Mac Lessons for Mom!

The Story of Accularian.

Accularian LogoDana Haynes – Accularian

Hi, I’m Dana Haynes. As a certified Apple consultant, I have been teaching people the secrets of the Mac for over 20 years. We love our Macs, don’t we? I was pretty evangelistic about this little computer platform and introduced it to all the members of my family. When Mom got interested in genealogy, the Mac was just perfect and super fun for getting on the web and finding some really amazing info, quickly. When she realized the power of the web, she wanted to hone her skills and master her Mac so she could really enjoy the benefits of a powerful machine on a world wide web.

Now there’s just one problem if you are a Macintosh consultant and get the whole family to buy Macs… you’re gonna be the one supporting them! So…

When Mom asked me to teach her how to use her Macintosh computer, I decided to record everything I knew. But Mom had a special qualification… she insisted that everything should be presented in a “Step 1, Step 2, Step 3” fashion.

“I can do that.” I thought. But, as I began to record my lessons for her, I quickly realized two things…

First – “Step 1, Step 2, Step 3” was super easy, because that is exactly how the entire Mac menu system is arranged! I would be able to create each lesson in small, bite sized, easily digested parts. Very cool!

Second – This was going to be a lot of work! “Meticulous” and “tedious” are words which came to my mind and the task began to feel pretty daunting. There was a lot of powerful information to cover and I understood clearly that I would be recording these lessons for my seventy plus year old mom, who had very little previous experience with a computer. I knew it would require great patience and a lot of TLC.

These lessons had to be short and compelling. I had to anticipate each and every question, before it was asked, and answer it right there in the same lesson. If I used jargon or acronyms, I had to explain them immediately. Using analogies, stories and relevant illustrations would be important as well. Those became the goals for the first Accularian Macintosh Tutorials back in 2006.

It better be good, it’s for Mom!

If I was going to do this for my Mom, it had to be good, right? The scope of the project would be huge but I knew I could push through it, little by little. Since my mom did not live near me, it would be like writing her a few “post cards” each week and sending them to her in email. Then I realized, “Why should I do this for just one person? Why not package everything up and offer it to the world through the internet? Do it for Mom, but let others benefit too!”

Accularian is Born

Accularian LogoThe First Accularian Logo

That’s how got it’s start. Now, all these lessons, created for Mom, are available for you to enjoy… so you can learn how to master your Mac, too. But things did not stop there…

As word go out, people did indeed subscribe! Mom’s lessons were a hit! Over the years, the library of Macintosh Tutorials has grown to about 200 lessons and there are more being added each week. What began as a sort of “Postcards to Mom” project is now available to people all over the world and has become my full time job.

Everyone who tries the lessons loves them. I am deeply grateful for the response I continue to receive for my original lessons, the ones I created for my mom. It is exciting and humbling to know that I have been able to help so many people.

Get the Free Trial?

In each of the lesson modules, the first several lessons are included as part of my FREE TRIAL. When you click on a lesson link, you see the complete lesson… no teasing, no partial lessons, just my full lessons as they appear for all my premium subscribers. After the first several lessons in each module, you will need a subscription plan in order to move forward and watch the rest of the lessons… so, how do you get a FREE TRIAL? Click HERE.

Well, that’s it. That’s what Accularian is all about… click the link, sign up and enjoy the FREE lessons… but for those of you who would like to get the rest of the story and get a little bit of my history, please read on.


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Accularian sounds familiar. What’s with the Name?

Accularian LogoElaine Haynes

Mom was a librarian most of her life Yep, the half glasses on a beaded string… the whole stereotypical librarian thing. Not only that, she was strict! Shhh! Quiet!!!

When I began to realize the scope and potential of creating these lessons for a greater audience, I realized my Macintosh lessons should be a library of Mac goodies for people from all walks of life and, they needed to be accurate. Ahh! “Accurate Librarian!” “Accurate” because that’s what the lessons needed to be and “Librarian” as a tip-of-the-hat to the one for whom the lessons would be created.

That’s how the name was formed. Some folks will appreciate the back story of that “Ah-Ha” moment, as it came to me while I was literally, on my knees praying for help with this whole new venture! It just came to mind. Very cool! I still continue to pray for God to bless these efforts, and even for you, as you enjoy them!

