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Past Episodes

#498 New York City, Hopstop, Slau’s Recording Studio, Tile, TTT Part 24

Steve and my trip to New York City and how we connected with several NosillaCastaways. On our trip we used the free Hopstop app to navigate the subways. I explain how Slau created music in front of our very eyes in his recording studio, and refer back to how he created Podsafe for Peace so many years ago. Steve reviews Tile which he hopes will help him find his stuff when he loses it. Learn more at www.thetileapp.com. In Chit Chat Across the Pond, Bart helps me answer a “Dumb Question” about using hotel computers (I got it wrong originally), Bart explains a huge boo boo he made last time we spoke, and he explains why Masque is a non-event. In Taming the Terminal part 24 of n, we cover more about how Ethernet works, why we care about ARP, and the difference between a hub, a switch and a router. We FORGOT to announce that the long-awaited version of xkpasswd.net is finally live. Send feedback to https://www.bartbusschots.ie/s/about/.


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New York City!

Statue of Liberty against a deep blue skyI’ve talked quite a few times about how much I love the Internet and how many new friends Steve and I have made and new experiences we’ve had as a result of the Internet. Because of the Internet and podcasting, we met Don McAllister and became good friends. Eventually he gave my name to Captain Neil who ran the Mac Geek Cruises and I got a gig on the trip in Australia. On the Mac Geek Cruise we met Devon and Maryanne who live in New Zealand and ended up going there this year for their wedding. You remember Maryanne – she’s the professor who messes with your memories who was on the show a while back. Well Devon and Maryanne are working in New York City for five months. We figured it would be easier to visit them in New York than flying again to New Zealand, so last week Steve and I hopped on a plane to New York City!

I have to say that I never ever wanted to go there. Everyone told me it was extraordinary but my vision of what it was like was firmly cemented by real facts mixed with TV and movie fiction. A long time ago, NYC was a terrifying place with drug dealers and pimps in Times Square and murders and other violence in Central Park and that the subway was a horrifying nightmare. Even though people explained to me that in the last 30 years it had been cleaned up and was super cool and fun, I just couldn’t get that impression out of my head. At best I pictured it with dirty streets, super crowded, and definitely dangerous. I also pictured the monster alien from Men in Black eating the back of the subway.

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Can a Tile Help You Find Lost Items? (by Steve Sheridan)

four tiles in the box with instructionsHi Allison, this is Steve back with a product review. The gadget I am reviewing today is the Tile and its associated iOS application, appropriately called TheTileApp.

Let’s start with the problem to be solved. Nearly everyone I know has either lost or misplaced a personal item at some point in their lives. For some of us *raises hand sheepishly* this problem occurs frequently. This is a common problem that is really begging for a solution.

Tile started as a Kickstarter project back in 2013 to specifically address this problem. I contributed to the Kickstarter project two months ago, back in late September and I just received my package of four Tile devices. The Kickstarter project was quite successful and the Tile is now available to purchase at their website www.thetileapp.com at a cost of $25 for one Tile, $70 for four, or $80 for eight Tiles.

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Why You DO Want Notifications On Your Wrist

Microsoft Band showing notificationsJust about everyone on earth is writing about wearables right now from the Fitbits of old to the Pebbles of ten minutes ago to the Android Wears of today and the Apple Watch of tomorrow. I have an observation to make about the need for notifications on our wrists.

I hear a lot of people talking about how the LAST thing they want is to have notifications popping up on their wrist constantly distracting them from whatever they’re doing. I was in this camp thinking that my ADD is bad enough, why would I want to make it worse. But I’ve been listening carefully to people who’ve been wearing these devices and I’ve noticed a thread of brilliance coming through.

The people who have worn the Android Wear watches, like Andy Ihnatko with the Moto 360, and Chris Ashley with the Microsoft Band have noted one really huge thing about notifications. It’s not that you get notifications and act on them, it’s that you can tell the ones you DON’T have to act on. Let’s say you get 20 notifications in an hour. 19 of those don’t require your attention, so 19 times out of 20 you flick your wrist and then look away. If you had gotten those same 19 notifications on your phone or tablet or computer, you would have looked at them, and then realized something good was happening on Twitter, or seen an interesting article to read on Reddit, or felt like you were being productive by cleaning out your inbox. You would have been distracted, where on your wrist, you can’t be distracted unless it actually is an interesting notification.

I walk for about an hour every afternoon and while I’m listening to podcasts and enjoying the scenery, I’m constantly hearing dings and bells coming over my headphones. 99% of these are Google Plus, or direct tweets, but once in a while it might be Steve or one of my kids really needing my attention. I would love to not have to pull my iPhone out of my Spi-belt just to see that I don’t need to respond.

