Essential Apple Podcast 115: GPS – “From obscurity to ubiquity” with David Acklam

Recorded 8th December 2018

This week a slightly different show as I am deeply privileged to have as my special guest David Acklam, not a name you may know, but he was part of the development team for the Global Positioning System. Something that we now take forgranted, but as one of the team described it, a technology that went “from obscurity to ubiquity” and started out at what became known as “The Lonely Halls Meeting” which sounds more like a Peter Jackson fantasy epic than a world changing technology meeting! You can watch the documentary featuring David and many more of the team and telling the story of GPS on Amazon Prime here


Skylum has gifted us 5x of Luminar 2019 and Aurora 2019 to give away! Send an email to mentioning Luminar or Aurora and the phrase I give in the show to enter.
PLUS Listeners of this show can claim $10 off purchases of Luminar and/or Aurora HDR 2019 with discount code EssentialApple (If you buy Luminar 2018 you’ll get all the 2019 updates for free. Learn more.)
Also we have a two Licenses for BeLight Live Home 3D to give away… 1x iOS and 1x Mac. Email the show on mentioning Live Home 3D and the phrase I give out in the show.
Winners for both will be announced on the Christmas Party Podcast which is recording on the 23rd December.

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On this week’s show:


  • Retired Professional Engineer (PE inactive)
  • BSEE, MS, University of Arizona
  • Career Air Force Officer, retired (1966 -1987)
  • Systems integration and test engineer with Texas Instruments Defense Group and Raytheon Missile Systems, retired (1987 – 2002)
  • Part of the development program for Global Positioning System
  • Community outreach volunteer since retirement in 2003
  • Member, University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Director’s Advisory board 2006 to present.
  • Chairman of the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Kuiper Circle Community Outreach committee
  • OSIRIS-REx Ambassador
    • OSIRIS-REx on NASA
  • Friend and Docent at the Planetary Science Institute
  • Member of the Tucson Mac User Group
  • Staff reviewer with (


  • Apple released a clear case for the iPhone Xr – 9to5 Mac
  • Apple released watchOS 5.1.2 with the ECG function for Apple Watch 4…
    • Apple Watch user discovers A-fib heart issue with new ECG app – 9to5 Mac


  • Corning is building impossibly thin, flexible Gorilla Glass for foldable phones – BGR
  • 50 years ago, Douglas Engelbart’s ‘Mother of All Demos’ changed personal technology forever – Mashable


For things that are not worth more than a flypast

  • Ask Siri “Why are fire trucks red?” for a fun answer


  • Faraday Bags for your kit
  • MOSISO Keyboard Cover for Macbook Pro £6 UK or $7 US
  • Non Plastic Beach offers alternatives to single use & disposable plastics to help you turn the tide on plastic waste, one sustainable product at a time.
  • Force Apple’s iOS apps to use Dropbox or any other storage – Cult of Mac Apple’s iOS apps can store their files anywhere. You just have to know how to tell them.
  • Ghostery

Nemo’s Hardware Store (49:53)

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