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Another great LVTC night @ Target Field

Pic posted September 26, 2023

Good luck to John and the entire Twins organization with the post-season ⚾️

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MyPrecious15ProMax Experience

Posted September 24, 2023

‘Tis the season for my annual iPhone Upgrade Program membership to kick in. This year I moved from a purple iPhone 14 Pro (256GB) to a blue titanium iPhone 15 Pro Max (256GB). The notification and pre-order process went smoothly, as I received a timely upgrade email and also had the correct information populated in the Apple Store app on the older phone. It’s nice that this has all worked without major issues for several years now.

The UPS delivery person brought the new phone to our house on Friday and I decided to do the phone-to-phone transfer process again instead of restoring from the iCloud backup (which I also ran manually on the old phone immediately before starting – just in case). The time estimate displayed laughingly said it would take 10-15 minutes, but I needed to let the process run overnight. Even then, it didn’t download all the apps to the new phone until I hit the continue button Saturday morning.

Despite the long setup time, big kudos to the team at Apple that is responsible for engineering this upgrade process. Trying to create a process that works reliably for millions of customers with a basically infinite number of combinations just blows my mind. Here are some examples from my particular setup:

  • All of my Apple Wallet items transferred seamlessly (with the process to add my Wings Credit Union debit card now all online with no need to call them like before) – Apple Card, tickets, Science Museum membership card
  • All photo, music, iMessage and health data just worked on the new phone (did need to sign-in to MyChart to restore that app)
  • My third party calendar app Fantastical asked me to sign in again, but then all the correct calendar data appeared
  • All my favorite third-party games data transferred with no issues this time: Two Dots, Lightning Link, Star Wars Card Trader and Words with Friends
  • Password management didn’t skip a beat – 1Password transferred over after a sign-in on the new phone and all of the iCloud password management worked as expected
  • My 2FA accounts in Google Authenticator did not automatically transfer, but the export/import process via the double QR scanning worked great (make sure you don’t erase your old device until you do this)
  • Didn’t experience any of the software update issues I had read about – the setup process started by first telling me I needed to update to iOS 17.0.2 before transferring data from the old phone
  • Re-pairing with my Apple Watch was much smoother this time (and was part of the upgrade process and not something I needed to handle manually)
  • I had to reauthorize the new phone for CarPlay in my Honda Civic, but after that everything just worked as before (needed a new USB-A to USB-C cable)

I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go back to the larger size again, but really, really wanted the 5x optical zoom lens only available on the Pro Max. So far it fits OK in my pocket and the in-hand feel and overall weight are much better than I expected. The build quality of the iPhone Pro models continues to be on par with the excellent MacBook line of laptops – I really don’t want to use anything else.

Hopefully I can go more than a week without scratching the screen or dropping it on the floor (yes, I’m still a no-case, no-screencover daredevil)…

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🫡 Last iPhone software update

Posted September 21, 2023

iOS 17.0.1 on the iPhone 14 Pro ✅ (and macOS 13.6 ✅)

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Link: Inside MGMs Hacked Casinos

Linked September 18, 2023

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Pic posted September 15, 2023

Slight delay on the store going online, but then it was fine

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🫡 Apple Fall Event 2023

Posted September 12, 2023

No shortage of opinions on today’s Apple Event, but here are my immediate action items:

  • Will move from my 14 Pro to the 15 Pro Max via the iPhone Upgrade Program on Friday (256GB Blue Titanium)
  • Still want an Ultra 2, but don’t like the new bands – will stick with my Series 5 for now (and might actually prefer a Series 9 with a Nike band)
  • Need to find out the pricing on the new iCloud+ 6TB and 12TB storage tiers (and how that ties in with Apple One) – rumor is $30/month and $60/month
  • AirPods Pro cases get USB-C on September 22, but I will still probably wait for the 2nd edition of AirPods Max

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🫡 Apple Wonderlust, 9/12 (noon central)

Posted August 30, 2023

Thinking iPhone 15 Pro Max this time (if the camera rumors are true). Would also go for an Apple Watch Ultra 2 if that’s released. Need to do something about my semi-broken AirPods too…

