January 24, 2018

24-Hours Stores in Framingham

framingham24signpromo

Framingham is very fortunate to have many establishments that are open 24-Hours. Here’s a list of the various locations and a note about each:

CVS 1280 Worcester Rd (Corner of Temple and Worcester Road)Pharmacy is open 24-hours. Great place to go to get medicine for children that are sick at 3am.
Walgreens 653 Worcester Rd If CVS is out of your item, then try Walgreens. Good location if you live northern Framingham.
iHop 17 Edgell Road New Restaurant that offers breakfast and comfort foods any time of the day.
McDonalds Mass Pike I-90 Service Area Good place if your looking for a quick late night bite this would be a good stop
Dunkin Donuts 692 Cochituate Road (Near the Mass Pike) Looking for coffee before getting on the highway? One of the few Dunkin Donuts that is open 24-Hours. (The Dunkin on the Mass Pike isn't open 24-hours) They do have food services all night. It's great place to get donuts or donut holes for a late night software releases.
Cumberland Farms 730 Cochituate Road Gas Station and Shop is open 24-hours. Great place to stop to fill up before heading to Logan Airport and catching the early morning flight.
Seasons Corner Market 846 Concord St Shell Station that accepts Stop and Shop Fuel Reward Card. Easy access from Route 9 or Route 30.
Tedeschi Food Shop 430 Waverly Street (At the Corner of Concord and Waverly Street) Lots of good snacks for the late night cravings.
VERC Gulf Nobscot 876 Edgell Road Small store, has a lot of the basics. Convenient for those living around Nobscot and Northern Framingham.

January 23, 2018

Clipboard History Switcher

Keyboard Maestro and LaunchBar both offer the ability to retrieve previous Clipboard content. Once you enable this feature, you'll find it very useful to get back old clipboard content.

The Clipboard History feature is a pretty powerful function in both applications. Here's a general overview of the differences between the two.

Website Descriptions

Description from Stairways Software:

Clipboard History Switcher saves a copy of each clipboard every time you copy something. You can then paste any previous system clipboard by triggering the Clipboard History Switcher macro. Clipboard History Switcher will present you with a window allowing you to select any of the past clipboards and paste them.

Description from LaunchBar:

LaunchBar's Clipboard History preserves the data of your most recent Copy operations, allowing you to use the copied objects again later.

You can have both LaunchBar and Keyboard Maestro Clipboard History running at the same time - you just need to use different Keyboard shortcuts.

Here's a snapshot of the two windows side-by-side. See how helpful Keyboard Maestro version is with images in the clipboard:

Clipboard History

Five Key Differences between the Two Applications

  • Content Display - Keyboard Maestro gives you a nice preview of any images in the clipboard, whereas LaunchBar only shows an image icon, the dimensions and the application where the image was the clip from.
  • Combine Content Functionality - LaunchBar has a Double-Copy functionality that combines the current copy content with the previous copied content.
  • Favorite Clips - In Keyboard Maestro, You can save clip content as a favorite so it doesn't disappear from the Switcher.
  • Search Capabilities - Keyboard Maestro allows you to search the Clipboard Switcher making it easy to find previously copied text.
  • Display Limits - Keyboard Maestro last two hundred times you have copied something to the System Clipboard. With LaunchBar you can set the duration to be 10, 20, 30, 40, 100 items or by number of days... 1,2, or 3 day or a week.

January 22, 2018

BugMagnet

Bug Magnet is a powerful tool to help Quality Assurance team test HTML form fields during exploratory testing. With a simple right-click, you have access to all sorts of data to help verify the field functionality.

The nice thing that I link about BugMagnet is that you discover new test cases for form fields.

Bug Magnet Monitor

Description from bugmagnet.org:

Exploratory testing for Chrome and Firefox. Adds common problematic values and edge cases to the context menu (right-click) for editable elements, so you can keep them handy and access them easily during exploratory testing sessions.

