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Running Windows on MAC OS X (Mojave at the current time) Updated!

Ok most people folks know I am a Mac user ( we have 2 Macbook Air, 2 Macbook's 3 MacBook Pro's, 2 Mac Mini's). That said I have the need to have access to windows (for testing web sites I create in Rapidweaver, and some genealogy applications). So what is the best way to run windows on a MAC? well I have tried them all so here is my take:

1. Bootcamp, allows a use to setup a seperate disk partition on you MAC (intel based only). This work well execept you must reboot you MAC to get to windows to run.

2. Parallels application (uses the virtual machine method) is a good product (I have been using Parallels since release 5 current release is version 13.x) it allows you to launch windows with in OS X. The current release is version 13 it supports Windows up to Win 10. The product support is good. Cost of the product is about 80.00 with release upgrades for 50.00 (49.99). Why are upgrades needed ? As Mac OS X is upgraded so also must Parallels. Other costs? Yep you must purchase a fully licensed copy of windows to install as a virtual machine. Parallels has better performance in OS X. It works best on Mac's with lots of ram and disk space. Win 8.1 runs very well in Parallels 9! Windows 10 works very well on the Parallels 12 and 13.

3. Fusion (VMWare product) application ( uses the virtual machine method) is a good product as well ( I have been a beta tester for a couple of releases) it also allows you to launch windows applications within OS X. The current release supports Win 7 with Windows 8 in testing. The technical support at times is lacking since VMWare first released Fusion. in the latest release that supports High Sierra has been performing pretty well . That said it is now stable. Cost of the product is about 80.00 with release upgrades for 50.00 (49.99), why are upgrades needed? As Mac OS X is upgraded (new releases) so also must Fusion. Other costs? Yes you must also purchase a fully licensed copy of the windows operating system to install as a machine. Fusion performance on MAC OS X is good (at best lots of crashes have been reported). The more ram and hard disk space you have on your mac the better.

4. Virtual Box (Sun Micro/Oracle) is an open source application (zero cost) that also uses the virtual machine method. Virtual box runs well on MAC OS X an allows for windows application to be launched from within Mac OS X. it supposrts Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, 8.1, 10), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD. Virtual Box also requires a licensed copy of the guest operating system to be installed. Support is better than Fusion and requires about the same amount of ram and hard disk space as Parallels and Fusion.

5. Crossover application is unique it actually installs it's own version of windows that has been optimized for MAC OS X (it also is only supports Win 95, Win XP, Windows 7, Vista, Server 2000, Server 2003). It uses what Code Weavers calls the bottle method (from the Wine origins). Applications are install via one of two methods via Cross tie application from with in Crossover (Codeweavers have lots of applications ported to run already) or via the standard exe file or cd rom method of installation. Pre configured applications (bottles) install all of the required windows apps and services as part of the installation process. Costs flexible from 39.99 with 1 month of support (no telephone support email only) to 59.99 12 months of email support with one free phone support incident. Performance is great! New version is release 13.70 it has been running great.

I have tested each one of these applications on several different Mac's in many different configurations. Good luck and I hope this helps out.

Update:

Crossover has been updated to 17.x and runs much better on 2009 and later Intel Mac's (including MacBook Air products). So if you have to run windows apps give CrossOver a try.

Want a honest review of the new eero wifi gear? read on

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Smart watches I have tested to date

Well I wanted to start with the U8 smart watch I bought off of Geek one of my favorite places to by stuff. The unit I got won't power up (bummer) getting a refund on this puppy as soon as geek support sends me the how to's. I got my GV9 watch on Saturday from Geek, so far it is pretty nice, its really built for the Android user (since it can be a phone as well!) it will connect to a iPhone 5 or better via bluetooth but there is not an app in the App store that works with it. You can get some things off your iPhone like you last numbers dialed bluetooth audio. Overall the GV9 is very nice bit of kit!

I have now using a Apple Watch 3 which I am really impressed with! It works with a ton go iOS apps on my iPhone 8 Plus.

Want to painlessly unlock your AT&T iPhone without jail breaking?

If the answer to the question of above is yes, then continue reading. As most of you know I am a long time AT&T customer (since my first iPhone) and I travel a fair amount for business (USA and Canada). What I am tried of is having to pay roaming charges when I am out of the USA, so what to do? Well I found UnlockStreak.com online for a small fee they will unlock any iPhone on the AT&T network (and only the AT&T network). This does not get you out of your contract but it does allow you to when needed use a non-AT&T micro-sim from a different carrier to avoid heafty roaming charges on the AT&T network.

