Stanford/Palo Alto Macintosh User Group Newsletter
January 28, 2010
|Whatever the State of the actual Union, the State of the Apple Union seems strong, judging by recent reports of record profits and yesterday's much-anticipated announcement of a very large iPod Touch called the iPad. A cursory survey suggests that most people hate the name - could Apple have failed to check on that aspect? - but the machine itself is a thing of beauty that makes the Kindle look like a toddler's cheap plastic toy. At any rate, this is some nice hype leading up to Macworld, even if Apple themselves will not be there, and just in time for our February meeting next Monday, too.
|February SMUG Meeting Agenda
|Lynda Gousha presents "Security for Mac Users: What do you need to know and do to stay safe?"
In the wake of recent news about Chinese hacking into Google and other silicon valley companies' servers, it's a good time to reflect on our personal internet security. A recent New York Times article revealed that most people use easily-hackable passwords online, the most common being "123456" and the 4th most common being"password". You can read the full article and ponder the implications of this here.
Do you wonder about your home network security? Are there little creepy people hopping onto your network, maybe reading your files, your data, your Krabby Patty recipe? Are little pop-ups on the web trying to sneak into YOUR Mac? Lynda Gousha will tell you how to keep your Mac and your home network safe on the Internet and present an overview of what's going on in the world of security on the net.
Lynda Gousha is a Macintosh security consultant, industry watch, and long-time MUG leader and member (for more info, see her website at www.securityrealitycheck.com).
Another hardy perrenial topic at SMUG is when (not if!) and how to back up your data. We'll briefly demo an elegant solution from Belight Software thast allows you to backup to any kind of drive at a schedule of your choosing. Then we'll give a download away to a lucky raffle winner.
A couple of meetings ago, we demonstrated a painting software called ArtRage. Now comes a Mac-based app called Pixelmator aimed squarely at Adobe Photoshop at a fraction of the price of that bloated program. And once again, we have a download to give away to a lucky raffle winner.
Plus Q & A and Shareware from Dave Aston
|January Meeting Report: Earthquake Emergency Preparedness with Dell Bleiler
Dell's presentation at our January 4th meeting proved very prescient: the following day there was a 4.0 earthquake in the Bay Area and we have all seen on the news the devastating effects of a 7.0 even in Haiti. Dave Strom's report follows below, and Dell's EQ checklist can be downloaded from our website:
Dell Bleiler is a long time SMUG Member and participates on
our Board of Directors. He also volunteers some of his time relating to
Earthquake Emergency Preparedness for the "SayHi Senior's" group of the San
Antonio Hill Homeowners Association. It is comprised of approximately 1,200
homes in the unincorporated area of Los Altos Hills and Los Altos. He has
investigated the subject of earthquakes for the last four years and has
recently given several presentations on the preparedness aspect on Earthquakes
in the Bay Area.
Dell showed a San Francisco Bay Area map with the various
fault lines and where we are located on the map. That map also indicates the
probability of each fault rupturing over the next 30 years. In the East Bay the
Hayward fault has a 31% probability and the Calaveras a 7% probability. These
two are the ones most likely to rupture in the immediate future (like now).
When the Hayward fault experiences a major earthquake rupture that will be very
harmful because it runs directly through the densely populated areas from
Milpitas thru Oakland.
The same hold true for the Calaveras fault which runs from
South San Jose thru to Dublin-San Ramon. If this fault ruptures it could cause
a break in the Calaveras Dam and studies have indicated a 20-foot high wall of
water could be released right down Nines Canyon into the city of Fremont.
In addition recent geological studies have indicated that
there may be a deep underground linkage between the Calaveras fault and the
Hayward fault. One unanswered question now pondered by geologists is "Could a
magnitude 7.0 or greater rupture on one of these faults immediately trigger a
rupture on the adjacent one?"
Dell used the two wall size projection screens at SLAC to
indicate which areas would shake when each of the different Bay Area faults
rupture-and in what sequences if more than one goes at the same time. Both the
Hayward and Calaveras are now overdue (on average) for experiencing the next
major earthquake in the Bay Area.
However, not to be overlooked, is the probability of a major
7.0 earthquake occurring on the San Andreas fault, which is on our West side of
the Bay. The San Andreas fault has a 21% probability. Dell noted that if the
next shake on this fault happens first then the epicenter might be more
northerly than the Loma Prietta E.Q. of 1989. If so it might just arrive in our
area further up the Peninsula and in our neighborhood (see red dot on map).
In any event a major 7.0 or greater E.Q. event on either
side of the Bay will cause very severe damage with consequent hardships for our
population. "We have got to be prepared or we are going to have to take the
consequences". Dell gave a damage
estimate (his worst case estimates) if both the Calaveras and Hayward faults
should rupture concurrently.
He showed a map of geologic hazards in the S.A. Hills
homeowners area. Also pictures of
several gas line earthquake cutoff valves. These devices shut off the gas flow
to a house or building when they sense a major earthquake; plus data on seismic
gas shut-off valve requirements and several approved valves mandated for the
City of Los Angeles. These valve costs about $150, and another $150 for a
licensed plumber to install. If you are a homeowner it may be the cheapest $300
you'll ever spend in preparing for a major earthquake.
Next, he presented his major exhibit-his "Earthquake
Emergency Preparedness Check List" which he has developed and refined over the
last several years. It contains little boxes to be checked off as each
indicated survival type item is secured and verified. It is a one-page list and
can be posted on the side of your refrigerator for use in calling your
attention to what needs to be accomplished in preparing for your survival. His
goal is to get a copy of this to every household in the Bay Area.
High on his checklist is the need for immediate "cash on
hand" to make purchases when there is no electrical power or useful ATM's. And
for all computer users-the basic need for an uninterruptible power supply
(UPS). When the power goes out you can lose a hard drive if you should be
writing to it. Dell uses a 1500 volt-amp UPS which will last about 30 minutes
to power the computer, printer, drives and a light plugged into it. It cost
under $200. In the 1989 quake his computer and a lamp were still operational
and people walking down the street wondered how he had got his power restored
The United States Geological Survey provides a very detailed
32 page pamphlet "Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country-Your Handbook for
the San Francisco Bay Region". Major funding for this gem is provided by the
California Earthquake Authority, <pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2005/15>. The USGS
also provides real-time earthquake shake information if you have it downloaded
into your Google maps.
Dell also showed us a large yellow plastic bucket with lid.
It was obtained free for attending one of the Emergency Fire Preparedness
Seminars at the Foothill College Fire Station. It contains a flashlight and
radio, other tools, food, water and lots more. And the best part is-the bucket
and lid itself can be turned into an emergency toilet when needed. Fire Chief
Mike Sanders gives the seminar and reservations can be made for S.A. Hills and
local residents in the Los Altos Hills Fire District. Mike can be contacted at
In concluding his presentation Dell provided each person
attending a CD containing his exhibits and E.Q. Check List. Dell also closed his
presentation with this admonishment: "Don't count on luck in a big earthquake."
I say thanks to Dell for a very useful presentation. Especially
considering where we live.
//Dave Strom, VP/Director
|See you all on Monday February 1st!