December 29, 2021
My workflow has been in flux. Until recently, I relied on Apple’s Notes and Reminders apps to track my thoughts and tasks; now I’m migrating (cautiously) to Microsoft’s OneNoteand To Do apps (I briefly tried Todoist as well). When you add, “Try a new to-do app” to your to-do list, which to-do app should you put it on, your current one or the new one(s) you’re trying? It’s a most meta question, I guess, for getting things done #GTD.
December 19, 2021
Digital note taking might be pedestrian, but it’s essential to the workflow of many; I’m certainly no exception. I love notes apps and have used several over the years. One of them, Apple Notes, has served me very well. Inexplicably, though, the app is nowhere to be found on Apple Watch, which is a, uh, noteworthy omission.
December 18, 2021
Happy Holidays, y’all. Blogging from one of my computers, I don’t know if it’s my primary or secondary. In a recent post, Tales of Computeria, I mentioned some computer fluidity, and since then my workflow has shifted a bit more. I drafted this post on my gaming laptop instead of my iPad this round. Wait, what? Yeah, I used a non-Apple device.
December 6, 2021
At last, my atrociously slow home internet finally gets some kind of boost, but not in speed. It got a quality of life update, if you will, with a new mesh wifi router. On sale, the little white module is already a huge smile-inducing device because it makes managing my household’s numerous devices far easier than before.
November 30, 2021
On this last day of November, I’m contemplating the benefits of my under-utilized laptop. Sure, my kids get a lot out of it — we share — for their school work and such, but I’ve yet to really put my RTX-enabled GPU to work (ok, play). That’s because I prefer to stay comfy in Apple Land — my iPad is my computer (is that hipster-ish?). It’s practical, but more than that, I truly like the synergy and ease of use between my iPhone and iPad (and Apple Watch).
November 3, 2021
Metroid 5 Is Like Super Duper Metroid. For my birthday this year, I received a physical copy of Metroid Dread! I’m four hours into the game and have made it to the third region of the planet. So far, it’s been a fun and challenging game full of classic Metroid features.
November 2, 2021
Around early Summer 2019, a new photo social network was kickstarted. Bokeh was to be like Instagram before Facebook ruined it. With promise and potential built-in, being based upon solid core principles, I was interested and supportive, backing the endeavor on Kickstarter. Sadly, after two years in development, the project has been canceled.
November 1, 2021
October 27, 2021
This month has been one bad report after another for Facebook, coming to a crescendo this week with an onslaught of unfriendly news for Facebook and its Newsfeed. The clarion call to #DeleteFacebook may be at its loudest ever. Yet shareholders seem content, billions of dollars keep piling up, and billions of people seem stuck on the social media service — myself included.
October 26, 2021
...It's also ever expensive. A little over two years ago, I started playing Pokémon TCG with my family. During that time, numerous expansions were released, featuring new cards, new Pokémon, new abilities…you get the idea. Sometimes it only takes a single new ability to trigger an idea to create a new battle deck. A lot of money later, I’d take my fresh fighting strategy to the league and mostly get slaughtered by the veteran players.
October 23, 2021
For most of this year, I’ve played RPGs exclusively, one after another. I only dabbled in the arcade racer Asphalt 9: Legendslast month. Now there’s another non-RPG in my controller grip. Thanks to last week’s Nintendo Direct for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, my love of the game has been renewed. Like when it was newly released in March 2020, I‘m enjoying island life every single day.
October 12, 2021
Journaling is a good habit, so it makes sense to support it with a good tool. Some prefer good ol’ fashioned pen and paper, yet others like to go digital. While there are many journaling apps, one often stands out: Day One. I’ve been using the app for a week, but this is not my first time trying it. What’s different now?
October 2, 2021
Redesigned Widgets came to iOS 14, but for all their benefits, they still lack perhaps the best part about a widget – interactive functionality. Currently, Widgets provide glanceable information, which is nice, but it would be better if a few basic functions were available directly on a Widget. Such utility is already proven as interactive “widgets” do, in fact, exist currently on iPhone.
September 28, 2021
September 25, 2021
When Apple Card launched a couple years ago, I was interested but somewhat skeptical. Could Apple really apply its simplicity and elegance to a credit card? Doubtful, and uninterested in interest payments on debt, I ignored it. However, it’s funny how things can change over time; I’m now a happy Apple Card carrying customer.
