Adding images to iPhoto with Safari

My “day job” is running an Apple consulting business with Bob LeVitus. We get lots of people who send us an email with a question. While many the those questions are too complex to answer without suggesting a consulting or tutoring session, others are easy enough to answer in this forum. Some even lead to “teachable moments.

Max K. asked a question that lead to this blog post:

In the past I could right click a photo on Safari (email) and download it to Iphoto. Now I get an error message that “iPhoto cannot communicate with Safari". Is there a fix for this?

This issue first appeared almost a year ago. I suspect it is a bug that got introduced in an update to either Safari or iPhoto. If you have seen this problem, have you reported the bug?

In every application produced by Apple there is an item in the application’s menu that provides a way to give feedback or report bugs to Apple.

Clicking these items will take you to a web page that asks question such as which computer you are using, which version of the operating system etc. I went to a session presented by an Apple Product Manager recently. He explained that he receives reports related to the products he is responsible for and he then assigns Apple engineers to investigate the problem. While the fix is not always immediately implemented, Apple tries to resolve as many issues as possible in the next product update.

However, just reporting the problem does not provide a work-around until the issue is fixed. Let’s see if we can find one.

The problem looks like this. I found an image on the Apple Web site that I would like to save. If I hold down the Control key on the keyboard while I click and hold on the image I will get this pop-up menu:

If I select “Add image to iPhoto Library, I see this message:

It’s exactly what Max reported!

However, if iPhoto is already open, the image is imported into iPhoto:

AlthougH I have not fully solved Max’s problem, I have found a workaround. It looks like I have found a bug in Safari and I took a few minutes to report it. Hopefully, Apple will have it fixed in the next version of Safari. I do know if more of us who report bugs, there greater chance that the Apple engineers will look for a solution to the problem.

When you find issues, please report them, but then do a little troubleshooting too. Perhaps you will find a workaround that will help you out!

When you have problems that aren’t so easy to solve, don’t forget about us at Dr. Mac Consulting. We offer training, troubleshooting and technical support. We have special software that allows us to see and control your computer. Troubleshooting costs $30 for 15 minutes or $60 for 30 minutes. We can fix most problems in 15 to 30 minutes. Our tutoring sessions are $60 per hour. We can show you how to use new features of your computer or software. Give us a call at 408 627-7577, or visit our web site or send us a message at


Security Checkup - Safari and Preview, Part 2

In the previous post I was talking about Safari’s security.

While I know that some of you are probably thinking that it is time to move to Firefox or Google Chrome, similar issues exist in those browsers and it could take far longer for those companies to fix the issue than it takes Apple.

So, how do you make Safari more secure? The first step is to open Safari’s Preferences:

You will then see this window. Note that the General pane is chosen:

It is very important to make sure that there is NOT an x in “Open “safe” files… at the bottom of the window. If you do not know where files that you have downloaded are stored, notice that they are probably being sent to the Downloads folder. That folder is a part of your Home folder:

Open that folder. Is it full of old files, ones that you didn’t even know you had? If it is, put away the things you want to save and clean out unneeded files by putting them in the trash and emptying it. Make a commitment to keep the downloads folder empty so that you will recognize files that you did not intend to download.

If files that are out-of-sight never get dealt with, then change your download folder to be your desktop and then remember that a cluttered desktop slows your computer down and makes it inefficient.

There is a whole pane in Safari Preferences devoted to security:

While your ultimate choices are up to you, I do want to know when Safari thinks I am entering a fraudulent web site. I haven't had it steer me wrong yet!

As for my location, that one is hard. I appreciate getting information about things around us when I do a search, but sometimes, I would rather be a bit more private, so the check here changes occasionally.

I am not bothered by Java and JavaScript, but I really dislike pop-up windows, so my checks don’t change here very often. As for cookies, if I didn’t go directly to your Web site, I don’t want your cookies!

The last one is particularly important to me. Sometimes the lack of security on a form on a secure Web site is an oversight on the part of the programmer, but if it is not a site I am very familiar with, this warning will cause me to take my business elsewhere. The non-secure form raises the issue of hacked sites. I may be too cautious, but I would rather be safe than sorry!

