Before You Take Your 15-inch MacBook Pro In The Air

Credit: Apple

Credit: Apple

Back in June 2019, Apple issued a voluntary recall of some older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro models due to batteries which could potentially overheat and pose a risk to safety. Apple advised owners of potentially affected 15-inch MacBook Pros to stop using them immediately and to visit their 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program page for information on product eligibility and how to get their battery replaced for free.

The affected models are identified as the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) which were sold between September 2015 and February 2017. Owners of a 15-inch MacBook Pro can check to see if their MacBook Pro is affected by going into the Apple menu then “About This Mac.” If the MacBook Pro is identified as a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), you should go to Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program page and enter the MacBook Pro’s serial number to confirm product eligibility and for details on how to get a free battery replacement. The serial number can be found by going to “About This Mac” and/or by checking the underside of the MacBook Pro. Battery replacements are estimated to take around 1-2 weeks.

Recently, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reminded airlines that recalled products are banned from flight regardless of whether they are in carry-on or checked baggage. As such, the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) is essentially banned from flight. Other 15-inch MacBook Pros are not affected by the ban.

Of course, this is where things get complicated. So far, no specific information is available on how exactly airlines will screen for these affected 15-inch MacBook Pros and what the potential impact will be to travelers (ex: screening delays). Since the affected 15-inch MacBook Pros will look virtually identical to non-affected 15-inch MacBook Pros, the only option to identify these devices visually will be to either check every serial number against Apple’s recall page or have travelers boot up their 15-inch MacBook Pros so that screeners may review the “About This Mac” window to determine if the MacBook Pro is an affected model.

To further complicate the situation, travelers who have had the battery replaced in their affected 15-inch MacBook Pro will be permitted to take their MacBook Pros in flight BUT you’re going to have to prove that the battery has been replaced. That means you’ll need to carry and present documentation showing your affected 15-inch MacBook Pro’s battery was properly serviced and replaced. Even so, airlines and screeners will still have overall discretion in determining whether your 15-inch MacBook Pro will be permitted in the air.

If you own a 15-inch MacBook Pro, be sure to check and see if your MacBook Pro is part of the recall. Regardless of whether you intend to fly with your 15-inch MacBook Pro, if you own a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), you’ll want to get your battery replaced as soon as possible.

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.6GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 256GB, Space Gray) - https://amzn.to/2KGNC6P

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, 512GB, Space Gray) - https://amzn.to/2KDRfdv

On The Road Gear & Accessories

Anker PowerCore 10000mAH Portable Charger (Assorted Colors) - https://amzn.to/2KGQkt1· 

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD with 30W Power Delivery Portable Charger - https://amzn.to/2YVwhQd

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case - https://amzn.to/2TKBBQz

Apple AirPods with Charging Case - https://amzn.to/2He7BaR

Apple EarPods with 3.5mm Headphone Plug - https://amzn.to/2ZckfNm

Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector - https://amzn.to/31M6M0t

bago 25L Lightweight Packable/Foldable Backpack (Assorted Colors) - https://amzn.to/2KItaT4

Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector w/Rotating Plug (1 Amp) - https://amzn.to/2Hdmv0N

Belkin 3.5mm Audio + Charge Rockstar - https://amzn.to/31Lyr1K

Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar - https://amzn.to/31QLeA7

Kenneth Cole Reaction 1680d Polyester Expandable Double Gusset 17.3" Laptop Backpack (Black or Navy) - https://amzn.to/2Ha43Gf

Maglite Mini PRO LED 2-Cell AA Flashlight with Holster (Black) - https://amzn.to/2Hdm7iR

Nite Ize Inova Squeeze Light LED (Black) - https://amzn.to/31KVLg3

SwissGear Compact Luggage Tags (Assorted Colors 2 Pack) - https://amzn.to/31NzgXW

SwissGear TSA-Accepted 3-Dial Combination Lock (Black) - https://amzn.to/2KHa13R

Moving To All Solid-State Drives

As the cost of solid-state drives (SSDs) has dropped, I’ve gradually migrated all my internal and external data storage from traditional hard drives to solid-state drives. Solid-state drives are lighter, faster and more reliable than traditional hard drives. When purchasing new computers, I typically configure them with solid-state storage and with existing computers, if possible and if it makes sense, I’ll upgrade those computers using traditional hard drives to new solid-state drives. Likewise, with external storage, I’ve replaced all my external traditional hard drives with external SSDs.

For internal storage, I’ve used solid-state drives from various brands including Sandisk, Intel, Crucial and Samsung. Over the past few years, I’ve primarily been using drives from Crucial (ex: MX100, MX300) and Samsung (ex: 860 EVO). The drives are fast, reliable, perform extremely well and are affordable. I’ve used these drives for both internal and external storage. For external storage, you just need to get a decent external enclosure. I like using the external enclosures from StarTech. I’ll put a link to the enclosure and all the solid-state drives mentioned at the end of this post.

For external storage, besides building my own external SSD using an external enclosure, I really like using the Samsung T5 series external solid-state drives. The drives are extremely small, lightweight and portable. They offer exceptional performance and have been rock-solid and reliable. The Samsung T5s support Mac/Windows/Android operating systems (some operating system versions are not supported), come with both USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to USB-C cables (so you don’t need to hunt for dongles and adapters), offer storage capacities up to 2TB and are available in various colors including black, blue, red and gold.

When I edit videos in Final Cut Pro X, I store all my video assets on Samsung T5 external solid-state drives and work directly off the external SSDs, so I don’t need to take up any unnecessary space on my computer’s internal SSD nor do I need to move those assets off the computer to free up internal storage capacity. I’ve produced and edited numerous videos and have not experienced any latency or performance issues as a result of using the Samsung T5 solid-state drives. The drives have worked flawlessly for me and I’m extremely happy with the performance.

I’m glad I’ve migrated away from traditional hard drives. The performance gains themselves are well worth the investment. That said, if you need a lot of storage like 4TB of storage or more, a traditional hard drive will still cost much less than solid-state storage even though there are the trade offs with using a traditional hard drive. Similarly, if you’re looking to maximize storage capacity for a NAS or server, you’re probably going to stick with traditional hard drives over solid-state drives. It’s simply more cost-effective for the average budget. However, just be sure you are using hard drives rated for use in a server or NAS to get optimal performance and reliability.

