In preparation for our upcoming trip, Jen and I were talking about whether we were going to bring cameras to Europe. Having sold my lightweight Fuji rig earlier this year, I was looking at hauling around a full-size DSLR and lens if I was going that route, which was less than optimal. Looking at our iPhones, we both came to the decision that it was time to upgrade from our 4+ year old iPhone SEs to something a little more modern, and use those for shooting photos. Jen and I are slow-walking technophiles: we are surrounded by technology but we upgrade only when we have to. We tend to keep our stuff until it’s either broken down or technologically unsupported; she’s using a 9-year-old laptop and I finally upgraded an 11-year-old machine this year.

Our phones have been rock solid and reliable but they’re getting long in the tooth. My battery is only good for a couple hours and the single-lens camera is functional but not optimal. So we went to the Apple Store on Sunday to pick out some new phones. After a little research we both settled on the iPhone 15 Pro, which is only a little larger than our SE’s but all screen, with the fancy camera, better processor, more storage, and most importantly, a long-lasting battery.

We set Jen up first and went so far as to having the boxed phone on the counter, but AT&T’s activation servers were down so they couldn’t get the process started. So we had to leave empty-handed, and have to return tonight to try again.

Meanwhile, I’m considering taking the Yashica TLR with me, because I can’t be without a giant heavy mechanical object of some kind. Or maybe I’ll respool some film and take one of the 620 cameras instead…

Date posted: June 10, 2024 | Filed under apple, photography | 1 Comment »

I was bummed out to read yesterday that Panera is discontinuing its line of “charged” lemonades because two people died after drinking too much of it. Two years ago, when we were cleaning out my father-in-law’s house, we were hitting the Panera pretty regularly and I was using the strawberry mint lemonade to push through hot summer weekends humping trash into a dumpster. I liked it because it didn’t have the same laxative effect coffee does to my 50-year-old digestive system. Around here they keep it behind the counter and you have to pay for refills, but I’ve been in other stores where you can just go up and refill it yourself. I wonder if they ever considered that from a failure of design vs. a liability standpoint; I guess we’ll never know.

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The YouTube channel has now gotten 110 subscribers, which is roughly 1% of what I’d actually need to monetize the thing. I made an introduction video to beef up the channel and have followed some of the Creators advice that has suddenly popped up in my feed to juice up my stats; the low-hanging fruit seems to be working, albeit slowly. The channel is designed mostly as a way to remember what it is I’ve worked on while also practicing filming and editing skills, and testing out some different methods of shooting things, much like this weblog acts as my institutional memory. Which is good, because the details get very fuzzy before COVID.

Speaking of editing, Apple just announced they’re releasing Final Cut Pro 2.0 sometime later this year, which is good news—so long as they don’t move all the furniture around again. I’m going to have the fellas at work give me a crash course in Adobe Premiere sometime soon so that we can trade files back and forth, but my heart will always live with FCP, much like it did with the dearly departed Aperture.

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I’m currently feel very proud of myself; walking the dog this morning, I passed a house with a bunch of stuff out front under a big FREE sign. One of the things was a beautiful steel floor-standing cabinet with a beefy handle/lock combination, several built-in shelves and two enclosed drawers. My lizard brain screamed GO GET THE TRUCK RIGHT NOW but the smaller mammalian section  counseled me to do a mental map of the interior of the garage, which is completely full. BUT YOU COULD PUT STUFF IN THERE, lizard brain responded. Try as I might, I don’t have any room, nor do I really need a cabinet such as this with the space that I have. So I kept walking.

And on the way home I resolved to put a bunch of crap in the basement out by the curb on Saturday morning under a FREE sign. Let’s make some more room.

Date posted: May 9, 2024 | Filed under apple, life | Leave a Comment »

Christmas at the Lockardugan compound is behind us, and we all had a great day together. Finn came downstairs late as is their prerogative as a teen, to a lit tree surrounded by presents and a happy crackling fire in the fireplace. As usual, they had the lion’s share of gifts, but that’s part of the fun of being a parent. We lounged about the house for the rest of the day in our pajamas, enjoying the ability to relax. Jen set up a roast and I helped put together the sides, and we sat down for a lovely Christmas meal together at the table.

I bought Jen a second gallette iron from eBay way back in July or so, and finally was able to give it to her. Last year she made a batch but was complaining about how long it took to accomplish with one iron, so I immediately made a note and set up a watchlist on eBay. This one was priced well below all the others and came in the original box, so I immediately pulled the trigger and hid it in the basement for months. The look on her face when she opened it was priceless.

I also got her a new iPad for Christmas because she typically wanders the house with her AirPods in and something playing on her phone. I figured she would enjoy having something with a larger screen to watch while she’s in the kitchen or at her desk, or merely sitting on the couch. We attempted to merge her settings over from her phone on Christmas day, but her iCloud account has been completely jammed full for months now, and there isn’t enough room to back up her phone, so it refused to merge her account information. This meant she needs to clear data off her phone, and we all know how painful it is to do that by hand on a tiny screen. I used a spare drive to back up all of the photos, but we’re going to need to set up the iPad manually, which is always a drag. When that’s done she can use it to go through her photos faster and easier.

