Meeting Notes - 3 February 2015

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Meeting Notes - 3 February 2015

Post by bdahm on Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:50 pm

CM Geeks - Notes

No free lunch - We’ve heard this expression time and again. It’s true. It’s equally true here. We don’t charge anything for our meetings, perhaps on the philosophy that you get what you pay for. Be that as it may, the River Market is providing us with a place to meet every week. They are providing us with parking, a projector and a screen and even a sound system for our videos. All they ask in return and all we ask in return is that you purchase something from the menu, even a cup of coffee or a soft drink. Information wants to be free. Food is something else. For those who may have eaten or are not hungry, a tip for the wait staff would be appreciated.

Came Up Short
One of the items on our agenda for the last two weeks was a demo on torrents, how to find them and how to download them. In order to do this I have to bring along my MacBook Air. Generally our purposes are satisfied using my iPad Mini. Two weeks ago I didn’t bring the right dongle with me. Our projector is setup to use an HDMI cable. Well, this week I brought the dongle, but it is for a VGA cable and not HDMI we normally use and we couldn’t locate a VGA cable so we were squelched again. As it turns out Apple does not make a Mini Display port to HDMI dongle at all. 

Next week we will try it again. This time I will bring my Apple-TV and we will go that route, though that will introduce a whole different set of potentially new problems. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sleep Zone
A couple of weeks ago I recall reading a story about how using your backlit device, be it smartphone, tablet or laptop/desktop computer, less than two hours before bedtime could interfere with your sleep habits. I didn’t really understand just how that worked until I heard it explained on a podcast this week.

As it happens, these backlit screens all emit a considerable blue glow. It is the color blue, like in a clear blue sky, that signals daylight and our body reacts by telling us we should stay up and not go to sleep. At nighttime there is no blue glow and for the most part we are bathed in warm colors more in the yellow spectrum, florescent lights notwithstanding. So, if you spend a lot of time in front of a backlit, blue casting screen the signal to your body is that you should stay awake. Thus turning off the lights and going to bed after such a period of time could interfere with your sleep. Of course everyone is different and not everyone will be effected in the same way, but it is something to keep in mind if you have trouble falling asleep at night.

Finding Reduced Priced Apps
 Chris filled the void caused by the cancelation of the torrents demo by showing us how we could find discounted, sometimes for free, some of our favorite apps. Chris has over 1,000 apps on his iPad, many of them just to try out. He had folders upon folders upon folders. 

Most apps are relatively inexpensive, under $5.00 to begin with and many use the “freemium” model whereby the app is free and you pay for extras or to get rid of ads. But every once in a while either the price gets cut for a short time or the app is offered for free. These offers are short lived and so it’s important to know when the widow is open for them. There’s a website for this and there is also an iPhone/iPad app for tracking this.

Another thing Chris pointed out was that apps stores don’t have very good searches in them and it is often difficult to find just what you are looking for. You’re probably better off doing a Google search on what you’re looking for and find a link to the app store you use, then click on that.

If you’re interested in music, there’s an iOS app called Discovr, which will help you find it.

Well, that’s all the tech news that’s fit to print for this week, so we’ll call it a wrap, or whatever else you want to call it. Until next week ...



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