Tag Archives: review

The Western Digital My Cloud Review, 4 TB Edition

I’ve purchased a lot of external storage devices over the last 30 years, and the one brand I keep turning back to for future purchases is Western Digital. I’ve had rotten experiences with LaCie and Iomega in the past and, to date, I have yet to experience any sort of hardware failure — or glitch, or even momentary pause — with a Western Digital drive, and I’m hard on my storage devices.  In fact, I’ve never NOT had a LaCie drive either be dead-on-arrive or die within two weeks of setting up the device. I run my HDDs 24/7/365 and I not only expect them to work, but to thrive in all hostile environments.

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Apple iPad Airs Have Landed in Our Hands and Taken Off Again in Our Hearts

Our two iPad Airs arrived via FedEx Air this morning — straight up at 10:00am — and I haven’t been able to put down either of them ever since they landed in my hands.

Yes, the iPads Airs are incredibly thin and light.  I thought a mistake had been made and we were instead sent the new retina iPad Minis — I can’t imagine I’d want an iPad that was any smaller than the Air.  It’s just the perfect size, filled with magic and mysticism from the first touch out of the box.

Replacing our old iPad 3s with our new iPad Airs in my Verizon Wireless online account was dead simple.  Enter the new IMEIs.  Enter the SIM card numbers.  Boom!  Done.  Running.  We have 4G LTE liftoff!  I want all my iPads to be on Verizon LTE. Hurricane Sandy taught me that hard lesson against WiFi-only devices. Stay safe. Stay ultra-connected via many tethers back to the real world.

The first thing I did after updating my iPad via my iCloud backup account — talk about ease and transparency, thy name is iCloud — was to set up my iPad as a hotspot and run my MacBook Air through the connection for internet service.

Here’s the Xfinity report card:  13.8 MB down and 0.30 up.  Down is excellent and up is awful — is that news? — but it’s all workable and doable together for the way 99% of us will use these sorts of short-life hotspots.

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Apple iPhone 5S Space Gray Review

My Space Gray iPhone 5S arrived early this morning from Apple in China, and upon first opening the box, I was amazed to see how much longer, and lighter weight this 5S phone is compared to my 2.5 year old iPhone 4s.  Janna’s new iPhone will arrive tomorrow.  We’re both on the 4G Verizon network.

The first thing I noticed is that the Space Gray iPhone 5S would not turn on at all!  I was perplexed. Then I did the traditional “hard boot” by holding down the “on” button and the Home button at the same time until the phone turned on with the White Apple logo.  I picked Space Gray because it has a black face.  I prefer a neutral black on a smartphone.  A white face is just too aesthetically jarring.

The phone started and already had a 91% battery charge.  After setting up and restoring the phone, I was immediately prompted to download an 7.01 iOS 7 update.

As you can see in the screenshot below, I have a whole “extra row” for four more App icons in my Home screen!  That is a delightful and welcome change from the 4s.

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Oh, Robbie! Reviewing the Robbie Williams “Take the Crown Tour” in Krieau Stadium Vienna

Time to go what we had come to Vienna for — one of music’s “superstars” and a once in a lifetime chance to see Robbie Williams perform live on his Take the Crown Tour. It was time to be entertained by the best in the business.

Time to go and see one of the stars my romantic heart had grown up with and with whom I had developed a connection.  Robbie had owned a little piece of my heart from the Take That days and at times he sung the words I needed to hear with the voice of an Angel.

Our tickets cost 118 Euros  for seats in the stadium –rather than the pit — cheap in comparison to the UK concerts which were our other main option.

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The Eric Clapton Martin Guitar 000-28EC Review

It’s been a long, long, time — over 20 years — since I’ve had a “true acoustic” guitar.  By “True Acoustic” I mean a guitar that was created not be amplified out-of-the-box and one that is made to sound right straight from the vibrating wood into your ear.

To my aesthetic, there is really only one acoustic guitar maker of merit and delight — and that is C.F. Martin & Company.  Since 1833, they’ve been building grand and beautiful works of Art that sound luscious in, and on, the ear.  My first guitar was a Martin HD-28 that I had to sell to make the rent, and I have been heartbroken ever since:

However, as time and tide crushed the standard of living the young artist’s life in NYC, years later I ended up having to sell my beloved Martin HD-28 to make the rent.  It was such a heart-rasping experience giving up that HD-28 that I refused allow the joy of a guitar back into my life for 20 years.

The lesson in selling a beloved to make rent is that there is no faster compression of time into space than the moments of the first of the month arriving twelve times a year.  You will run out of beloveds faster than you can delay the inevitable.  Confess defeat.  Preserve your joy.  Move on in your humiliation.  Your saved beloved will later heal your broken pride.  Unless, of course, you sold it — then you’re just left broken and empty and joyless.

Now, as a man of more modest means, I decided the time was finally right again to dip my toe into the acoustic Martin sea, and I knew I wanted my new guitar to be the Martin Eric Clapton acoustic — the “000-28EC” — to be absolutely specific.

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Consuming the Adobe Creative Cloud

I  have been using Adobe products for over 20 years.  For many years, I was on the yearly upgrade cycle and, even as a previous purchaser, the upgrade fees for the Adobe creative suites easily cost over $600-800 USD per year.  That was quite a hit for a young author and designer fresh out of graduate school, but if you wanted to play with the big boys, you needed big boy toys, and Adobe is, and has always been, the web and authoring standard.

Over the last few years, with the churn in the business from a purchase model to a renting model at Adobe, I’ve patiently waited on the sidelines with my hardbox copy of the Adobe CS4 still in everyday use — about three generations behind the leading curve — and CS4 has served me well.  The new Adobe “upgrades” have seemed incremental and confused, and I was happy to keep skating along with Photoshop and Dreamweaver CS4 until two things happened.

First, I purchased a new MacBook Air that had plenty of room to install a ton of new software and, second, Adobe announced the end of boxed editions and were going rogue and “online subscription only” from here on out using a monthly and yearly for-pay model.  Two days ago, I signed up for the new “Adobe Creative Cloud” and I am totally thrilled with the decision.

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The Boles Blogs Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Mid 2013 Review

Yesterday, I took delivery of a brand-new Apple MacBook Air 13-inch computer.  I decided to leap on this upgrade for several reasons.  First, I love my Apple MacBook Air 11-inch model and it has been my main machine for 18 months, but it was starting to show its technical age.  The SSD drive was only 256GB and memory, at 4GB, was in short supply when it came to the work day.  Google Play Music live streaming would stutter and go bump in the night.   I am now back to true multi-tasking with this spec’d out machine.  My 11-inch MacBook Air was suffering from a lack of space and mind.  You can see part of my Apple family below.  The 13-in MacBook Air is in the center, my old, non-retina, iPad is my clock on the left, the 11-inch MacBook Air is nearby for comparison, and my beloved Thunderbolt display is on the right.

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