Is there such a thing as an “ACTIVE” Mini-Displayport to DisplayPort Cable?

I was glad to get a solution on another forum for Startech Technical support in regards to Mini-Display port to Display Port being “ACTIVE” or Passive:
“No, DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort use the same signals so there is no need for these cables to be active unless they are very long. Typically, cables of this type don’t need to be active unless they are over 30ft. Sam, StarTech.com Support”
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002XVYZ82?ref_=pe_623860_70668520_dpLink

So the answer is that Mini-Display Port and Display port are the same technology and Therefore a MiniDisplay Port to Display Port cable does NOT need to be “ACTIVE” unless they are greater than 30 feet long.

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Issues with the Apple Mac Ecosystem

After using a Mac for a couple years, I just wanted to list some things I feel Apple needs to focus on. Apple Hardware quality remains outstanding and reliable and I love it. Where Apple is struggling is in MacOS and in Cloud offerings. Also some of these issues have lingering Radars that are not getting worked on.

  • Make iWork a true Business Solution. Do any businesses actually use Pages and Numbers in iCloud? This feature falls far behind other similar offerings like Google Docs or Office365.
  • Fix Parental Controls in El Capitan and newer. Parental Controls have not worked properly for several years.
  • The Mac Mail App needs stability improvements, especially when copy and moving mail between mailboxes.
  • Make iCloud Drive a true DropBox like solution. Currently a lot of File Sharing, Video Streaming features do not exist in iCloud Drive. Also the iCloud site sometimes has uptime problems.
  • The 1.4 ghz and 2.6ghz 5200rpm HD models of Mac minis are under-powered. They are not up to the demands of Modern Computing.
  • iCloud Sync for Windows does not work consistently. Windows users would really appreciate if iCloud Drive for windows would allow the temp directory to be moved and include a bandwidth throttle.

 

Making Bang Olufsen audio Sound Good in Chrome on Spectre x360 15t

I was trying to stream in Chrome from some online streaming websites.

The audio sounded really bad, sort of shrill and tinny so i wanted to share two things I learned.

I then learned there are multiple speakers in the Laptop and they support the 5.1 Multi Channel Surround”.

  1.  If you are streaming Audio in your browser like Chrome, you are not getting the New “Multi Channel Surround” experience. This is because Chrome defaults to just “Stereo” not “Multi Channel Surround”. If you folow the instructions in this article https://www.chromestory.com/2016/06/chrome-windows-surround-sound/ you can set chrome to start in Multi Channel Surround mode. What you need to do is basically launch Chrome with this text behind the target in the Shortcut ” –disable-audio-output-resampler.
  2. Reinstalling the Realtek Drive, thought perfunctory, and then setting the BO app to something like “Movie” seemed to help as well. Do NOT enable Windows  Sonic Spatial Sound when using the Laptop speakers. You can turn it on when using other speakers.

So the moral of the story is if you listen to music in a browser you need to enable the Mutli Channel Sound in the browser. (There is also probsably like this feature built into your music player app).

 

An Alternative to Dyn internet Guide or OpenDNS

If you are looking for DNS based content filtering and threat protection check out https://dnsfilter.com/. It is a very simple to configure on your router/WiFi Network or Server and has many categories to select to allow or block, detailed reporting and a customizable block page with bypass feature.

This is a nice replacement for Dyn Internet Guide which is being phased out by Oracle and Open DNS which was acquired by Cisco.

Is the Apple Pencil a Mouse Replacement for Remotely Accessing Windows from the iPad Pro? Where’s the Right Click?

Update as January 14, 2016: While the iPad Pro did really well for me as a Tablet, the lack of Right Click Mouse key made it extremely difficult to use as a Laptop replacement, so I am back with a Mac Book Pro  and a hotspot. So much for being an iSheep.

Ok, so the Apple iPad Pro is said to be a possible Laptop replacement, which begs the following question.

  1. If it is a Laptop replacement, where then is the mouse? Is that the Apple Pencil?
  2. How does it work with Remote Access Apps and Remote Desktop Apps.

I will start by saying that if you want to try to use an Apple Pencil to remote into a Windows Machine you will need two Apps to accomplish this.

Jump Desktop on iTunes

Parallels Access

There are lots of free options like Chrome Remote Desktop or Teamviewer, but these do not support the Apple Pencil Right Click Functionality.

The catch with Jump Desktop and Parallels access is that the Right Click Function requires a long press of the Apple Pencil. However, i was able to get used to the Apple Pencil and long press Right Click after a few days.

So all in all the iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil is still a Tablet, but it is a really amazing tablet with the Pencil and Smart Keyboard attached. Add to that the convenience of cellular data and it’s ease of portability it is a nice setup. Just keep your MacBook Pro around for the Heavy Lifting.

Review of Norton Family & Norton Security 2016

Norton Security 2016 on Amazon.com

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With the demise or change of focus of the leading Family Internet Content Filters like Bsecure & Safe Eyes & Most recently Microsoft Family Safety’s new policies, it is nice to still be able to purchase a package that includes both Content Filtering, Virus Protection and Firewall.

I am very impressed with Norton Premier Online Family Safety. This package offers support for up to 10 devices.

And it works on Mac Android and iPhone too…but in a more limited way, which is OK because I use iPhone’s built in security. But you can at least monitor text messages, App Usage and Social Media via weekly reports emailed to you. 10 Devices are covered as well.

Update 08/03/2016:
After having tried Bitdefender with Parental Advisor and feeling like it lacked polish, I came back to this product again. I am happy that they have updated the Norton Family Safety Website. It is very modern looking and with lots of options to monitor your children’s browsing. I really think this may be the best Cloud Based Parental Control Software with the exception perhaps of Covenant Eyes.
Also you know Symantec will be on top of any threats coming your way as they always seem o do well in the A/V tests.
Plus the price is extremely reasonable for 10 devices. Still no Mac Content filtering, however.

Photos2Folders -Great Photo Organizing Software for getting your Photos in a File System

With all the pictures we take these days, it can take a long time to get them organized. We have tools like Picassa and Windows Live photo Gallery that can organize by location or even facial recognition. But it is still difficult to get these photos into a reasonable Photo File Folder Structure. That’s where Photos2 Folders comes in. It lets you put your photos in folders based on Date Time or Event. This is much better than some solutions where photos are displayed in bulk.

http://www.photos2folders.com/

From their Website:

Photo Organizing Software

Many applications are available to tag, sort, rename, and categorize your photos, but all of them tend to make it difficult to use your photos in other applications. Photos2Folders is a utility designed to keep it simple by organizing your photos in a set of folders you can easily access, allowing you to quickly find the photo you are looking for in ANY application. The second problem that Photos2Folders aims to solve is the duplicate photo issue. Most of us have 10 folders which contain a pile of pictures and some of those folders might contain duplicates of the same pictures… but we’re not really sure which ones are which. Photos2Folders identifies the duplicates and helps you ensure you don’t end up with 10 copies of the same picture in your organized photos.

Try it out. I think it will help you organize your pictures.

One word of warning..you may not want to organize by day because you will then have folders for each day of the month 1-31….a lot of folders 🙂 I prefer Month and Year.  I do not use the Event feature, but it could be handy.