Tag Archives: Apple

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. www.macstore.com.pa

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

Cable Onda Problems – Learning More

Cable Onda came out yesterday, two days ahead of schedule. The technician did not object in replacing the modem after he watched the Internet monitor. His first replacement was a dud and he had to go to the truck to get another.

The second was a brand new, never been used modem. It is the same model I have used for several months and one that CO installs with most, if not all, of their high speed installations (above 6 Mbps). It is an ARRIS TM822G.

People with simple installations, modem direct to PC or to a PC via a switch, should never see a problem.

People with their modem connected to a router may have some problems especially if it is a Wi-Fi router providing Wi-Fi for your house.

If you don’t have a network monitor capability, you may not even know you have problems. It might just look like slow response time, inability to use streaming, or you might not even see it.

If your primarily use of the Internet is to surf or respond to email, it may be a hidden problem.

I have Two Apple Routers connected by Ethernet, with the second configured as a bridge so the I use the same Wi-Fi network all over my house and my devices just choose the stronger signal.

The configuration is as follows:

ARRIS 822G modem –> Apple AirPort Extreme -> Apple Airport Time Capsule.

With yesterday’s exchange of modems, and further tests on the routers, I can now conclude that all cables, and hardware are good and the problem must lie in the configuration of my I house network.

The technicians coming to the house or answering the help desk will probably not be able to solve the problem.

The help desk will ask you to bypass your router and connect your PC directly to their modem. That proves that from their service area to your modem, all is well. That is as far as they can solve the problem. They will likely think that the problem is with your router or wifi device.

They may tell you to disconnect the power to their modem and to remove the battery, and depending on the nature of the problem, that may solve the problem temporally. For some it may completely solve the problem.

I have reset all routers, reset the modem, powered it off for 45 minutes still have the problem. I am stumped and out of ideas.

Tomorrow, I have an Apple technician coming to the house to observe the problem. Hopefully he will be able to talk to Apple in Panama City and in the U.S. and get another approach to try to solve the problem.

I don’t believe the problem is because of Apple hardware and believe others using routers from other manufacturers, may also have problems. It would be difficult to see this if you don’t have some software monitoring the internet connection between your modem and router. Apple’s AirPort Utility does this.

If you are in Panama, running Apple devices and Apple routers connected to Cable Onda (and specifically an ARRIS 822 router), it might be worth watching the Apple AirPort utility and see if you are having intermittent internet loss.

If you have had this problem and solved it, I would like to understand your solution. If you are having a similar problem with this modem and a non-Apple router, I would like to know it.

I can’t believe I am the only one having this problem.

As a side note, Cable Onda is also returning tomorrow because I don’t have phone service today.

MStore Offer

I received the following request to post.

Don i don’t know if you would like to post this offer in your blog:

Get a $100.00 MStore Gift Card with the purchase of any Mac Computer. Offer only valid at our Plaza Terronal Store in David, Chiriqui from 12pm December 22 – December 24, 2015 when purchasing a MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac or Mac Pro. Must present this ad to receive Gift Card. One Gift Card per client. We have 10 Gift Cards available for this offer.
If you should have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.


Rogelio E. Chiari Brin
Grupo Mac Store
Tel. +507-305-5750

AntiVirus Software is Needed By Everyone

AvastMany years ago Apple promoted its products as being immune to viruses and malware.

Of course this was never true. It was only because Apple had such a small share of the market that it wasn’t a target.

Any operating system is vulnerable to malware and viruses.

On my Mac gear I run AVAST. It does a good job and every morning I get notices when it detects a problem.

I still have people tell me they are going to switch to Mac because they want to move away from computer viruses.

Mac does still have fewer viruses and malware specifically written for it, but it is not immune.

Apple’s September Announcement

I watched the Apple announcement today. I actually watched it on my flat screen. I thought I couldn’t since I couldn’t AirPlay from my laptop, then I remembered, I have a MacMini connected to my flatscreen. Duh.

I will give you my perspective of today’s announcement. The announcement covered new watch models and bands, a new larger iPad, a newer improved iPhone and a new Apple TV.

I still haven’t found a reason to own an Apple watch. I wouldn’t mind having a new watch, but it doesn’t have to be an Apple.

The new iPad has some nice features, but i think it is too big for the average user. It will probable have some new business applications in medicine, research, creative artists, etc., but I see no reason that the average user will chose it over the current models.

The Apple TV has some nice features, but for me in Panama, I didn’t see anything to make me buy one. It did add a lot of new features which will help sales against the current Roku and Amazon Fire streaming devices. It does come with a higher price. It did add a gaming capability that it sadly needed, but nothing I need.

One thing that I couldn’t find in the Apple TV specs is the amount of RAM it comes with. It has a lot of available storage, but the amount of RAM is more important for video streaming. My bet is it is 2 GB, which is what the current Amazon Fire TV has. The storage is important for gamers.

UPDATE: I found that it is 2GB. The same as the Amazon Fire TV.

Like I said in today’s first post, I expect to see a new Amazon Fire TV before Christmas and it might be of more interest to me since it is a more open system for 3rd party applications like KODI.

Now the iPhone is a different story. There were several significant upgrades. I like all that I saw and Lilliam may need to upgrade to my iPhone 6+. 🙂

IOS 9.0 will be a good upgrade.

While I may not sound all that enthused about the current announcements, there is one thing that continues to be missed by many Android and Microsoft advocates. That is total product integration. The smartest thing that Steve Jobs did was to maintain control of hardware and software.

The current upgrades to Windows 10 are good examples. It can be easily upgraded on some hardware and not on other. Same with the Android system. Some manufactures get upgrades and some are stuck with the android system it came with.

I am looking forward to both the IOS upgrade that is close to release as well as the new desktop release.