Sunday, June 30, 2013

One of the Best Things About the Mac

The other day, I was downloading an app from a website. I noticed that the options for downloads were for Windows 32-bit, Windows 64-bit, a ton of Linux OS-es, and Mac OS X. Do you notice that there are about a million other downloads and just one Mac OS X download. I'll bet half the people who download the Windows version even know what a "bit" is. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Probably one of the most convenient and geeky websites there is, is a fun site for anyone! Do you ever feel the need for a sound effect during a moment of suspense. Just go to the site, click the button, and it plays, "DUN DUN DUN". You see (or hear) what I mean when you visit!

Friday, June 28, 2013

USB Hubs!

Are you ever in a situation where you don't have enough USB ports? In that case, get a USB hub. It connects to a USB port and extends out to make more USB ports. You can get them in lots of places. Staples and Amazon sell them. You'll usually find one for less than $20. Unless you want one with USB 3.0 technology, they're relatively cheap. And you probably don't need a 3.0 one. Just go on and check them out!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

iOS 7 Spotlight: Camera

The camera app is redesigned in iOS 7. In stead of one switch for photos and videos, there's a large switch that has four photo modes in once. Photo, Video, Square, and Pano (Panorama). Square is new. It just lets you take a picture cropped in the shape of a square. Be sure to check it out when iOS 7 comes out. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

iOS 7 Spotlight: AirDrop

AirDrop seems to be the answer to Samsung's whole "tapping phones" thing. However, AirDrop brings up a question. Is AirDrop compatible with the Mac? After all, AirDrop was originally released on the Mac two years ago. How will this work out? In all honesty, it seems that it will be iOS native and won't work with the Macs. I believe that it will work with Mac next year. Apple does a trend in which features are announced one year, then improvements come in the following years. We will see.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Who doesn't love post cards? Well, if you don't like post cards, that's because you've never tried Postagram. It lets you send post cards with pop-out photos. When you receive one, there's a special QR code that you can scan with the Postagram app that with save it digitally. Of course, you can read it physically as well. The best part is that they are only 99¢ a pop. Plus, they are free with referrals. Get a free card with my referral link.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Next iPhone to Have Dual-LED Flash?

As shown by the photo above provided by MacRumors, there is a slight change to the next iPhone. The flash has a new design for "dual-flash". That aside, usually Apple doesn't even touch the design of an iPhone until a two-year cycle has passed. For example, the iPhone 4 took two years to turn into the iPhone 5. And in case you were wondering, here's the iPhone 5 (current model) to compare the photo above to.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Free Apps!

Every Thursday on the App Store, Apple showcases a quality app and makes it free for a week. This week, the app is Vjay. Check it out by going to this link. It's from the same makers of Djay. Check it out!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Subway App

At least in California, the Subway (the sandwich shop) app is very intuitive. It uses bump. It lets you order sandwiches without having to wait in line. If someone's picking up some sandwiches for you and your friends, you can bump phones to transfer your orders to the receiving phone. In addition, you get special offers and free cookies. Be sure to check it out on the Apple App Store.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Assistive Touch

If you have a stylus for your iOS device, then you should try AssistiveTouch. Assuming your are part of the 99% of the users using iOS (you run iOS 5 or later), you can use AssistiveTouch, which is part of iOS. Just go to Settings > General > Accesibility > AssitiveTouch > and turn it on. An icon will appear in the bottom right corner by default. Drag it around to change its location. Tap on it to get some helpful tools, such as multiple "digital styluses". You'll see what I mean with the picture below. 

This is available from tapping on AssistiveTouch > Device > More > Gestures. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Remote Disc

Do have a Mac that can't burn discs? Well, now you can! Remote Disc is a built-in feature for OS X! All you need is your computer that can't burn and one that can. Follow these directions!

