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Past Episodes

IRCcloud Keeps You Logged In Across Devices

Irccloud mobileFor the first time, I’m giving you a joint review between me and a listener, Joe LaGreca. You may remember Joe from his great review of the application Wire for secure messaging and before that he’s the one who told us about Authy. This week Joe showed me a cool service called IRCcloud, and we did a bunch of experimenting with it together. He explained the benefits to me and why he went looking for a solution in the first place (a problem to be solved).

After a while I suggested he do a review, but he was hesitant. That’s when we got the idea to collaborate on the review. Joe started an outline in a Google doc and I added some questions and additional observations, and moved things around to get it to flow better. So Joe gets credit for the majority of the content, while I made it into the blog post and podcast segment. I’ll let you decide whether this collaboration was a success!

The Problem to be Solved

Let’s start with the problem Joe wanted to solve. Read More

And Now for Something Completely Different

Al pudgy 18 years old

Flabby Allison at 18 years Old

I was chatting on the side with listener David Price about general life stuff and I happened to mention that I get a lot of exercise. He asked me some questions about how I manage so much exercise. He said that he knows he needs to exercise but that he can’t seem to find a way to do it.

I philosophize on this subject often in my real life and I thought I might take a break from tech here an talk about how I figured figured this out. Read More

NC #604 Amazon Marketing, OWC Thunderbolt Dock, Stocking Stuffers, SCO Member App, All Smart Life Adapter

Amazon tricks me into buying stuff with the Echo Dot, OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock review by Trevor Drover, tech stocking stuffers under $50, new SCO Member Tutorials iOS app for ScreenCasts Online, $22 AllSmartLife USB-C adapter to make your DisplayPort monitor work with a new MacBook Pro.


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$22 Adapter Lets the New MacBook Pros Drive DisplayPort Monitors

Last week I told you about how the new MacBook Pro won’t run a DisplayPort monitor. I quoted the Apple support article that explains that their USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter simply will not work with any DisplayPort display, including their own legacy monitors.

I explained how my darling husband Steve swapped monitors with me so that I could use his Thunderbolt Apple Cinema Display with my new MacBook Pro. Steve also gave me his Belkin Thunderbolt dock so I could keep just one cable plugged into my laptop. It’s still working great, but the plot thickens.

This week, I got an email from Dave Price, long time NosillaCastaway, and Apple Certified Support Professional of TekBasics in Dunstable, MA (www.tekbasics.com).

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New App for ScreenCasts Online Members for Easier Tutorial Viewing

Sco member tutorials in app storeIt’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Don McAllister’s ScreenCasts Online video tutorials. Over the years I’ve learned so much from Don. His tutorials are simply the easiest way to gain exposure to apps for the Mac and iOS, and to get a deep dive into Apple’s new operating systems when they come out.

The only sad thing for me is that Don hired me to help make the tutorials for him. On the one hand it means that I learn a few apps really well because I have to teach them, but I don’t get as many tutorials to watch as the rest of you.

I’m bringing up ScreenCasts Online again because Don has just released a new app just for ScreenCasts Online members. Normally I’m not a huge fan of dedicated apps, especially for podcasts. But in the case of Don’s tutorials, there was a real problem to be solved. First of all, only a few podcatchers out there provide for authenticated podcasts. Since Don’s tutorials are a subscription service, you do have to log in with your member’ credentials.

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CCATP #466 – Terry Austin on an App and Headphones for Hearing Loss

Hearing aid plus logoThis week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond is a fantastic blend of technology, physiology and ingenuity to solve a very common problem. We’re joined by Terry Austin, a professor of Anatomy & Physiology and microbiology at Temple College in the Texas Hill Country. He turned his research background in neuroscience and his love of technology toward a solution for a very personal problem to be solved.

Terry has some hearing loss, but not bad enough (in his estimation) to warrant hearing aids. He went on a hunt for an app to help. He found Hearing Aid Plus from hearingaidproapp.com for iOS.

