Ten Digital “Musts!”

Ever since Moses had his chat with a “burning bush” it’s been:

The Ten Best Dressed , The Ten Most Wanted, up until Woodrow Wilson tried to save Europe from itself with his: “Fourteen Points”.

Georges Clemenceau famously remarked: “here he comes with 14 Points when Ten were enough for the Lord Jehovah!”

Obviously since he managed to shoehorn them into “The Treaty of Versailles” trying out do The Lord has fallen out of fashion.

I am going to list my:

Ten Essential Guide Posts
For navigating in “the digital world”:

1. Passwords are not like black sox, one size does not fit all,

2. Passwords are “case sensitive” e-mails & domains are not!

3. Each of us is one keystroke from disaster

4. Technology will let you down & at the worst possible moment,

5. It’s not a matter of what to do, if your device fails, it’s what you are going to do when it fails,

6. Every device needs a backup and/or restore copy,

7. Even Wikipedia can be wrong,

8. Nobody knows everything, it’s not necessary to be smarter than everyone, just smarter than the next guy,

9. If it looks/sounds too good to be true it probably is!

10. Over sixty-five does not equate to “terminally” stupid

On a personal level I would like to know: how to get more kernels to pop in microwave popcorn?

FYI/The magnet in your smartphone is too small to demagnetize any “key card”

Writing this list was fairly easy, getting it down to ten essential truths/guideposts was the hard part, but at least it’s given me an idea as a “new” department (newspapers call them features), which I can add to my podcast iPhone and Me™/Daily so I can “expand” on these ideas in an ever-changing landscape, perhaps more people will seek out my material.
Bonus Tip number 11 — A sharpened number two yellow never needs charging, if it has a usable eraser will never let you down!

Bonus Tip #11a/R  — Those of us “engaged” in/on “social media” are really disengaged.

In 1962 Andy Warhol famously remarked: “in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”. Little did he know, thanks to the Internet everyone can be famous for 15 seconds each and everyday!

John MaGuirk is a blogger/podcaster his blog wired615senior can be found on WordPress (wired615senior@wordpress.com) find his twice monthly podcast Wired615Senior in the iTunes Directory. Look for his forthcoming e-book “Managing Your Digital Footprint”.

PS I think Miss Cornwall would be proud of me for this!

FYI/regular listeners know Miss Cornwall was my sixth grade English teacher, a serious “blue haired” lady who taught us to look at newspapers for examples of good writing.
John MaGuirk
Previously published as a “podcast”
From his forthcoming E-book “wired senior” formery Mob Management (copyright applied for)

listen to his podcast on podomatic channel, chuckwagoncharlie@podomatic.com  on alternate Wednesdays.


Cloud Sharing

In terms of “sharing” your chosen Cloud “server”,  is where the action is.

Many creative types have over the years encountered this message “file size too large”.

I used to see this message when making an audio recordings on my iPhone before iOS/7 we were limited to a ten minute audio file.

The same restriction existed on my computer, but at least, I could save the file directly, it wasn’t as “safe” as having two copies, but better than nothing.

The creation of iCloud changed the dynamics: now a large file (MP-4 video or MP-3 audio) could be “parked” in the Cloud or DropBox for later loading to a hosting site and the act of loading aided in compressing the file.

At the same time, HD audio was born, but that’s a misnomer.

We are used to thinking of HD/TV, in truth The High Definition is in your home, on your LED TV(Light Emitting Diodes), your local TV station is broadcasting a digital signal which requires less bandwidth and Light Emitting Diodes which produces a “high definition picture” with enhanced color and less energy expended by the receiver.

As you know we are coming up on the Tenth Anniversary of the iPhone, part of that celebration includes iCloud, because it was the introduction of the smartphone and tablet which created the need for “cloud services” to handle “scattered data”

This leads to recommending an App for your iPhone — iCloud Drive — not to be confused with iDrive, which is a backup App (not associated with Apple) I have previously reviewed iDrive the App.

