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CCATP #493 Kelly Guimont on App Camp for Girls

This week our guest is Kelly Guimont. Kelly is a contributing editor to the Mac Observer and also a volunteer at App Camp for Girls, a program that introduces iOS programming to girls in grades 7-9. We talk about how a 3rd grade teacher asking her to crawl under a desk to plug in an Apple ][e turned her into the computer nerd she is today. She explains why you need a duck to be a programmer and a hula hoop to teach girls to code.

If you’d like to help out App Camp for Girls, go to and look for the contribute button. Lend your time or give your money or buy some swag! If you’d like to follow Kelly you can find her @verso.

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Ring Video Doorbell – Mirror Mod Allows You to See the Doorstep

Ring screenshot mirror mod packageThe Ring Video Doorbell has been described as “caller ID for your front door”. It’s an awesome device that lets you see who’s at your door, talk to them or not, and do all this from anywhere you are on the planet (assuming you have internet). Another theoretical advantage is that you can see if there’s a package left on your doorstep and ask a neighbor to go get it for you before someone steals it.

For answering the door it’s awesome. For seeing the packages on your doorstep, not so much. A year and a half ago when we first got the Ring doorbell, I did a very favorable review of it, with this notable exception. The problem with the Ring doorbell is that it has way way way too high of an upward viewing angle, and not nearly enough downward view to the doorstep.

To illustrate this point, I simulated former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal standing at my front door and showed how there was a good six inches still viewable above his head. I even talked to the CEO of Ring, Jamie Siminoff, about it CES, but he didn’t seem sympathetic to this problem even after I told him about my Shaq experiment. Probably thought I was a nut job.

Continue reading “Ring Video Doorbell – Mirror Mod Allows You to See the Doorstep”

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CCATP #492 Bart Busschots – PBS 36 of x – More HTML Text Input | More Cellular Automata

Chit Chat Across the Pond this week is another episode of Programming By Stealth with Bart Busschots. I’m very proud of the fact that I completed my homework, writing a program from scratch that passed all of the tests written by Bart. It took me 12 hours, and nearly 4 hours of Dorothy’s time helping me do it, but I got ‘er done. In this installment, 36 of x, we learn some more HTML, specifically about all the cool things the input tag can do, like creating invisible forms which is just weird but also very cool. The challenge this week is a flip on last week. This week Bart has written the next bit of code for us and we have to create the tests. It’s as challenging as all the rest but it’s just as fun. And of course you can find Bart’s fabulous tutorial show notes at…

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NC #633 macOS Too New, Tiny Tip Delete Me, Affinity Photo for iPad Type 2, Security Bits

David Ginsburg of the In Touch with iOS podcast sent in a recording describing the unusual problem he had where Apple shipped him with an operating system actually newer than the one you can download. I’ve started a series called Tiny Tips, and the first one is why you should create a folder called Delete Me. I’ve got part 2 of my Affinity Photo for iPad review/walk through and then we’ve got Security Bits with Bart Busschots.

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Affinity Photo for iPad – Part 2

Develop personaLast week I told you about Affinity Photo for iPad, and took a pretty good run at telling you everything it could do. But as I mentioned, one segment wasn’t nearly enough time to do that. This is an incredibly powerful program and it’s time to start up part 2 of my review/explanation of Affinity Photo for iPad.

Before we dig in, I want to note that Serif, makers of Affinity Photo for iPad, Mac and Windows are not sitting on their laurels. These apps are in very rapid development. This is especially true of the iPad version. Last week I told you that the canvas rotation seemed backwards; a positive rotation number was counter-clockwise. I wrote to them and they immediately wrote back saying, essentially, yup, it’s backwards, on to the dev team. That was great.

Continue reading “Affinity Photo for iPad – Part 2”

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Tiny Tip – Delete Me

I have a tip that is one of the most useful I’ll probably ever give you, and is also one of the simplest.  I’ve been wanting to give little tips from time to time so I have created a new type of post called Tiny Tips. I even made a little logo!  No, it’s not going to be a spin off podcast…

Let’s start with the problem to be solved. We all create temporary files for a myriad of different reasons. Maybe you export images from Photos in a specific size just to post to social media. Or you print things to PDF just to send them to someone but don’t need a copy. There’s a lot of reasons we do this. And most of us plop them all on our desktops. A few of us have a tidy little folder they go in, but the clutter is still there, it’s just swept under the rug.

