Over the last few months our house has slowly been getting on the Apple Home bandwagon. This started when we replaced our front door lock, then expanded with smart light switches in my room for my birthday. Ever since that early dive, I’ve been thinking about how else to leverage Apple’s Homekit in our daily life. The aweasome idea I had a month or more back was the one other realm of (fairly dumb) digital tech we have in various ways at home, devices controlled by infrared (IR) remote controls. Could these be made into Homekit accessories, and hence also erradicate their few annoynances of both reaching for a single remote and pointing it in just the right angle to work? The answer was yes, and now that I have gotten this going, I figured I’d document how I set this up for anyone else interested.
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The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with everyone’s lives. But of that, those who are embarking on the next stage of their lives by way of especially high school, but also college, graduation may be getting hit the hardest this time of year. I’m thinking especially of my cousin Anna Wagner, who is graduating from high school today, but also her older brother, Jonas Wagner, who just graduated from college, and the entire Class of 2020 at Avalon, my own high school alma mater, who graduate on Thursday. This is advice to you all as you pass this milestone and a tribute to your hard work, as well as that of everyone in the global Class of 2020 this year.
During this extended time of stay-at-home orders across the country and world we all need things to keep us busy and take our minds off the situation. Work, though for much of us from home, is certainly one thing. TV is as well, streaming or otherwise. But we also need games and other fun things to do. I recently became aware of the website Jigsaw Planet, which is a massive collection of online jigsaw puzzles you can do. If you get an account, you can even provode your own to this community. So, with that in mind, I have begun uploading one cat-themed puzzle featuring the cats in my house a day. I hope these can help take your mind off the insanity of the situation we find ourselves in, and give you a quick escape.
So… I’ve been stuck at home recovering from surgery since January 16th, 2 months now. Across the world, but certainly as per CDC guidelines here in the United States, I’m sure many of you are now looking down the tunnel of similar isolation as you protect yourself, your family, and your community from COVID-19. I thought, since I have a bit of a leg up on this (although, it does mean in a few weeks this staying at home will flip from being related to surgery recovery to being related to COVID-19), that I should share some advice:
On January 11th I attended the annual Stirring the Fire retreat with the CSJs. As part of this retreat we were given some time to reflect on the following question: What person, place or aspect of your story continues to influence and propel you forward along the journey? What follows is the reflection I began drafting that morning . . .
On January 14th I’ll be having surgery on my right foot to reshape it into a better position with both bone fusing and tendon lengthening. I’ll be in the hospital for at least a few days following the surgery, and then have 8-12 weeks not bearing weight on my right foot following that. I will not leave the house except for follow up appointments during the stage of recovery where I’m not allowed to bear weight on my right foot. If you want to see updates regarding this procedure and my recovery you’ll be able to find them at the Alex’s Foot Surgery website. I will not post more about the process of my healing here. Feel free to reach out with comments here, on the other website, or in private channels with any questions or comments you have.
As most people who track Apple closely will know, in the coming weeks macOS Catalina will ship to the world. They’re teaser page lists all the flashy new features, breaking up iTunes, iPad apps on the Mac, and so forth. Nowhere on that page do they mention one of the single largest changes that is occuring behind the scenes, and one that is bound to trip up many users who go to update their Macs: All support for 32-bit applications is going away, and this has implications for old media files you may have lying around as well. With September winding to a close in the coming days, and October being the published release timeframe for macOS Catalina, it is time that all Mac users check for any remaining 32-bit apps and media, and look for replacements and convert their media.
Over the past few weeks I have had relatives and others ask questions about Macs and viruses, as well as data security regarding Macs and the cloud. I’ve been responding individually, but thought that posting those answers here would be a great idea.
As anyone who has looked at my blog in a web browser in the past month has probably noticed, it looks very different than it did in early December. The purpose of this post is to alert readers who use the feeds to this fact, as well as to introduce the new website a bit to everyone.
When an app on your Mac freezes, or otherwise something problematic happens before force quitting the app or working to remedy the problem you can first collect diagnostic data. This can then be used later to try and figure out more information about what may have happened. You can do this using the built-in
sysdiagnose tool. This is something that is included in macOS for developers, and is part of Apple’s bug reporter infrastructure that developers use to submit bugs to Apple.
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