On a side note, for months I’ve been wondering why my Keychain passwords weren’t showing up on my iPad, and while I had some time I looked up the solution: signing out of my iCloud account on all my devices, restarting them, and then signing back into each one in the proper order. Kind of a pain in the ass, especially because it forgets all of my Wallet settings—my debit cards and Maryland ID. Once I’d done that, though, all my passwords appeared on all devices; hallelujah.

Date posted: December 28, 2023 | Filed under apple, family | Leave a Comment »

Apple is now selling us, the faithful, a USB-C case for the AirPods Pro as a standalone item, for $99. Apparently it’s not shipping until after Christmas. I think I’ll probably wind up upgrading my AirPods as a unit when these die, but it’s good to know that’s an option. In terms of useful appliances I use every day, I’d have to rank AirPods in the top 3—and they show the wear and tear. (via)

Date posted: December 13, 2023 | Filed under apple, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Apparently Goldman Sachs is rethinking their banking partnership with Apple; apparently they didn’t understand that consumer banking was hard, and stuff. There’s no telling how they’re going to exit the partnership, or who is going to take it over from here, but all of the executives who were originally in charge of it have bailed out, according to the WSJ. I’ve been nothing but happy with my Apple Card, and paying it is easier than checking Instagram. My savings account keyed to this card is earning 4.15% APR, which is better than any other bank account I’ve had in my life. I really hope they’re able to keep it running smoothly; as of August they had over $10B in deposits.

Date posted: November 28, 2023 | Filed under apple, money, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

This seems like something that should have been A Thing five years ago, but is only now just appearing: Orion is an app for the iPad that lets you use it as a second monitor for any device with a HDMI out port—things like digital cameras or video game consoles, for example. The obvious choice here is a digital camera; I’d love to try this with a camera up on a 10′ pole to preview the image, for example, or to really take time to compose an image and see what it looks like before hitting the shutter button. Brought to us by the folks who built Halide, a more powerful (but somewhat obtusely designed) camera app for the iPhone. One caveat: it requires iOS 17, as Apple finally built external webcam support into that release.

Date posted: October 10, 2023 | Filed under apple, photography, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

This is really interesting for a Mac user: Apple has introduced something called Safari web apps in macOS 14 Sonoma where you can save a webpage as a standalone application in the dock which shares no browsing history, cookies, website data, or settings with Safari. It’s helpful for sites where you have multiple logins and avoiding explicit tracking within websites.

Date posted: October 3, 2023 | Filed under apple, geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

While we were waiting in the TSA screening line in Puerto Rico, I noticed a sign that mentioned fliers could use a digital ID on their phone in place of a physical card, and remembered that Apple was offering this service through the Wallet app. I’d tried to set it up months ago but got stuck in a loop, so I made a note to set it up when we returned home.

The process was pretty simple; you shoot a photo of the front and back of your ID and send it through their system for verification, and a few days later get an email that notifies you of approval. Apparently you can bring the ID up and tap it on a smart device to verify your identity. I’d imagine the number of these smart devices is small, but my guess is that this is another look into the future.

On a somewhat related subject, I used my Apple Card to pay for all of the charges for the trip and this new laptop, and through the cash back feature of that account, I’m seeing the balance in my savings account there slowly creep upwards. I’m going to experiment with adding some additional cash into that savings account, as it’s the highest yield account I have (fuck off, Bank of America) and see how things go.

Date posted: August 19, 2023 | Filed under apple, money | Leave a Comment »

I’m very much enjoying a modern computer running modern software which allows me to take advantage of all of the new bells and whistles. Regular readers will recall that I’m a master of nursing out-of-date equipment along way past its expiration date. What I’ve got now is a laptop with a day’s worth of solid battery life that will recognize my Apple Watch when I’m wearing it, and wake itself up without me needing to log in. For that matter, when I don’t have the watch, I’ve now got fingerprint unlock—something I’ve had on my work machines for several years but never at home. My AirPods are smart enough to know when I’m close to it, and if I start watching a video or sitting on a call, it’ll ask me politely if I want to connect them instead of just taking over. Finally, something I haven’t messed with too much is Sidecar, where I can hook my iPad up to the laptop and use it as a second monitor. I haven’t really been getting my money’s worth out of the iPad, but that’s something I need to double down on, because it is a super-useful tool for illustration.

Date posted: July 30, 2023 | Filed under apple | Leave a Comment »

As I get older, I’m terrified that years of poor decisions and loud shows will leave me deaf. Dad’s hearing was getting bad, although Mom seems to be holding steady. Via Daring Fireball, here’s a handy guide to using AirPods as an inexpensive hearing aid.

Date posted: July 25, 2023 | Filed under apple, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »