Tag Archives: Humor

Call me Ishmael. Call them Nverts.

 

They used to call it the “blog-o-sphere”—the world of bloggers. As blogs became less fashionable and Tweeting became all the rage, “Twitter-sphere” became “Twitter-verse”. (Because a Universe is BIGGER than a sphere, or planet, get it?)

Then it was “Facebook”, the number one tip-top destination, yea, the very Paris of the Internet. What do you call that?  “Facebook” obviously. To many people, Facebook is the Internet. (But, by the way, as India proved recently to Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not.) Are the unwashed Facebook masses the “Facebook-ians”? “Bookees?” “Fakers?” No matter. Today, I want to identify the un-brainwashed masses, the unfettered few, the unsavvy, who don’t know, and maybe don’t care about all that social stuff, and who, in this wacky, world wide web may get misled or tripped up by their blissful ignorance.

You know who “they” are, you might even be one of them. And heavens, “they” represent a whole spectrum of experience: Folks who founded the Internet, who pioneered it using America OnLine or CompuServe, yet they don’t know a Snapchat from a Tinder. Face it, at the speed of tech, even the savviest of ellipticals probably aren’t familiar with the most current and hippest of apps, whatever those may be this weekSo there are plenty of people out there who don’t know one thing or another about “social”, and I want to help.

But first what are “they” called? How to refer to the innocents in this overwhelming and over-rated world of Social Media? The collective mass of humanity not hip to “social”. Is there a name for what Apple’s marketing used to call, “The Rest of Us?”

“Newb” suggests they are “new” to Social, but are joining the herd. Not what we are looking for.

“Social Media Luddite” has been used—way too judgmental.

Call them nverts! First we identify their “place” as “the Nverse”. This is short for “Non-Social Universe”—”Nsphere” sounds pretty good too, but face it, a UNIVERSE is bigger than a SPHERE, and we need a lot of room. (And in this crazy, mixed up world, nothing is original. If you Google, you’ll find #Nverse, meaning, who-knows-what? Some kind of reference to a Math equation? We don’t care.) Oviously the denizens of the Nverse are Nverts—like Non-Social Internet Introverts, they turn away  from the social Internet. It’s not perfect. How many people know what a phub is anyway? A lot of research and effort went into creating that word. Nvert. If you have a better name for Nhabitants of the Nverse, tell me!

But why am I do doing this? What’s my point? Here. I read this on a web site recently:


“Currently, we have about 70,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter.  That’s 70,000 people that we can learn from and service on a daily basis.”*


Uh, no. Seriously. No, you can’t. Nverts, awaken! NO, THEY CAN’T LEARN FROM AND SERVICE Seventy Thousand of them ON A DAILY BASIS.

There is a certain naïveté, a hubris in that statement. The world has not changed that much. A small company, well-staffed by super-smart well-parented and motivated and energetic staff, may “learn from, and service” some of their customers who “follow them” on Facebook and Twitter. But 70,000? Uh uh.

I have a Twitter feed, I use Instagram, I write a blog. It’s “reality check” time for the Nverse.

—TechWite

P.S. Happy Tenth Birthday Twitter!!

*I’m not going to follow good journalistic practice and tell you where I got this quote because I don’t want to drive more traffic to their site. They may implode with information!

IPad Quirky? Unstable? Manage your storage!

A former colleague, Cary, asked TechWite about her unstable iPad. TechWite responds…

Your iPad, has a limited amount of storage.  You may recall hearing that it had: 16 Gig, 64 Gig, 128 Gig (Gigabytes). Depending on what you do with it, that storage on your iPad gets used by photos, songs, movies, books, and everything else. If the iPad gets slow, undependable, crashes, or won’t install the latest iOS update, chances are the storage space (whatever it was originally) is all “filled up”. A trip to visit your local Apple Store, or Apple Dealer, or friendly, knowledgeable consultant may be in order. But first, you can try clearing out some space yourself.


