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Managing Your Apple ID

Too many times when I am helping customers I get a blank stare when I ask for their Apple ID. Some quickly look through scraps of paper while others just start guessing. You Apple ID is the personal account you use to access Apple services like the App Store, iTunes Store, iCloud, iMessage, the Apple Online Store, FaceTime, and more. It includes the email address and password you use to sign in, as well as all the contact, payment, and security details that you’ll use across Apple services. So, yes it is important and you should remember it.

Setting up an Apple ID

Okay, so you are new to the Mac and want to take advantage of all that iCloud stuff, FaceTime and buy stuff at the App store. You need to set up your Apple ID. Before you run off to create a new Apple ID, consider whether it might be better to continue using one you already have. Remember that you might not be able to move data or purchases from an old Apple ID to a new one.

If you aren’t sure if you already have an Apple ID, Apple can help you find it. If your email address has changed, you can change the address you use for your current Apple ID to continue using it.

You can create your Apple ID when you set up a new device or sign in to iTunes or iCloud for the first time. You can also go to the Apple ID site (https://appleid.apple.com/account#!&page=create) and select Create Your Apple ID.

Here’s what you need:

  • A valid email address to use as your Apple ID username.
  • A strong password.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Three security questions and answers to verify your identity and a rescue email address. You can also use this information to reset your password.

It really doesn’t work well to have multiple Apple IDs and they cannot be combined after the fact so be careful to only set up one that you will use for a long time.

Managing your Apple ID

Things change. You may have to change your email address, you may want to change your password or payment method. You can do all this at the Apple ID Account page (https://appleid.apple.com/#!&page=signin). Here you can:

  • Update your Apple ID email address to make sure it’s an address that you use frequently.
  • Change your password to help maintain the security of your account.
  • Manage your payment information to keep your payment method or billing address up to date.
  • Add additional email addresses to help people find and communicate with you on Apple services like FaceTime, iMessage, Game Center, and Find My Friends.
  • See and manage the devices that you’re signed in to with your Apple ID.

Setting up an Apple ID without a Credit Card

If you already have an Apple ID and want to remove your payment method it is easy. You can choose to remove the payment method for your existing Apple ID after you have signed in to the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store. You won’t be asked for a payment method again until you make a purchase.

If you are just setting up an Apple ID you can do so without a payment method. On a iPhone, iPad or iPod touch follow these steps:

  • Open the App Store app, iTunes Store app, or iBooks app.
  • Choose any free app, song, video, or book.
  • Tap iOS Get button next to the item, then tap again to get it.
  • When you’re asked to sign in with an Apple ID, tap Create New Apple ID.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions. When you’re asked for payment information, choose None.
  • After you enter your information, you’re asked to verify your Apple ID by email. You must verify your Apple ID before you can begin using it.

It is a little bit different if you are setting it up on your Mac.

  • Open iTunes, then go to the iTunes Store.
  • Scroll down and find the country or region flag in the lower-right corner of the window. If it’s not the flag of the country or region where you live, click it and choose your country or region.
  • From the menu in the upper-left corner, choose Music,TV Shows,bApps, or Books.
  • Download a free song, TV episode, app, or book. To find free items, look under Quick Links on the right side of the iTunes Store window for any link that includes the word “free.” When you find a free item, click Get beneath its icon.
  • When you’re asked to sign in with an Apple ID, click Create Apple ID.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions. When you’re asked for payment information, choose None as the payment type.
  • After you enter your information, you’re asked to verify your Apple ID by email. You must verify your Apple ID before you can begin using it.

Protecting your Apple ID

  • Make a strong password, use uppercase and lowercase, numbers and letters and not your dog’s name
  • Reset your security questions to make sure they’re easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess.
  • Add a rescue email address. If you forget your password or the answers to your security questions, your rescue email address will help you regain access to your account.
  • If you haven’t already, set up two-step verification or two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your account.

Sharing your Apple ID

DON’T.

Your Apple ID should not be shared with anyone else. It provides access to personal information including contacts, photos, device backups, and more. Sharing your Apple ID with someone else means you are giving them access to all your personal content and may lead to confusion over who actually owns the account. To share iTunes & App Store purchases, photos, a calendar, and more with someone else, try Family Sharing, iCloud Photo Sharing, or other easy-to-use sharing features.

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Rosa Parks

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress later called “the first lady of civil rights”, and “the mother of the freedom movement”.

Rosa Parks is one of my heroes that grace my wall by my desk in Vermont. I have this photo signed by Rosa in a place of honor. What a brave, strong and persistent woman!

On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake’s order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her action was not the first of its kind. Irene Morgan in 1946, and Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, had won rulings before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Interstate Commerce Commission, respectively, in the area of interstate bus travel.

Nine months before Parks refused to give up her seat, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to move from her seat on the same bus system. In New York City, in 1854, Lizzie Jennings engaged in similar activity, leading to the desegregation of the horsecars and horse-drawn omnibuses of that city. But unlike these previous individual actions of civil disobedience, Parks’ action sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Parks’ act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including boycott leader Martin Luther King, Jr., helping to launch him to national prominence in the civil rights movement.

