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    The Tech Night Owl LIVE

    DOWNLOAD — Free Version All good things must come to an end. After 17 years as a pioneer in online radio and podcasting, this will be the final original episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE. For this show, we’ve gathered some of our favorite guests to reminisce and talk about the present and the near-future of or favorite fruit company, Apple Inc. It all begins with the early days of the Internet, its complexities, and Apple’s path from Macintosh to iPod, to its most lucrative product, the iPhone, followed by the iPad, Apple Watch and beyond. There will also be an extensive discussion about the prospects for the success of Apple’s fledgling services, which include News+, a premium version of the app offering access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers, and Apple TV+, in which the company is spending billions of dollars to hire top-flight talent to create original TV shows. Where does Apple+ fit in market currently owned by Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services? Are there already too many for a newcomer to succeed?

    Guests for this very special episode include tech commentator and publisher Adam Engst, Editor and Publisher of TidBITS, outspoken veteran tech commentator Peter Cohen, cutting-edge commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — July 6, 2019

    For more episodes, click here to visit the show’s home page.


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    Newsletter Issue #979: Talking and Printing On the Cheap

    December 31st, 2019

    Once upon a time, I had three “full service” phone numbers, plus my mobile number. Two (including the mobile number) were used for business, another number for personal calls, and the last for faxing.

    Yes, faxing.

    Faxes, of course, are yesterday’s news for the most part. But some companies and some individuals still use them, so I needed that capability. I also wanted to keep the other phone numbers active to separate personal and business activities.

    But there was the cost of maintaining extra phone numbers, and I wanted to cut costs. My solution is as economical as I can make it without giving up those numbers and faxing capability.

    Continue Reading…


    Yes, We’re Still Here!

    December 23rd, 2019

    Just the other day, a client alerted me to the fact that this site was no longer available to visitors who use an ad-blocker. Forget for the moment that I’d prefer that you check into our ads, since we get paid for clicks and, sometimes, for orders.

    Unfortunately, they got a blank screen for their efforts. Now I don’t know exactly what changed in recent weeks — except for a minor WordPress upgrade — but I spent several hours of trial and error seeking errant code on the custom theme we use for this site. It turned out to be two lines of extra code that was left in the “header” template. Perhaps it was there to enable a function no longer used, or the upgrades to WordPress made the entries incompatible.

    Regardless, removing those two lines restored the site to full operation with the ad-blockers I’ve tried. This site has been here for 20 years, and we’re here to stay.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to Everyone!


    Newsletter Issue #978: $60,000 and Counting

    December 23rd, 2019

    It was 1989. After using Macs at the office for a couple of years, I decided that I needed one at home since I had begun to take outside assignment. So I went shopping.

    To be sure, a Mac was pretty expensive in 1989 dollars. There were no budget models, but I shopped around and found a good deal from the same dealer who sold Macs to my employer.

    After an afternoon’s consultation, I weighed my options, and I decided to take a chance, expecting that the freelance work would cover the costs. So I made a lease deal for a complete system. I acquired the Macintosh IIcx, an “affordable” alternative to the Macintosh IIx. It was maxed out with 8MB of RAM and a 100MB hard drive. Add to that a 14-inch Apple color display (later referred to as a “13-inch display,”, a LaserWriter NT PostScript printer, and several productivity apps, including QuarkXPress and Microsoft Word. The bill came to $14,000.

    Continue Reading…


    Newsletter Issue #977: Second Time is a…

    December 12th, 2019

    Unlike my previous columns, this article has taken more than a month to write. But it’s not because of fine-tuning the prose. It’s more about events that hadn’t yet reached a successful conclusion.

    But let me start at the beginning…

    Once upon a time, I would buy a brand new Mac every other year or so. Beginning in the mid-1990s, I added a PowerBook to the mix. In order to help finance the purchase, I would routinely sell my old hardware, and even in the dog days of Apple’s existence, they held their value pretty well.

    Continue Reading…