Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]

For Geeks Only: Hey Alexa, Tell Sonos to Play Stevie Wonder in the Kitchen

· · How-To

pile of sonos speakers with Amazon Alexa Dot front and center

Sonos and Amazon jointly announced their Alexa integration earlier this year and the world rejoiced. Voice control of your Sonos system is one of those holy grails. The integration is expected to be available at some point in 2017. But I’m an impatient geek so, while I’m waiting for official support to be available, I spent an hour yesterday getting this working using freely-available open-source tools. You can do this, too, and I’ll walk you through what you’re doing and how to get started.

Fake News and Snatched iPhones – TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-05

· & · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations

The UK police got unlocked access to a suspect’s iPhone but, unlike the FBI earlier this year, they didn’t have to ask Apple to hack it. Interestingly, though, the FBI did something very similar to the UK police a few years ago. Listen to hear more. Then it’s on to how Apple might just be our last hope to save the integrity of the internet. John Martellaro explains!

Uber Sees You When You’re Sleeping…Around – TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-02

· & · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations

“I’ll be watching you” is a line that might make Sting look a lot more prescient after you hear this episode. Uber and Waze want to know where you are even more than they used to, and Apple wants to put drones in the air over your roads and in front of your homes, at least for a little bit. It’s a brave new world. Our advice: don’t go outside without pants on.

Apple’s Tribes and Cloud Services – TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-01

· & · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations

There is a long history of tribes discussing, analyzing and, yes, chastising Apple. That’s more true today than it ever has been… or is it? How much of the past reflects in the future? Those very same tribes often talk about Apple’s need to increase the amount of free iCloud storage provided to each user. Are they right? Join TDO today as John Martellaro, Adam Christianson and Dave Hamilton discuss!

TMO Daily Observations 2016-11-30: Offline Netflix and AirPods Alternatives

· & · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations

Netflix is now beginning to allow offline viewing for some content and Tim Cook suggests that he anticipates AirPods will ship in the next few weeks. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Dave Hamilton today to chat through all this… and more, including a few recommendations for AirPods alternatives that you can buy today.

Podcasters: How to Log Chapter Timestamps with Keyboard Maestro

· · How-To

Many podcasters – and especially podcast listeners – have come to appreciate having chapters in podcast episodes. Putting chapters into a show can be a real chore for podcasters, though, especially for a show that’s recorded live. For all the podcasts I host, I employ a few Keyboard Maestro macros that, used together, allow me to have an internal clock running that simply pastes the existing timestamp wherever my cursor is. Here’s how I do it… and a download link to the macros I’ve already created for you!

Mesh Deals for Black Friday through Cyber Monday: Sonos and eero

· · TMO Deals

Picture of Eero and Sonos PLAY:1 for Black Friday 2016

Seems that I’m a sucker for a well-made mesh network, likely because “well-made mesh” means “it’s simple and it works without you having to mess with it.” Or, said another way, “mesh not mess.”  Ok, enough of that, on to the deals, shall we? These are from two companies that traditionally do not offer discounts, and they’re only good through Monday, so snap them up while you can.

Wi-Fi Mesh Systems Compared: eero, Orbi, AmpliFi

· · Deep Dive

The future of home Wi-Fi is mesh networking, a new approach to consumer wireless networks that includes smart management and multiple radios designed to handle the load of today’s gadgets. If you’ve been fighting with range extenders and other solutions to broaden your Wi-Fi coverage and keep your streams alive, you can now stop all that silliness and blanket your home with Wi-Fi. The future is here, and that future is mesh networking.

Sponsor: MacX Video Converter Pro Giveaway

· · Weekly Sponsorship

It’s my pleasure to welcome Digiarty back as this week’s sponsor here at TMO. The focus for this week’s sponsorship is Digiarty’s MacX Video Converter Pro v6.0.0, and you can get it for free. Yep, this giveaway is for everyone! Head to their site to download your free copy of MacX Video Converter Pro. MacX Video Converter Pro is an all-in-one solution to convert your existing videos, download online videos, make slideshows, record your Mac’s screen, edit video and more. Check it out!

TMO Daily Observations 2016-11-16: Why is $feature Missing from Apple TV?

· & · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

The Mac Observer Daily Observations Podcast

Today it’s time to look at Apple TV and ask one tough question: why don’t we get $feature on Apple TV? Good thing we’re geeks and we understand variables, too, because for this episode $feature = array(“4K Output”,”Amazon Prime Video”,”Netflix Inside of TV App”); Listen and hear what John and Dave have to say about all this… then send us your feedback and let us know!

Touché: See and Use Touch Bar on Any Mac

· · Cool Stuff Found

On Monday, Daniel Jalkut at Red Sweater Software released Touché, an app that shows a fully-functional Touch Bar on the screen of any Mac. Well, it’s fully-functional in that you can click on it, but obviously touching it won’t matter. While this won’t give you the full experience of having a Touch Bar, it certainly will let you see what you might be missing. Helpful, also, if there’s some functionality that might only be included in the Touch Bar going forward. Touché is available for free and runs on any Mac running macOS Sierra 10.12.1 (build 16B2657) and later.

Touché: See and Use Touch Bar on Any Mac

The Benefits of a 32GB Mac For Average Users

· · Editorial

I didn’t think the difference between 16GB and 32GB would matter for my every day use. Sure, I’m a geek, but I’m not involved in graphic design or video editing. In the course of a normal day I don’t really run any pro apps. When I upgraded my 2014 27″ Retina iMac from 16GB to 32GB a few months ago, however, I experienced a dramatic shift in my computing life. No longer was my Mac paging out to swap all the time, no longer were apps slow to launch, and no longer was I regularly pushing against the limits of my Mac’s RAM.