September 18, 2021
This week was the ”Superbowl for nerds.” Apple held its annual September event where it showcased the newest iPhones to debut in Autumn. This year sees iPhones 13, which are incrementally better than last year’s iPhones 12. With them, Apple is releasing updated iPads and the latest Apple Watch iteration.
September 11, 2021
Well, hello there September blogosphere. While I’ve been somewhat scarce from the blog lately, that must mean I’ve been so busy with life experience that I’ve stockpiled stacks and piles of content in draft to write, right? Sounds good to me, but that’s inaccurate. No doubt, I’ve been mobile computing (iPad!) and gaming (RPGs!), but that’s only the half of it. I’ve also spent energy writing elsewhere and took a week off from everything for a big family vacation. Next thing you know, I’m flipping the page on the wall calendar and yearning for cool Fall temps to finally blow away the Texas Summer heat.
August 17, 2021
Earlier this Summer, Microsoft announced something new and upcoming. The age old Windows platform will see yet another release, taking things from 10 to Windows 11. The operating system will be refreshed, becoming more modern than ever, which should help the legacy platform shed years of old weight. Hopefully, Microsoft pushes the OS forward and doesn’t look back; Windows with a view of the future is something to look forward to.
August 7, 2021
This week I was happy to hear about a new feature coming to AirPods Pro. Apple is enabling the upcoming feature through software, so the hardware a user already owns will gain a capability. Too bad I don’t yet possess the Pro version of AirPods; I have the entry-level pods. I love’em, to be sure. But with Apple sweetening the deal on AirPods Pro, I’m more eager to buy them than ever.
July 30, 2021
There’s a new man-bag in town. Call it a satchel, cross-body bag, or a tablet bag…or heck, a man-purse or murse; call it what you want, it’s my everyday carry bag (EDC). Most important and exciting of all, it’s the Tom Bihn Small Cafe Bag, and it’s finally here!
July 18, 2021
The tech we rely on everyday is sometimes a delight and other times a disaster. When it works how it should, all’s well. When it doesn’t, “&$!#%.” Given the complexity of a computer, it’s kind of a miracle it works at all. And with computer chips in everything these days, no one escapes both the benefits and detriments of digital devices. That said, I’m here to talk about how much I’m still lovin’ my Apple Watch and AirPods after 6 months of usage. To this day, they remain surprisingly delightful.
July 6, 2021
Last month, I caught the news that award winning Day One journal app was acquired by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. My reaction was, “Whoa, really?!” Then I realized the two have something great in common: the regular writing of words. Blogging and journaling are similar, which should be no surprise on this site.
July 5, 2021
June 19, 2021
We’re about half-way through 2021. So I figure it’s a good time to check on my annual reading challenge. I set the bar at the bottom, one book per month for a total of 12. So how am I doing so far? I’m sitting solid at one. Which is better than zero. Yeah, I’m not gonna make my goal this year. But it’s not for lack of stories, oh no. I’ve been reading plenty of fiction…through video games. True, that doesn’t count, really. Yet I’m getting my escapism either way. So there’s that.
June 10, 2021
This week, Apple’s keynote at WWDC21 showcased a wide array of iterative and innovative software enhancements to its ecosystem of digital devices. The iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac are all becoming better, yet there are signs of feature creep. If true, it’s unsurprising and unfortunate, but I’m excited for some of the new and improved things. Apple’s overall focus and purpose, perhaps the theme of WWDC21, is privacy; the company wants your personal data to remain private. While overall this is a good thing, my focus is iPad.
May 28, 2021
Apple’s annual developer conference is around the corner, and there seems to be eager anticipation in the tech community. I’m excited as a consumer (okay, kind of a fanboy). When it comes to #mobilecomputing, the Apple ecosystem is tops, yet this year’s WWDC could raise the bar higher. I’ve got a few things I hope to see.
May 24, 2021
A few months back, I got a excited for a new take on an old thing. I was interested in an iteration of Windows 10. It’s name was Windows 10X. And it will never see the light of day. Bummer, because I was really interested in a Windows version of a Chromebook. I called it the Edgebook. It could have been a simple laptop without the ad-driven privacy-invading Google tentacles weaved throughout. But the potential of Windows 10X is not all lost.
