Clean Install macOS 10.13 High Sierra

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Summary

  1. Download the 5GB macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) Installer
  2. Prepare a USB Drive using Install Disk Creator
  3. Boot holding Option key and install High Sierra from the USB Drive

Overview

If you want to try the newest macOS 10.13, aka: High Sierra you can perform a clean install to get the best overall user experience.  If you have existing data always back it up or, going forward keep it always synced to some cloud drive – such as Apple’s iCloud service which is already included in macOS since Sierra released.  It’s a convenient way to keep your Desktop and Documents folders primarily in the cloud…then synced to your local hard drive.  If you have multiple Macs it also allows you to carry those files to each of your systems.

Full Procedures can be found here:

http://osxdaily.com/2017/10/02/clean-install-macos-high-sierra/

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How Did Bluetooth Get Its Name? It’s Royal Nordic Roots

Everyone, by now, is fully aware of Bluetooth technology which is pretty much ubiquitous in many areas – smart phones, entertainment centers, laptops, etc

It’s one of the greatest inventions of recent times – allowing quick and easy wireless connections between electronic devices.  While earlier revisions were super painful at times

The story of how Bluetooth came about – from the pile of competing standards, to the exact name, and its logo itself is quite interesting.

In this Jaba Article all is explained!

 

Reboot Your XFINITY Router from Your Mobile Device

How many times have you needed to leverage your decades of IT experience in network troubleshooting only to have the end result be, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?

I just had an experience where my parents’ internet stopped working, as it occasionally does when things get stale on the router (technical term I just created) and it needs to renegotiate with the ISP. Think of it as an “ipconfig /release and /renew”.

So not wanting to schlep over to their house I quickly Googled whether or not I could power cycle their router remotely in the off chance this was possible it’d really make things very efficient if they ever had internet issues.

Woah and behold – you can now do this with the XFINITY My Account mobile app for Android or iOS.

If you know your login credentials for Comcast (which I never do so I use LastPass on all my devices) you can log into your XFINITY account and manage your account, profile, customer service calls, WiFi settings, and even your router.

To reboot your router you can go to Internet Device > Restart this device and the app will send a reboot command through the internet directly to your router.  In a few minutes your router will complete its power cycle.

Of course, first you may want to disconnect your mobile device from the actual WiFi network/router which you are trying to reboot.

If you support friends/family then you’ll want their login info so you can remotely support them (I wouldn’t endorse having other people’s security info in most scenarios but if you have parents who yell at you about “the emails are broken” then this is a great tool.

 

Cabin: iPhone Battery Case with MagSafe-like Connector

HEVO Labs has just come up with a great accessory for the iPhone which addresses its most annoying/weakest feature – the %$#! Lightning port which is used for power & data.  It’s an Apple-only “standard” which I admit is nicer than there clunkier 30-pin port but

I honestly wish them the best of luck but there’s a reason why no non-Apple hardware manufacturers have developed any “Magsafe-Like” power adapters for either phones or laptops because Apple would sue the pants off them.

This a great idea though – to have a minimalist, aluminum-bodied 2200mAh battery case, that converts the Lightning port to a magnetically connected charging port.  This magnetic feature allows clean connectivity to their own docking stand and charging cables without the risk of physical wear & tear/damage that the traditional Lightning or MicroUSB ports have.  It combines the ease-of-use of wireless magnetic induction (popular on some Android) and the speed

Cult of Mac Article

Apple Magsafe US Patent

They state some of the Risks and Challenges include logistics and manufacturing but I think their biggest threat to success is Apple’s penchant for litigation against supposed IP violations – the L in the PESTLE analysis for you MBA nerds.  Apple neither licenses the Magsafe connector nor the patent which means…they’ll be hoarding and suing anyone that poses a threat. So with that big threat looming on the horizon I’m both curious and worried for the Cabin system.

Smallpdf – Compress, Merge, and Split PDFs Online

If you’re like me you work with a LOT of documents in both soft and hard copy. Although the world is becoming more and more paperless some of us still have to deal with hard copy documents which need to be (e)signed, manipulated, and scanned back into different electronic distribution systems – email, contract systems, etc.

Working with PDFs, although a great format, gets pretty messy quickly.

I have used PDFSplit! many many times as it lets you break up large PDFs into smaller files – imagine you scanned a dozen documents into one PDF file and wanted to process it all later – that would be the best use case for PDFSplit!

I just came upon a situation where I scanned a series of consecutive docs but needed to reorder them. This is where I found Smallpdf – another great online PDF tool which allows you to do the following:

  • Compress
  • JPG to PDF
  • PDF to JPG
  • Merge PDF – you can view in Page Mode and rearrange pages
  • Split PDF
  • Word, Excel, and Powerpoint to PDF

Basically you drag and drop a PDF file into the web app and begin manipulating from there.  There is a File Mode and a Page Mode.  Page Mode allows you to visually reorder pages which is very convenient.

If security is a concern Smallpdf states that the files you upload are kept on their servers for only an hour and no backups are made so that’s some good reassurance.

Best Cheap Printer – Samsung Xpress M2825DW

After my nearly-ten-year-old Dell 3000CN color laser decided it didn’t like printing full pages anymore I did what any red-blooded IT person did….threw it off an overpass…just kidding but I already knew to attack this matter from an accounting standpoint rather than an IT-guy-who-insists-everything-works-forever mentality.

My printer was old and I had already replaced the expensive toner cartridges, of which there were 4, several times over its useful lifetime. I paid about $500 for the printer a decade ago which comes out to $50/year depreciation (or maybe $70/year after toners) and I figured that’s just about enough utility out of ANY computer product let alone a printer (which was designed as a toner-replacement-money machine from the get go). Time to go to Goodwill or the local e-waste program when it swings by the house next!

I’ve seen weekly Fry’s ads enough (I’m in Silicon Valley aren’t I?) to know that printers are often on sale and can be had any time of the year.

Several times I’ve seen the Samsung Xpress M2825DW in the ad and, after some brief research, decided to pull the trigger.  It was only $80 and the replacement factory toner is less than $40 which should be good for a year.

The deciding factors were:

  • Great reviews (4/5 on Amazon, PCMag, and NewEgg – which has some picky tech users)
  • I had no more real need for color printing (that’s what work’s for right?) 🙂
  • WiFi/Ethernet/Internet printing
  • 29 ppm
  • DUPLEX Printing
  • Includes a full toner cartridge good for 1200pp
  • $80

So far it’s been about 6 months and I love this printer – which I rarely say about utilitarian appliances.  It just works and works well.  The duplex printing (which, when printing out readings for grad school, combine with multiple pages/sheet) saves a ton of paper. I don’t miss color much at all and this thing is very easy to add to a system and start printing. I’ve successfully added it to Win8, OSX, and multiple flavors of Linux seamlessly.

I recommend this printer!  Plus it’s a nice, not too painful, business expense which can be written off 😉

WireCutter.com Article – Best Cheap Printer

 

Is there any consumer area in which Samsung ISN’T dominating at the moment? I love their TVs, DVD players (when I still bothered with physical media for movies), printers, and apparently their Galaxy line of mobile devices is kicking much ass competing with the Apple offerings which are years behind.

 

Five Best Desktop Video Players

Here’s a Lifehacker article on their opinion of the Five Best Desktop Video Players.

For the most part I’ve always avoided Windows Media Player and gone straight to VLC since it’s very lightweight and quick to start up lacking all the overhead of other media players. Plus Windows Media Player only works on the bulk of my video files (I primarily have .mkv files) after I install VLC, which adds the proper codecs.

I’ve used VLC on Mac and Windows and have had nothing but good results.