December 31, 2020
Howdy y’all, Jason here at 2020 year’s end for a look back at some personal highs and lows. The site is called, Jason Journals, ya know. So if you’re curious about a bit of my life beyond the blog, read on. I can’t promise a good read – it’s 2020 after all – but maybe you can relate.
December 28, 2020
Hey y’all, I got my first Apple Watch ever for Christmas this year! It’s the SE version, which debuted this past September, in 40mm (the smaller size), Space Gray Aluminum, Black Sport Band, GPS (not cellular). This post is simply a list of my first impressions of the watch during my very first day of using it. I tried to be brief!
December 26, 2020
Hey blog buds and fellow web surfers, I hope your holiday season is cheerful. In my time off, I’ve been able to get more work done around the house (project backlog) and also playNintendo! Fun times of escape going on here. So many good role-playing games! So allow me to explore, expound, and exclaim a bit.
December 23, 2020
December 18, 2020
After years of iterative updates and advancements, Apple’s smartwatch – finally – has won me over. It’s about time! (Pun intended.) Apple Watch seems better than ever now. So my plan is to wrest the Timex Ironman’s grip from my wrist and strap on a wearable computer from Apple. Dumbwatch, “Bye.” Smartwatch, “Hi.”
December 13, 2020
Like me, I bet you take lots of pictures. With your phone…er camera. And they’ve gotta go somewhere. You likely just back’em up with the default photo/cloud system on your phone. And the ones that are share-worthy, you probably have your go-to site or service like Instagram. But I’m not sure where I stand with all that now.
December 9, 2020
November 28, 2020
I’ve been doing some “research” on the iPad, as if I have more money to spend on Apple gear – I’m sure I saw some loose change in the couch cushions. The last time I really used an iPad, it was running on iOS 12. Now it’s on iPadOS 14, and what Apple’s done to evolve the iPad in its own direction is interesting – okay, and exciting.
November 23, 2020
When you go on a cruise, you expect fun and relaxation. Not murder. But for Ellie Tappet, well, it’s truly a mystery why death always finds a cozy life around her. So it is in this 4th book, The Case of the Lady in the Luggage. Once again, Ellie’s sleuthing and relationship skills take charge. Whodunnit this time? Here’s my 99.9% spoiler-free review.
November 21, 2020
It’s happening. Again. I’ve been switching up my workflow by using Apple’s apps instead of Google’s or other third-party apps. At first, when I switched from my Android phone back to iPhone, I didn’t think I’d do this. I should know myself better than that; I love to use all the different tech solutions! Also, Apple’s ecosystem is alluring.
November 14, 2020
This week in Mobile Computing, two things happened. New Macs arrived; so did an iPhone. First, Apple finally revealed the start of its move to the new brains and brawn of its Mac devices: their in-house custom built chip called “M1.” The hype was high in the announcement, with claims of high power/speed plus crazy long battery life. Initial benchmarks look promising if not surprising. Did Apple under-promise and over-deliver?
November 9, 2020
Hey blog friends, I’ve not posted lately because I’ve been focused elsewhere – perish the thought! True though. The whole Presidential election was kind of a distraction, go figure. But my gaze has really been offline and inside escapist role-playing games! And finally, I beat Final Fantasy X!
October 30, 2020
October 24, 2020
October 20, 2020
October 16, 2020
Apple spilled the sauce this week. The mobile devices company revealed its newest iPhone(s). There are 4 new ones for 2020. They’re similar to each other, and they’re familiar, being basically the same as last year’s iPhone. They are, after all, iPhones. And that’s not a bad thing.
October 13, 2020
October 10, 2020
October 9, 2020
These days, lots of folks binge watch shows on “Awesome Streaming Service.” Other fun things you might enjoy: a hobby, cooking, music… I bounce between different things. Lately, I’ve enjoyed the imaginative worlds of video games. The interactive escapism makes for rich entertainment.
October 7, 2020
October 1, 2020
After many years, Nintendo officially stopped making their super popular 3DS line of handheld gaming consoles. They also removed most references to it on the Nintendo website; it’s discontinued. A search for “3DS” shows a page with a link to the 3DS page, but it redirects to the main home pageinstead.
