#533 Automator to Sequence Images, Tear Down a MacBook Air, Nomorobo, Bart & Steve Talk Pluto

Pluto!Remember no live show next week, and send in your audio contributions so Allister Jenks doesn’t have to work so hard! (Send them to me at allison@podfeet.com.) There’s a new Mac Roundtable at macroundtable.com episode #228. I created an Automator Service to generate sequenced images from Apple Photos – download from Dropbox if you want a play with it. I walk you through how much fun I had tearing apart a 2012 MacBook Air. A fantastic service called Nomorobo from nomorobo.com will cut way down on robocalls to your house. In a fantastic Chit Chat Across the Pond, Bart and I are joined by Steve Sheridan to talk about the exciting developments in our understanding of Pluto. We even try to explain why it’s not feasible to call Pluto a planet.

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Can I Fix a Shorted Power Button On a MacBook Air?

close up of the power button after I cleaned itMy neighbor Naila across the street has an adorable baby girl. As many of us know, small children and laptops can be a terrible combination if there’s any liquid nearby. The good news is the little girl only knocked a water glass over into Naila’s MacBook Air. Naila took it over to Apple, and they told her it would cost more to repair than it was worth so she bought a new machine and moved on with her life. I begged her to let me take a look at it and see what I could do. The model is a mid-2012 MacBook Air, 120GB SSD and 4GB of RAM. Not a power house by any means but sure seemed to be worth trying to save.

I did an article for Don McAllister’s ScreenCasts Online Magazine for iPad this month on how fun it is to tear hardware apart and how I regret all the years I was afraid of it. I walked down memory lane talking about how easy it used to be on the old Mac Pros, to how hard it was when Pat Dengler let Steve and me tear apart an old desk lamp iMac, to how it had turned into a jewelers skill on the iPhones and how Honda Bob and I conquered that task anyway. I’ve really gotten the bug to fix hardware so I thought this would be a fun project.
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Automator Script Creates Sequenced Images from Photos

sequenced imagesI’m slightly more organized about my photos than the average bear as we’ve discussed in the past. I like to name my photos so that at any time if someone mentions say halloween costumes, I can grab my phone and instantly show them the photo of the amazing bat costume my father made for my brother Grant in 1965.

It takes a lot of discipline to keep up with this. But here’s a problem. Let’s say I want to post a big pile of photos online as a nice album. If I carefully name every photo and then do an export from the Photos app, they’ll be on my desktop in alphabetical order, so when you first look at the album, all you’ll see are pictures of Allison! Now I’m as big of a narcissist as the next guy but at least I like to sprinkle myself about an album, not front load it. What I want is to be able to post my photos in the order in which they were taken. Sometimes maybe I want to reorder the photos inside the Photos app first, just a bit to make a more interesting flow of a story. I would want them to stay in that order when exported and posted online.
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Slow Down RoboCalls with Nomorobo

guy doing a video about NomoroboSteve is an avid Reddit contributor and reader, and when the proverbial stuff hit the fan a few months ago that PayPal was going to start robocalling its customers, Reddit was on fire about the topic. Since then PayPal dropped the idea. Anyway, Steve was reading the rants on Reddit and someone mentioned a service called Nomorobo that they swore almost eliminated robocalls to their house.

Now I’m sure that you think you get a lot of robocalls at your house, but you really truly do not know how horrible it is until you’re home all day like we are since we retired. We get calls CONSTANTLY. You miss so many of them because they hang up and don’t leave a message. Sure it’s easy to skip the ones that have their name showing on the phone but it’s still annoying as all get out. And yes, we’re on the Do Not Call list which is a joke, I really think maybe the robocallers BOUGHT that list and use it to make their calls! One of my favorites is the American Red Cross. Sure I signed up and give blood but does that give them to right to call me three times a week? I’ve asked them politely not to call me, I’ve asked them impolitely, I’ve asked them with venom and anger, and I even threatened to tell them that I had some horrible blood disease if it would just get me off their gosh darned list! They called me again the next day.
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#532 Apple Secures Your Sensitive Data, Teaching a Young Boy About Science, Hackers Getting Hacked, Serenity Caldwell from iMore on Home Automation

Live show will be on Saturday at 3pm Pacific Time on 25 July as I’ll be on vacation on Sunday. There will be no live show on Sunday 2 July. I was on the SMR Podcast on Episode #262 entitled Little Community and the Daily Tech News Show Episode 2538 entitled Amazon is Past Its Prime Day this week. Learn how I lost all my Apple Watch activity data but that it was because Apple really does protect our private data. I’ve started teaching a young boy a bit about electricity and magnetism and it’s making a difference to him and his mom. Bart joins us but JUST to talk security. He tells about the hackers getting hacked this week, gives us some Security Lite and Important Security News. Then for Chit Chat Across the Pond we’re be joined by Serenity Caldwell from imore.com.