I love to teach the Mac and I am often told that I explain things in a really understandable way. Now that I had a name for my new venture, I knew people would ask me what the name meant; so I came up with a definition. “Accularian: One who explains complex subjects in easily understood terms.” I was thinking about that “Accurate Librarian” notion when I created the definition. Here’s why…

Have you ever been in a library and needed to find some super obscure piece of info (BI – Before Internet) and the reference librarian not only knew exactly what you were talking about, even though you could not explain it, and then almost magically provided the info to you… right in your hand? Well, that’s the thought behind “Accularian!”

I wanted to provide a thorough, step-by-step, inch-by-inch, overview of the Macintosh computer system; one that would not only provide basic training, but make people super excited about what they were learning. It is not unusual for my clients to actually laugh out loud with some of the tricks and tips they learn from my lessons. With all this in place, the Accularian website launched in 2006.

Technology Explosion

Flash forward to present day and witness the huge improvements in internet video and marketing technologies and the stunning growth of Mac OS X. Over the years, I have been able to hone my production skills and am constantly learning more. You can see this as new lessons are posted all the time. The Accularian lesson series has grown by leaps and bounds. While the older lessons look a little “long in the tooth,” the info is just as valuable as it was in 2006. With each new operating system, I strive to cover important changes and enhancements in my weekly emails to subscribers and everyone in the world can stay up to date through my web site for free.

How Mom Used Her Mac

Mom actually did not start using a computer until she was in her 70’s! Since Macintosh is the easiest computer to use, I never thought of any other choice for her. Mom stayed active on her computer with email and buying things through Amazon nearly to the end! She loved using her Mac to surf the web, make video calls to me and her grand children and she even used “Twitter” just a little bit. Another thing she was able to do was to use her Mac to automate some of the lighting in her home. She ordered books from the local library and participated in several local civic organizations and genealogy groups… all through her little iMac!

Accularian LogoMom & Me – 2010

Accularian went onto the back burner for a few years as Mom grew older and eventually moved in with my family here in Fort Lauderdale. April and I deeply believe that it is a child’s moral obligation to care for their parents in their age, in the same way their parents cared for them in their youth. This became our priority, until Mom passed away in 2011, at the age of 89. This choice, to put our lives on hold, in order to make the most of our time with Mom, is by far; one of the greatest blessings we have ever experienced!

After a time of reflection, regrouping, reassessing and prayer, April and I decided that we wanted to pursue a living by developing businesses online. As a result, I rekindled Accularian in 2013 and April left her career of 16 years with Office Depot to start an Amazon Affiliate business… which is going great!

Now that we see what is possible in this brave new world, our dream is to help empower other folks use technology, and develop their own skills and dreams. The goal… help a bunch of people make a portion, if not all, of their income on the internet. In 2014, we created a small support group called “Freedom for the Family.” FFtF is a free, web based think tank that encourages and trains people how to get started – building their own online business. Anyone can participate for free. Take a look at our efforts at and let us know what you think. Again, our support group is free and meets once a month online through Google Hangouts. Come to learn, but plan to participate by helping others with what you have learned.

Entrepreneurship in Action

Accularian LogoThe Haynes Family – Your Hosts!

So… what you find here at Accularian is a real guy and his family, with a real story behind a real web site providing real services and training. As an Apple consultant, I still run a Macintosh support business here in Fort Lauderdale, just like I’ve been doing for the last 20 years. But, because of this amazing technology, I can now help you… no matter where you are in the world. All we need is a connection to the internet! I have helped people as far away as Korea! We connect online and I can see and run your Mac right from my home office; just as if I were sitting right next to you. Distance no longer matters!

Give me a call. It’s still me that answers the phone and answers your questions. Macintosh support a is fee based service, but I still love to get that occasional call from folks saying, “I just saw your Facebook ad, clicked on the link and read your story. I’m signing up!”

At the end of the day, we are all human and just trying to do our best. I hope you’ll take a look at my contributions and join me.




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PDF’s Print Black!

Help! My PDF’s Don’t Print!

I tried to print out a PDF I found on the web and the whole page was black!

Sometimes, trying to print things we find online is pretty hit or miss. Here are a couple of tricks that may help.

  1. Try using the PDF Services button at the bottom of the print dialog box. Sometimes we can open something in Preview and print from there.
  2. Copy the URL of the webpage you are trying to print and paste it into another browser such as Firefox or Chrome. Different browsers perform differently.
  3. Take a screen shot of the web page by typing Command-Option-3 all at the same time. This will put a screen grab image out on your desktop and that will alms always be printable.