While iCloud debuted in 2009,  iCloud Drive didn’t come along until iOS-7 and is specifically intended for iPhones and iPads.

iCloud Drive is “home” for all of your Apple produced documents including: Pages, Numbers, Keynote and iMovie

iCloud Drive permits you to use your iPhone as a remote for Keynote (PowerPoint) projects.

It’s all so useful in sharing documents to printers in BigBox retailers

Over on the audio side by changing to a digital signal increases speed of transmission to the speed of light (186,000 mps) vs the speed of sound 1000ft a second.

You don’t notice because your home TV has always been an FM receiver and only occasionally would their be a sound delay (usually not noticed).

So we have come full circle if you are in the podcast business, as I am, having Cloud access is a Godsend.

But for ordinary users it’s also handy, you may share large files by loading your prospective attachments to your favorite Cloud server.

Readers will notice that I have spent most of my time talking about iCloud, and here’s the/411, while it’s still true you can’t share a Pages document to a PC user without changing format, however  the protocols for using your chosen Cloud server tend to be more universal.

This is the spot where in my workshop I got “gigged” for being too autobiographical, it’s true nonetheless Cloud resources are more alike than different, and to share documents between users, they have to be formatted correctly by the originator.

In my case when I am submitting something for publication by others, I create in Pages, and if I want it to be editable, I share (Apple says “Export”) as a Word document, it I just want it “read” by another, I use Portable Document Format (PDF) which makes it shareable, but not editable.

If you are a PC user,  iCloud For Windows is available from Apple, “Apple wants you to have it — There is no charge“.  iCloud For Windows replaces iCloud formerly available to PC users through The iTunes Store.

Next time — Why is a back up so important?

This is an excerpt from Cloud Basics Explained (an ebook) by John MaGuirk , you may order an copy for $6.95 or $18.95 for PDF copy inc. Priority Mail shipping by sending a request to: sideshoj@aol.com, or by USnail to BridgeMaven, P.O. Box 210111, Nashville, Tn., 37221 (when paying by check).


This is Geek of The Week Series One number 13 10 – 23 – 2017

Equifax Deserves The Corporate Death Penalty

Roy Fein (Little Hot Potato) on the web 10-20-2017

According to “Wired Opinion”:

Ron Fein is the legal director of Free Speech For People a national non-partisan non-profit organization that advocates democracy reform and corporate accountability.

The above headline precedes a four page rant about Equifax’s apparent carelessness in handling “company data,” to whit the so-called credit ratings of several million Americans, and how the company ought to be “condemned” and hounded out of business, because their corporate security was the victim of a “hack” or breach.

Well, fans it just ain’t(sic) so and I’m going to tell you why.

To begin with Equifax is a private corporation doing business in the United States of American, and their business is “snooping” and the data which they have amassed is “public information” including:   our names, addresses, and telephone numbers, and records of those companies which we might have done business with, especially if we have borrowed money or applied for a credit card.

It’s only been in the last few years, that everyone and his brother has been “pulling a credit bureau” when you:  apply for a job, make a loan application, or try to rent an apartment.

Your credit worthiness, has been a source of interest mainly for the nosey and the lazy.

I know of only one public figure who has been against this sort of “guilt by association,” and that’s Dave Ramsey, who is proud to admit his credit rating is bumping around zero, because he doesn’t borrow money!

Further he advises against the now popular pastime of “managing your credit rating”.

If you handle snakes, you are bound to get bit” : Dave Ramsey

Even as a subscriber of Zander ID Theft Insurance, I get regular admonitions to “check my three bureau’s” on a regular basis.

You see gentle reader, if you have never created an Equifax account, by which it is necessary to access their system, having their system breached, does not mean that any of “your” confidential information is at risk.

Equifax & Equifax alone is totally liable!

It’s not my information,  it’s their information, oh and by the way I did look at my credit rating some years ago and it was riddled with errors, but since I didn’t compile it, I have no incentive to correct it!

PS/When you create an account with these guys, buried in the fine print, is a disclaimer in which you waive your rights.  Just like the disclaimer, when you access public wifi, at Mikey D’s, Starbucks, and The Public Library.

