Quick Rant: Why Can’t the New Apple Refurb Store Show Specs?

OK, so maybe it’s telling that I noticed this, but recently Apple changed the way it presents items in the “refurbished/clearance” section of its store. (Maybe I know this because maybe I’m an obsessive tech shopper and maybe I check it multiple times per week. Don’t judge.)

Unfortunately, as is happening just a little too often with Apple these days, the changes mean the page in now prettier, and less functional.

Now, on some level I can see why Apple decided to redesign that part of the store. Here it is from the Wayback machine (h/t 9to5Mac by way of Ubergizmo.com):

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 10.24.14 PM

So, yeah, sure, probably due for a redesign.

Continue reading “Quick Rant: Why Can’t the New Apple Refurb Store Show Specs?”

Google Pixel Taking a Run at iPhone Users?

phone_hero-module_hero-image_1440_2xGoogle announced Google Pixel phones this week, focusing on how they incorporate Google Assistant seamlessly into the software and harping a lot on the quality of the camera, Google Duo (for Facetime/Skype-style calls) and the DayDream View VR headset.

So what’s the pitch on the Google Pixel? Is this interesting for Mac/iOS folks?

At first glance (and second and third) it’s amazing the similarities to the iPhone, including not just the look of the device, but the features Google is touting and even how it’s marketing the Pixel.

It seems to me that Google is taking control of the hardware and software experience with Android in a way that it never has, and the “feel” of that branding experience is very Apple-like. The rollout even focuses on how easy it is to switch to Pixel—something Apple has focused on for years.

(I noticed that, scrolling the Pixel’s page, there isn’t a cute little Android icon anywhere. The word “Android” shows up twice in the text and twice in footnotes. In other words, they’re burying “Android” in place of “Google.”)

The more I look at this, the more it looks like a play directly for Apple users—especially those of us who use a lot of Google products and could imagine being comfortable in that eco-system.

For those of us who are Gmail/Google Map/Google Calendar/Google Apps users… the thought becomes: ‘Maybe I’d be better off with a Google phone.’

(Check out this podcast discussion I had with Brian about the Pixel, another iPhone user.)

For some Apple users, it’s the chaos of the Android ecosystem that keeps us away from the lower-priced and sometimes better-equipped phones.

If Google can overcome that, they may have some switchers on their hands.

My Thoughts on Apple Watch

s1-42-alu-space-sport-black-gridA little after Christmas I started to see deals from Best Buy proclaiming $100 off the Apple Watch; in its earliest moments I’d written the watch off as too expensive for what I figured it would do for me.

Plus, I’d gotten to where I wasn’t wearing watches anymore, particularly since I spend so much time typing on a MacBook Air… with most watches end up taking off my watch for most of the day to keep from scratching the wrist rest.

But, given the discount, my obsessive-compulsive shopping sickness kicked in and a started watching the Best Buy site. Did I want all-black (er, “Space Gray”) or the white band with the silver face? I was determined to stick with the cheapest options—$249 for the basic watch with the aluminum case. (Stainless steel was attractive, but I shunned it.) I decided I’d go with the 38mm face because, I told myself, it’s not like the point is to show it off. I just want to see how it works for me.

When I finally pulled the trigger, I went for a refurbished space gray that dropped the price even further to around $225. I ordered it online and drove about 10 miles to Best Buy to collect it.

A comedy of errors ensued.

Continue reading “My Thoughts on Apple Watch”

Scamming Web Designers?

I got this via the JFP’s contact form today:

I’m XXXX,I am an hearing impaired,I would love to know if you can handle website design for a new company and also if you do you accept credit cards ?? kindly get back to me ASAP via my e-mail(XXXX1960@outlook.com) so i can send you the job details.

And thought to myself… well, I guess it’d be rude not to write back, even though this sounds scam-y. But then I googled that whole paragraph and came upon this:


The money quote from iHenix:

Seriously? She wants me to charge her credit card and then send money to someone else? Plus I receive a $200 tip? I hate to use an old cliche but if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

So, just a heads up (and to drop this into Google in case others are searching and need additional confirmation) caveat designer.

Mac Tools I Love: GraphicConverter

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 4.24.28 PM

Recently I’ve come across a few Mac folks (creatives, designer types) who surprised me by not being aware of GraphicConverter, which is my go-to application for most anything, well, graphic-y.

I’m not much of a PhotoShop maven; if you’re knee deep in Adobe products, then GraphicConverter might not be super-relevant to you. But for the rest of us, GraphicConverter is a very convenient way to translate images between formats, change image sizes, add background colors—even create illustrations, Web ads and other items from scratch.

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Importing Apple Notes into EverNote

I had forgotten how awesome AppleScript can be until I Googled how to make this happen.


I ran across a brilliant post of an AppleScript script that will import your Apple Notes into EverNote – here’s the original post:


And here’s the script – just cut and paste this into the Apple Script Editor application:


tellapplication “Notes”

set theMessages toeverynote

repeatwith thisMessage in theMessages

set myTitle tothe name of thisMessage

set myText tothe body of thisMessage

set myCreateDate tothe creation date of thisMessage

set myModDate tothe modification date of thisMessage

tellapplication “Evernote”

set myNote tocreate note with text myTitle title myTitle notebook “Imported Notes” tags [“imported_from_notes”, “Mavericks”, “Another_Example_Tag”]

setthe HTML content of myNote to myText

setthe creation date of myNote to myCreateDate

setthe modification date of myNote to myCreateDate





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