Amazon Package X-ray app for iOS

Amazon’s Package X-Ray Lets You Peek Inside Boxes

In this modern world, it’s all too common to be inundated with nondescript cardboard boxes arriving from Amazon in the weeks leading up to the holiday gift-giving season. Typically, I cut the boxes open, see what’s inside, and seal them back up before wrapping and labeling them. But Amazon has introduced a brilliant new feature to the Amazon iOS app: Package X-Ray, which lets you peek inside unopened packages from the company. Unfortunately, it only works in the United States for now.

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John R Carter, Sr.

iCloud Calendar Spam

So far I have not had an issue with receiving spam in my Apple Calendar, but apparently some people have. Here is an informative article discussing the problem, and a way to partially fix it. If you use Calendar regularly, you’ll probably want to read the article.

This is a similar problem, it seems to me, like spam in an email system. Gmail, which I use, has an excellent spam filtering system, and I’m practically never bothered by email spam. It just quietly goes into a Spam folder, which I don’t look at.

Perhaps Apple will soon address this issue in their Calendar app.

Jim Hamm


Here is an article just for computer ‘techies’. Or, for ‘wanna-be’ techies like me who enjoys reading stuff like this. The article compares the performance of two different types of SSDs vs a HDD. Since I’ve used an SSD for the past few years with laptop computers, I’d forgotten how slow an HDD can be. A video in the article demonstrates the difference — which is significant — on just opening and using normal apps. No fancy graphs — just dramatic results.

If you’re still using an HDD in your computer, this video may convince you to update to an SSD.

Jim Hamm

2016 Apple MacBook Pro with TouchBar: The Good, Bad and Ugly Review

Here is a short video review of the new MacBook Pro from blogger and pundit Dave Taylor. Bottom line: he really likes it, but thinks Apple made a couple of product changes on the new ‘Pro that he doesn’t like. I agree with him. The new ‘Pro doesn’t have the MagSafe connector; the cord no longer has a light indicating whether the Mac is charged or not; and there’s a definite shortage of ports. Looking at this review, and other reviews I’ve read, I’m very pleased that I bought my new, older version, of the MacBook Pro back in May. It doesn’t have any of the shortages mentioned by Taylor, and mine was cheaper than the new one.

My MacBook Pro doesn’t have the new Touch Bar, and probably has a slower processor, but as I type on my older ‘Pro, I’m quite happy with my decision. Of course, opinions may, and do, vary, and I’m sure the proud owners of the new ‘Pro are quite pleased.

Jim Hamm

Marginalization of the Mac

There’s been much blogging recently about how Apple is, apparently, marginalizing the Mac and not doing much to improve it. Here is an article from the TidBITS Newsletter that talks more about this. It is a bit startling when one realizes that Macs only comprise roughly 10% of Apple’s business. Apple definitely is focusing on their core business, which isn’t computers. And computers have been around for a long time and have become more of a commodity, whereas the smart phone, smart pad and smart watch are newer and more exciting, with more growth potential.

The article doesn’t prognosticate on the future of the Mac, and Apple isn’t going to just walk away from $22 billion of business (I hope), but the market might walk away if the Mac continues to be marginalized.

Jim Hamm