Category Archives: Tech

The LG Watch Sport Review I Couldn’t Find

I’m sure you too have seen all of the other reviews, so I won’t go over what most of those have said. Nor will I tell you to buy the watch or not. Why? Because many of the reviews said to not buy the watch and I did anyway. I’ve had my LG Watch Sport for a week.

LG Watch Sport

LG Watch Sport

So how is it? Pretty good. As a prior iPhone and Apple Watch user, I know I’m not using it to its full potential yet. The Apple Watch pretty much needs to be tethered to the iPhone to be functional. The plus side to this anchor is that phone calls and text messages automagically get routed to the Apple Watch. I was expecting the same experience with the LG Watch Sport on AT&T. Not so. Well, maybe for you. Not for me.

I watched AT&T’s promotional videos for the LG Watch Sport, and when some showed up in stock locally (3 stores in our state), I bought one after waiting a couple of days (and about 90 minutes in the AT&T store). I bought the watch outright for $349 so I would not be under contract. You can save $100 and enter into a 2-year contract. However, if you do that, you’ll end up paying more ($249 + 24/mo at $10 = $489). I told the representative that I didn’t need to set the watch up there, but did want to make sure it booted. Most electronic devices come with some kind of charge between 30% & 80%. Not this time; the watch was dead. The employee took the watch & charger to the back of the store and charged it for a couple of minutes to make sure it turned on.

I slowly started setting up the watch while I was out to dinner (rude much?). The Bluetooth connection was simple and so was syncing over settings. Then the frustrations began. Later that evening (at home), I could not figure out how to set up AT&T number sync. AT&T number sync makes it so when your phone gets a phone call, your watch also rings. The same for text messages. The watch has its own sim card & its own phone number. I called AT&T, and long story short, since my Nexus 6P was not purchased at an AT&T store, they would not activate “number sync”. So now I have my phone with its phone number and my watch with its own phone number: never the twain shall meet. Notifications do still come over to the watch via bluetooth, but no texts nor calls.

After doing some research, I found people on Verizon had the same issue. The solution is fairly simple but slightly inconvenient. Did you know Google Voice is still around? I didn’t. It’s still free unless you’re making international calls. One of its features is ringing multiple phones at the same time. Sign up for Google Voice (and get another phone number!), add your cell phone and your watch phone numbers, and choose to ring simultaneously. Problem solved in spite of AT&T’s obstinance. Well, mostly. You will have to start distributing your new Google Voice phone number so people will call or text it instead of your phone’s number. I had one more issue. Google Voice would not send texts to my watch. I was unable to check the checkbox to allow it. This is because there is a bug in the new user interface for Google Voice. Switch to classic/legacy mode in your web browser. There you will see the watch marked as something other than mobile. Change it to mobile and check the boxes. You can then switch back to the new interface.

Tips & tricks & battery issues… in all of the reviews, everybody complained about the battery life. I did have a similar issue if the cellular network was turned on. I have been turning it off when at the house. However, an update recently came out and after 10 hours, with LTE on, my watch is still at 34%.

Software updates have been pretty steady. The watch will eventually do them (if you have auto updates turned on). If you want to force the issue, like myself, open the Play Store, swipe down from the top of the screen, tap the app icon on the left, you will see a list of apps that need to be updated as well as apps that have recently been updated. Sweet.

WiFi. The LG Sport Watch does have WiFi, but not 5GHz. It is 2.4GHz only. For the first day or two I didn’t realize I was not on WiFi at the house. (I have separate network IDs for 5GHz and 2.4GHz so when my phone synced over the WiFi settings, the watch couldn’t connect.)

Getting Android Pay to add cards on the watch was painful. But again, a recent software update fixed this. Before the fix, I could add one card, but not a card from another bank. I was stuck in a he said / she said moment between Google & the bank and gave up. A couple of days later, I saw Android Pay had been updated so I tried to add the second card again and it worked flawlessly.

The step counter has been wildly inaccurate. It counts steps while you’re in a moving vehicle. Hopefully they’ll fix that in another update.

Another quick tip I found: When looking at the watch face, swipe down from the top of the screen. You’ll see shortcuts for airplane mode, mute, theater mode, do not disturb, and the Settings app.

