Macs

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech Talk' started by Ken Anderson, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I have been using an Mac since I bought a Macbook in 2008. We did buy a new PC a few years ago because every now and then we come across something that requires a PC, but neither my wife or I use it very often, since she began using a Mac a few months before I did.

    In 2011, I bought an iMac, which is the computer that I used most of the time now. I still have the Macbook and, because my iMac is so big and heavy, I sometimes take the Macbook when I'm traveling, since it is a 13-inch laptop that is easier to carry around.

    When I used PCs, it seemed that every couple of years, Microsoft would come up with a new version of Windows that wouldn't work well on my old computer, so I'd have to buy a new one, or programs that I needed would come out with upgrades that required an upgrade of Windows.

    I could upgrade my version of Windows only a few times before a new version would come along that would slow things down too much for my PC.

    I haven't seen that happen with my Macs. Upgrades to the Mac OS are either free or only a few dollars, and they either make the machine run better or the only change is whatever new stuff they might have added to the OS. Upgrades to Mac apps or programs are also usually free or inexpensive except for programs that also have versions for a PC.

    I haven't had very many problems with my Macs. My Macbook works as good now as it did when it was new. I have doubled the RAM in both my Macbook and my iMac because they usually come with very little, for some reason.

    However, lately my iMac has been acting up. A Mac has a beachball looking thing that spins around when the computer is trying to do something that takes a while. I think I can remember that Windows has something similar but I don't remember what it looks like. Anyhow, there are times when I'll be typing something into a text editor or somewhere, then I'll look up and see that it had entered only the first few words of text, and the beachball is spinning around.

    Plus, when I try to shut the iMac down, sometimes the menu bar at the top will disappear and my desktop will disappear, but the app shortcuts at the bottom remain, and it never shuts off. The beachball isn't spinning so it's not trying to do anything. In fact, I can even open up any apps that are included in the shortcut bar.

    But in order to shut the computer off, I would have to force-close it.

    We drove to Portland so that I could bring it into the Apple Store, as they told me they could fix it. But when I got there, they ran it through diagnostics and told me that it was definitely not a hardware problem. Only the fix that they had in mind was to wipe everything out and reinstall the OS, and they wouldn't mirror my data for me so that it could be reloaded.

    Sorry, but I have too much stuff on my computer. Most of my apps can be easily reinstalled through the app store but I have several that I use all the time that I bought outside of the app store, and my installation keys are stored in a variety of places, including old emails, in text folders, in my Notes app, and who knows where else, and I am sure to come across something that I need that I can no longer use. Then there are years worth of data, web site creation files, photos, images, etc.

    I don't want to spend days just trying to get my computer back to where it was before, minus the spinning beachball and the problem shutting it off.

    So I dropped it off at a third-party computer service place in Bangor, since they will mirror my drive for me, and add everything back on top of the new installation of the OS. If it's a software problem, as Apple insists, then it has to be in the OS because it occurs after I have closed everything else down.

    That should fix everything. Meanwhile, I am stuck with my tiny little Macbook.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    They're taking a long time with my iMac, and I really want it back. I don't know how so many of you get by on an iPad because even the 13-inch screen on my Macbook is way too small for me. I want my 27-inch iMac back. I do have another monitor connected to my Macbook but am using that to watch DVDs.

    They have replaced the drive in my iMac and reinstalled the OS, according to their tech guy. They claim to have fixed the problem with the beachball spinning around all the time, but the shutoff problem has persisted.

    They were going to try one other thing first but, otherwise, I think they're going to uninstall all of the apps, while retaining all of the data. If that works, then I can reinstall the apps as I need them. More than half of them are ones that I haven't used in years anyhow and all but a few of them are readily available to be reinstalled from the Apple App Store. I do have a few that might be a problem because I bought them outside of the app store and I'm not sure where the installation numbers might be. Some of them are saved in old emails, others in text files, and still others in Notes, while there will undoubtedly be at least one that hasn't been saved at all.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Sadly, I have to report that I can no longer say that Macs don't go obsolete. The latest upgrade to MacOS Sierra went well on my iMac, as Mac upgrades always have, but my 2008 MacBook cannot be upgraded to the new version of the OS, as some of the older Macs are not supported. So I have a perfectly good MacBook that I can't upgrade any longer. I can still use it of course but, along with the OS upgrade, many of the apps will no longer support the older OS versions. I only use it when I am traveling but eventually I will have to look at buying a new MacBook, either that or a newer used one.