Field Validation

You can test all sorts of different data types, here are some of the types available:
  • Names - Test names with apostrophe, quotes, dash, Japanese
  • Post Codes - Alphanumeric, With Spaces, 4 digits, 3 digits, 10 digits
  • E-Mail Addresses - Valid and Invalid formats (No longer have to research valid email formats!)
  • Payment Cards - Valid and Invalid Card testing (all the major card types!)
  • Text Size - Test the length of the field

Customize Functionality

Quality Assurance teams can expand the functionality and add their own customize functionality. Full details on how to do it is on their customizing page on their site.

Sample Entry:

{
  "Customer Access": {
    "PreSales": "0",
    "Sales": "0"
  },
  "Company": "Ebriate Inc."
}

Low Footprint

BugMagnet doesn't slow down the Chrome/Firefox functionality. It's certainly worth installing for the times when you may need to test a field.

January 21, 2018

Gluten Free Birthday Cake

If you're looking for a great Gluten Free Bakery near Framingham Massachusetts, I would highly recommend Gerardo's European Bakery in Westborough. They have a lot of great Gluten Free options and make a great gluten-free cake.

Check out this cake that was made for a 7-year birthday party:

Cake Collage

None of the kids at the party knew it was gluten free and they all ate up their large slice of the cake. Even some of the adults at the party wanted to know where the cake was made.

They did a great job making the cake and having it taste great. We did provide the bubble gum balls and the glasses on top. They were easy to work with and make sure that we were satisfied with the cake before leaving.

Gerardo's European Bakery is located at Gerardo's 232 Turnpike Rd in Westborough, MA 01581. You can call (508) 366-1845 and place your order.

January 20, 2018

hotsheet.com

HotSheet.com is what Yahoo.com use to be - a resource to the best sites on the internet. It's a great place to go to find sites in just about any category.

Websites are nicely grouped into various categories such as News and Sports, Entertainment, finance, home life and more. It's a good way to expand your Internet Horizon. The nice thing is that the list is small and practical so you won't be inundated with lots of links.

Hot Sheet Monitor
hotsheet.com

Description from their site:

Welcome to HotSheet(R), the premier web portal/ homepage/start page for both desktop and mobile web browsers. With breaking news headlines from multiple sources, major US national and local news sites, and top world news and sports websites. Also includes top air travel and hotel websites, technology news sites, stock market links, and finance tools, and much more in the Hot Sheet web directory. The single page directory of top sites also includes entertainment news and celebrity gossip pages, social media links, movies, TV, music and arcade games.

Use HotSheet.com as your browser homepage, start page, or favorite web portal. While it works great as your desktop browser home page, HotSheet automatically adjusts to an efficient layout for Apple iPhone and Android smartphone devices. The adaptive web app allows for a mobile experience with the same links and features as the already familiar desktop browser version. Hot Sheet is designed to be an uncluttered and easy to use web portal/home page for desktop or notebook PCs, tablets and mobile devices. See our Change Home Page Instructions on how to update your web browser settings to set www.hotsheet.com as your web browser startup homepage. Info on how to add a HotSheet icon to a smartphone home screen is also included.

January 19, 2018

Quadro Sync

Quadro Sync is a cool way to control your computer from your Smart Phone. You have the ability to assign specific functions so that when you open up the application your smartphone screen changes to display buttons of tasks to perform.

You can customize the button assignments and button designs. Giving you full control over how Quadro Sync works.

Quadro is an excellent application to help with common tasks that you encounter every day. If you been thinking about getting an external controller pad, consider trying Quadro first.

This is a two-bit application; there's the desktop app that is always listening! and interacting with iOS! and there's an iOS app that has to be running. After a few minutes of inactivity, the iOS app will go to sleep -saving your screen and device power.

If you're just going to charge your phone at your desk, why not put it to great use?

i Phone Promo

Description from Quadro Website

Here's a description from Quadro.me website:

Power up your workstation
Control your applications with a simplified yet enhanced personal interface. Automate any recurring iteration and optimize your workflow. Reduce the gap between ideation and execution. And have fun doing it.

