Author: A. Jay

  • Drag

    Drag

    My “drag bag” has been changing up a lot lately. I use a few apps that were developed for the phone that don’t look nice on my iPads. Additionally there are a couple of apps that don’t integrate with Apple Health the way I’d like them to, like mindfulness minutes not being recorded when I…

  • Travel

    Travel

    I’ve long thought of myself as a mobilist. I love portable and mobile technology and being able to do whatever I want to do wherever I want to do it. It’s this love of mobile technology that bred my intense interest in iOS. The technology is emerging that makes this kind of portability easier almost…

  • Pencil

    Pencil

    I’ve been rethinking Apple Pencil recently. The first thought is that it would be much more useful to me if I were better about using it. But with that out of the way, I wonder how effective tool Apple Pencil really is? If I’m taking notes or need to do a substantial amount of writing,…

  • Mindfulness

    Mindfulness

    2023 has been a difficult year health wise. As a result of some of those events, much has been made of my need to destress. I’m a technology guy so naturally when my doc tells me to reduce stress I look for an app for that, and have found two in a category I previously…

  • Data

    Data

    I’m an IT guy, and as such, I’m also a data guy, a numbers guy, I’m a guy who loves hard quantifiable numbers for just about anything. The more quantifiable something is, the more useful the data is to me. Well that’s something that’s been challenged for me in the past couple of weeks, and…

  • Meditation

    Meditation

    I used to think of mindfulness as being synonymous with meditation. And while certainly meditation can play a role in mindfulness there seems to be more to it than that. Mindfulness I’m discovering seems more about being present, in the present moment, and being capable of dealing with whatever else is present in that moment…

  • DNS

    DNS

    DNS is Domain Naming System (some say Domain Name Services) and is a foundational building block of the internet. In it’s simplest form, it is a lookup tool. A way to resolve names to IP addresses. Remember when we used phone books? If you knew your friend Bob lived on Main St., using his name…

  • Power

    Power

    Portability is a mainstay of mine. A prime consideration with portability is power. In past posts about EDC I’ve detailed what the gear and the cases I travel with, which sometimes changes a bit depending on what’s trendy, so allow me to recap. My daily carry bag comes from a company called NutSac, it’s a…

  • Keyboards

    Keyboards

    As a mobilist, an important consideration about the devices I use is how portable they are and how mobile I can be with them. Another consideration is how productive I can be with my devices. To that end, one of the things that most impacts my productivity is the use of a keyboard. When considering…

  • Themes

    Themes

    By now many of you know that I like to do use things as “out of the box” as possible, that is, with minimal amounts of customization and tailoring. This past week I happened across another example of exactly why I like to do things that way. Of course another thing I enjoy is WordPress,…

  • Lists

    Lists

    Lists are a favorite thing of mine. I use them for all sorts of things. I especially like Mailing lists. This year my organization is changing the tool they use for managing lists and a really wonderful tool is being used to replace it: Microsoft Teams. Among the tasks that Teams does very well as…

  • Teams

    Teams

    Collaboration is a word we hear a lot more lately than we did just a few years ago. There have been several companies to enter the collaboration space with products like Slack and Discord, and even Webex to a certain extent, but the Goliath that all of the Davids would like to tumble is Microsoft…

  • AI

    AI

    Artificial Intelligence is a buzzword we’ve been hearing a lot lately, and for all the hoopla, I’m still not completely sure about what it is, and how it’s going to be used. On the surface of course, it is intelligence that is artificial, that is, not organic and that’s fine, but that isn’t really the…

  • Health

    Health

    Technology reaches so many aspects of our lives, one of the most popular it seems is healthcare. We have apps for tracking fitness, sleep, calories, medications, wellness, and mindfulness not to mention the apps from our healthcare providers to remind us of after care instructions from our appointments. Each of the apps are helpful in…