 

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Crucial Solid-State Drives

Crucial MX500 500GB 2.5” SATA Solid-State Drive - https://amzn.to/2SJhbH7

Crucial MX500 1TB 2.5” SATA Solid-State Drive - https://amzn.to/2LIrsm8

Crucial MX500 2TB 2.5” SATA Solid-State Drive - https://amzn.to/2JZSYJG

Samsung Solid-State Drives

Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 2.5” Solid-State Drive - https://amzn.to/2LIbFnr

Samsung 860 EVO 1TB 2.5” Solid-State Drive - https://amzn.to/2JX2ltQ

Samsung 860 EVO 2TB 2.5” Solid-State Drive - https://amzn.to/2LMv6eW 

 

StarTech External Hard Drive Enclosure

StarTech USB 3.1 External 2.5” SATA Drive Enclosure - https://amzn.to/30Y3MOg

 

Samsung T5 External Solid-State Drives

Samsung T5 500GB External Solid-State Drive - https://amzn.to/2LKd2SL

Samsung T5 1TB External Solid-State Drive - https://amzn.to/314KtCP

Samsung T5 2TB External Solid-State Drive - https://amzn.to/2ykJ8vq

An Update On The Short Film - The Power of Termination

I’m excited to share a few updates about The Power of Termination!

First, a quick recap: The Power of Termination is a 15-minute narrative short film set in Los Angeles. Erica and Dean, a married couple, attends what they think is their last spiritual therapy session, when they are surprised to find out about the “termination phase.” The film uncovers the patterns and motives of human behavior when in a dangerous or rather conflicting situation. The Power of Termination uses comedy to comment on interpersonal attraction, misuse of power, and conformity.

The film stars Brooke Nevin as Erica, Huse Madhavji as Dean and Sally Ann Brooks as Barbara. The film is written by Adam DeAngelo, directed by Anna Rak with cinematography by Dustin Pearlman.

Principal photography for The Power of Termination took place in December 2018 in Los Angeles. Over the past seven months, the team has done extraordinary work to put together all the pieces and create a wonderful piece of work and an incredible short film that the entire team can be extremely proud of. We have an amazing cast and crew, each of whom has been instrumental in helping to bring The Power of Termination to life.

The_Power_Of_Termination_Poster.jpg

We have an official poster for the film with artwork created by Mateusz Borecki.

You can also find more information about the film on IMDB, learn more about the cast & crew, see behind-the-scenes content and get updates about the film on the Three Mile Films website, and follow @thepoweroftermination on Instagram for the very latest.

I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to be the Executive Producer for this film. It has been an incredible experience watching this film come together and to be a part of this project. I can’t wait for you to see this film!

I hope to share more on this film soon so please stay tuned!

 

RELATED POSTS:

Adam DeAngelo, Anna Rak & Dustin Pearlman join forces to produce “The Power of Termination,” A Short Film

Renewing A Commercial Lease? Here’s What You Should Consider Asking For!

So, your commercial lease is coming due and you are considering staying put and signing a lease renewal with the landlord. Before you have the lease drafted, think about the concessions you’ll want from the landlord in return for signing on for more years. It’s all about negotiating the best deal you can possibly get from the landlord!

Here are a few things you should consider asking for:

Free Rent

Generally, you’ll want to try to get a free month of rent for each year that you plan on staying in the building. If you are signing a five-year lease, you’ll want to try and get five free months of rent. This will be dependent on location, the property and the landlord. In big cities with prime real estate, it will be a lot more difficult to try to get one free month for every lease year. At best, you might get two or three months of free rent on a five-year lease. It’s also likely that the landlord will want to spread out the free months of rent over the life of the lease (ex: three free months of rent to be applied to the first month of each of the first three lease years of a five-year lease) rather than consecutively in the first year of the lease renewal.

In the suburbs or when dealing with older properties, the landlords may be willing to offer more incentives for long-term renewals like a free month of rent for each lease year. Free rent can also be affected by other concessions which may be agreed to by the landlord.

General Improvements

A lease renewal is the perfect time to negotiate with the landlord to have general improvements made to the office space at the landlord’s expense. This may include, but is not limited to: (1) replacing the doors, windows or flooring in the office space, (2) new build out, expanding or reconfiguring of the existing office space, (3) adding, removing or replacing plumbing, lighting, electrical, fixtures and/or major appliances, (4) upgrading the restrooms within the office space (if applicable) and (5) repainting or touching up the office space. If you’re planning on staying in the space for a few more years, get the landlord to spruce up the place!

HVAC

An often missed or forgotten opportunity is the HVAC system. In buildings where the HVAC is tenant-controlled, you’ll want to know the age and condition of the HVAC system prior to the lease renewal. Most commercial HVAC systems run for about fifteen to twenty years when properly maintained and most landlords require tenants to maintain the HVAC system and have a HVAC maintenance agreement in place throughout the lease term. You should have a pretty good idea of how the HVAC has performed during the previous lease term and you should get an assessment from your HVAC contractor prior to the lease renewal to see whether the HVAC should be a topic of negotiation. In other words, you may want to negotiate with the landlord to have the HVAC replaced.

Depending on the size of the office space, there may be more than one HVAC system. The HVAC can be a split-system, packaged system, water-cooled system, etc. Repair and potential replacement costs of the HVAC system can become quite expensive especially if the HVAC has reached its manufacturer recommended lifespan. If you know the HVAC has reached its end-of-life, why not have the landlord replace the HVAC so that you know the system will be in its optimal operating condition during the life of the lease renewal term.

You may also want to negotiate having the landlord take on the responsibility and costs of the ongoing maintenance of the HVAC system including repair and replacement. Depending on the other lease concessions and the term of the lease renewal, the landlord may be willing to take on the cost in exchange for keeping you in the building as a long-term tenant.

These are just some of the items you’ll want to keep in mind when you are looking for concessions from the landlord as part of your lease renewal. While you might not get everything you want, the goal is to get the most bang for your buck!

RELATED POSTS:

Before You Sign That Commercial Lease . . .

Leaving A Job Without Another Lined Up

You’ve probably heard or have been told to never leave a job until you have another one lined up. If you choose to leave a job without another one lined up, serious concerns include financial stability and security. No job, no income!

However, situations do occur . . . circumstances do arise . . . and life occasionally deals an unexpected hand. As a result, you may end up in a scenario where you’re considering leaving a job without having anything lined up. Perhaps you’re trying to get out of a toxic environment, maybe you’ve found a calling which you’re truly passionate about that you want to pursue full-time, perhaps you’re looking to make a major life change or pursue a fresh start. Whatever the reason may be, you’ve been thinking about this long and hard and you’re truly considering taking the risk and making the leap.

Before you make the move, try to have in place a safety net or security blanket for yourself. Hopefully, over the years, you’ve been saving up money in a reserve fund. Your reserve fund should have at least enough funds to cover no less than three (3) months of expenses, but ideally anywhere between six (6) months to one (1) year worth of expenses. While the hope is that you will begin to generate steady income again within a short period of time, depending on your situation or circumstance, the more funds you have in reserve, the greater the flexibility you’ll have in pursuing your endeavors.