Here is a screen shot of the PDF Services Menu. It in the print dialog box on the lower left.


The PDF Services Menu is at the bottom of every print dialog box on the lower left. Give it a try!












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The Quest for Password Prowess – Part 7


“Welcome to your coronation!” calls Casper, again.

banquetTogether, Casper, Daniel and you walk into a vast atrium filled with flowers, trees, plants, waterfalls and a brook. A small string orchestra plays from a balcony above a crowded veranda. Dozens and dozens of people, who have just completed the same journey, are milling about. There is a buzz of excitement in the air. A large banquet is in preparation and suddenly you spot your wizard standing to the side. You rush to greet him.

“Congratulations on your conquest!” wizard laughs.

“I am so happy you are here!” you say.

“I would’t miss it. This has indeed been a long road. Now, you shall receive your crown!”

“The Crown of Password Prowess.” you add.


A Quick Review

“Indeed. You have learned so much. Now that you understand that the Black Knight is your friend and that he is protecting you, perhaps it will not be so easy to loose heart when he shows up in the future. I want to remind you that User Names and passwords go together and that it is aways important to be absolutely sure to which realm you are speaking. As you recall, sometimes it might be your local realm… your computer, that is asking for a password, sometimes it is a foreign realm such as the iTunes store that is making the request.”

“Wizard, I’ll be vigilant.” you insist.

“Yes. Remember too, the dialog boxes always carry a clue as to who is asking. You now know that if you really get stuck, you may reset passwords, though you may never find out what they originally were. You now clearly understand that there is a Root user account and that in the worst of situations, you may seize his power and make password changes that would otherwise be impossible. You also know that it is possible to create good strong passwords with memorable themes. These things are all important, if not vital.”

“I can’t wait to install “One Password.” you exclaim.

“That will be a fine addition.” wizard replies. “But there is the one lingering challenge you will face as you return to your realm.”

“What is that?”

“The man in the monitor, you! Do you remember when I asked you about the curious ability of a computer to pull such emotions from your heart?”

You nod reluctantly.

“In so many cases, it is our emotions that stop us from conquering the Black Knight. We get offended, then angry, then determined, then frustrated and finally quit. Never let your emotions cloud your ability to use your new found wisdom. There is always a way out.”


Your Turn

“A line is forming at the stage. Please take your place with the throng.” wizard motions.

Hastily, you enter the line that leads up to the platform, where a priest is crowning other victors. You suddenly notice that your squires are absent! Taken back, you look around the atrium, a slight panic in your chest. Casper and Daniel had become so close to you in such a very short time. With them, you felt protected. You felt secure. Why would they leave at this time? Had something come up? Was it simply their job to see you safely to the coronation?

“Wizard,” you gulp. “Where are Casper and Daniel?”

“In time. Stay focused.” comes the reply.

You did not realize that you were next in line!

“It is with great honor that I present this particular crown of Password Prowess.” the priest begins. “If it were not for you, my friend, none of these other people would be here!”

“What!” you gasp. “Why? What… what do you mean?”

“Yeah, dude!” the priest nods. “You see, all of these people are the ones who have been following you since the beginning. They have been reading your story and they all stand in gratitude for the way you have persevered. They love the things they have learned through you. You will be esteemed throughout history because of the quest you have now completed!”

crownWith this, there is a massive applause as the crown is placed on your head. It is larger and more brilliant than the others. Suddenly, you realize that you were actually the last one in line. All eyes are on you, each filled with gratitude and admiration. What an amazing feeling comes over you! It has been years since you have felt such joy, knowing your perseverance has blessed so many. This is wonderful. Suddenly, you realize that this is what wizard meant, when he made his comment about the people who would learn from your pain. The words “more than you know” echo in your mind.

For the next few hours, you are able to meet many people who have been impacted by your adventure. Many promise to email you from their realms. They share stories of frustrations and failures and overcoming, all of which flow freely from the lips of your admirers. The food and wine were superb! Nothing quite this exquisite could have been cooked up in your realm… but, it’s now time to go. What an amazing adventure!


The Return Home

Catching wizard’s eye, you nod and he beckons you to follow. You make your “good byes” and head toward a door the wizard is now standing beside. You turn to look at the crowd, one last time and it erupts once again in grateful applause. Many wave good bye.