The trials of moving from 2.4GHz to 5.0GHz on your wifi network.

I’ve had strange wifi issues over the last year or so. The first issue was that streaming from my network attached Drobo to my AppleTV3 slowed down tremendously. So bad that every 5 to 10 seconds the AppleTV would catch up to the stream and stop. At first simply hardwiring either my laptop or the AppleTV would solve the problem, but as the year progressed, even that wouldn’t work. Every time I wanted to stream HD video I would have to run a wire from my switch to my AppleTV, and if my laptop was in the living room, run a wire from the switch to it as well. I actually have two long cables wrapped up next to the switch so they are at the ready when I want to watch something. Strangely enough, streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime really had no problems except on the Xbox360.

The newest issue has been my Nest thermostat going offline. This has been happening more and more lately. When I looked for solutions online, the answer seemed to be to create a static DHCP address for the thermostat on the router so the Nest would receive the same internal IP address each time. That did help but it has still disconnected once or twice since I used that workaround.

The latest thing that made me change up my network was that I checked my wifi connection on my 2013 retina MacBook Pro and instead of being connected at 802.11ac, it was connected to my router at 802.11n. Doing some research online I saw many people complaining about retina MacBook Pro wifi connection issues. As far as I know, I haven’t had any major issues, but one seemed plausible. The person said if their laptop goes to sleep, when they wake it up, instead of connecting at 802.11ac, it connects at 802.11n. They have to turn off the wifi on the laptop & reconnect in order to get an 802.11ac connection back. I tried it & it worked, I got an 802.11ac connection. I don’t usually put my laptop to sleep but I recently did. One of the other solutions was to go into the router settings and give the 2.4GHz network a different name from the 5GHz network. That way the laptop would always connect to the 802.11ac network; I thought I’d try that. The first thing I did was audit my wireless devices to see what kind of problem I’d have getting rid of my 2.4GHz network.

My wifi network looks something like this:
Main Airport Extreme (802.11ac) router
– Nest Thermostat
– Canon Printer
– Wii
– AppleTV (3rd gen)
– A Toshiba Blu-Ray player
– an Xbox 360 slim

Airport Extreme (802.11ac) that extends the network
– Dropcam

Devices that routinely travel between these two routers
– MacBook Pro
– iPhone 6
– iPhone 5
– iPad mini (1st gen)

The MacBook Pro & iPhone 6 are 802.11ac which is what I primarily cared about, call me selfish. The iPhone 5, Nest, Dropcam, Printer, AppleTV, Blu-Ray player, Xbox 360, and iPad mini are all 802.11n which also supports the 5GHz spectrum. The only thing requiring a 2.4GHz signal was the Wii which I barely ever use and Nintendo has all but shut down the services for it. I was willing to make that sacrifice to get rid of the 2.4GHz network. My plan was to just shut off the 2.4GHz band altogether but Apple doesn’t allow this. The best I could do was to rename the 2.4GHz network and and give the 5GHz network the original SSID name. MAGIC, right? The router will reboot and all of the devices will still connect to the network, but they’ll be running at 5GHz, theoretically giving me better speeds on a less congested frequency. Well, not quite. What I wasn’t aware of is that some manufacturers skimped on their 802.11n chip specification and only support the 2.4GHz frequency instead of both 2.4GHz & 5GHz. The main router rebooted and then I configured the router that extends the network to the same configuration.

My laptop and iPhone 6 were online. Check.
The AppleTV was connected. Check.
The iPhone 6 was connected. Check.
The Dropcam was streaming again. Check.
iPad mini online? Check.

And then the problems started…
Nest thermostat:
Could I access the Nest thermostat from my phone? No. I walked over to the Nest and it reported that it was disconnected from the network. A quick search showed that while it was 802.11n capable, it only connected at 2.4GHz. I was surprised as others were. Going into Nest settings, I chose the new name for the 2.4GHz network, started up 1Password on my phone, loaded up the secure note that contains my 60-some characters of gibberish wifi password and proceeded to spin the Nest dial to enter it in. It took me 3 tries. 1Password locked itself a few times due to inactivity as well. It was painful. The Nest only connects as DHCP so there were no network settings to adjust.