You may want to consider looking at freelance, project or part-time work that offers you the flexibility to pursue your endeavors while also bringing in some income to help offset your monthly expenses. You may be able to find opportunities through staffing firms, online job posting sites and job boards, networking events and/or word-of-mouth.

Try to trim unnecessary expenses from your budget early on so you can operate off what you absolutely need. If there are any major expenses that you need to incur, try to take care of them while you still have steady income. While you can’t anticipate every eventuality, be proactive as you prepare to make this change.

When the time comes to leave your job, avoid burning bridges! You may need references from your former employer, managers or supervisors and/or if you remain in the same industry, you may find that it’s a small world out there. Leave on your own terms but do it professionally and respectfully! Provide ample advanced notice (generally two weeks but refer to your company’s policy, if applicable) and offer to help throughout the transitional period, as needed. On your last day, when you leave that job for the final time, you’ll want to walk out with dignity and your head held high.

 

RELATED POSTS:

Planning For A Rainy Day

Dealing With A Layoff

Apple Streamlines The MacBook Line

Apple has once more restored order to chaos in the MacBook line!

Ok, perhaps a bit too dramatic! But, Apple has streamlined the MacBook line once again. The previous generation MacBook Air (which also happens to be the last of the MacBooks where the Apple logo lights up), the 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys have all been discontinued.

The new MacBook lineup includes the latest generation MacBook Air updated with True Tone Retina Display and a lower starting price of $1,099, a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with the latest 8th generation quad-core processors, Touch Bar & Touch ID, True Tone Retina Display and the Apple T2 Security Chip with a starting price of $1,299 (Note: The new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports. A 13-inch MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports starts at $1,799), and the current generation 15-inch MacBook Pro (refreshed earlier this year) with a starting price of $2,399.

I still very much enjoy working on my mid-2013 MacBook Air. It works fine with macOS Mojave and I still edit my Final Cut Pro X videos on it. I’ve also become fond of my 2016 12-inch MacBook. While I still feel the 12-inch MacBook was overpriced, underpowered and had some shortcomings, it was right on the money when it came to portability. It’s a great on-the-go laptop and a perfect travel companion.

As for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys, it met the needs of those consumers requiring entry-level Pro performance without the bells & whistles (ex: the Touch Bar) and the higher price tag. If you really don’t want the Touch Bar, the latest generation MacBook Air still features the traditional function keys though I do hope Apple will eventually offer consumers the option to configure a faster processor than the base version 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5.

If you’re looking for entry-level Pro performance, you can get the new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro for the starting price of $1,299; but, realistically, you’ll probably want to step up to at least the $1,499 base model which offers 256GB SSD storage over the 128GB SSD storage on the entry-level model.

Looking for one of the recently discontinued MacBooks? You can probably find retailers carrying residual stock of the previous generation MacBook Air, 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys and you may even be able to snag some good deals as retailers work to clear out their remaining inventory.

 

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Apple MacBook Air (Previous Generation)

Apple MacBook Air (13.3-inch, 1.8GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Silver) - https://amzn.to/2Yu4x3V

Apple MacBook Air (13.3-inch, 1.8GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Silver) - https://amzn.to/2LKz081

Apple MacBook Air (13.3-inch, 2.2GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Silver) - https://amzn.to/2LOMrUz

Apple MacBook (12-inch)

Apple MacBook (12-inch, 1.2GHz Dual-Core Intel Core m3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Rose Gold) - https://amzn.to/314QyiN

Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch with Function Keys)

Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Space Gray) - https://amzn.to/30ZZLcf

Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD,  Space Gray) - https://amzn.to/2ype8KI

RELATED POSTS:

Editing in Final Cut Pro X on a Mid-2013 MacBook Air

The Apple MacBook 12-inch: I said I wouldn’t get one . . . then, I did!

Netgear’s Firmware Problem

Hubs, switches, routers, wireless adapters and even NAS devices . . . I’ve used a wide range of Netgear products over the years. The Netgear brand has traditionally been reliable, offering products for which I’ve trusted and have been comfortable using at home, in the office and when making product recommendations to others.

Unfortunately, over the past several years, I’ve noticed a growing trend when it comes to the quality of their firmware, more specifically, a lack thereof. Netgear firmware for routers often have bugs resulting in various issues post-firmware upgrade. I’ve written several posts about firmware issues affecting the Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi router (see RELATED POSTS below). Netgear released buggy firmware which resulted in network connectivity issues, sporadic and spotty wireless connections, dropped connections, spontaneous router reboots and so forth. After several months with no sign of a permanent fix from Netgear and given this router was deployed in an office environment, the only solution was to replace the router.

After reviewing alternative router options (including routers from other brands), the Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi router was replaced with the Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router in hopes that a new router with a different version of Netgear’s router firmware would function properly. During the implementation, the factory installed firmware was upgraded to the latest version available at the time, version 1.0.1.40. While this firmware version was “stable” when compared to the recent firmware releases for the R7000, it was not bug-free.

For instance, on the router’s Statistics page, the statistics for the WAN connection resets every 24 hours instead of accumulating stats until the router is rebooted. Since the Internet connection has a static IP assigned, the reset was not due to DHCP lease time. I also confirmed the WAN connection was not dropping every 24 hours (and yes, this was a major concern). This is the router resetting the statistics for the WAN connection for no apparent reason. On the Attached Devices page, after 24 hours, some identifying information of attached devices (ex: brand of device) randomly disappear until the router is rebooted. In addition, devices no longer connected to the router may still show up in the Attached Devices list long after the device is no longer connected to the network.

Netgear did release firmware version 1.0.1.56 for the Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router; however, preliminary reviews were less than promising with some experiencing slower performance and connectivity issues post-firmware upgrade. The latest firmware version for the Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router is version 1.0.1.58. Given prior experience, I am extremely hesitant to upgrade the firmware at this time. At the very least, I have a “stable” router even though there are some functionality bugs/issues (these bugs/issues do not affect end-users).

Netgear has a quality control problem when it comes to their firmware releases. They need to conduct more thorough beta testing before releasing firmware upgrades to customers for use in live production environments. Some Netgear routers aren’t inexpensive either. Customers should not be paying a premium for sub-par quality firmware which is crucial to operating and managing the devices.

While it’s impossible to test for every scenario, Netgear should take a closer look at its internal processes to ensure their firmware releases have met a higher standard before release. Netgear customers are not signing-up to be beta testers. The risks associated with using problematic firmware are extremely high which can lead to loss productivity, downtime or worse. Netgear needs to step up, improve their quality control and restore the Netgear brand name and its reputation to one that is representative of the highest standards of quality and reliability.