May 18, 2021
So how’s your month of May going? Mine has been adventurous. The new company I work for turned a corner last week, so things are looking better. We were given new laptops with VPN remote access to the new-to-us servers. My former dual-monitor set up was replaced with a new Ultrawide curved display. Best of all, an office building was bought; we should start moving in sometime next month. I shouldn’t have to work from home much longer and will be able to finally resume some new “normal.” Meanwhile, I’ve been swamped with imminent deadlines for my structural steel design work. I think I’m going to make it.
May 7, 2021
Howdy, y’all. I had to take a break for a bit so I could step back from the edge of the stress cliff. My day job has been undergoing a huge transition from the rubble and remnants of one company to the promise and potential of a new company. It’s been a rough ride. Okay, that said, this post is about my core geekery – computing. I tend to switch things up, and like my job situation, I’m wanting to switch out my Chromebook for a “real” PC.
April 24, 2021
Earlier this week, Apple announced a bunch of stuff. The hour long “show” was exciting and well made. But once the pizzazz was over and the glitter settled to the floor, I looked at things more objectively, as matter of fact. Also, the one thing I was hoping to hear…it was not announced.
April 14, 2021
When I was a kid in the 80s and Nintendo became a thing, I knew I wanted to be part of that. Video games were cool. I first had an Atari 2600 and a small set of games that my Dad bought at a yard sale. I think the Atari cartridges sold for $0.25 each. They were arcade-style games — mostly without any real stories — and relied on quick reflexes. I didn’t play them to beat the game or finish a story. I played just to play. And show off a high score in Pac-Man.
April 10, 2021
April 3, 2021
Not long ago, I dismissed Apple Watch as superfluous. Sure, it’s a cool tech gadget, I thought, but not cool enough to warrant owning one myself. My iPhone was enough. Well, the focused fitness features and sensors were very tempting. Eventually, I decided the Apple Watch was advanced enough and would be worth buying as a great fitness tracker if nothing else. Now that I’ve used my Watch for over 3 months, I want to talk about one of its non-fitness aspects.
March 27, 2021
Hi, y’all. Today, I’m here to talk about books or the lack thereof. Every year, I eagerly join the goodreads annual reading challenge. My goal is often simple, just one book per month. Twelve books in a year is feasible. But so far in 2021, I’m behind.
March 24, 2021
March 17, 2021
Entertainment comes in many forms, like a good book, movie, or video game. Sometimes, the escapism you hope to enjoy turns out to be a dud, so you drop it and resume reality. Most of the time, you finish what you started. But is there any media that you Did Not Finish (DNF) and regretted it? I know I have. And it bugs me, but should it?
March 11, 2021
OK, so you’ve got your hobbies. But have you ever thought about why you enjoy them or how you got into them? Gaming is one of my “hobbies” in the sense that I enjoy spending time and money on it. Role-Playing is my favorite genre of video game. How or why did I become a fan? Read on.
March 9, 2021
Would you rather have a good 100-hour RPG or a great 50-HR RPG? Your answer might depend on your availability; time is a limited resource. In my experience (XP level 43…), I would prefer a shorter yet better role to play. But I can see how one could go either way.
March 8, 2021
A hallmark of good entertainment is a compelling story. In a video game, a background story is sometimes used to merely support the game-play. But in role-playing games (RPGs), the story is forefront, giving the player an immersive role in a grand story-arc. So I was excited and surprised to discover an RPG video game with a story so important that it spans across mediums.
March 6, 2021
March 3, 2021
A Final Fantasy type game is coming to Apple Arcade! Both the renown director and the legendary composer for the Final Fantasy series of JRPG games have teamed up to develop a new title, Fantasian. It looks and sounds fantastic! I have two questions. One, will it eventually come to Nintendo Switch? And two, how am I going to keep up with a frontlog and a backlog of games!?
March 2, 2021
Oh, wow! As if I didn’t have enough games to play, Square Enix just announced another must-play game coming to iOS and Android (and hopefully the Switch!). It’s called Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis. It has gaming content from every iteration of Final Fantasy VII, including the original game remastered (not a remake?) with modern HD graphics! I think this is better than the FFVII Remake that came out for the PS4 in 2020!
March 1, 2021
Everyday, we’ve got stuff to carry. Mobile Computing requires its own burden of accoutrements. Take iPad, for example. With it, you’re likely to have at least one portable peripheral, either an Apple Pencil or a Smart Keyboard. And don’t forget headphones. To haul that gear, your pants pockets won’t be enough. That’s one reason why I’ve been looking at EDC bags.
