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Past Episodes

#512 eBooks vs Real Books vs Library Books, Wonder Workshop, Augmented Reality Glasses from ODG, Maker with Donald Burr

In a two-part segment on electronic books I weigh the pros and cons of “real” vs electronic books, and then walk you through how to get eBooks on your Kindle using overdrive.com. Two interviews from CES: Wonder Workshop has toys to get your kids started programming, and the Osterhout Group’s Augmented Reality Glasses. In Chit Chat Across the Pond, Donald Burr of Otaku no Podcast tells us how to become a Maker and about the cool things you can make with single board computers like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Read all about it at donaldburr.com.


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Reading Part 2: Borrowing eBooks from the Library

my library's horrible interfaceThe one thing I still can’t crack the code on is how to get books from the library. I know people far less tech savvy than me who have figured it out, but it still baffles me. Here’s the problem. The electronic connection to my library CLEARLY was written by database administrators, not people who read and love books.

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Reading Part 1: Paper vs Electronic Books

a real, hardback, vintage bookI love to read, especially using a Kindle. Like many of you, a part of me misses “real” books. I miss going to the bookstore and judging a book by the cover. I miss trading in my used books to Dave’s Olde Bookshop and getting store credit to buy more used books. I miss having friends hand me books at the gym that they loved. Book discovery was easier for me back then. I miss the library.

There’s a lot I don’t miss about real books. I don’t miss those paperback books that had the binding too tight so you had a hard time reading the inner edge of a sentence and you swear you’re ONLY going to buy Penguin books from now on because they have easier bindings. I don’t miss reading the beginning of a hard-cover book when I’d lay on my side and the whole weight of the book was on top (or the end of the book when it flipped the other way). I don’t miss the weight of carrying 5 books on vacation. I don’t miss finishing a book and realizing that I don’t have a new one with me. I don’t miss reading books where the text was too small. I don’t miss having to read with the lights on, keeping Steve awake.

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#511 How to Record iOS Audio on Skype, Logic Dots, Lyve, Insteon, 2D Graphs Look 2D, Superfish Malware, Learn VoiceOver on iPhone

How to Record Skype Call Including Audio from iOS, Send your audio reviews for the while I’m gone in March to podcasting@bartificer.net. Logic Dots Ayopa Games from does in-app purchases right. Access All of Your Photos on Every Device with Lyve from mylyve.com/. Insteon Home Automation Will be Compatible with Apple’s Homekit at insteon.com. Tutorial on How to Make 2D Excel Graphs Look 3D. In Security Lite I read Bart’s opinion on the Superfish disaster at Lenovo. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Shelly Brisbin, author of the book iOS Access for All onto the show to teach me, real time, how to use VoiceOver, the built-in tool that allows the blind to use an iPhone.


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AT&T Trimline 210 Phone Unboxing

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How to Record Skype on a Mac AND Include Audio from iOS

Audio Hijack showing the diagram for recording VoiceOverOn this week’s segment of Chit Chat Across the Pond, Shelly Brisbin is going to demonstrate how to use VoiceOver for the blind on iOS. We needed a way to record just our voices, but we also wanted to be able to record (in high quality audio) the audio coming out of our phones. I figured out how to do this with a combination of the new QuickTime in Yosemite plus Soundflower and Audio Hijack 3 from Rogue Amoeba.

I used it to capture VoiceOver but you could use it to record any sound from your iOS device – games, songs, podcasts, even a phone call!

Tutorial here: How to Record Skype Call Including Audio from iOS

Logic Dots Does In-Game Purchase Just Right

logic_dotsYou couldn’t call me a gamer by any stretch of the imagination which is why you rarely, if ever, hear me talking about a game on the show. Bejeweled was a long time favorite from back in my Sony Clié days and onto my iPhone, and 2048 has captured me for the most recent year but other than that most games don’t intrigue me. There have been a lot of complaints lately about the annoyance of in-app purchases and how they work so I wanted to weigh in and describe a game that I think has done it right.

Before I describe it though, I’d like to explain what I hate in games. I tried playing Candy Crush which is a lot like Bejeweled with some interesting twists. You start out for free but the games go from easy to hard in a sharp cliff. One day you’re toodling along happily solving puzzles, and the next day you hit a level that is impossible without buying your way out of it. Same thing happened with Two Dots for me. Fun…fun…fun…impossible, now give us money. I abandoned both games.

Now let’s talk about how to do in app purchases just right.

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#510 ScanSnap iX100 Mobile Scanner, Speeding Up an Aging Mac, Taming the Terminal part 29 of n – Introducing SSH

Send your audio reviews for the while I’m gone in March to podcasting@bartificer.net. Check out my appearances on The Productive Woman Podcast at theproductivewoman.com and Tech’s Message at natelanxon.com/podcast. An interview at CES with Fujitsu followed by an in depth review of their ScanSnap iX100 mobile scanner. In Dumb Question Corner Eric asks how to speed up an aging Mac for the least amount of money. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart takes us through Taming the Terminal part 29 of n – Introducing SSH.


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Dumb Question Corner – How to Speed Up an Aging Mac with Minimum Investment

OWC 8GB upgrade kitA few weeks ago Eric from Durham, NC noted that we hadn’t had any Dumb Questions in a long time so he sent me in an assortment and told me I could use any of them I wanted. I thought this was a delightful idea, so of course I procrastinated on answering him for a few weeks.

Let’s start with his first question:

I have a 2010 Mac Book Pro with a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo and 4GB of RAM running Yosemite. With the exception of buying an SSD which I cannot afford right now, is there any other way to speed it up?

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In Depth Review of the Tiny Portable ScanSnap iX100 Scanner

Steve holding the iX100 scanner with the tips of his fingersIf you’re any kind of geek at all, you’ve probably jumped on the paperless bandwagon. Maybe you’re a high end paperless fanatic like Barry Porter, Jim Sewell, Georg Conant, Allister Jenks and George from Tulsa using Hazel rules and all kinds of other cool automation techniques to move your scans around. Or maybe you’re like me, you bought a scanner and you do some scanning from time to time but mostly you look at that giant pile of paper and find an excuse to do something more interesting like clean the grout in the shower.

In the old days we used flatbed scanners, which worked ok but the workflow was so slow with lifting the lid, flipping the page and pushing buttons that the whole idea of paperless didn’t really take off. It did take off with a vengeance, at least in the tech podcasting community with the advent of the Fujitsu Scansnap scanners. I caught the bug too and bought the Fujitsu Scansnap S1300. It lets you scan multiple pages at once, does duplex scanning (meaning it can scan both sides in one pass) and it’s pretty small. Technically I bought it for Steve, but then I stole it and kept it near my computer because I really was going to scan in all those darn documents sitting on top of the file cabinet. I really was.

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