“What was a lot then, is nothing now.” —Christo’s 2nd Law of Computing

What’s a Gig? A Gigabyte is a thousand Megabytes. What’s a Megabyte? In the PaleoMac days of the PC revolution BI (Before iOS), early adopters and PC enthusiasts liked to throw around numbers the way auto afficianados today talk about the doomed-wheeled-hunks-of-metal-and-plastic that will soon be replaced by autonomous cars. Those PaleoGeeks made hilarious comments like, “I upgraded my Mac to 512K RAM and bought an external 10Meg SCSI Hyperdrive.” If you’re a Facebook user, or an “elliptical” (as the media calls this new generation), you don’t care what a Megabyte is, and it doesn’t matter. So forget the details.

Just remember, as always in capitalism and technology: more is better. When you buy your next Apple device, try to get the one that has *more*. Eventually, even that won’t be enough, but for now, that’s all you need to know.


To get started, the Settings app is the place to go. Open it, and follow along…

Step 1 – Check Storage

Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage

This will take you to a panel that displays your “Used” and “Available” storage (below). There is no hard and fast rule here, but you want the “Available” number to be big. (If it is already 5 Gig or more, then storage is probably *not* what is causing your problems.) Next, let’s make more storage available by getting rid of stuff that no longer serves you.

Step 2 – Manage Storage

Tap Manage Storage…
It may take some time for your device to fill in the details of your “Storage” panel. Be patient. Eventually, you will get a list of your apps and how much storage they use—sorted from biggest data usage to smallest. You can go through all of these apps, but you are going to get the best results by working on the apps at the top of the list, which are usually Music, Videos, and Photos (below).

Step 3 – Identify and Delete Songs that no Longer Serve You
Tap Music:
You’ll get a list of all the music on your iPad, grouped by Artist, Album, and Song. You can start deleting right at this “top” level, and Delete all songs by one artist.

Tap on one Artist, and Slide to the LEFT, to reveal the “Delete” button.
Tap “Delete” to delete all the songs by that artist.

Don’t want to get rid of everything by that artist? Just want to delete one song? You can “drill down” and use the same method as above to Delete specific albums or songs. Below, we tap Artist “A.C.Newman” > Album “Shut Down the Streets” > Song “Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns” and then Delete.

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Step 4 – Repeat, and Validate
Repeat this process to get rid of as much music as you want. You can then use the same process to Delete the space-eating data of other apps on your iPad. When you are done, check your storage again. (From Step 2, above):
Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage

Finally, power your iPad completely down and restart it:

  1. Hold the “Sleep/Wake” button down until the screen goes dark and you see the “Slide to Power Down” button on the screen.
  2. Slide to Power Down.
  3. After the iPad completely shuts down, wait 30 seconds, and power it back up. How? Hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.

NOW, with that extra space that you’ve saved, does your iPad behave better? If not, you could try re-installing the OS, but for most people, that means it’s probably time for a visit to your local Apple support person.

Thanks for stopping by,

—TechWite

This post was written (almost) entirely on an iPad using Evernote. Interested? Tell me.

Happy Birthday Windows 95

I Love Working on a Macintosh.

Does that sound weird? After all these years? To me it doesn’t. But to people who have never worked on Macs—or for some reason that I cannot fathom—have worked on Macs but just not liked it, let’s face it, it sounds weird. Because even in this enlightened new millennium, most computer users use Windows, and sure, they eventually get work done, but honestly, how many Windows users love working on Windows?? Seriously? Even the geekiest of Windows Weenies, the hottest Windows programmers, the most talented of Windows technicians, how many “love” working with Windows? I’d wager, very few. Very, very few. And Mac users? When they switch, when they get their first Mac, what do they say? You’ve probably heard it too: “I love my Mac!”

This is not just hearsay or advertising. I’ve been in this business so long. For years people would tell me their sob stories about their Windows computers, their malware, viruses, their crashes, and slow downs, and on and on. As a consultant I refused work on Windows. There was plenty of work; Windows is a job-creation-machine. But to me, it was always the same nightmare, helping with the same stupid problems. It was no challenge; it was an affront to my creativity. It was “stone knives and bear skins”. Friends, relatives, and potential clients whose business I refused all got the same answer: “Why don’t you get a Mac?”

The price difference was often the reason, and that has diminished over the years, but even deeper, the answer, in the old pri-mac-evil days was pretty basic: “If I get a Mac, who will help me when I have a problem?”

