Email junk or How do I get my friends out of my spam mailbox?

There are all kinds of weird reasons email that you want to receive, nonetheless ends up in your spam mailbox. The point of this post is not what those things are, but what to do next…

So now what?

Spam filtering happens on your iPhone or computer, not on the mail server. The whole point of spam filtering is that once you mark a sender as spam, from then on all mail from that person will automatically go into the spam folder.

Let’s say it’s an an email from me that you want  receive, but you found it in your own spam mailbox. Unless you immediately fix that, all my other emails to you will end up in your spam box as well.

It’s up to you to correct the program’s mistake.There is no way to fix it “by remote control.” (Imagine how much real spammers would LOVE that!)

On an iPhone/iPad, this is done by simply moving the mail from the Spam mailbox to the IN mailbox:   Click on my email in the junk folder. When it is open, then click on the little folder at the top or bottom of the screen, and choose to move it to your IN folder.

On desktop computers, the process will vary, but will either be a button on each individual email in your spam mailbox, saying something like “mark as not junk” or there may be a menu selection saying pretty much the same thing.

This works with any mistakenly “junked” emails of course.

But the point here is that until you correct a mistakenly junked email, all emails from the same sender will be processed into your junk folder.

That’s exactly how it is supposed to work.

iTunes tips

I’m an old guy, and can’t seem to break my habit of using iTunes to do my updates, instead of Over The Air, the way everyone else does it.  If you’re part of the OTA crowd, you can quit reading now.

I’ve seen (with more regularity than I’d hoped) these two problems:


1) Often one or two updates will download painfully slowly, while the rest just whiz right by.

The fix is to open the downloads window and pause the download. Count to two, and resume. 99%  of the time, it starts downloading at full speed.


2) Sometimes (albeit much less frequently than #1, thankfully) I’ll get a message that “The app “(name)” was not installed on the iPhone “(name)” because an unknown error occurred (0xE800002D).” 

The fix is to show the list of apps on your device in iTunes by clicking on “Apps” in the left-hand column. You’ll get the  usual list of apps in a new column to the right, and another (larger) column to the right of that named “home screens.”  Now, in the list of apps, find one of the apps that would not sync/install, and click/hold/drag it to one of the screens and release.  So far, that  has always worked to re-initiate the sync attempt, and will sync not only that particular app, but all the rest that would not sync as well.


YMMV, but HTH.


How to repair and replace Safari’s iCloud-sync’d bookmarks

PRINT THIS PAGE, since you’ll be quitting Safari to do this, and the page will go away, eh?  🙂  I suggest reading thru all this before getting started…



Here’s the problem: your Safari bookmarks are all messed up.

In my case, repeated syncings (and probably stupidity on my part) ended up with 10,700 bookmarks, 75-80% of which were duplicates. Not an ideal situation.

So, I used third-party software to remove the duplicates. I chose BookmarksDuplicatesCleaner from the app store, but what you use is up to you.

What needed to happen, after the bookmarks were fixed was to

1) make sure they didn’t automatically sync with iCloud right away, and thus end up with same mess all over again.

2) the iCloud bookmarks needed to be removed, and replaced with the new, clean list of bookmarks;

3) my other computers and iOS devices needed to get that new “master” list from iCloud.

There is nothing preventing Apple from making this simple to do… but they didn’t, so here’s the bunch of steps that I had to take to get it all done correctly.

The big picture is three stages: One – fix the bookmarks on my main Mac (easy – depending on the software you use), two – then replace the iCloud copy with that fixed list (too complex) and three – get all of that back on to all my other devices (simple).

stage one takes:

however many steps you want to devote to cleaning up your bookmarks. For me, it was two steps:1) buy and run BookmarksDuplicatesCleaner2) export the repaired list to an HTML file on my desktop 

Stage two takes 4 steps:

A)  —– (delete your old bookmarks)

B)  —– (delete the automatic bookmarks created by Apple) 

C)  —– (import your new, good bookmarks from stage one)

D)  —– (upload those new bookmarks to iCloud)

stage three takes one stepE)  —– (update your other devices)

stage one (get your Safari bookmarks fixed):

(I’m assuming that your main Mac is where all the corrective work is being done, and when it’s finished, your other devices will sync to the fixed bookmarks uploaded to iCloud by your main mac.)

