MyMac Podcast 583: Unlife

On November 24, 2015, in Podcast, by Tim Robertson

The GMen have decided to start making a concentred effort to reduce the length of the shows. Naturally this means that THIS one turned out extra long. Guy buys an iPad Pro and a fun interview with Zack Turner, artist and co-creator of the Unlife webcomic rounds out this weeks shenanigans.

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TechFan 231 – WiFi is Broken

On November 23, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

TechFan 231 Show Graphic
In this week’s show, David waxes lyrical about digital memories, curses the tech manufacturers who ship unfinished products, and explains why in his view WiFi is completely broken.

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Twelve South Forté for Apple Watch – Review

On November 23, 2015, in Apple Watch, iOS, Review, Stand, by Mike Edwards

Twelve South Forté for Apple Watch
Twelve South MRSP: $59.99 U.S.
Forté for Apple Watch


A stylish and elegant charging station for Apple Watch, the Forté excels either when a quick power top-up is needed, or as an ideal bedside table stand for the Apple Watch in nightstand mode. Its stylish chrome finish and smart cable management solution make this a desirable top of the range Apple Watch accessory.

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Keyfolio Thin X3 – Review

On November 18, 2015, in Review, by Rich Lefko

KeyFolio Thin X3 for iPad Air 2
Kensington Site
Price: $99.99 USD


When iPads were first introduced by Apple I bought an original iPad and then later moved to an iPad 2. At the time, the thought of using an external keyboard to enter information into an iPad, was a novel idea. Back then, I got my hands on a pre-release keyboard case from a company called Kensington. It was a wonderful concept at the time and since that first case the good folks at Kensington have continued to refine their Folio line of keyboard cases for iPads.

Today, I am the proud owner of an iPad Air 2 (Yeah, I still have my iPad 2 and use it for work) and I am typing this review on the latest Kensington iteration of their Keyfolio line of products, the Keyfolio Thin X3, hereafter referred to as the KTX, using Apple’s Pages word processor.

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IOGEAR PenScript Active Stylus – Review

On November 18, 2015, in Android, Apps, iPad, iPhone, Review, Tablet, by Jason Kube

PenScript Active Stylus
Price: $49.95

IOGEAR Kube stylus company

This new IOGEAR stylus is great, as long as you have a tight fitting glass or absent screen protector.

I fired it up after I put the battery in and a happy greenish blue light came on. I tried to open my iPhone from sleep: press the Home button and try and swipe to go to lock screen. Nothing. Goes back to sleep. Try again. Still nothing.

I happened to see the back of the box while wondering if this product needs an app: “…may not work with some mobile devices with screen protectors.”  Great. Took off my expensive OtterBox mega-case and tried it again and everything worked perfectly.


The stylus performs with great accuracy and rapidity. I open up Civilization Revolution 2 by 2K  and poke around. Due to the small target area of some game elements I know this will be an excellent test for accuracy. Wow is all I can say.

Playing the game with your finger is a good experience, with some target misses due to fat fingers, but otherwise very playable. With this stylus the experience is 1000% better. Granted I only played for 5-10 minutes (it’s a civilization game, therefore time is different while playing) but there were no missed targets and gameplay seemed to flow together better.

Deciding that using my phone bareback for a stylus was, in the long run, probably a bad idea, I decide to try it out on my wife’s iPhone with a tempered glass screen protector on it. PenScript works — not as well as on a bare screen but I think since the protector is in airtight contact with the screen there is no buffer to stop the capacitance from doing its job. Only the thickness of the screen slows things down.

Knowing how the stylus responds on Apple devices is one thing, and how it works on other systems is another. So I grab my daughter’s Kindle Fire to see how it reacts. Unpowered it reacts like you’re trying to activate it with a stick, that is to say not at all. With power the stylus writes, taps and more, perfectly.

Final test. My son has my wife’s old iPhone 5 with a Survivor case on it. The stylus works great except for where the screen is cracked. I assume this is because the crack causes some sort of interference and bounces touch signals.