September 30, 2020
This past weekend, I played something besides a video game: Pokémon TCG. My interest was rekindled by last Friday’s release of the new Champion’s Path expansion. The previous one, Darkness Ablaze, helped fuel the flames. And the new Standard Rotation reinvigorated the playing field.
September 26, 2020
September 25, 2020
It’s been about a year since I started using a laptop full-time to manage my WordPress blog and surf the web. The iPad I used was great…as a tablet. But pushing it to be more caused frustration and disappointment. Why force a tablet to be a laptop when you can just use an actual laptop?
September 22, 2020
September 17, 2020
This week, Apple announced its latest steps in mobile computing, yet it omitted its greatest mobile device of all: the iPhone. Nor were there new laptops, particularly their forthcoming ARM based version. For now, Apple’s advances in portable gadgets focused on the Apple Watch and iPad, which are not as ancillary to mobile computing as Apple would have you believe.
September 14, 2020
September 10, 2020
Escapism has many forms, and I can wholeheartedly recommend this next one. With the privilege of a free Advanced Reader Copy (ARC), I thoroughly enjoyed the book, Power Play, by Cheri Baker. Swiping the e-pages as fast as my little brain could absorb the words, I hit 100% in just over a few days. And what follows is my 99.9% spoiler-free review. I paused my video game for this.
September 8, 2020
September 1, 2020
August 27, 2020
August 24, 2020
Are two screens better than one? Microsoft thinks so. You can now pre-order Microsoft’s new device called Surface Duo. It’s a phone. And a mini split-screen tablet. And it’s quite possibly the coolest new gadget this year. Unfortunately, it will cost all your dollars.
August 19, 2020
August 12, 2020
August 5, 2020
August 1, 2020
Laser-swords and Force-chokes! Star Wars is a cultural force that I’m sure you’ve heard of. The world-building of George Lucas inspired a whole expanded universe. I’m reading part of that now in a Star Wars Legends novel. It got me thinking, what’s my take on the main canon of the 9-movie saga?
July 29, 2020
Like many, you’re probably weary of Facebook and Twitter. They’ve taken their toll on society. I know I’ve felt it. Their cultural influence is more bad than good; they need transformation. So I was stoked to find a concise booklet on the subject that resonated with me. After reading the first chapter, I felt like deleting Twitter!
July 27, 2020
Do you remember shopping at Sears, K-Mart, Toys-R-Us, Hastings, or another recently bankrupt business? What happened? One answer is e-commerce. And what company represents that most? The prime example is Amazon. Because 2-day shipping!? Yeah, well, that’s part of it. But there’s much more. Read my 99.9% spoiler-free review of The Everything Store to find out!
July 25, 2020
Lethargy feels like the mayonnaise that won’t squeeze out of the plastic bottle. To get unstuck, get movin’! So I’ve been ramping up my fitness. When the Summer sun isn’t trying to kill me in a Texas heatwave, I’ve been outside literally taking steps towards my exercise goals.
July 22, 2020
What’s the difference between a dream and a delusion? It may be a matter of perspective. I’ve had a dream of living full-time in an RV, a two-axle travel-trailer hitched to a truck. My wife has said that my dream is a delusion. But she says it with a grin, so… She may be right.
July 20, 2020
Dune…and done! Finally, I finished reading an epic and classic story of our time. Why did I pick this up to read? Because of accolades that it’s the best science-fiction ever – a fave genre of mine. And being praised on equal footing with The Lord of the Rings, it’s a literary duty to read Dune. Although it disappointed my science-fiction expectations, it was also a daunting delight.
July 18, 2020
July 15, 2020
July 13, 2020
July 11, 2020
YouTube Music kicked Spotify’s tail. But it wasn’t a fair fight! That’s because YouTube, the video service, jumped into the ring. It took a lot to pin down Spotify for 10 seconds. In a future match, who knows? For now, my money is on YouTube Music Premium.
July 8, 2020
If you’re missing Summer Blockbusters amidst closed theaters and have binged as much Netflix as you can take, may I suggest a good read instead? Rest your eyes upon a cozy book that goes well paired with a steamy mug of sweet caffeine. I have just the story for your escapism needs: The Case of the Floating Funeral. This is my 99.9% spoiler-free review.
July 6, 2020
For someone who is into tech stuff, you’d think I’d be all over the trend of making a “smart-home.” But I don’t even own a smartwatch (anymore)! My tech stance is strangely anti-smart stuff. It might be a dumb position, but there’s wisdom behind it. I might be open to some “smart” house stuff in the future. But proceed with caution!
