Apple

Apple Watch and iPhone Battery

I was noticing a real drain on my iPhone 6 Plus battery after pairing my Apple Watch. My iPhone used to make it two days between charges, but after the Watch I was looking at barely a day!

Turns out the main culprit is the Apple Watch Companion app that runs on the phone. That app can be quit and the Watch will continue to function as normal. And, suddenly, much less battery usage. Clearly, Apple has some programming to do!

So, if you are seeing a drain on your iPhone battery, try quitting that Companion App.

Back to playing!

p.s. The Watch battery is holding up great. It’s at 57% at 6pm and I attached it to my wrist at about 7am. Much better than I expected.

Update: Started at 100% on both devices at 7am. At 2:45 pm, Watch is at 74% and iPhone Plus is at 61%. I was using the iPhone Plus camera for a bit which used some battery. But, this is more battery use than normal for me, so it looks like there is still some drain on the iPhone Plus while it is connected to the Watch. Basically, I’ll have to go back to charging the iPhone Plus every night if/until this changes.

This is interesting because everyone was concerned about the Watch battery life; no one was talking about what it would do with the iPhone battery. Turns out we may have been looking in the wrong place. All that said we are at 1.0 here and I am sure things will develop rapidly.

Really gotten into using the watch and iPhone to track my activity. It works really, really well, and there is a ton of data collected. Looking forward to adding more health related apps.

Apple

Apple Watch!

All I can say is….. I’M IN LOVE!!!!!!! All these years of waiting and the day has finally arrived.

This is such an amazing piece of style and technology. It just feels right. It looks great. And it is going to be infinitely useful.

And my company, Playscreen, has a game for it! Black Jack Anywhere which you can download from the App Store. Here’s a pic of the game playing on my wrist!

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Off to play with some more of the cool apps!

Simplify Backup

Advantages of Cloud Backup

I’ve received some interesting feedback from IT folks concerning Backup and Recovery. Many have written in saying they are still using antiquated tape backup devices and are maintaining libraries. Some have talked about tape failure and subsequent data loss. One even described a tape theft.

Tape backup also involves a great deal of expense, both in terms of equipment, media and especially personnel. These costs are not always immediately apparent, especially the costs of maintaining the tape library.

I did a little more research into the adoption of cloud based backup solutions and found some interesting statistics from Microsoft. In a survey of SMB, Microsoft found that 64% of shops that don’t currently use cloud services have security fears and 45% still fear not having decent controls over their data. Worse, as many as 42% think the cloud is unreliable in general. Much of this fear is being driven by the hype associated with the so-called hacking of celebrity photos in the cloud and even by Hollywood with the release of movies like Sex Tape.

The interesting thing is that the study also uncovered that the actual experience of those SMB’s who moved to a cloud solution is far different from these fears. In fact, these adoptive companies report that the cloud is reliable, secure and provides privacy benefits. In fact, 94% found the cloud more secure than their previous tape solution, 65% found it more reliable and 62% claimed it provided more privacy. These SMB’s are finding advantages that they didn’t expect.

Perhaps the best news for SMB’s implementing a cloud solution is that it allows for more time for their I.T staff to work on revenue generating projects and even can generate additional capital for the growth of their business.

Tricerat’s Simplify Backup is a cloud based backup and recovery solution that is simple to install and configure. Critically, your data is encrypted and is stored in secure installations operated by EMC Corporation, the world’s leader in data storage. This solution provides a low cost, high availability method for complete data protection and recovery.

Update: Citrix did a blog post about the top 5 myths people believe about the cloud.

Environ

Celebrating Earth Day

It’s Earth Day again! Time to recommit ourselves to doing what is right for the planet and our future generations. At my household, we are working hard to grow some of our own vegetables and fruits this year. Growing some of your own food, as well as buying from local farmers, is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, while improving the nutrition content of your diet. And besides, gardening is fun and good exercise.

We’ve got lettuce and spinach growing in an Earth Box on the deck. IMG_0243

Just finished building the gardens around the Pole Barn where we get tons of sun. We were able to have 30ft on one side and 40ft on the other. What a great use of otherwise wasted space. Sure beat digging up the lawn. Special shout out to my buddy Russell Brooks for his help getting those in.

At one end of the garden we will be putting in berries and rhubarb. At the other end, we’ll put in tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers of various sorts. Some of which we’ve started already. The weather is looking unfavorable for planting until early May.

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Finally, we added a new Purple Martin house to the property. Putting that together was…fun. Hopefully we’ll get some residents soon!

That’s what we are doing in celebration of our environment. What are you up to?

Uncategorized

Simplify Backup

It’s spring and time to do all those fun cleaning projects. Some of us also like to so a spring cleaning of our computer. Many times this leads us to making decisions about what files to keep and what is just not worth wasting space over.

While doing these spring cleaning duties, something we all tend to forget about is backing up our important files. Often we don’t even consider what to do until disaster strikes. Fortunately, modern operating systems like Windows or OS X come complete with simple utilities to create backups from your local machine to local storage.

But is a local backup enough? Are you even doing one? When was the last time you tested a file recovery? What happens if your backup drive fails or if you have a natural disaster at your home? Fortunately, there is an excellent solution for handling all of these situations and more.

Simplify Backup, from Tricerat Inc., is a cloud based solution. The product is powered by Mozy Pro, a Division of EMC Corp, the storage giant. The primary advantage here is that your backups are being stored in EMC’s cloud. From there, these files can be instantly recovered and downloaded back to your computer.

Setting up Simplify Backup is a breeze. There is a small app that runs on your Windows or OS X machine. It is from this app that you control what files are to be backed up and over what time frame. It is important to note that backup speeds are affected by outbound bandwidth. So, if you are tight on bandwidth, it is best to schedule your backups for off-peak hours.

Mozy OS X Client

Once the app is installed and you’ve selected your files, the app will start the backup process to the cloud. The time it takes for the first backup depends strictly on the number and size of your files as well as your upload speed. I was able to backup several gigabytes of files in one business day, on a fairly heavily used internet connection.

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A really cool feature of the product is the Mozy Client app for iOS and Android. This free app allows mobile access to all of your backed up files. Right from this app you can see the files that have been archived and you can read documents, look at pictures, play videos, etc. It’s like taking your hard drive with you on your phone. Very convenient.

Here’s a short video of the Simplify Backup mobile client operating on an iPhone 6 Plus:

Looking for a simple to use,  yet very powerful and inexpensive way to protect your files? Try Simplify Backup from Tricerat Inc. You’ll feel better! Really, you will!