Personal computing, truly
Personalize any function and representation of your actions. Use color, icons and images to convey meaning and smoothen your path to action.

Automate your workflow
Direct activation is cool again, but that's not enough. Sequence any action easily to create your cross-application macros and let Quadro do the dirty work for you.

BBEdit Screen Example

I spent a lot of time in BBEdit for PHP development and text cleanup. I spent some time thinking about what tools would make sense to make a Quadro action:

B B Edit Sync

  • Zap Gremlins - Clean up the selected text.
  • Paragraph - Create HTML Paragraph from selection
  • Backup to Evernote - Quick way to backup my document to Evernote.
  • Process Lines Containing - Quick Filter
  • Find - Open up the Find/Replace dialog box
  • Remove Line Breaks - Clean up the selected text.
  • Add Hyperlink - Open the Hyperlink dialog to add a link to the selected text.

Obviously all of these commands can be performed by keyboard shortcuts. Making them as action buttons in Quadro makes it quicker to apply these actions.

For example, I am opting to backup my documents to Evernote more often because the big green button is there to remind me.

Which Devices can You Install Quadro Sync?

If you have any old devices that are just sitting in storage, you may want to dust it off and make it your new Quadro pad.

The Quadro iOS App will work on any devices that can run iOS 8.0 or newer, according to Apple these are the devices that will run on iOS 8:

  • The iPhone 4S
  • The iPhone 5
  • The iPhone 5C
  • The iPhone 5S
  • The iPod Touch fifth generation
  • The iPad 2
  • The iPad with Retina Display
  • The iPad Air
  • The iPad Mini
  • The iPad Mini with Retina Display
  • Getting the Application

    To get started, visit the Quadro website and download the application.

    January 18, 2018

    John Endicott Resident Plaque

    There are three states in the United States that don't offer residence to the sitting Governor: Arizona, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

    Massachusetts Once Set the President

    When Massachusetts Bay Colony was originally founded, the forefathers thought having a Governor residence was a necessity. It was so important, that they made it the second item mentioned in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Record in 1655 (336 Years ago).

    The founders did this because the locals complained that the current Governor, John Endicott, wasn't spending enough time in Boston.

    Massachusetts Bay Colony Record

    Here is the entry from the Record of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Vol III (May 23, 1655). (This is unedited in the original Old English spelling)

    It is ordered by this Court, that who sour shale chosen Gounor from yeare to yeare shall, wth the first oppertunity, make his abode in Boston, or some adjacent town or place within fowre or fire miles of Boston, & shall there contynue his abode dureing the tyme of his government, that so he may be the more serviceable to the country in general, both in respect of straungers & otherwise ; & it is further order, that wither now or next sessions suteable acomodation may be pvided, which may encorage the same for the future, & for present doe desire the Governor to reside at Boston, or neere thereunto, as much as his own necessary occasions will pmitt.

    Ask and You Shall Receive

    Once Massachusetts Bay Colony adopted the rules, John Endicott moved to Boston where he spent the last year of his life serving the people of Massachusetts Bay Colony. He died a year after moving to Boston.

    John Endicott contributed a lot to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He had a very impressive resume:

    • Governor, 1629-30, 1644-45, 1649-50, 1651-54, 1655-65
    • Court of Assistants, 1630-34
    • Conducted expedition against l'equot Indians, 1630
    • Deputy Governor, 1641--14, 1650-51, 1654-55
    • Major-general colonial troops, 1645

    Residence Requirement Update: Not Important

    When Massachusetts became a State, the need for a residence for the Governor was no longer an issue and was left out of the Constitution of Massachusetts.

    Today, those that argue for a Governor's Mansion, have brought up the above rule of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They argue that it makes sense to have a nice secure location near the Governor office. "It makes just as much sense today than it did 336 years ago."

    Plaque Commemorating House Location

    In Pemberton Square, just behind the Center 3 Plaza, near Government Center is a plaque to remember where John Endicott house once stood.

    John Endicott Plaque

    The plaque was done by John Francis Paramino. It was placed in 1930 by the City of Boston.