 

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Netgear Routers Mentioned In This Post

Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router - https://amzn.to/2IjkCR7

Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router - https://amzn.to/2MMIjpg

Stable Netgear Routers I’ve Used

Netgear R8000 AC3200 Nighthawk AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router – https://amzn.to/2W6zSWv

Netgear R8300 AC5000 Nighthawk X8 Smart Wi-Fi Router – https://amzn.to/2AXDDEC

 

RELATED POSTS:

Stabilizing The Netgear R7000 Router Running FW 1.0.9.60_10.2.60

Here We Go Again! Netgear FW v.1.0.9.60_10.2.60 Fixes Some Bugs; Creates New Issue on R7000

Netgear Releases FW 1.0.9.60_10.2.60 for R7000 Router; Fixes Bugs with FW v.1.0.9.58_10.2.58

Connectivity Issues After Upgrading Netgear R7000 To Firmware v.1.0.9.58_10.2.58

Dealing With A Layoff

A layoff can occur unexpectedly, without warning and be a scary ordeal. You may be asking yourself, “Why me?” Getting laid off is never easy and it’s certainly never a good feeling. Beyond the initial shock, concerns over your short and long-term financial security and stability can make a difficult situation worse. It’s important to plan ahead for worse-case scenarios and have an established reserve fund (refer to my post Planning For A Rainy Day) to fall back on and help mitigate some of the immediate impact. Don’t rely on severance and/or unemployment benefits as your only fallback. Severance isn’t guaranteed (ex: if the company doesn’t offer severance, if you don’t meet the company’s requirements for severance or if the company abruptly folds) and unemployment benefits will only provide partial wage replacement for up to twenty-six weeks. If you don’t currently have an established reserve fund, make it a priority to start building one now.

When you’re informed that you’re going to be laid off, listen and focus on the information provided to you and be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand something. While it may be an emotional period, it’s important to compose yourself and gather as much pertinent information as it will be extremely vital when it’s time to figure out your next steps. The person(s) taking you through the process (ex: HR Manager) should go over a variety of areas including, but not limited to: the layoff effective date and your official last day, standard procedures when an employee is let go, severance (if applicable), final payroll and wages, health insurance coverage termination date, eligibility for COBRA, 401(k) distribution paperwork (if applicable), who to contact for additional questions or inquiries and so forth.

You may given a termination letter or related documents pertaining to your layoff. Again, review the information carefully. Ask questions. Get copies of all relevant documents for your records. Be sure you know who to contact if you have additional questions or need to follow-up on outstanding matters. You may also be provided with information so that you may apply for unemployment benefits. Be sure to check with your state’s Unemployment Office for eligibility requirements, how and when you should apply for benefits. You’ll want to apply for benefits as soon as reasonably possible once you become eligible as your first unemployment payment may take a few weeks.

Do not burn bridges with your employer! Avoid the knee-jerk reaction! Stay professional! You may need references from your former employer, managers or supervisors and burning bridges won’t help the situation.

If you haven’t kept your resume and portfolio (if applicable) up-to-date, get on it right away especially if you plan to get right back into the workforce. You’ll want to get your resume and portfolio (if applicable) updated, polished and out there for prospective employers to see. There are options available for job seekers including posting resumes online and searching through job boards (ex: monster.com, indeed.com, careerbuilder.com, ziprecruiter.com, etc.), working with hiring consultants and/or staffing firms, attending networking events and traditional word-of-mouth, just to name a few. You may also want to consider looking at freelance, project or part-time work that offers you short-term income until you can find a permanent, full-time position. Keep in mind that temporary or part-time work may affect unemployment benefits so check with your state’s Unemployment Office for further information and guidance.

Capitalize on this period of unemployment. Learn new skills or brush up on existing skills, take some classes or seminars, reconnect with friends and network, pursue a side hustle and take some time to focus on your own health and wellness. This is also a good time to reflect on your short and long-term goals and objectives. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a career change or explore starting your own business. Don’t let a layoff knock you down! Turn this negative situation into positive opportunities!

Windows Not Detecting SSID On Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router

During an installation and implementation of a new Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router, a user with a Windows 10 computer was unable to detect the SSID of the AX8 router even though other users were able to detect and connect to the SSID on their desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

After some research and according to a support article on Netgear’s website, the issue can be due to the Windows computer using an older Intel wireless network adapter. Older Intel adapters include: Intel Dual Band Wireless AC-3160, AC-3165, AC-7260, AC-7265 and AC-8260.

To resolve the issue:

First, check to see which wireless network adapter your Windows computer is using.

Note: These directions may vary slightly depending on the version of Windows that you are running.

Go to Control Panel | System and Security | System then select Device Manager from the left pane. In the Device Manager window, expand Network adapters by clicking on the arrow on the left side. You should see a list of all the network adapters available for your computer.

If your wireless network adapter is one of the Intel adapters listed above, you may need to download and install the latest Intel driver for your Intel wireless network adapter available here. Download the proper Intel driver for your Intel wireless network adapter then proceed with the installation. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the driver installation. You may be required to reboot your computer after the installation. After rebooting the computer, check to see if the SSID of your router shows up. If so, try establishing a connection. If it works, you should be good.

If updating your Intel driver does not work or if your device does not use an older Intel wireless network adapter, your wireless adapter may not recognize or support the AX standard. If that’s the case, you can try disabling AX on the Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router.

To do this:

First, login to your Netgear AX router with your router’s admin credentials.

Next, go to either the BASIC or ADVANCED tabs.

If using the BASIC tab, go to Wireless. On the Wireless Setup page, uncheck the box for “Enable AX – This WiFi mode will enable AX features such as OFDMA” then apply the changes. AX should now be disabled. Check to see if the SSID of your router shows up. If so, try establishing a connection. If it works, you should be good.

If using the ADVANCED tab, go to Setup then Wireless Setup. On the Wireless Setup page, uncheck the box for “Enable AX – This WiFi mode will enable AX features such as OFDMA” then apply the changes. AX should now be disabled. Check to see if the SSID of your router shows up. If so, try establishing a connection. If it works, you should be good.

This issue is not limited to the Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router and can affect any of Netgear’s current AX routers product line. You should be able to adapt these steps for the specific Netgear AX router that you are using.

 

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router - https://amzn.to/2MMIjpg

Editing in Final Cut Pro X on a Mid-2013 MacBook Air

I never imagined I would be editing Final Cut Pro X videos on a Mid-2013 MacBook Air. At the time, I was upgrading from a Late-2009 MacBook and was primarily looking for a MacBook to take with me when I travel but also one that would offer a balance between portability, performance and price. I elected to go with the Mid-2013 MacBook Air with a 1.7GHz Intel Core i7 Processor, a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. Along with AppleCare and tax, the total cost came in under $2,000 which was within my budget and reasonable. It was well worth the investment given that I’ve gotten over five years from it and it still performs relatively well running on Apple’s latest operating system - macOS Mojave.

