macOS New App Release – SkyVPN 1.0.5


Product Announcement – Sentry Secure Communication of Los Angeles, California has released SkyVPN 1.0.5, a maintenance update to their popular private network application service for macOS. SkyVPN is known around the world for effectively bypassing emergent firewall blocks. But up until recently, it was only available on Android and iOS. Now, Mac users can get the same VPN service with the newly-released SkyVPN for Mac.

Have multiple devices on different operating systems? No problem. SkyVPN users can use the same VPN account on any device running iOS, Android, PC or Mac, at the same time. Most importantly, there is no limit on traffic consumption.

What’s Special About SkyVPN?
The VPN service market has exploded in the past few years and there are now a large number of VPN apps available. But SkyVPN is special. What makes SkyVPN different from all the other VPN apps?

SkyVPN is the only VPN app that provides free Premium service. At sign-up, users can take advantage of two different kinds of service:
1. Basic Service (free, US server only)
2. Premium Service (unlimited session time, global servers, even faster & more stable connection)

Users can easily earn unlimited premium traffic by spending several minutes watching ads and completing simple tasks. The more ads you watch and the more tasks you complete, the more premium traffic you can earn. You can also earn premium traffic simply by checking in every day. There’s no better or easier way to get premium VPN service than with SkyVPN for Mac, PC, Android, and iOS.

Whether you choose Basic Service or Premium Service, SkyVPN has the ability to bypass all kinds of firewall blocks. What’s more, the developers of SkyVPN are always working hard to improve their services so that users can maintain their internet freedom. Because of this ongoing commitment to improvement, SkyVPN has earned high praise among all its users.

What Users Say About SkyVPN:
“This VPN is best VPN I’ve ever seen. It unblocks my school WiFi, allows me to access any website, any app in school any time. And this VPN updates quickly. Sometimes it not working due to school firewall update. But it comes back so soon unlike other VPN, ONCE THE SCHOOL FIREWALL UPDATED, IT GONE FOREVER. I thought that I will never write a review, but SkyVPN changed my mind. Thanks to the development team thanks to the free network view” – by anastatua May 3, 2018

SkyVPN for Mac:
Want to access any website or browser on your Mac? It is easy to connect to the VPN server with the new SkyVPN for Mac. SkyVPN for Mac is powerful, fast, and stable…just like the mobile version. But SkyVPN for Mac has several advantages that other VPN services for Mac do not.

Across Multiple Devices:
SkyVPN users can log in on Mac with the same account they use on their mobile device. There’s no need to create an additional account for your Mac. In fact, one account can be used on 5 devices at the same time. And all 5 devices will share that account’s traffic.

Unlimited And Even Free:
If users already have a SkyVPN unlimited traffic plan on their mobile device(s), they can enjoy that same unlimited VPN service on their Mac for free. They can surf the internet, watch videos, play games, and much more. All with the confidence that SkyVPN offers the most secure VPN service available.

Pricing and Availability:
SkyVPN 1.0.5 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

macOS New App Release – PopChar X 8.3


Product AnnouncementErgonis Software of Perg, Austria has released PopChar X 8.3, an improved version of the company’s award-winning tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. The new version 8.3 offers a couple of smart user interface improvements, which make PopChar even more convenient to use. One of these improvements is the option to show font names in their own font. This is sometimes called “WYSIWYG font names” for “what you see is what you get”, as the font names themselves act as samples of text in that font. With this option enabled, PopChar’s font list now gives a quick glimpse of the general appearance of the available fonts and makes it easier to find desired fonts.

Another feature allows to configure whether PopChar should remember the selected font for all applications instead of separately per application. Also new is the option to disable version checks in full-screen mode to avoid unexpected alerts during a presentation as well as the option to insert HTML characters in hexadecimal notation.

In addition to that, PopChar X 8.3 incorporates metrics adjustments for various fonts and offers fixes and workarounds for user-reported issues. Visit Ergonis Software’s website to learn more about the changes in this release and to download the new version.

PopChar solves a problem faced by every technologist and multi-lingual worker. Inserting special characters into application documents can be frustrating and results in a steady loss of productivity. With PopChar, thousands of special characters are only a few clicks away. Just pop up the PopChar window, click the desired character, and the character appears in your current document right away.

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.6 or newer
  • Compatible with macOS High Sierra (10.13)

PopChar X can be purchased securely on the Ergonis Software website. The upgrade to PopChar X 8.3 is free for anyone who purchased a license for PopChar X 8 or for PopChar X 7 on or after September 1st 2016. Upgrade paths are available for owners of older licenses. For information about purchases, including enterprise licenses, volume discounts, and upgrade pricing offers, see the company’s website. Instead of purchasing PopChar separately, customers can save money by ordering the Ergonis Productivity Bundle, which also includes the text expander Typinator and the keyboard shortcut helper KeyCue.

