The Ears Have It

Since retiring, air travel is no longer a frequent occurrence, but a recent holiday trip to Buffalo was a reminder that my audio listening gear for travel left something to be desired.  I like to have music or podcasts at the ready to fill the travel time as well as to afford some private listening time when the spirit moves.  But the corded earbuds I picked up at an airport kiosk in November 2017 were just not cutting it…

Setting Up A Home Media Server - The Software

From a software standpoint, setting up my home media server really involved only three software applications - one app to rip the DVD’s, one app to rip the BluRay disks, and one app to catalogue and organize the hundreds of video titles (movies, trailers, movie extras, TV series, etc.) and be able to play back this content on demand on my device of choice…

Setting up a Home Media Server - The Hardware

Creating your own home media server involves both hardware and software working together to first “rip” and later easily access and play back your personal movie and home video collection.  As I described in my February 27 blog on this same topic,  a home media server typically consists of substantial storage space on one or more hard drives attached to a media-savvy computer with software installed that is designed to manage your digital assets…

A Fresh Start...

This new website is a “fresh start” at creating a place to share my personal technology musings. In December 2015, I first launched this website I call “A Digital Life Examined” to share with family and friends my personal approach to technology…

Moving a "Nest" to a New Nest

n December 2015, I wrote a blog post in the “Home Automation” category of my website about my (then) recent acquisition of three different wifi-aware home automation products created by a start-up company called “Nest”, which was later acquired by Google.  The products continue to be branded as “Nest” products.  If you wish to get a bit of background for this current blog post, you may want to take a quick look at my 2015 “Nest” post…

Home Video - A Brief Evolutionary History

Since retiring from full time work in December 2017, I've been investing a good bit of time on a project that has been high on my “retirement to-do list”: the digitization of my personal collection of video tapes, DVD’s, home movies, etc. I initially began experimenting with this process while I was still working full time, but now have had the time to engage in earnest…

"It Keeps on Ticking..."

Some of you may be old enough to remember those 1950’s TV commercials hosted by John Cameron Swayze (whoever he was) demonstrating on live TV that Timex Watches “take a licking and keep on ticking”.  Well, after almost four years of daily use of my Apple Watch, I’m beginning to feel that way about Apple’s first timepiece.  Although it has yet to sustain any real lickings, it definitely “keeps on ticking”.  It has all the feel of a “real” watch, rather than the wearable computer that it actually is.  To me, that’s one of the ways in which the Apple Watch is quite different from the iPhone, in which the use as a phone seems secondary to many of its other capabilities (not that it isn’t a perfectly good phone)…

My Digital Library Card

On one of our periodic trips to Halifax (which is about two hours away), we made a visit to Halifax Central Library, a new library building that opened in 2014 on the site of a former parking lot and is the flagship library for the Halifax Public Libraries system that serves the entire province.  The new library is a beautifully designed building (resulting from an international architectural design competition) and reminds me more of an Apple Store than a traditional library that had row and row of “stacks”…

"Somewhere There's Music..."

When I wrote my first blog post about “Music + Audio” for this site in December 2015, I spoke of some of the ways in which my spouse and I were listening to recorded music in our home that particular day as an illustration of how much things had changed from the preceding decades of playing LP’s and, later, CD’s. The three different ways of streaming music I described at the time were: 1) using an Apple TV in the kitchen to tune into a free internet jazz radio stream, 2) listening to a classical station on Sirius XM via the iPad (with a Bluetooth-connected Bose speaker) , and 3) sampling a new jazz artist on the Apple Music subscription service on another the desktop Mac in my office…

Password Security - More Important Than Ever...

In December 2015, I wrote a blog post describing my use of 1Password, an excellent password manager app for both mobile and desktop use. If you are unfamiliar with password managers and how they work, you may want to take a quick look at that earlier post before reading further. In the three years that have passed since writing that blog, the importance of password security has grown exponentially in the battle against those nefarious sorts on the internet who are looking to steal your personal data. Fortunately, during this three year same period, 1Password has been continually updated and upgraded to make the process of managing your passwords and other sensitive information much easier and, may I say, even enjoyable.

Moom - A Terrific Mac Window Management App

Now that “A Digital Life Examined” has been relaunched after a three-year (!) hiatus, one of the first blog posts I’ve been wanting to write is to share my enthusiasm for a small but mighty Mac desktop app called Moom, published by the software developer Many Tricks. This compact app has quickly turned into the most used utility on my Mac menu bar…

Airtable - A Database Application for the Rest of Us

I mentioned in my last blog entry that, in the last few months, I have been too busy at work to take time to write any articles for this website.  However, that doesn't mean that I've been "offline" from my digital world during this time.  In fact, during this recent period of intensity at work, I discovered a fascinating new tool that is now available to anyone looking to fill what I believe is a void in the currently available productivity suites we all use daily at work and at home.