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):
Price: $199 TiVo Roamio + $19.99 month ($14.99 with 1-year commitment)
I keep thinking I’m a cord-cutter… and then comes football season.
Sometimes I feel like the Colin Firth/Jimmy Fallon’s character in Fever Pitch, because all throughout the winter and spring months I’m free to do anything I want on the weekends — work out, take long drives with Ms. D., visit the Farmer’s Market… and cut my cable back to those 13 super-basic channels (like no-tell motel cable) and then happily scrimp by with my Roku, Apple TV and some reasonably high-speed broadband. (I don’t know that I actually need both the Roku and Apple TV anymore, but I’ve maintained the habit of switching to the other when one “misbehaves.”)
But then here comes August — and the College Football headlines… and NFL preseason — and I tell myself I can handle it.
Nothing to worry about; I’m not even paying THAT much attention to the games. Look… I’m talking to people amicable during a pre-season Saints game.
And then, about a week before the season starts, I’m suddenly sitting on the phone and online chats for the better part of a day trying like hell to get the SEC Channel to turn on by 7:00 p.m. that evening.
By the next weekend, I’m installing a CableCard in a new (to me) TiVo Roamio so it could substitute for my cable box and spending another full Saturday afternoon calling hotline after hotline trying to get all my channels to show up on the damn thing…
And then on Sunday… I’m jumping up and down, poking my television, cussing like a drunk sailor and wonder WHAT IN THE $%&@ IS THAT REF THINKING?!…
But I digress. First things first… why did I go TiVo?
It’s not often that Ms. D suggests that we head to the Apple Store… but that’s what we did on Saturday after stopping by Latinfest to throw JFP t-shirts to the crowd.
Why? She wanted to see the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and decide which one she’s leaning toward — spoiler alert — she’s thinking 6 Plus.
That surprises me a little because I’ve never thought of Ms. D as the “phablet” type (and, quite frankly, I’m fairly certain she’ll never use that word). Still, it makes sense — she hauls her iPhone around in a purse most of the time and won’t feel the size is an encumbrance; what she will enjoy is the full glory of her social media — particularly Instagram — on the 5.5″ screen. And reading magazine stories (something she does for a living as well as for a pastime) should be that much more enjoyable, especially considering she and I are both upgrading from iPhone 4s.
With a sudden onslaught of interns and recent college grads at the JFP, I’m finding our one sad little wireless hotspot — a Belkin router that seems limited to 802.11g speeds — is cramping everyone’s style.
Not only are our wireless connections running slowly (in particularly the MacBook Airs in the office that have not Ethernet alternative), but every once in a while the router just gives up and I’ve got to go restart it.
So, I decided it was time to upgrade. And while I had my heart set on a Apple router, the price tag can scare anyone who (a.) has taken a fleeting glance at third-party routers on Amazon and (b.) can do math.
The story linked above was very helpful in encouraging me to believe that we could get away with a fourth generation Airport Extreme router, which I just bought from eBay for $50 shipped. I’ll post an updated once it’s unpacked and in the office, but I’m already looking forward to the dual antennas and “guest” access mode.
When Ms. D’s laptop got a bath of water a few weeks ago in a coffee shop, I got the feeling an emergency Mac switcheroo was afoot; it turned out that the MacBook was lost to water damage and the drive salvageable; so while her 2009 aluminum MacBook’s brain got a temporary reprieve in a 2007 MacBook’s shell, it was clear that she would need a more permanent upgrade.
My typical M.O. is to upgrade me and then give her my machine, and she was all for it for a number of reasons:
My 2010 13-inch MacBook Air was lighter than her MacBook, which she found compelling.
The 2010 could run Mac OS 10.7.x, which is important, because she still needs to be able to use InDesign CS2, which craps out at Mac OS 10.8 and higher.
My old 2010 has a 256GB SSD, and she was coming down from a 400GB internal hard disk, so if she was destined for an Air, she was going to need a decent-sized SSD to squeeze into.
My goal, as usual, was to get something… different. My MacBook Air has been a constant companion for well over a year with nary a complain, but I’ve been eager to try an 11-inch model for sheer portability on sales calls and presentations. Plus, the 2010 was starting to stagger a big under my inevitable load of open windows.
But moving to an 11-inch MacBook Air — and keeping within my budget — was going to mean a smaller SSD; the 11-inch does offer a 256GB, but only in the latest models, meaning more expensive. (I never buy new Macs — sorry Apple. Thanks to making the used ones so great!)
I had to move quickly in this emergency search but found a nice match on eBay within the budget — a 2012 model with 4GB RAM, a faster 128GB SSD, not to mention USB 3.0 and faster graphics than I was accustomed to.
Now… how to get her 350GB of files onto that 256GB — and my 200GB of files onto that 128GB SSD?
If you’re like me, you use a lot of web applications — stuff like Gmail, iCloud, Soundcloud, Pandora, Basecamp etc. For running our newspaper company I’ve got business applications such as Ace of Sales, Magazine Manager, Google Analytics and Constant Contact that run in a browser window and that I’m using all the time.
And what’s the most annoying thing about running so many applications in browser windows? Finding the app’s window when you need it.
Enter Fluid for Mac. If you’ve never heard of Fluid, this might be your favorite blog post of all time.
It’s been driving me nuts that Apple removed the Save As command from Pages and other Apple apps; a huge mistake in my opinion, particularly because I’m used to the idea of editing a file (say, a contract that I’m using for advertising) and doing a quick Save As; I *never* remember to duplicate ahead of time.
But I hadn’t bothered to Google it until today; and I immediately found a pleasing answer via TUAW. It turns out it’s not a Pages thing, but an OS thing (which makes sense) and the Save As command has been returned in 10.8 and higher; it’s just hidden.
Open the File menu in Pages, Numbers or another Apple app that’s missing the Save As menu and then press Option; the Duplicate command changes to a Save As command: