorize an app, you can simply generate a new one-time password for it.  Dennis explains how to do all this in these slides from this month’s meeting:

Apple Two-Factor Authentication 2017

 

 

 

Meeting Topic: Apple’s Numbers Spreadsheet App

March 21, 2017 Meeting Topic Overview: Numbers

by Jamie Cox

The current version of Numbers as of March 2017 is 4.0.5.

There are three ways to run Numbers:

  • On the Macintosh
  • On iOS (iPhone or iPad)
  • From a Web Browser on iCloud

 How to Get Numbers

Numbers probably came with your Mac or iOS device, or get Numbers via the Mac App Store ($19.99), or get Numbers  via the iTunes App Store ($9.99).

Competition / Alternatives to  Numbers

Controversy Since iWork ’09

When the new version of Numbers for the Mac came out some features were dropped. Most of them have not been added back in. Reviews of the apps have been definitely mixed. Numbers only gets a 3-star rating on the App store (both versions).

3 stars
Ratings for Numbers on the Mac App Store

Two-and-a-half to three stars is a pretty terrible rating, especially for an Apple app. As you can see, the ratings are very mixed with most reviewers giving either one star or five-star ratings. The ratings for the iOS version are very similar.

Guide to Star Ratings

The one-star reviews are mostly from people upset about advanced features removed from the previous version. The five-star reviews tend to be from people who have come to the application fresh, with no special expectations.

Numbers includes hundreds of distinct features. The chart below highlights just a few of my favorite features as compared with Microsoft Excel.

Comparison of Features Between Numbers and Microsoft Excel

Documents, Sheets and Tables

Numbers documents can have multiple sheets. Each sheet can have multiple tables. When you create a new Numbers document, it has one sheet with one table on that sheet.

If you have used Excel, having multiple sheets should be familiar. The main difference is that the sheets appear at the top of the window instead of at the bottom.

The concept of having multiple tables on a single sheet may be new to users of older spreadsheet programs. It is a very nice feature, which allows you to separate groups of data or  formulas which are of different types instead of lumping them all into the same grid of rows and columns. You can arrange the tables on the page however you like.

This document has two sheets. Sheet 1 has two tables.

 

Formatting Controls

Table Style Controls

Numbers uses a consistent set of formatting controls very similar to those in the Pages word  processor we discussed last month. These are presented  in a pane on the right hand side of the window. These controls look simple, but all together, they have a lot of power. In addition to the pre-defined Table and Text styles, you can create and save your own preferred styles.

Formula Editing

Type an equals sign to enter formula editing mode for a cell. Color coding appears showing the source cells used in your formula. This  makes it easier to understand if your formula is correct or to see the source  of errors.

When you copy or fill a formula into additional cells, Numbers automatically adjusts cell references relative to the current cell. If you want to override that to select an absolute row,  absolute  column, or absolute cell, you can use the Preserve Row/Preserve Column options.

The Numbers Formula Editor

Importing Files From Excel

A common task in Numbers would be to open an Excel document created by someone else. This can work fairly well, but is not completely painless.

Original Excel Template on left, Numbers Import on right

This imported okay, and the amortization calculations agreed, but the date formulas were not imported correctly and would have to be re-done in numbers.

Large Files

One of our members asked how Numbers was at handling large files imported from Excel. To test this I created a large spreadsheet in Excel with 40,000 rows and about 14 columns. The file size in Excel was 3.7 Megabytes. Numbers opened it without complaint, but it took about 30 seconds. When saved as a native Numbers document, its size increased to 6.3 Mbytes, but the native document opened in Numbers in about five seconds.

Although I didn’t get any warnings in Numbers, I did get one “Not enough memory” message in Excel while cutting, pasting and filling to create the document. Excel handled it gracefully without crashing.

iOS Numbers App

The Numbers app on iOS is deliberately very similar to the version for  Macintosh.

Numbers App on iPhone

FYI, Excel also has an iOS app which is free in the App store. It looks like this:

Excel on the iPhone

The Excel app is apparently read-only until you register for and log in to a Microsoft Office 365 account.

 Conclusion

If you want a spreadsheet program to perform the usual tasks of calculation, sorting and organizing, and you don’t have much prior experience with spreadsheets,  you will find Numbers a very useful application. It’s especially easy to learn because of consistent controls across Mac and iOS versions and consistency with Pages and Keynote.

If you know what a pivot table is, or have a lot of spreadsheets already in Excel format, you may be dissatisfied with the limitations of Numbers.

 

Meeting Topic: Apple’s Pages Word Processor

Feb 21, 2017 Meeting Topic Overview: Pages

by Jamie Cox

“Expect a lot from software and you’ll usually get  it.”                  – Eric Newman, MacMAD President emeritus

In Feb 2017, the current version of Pages for Mac is 6.0.5. For iOS it is version 3.0.5. 