“This is the door which will lead to your own realm. Your journey has been real but when you pass through this door, you will instantly find yourself sitting in front of your computer, right where you left off but this time, as you know, the Black Knight has been vanquished. Never forget, I will always be available as you call for MacHelp. Have you had a good time?”

“Yes. Yes I have.” you reply. “Better than good, I think. It’s something I needed. Something to make me grow.”

“That’s wonderful to hear. Where there is no learning, there is no growth and where there is no growth there is only death and decay. Keep learning.” wizard says, wagging his finger in the air.

MedievalDoorWith this, wizard knocks on the door with his staff. The door swings open and you enter the corridor. Suddenly an ominous figure stands before you.

“None shall pass!” comes the powerful and dreadful call.

Once again, the Black Knight stands before you, forbidding you entrance to your own realm!

“Quick! Where’s your journal.” Wizard queries in excited tones.

You dig into your satchel bottom. Bracelet! Quill! Journal! You hastily scramble for the password you had written down back in the Answers Garden.

“None shall pass!” comes the giant again.

Wizard pulls you close as if for protection or reassurance. Leaning down, he whispers in your ear. “I forgot to tell you. Caspian and Daniel were promoted!”

Following the direction of his pointing finger, you look up into the lifted mask of the Knight. It’s Daniel!



“So sorry m’ lord. Couldn’t help myself!

A hearty laughter ensues from everyone. It is so good to see your friend again!

“Friend.” you think to yourself. “I have just thought of a Black Knight as a friend, for the very first time”

“Where is Caspian.. er Casper? you ask.

“He is waiting in your realm.” Daniel says. “He has been assigned to a grand task by Root himself.” He has become your new localhost gate keeper. You will see him soon.”

“Now m’lord. Be my guest… and happy computing!” Daniel says with outstretched arm — inviting you to step over a threshold. You shake hands with your wizard. Is that a tear? Daniel grabs you in a bear hug. The new armor rattles. He sets you down again and you turn toward the threshold. You are ready.

As you step forward, the hallway vanishes and you are sitting once again in front of your computer. After what seems like hours, staring at your computer screen, you rock backward in your chair.

“I think it’s been a pretty good day!” you say out loud, nodding with a new understanding. Your quest is complete, your crown is secure. You have new and powerful knowledge. Never again will you be thwarted by the frustrations of losing or forgetting your passwords. You have been hardened in the fires of Password Purgatory and have successfully attained the Crown of Password Prowess! Never did you imagine that your quest would bless so many people. But it has… and it still does.

By the way, that faint sound you hear in the distance… it’s all of us applauding!

The End – Read Again.





PS: OnePassword became a vital tool in my personal quest after writing these articles. I can highly recommend it! Here is my affiliate link to the software on the Mac App store and the iOS Store. I absolutely love not needing to enter passwords all the time. —Dana

Mac App


iOS App



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The Quest for Password Prowess – Part 3

Checking our Bearings

Our grand quest for Password Prowess continues. Let’s check our bearings.

These are the stops we were to make on our journey.

  1. The Problem of Passwords
  2. The Purpose of Passwords
  3. The Authentication Process
  4. Password Recovery
  5. Anatomy of a Password
  6. Foolproof Password Storage
  7. Related Security Issues
  8. Password Nirvana

We have vanquished realm one and two. We are now entering our third realm, the authentication process. As I have warned you, this is a longer, more challenging realm. Tangler trees, weeds and vines are common trip points and I shall point them out as we traverse. Stay close.


Back On Point

Face of the Black Knight - The Password Dialog Box

Face of the Black Knight – The Password Dialog Box

Presently, we face the Black Knight who defies our attempts to advance, demanding two things, our User Name and our Password.

Now, what was that he said? Did he say our “User Name” was wrong? Did he say our “Password” was wrong? Or, did he say our “User Name and/or Password” were wrong? Our first trip point! But, our nemesis has dropped a tiny clue! Perhaps only one of our entries is wrong! This may be very helpful. We carefully examine our two entries. Our name is correct but the password is just a series of dots. This feels hopeless!


Lots of Dots

Dealing with dots in the password field means we very carefully retype our password or grab that small gnome that often lurks nearby, a small checkbox that reads, “Show password.” This small check box, when checked, turns the obfuscation dots into the actual characters we have been typing—another huge help. Those dot are there for our protection. They prevent prying eyes from seeing what we type, in case someone happens to be standing behind us.

