A day of Apple news and my first experience with a Mac virus

There’s a lot of news today about Apple software in particular: Mac OS 10.7, “Lion,” iOS 5, and iCloud.  There are many Apple and tech blogs that have written about these items, and all I’ll say at this time is that I’ll be moving to every one of these services.  We have our final concert tomorrow, so I didn’t even read my RSS feeds until 6pm this evening.  Yes, I’ll certainly pay $25 each year for the “match” feature offered by Apple.

Apple is advertising full video mirroring to HDMI via AirPlay with the iPad 2.  This is a tremendous win for iPads in education, and a great blow to the makers of Interactive White Boards.  The catch is that most educational LCD projectors do not have an HDMI input, so either an AirPlay video receiver will need to be marketed with composite connections–or there will need to be a cost-effective HDMI to VGA or Composite adapter for sale in the marketplace.

Meanwhile, even though I am no longer a technology integration specialist at our school (the growth of our music program automatically pushed me out of that position), I continue to have teachers stop by with computer programs.

One person stopped by with a new district-supplied iPad (Which makes me a little jealous, as I have to buy my own technology) and couldn’t connect to the district network or Exchange Server.  Another person stopped by earlier in the week when their student couldn’t upload a video to YouTube (incidentally, the student had not verified the YouTube account and thus could not upload).  I noticed that their older MacBook had only 1GB of RAM, and this afternoon, they stopped by to order 4GB (OWC) for less than $70.

In the process, I noticed a program called Mac Protector on their computer, which is a variant of the MacDefender virus.  This person had installed the virus and paid the fee which it had requested for Mac virus protection.  I was able to do a quick search on the web and find the instructions to remove the application–pretty easy compared to Windows viruses I’ve faced in the past.  Still, it was a MacBook that was impacted by a virus.

Have a Mac and want to avoid this known virus?  First, update your OS.  Software Update will probably tell you to do this on its own…or you can go to the Apple and choose “Software Update….”  Second, use another browser.  MacDefender and Mac Protector work through Safari.  I have not seen any instances that have been through Firefox, for example.  Third, if you love Safari, go to Safari->Preferences->General->and “uncheck” the box for “Open “safe” files after downloading.”

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