At the time of her action, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for workers’ rights and racial equality. Nonetheless, she took her action as a private citizen “tired of giving in”. Although widely honored in later years for her action, she suffered for it, losing her job as a seamstress in a local department store.

Eventually, she moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she found similar work. From 1965 to 1988 she served as secretary and receptionist to African-American U.S. Representative John Conyers. After retirement from this position, she wrote an autobiography and lived a largely private life in Detroit. In her final years she suffered from dementia and became embroiled in a lawsuit filed on her behalf against American hip-hop duo OutKast.

Parks eventually received many honors ranging from the 1979 Spingarn Medal to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. Her death in 2005 was a major story in the United States’ leading newspapers. She was granted the posthumous honor of lying in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.

On February 4, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service issued a special Rosa Parks Forever stamp on what would have been the late civil rights icon’s 100th birthday.

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Black History Month - Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was one of the most famous nineteenth-century black American women. She was an uneducated former slave who actively opposed slavery. Though she never learned to read or write, she became a moving speaker for black freedom and women’s rights. While many of her fellow black abolitionists spoke only to blacks, Truth spoke primarily to whites. While they spoke of violent uprisings, she spoke of reason and religious understanding.

Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree around 1797 on an estate owned by Dutch settlers in upstate New York. She was the second youngest in a slave family of the ten or twelve children of James Baumfree and his wife Elizabeth. When her owner died in 1806, Isabella was put up for auction. Over the next few years, she had several owners who treated her poorly. John Dumont purchased her when she was thirteen, and she worked for him for the next seventeen years.

In 1817 the state of New York passed a law granting freedom to slaves born before July 4, 1799. However, this law declared that those slaves could not be freed until July 4, 1827. While waiting ten years for her freedom, Isabella married a fellow slave named Thomas, with whom she had five children. As the date of her release approached, she realized that Dumont was plotting to keep her enslaved. In 1826 she ran away, leaving her husband and her children behind.

Important events took place in Isabella’s life over the next two years. She found refuge with Maria and Isaac Van Wagenen, who had bought her from Dumont and gave her freedom. She then underwent a religious experience, claiming from that point on she could talk directly to God. Lastly, she sued to retrieve her son Peter, who had been sold illegally to a plantation owner in Alabama. In 1828, with the help of a lawyer, Isabella became the first black woman to take a white man to court and win.

Soon thereafter, Isabella moved with Peter to New York City and began following Elijah Pierson, who claimed to be a prophet. He was soon joined by another religious figure known as Matthias, who claimed to be the Messiah. They formed a cult known as the “Kingdom” and moved to Sing Sing in southeast New York in 1833. Isabella grew apart from them and stayed away from their activities. But when Matthias was arrested for murdering Pierson, she was accused of being an accomplice. A white couple in the cult, the Folgers, also claimed that Isabella had tried to poison them. For the second time, she went to court. She was found innocent in the Matthias case, and decided to file a slander suit against the Folgers. In 1835 she won, becoming the first black person to win such a suit against a white person.

For the next eight years, Isabella worked as a household servant in New York City. In 1843, deciding her mission was to preach the word of God, Isabella changed her name to Sojourner Truth and left the city. Truth traveled throughout New England, attending and holding prayer sessions. She supported herself with odd jobs and often slept outside. At the end of the year, she joined the Northampton Association, a Massachusetts community founded on the ideas of freedom and equality. It is through the Northampton group that Truth met other social reformers and abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass, who introduced her to their movement.

During the 1850s, the issue of slavery heated up in the United States. In 1850 Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which allowed runaway slaves to be arrested and jailed without a jury trial. In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Dred Scott that slaves had no rights as citizens and that the government could not outlaw slavery in new territories.

The results of the Scott case and the unsettling times did not deter Truth away from her mission. Her life story, Narrative of Sojourner Truth, cowritten with Olive Gilbert, was published in 1850. She then headed west and made stops in town after town to speak about her experiences as a slave and her eventual freedom. Her colorful and down-to-earth style often soothed the hostile crowds she faced. While on her travels, Truth noted that while women could be leaders in the abolitionist movement, they could neither vote nor hold public office. Realizing she was discriminated against on two fronts, Truth became an outspoken supporter of women’s rights.

By the mid-1850s, Truth had earned enough money from sales of her popular autobiography to buy land and a house in Battle Creek, Michigan. She continued her lectures, traveling throughout the Midwest. When the Civil War began in 1861, she visited black troops stationed near Detroit, Michigan, offering them encouragement. Shortly after meeting U.S. president Abraham Lincoln in October 1864, she decided to stay in the Washington area to work at a hospital and counsel freed slaves.

Following the end of the Civil War, Truth continued to work with freed slaves. After her arm had been dislocated by a streetcar conductor who had refused to let her ride, she fought for and won the right for blacks to share Washington streetcars with whites. For several years she led a campaign to have land in the West set aside for freed blacks, many of whom were poor and homeless after the war. She carried on her lectures for the rights of blacks and women throughout the 1870s. Failing health, however, soon forced Truth to return to her Battle Creek home. She died there on November 26, 1883.