Over the past few years, I’ve been creating and producing more digital content including making videos and while I can certainly edit videos on the MacBook Air, it’s clear that my MacBook Air is under-powered and overtaxed for this purpose. Editing short videos isn’t too bad provided you’re taking a minimalistic approach in terms of transitions, effects, color grading, enhancements and so forth. The rendering times are somewhat bearable.

However, when you start editing longer videos, especially with high quality footage (ex: 1080p at 30 fps or better), it’s a different story. You’re dealing with large file sizes and the process of transcoding and rendering all the video footage that make up your final video takes an enormous amount of time. You need processing power (CPU), memory (RAM) and a good GPU to handle these tasks and unfortunately, a Mid-2013 MacBook Air with these specs just isn’t going to make the cut. I should also mention that the lack of a Retina Display makes quite a difference in the overall viewing experience.

While working on some recent videos, Final Cut crashed numerous times and the transcoding and rendering times for the videos were substantial. Fortunately, I’m not producing and releasing a large volume of videos right now because I would almost certainly be backlogged.

I have been looking into upgrading to the 15-inch MacBook Pro since the 2018 refresh but held off following last year’s issue with the throttling of the i9 processors (later resolved via a software update) and the ongoing issues with the butterfly keyboard. Apple recently announced updates to the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro lines with faster eighth and ninth-generation Intel processors; respectively, and improvements to the third-generation butterfly keyboard. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is also available with 8-core Intel Core i9 processors.

Investing in a new 15-inch MacBook Pro would certainly improve my workflow and the preliminary reviews on performance of the updated MacBook Pros are looking quite promising so it is something I am strongly considering. In the meantime, I’ll make do with my MacBook Air.

 

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Camera Gear & Accessories

Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2HQLMyF

Sony A6400 with 16-50mm Kit Lens - https://amzn.to/2Ii6feP

Sony A6400 with 18-135mm Kit Lens - https://amzn.to/2Mzbgoq

Sony Shooting Grip - https://amzn.to/2W8Mnzq

Sony NP-BX1 Lithium Ion Battery for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2QDvHPL

Sony BC-TRX Battery Charger for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2WjHKaN

Sony Travel Battery Charger for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2HQu3ao

Sony NP-FW50 Lithium Ion Battery for Sony A6400 - https://amzn.to/2EQUL0R

Sony BC-TRW Battery Charger for Sony A6400 - https://amzn.to/2JUP46j

JOBY GorillaPod 3K - https://amzn.to/312jPvo

JOBY GripTight ONE Mount for Smartphones - https://amzn.to/312omOr

Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 128GB - https://amzn.to/2EOxJaK

 

External Storage

Samsung T5 Portable SSD 500GB - https://amzn.to/2QCjASU

Samsung T5 Portable SSD 1TB - https://amzn.to/2HP0GoV

Samsung T5 Portable SSD 2 TB - https://amzn.to/2IhvsG4

What Cameras Do You Use For Photography And Filming?

I currently use a combination of cameras for both photography and filming.

My always on-hand “camera” is my iPhone X. I always have it with me and it has a pretty good built-in camera for taking photos and recording video. It’s perfect for the spur of the moment situations when you have an opportunity to take a photo, record a video, capture an important or rare moment and don’t have a digital camera readily available. The iPhone X camera does have its limitations but in relatively ideal conditions, it does a pretty good job. I’ve taken some incredible photos while traveling and created videos using footage filmed entirely from the iPhone X.

Here are a few videos shot entirely on iPhone X:

A Trip To Hudson Yards - https://youtu.be/gU6VWXjaQbo

A Trip to Hoboken for the Waterfront View - https://youtu.be/dfKmGWakwmw

The Seaport District & New Pier 17 (NYC) - https://youtu.be/1AQWdXFUKdU

My small form factor camera of choice is the Sony RX100 VI. Previously, I was using the Canon PowerShot S120 for photos and videos, but it was time to really step up. The Sony RX100 VI has worked well. I like the quality of the photos and videos that come from this camera. The Sony RX100 VI supports both RAW and JPEG formats for still photography. The quality of recorded video on the Sony RX100 VI is crisper and cleaner even in low light situations with no adjustments to the camera settings. I did get the Sony Shooting Grip (sold separately) for the Sony RX100 VI which works great for filming and helps with stability. In addition, the grip doubles as a tripod. The flip screen is extremely useful when you’re trying to get a shot and need to position the camera in an awkward or inconvenient position yet still be able to see what your capturing or filming. The ability to flip the screen backwards for selfie-mode is great for those solo and group shots when you don’t have someone around to take a photo or video for you.

While the Sony RX100 VI has great features, there are some areas for improvement including better image stabilization, external mic support for improved audio, built-in support for interval shooting/time lapse videos and a longer-life battery (you should get spare batteries and an external battery charger).

Here are a few videos shot on the Sony RX100 VI:

2019 New York International Auto Show – Part 1 - https://youtu.be/1zcxuAWHsCA

2019 New York International Auto Show – Part 2 - https://youtu.be/uqO_quQV2Sw

Take Me Out To Cooperstown - https://youtu.be/jvHYm6GvyLY (includes iPhone X footage)

The most recent addition to my camera gear is the Sony A6400 mirrorless APS-C camera. I did extensive research into the various options and it came down to balancing size, features and price. I did get both kit lenses (the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 and the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6) which serve as a good starting point though I may eventually need to get additional lenses. The Sony A6400 has a lot of similar features to the Sony RX100 VI but also includes external mic support and interval shooting/time lapse videos. The A6400 does not have in body image stabilization but both lenses do have Optical Steadyshot. I do recommend getting spare batteries and an external battery charger for this camera. I’ve only begun to test the camera but so far, I’m happy with the investment. I’m looking forward to field testing the Sony A6400 over the next few months.

 

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2HQLMyF

Sony A6400 with 16-50mm Kit Lens - https://amzn.to/2Ii6feP

Sony A6400 with 18-135mm Kit Lens - https://amzn.to/2Mzbgoq

Sony Shooting Grip - https://amzn.to/2W8Mnzq

Sony NP-BX1 Lithium Ion Battery for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2QDvHPL

Sony BC-TRX Battery Charger for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2WjHKaN

Sony Travel Battery Charger for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2HQu3ao

Sony NP-FW50 Lithium Ion Battery for Sony A6400 - https://amzn.to/2EQUL0R

Sony BC-TRW Battery Charger for Sony A6400 - https://amzn.to/2JUP46j

JOBY GorillaPod 3K - https://amzn.to/312jPvo

JOBY GripTight ONE Mount for Smartphones - https://amzn.to/312omOr

Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 128GB - https://amzn.to/2EOxJaK

Running Older Versions of Adobe Creative Cloud Apps? You May Need To Upgrade!