I have tried many other styli, mostly the soft and squishy tip kind. This item is by far the best I have come across. Especially with a hard tip. I give the IOGEAR PenScript a rating of 9 out of 10 on a naked screen.

Adaptive Sound Technology Sound+Sleep Mini – Review

On November 17, 2015, in Audio, Review, by Sam Negri

Sound+Sleep Mini
Adaptive Sound Technology Inc.
Price: $79.95 U.S.

Available in white or black

Negri noise 1

I don’t know who came up with the idea that basic health requires eight hours of sleep. The only time I slept that many hours in recent years I was recovering from surgery in a hospital and taking prescription opiates. But on a recent morning, after using Sound+Sleep Mini, I woke up and realized I’d been asleep for over ten hours. I was so surprised I wanted to get on the phone and call everybody I know.

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StarTech Docking Station for Two Laptops with File and Peripheral Sharing – USB 3.0
Price: $263.99
Company: StarTech


Earlier this year I reviewed the Universal USB 3.0 4K Laptop Docking Station w/4K DisplayPort. But what if you have two laptops and want or need to share displays and other peripherals on both of them? StarTech proposes a new solution with the Docking Station for Two Laptops with File and Peripheral Sharing – USB 3.0.

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Multi-Sport Cardio GPS Training Watch
Price: $250 U.S.


It’s been many years since I used a sports watch to monitor my heart rate while exercising. Until I started using the TOMTOM Multi-Sport Cardio Watch, I had no idea how sophisticated the technology has become. If you want to keep track reliably of your exercise data in great detail, this stylish device will do the trick.

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TechFan 230 – The Kid is All Right

On November 15, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

TechFan 230 Show Graphic
A brief intro from David talking about the iPad Pro, Apple TV and Microsoft’s OneDrive about turn, and then his son Alexander joins the show to talk Minecraft and YouTube among other things.

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MyMac Podcast 582: To ATV or not to ATV

On November 10, 2015, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

Gaz is more than happy to let Guy be the guinea pig for the new AppleTV but as it turns out Guy really likes it. Not as much as SOME people (ahem Karl ahem), but it does a lot of what was expected and then some. Is it perfect? Nope, lot’s of room for improvement, but after some updates this could be the device that most people would want. Guy also gets a new cat and is still waiting impatiently for the iPad Pro. Gaz will check that off his list in Notes.

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Petition Link
Photo Problems
Guy Fawkes
Lets Talk Apple

App Picks:
Guy’s App Pick: Duplicate Detective by FIPLAB $2.99
Gaz’s App Pick: Shutta for extracting images from the video on your IOS device, was actually shown on a recent Screencasts Online IOS episode, it’s FREE
People’s Pick: Allister Jenks A hackable text editor for the 21st Century. At GitHub, we’re building the text editor we’ve always wanted: hackable to the core, but approachable on the first day without ever touching a config file. We can’t wait to see what you build with it.

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GuyandGaz on Twitter
Skype +1 Area code  703-436-9501

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IK Multimedia iRig UA – Review

On November 6, 2015, in Adapter, Android, Apps, Audio, iOS, Macintosh, Music, Review, by Frederick Wells
$80 U.S.
iRug UA 1


iRig UA by IK Multimedia is an audio interface that allows you to create real time effects from many Android devices. It is very similar to IK Multimedia’s iRig2, but the UA adds a built in digital signal processor (DSP) that expands its capabilities to become a digital recording interface.

I recommend you read through the company’s dedicated web page for this product.


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AT-LP120-USB Turntable – Review

On November 5, 2015, in Music, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

AT-LP120-USB Turntable
Company: Audio-Technica
Price: $299.95, less at various online retailers


I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, when the album, or LP, was the physical musical format. During those years, and beyond, I accumulated hundreds of albums and 45s, which are smaller versions of albums, usually containing one song on either side and played at a faster speed.