    The MacOS Sierra upgrade include Siri. For those of you who have iPhones, this means that I can ask Siri to do a lot of the things that I would ordinarily do with the keyboard and trackpad. I don't know if I'll ever make use of this because I've only spoken to Siri twice since I've had my iPhone, and once it was to tell her to shut up when she started talking to me for no reason that I was aware of. The new OS also allows me to copy and paste stuff from one device to another, such as from one supported computer to another, or from my computer to my iPhone, etc.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    I would like to learn more about Mac. Corresponded with an old retired trucker about 6, 7 years ago who swore by Mac over "winderz" as he called it, then lost everything when our PC was dashed to the concrete floor by vandals while we wintered in AZ. We bought an HP Notebook to replace it, still using that right now. Hesitates, falters, all sorts of jingo now and then.
    Frank
     
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  5. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Mac is not really alien to me since I work in the IT department but I am not well versed with it. There are only a few instances when I had handled a Mac most often for testing. But wealthy colleagues have a Mac for their personal use because it is definitely faster than a PC because of the hard-wired Operating System (the basics only, the rest of the OS is in software form). But the beauty of the Mac is the resolution of the screen, they have the best and Mac is noted for that. And most of all, a Mac user evokes class even if you are not classy in looks for you would look rich when you sit in Starbucks with your Macbook.
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Two of my kids have been using Apple products for a long time now, and they would not change for anything ! Probably the third one would be , too, except he can't afford to get one.
    Robin has a MacAir and also the iMac with the big monitor, plus her iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. My son Tony has all of that as well, along with his wife and two sons, who all have exclusively Apple products.
    When my old computer crashed several years back, Robin loaned me her iPad to use until she could get the Dinosaur up and running again. It took me a while to get the hang of using an iPad; but once I did, I was in love with that iPad like I had never loved anouther computer in my life. Robin realized that, and bought herself another iPad, and that was the start of my love-affair with Apple.
    Now, I have my old iPad 4th generation, a new iPad Pro 12", plus the iPhone. She would have gotten me an Apple Watch; but it is SO small that I would never use it. Even the phone is small.
    Robin is upgrading to the new iPhone 7 PLus, and she will be giving me her iPhone 6 Plus when she does that. I am looking forward to the larger phone.
    Bobby was sure that he would never use an iPad until he got one, and now he loves his as much as I love mine. So, we are totally SOLD on Apple products and quality.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    A low-cost way to get into a Mac without buying used might be a Mac Mini. My wife has one, and she likes it. The Mac Mini is just the computer part of a Mac, and it's tiny. It could be carried in a purse. Of course, you couldn't do much with it by itself. You would need a monitor, keyboard, and a mouse or trackpad.

    So it's not a self-contained unit like most Macs. But it's cheap, for a Mac. Unless they have changed something in the last couple of years though, Mac Minis aren't upgradeable, so get one that will have enough RAM. For browser and email use, the cheaper option should be fine.

    Once you've had a Mac, you won't want to go back to a PC with Windows.
     
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  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Yesterday, Robin came over and upgraded my old iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6 Plus, since she just got her new iPhone 7 Plus. I really like the larger size and I can see things on there much better, although it is larger to get used to holding in my hands.
    Since Bobby didn't have a phone, he now has the 5, and that will work good for him. He seldom uses a phone anyway, but had gotten fairly used to using this one when he needed to make a phone call, and I think that he will like having the camera, too. The old one has the Lifeproof case, so that will be safer in case Bobby accidentally drops it or spills something on it.
    He didn't think that he wanted an iPad until Robin bought him one, and now he loves his as much as I love mine.
     
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  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    I dropped my cell to the concrete floor in a parking lot, 3 pieces resulted: the battery, it's cover, and the phone. I thought, well, the damned phone cost only $4.99; put it back together, still works! We have no smart phone or anything like it, just Trac-Phones which we activate by buying a card now and then, no contracts or fees or other charges. 120 minutes, $19.88 at any store.
    Frank
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I bought myself a new MacBook Pro today, to replace my 2008 MacBook that was made obsolete with the last upgrade of the Mac OS. I had considered a used one that was newer than the one I have, but the prices for a used Mac are still pretty high so if I am going to pay more than five or six hundred dollars for a computer, I want it to be a new one. Then I thought about a Mac Air, one of their cheaper models, since that would be find for most of what I would be using it for, that being a computer to use when I am traveling. I normally just do browser stuff while I am traveling. But I have had my iMac since 2011 so I decided to get a new MacBook Pro instead since, if something were to happen to my iMac, I could do everything with the MacBook Pro that I can do with the iMac. I am getting the smaller 13-inch screen model, but I can always add a larger monitor to it. So tomorrow, I have to get everything off my old MacBook so that I can sell it, and then set up the new one. The new MacBook Pro adds a Touch Bar to the keyboard, which might be fun, although I don't know that it's a great improvement.
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I finally got around to setting up my new MacBook Pro. I haven't used it much yet but so far, I like it. Being new, it's much faster. The keyboard is slightly different, although the regular keys are all in the same place, so that's not a problem. It just has some new stuff that I haven't learned how to use yet. I do like that it synched with my iMac so that I don't have to track passwords down. My old MacBook, for some reason, never did that.
     
