Tag Archives: Apple

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Arriving 24 Sept 2021

(See my other trailer posts) – I have been a science fiction fan since I was in Jr. High. One of the authors I read a lot of is Isaac Asimov. Among his works are the seven novels of his “Foundation” series.

These were published over decades from 1950 through 1993. The premise of the story (per Wikipedia) is:

in the waning days of a future Galactic Empire, the mathematician Hari Seldon spends his life developing a theory of psychohistory, a new and effective mathematical sociology. Using statistical laws of mass action, it can predict the future of large populations. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a Dark Age lasting 30,000 years before a second empire arises.

I read the first five of these novel years ago. Apple TV is bringing the series to their network beginning 24 September 2021. I can only hope that their version of Foundation is as good as the novels were. I am looking forward to it!

Apple Today at Home brings Apple led classes to you

Updated 4/19/20

(See all of my Shelter-at-Home related posts) – Apple stores all over the world have hosted Today at Apple classes since May of 2017. Today at Apple are in-store programs. They include Photo Walks and Kids Hour at all Apple stores. Many classes have been offered on a wide range of topics.

Sadly with most of the Apple Stores closed we haven’t had access to these classes. Yesterday Apple announced Apple today at Home. Their tagline:

Inspiring creative activities. From our home to yours. Join Creative Pros from Apple Store locations all over the world for quick and fun projects they put together in their homes, so you can get creative in yours.

There are four classes available now:

  1. Draw playful portraits with iPad (05:06) – Harriet from Apple Regent Street in London shows you how to add doodles, color, and your own handwriting to turn a quick photo into a unique portrait.
  2. Capture striking photography with iPhone (03:22) – Follow along with Cameron from Apple Orchard Road in Singapore to learn angles and edits that will help you capture artful photos featuring your home.
  3. Shoot photos full of personality with iPhone (03:49) – Join Adrian from Apple Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica as he shows you how to dig into the Camera app on iPhone to capture your personality in self-portraits.
  4. Turn your home into music with GarageBand (05:03) – Rosie from Apple Regent Street in London demonstrates how to whip together sounds from your kitchen to create a sweet “house” music track using the free GarageBand app.

Run Apple ][ BASIC Programs in your Browser

Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 9.48.17 AM

As you sit at home ‘sheltering-in-place’ and are old enough, you might get nostalgic for that Apple ][  you used to have. Now you can step back in time 40+ years. You can fulfill your yearning for Apple ][ programming from within your browser.

There is now an Apple ][ BASIC  emulator you can run in your browser. Specifically, the emulator is for Applesoft BASIC, the Microsoft version of BASIC for the Apple ][. This emulator, the Apple ][js, is a creation of Will Scullin.

This is a full Apple ][ emulator written in JavaScript. While the emulator will run in almost any browser, it works best in Google Chrome.

I loaded the emulator in Safari 13.0.5 and it seemed to run well. When the emulator is opened, you will see the image (see above) of an Apple ][. I tried the first simple program in Further Reading #1 and it worked without any problems.

Need to know more about BASIC? The Further Reading #1 article references online resources for you.

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If you want to try out some games, check out the list in Further Reading #2. If you click on the file name (animal.bas for example) of a game, the BASIC program is shown. You can then enter the program in the emulator. Popular magazines of the time, such as BYTE (See Further Reading #3), often contained BASIC program listings.

If you visit the Will Scullin website you will find that he also has Javascript emulators for the Apple 1 and the Apple //e as well.


Further Reading

  1. How to Write an Apple II BASIC Program in Your Web Browser
  2. Vintage BASIC Games
  3. BYTE Magazine

Podcasts: “Apple Context Machine”


Podcasts – As you may have read on previous posts, I like to listen to podcasts. One that I subscribe to is “Apple Context Machine” hosted by Jeff Gamet and Bryan Chaffin from The Mac Observer. As they say on their website:

The Apple Context Machine is Mac, iPhone, and iPod news and analysis that puts the facts in perspective brought to you with a sense of humor.

This isn’t the program to learn the latest technical details of Apple products, but it does give an interesting perspective on the company and their products. It is one of the programs that I regularly listen to.

If you are interested in the world of Apple, this is a Podcast that you should try.

More Info on iCloud – Are You Using It?

