October 7, 2019

Secrets of gesture-based typing in iOS 13 on iPhone. Shhh.

Built-in, gesture-based typing for iPhone is well past due. The good news is that iOS 13 now has the awkwardly named QuickPath keyboard, enabled by default.

So just what is gesture-based typing? Instead of tapping the keys on the onscreen keyboard, you swipe across them with one finger. The keyboard recognizes the pattern as a word. Just lift your finger and type the next word. It’s blindingly fast once you get the hang.

October 2, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Village of the Chickens

Village of the Chickens, Madeira Island, February 1985

Madeira Island is a mile-high volcanic mountain range that sticks up out of the Atlantic off the coast of Africa. No place is flat on this island. They even had to build the treacherously-short, airport runway on bolders just to create a flat place.

I was at a spectacular viewpoint In the middle of the island watching the birds dive into the valley and become so small you couldn’t see them anymore when I noticed this village through the haze, as the sun revealed it from the darkness. The tourists found it fascinating that anybody dare live there when the Portugese woman standing next to me said that it was called the Village of the Chickens. It got that name because the small farming community seemed to barely cling to the side of a mountain so steep that the goats were faint-hearted and chickens were the only livestock that wouldnt fall off.

photography throwbackthursday
September 30, 2019

Holy crap. The iPad Pro is a real computer.

USB-C port now open for business.

iPadOS frees up the USB-C port to work like, well a USB-C port. I recently bought a 2TB Sandisk Extreme SSD. (I wanted to consolidating my life-long data stored on multiple external hard drives, jump drives and SD cards.) The Sandisk Extreme SSD requires no external power and now works beautifully with the Files app in iPadOS.

What drives work with the iPad Pro.

There will always be issues and workarounds, but here are the basics:

September 26, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Will the real Kurt Vonnegut please stand up.

Jim Wolfe, Kurt Vonnegut, Mellisa Wolfe-McNally, NKU, May 1983

As you can see, Jim Wolfe was a short man. Around 1979, he became the influencer on the nominating committee for the Eugene V. Debs Award. Today the award is given those who contribute to the advancement of industrial unionism, social justice and world peace.

Previous to Dad taking over, the honor was given to union presidents and others within the organized labor movement for their tireless contribution. Dad had seen the writing on the wall: The great days of the US unions were waning. So he decided to do something drastic—give the award to the people who were putting unions in front of the public. Some of the winners during his tenure were singer Pete Seeger, writer Studs Terkel, actor Ed Asner, director John Sayles and writer Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut’s contribution was Walter F. Starbuck’s labor union history in Jailbird.

photography throwbackthursday
September 24, 2019

The iPhone 11’s 24mp image trick.

One of the cool features of the iPhone 11 is that you can recompose an image. Shots taken with the Tele and Wide camera can be reframed to include areas above, below or to the sides that aren’t in the original.

How does it do this? If there’s enough light, you’ll notice when using the Tele of Wide camera, a darkened image beyond the frame. With the Tele camera, this is actually information from the Wide camera and with the Wide camera, this is information from the Ultra-Wide camera. You can use it to recompose the image if you’ve cut off the top of Uncle Bert’s bald head and you want to add it back. (But ask him. He may not want you to.)