Another New Mac – My Own

I got another Mac, and it is my own, and not Mac Air. I never thought I would purchase a Mac for myself, and the most recent model, but here I am.

There were a couple of things that I did for the first time with this Mac. my first trade-in (I traded in my old Mac Air), my first time applying, and getting an Apple card – for the sake of getting 0% financing for a year. They also said that I could order a physical card for this account – a “titanium card.” I ordered it; to be honest, I thought that the usage of the word “titanium” had no more to do with reality than multiple “gold,” “diamond,” or “sapphire.” But when the card arrived, it turned out that it was titanium! Which means it’s too thick to put her into my phone case.

But I guess, it’s OK since I have it in the Apple Wallet πŸ™‚

Or and also, that was the first time I completely restored my new laptop from the time machine, and I was surprised that it actually worked (like I didn’t have to look for all the passwords and licenses one more time :))

Apple Is A Black Hole, And Nobody Comes Back!

I started using AirTags. First, I resisted the desire to buy a package of four for $100 and bought one for $30, but after that, I already bought two more :). Boris was the first to give me the idea; I didn’t even pay attention when Apple announced the new product.

Buying the tags was not enough; you need to have some case (either a case to attach to a keychain or a case to stick it to something). So I got those, and my first AirTag went to my keys. It’s pretty cool and funny. First, you can find your tagged object using the FindMe app on your iPhone. I practiced it: the tag starts to make a sound, and the phone tells you “14 ft to the right,” and so on, and it displays the arrow on the screen. Second, if you leave this object behind (and take your phone with you), the object will start beeping. You can mark some places “home” so that the tag won’t beep when you leave an object there. The funniest thing was that when I opened the AirTag properties on my iPhone, it showed two homes: mine and Boris’. Boris agrees that your phones know too much about us! In fact, we have already caught them a couple of times communicating without our consent!

Too Smart Phone!

Today, it was snowing in Chicago, which means there was a lot of snow! One of these days, that makes me very happy that I do not own a car anymore! 

Still, I went for a walk in the middle of the day, because I just can’t stay inside all the time! On my way back, I stumbled on a pile of snow and fell. It was not even an accident, the snow was soft, and it was funny, but my phone slipped from my pocket and ended up in the snow.

Again, not a big deal – I picked it up, brushed the snow off, made sure the phone worked, and kept going.

I was going to the musical tonight and planned to leave the house at six. Around 5 PM, I plugged the phone to make sure it was charged before leaving the house for five hours. Immediately, I saw a message on the screen indicating that the is some water inside the plug, and I needed to wait till it was dry before charging; otherwise, I could damage the phone. I waited and tried again. Then I tried to dry it with the fan. Nothing changed. 

Imagine: there is only 28% of power left, I need to leave in 10 minutes, and I have everything on the phone! My ventra card to get on the public transportation. My vaccination card. A ticket to the show (with a Broadway in Chicago subscription, the only way to display your ticket is using the phone, they do not even show a picture of QR code when you are on your laptop!

I turned the phone on, took a screenshot of the ticket, then printed it. I took a physical vaccination card with me,. and I only turned the phone on to get into the CTA station! I could not even use a computer while on CTA! Fortunately, the phone got dried when I arrived at the theater, and I could charge it with the portable power bank!

No TV?!

Another long-overdue thing was finding a way to mount the large monitor I am using instead of the TV. I do not have any TV services for many years, nor do I do Netflix or anything like that. It does not mean I am not enjoying the movies, but it is always a special occasion. I either go to the movie theater to watch something extra special or rent something online and watch (by myself or with somebody).

Still, I need a large monitor to watch movies with somebody. In my old house, I put a large monitor where my old TV set used to be. I could not find a similarly situated place in my new house; besides, I didn’t want a large thing that I do not often use to occupy a significant space and to on the view at all times.

Boris suggested a rolling TV cart, but Vlad rejected it, saying that it won’t help – I will still need to store it “somewhere”. Boris backed up and suggested another desk mount (the one I had could not hold the weight of the monitor). He chose a model, but it arrived after he left. When Anna & family visited last time, I asked them to attach a monitor, but it turned out that this desk mount could not be attached because of the shape of the monitor.

I started to look again, but I could not find any other model high enough and hold the weight. Finally, I decided to change the course and started to look for the TV mount. That is, after two months of search, I was back to Boris’s original idea. Funny story – it turned out that although the attachment was “universal,” it still didn’t work with the shape of this monitor! The only way we made it work was to shift the position of the mounting brackets, so now they stick up like two horns :). But the whole thing works beautifully! The stand has wheels, and in normal position, it stands behind my desk occupying zero extra space. It can be easily pulled forward, and then people sitting in the living room can watch. Or it can be pulled to the sunroom, where there are more electric outlets there, and there is a shelf for a laptop. I can even roll it into the dining room!

Yes, and as for the title of this post… As I said, I do not have television for years, if not decades, but since in my old house there was a large object sitting where people would expect to have a TV set, nobody asked this question, And at my new place, the first thing most people would ask is “Where is your TV?” or just “And no TV?!”

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Overcoming Technical Difficulties:)

Remember my ecobee story and how I fixed it? In addition to the ecobee itself, I had six room sensors, which I disconnected from my previous ecobee in my old house.

I thought they would automatically connect to the new device, but I was wrong – nothing happened when I brought them closer to the ecobee. The website suggested removing batteries for two minutes and try again, but that didn’t help.

The only tooms sensor, which I had and which was not used before, connected to the ecobee immediately.

I was at a loss and was ready to through away all these six sensors, but then I decided to use “the last resort” and contacted an ecobee customer service. They told me to do the following:

  • to put the batteries into my devices wrong side up
  • to pull the ecobee off the wall, wait for two minutes, and plug it back again
  • one by one, take each of the room sensors, turn the battery right side up while staying about 3 feet away from the ecobee, and then it will suggest pairing the sensors.

I know how ridiculous it sounds – but it worked!

My New iPhone

I’ve got a new iPhone 11 Pro! For the past several years, I am on the FlexLease plan with Sprint, which means I can get the next version of the iPhone each time it appears (every 12-18 months) for virtually no extra cost. I have to admit, the plan itself is expensive, but I know what I am paying for. It’s an ability to be connected anywhere in the world, any time, with no switching to anything. And for always having a hotspot to connect my computer anywhere in the world. Also, I have my Mom and my sons hooked to the same plan (they all pay for their lines, but I pay a lion share of the bill). This is just to say, it is not the best option for everybody, but the best option for me, with my lifestyle.

That’s why I ended up with the new iPhone 11 Pro the other day. By now, I know the fastest way to get upgraded. I always order a new phone online, when it arrives, I wake it up and allow it to absorb information from my old phone and iCloud, and then next day go to the Sprint Store, which is two blocks from my work to perform the activation.

This time it was by far the most seamless upgrade, with a very short time it took to sync with the iCloud. Also, this time, I was able to retrieve from the iCloud all my passwords, which was great since I have a hundred applications installed. Even my Bluetooth scale recognized the phone, or rather the new phone was aware of the scale :).

And the main attraction – three cameras! I didn’t get a chance to play with them long enough since I work non-stop for the past two weeks, and especially for the past three days. But still – this is a picture of my room taken in complete darkness, except for two candles and a desk light behind me, which is not directed towards the room. Same shot with two cameras.