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CSUN Assistive Tech Conference 2018: Smartbox

Allison interviews Dr. Chris Gibbons from Smartbox about their Grid 3 software and Grid Pad hardware to help people who can’t speak to communicate. Grid 3 is a complete Augmentative and Alternative Communication software package designed to help users communicate and connect with their world using symbols, text or a combination of both. With a simple and intuitive layout, Grid 3 allows users to edit a cell or create whole new grid sets with only a few taps. Changes on the go are made easy using the touch-friendly interface. Grid Pad hardware devices come in three flavors. Grid Pad Go is a small, thin and lightweight solution for people using touch or switch access on a portable device. Grid Pad Pro is a powerful device packed full of features including high-quality audio, multiple access options, and Smartbox’s Servus environment control. Grid Pad Eye includes all the features of the Pro model but with integrated eye gaze access. Grid Pad Eye is available with a wide range of cameras to suit individual needs. The setting is CSUN Assistive Technologies Conference in San Diego, CA. Learn more at https://thinksmartbox.com/

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Matias Wireless Keyboard – by Terry Austin

Hello, Castaways!

Matias Backlit Wireless Aluminum Keyboard on AmazonTerry Austin here with a brief review of my brand new Matias keyboard. I recently found myself in need of a new wireless keyboard and on the very reliable recommendation of the ineffable Jeff Gamet over at the Mac Observer, I went with the Matias Wireless Aluminum Keyboard in Space Gray (to match my MacBook Pro).

This keyboard has a few key features that make it invaluable for my home office. I’m a work at home professor who teaches college level anatomy & physiology classes online. On top of that I do some consulting work for a major publisher of higher ed textbooks. My work station is something of a geek’s dream…

Continue reading “Matias Wireless Keyboard – by Terry Austin”

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How I Sell My Used Apple Gear

800 not 400 for imacOne of the ways to justify spending money on Apple gear is to sell your used Apple devices when you’re done with him. Apple products retain their value really well, which I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve ever tried to find a “cheap, used MacBook”.

I illustrated the value of selling your own Apple gear when I did a spreadsheet analyzing all the different ways you could buy an iPhone from a 2-year subsidized contract, to paying outright, to trading in your phone every year, to buying on one of these free loans they’re offering in the US right now. In my analysis, I explained that a phone that cost $600 new will sell for around $400 one year later and $200 when it’s two years old.

If you do the trade-in deal, you get the new hotness every year but you’re actually losing a couple hundred dollars every time you do it because Apple (or your carrier) gets the still highly available sales value of the used iPhone.

Continue reading “How I Sell My Used Apple Gear”

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iOS 11 control center running on iPhone and iPad

iOS 11 and watchOS 4 Delight Me

I know High Sierra has already come out but after a week with iOS 11 and watchOS 4, I really wanted to talk about what has surprised and delighted me about these two operating systems. There’s no big, long, involved story here, just a list of what has made me smile in the past week.

Bigger and Bolder

Both watchOS and iOS seem to improved visually. Take the watch for example. The keypad to type in your PIN was ok, but it was pretty easy to mistype. They made it way bigger on watchOS 4 and now it’s a lot harder to make a mistake. I still manage to mess it up from time to time but that’s on me now. On iOS 11 on the iPhone, there are a lot of big, bold headings, like in Mail the letters are huge telling you that you’re in All Inboxes. No mistaking that. Continue reading “iOS 11 and watchOS 4 Delight Me”

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Which Screen is Bigger, iPhone 8 Plus or X? AKA Fun with Geometry!

In last week’s show, I said that iPhone X actually has a bigger screen than iPhone 8 Plus, even though the phone’s physical size is closer to iPhone 8. In the live chatroom for the show, George from Tulsa called me on that statement. He pointed to an article on phonearena.com/… where Victor H had determined that iPhone 8 Plus actually has the bigger screen.

Now I could have gone over and just read what Victor had written but what fun would that be? You know where this is going, right? I had to prove (or disprove) this myself. Continue reading “Which Screen is Bigger, iPhone 8 Plus or X? AKA Fun with Geometry!”

