Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]
Alf Watt, former Apple Wi-Fi engineer and creator of iStumbler, joined us on this week's Mac Geek Gab 509 to talk all things Wi-Fi. The episode contains a bunch of juicy Wi-Fi tips and I highly recommend you give it a listen, but we figured we'd take a few of our favorite tips and list them here for you.
The new release of Skype for Mac automatically hides the chat in every call you make. Fortunately, this is easy to remedy... as is the location of that chat. One is a button click, the other is defined by the width of your Skype window.
The MondoHub has Twenty-Four USB 2.0 ports and Four USB 3.0 ports for a total of 28 USB ports, all hanging off your USB3 Bus. This will work with your USB2 bus, too, if that's what you have. You can switch power for each port on and off independently, and there are ports on the top and two sides of the device making for plenty of cable-plugging room while remaining as compact as possible. Be done with upgrading to a new hub each time you get a new device. For a penny less than US$55 this is your final answer!
MacTech Conference has quickly become one of my favorite new conferences. It's small, you can really get to know everyone, you eat most/all meals together, and it really is all about community and learning simultaneously. Now in its 5th year, MacTech Conference has built up a bit of a name, not only for the aforementioned aspects (especially the learning), but also for its evening activities. While MacTech isn't quite ready to tell us exactly what this year's special event is, this picture they sent along today might give us some idea, especially when couched amongst the conference's history.
For just a few more days you can save $50 and get the Doxie One portable scanner for just $99. You don't even have to have your computer with you to scan with this thing. Scans are stored on an included 2GB SD Card, and then you can sync that to your Mac when you're ready (the scanner has a USB port in case your computer can't directly read SD cards – they thought of it all!). Full 300dpi sheets will scan in just eight seconds, and the Doxie app includes OCR and the ability to create searchable PDFs (among other formats). Upload directly to Evernote or Dropbox if that's your fancy. If you haven't gone paperless yet, this is your chance!
Last week at WWDC Apple quickly announced HomeKit, the company's home automation framework for developers. Many folks have been asking if Apple is too late with this; if the market is already saturated such that there's no room for Apple (or any other new "platform"). It's possible that Apple is late to the party, but I will offer this: Apple is rarely first at anything, but Apple is often the best.
Our deal partners at StackSocial and friends at BackBlaze have teamed up to offer this killer deal. $25 for a full year of unlimited online backup is pretty darned hard to beat (tomorrow this deal expires and that price doubles back up to $50). I've used BackBlaze over the years and they truly are a Mac-first type of shop. Their Mac interface is a first-class, native Mac application and it works every time. Configuration is as easy or complex as you want it to be, and you'll be backing online up in no time. All of this, of course, is seated on top of BackBlaze's own, secure data center, and your data is encrypted in transit, too. If you don't already have BackBlaze, go grab this deal. $25 for one year isn't a price you'll get tomorrow for anything this good.
Bandojo, an iOS app from a team that includes Andrew Stone of Twittelator (and Videator, and Stone Design) fame, allows both musicians and non-musicians to explore and play music, regardless of experience. The software has over a dozen built-in soundscapes on top of which you can play one of a number of different solo instruments. You choose notes by simply tapping colored dots on a board that looks a little like a Twister mat. If you know solfege ("do, re, mi" etc) you can see what those intervals are, but the beauty is you don't have to know anything other than what you like to hear. As you find colors that sound good to your ear, you can use them in different places and at different spots (octaves, for those who care) along the board. You can even play notes simultaneously to make chords. Pretty much whatever you think, you can do. A few minutes with this is all it takes to completely grok it and you'll lose yourself and just be able to play. You can link up wirelessly with other Bandojo users and jam together or simply play on your own. A forthcoming Mac app will add even more collaboration options. Jam on!
Looking to learn or hone your skills to be a web developer? This bundle includes courses on becoming Amazon Web Services certified, using version control with GitHub, learning programming with Python, HTML5 fundamentals, PHP & MySQL classes, and more. There's even a MongoDB course in here! All this and more for just $49.
We've talked about how SSD pricing, as well as timing, has really put us in the Golden Age of Mac Upgrades, and this price on Crucial's 480GB M500 SSD is yet more proof of that. But you don't need proof, you need an SSD for that older Mac of yours, so go get this one. Why wait? I've got one in a 2007 iMac and it feels like a brand new Mac.