Gadgets

Six hours with iOS 11

Today is release day for iOS 11, Apple’s newest version of the operating system for iPhones and iPads. This is not news. As of about 1pm Eastern time, the update is available for download and installation on supported devices. Monochromatic Outlook sacrificed an iPhone1 for the glory of being your guinea pig.2

SSL on a Beaglebone Black: balancing performance with security

Beaglebone Black

I’ve recently set up a local server on a Beaglebone Black, which is a credit-card sized computer with a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor. I’m using it as a cloud server to sync my calendar and contacts, having moved the ownCloud instance (mentioned the other day) from my hosted VPS to my local network.

Owning my own data

Padlocked Mac Pro

I finally got sick and tired of the sync dance with Apple and Google not wanting to talk to one another. I use a Mac but I also have an iPad and since recently I now have an Android phone. I had been syncing with iCloud and a long time ago I imported all my contacts into Google, but I haven’t had sync on that for quite a while.

Bitcoin: worth the electrons it's printed on?

I recall reading even before I had any interest in Bitcoin or Bitcoin mining that the cost of electricity was probably higher than the yield one could get by mining. So I never expected to set up a mining operation on my personal computer and get rich quick. I did what I recommend anyone do if they are interested in getting to know how Bitcoin works: I set up a mining operation to learn.

Insane project idea: iMate Mini

On display at the Monochromatic Museum of Archaic Electronics (otherwise known as my bedroom closet) is a relic from the past that never got used as it should have. The Apple eMate, a device based on the Newton platform but which came in a clamshell case with an integrated keyboard and a carrying handle, was designed to be sold to schools but never took off before Steve Jobs returned to Apple and shut down the Newton division entirely. The design for the case influenced the following generations of Macintosh computers: it presaged the later PowerBook, iBook, and iMac designs.

Seventeen iOS apps worth a look

This is not in any way an exhaustive review of apps for iOS. It is instead a list of apps I have personally found useful. I may not have tried alternates so while I welcome alternate suggestions in the comments, please accept my apologies in advance if I’ve made a choice in ignorance of an app superior to the one I’m recommending. As I don’t have unlimited funds, I’ve made some of my choices based on user or editorial reviews without trying every possibility.

Why would I want to put my cloud in the cloud?

Ever since Sparrow Mail went the way of the dodo,1 the search for a good email client has been on. Sparrow continues to work, but it never fully matured as an email client and will never again be supported. Sparrow therefore is not a good long-term option. I still use Sparrow on my laptop and on my iPhone, but I’ve moved back to Apple’s Mail.app on my desktop system.

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