July 23, 2014

Jul - 09 2014 | By

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– They're tagged with #Zentech.
– When what's said is unclear to me (or I'm unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (" ") verbatim.
– Editor's comments are delimited by < >

Paul was in the studio by himself today.
Intro & outro music was by. Pentatonix

If Glenn gets around to posting the podcast of this show, it should be here.


Paul thanked Richard Hurley for being on last week's show, when the talked about Apple products from the user's perspective. Paul had some additional info…
– The next iteration of the Apple's iOS, the operating system for their mobile devices, is due to arrive in Sept.
– Users of Macs made since about 2007 will have the option of getting the new operating system called Yosemite.
– The two operating systems are not converging much due, in part, to the Mac not having a touch screen.
– You can get a device he called "The Glass Interface", a large trackpad, for about $49. It allows you to use gestures on its touch sensitive surface — approximating the multi-touch found on the mobile devices.
– If your Mac is new enough, you can find out what features are available with Glass by going to "System Preferences" & clicking on "Mouse". He said there is a demo, near the settings, that illustrates the features.
– He doesn't expect Apple to come out with Macs that have a touch sensitive screen, any time soon.
– Windows users with a trackpad that has enhanced gestures can find setting for it under the "Control Panel" -> "Mouse".
<I didn't find The Glass Interface but I did find the Magic Trackpad for the Mac>

 Paul then talked about "creeping featuritis", where better hardware inspires more capable software. As the software adds more features, the demand for faster, better hardware increases, inviting even more features in the software. Unlike Microsoft, Apple doesn't seem to be subject to that, he said.

Rob called. He's using a Mac with OS version 10.68 as well as a laptop (a Mac Book Pro). Occasionally, some gestures he does on his trackpad causes most of his keyboard not to work. He has to reboot to restore function, on both machines.
– Plug in a USB keyboard (doesn't have to be a Mac keyboard) but continue using the normal keyboard until the failure occurs again. At that point, see if the USB keyboard is working OK. Paul thought it likely a hardware problem with the original keyboard.
– Your laptop might have an "embedded number keyboard" — the numbers share the same keys with some of the letters. You may be activating the number keys, preventing the use of the letters. There's usually a special key to do that.
– You can use a PC keyboard as a replacement on the Mac but you'll have to get used to its Control Start, Alt, keys, which correspond to the Option, Command, Apple keys on the Mac.

Fixing the laptop is more problematic. On some laptops you may have to replace the "whole upper deck" not just the keyboard. Be careful not to break the ribbon cable, the direction you should pull to disconnect it may be different than it looks. Check places like Ebay for a used keyboard from a disassembled (parted) machine.

Jeff from Woodland called. He sometimes has trouble positioning the pointer using his laptop's trackpad — it's like it has epileptic seizures, it doesn't stay put.
– Go to the Control Panel -> Mouse Settings. Check the acceleration setting. If it's too high, it can be difficult to control the pointer. Pull the slider control to make it slower. Be sure to click the "Apply" button for the change to take effect.
– Wear & tear on the trackpad may eventually cause a problem. As with the keyboard problem above, try an external USB mouse to see if the problem persists.
– Try cleaning the trackpad with isopropyl alcohol.
– His machine is about 3 months old and may still be under warranty — call the manufacturer.

Paul mentioned the Facebook page he set up for Zentech. It hasn't been used much yet.

Paul has been thinking about getting a car DVR (digital video recorder). He was inspired by all of the videos of the meteor that fell in Chelyabinsk Russia. Many people in Russia have DVRs in their cars to document an altercation or a claim of damage from an accident. Their courts look favorably on video evidence.
– Typically they cost less then $100.
– Typically they weigh less that a few ounces.
– They're smaller than a regular camera.
– They're intended to be attached to the car and run on the car's 12-volt electrical system.
– The lens tends to have a relatively wide angle of view.
– Typically they record in full HD 1080p making it easy to zoom in on details.
– They contain a GPS chip and record the location of the video.
– They typically contain an accelerometer (G sensor) to make the camera start recording if there is an impact — even if it's just a window being broken.
– The one Paul got is small enough to be hidden behind the rear-view mirror and facing out the window. It cost him $69.
– His DVR can accept a flash memory card of up to 32gig, which can cost about $24. That's about 6 hours of video at the high resolution.
– After the 6 hours, the DVR will start recording over the oldest part of the video — "circular recording".
– There's free Russian software that works with openstreetmaps.org that takes the video from the DVR and shows you, on a map, "where you were going and what you were doing". Paul is an independent consultant and he finds this feature useful for recording the mileage.

Hazel called. She uses an app that came with her Mac called Stickies v7.0 (mimics Post-It Notes). The sticky notes populate the entire desktop every time she turns on the machine.
– Paul thought it was designed to work that way.
– She said it didn't do that before, and Paul thought it has something to do with amount of information in each sticky. The app may have changed its behavior when she typed in a lot of text.
– To lean more about Stickies, go to Youtube and search for the words: stickies tutorial. As mentioned before, it's a great resource for tutorials of all sorts.

Scott called with some help for Hazel.
– If you select a sticky and double click on the bar at the top, the sticky shrinks down.
– Clicking on the square on the left will delete the sticky, after confirmation from you.
– There's something on the right <I couldn't make out the word> that if you click on it, the sticky goes to the left corner of the screen.
– Upon quitting the app, the Stickies are automatically saved.

Paul reminded people that iCloud gives you 5gig of storage to backup data from your Apple device. If you have data on iCloud, it can be accessed with a PC using your Apple ID. Hazel can use it to backup her Stickies.

iCloud can also help you locate your phone <iPhone presumably> within several hundred feet. And you can lock your lost phone or delete all of the data on it.

Paul said he's thinking about using his DVR for Kite Aerial Photography (KAP). It's small and robust enough to hang on the tail of kite. He didn't mention it earlier but his DVR has a small battery on board that will run the unit for 10 or 15 minutes.

Last updated 10:29 PM 7/23/2014