The Canon printer: I’m sure I read that this thing connected to 5GHz networks. Oh well. I went into the settings, selected the new 2.4GHz network, and entered the password from hell into their slightly better interface than the Nest. It only took me twice to enter it correctly on the printer, and thankfully, I was able to edit my existing entry the second time which saved me a bunch of “typing” as I had only forgotten one character in the password the first time. Upon connecting, the printer remembered its static network settings. Again, a pleasant surprise.

Toshiba Blu-Ray player: I honestly didn’t expect much from this device as it really wasn’t top of the line. It was purchased so company we had over didn’t have to wait for discs to be ripped before watching something on the TV. When I turned the player on, it reported that it didn’t have a network connection. My 5GHz network was pre-selected in the list, so I confirmed, and the Blu-Ray player connected right up. I guess it just wanted some emotional support.

Xbox 360 Slim: This might’ve been the biggest pain next to the Nest thermostat. Why did Microsoft skimp on the wifi for their console? Apparently the USB to wifi adapter one can buy for the Xbox 360 does connect to the 5.0GHz spectrum, just not the built-in wifi chip. I head over to the settings, and my network is already selected. I select it, perform a connection test, and it fails. I have to “forget” the old network which caused a re-scan of the networks in the neighborhood. I selected the newly named 2.4GHz network, entered the password (twice! or was it 3 times total? Once, I accidentally hit the Cancel button which wiped out my entry that was 2/3 done.) After it connected (and performed a system update), I checked the network settings and they were all set to DHCP. To my surprised the static settings were still there, they just weren’t selected. Changed to static network settings and it was back up and running.

The Wii: The Wii! I had completely forgotten about the Wii for an hour or so! I guess maybe I should just unplug it. I only keep it around to play the virtual console games that I bought to remind me about the good old SNES days. I tried to fire up the Wii but it wouldn’t turn on; of course I suspected dead batteries. I opened up the Wiimote to find the batteries corroded, it had been so long since the Wii was used. I replaced the batteries (a second time) and was able to turn on the Wii. I went into the network settings and saw it was still set up with the original network name. I tried the network test which, of course,  failed. All I had to do was enter the new 2.4GHz network name and all was well. It passed the network test. I didn’t have to adjust any network settings nor re-enter my mega-password.

Everything seemed to be working again but I wanted a sanity check. With my printer on, I tried to print from my phone to see if it would come up. Yep, my phone saw the printer. This made me happy because I was wondering if the two networks would be segregated like a guest network would be. Thankfully, no. The router merges 2.4GHz b/g/n network and the 5.0GHz n/ac networks together. And then the big test failed. With my laptop wirelessly connected in the living room, I tried streaming a 1080p movie from my Drobo 5N to my wirelessly connected AppleTV. It played 12 seconds and stopped. Just the same as before. My laptop was connected via 802.11ac, and the AppleTV was still on the network. I rebooted the AppleTV. When it came back up it seemed to take a little longer to populate the movies, etc at the top of the screen, but it was obviously on the 5GHz network. I attempted to stream the 1080p movie again, wirelessly, and it seemed to be working fine. I’ll probably conduct a more thorough test tomorrow, perhaps watching the entire movie instead of just a minute or so. As noted previously, the video would cut out less than 30 seconds into the stream.

I now have two 802.11ac devices on 5GHz.
Eight 802.11n devices, three on 2.4GHz and five on 5GHz.
And one 802.11g device on 2.4GHz.

Put another way, instead of eleven devices on the crowded 2.4GHz network I have four, with seven on the 5GHz band. I hope the wifi streaming will be fine now and my Nest thermostat stays online as well.

Have you had similar experiences adjusting your wifi network?

The Cube is now a Lime

While looking over my old blog posts, I found my two “state of Real Software” posts… “REAL Software, the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.” and “One year later: Thinking outside the cube.” Those were written in February of 2010 & February of 2011, respectively.

