iOS 10 will be a great upgrade for iPhone and iPad users


I have been playing around with the iOS 10 beta on one of my iPads now for a couple of months. As this update has gotten closer to being completed I continue to be pleasantly surprised with both the quality of the software in beta and also the deep feature set of the update. There has been a lot in the press about the new features in iOS 10 and I can say I have tried most of them. The additions Apple is made in this release, while seemingly not major, certainly enhance the ability of all iOS devices.

I installed the beta in the first place to try out apples new home app. Home is an application that allows you to control HomeKit devices from a single common place. The app lets you control lights, thermostats, and all other existing HomeKit devices. I was pleasantly surprised how well it worked after about the second beta.

There are many other nice additions including a major overhaul of messages. Just this morning I saw one of the nice new tricks messages brings to the table. Quite often I text a link to a product one of my clients has asked me to look for for them. It’s really no big deal as they typically click the link and have it open in Safari to see the product on the products website. This morning, I texted a link to a product on Amazon and rather than sending the actual link, messages converted it to show an image of the product, a short description, and a link. While not earth shaking, it is pretty cool.

With the new iPhone release schedule for September, iOS 10 is right around the corner. Apples new process of going through public beta will certainly provide a better product on day one. I’m excited about getting these changes on all my iOS devices, including my phone.

iOS: Updating your carrier settings


Carrier settings updates are small files that can include updates from Apple and your carrier to carrier-related settings, such as network, calling, cellular data, messaging, personal hotspot, and voicemail settings. You may receive notifications from time to time to install new carrier-settings updates.
If you see the prompt for this update go ahead and accept it. If you do select not now, you can follow these instructions to update your carrier settings:

Make sure your device is connected to the Internet.

Tap Settings > General > About. If an update is available, a prompt will appear.

Note: Occasionally a carrier may release a mandatory update. This type of update will display only an OK button instead of an Update button, to let you know that the update was downloaded and installed.

If you need to know the version of the carrier settings your device has, tap Settings > General > About and look next to “Carrier”.

Changing the name of an Apple Bluetooth device


Bluetooth accessories like Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2, and third-party input devices come with a default name that appears in the Bluetooth menu of your Mac. You can give each device a name you’ll recognize.
The question came up at a recent appleJAC meeting about how you go about changing this name. Here’s what Apple has to say about it:

To rename a Bluetooth device, follow these steps on your Mac:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. Click the Bluetooth preference icon.
  3. Control-click or right-click on the device’s name to see a shortcut menu.
  4. Click Rename in the shortcut menu, then type a new name for the device.
  5. Click the Rename button to save your changes.

The custom name you give your device now appears in the Bluetooth menu of your Mac and in the Bluetooth section of System Preferences.

Note: When you rename an Apple wireless device, it remembers the name you give it. So if you pair the device with a different Mac, the device will appear as you named it. But with third-party devices, the custom name is often stored on the computer. Because of this, the device might return to its default name if you pair it with a different Mac.

Computer Scams can really Ruin your day…

Having a bad day today?  Well it could be a lot worse.  What it you were surfing the web on Facebook and suddenly saw this?

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Many people have seen messages such as this, particularly by clicking a link on Facebook.  Don’t fall for this scam.  The real infection here is to get you to call the phone number, let them connect to your computer to “Fix” it, and then have them install real spyware.  Then they show you how the machine is “infected” and tell you they can fix it for $190 only to steel your credit card info and make charges to your card.

Don’t make an errant click into a terrible mistake.  Force quit your browser to get rid of the message and ignore it. NEVER call a phone number for a computer problem that pops up on your screen and NEVER let someone you do not know make a connection remotely to your PC or Mac.

This can happen anywhere on the web but lately, many people see this from clicking a link from Facebook.

Q: How do I print labels from Apples Pages Program?

A:  I am making the assumption that you have labels purchased that go into your printer.  If that is not the case, let me know.

First you need to get a template for the label material you have.

Here is a page with lots of these templates.
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If your labels are Avery, the ones at the bottom correspond to Avery label numbers

After you download the template go to the top of the Safari window and click the downloads button.

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Once you click on it, double click on the document template you download.

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This brings up this dialog:

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Select Add to Template Browser.

Now the template is loaded in Pages and you can start your new labels.

Now pages should start and put you in the new document mode.  On the left is the My Templates dialog.  Select the template you just downloaded.

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Double click the templet to get started. This will open a new label sheet in pages and have all the labels created.

Now you can type the label into the document and when done print the page.

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Brinno Camera Sunset and Sunrise

This is a full night time lapse including sunset, darkness with stars, moon rise, and sunrise captured with the Brinno Construction camera. The settings for this capture were to take a photo every 20 seconds and create a movie at 15 frames per second. This equates to 5 hours of time lapes per minute of this video.