July 4, 2020
Apple did their annual thing last week where they announced a bunch of cool new stuff. It’s aimed at developers – which I am not – but gives hints for consumers down the road. Having been an Apple consumer, and being a tech-geek in general, I checked out some of the new stuff from WWDC 2020. And do you know what? I think Apple is about to sell a lot more Macs.
July 2, 2020
Like chocolate and peanut-butter, cozy mysteries bring comfort and puzzlement together with satisfying taste. You may think that’s a stretch. But it’s what I’m thinking since I’ve read another book by author-in-the-city Cheri Baker. Read on for my 99.9% spoiler-free review of The Case of the Karaoke Killer.
July 1, 2020
I think I know why our brains hurt. Instead of reading, we’re scanning thousands of text snippets. Headline after headline, tweet after tweet. You and I over-process; the brain-filter is clogged. It’s time to stop feeding on all the feeds, not just social media.
June 30, 2020
June 29, 2020
Is Summer the best season to read books? Because I’m kind of on a reading kick. So I was wondering what books I’d like to read next. One of the most popular and prolific authors of our time is Stephen King. Yet I’ve never read a single one of his books!Shouldn’t I read such a widely known writer as King? Otherwise, I feel like less of an acculturated reader.
June 25, 2020
June 24, 2020
Do you ever go on a streak? I’m talkin’ about a season when you find your spare time focused on doing one thing. Sometimes it’s movie watching for me, other times it’s video games. Right now, I think a book reading streak hit me. I’ve finished two this month! The latest is a cozy mystery. Here are my 99.9% spoiler-free thoughts.
June 23, 2020
Who doesn’t like a book that’s unputdownable? I finished reading one (on my kindle paperwhite, of course) last week by Sarah Frier titled, No Filter. It is THE book about…Instagram! #reading #fortheloveofbooks This post is not a proper book review; I’m just sharing some things about the book.
June 22, 2020
June 20, 2020
June 17, 2020
In part 1 of this article, I talked about the bad and ugly side of Social Media that overshadows the good side. The question there was to either remove or improve the social networks. Part 2 talked about removing Social Media altogether because of its negative effects on society. Now it’s time for part 3: improving Social Media. But that’s a soft word. Let’s say: transforming.
June 16, 2020
June 15, 2020
Let’s talk about Social Media. It’s an established part of our culture and daily life, for better or worse. Even if you or I choose not to have a Facebook or Twitter account, we still tolerate their effects on society. The problem is the worst parts seem to outweigh the best parts. So wouldn’t we be better off without Social Media?
June 13, 2020
Do you wish for a better version of Instagram, not owned and operated by Facebook? Your wish may come true. A year ago, the Kickstarter project for Bokeh was fully funded. Development started, and though it’s taken longer than planned, there’s solid progress. I’m still intrigued by the potential of Bokeh. An official launch date hasn’t been announced, yet I’m eager to check it out!
June 8, 2020
June 3, 2020
You like to write, right? Then you want the right tool for the write-job. I’m talking about typing on a keyboard; no pens or pencils, sorry. Some tools are exclusive to Apple devices (Ulysses). Others are ubiquitous (Google Docs). In this write-up, I share some ways I’ve tried writing. And at the end, I throw in links to several writing tools.
May 30, 2020
May 18, 2020
You and I both know that smartphones don’t last forever. But shouldn’t they last more than a year? I wrote about thisrecently in relation to a Computer World article that singled out Motorola for not playing nice with phone updates on its new $1,000 phone. Then another article appeared, this time on Android Central, calling out Motorola again on this issue. And you know what? The next day, Motorola responded in the positive!
May 16, 2020
May 6, 2020
When you buy meat at the grocery store, you check the expiration or “best used by” date. Nobody wants something that will go bad too soon; that’s a rotten deal. Likewise, technology has an “expiration date.” At some point, your tech becomes obsolete. Smartphones in particular have a “best used by” date. This problem needs a fresh solution.
April 30, 2020
In late February, we were treated to a new piece of nonfiction about a phenomenon in social media, Facebook: The Inside Story, by Steven Levy. Other books have been written about the infamous social network, but this one is the latest and, I think, greatest. Rather than a review, I just want to share some of my thoughts about it.