I don’t want to steal his entire story, but in this episode he tells us how his knowledge of physiology combined with the mad skills of developer Gábor Száanto may have come up with a breakthrough solution for those with non-cochlear hearing loss.

Terry tells the whole story on his blog at intelligentelectrons.com/…

Also referenced in the recording: Trekz Titanium bone-conducting headphones: http://amzn.to/2fUF2hV. He also suggested using an app to test for the high frequency point for your hearing, and here’s a few he found: Mimi Hearing Test, or Hearing Test – Check Your Hearing Health, or Audicus Hearing Test. You can find Terry on Twitter @ielectrons.

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My Favorite Tech Stocking Stuffers Under $50

I’ve not traditionally done “top holiday gift” guides but I’m inspired by a few little products this year. If you’ve been following along, you’ve heard of all of them, but I think it’s of value to hear what products I’m still using long after the shine of a new gadget has worn off.

I’d like to focus on a few stocking stuffers, but that title comes with questions. If you stuff stockings with candy canes and oranges, this is not the right list. It’s more of a list of things that would technically fit in a stocking. I’m going to keep the price under (and sometimes well under) $50US.

My Favorite Lightning Cables

ProCable UHD light grey braided cableWhat Apple geek doesn’t want more Lightning cables? Either you don’t have enough, you’ve broken the good one, or they’re too expensive to buy from Apple. Whatever the excuse, my top pick is still the RadTech ProCable UHD. These are super heavy duty, come with a life time warranty and I’ve personally tried to break them without success. Better yet, they cost less than the ones from Apple.

The ProCable UHD comes in 18″ for $12.95, 6ft for $16.95 (Apple’s is $29!) or a giant 10ft long cable for $24.95.

My Favorite Headphone Cable Manager

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OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock – Guest Post By Trevor Drover

Owc thunderbolt 2 dock angled viewHello Allison and NosillaCastaways. Trevor from Australia with a short review of a product that has helped breath new life into my 2011 iMac and could be the ultimate dongle for the new range of MacBook Pros.

With more Macs coming with fewer ports to connect your external devices, adding an additional monitor, external hard drives, other USB-based gear, or legacy Ethernet or FireWire peripherals can become a bit of a problem. My 2013 MacBook Pro only has USB 3 and Thunderbolt ports and the newly released MacBook Pros only have USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

Enter OWC’s Thunderbolt Dock which might just be the adapter you didn’t know you needed. It seamlessly adds lots of useful ports to your Mac.

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Amazon’s Brilliant Marketing

Amazon echo dotA little while back I bought an Amazon Echo Dot. For some reason, I haven’t really taken the time to learn what it can do yet. Sure I can ask it the weather and to play a song, but not much more. This is not for lack of Amazon trying to motivate me, though. I get emails every few days suggesting I teach Alexa some new skills. If I would just open the Alexa app on my iPhone, surely I would find happiness there.

Nobody does marketing better than Amazon. This week on Cyber Monday, Amazon sent out an email specifically for Echo owners. The deal was pretty cool. If you used your Amazon Echo to order one of the things on their list using your voice, you’d get 25% off the purchase price and a $10 Amazon gift card.
This was too good to pass up. I went to the kitchen where I have the Echo Dot, and called out her name. The little blue / turquoise ring floated around the top to let me know she was listening. I said, “Order a Fire Stick.” She said, “it’s not in stock right now, but will ship on Thursday. The price will be $29.99 plus tax. Do you want to order it?” I said, “yes”.

It was the most frictionless purchase l’ve ever made. Now think about what Amazon accomplished here:

  • They got me to buy something
  • They taught me how to use what I’d already bought to buy more things
  • The thing they got me to buy was a device to help me buy and rent video content from them
  • They gave me a gift card… so I could buy more things from them
  • And they taught me to like it

NC #603 Touch Bar MacBook Pro Challenges, How Not to Do Migration Assistant, Security Bits

NosillaCastaways go see Mamma Mia!, I solve some interesting challenges with the new Touch Bar MacBook Pro, I explain how not to do Migration Assistant when getting a new Mac and Bart Busschots joins us for another lively session of Security Bits.


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