Google Makes NIK Photo enhancement tools FREE

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 4.57.23 PMIf you are a user of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, or Aperture you owe it to yourself to download these plug-in tools from Google.  These are true high end enhancements for all these products and now, Google has made them free.

the Nik collection It includes Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, and Dfine.  Each of these are fine additions to the adobe products but together and for free they add a major enhancement to the ability of these products, particularly for Lightroom users.

  • Analog Efex Pro – Explore the look and feel of classic cameras, films, and lenses.
  • Color Efex Pro – A comprehensive set of filters for color correction, retouching, and creative effects.
  • Silver Efex Pro – Master the art of black-and-white photography with darkroom-inspired controls.
  • Viveca – Selectively adjust the color and tonality of your images without complicated masks or selections.
  • HDR Efex Pro – From natural to artistic, explore the full potential of HDR photography.
  • Sharpener Pro – Bring out hidden details consistently with the professional’s choice for image sharpening.
  • Dfine – Improve your images with noise reduction tailored to your camera.

Start by looking at Define and Sharpener Pro.  These are the best noise reduction and sharpening tools I have ever used.

iBooks Enhancements in MacOS 10.11.4

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 3.51.21 PMIn the last update of MacOS and iOS, Apple quietly added a huge new feature to iBooks.  iBooks has been a great way to store PDF documents on your Mac and on iOS devices to be able to reference them when you have the need.  One feature lacking has been the ability to store these PDF’s and have them sync with all your iOS and MacOS devices.  In the latest version updates there was the following update statement:

“Adds the ability for iBooks to store PDFs in iCloud, making them available across all your devices”

Finally, your PDF files transfer to iCloud and can be installed on other devices you own.  Unfortunately, Apple really did not talk about how this works.  In both the MacOS and iOS, a dialog box asked if I wanted my iBooks PDF’s stored in iCloud.  Upon agreeing, the PDF documents began to sync….slowly….

Apples help on iBooks added this section to describe these new features:

Sync and save PDFs
The first time that you open iBooks after you update to iOS 9.3 or OS X 10.11.4, you’ll be prompted to use iCloud. Learn more about syncing your books and PDFs using iCloud.

You can also add PDFs to your iTunes library on your computer by dragging and dropping the PDF into your iTunes Book library. The files will appear when you are preparing your device to sync. If you’re using OS X Mavericks or later, drag and drop your PDFs into your iBooks library using iBooks for Mac. All PDF or iBook files in your iBooks library are available to sync to your iOS device via iTunes.

To sync a PDF from your computer to iBooks on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Select your iOS device. (Learn how to sync your data with iTunes.)
  2. Under Settings, click Books.
  3. Select Sync Books.
    If iTunes is set to sync only selected books, make sure that there’s a check in the checkbox next to the PDF you want to sync.
  4. Click Sync.

    You can also use iTunes to back up your PDF files. To transfer PDFs to your computer and back them up, transfer purchases from your iOS device to your computer. These files are not in an iTunes Backup. Learn more about what’s contained in iTunes and iCloud backups.

But there are still a few questions:

  • Where in iCloud are they stored?
  • How much space is allocated to iBooks
  • Can I remove a book from any single device without deleting it?

I have searched the web extensively and no one is answering these questions so stay tuned to see if someone steps up and addresses the particulars of this new application feature.

Brinno Timelapse Camera

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.27.30 AMFor the last few days I have been working with a new time-lapse camera called Brinno. The Brinno camera is a self contained camera with the main purpose to create time-lapse video.The particular model of brine I am working with is intended to be a construction camera.

Brinno has been a recognized leader in Time-Lapse Cameras. With the industrial-Grade professional construction camera, BCC200, a wire-free, weatherproof camera bundle, offers quick and easy installation, without cumbersome wiring or power requirements. It illustrates the entire project, no matter how many days, months, or years taken, in few minutes instant HDR time-lapse video which presents the project with a high publicity factor on project and marketing management.

The camera is quite easy to setup and configure for the particular need that you want to capture.  You set the camera to take a photo at a particular time intraval and you set the frame rate of the final video the camera creates from the photos.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.27.19 AMThe example below was taken with a 20 sec image intraval and the final video was created at 15 frames per second.  SO the video takes 3 photos per minute and uses 15 photos, or 5 minutes of time to create 1 second of video.  The video is created automatically in the camera.  Unfortunately, it creates a windows AVI video but iMovie can import and convert it to video you can then edit.

Overall, I was quite pleased with the result considering the limitations of the capture such as a cloudy cold night and the capture being done in the city with quite a bit of ambient “city” light.  I also used a UltraWarmer warming pad around the camera to prevent the condensation but unfortunately it did little good.

I will be continuing to work with this in the hopes of being able to get more comfortable with the settings.