Obfuscation Dots in the Password Field

Obfuscation Dots in the Password Field

Another little known secret about these obfuscation dots is that they often morph! Once you establish a password, don’t count the dots when you revisit an authentication dialog box. They most likely have changed in number. This is a device to confuse an intruder from using that “count of the dots” to guess your password. This is another built in protection.

Now, where were we? Ahh, we are still staring into the closed mask of the Black Knight.

Failure Inexplicable

We have entered our credentials with perfection but our attempts are still in vain. Now what?

As the King, you are the one who created the password! You know what it is. You wrote it down and double checked your notes. The “Caps Lock” key, another potential tangler, is not on and you have carefully typed your password at least six times! What gives!!!?

Close-up of Caps Lock symbol in the dialog box. Make sure it's off if you are not using ALL CAPS!

Close-up of Caps Lock symbol in the dialog box. Make sure it’s off if you are not using ALL CAPS!

Anger begins to boil within your heart. You once again begin to feel old emotions of inadequacy. Take a deep breath and pause… remember what your wizard said, “It will require some delicate self examination and patient endurance.”


The Beast Within

Is it not curious that silicone, metal, bits and bytes hail such emotions? How many times can we be challenged before we start taking it personally? This is a very personal test!

Allow no impatience to enter your heart. Resist the temptation to hunt for the sledgehammer. Here again is that emotional component we face as we pass through this Password Purgatory. We need wisdom. Pause. Think.


In the Employ of the All Mighty

“None shall pass!” The Knight growled.

“But, I’m the King!” We retort.

The Black Knight is unmoved. Nothing happens. It matters not. I am the King! Why is he not responding to me? I’m the boss… or am I? Then we get a fresh idea! Yes. Yes. Now we remember!

“Who summoned you?” We demand.

He does not answer but we remember, the Black Knight works for God! The priests crafted him as an icon and he reports directly to God!

“Which god!” You gasp, incredulously.

You know, the one who lives in your computer!


Meet Root!

The god of your computer is an invisible user named “Root.” He controls everything that happens in the system, everything! In essence, even though you paid for that computer, you do not own it… in a digital sense. In fact, compared to “Root,” your “Administrator” privileges pale.

This topic is a completely separate journey, one I hope to take with you one day. It travels through the realm of “Permissions.” This is a fascinating world full of amazements and power, but I digress.

While it is true that this all powerful “Root” commands the Black Knight, our Black Knight may be summoned by a variety of entities, human and otherwise!


Who Summoned You?

“Who summoned you?” We call again.

iTunes Icon“iTunes.” Comes the reply.

“Who, from the land of iTunes, has made this request?” We parry.

“The iTunes store.” Comes the reply.

Armed with this new information, we realize that the User Name and Password combination to access the iTunes store is a different song from that of the computer access tune we learned earlier. Our computer level authentications will not work here. “Who summoned you?” is a revealing question.


Into the Soul

“Who summoned you?” opens the mask of the Black Knight and allows us to pier through his face and begin to see his soul. Knowing the answer to the question, “Who summoned you?” allows us to unlock a good bit of the mystery that surrounds this, so called, Black Knight.

Many entities possess the ability to summon the Black Knight. For example: we, as humans, can summon the Black Knight’s dialog box by attempting access something on our computer such as “Software Update.” These are local events. In most cases, they will require our normal computer login name and password.

We are now getting pretty comfortable with the computer itself requesting our credentials permitting changes to the operating system or updating some application. Applications themselves sometimes ask for permission to access things on our computer such as our contacts, or perform actions on our behalf. We use our regular credentials here too.

As we look into the heart and soul of this Knight, we begin to understand his intent is for our protection.


Trust No One

I must interject a dire warning before we proceed. There is one entity with whom we must deal most shrewdly when our credentials are requested.

“Who?” You ask.

“Another human being!”

Never, never, never give your User Name or Passwords to anyone! When you provide this information, you essentially allow them to become you. They now have all the powers, authority and persona of the King. Are you sure you want to do that? There are times it becomes necessary, this is true. Just make sure that you have provided these credentials to a very trusted ambassador. If it ever becomes necessary, you can always change passwords if trust is lost.

Finally, there is one other entity to discuss. When a website or foreign server requests credentials, things change.


