Category Archives: Computing

iPhones and iPads

Laura and I have been saving up for awhile so we can afford some new toys from Apple. We’ve sacrificed without for so long, we decided that now is the time to jump on the technology band wagon and enter the 21st century. I’m talking about the new iPhone 4 and the iPad.

For over four years, I’ve had the same free phone from T-Mobile that I got when I signed up with them. Because it was free, it had no camera, no web, no mp3 player, no radio, no extras, no nothing. I could text on it, but it was a huge pain to even do that. The phone has served me well enough for what I use a phone for (to make calls — imagine that) and I had even bought a second battery to replace the original that failed two years ago. It was a four and a half year run, but with the dawn of the new iPhone 4, the ship had finally sailed on my old phone.
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Apple: Price vs. Value

Have you balked at the idea of a new Mac because of price? Do you hate the idea of an “Apple Tax” or inflated price? If that’s you, I encourage you to read this post by Other World Computer here.

There really isn’t an apple tax, Apple is just a smaller company vs. giants like Toshiba, Sony, Dell, and the like. Because of this, they don’t offer 10 versions of the same computer, priced from stripped down crazy cheap to maxed out super expensive like the big boys do. Can you find a $400 Toshiba? Sure, but it won’t match the specs of an Apple. If you compare Apples to Apples (pardon the pun) Mac’s are often right on par with everyone else. Or are they? If you read the above article, you’ll realize that Mac’s are often more affordable than the competition when you factor in things like security, down time, virus protection and problems, and so forth.
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Fun iPad Apps and a warning

My aunt gave her sister (my mom) an iPad as a gift and while Laura and I are visiting my parents, “the pad” has turned into quite a hit for all of us. Some of the games that can be had for free or just a few bucks have kept my simple-minded brain occupied for hours. If you have or are getting an iPad soon, take note of some apps I’ve come to love, and heed one warning I’ve come to find.

Flight Control HD. The game is one of the best selling ever for the iPhone, and it’s even better on the iPad. At five bucks, it’s worth every penny as you play air traffic controller to guide planes safely to the runway. Don’t let the planes collide! As the game progresses, more and more planes enter the screen and it’s as addictive as caffeine. Choose several different airfields to work and even play with multiple players.
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More Apple updates

Apple has just updated both their MacMini and Safari to the latest additions this week. The new MacMini looks sleek while Safari 5 provides us with some great new features to help surf and ingest the web.

First, the MacMini is a great way to start with the switch to Mac, because it’s the whole Mac experience in just a little box. Most people already have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, so all they have to add is the MacMini to open themselves to the Mac World. With options up to 8 Gig of ram, it can be quite the performer too. The best way to upgrade or buy and Mac is to buy it stripped down with the smallest hard drive and least amount of Ram from Apple, and then head over to and buy a new, larger hard drive and more ram, for much less than what Apple will sell it. It’s usually simple to pop out the old stuff and pop in the new stuff. Speaking of that, the new MacMini makes changing out the memory a snap. A large rubberized pad that it sits on can be easily removed to expose the insides of the computer to change out things like the memory. What a great idea!
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A new sheriff in town

Apple just unveiled their latest phone: iPhone 4.

The best features, in my opinion, are the forward facing camera for video chats, two microphones to help cancel out unwanted background noise, and the new high resolution screen. Check out all the amazing features of the new Standard for phones here, or click on the iPhone above. Laura and I may just have to spring for this puppy because it looks awesome. The phone I currently have doesn’t even have a camera, and I’ve always had the cheapest of the cheap when it comes to mobile phones. I think it’s time I step up. You should too.

Available June 24th (my anniversary) and pre-orders are taken starting June 15th. Enjoy!

iPad 3G is here

Do you have yours yet? Click on the picture of the iPad to go to the Apple store to check out pricing and options.

The two models are the Wifi model, and the Wifi + 3G model. The 3G model uses iPhone mobile technology to access the internet anywhere there is AT&T; service, whereas the Wifi only model needs a wifi network to access the internet. The 3G model also comes with a built in GPS for added functionality with apps and helping you find where you are and where you are going.
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Keeping files safe on the Mac

Do you have files on your Mac that you want to keep safe from prying eyes, or from someone who steals your laptop? I keep a spreadsheet file with all my online passwords written in it, and I don’t want that file accessed by someone who steals my laptop, or looks at my computer without my knowledge. There are two ways to keep files safe on your Mac: a simple way, and more secure but complicated way.

The safer but more of a hassle solution is to use the built in application called FileVault, that can encrypt your entire Home folder. It is serious encryption so if you forget your password, you’re files are gone forever. It can be turned on in System Preferences. Sometimes though, this extra secure method can cause problems with other computer applications needing access to files inside your home folder, or if you share files in your home folder with other computers on your network. Maybe you are like me and don’t want the entire home folder protected, just a few files. If so, there is an easier way to keep files safe on the Mac.
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