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I Wonder What Would Happen If…

Rocio's son holding up his battery magnetMy housekeeper Rocio has been working for us for years. This summer her soon-to-be 13 year old son has nothing to do so she’s dragging him along to work so that he doesn’t sit home playing video games all day or get into some kind of mischief. I think Rocio is brilliant to do this because she’s drilling into his head that if he doesn’t want to do a job like this for the rest of his life he’d better do well in school. You can imagine that as a 13 year old he’s riveted to her every word and thinks she’s as brilliant as I do, right?

I started thinking, what if I could give this kid some stuff to do that stimulated his mind while she was working, maybe I could get him interested in my favorite subjects, science and math. He may not be interested in these subjects and I may have no effect on him, but what if he took a liking to it and had a real aptitude? I figured there was no harm in trying so I asked his mom and she readily agreed.

You heard me talk last week about littleBits, the hardware modules that a kid can stick together with magnets to do wonderful, magical things. I sat down with him last Thursday and started to walk him through how to play with them. He’s a REALLY quiet, shy kid and didn’t say much but I started to see a flicker of interest in his eyes. I have no idea whether this kid is the next Richard Feynman or has sub-par intelligence but I figured why not assume he was brilliant? In my opinion, with children if you set the bar low for them they’ll gladly meet your low expectations. If you set the expectations high, they often meet that as well.
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Apple Really Does Protect Your Health Data

my full activity data on Apple Watch app on iPhoneDave Hamilton of the Mac Geek Gab was talking about how his iPhone misbehaved badly when he first installed iOS 8.4. He said that the battery was draining even while on the charger. While interesting I didn’t worry about it too much because I’d been running it for a while now and my battery was fine. Until a couple of days ago when it started losing charge like it had a hole in it! I plugged it into the wall charger and not only did it not gain charge, it got REALLY hot. I gave it a time out, shut it down all the way and restarted. Didn’t fix the problem. Charged it over night and in the morning it seemed fine. Till at 10:30am after my morning run when I got the 20% battery warning. Well that’s not good.

Dave had said that since he was leaving on vacation the day he installed 8.4, he had no time to fool around with things so he simply ran a backup and did a restore and all was well. Cool, I decided I’d do that too. I do keep iCloud backups turned on but I hesitate to use them. Why sit around waiting for the cloud when I can do a backup right to iTunes the old fashioned way? I ran the backup and then told iTunes to do a restore.
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#531 PopClip, Bookmarklets, Caching Improvements with Firefox, Bienna Bluetooth Headphones, Dr. Garry On Focus and Attention

Claus Wolf from mactopics.de teaches us some cool tricks to use PopClip by Pilotmoon Software and a Bookmarklet he made for us to help you to use Amazon Affiliate links. NosillaCast PopClip Extension, Popmaker to make your own extensions, Claus’ NosillaCast Bookmarklet at otzberg.net/nca/nca.html. I walk you through how I improved the speed of podfeet.com using the built-in Firefox network diagnostic tools Bart taught us about in Taming the Terminal. I review Bienna’s $24 Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones. In Chit Chat Across the Pond we’re joined by Dr. Maryanne Garry, Deputy Dean in Graduate Research at Victoria University of Wellington, who will explain to us the difference between focus and attention. If you haven’t done the homework yet, be sure to watch the videos first from last week!

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Will Bienna’s $24 Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones Work for Me?

green version of the headphonesI had the opportunity to test out a review unit of the Bienna Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Sport Headphones Sweatproof Exercise Stereo Earphones. That’s an awfully long name so for brevity I’ll call them the Bienna Headphones. You may recall that I’ve tested out several Bluetooth options, none of which worked very well when I was running. I didn’t want to blame the headphones though. The problem is that if my phone is in my Spibelt, the little belt I use to hold the phone tight upgainst my back or my belly, all Bluetooth headphones I tested would cut in and out. If I hold the phone in my hand, or if I use those same headphones with my iPad resting on the stand of the elliptical machine at the gym, I have no problems with the sound cutting in and out.

I call this a personal problem because Steve uses the Jabra Sport headphones I really wanted to love and they work great for him – and he’s using a Spibelt to hold his phone too. I had resigned myself to using wired headphones. I should mention that if the Jabra Sport headphones intrigued you back when I reviewed them, the price has dropped from $100 down to $58 just recently.
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