I am a very happy AT&T wireless customer! I don't mind paying my nearly $190.00 per month bill, which I share between 2 iPhones and 1 iPad. The UnlockStreak process is simple:

Originally developed for use with the Dell Streak, UnlockStreak Activations for iTunes is a separate version of the software that works on Apple’s devices. To use it, users simply visit the website and select their device, then place an order for the unlock ($49 for an iPhone 5, all other iPhones $29; UnlockStreak provided an unlock at no charge for purposes of this review). Once UnlockStreak confirms that the IMEI can be unlocked, they begin the process and then send an email with the unlocking instructions once they’ve processed your IMEI (the hardest part of all was waiting for that email; it took one day to process my unlock). The actual unlock is done on the user’s own computer. For iPhones, it’s all done through iTunes, making it a familiar process for most users. It takes only a few minutes from start to finish: backing up and restoring your iPhone is more or less all it takes. In all, it took me about three or four clicks to make it happen:

One important note: although UnlockStreak performs a permanent unlock, the service only works if the device is tied to AT&T.

For the vast majority of people using AT&T, an unlock will probably never matter. But if you’re someone who does need an unlock—and for whatever reason doesn’t want to make the jump to Verizon—then UnlockStreak is a bargain, and one that doesn’t require you to navigate the shadier portions of ebay, where many iPhone unlock offers come across as something less than legitimate. If you’re planning a trip abroad, or just need to use your iPhone on a different carrier here at home, UnlockStreak is worth a look.

UPDATE:

I can add a unlock site company that you SHOULD NEVER USE iPhoneIMEI they are crooks, and thieves. They say they will unlock your iPhone for Free its not they start at $29.97 then tell you phone has been locked by your carrier for not being paid for (I paid cash for my iPhone6s plus directly from apple) and then tell you it will cost $149.00 plus to unlock your phone.. FYI I contacted my carrier (AT&T) they said that they and nothing flagged on my phone our my account that would stop it from being unlocked, and they unlocked my iPhone for FREE with in 24 hours. To top it off iPhoneIMEi has a 100% NO REFUND POLICY again they have this in writing on their site but it is extremely difficult to find! BUYER BEWARE!

Looking for a Genealogy App for your Mac, iPhone, iPod, iPad? I got some answers UPDATED

Here are my recommendations base upon testing and usage: Updated!

Roots Magic 7 these are windows applications but can be run on MAC's via MacBridge (a customized version of Crossover) for $9.95. You will still need to purchase a full version of Roots Magic (for the license file key to use in MacBridge). Is MacBridge as good as the windows version? Sort of you can open your family information just like in Windows. the MacBridge application is stable. Someday soon Roots Magic promises a true OS X app. They have an iOS app but it is read only of your Family file so it is useless if you are away from your MAC, you can't add information with the iOS to your family file.

Pros and Cons: Very good windows application very stable, but no real MAC app, using windows emulation has its drawbacks on a MAC machines. They have great documentations and support migrating of PAF, FTM and other file formats Needs a iOS app that allows for reading and writing of genealogy data!

iFamily is a great genealogy app for the MAC, it is easy to use and support importing of data via gedcom files up to version 5.5. iFamily for Leopard is a genealogy application for people who think differently. Whereas other genealogy software tends to emphasize the family unit, this software's focus is on each individual person. This distinction is subtle and is a feature of iFamily for Leopard. In iFamily for Leopard you can see at a glance whether an individual has more than 2 parents, more than 1 spouse or the number of siblings they had. Parent-child relationships may be natural (the default), step, adopted or foster relationships. Available for purchase since October 2006, iFamily has had more than 60 versions released, leading to a richly featured product that is stable and user friendly, utilized by a healthy community of users.

Pros: great support forum, customer focused. Cons: no iOS application.

Reunion is another really great app for the MAC, it is simple to use and has a Mac World Editor's Choice Award: Reunion is a genealogy software program — a "family tree program" — for the Macintosh. Reunion is also available as a companion product on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad. Reunion Touch is an application for Reunion 11 users that replaces the previous "Reunion for iOS". The current version of Reunion 11 for Macintosh received the highest rating for genealogy software in MacWorld, MacAddict, and Mac Home Journal magazines. Reunion also received a MacWorld Editor's Choice award. The latest release 11 (2015) the upgrade price 49.95 (unless you are in PA then it is more)..

I bought this app because it was suppose to the be the best genaelogy app for the MAC (2009), upgraded to most current release it has won me back as a customer.

Pros: Great user interface (UI) good documentation Cons: iPad app cost 15.00 and you proably shell out 100.00 (49.99 for the upgrade per release) for the mac app that you must have in order to use the iOS app.

Mac Family Tree is a very visual applcation for the MAC. I have been using this app since release 3 (now at release 7), the developers have made great strides in the user interface! The reports and charts are first class! Your family tree:

Easily enter and then visualize your family history. Be it creating reports, diagrams or browsing your data in the innovative 3D view called Virtual Tree - MacFamilyTree offers a solution for every task. Get an overview of where you hail from and maybe enthuse your relatives about exploring your family's past at your upcoming family reunion.