And this was true. With Windows, you could have your brother, father, sister, friend, colleague at work, TOTAL STRANGER, or homeless person on the corner help. The power of ubiquitous monopoly meant that nearly everyone knew someone who could help them reboot their their Pee Cee, format the hard drive, and re-install Windows. (Which was the standard process to fix 95% of the issues with Windows – which, by the way, is why it was called “Windows 95”).

Telling people, “If you get a Mac you won’t have all those problems,” was not enough. Apple support in those days was notoriously hit-or-miss. Apple had a 90 day warranty! (I kid you not! Ninety days!!) There was no Apple Store. There were no “Geniuses”. And Apple had yet to launch a convincing and brilliant Mac vs. PC advertising campaign.

So Microsoft helped. By releasing Windows 95. Ten years after the original Mac, Microsoft embraced the interface so completely, copied the Mac OS so totally, that in the end they won over more users to Apple. “Windows 95” legitamized the Macintosh just as Apple was suffering the “Time of Darkness.”

And here again we have to acknowledge a strategic vision that moved Apple. Maybe it was Steve Jobs—he always gets the credit, for all I know it was Phil Schiller—or someone else at Apple, but they built a comprehensive strategy to address all those objections, one at a time, piece by piece.

Over time, it started happening, they all started to get Macs. For awhile I helped some of my clients move their stuff, but Apple had the tools, and the Apple Store, and the Geniuses available, and soon there wasn’t much work there, and that was okay. It was satisfying to have all these people tell me, “I finally got a Mac! You were so right! It works great!” These days, Macs have become so mainstream, so accepted, so successful, that I don’t even hear that anymore.

Being a Mac user isn’t special or unique. It’s just a good choice. You’d hardly congratulate someone for buying a Mac any more than you would congratulate someone for buying a decent car. And…most people nowadays even understand and accept the emotional attachment that people have for their Macs.

And on this important anniversary, I just want to say, thanks Microsoft. Happy Birthday Windows 95. I love working on a Mac!

Microsoft Flashback 2001: “What’s in a Name?”

“Internet Explorer 3”

Microsoft used to play version number leap-frog with other software vendors. Why? Because everybody knows: the HIGHER VERSION NUMBER is BETTER SOFTWARE.

Nevermind that “Microsoft Word” went from Version 2 to version 6, it was BETTER than “WordPerfect 5”!

Which is why without ever releasing a Mac web browser before, Microsoft introduced “Internet Explorer” as VERSION 3. Because it was BETTER than Netscape’s current version at the time, you guessed it, “Navigator 2”.

As for their OS’s, Microsoft laughed at IBM’s “OS/2”, which was released after “Windows 3.1”, and then they jumped all the way to “Windows 95”. THEN their marketing department had a few too many martinis at lunch and got SO FULL OF THEMSELVES that they decided they were THOUSANDS of times better than anyone else. The result? “Windows 2000”.

From Unpredictable #12, March 20, 2001

Windows 10? Whither Nine?

What’s in a name?  Windows 10

Ironically and coincidentally—TechWite wrote only yesterday about “What’s in a name?” in relation to our favorite OS,  “TEN”, currently known as “Mavericks” and soon to be called, “Yosemite”.

Hey, Microsoft just announced they’re opening a “Microsoft Store” in Manhattan, about two blocks from—you guessed it—the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. So now, instead of walking by the empty Microsoft Store with the bored Windows Geniuses at the Bridgewater Commons Mall, you can walk past the empty Microsoft Store with the bored Windows Geniuses on Fifth Avenue. This is just part of Microsoft’s long history of imitation. And they’ve done pretty well with it.

Today the TechWite Twitter feed is inundated, maybe obliterated, with short blather about Microsoft’s BIG preview and announcement of the next version of Windows, known as “10”. Does this sound weirdly familiar?

Microsoft decided to restore the “Start” menu, and “Search”, from the Start menu. They’ve decided that desktop users might prefer an interface that lets them use their keyboard and mice, as they have for the last twenty-five or thirty years, and still get to see those “Live Tiles” so loved by the Twix-snapping Microsoft  Surface (tablet) crowd. And, they’ve even added some nifty features like using multiple Desktops. (I know, Mac people, we’ve had that for years. Just cool it, and let me finish.)

