Category Archives: Technology

New Technology and Old Minds

I have received the new 128 GB Google Pixelbook and am going through the process of understanding how to work in a Chrome environment.

Most people that move to Panama only use a computer for email, to watch videos and surf the Internet. For that, a Chromebook fills the bill and is much more secure than an Apple or Microsoft PC. Chromebooks can be picked up from around $150 to $1,650 for the top Google Pixelbook. The difference in price is for memory, internal storage and processor capability.

You really don’t need a lot of memory because your main storage medium will be the cloud. Obviously, that does mean that you need WiFi connectivity to the Internet.

I always felt that the Chrome environment would be beneficial to those living in Panama because of its built-in security and secure environment design. While the Chrome environment is more secure from viruses, trojans, and malware, it does not eliminate the need for good passwords.

If you use the internet to enter your bank account, view Facebook, read email, etc, and use the same password for all sites, then you are asking for trouble and no system will protect you. I recommend a unique password for all sites and use the LastPass password manager.  With it, I only need to remember one password and LastPass remembers the rest. I also use two-factor authentication to protect access to the LastPass account. For that, I use AUTHY. Continue reading New Technology and Old Minds

Just When You Thought It was Safe to Go Into The Water

You should read the following article.

If you live in Panama and typically use WiFi at public places, you should be even more concerned. The fix will require a ROM fix for all WiFI routers and many public places in Panama will never update their routers.

All hardware vendors should be providing fixes soon. This is probably the most serious security hole that has been found to date.

If you have a home router providing Wifi, then you will need to watch your router manufacturer for a ROM update. Google should be providing a software fix for its OS soon.

Apple 2017 WWDC From Afar

I did tune into Apple’s WWDC (World Wide Development Conference) that aired on Monday. The most amazing thing for me was the size of the crowd in attendance. The announcements, not so much.

There were several announced updates of the Apple software. However, I saw nothing in the hardware area that would drag me into the store.

In many ways, it continued to convince me that Apple has no real strategic leader who can chart a winning direction for the company.

The hardware announcements amounted to processor advances. However, we are getting to the point where the average person doesn’t use 50% of the capability of the compute power they have. While the software advances were nice to see, I will get them on my current Apple MacBook Pro and iPad.

Apple did announce a new iMac Pro. What was not mentioned, was that this announcement really shows the abandonment of the Apple Mac Pro that Apple announced in 2013 to great fanfare, saying that Apple has not lost its ability to innovate. Now, just four years later without any upgrades, that device is being pushed to the side in favor of an all in one unit.

I bet the people that forked out $5,000 are a little peeved. The new iMac Pro comes in with similar pricing and obviously is aimed at professional users and I wonder how large that market is. Continue reading Apple 2017 WWDC From Afar

The Big Three

When it comes to technology, the big three are Apple, Google, and Microsoft. While IBM is still huge, if you ask most people, it will not be the first technology company they think of.

Google just had a large conference in California called Google IO 2017. A while back Microsoft had their show and next month Apple will have their developer’s conference.

I watched both Microsoft’s and Google’s events and will watch Apple’s next month (June 5th).

I thought I would share my thoughts about what I see happening.

First, lets consider the genetics of the three companies. Continue reading The Big Three

What’s Up With Cable Onda Day 3

Note – Contracted speed is 20 Mpbs,

I have been away from the house all morning and have just tried to use the Internet and found it lacking.

Maybe all problems are not solved.

3:51PM –

7:42 PM – I have placed another trouble call for whatever that is worth. This is the last post on the subject until I have hd a couple days of contracted speeds. May not happen for a while.

Continue reading What’s Up With Cable Onda Day 3

What’s Up With Cable Onda Day 2

Note – Contracted speed is 20 Mpbs,

Looks like nothing has changed in the Internet status. I guess I am going to have to put in a trouble call.

Speed test at 5:10 AM

Speed test at 6:30 – Better, but not what it should be.

Second test.

6:45 –

As a side note, I tried to place a trouble report. I called and was told to press 2 for English, which I did, Press 1 for residential, which I did, and press 2 for technical support.

After waiting a couple minutes, I was connected to a technician who answered in Spanish. Spanish would have been fine, but I said I thought this was supposed to be an English line. I was told uno momento and placed on hold and then disconnected. This is Panama.

I just placed a second call and was immediately connected to an English speaking young lady. She took my client # and checked the status. She came back and said that there is a known problem in the David area and technicians are working on the problem and hope to have the problem solved in the next few hours. Her English was very good and she was very professional.

7:10 –

7:39 – Wow. I could use more of this.

8:00 – Yawn –

9:18 – Not showing much progress.

10:54 –

I have checked the speed several times over the afternoon and this is the latest test. It appears that CO has resolved their problem.

What’s Up Cable Onda?

What is down is CO’s performance. Over the last week or so I have noticed unpredictable performance. It will be down in the 3 Mpbs range and the next day when I check, I may find it back at 20Mpbs.

Not loving it at 7:13PM.

Test at 8:09 PM.

Test at 8:48 PM.

Test at 9:15 PM –

Test at 9:45 PM –

Cable Onda is the premier provider if Internet in Panama. If you are moving here and planning on working on the Internet, don’t expect perfection. I am going to bed. Have a good night.

Security Now

When I have time, I enjoy watching the podcast of Security Now on  You Tube. If you are concerned about technology security, this is a good investment of 2 hours a week.

As the world has changed, computers and technology are in every part of our lives. There is almost nothing that you touch or use that is not affected by technology.

I truly do not believe you can move to a foreign country without having a Smart Phone.

I am amazed how often I use Google Maps to find some office or place of interest in David or Chiriquí.

You have to be connected. Not only do you need a phone to call offices or people, but you need them to keep up with your friends and family back in your country of origin. Continue reading Security Now

The Music Lives On

For several months now i have been consumed by a project that I hope is in the home stretch.

Today I took a break. I mentioned in the previous post that the migration to Android and away from Apple has opened up some challenges.

It reminded me that I missed being able to use Apple TV to play all the music CDs that I have on my MacBook Pro. I used to use the Apple TV and it would play all my music across my house network through my stereo.

When I moved to Amazon Fire Devices, I lost that ability. The last post made me wonder what would happen to all my music. I decided to move it so it is accessible to all my Android devices including my Pixel phone and home network.

To do that, I created a desktop folder and named it Music. I then browsed my Apple laptop and found the folder where Apple stored all my CDs and drug the music files to the Music desktop folder.

I then created a folder, called Music, on my Android Drive. Android Drive is the equivalent of Apples’s iCloud storage.

Next I drug Desktop Music folder to the Android Drive.


Now I have all my music avail to all my Android devices.

The music lives on.