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Link: Love these posts from the South Pole

Linked August 22, 2023

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LVTC happy hour @ Hewing Hotel

Pic posted July 27, 2023

Started at Monte Carlo, then moved across the street. Always a great time with this group

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Web browsers on Apple platforms in 2023

Posted July 26, 2023

When I look back on web browsers I’ve used on macOS over the years, it seems like I find one I like and just stick with it for a long time. When The Browser Company announced that their new Arc browser was out of closed beta this week, I thought I’d download a copy and take a look. David Pierce at The Verge has been raving about it since last year, but I’m stuck in my ways and a lot of the concepts Arc introduces would take some time to really figure out. I ended up spending about 30 confused minutes with it before deciding to look at everything else out there right now too.

I vaguely remember the days of Netscape, then Firefox, then Safari, then Chrome. Internet Explorer was the evil actor in this story, both on Windows and macOS. As someone who has published websites for fun and for work, web standards were always the goal versus anything proprietary and tied to one browser. As market share has shifted, this goal always seemed elusive, as people would build sites optimized for whatever was the most popular. Thankfully for Mac users, most Windows or IE-only technologies have died out over time and “the web” has become more of a neutral platform. And with the rise of mobile, iOS and Android browsers are probably more influential now on standards than any of the others.

Read more…

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🫡 July 2023 Apple Updates

Posted July 24, 2023

macOS Ventura 13.5 ✅, iOS 16.6 ✅, iPadOS 16.6 ✅, watchOS 9.6 ✅ tvOS 16.6 ✅

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Top 7 Internet Services

Posted July 23, 2023

It seems like there has been so much negativity around social media and other online mediums lately, I thought it would be a fun exercise to think about my personal top seven list of internet services that are (mostly) positive.

Let’s jump right in:

  • #7 – Wikis. I’ll admit I thought this software was kinda dumb back in the day, but sites like Wikipedia and Setlist.fm really showcase the power of group knowledge to record and document history. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s usually a great start and I reference both of these sites regularly.
  • #6 – Smart People. Having access to smart people online is a killer resource, but sometimes it takes a lot of effort to find and follow them. In the past, this may have meant mailing lists or discussion boards, but a lot of that basically shifted to social media (none of which have a great track record). I do rather like the curated follow list I have right now on Mastodon (and to a lesser extent, LinkedIn) and there are tons of reporters I like to read on traditional news sites (local, national and international).
  • #5 – Music and Video Streaming. On the music side, I’ve written before about my slow move from physical CDs to a local digital library to streaming, but I’m now all in on Apple Music. I know this is a bad thing for local record stores and radio stations, as I don’t really use either now. It also sounds like it’s not great for a lot of artists either, but it’s hard not to enjoy the ability to listen to almost anything instantly. On the video side, we still haven’t achieved the cord-cutter holy grail of paying just for what you want, but it’s moving in the right direction. Lots of warning signs out there right now, though, so hopefully this doesn’t get completely screwed up.
  • #4 – Maps. I’ve loved maps since I was a little kid reading National Geographic. In hindsight, I’m amazed I didn’t enter the GIS field, seeing how much I like technology and maps. A few years back, I added a bookmark in my browser toolbar for Google Maps and use that all the time to look up news events, figure out directions, find bike routes and many other things. Wasn’t an early fan of Apple Maps on my phone, but it’s improved a lot and usually gets used now even when I know where I’m going.
  • #3 – Shopping. This category also seems like a dual-edged sword: convenience and low prices vs. the death of small local businesses (not to mention questionable labor practices and environmental impacts). But I’m not just talking Amazon here – shopping for cameras at B&H in New York, comparing reviews from Target and Best Buy and finding rare and out of stock items on eBay are all things that weren’t possible when I was growing up (or were much more difficult). I still prefer to buy some things in person (most groceries and clothes, for example), but other items are just way easier from Bezos & Company. The Target app pick-up routine is pretty stellar too.
  • #2 – Cloud Computing. This was another thing I thought was dumb in the beginning – mainly because I thought it was just marketing hype. I hosted this site for many years on Mac mini hardware that I sent off “to the cloud,” co-located in various data centers that were not my house. Of course today’s cloud world is much more advanced and I have my current playground set up at AWS (that Bezos guy again). I only scratch the surface of all the things you can do there, but it is so much easier in my use case to fire up a virtual instance in Lightsail and go from there.
  • #1 – Blogs. I’ve written a lot about how much I love publishing this site, but it’s still amazing to me that anyone in the free world with time, knowledge and a relatively small amount of money can have an avenue to self-publish their message to most of the world, instantly. The way I do it takes a little more effort, but there are lots of easier and cheaper options out there too. I own my data, have full control over the look and generally have few restrictions on what I can publish. People can find me via search engines (which all seem to be getting worse), follow the RSS or ActivityPub feeds or add this blog as a bookmark in their browser (hi, family!). Love it.

