How to set up Sonos One with Alexa

The Sonos One is an excellent-sounding smart speaker that has the Amazon Alexa digital assistant built in. You just speak to it, and Alexa does what you ask her to do, such as playing your favorite music. This post features clearly written step-by-step instructions that explain how to get it working. Continue reading How to set up Sonos One with Alexa

Three weeks with the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS: A review

The majority of Apple Watch Series 3 reviews focus on the cellular model, but the one most people should get is the less-expensive GPS version. While it’s amazing you can place calls from your wrist without a phone, the GPS-only version does almost everything the fancier one does, and it doesn’t add a $17-a-month fee to your bill (I explain why it costs this much later in the post).

This is a hands-on review of the new Apple Watch Series 3 GPS that was written after three weeks of non-stop usage — and it’s coming from a person who had never used an Apple Watch before. It’s an unbiased look at this lust-worthy and slightly puzzling gadget. Continue reading Three weeks with the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS: A review

How to control Sonos with an Amazon Echo

The long-awaited ability to control Sonos with an Amazon Echo is finally here! I’ve written about how to connect these devices using cables, but this new skill lets you do it wirelessly. This post explains how to get it running… Continue reading How to control Sonos with an Amazon Echo

How to use Sonos with the Amazon Echo (2nd Gen), Echo Plus and Echo Spot

The All-New Echo (2nd Generation), Echo Plus, and Echo Spot from Amazon each have an audio output, which makes them easy to directly connect to some Sonos speakers and components. This post clearly explains how to set this up and get it running. Continue reading How to use Sonos with the Amazon Echo (2nd Gen), Echo Plus and Echo Spot

Hey John Siracusa… Stop driving up the price of the Mac Pro!

I spend a fair chunk of time listening to podcasts, and one of the more interesting personalities out there is a fellow named John Siracusa. He’s a computer programmer and one of the most knowledgeable Apple nerds on the planet. His encyclopedic understanding of Macintosh computers is just a bonus, though. What makes him compelling is his quirky outlook and his reliably sharp wit. Continue reading Hey John Siracusa… Stop driving up the price of the Mac Pro!

The best fitness watches of 2017

If you’re looking for a great fitness watch, you first need to determine which type you need. There are basically two kinds of devices for two kinds of people:

  1. People who do workouts (running, cycling, swimming, etc.)
  2. People who go on walks and do activities, but don’t do “serious” workouts

Don’t take this as an insult. Continue reading The best fitness watches of 2017

How to control TP-Link Smart Plugs with Alexa

A TP-Link Smart Plug turns a regular AC outlet into something you can control from anywhere using mobile device, or by using your voice (if you also have an Amazon Echo). It’s more than just fun to say “Alexa, turn on the living room lights.” This is a useful utility that you won’t want to give up. Clearly written instructions for how to get it running are provided below. Continue reading How to control TP-Link Smart Plugs with Alexa

Hands-on review of the Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa

The Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa is a brand new, inexpensive battery-powered shopping and information device for the home. It’s similar, in a way, to the popular Amazon Echo smart speakers, but it’s different in lots of ways, too.

Amazon Echo devices are primarily used to listen to music, but, the new Dash Wand isn’t capable of playing music. It runs on two AAA batteries, and would quickly burn through them if it were tasked with playing Adele all day. Continue reading Hands-on review of the Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa

Apple re-enters the cheap computer market with the March 2017 iPad

For the past ten years, Apple has been a company that exclusively sold premium products. In the somewhat distant past, Apple shipped things like the 50lb (22.7 kg) eMac, an intentionally no-frills computer that was designed for educational institutions, but later sold to the public as a budget-friendly Macintosh.

It had been so long since Apple sold low-priced products that it seemed like they had permanently abandoned them. However, it appears that the new, ambiguously named “iPad” marks Apple’s return to bargain-bin computing. Continue reading Apple re-enters the cheap computer market with the March 2017 iPad

Review of the Apple TV (2nd generation), 7 years later

I’ve been actively using my Apple TV (2nd generation) for almost seven years, and I figured March of 2017 was the perfect time to finally share my thoughts on it. Why? I’m getting closer to unplugging this thing from my TV, but I haven’t done so yet.

You see, my TV is eight years old. It hails from a time when two HDMI ports was considered sufficient. The gadgets that I plug into it need to truly prove their worth, and my Apple TV 2 has been skating on thin ice lately. It recently went through a weeks-long phase where it couldn’t play Netflix without crashing. I managed to fix the problem, but I haven’t forgiven it. Continue reading Review of the Apple TV (2nd generation), 7 years later