  • Growth

    Growth

    Growth is something that needs to happen in life. Personal growth, professional growth, growth in every area of everything we do. I was listening to the transformed podcast recently where they were discussing professional growth in the context of Higher Ed and wouldn’t it be nice if people were able to stay connected to an…

  • Subscriptions

    Subscriptions

    I heard a podcast recently featuring Nicole Nguyen who spoke on coping with the rising cost of digital subscriptions. She mentioned things like: As I thought through that, I realize that many people now have most of those services and probably more, and I wondered if there was a better way of doing things, or…

  • Binding

    Binding

    Today, we are not binding our Macs to Active Directory as we’d done in years past. It used to be that binding Macs to Active Directory provided some real benefits as it related to GPO and shared network resources. Policies could be assigned and network resources could be allocated in ways that couldn’t be done…

  • Transparency

    Transparency

    I heard a quote recently that really resonated with me. Technology is everything and for everyone. And increasingly, it’s most useful when we don’t notice it all.  Shira Ovide I’d never put it in those words before, but for 30 years that I’ve been involved with technology that’s been the idea that drives how I…

  • Outdated

    Outdated

    Technology is an odd thing sometimes, especially when you talk about updating it and when it becomes obsolete. I’ve seen four year old laptops discarded by organizations! Personally, I use computers and other devices long past the four year mark. Mostly because I haven’t got the money to replace everything every four years, but also…

  • Permissions

    Permissions

    This time on web sites, or more specifically, within WordPress. I discovered recently quite by accident, that you shouldn’t use your administrative un/pw to create content. It’s just a really bad practice. So I’ve spent a good bit of time today straightening that out. If someone knows the user name of the admin of a…

  • Inboxes

    Inboxes

    I’ve shared recently how email is arguably one of the most efficient forms of business communication (and sometimes personal as well). And sometimes, it’s helpful to have more than one inbox. I have a personal inbox, one for work, one for junk mail, one for school, and another for web work. Sometimes managing all those…

  • Editing

    Editing

    Full Site Editing or FSE is something that’s been touted loudly in recent months. It became popular with recent releases of WordPress and continues to get more robust as other releases come out. Maybe a better way to say it is that it gets more mature. In order to take advantage of FSE you have…

  • Email

    Email

    There is a growing trend in business to use messaging platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack more and more to not only reduce the amount of mail in our inbox, but also get more immediate responses from people, and while I’m a enthusiastic advocate of M365 including Teams, I’m not convinced this shift is a…

  • Displays

    Displays

    I spend a lot of time thinking about mobility and portability with technology. It’s a favorite thing of mine being able to do whatever I want to do where ever I want to do it from. It’s the catalyst for me being an iOS guy, and one of the reasons I accessorize the way I…

  • Carry

    Carry

    As a minimalist, and a mobilist, Every Day Carry is something I put a lot of thought into. The gear and the bags I carry are small and light, selected with portability in mind. Depending on what we do and where we’re going, there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution to everyday carry, so…

  • Storage

    Storage

    I read with interest this morning an article on Fox News about cloud storage and the best ways to organize and back up your files. For reference, here is a link to the article: https://www.foxnews.com/tech/best-ways-organize-cloud-storage-files More interesting than the article are the comments at the end of it. It’s clear that people are pretty about…

  • Modern IT

    Modern IT

    IT has changed a lot in the past 30 years. We used to bend over our magnification lamps and solder on boards, unbox and deploying PCs sometimes by the hundreds and pull cable through ceiling and floor. With the advent of disposable or user swappable components, virtual machines that are assigned to us where the…

  • Surprise

    Surprise

    Windows is full of surprises for me, which is surprising in and of itself given that I’ve been supporting it for getting up on 30 years now. One of the most consistent surprises for me is the network troubleshooter which resolves more problems for me than I imagined a Windows tool would, but that’s a…