Most of the snarky tweets clogging Twitter are about the version number. You know the current version of Windows is 8, and you know that your Windows computer is at 7, because, seriously, has anyone other than real Windows geeks and BDC Microserfs upgraded to Windows 8?? (The answer I’m looking for here, is “No.”)

Which brings us back to, “Where”, you might ask, “Did ‘NINE’ go?” Hence the blizzard of tweets from the confused twittersphere.

Guys, let’s do a quick review. Everybody knows that a “higher” version number is better than a “lower” version number. Right? So clearly, Microsoft is saying that Windows Ten is going to be WAY better than Windows 8. WAY. What’s the problem people? So they skipped Nine? This is not a big deal!!

Next time: Why you should expect the next iOS release to be number…

What’s in a name? The Oh Ess Ex Files

TEN, TEN, TEN!! OSX!

It just doesn’t work guys! Expecting our brains to look at three characters and pronounce one as the letter ‘OH’, and the next as the letter ‘ESS’, and then the third as the letter ‘EX’.  NO! NO! NO! (See what I mean?) The third as the ROMAN NUMERAL ‘TEN’!

Only a stubborn genius like Steve Jobs could have insisted on OH ESS TEN. Even the most simple minded Marketing person at Apple must have foreseen what a royal pain this name was going to be. Did any of them have the cajones to tell Steve? Probably not. Even if they did, he’d say,

“Hey, I was right about disk drives, wasn’t I?”

And they’d say, “Let’s call it ‘AQUA’ Steve, people will like that!”

And Steve’d say, “No. Don’t you get it? Generation ‘X’, uniX. It’s gotta have an EX. It’s a marketing thing!”

And they’d say, “Leave the marketing to Marketing, Steve, that’s what you pay us for!”

And Steve says, “I pay you? Everyone says the worst thing about Apple is its marketing. They’ve said that for twenty years! Have I been paying you for twenty years? I wonder what our market share would be if you were working on commission!”

“Steve, you want them to think EX but say TEN. It’s too complicated.”

And Steve would say, “You bozo, I killed Newton, tell me that was a mistake! We’re profitable!”

And they’d think, “Palm and Handspring, they’re doing well…” but they’d say, “How about we just SPELL it ‘OS 10’?”

And Steve would reply, “Are you still working here? OS/2 is IBM’s Operating System. Do you think I want ANYONE to have the slightest perception that OH ESS EX – damn it! – OH ESS TEN, is in any way related to some antique rubbish code from IBM??”

Well we know who won that argument. The  Steve won. The product was named “OSX”,  and properly pronounced “Oh Ess Ten”. But he lost the battle. Because to this day you can hardly find an Apple-Store-Newbie-scruff, much less a GENIUS, who calls it anything but “Oh Ess Ex”.

From Unpredictable #18, May 14, 2001

What if you are one of the unusual folks who wants the free U2 album, but can’t get it?

TidBITS: How to Get (or Delete) Your Free U2 Album.

I’ve been waiting around to see if the U2 album ever shows up on any of my Apple stuff.

I’m not whining because Apple gave me a free album and pushed it down to my stuff without even asking if I wanted it. There are plenty of whiners out there to handle that. And I don’t know, I suppose a Beyonce or Taylor Swift album appearing on my iTunes might have pushed me to whining (or worse). I have compassion for those who don’t like U2. I’m not one of them.

Apple isn’t perfect. They could have handled this better. If the Executive VP in charge of Doing The Right Thing (EVIP of DRAT) had been consulted, I imagine she would have said, “I think we should give people the choice. Isn’t that what Apple is all about? Great choices? If we threw in another gigabyte of iCloud storage, how many people would complain? Then we wouldn’t have to even think about  how many people didn’t choose the download!” But clearly The Tim wasn’t listening to the EVIP of DRAT that day. And the U2-hating-whiners have deluged Apple with complaints. It could have been avoided.

But back to me. I never even got the download. I waited over a week. And after a couple of fruitless Google searches that turned up article-after-article and blog-after-blog of whining about Apple giving people free U2 albums without even a whit of free extra iCloud storage, I found this article in our old friend TidBITS.

I followed the instructions for how to get the album if you are one of the unusual folks who actually want it, but can’t get it. And I got it.

Thank you Adam Engst and team for, once again, publishing the right stuff at the right time. Well written!