If you will step with me now back to the Target breach of some years ago, I said at the time, if you used American Express at Target during this debacle, you were entirely protected, because American Express had engaged two stage verification, it’s part of their business model.

You confirmed your identity, by entering your zip code, so there was nothing which could be stolen (AX didn’t require a PIN).

Right now the conventional wisdom requires “credit monitoring”, as an adjunct to protecting your “online” activities, I must demure.

I purchased Zander ID Theft insurance in 2006, and have continuously renewed each and every year, and I find it “cheap protection”, because as LifeLock is fond of saying no-one can prevent all identity theft.

With Zander what you get is their expertise, if the worse should happen, and it’s cheaper too.  As of my last renewal; LifeLock protection has been “bundled” into to Zander’s ID Theft insurance.  I currently pay $140.00/per year, which includes my spouse, if I had LifeLock, it’s $170, yearly, and requires a separate account for each subscriber.

John MaGuirk writes on about tech security and other tech issues, look for Geek of The Week each Monday, hear his wired615senior podcast on alternate Wednesdays on Podomatic channel: chuckwagoncharlie@podomatic.com — he is currently taking a small vacation recovering from knee replacement surgery.

I managed to squeeze out the ten milestones of the iPhone and overlooked iCloud completely — What a dope!

So sit back and relax, while I engage TheFlutz-Capaciter and we journey back to the dim dark days of yesteryear.

The iPhone is ten years old, in internet terms a lifetime,

iCloud made it’s debut in 2009, it was part of what was known then as a “MobileMeAccount” or Apple’s email service, each user automatically received “CloudServices” that was part of the deal, and TheMobileMeAccount was $99 a year.

Cloud computing metaphor: For a user, the network elements representing the provider-rendered services are invisible, as if obscured by a cloud.
The preceding courtesy of Wikipedia

In the beginning (all good stories begin this way) cloud computing was made necessary by the plethora of devices: smartphone(iPhone/2007), tablet, computer, this lead to the birth of “users” with scattered data at first three devices but now more typically five devices for each user.

Cloud Computing was necessary to ease the transfer of data between the various platforms, as each user now had access to a growing number of devices.

If you created a letter on your PC in MS/Word it might not exist on your tablet or smartphone unless you sent it by email to yourself.

For savvy users there was DropBox a free online service especially useful for sharing large files like MP-3/audio — MP-4/video.

FastForward — A basic iCloud/account (5G) of storage is “free” and only requires an Apple ID for use (the next level of storage is .99/month for 50G)

For the user the main benefit of iCloud is that it “works” in the background, for the iPhone user it’s that place where your backup/restore copy of your phone lives.

When you take photos on your phone, they will be transferred to iPhoto via the Cloud, upon syncing (backing up) your phone maybe “deleted” them from your phone, this will free up space on your phone (you won’t have two copies of the same photo — trust me it works).

In computing, a cache /ˈkæʃ/ KASH,[1] is a hardware or software component that stores data so future requests for that data can be served faster; the data stored in a cache might be the result of an earlier computation, or the duplicate of data stored elsewhere.
The preceding from wikipedia

The previous definition in included for analogy purposes only, and the camera of your iPhone can be though to be acting a cache (French for depot or storage site)

We have finally arrived — the “great” strength of iCloud, once its set up — there is very little management required except for your intervention to create restore/backup copies of your devices.

John MaGuirk writes and produces iOS For O * L * D podcast heard on podomatic channel chuckwagoncharlie@podomatic.com and wired615senior blog post each Monday on WordPress wired615senior@wordpress.com


Geek of The Week “Cut The Cable”

This is Geek of The Week Series I number 11

Lately all kinds of security stuff has been hitting my virtual desktop some has been timely, others not so much.

In the writing game we have “evergreen” topics, that’s a piece which has been sitting in your desk drawer for that day you have that dread of all writers’, “writers block”.

For me it’s passwords, but “cutting the cord” is closing in fast and everyone is getting onto the act.

Streaming video is a piece of cake, however, watching it on a small screen might present some problems.

To really enjoy streaming video some ancillary equipment might be needed and none of them are cheap.