  1. Be sure both of the computers are connected to the same network.
  2. On the the computer that can burn, open System Preferences.
  3. Pick "Sharing" from the menu.
  4. Check the box for "DVD or CD Sharing". Apple states that if you don't see this option in Mac OS X v10.5 or 10.4, download and install DVD or CD Sharing Setup Update for Mac.
  5. After you've enabled DVD or CD Sharing, insert the disc that you want to share.
  6. Go to your Mac that does not have an CD/DVD drive and open a Finder window.
  7. Select "Remote Disc" in the devices list. You will see the computer that has it enabled.
  8. Double-click the computer's icon and click "Connect". If the computer that is sharing its optical drive has "Ask me before allowing others to use my DVD drive" enabled, click "Ask to use."
  9. On the computer sharing its CD/DVD drive, acknowledge the request by clicking Accept. 
I hope this helps those without a disc. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

iOS 7 Spotlight: App Store

iOS 7 Spotlight is a new series on this blog in which we will go into deeper detail of an upcoming feature. The App Store is among the features. While the App Store is, by far, not new, it does have an interesting feature. "Near Me" is a feature that shows you apps that would be helpful in the surrounding area. When near an Apple Store, the Apple Store app pops up. When near the Statue of Liberty, a digital tour app might come up along with Instagram! This will be very helpful while traveling! I hope this helps!

Please note that iOS 7 will be released this Fall and this feature isn't available to the general public yet. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Back It Up! OS X

Be sure to back up your Mac! You never know when something can happen. Like a hard drive failure. 

There is a massive selection of backup drives at your local Apple Store. For example, the LaCie Porsche Design. Or the LaCie Rugged!

Start off with getting a drive and connecting it to your Mac. Go to "System Preferences" > Time Machine > and choose the backup drive connected with your computer. That's it! A simple way to back it up. Do it sooner than later!

Monday, June 17, 2013


When making a passcode for your iOS device, there are a few pre-cautions to know. 

Turn "Erase Data" off! If someone (like your kid) gets the password wrong 10 times, all data WILL be erased. Turning "Erase Data" off will prevent this. 

Back it up! The easiest way to backup is to go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > and turn "iCloud Backup" on. This will automatically backup your device every night (assuming that you're charging your device every night, it's connected to WiFi, and the device is in sleep mode). 

Remember the passcode! If you don't remember it, your iOS device will be in lockdown after a few attempts.

Every time you get it wrong, you have to wait a certain amount of time. Every time you get it wrong again, the time will increment. If you do it too many times, you must plug in the computer that it has synced with before. 

If you haven't synced with a computer before, this message will appear on the computer you attempt to sync it with. 
If you can't get your device to unlock, it's time to delete everything. Also, be sure to backup to a computer or iCloud. In addition, in iOS 7, the following steps will work, but you MUST know your Apple ID, the credentials you use for downloading apps. Since iOS 7 isn't out yet, just follow the procedure. 

1. Disconnect the iOS device from the computer. 
2. Turn off the iOS device. 
3. Hold the home button while reconnecting the iOS device to the computer. 
4. Once the iOS device shows the "Connect to iTunes" screen, release the button. 
5. Follow the procedure on the computer. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

iOS 7 Image Shows iPhone Using 3G

In one of the pictures shown on the iOS 7 Design page, an iPhone is shown using 3G instead of WiFi. Apple usually advertises images with WiFi, 5 bars, and 100% battery life. This is strange for Apple. If cellular is used in an Apple photo, it's usually to advertise LTE (Long-Term Evolution) capabilities. Also, all of the other pictures are seen using WiFi. The picture is shown below. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Review

Animal Crossing: New Leaf was announced almost a week ago. So, I thought that it would be a perfect time to write a review for it. First off, I've always been a long-time fan of this series and it never gets old. Here's a picture of my character!

One of the best things about Animal Crossing is that you can do whatever you want to do! And I know what some of my friends are saying right now.
"But, u cn do tht in Minecraft 2!!!! Minecraft let's you do ANYTHING! All hail Minecraft!! jk lol swag lskjffhgeiv #yoloswag"
- One of my friend's quotes who's name shall remain anonymous
Well, in Animal Crossing, it's more civilized. To many, Minecraft is a game about killing everything in sight. Zombies, Creepers, friends, enemies, sheep, dirt, grass, etc. Animal Crossing doesn't have any particular goal. Nor does it keep you up until the wee hours of the morning (unless you have the night-owl ordinance and you really want to. In this game, you can talk to animals, shop, send mail, and customize your home. You can even take a train to another town! I really love the train concept. Not to mention, the game is for everyone! The game is casual in that way. You don't need to know anything about video games to play.