February 25, 2021
Way back in 2019, an alternative to Instagram was kick-started. The name: Bokeh. After some delay, it is still inching toward the finish line. In fact, private (beta) testing is almost here. And being a backer, I should be able to soon give it a try – exciting! Will it take off? The potential is there.
February 23, 2021
I was prompted to share the feels on this topic thanks to a Gaming Diaries post about what I’m calling the Great Game Backlog. We gamers usually have a number of games waiting to be played, started, or finished. It’s a good problem to have, yet it feels more bad than good. Or is it just me?
February 17, 2021
February 15, 2021
February 14, 2021
The other day, I wondered, “There should be a goodreads for movies.” You know, a niche site that lets you catalog and discover movies. It would also have a social media like aspect. I didn’t think IMDb was the right thing. So I searched…and found it!
February 5, 2021
Hey, what’s your fave device to read eBooks on? Mine has been Amazon’s kindle, especially the Paperwhite. I’ve talked about its advantages over other options before. But I changed my mind (surprise), deciding to embrace only Apple Books. Yet this move isn’t totally practical, like shopping only at Target instead of Walmart.
February 1, 2021
Does anyone really use Apple’s iCloud web apps in a browser? Well, I do! Besides using the default apps on my iPhone, I use iCloud a lot since I don’t have a Mac or iPad (for now). Apple’s web apps, albeit simplified, work soundly in both Microsoft’s Edge and Google’s Chrome browsers. Go figure.
January 30, 2021
Howdy, y’all. A new year, a new annual reading challenge. As usual, I’m sticking with my one book per month goal at a minimum, so 12 books to read this year. And I’m happy to say I just finished my first one! So I’m on track. Speaking of, this first bit of fiction is called, Cutting The Track, by Cheri Baker.
January 28, 2021
You know the flustered feeling that all your tech devices and social media services can bring? Turns out, the overwhelming mental clutter can be relieved. I’m not talking about a radical shift like Digital Minimalism, although that would help. It can be simple. In this case, I’m referring to an informative post with a few ideas for a Digital Reset.
January 25, 2021
Since getting my first Apple Watch on December 24, 2020, I’ve worn it every single day for a solid month; this post is a review of my experience. How does the watch fit my lifestyle, or how has my life adapted to a smartwatch on my wrist? And might Apple Watch be a good match for your daily mobile living?
January 23, 2021
You’re likely happy with your current smartphone. Most phones today are beyond “good-enough.” A lot of folks upgrade just for a better camera; I’m inclined likewise. And one thing that would excite me for the next iPhone: a periscope camera lens. Why? Optical zooooom!
January 18, 2021
Do you think it’s okay for a guy to carry a man-bag? If so, are there any that you recommend? That’s what I’ve been looking into lately. I like the idea of EDC (every day carry) bags for men and how that intersects with mobile computing. And I’m on a quest to find the bag that’s quintessential for the essentials.
January 16, 2021
Microsoft is doing a thing. It looks interesting and exciting to this tech nerd. A new OS is coming along soon, called Windows 10X (poor name IMO), but more important are the new devices along with it. Basically, we’re talking about Windows powered Chromebooks, which I’m calling EdgeBooks.
January 15, 2021
January 14, 2021
Okay, here’s what’s up. I’m pausing my social media usage. Why? Lately, Twitter and Facebook have been negative or harmful. I’ve felt the adverse effects on myself, and I’ve seen it happen to others. Again, I’m re-thinking that social media’s affect on society is detrimental. It’s also unnecessary.
January 11, 2021
A few days ago, I was scrolling the home page on YouTube. I do that. Maybe too much. One of the videos that surfaced was of a composer’s reaction to the Final Fantasy VI song, “Dancing Mad.” Intrigued, I watched the whole video with glee! And a rabbit hole of Final Fantasy music swallowed me up.
January 9, 2021
Hi there, web peoples. Recently, there’s been more negative chatter online about Facebook and WhatsApp and social media in general, even Big Tech. As usual, my use of Facebook in particular waxes and wanes. Lately, I’ve been re-evaluating my account. Will I keep it, or delete it for the Nth time?
January 7, 2021
Hello, 2021! Lately, I’ve been searching for the ideal…bag. Yeah I know, sounds boring; it’s just a bag! But it’s not so simple. When it comes to grabbing the right bag, there’s a lot to consider. Maybe by the end of this post, I’ll have found the “perfect” pack for the back. Or maybe not.