Rob Pickering

Leader, Mentor, Challenger, Educator, Network Engineer, System Administrator, Developer, Hacker, Writer, Diver, and Technology Explorer

Cupertino, CA 16 posts

Weekly Update 4

Back from my break over the holidays! Back to work, son is back to school. I didn't publish any articles over the break, but that doesn't mean I wasn't working on one! Back in January, 2010 (7 years ago now), I published an article on my frustration around Intuit's Quicken product, and specifically the lack of support for the Macintosh platform. The article got a lot of publicity and I ended up writing a series of articles on the state of Macintosh Financial Management software. The most recent article on the topic was published in February, 2011 and discussed my final decision: Quicken for Mac was dead and I moved to iBank (now called Banktivity). Well, it's now 6 years...

Goodbye eBay, I will sell no more

I recently read the following blog post post by Matthew Sag, "One More Sign World Is Shrinking – eBay is for Suckers". It compelled me to tell my story as well; though mine isn't as clear-cut as Matthew's, it's another example of the Buyer-is-always-right-no-matter-what mentality that eBay has taken in recent years. Unfortunately, eBay is now a marketplace for people selling esoteric items that you cannot find elsewhere (at huge mark-ups) or re-packaging things from Walmart. I'm not sure where I'll sell my occasional items at this point, I'm not a fan of Craig's List (where people that believe Garage Sales charge too much), but have tried Let's Go (and sold a few items). I'm open to suggestions. My Story My...

Weekly Update 3

Time flies when you're having fun! I'm really happy to be back in Silicon Valley after returning from Calgary (and Edmonton). Nothing like being back, getting up in the morning to a crisp 50º and going for a walk. The last week was relatively quiet as the year is winding down. This past week I published two articles: Cable TV Providers are in Trouble (my experience with Apple's new TV application for Apple TV, and a realization that if the Cable providers continue to put up barriers to accessing content, they'll soon find themselves bypassed) Serial - Driverless Serial Terminal Emulator for macOS (a long-overdue review of the excellent Serial written by Chris Kent, if you use USB serial adapters...

Serial - Driverless Serial Terminal Emulator for macOS

This review is a long-time in coming. Back at the end of 2013 I wrote an article on Enabling a USB to Serial Port Adapter in OSX. The issue was that Apple changed the way the drivers worked under Mavericks and there were some tricks you had to do to get them working again. One of the things that came out of writing that blog article is that the author of a piece of OSX (now macOS) software called Serial, Chris Kent, dropped me a message after reading my article: Sure to his word, he sent me a review copy and I loaded the software on my Macintosh; but as life would have it, I just didn't need a Serial...

Cable TV Providers are in Trouble

Today Apple released iOS 10.2 which, among some other features, includes support for Cable TV (and other) provider Single Sign-on and a new application from Apple called TV. Unfortunately there is a big issue with their support for single sign-on providers: Still missing are a number of major services like Spectrum, Google Fiber, AT&T U-verse, Verizon Fios, and Comcast Xfinity, plus the main competition for Sling, Sony's PlayStation Vue. -- appleinsider [Author's Note: Time Warner Cable and Insight are also missing] What does this mean to you depends on whether or not you are currently paying a "traditional" provider for cable or satellite Television access. If you are, hopefully you are paying one of these providers: CenturyLink...