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  12. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Now you just need an iPad Pro to complete the set......
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I just don't see a point to the iPad. It would basically be a more expensive Kindle.
     
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  14. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    That is not quite right, it is more like comparing a horse and buggy with a Cadillac Escalade. The Kindle is basically an e-reader that can also go online when you need it to. The iPad Pro is a versatile tablet that can do almost anything that you need it to do for every day usage, especially when you are using an external keyboard with it.
    This little video will explain a few of the things you can do with an iPad that a kindle is not designed for, and there are a whole lot more applications that are covered in a regular review that are not even mentioned here . It is awesome for artwork and photo editing, and the camera has the live picture that takes about 3-4 seconds of video when you take a picture. If you touch the picture then you can see it actually move. There is a thread about this also if it is something that interests you.
    Spend a few minutes watching this video and see if you do not see the difference in capability, @Ken Anderson .

     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I know there are differences between the Kindle and the iPad, but I don't think they would justify the extra cost to me. My iPhone has the live picture function, but I still prefer a regular digital camera for photos. Occasionally, I will get online with my iPhone while we're traveling somewhere, only when my wife is driving of course, but I mostly only use my phone for telephone calls and texting, and I rarely even do that, Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

    I am going through the learning curve with the new MacBook Pro. Although my first Mac was my 2008 MacBook Pro, and I have been using Macs since then, my old MacBook never securely synched with my iMac. Once in a while, I could access something on my iMac from my MacBook but I couldn't depend on it so I would usually bring both computers with me unless I knew I wasn't going to need anything from the other.

    My new MacBook seems to have synched too closely with my iMac, and it's not what I expected or wanted. I wanted to be able to access files on my iMac from my MacBook and vice versa, and for saved passwords to be shared between the two. Instead, I brought my new MacBook upstairs this morning, thinking I'd take advantage of it to work from the upstairs living room, where the heat pump keeps things warmer. But when I turned it on, I found that it had duplicated everything from my iMac on my MacBook, and given a 27-inch screen on my iMac versus a 13-inch screen on my MacBook, that made quite a mess out of my desktop.

    So I created a folder and named it "Crap," and moved all that stuff into it so that I had a clean desktop again. That worked fine, except that when I booted my iMac, it had done the same there. I used the two computers differently, so I don't need all of the SEO and web design stuff on my MacBook, since I only use my MacBook for browser-related stuff, and maybe some light photo or image editing.

    Perhaps there is a way for me to get it to synch some things but not everything, but I haven't found it yet, and now my wife is mad at me because I won't call Apple support. She doesn't appreciate that calling support is a very last resort for me, while she would call support even before opening an instruction book. That's probably a guy thing.

    More frustrating is that when I tried to buy an app for my new MacBook, I entered my Apple ID as usual, but then I had to run downstairs to enter in a code on my iMac before it would allow me to install an app on my MacBook. I hope it doesn't plan on doing that every time because if I have to have both computers with me at all times, there's little point in having two computers.

    The fingerprint touch sign-in may eliminate that but if it works like the one on my iPhone, it will quit working after the first week.

    Lastly, the new MacBook replaces USB ports with another type of connection that is supposed to be faster than USB. I hadn't noticed my USB connections to be particularly slow but that's nice I guess, except that everything I own uses a USB connector so not only do I not get that advantage, if there is one, but I have to buy expensive adaptors. I just spent almost a hundred dollars on adapters.

    The older MacBook had a magnetic power connection that I liked. Rather than securing a USB-type connection for the charger, the connector was a magnetic connector that was very nice, but they've done away with that in the new MacBook.

    So, while I am not pleased at this point, I also suspect that there are ways to work around these problems that and that what I am truly dealing with is a learning curve. Probably, I will like it once I get used to it.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
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  16. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I'm happy with just my iPad Air, I wouldn't be doing anything more even if I had the capability. I like touch screen...I've gotten away from using a keyboard and a computer. This fills all my needs.

    And when I'm out, my iPhone is enough....I can do everything I do on my iPad on my iPhone. Just have to be more careful hitting the wrong key.
     
