Jul 26, 2017

Jul - 26 2017 | By

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For a couple of months, the audio of today’s show is here. Recent shows are here.

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Glenn was in the studio with co-host Mikail Graham. Paul called in from London and he’s not expected to be back in time for the next Zen Tech show..

 

Paul said that Mac products are much more expensive in the UK because of a 21% value added tax. However, people with a US passport can have the VAT they paid returned to them when they leave the UK. There is a VAT desk at the airport where you can apply for the refund.

Glenn mentioned that the iPhone 8 is coming out. Mikail said that at this point it’s just a rumor. He said there are rumors that criticize it, as well. Mikail uses an iPhone 6S that’s a couple of years old and doesn’t anticipate upgrading for a while.

Mikail has a new 2017 Mac Book Pro & a new iPad Pro. He was appalled when in 2016 Mac Book Pro did away with all of the ports and only provided a USB-C port — no HDMI, no standard USB-A OR -B compatibility, no SD card slot, etc. Then he found a device made by Letscom <maybe this is it> for $60 that plugs into one of the 4 ports on the Mac Book Pro 15″. He now has 2 USB3 ports, a mini and standard SD card slot, HDMI port, a standard USB-A port as well as a power port. He likes being able to log in using his fingerprint.

Mikail thinks the Mac Book Pro it’s a bit overpriced when you look at what you can get from Dell, which has a touch screen, the same or a bit faster processor, 32gig of RAM and costs $1600 at Costco. He thinks Dell makes high quality products.

Paul said Dell computers have a service tag that serves as a serial number. If you go to support.dell.com and enter the number from the service tag, you get the details for that particular machine.

Mikail added, if you don’t need all of the processing power of the top end Mac for doing fancy video or audio work, the Mac Book Air is a good choice starting at $800.

One other thing the new Mac lacks is a Mag-Safe connector. But there are 3rd party manufacturers that make adapters to add that feature.

Paul asked what sort of battery life he gets from the Mac Book. The claim is about 10 hours, but it’s more like 6 to 8 hours, Mikail said.

Mikail’s Mac Book has a better graphics engine that previous models — the Intel HD graphics 630 with something like 1500 megabytes. And like some earlier models, it can switch in or out different graphic processors depending on whether AC or battery power is being used, to conserve power when using the battery.

Paul was online looking at the various models and saw a black, vertical, cylindrical Mac. Mikail said he owns one of those too. It’s called the trashcan Mac. It replaced the Mac Pro Tower in about 2013. About 4 months ago Apple admitted it might have made a mistake because people are not able to upgrade it the way they would like to. But Mikail likes his, saying it may be the best Mac he’s ever owned. He added something called a Thunder Bay that holds 4 different drives — 2 10 terabytes drives and 2 6 terabytes drives. It also has a Thunderbolt2 port, 6 USB3 ports, 2 dual A&B 700 graphic cards and 32 gig of high speed RAM. He said it’s very quiet.

Mikail said that it’s going to be superceded by the new iMac Pro in December starting at about $5000. Next year Apple is planning to bring out the new version of the Mac Pro, which will be user-upgradable.

Glen reminded listeners that they can become contributing members of KVMR by calling the office number 530-265-9073. Or call the studio when the DJ is not talking on the air at 530-265-9555. And you can email the guys at zen at kvmr dot org at any time.

Steve called. He has an old [unintelligible] Unicorn, an MK 828 with Firewire. He wanted to know if it can interface with the Mac Book. Mikail said that with a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter, he can connect it to the Mac Book Air. The adapter is about $29 from Apple.

Ken called. He wanted to know how to hook up a security camera to his Mac computer. Paul said he has a couple of cameras on his property. One is made by Wansview that you can find on Ebay and Amazon. The other better known camera is called D-link Cloud. You can connect the camera to your wireless network and configure it so that if it detects a certain amount of movement, it will email you an image of what it saw. As mentioned on the 6-21-17 show, create a guest network and put the cameras on that network, Paul suggested. As a security measure this should isolate the camera (or any IOT) device so it doesn’t have access to anything else on your network.

The cameras Paul has don’t have the ability to record the video and store it on a flash drive in the camera. That’s something to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a camera, if it’s important to you, You may not need the feature if high quality is not very important, as the app you use to view the video on the computer typically has the ability to record.

The Wansview camera has a tiny speaker so that if you use it as a door cam, you can talk to the person at the door. It’s $35 and has 720 X 480 resolution.

Harbor Freight sells a nice low cost camera system too. Mikail said. It comes with a flash drive.

iPad Air is good bargain at about $350, Mikail said. Glenn got his for $380 ($420 out the door) with 128gig of RAM. But if you want something better, consider the 10.5″ iPad Pro $649 with 256gig RAM, true tone display and 4 speakers. It’s the best iPad he’s ever owned, Mikail said.

Glenn mentioned that he put Kubuntu on his 10″ touch screen [computer] and then installed teamviewer. He’s getting better at working with the Linux operating system.

Mikail talked about some malware called Fruitfly that can hit the Mac. It can take complete control of a Mac. It can then spy on what’s going on in the machine. It can take over the keyboard, mouse, switch on the webcam and modify files. It can even take low rez screen shots and send them over a low speed connection like dialup. It’s amazing how many people have this malware even though Apple has put out patches for it. Make sure you’ve installed the latest patches, Mikail said. It infects the Mac thru an email attachment, so be extra careful about what you click in your emails. Also, when you’re visiting websites beware of popups that offer updates to software or say things like “you computer has been infected you must call this number now”.

Mikail related a story about one of his clients who got hacked a couple years ago. Though the computer was cleaned up, the hacker called him up recently offering to return the money he scammed from the client. All he needed was the bank account number to make a direct deposit. Fortunately, the client didn’t fall for it.

Paul said you can get misdirected just by following search results. People may google “microsoft outlook toll free support”. What they may get in the results is something like “microsoft support” but it’s a 3rd party, not Microsoft.

Lorraine called. She depends a lot on her Google calendar where she has certain events assigned a particular color. Suddenly, the calendar isn’t showing any colors. She uses the calendar app that came with her Mac. Paul surmised she is using iCal which has the ability to have multiple calendars. He said the color represents which calendar you’re viewing and has nothing to do with distinguishing individual events — you can’t assign different colors to events in one particular calendar. Somewhere in the menu there is an option to hide and reveal the calendars you want to see. It may happen that they got turned off.

At the top of the screen there is a piece of text that says ‘calendars’. If you don’t see your calendars on the left-hand side, click on that and it will open up a window to show you the available calendars. Make sure they are selected. You can control+click on the calendar name to change its color.

Glenn announced that he’ll be hosting the Flea Market tomorrow.

Last Updated 11:26 PM 7-26-2017