First, an HD TV is a required piece of equipment, as is “net access”.

FYI/Don’t be fooled by the provider it’s not necessary to buy HD service for local channels.

Technically speaking, there is no such thing as an HD signal, it’s a digital signal, the HD exists on your TV as Light Emitting Diodes (LED).  Your old Cathode Ray Tube just produces a lower quality picture.

Going digital benefits the station because it’s more compact and uses less bandwidth. Which is why for local channels you can now get pretty good results with a home antenna.

To put streaming video on your HD set requires, a USB , Dongle or gasp, an Apple TV ($169).
The term “dongle” is also associated with similar devices meant to provide additional forms of wireless connectivity to devices (such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support), often over USB connections, as well as small digital media players (such as Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick) and personal computers (such as Chromebit and Intel Compute Stick) meant to plug directly into an HDMI input on a television.

The preceding from wikipedia — the source for all things digital.

I tried an Apple TV but my wife didn’t like it, at the time, it required one more remote, and using “the TV” remote to get to HDMI-II.

Of course, the real beauty of Apple TV is access to content which otherwise m might be premium.

For example: on my provider Smithsonian is a premium channel, but it’s available thru Apple TV for free, as well as my own podcast.

Yes, you can cut the cable, but remember for all that available programming somewhere/someone is getting paid, it’s The American Way.

Life’s Essential Truths Digital Edition

In spite of everything you might think you know: There Is (still) No Free Lunch! 


Blog #6 It’s All About Sharing

I have been contributing to the on-line literature of Pages vs Microsoft Word, and have been pleased by the readership, especially since my remarks have tended to be positive rather than negative,

I think it’s time for me to produce a “podcast white paper” for release on LinkedIn, since I have added to the “literature” on the subject….

I have had occasion to share a piece with an editor, and was stunned, when he came back (a little cranky), because I sent him a “zip file”, the problem is that I am too cutting edge.

I went back and found my copy of Microsoft office (from 2008), and it won’t load to O.S. Yosemite (its at least three operating systems behind or more).

At my local Apple store, I looked in at the software rack, and was stunned to see five versions, and in my next post I am going to “review” the versions, and tell you which version I purchased.

Here’s the breakdown:

The full version Mac Home&Student, $139.00 (on-line price) This includes excel, it’s what used to known as an “office suite”

Then there are four more “limited” versions:

Office/365University — Microsoft Home&Office for the Mac $239.00
Microsoft 365 Personal — Microsoft/Office 365

The limited versions are limited as to license’s to the number of machines, which maybe loaded and require a one year license to “work in the cloud”.

Working in the “Cloud” is all about “sharing” or compatibility, so your manuscript can go to the editor quickly, and rewrites can be equally as quick, you don’t have to be concerned with the USnail.

As an Apple user and iCloud (subscriber), I didn’t understand why anyone would want to work in a “left-handed” manner (The French would say outré).

If you decide to “work in the cloud”, you should disable your “alerts” or mute them. Of course another solution is to create in Pages “off line”, and the open “word” in the cloud, and paste your work into a “cloud document” for instant transmission, that’s the purpose after all.

Yes, you can work on Pages documents in iCloud, but you may find “restrictions” on operation, this intended to make it easy to redact before printing.

Next time : Working thru the cloud at The Big Box copy center.

This content is from Cloud Basics Explained an e-book by John MaGuirk which maybe ordered thru;  chuckwagoncharlie@me.com  for $12.95 or a PDF copy for $16.95 plus $5.95 Priority Mail Shipping.

Yes Virginia, Gas Prices Are Rising

Yes, Virginia, Gasoline prices are rising, and I know it hurts, but I would like to share a few strategies you can use to ease the pain.  So let me review some gas saving strategies:

Of course, the number one method of saving fuel is to slow down. Yes, you will get there sooner by driving faster, but the time you save on the other end, will be spent fueling up.

Second, load the app GasBuddy to your smartphone. If you don’t have a smartphone, but do have a PC, all is not lost. Visit GooglePlay download the app to your PC it will work, but doing it that way forces you to plan your trips, which, in itself is not a bad strategy.