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NC #640 Nightshift and Invert Colors, CMD-D Conference, Split Screen on iPad for Books

In this week’s show I start by playing you a VERY silly recording from Joe Dugandzic of smarterhomelife.com. Then I’ll read you a rant by Chris Eschweiler about Night Shift and Invert Colors and I’ll give him some good news. After that I’ll regale you with tales of adventure about the CMD-D Conference hosted by Sal Soghoian. It was a blast and I can’t wait to do more automation. Then I’ll play you a question from Knightwise of knightwise.com about how to use both a mind mapping app and his book reading app in split screen.

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Continue reading “NC #640 Nightshift and Invert Colors, CMD-D Conference, Split Screen on iPad for Books”

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Split Screen for Books on iPad Pro for Knightwise

Knightwise workingOur old friend Knightwise is back with an interesting problem to be solved.

He reads his books electronically in the Kindle app in ePub format, and he likes to highlight as he reads. He uses these highlights in creation of talks he gives to other entrepreneurs. He outlines his talks using a Mind Mapping program called X-Mind from xmind.net.

He was hoping to get an iPad Pro and use split screen to view the book on one side and the mind map on the other side. The problem he found though was that he couldn’t use the Kindle app in split screen and wonders whether iOS 11 would fix the problem.

Continue reading “Split Screen for Books on iPad Pro for Knightwise”

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NC #637 Macstock Outbrief, Stump Stand, Apple IIe, Numbers for Meds, Security Bits

In this early show, I’ll give you an out brief on Macstock 2017. I’ll talk about the people and the presentations (and maybe a little bit about the parties). Then Sandy Foster joins us for a review of the Stump Stand for iPad and iPhone. Trevor Drover joins us with a fantastic tale of how he figured out how to hook an Apple IIe up to a current MacBook Pro to transfer disk images between the two for the National Library. Very cool story. Then Terry Austin tells us how he figured out that by using the collaboration feature of Apple’s Numbers application, he could help his mom keep track of her complex medication schedule as she arms for battle against cancer. We’ll wind up with another segment of Security Bits with Bart Busschots.

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Continue reading “NC #637 Macstock Outbrief, Stump Stand, Apple IIe, Numbers for Meds, Security Bits”

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Stump Stand for iPad and iPhone by Sandy Foster

Stump stand with ipadHi, this is Sandy with my first-ever review for the NosillaCast. Today I’m going to give a brief overview of a very versatile stand for iPhone and iPad. What’s new about a stand, you ask? Nothing, of course! But this one has many possibilities in a very simple, yet effective form.

It’s called “stump” for a reason, as it looks rather like the tilted stump of a tree. It’s made of some sort of rubberized material and is hefty enough to reassure the user that an iPhone or iPad is not going to fall over. There’s a slot in the tilted top, and that slot is wide enough for either device (iPhone/iPad) and deep enough to hold them steady — even my 9.7” iPad Pro. I don’t have the larger size iPad Pro, so I couldn’t really give a recommendation either way on that one.

Stump stand without deviceHowever, because of the slot and the tilt of the top of the Stump, there are options for using this stand. I most commonly use it with my device in portrait mode, which works fine, even with the “smart” cover on my iPad folded to the back.

Alternatively, if I want to charge the device at the same time as I’m looking at something on it, I can put it into landscape mode in the slot. Finally, because of the rubberized surface, I can even use the Stump as a sort of brace for angled viewing.

I’ve had my Stump for several years now, and it shows no signs of wear, despite daily use. It comes in a variety of colors for around $25 each, or — on the stumpstore.com web site — you can buy three for the price of two.

Allison’s Amazon Affiliate Link to the Stump Stand: amzn.to/…

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4 Tiny Tips – Affinity Photo for iPad

Affinity Photo for iPad is a glorious app. I’ve done my two part series on it, I’ve created a 45 minute screencast for ScreenCasts Online (not out yet) and I’ve started doing the user group circuit to demonstrate its awesomeness. Last weekend I presented at SMOG (Southern California Macintosh Owners | Users Group). While I was teaching it, I realized I’d figured out a few tricks to how to effectively use the tool. Continue reading “4 Tiny Tips – Affinity Photo for iPad”

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