Eventually we buckle down to clean up this mess we made for ourselves, but we have to open each document and image to figure out whether they need to be kept.  We procrastinate and fill up our drives with useless stuff.

I have the solution. Continue reading “Tiny Tip – Delete Me”

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NC #632 iPad Pro Saga Continues, Eyecatcher, Amp vs Receiver, Affinity Photo for iPad

Why I’m getting a FOURTH 12.9″ iPad Pro (a story of AppleCare), Maria demonstrates iCatcher as a blind podcast listener, Steve answer’s Jill’s Dumb Question asking the difference between an amp and a receiver. I give you part one of my (hopefully two-part) review of the new Affinity Photo for iPad from Serif.

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Continue reading “NC #632 iPad Pro Saga Continues, Eyecatcher, Amp vs Receiver, Affinity Photo for iPad”

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Affinity Photo for iPad – Part 1

Image with burn tool and layers showingI’m a huge fan of the Mac application Affinity Photo. You may have heard me mention that 8 or 12 times before. It’s a fantastic image editor for Mac and PC from Serif that only costs $50 one time (on sale right now for $40).

But the big news that was just announced during WWDC is that Affinity Photo is now also available for iPad. I’ve been anticipating this for a long time. The ability to work with my photos on an iPad with Pencil has been a glorious dream. The folks at Serif say that the code base for iPad is the same as it is for Windows and Mac, so we’ll get feature enhancements across the board. Affinity Photo for iPad is only $20 (right now) so it seems like a good time to get you introduced to it.

Continue reading “Affinity Photo for iPad – Part 1”

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Dumb Question Corner – What’s the Difference Between an Amp and a Receiver?

Gen 4 Apple TVListener Jill sent in a great dumb question this week, and Allison decided that I was more qualified to answer. Here’s Jill’s question:

What is a “receiver”?

The reason for my question is, Apple told us at WWDC that the 4th gen Apple TV could be used as a destination for Airplay 2 (multi-room audio). But the 4th gen Apple TV has no audio out, so how can that work? I don’t want my TV screen lighting up every time I want to play a podcast! Well, I asked around, and I got told “You need a receiver that offers HDMI connections”. Hence my question. So … what is a “receiver”? Also, supplementary question – why is it called a “receiver”? I have a good old fashioned amp, because I’m nearly as old as you are. I get amps: sound sources go in; you choose one, adjust the volume, job done. You can’t buy them any more – just these receiver things, and since I never got on that train, I haven’t a clue where to start asking about them.

Good question, Jill. You actually pose a couple questions. The first is “What is a receiver and why is it called a receiver?” and the second (implied) question is “How do you play audio from a gen 4 Apple TV?”

Let’s start with what is a receiver and why is it called a receiver. There are several types of receivers but the relevant ones for this discussion are an audio receiver and an A/V (audio/video) receiver.

Continue reading “Dumb Question Corner – What’s the Difference Between an Amp and a Receiver?”

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Why I’m Getting a FOURTH 12.9″ iPad Pro

Ipad pro shadowDo you remember the story about the iPad Pro keyboards failing? I’ll refresh your memory before I tell you the latest in that saga.

A while back, my 12.9″ iPad Pro started having a pop up message on screen saying that this device was not supported. It turned out to be the Smart Keyboard from Apple. Shortly after I contacted Apple about it, Apple extended the warranty on the Smart Keyboard to three years because of functional issues.

I got the keyboard replaced in store, but then the new keyboard with my original iPad Pro started having weird graphics glitches. At my second Genius Bar appointment they pointed out that it was unclear whether it was the iPad or the keyboard that was failing, so they replaced the keyboard and the iPad itself. That sounded awesome at the time, but I kinda wish I hadn’t said yes to that.

Immediately on bringing my new devices home, the 2nd iPad with the 2nd keyboard started rebooting spontaneously while I was using it and even if I wasn’t. I disconnected the iPad from the keyboard and it still rebooted spontaneously. Off to my 3rd Genius Bar appointment. This time, they let me keep the keyboard, but gave me a 3rd iPad Pro. That’s where we last left our fearless heroine. Continue reading “Why I’m Getting a FOURTH 12.9″ iPad Pro”

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