Earlier this month, Adobe announced changes to the availability of Adobe Creative Cloud applications through the Creative Cloud desktop app and Adobe.com. As mentioned in Adobe’s blog post Changes to Creative Cloud Download Availability, Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers will now only have access to download the two most recent versions of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications with the exception of Adobe Acrobat. Acrobat will only be available for download in the most recent version.

The post goes on to say that the changes “will further enable us to develop the features and functionality most requested by customers and ensure peak performance and benefits across Windows and Mac operating systems.”

However, some Creative Cloud subscribers running older versions of Adobe Creative Cloud applications have received notice from Adobe advising them that those Creative Cloud applications are no longer authorized, and the continued use of the unauthorized versions could have potential legal ramifications.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the notice:

“For customers who have not yet updated to the latest version of Creative Cloud, please note that you are no longer licensed to use certain older versions of the applications or deploy packages containing these older versions.”

“Please be aware that if you continue to use or deploy the older, unauthorized versions of Creative Cloud, you will not have third-party claim coverage pursuant to your contract with Adobe. Should you continue to use or deploy these unauthorized versions, you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.”

Adobe has not provided any specifics on the matter, but the issue appears to stem from ongoing litigation. Adobe has provided information on how to remove unauthorized versions of Adobe Creative Cloud applications and has provided a list of authorized and unauthorized versions of Creative Cloud applications. If you aren’t running the latest version of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications, you should check to see if you are using authorized versions of the Creative Cloud applications by checking your installed versions against the list of authorized and unauthorized versions. This applies to all Creative Cloud subscribers including, but not limited to: individuals, businesses, students and teachers, schools and universities.

As someone who has worked in advertising for almost twenty-years and served as Head of MIS/IT, I understand the issues, problems and headaches that this creates and the complexities with compliance. Upgrading Adobe software across the board isn’t as simple as it seems when you look at this from a business and organization perspective. Hardware and software costs, OS and software compatibility, testing and downtime are just some of the factors which need to be considered before upgrading software. Businesses of all sizes face a variety of challenges whenever there’s a need to deploy new hardware or software within an organization. There are best practices which must be followed to avoid disruption to workflow and productivity.

That said, it’s important to review these changes and take the necessary steps to implement changes now. Not doing so could be risky for Creative Cloud subscribers. Until further guidance is available on the potential legal implications to Creative Cloud subscribers, be proactive and take the necessary steps to mitigate any potential liability down the road.

Before You Sign That Commercial Lease . . .

Finding commercial office space can be quite a challenge. While there’s certainly real estate available, finding the right office space that satisfies your business needs, fits your business vibe, is conveniently located, offers your business the flexibility to grow and which falls within your budget doesn’t necessarily come easy. And, even if you should find that “perfect” or “close to perfect” office space, you’ll still need to negotiate fair lease terms and work out the language in the final lease agreement before it’s a done deal. You don’t want to blindly sign on the dotted line!

First, negotiate the lease terms with the landlord. If you aren’t a strong negotiator or don’t feel you have the experience to negotiate, seek an experienced and qualified real estate broker who specializes in working for and in the interest of tenants. They should have insight into the real estate market and relationships with buildings and landlords to help you find the right space and negotiate, in good faith, fair terms with the various buildings and landlords.

Keep in mind that there are various factors which may help your negotiating power including, but not limited to: prominence of your business, size and financial position of your business, amount of commercial real estate space you intend on leasing and the length of the lease term (a longer term lease may offer you stronger negotiating power over a shorter term lease).

Once you’ve negotiated the lease terms to a point which are reasonably fair and agreeable, the landlord will have their legal counsel draw up the lease documents. Be sure to read the commercial lease agreement and all the applicable attachments, amendments, riders, guaranties and related documents thoroughly. Be sure that the lease terms and conditions, responsibilities and obligations of both the tenant and landlord are clearly spelled out and align with what has been agreed to during the lease negotiations. These include, but are not limited to: the start/end date of the lease, the lease term (number of years), the lease renewal and termination provisions, the date landlord shall deliver possession of the premises to the tenant, the date in which tenant shall surrender the premises to the landlord, base rent and any applicable rent abatement(s), additional fees and costs outside of the base rent (ex: cleaning, security, water/sprinkler), annual rent escalation (percent increase), proportionate share of property taxes and other applicable costs/expenses beyond the base year, the base year to be used for calculating property taxes and other applicable costs/expenses beyond the base year, electricity costs (ex: if the space is individually metered), HVAC (ex: if HVAC is tenant controlled – annual maintenance agreement requirement, who is responsible for repair/replacement of major components like compressor/condenser or replacement of the unit(s) in the event of a failure during the lease term? the landlord’s certification that the existing HVAC unit is in good operating condition; if HVAC is not tenant controlled, availability and costs for after-hours and weekend use), security deposit requirement, office space build out work and responsibilities, work to be performed by landlord, work to be performed by tenant (if work requires written approval by landlord), landlord responsibilities, tenant responsibilities, cost for building and office keys/key cards, covered and non-covered (a la carte) building services, commercial insurance requirement, “good guy” clause, etc. These are just some of the common items that typically appear in a commercial lease agreement which you should be on the lookout for and review carefully.

Even as an experienced business owner well-versed in negotiating contracts and agreements, it should go without saying that you should tap into and consult with a good real estate attorney who will thoroughly review the lease agreement and all the applicable attachments, amendments, riders, guaranties and related documents to make sure they are in order and contain the appropriate language to protect your interests. Let me be clear, having a good real estate attorney review the lease agreement does not mean that you should “pass the buck” and not exercise due diligence. YOU need to review the lease agreement thoroughly, make notes and consult with the real estate attorney so that you have a thorough understanding of what you are getting into before you sign and commit to the lease agreement. Don’t assume anything! Ask questions, get clarification and be sure you fully understand and are comfortable with the provisions of the agreement. Don’t think for a moment that any questions are stupid or silly. If it’s ambiguous, vague, unclear etc., get clear, definitive answers! Contracts and agreements often contain legalese which are difficult to fully comprehend and understand and may be vague and ambiguous.

