Using a flash drive with an iPad

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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In a recent article you said that you couldn’t play movies stored on a flash drive on your iPad. Is there any way at all to use other kinds of files on a flash drive with an iPad?

In a very limited way, yes. It’s like this.

You can attach some flash drives to Apple’s $29 iPad Camera Connection Kit. (If you have an iPad with a Lightning connector you’ll additionally need Apple’s $29 Lightning to USB Camera Adapter.) Let me underscore some. Some flash drives require more power than the iPad can provide and won’t work. For example, I had luck with a low-capacity (64MB) flash drive but a 4GB drive was deemed incompatible by the iPad.

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iPad or laptop: Which is right for you?

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Clint Grosse, like many people, faces the “laptop or iPad” decision. He writes:

I want to purchase either a 13-inch MacBook or iPad soon. I would only use either when traveling and would primarily need it to check email every day or two, write a document occasionally (I don’t know how that might be done using an iPad, since Word doesn’t appear to be an option) and, sometimes, be able to go to an online auction site. Also, I might want to occasionally listen to a CD and watch a DVD. And flash/thumb drives? Without USB ports, they’re not an option for iPads are they?

As you’d expect, you can do everything you desire with a laptop (okay, you’ll also need an external CD/DVD player if you want anything other than the old non-retina 13-inch MacBook Pro that Apple still sells, as Apple’s other laptops no longer include such media players). Let’s now run down your list in regard to the iPad.

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How to stream iOS audio to multiple AirPlay destinations

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Andy Ingram is befuddled by an iOS limitation. He writes:

I have multiple AirPlay-compatible speakers around my home but it seems that I can stream music from my iPhone to just one of them. Yet on my Mac I can stream to multiple AirPlay speakers. Isn’t there some way to do this on iOS?

Not without some help from a third-party as Apple specifically limits AirPlay output to just the single destination.

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How to play .avi movies in Mavericks

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Jon Nunes has old movies and a new operating system that don’t see eye to eye. He writes:

I have a lot of old .avi movies from the days when I was using a Windows PC. I’d like to play them on my Mac but I can’t seem to when running Mavericks. What should I do?

You’re correct that QuickTime Player X is incapable of playing .avi movies, but then it never did natively. Instead you’d have to install something like the Perian QuickTime plugin, which allowed you to play a wide variety of video files, including the many formats gathered under the .avi umbrella. Regrettably the team behind Perian has chosen to halt development. In addition, the foundation underlying QuickTime has changed with OS X Mavericks so that these older plugins no longer work.

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How to revisit old website data

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Ingrid Hansmann wishes to go back in time. She writes:

I visited a web page about a year ago that had some information that I wanted. I’ve since returned and the page has changed. Is there any way I can see the old version?

There is. Google caches many webpages and there’s a chance that an old version of the page you're looking for is available in cached form. Just use this formula:

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Bugs & Fixes: DiskWarrior to the rescue

Ted Landau Senior Contributor, Macworld

Alsoft's DiskWarrior is a disk repair utility. Plain and simple. But don't dismiss it as a one-trick pony. When you have a hard drive that otherwise seems beyond repair, this is the utility you want to have. While I have been making this recommendation almost since DiskWarrior debuted back in 1998, a recent incident confirmed that it is just as true today.

In truth, I have had little use for any disk repair utility over the past several years. I certainly hadn't used DiskWarrior. Based on my anecdotal experience, drives and system software are more reliable now than they were years ago. Whereas I could expect to need a disk repair utility at least several times a year back in the 1990's, problems with my drives almost never happen now. Further, if I do need help, I typically start with the First Aid component of Apple's Disk Utility. It has the convenience of being accessible from the Recovery HD partition built-in to recent Macs, helpful for making repairs to a primary startup disk. And First Aid is usually capable of fixing whatever is ailing my drive. If it can't, it typically means either the drive needs to be reformatted or it has a hardware problem and needs to be replaced. End of story.

"So who needs DiskWarrior anymore?" I found myself asking. I found out the answer when the startup drive in my 2009 Mac Pro inexplicably developed a bizarre symptom a few weeks ago. After a system-wide freeze forced me to do a hard restart, I could no longer get my Mac to boot. About 10 seconds after the Apple logo appeared, the Mac shut itself off. And I do mean off. It wasn't merely that the display went black or that the Mac went to sleep. Rather, the Mac powered off just as if I had selected Shut Down. This continued to happen with each restart. It didn't matter if I started up normally or via a Safe Boot.

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Resetting Safari with a keyboard shortcut

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader John Craven offers up this head-scratcher. He writes:

A short while ago I found a keyboard shortcut to reset Safari. Then recently I was having trouble with Safari and the keyboard shortcut stopped working along with a few other problems. I took my Mac to the Genius Bar and the technician showed me how to delete the plist file. This brought everything back to normal. The problem is I can’t remember the keyboard shortcut to reset Safari anymore.

If you remember, please let me know because I’ve never heard of such a shortcut. Oh sure, you can open Safari’s preferences (Command-comma), click the Advanced tab, enable the Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar option, and then press Command-Option-E to empty Safari’s caches, but that’s not the same thing as resetting the browser.

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