There are still days when I really want to unplug from everything and move to a cabin in the woods, but this list represents why I would probably still want that cabin to have a high-speed internet connection…

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15 Years of iOS App Store

Pic posted July 11, 2023

Some real winners in that first batch of apps, eh?

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And…Threads review is done

Pic posted July 9, 2023

Instagram is required and I guess my old deleted account is locking out @kingsbury?

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The Art of Being Social

Posted July 7, 2023

This picture from Andy Allen of all the various Twitter-like apps now fighting for attention, along with Meta’s launch of Threads this week, really made me think about the current state of social media in 2023. As I’ve written on this site many times in the past, I find social media to be a fascinating bit of technology that has had a profound impact on life in the last two decades.

I also don’t really like most of it. Hmm.

When I think back to my primary uses of social media, it’s really been as much to stay informed as it’s been to stay connected to people. Since launching this site back in 2006, I’ve supplemented social media with posts here to keep family and friends updated on personal news (and have often automated connections between those services and this site). It automatically produces RSS feeds and content is now pushed to the Fediverse using the ActivityPub plugin. I also love this site as a way to learn new technologies and skills, such as WordPress, PHP, MySQL, Linux and AWS.

It seems like one by one, my favorite social media companies have done questionable things (Doctorow’s enshittification) that caused me to close up shop: Facebook, Instagram, then Twitter. I miss family from Facebook, restaurants from Instagram and some really awesome people on Twitter. I still keep my LinkedIn open for work reasons (after closing it once) and I’ve really grown to like my Mastodon experience. Was never on TikTok or Snapchat and it seems like I will be on the Bluesky waitlist forever (their new domain revenue model is certainly interesting). Don’t think I will try Threads at this point, given my issues with past Facebook products, but I am cautiously optimistic that the promised interactivity with the Fediverse will happen.

Read more…

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Warp Speed Mr. Sulu

Pic posted July 5, 2023

Watch out, Fediverse, Zucky bumped up his clock

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No. No. No. Hell no.

Pic posted July 3, 2023

Threads, an Instagram app data privacy panel

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The DK Apple Wish List/Road Map

Posted June 21, 2023

Now that the WWDC news has faded (and resurrected again today with the new beta releases and SDK), I’ve started to think about what my next purchases will be. I’m super fortunate to have great working gear right now, so there is no big rush on anything. Apple hardware just lasts such a long time: my home office iMac is from 2017 and my Apple Watch is a Series 5, which was released in 2019. I use both daily and they still work great.

My laptop, tablet and phone are all newer and also get heavy daily use. Thanks to the iPhone Upgrade Program, I do tend to turn in phones every year for the newest model. My only decision this year will be if I want to move back up to the larger screen or not. If the best camera ends up being exclusive to the Max, I’ll probably do a 256GB Pro Max.

If I were to order a new work laptop today, I’d go with the new 15-inch MacBook Air. $1499 for the base 8/512 model is a great value. A fully loaded 24/2TB model goes for $2499, which is what I’d get for a personal use laptop. My 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro will likely last a long, long time, though. I mainly use my iPad Pro for watching video on the treadmill, so I don’t see needing a new tablet anytime soon either (same goes for our AppleTV units).

