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Filling a Vacuum

Back in July of 2009 I launched this site as a “hobby” to share my interests in and opinions of all things Apple. Yep, I jumped in with about a bazillion other Apple enthusiasts hoping to get in my “two cents”. My buddy Ken & I thought it would be a good idea to produce and publish a podcast too, so off I went to the audio sites and bought mics, mixers, web cams and a bunch of software to make the whole thing work. Man, did we have a ball. Neither Ken nor I had ever been a musician or otherwise worked with audio/video tech, so our learning curve was really steep. We spent a ton of time keeping up with “all things Apple”. We poured over media, traveled to Apple events like Macworld Expo and WWDC every year and even made a couple of pilgrimages to Cupertino and visited with a couple of Apple engineers we came to know. 

Ken and I managed to publish 36 episodes of “The MacTexan” podcast between early 2010 and mid 2012 before our thick skulls managed to absorb the fact that we were broadcasting to a loyal but very small audience. Alas, our dreams of notoriety were dashed, but boy did we have fun and learned a lot in the process.

I continued to publish articles here regularly, but even those were becoming less and less frequent. This site, which once saw over 5000 unique visits per month has now dwindled into obscurity due to my lack of new content. I chalk it up to my laziness. I’m still as enthusiastic about Apple as I ever was, but generating new content becomes problematic when my give-a-shit meter pegs out low when measuring my desire to spend a couple hours composing my normal 2000-word post. What was once a passion increasingly became a chore. I’m no good at chores, especially since I retired and moved from my beloved Texas to our beautiful new home in the resort town of Sedona, Arizona. When my friends ask what I’m up to since retiring, I give a stock answer,...

“I’m working really hard... being the laziest man alive!” 

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AirPods, After 14 Months No Buyer's Remorse

About a year ago, I wrote this piece extoling the terrific job Apple did creating what I consider to be the best in-ear monitors available. I thought I’d check back in with a brief update to let you know how I feel about my AirPods after owning them for fourteen months.


So, if you’re in a hurry, you can stop reading now.

Otherwise, I’d like to expand on that statement just a bit.

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The Keyboard Apple Should Have Made

As you may have gathered from reading, I’m a bit of a keyboard freak. My wife often comments on how many old keyboards I have stacked in my “IT supply closet”. Well, there’s a couple of reason for that. Firstly, I almost never use the cheap keyboards supplied by PC manufacturers by default. They are invariably total crap. Dell is the worst. I’m a big fan of Dell computers. I have an Optiplex running Linux right now. I use it as a file/media server. The keyboard that came with the box was a $10 throw away. Functional, but that’s about the best I can say. I used it for two days before switching to a full-sized Apple keyboard and putting the Dell clunker back in its box and into my closet. After 30 years in the IT business, this process has been repeated a dozen times at least. Next, I’m a sucker for the latest and greatest. I often replace perfectly good keyboards just to try something newer or prettier. Sometimes these newer, prettier keyboards don’t suit me. The action may not be to my liking or the layout doesn’t please me. Whatever. That probably adds another half-dozen to my pile. I’m also a bit nostalgic. I still have my old, original IBM mechanical keyboard that came with my first computer (a real-deal 8088 IBM PC). Besides Apple, IBM was the only PC company to supply a truly high-quality keyboard with their machines. I keep it even though it no longer works properly, thinking I’ll get around to repairing it someday. I’ve had it almost 37 years now. I just can’t bring myself to discard it. It brings back too many good memories.

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America, Watch Texas and Learn

When we retired, my wife and I moved to Sedona, Arizona last November. Sixty-one years ago, I was born in Baytown, Texas, about 30 miles east of downtown Houston. My two daughters and their families still live in Houston. Both have been displaced from their flooded homes. The home I sold last November has 7 feet of water in it right now. Thankfully, my daughters, their families and all my former neighbors are safe.

Since Saturday I’ve been glued to the TV watching the news coverage of Hurricane Harvey and doing my best to lend moral support to my daughters who have lost virtually all their material belongings. I try to remind them that everything truly important is safe and that anything that can be built can be re-built. I’m not sure my words help as they watch their homes fill with multiple feet of water.

Watching the news coverage does give me reason for hope. Unlike with hurricane Katrina, I’m not seeing a lot of victims standing around waiting for the government to help. I’m seeing every Texan with a boat or tall vehicle rescuing and helping their neighbors and other fellow Texans. Private citizens taking it upon themselves to give their time and resources to do everything they can to keep loss of life in Houston to a minimum. There is no talk of race or political affiliation. Just Texans, black, white and brown all doing everything they can to mitigate the suffering caused by Harvey.

Take a look, America. This is who we Texans truly are. When the chips are down, we don’t waste time and energy pointing fingers and blaming others for our plight. Our first instinct is to ask ourselves what we can do to help, then doing it. As always, my fellow Texans are making me proud to count myself among them. The rest of this country would do well to watch…




…and LEARN!  


iOS 11 Public Beta: Good enough for Everyday Use

I’ve been in the Apple Developer Program for almost 10 years. I’ve done some contract development work for a couple of companies, but for the most part, I just like access to Apple’s new stuff before everyone else. That meant a lot more before Apple’s Public Beta program began a few years ago. Still, a hundred bucks per year is a small fee for total access to all the goodies Apple puts on their developer site. I’ve always kept older model iPhones and iPads around to use as “Guinee pigs” for trying out Apple’s newest and shiniest software releases. One thing I’ve learned through the years: once an OS release gets to the “public beta” phase, the chances of bricking or otherwise FUBARing a device with it is almost nil. (DISCLAIMER: I said almost!) iOS betas usually go public at the beta 2 or beta 3 release. By that time Apple has found and corrected most all of the severe errors that could cause OS crashes. So it is with iOS 11.

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