There are three ways to run Pages:

  • On the Macintosh
  • On an iPhone or iPad
  • From a Web Browser on iCloud

 Pages Running on the Mac

Pages Running on the iPhone

Pages  Running in a Browser from iCloud.com


How to Get Pages

Pages probably came with your Mac or iOS device, or get Pages via the Mac App Store ($19.99), or get Pages via the iTunes App Store ($9.99).

Competition / Alternatives to  Pages

  • TextEdit – came with your Mac; Open Source; For simple tasks, it does more than you think
  • Microsoft Word (Office) – For giant documents and giant companies (Now with iOS version)
  • Open Office – Free and Open Source Office suite
  • NeoOffice - Commercialized version of Open Office customized for the Mac
  • GoogleDocs – Cloud-based, free

 

What Pages Does

Although Pages has a deceptively clean and simple design, it does a lot of things you might have expected to need separate applications for. Pages includes these functions:

  • Word Processing (obviously)
  • Page Layout
  • Spreadsheet
  • Charting
  • Photo Editing
  • Publishing
  • Collaboration Software

Integration with iCloud

Work on your document from all your devices.

Pages Has Two Document Types

All Pages documents are either:

  • Word Processing Documents, or
  • Page Layout Documents (have no body)

Word Processing documents have body text which is a continuous flow of text within the document. It may flow around images, tables, etc.

Page Layout documents have no body. All text in a page layout document exists as part of  something else: a text box, a shape, or a table.

Consistent Text Operations

Text can exist in:

  • The document body,
  • Text boxes
  • Shapes,
  • Tables,
  • The header and footer

All are treated consistently as far as styles and formatting.

Shapes and Images

  • Wrap
  • Align
  • Resize
  • Rotate
  • Shapes can have text with the  usual attributes
  • Images can not have text
  • Shapes have adjustable opacity
  • Images have opacity and Instant Alpha
  • Opacity is the opposite of transparency
  • Alpha is just selective transparency – pixel-by-pixel

Import and Export

Import Microsoft Word Format

Export Your Document As:

  • PDF
  • ePub – for eBook readers like Kindle and iBook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Pages ’09 – For users of older versions of Pages

Learn More

http://www.apple.com/pages/

Pages 101 Tutorial Video with David A Cox (YouTube) (no relation)

 

 

July 2016 Security & Backup Meeting Slides

We’re trying something a bit different this meeting. So you don’t have to take notes, we’re putting the presentation on-line. And we’re doing it the Apple Way – using iCloud. You should be able to view these links on Mac or iOS. They are Keynote documents.

Here are the slides for tonight’s meeting as a shared iCloud (Keynote) document.

And here are the slides from November 2015’s Security presentation.

After clicking one of these links, you will be able to view the slides in your web browser, or you can download and open a copy in Keynote. Here’s what that looks like in iOS:

iCloud Share

MacMAD 30th Anniversary Event

MacMAD’s 30th Anniversary Event is history. It was fun to see some faces and equipment from the past. Naturally we ate dinner at San Remo Restaurant, haunt of MacMAD back in the 1980s and 1990s, and still good.

30th Anniversary Group Portrait
L to R, Seated: Jamie Cox, Eric Emerick, Dennis Crowley, Cher Daley L to R, Standing: John Sluder, Eb Farris, Bryan Kattwinkel, Denny Scott, Joe Harris, Steve Dagley, (?), Mike Williamson, Eric Newman, JR Staal.
Macintosh SE
Bryan Kattwinkel’s Vintage Macintosh SE with dual floppy drives.

 

Vintage Color Mac Laptop
Vintage Color Mac Laptop via Cher Daley

MacMAD 30th Anniversary Oct 1st

MacMAD will have a 30th anniversary meet and greet on Wednesday, Oct 1st at the Eau Gallie Library at 6:30 PM. This replaces the usual help meeting at that time and place. Everyone who ever had any connection with MacMAD is invited to come by and say howdy. Some of us who want to will go out to dinner afterwards — a 30 year tradition.

MacMad started in 1984, shortly after the Macintosh was released. For you youngsters, the Macintosh was not Apple’s first computer. The Apple I and II preceded it starting in the late 1970s.

A young Steve Jobs with the first Macintosh.
A young Steve Jobs with the first Macintosh.

Below is the first MacMAD newsletter from August 1984. Anyone remember newsletters? We stopped publication after the internet made them pretty much obsolete. It’s interesting that the newsletter was already referring to the only Macintosh model as a “128K Mac” — indicating our obvious wish that a new model with more memory was forthcoming.

Unlike MacWorld, this was produced on a Macintosh. Why is it all uppercase? We don't know.
Unlike MacWorld, this was produced on a Macintosh. Why is it all uppercase? We still don’t know. The early Macintosh had lower case.

We had a 20th anniversary meeting in 2004, and a lot of the usual suspects showed up. We’d  like to do better this year. See you there.

A somewhat serendipitous gathering on our 20th anniversary.
A somewhat serendipitous gathering on our 20th anniversary.