Category Archives: Uncategorized

All support now ended

Support for all but ProofSheet and ExifChanger had already ended last December, and now I’ve ended support for those two apps, too. If all you need is a lost unlock code, you can email me directly for that.

(I’m now retired. A few people have asked about open sourcing my apps, but even if that were practical, which it isn’t, it wouldn’t provide any support.)

How I do backups now – updated

When I last blogged about my backup plan, I was using Disk Master Free to do a backup each night, in addition to the continuous backups with Bvckup and CrashPlan. A reader suggested that having both local backups online all the time made then accessible to ransomware and viruses. So, I dropped the Disk Master Free backup and replaced it with two full backups once a week, alternating weeks. That way I get a week to discover if one of them has been compromised during the short time it was online. I’d have to go to CrashPlan with its time-consuming restore only for the files not on the last good backup. Safer, and not much additional work.

So, it’s:

  • Continuous backup with Bvckup and CrashPlan.
  • Once-a-week to alternating disks (also with Bvckup), kept offline when not being written to.
  • Photos to Amazon S3 a few times a year.

Amazon Prime Music and Bluetooth Speakers

I’ve had Amazon Prime Music for a while, and have been paying $25 a year so I can upload as many CDs as I want, up to 250,000 songs which is at least 200,000 more than I have. That’s peanuts. Literally: We spend about $100 a year on peanuts.

All the big guys have cloud music services (Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.), but Amazon is the best for me because:

  • When I first signed up, hundreds of albums were already there because I had bought the CDs from Amazon over the years. (My first from Amazon was Bruce Springsteen’s Songs, in 1998.)
  • Most new CDs I buy from Amazon are also automatically added to my cloud library.
  • When I rip and upload a CD, Amazon almost always recognizes it and skips uploading the actual bits, since it already has them. (I don’t know if the others can do this.)
  • There are apps for all iOS and Android devices, and all my computers.
  • I get Prime Music (part of my Prime subscription), in addition to my own stuff. The best part is the curated playlists.

I mostly play Amazon Music through my desktop and a seldom-used Google tablet connected via a cable to a Bose Acoustic Wave player that I bought about 20 years ago. To that I decided to add a bluetooth speaker so I would have something near my favorite chair, to take outside, and for road trips.

That brought me to those online bluetooth speaker reviews, of which there must be at least 10,000. Reviewers like to talk about deep bass from a speaker about the size of a water bottle; I’m used to deep bass coming from a sub-woofer the size of a small refrigerator. Or styling, which means nothing to me; they all look like speakers, and I’m fine with that. (But the UE Booms look like Christian monuments. Not for me.)


Prices at Amazon are between about $9 and $800. My range was between $100 and $200, which limited me to about 300 choices. So, I did what I always do in cases like this: Spend a half day reading reviews and clicking around on Amazon until I’m at the point when all of the ratings and opinions cancel each other.


In the end I bought a JBL Charge 3 on sale at Target for $130. It has one unusual feature: It can charge an iPhone (or any other USB device). JBL says 20 hours of battery life, so I’m sure I’ll get at least 10 (less if I’m charging my phone). It’s also waterproof. Not that I’m going to dunk it, but I might spill a beer on it.

Does it sound better than any of the other 300 or so other choices? Definitely! It was top rated in reviews! Well, the reviews in which it was top rated, anyway. In other reviews it was a dog, but I don’t have to read those, right?

Anyway, at this point it’s the speaker next to my chair, the others aren’t, and it sounds just great. Compared to my all-B&W home theater, it’s garbage. Compared to the Bose, it’s pretty good, although the Bose is better. But the B&Ws are downstairs and the Bose is in another room. And neither is portable.

So, I guess I’m recommending the JBL Charge 3. If you want something else, there are probably 20 speakers at roughly the same price that sound just as good. The trick is to take home just one and leave the others in the store.

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Time to drop iOS apps

Most of my iOS apps show photos stored on Smugmug, and somewhere the URLs changed. (I think it’s an Apple problem, not Smugmug’s.) It’s a very minor fix, but it involves updating all the apps. That, unfortunately, involves creating new icons and launch images for different iPhone screen resolutions, and fixing up all sorts of app-submission changes since those apps were last updated.

I would do the work, but Apple’s Xcode-based packaging and submittal process is so ridiculously clumsy that it’s just too unpleasant, for way too many hours. (Example: Apple demands a launch image with a “-568h” suffix for 4-inch iPhone 5 devices. I’ve spent maybe 4 hours trying to get App Store to accept my app with the icon, with no luck. 9/11 and Dorothea Lange worked, but not Manzanar. I give up.)

I went through the torture for 9/11 and Dorothea Lange and got them submitted. If Apple accepts them, fine. If they’re as difficult to deal with as they are on the Mac side, then those will go, too, although I will make a huge effort to keep at least 9/11 available.

This is only for iOS apps. Mac versions in the App Store will continue to be there as long as they continue to work, which they do as of now. For some of them (Ingestamatic, ExifChanger, and ProofSheet), you can get an unlock code for the newer version downloadable from just by sending an email to support. None of my Mac apps will be updated on the Mac App Store, ever, because Apple rejects all of my updates. (Features that were acceptable a few years ago no longer are, and I don’t have time or interest in redesigning the apps to suit Apple’s changing requirements.)

Do you get the impression that I don’t think much of Apple from a developer viewpoint? They’re arrogant, non-communicative, inflexible, and stupid, and life’s too short to spend any of it dealing with them. Fortunately, it’s still possible to distribute Mac apps outside of the App Store, which I’ll continue to do. When and if Apple puts a stop to that, I’ll drop Apple completely.

Historic Atlantic City – A New Gallery

I’ve just built a new gallery showing over a thousand historic photos of Atlantic City hotels, piers, and boardwalk scenes, along with some new photos that I shot just last week that show the four hotels and three piers that remain from Atlantic City’s heyday. It’s based on the contents of my Historic Atlantic City app for the iPad.

There are interactive maps for hotels and piers.

The emphasis is on the historic hotels, not the newer casino hotels.

Here’s the link:

ImageIngester Version 3.1.09 for Windows adds disc burning

You can now burn the pre-conversion backup and/or primary folders to disc.
(This feature was previously available on OS X.)

Details of the new feature:
New Burn checkboxes in Destination Details panel to burn pre-conversion backup and/or primary folders to disc. Will use multiple discs if needed. Will split a folder across discs only if necessary. If you have multiple cards ingested simultaneously, will burn all images ingested from them. Label of disc is ingestion ID (from database) suffixed with A for primary and B for backup.
If you have less than about 600MB to burn, will allow you to use a single CD instead of a DVD.

On Windows, the external log is not yet burned to discs as it is on OS X.

If you’re using XP, you’ll have to install IMAP2. Details are on the Technical Notes page at