Category Archives: iPad

Why Do I Need New Technology

I received this question which was prompted by some of my recent posts. The answer is, you probably don’t if you are looking for someone else to justify it for you.

That being said, I will touch on a couple things. A smart phone will not replace a tablet. A tablet will not replace a desktop/laptop. Each has it place and one size doesn’t fit all.

I can do a lot of things with my iPhone, but I would never consider it a replacement for my iPad. For $33 a month, my iPhone gives me a connection to all services on the Internet within range of a free WiFi server or Claro’s cell service. Lilliam uses it to call her daughter for free in Costa Rica. No telling how much that saves. There is even a MagicJack app. I have it, but don’t use it as I use MagicJack in the house. I have found several apps that I have found to be useful.

The display and keyboard make it more of an emergency device for email and Internet browsing. I admit, I have found that handy in several situations, but if I am on the Internet for long periods of time, I prefer the iPad. Reading a book on the iPhone would not be a fun thing to do either. I question whether the 7inch iPad would be something I would enjoy. Continue reading Why Do I Need New Technology

Technology Changes Coming

This month Apple will release Mountain Lion. The cost will be $19.99 and that will cover all PCs registered to the same person. Bending to competition, Microsoft is trying to get Windows 8 ready for prime time. They are also looking at a cheaper online pricing model as well, but it still will be for only one PC. If you have three, then you are going to pay three times. And Microsoft will still have different versions. From what I read the Windows system will be priced at $40 for the downloadable version.

It is rumored that in two years that Apple will have a larger market share of operating systems than Microsoft. Amazing.

I am currently waiting for Susan to get some legal work done and am writing this on my iPhone using Pages. I use Pages on all of my PCs, the iPad and the iPhone.

When I get done, the article will be uploaded to the iCloud and I will do final editing on my iMac. It was never this easy with Windows. Continue reading Technology Changes Coming

Apple WWDC Announcements

If you are not a techie at heart, you may not have paid any attention to Apple’s WWDC that is going on. This is the World Wide Developers Conference, where Apple announces upcoming hardware, software and development kits for developers to use to create new products.

As you may remember, when the iPad came out, I re-entered the world of Apple. At the same time I bought an Apple Mac Mini to connect to a large screen TV for movie streaming.

However, my main PC was a very powerful Gateway running Windows 7. I loved that system too, but soon having different technologies made it more difficult to keep my contact lists up to date and moving information from one device to another.

I bit the bullet and bought an iMac and it replaced my desktop. I had thought if the need arose, I would just add Windows to the system, since it has a built-in feature to dual boot into Windows. To this point, I have never found the need to buy Windows, but that always remains a backup plan. Continue reading Apple WWDC Announcements

Loaning An iPad – Security Issues

I have a friend that is going to borrow my iPad. While I had no problem with this individual testing the iPad, it was the first time that I had to consider the security issues of such a request.

Here were some of the issues that came to mind.

First, my iPad is never connected to my WiFi router in an unsecured manner. It it were, all data that would be sent from the iPad to the router would be able to be seen by anyone with a simple sniffer application. When I traveled on our last vacation I also used the WiTopia VPN, which created a secure link to the Internet. You can read more about VPN’s HERE. For more information, use the VPN Tag.

Second, the iPad is not currently set up to be shared. It is a one person device. It is not like a laptop, which can have a guest sign-on. Anyone using an iPad can look at anything the owner has stored on the device.

I have always kept my information safe from theft. I use a security code to secure my iPad. It is a familiar number to me, but not one that I would just give out. The security code protects my information from the loss or theft of my iPad. If anyone tries to use the iPad and enters an incorrect security code ten time then the device erases all data within the iPad.

To solve this problem of my security code, while it is on loan, I just turned off the security code feature.

Next, I keep lots of information within my iPad. The iPad is not a toy like I consider many of its rivals. It is more than a book reader, a game player or an email client, even though it is all of those things too.

Continue reading Loaning An iPad – Security Issues

CloakBox Update

I think it is about time to give some more feedback on my WiTopia CloakBox that I wrote about June 24.  This is the new technology I installed to provide VPN to all of my Internet connected devices. The types of devices I have connected are my primary PC, a Mac Mini connected to my TV for video streaming, a PS3, an iPad, and a wireless laptop.

I am happy to report as of today it is running very stable and I am a happy camper.

The router did not perform as I wanted right out of the box. It seemed to have freeze-ups that would occur and the only way to remove them was to reboot the box by unplugging it and replugging it.

However, the problems once again pointed out another thing I have repeatedly found in dealing with WiTopia. Their customer service has been topnotch. They have an online chat capability and have always been available to work with me.

Now that I am running stable, let me take you through more of the process since I received the box.

WiTopia is now shipping a different router than they originally used. They now use a Buffalo router and it is a sleek looking box as pictured above. As far as I can tell most of the online documentation that WiTopia sent me while making configuration changes were for a previous manufacturer other than Buffalo. While most routers work similar, the differences in the routers made the instructions confusing. Continue reading CloakBox Update

Traveling With An iPad

I am getting closer to being able to post some of the photos of the trip. Yesterday, I made it through the more than 1,000 photos I took and deleted all that were of too poor quality. I have a few videos from the trip as well.

While on the trip, I occasionally backed up all photos to my iPad. I purchased two extra camera memory chips and returned home with photos on the memory chips as well as the iPad. I only bought 8GB memory because I didn’t want too much on any single chip. If a chip goes bad, you are going to lose everything on it. 8GB still is plenty of memory. I never came close to filling a chip. I used all chips just for security reasons.