Gasoline expands in warmer weather so try to buy your fuel earlier in the morning when it’s coolest —

Conventional wisdom used to tell you to keep your car tuned up, however,  since the early eighties with computer controlled engines and fuel distribution, this is less important, but changing the spark plugs every once in while will insure smooth operation….

Most new car manuals recommend synthetic oil and if you have an older car, you may benefit by changing to synthetic products, suitable to manufactures recommendations. (as a matter of fact most “Mercedes” attribute their longer life to “greater” crankcase capacity.) FYI my V-6 ML-320 requires 9 qt.. To refill.

But, don’t add “syns” during “top offs” unless you have changed to entirely synthetic.

Tires are the next most obvious neglected savings center — the higher you inflate the tires as in “harder”, bicyclists know this very well, the average “racer” Tour De France style will inflate his tires to 125/130 lbs pressure, hard tires  “turn” more easily but, like all good things its possible to “overdue” it and excessive inflation causes greater tread wear, especially front tires.

When prices I start looking for ways to use less or buy less….

This is content previously shared on wired615senior podcast 04-30-2017. These podcasts maybe heard on podomatic channel: chuckwagoncharlie@podomatic.com

Trick Two At The Range 1961(?)

A token of my appreciation is winging its way to my Old Army Buddy — “Old Florida” Bishop.

I appreciated receiving his photos of Trick Two at the rifle range. Yes, I know in The ASA our qualifying weaponry was The M-2 Carbine, which is not a rifle at all, and there-in lies my story.

One photo shows a “Deuce and aHalf” and members of Trick Two standing around in rain gear.

The truck in the picture, maybe the ammo point and as Paul Harvey might say:

Here’s The Rest Of The Story. 

It’s part of the Army’s grand plan for each trooper to fire his weapon for qualification, annually.

Since it needs to happen in Daylight it’s usually done “on break”, that’s the part we always hated.

I believe this photo was made in the summer of 1961, when I was a newly minted Spec/5 and gotten on the field first’s S… List.

So pursuant to verbal orders, after an early breakfast, I met Field First at ammo storage with gaggle of other miscreants and was informed:

“MaGuirk:  you’re in charge of the ammo point.”

Great,  just one more benefit of being an Spec/5.

We have been joined by the company armourer, loading a “Deuce and aHalf” with crates of ammunition, personnel, and proceeded to The Range.

Of course, since this is a trick detail I know all the participants and one is even a friend of mine and he’s been ragging his pal ”sergeant” MaGuirk.

At the range Field First, briefs us on the conduct of the ammo point:

What’s required are individual rounds.

Each crate contains four sealed cans, each can has two bandoliers.

Bandoliers are eight clips of fifteen rounds each.

Crates are pried open, and the cans are opened with a key like a tin of sardines.

The clips removed from the bandoliers, and bullets are dropped into a now empty wooden crate

Soon, we have four hundred individual rounds in crates sitting on the tailgate.

Then it happens, it starts to rain and everything comes to a stop and just as suddenly,  a sh.. detail is the only dry spot around.

It’s July in Hokkaido, and the back of a deuce and a half gets kind of warm, so we take off our fatigue jackets, and except for the fact we are sitting with live ammunition and can’t smoke,  life is pretty good, and we’re yukking it up.

Pretty soon the PFC Armourer (an 058 reject),  comes to the tail gate and complains about “all the racket”.

My buddy turns to me and says:

“You’re not going to take that are you ‘Sarge’…?”

“No, by God, I’m not” — I picked up my fatigue jacket, put on my cap, and tucked in my “shirt tail,” and reminded the PFC, just who was in charge.

While I was engaged in “chewing him a new backside,” Our Watch Officer walked up.

Thinking quickly, I called “Attention”, and saluted.

Lt. Packard, acknowledged my salute, and asked “What’s going on?”

“Nothing Sir”, I replied; “I was just giving a lecture on Military Courtesy”.

“Carry On” came the reply.

Overall, in my short military career, I have always managed to be lucky and think clearly when it counted.