Ring Discount – expires June 9

Ring devices discount

This is the system that helps you keep an eye on your home (or office) with motion sensing video cameras and doorbells.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Doorbell Pro models are on sale for Fathers Day at 15% off through June 9. Shoot me an e-mail and I'll add you as a neighbor for an additional $25 off each item you purchase (this will give me a small commission).

Hi High Sierra!

Upgrading to High Sierra

Apple is releasing the version of its Mac operating system, macOS High Sierra (10.13) on Monday. Like all major OS updates, it offers some obvious new features as well as under-the-hood improvements.

The more obvious changes include:
Photos - persistent side view with new filter choices (keyword, media type, date, etc), Expanded import view, Curves, and Selective Color editing tools, improved Face recognition, Live Photos editing, more categories for Memories
Safari - autoplay blocking, Intelligent Tracking Prevention, Safari Reader always-on option
Mail - optimized storage to take up 35% less space, improved search
iCloud - iCloud Drive files sharing, iCloud storage family plans
Siri - new more natural voice, new Apple Music skills, music-related trivia
iMessages - they can now be stored in the cloud allowing syncing between devices
Notes - notes can be pinned to stay at the top of your list

A change you won’t see is the new APFS (Apple File System) - this is how an operating system finds and stores ‘stuff’. The new file system helps to save space, better duplicate files, faster directory sizing, and take snapshots of your system to improve backups. If you’ve kept your iOS up to date, you’ve already seamlessly moved to APFS on that device without knowing it!
High Sierra also adds support for HEVC for 4K content.

What to be careful about - those of you still using Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 might want to consider upgrading to the latest version of Office or using alternate document editor (there are several including Pages that included for free from Apple). Office 2011 is no longer supported by Microsoft which leave it vulnerable but also means that it’s functions could start breaking down rapidly.

As always, follow these guidelines when preparing to upgrade to a new OS:

Backup! - in at least two ways/places
Check that your hardware can run the latest OS: All Macs introduced in mid-2010 or later are compatible as well as MacBook and iMac computers introduced in late 2009
Check that the software that you used regularly will still work with macOS High Sierra, in particular, and non-Apple apps.
Apple ID: have that login info handy as you will need it getting started with macOS High Sierra

Feel free to contact me if you need help.

iOS 11 Release date – Today!

Apple’s latest operating system for the iPhone and iPad will be released today. I’ve been using it for a month or so and it’s quite nice.

Something very important to note – not all apps will work with the new iOS 11. Apps that have not been updated to 64-bit by their developers (most have) will give you a pop-up message that they don’t work if you try to launch them. (Apple started this move to 64bit in 2013, so developers really have no excuse).

To find out which of your apps won’t work, go to Settings/General/About/Applications. In my case, I have 4 apps listed: SwannView Pro, FlightTrack, AppShopper, and TextExpander. The developers might have release entirely new apps (TextExpander) to replace them or they are just no longer supporting that app. If a critical app for you is listed there, you might want to hold off on upgrading to iOS 11. Keep in mind that using old, unsupported software is not a good idea. You would probably be better off finding an alternative app.


New Apple Hardware

Apple New-ness

Yesterday Apple announced their latest product upgrades for iPhone: 8/8Plus and iPhone X (pronounced 'ten', not 'x'), Watch (series 3/with LTE) and tv 4K(5th gen).  You can watch the full keynote here. In a nutshell, faster processors, face recognition to replace TouchID, and wireless charging for the iPhone. Cell phone function built into the Watch and 4K and HDR for the tv 4K. Notable is where this announcement took place - Apple’s shiny new Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus. This inaugural keynote included a lovely tribute to Steve Jobs on the 10th anniversary of the iPhones debut.

iPhone 8/8Plus and iPhone X

The question I get asked often: should I upgrade my iPhone? If you always have to have the latest ‘thing’ then of course, but really the answer depends on your individual needs and preferences. In general, if your phone is 2 years old or more, I would say yes.

The biggest reason: speed. The processor in these new devices handle tasks much faster and uses battery power more efficiently. Those two facts alone are enough to make this upgrade a noticeable improvement.

If you want more details Apple has outlined the differences between the various models of iPhones on this page: https://www.apple.com/iphone/compare/

Here are my highlights for all models (X, 8, 8Plus):

A11 Bionic chip

Wireless Charging

Optical image stabilization

True-tone flash

Portrait mode/Portrait Lighting (X, 8Plus)

Here’s why I’m getting the iPhone X. This phone is the special one. The One More Thing. The screen size is bigger than the screen on the iPhone 8Plus (and my current 7Plus) while the overall dimensions of the phone are smaller! It’s like magic. Apple has designed this phone with an edge-to-edge OLED display with HDR that doesn’t require backlighting - allowing the phone to be smaller. This will fit more easily in my hands without giving up the larger display that I have come to love. The iPhone X will be unique in that it will use FaceID (facial recognition) to unlock the phone. No more home button. Much more secure than even TouchID. I’m sure it will take a bit of getting used to. I’m also looking forward to the Animoji feature that uses the facial recognition hardware to create moving emojis based on my facial expressions. Cute! Of course,  those features come at a premium price (and slight delay).

If you aren’t excited about the iPhone X newness, the iPhone 8 and 8Plus are excellent choices.


has been updated to Series 3, with a built in cellular option. The latter will include the ability to take and make phone calls, texts messages, stream music, use Siri, get app alerts, etc. on a cellular network (same phone number/carrier as your existing iPhone). It means you can go for run/walk and leave your iPhone at home. In addition the Series 3 Watch now includes an altimeter, can connect directly to some gym equipment, and has a brighter screen.

tv 4K

This 5th generation of the AppleTV will now let you watch in 4K and HDR as well as streaming live sports and news. Interesting for some but the amount of 4K content available is still limited. If you currently have the 4th generation tv there's no rush to upgrade.


Hardware is one thing but software, the operating system, is what drives these devices. Stay tuned for my next post on macOS High Sierra, iOS 11 and watchOS 4 - all being released in the next weeks.

New look!

Welcome to my website's new look - over the next few days and weeks I'll be filling out this space and fixing issues that come up. Thanks for hanging in there and feel free to send any feedback!