Photos on an iPad really make it easy to show family and friends the sights that you have seen. It is much nicer than having to watch them on a PC monitor. You can just pass the iPad around.

This trip was the first I have made with my iPad other than the U.S. trip last August. It was a good test of an iPad as a laptop replacement for traveling. Continue reading Traveling With An iPad

iPad 2 Unveiled

One thing you can do when you no longer have ABC, CBS and NBC is to download stuff from the Internet. Last night, I watched the 1 hour presentation by Steve Jobs on the new iPad 2.

When the iPad came out I said I would not be getting one. I weakened last August and it was the best technology buying decision I have ever made. I love my iPad. I spend about 90% of my Internet time on the iPad and the other 10% on my desktop.

I tend to agree with Jobs on this one, that at the current time, when you consider the total package (form, function, features, apps, and price) there is no current competition. Yes, there are some things I cannot do on the iPad that I could do on a laptop, but they are minimal and I am not sure they can be done on the iPad wannabes either.

With the iPad 2, Apple has stayed in front of the rest for now. As time goes by, the others will gain ground, but Apple is still leading the way with available apps. I am even considering buying The Daily app. I have been using the trial version since it became available and I can easily spend an hour going through its interactive news. While its $1 a week price is a little more than I would like, it is still worth the money for the enjoyment I have been receiving from it.

In my opinion, I prefer buying books from the Apple iBookstore more than I do from Barnes and Nobel and Amazon, but I have books from them as well and sometimes one bookstore will have a special and when that happens, I buy from that bookstore.

One of the neatest things about the iPad 2 is the slick cover. You have to see it. I am impressed. Here is a video clip.

Well, I will say that I am going to hold off buying again until the iPad 3 comes out. Wonder if my will power will be better this year.

UPDATE: One thing I forgot to mention is the main weak point with the iPad and its competitors is that of security. One small advantage that Apple has is that all apps have to clear Apple’s acceptance to be available to users. With the others it will be much easier to download an app (written by bad people) that has built-in capability to steal your private information and send it wherever the designer wants it sent.


So You Own An iPad

Did you know that it is one of the most dangerous PC type devices ever invented? No it doesn’t emit radiation, but it is very capable of creating a lot of problems for you, if you haven’t taken the time to secure it.

One of the reasons this is so important is that it is a single user device. Everything you have stored on the device is available to the first person that borrows it or steals it.

The first advice all security articles will tell you is to arm your iPad with a passcode. The second is to activate auto lock. With those two items taken care of, you can now consider erasing all memory if the passcode is entered 10 times in error. This shouldn’t worry you, if you are diligent on taking backups.

In preparation for my planned trip, I have done all of the above. If my iPad gets stolen on my trip, all of the private information on it will be erased before anyone can see it.

Many articles I have read, advise you to install a VPN to secure your wireless connections. I have also done this. I have seen a lot of iPad users in Panama and have seen that many are in Boquete. If you are one of the lucky owners of an iPad, I suggest you secure it before you find yourself being an unlucky ex-owner. Here is one of the many articles on securing your iPad.

Remember. the data and identity you save may be your own.

New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users

Here is another article from the New York Times on the growing dangers of Wi-Fi insecurity. People in this part of the world seem to think that they are immune from the dangers, because they think it is only 1st world countries that have the technology to sniff out your information.

Think again, because the technology is getting cheaper and more available everyday. Cities like Boquete and Panama City, whose tourist trade continues to grow, would be a prime targets. Some spots in David, such as TGI Fridays and McDonald’s, would also be prime targets.

Everyone using the Internet needs to be practicing Safe Internet Intercourse. There are several things you can do.

  1. Use a stronger password. Many people think that using cute words such as superman or panamapete are fine. They are not. A strong password should be at lead 8 characters long and contain both upper and lower case letters as well as numbers and special characters. So how do you take a simple password and harden it without making it difficulty to remember? It is not tough. How about $uper123Man as a replacement for superman or Panama123%ete for panamapete. A simple substitution of characters in your current passwords will be adequate.
  2. Don’t connect to Wi-Fi that does not use WAP encryption. If your hotel or favorite restaurant has an unsafe connection, talk to them about hardening their connection. If the connection uses WEP encryption, it is not enough. How will you know if it is WEP? The password will be specified as WEP or WAP. WAP is more secure.
  3. Consider using a VPN. What is your peace of mind worth? My VPN, WiTopia, costs me $69 a year. That allows as me to protect regular PCs using a Windows, Apple or Linux operating system, as well as my iPad.
  4. If you have a home Wi-Fi, turn off the broadcast mode. With broadcast on, anyone driving down the street can see if there are Wi-Fi systems available. If your network can’t be seen, it is harder to be hacked. If your router provides a guest channel, don’t use the same password as your primary channel.
  5. Always keep your OS current on fixes. ALL operating systems are vulnerable, but the most vulnerable are those that are never maintained.
  6. Keep your Anti Virus current. On my Windows PC I use Microsoft Security Essentials. It is free and very good. I have never had a virus on any Windows OS I have owned, but I am meticulous with my maintenance. If you think you are immune because you own a MAC, think again. One of the last Apple updates was the largest security fix release it had ever done. And with MAC gaining market share, its threat level increases. The same is true with Linux.

Remember my new acronym SII, and practice Safe Internet Intercourse. I don’t condom condone anything else.