Her most famous speech, given extemporaneously was entitled “Ain’t I a Woman” and while it was not recorded it was a powerful message of human rights.

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

In 2014, Truth was included in Smithsonian magazine’s list of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time”.

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Black History Month - BB Stringfield

Bessie B. Stringfield, a.k.a. “BB,” was the first black woman to make eight long-distance solo tours across the U.S. on a motorcycle. In the 1930s, BB Stringfield rode her hot rod through areas known for racial violence and prejudice. She earned the nickname “The Negro Motorcycle Queen.”

On her tours, Bessie Stringfield traveled through Brazil, Haiti and parts of Europe. Her next destination was determined by tossing a penny on a map. As she rode through Jim Crow country, BB would sometimes sleep on her motorcycle with a blanket if there were no safe places for her to stay during her trip.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, BB Stringfield came to America as a child and was given up for adoption. At age 16, she was given a motorcycle by her Irish adoptive mother, whose name she was not allowed to repeat. After she was gifted her first 1928 Indian Scout bike, BB Stringfield would later purchase another 27 motorcycles throughout her life.

Throughout her travels, BB performed motorcycle stunts for local carnivals. The press loved her balancing stunt while her Harley was in motion.

Bessie used her motorcycle talent to work as the only female civilian motorcycle dispatch rider in World War II. She quickly carried documents between military bases and sharpened her riding skills by riding over makeshift bridges. Once her tour was complete, she moved to Miami and founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club. In Miami, Stringfield secretly entered riding contests as a man, and after winning, removed her helmet to reveal her gender. As a result, she was often denied the prize money.

In her personal life, BB Stringlfied married and divorced six times. She lost three children over the years. Her final husband, Arthur Stringfield, asked that Bessie keep his last name because it made him famous.

Bessie Stringfield, the Negro Motorcycle Queen, died in 1993 at age 82 from an enlarged heart. Her memory was left with the remainder of her six ex-husbands. In 2002 she was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

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Swipe Your E-mail Care Away

If your inbox is anything like mine you understand the frustrations in keeping it clutter free. I actually have multiple e-mail accounts that I use or monitor, further adding to some of my frustrations. There are all kinds of apps, techniques and advice on how to better manage the many messages that flood your inbox every day. Honestly, dealing with too much e-mail is a lot like dieting. Almost any approach will work, at least for a while. The hard part is finding what fits best with your work style or just staying committed to whatever practice you’ve decided to embrace. Built into the Apple operating systems or iOS are a fairly large set of techniques and features to help you organize your inbox.

In the last several months I feel like I’ve rediscovered just how useful and invaluable even my iPhone is with its mail features. When I’m out of the office or visiting some of our retail locations I almost exclusively use my iPhone and between the organizations features of Mail and iCloud drive there’s very little I can’t do. Swiping is a critical action on the iPhone (or iPad) to uncover all kinds of features within mail and now with El Capitan and Sierra many of these swipe features also work on your Mac with a magic trackpad or mouse.

Most users know if you swipe your finger to the left or right you can quickly manage your messages in mail and quickly archive or delete your message. A quick swipe in either direction will by default archive or delete your message immediately our of your inbox. But there is more to the swipe than just a simple delete.

In iOS, when you swipe a short distance to the right and an unread message (from left to right), Mail displays a read button. You can either tap it or keep swiping to the right to mark the message as read. If the message has already been read, that button changes to unread. This swipe is great for those who like marking message as unread to keep them around for later processing.

Swipe left (from right to left) a short distance, and you get three buttons. Archive, Flag, and more. Tap archive to store the message in an archive mailbox which is good for getting it our of your inbox without deleting it. Flag will mark the message with a flag so you can find it quickly in your mail’s flagged box. I love this feature! I probably utilize the flag features in my mailboxes several times a day and would be lost without it! You can swipe all the way to the left to archive the message with one motions. Some mailboxes will display delete when you swipe rather than archive. Not to worry though, it’s just going to your trash rather than an archive folder and you still can access the e-mail if you delete it by accident. I recommend going into your mail preferences and make sure you have delay in how soon your trash really dumps your mail permanently. For my work e-mails I have my settings set to never actually empty my trash. You never know when you’ll need an e-mail from 10 years ago and for me, it’s happened!

If you tap more, you get a bunch of additional options, depending on the message, that can include: reply, reply all, forward, show related messages, mark (so you can flag), file and more. File is probably my favorite feature and I think it’s better than the file feature in Mac mail. I file almost all my e-mails in folders based on their content rather than deleting them. Staff write what we call weekly reports each week and daily I get cash out reports from the retail stores. When I pull these kinds of e-mails up on my phone and use the folder option, iOS automatically suggests what folder it thinks it should go into and most times it correctly defaults to the folder I want. It makes handling bulk yet standard daily e-mails a breeze to file with iOS. So far I haven’t see this feature work on Mac mail.

If you try these features on your Mac (make sure your using the magic track pad or magic mouse) you will see many of these options I’ve talked about available, but know that not all of them may be there. In my opinion the features are better in iOS (who would have thought I’d be saying this!) When iOS first came out and then a few years later when it hit the first iPad we all had a laundry list of things we wish these mobile devices could do.

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