Fast forward to present times, when the music format most people choose to listen to is digital, either streaming or purchased MP3 files. I have thousands of digital music files on my computer, but I also wanted the songs from my albums in digital format without having to purchase them again. And, I really wanted to listen to my albums. For that I needed a turntable. The AT-LP120-USB Turntable.

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MyMac Podcast 581: Cut the Cord

On November 4, 2015, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

It’s ALL about the AppleTV and where content viewership is heading. The GMen don’t really agree and it probably stems from having two very different viewpoints on just what TV really means being Gaz is from the UK and Guy is from the US. This makes for a lively conversation with bits and pieces or other opinions thrown in just for good measure. Plus singing pumpkins. Yes that’s right.

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Singing pumpkins

App Picks:
Guy’s App Pick: Another content pick instead of an app. The Godzilla soundtrack. No, not the 2014 Godzilla, but the really awful 1998 one with Matthew Broderick. The movie was terrible, but the soundtrack has some great stuff on it from the Foo Fighters, Ben Folds, Green Day, Rage against the Machine, and my favorite with is Come with Me by Puff Daddy which is a remake of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page on guitar.
Gaz’s App Pick: Intensify from Macphun

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MacParrot on Twitter
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Skype +1 Area code  703-436-9501


ATH-CKR10 SonicPro In-Ear Headphones
MSRP $389 U.S. (Internet pricing is lower)

ATH product photo

The Audio-Technica ATH-CKR10 are, as claimed by Audio-Technica, the first dual phase push-pull drivers. Push-pull dual drivers are a common used speaker configuration to achieve reduction in harmonic distortion. This reduction in distortion helps provide a more accurate, pure sound as the drivers are “self-correcting” each other. Prior to writing this review I was unaware of push-pull drivers and their intended effect, and now I agree that ATH-CKR10 do achieve this effect very well.

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SureTrack Bluetooth Mouse
Price: $49.99 U.S.

Mouse 1 Sam

All mice are not created equal. Some are flimsy, some don’t track very well, and others require a dongle in one of your USB ports. Then there are those made of such cheap plastic that one swat of your cat’s tail and mousey commits suicide on your office floor. The hinge on my last mouse’s battery compartment fell apart and I got tired of holding the batteries in place with tape.

Kensington SureTrack Bluetooth Mouse has no such defects. I’ve been using it for two weeks. It feels substantial and not clumsy in the hand. It tracks smoothly, is very comfortable under my palm, plus it has a good scroll wheel and two buttons. The left button selects, and the right one brings up contextual menus.

The screen display can be enlarged or reduced by holding down the Control key and pushing the scroll wheel up or down. In addition, holding down the Shift key and pushing the scroll wheel shifts the screen right and left.

Kensington claims the high definition laser sensor in this mouse enables it to track on any surface including glass. I’ve confirmed it works on glass. I don’t have a glass-topped anything but I tried it with a large shaving mirror. Tracks fine. It works perfectly on my wood desk.

Mouse 2 Sam

The mouse is powered by two AA batteries that are provided in the package.

The SureTrack seems to go to sleep if it idles for a few minutes, but as soon as you move it, it instantly connects and is ready for action. I expect this napping is to prolong battery life.

Mymac Review Rating is 9 out of 10.

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SnapPower Duplex USB Charger – Review

On November 2, 2015, in Adapter, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Macintosh, Review, by Sam Negri

SnapPower Duplex Charger with USB Port Built-In
Price: $20 U.S. Three colors are available.

SnapPower Negri

If your work space is getting cluttered with USB chargers, the SNAP Power Duplex Charger will provide some relief. The charger is a faceplate for any standard U.S.-style electrical outlet, with a USB 2 port built in. It takes less than a minute to install.

Turn off the electricity to the outlet you’re planning to convert. Remove the screw that holds your faceplate in place. Then remove your old faceplate and snap the new one in place. Put the screw back, turn the power back on, and you’re ready to plug in any device that comes with a USB charger.