    John Francis Paramino other Artwork include:

    • Declaration of Independence Tablet (1925) - Boston Commons at Tremont Street.
    • Founders Memorial (1930) - Boston Commons at Beacon St and Spruce Street
    • Commodore John Barry (1949) - Boston Commons at the corner of Tremont St and Temple Street.

    January 17, 2018

    Villages of Framingham

    Framingham Villages

    The City of Framingham is broken down into 10 active neighborhoods:

    • Downtown - City Offices, Downtown Framingham, MBTA Commuter Rail Station, MetroWest Medical Center.
    • Coburnville - Keefe Technical School, Waushakum Pond
    • Framingham Centre - Framingham State University, Centre Common, Bowditch Field
    • Golden Triangle - Shopper's World, Target, AMC DINE-IN and Logan Express
    • Nobscot - Edgel Road and Water Street, Garden in the Woods, Knox Trail Boy Scout Camp
    • North Framingham - Wittenborg Woods, Callahan State Park, Hanson's Farm, Sudbury Valley School
    • Salem End Road - Salem End Road, Framingham Country Club, Temple Street Plaza
    • Saxonville - Framingham High School, Venetian Tower, Lake Cochituate and Cochituate State Park
    • South Framingham - ADESA Boston and South Middlesex Correctional Center
    • West Framingham - Cushing Memorial Park and Reservoir area

    January 16, 2018

    Computer External IP Address

    Using Keyboard Maestro and AppleScript it's really easy to quickly display the computer's external IP address. This is similar to functionality that I created using TextExpander.

    Using Keyboard Maestro, users have a lot more control. In this updated version of the script, I can display the IP address to the screen in large letters, and add it to the clipboard - ready to paste it where ever needed.

    You can modify this any way you want to fit your needs.

    Execute the Apple Script

    The first step is to execute the AppleScript and set the results to a variable:

    Setup My IP1

    Code used:

    (*
    Credit to www.applehelpwriter.com*
    *)*
    set myTemp to do shell script "mktemp -t txt"*
    do shell script "curl -s http://checkip.dyndns.org &> " & myTemp & " &2> /dev/null"*
    # CHANGE THE DELAY HERE... *
    delay 3*
    set extIP to do shell script "sed 's/[a-zA-Z/<> :]//g' " & myTemp

    Display the Results to Screen

    Use Keyboard Maestro's large text display and show the IP address on the screen:

    Setup My IP2

    Add to Clipboard

    Add the IP address to the clipboard in case I need to paste the information into a working document.

    Setup My IP3

    January 15, 2018

    Throw Away Email Accounts

    Having multiple email accounts is critical in testing some functionality. QA engineers may need to test various first-time customer experiences to see how the flow works.

    There are a couple of excellent services where QA Engineers can quickly setup up unique email accounts for testing. The process is simple and very quick.

    Email Apps

    ThrowAwayMail.com

    ThrowAwayMail.com is perfect if your working on a project for 24-hours and want to capture overnight emails. Simply visit the site, have an email generate. To check emails, simply go back to the site with the same browser.

    Full Description from their website:

    ThrowAwayMail.com is a disposable email address service. When you visit ThrowAwayMail.com a new email address is generated just for you. The generated email address can immediately receive email. Any email that is received will show up on the main page. No one other than you will see the emails that are received. It is important to note that an email address expires after 48 hours. When an email address has expired, the email address and any received emails will be gone. A new email address will be generated by visiting this website. There are many reasons for using a disposable email. You may want to give someone an email address without revealing your identity. Or you may want to sign up for a website or web service but you are concerned that the website will send you spam in the future.

    Mailinator

    Mailinator is great because you can instantly create an email, you don't need to set anything up.

    Full Description from their website:

    The Public Mailinator site is a different kind of email service. The biggest difference is that you don't need to sign up. Any email name you can think of already exists @mailinator.com and you can use any of them. Want BrianTheSkink@mailinator.com? You got it. Want PrettyMothra? ScaryGavyn? No problem. Those and any other mailboxes you think of @mailinator.com are created when email arrives!

