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    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.

    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 special wrap-up 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 #1026: The Cord-Cutter’s Lament

    November 28th, 2021

    So the logic seemed impeccable. Cable TV companies were grabbing more and more of your hard-earned money each year — and I’m referring mainly to U.S. services here — and you had to wonder why you wasted so much to get 300 channels and found little or nothing to watch. Surely there’d be a way to pick and choose in such a way that you’re not paying for content you don’t want.

    Alas, bundling has not been an option..

    Before I get to the troubles with the most common solution, it’s fitting to remember how it all began.

    Now I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and I could watch the local stations with an antenna. But it wasn’t always the best solution. While you had the ability to set up a roof antenna in a private home, with apartment living you were stuck with something less sensitive. So I remember moving a rabbit ears antenna this way and that when switching channels in order to get decent reception.

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    Newsletter Issue #1025: So Apple Isn’t Warm and Fuzzy

    November 8th, 2021

    For many, Apple is the counter-culture company, or one of the remaining firms to fit into that category. No doubt that feeling revolves around the two founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Indeed the first project they delivered, before there was such a thing as an Apple Computer, was a blue box. That was a device designed to hack the touch-tone phone system to make free calls.

    Officially, they sold between 40 and 100 of these devices for $170 each. So they weren’t so cheap, since that would be roughly $866 in today’s dollars. Regardless, hacking the phone system was illegal and the police soon shut them down. So no more blue boxes, and I suppose Jobs and Wozniak should have felt lucky that they weren’t jailed for their transgressions. The story goes that they gave up on the illegal stuff and decided to build legal gear instead.

    Now even though Apple’s computers were decidedly normal technological gadgets, Apple’s renegade reputation stuck over the years. It certainly didn’t hurt that they opted not to conform to industry-standard processors and operating systems. Rather than “borrow” someone else’s achievement as a certain fellow gearhead was said to do, they went their own way.

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    Newsletter Issue #1024: Sorry, Folks, But the MacBook Pro is Too Damn Fast!

    October 31st, 2021

    Let me put this in perspective: While I have had Mac portables since the 1990s, when they first appeared, I always regarded them as just too slow to manage my workflow. From tepid drive performance, to general sluggishness, I could never consider any of the PowerBooks or MacBook Pros I’ve owned to be suitable as replacements for my Mac desktops.

    But it’s not that it’s convenient to schlep a desktop computer to a hotel, although I’ve done that a few times. But before I got my first PowerBook, I remember taking Barbara to another city for surgery. The Steinberg family set up shop, so to speak, in a hotel room. I found a store from where I could rent a PowerBook for a few days, and I copied over the critical work files before making the trip.

    In those days, PowerBooks used trackballs rather than trackpads, and I’ve never liked either. Regardless, I made sure my critical writing assignments were mostly done before the trip so I could focus on finishing an article or two, editing the ones my editors would return for revision, and just manage email.

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    Newsletter Issue #1023: Apple and the App Store Conundrum

    October 25th, 2021

    While Apple is often credited with being the first tech company to offer an in-house app store to buy software for its mobile gear, that’s not at all true. Other companies had done it before, though not as seamlessly. So I recall working on a client’s Palm Pilot probably before the year 2000. They wanted an app, a game as I recall, so I checked out the source.

    I would not be able to recount the steps required or what it cost, but a bare-bones game wasn’t cheap. I was able to make it work, well sort of. After a while, I simply told the client what it could and couldn’t do, and that was it.

    Long and short, being able to get apps for any mobile gadget wasn’t a user friendly process. The download and installation schemes appeared to have been cobbled together by developers without serious regard to what the end user would have to confront to get it to load on their gear. Obviously, this didn’t encourage people to buy apps, although the limited functionality often made the attempt frustrating even if you could get it to run properly.

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