Foreign Relations

When we ask our computer to contact other kingdoms, anything outside our home or office, our computer will eventually encounter the sentinels of those kingdoms. Amazon LogoFor example, we attempt to negotiate with the King of MyBank or the popular King of Amazon, their knights ask for User Names and Password combinations too.

Let’s be very clear. These foreign gatekeepers have absolutely no interest in our local credentials. They are only interested in the credentials you established during your original visit to their kingdoms. If this is your first visit, their systems will ask you to create your own credentials, which may be of vastly different character, than those of our own realm.

The face of the distant knight most certainly looks different too. It may not be a dialog box. He may show up as some lines of text on a web page and, don’t think of trying to invoke the name of “Root” there either, they have their own gods. Dealing with other kingdoms is easy, if we respect and accept the laws.


Laws and Languages

The laws of other kingdoms may require that we augment our native language as we craft passwords by using additional symbols such as * or ^ or %. Their laws may require upper case, lower case, symbols, numbers… any manner or combination of the above! When we travel abroad, we must know the language and the laws. More importantly, we must conform, despite any feelings of inconvenience. As your friend and wizard, I feel compelled to remind you that protests do no good and only provide fertilizer for more tangles. We must keep our heads.

Looks familiar but it's not. This is the iTunes store log in screen and has nothing to do with our Black Knight!

Looks familiar but it’s not. This is the iTunes store log in screen and has nothing to do with our Black Knight!

The iTunes Store is a fine illustration. While you can use just about anything you want for your local computer password, including nothing at all, this is not the case in the Land of Apple. The iTunes store imposes strict conventions on password creation. It must be at least eight characters in length. It must have at least one capital letter. It must have at least one number. It must have some other character, etc.

Patiently developing our communication skills with other kingdoms brings some of the richest rewards of owning a computer. It opens amazing opportunities for entertainment, education, enlightenment and enjoyment. This is where many people spend a vast majority of their time. I want to encourage you to explore the depths of these riches. There was a time when we needed great sailing ships to visit the library of Alexandria, now it and a million other kingdoms with massive libraries offer portals to their lands, right on your desktop!


Through the Woods, Into Root’s Domain!

Well, we are now at the end of this forrest! In discussing the soul of the Black Knight, we now see how truly loyal he is to us. He may not be as powerful as we originally thought but he is every bit as obstinate. Crafted by the priests to do Root’s bidding and for our protection, we are almost beginning to appreciate the once formidable fellow.

In the next realm, you are to stay close by my side! It is a realm of great magic, incantations and power. Deadly mistakes can be made. The Black Knight, who seems to be quickly becoming our friend, will not be there. What we are about to do is something few dare try. We will be speaking face to face with Root and even borrowing his powers! We must use caution.

On to Part 4






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The Quest for Password Prowess – Part 1

The New Frustration

It used to be that we knew nothing more frustrating than getting locked out of our car, then someone invented computer login credentials! I’ll bet we can all relate to the poor fellow in this pre 2000 viral video!

Not only is it an inconvenient time-suck to begin password recovery, it is frankly a little offensive that a machine can have such power over us when we are the boss, not it! It doesn’t feel fair!

None shall pass!

None shall pass!

There can be nothing more frustrating than being told by a hunk of silicone and metal, “None shall pass!” The great news is: like the Black Knight of Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”, password issues can be vanquished albeit with a bit of silliness. You can become the victor in this quest—every time!

I will assume that you have been beat up enough by the Password Beast that you are ready to begin your quest for Password Prowess. But, be forewarned, brave knight. In so much as this is “a quest,” plan on traveling. What I can do, as your wizard friend is provide you with a carefully crafted map and cadre of defenses in the form of great knowledge. Now, let’s begin our journey as many journeys begin, by looking inward.


The Emotional Aspect

Password problems can drive us to tears as we feel a loss of control and a separation from our once friendly and inviting digital friend. It is as if the computer or iPad just got rabies and has viciously turned on us. Sometimes we even feel like it may have been something we did that caused the problem. We can experience feelings of inadequacy or feel stupid for forgetting our own password. In the back of our mind we consider the possibility that the computer is making the mistake, not us. The whole wonderful computer experience, in an instant becomes a nightmare. As the emotional aspects of this issue boil over we may eventually wind up becoming a viral video on YouTube!