  • Monterey

    Monterey

    So it’s been about a week now that macOS Monterey has been released and I’ve installed in half a dozen times or so on a variety of Macs and haven’t had any significant problems. The feature I most wanted was Universal Control, and that didn’t make it in to the final release however, instead, we…

  • Simplifying

    Simplifying

    Recently I was at a WordPress meetup where the focus of the discussion was on plugins. As a budding WordPress enthusiast, I was eager to learn what plugins the seasoned WordPress veterans were using. I was surprised when the presenter opened her web site and only had four or five plugins installed. She expertly described…

  • Replacement

    Replacement

    I added a new iPad to the line up recently, and this one could be a game changer. The previous main stay had been an iPad Mini that I got because I had a need for ultimate portability, and something that was going to function very much like a notepad if you will, and it’s…

  • Tabs

    Tabs

    These days, I enjoy much of the software the Microsoft publishes, I’ve especially been enjoying Edge. It’s Chromium engine brings it in line with other major browsers, but it doesn’t seem to carry their footprint, but it also isn’t just screaming with innovation either. It’s a browser after all. So it was with interest that…

  • Normal

    Normal

    I heard recently that the phrase ‘The New Normal’ is becoming obsolete. It’s being replaced with ‘The Now Normal’. The thought being that things change so rapidly now that what was normal yesterday may not be the norm today. Change is occurring at a pace it hasn’t previously. Remote work, security concerns, cloud based services,…

  • Desks

    Desks

    I’m a big advocate of supporting and encouraging whatever work style people find productive. More so as we become entrenched in this pandemical, work from home mentality or culture or whatever the right word is. Among my least favorite things is a mess of cables. While sometimes it’s necessary, it’s often avoidable, and it’s those…

  • Inbox

    Inbox

    The changes in today’s workspace seem never-ending. One of the biggest changes in some of the most forward-facing companies involve our email inbox. Collaboration today is more virtual than it’s been in the past. Even among people who are not working remotely, there’s an increase in the use of tools like Teams, Slack, and Zoom.…

  • Changing

    Changing

    Life changing technology is something I enjoy almost more than anything else. And while it may be a little dramatic to say “life changing,” I mean that in the sense that it changes the way I do life. It doesn’t have to be huge and dramatic. That’s how Apple Watch is for me. The technology…

  • Working

    Working

    Working from home. Boy have we heard enough about that this year. What works, what doesn’t, dos and don’ts of setting up your home office, how to team build with remote teams, the list goes on. I don’t know if it was a radio program or a blog I was reading but I came across…

  • Tires

    Tires

    I heard someone recently describe the job of an IT department as being responsible for presenting a smorgasbord of solutions to an end user and letting them pick what they want. Nothing could be further from the truth. I had the opportunity recently to purchase tires for my car. I went in the store and…

  • Documents

    Documents

    As our world becomes more mobile, and as we rely less on a central work location, something that’s becoming very important to me is mobile document management.  I rely on having certain documents available to me wherever I am on whatever device I’m using. Effectively, there are three main solutions, Microsoft’s Azure and OneDrive, Google’s…

  • Solutions

    Solutions

    MSPs or Managed Solutions Providers are companies that endeavor to provide IT services to small and medium sized companies who’s industry is not IT.  At its inception, it was a good idea, IT is never good for a company’s bottom line.  It’s expensive and not revenue producing.  So if a small company can outsource their…

  • Support

    Support

    These days, there is a lot of different work being done in a lot of different ways. We’re doing things from home that maybe 5 years ago we would have said were impossible. I do support work. That’s almost always been phone based, and historically it’s been really tech heavy. I’ve had to have multiple…

  • Value

    Value

    How  people and companies spend money on technology is driven by what they technology means to them, what it does for them, what they’d like to get out of it, and how they expect it to impact their environment.  But how do you get someone to honestly evaluate those things?  It’s been said after all…

  • Setup

    Setup

    These are different times we’re living in.I’ve never been an advocate of working from home.  I appreciate the work/home separation and I’ve never really wanted to bring my work into my home.  But these are different days, and working from home has become the norm for much of the country. Among the most important considerations…