The mayor concept is very interesting. In previous versions, you were the new kid in town at the bottom of the food chain. In this new version, you make the rules. Create public works projects (like the bench pictured above). You can also create "ordinances" that can either:

  • make the town beautiful with flowers that never wilt,
  • make all of the stores stay open later,
  • make all of the stores open earlier or,
  • make the town have a booming economy!

The most interesting part of Animal Crossing (all versions of Animal Crossing, that is) is the fact that time is real in this game. By this, I mean that the sun sets around 7, the seasons change when our seasons change. The stores will close at night and open in the morning, depending on what ordinances you have in effect. You can't lose. You can't win. The game never ends.

Animal Crossing is available on the Nintendo 3DS for $34.99 digitally and is available in retail packaging as well.

Also, be sure to follow my Animal Crossing: New Leaf "Phlog", or Photo Blog, for my latest photos from the game.

Friday, June 14, 2013

How to Buy a Kindle (Seriously, it's that complicated)

Unless you're very proficient at computers (#LikeAGeek), you're probably going to need some help when it comes to Kindle buying. First of all, I don't recommend buying a Kindle from a retailer nor from your mobile device (including from an app). Buy it on a computer from Find the Kindle section on Amazon. Pick out the Kindle that best fits your lifestyle. If you read in dark areas, pick out a Kindle Paperwhite. If you don't have an internet connection at your house, buy a Kindle Paperwhite with 3G (this 3G is free and unlimited for a one-time fee). Or, if you're just looking for the very minimum, buy a Kindle for $69. Ignore Kindle Fires. Next, decide if you want "Special Offers", also known as ads. If you buy a Kindle with Special Offers, you can remove them later if you choose to. Finally, choose if this is a gift (No, not to yourself). Check the "This is a Gift" button if it is. This removes the Kindle logo from the box to keep it a surprise. Also, it doesn't register the Kindle to your account. Usually, a Kindle ships with your account already linked. Congrats! You're ready to buy your Kindle! Good luck!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Even Geeks Have to go to School: Part 2

You may remember that a couple months ago I said I had to go to school and wouldn't post as much. Well, today was my last day of middle school! But the crazy thing is that I posted more often than I did without school. I posted a consistent rate of at least one article a day. Don't expect me to stop posting because of Summer. I'll post at the same rate. Maybe even more often. Have a great Summer!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WWDC: Part 3

Another component of the WWDC 2013 keynote was the MacBook Air. Rising up to its MacBook Pro counterparts, the Air gets some upgrades. Mainly, power is the name of the game. The 11-inch has 9 hours and the 13-inch has 12 hours. The newest Intel processors are packed into this minimalistic design. Not to mention that the long-awaited dual mics have been out into the MacBook Air. One of the best parts is that you get more bang for your buck. The 11-inch Air comes standard with 128 GB for $999 (as oppose to 64 GB for $999) and the 13-inch Air has 128 GB for $1099 (as oppose to 64 GB for $1099). So that's a much better deal, especially when combined with education discounts for students!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

WWDC: Part 2

WWDC also had unveiled iOS 7 at the keynote yesterday. iOS 7 has a whole new design!!! It's pretty cool. Apple takes a swing at Android with this new design. The lock screen has been redesigned. The home screen has been redesigned. And it's personalized to your, well, everything. Pretty epic! Just look at Control Center! It has a translucent background that fuzzes out whatever you put behind it. The lock screen adapts to whatever wallpaper you put behind it. Here's 10 Quick Features with interesting facts about them. One fact for each feature. 

Control Center:
Lets you perform utilities without switching apps. 

