Open post
iPhone X

A (Hopefully) Different View on the Apple Announcements

Tim walking in front of huge steve jobsBy now, if you’re at all interested in Apple products, or even if you’re not, you’ve been inundated by information about the new toys they announced. I found it interesting to be on the elliptical at the gym on Wednesday morning and I could see all of the TVs that had any kind of news or financial shows playing were talking about Apple.

I don’t want to do a rundown of what Apple announced, but I did want to make some observations. Steve and I really enjoyed watching the event with a lot of NosillaCastaways in the live chat room. It was early enough in the day that our more Eastern friends were able to join in, like skamar from Greece. I love how international our audience is. Getting perspective from Bart in Ireland and Steven in Canada and Terry from Holland and Rose from Australia is great.

Like I said I want to go through what really struck me during the keynote, and if you missed any of this or want to see it again, I put time stamps in the shownotes for each section so you can go watch it at apple.com Continue reading “A (Hopefully) Different View on the Apple Announcements”

Open post
iphone back in gold

Strategies to Introduce Someone to a Smart Phone

Merlee al with her new iphoneSteve’s mother, Merlee, is very clever and quick learning new things, so we thought it was time to try to convince her to move from a flip phone to an iPhone. I should mention that her flip phone lives in a drawer and never gets to come out to play unless she’s on a vacation.

Steve’s father, Ken, also has a flip phone he brings out for vacations, but he tends to be more resistant to trying new things in the technology department. I have observed though that when Merlee moves out on new tech, sometimes Ken watches over her shoulder and eventually jumps in.

Ken was convinced though that Merlee didn’t need an iPhone and that it would be excessively complex and she wouldn’t use it. He was also concerned about the cost. He pointed out that he only pays something like $40 a year for two phones, 20 minutes of calls and some limited number of text messages, so if it was more than that, it would be a big waste of money.

Continue reading “Strategies to Introduce Someone to a Smart Phone”

Open post
NosillaCast Logo

NC #642 B2 Storage from Backblaze, Capturing a Total Eclipse, iPhone Forerunners, Parallels Toolbox

In what can only be considered prescient, Allister Jenks has a review of Backblaze’s B2 log-term storage solutions right as CrashPlan bails on home customers. I’ll walk you through how Steve managed to capture video and create an awesome photo of the total solar eclipse, while still enjoying the experience with minimal camera fiddling. Ryan Winkler joins us for the first time about two products I’ve recommended, Webcam Settings and the ATR2100 microphone. Allister comes back in with a talk on the Forerunners of the iPhone. Then I do an extensive review of all of the tools in the fantastic Parallels Toolbox.

mp3 download

Continue reading “NC #642 B2 Storage from Backblaze, Capturing a Total Eclipse, iPhone Forerunners, Parallels Toolbox”

Open post
old dial telephone

Forerunners of the iPhone by Allister Jenks

A colleague recently related a story to me which reminded me of the devices I had in my life which could be considered forerunners to the iPhone. I don’t mean in the sense of a phone – after all, that is one of the least used functions of my iPhone – but rather as a device for holding information that I can carry around with me.

Certainly some of my mobile phones fulfilled this role to an extent, but the devices I will recount now were dedicated to the task of capturing, storing, and divulging information on the go. You might think your smartphone took its cues from the world of hand written data, as iOS 6 and earlier tried to portray with skeuomorphic design, but in fact their forbears had already made this leap.

Continue reading “Forerunners of the iPhone by Allister Jenks”

Open post
NosillaCast Logo

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.

mp3 download

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

Open post
stump logo

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/…

Open post
tiny tip logo

Tiny Tip – MacTracker for Current Price of used Apple Devices

It will be hard to top the first Tiny Tip. So many people have told me they love the strategy of creating a Delete Me folder! Don’t set your expectations that high for every Tiny Tip, though. In the words of Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa, “They can’t all be winners.”

When you want the new hotness coming out of Apple, one of the ways to justify your expensive purchase is to resell your existing Apple products. The good news is that Apple devices hold their value really well. The bad news is it’s tedious to figure out what your devices are worth.

Traditionally I write down all of the specs of a machine, and then go over to eBay. I search for the same device on eBay while setting the filter to sold items only. Then I create a spreadsheet and start recording the last 10-12 that have sold recently. I keep detailed notes in my spreadsheet on how they might vary from the one I’m trying to sell.

I throw out the super high ones, which are usually those sold by a company. Then I throw out the lowest one if it’s got something clearly wrong with it or it has something fundamentally different spec-wise from the one I’m selling. I average the selling price in my beloved Excel to determine a price. If I’m selling to a stranger, that’s a fixed number, if it’s to a friend who maybe could use a little bit of help with the price, I’ll lower it a bit. At least I know the value of the equipment, but this process takes 3-4 hours.

Mactracker logoBut that’s not the Tiny Tip. For Father’s Day I got Steve a new iMac, so I needed to figure out what his old one was worth. It’s a 27″ Mid-2011 model. I was too lazy to walk all the way down to his office and pull the specs directly, so I popped open the fantastic free app, MacTracker. (Available in the Mac App Store and in the iOS App Store.)

