Thursday, June 26, 2014

Android Divide App

Divide is a company and an Android app that Google bought last month.  The app is supposed to divide your smartphone into separate business and personal sections, including support for Exchange/Outlook email.  I'll be testing it out on my old Droid Razr, including doing a "remote wipe" to see if it only removes the business side.  That would be cool if it did.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Disney’s Illusion of Life

The folks at Disney created their 12 principles of animation, an effort to produce more realistic cartoons, which this video demonstrates. The main purpose of the principles was to produce an illusion of characters adhering to the basic laws of physics, but they also dealt with more abstract issues, such as emotional timing and character appeal.


Read more at:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kettering Middle School Chromebooks

During this past school year 30 students in the 8th grade at Kettering Middle School had the opportunity to use a Chromebook at no cost.  I was in 8th grade before PCs arrived and entered college, majoring in Computer Science, without ever seeing a computer.  Sort of an Indiana Jones "leap of faith".

Monday, June 23, 2014

Click and Grow

This was the second great Father's Day gift I received (seeing Bill Cosby was the first).  Just plug it into the wall, add water, and this smart device will take care of everything else.  Some fresh Basil and Chili Peppers in my lasagna this fall.  Yum!

Friday, June 20, 2014

WiFi Setup

My MacBook Air's wireless diagnostics utility provides what I think are five wireless recommendations that everyone should implement.  The one that might surprise you is not using a hidden network name, but it only takes hackers an extra moment to find it and the additional configuration will frustrate you and your guests. 

You can learn more about the Mac's WiFi diagnostics at:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Print Your Own Graph Paper

Whether for a business project or keeping the children amused on a rainy day, printing your own graph paper is both faster and cheaper.  There are hundreds of options to choose from including specialty types for music like the one shown below.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mutual Fund Store Radio Ads

Hump Day Humor:

The Mutual Fund Store Radio Ads are a hoot, with my favorite being this retirement speech:

The complete list can be found at:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Android Device Manager

Android Only:

Find, lock or erase your Android device using Android's Device Manager.  Set it up now.  Later is too late. Preach, preach, preach...

1,000-Mile Battery

A new type of car battery providing a 1,000-mile range made using a combination of aluminum and air debuted early this month at the  Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal.  Now we're talking!

Friday, June 13, 2014

PC Decrapifier

PC Decrapifier is a free (I love free) utility can be used to clean off most of the annoying software that is typically shipped with new Windows PCs or has just accumulated over time.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Customer Shocker

An impressive, and unexpected, customer service moment.  When a company penalizes themselves in the short term, I trust they are working hard to avoid that in the future, clearly demonstrating they want us to have a win-win relationship.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Netflix Test Movie

Netflix has a handy test movie that displays your bitrate (5800 kbps is the fastest), the resolution displayed and the PAR ("Pixel Aspect Ratio"; 1:1 indicates square pixels).  This is useful information if you're having issues with pausing or low quality.

The easiest way to find the correct movie is to add it to your watch list using the following link.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gameover Zeus Test

This link is a simple and quick test to see if your PC is inflicted with the "Gameover Zeus" virus which steals banking credentials.

The Two Towers, Book 2

Kara Shallenberg, my favorite audiobook reader, has just finished up the second part of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Two Towers.  You can download them at her website,  I'm looking forward to the next 6+ hours in the car.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Free Fonts

Here's a link to "The 100 best free fonts" and an example of the "Spring" font in the "tattoo" section.  "Arial" and "Times Roman" do get just a little boring (ok, a lot boring).  And I love free.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Octagon Picnic Table

I think this will be one of this Fall's or next Spring's home improvement projects. This picnic table seats eight, has no separate chairs to deal with, and everyone can sit down and get up without anyone else needing to move.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Wood-based nanomaterials, like many other less-than-micro-sized materials, show amazing properties. Nanocellulose, for example, is as strong as Kevlar.  Could this be part of the future of the pulp industry?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


It just happen to dawn on me the other day that with all the sensors built into today's mobile devices that there should be apps that would turn my device into a level. But the coolest feature, shown below, is a surface level, which measures both "x" and "y" at the same time.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

iOS 8 and OS X 10.10

Apple only:

Apple yesterday announced the fall availability of iOS 8 (for iPhone/iPad) and OS X 10.10 (aka "Yosemite") (for Mac).  The new iOS is compatible with Apple iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2, iPad with Retina Display, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display.  The new OS X is compatible with iMac (mid-2007 or newer), MacBook Air (late 2008 or newer), MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer), Mac Mini (Early 2009 or newer), MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer) and Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer).

Most useful half-dozen features (IMHO) seen so far:

1.  Improvements to iOS text messaging to easily include who you want, drop who you don’t, and leave the conversation whenever you want. Or turn on Do Not Disturb and then read through the messages when you have time.

2.  Apple is opening up the iOS keyboard so alternatives like Swype and SwiftKey are possible.

3.  Double button press now includes your most recent contacts.  Select one and you can call, text or Facetime with a single press.

4.  Notification handling no longer requires leaving what you're currently working on.

5.  One touch to use your cellular iPhone/iPad as a hot spot.

6.  When you get a phone call on your iPhone, you can answer it on your iPad or Mac.

The entire 2-hour keynote video can be had at:

Monday, June 2, 2014

MicroSD Card

One advantage of some Android phones have over their Apple counterparts is adding more storage. In the case of my new HTC One, I bought a 32GB (GigaByte) microSD card to load music and movies for about $20. At 0.6in high, 0.4in wide and 0.04in deep, a microSD card can currently hold up to 128GB. At that density, a cubic inch could contain 13TB (TeraByte). That's about $50,000 worth of DVDs in the size of 1/2 an ice cube.