  • Passwords

    Passwords

    I’ve been thinking about passwords recently, and am changing the way I use them. It used to be that I used one password for everything, admittedly a horrible practice from a security standpoint. Besides being a bad practice, when I had to change my password I had to change all of my passwords. It was…

  • iOS

    iOS

    I am admittedly an iOS guy. Let me just start by saying that. I read with interest everything I come across about the next “iPad killer” and about how iPads are not legitimate laptop replacements. And I notice that many of the authors who post like that say something about how they could never get…

  • Payment

    Payment

    Technology is not only fun for me, it’s also practical. I like technology because it’s convenient and it helps me organize and manage my life. One of the things I’ve been doing more of in recent years is mobile payment. It’s so easy to pull out your phone at the register or show it to…

  • Content

    Content

    Or… Creation vs. Consumption. In the ongoing discussion in EdTech about Chromebooks vs. iPads, one of the discussion points that keeps coming up is that Chromebooks are for creation of content, iPads are about consumption of content.  On and on it goes… There’s an interesting EdSurge article where they cite three reasons why Chromebooks are so much…

  • Classroom

    Classroom

    Working in public education is an eye opening experience.  Naturally, everybody wants the best education that can be provided for their children, and school districts strive to meet that objective.  But when it comes to technology, we seem to want to have our cake and eat it too.  This is a technological age we live in, so…

  • Community

    Community

    Community: A group of people who are called together, who love each other.  That definition comes from a documentary called “Almost Real: Connecting In A Wired World”. When I consider the world we live in, I think about the changes that technology has brought about, and the things it will continue to bring about, and…

  • Diversity

    Diversity

    The one thing you can be certain of when dealing with technology is that there will be change.  If the usage and devices themselves didn’t change, the way that people use them sure does.  Telecommuting is becoming a way of life in some industries, and the we’re using our devices in ways no one would…

  • Failures

    Failures

    I’m a technologist.  A mobilist too, and also a Mac aficionado, and as such, I like my technology to work.  It’s aggravating when things don’t work the way they’re supposed to. I often wonder about why stuff fails.  Why doesn’t it work the way it’s supposed to?  This is something I’ve put a fair bit…

  • Linux

    Linux

    There’s a recent trend in many companies to use Linux as a desktop solution in their environments.  They do this often to save money on licensing, not usually because it is a more usable solution.  It isn’t limited to desktops.  As virtual servers and cloud environments become more popular, Open Source solutions are used there…

  • Cloud

    Cloud

    The transformation of technology has long been a fascination of mine.  How we go from one platform to another, or update from an older architecture to a new. Cloud services are becoming more popular, and they’re an amazing enabler of transformation, and can definitely ease the transition, but what happens when there’s not a cloud in…

  • Watch

    Watch

    Love them or hate them, Apple is a company like few others.  Their ability to influence trends in technology has been demonstrated time and time again. The recent announcement of the Apple Watch is something that is going to have a similar impact I believe. Personally, I’m not 100% on board with that Apple Watch…

  • Mobility

    Mobility

    I’ve always been fascinated with mobile technology, and how people use technology in a society that is increasingly on the go.  From back in the Palm Pilot days I’ve watched with interest as hardware and software changes, and how people adapt and use technology to stay connected.  People are more connected now than ever before.…

  • Permissions

    Permissions

    Working for an MSP can be challenging on a good day.  The nature of the business includes taking over management of networks that others have managed before us (or tried to!) and supporting things that we often did not setup ourselves. Among those challenges are things like Active Directory, Group Policies, and file permissions. Recently…

  • Space

    Space

    Covid has changed so much about the way we work. Some employers have said that employees won’t be returning to the office this year at least, so this work from home time may become protracted. Considering this extended period, some businesses have been forced to reconsider their business model in part, especially wholesalers of office…