MacTracker has been around forever, but it’s continued to get better and better over time. The developer now includes all desktops, laptops, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, Airport routers and more. You can find out everything about these devices, up to and including hearing their original startup sounds. It’s super cool.

Mactracker showing current priceBut that’s still not the Tiny Tip. HERE’S the Tiny Tip. I looked up Steve’s iMac model in Mactracker and I noticed something new. The Initial selling price was there, but below that was “Current Price” with a US flag next to the price. Boom, you know the current selling price!

But wait, there’s more. I noticed that it was in blue, so I clicked it. I got a prompt asking if I wanted to open the link in a browser. I trust Mactracker, and it was awfully sweet of it to ask permission so I allowed it.

The price link in Mactracker took me to a site called bidvoy at us.bidvoy.net. Now here’s the really cool part. Bidvoy shows you the price over time. There’s a pulldown to choose from some standard time frames from the last 6 months to 2 weeks, or you can set a custom range. The data points even have a trendline through them.

Below the graph you get the average over the last 6 months (which is the number you see in Mactracker). You can see the weekly trend, how many auctions and the price margin. Not sure what that one was.

Below that you can even see the best time to purchase based on this historical data, and the best time to sell. For Steve’s model, you want to buy on a Sunday between midnight and 4 am, and I should try to sell it (if I’m doing an auction) on a Tuesday between 4 and 8 am. They show the prices for those two times, but it doesn’t entirely make sense. The average for Steve’s iMac is shown around $600. The best time to sell says almost $800, but the best time to purchase says $650. I would think that the average should be between the best time to sell and buy, wouldn’t you? Still interesting.

Bidvoy showing graphs

But bitvoy isn’t done yet. After the graphs, you can see a list of the same model currently-selling on eBay. For each one they show the current bid price (or buy it now price), the time left, and a red, blue or green badge telling you if it’s underpriced, normal, or over priced. If you see one that strikes your fancy as a buyer, you can click on it and go right into the sale on eBay.

One caution on using Mactracker and bidvoy. While this is easy, if the Mac you’re buying or selling isn’t the average model, the price you see here will not be representative. For example, in looking at the current auctions, I realized that this includes not just the i7 version I bought for Steve, but also the i5’s that are less valuable. I cranked up the RAM and disk when I bought it for him, so that should be taken into account too.

Using Mactracker and its connection to bidvoy is a great starting point and can get you most of the way there with the simple click of a button. I should mention that the iOS version of Mactracker doesn’t have this current price feature, so you’ll need to view it on a Mac.

I’ve just realized that the definition of a Tiny Tip is that it could be described in one sentence or two but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a lengthy post about it anyway!

Open post

NAB 2017: B&H Mobile Microphones

Allison interviews Alan Lugo about several of the microphones that B&H offers for mobile applications. Alan covers 1) the Rode small condenser microphone that plugs into the audio jack your mobile phone, 2) the Audio-Technica low cost lavaliere microphone, 3) the Zoom iQ7 high quality stereo microphone that plugs into the Lightning port of your iPhone, and 4) the Sennheiser Action Mic designed to plug into a GoPro Hero4 camera for improved audio capture. The setting is the NAB Show floor in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Learn more at https://bhphotovideo.com

Using a Screen Reader? click here

Open post

Apple’s New Strategy: We’ll Meet You Half Way

Right airpod showing more blue corrosionLast year before the new iPhone 7 came out, all four of the iPhones in use by my family were suffering from the battery shutdown problem. Kyle was getting a new iPhone 7 from me for his birthday but I asked him to take his iPhone 6 into Apple while it was still under AppleCare to try to get it replaced. Apple told Kyle there was nothing wrong with the battery and refused to replace it. They said to do a DFU (Device Firmware Update) and to not restore from a backup and that would fix it. They were certain that there was something in Kyle’s apps or data causing the problem. We know from recent reports that Apple is now admitting that something was indeed wrong with the OS that was causing the problem and they’ve been able to measure a decrease in the problem from a recent iOS update.

Continue reading “Apple’s New Strategy: We’ll Meet You Half Way”

International Data with Google Project Fi on an iPhone

Project fi nano simWhen Mike Elgan, (the digital nomad) came on Chit Chat Across the Pond to talk about how he works and lives all over the world, of course we talked about how he uses technology to do this. If you haven’t listened to CCATP episode #456 from September, it’s a fascinating discussion.

In that conversation, he said that an essential tool of how he gets along is by using Google’s Project Fi. You may have heard of Project Fi before but I’m betting that unless you have used it yourself, you don’t quite get what it is.

Project Fi is a cellular service from Google where you pay $20/month for a service fee, plus $10/GB for data. You get unlimited domestic talk and text, and unlimited international texting. Unlike any of the cellular plans from any of the big US carriers, your data usage is prorated so you only pay for what you use. If you come in under what you thought you’d use for a month, Google refunds the difference. Need more than what you thought you’d need? You pay by the MB. Seriously. This would be cool on its own, but the data plan works in more than 135 countriesContinue reading “International Data with Google Project Fi on an iPhone”

Posts navigation

1 2 3 4 5