Unknown Caller Rage

I’m retired and have a lot of time on my hands.

I’m going collect as many phone numbers as I can, legally or not. I will then call these phone numbers every day and evening, often multiple times, using an unlisted phone number. I will change this unlisted number often. If you answer I will try to sell you insurance, or an old TV, or maybe a magazine subscription. I will keep calling, whether you answer or not. If I get voice mail, I will leave you as long a tiring message as I can, every time. After a month or two, my voice mail will offer to stop calling if you wire a monthly fee to an account I provide.

How long would you put up with this? Would you call the police? Would you try to have me fined, or arrested?

You would probably succeed. And deservedly so. So why can’t we citizens, harassed daily by unknown callers, call the police and get THEM arrested?

Adding insult to injury, the Telcos make money providing these miscreants the bandwidth they use, and then have the audacity to offer us a priced, monthly service to stop just some of the calls.

Think about that for a while.

Didn’t Wait Long Enough…

I have no complaints with the Mac Mini that I purchased last November. It’s a speedy and dependable machine, and I’m still impressed with the local storage transfer speeds and the number of memory sucking apps I can run simultaneously.

But I didn’t wait long enough. Apple’s recent announcement on March 25 included a spanking new line of iMacs. What a surprise.

Maybe they just wanted to see how many Mac Mini’s they could sell to people like me who were waiting for this news for about the last 2 years. The ones who listened to the Tech bloggers reporting that if Apple didn’t announce new iMacs at their previous new product announcement, the iMac line was probably dead (except for the one that starts at $4,999).

Sour grapes, eh? Admittedly, yeah. But like I said, the beefed up Mini performs very well and I have no complaints. But for the money I spent on it and the 3rd party monitor, I could have purchased a new iMac for the same money or slightly less, and have even better performance and longevity. And a hell of a lot better graphics.

HA! Shut up, ol’ man. Just shut up. And quit your whining. You done ok.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Time to Upgrade

Apple.

The iMac I’m using right now is old. It was manufactured in 2013. It’s getting slower on boot up, and the more time I spend in a given logon session the slower it gets, even without a lot of apps running.

I’m unhappy with Apple for not upgrading this model in quite a while. I’m not going to spend $2,000 or more to replace the iMac with a machine that’s running 2016 / 2017 technology. It was a big disappointment that their late October announcement did not mention any new iMacs.

Oh wait a minute – they did release a new iMac within the last year. It’s the iMac PRO, and the PRO part at the end of the name means it starts at $4,999. It’s targeted to professionals in the movie, arts, architecture, and design businesses.

By not announcing a new home or business iMac model by now, I think Tim Cook and his financial guys are forgetting the working class grunts and their Apple hardware and software purchases that helped Apple obtain their current financial status.

But that’s just my disappointment talking. In all fairness, they did announce a new Mac Mini PRO. The media tacked on the PRO, not Apple. My first Apple desktop was a Mini and was a great little box I used for years. The new Mini has many configuration options and a nice set of features. It allows for the building of a Mini beast which is what I did, aiming for it to have as long a life as possible. I’ll be ordering it soon, but without their $700, or $1,300 LG monitor. I’m sure I can get the monitor I need on the net for a little over half those prices.

I’m admitting to being too locked into Apple with my iPhone, iPad, iMac, Mac Air, and iCloud. I’ve severed my relationship with Microsoft for good (for the second time). I have a Lenovo laptop that now runs Linux instead of the Window’s 10 it came with. The Window’s updates got very unpredictable and often made messes it took me hours to cleanup, sometimes a day or more. I have minimal experience with Linux but early investigation tells me getting it to do all the things I do on the Apple platform may be a pipe dream. But as I said, I have a lot to learn about Linux and what software is out there for it.

My future plan is to not replace my iPhone when it is no longer keeping up with the other devices, and instead purchase an iPad with cellular. I may end up getting tired of lugging the iPad around all the time to not miss calls, so getting a low cost cell phone and plan providing only unlimited text and calls may be another solution.

Some IOS Apps I Use Everyday

These are some of the Apple IOS apps that help keep an old man organized, on time, and secured.  I basically run my life off my iPhone, and these three apps help.  I have other apps I use daily and will follow up with some of them in future posts, in case they may be of interest to you.

GoodReader by Good.iWare Inc
UPDATE 02/03/2019: GoodReader 5 was released recently and has a more robust interface, more security options, and other new features which make it well worth the wait. Every computing platform has its “must have, does it all app”, and for IOS, it’s this one.  It houses files of all types in a standard folder and file structure, and I can transfer or download any of them to and from my desktops and laptops.  I set up a sync arrangement within the app I can run at will to keep a folder on my iMac identical to a folder in GoodReader.  It is a powerful PDF annotator and updater.  I use an in-app security option to have all content in the app encrypted at the hardware level (requiring a password or finger print to get into the app), and selected folders protected by a different password (same fingerprint) as well.  Check this app out in the App Store for a full list of its capabilities.  It’s well worth the $5.

TickTick by Appest Limited
This apps manages my simple ToDo list in a very workable layout.  It has all the usual functionality of a basic ToDo app (date and time settings, alerts, repeats, priority, etc) that you can choose to use or not.  It provides a helpful widget with useful features, and TickTick can manage multiple lists of tasks.  I’m using the free version which caps at 99 tasks (way more than I need), but if you’re still active in the corporate world or your own business, you can upgrade to the Pro version.  This adds almost unlimited lists and tasks, collaboration with others, attachments, a calendar interface, and more.  Note that even the free version provides syncing of the tasks and lists with other IOS devices and the free Mac OS X version of the App, as well as Android devices and a web interface.  Keep me honest and check this app out in the App Store for all the details.  Feature for feature, I think it’s among the best in class.

Enpass Password Manager by Sinew Software Systems Private Limited
UPDATE 02/03/2019: I can no longer recommend this password management app. A highly promoted “new” version was recently placed into the App Store, and it proved to be a beta release, with promoted features missing or unworkable. Most noticeable was that the ability to house your password database locally was missing. I am now running my previous password manager, mSecure, which also came out with a new release around the same time. It works very well, has cross platform support, still supports a local password DB, and syncs your other devices over your WiFi network.