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  17. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I had trouble with the thumbprint thing at first, too. When Robin brought me the new iPhone 6 Plus, and set up the thumbprint, I complained that the iPad one no longer worked and I had to use the password each time. She laughed at me ........ she always does that !
    You can go to settings and then re-do the thumbprint and then it will work again for you, it turns out. Mine even did a better job of getting all of the little parts of my thumbprint this time, so it is not as exacting as it was before, and now I don't have to do the pw unless I really mess up getting my thumb on there.
    I imagine you probably already downloaded the iBook manual for your new MacBook; but if not, most of the answers on setting it up and syncing should be in there. The ones for the iPad are pretty informative, and even I can understand most of the stuff they are explaining.
     
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  18. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I hate reading instructions or asking for help. I prefer to complain until I finally either figure it out for myself or learn to live with whatever it is that I don't like.
     
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  19. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    My mother always told me not to complain unless I intended to do something about it............just sayin".
     
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  20. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Here is my dream Mac. New from Apple, it is the Mac Pro -- not the MacBook Pro, which I have, but the Mac Pro. It’s pretty impressive, but at an impressive price.

    It’s 9.9 inches high, 6.6 inches in diameter, and weighs eleven pounds.

    There are two types -- the Quad-Core and the 6-Core -- but if I am going to go that expensive, I may as well foot the extra thousand for six processors in one machine, which is even upgradable to eight cores.

    16 GB DDR3 ECC memory, upgradable to 32 GB or even 64 GB.

    I want it. If I hadn’t just bought a new MacBook Pro, I would be thinking about it right now.

    It’s only $4,000 without the extras.

    mac-pro.jpg
     
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  21. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Regarding my new MacBook Pro. Although I have simply replaced an older MacBook with a newer MacBook, there is a learning curve. First, there are no USB ports or any kind of connections other than the Thunderbolt connections, but I bought adaptors so that part of it is okay. However, the Trackpad works differently and I haven't yet been able to figure out how to configure it to work like the one that I use with my iMac or like the one on my old MacBook. I suppose that if there were my first Mac, I'd probably learn to use it without so much differently.

    Dragging and dropping works differently, and I haven't really figure out how it works on my new one. On my iMac, I would do a soft click over whatever I wanted to drag, move it to where I wanted to put it, and then release it. My new one opens it up instead. If I try to drag and drop an image, it opens the image in Preview instead. Oddly, once in a while I am able to get it to drag and drop but that doesn't usually work and I haven't been able to detect anything different that I might be doing in order to get it to work, so I can't repeat it. I tried changing the options to a three finger drag, which is what someone who was having the same problem recommended in a Mac forum. That allows me to drag it without difficulty but when I try to drop it, it still ends up opening it up instead. So I still haven't figured that out.

    Another irritant is that whenever I hover the cursor over something, it opens it, so I have to pay close attention to where I put the cursor. Rather than simply moving the cursor to the side after typing something, I have to make sure it's not over anything that's actionable because I'll have things opened up that I don't want opened, such as ads on web sites. To be honest, I haven't looked for my options there yet because I was planning on curing the drag and drop problem first. There is probably an option to tell is not to open anything until I have double-clicked it or something.

    Since I go back and forth between the iMac and the MacBook, using a trackpad for both, I'd like them to work the same.
     
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  22. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    I never cease to be amazed how the designers of this stuff endlessly think up different ways to achieve basically the same ends. The one about the cursor automatically opening something would really "throw" me, I think. And, the endless "updates" insistently calling to my attention. I almost never saw any change displayed by an update, but once, it caught my attention that when logging in to some repetitive function, like email, a large "X" displayed to the right just after I entered one letter, evidently that being the change that last update instituted.
    Frank
     
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  23. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    One thing with Macs, which wasn't the case at all while I was using Windows, is that most updates either add something potentially useful or make the machine run faster and more efficiently. Some, of course, are security updates that don't do anything noticeable to the end user, and one update was not available for my otherwise perfectly functional 2008 MacBook. When I ran Windows, updates were almost always problematic, usually required expensive upgrades in programs, and often made the machine run less efficiently than before the update.
     
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  24. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    This is SO totally true ! Even though we have a perfectly fine Dell computer, neither Bobby or I ever even turn it on unless we need it for some reason, like syncing the iPads. It always needs a half hour (or more !) to do the updates before we can even use it when we do want to do that; so I have to go in way ahead of time, turn it on, and get everything updated and security ran and all of that stuff before I can even open up a webpage.
    Once, we got some kind of a "bug" and it took most of the day to get rid of it.
    With my Apple there is never ANY of these issues. No viruses, no endless updates, and the few updates that we get let you know they are there so you can download them at your own convenience, and not when you are trying to do something else.
    You have successfully been using the same MacBook for over 8 years, with no issues, and I have never had any Windows computer that didn't need to be upgraded in much less time than that.
    You have no idea how simple and yet capable a computer or a tablet can be until you have experienced one made by Apple, @Frank Sanoica !
     
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  25. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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