Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]

CES - Guardian Automatically Shuts off Your Water System to Prevent Leaks

· · Cool Stuff Found

LAS VEGAS – Homeowners (and probably insurance carriers!) can rejoice at the Guardian automated leak prevention system, shipping today. The system is entirely do-it-yourself and requires no plumbing to be done at all. Simply clamp the main unit onto the pipe where your water main control valve is, and then set the Wi-Fi-connected sensors in strategic locations around the house. When one of the sensors detects a leak, the system’s automated motor closes the valve to prevent water damage from a constantly-fed open pipe. Each sensor has a 15-year battery inside it. We think that’s long enough to get your money out of the system and move on to something else cool in 10 years! Guardian also includes a temperature sensor to help prevent against water damage from frozen pipes. At 45F the system starts sending alerts to your iPhone; at 40F it shuts off your water. The iOS app can also be used to control and monitor the system remotely. A kit with the battery-backed base unit and three Wi-Fi sensors is priced at US$399, and you can add more sensors whenever you like.

Disable tailspind and spindump to Speed Up your Mac

· · How-To

tailspind and spindump processes running full CPU on Mac

Apple’s macOS High Sierra introduced enough performance enhancements that my dual-core, 2011 MacBook Air felt like it had new life breathed into it. Occasionally, though – and more and more frequently recently – events would cascade such that my CPU would run at full tilt for 5-10 minutes before finally settling in. When that was happening, Activity Monitor and/or iStat Menus would show two system processes chewing up CPU: tailspind and spindump. Thankfully, we now know how to stop that.

How To Track Inbound Packages from FedEx, UPS, and USPS, Even Without The Tracking Number

· & · Cool Stuff Found

This is the time of year when package deliveries are happening every day. It can be helpful to know when something’s coming so that you don’t miss it, but sometimes you don’t get a tracking number ahead of time. Sometimes you don’t even know that a package is coming at all. In today’s Mac Geek Gab Highlight, listen to this short segment to learn how to get notifications about incoming packages… and then how to track them once you know about them!

Timing: Automatic Time Tracking for the Mac (Sponsor)

· · Weekly Sponsorship

It is my pleasure to welcome Timing as this week’s sponsor here at TMO. I am an efficiency freak. I have a lot to get done, a lot I want to do, and yet I often get to the end of my day and wonder, “where did the time go?” For the past week I’ve been using Timing and this problem is 100% solved. You can start using Timing, too, and by visiting TimingApp.com/MacObserver you not only get a 14-day free trial, you also qualify for a TMO-exclusive 10% discount when you purchase!

macOS Sierra 10.12 Installer Download Still Available on Mac App Store

· · Cool Stuff Found

During this week’s Mac Geek Gab 679 we discussed how many people have emailed us asking for a macOS Sierra 10.12 installer download link… and no one can seem to find one. Searching the Mac App Store yields nothing and, thus far, there’s no Apple knowledgebase article with a link to it (Update: that KB article now exists). MGG Listener “Kirk van” came to the rescue with this Mac App Store download link to the macOS Sierra 10.12.6 Installer.

macOS Sierra 10.12 Installer Download Still Available on Mac App Store

Cheap (Legal?) Movie Downloads and The (Self-Inflicted?) Effects of Apple's RDF – TMO Daily Observations 2017-10-18

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

The movie studios let you add digital movies to your library for two dollars, and Apple’s reality distortion field is still strong – and perhaps self-inflicted – and that’s what Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro discuss with guest-host Dave Hamilton on today’s TDO. Press play… and enjoy!

Real-time Malware Scanners for Your Mac

· & · Cool Stuff Found

Malware is a real threat for many platforms, even Macs. Up until recently, malware scanners had to be launched manually to search for this software that could screw up your Mac, and perhaps compromise sensitive information. In this Mac Geek Gab Highlight, John F. Braun and Dave Hamilton discuss new real-time scanning options, including the new Malwarebytes 3, its current memory leak issues, Drive Genius 5, and ClamXAV 2.

Alexander Hamilton Papers Now Online at Library of Congress

· · Cool Stuff Found

Letter from Alexander Hamilton, age 12

Click the image for full-size version

Alexander Hamilton is household name these days for many reasons, perhaps even moreso in my house, but likely yours just the same. The Library of Congress has now published digital versions of over 12,000 letters, legal papers, speech drafts, and more, many of which are in Hamilton’s own writing. The example shown here is a letter Hamilton wrote on November 11, 1769 when he was 12-years-old in St. Croix, telling his friend that he would “willing risk my life tho’ not my character to exalt my station.” There are some fascinating treasures within.

What to Do Now That CrashPlan for Home is Going Away

· · Cool Stuff Found

This week’s Mac Geek Gab had many listeners writing and calling in, asking for guidance on their cloud backup options now that CrashPlan has announced the end of CrashPlan for Home. John and Dave talk through various solutions including BackBlaze, B2, Amazon Glacier, CrashPlan for Small Business, and others. Listen to this Mac Geek Gab Highlight from MGG 672 to hear the advice of your two favorite geeks.