I came across the PDF file “iCloud Mastered” produced by MacLife Magazine. If you are not using iCloud with your Mac and iOS devices, I recommend reading through this to see what you are missing. Even if you are using iCloud, taking a few minutes to read the four page document may be worth your time.

I use iCloud to sync and share files between my Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone. I find it extremely useful, particularly when I am traveling away from home.

macOS New App Release – Menu Calendar 1.3

Product AnnouncementsTension Software of Milano, Italy has released Menu Calendar 1.3 for macOS. Menu Calendar 1.3 the utility to make date calculation directly in the menu bar. Menu Calendar makes available under the menu bar, in any application you are running, a small calendar usable also for date calculation.

Clicking it’s icon under the menu bar not only shows a small standard calendar that you can use to navigate inside any month, it also makes available a small area under the calendar for date calculation.
You can add (or subtract) days, months, years and Menu Calendar will instantly show the resulting day.
You can also optionally select from the menu to have Menu Calendar launched any time you login inside your Mac.

If you often need to make date calculations inside other applications or simply need a menu calendar that can pop up from the menu bar at any time and instantly, Menu Calendar is for you.

Simplicity and effectiveness are the primary features of Menu Calendar.

  • You can have it always on your menu bar. Simply and effective
  • It’s fast, it pops up in a fraction of a second
  • Runs and is available with any application you run
  • You can make date calculation in a single click (no typing required)
  • Doesn’t take precious screen space
  • Sandboxed and Gatekeeper signed respecting all the Apple rules for first class macOS apps
  • Optimized for macOS 10.13 High Sierra

New in this release:

  • New improved layout
  • New buttons to add days in a click
  • Bug fixes
  • Various optimizations

System Requirements:

  • Requires macOS 10.10 or Higher
  • Optimized for macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Pricing and Availability:
Menu Calendar is just $1.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category.

The Macintosh Story on Tech Stuff


As I have mentioned before I regularly listen to several podcasts. One of those I follow is Tech Stuff and I recently listened to their three-part episode on the Macintosh. These three aired on June 2, 7 and 9 of 2017 (Yeah, I am way behind on my listening). These comprise about 3 hours and 40 minutes of information on how the Apple Macintosh was conceived, how it developed and where it is today.

If you are interested in the Mac, you may want to download and listen to these three episodes.

The Secret History of the iPhone


Podcasts – I listened to episode #145 of the Internet History Podcast (I mentioned in an earlier article that this was one of the podcasts that I regularly listen to) just yesterday.  In this episode, Brian Merchant, Author of the book “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone” is interviewed. While the episode could not touch on all of the topics covered in the book, the podcast did reveal some interesting things about the iPhone.

If you are interested in Apple and the iPhone the podcast is something that you may want to listen to. If it peaks your interest, you will want to read the book.

macOS New app Release – PopChar X 8.2


Product Announcements – Ergonis Software of Perg, Austria has released PopChar X 8.2, an improved version of the company’s award-winning tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. With this new release, Ergonis made a great job in enhancing and refining the recently released version 8 of PopChar X.

One of the outstanding new features of PopChar 8 is doubtlessly the possibility to create custom layouts and link fonts to preferred layouts. This allows you to design tailored layouts for particular workflow situations, which leads to even quicker access of frequently needed special characters.

PopChar 8.2 extends the notation options for custom layouts. It is now possible to add a bunch of characters with just one smart directive in the layout description. You can, for example, add all characters from a named Unicode block, or all characters that match a certain search string.

In addition to that, PopChar X 8.2 offers some 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.

For topical reasons, Ergonis Software is pleased to announce that PopChar X 8.2 is fully compatible with macOS High Sierra, which has been released by Apple just a few days ago.

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: PopChar X 8.2 requires Mac OS X 10.6 or newer and is compatible with macOS High Sierra (10.13).

PopChar X can be purchased securely on the Ergonis Software website. The upgrade to PopChar X 8.2 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 web site. 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.

Some Features of iOS 11

Tech Tips – A friend of mine from CapMac, Nathan Lott,  just published this video on some of the new features of iOS 11. If you have updated your iPhone or iPad, or are considering it, you will find it well worth your time to view this 12:29 video.

I saw a lot of new features there that I can immediately put to use.

See my other iOS articles