It’s fast and simple. If you buy these chargers in multiples (see website) the price per unit drops. You can get 10 for $160.

Impressive printed literature is included. Well done, SnapPower.

Next: how about a USB 3 version, and a double USB version too, plus smart USB that knows the difference between charging an iPad and an iPhone?!

MyMac Review rating is 9 out of 10.

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DP100 Ultra Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker
Price: $19.95 U.S. — A lot of speaker for the cost!

BT speaker Negri

The EasyAcc-DP100 is a small Bluetooth speaker that provides clear room-filling audio in a stylish design. It’s a mere 2.6 x 2.6 x 3.8 inches in size and weighs about as much as an iPhone. Toss it in your backpack or handbag and you’ll hardly know it’s there.

It has a substantial feel. You may not find the depth of sound and nuance you’d find in Creative Labs or Bose speakers, but for $20 it’s hard to imagine coming up with sound as powerful and pleasing. It’s certainly not tinny, and there is minimal distortion at top volume.

The speaker comes with a charger and an auxiliary 3.5mm audio cable. If you’re listening through a device that does not have Bluetooth, such as my old iPod Classic, you can plug it into the DP-100 Aux port and enjoy your music all day. If you have a BT enabled device, such as an iPhone or iPad (or other tablet), simply turn on the device and it will quickly pair with the source. You’ll hear a small beep to let you know you’re connected.

The EasyAcc-DP100 looks like a diminutive black silo with silver trim. At the top there’s a rubberized plus and minus sign for increasing or decreasing the volume. You hold the buttons down longer to control volume; if you merely press them, you either advance or go back to a previous track. At the top of the unit there’s a larger button that you press to receive incoming calls. At the bottom it has a DC In port for recharging as well as the Aux port for audio from an iPod or MacBook. The output through this speaker is far superior to Apple’s built-in audio in the MacBook.

This unit has a built-in 2,200 mAh rechargeable battery that the company says provides up to 25 hours of playback time and a built-in microphone for handsfree phone calls. In my tests I found the BT signal held strong for at least 30 feet and the phone quality was acceptable.
The EasyAcc-DP100 is a terrific valueBuy a handful and give them as holiday gifts.
Mymac Review Rating is 9 out of 10.


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TechFan 229 – Spooky Devices

On November 1, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

TechFan 229 Show Graphic
This week David is joined by special guest Donny Yankellow – teacher, artist and fellow tech enthusiast! The discussion ranges through the discoverability and take-up of Apple’s newest features, the attitudes to tech of the youth of today, what’s wrong with the use of PowerPoint and some weird iOS device happenings.

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MyMac Podcast 580: Secrets and Lies

On October 27, 2015, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

Guy hosed his iTunes Library trying to move over to his new (old) iPhone 6 Plus and he’s still paying for that blunder with lengthy downloads from Apple. Gaz was busy too with lots of family stuff but they managed to squeeze in the time for a podcast. The iPod turns 14, but good luck finding where to buy it on Apple’s Store site. They finally get down to business and talk about the US Department of Justice wanting Apple to decrypt data on their iPhones and Apple says NO!

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Novo: Smart Volume Control
Adaptive Sound Technologies
Price: $29 U.S.

novo in pocket Negri

Novo is a personal audio accessory that is indisputably useful. Novo automatically boosts the sound playing through your headphones based on the noises in your surrounding environment. I’ve been using it for a few days with my iPhone and iPod and it is a marvel.

This device is a mere three-quarter inches wide and an inch and one-half long. There’s an audio cable at one end and an aux audio input port at the other. There no on-off switch and no software to download. Merely plug the Novo into your i iPhone or iPod or tablet. Then plug your earphones into the audio port at the other end. That’s pretty much it.

Start listening to music. Is someone running a vacuum cleaner in the next room? Novo senses the noise and automatically adjusts the quality and volume of the sound coming through your headphones or earbuds. Is a plane passing overhead, making it hard to hear a telephone conversation? Novo adapts its setting in seconds so you can hear clearly.

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