This topic has been the focal point of all of our lives for the past 14 months. It’s been an all consuming fire and a whirlwind at the same time. To many of you, my wife and I were the only people you knew that had Covid 19. There are multiple ways of looking at our lives in this era and varied viewpoints on the policies, remedies and messaging. Whether necessary or not, I am going to keep wearing the high quality masks I’ve been wearing to jobs. And when not dealing with sharp objects, I will wear gloves. It’s business equipment for me; it’s part of my routine. I have been operating – business as usual – since May 17, 2020, one year ago. Today, I am declaring a new day. For my own state of mind and well being, I am leading by example and changing the subject. Going forward, I am not going to be engaging in any “Covid or Vax talk” in this newsletter or at appointments. I would most sincerely appreciate it if you could do the same, at least around me.
Don’t put your gear on top of other devices that are charging. If your laptop is charging at night, don’t leave your phone or anything electronic on top of it. I think this would apply to other mechanical devices as well. I developed a bad habit of placing the Seiko watch I got for my Big Birthday earlier this year on top of a closed laptop at night. Well well, the watch became demagnetized. It’s in the shop now. 😦
I am trying my best to weather the Covid 19 storm and also prepare for possible changes in operations once the weather gets colder. I am doing about 2/3 of appointments in person right now, but if we have to go mostly remote, let’s make sure we are prepared. With the vast majority of you, we are already set up to do Quick Assist (Windows) or Team Viewer and Zoom (Windows or Mac). If for some reason you think you are not set up to do a remote session with me, I can help you get set up at no charge by phone or when I am in the area.
I describe myself as someone who provides I.T. consulting and tutoring with a teacher’s heart. After all, I was once a certified teacher and have a Masters in Education. (And would you believe I am getting calls to come back in for school based positions? I told them, no thanks! I am not working in a classroom and jeopardizing my clients’ health.) I try to incorporate a teacher’s spirit in what I do. This makes me so different than the I.T. Guy from the big box store or some nerd driving around in a VW Bug.
I have gotten a great feel for how older adults learn and process information. The teacher in me believes in high standards and expectations. I want to take you into expanded portals of possibility. You might think your potential is at ground level. I have my sights set on the stars. I think if we end up somewhere in between, you will be able to get a lot out of your technology.
One of my goals going forward is to help you simplify routines through sequences of brief, memorable steps. When working with a client recently, I broke down emailing scanned documents to
Keyboard shortcuts are another way to simplify tasks.
Want to create a new folder for your files?
In the File Explorer (Finder – Mac), create a new folder by pressing Ctrl (Cmd – Mac) Shift + N
I know a lot of you are Zooming these days.
Unfortunately I’ve received reports and also personally participated in troubleshooting zoom problems with multiple clients.
I don’t have all the answers right now, but I think Mac OS 10.15 (which is hard to avoid, as previously mentioned) may be a common vortex. I’ve had clients with video and audio problems in zoom with BOTH built in audio / video (a la Mac Book and iMac) and separate audio and video — such as using a plug-in Webcam, microphone or headphones.
And the other quirk in this whole process is, what if the updates we do fix some problems but then create others? I think both the Mac operating system and the windows operating system have gone the wrong way on updates in the past few years. it’s this forced updating that is just killing us, in a metaphorical sense of course.
Why can’t we just have one version of the operating system for five years and get just minor security updates from time to time?. We don’t need features, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
now with this all said, there is apparently a new update for Zoom on the Mac coming out today. If you use them regularly, make sure you get this update because it may fix some of the bugs you were experiencing. if you are not prompted to update automatically when opening zoom, you can click on the zoom.us menu at the top and check for updates.
We are learning and growing together. Sometimes there’s going to be some growing pains.
What I have been so impressed by is the creativity that other businesses are showing at this time. I’m really happy that smaller markets like Fitzgerald’s, Highland Park, Stew Leonard’s and others are stepping up and keeping the shelves stocked, when some of the more “big box” and corporate type stores have been perpetually cleaned out. It just seems to me like $5 / 20 roll toilet paper, $1 hand soap, and $2 hand sanitizer are not sustainable during times of insane demand or hoarding. However, stores that sell these items at sustainable prices have them. One Hartford business that has really impressed me by how they have met a consumer need is Hartford Flavor on Arbor St. They are known for producing fine hard liquor but these days they have used their capacity to make hand sanitizer. They take one customer at a time up the stairs at their headquarters. They have also donated a bunch of their product to front line workers. As you probably know commercial food suppliers are really having a tough go of it. Eggs and other staples are being trashed across the country. Sysco, a company that provides food to many restaurants we love, is now offering personal pickup two days a week for individual customers at their Rocky Hill warehouse. Some businesses have really been devastated and may never recover but I think it’s important to recognize those who are creating new supply channels during these wild times.
iPhone SE Taking Off Like A Rocket
I discussed the release of this phone with you last week. It is going to be a huge seller for Apple and depending on where you order from, the wait is already a couple weeks for delivery. This phone is so much better than the 2016 iPhone SE. It has a “normal” size screen that iPhone users have been used to since 2014 and of course at $399, it is priced to move. I will share a tid bit that I read in one of the tech publications this week. They said that even though this phone is $399, it has a more powerful processor than just about any Android phone on the market, including those costing more than double. Some of my clients have purchased this phone already and will do a remote setup with me (which I expect to take 1 to 1.5 hours if you are keeping score at home). Others are purchasing and holding it for later so that we can set it up together under better circumstances. Either option is fine by me with any device you want to purchase.
I also want to answer another question that I have gotten — what’s the catch? I think it’s a great question. Since Steve Jobs launched the iMac in 1998, Apple has performed with near genius precision at the unveiling of one product after another. They have had few duds. Apple’s original intent with the SE was probably to capture buyers who for some reason have held onto their iPhone 6, 6s and 7 and possibly 8’s (for those who bought it early on as it was a fall 2017 phone). They decided on this release sometime last year, not because of Covid 19, but the fact that it is happening now when a $1000 phone seems so out of sight for many laid off or downsized workers — makes Apple seem brilliant. I think they will also win over some % of Android users because this is a can’t lose price point. So who is the iPhone SE not for? If you see yourself as a semi-pro photographer, you will likely want a phone from the iPhone 11 series, and probably a Pro model. The camera on the SE is a single camera, definitely as good as the iPhone 8. Another person who the SE is not for is someone who wants two cellular lines on one phone. Starting with the 2018 models, all iPhone X series and 11 series support two lines. This can be a very useful feature, especially in the case of business and personal.