I thought about writing up a nice detailed post about what has transpired since the last post, and decided “Meh (could that be ‘indifference’?), there have been other reviews.” Instead, I’ll simply provide a bullet-point list of what has happened in the world of REAL Software & REAL Studio, and me:

  • REAL Software & REAL Studio are now Xojo, and the cube is now a lime.
  • We finally have Cocoa builds. Yay!
  • The IDE & debugging is now free. One must purchase options to compile stand-alone executables: Desktop apps, Web apps, database connections, and console apps.
  • This year (2013) they put on a conference in Orlando, and they are gearing up for a conference in Las Vegas in (2014).
  • In 2012 I renewed my license for a year because a consulting client asked me to have the latest version. My license runs out next month.
  • Xojo 2013 R3 is much improved over R1 & R2 and I don’t yell at it nearly as much. I’m starting to mesh with the double click to open in a new tab paradigm. Overall I still think the old IDE was a better design. (For example, adding a timer in the UI designer, requires you to double-click the timer and manually add the action event. At that point, you might as well be using Xcode. The RAD in Xojo is gone.)
  • For those wanting to expand their toolset, I started a new blog series From Xojo to Objective C. There I show the reader how to do something in Xojo & accomplish the same thing with Xcode & Objective C.
  • I updated Elastic Window for Xojo & removed the encrypted option.
  • I introduced Elastic Web Page for Xojo.
  • Geoff didn’t like my new blog series From Xojo to Objective C because I opined that if one didn’t need the cross-platform capabilities of Xojo, they should use the platform’s native development environment (be it Xcode or Visual Studio). So Elastic Window for Xojo was unceremoniously booted from their 3rd party store. In fact, I was told that if I retracted that statement, I could once again give them 30% a good chunk of my profits and return to their store. What a deal.
  • I continue to offer consulting services for Xojo. Feel free to contact me.

In non-Xojo news:

  • I’ve updated Biblicious, my 5-star rated Bible trivia game show app, for iOS 7.
  • I’ve updated the bookmark your shopping app, Storemarks, for iOS 7.
  • Like Westminster chimes for your iPhone? I’ve finally released ChimeX for iOS 7.
  • For iPad and iOS 7, I’ve released a SQLite database manager called DBMan SQLite.

By popular request, the Omegabundle has been extended until Valentine’s Day! (You’re welcome!)

Omegabundle 2011 for REAL Studio Extended to Valentine’s Day

The vendors behind the extraordinary Omegabundle 2011 for REAL Studio bundle of professional tools for REAL Studio developers announce that their special bundle through February 14, 2011. The vendors include MonkeyBread Software, Pariahware, True North Software, Paradigma Software, DesignWrite, IconPeople and the Componentman Group.

Omegabundle 2011 for REAL Studio includes over $3200 worth of high value development tools for users of REAL Software’s REAL Studio (formerly REALbasic) cross platform development tool set. The Omegabundle includes:

* Formatted Text Control:  Instantly add word processor capabilities to REAL Studio based applications. Sold separately for $150.00.

* Elastic Window. Provides elegant window resizing in your applications. Sold separately for $195.00.

* Mask-R-Aid. A developer’s tool to generate masks for photo realistic icons. Sold separately for $19.95.

* RB Code Reports. Generates reports on software metrics for your REAL Studio based applications. Sold separately for $24.95.

* REAL Studio Developer Magazine. All previously published issues plus one-year subscription, from publisher DesignWrite. Sold separately for $261.00.

* Aspen Icon Set. 80 professionally designed, cross platform compatible icons for your applications. Sold separately for $179.00.

* Valentina Office Server Unlimited. Advanced database and reports server based on the ultra fast columnar database engine Valentina. Sold separately for $1499.

* Franklin 3D Game Engine. Easy to use, multi-platform cross-platform 3D engine for games, simulations and 3D apps. Sold Separately for $299.

MBS Complete. Thousands of new functions that transcend REAL Studio limitations. Sold separately for $259.00.

* Valentina ADK+ for REAL Studio. Embedded local ultra fast database for REAL Studio on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Sold separately for $399.00.

REAL Studio is the modern, cross-platform, integrated development environment for building object oriented BASIC applications on Windows, Linux and MacOS X and available separately from Austin, Texas based REAL Software.

