Tech Tuesday - Old Technology

Today I've decided to start a less problem based series of posts about technology in general. After thinking about it for a while I decided to call it "Tech Tuesday." The alliteration works for me but I reserve the right to change the name to "Tech Thursday" if I don't meet my deadline. But for today, it's Tech Tuesday. 

For my first Tech Tuesday post I'll start with a question: What's the oldest piece of tech you have still laying about?

I have a vast collection of old routers, ancient network Ethernet Switches, printers, cables & miscellaneous old calculators.

I'm an HP RPN guy myself and rarely use my old HP 41C or 32S any more. My iPhone now serves as my go to machine when I need to work some math. If you are like me and find the default apple calculator lacking check out the Apple App store. It has a great collection of calculator emulators and including many HP-like RPN versions. My go to iPhone calculator is Free42. As it's name implies it's free and works well. It may not have all the programing functions of some of the more advanced emulators out there but, it's free. Give it a try.

As for working electronics I think I'm most proud of my old Palm Tungsten T3. It's rugged and well designed for it's day too bad HP had to go and ruin it. At this point it's worth next to nothing so for now I keep it tucked away. Who know's maybe it will be worth something some day.

So how about you? What do you have laying about? Do you still use it every day or even every month? Let me know in the comments. 


Apple Photos - How to Stop Autolaunch

One of my hobbies is photography. I love taking tons of photos and over the years I have developed a workflow involving Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Bridge and Adobe Lightroom. I used iPhoto and more recently the new Apple Photos, but not as my main go-to application. Therefore I was quite annoyed when each and every time I plugged in my iPhone or SD card Apple Photos would open. Here's how to shut that off. 

Open up Photos and plug in your SD Card or iDevice. Go to the "Import" tab and look at the upper left corner of the window. 

All you need to do is uncheck the "Open Photos for this device" box and Photos will not autolaunch when you plug in your device. 

The somewhat annoying part is that you will need to do this for each and every device you plug in. But once you have plugged them in and unchecked the box all should be well and Photos won't autolaunch.

BONUS Section

People tend to forget applications they haven't used for a while (or in some cases never even knew existed). Image Capture is one of those applications. 

Image Capture has been around a long time and is installed by default in the Applications folder.  You can use Image Capture to do all sorts of things including using a scanner, sorting your photos, quick emails or even make a contact sheet. You can also set what you want to happen when you plug in a SD Card or idevice. 

Find Image Capture in your applications folder and open it up. Once open look in the lower left corner of the window. You will see almost the same import configuration options as you see in Photos.

If you don't see the import pull down menu (shown in the red circle above) hit the very small arrow box in the lower left corner. That symbol is Apple's universal icon for "There's more stuff here if you hit me!" In this case it toggles the import view on and off. Once open use the pull down menu to set the application or no application to autolaunch. 

Using Image Capture also allows you to set the import location or what to do with the photos on import. Just use the "Import To" pull down menu at the bottom center of the window.

As you can see there are a lot of cool options, even build a web page! How easy is that.  

If you are a photographer and take even a modest amount of photos, getting rid of small annoyances, saving time and streamlining your work can really pay off. These tips may not make you a better photographer but they definitely help your workflow.


A Little Time Off - TARDIS Style

I decided to take some time off from blogging a while back but should get back to all things Mac shortly. It wasn't like I didn't have other projects going on though. Since my family loves Dr. Who, I thought I would share the TARDIS nightlight I just finished. Now I just turn it on at night to scare away all the Daleks and Cybermen hiding under my bed.

As a DIY project I'm sure it's been done to death but I figured it was going to be fun and interesting to see what I could do with it. 

I started with some plans I drew up and some materials. 

Some cutting, more thinking and many trips to the big box hardware store and I finished the basics. (FYI - Big Box hardware stores suck at small parts and accessories. I got almost everything elsewhere.) 

Add some glue and the classic outline was done. 

I fussed over the details of the call box sign. How do you make the text clear and readable? How do you make 4 signs that all match? Should I make the signs illuminated? A few  internet searches later I found a sticker place that will print your own custom made stickers. WOOT! 

A little Sharpie action, some pre-stained wood side panels and when all was done I ended up with this.

Several coats of "Tardis Blue" stain, a wash of black to add some depth and I had my nightlight. If I get around to it I'll take some night shots. The top light is clear acrylic that glows. The windows are frosted and covered with blue acetate to give a nice blue illumination. All in all, it works well and it makes me happy. Isn't that what's life is about?