Commercial leases are written for and inure to the benefit of the landlord. The objective is to try and get the lease terms to a point where the terms provide adequate protections, to the maximum extent possible, for you – the tenant. There may be several rounds of back-and-forth between you (and your legal counsel) and the landlord (and the landlord’s legal counsel) before you hash out the final language of the lease agreement so be patient, be thorough and exercise continued due diligence. This is one of those things where taking shortcuts will be more harmful than helpful. Don’t take shortcuts! Stick with best practices!

One final note . . . give yourself ample time to work through the process of lease negotiations and towards a final agreeable and acceptable lease agreement and whenever possible, have a backup plan. If you, with the advice of counsel, don’t feel comfortable with the lease terms and the landlord is not acting in good faith, don’t give in and don’t sign the lease agreement! Be prepared and willing to walk away! You don’t want to be stuck in an agreement for which you will ultimately regret!

A Look Back At The 2019 New York International Auto Show

The 2019 New York International Auto Show has come and gone but the memories will last forever or at least until next year. It’s always a blast heading to the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to check out all the new vehicles from automakers around the world; even those high-end, luxury vehicles we can only dream about.

I enjoy getting an up close and personal look and feel at some of my favorites (including vehicles from Kia, Jeep, Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Toyota, Audi, Lexus . . . just to name a few), learning about the latest technologies, advancements and innovations in the automotive industry, feeling a sense of nostalgia seeing classic and vintage vehicles and taking in and enjoying the experience. It’s a fun and great event for individuals, friends and families alike.

Here are some photos that I took at this year’s New York International Auto Show:

 Also, check out my videos from this year’s trip:

If you’re interested, the 2020 New York International Auto Show is scheduled to take place Friday, April 10 through Sunday, April 19, 2020. To learn more about the New York International Auto Show, check out their official website at https://www.autoshowny.com/.

I’m looking forward to next year’s New York International Auto Show.

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Camera Gear & Accessories

Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2HQLMyF

Sony Shooting Grip - https://amzn.to/2W8Mnzq

Sony NP-BX1 Lithium Ion Battery for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2QDvHPL

Sony BC-TRX Battery Charger for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2WjHKaN

Sony Travel Battery Charger for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2HQu3ao

JOBY GorillaPod 3K - https://amzn.to/312jPvo

JOBY GripTight ONE Mount for Smartphones - https://amzn.to/312omOr

Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 128GB - https://amzn.to/2EOxJaK

My Favorite Music From The YouTube Audio Library

Music is an important element in the videos that I create and a crucial part of the storytelling. It helps set the mood, tone, tempo and atmosphere. It keeps the story on pace and moving, helps with transitions and keeps the content entertaining and interesting. Music also helps establish an emotional connection with viewers.

While there are many resources for music available to creators, if you create content on YouTube, the YouTube Audio Library is a good resource and starting point. The YouTube Audio Library is a convenient way to access royalty-free music (with and without required attribution) for videos published on YouTube. Though I primarily use music from the YouTube Audio Library that does not require attribution, I do include the name of the track, artist and indicate that the music comes from the YouTube Audio Library in the description below each video.

Before editing a video, I’ll typically go through the process of selecting appropriate music for the video. The process can be quick or lengthy depending on whether I can find the right music that I’m looking for. Sometimes, the beginning of a track may not be what I’m looking for so I’ll scrub through the track to determine if any part of the track might work for the video. When appropriate, I’ll use the entire track (and usually, several tracks are required for most videos) but on occasion, I may just want or need to use a portion of a track for a particular part of the video.

I’ve found and used a lot of great music from the YouTube Audio Library for my videos. Here are ten of my favorites so far . . .

Vibe Tracks – “Over Time”

Vibe Tracks – “Take You Home Tonight”

Vibe Tracks – “Deep Hat”

Vibe Tracks – “Faith”

Vibe Tracks – “Universal”

Vibe Tracks – “Undeniable”

Text Me Records / Leviathe – “Yummu”

Vibe Tracks – “TFB9”

Jimmy Fontanez/Media Right Productions – “Follow Me”

Gunnar Olsen – “First To Last”

Check out these videos to watch and listen to how these tracks accompany the storytelling:

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

YouTube Audio Library (requires YouTube sign-in) - https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music

Camera Gear & Accessories

Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2HQLMyF

Sony Shooting Grip - https://amzn.to/2W8Mnzq

Sony NP-BX1 Lithium Ion Battery for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2QDvHPL

Sony BC-TRX Battery Charger for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2WjHKaN

Sony Travel Battery Charger for Sony RX100 VI - https://amzn.to/2HQu3ao

JOBY GorillaPod 3K - https://amzn.to/312jPvo

JOBY GripTight ONE Mount for Smartphones - https://amzn.to/312omOr

Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 128GB - https://amzn.to/2EOxJaK

Can’t Change The iTunes Media Folder Location? Try Creating A New iTunes Library!

Apple iTunes defaultly stores iTunes media on your Mac or Windows PC in the following storage locations:

Mac:

Macintosh HD | Users | <User Account> | Music | iTunes | iTunes Media

Windows:

C:\Users\<User Account>\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media

Normally, you should be able to change the default location of the iTunes Media folder by launching iTunes and then going to:

Mac:

iTunes | Preferences | Advanced

Windows:

Edit | Preferences | Advanced

Once you are in the Advanced Preferences window, you should see the current iTunes Media folder location and be able to change the location by clicking on “Change” and selecting the new location.

Recently, on a Windows 10 (version 1809) laptop running the latest version of iTunes (version 12.9.4.102), I experienced an issue where each time I tried to change the default iTunes Media folder location, iTunes would revert to the default location after quitting out of iTunes. The laptop recently underwent a reformat, clean installation of Windows 10 and was up-to-date on all current software updates and patches. In addition, iTunes was uninstalled, the laptop was rebooted, and iTunes was subsequently reinstalled as a precaution; however, the issue remained. I did research the issue but couldn’t find any current reports of known bugs/issues between Windows 10 (version 1809) and iTunes (version 12.9.4.102) like the issue at hand.

As a workaround, I decided to try creating a new iTunes library in the location where I wanted the iTunes Media folder to be located.

To do this, first close out of iTunes then do the following:

Mac

Hold down the Option key while launching iTunes

Windows

Hold down the Shift key while launching iTunes

An iTunes window should come up which says, “Choose iTunes Library.” You will need to create a new library in the location where you want the new iTunes Media folder to be located. Click “Create Library …” then follow the on-screen prompts to select or create a folder location where you want the new library to be located then click “Save.”

