Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]

Use a RADIUS Server to Control Wi-Fi Authentication in Your Home

· · Cool Stuff Found

After our discussion about using RADIUS for Wi-Fi authentication in Mac Geek Gab 664, listener John Skinner set to work on a how-to:

If you have a Mac with a wired ethernet jack, an Airport base station capable of doing WPA2 Enterprise, and $20 (to buy macOS Server in the Mac App Store), you can set all this up! Then you will be able turn on and off access to your WiFi network, per user.

It’s that last bit that explains “why?” With Personal WPA2 Wi-Fi, everyone shares the same password. With Enterprise WPA2, each person has their own password. The RADIUS server is the key to making this happen.

How Scott Forstall Selected The People Who Would Create The iPhone’s Software

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In 2005 Scott Forstall was tasked with finding people to build the iPhone and, due to secrecy concerns, Steve Jobs said he could only pick people from within Apple. From Mark Sullivan over at Fast Company:

“During all the interviews for the team, we screened for people who were growth mind-set,” Forstall told me. Forstall said he had been a fan of Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychology professor known for her theory that people exist somewhere on a continuum between “fixed mind-set” and “growth mind-set.”


Andy Grignon 10 Years Later, Reflecting on Helping to Create the iPhone

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Skylar Hamilton*, writing for Mouth of the River, recently interviewed Andy Grignon, one of the original iPhone team members:

“It was terrifying to be honest! Remember we had spent years in solitude working on this thing under the strictest of Apple standards. Seeing it ‘out in the wild’ was surreal, to say the least,” says Grignon. Imagine hiding something so big for years and then the entire world not only knows about it, but they all use it. “After that feeling passed, it turned into sheer terror.”

*Yes, for those of you wondering, this is a “proud papa” moment for me, too. Forget that, though, and go read the interview. Some great stuff in there, including a tip about extending your battery life!

JSON Feed: Syndication without XML, easier for Humans and Machines

· · Cool Stuff Found

Long time Apple-industry developers, Brent Simmons and Manton Reece, this week announced and released JSON Feed Version 1. They say it best:

The JSON Feed format is a pragmatic syndication format, like RSS and Atom, but with one big difference: it’s JSON instead of XML.

For most developers, JSON is far easier to read and write than XML. Developers may groan at picking up an XML parser, but decoding JSON is often just a single line of code.

Our hope is that, because of the lightness of JSON and simplicity of the JSON Feed format, developers will be more attracted to developing for the open web.

Sounds good to me. TMO now has a JSON Feed as well. If you’d like to see it in action, this web-based feed reader should start to give you an idea.

Sonos PLAYBASE Review: Room-Filling Sound for Music, TV, and Movies

· · In-Depth Review

Sonos white PLAYBASE underneath TV

The new Sonos Playbase falls right in line with what we Apple users have come to expect, delivering a simple-yet-robust experience for people who want to enhance the sound of their TVs and simultaneously add a whole-room music-listening solution. In one, low-profile box that sits underneath your TV (officially anything 75lbs or less), the Sonos Playbase gives you all of this and more, complete with easy setup and simple operation.

Use the π Symbol on Your iPhone on Pi Day

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Today is Pi Day. While some people might say that Tau is more relevant than Pi, it’s still Pi Day. With that in mind, you may want to wish your friends a happy Pi Day. And while that’s cool, it’s even cooler to wish them a Happy π Day (OK, well, it may or may not be cooler to do this, but it’s definitely geekier!). Unfortunately, we don’t have a π symbol in emoji on iOS. So in order to send that symbol you’ll either have to copy it from the text of this article and paste it in … or you can do what we did in the first place: add the Greek keyboard to your iPhone and type it from there!

Use a 4K Monitor in Retina Mode on Your Mac

· · How-To

macOS System Preferences Displays Low Resolution options

In the old days when you purchased a monitor you had to decide between higher resolution and larger text. If your monitor’s native resolution was too high, you were plagued with either living with small text or running the screen at a lower resolution. People buying a 4K monitor today see the same issue, but there is an easy way to get that running in Retina mode. Apple’s solution to this issue was to introduce what they call “Retina displays” on Macs, and macOS allows you to achieve the same effect with your third-party, 4K monitor, as well. We’ll show you how.

Sonos Puts the PLAYBASE Under Your Television

· · Cool Stuff Found

Today Sonos announced their new PLAYBASE, combining home theater sound and music playback in a low-profile base (just 2.28″ high!) that sits underneath your TV. The PLAYBASE is the result of nearly four years of iterative design work inside Sonos, and is made to complement the wall-mountable PLAYBAR in Sonos’ lineup. If your TV sits on a table, put a PLAYBASE under it; on the wall, put a PLAYBAR there. The PLAYBASE will hold TVs up to 77lbs, which should handle what most of you have.

While I haven’t yet tested the PLAYBASE in my home, I did get a chance to test it at Sonos’ offices last month, and the stereo spread and frequency response are impressive. They were able to fit a subwoofer in the thin design by use of a specially-engineered S-shaped port. It works, too, and really fills a room with sound for both music and video content. Of course, you’re able to use your iPhone or iPad to automatically tune the PLAYBASE to your room with Sonos’ Trueplay technology, ensuring the best possible sound for your environment. The PLAYBASE is priced at US$699 (same as the PLAYBAR), and will be released on April 4, 2017. Existing Sonos owners can pre-order starting today.

Sonos Puts the PLAYBASE Under Your Television

Sonos' New "Shatter The Silence" Commercial Channels Apple's "1984"

· · Cool Stuff Found

If you watch the Grammy Awards on Sunday night and don’t skip the commercials, you’re likely to see something that reminds you of Apple’s “1984”: a new commercial from Sonos targeted at ridding the world of a new disease, The Silent Home. Previewed to the press this week in Boston, the spot is effective at delivering its message and is perhaps the clearest advertising we’ve seen yet from Sonos. View it in advance of the Grammy’s right here (or on YouTube if you prefer that sort of thing).