Singapore, Singapore – marché Mövenpick

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Food & Locations – We had never heard of the marché Mövenpick until we came across it in the 313@Sumerset mall the other day. On the main floor, it looks like a coffee shop and bakery (it has some very nice breads and rolls). If you go downstairs though you find a full, very large restaurant.

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This restaurant is one of 80 around the world (only two in North America, and unfortunately they are both in Toronto, Canada), though I have never come across them before. They seem to be very family friendly and even offer birthday packages for kids.  These packages start at $29.90 SD (Singapore Dollars) per child with a minimum of 10.

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When you enter the restaurant, you are given a card, much like a credit card. As you wander about the floor you choose the items you want to eat. You hand the cook/server your card and they electronically record your selection. You do have to be careful or you could easily run up a pretty hefty bill.

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When you are done eating, you exit through a cashier who scans your card and then prepares a bill based upon your selections. I was happy to find that Apple Pay was accepted here.

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We tried marché for dinner one night, then again for breakfast. The food was very good and, for the most part, prepared to your order. It is a little expensive, but then Singapore (Where is Singapore?) is an expensive city to live in. Shown above is the daily special of “White Asparagus Savory Crepe” at $19.90 SD or about $14.80 USD at today’s exchange rate. You do get a good meal for your money. That Crepe is about 14″ long and about 3″ in diameter and comes with a side salad.

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There is a station (shown above) where you can have a pasta dish prepared.

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There is also a salad station where you choose a small, medium or large plate, then fill it with your choice of salads and vegetables.

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There is a selection of meats and fish that you can have prepared to your taste. About the only difference we saw between the dinner and breakfast menu was the availability of omelets and waffles during breakfast. The omelet was good, but the ingredients were fixed – onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

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There is a dessert station where they have ice cream and baked goods. After our dinner, we tried a couple of their desserts. A Vanilla Marange and a piece of Praline Chocolate cake. They were both very good.

Would I come back to marché? – definitely, though I am not sure if I would come for breakfast again. If you are in the Somerset MRT (subway) Station area in Singapore, this is a place I would recommend.

See my other Food & Location articles


macOS New App Release – Duplicate File Finder 5.3


Product AnnouncementNektony of Odessa, Ukraine has released Duplicate File Finder version 5.3. The application is addressed to those who are looking for the simplest way to remove duplicate content on macOS. Apart from the main option, the app allows users to compare similar folders and merge them, to view duplicates’ removal history and even to select duplicates in bulk.

Usually, computer users may not even guess how many duplicate files exist on their disks and the significant space they take up on hard drives. Manual searching for duplicates is not so easy and takes up so much time. That’s why Duplicate File Finder was created and new useful features for quick organizing and removing duplicates were added. Here are some of them:

  • Select Duplicates in Folder – quickly select duplicates in bulk in particular folders
  • Merge Folders – find similar folders, compare duplicate and unique files in them and merge the content
  • View Duplicates’ Removal History – restore removed duplicates from Trash

All you need do to find duplicates is to add multiple folders or disks and click to start scanning them. In less than in a minute, the app will provide a visual report of all the duplicates found. Moreover, the app can find hidden duplicate files and similar folders. With a wide set of the app’s features, it’s super easy and quick to get rid of unneeded duplicates: cleanup hints, file sorting, file previews, smart autoselect, select/keep options and others.

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.9 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 15.5 MB

Duplicate File Finder 5.3 is Free to download from the Mac App Store and allows the users to remove duplicates files. The Pro version is available with in-App purchase for $4.99 (USD) and allows the users to remove duplicate folders and merge folders.

Review of “Jian”


Book Reviews – “Jian” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition was published in 1985) and was written by Eric Van Lustbader ( Mr. Lustbader has published nearly 50 novels. This is the first of his two “China Maroc” books.

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence.  The story is set in Hong Kong.

Jake Maroc is a top agent for a US agency. Nichiren is an assassin as well as Maroc’s adversary. She Zilin is a Communist minister. All three are struggling to become the Jian – the ultimate master of strength and wisdom. Who will survive the scheme that has set them against one another? Who will control Hong Kong?