First, run Safari on your main Mac and export (File/Export Bookmarks…) your current bookmarks to an HTML, just as a safety backup. (If something goes horribly wrong, you can just import this file and start over.)

Next, quit Safari.

Run BookmarksDuplicatesCleaner or whatever software you are going to use to clean up your bookmarks to delete the dups & do whatever other organizing you want.

Run Safari and see how the repairs look to you, and if it’s all OK, then export the (new) Safari bookmarks to another (different) HTML file. We will import that file later on in Stage two, so you MUST do this export!

(Now you have two files: your old messy bookmarks and your new cleaned bookmarks.)

stage two:

[Notes:  “Turn -OFF- sync” or “turn ON sync” as seen below, means you should visit your system preferences/icloud, (on iOS, this is in Settings/iCloud) and turn -OFF- or ON the sync button next to the Safari item.]

Stage two involves turning sync ON and -OFF- several times, and running and quitting Safari several times as well. Do not skip any step!

First, we are going to get rid of all your old bookmarks on all your devices and Mac.

(WARNING!!! You DID export those bookmarks in stage one, right? If you didn’t, you’re going to be very sorry if you do not STOP and export your good bookmarks now!)

OK: here we go…

On your main mac and on all other macs or iOS devices you have sync’d thru iCloud:

A)  —– (delete your old bookmarks)
1- Quit Safari.
2- Turn -OFF- sync.  
3- On your main Mac only, go to your ~/Library/Safari folder and drag the Bookmarks.plist file to the trash.  (If you see it being re-created automatically, it means that you haven’t turned -OFF- bookmarks syncing or that Safari is running.)
4- Run Safari, and if you see any bookmarks, delete them. 
5- Quit Safari.
[  Do this A) step for all your devices and computers before proceeding to B)  ]

B)  —– (delete the automatic bookmarks created by Apple) 
Now, JUST on your main Mac (NOT ON your other Mac or iOS devices!) :
Turn ON sync. 
Open Safari, and you’ll see that Apple has furnished you with a set of generic bookmarks. Delete them all.   Wait a few minutes to give iCloud time to delete the cloud version of those generic bookmarks. While waiting, your deleted Safari bookmarks should not reappear. You should have no bookmarks at all showing in Safari at this point
Quit Safari.
Turn -OFF- sync.

C)  —– (import your new, good bookmarks)
Run Safari again. You should see no bookmarks at all. (If you do see bookmarks, stop and check that you followed the steps exactly, until you can reach this point and see no bookmarks in Safari. Then proceed.)
Go the the Safari File menu and import the GOOD bookmarks file you exported (as the last step of stage one.)
(It may be necessary to quit and restart Safari to see your imported bookmarks.)
Using “Edit Bookmarks” in the Safari Bookmarks menu, make whatever adjustments and arrangements you want.
Once you have them as you like, quit Safari.

D)  —– (upload those new bookmarks to iCloud)
Turn ON sync. 
Run Safari, give it some time to sync, then quit and restart Safari, and make sure everything looks correct.
(If not, start at stage two all over again.)
At last!   Now at this point, iCloud should have a copy of your good new bookmarks.

stage three:

E)  —– (update your other devices)
NOW you can now turn ON sync on your other Macs and iOS devices. Everything should update correctly in short order.

Done  🙂  


(Remember: if anything goes wrong you can always restore your old, messed-up bookmarks, or your shiny new fixed ones, from the two exports you did in stage one. I assume NO responsibility for how these steps work out for you. I can only say that they worked for me.)

Your iCloud password is incorrect…

I’d seen these before:


“Your iCloud password for (my account name) is incorrect. Please ensure you are entering the correct password for your iCloud account.”


It usually came up after changing my iCloud password, and having some other computers or iOS devices logged in to iCloud. Just needed to change everything to the same new password, and all was good.

But today that didn’t work, and I couldn’t figure it out… until I remembered that Apple has implemented “per-app” iCloud passwords.

Now if you’ll look at that quote above, you’ll see that it does NOT say “Application “XYXZ” is trying to use iCloud. You’ll need to generate a new one.”