April 20, 2020
You, readers and bloggers, have either an Android smartphone or an iPhone, unless you’ve chosen an old-school classic “dumb” phone. In the US, there’s about a 50% chance that you have an iPhone right now. That’s according to a research site I ran into while sheltering and surfing in place. It also revealed more.
April 16, 2020
You remember point-n-shoot cameras? Maybe you’ve got an old one tucked away in a closet or drawer. It still works just fine, but so does your camera-phone that’s always tucked in your pocket or purse. You’ve probably seen a news headline in the last few years declaring that the point-n-shoot camera is dead. But in case you missed it, yeah, dedicated consumer digital cameras died a while back. Yet digital photography thrives now more than ever, so maybe those old cams could make a comeback.
April 13, 2020
April 6, 2020
April 4, 2020
Guess what, my friends? The Bluebonnets are back! For about three weeks each year, they bloom their blue earth decorations around Texas. My yard in the past two years had huge thick patches of them. This year, we have only a few small thin patches. Nonetheless, I’m enjoying them through photography but in a simpler way than before.
April 1, 2020
March 23, 2020
What do an elephant and a light bulb have in common? They’re both logos for jotting down your thoughts to help you remember or process them later. There’s much good to say about writing notes by hand, but if you’re into digital note-taking, then there are several good options to talk about. The one I wanna focus on is Google Keep (the light bulb!), because as much as I like Evernote (the elephant!), I keep coming back to Keep (you know I had to do that).
March 20, 2020
March 16, 2020
March 9, 2020
Who doesn’t like a good deal? Finding a bargain when shopping feels great! And while it makes sense to pay extra for better quality stuff, what I love even more is being frugal to discover products that are better than good-enough yet don’t break the bank. Seven months ago, I finally bought my first pair of wireless headphones…for $30! So how does a pair of these hold up over time? Are they worth the money?
March 2, 2020
When it comes to blogging, there’s one site that always comes to mind: Blogger. My earliest blogs were hosted there with a blogspot address. Believe it or not, Blogger is still around, but it seems to have languished under Google’s passive watch. In fact, I’m surprised it has not already ended up in the Google graveyard, outliving even Google+. So what’s up with Blogger?
February 26, 2020
February 25, 2020
Well, guess what? You might finally be able to automatically have your iPhone just open links in the Firefox or Chrome web browser – what a feature! The Verge published a great editorial about potential changes coming to iPhones; Apple may actually loosen their third-party app restrictions. Well, at least maybe a little bit. I’m already looking forward to enjoying any third-party app or feature by default. But it won’t be on Apple’s device. I’ve already decided to trade my iPhone for an Android phone.
February 24, 2020
February 22, 2020
February 19, 2020
An intriguing question popped up from the Good E Readersite this week. It asked if tablets (the iPad…) killed eReaders. This, of course, piqued my interest. The iPad was my primary computer, and I love my kindle. But there’s a bigger question begged here. Are eReaders dead?
February 14, 2020
A week ago, Motorola announced new phones for the US in 2020. Good timing, because I was about to run out and buy last year’s Moto G7. Oh, by the way, I plan to switch from iPhone back to Android. Call it ludicrous, or call it liberating…wait, it’s just a phone that you can call.
February 8, 2020
February 5, 2020
Last Summer, when I ditched my iPad and switched to Chromebook, I started thinking about doing the same with my phone – iPhone to Android. Naturally! It just makes sense to go all-in with the Google stuff. But I hesitated, finding it a bit concerning to fix something that isn’t broken. My iPhone 7, despite its age, is working great. I’m comfortable with the quality and reliability; also, there are a few key apps/features that I would miss.
February 1, 2020
This week there were many shared thoughts on the web about the 10th anniversary of Apple’s iPad reveal. Now the “future-of-the-PC” is a decade old! And after 10 long years of hardware upgrades and software changes, the question remains: Can iPad replace a laptop/”real” computer?
January 25, 2020
January 16, 2020
Hey there, blogosphere! Hope your 2020 is going well. My blog pace has slowed down in the last few months, but I’m still cruisin’ along here. This post is on the tech verve. Last week, my brain started to re-notice how single-purpose devices or services are often better than their multi-function counterparts. So here’s a re-visit of this tech topic.