Also of interest to bundle purchasers, Paradigma Software has released iValentina for iOS (iPhone and iPad), a pair of apps for the Apple mobile devices that allow remote database users to work with Valentina Office Server, which is included with the Omegabundle 2011 for REAL Studio.

More information is available on http://www.omegabundle.com

The Omega Bundle 2011

Developers using REAL Studio, you can rejoice! In the first of its kind that I know of, there is a bundle of 3rd party add-ons that you can buy, for 80% off of the standard price.  If you were to buy all of these products separately, they would cost you $3200, but for a limited time, you can get the entire package for $399! Even if you only want a few of the tools, you are saving money!

Pariahware is proud to be a part of this original concept for the REALbasic community. Check it out! Go! Now!

Omega Bundle 2011

Omega Bundle 2011

Omega Bundle 2011 for REAL Studio Released

10 Essential Tools for All REAL Studio Developers

(January 07, 2011) — Paradigma Software has joined with a group of professional development tool vendors to produce and release Omega Bundle 2011 for the REAL Studio environment. This limited time package contains $3200 worth of tools but available in this set for $399 – over 80% savings.

Omega Bundle 2011 for REAL Studio brings together 10 essential plugins, add-ons and more, including:

– Formatted Text Control:  Instantly add word processor capabilities to REAL Studio based applications. Sold separately for $150.00.

– Elastic Window. Provides elegant window resizing in your applications. Sold separately for $195.00.

– Mask-R-Aid. A developer’s tool to generate masks for photo realistic icons. Sold separately for $19.95.

– RB Code Reports. Generates reports on software metrics for your REAL Studio based applications. Sold separately for $24.95.

– REAL Studio Developer Magazine. All previously published issues plus one-year subscription. Sold separately for $261.00.

– Aspen Icon Set. 80 professionally designed, cross platform compatible icons for your applications. Sold separately for $179.00.

– Valentina Office Server Unlimited. Advanced database and reports server based on the ultra fast columnar database engine Valentina. Sold separately for $1499.

– Franklin 3D Game Engine. Easy to use, multi-platform cross-platform 3D engine for games, simulations and 3D apps. Sold Separately for $299.

– MBS Complete. Thousands of new functions that transcend REAL Studio limitations. Sold separately for $259.00.

– Valentina ADK+ for REAL Studio. Embedded local ultra fast database for REAL Studio on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Sold separately for $399.00.

This package will elevate your REAL Studio programming to a whole new level that will allow you to produce more polished applications, or applications with features not possible using REAL Studio by itself. REAL Studio is the modern, cross-platform, integrated development environment for building object oriented BASIC applications on Windows, Linux and MacOS X and available separately from Austin, Texas based REAL Software.

For more information and immediate purchase visit http://www.omegabundle.com.

Why PayPal isn’t as bad as you, er they, say.

I hear, not as frequently as I used to, how horrible PayPal is and that some people won’t use them.  That is fine with me; to each his own.  Here is just one more reason why I plan to continue using them:

I have a PayPal business account.  Attached to that account is a PayPal debit card.  Whenever a PayPal transaction takes place, I am immediately e-mailed.  Pretty nice, huh?  Now, to today… I was sitting in my wife’s hospital room, when an e-mail from PayPal came in for $.17 (seventeen cents).  How odd, I thought.  I logged into my PayPal account and did not see the transaction.  I went back to the e-mail, now suspecting it to be a phishing scam and hovered over the link.  Nope, it was a PayPal link; click!  The $.17 transaction showed up.  I called PayPal, who said (once I could get to a person!), that the transaction was placed & immediately canceled.  He said that the transaction was placed at a “bar & casino” in South Dakota.  We both thought that it sounded fishy, so I was refunded the $.17 that was still on hold, and my card canceled.  I then requested a new card via the PayPal web site.  Who knows how many hours or even days could have passed before I realized this transaction from my “regular” bank?  Perhaps not until my account was cleaned out.  And now you know why PayPal isn’t as bad as “they” say.

The Auto Video Playlist

I have a playlist for my tv that allows me to play all of my downloaded video podcasts together.  I thought it would be useful for you so I thought I’d share.  Oh, it will also work for other iTunes devices, not just the tv.  Happy watching!

The Auto Video Playlist

Click the image to enlarge.