    January 14, 2018

    Asterisk Open Source PBX

    Looks like "Scam or Fraud" companies are using Asterisk Open Source PBX:

    Asterick Open
    www.asterisk.org

    Congratulations. You have successfully installed and executed the Asterisk open source PBX. You have also installed a set of sample sounds and configuration files that should help you to get started. Like a normal PBX, you will navigate this demonstration by dialing digits. If you are using a console channel driver instead of a real phone you can use the dial, answer, and hang up commands to simulate the actions of a standard telephone.

    I call this Phone Number: (225) 217-3374, which is labeled as a 'Scam or Fraud' by Hiya.

    Heard this line when I called them: "Please enter one or more keywords separated by * and then press the pound key." A quick internet search found this Asterisk Open Source PBX transcript - which matches exactly what I heard.

    There's no indication specifically what (225) 217-3374 is selling. I think it's safe to say that it certainly can't be a legitimate business if they didn't set up the PBX number correctly.

    January 13, 2018

    Certificate Magic

    Certificate Magic is a quick way to create an Online Certificate. Simply select from several popular design choices and then add your text.

    Certificate Magic
    CertificateMagic.com

    You can use it to create Certificate of Appreciation or Accomplishments for taking your training.

    It's also a fun way to lighten the mood - Give a Certificate to someone who just microwaved some popcorn to smell up the entire office. Not working from home today - congratulate them on showing up in the office!

    Certificate Magic is a fun way to create Certificates - and it's free!

    Check out these Examples

    Sample Certificates

    January 12, 2018

    PhotoBulk

    PhotoBulk is a neat little application where you can apply four different tasks to an unlimited set of images.

    This past summer, I got the application as part of the The Next Web software package deal. In September, they came out with an update - my purchase wasn't eligible for the free upgrade. However, they will offer a 50% discount on previous purchases, which is very good.

    Photo Bulk Screens
    The screen difference between the old view and the new view.

    Watermark

    There are four different watermarks that you can apply to each image:

    • Text - Simple text, (i.e. Copyright Info) with the ability to select different font sizes and color. You can also change the opacity. You can change the angle or location of the text.
    • Image - Place any image logo in simi
    • Script - Repeat a text watermark on your image.
    • Datestamp - Add a timestamp to your image. You have the same capabilities as the text

    Resize

    This is useful if you want to transform a bunch of images to a similar size. You can change By Width, By Height, Percentage, By Max file size, Free Size.

    Optimize

    You can reduce the size of images (JPG and PNG) files. The only bad part is that you can’t tell if the compression will cause a serious quality problem with the images.

    In my test, it actually did a pretty good job optimizing. I used the mid-point, called ‘opt’ and checked the files and they looked fine, I couldn’t tell any visual difference.

    Note: There is no preview functionality in the September update

    Rename

    Rename a the drop images. This is useful when you want to rename a bunch of common photos. Such as vacation photos.

    Performing Action

    When you start the action, the tasks will always create a new folder and put the new images in the folder. You don't have to worry about the original file.

    Overall View

    There are some useful functionality however, I think your better off using functiionality in GraphicConverter or PhotoScape X. These applications offer a lot more features. At the end of the day, you get more bang for your buck.

    The watermark feature in PhotoBulk is nice, but not something that I would be using frequently.

    January 11, 2018

    Blazing Paddles

    If your looking for a fun practical place to take your team for team building - try Blazing Paddles. It's not your ordinary Boston Sports bar.

    Blazing Paddles

    Lots of Beer on Tap

    There are a lot of choices on tap at Blazing Paddles, you don't have to settle for Bud Lite Lime (Unless that is your thing.) Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Harpoon, Harpoon UFO, Blue Moon, Stella, Sam Adams Seasonal, and Yeungling are some popular choices.

    There's lots of really good food here too! Game On! has a great selection of stationed hors-d'oeuvres.