There is a lot to think about in computer security! If you need a hand, one of the services we offer at Dr. Mac Consulting is tutoring and issues like this make great learning opportunities. Tutorials cost only $60.00 per hour. We use special software to see your computer and we can show you secure your computer and lots more! Give us a call at Bob LeVitus Consulting. We can discuss your needs and help you formulate a plan that will give you the best “bang for your buck.” You can reach us by telephone at 408 627-7577. Or send an email to


Security Checkup - Safari and Preview, Part 1

As Macintosh users, malware, spyware and viruses are not things that we worry about every day. In fact we can become pretty lackadaisical in our security habits and sometimes even Apple seems to help us out.

Macintosh computers are shipped with a setting in Safari that should probably be changed. They are set so that “safe” files will open automatically. However, some of these “safe” files are not so safe.

“Safe” files include movies, pictures, sounds, PDF and text documents, and disk images and other archives.

While I will agree that on the Mac movies, pictures, sounds, and text documents are almost always “safe,” the other three are not nearly as “safe.” Let’s consider the others.

When your Mac was shipped, the default viewer for PDF documents was set to be Apple’s own Preview application. It is safe, but the other popular software to view PDF files, Adobe Reader, is not. There are lots of web sites that have links to and recommend Adobe Reader. Most of those sites are written by Windows users and for PC’s, there are few free Windows applications that can handle PDF chores.

On your Macintosh, Preview is a faster, better and safer application choice. If your computer is set to use Preview to view PDFs, the icon will look like this:

or this:

These are the “good” icons.

If your computer is set up to use Adobe Reader, it will look like this:

This is the “bad” icon. If your computer is set to use Adobe Reader, pdf icons will look like this. Unfortunately, there are a number of vulnerability issues associated with it. Even with frequent updates, Adobe Reader is still a problem.

Here is the way have Apple’s Preview open PDF files.

First, find a PDF file on your computer. To find such a file, open a new Finder window:

In that window, type .pdf in the search area and click the buttons for “This Mac” and “File Name.”

Click on a PDF file to select it.

The press Command - I on the keyboard or go to File > Get Info in the Finder.

You will then see a window similar to this. Notice the tiny “disclosure triangles” beside each item. If the “Open with” area is not displayed, click that tiny triangle to view the information.

Choose Preview. It could be at the top of the list, or it could be further down in the body of the list.

Now, press the “Change All…” button to make this choice the default.

From now on (or until sneaky Adobe Reader convinces you select it again) PDF files will open in Safari.

As for Disk Images, Wikipedia defines them this way:

A disk image is a single file or storage device containing the complete contents and structure representing a data storage medium or device, such as a hard drive, tape drives, floppy disk, CD/DVD/BD and key drive, although an image of an optical disc may be referred to as an optical disc image. A disk image is usually created by creating a complete sector-by-sector copy of the source medium and thereby perfectly replicating the structure and contents of a storage device.

So, put simply, a disk image looks like this.

When it is opened, it will look similar this on your desktop:

It will look like this in the Finder Sidebar:

Archived or Zipped files look similar to these:

Both Disk Image Files and archived files could be malicious. The vast majority are quite safe, but if you do not recognize the file or your cannot remember where it came from, it is safest to put the file in your trash can and empty it!

We are certainly not finished here, but this post is long enough. Stay Tuned for Security Checkup - Safari and Preview, Part 2. I am working on it NOW!


Mac Defender, MacProtector - Just BAD stuff!

We Macintosh users have had it pretty easy since Mac OS X was released. Back in the days of Mac OS 9 and earlier, there were a number of malware and viruses that could attack our computers, but due to a combination of factors those problems have been very rare in recent years.

In the past few weeks, there has been some new attacks on the Mac. While none are viruses, an unethical individual has produced a program that purports to find a virus on your computer when you visit a web site. These web sites have been around for years on the PC and hopefully Windows users have learned to ignore them.

For Mac users, this is a new problem and, unfortunately, some are falling for this scam.

I have had this blog post on hold for several weeks as I have been looking for this malware so that I could show you how it works. (Un)fortunately I have not been able to find an example to show you.


Because although I spend lots of time on the web, I tend not to visit “those” kind of sites. And just what are those sites?

First of all, they tend to be a bit shady. Think of downloading illegal music files, pirated software and movies and of course, porn. People visit these sites to download “stuff.”

You may have visited a web site that contained an advertisement that can supposedly detect and remove Windows viruses and malware. If you clicked on the link, an .exe file was downloaded to your computer. Of course, Mac computers can’t work with .exe files, so you were pretty safe.

Now there are a few links to Mac files and this can be a problem.

In the next few posts, I will cover various things you can do to protect yourself and your Macintosh.