Category Archives: Apple

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

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

Moving to Panama – Technology Cons

This is the second post on technology’s role for people moving to Panama.

In this post I will focus on some of the dangers that technology poses for those that are new to using technology.


Let’s start with the most obvious. The technology I am talking about requires the Internet to be useful. Connecting to the Internet will require an email address and an email account requires a password.

This is the first point of failure for most people. They don’t realize how important it is to have a hardened secure password. I have written several posts that cover the password subject and won’t cover the topic in detail here. A search on this blog for “passwords” will bring up old posts.

I will summarize what I have previously written as follows. All sites and emails requiring a password should have unique passwords. If you are using the same password for multiple things, you are already in danger. Continue reading Moving to Panama – Technology Cons

Did Apple’s Muse Die with Jobs?

I am baffled with the lack direction that Apple seems to have. It was recently announced that Apple had decided to shut down its router division. I own an Apple Airport Extreme and it is a fantastic router.

In fact, it seems like Apple is quietly dropping several things. It also canceled the stand alone monitor. What will be next?

Could it be the Apple Mac Pro? It came out in 2013 and hasn’t seen any attention since then. There was speculation that a new Mac Pro would be announced in November and that hasn’t happened. Maybe it is on the chopping block too.

The router axing is interesting to me because it is very obvious that the direction of technology is moving into mobile and home automation, Both are very dependent on WiFi.The Internet of Things (IoT) is being targeted by many manufacturers. IoT requires a strong WiFi capability in the house.

Look at Amazon’s Echo, Samsung’s Smart Things Hub, Google’s Mesh Network WiFi routers, Google Home and all of the supporting devices being manufactured for smart homes.

Next year will be the year of the mesh router. You will be able to have a strong WiFi signal in every area of your house.

All that Apple has, that can remotely be considered in that area, is the Apple TV, which supports Apple Home Kit.

Of course Apple Home Kits won’t do anything, if there is no network in the house for Apple to manage and now that network doesn’t have a chance of running on Apple hardware.

So, I have about decided that the muse that inspired Jobs has left the building. It appears that Apple’s current management has become another management team only interested in the bottom line and if that is true, Apple will die.

More on the Technology Front

This post will be 100% on technology. It may not be of interest to you, but I have found that some technology has been absolutely necessary living in Panama and therefore, I keep writing about it.


Connecting to the Internet is an absolute necessity for me. I could not exist here without it. I am happy to say that the Internet has improved a tremendous amount, since I moved here. A lot has been because I live in David, but a fair amount has been because of upgrades by the Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Panama as a whole.

I routinely have 10 Mbps download speed. While this is minuscule compared to what is normal in the US, if is fine for me and allows multiple rooms to simultaneously be accessing the Internet at the same time. When Lilliam’s family comes to visit, I may have as many as 8 people connected at one time.

Most of my news and entertainment come from the Internet, which will lead me to my next point about KODI.

KODI Continue reading More on the Technology Front

Meeting Julio

I dropped into Plaza Terronal’s MStore and met Julio Quintero, who has assumed the Apple service position that I mentioned in a previous post.

While I was there I inquired in what they could and could not do, as far as service.

Here is what I learned. Apple does not allow any Apple service center in Panama to replace a broken screen in an IOS device. It must be replaced by Apple in the U.S.

I have learned this in the past, having tried to repair an iPhone whose screen had been replaced in David and Apple in the U.S. would not look at it.

With the exception of a broken IOS device screen, they can service all other problems. To be clear, if you have an IOS device and the screen is not broken, but is not recognizing the touch, they can replace the screen and all internals.

They can replace a broken screen on a laptop or iMac. It is strictly the broken IOS device screens where Apple is more restrictive.

I spoke to Julio and asked how he was with English. He said if people spoke slowly and clearly he could understand them. I understand how he feels because, after 13 years living in Panama, I still run into Panamanians that I have a hard time understanding in Spanish and have a hard time understanding my Spanish.

Lucky for me, Lilliam understands me the majority of the time.

Julio is a Chiricano and lives in David. I enjoyed meeting Julio and will introduce him to you via the following photo.


If you are near MStore, drop in and tell Julio you saw him on Chiriquí Chatter. It is good to have authorized Apple service in David!

David MStore Service Center – Open Feb 17

I just received the following information related to the Apple MStore in David.

Dear Don: As we spoke before, we would like to inform you and your readers that as of tomorrow, February 17 our Service Center in MStore David, Plaza Terronal will be open for business. Our Service Technician will be Julio Quintero, who after more than 3 months has been trained at our Service Center in Panama. Mr. Quintero is now an Apple Certified Mac Technician.

Our Service Center hours will be Monday thru Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm

If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Rogelio E. Chiari Brin
Grupo Mac Store

Day 5 – Cable Onda – Success

When I returned to the house this morning, there was a Cable Onda truck waiting with a crew of three men. Jose was the one that took control and they set to check all connections at the street, inside the house and above the house where the external street line connected.

As a little background, this house originally had been wired by Cable and Wireless. Jose said the cabling and connections were not the highest of quality. The CO crew made some temporary adjustments, but said they would set up another day to replace the line from the street and the one running to the living room.

Jose and his crew were very meticulous in checking everything. The fact that the old Cable and Wireless wiring could have been a source of problems is understandable and CO setting up a date to replace it is commendable.

The phone is working, I am running at maximum speed on multiple devices with zero Internet disconnections at present. If it were always like this, I would never complain. If every team that came to the house to troubleshoot were as though as this crew, I could not complain either.

Besides thanking Jose and his crew, it is only fitting that I thank the manager of MStore in Plaza Terronal (Juan Carlos Staff) for providing Ariel to come to my house and assist in trouble shooting. I should mention that in a matter of days, the MStore will have its permanent Apple service area staffed.

I would also like to thank Rogelio Chiari, who is Marketing manager for Grupo Mac Store in Panama City, who also provided assistance contacting Cable Onda after reading my blog.

There are so many pieces that can cause these sorts of problems and sometimes it requires getting several different people talking and I was fortunate to get them all to come together to get my problem solved.

Not to move on to more fun things in 2016!

Apple Routers And Diagnostic Software

It may be interesting to some to see the added information you have available when you are using an Apple AirPort Extreme, Apple Airport Time Capsule or an Apple AirPort Express to provide Wi-Fi for your house. They also provide the ability to connect devices via Ethernet cable.

The support/diagnostic application for the Apple devices is called the AirPort Utility. It is included with any Apple OS X operating system, and is a downloadable app for IOS. It can be downloaded for the Window’s operating system as well.

I have not used the utility on Microsoft systems, so I can only speak about the capability available on the OS X and IOS systems.

The AirPort Utility is used to configure each of the Apple devices and does an excellent job of guiding you through the setup.

Afterwards, it will provide a good visible indication of the condition of your network. It does this by multiple methods. First you have the color coding of the dot below the images.

The globe represents the Internet and if the dot is green, then you are connected. If it is orange, you are not connected.

The dot below the device images reflect the device’s status. Green indicates that the device has an IP address, DNS addresses and an Ethernet connection to another device.

The following graphics are from my network. You can see I have a current model AirPort Extreme connected to the Cable Onda modem and to an older model Apple AirPort Time Capsule.

The Time Capsule has an internal hard drive and does hourly backups of my primary Apple MacBook Pro. This is one of the benefits of the OS X operating system which includes backup software called Time Machine. It has saved my butt many times. I never have to remember to do backups.

Back to the discussion on network problem diagnosis. Continue reading Apple Routers And Diagnostic Software