Inconvenience Factor

In addition to these very real and emotional aspects of password problems, there is the inconvenience factor. Authentication issues are aggravating because it slows us down, makes us loose our train of thought, blocks our legitimate efforts to use our own computer, kills productivity and just injects unnecessary complications into our already complicated life. We think to ourselves, “This should just work! It should not be this hard. Why does using my computer need to be this complicated? Can’t someone make this easier?” Fair questions for which there are answers. In order to find them, we will need to trod through Password Purgatory. Let me tell you what to expect.


Password Purgatory

Password Purgatory is a deep and wide land that we will explore in a series of articles designed to help you gain your crown of Password Prowess—power no mere mortal ought possess lightly. When we are done, you will have an understanding of the pearls, perils and pitfalls of the process! Here is the map…


  1. The Problem of Passwords
  2. The Purpose of Passwords
  3. The Authentication Process
  4. Password Recovery
  5. Anatomy of a Password
  6. Foolproof Password Storage
  7. Related Security Issues
  8. Password Nirvana

Before we go grabbing a sledgehammer as our preferred tool of access, let’s talk calmly about these little devils called “passwords” and let knowledge, understanding and wisdom be our guides.

We have covered topic one in this article. Next, let’s take a look at the Purpose of Passwords as we continue to look over our map.

On to Part 2






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For the Love of Macintosh – Part 1


Essence of Macintosh Absence of Words

Have you noticed that Macintosh computer owners seem to posses near fanatical devotion to their Macs, an inanimate object? I am both one who notices this perplexing devotion and the giddy devotee. For years, my fond attachment to this little computer platform has largely defined my life. In 1986, I acquired my first Mac or perhaps it acquired me. From that time, I have been unable to explain, even to myself, what impetus seizes heart and imagination. I am vexed at my lack of words, unable to explain my feelings, yet, at the same time, comforted to know that I am not alone. Millions of Mac users are likewise entwined in this perplexing love affair. It’s becomes a fellowship.

In this series, we will examine the phenomena sometimes referred to as the “Cult of the Mac.” We must choose our words carefully. Not because someone is watching, but because cheap words would have no place in the realm we are about to explore.
So, how do I say in words, that for which there are no words? Can we parse adjectives, adverbs, pronouns and prose to craft a meaningful explanation of something so inexplainable? Let’s struggle a bit together to come up with some worthy language to describe that special, unspoken, bonding feeling Mac users have not just for their Macs but for one another. What is this “thing,” this emotion, this insane loyalty to a hunk of silicone and metal that captures our hearts and fires our imaginations? How is it possible that a little box of bits can revolutionize, at core levels, the world and the individual? In the heart of many Mac users, this emotion, this sense of pride, this firm confidence flows like a vast river. It’s quiet. It’s deep. It’s always there. If this is the effect, what is the cause?

Those who have owned a Macintosh computer for longer than a few months and especially for those who dumped the Windows operating system in favor of Mac OS, know this feeling well. They vainly attempt to describe it as “freedom” or “fun” or “fantastic.” Now, in an effort to set the stage for what we are about to explore, let me try, perhaps also in vain, to choose a term we might agree on. This term describes perceptions of Macintosh, and all things Apple. My chosen term attempts to elucidate the shared experience of millions and millions of Apple aficionados. The word is: “Quintessence.”
Quintessence speaks of an intrinsic character of perfection, the distilled essence of something profoundly suited for an apt purpose—the perfect example. The ancients pondered the possibility that Quintessence was the fifth element beyond earth, water, air and fire. In this realm, I tread lightly. I feel invited. Here, I am a guest, not a conqueror.

A Warning to Outsiders

As we begin our quest, I must warn you. Should you be in the dwindling ranks of naysayers who scoff at the notion that one might be so drawn to an inanimate object that he or she refers to the relationship as “love.” I caution you. Your time is short. Eventually, you too will join us. Your scoffing will cease and your criticisms will dissipate. Someday, you too will become “one of the crazy ones.” You too will find it difficult turn away from the siren’s song. Prove me wrong by reading no more. We’re gonna talk Mac! That’s just what Mac people do.

Next, delicate beginnings, as we consider Apple advertising. The stage is set.



In this series of articles, Dana Haynes, a certified Apple consultant from Fort Lauderdale, Florida will examine that mystical glue that bonds Mac users to their machines and one another. Dana is a grateful husband, home schooling dad and creator of the Mac Lessons series at Dana may be reached at or by phone at 954-726-9525.


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