Nope: it simply says that the password for my own iCloud account is incorrect.  But that’s not true. The password for my basic iCloud account IS correct !  I’m left to figure out not only that it’s an app/iCloud problem, but I have to figure out which app as well.

In my case, it was Fantastical. And not Fantastical per se, but “”  Yeah. How’s Joe SixPak gonna figure that out?

Here are the instructions for making application-specific passwords:
It’s simple enough to do, although you might be mystified that making an “app-specific” password does not ask you which specific app !  It just generates a password, and you use it in whatever app is complaining at the time.
I suggest you both check the box saying you want it remembered in your keychain, and also keep a note to yourself of the password itself and where you used it.

I fixed it on one machine by using Keychain Access, and searching on “caldav” and replacing the old password with the new one. On my laptop, I just entered the new password when I got the misleading popup.

Perhaps this was/is completely obvious to everyone except me, but in case there’s someone else out there with the same problem, well… there’s the solution.


rearrange photos on iPad/iPhone iOS 7

Took me a while to figure this out, but as of Jun 15, 2014, here’s how you do it:

to re-order images in Photos for iPad/iPhone: (scroll down if this doesn’t work on your iPhone)

open an album in the Photos app.
click select
select the images you want (blue checkmark)
click add to
create new album
open that album
press and hold until the image icon “balloons up”
keep holding and drag to rearrange
wash, rinse, repeat.
click done

IPhone #2

The above may work for you on your iPhone, if not then try this:

to re-order images in Photos for iPhone:

open an album in the Photos app.
click select
select the images you want (blue checkmark)
click add to
create new album
open that album
press and hold until the copy/paste balloon pops up, and choose “copy”
Then click on the destination, by clicking on the image you want the copied image to be pasted in front of, and select paste.
Your copied image will be moved to the left/before the destination image.
(“Copy” is a misnomer here, since it doesn’t leave the original in place, but in fact moves it.)
wash, rinse, repeat.
click done


iTunes download stops… so… try this

Now that iOS 7 is out, you’ll find a whole load of applications have also been updated, and require downloading. Sometimes you’ll see the download simply stop, for no apparent reason.  The reason is usually some app getting stuck: either part way through, or even right from the git-go.

Click on the downloads arrow (next to the search field in the upper right) and the downloads window will open. Find the one that is locked up, and hit the pause button next to it. Let the rest of the downloads proceed, and when they are done, go back to the troubled on, and resume the download.
This works for me somewhere around 99% of the time.

ear phone – bud – headphone – cans … tip

In case you’re the proud owner of a new iPod or iPhone, or have just bought a new set of “cans” (headphones) regardless of type (over the ear, in ear, buds, buckets… whatever) you might not know that you should break them in.

That is, plug them in and let them run for about 4 days, playing a variety of music (iPod shuffle mode is great for this) in order to loosen them up.

This is more important for some earpieces than others, but is generally true of most higher-end devices.

Anyone who has broken in a pair of Grado’s will know exactly what I’m saying: the difference is pretty obvious, as the sound goes from harsh to lush.

If you’re using the buds daily, it’s still pretty easy, of course: just plug them in and let the music play all night. You’ll be done in a week, and if my experience is any indicator, you’ll certainly notice the difference in the quality of the sound.



Digital audio out of an iPod/iPad

(This only works on 30-pin devices, and will not work with the new Lightning adapters.)


I thought some readers might be interested in how I got digital audio out of my iPad.

The Apple 30-pin to USB (female) adapter, sold as part of the “photo kit” I think, was a wonderful bit of hardware that would allow all kinds of things Apple didn’t intend (ie keyboards and so on.)

I have some Grado headphones, and a little NuForce uDAC that can power them.

To get this to all work together, I’ve plugged the 30-pin adapter into the iPad and a USB A Male to USB B Male cable into a >powered< hub. (Note that the iPad becomes the “computer” to the hub’s one and only B input.)

Then another similar cable goes from the one of the hub’s A sockets into the uDAC’s B socket.

The iPad complains about the setup, but it works just fine, and I’ve enjoyed many hours of quality listening with this odd configuration.