How to deal with two Apple IDs, well, kind of

Reader Dave Smith, a newish Apple user, is confounded by Apple ID. He writes:

Not being an Apple person I didn’t understand the whys and wherefores of an Apple ID when I bought my first devices. As a result, I have two Apple IDs. One I use for my iPods and iPhone and the other for my iPad. This causes me some grief over time as I sometimes have plugged one in for syncing when the other profile was in place. I’d like to get rid of one and consolidate. Is there any way to do this?

You were doing so well up until you mentioned “consolidate.” And there’s the rub. Apple does not allow you to consolidate two Apple IDs. A couple of years ago there was some talk of this as an upcoming feature, but it didn’t materialize. Rather, Apple embarked on its Family Sharing effort, which isn’t the same thing.

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When you turn an iPhone into an iPod touch

Reader Robert Williams would like some clarification about the relationship between his iOS devices and Apple ID. He writes:

My iTunes ID and password are now associated with my new iPhone 5s. The old iPhone (an iPhone 5) still connects to my home Wi-Fi network, but in order to download new apps, I need to enter my iTunes ID and password on the old phone. I’m concerned that if I enter my iTunes ID and password on that phone, iTunes will consider it to be my primary device and at the same time disable my new phone from iTunes. Is this a danger, particularly when I’ve also associated that ID with an iPad and MacBook Pro?

Not at all. Let me explain.

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How to easily print mail merged Pages documents

I’m not saying that reader Charlie Brown is unhappy (but honestly, isn’t Charlie Brown always unhappy?), but he would like a bit more from a solution I recently offered. He writes:

I found your article about creating mail merge documents with Apple’s Pages and Numbers helpful, but I’d like to know how to print the complete set of merged documents all at once. I don’t see where to select print and number of pages within the data merge file screen.

While the Pages Data Merge app I mention lets you email merged documents, there’s no print option, as you’ve noticed. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way to do this. Automator is your answer. Here’s how to go about it.

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What's the best media for long-term storage?

Reader Karen Bauer ponders a question of longevity. She writes:

I enjoyed your article about maintaining media throughout the ages but I’d like to know something more. What is the best physical media to store archives on?

If we allow history to be our guide, I’d suggest stone tablets—able to withstand just about any natural catastrophe you throw at them, but murder when it comes to editing.

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How to cull your iPhoto library of duplicates and bad photos

Reader Phil Rogers has more images than he cares for. He writes:

Because digital photos are so easy to save, my wife and I developed the bad habit of downloading, and downloading, and well, downloading. If we needed to show each other something at the store, we’d snap a photo and email it. Then at some point, that orange, or stapler, or whatever, would eventually get downloaded. Net result? Over 50,000 photos in iPhoto, with many duplicates.

How does one even begin to cull the herd? I’ve tried many of the duplicate-finder programs with varied success. But what about just plowing through to get rid of the clunkers?

This is a common problem, particularly now that so many of us carry around cameras (in the form of mobile devices) each day.

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How to share files between OS X user accounts

In a recent column about making the most of Migration Assistant I made the off-hand remark that it’s no big deal to move files from one account on your Mac to another. This caused concern from at least one commenter who considered the process onerous. Given that moving files between accounts isn’t entirely clear to everyone, I thought I’d provide the details now.

We start with the understanding that OS X is designed as a multi-user operating system—one where files stored in one account are not easily accessible in another. For example, if Susie and Chris share a Mac, Susie should not be able to see the contents of Chris’ Documents folder while working in her account and vice versa. If Susie tries, she’ll see that Chris’ Documents folder bears a red “no trespassing” icon indicating that her way is barred.

There are ways around this. You could, for example, change permissions on another account’s folders if you know that account’s administrator password. Or you could log in as root, which grants you permission to everything on the drive. Each of these techniques, however, is considered sneaky by the best sorts of people.

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