Notification Center:
Gives you a quick overview of your day. 

Saves a large amount of battery life. 

Allows you to switch camera modes fast (video, photo, square, panorama). 

Organizes the photos and allows you to allow others to share to your Photo Stream. 

Nice to see Apple integrating Mac features into iOS. Who needs "phone-tapping"?!

Minimaistic design for simple use. 

iTunes Radio:
Allows you to discover new music based on your recommendations. 

New voice to sound more natural. 

App Store:
Gives you app recommendations based on your location. 

Find My iPhone:
Doesn't allow thieves to re-activate iPhones after they're erased. 

iOS in the Car:
Gives directions like an iOS device would, IN YOUR CAR!!!

There you go! iOS 7 in a nutshell. Stay tuned for more updates on WWDC!

Monday, June 10, 2013

WWDC: Part 1

WWDC started today. Apple put a lot in the keynote. For this part of my post, I will talk about the Mac. Mac OS X has been outfitted with a new theme for the title names. Instead of cats, there's places in California. This version is named after a beach named, "Mavericks". This version of OS X has iBooks and Maps. New versions of apps include Calendar, Safari, Finder, Notification Center, and more! I'll tell you one very interesting fact about each one. 

Has support for textbooks with lots of potential. 

Plan your trip and send it to your iOS device. 

Get alerts for when you should leave (traffic-wise). 

Mainly, the design is the key feature here. Nothing groundbreaking. 

iCloud Keychain:
Stores credit cards and generated passwords. 

Multiple Displays:
Works with Apple TV. 

Tells what happened while you weren't using your Mac. 

Finder Tabs:
Allows for quicker productivity. 

Find things fast. Like, really fast. 

And that wraps it up for part 1 of WWDC. Be sure to check my Twitter feed (@alexsmbaratti) for updates on WWDC and E3. See you later!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

WWDC Roundup

Tomorrow is the big day! WWDC, or World Wide Developers Conference, starts tomorrow. Every year, Apple makes a big announcement about next generation technologies and gives a few lessons to developers. Let's get a quick review of rumors! Know that this is the first presentation since the iPad Mini for Apple (a whopping seven months ago!), so we might be able to expect a lot!


Confirmed Rumors:

iOS 7

iOS 7 has been confirmed by Apple in indirect ways. Last year at WWDC, former Apple Senior Vice-President of iOS Software, Scott Forstall, mentioned at the beginning of the iOS presentation that one of the great things about iOS is that a new version comes out each year. Another indirect way that Apple hinted about iOS 7 is that Apple has decorated the outside of Moscone West, the place in which the presentation takes place, with a large, minimalistic banner of the number seven. This obviously suggests iOS 7. MacRumors has confirmed that the font used for the "7" is "Helvetica Neue Ultra Light". iOS 7 is expected to have a simpler version of the home screen.

Source: MacRumors


Also known as Mac OS X, OS X is the Mac counterpart for iOS. Usually announced just before iOS, Apple seems to be steering the Mac to look more like an iOS device, stressed by the Launchpad app and GameCenter App released in earlier years. OS X also has a banner much like the iOS 7 banner. The "X" has the same font as the "7" in the iOS 7 banner.

Source: Mac Rumors

Probable Rumors:


Apple is well-known for music. Every year, they have a huge concert for thirty days straight featuring different artists known as the iTunes Festival! Apple wants to be like Pandora and is making a music service. Even Sony has jumped on board, so this seems probable, but not confirmed.

Notebook Refresh:

Apple is planning to make a new batch of notebooks. Unfortunately, that's all I know.

Live Tweets (Well, sorta):

I hope to send out live tweets from my official Twitter account (@alexsmbaratti) as soon as I can. This applies for both WWDC and E3. Unfortunately, because of school, I can't tweet in the morning. However, I will tweet in the evening for round ups and for live events at E3 (since more games are announced everyday). I'll try to tweet more than just Nintendo. My Twitter feed is available at the top of the page.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How to lock the rotation on an iPad

First, switch the switch on the top right of your iPad. If a bell appears, then undo the switch. Otherwise, your screen is locked. Undo the switch if you need to unlock it. If the bell appeared, double-click the home button (button at the bottom of the iPad) and swipe from left to right on the small menu that appears. Tap the button in the bottom left corner and your screen rotation is locked! This should be handy in certain situations. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Take A Screenshot!