    Great Ping Pong Tables

    Ping Pong is a great strategy game. There are six tables around Blazing Paddles. You can create a Ping-Pong Championship bracket and see who is the best Ping-Pong player in the company.

    Even if you're not serious about playing the game, it's a fun way to break the ice and have a little fun at a company event. (Nobody likes to sit around and chat about how the last project could have gone better.

    Serious Gamers should bring their own paddles. The ones at Blazing Paddles are a bit used.

    One more thing...

    What makes Blazing Paddles unique is that you have the opportunity to practice hitting baseballs. No, this isn't some little arcade game. This is a real batting cage, real baseball, real fast.

    Paddles has an exclusive access to the visitor batting cages of Fenway Park. That's right, you have the opportunity to try to hit the same baseballs as the major league's players do.

    The Batting Cages isn't always open, it's closed on game days and other functions. You should call ahead to see if it will be open when you visit.

    Finding Blazing Paddles

    Blazing Paddles is located on the outside of Fenway Park in the basement of Game On at 82 Lansdowne Street, Boston Massachusetts.

    January 10, 2018

    Sudbury Aqueduct

    In May 2012, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority allowed the public access to inactive aqueducts on various sites around Metrowest. One of the sites open was the Sudbury Aqueduct in Framingham.

    Sudbury Aquduct

    Five Things I learned about the Sudbury Aqueduct

    • This portion of the Aqueduct was created between 1875 and 1878.
    • The purpose of the Sudbury Aqueduct is to move water from the Framingham Reservoir to Farm Pond as part of the route to transfer water from the Quabbin Reservoir to Boston.
    • According to MWRA records, the aqueduct tunnel is brick lined and is 8.5 feet in diameter and 7.6 feet high.
    • The Sudbury Aqueduct was taken out of regular service in 1978. The Aqueduct is still maintained as it needs to be available as an emergency back-up to the regional water supply system.
    • This portion of Aqueduct is only xx feet, from Winter Street to Dudley Road. Local residents use the trail to get to Cushing Memorial Park.

    Rules of the Aqueduct

    There is a sign at both entrances to the Sudbury Aqueduct which read:

    Welcome to the Sudbury Aqueduct walking trail.

    This property is passive trail that has been permitted for use from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority to the Town of Framingham Parks & Recreation Department.

    The Town of Framingham and the MWRA would like to thank you for visiting the Sudbury Aqueduct walking trail. We ask that you observe the following while using this trail;

    • Passive activity only (e.g.: walking, jogging, or bicycling). All other users are prohibited.
    • Activity is restricted to 20 ft wide corridor down the center of the aqueduct. The use of all other land is considered trespassing and is prohibited.
    • All users are responsible to access their own abilities and physical limitations prior to entering the property.
    • Trail is open Dawn to Dusk
    • Alcohol is prohibited
    • Motorized Vehicles are prohibited.
    • All dogs must be leashed. Remove all pet waste.
    • Do not liter. This is a carry-in, carry-out facility.
    • Please look for the 'Aqueduct Trails' markers along the trails to find your GPS location.

    Getting to the Sudbury Aqueduct

    The best place to park your car is at the Cushing Memorial Park near the chapel. You can then safely walk down Dudley Street to the entrance of the Sudbury Aqueduct.

    Looking for the 'Aqueduct Trails' markers looks like a fun game to play with kids.

    January 9, 2018

    Evernote Cleanup Macro

    I do a lot of copy/paste between Evernote and HTML. Since Evernote has RichText features, I decided to create a Keyboard Maestro Macro to clean up the clipboard before pasting into BBEdit, or another text editor.

    Evernote Cleanup Macro

    Evernote Filter

    Some Tips

    • I have setup the Macro as a menu item because I don’t need it all the time, and I don't want to accidentally enable the Macro without realizing it.
    • If this is a feature that you see handy to implement, I would recommend using an F key to enable it, or use ‘=clean' as the trigger key.
    • There is an extra step to convert any bullet items to HTML List items. After I paste the text, I just need to add an Unordered list tag at the beginning and the end.

    Why not use BBEdit zap Gremlins Tool?