I’ll reserve all opinions on the Vision Pro until the developers go wild and I get a chance to see if my specific optical prescription will even work with the custom inserts. My initial reaction was overall positive (and much different than I expected from the rumors), but also that I probably wouldn’t want one right away. The reality is that I’ve thought that about most of the recent platform additions, but ended up buying all of them in the end (most on launch day too).

Outside of the next phone, though, here are my top 3 wish list purchases: 1) Apple Watch Ultra with Black/Gray Trail Loop, 2) the next version of the AirPods Max and 3) the next version of the iMac…

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🫡 June 2023 Apple Updates

Posted June 21, 2023

macOS Ventura 13.4.1 ✅, iOS 16.5.1 ✅, iPadOS 16.5.1 ✅, watchOS 9.5.1 ✅ (no tvOS update so far)

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Mastodon June 2023 Update

Posted June 15, 2023

After reading a blog post called “Why did the #TwitterMigration fail?” by Bloonface, I thought, “what kind of name is Bloonface?” Then I thought, I should write an update to my April Mastodon post. So here we are.

To be honest, I haven’t been following user numbers like I did at the beginning, so I can’t verify the “active user numbers have dropped off a cliff” statement. All I know is that a few friends who joined don’t post much and none of my family have created accounts, but WWDC week on Mastodon for me was as busy as any on Twitter. I’m now following 307 accounts and easily see similar daily traffic on Ivory as I did on Tweetbot.

I only have 34 followers, so I’ve never really been exposed to trolls or gatekeepers. As a white male, I also don’t get any of the crap that women and people of color often experience on social media platforms. And since I’m on mastodon.social, I’ve never had any issues with the moderators or their policies and I think the only service issue was spam-related (and addressed quickly).

For me, going back to Twitter is a non-starter. I don’t really care all that much about decentralization or that the platform runs on open source tools, but I do love that my Ivory timeline is just the people I follow, in chronological order, with no ads. Still waiting for my Bluesky invite to do a trial there, but I don’t see that ever being like the Tweetbot/Ivory experience. And what a hype machine they have – all that press and buzz for 100K accounts?

Running an instance is too expensive and has too many issues (in my opinion), so just like with email servers, I’ve decided I will pass on that indefinitely. I don’t currently pay for mastodon.social, but I would (and probably will eventually). Mastodon is my only social media (outside of LinkedIn), so I guess that makes me “weird relative to the rest of the Internet.”

Stay weird, Mastodon, stay weird…

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LVTC Rochester Field Trip

Pic posted June 13, 2023

Fascinating visit to the medical capital of the world

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Link: Well this is pretty cool 🎶

Linked June 11, 2023

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WWDC 2023 Highlights

Pic posted June 5, 2023

There was some other stuff too…

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Link: Artificial Intelligence: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Linked May 31, 2023

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WWDC23 – Apple Fans Unite!

Posted May 30, 2023

It’s almost time – the 2023 edition of the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference starts next week in California. It’s now been 15 years since my last in-person WWDC and I can’t remember the last time I signed in to the developer site. But I did attend a bunch of them back in the day (four years in a row starting in 1998, then again from 2003 through 2008).

Most recent WWDCs have dropped all pretense of having an enterprise IT track and just focus on people writing code (which is perfectly fine – there are other options for Apple admins). It was always fun to be a developer party-crasher, though. And as Bynkii says, it’s really all about the people you get to meet while attending that makes it so special.

My Mastodon social community has a heavy Apple developer focus, so it’s been fun reading everything that people are getting excited for on day one. Personally, I’m not a fan of virtual reality googles, so those rumors don’t do much for me. Would probably be most excited about the 15-inch MacBook Air rumors if I wasn’t already locked in to my 14-inch MacBook Pro for the foreseeable future…

Keynote: Monday, June 5 @ 12:00pm central
State of the Union: Monday, June 5 @ 3:30pm central

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