Happy Birthday Macintosh !!!

When I was a junior in college, Apple launched the Macintosh.  Our local computer store in York, PA had a “Try at Home” policy and I was able bring it home for 2 weeks to try it out.  It had a single 3.5” floppy drive and I was constantly swapping between the boot disk and the program I was currently using — but I loved it.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it and was resolved to buy a Compaq luggable.  But the 2 weeks I worked on a Mac changed the way I viewed computers and what I could do on them.  As a CIS major I spent most of my free time in the computer lab working on a Burroughs 1900 computer learning how to code in Fortran, COBOL and a few other now dead programming languages.  While the school also had Apple II’s (on which I learned C and Pascal), III’s (which is where I first used a word processor), none of the computers I had worked on really were “FUN” to work on.  Looking back over the past 30 years it is easy to see how the Mac changed how the world viewed computers.

That leads me to when I actually received my first Mac.  I say received because 2 years after my 1st experience with a Mac my parents opened a $10,000 CD at the Bowery Savings Bank.  This is back when banks were so happy you entrusted them with money they’d offer depositors a gift as a way of saying thank you.  My parents gift for opening the CD was a Mac Plus.  It became my 1st Mac.  While in college in 1985 I had saved up enough money to purchase my 1st personal computer; a Compaq luggable running DOS. But when I got the Mac I found myself spending hours figuring out how it worked and learning new ways to do things on it.  I bought an external SCSI 10MB external hard drive, 300 baud modem, ImageWriter printer and a few choice Mac programs.  I would spend HOURS creating and storing information in HyperCard.  Even with all the things I can do today in HTML, I still miss HyperCard.

Apple Macplus


I sold that Mac back in the early 1990’s and I learned how to get by in the real world on a PC.  First using DOS, OS/2, then Windows and finally Windows NT, but none of those computers were as fun or as supportive a computing environment as my 1st Mac (even with all the frustrations we all experience back then).  Finally in 2000 I got an Apple Powerbook and OS X and things started looking up again, but it wasn’t until 2006 when I bought my MacBook Pro that I finally ditched my IBM Thinkpad (issued by my employer of the same name) and switched to using a Mac 100% of the time.  I am now at Deloitte Digital and happily use a MacBook Air.  I couldn’t imagine working on anything else.

So Happy Birthday Mac and congratulations Apple!

Looking forward to see what the team at Apple develops next!



A Dog Owner’s Mourning Prayer

A Dog Owner’s Mourning PrayerWritten by Oliver Siodmak (September 9th, 2013)

I must have left my heart with you when we were last together
    On the bench where we used to sit,
    Near the field where we used to play.

My soul is aching as I think back and remember 
    All those good times we spent together,
    Oh how you used to run and jump and play.

You are in a better place, I know that now,
    But oh that empty space in my chest still hurts,
    My tear-filled eyes find it difficult to see.

Saddened I must continue my life’s journey without you,
    Memories of us together give me strength to carry on.

So please hold on to my heart,
    Keep it with you safe from harm.

I’ll take it back when we are once again united,
    Up in heaven’s waiting arms.



It is with a very heavy heart I must share with you that Chestnut passed away on Monday, September 9th, 2013 at the age of 14. He was a simply amazing dog and words fail to describe just how much he meant to us as well as many of you.

Sharon, Jake and I are heartbroken by the loss, but we are so grateful we were able to spend his final hours together as a family. The words for “A Dog Owner’s Mourning Prayer” 1st came to me the night he left us. It has taken me several days to deal with the loss and the words to express my feelings.  The pain is far from gone but writing this poem has helped me deal with the overwhelming sadness.  

If you have ever lost a pet I hope this prayer gives you comfort.  Chestnut was my muse, my love, my 1st little boy.

Oliver & Chestnut
I have posted a collection of photos of our life together on my
Facebook page, as well as on Flickr.  This album contains pictures from his 1st days with us in early July 1999 until his last. When I started to put the album together it was to help me grieve, but it was also to help me remember all the good times we had. The more pictures I discovered the more I felt they needed to be included in the album. There are 92 in all and each one hold a special meaning in my heart.

I hope you spend a few minutes looking though these special moments, for as long as he is remembered … he will always be with us.





Chromecast vs Apple TV – The in-home test

Installed and configured Google’s new Chromecast content broadcast device on my 8 YO Sony 1080i HD TV tonight. Installation was fairly straightforward with only a minor process glitch when saving the WiFi login info during setup. [Note: The web app accidentally switches your WiFi connections back to your WiFi network before completing the setup. You need to switch it back to the Chromecast WiFi network to complete installation.] Once the device is configured I was able to easily launch Netflix from either my iPhone or iPad and send the show to the TV by clicking the new Chromecast broadcast button. OOTB I was able to use my Netflix and Youtube apps with the device but did not see the broadcast icon when browsing content via Chrome.

The biggest differences between Apple TV and Chromecast are that, 1) Apple TV is a standalone device, and 2) Apple TV has infinitely more content options available to you. With iCloud you can stream all your purchased Music, TV Shows and Movies to Apple TV. You can also “mirror” anything on your Mac, iPhone or iPad directly on your TV via Airplay.

Chromecast’s immediate advantage is the price and to some degree, size – although none of the Google ads show that you need to two connections to make the device work; HDMI for the image and USB to power the device. Over time Google will update more of their apps and others with the ability to broadcast content to the device. They are also rumors that HBO Go will soon be available (but don’t quote me on that).

The Google Chromecast offering is a good initial attempt but if you are invested in the Apple ecosystem (via iTunes) then Apple TV is still a better way to go. You can even pick-up a refurbished Apple TV for only $75 on their website.

Chromecast Broadcasting Screen




(UPDATE) SOLD! — Apple iPad (1st Gen) w/ 32GB RAM, WiFi+3G – Includes case & dock!

iPad 1st Gen with accessories

Auctioning off my 1st Gen iPad w/ 32GB RAM, WiFi+3G (AT&T).  Includes Marware Exec iPad case, USB 30pin cable & USB charger and iPad 30pin dock.  iPad is in great condition.  Check out the auction at http://r.ebay.com/2vo2Qk.  

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iPad in case

 UPDATE: Auction is closed!  Keep an eye out for other great technology items for auction soon!