Monday, November 11, 2013

2014 ChMS Article Just Released to Publisher!

I get to write an article every year that lists all of the leading ChMS (church and donor management software) solutions. They don't have to pay anything to be included, just prove that they're developing their software, actively pursuing the niche, and demonstrate that folks like what they're providing by meeting minimum customers based on how long they've been offering it.

I just released the 2014 version of the article to the publisher, and have added its contents to our website. Click here to read it!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

New Article on Legally Exporting Technology

It's hard to believe, but there are people sitting in prison or who have been heavily fined for sending computers and/ or software out of the U.S.!

I wrote an article on how to do it legally, click here to read it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

OSX 10.9 - Mavericks - Not Ready Yet!

I’ve only run the update to Mavericks, and haven’t yet tested a system that had a clean OS install. To be fair, I'm hearing from some that it's great. But I and many others in IT have seen issues with it to the point where I'm recommending waiting on this upgrade. The results just aren't consistent enough yet.

There are a couple of rough edges to it; one that’s not a big deal and one that, for network users, is a big deal.
  • Not a Big Deal: I have to keep re-selecting my Time Machine Drive from a list of available drives. 
  •  A Very Big Deal for Network Users: Communications with SMB-mounted network volumes is much slower. Some routines that I run are taking 4-5 times longer since the upgrade. The problem seems to be with conflicts between the new standard imposed in Mavericks to use SMB2 as default with other drivesto which it's connecting. One suggested workaround is to use CIFS instead of SMB, which reportedly forces it to use SMB1. I'm still testing this...
A Mavericks Tip: Some like having the menu show on multiple displays (for those who use them). However, the way it works is a distraction for me because the Dock keeps moving fairly unpredictably between displays. I turned that feature off by going into System Preferences, then Mission Control, and then removing the check mark for Displays have separate Spaces. That change requires a restart to become effective.
So, I recommend waiting on Mavericks for now, and will post a subsequent blog post and comments to this post when it looks ready. 

iOS7 Review

Many are asking me whether they should upgrade to iOS7 on their iPads and iPhones. Here are some quick observations that may help you decide.

Generally, I like it, and the things I don’t like are not show-stoppers.
  • Things I Like
    • Apple finally let us put Newsstand into a group and get it off the desktop!
    • Apple now lets us set what day of the week we want to be the first day of the week in Calendar. I prefer Monday so that when viewing a week I can see the entire weekend. Previously you had to change the International Regional Setting to Northern Mariana Islands to accomplish that.
    • The Calendar month view scrolls forward (down) and backwards (up), helping to see events in context better.
    • You can now have unlimited Apps in groups.
    • The iTunes song select no longer requires a search.
    • Browsing restrictions can be a great help to keep inappropriate website from being available. And the setting impacts all browsers installed!
  • Things I Don’t Like
    • The Dock hides the bottom of the wallpaper. It would be better if it had transparency and size settings.
    • Groups only show 9 Apps at a time in a panel (more than 9 Apps in a group generates a second page in the group). It would be better if groups had setting options of how many Apps they showed on a page. 
    • The Camera no longer has the iris close and open animation when taking pictures. That’s okay, but now there’s an immutable sound with every picture snap.

So I say, "Go for it!"