Pros: Great UI, activily being improved, very visual, resonable price for product and updates, iOS app 15.00, iOS app can import and export gedcom files. New 7.x version is out and is a huge improvement over the original 6.x software stream

Cons: Version 7.x for IOS does require that you repurchase the application. Issues with the current release importing and exporting gedcom files even from older releases, iOS app freezes up when using large family files (31 to 43 Mb) **note this has been fixed with the last application update for iOS **, must have desk top version of software to sync data on the same WiFi network. Syncing of data takes forever on large files or just plain crashes both sides. Tech support is germany, slow responses at times. Web site is confusing since they have multiple products.

New Year New Family Blog!

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Airmail new mail app for MAC OS X Updated

UPDATE: I have purchased Airmail from the mac app store. So far Airmail supports IMAP, Exchange, POP3, email accounts (Google, mac.com, me.com, icloud.com, yahoo.com, as well as my website email). The App is $1.99 in the apple app store. So far it has preformed very well over all. I love the interface or UI!. I believe Airmail is just as good or better than the built in Mail.app! It is very easy to use.

UPDATE: Exchange support is here, POP3 is here (current release 1.38) update via the App Store!

NOWYOU CAN GET AIRMAIL 2.0 for $9.99 at the app store ( I don't think the app isworth more than $2.99 )

Living life with one eye?

For of you don't know 2015 has been a difficult year health wise for me. I have gotten cataracts in both eyes so my sight has dimmed since the beginning of the year. The good news it is fixable! I have had my left eye surgery done for a week now (at the time this post) so I have one near perfect eye and one bad eye, My brain is fighting with itself to see which eye will win dominance. I am voting for the left one. I have another couple of weeks before my right eye is done (surgery) and I should be back to 20/20 vision!

More to follow as my adventure continues! Another interesting development in the afternoon my eyesight gets better that in the mornings my brain must be figuring things out. LOL

UPDATE BOTH EYES ARE NOW DONE I CAN SEE AGAIN! (6/30/2015)

2014 holidays are coming

So it is that time of year when I take stock of what has happened this year. The number one thing was the birth of our grand-twins in May that was amazing, now we had 4 other grandchildren that we love to death, so the space in my heart had to grow by 2. Now the grand twins are 6months or so old and cute as can be. The number two thing was at one point all of the live at home adult kids where all employed! Ok it is not that way now but for a brief time they where. The third thing is we re-did another bathroom in the house it came out great. the fourth thing is Susan and I are still together (ok really this ties the number one thing) after 30 plus years. even though our health is not what it once was we are still in love with each other. I still love my job for the most part. so life is good.

on a personal note I did lose 53 pounds, that has helped me on so many levels. I am down to 147 pounds. I am still attempting to walk more everyday.

for those in the Kirkland area our holiday light show is up and running, even during the wind storms (our snowmen have been knock around a bit, now they are staked to conduit that is in the ground 10 inches are so). the music and show changes weekly so drop by tune your FM radio to 91.5 and enjoy

When it is time to upgrade the SSD drive in your MacBook Air? what do you choose?


I love my MacBook Air but I run a lot of apps, music, movies, etc. I am running out of space on my 512 GB SSD. so what I am to do? well I started to look at upgrading my ssd drive (ok my MBA is a 2012 model, so its drive look like oversized memory stick). So I started at OWC to see if I could find a 960GB SSD nope they did not have one. Next Amazon (I am a prime member), they had JetDrive 520 kit, 960GB on sale for 599.00 (down from 699.00) made by Transcend. Still a little to expensive, but they one in Amazon Warehouse Deals for another 50 dollars off. So I bought it. The kit includes:

  • Max Seq. Read: 495MB/s, Max Seq. Write: 427MB/s
  • Next-generation SATA III 6Gb/s interface
  • Free download of Jet Drive Toolbox SSD monitoring software
  • External enclosure is fully compatible with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and Hi-Speed USB 2.0
  • SSD upgrade kit included
  • Dual color LED indicator (Power, data transfer and USB 3.0/2.0 connection)
  • Operating Temperature 32F-158F
  • Repurpose original SSD into external SSD

It was so easy to clone my existing SSD to the new one with my old favorite app Carbon Copy Cloner, it took just under an hour to do. The kit even can with the required screwdrivers to remove the bottom cover and remove the existing SSD. Quick swap out of the SSD's put the bottom plate back in place. Boot up my MBA and wow I have a screaming new machine with almost double the storage place! I have repartitioned into 3 drives, 1 running Mavericks (479 GB), 1 for all of my virtual machines (379 GB) 1 for Beta testing OS's (100 GB) currently Yosemite.

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