    The BBEdit Zap Gremlins feature is awesome when I am in BBEdit. The nice thing about Keyboard Maestro is that it will work every application. I don’t have to memorize the command to “Paste and Match Style"

    It comes in handy when copy/paste text from a website to an email - and I want to strip out all the formatting.

    Apple Mail Paste

    January 8, 2018

    UFO Quadcopter Instructions

    A couple of years ago I got a Drone (UDI RC U816A UFO Quadcopter 2.4Ghz) for Christmas. I was excited because it was my first drone. I wanted to make sure that I understood how to properly maneuver it and spent some time reading the directions.

    Today, many things are made overseas because of lower labor costs. I expected some translation issues. However, I wasn't expecting this:

    U F O Help

    Download the full manual and set a new standard within your company to never stoop to the level of the UFO Quadcopter.

    Quality Matters

    The first thing that I thought of was: If the company didn't take time to make sure the manual was written, what about the actual product?

    Having a good clearly written manual is a sign of how much value the company has with their product. Now, I am not suggesting that they put together a mini-book. I am suggesting to at least have someone proofread it. You can get a decent proofreader on Fiverr for about $10.

    Better Technology Today

    Since most people don't read the manual, and want to figure it out themselves. Companies can provide videos of how to use their products. PhotoScape X is an excellent application, instead of having a 'help document' they have a bunch of videos on their website to show how to use their product.

    January 7, 2018

    Cool feature of the Tumblr App

    Did you know that you can send a custom GIF in a text message?

    Thanks to Tumblr, you can now send a short 3 second video clip. This is a cool way to send a quick personal message.

    When you install the Tumblr app on your iPhone you'll see a new icon the next time you send a message:

    Tumblr Message2

    Now you can transform any video or photo burst that you have on your phone into a catching GIF:

    I M G_1505
    Send a GIF from the beach...

    How cool is that?

    Instructions from Tumblr

    1. Open a conversation.
    2. Tap the App Store icon to the left of the chat box.
    3. 1. If you don't see the Tumblr GIF icon there, tap the icon that looks like four ovals at the bottom, left-hand corner of the screen. Then tap the "Store" icon. Turn Tumblr GIF on and tap "Done."
    4. Swipe through the extensions until you reach Tumblr GIF, and tap the icon.
    5. Select a video or a burst (or heck, take a new video).
    6. Choose a three-second clip that will become a GIF.
    7. Here you can pinch the screen to crop the GIF, drag the blue box underneath the GIF to shorten its duration, adjust the slider at the bottom of the screen to decide how fast you would like it to play, and tap the circular arrow to toggle between loop and rebound.
    8. Tap "Next" to edit your GIF. To add text, tap "Aa," then tap the checkmark when you're done typing. Change the color of text added to a GIF by tapping what you wrote and slide along the color selector. Pinch the screen to change the size of the text or rotate it.
    9. Tap "Skip" or "Next," and when the GIF is done processing it'll put itself in your conversation, all ready to send. Cool!

    Message Tips

    Each message is about 2 MB in size. Keep that in mind - if your paying for text messages. Also, you may want to delete the GIF in your messages, a couple of days later, to prevent the GIF files from using up phone space.

    January 6, 2018

    Internet Speed Test

    Google has a cool built in Internet Speed Test. Simple go to Google.com and search for Internet Speed Test.

    Google Internet Speed
    Google's Internet Speed Test

    The complete test is actually run by the Measurement Lab (M-Lab). They are a partnership between New America's Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University's PlanetLab and other partners.

    Speed Limit 700 Mbps

    The speed test max out at 700 Mbps, so if you have a really fast bandwidth, your test results will not be accurate. Google Fiber has speeds of 700 Mbps. 1 GB Ethernet, OC-48 Carrier, and 10 GB Ethernet are all faster than 700 Mbps.

    Wireless Bandwidth 802.11ac and 802.11ad are faster than 700 Mbps but if you don't have the external bandwidth to handle it, you won't see the difference. These are great if you have home cloud storage.