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MacMinutes Podcast

A short, weekly podcast featuring Apple hardware and software tips, with product reviews and my recommendation of great applications. None of the fluff, just what you need to work smarter, not harder. Invest 10 minutes to learn more about Apple and the tech that supports it. Hosted by Alaskan resident, Jon Scudder, an Apple enthusiast and member of the Alaskan Apple Users Group. For inquiries, please contact Mac Minutes Studio, P.O. Box 1465, Girdwood, AK 99587, or

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How to set your macOS screensaver to show a Photos album

The screensaver can rotate through an album of your photos, but only while you’re logged in.

When your Mac isn’t being used, you can turn its screen into a digital picture frame by using a screensaver that shows photos. If you store photos in Apple’s Photos app, setting up the photo screensaver is very straightforward.

Here’s how to set your Mac to use your Photos Library as a screensaver.

1. Open System Preferences and click Desktop & Screen Saver.

2. Select any of the photo-based screen savers in the scroll list at left. The ones that let you select images all show a ladybird beetle.

3. Click the Source drop-down menu and choose Photo Library. (If you don’t have any images in Photos, the Photo Library option will not appear.)

4. It may take a moment if you have a lot of images, but the media list at left will populate with all your Moments, Collections, Albums, and more. (You’ll also see an entry for iPhoto if that’s still installed.)

5. Select any item or category.

6. Click Choose.

You can click Preview to see how the screensaver will work when activated, too.

MacOS also has a screensaver that appears when the login screen is idle. However, there’s no graphical user interface to update it unless your Mac is in a workgroup. Apple has instructions on a support page it no longer maintains that explains the Terminal commands necessary to set a screensaver.

You can’t use photo-based ones, however, because without being logged in, the Photos library and other photo sources are unavailable. You can pick among several screensavers located in /System/Library/Screen Savers, such as Arabesque and Flurry by following the instructions in that support document.

This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Shannon.

Review: Book – Mac OS High Sierra, Missing Manual by David Pogue

Review: macOS High Sierra: The Missing Manual
Author: David Pogue
Publisher: O’Reilly Media
Price: $24.99 ( $19.85 on Amazon Prime), kindle version available, eBook version on iBooks by Apple 
Pages: 868
ISBN-13: 978-1492032007
reviewer: Gary Miller, AAUG Member

Disclaimer: O’Reilly Media gave me a copy of this book to review.  

David Pogue is my favorite author for telling it straight, being informative, and saving me time and did I mention he’s funny, dry wit. .  He’s been around a long time, has 3 million books in print, yes 3 million.  The Missing Manual series is my favorite for tech books,  it’s what used to come with products in less detail, now we get help files, or call Apple in this case.  

Apple released Mac OS High Sierra in the Fall of 2017 and this book was published in February 2018, it was lauded for it’s new features, this book has an excellent Table of Contents, so it’s easy to go directly to what you want to do/find.  I appreciate that.  Great for newcomers to advanced users, and it talks to you, not down to you.  Shows you how to do things, and save you frustration…. 

I looked at other reviews of this book, and consistently, they are 4 or 5 stars our of 5.  So I think it’s a good purchase.  I have the eBook version as well, and it’s easy to read on my iPad.  You can buy bundles that include any format depending on your personal preferences.  I recommend it.  

Here’s what publisher O’Reilly says about the book: 

To find your way around macOS High Sierra, you’re expected to use Apple’s online help system. And as you’ll quickly discover, these help pages are tersely written, offer very little technical depth, lack useful examples, and provide no tutorials whatsoever. You can’t mark your place, underline, or read them in the bathroom.

The purpose of this book, then, is to serve as the manual that should have accompanied macOS—version 10.13 in particular.

‘MacOS High Sierra: The Missing Manual’ is designed to accommodate readers at every technical level. The primary discussions are written for advanced-beginner or intermediate Mac fans. But if you’re a Mac first-timer, miniature sidebar articles called Up to Speed provide the introductory information you need to understand the topic at hand. If you’re a Mac veteran, on the other hand, keep your eye out for similar shaded boxes called Power Users’ Clinic. They offer more-technical tips, tricks, and shortcuts.

When you write a book like this, you do a lot of soul-searching about how much to cover. Of course, a thinner book, or at least a thinner-looking one, is always preferable; plenty of readers are intimidated by a book that dwarfs the Tokyo White Pages.

On the other hand, Apple keeps adding features and rarely takes them away. So this book isn’t getting any skinnier.

Even so, some chapters come with free downloadable appendixes— PDF documents —that go into further detail on some of the tweakiest features. (You’ll see references to them sprinkled throughout the book).

What’s New in High Sierra

Having run out of big cat species (Lion, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard), Apple has begun naming its Mac operating systems after rock formations in California. There was Yosemite, and then El Capitan, and then Sierra, after the Sierra Nevada mountain range. As its name suggests, High Sierra is really just a refinement of last year’s Sierra.

High Sierra doesn’t look any different from El Capitan, Yosemite, or Sierra before it. Instead, it’s a representation of all the little nips and tucks that Apple engineers wished they’d had time to put into the last version.