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CATEGORY: blog

Apple’s September 2017 Event

Apple Event Invite 2017

Today, Apple’s event heralded a number of firsts. The first to happen that the Steve Jobs Theatre. The first to be almost completely spoiled by leaks, and the first to introduce a phone starting at $999US. Apple was also expected to do but things in augmented reality and include wireless charging. I watched the event and here are my thoughts on what’s coming with Apple. 

Your Guide to the Confusing Microsoft Office 2016 ‘My Account’ Service and How to Take Control

Office 2016 Logo

You might have wondered why licensing Retail versions of Microsoft Office 2016 on Windows has become so cumbersome and clunky and confusing? Why does Microsoft force a login to install and activate Office?  Why is this service so bad at showing information and handling more than one installation? If fact, if you have more than one retail copy of Office to install and activate on the same account, you’re in for serious confusion. I can’t answer all these questions, but I’ll show you how to fix this mess so you can install Office and move on.

The incredible story of a spurned IT consultant

Unhappy IT Worker

The unusual story of Jim Kubicek, an IT consultant and business owner in Cumming, Georgia captured my attention recently. Due to a disagreement with the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce having unpaid bills, Jim’s company KIT cut off its services. What followed was the local Sheriff charging Jim with “theft by extortion”, “computer theft”, and “computer trespass”. All of these felonies could conceivably see Jim spending 45 years in jail. Incredibly, this is a small town with a population of 5,613, so I’d expect people like Jim are known to a large number of people in his local area. This is becoming a far-too-common cautionary tale we can learn from.

The Formula, Paper Reading, and Arrival

The Formula - Cover

While reading The Formula, by Luke Dormhel, a treatise on the many ways computer (and other scientists) have attempted to quantify and algorithmically understand the world, I was struck by this idea of our past present and future. What kind of future are we looking at when humans are replaced by robots and even laws are being handled by artificial intelligence? The answer is, I don’t know, but it got me thinking.

One Year of Newsletters: Lessons Learned

Newsletter Graphic

Last year I had an idea: Create a really, really high quality newsletter. Reading technology related news is a daily and rigorous ritual for me, so why not take that effort and synthesize it into a curated list of “What to Read“? Many others are doing this, of course, but I felt the value for readers was to get it from your trusted technical advisor (I manage technology for a number of small and medium sized businesses). For many years this voracious appetite for news and information was only for myself, but I knew it was time to change that. Time to share this with the world.

Building a Better Mousetrap: Can Craigslist and Kijiji be Improved Upon?

Pike Place Market lower level, 1968

The story is all too common: I go onto Kijiji (a Canadian Craigslist clone) and find what I had been looking for: an iPad. I see the post’s price and presume it’s an “anchor” price, so I start off asking if the device is available and if they’d take a lower number. What follows is finding out the iPad posting was misrepresented as a “personal” sale, when in fact it was a business selling the product at a firm price, quoted without tax. Another asshole muddying what’s known as the “grey” market for the rest of us. Too many of these types of experiences, and you start to wonder if this can ever be improved past this level of failed experiment.

Writing Email Like a Tinder Profile

Email Logo With Tinder Logo

You might think the two of these have nothing in common, but I find it surprising how these two share similar tactics.  In fact, taking a similar approach to writing information in each place might improve your odds of getting that message accross clearly and concisely. You may be the type of person that writes one-word message in email and Tinder profiles; and this wouldn’t be an article for you. For everyone else, however, read on to see these two in action.

Tips for Migrating Outlook on MacOS to Google’s Mail

Google Logo

When I was asked to move a customer’s 2000-odd contacts and 13 gigabytes of mail to Google’s cloud services from his MacOS-based computer, I knew this was going to be more than a challenge. To complicate matters, he had been using Outlook as a POP3 client of Google Mail and kept all his folders locally in Outlook 2011. From the beginning, I knew this was going to be an undertaking but I have some tips to help you face these particular challenges.

Watermarking and Captioning Photos

Watermark Example (there was surely a good photo here somewhere)

By now you’ve probably noticed the photos I share have two distinct attributes. First, none of them are watermarked with a name, company or otherwise. Second, the photos come with titles and (relatively) long captions. Furthermore, I work to give you access to the highest possible resolution of each photograph. Why? I’ll fill you in on my process, and offer some tips about what you should do both of these very contentious ideas in photography.

Taking Stock of 2016 and Looking to the Future

Year End, 2016

You might remember I used to do a fun set of predictions on this blog. I would then take the previous year’s predictions and tally up my successes and failures. For some reason I stopped doing that. It’s a shame, because it allows for a great amount of introspection and foresight. Well, I’m back at it and I’m going to use this space to look back a bit, and then tell you what I think is coming for 2017.