To take a screenshot of your iOS device, simply tap the top and menu button at the same time. Then, go to photos and find your screenshot. Simple as that. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Speed Dial 4 the iPhone

Launch Center Pro is a great app when you want to do things harder, better, faster, and stronger. Mainly faster. It's an app that acts like a speed dialer. It doesn't just launch apps, it launches actions within the app. Launch Center Pro is available for $3.99 off the Apple App Store. A review should come up soon. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Use Aç¢ëñtš¡

To use accents on your iOS device, just tap and hold the character on your keyboard and a menu with available accents will appear. Know that accents aren't available for all the characters on the keyboard because no language has an accent for certain letters, like "t". Try it!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Geekiest Flashdrives!

One of the most essential parts of technology is the flash drive. And I'd thought I could show off some of the "geekiest" flash drives there are!

They are the iPod Shuffle, LaCie RuggedKey, and the SanDisk Cruzer Fit (respectively). 

First off is the iPod Shuffle. The iPod Shuffle isn't really a flash drive, but you can make it one! Just plug it in to your computer and drag and drop files into the drive that appears on your desktop. Because it only has 2GB, it's more for style than functionality. 

Next is the LaCie RuggedKey. If you recognize the orange cover, then you know that this is a remake of the LaCie Rugged, a larger external drive that's known for durability. The RuggedKey is no exception when it comes to durability. It can be frozen or heated (don't try at home) and it stays intact. Quite geeky. 

This is a drive that I got today! The SanDisk Cruzer Fit! It was on sale for $12 (16GB)! In addition to being very budget-friendly, this flash drive is significantly smaller than other drives. It's about the size of my finger-nail. The flash drive is the size of a USB port. On the left is the cover/case. Check these drives out!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Twitter had some issues today…

Twitter wasn't available from 1:08 PM thru 1:33 PM according to their status blog. Twitter apologizes for the accident. The issue was resolved. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

16GB iPod Touch Analysis

Here's my analysis on the new 16GB iPod Touch. But, is it better than the 4th Generation iPod Touch?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Tech Geek Tour! Silicon Valley

We are all geeks. You can't deny it. But Summer's coming up, and we can't just stay indoors coding all day. We need a vacation. A "geeky" vacation. And what better place to go than Silicon Valley!

Start off at Apple Headquarters. Welcome to The Mothership! Here, you can find The Company Store. While this store doesn't sell computers, they sell Apple merchandise such as T-Shirts!

The next place to go to is called WeirdStuff Warehouse in Sunnyvale. They have everything you need for creating a computer from scratch!

After that, go to Google headquarters. While they don't have a store open to the public, they do have giant statues depicting their many Android Operating Systems. When you go there, you'll find the actual movie scene for the upcoming movie, "The Internship".

After that, go to The Computer History Museum where you can learn interesting things about computers (trust me, it's not boring). They have everything from abacus to an old-school pong system, including a working Babbage machine.

Next, go to the Intel Museum (free admission) to learn even more about computer chips and computer processors!

In addition, try going to "The Birthplace of Silicon Valley"! This is where HP was started!

367 Addison Avenue, Palo Alto, CA

Don't forget Stanford University! Stanford is a great place to go when you're looking for somewhere to go. It's one of the best universities in the United States! Stanford has buildings named after famous people in technology such as Bill (William) Gates, David Packard, William Hewlett, Jerry Yang, etc.

Of course, there's the hotel. Where to stay? Be sure to go to The Cypress Hotel. It's located within walking distance of Apple Headquarters. Click on the link near the location label. That will give you directions to the hotel.

Also, check out this map for all of the locations and directions. Have a great vacation!

Copy and paste the following link for the map (hyperlinks don't work with this; don't ask me why):