This was a good thriller. I have read many of Van Lustbader’s novels and I have liked them all. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

macOS New App Release – Funter 4.0


Product AnnouncementNektony of Odessa, Ukraine has released Funter 4.0. For users who prefer the convenience of getting apps through the App Store, this is the perfect time to download Funter – a freeware app addressed at those who are looking for the simplest way to show and find hidden files on Mac. Apps and web browsers on Mac create lots of unneeded files, which are hidden and might utilize significant disk space. Spotlight does not find such invisible and system files. But Funter allows you to find those hidden files, make them visible and easily operate them.

All you need do to find hidden files is just type the name of the file in the finder field. Funter allows you to choose a folder for search, show all/hidden/unhidden files, forward to file location in Finder, preview files from Funter, or copy, move or delete files using the appropriate buttons. Funter makes it possible to switch file visibility with just one click.

Funter is targeted at all Mac users who want to operate hidden files and folders. It makes it easy to find and clear user, system and browser caches.

Best strengths:

  • Search hidden files in hidden folders
  • Search files in system folders, bundles and packages
  • Switch hidden file visibility with one click
  • Operate hidden files

Funter implements an easy method of showing hidden files, and finding hidden and useless files in any location on Mac.

System Requirements:

  • macOS 10.13
  • 64-bit processor
  • 5.2 MB

Funter 4.0 is Free to download and available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category.

Review of “Prisoner in the Castle”


Book ReviewsWorld War IIWorld War II Timeline – “Prisoner in the Castle” eBook was published in 2018 (August) and was written by Susan Elia MacNeal ( Ms. MacNeal has published eight novels in her ‘Maggie Hope Mystery’ series. This is the eighth in the series. Read my interview with Ms. MacNeal.

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in Scotland during World War II. The primary character is Maggie Hope, a former British spy.

Hope has been sent to a castle on a remote Scottish island because she has become aware of the plans for D-Day. She and a hand full of others from the intelligence community are there to set out the war where they cannot reveal sensitive information that they have come across.

Soon after a new resident arrives, members of their small community begin to die. At first, the deaths seem like accidents, but before long it is obvious that there is a killer amongst them. Not only are they living with a killer, but the evidence indicates that there is a German spy on the island after Allied secrets.

I really enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 320 page World War II-era mystery/thriller. While this is one of a series, it reads well as a stand-alone novel. I liked the characters in the novel. I would like to go back and read earlier novels in the series, and I will certainly be looking for future additions. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

Podcast – Manager Tools

I was riding to an IEEE meeting a few years ago with a friend. The trip was going to be about 45 minutes long so he turned on a podcast he regularly listened to, Manager Tools, to help pass the time. After listening during our trip, I was hooked and subscribed to the podcast myself. I regularly listened to it until I retired.

This is a weekly podcast begun in 2005 and presented by Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman.  It focuses on how managers can be more effective and provides career planning suggestion. There are now over 500 episodes in their library. Each episode of this award-winning podcast is between 30 minutes and one hour in length.

I found this podcast to be very informative and useful. I recommend it to anyone in a leadership role. They can be subscribed to in iTunes.



Review of “Dragon Road”


Book Reviews – “Dragon Road” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Joseph Brassey ( Mr. Brassey has published 10 novels, with this the second in his “The Drifting Lands” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in a mystical land where magic is possible.

Portal-mage Harkon Bright and his apprentice Aimee are hired to arbitrate the selection of the new Captain for the massive skyship Iseult. The Iseult is a city unto itself. After the Captain’s odd death, three officers are contending for the position. There is more here than simply a contest of will for the command of the vessel. Various plots are encountered within the officers of the Iseult. There is also magic from the darkness that pits Harkon and Aimee against the dead.

I thought that this was an interesting 11.5 hour read of 448 pages. This was a fantasy full of magical threats. It was a little confusing at first so I would suggest reading the first novel in the series before this one if possible. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

Travel tip – Always carry a ‘Cheater Plug’


Tech Tips – On my international travels, I have stayed in hotels that, for the convenience of travelers from the US, have 110 V. outlets installed. These are really great to have, but generally, they are only non-grounded receptacles. This was the case recently when I was in Tokyo, Japan. I was traveling with my MacBook and the power cable includes a ground pin making it incompatible with the provided 110V outlet.


This is where having a ‘cheater plug‘ can save the day. The ‘cheater’ is simply a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter that allows grounded plugs to be used in non-grounded receptacles. Having heard about Akihabara Electric Town, we dropped in while out exploring Tokyo. After asking in a few shops we found and purchased a few of these adapters to add to our travel kit.

Back in the States, we could easily have picked them up almost anywhere. Looking at them on Amazon they are about $4 or less each. If you are going to be traveling with any electronics that has a 3-prong grounded power plug, adding one of these ‘cheater plugs’ to your travel kit may be just what you need to keep yourself in operation.