Next time you think about notifications on your wrist, think about the ones you DON’T have to respond to and how much more productive you would be if you could confirm they’re not important with the flick of your wrist.

#497 choosing between iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Bluetooth keyboards, RGB Express game and iOS app design and marketing

Allister Jenks guest hosts the show this week and talks about his decision process on buying a new iPhone in 2014. Donald Burr reviews two Bluetooth keyboards for his iOS devices. Then Allister reviews the iOS game RGB Express and finally on CCATP talks with Andrew J Clark about all aspects of building a unique and successful iOS app except the coding.


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#496 Usage Widget, Terror on Mac mini, All You Have to Do is Ask, Tie Something to it First, TTT 23 Networking Part 2

Jonny Quinlan reviews Usage Widget for iOS. I tell the sad tale of how we gave Steve’s mom a new Mac mini and almost lost both of her email accounts forever. Don’t like your bills? Call the service provider and ask them to lower the bill. How my father taught me to tie something to it first and how it helped us with our newly wired Drobos. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart takes us through Taming the Terminal Part 23 of n, the second half of our Networking instructions.


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Mac mini: Happiness, Disaster, Relief

Mac mini pictureThis weekend Steve and I traveled to see his parents to upgrade his mom from a white MacBook to a brand shiny new Mac mini. I love working with Merlee because she’s so clever and quick. She has her own way of doing things like any of us but she really listens to me before deciding whether she’s going to take my advice. As you know, I’ve been trying to convince both of them to use a password manager for ages, but they haven’t budged on that. I even converted myself to 1Password partly so that I could be able to give them good support on it if I ever talked them into it. Their main concern is the cloud, so having a tool that can live only locally was why 1Password was the right tool for them.

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Sometimes, All You Have to Do is Ask

dollar symbol with arrow pointing downDo you have a recurring bill going on that just seems like it’s more than it should be? I would encourage you to call the company and simply ask them to lower the price. You would think that this wouldn’t work but I can swear that it does. Sometimes you do have to play a little bit of chicken with the companies but it’s amazing how often it works.

Years ago Time Warner sent us a notice saying that they were increasing our rate by something like $30 a month. I called them on the phone and simply said, “No, you’re not.” I explained to the woman that answered that it would be expedient if she simply moved me up to her manager right away. When the manager got on line I politely explained that I had options (Verizon FiOS was available to me). She took a look at my account, asked me what was important to me in my TV and Internet service. In about 5 minutes, not only were we not paying $30 more per month, we were paying $15 LESS per month. All I did was ask.

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Tie Something To It First

Ethernet coming out of the cover plate for the vacuum with two happy drabsAs many of you know, my dad was my hero. He was a mechanical engineer, and I tagged after him in the garage, the shop and outside, pretty much anywhere he would let me follow. One my earliest memories is sitting on a very tall stool in his shop and toppling right over to the ground. I don’t think I suffered any ill effects from that! I also remember when I was hospitalized as a child and my dad brought me a small screwdriver as a present. I was delighted. Later, he bought me my first toolbox and we had many happy hours in the shop together.

When I was in college (to become a mechanical engineer myself) someone broke the antenna off of my 1976 Honda Civic. I went to the local hardware store and found a replacement for it. Antennas in those days for you kids who don’t remember them, were telescoping metal rods with a long wire that ran down the front (A) pillar between the windshield and the right passenger window. Installation of my new antenna looked trivial. I removed the two screws holding the mounting plate of the broken one, crawled under the dash and unplugged the connector to the radio. Then I simply pulled on the wire from above until it was completely removed from the pillar.

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#495 Mac Mini Decisions, Command-C, Puffin Browser, GamerGate with Guy and Chris

I give a rundown of how much fun we’re having in the Google Plus community for the NosillaCastaways these days – join us at podfeet.com/googleplus. Kevin in Connecticut tells us how he came back to the fold choosing a new Mac Mini for his re-entry from Windows. In a nice segue I explain why we bought a new Mac Mini as well and the thought process you might go through picking one out for yourself. I finally published my full tutorial (made in Clarify of course) on how to move your LastPass vault over to 1Password. A cool tool called Command-C lets you copy and paste between iOS and OS X from danilo.to. Need Flash on your iOS (or Android) device? Check out the Puffin Browser from http://puffinbrowser.com. In Chit Chat Across the Pond I’m joined by Guy Serle of the MyMac.com Podcast and Chris Ashley of the SMR Podcast to talk about the #GamerGate controversy.


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