As our last episode of Programming By Stealth before our spring break, Bart wraps up our Cellular Automaton. He goes through his solution to the PBS 49 challenge first, and then he walks us through three examples of how a user could produce three different representations with our code. He demonstrates how to build a Conway Game of Life, the Maze Rule, and Brian’s Brain. It’s fun to see it all wrapped in a bow ending this long project. We’ll be back on March 31st with a whole new project.
You know how I’m always starting my stories with “What problem are you trying to solve?” Before you decide whether to go for a traditional single router or one of these fancy new mesh routers, you really should think about the problem you want to solve, because this is definitely not a one size fits all problem.
In August of 2016, I bought a Netgear Nighthawk X8 router to replace my aging Airport Extreme. This was before the current mesh router craze happened, and I’ve wondered for a long time whether I made a mistake buying this router too early. Maybe I should have waited until the mesh routers matured.
I met with Netgear at CES and happened to mention I was thinking of testing a range extender with my Nighthawk X8. The rep told me to not even consider buying one. He said that the only good solution for dead spots in your home is to go with a mesh router. I told him I was interesting in testing out their mesh router system. Netgear was kind enough to send me their Orbi AC3000 mesh router to fly off against my Netgear Nighthawk X8.
Steve and I are about to go on a vacation (I know, how do you go on vacation when you’re retired?) Allister and Bart will be bringing you the NosillaCast for March 11th and 18th. They can use your help so please record some reviews for them? We’ve got three Tiny Tips in this week’s show, a review form Terry Austin about the Matias Wireless keyboard, a review by me of a terrific app called Monosnap, and an interview with Otterbox from CES.
I’ve recently come across an interesting service called CloudMounter. CloudMounter is designed to help manage the plethora of cloud storage services we’re all using today. I’ll dig into more of the specifics of the problems it solves as I go through the review.
If you’ve taken a look at CloudMounter in the past and didn’t see the value of it, stick with me. When I first looked at it, I didn’t think it was for me either, but luckily my contact at Eltima, the makers of CloudMounter, wouldn’t let me walk away until he was sure I understood what it could do. I’m sure glad he did because I do think this is a very valuable service. You may also have walked away because you didn’t like their pricing model, but that has changed recently with version 3.0 so it’s worth taking another look.
The other day I launched QuickTime with my iPhone attached via USB in preparation to make a recording of the screen for my latest ScreenCasts Online video. In QuickTime, you can choose New Movie Recording, and then next to the little record button you’ll see a downward chevron which will show you the available video sources. You can select the iPhone and then it becomes a video source to other applications, such as ScreenFlow.
If you’re a keyboard junkie, it bet it drives you nuts that when you try to close a window in which you don’t want to save the file, you have to drag your cursor all the way up to the save window to hit the delete button. You can save with the Enter key, but what if you don’t want to save?
When the save window comes up, hit ⌘-Delete on your keyboard and you will successfully delete the unsaved file!
Maybe you knew this one already but it’s new to me, and it makes me unbelievable happy.
A few weeks ago I was listening to the Clockwise Podcast and Mikah Sargent briefly mentioned something about the sleep button on the Apple TV remote. I couldn’t get it out of my head wondering what he was talking about. I figured out that what he’d mentioned was actually something pretty amazing.
If you hold down the TV/Home button for a full second on the Siri remote (the black one that comes with more recent models of Apple TV, it will pop up on screen an option to put the Apple TV to sleep. That’s not the cool part.
Clicking on this sleep option will also turn off any connected devices. In our house, this sleep option turns off our big TV and the audio/visual receiver to which it’s connected! I tested it on a different TV with a different A/V receiver and it worked there too. I can’t swear this will work for your setup but give it a try.
We watch most things on our Apple TV these days so it’s an absolute delight to be able to shut down all of our components with the little remote that’s already in my hand.
I asked Mike Potter to join us on Chit Chat Across the Pond this week with the express purpose of trying to convince you to come to Macstock Conference and Expo on July 20th and 21st. Do not listen to this episode if you don’t want to be talked into it because I guarantee you’ll want to after hearing Mike and me talk about how interesting and fun and inclusive and geeky it is.
Macstock Expo is a fantastic opportunity to watch tech talks by great speakers, and to hang out with regular people who love the same technologies you do. If you think you’re too young, Ian’s son came last year and I think he’s around 12 years old. If you think you live too far away from Chicago where the conference is held, Martijn comes in all the way from the Netherlands!
During the show Mike gives us the special coupon podfeetbonus10 for NosillaCastaways to get $10 off the $179 early bird price.
It’s another action-packed episode this week. I’ll start by telling you about the August Smart Lock Pro and how Steve and I got prepared psychologically for such a scary idea. Then we’ll hear a CES interview about the LIZN Wireless Hearpieces, Bluetooth headphones that could improve your hearing. Then we’ll head back to CES to hear about the Wagz Smart Pet Collar. If you’ve ever wanted to sit with someone but watch something completely different from them on TV, you’ll be interested in our CES interview about the MirraViz Multiview Displays. Everything has to be smart these days, and GE tells us how their Connected Lighting products fulfill that dream. As if that wasn’t enough goodness, we have Bart back with another great Security Bits segment.
This week Don McAllister published my video tutorial of the iOS app Focos on ScreenCasts Online. This is an amazing app that works with dual-lens iPhones: iPhone 7+, 8+, and X. I’m really proud of this particular tutorial and the feedback has been amazing on it.
Remember the Lytro camera that took the world by storm because it’s proprietary image format allowed you to change what was in focus after the fact? It never became really popular because it was proprietary. Focos allows you to do the same thing (change the focus point) on portrait-mode photos taken by one of these dual-lens phones.
That’s not all though, you can change the virtual aperture of the image, thereby changing the depth of field. You can simulate an f/1.4 lens up to f/22. You can change how the background (fuzzy) bokeh looks by simulating famous lenses, you can change how far forward and backward the fuzzy part is in the image using an amazing visual representation of the depth data, and you can even change the shape of bright lights in the background to new shapes up to and including Apple logos.
I’ve embedded the video preview into the shownotes, but you can proceed over to ScreenCasts Online from the provided link to watch it for free with his 14 day free trial. Don’t do it though, you’ll get hooked when you see how much amazing content is there and you’ll want a subscription.