Author: julio

My 10 best reads (and 2 re-reads) of 2019

I set a reading goal of 100 books last year, but only managed 88 — which isn’t bad!

Here are my 10 favorite new reads of 2019, in no particular order, and I threw in two re-reads. Click the covers to see the corresponding Goodreads pages.

(I’ve again set a 100-book goal for the year and here’s what I’ve read so far in 2020.) More …

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My friend Steve makes me a Mandalorian

My deepest thanks to my artistic pal Steve Borsch for yet again unleashing his digital skillz to insert me into a geeky scenario — the hit Disney+ series “The Mandalorian,” in this case — as the best kind of birthday gift.

This means a lot, my friend. I appreciate it.

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30 years later, still lost in those green eyes

As my petite date walked towards me, and I lost myself in her green eyes, I suspected I was in serious trouble.

We talked for hours, that first day at Cafe Latte, and I knew I was done for.

She was the fourth and last girl I would ever date, and the only one I’d ever kiss. Perfect.

We’d be married within nine months — and today is our 30th anniversary. More …

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WCCO-TV picks my brain about traffic apps

What’s the best traffic app for your phone? WCCO-TV’s Liz Collin posed that question to me.

Quick answer: Google Maps.

Longer answer: It’s complicated, but there are good options for various usage scenarios and device types. If you use an Apple Watch with your iPhone, for instance, Apple Maps is a no-brainer.

Liz interviewed me in my home office, with an Apple Macintosh 128K just over my right shoulder, and Speed Racer over my left shoulder. More …

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Milestone: I wrote my 100th TidBITS story

I recently marked a minor but memorable professional milestone: I wrote my 100th article for TidBITS, the venerable email newsletter and website focused on all things Apple.

I kind of stumbled into becoming a sometime TidBITS contributor in 2009. The role became formalized in 2015, when the editors added me to the masthead.

This is a big deal: A journalist with a passion for tech and especially Apple tech getting paid to write about it on a regular basis. More …

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Facebook friends brighten up my birthday

Friends of mine once again seized on the occasion of my birthday to get creative on Facebook.

Their handiwork (typically of a nerdy nature, since they know me so well) was among dozens and dozens of Facebook greetings from friends, acquaintances and professional colleagues, which made mi cumpleaños all the more awesome.

More …
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Finally falling in love with the Apple Watch

Warming up to the Apple Watch took me a while.

When the first version of the smartwatch came out in 2015, I delighted in having an Apple-branded product on my wrist. When the novelty wore off, though, I realized the gizmo wasn’t useful to me in any life-changing way, and ended up leaving it on its desktop charger most of the time. More …

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My iPad as touchscreen Mac (kinda sorta)

Laptops with touch screens are pretty much the norm these days, with a prominent exception: Macintosh notebooks. Apple has stubbornly refrained from adding fingertip interaction to the displays on its MacBook-branded notebooks (while tryihg to accommode touch aficionados in other ways, like gargantuan trackpads and a controversial MacBook Pro Touch Bar.) So what’s a touch-y Mac user to do?
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I turned my fixed desk into a sit-stand desk

I love sit-stand desks, those contraptions that can be raised and lowered so you can work on a computer in a sitting or a standing position.

Standing desks have been hailed on health grounds, though the science on this is a mixed bag, at best. Prolonged sitting isn’t good for you, but switching to a standing desk doesn’t appear based on current evidence to be miraculous wellness enhancer. More …

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WCCO has me on to talk holiday tech gifts

Tech gifts for the holidays run the gamut price-wise from $20 or less to $1,000 and over, which can make shopping for such products confounding — especially if you are not a geek.

I recently appeared on WCCO-TV, my local CBS affiliate, to shed some light on this. Here are the products I featured in a WCCO Sunday Morning segment. More …

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I embark on an Apple adventure in Chicago

Just home from Florida vacation late last month, I headed to the airport again — this time on a work trip to Chicago.

I was off to attend my first Apple media event in years, and I was pretty excited about that.

Such press events are normally held on or near Apple’s California campus, but this one was staged at an inner-city Chicago magnet school. More …

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