Choose or Create iTunes Library in Windows

Choose or Create iTunes Library in Windows

Choose or Create iTunes Library in macOS

Choose or Create iTunes Library in macOS

Once that’s done, iTunes should generate an “iTunes Library” database file in the new iTunes Media folder location that you selected along with sub-folders for “Album Artwork” and “iTunes Media.” If you go to either: iTunes | Preferences | Advanced on a Mac or Edit | Preferences | Advanced in Windows, you should be able to verify that the iTunes Media folder location is set to the new location which you previously selected. To be certain the change will not revert, close and re-open iTunes and verify the change again. Also, take a moment to check that your other iTunes settings are correct (ex: “Keep iTunes Media folder organized” and “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library” are selected, if so desired).

While there’s nothing wrong with using the default iTunes Media folder location, if you prefer to use a different location and run into similar issues changing the default folder location and/or iTunes retaining the change, creating a new iTunes Library is a potential workaround.

AirPods (2nd Generation): Good, But A Minor Upgrade

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case

I bought the AirPods (1st generation) a couple of years ago and started using them daily after the headphone jack on my iPad Pro broke. The AirPods (1st generation) sound and work great so when the AirPods (2nd generation) came out, I decided to get them and give them a try. After using the AirPods (2nd generation) for over a month, I do like them. The quality of the AirPods (2nd generation) is consistent with the quality I would expect from Apple and they work just as well as the 1st generation with some improvements made possible by the new H1 chip. That said, the improvements of the 2nd generation overall are subtle making it a minor upgrade over the 1st generation.

If you have a fully functional set of AirPods (1st generation) and you’re satisfied with the features, functionality, performance and don’t really care about voice-enabled Siri, wireless charging and some of the other improvements made possible by the new H1 chip, then you probably won’t gain a substantial benefit from the AirPods (2nd generation).

If you’re looking to stay within the Apple ecosystem and are considering AirPods for the first-time over traditional EarPods, earphones or headphones, AirPods are worth the investment; however, you should think about the importance of wireless charging. If you want or need wireless charging, you’ll be paying a premium - an extra $40 for the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case ($199). If you don’t care about wireless charging, you can save $40 by sticking with the AirPods with Charging Case ($159). Likewise, if you need to replace AirPods that are non-functional or partially non-functional, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll want to spend the extra $40 for the wireless charging case.

Circling back to those with a fully functional set of AirPods (1st generation), if you truly want the wireless charging capability without the $199 sticker price, Apple does offer the Wireless Charging Case for $79.

I will say that it is nice to have some of those subtle improvements with the AirPods (2nd generation) including voice-enabled Siri and the wireless charging option. You’ll need to decide for yourself whether the AirPods (2nd generation) are truly worth the investment.

 

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case - https://amzn.to/2DqTdd4

Apple AirPods with Charging Case - https://amzn.to/2VhRxNp

Anker PowerWave 7.5W Wireless Charging Pad - https://amzn.to/2IypCTv

2019 New York International Auto Show

The 2019 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) makes its return to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this Friday. From coupes to sedans, SUVs to trucks, new vehicles to future concept cars, the New York International Auto Show is a showcase for nearly 1,000 vehicles spread across four floors of the convention center and offers a look at some of the latest technologies and innovations from automakers around the world.

From walking the show floor and exhibit halls to getting into vehicles for a hands-on, look & feel experience to participating in a ride-along or test drive (ex: Camp Jeep Ride & Drive), the New York International Auto Show is a fun and enjoyable event for auto enthusiasts, individuals and families alike and a great way to spend a few hours of your day.

NYIAS starts on Friday, April 19th and runs through Sunday, April 28th with an opening ceremony taking place on Saturday, April 20th from 8:30am to 10:30am. The event is open to the public, but you do need to purchase tickets for the event available on the New York International Auto Show website.

For me, it’s always fun heading to the auto show to check out some of the latest vehicles coming to market, the emerging technologies and innovations in the industry and seeing some of the concept cars in development. I also like the hands-on experience. Having the opportunity to get into vehicles from a variety of automakers and get an up-close look & feel. It’s a great opportunity to check out different vehicles (cars, SUVs, trucks) which you might not ordinarily do unless you are in the market to buy or lease a new vehicle. Of course, what’s an auto show without a sense of nostalgia seeing some of the vintage classics on display.

I’m looking forward to checking out the new vehicles at this year’s NYIAS.

Check out the short video I created last year walking the convention floors of the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

Stop Procrastinating! Tax Day Is Coming!

If you tend to procrastinate when it comes to the tax season, it’s time to stop procrastinating and start taking action. Tax Day for the 2018 tax year is right around the corner. For most filers, Monday, April 15, 2019 is the deadline to file your tax returns with the IRS and where applicable, your state tax agency. However, for states observing a holiday, those filers will get additional time.

“For the 2018 tax return, the due date is April 15, 2019 for most filers. For residents of Maine and Massachusetts, the due date is April 17, 2019 because of the Patriot's Day and Emancipation Day holidays in those states.” – IRS Topic No. 301 When, How, and Where To File

Whether you file electronically or by paper, it’s vital that your tax returns are filed on-time. The IRS provides the following guidance:

“Your return is considered filed on time if the envelope is properly addressed, has enough postage, is postmarked, and is deposited in the mail by the due date. If you file electronically, the date and time in your time zone when your return is transmitted controls whether your return is filed timely. You will later receive an electronic acknowledgement that the IRS has accepted your electronically filed return.” – IRS Topic No. 301 When, How, and Where To File

If you have an Accountant or CPA firm handling your tax returns, be sure to return any applicable e-file authorization forms to them in a timely manner so they may electronically file your returns on your behalf. Also, make note of any filings you may be required to submit by mail and get those filings sent out on-time. If you are using a third-party tax preparer to do your taxes, be sure to schedule your appointment as soon as possible to ensure your returns are prepared and transmitted on-time. Appointments can become harder to come by as the tax deadline approaches. For paper filers, be sure to get to the Post Office ahead of the April 15th deadline or risk potentially waiting on long lines to get those returns mailed by the tax deadline.

The IRS and state tax agencies do allow qualified filers to request an extension to file their tax returns. A request for an extension must be filed by the tax deadline. However, an extension only extends the tax deadline for filing your returns. It does not extend the deadline for paying your taxes. If you owe taxes, you are still required to remit payment to the IRS and/or to your state tax agency by the tax deadline.

“If you cannot file by the due date of your return, you should request an extension of time to file. To receive an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your return, you can file Form 4868. File your extension request by the due date of your return. An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay so you'll owe interest if the tax you owe isn't paid by the original due date of your return. You may also be subject to a late-payment penalty on any tax not paid by the original due date of your return.” – IRS Topic No. 301 When, How, and Where To File

Filers should check with their individual state tax agency for guidance on their state’s tax filing requirements and deadlines. If you are unsure or unfamiliar with tax preparation and filings, be sure to seek professional counsel from an Accountant, CPA firm and/or certified tax professional.

 

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