Category Archives: Electronics

Fax a PDF from a Mac

Faxing seems to be an ancient technology that just won’t die.  It is still embraced, often even preferred or required, by many businesses.  Most people don’t want to have to own a fax machine any more but do have to fax from time to time.  There is a modern day solution.  You can easily fax any PDF from a Mac.  And since you can convert anything in a browser to a PDF easily on a Mac, it allows you to fax almost anything you could print out.

Apple makes a USB fax modem but sadly, they’ve not maintained it so it doesn’t work on the latest Macs any more.  Fortunately, US Robotics makes a great US Robotics USB Fax Modem that is compatible with a Mac.

Once plugged into a Mac, you’ll notice you have gained a new option via the Print PDF menu.

If you’re like me and have dropped your expensive home phone service for a cheaper Voice over IP phone line, then you may have a little more work to do to actually get a fax to go through.  In the case of the popular Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service, you have to tell the line that you are about to fax so it can optimize the connection.  This is done by prepending a *99,, to the phone number you are faxing to.

Canon S100 versus S95

King of Pocket Cameras

Canon’s venerable Powershot S camera line, starting with the S90 two years ago, just got a step better with the new S100.

While not visually much different than last year’s S95, the S100 is probably a bigger jump than the S90 to S95 was.

What’s improved?

  • More grippy body – grips on the front and back, grippier finish
  • 1080P video instead of 720P (h264 mov files)
  • better noise reduction with DIGIC 5 image processor
  • better dynamic range and low light sensitivity
  • 12 megapixel camera
  • bigger wideangle/zoom range – now 24-120mm equivalent instead of 28-105mm
  • geotagging – Yay! So I can see where all the photos were taken.
Like the last upgrade, don’t feel compelled to upgrade from an S90 or S95. The picture quality has improved, but only noticeably in low light.

UPDATE: I was surprised to see that Gizmodo couldn’t recommend the camera due to battery issues. They’re either doing something wrong or have a bad camera. While the battery life on the Canon S series has never been great, the S100 isn’t any worse for me than the previous models. It can stay in standby for weeks (I’ve only had it a few weeks) and it can take around 200 shots. I keep the GPS photo tagging on and the GPS logger off.

 

iKlear Cleaning Kit

When clients give me computers that have lots of dirt and smudge on the screen, I grab iKlear to clean it. I saw a few years ago that it’s what Apple uses to clean laptops, especially the white MacBook prone to discoloration.

Now I also use iKlear to clean phones, tablets, and TVs. Do not to use Windex or other cleansers not specifically designed for monitors. They can permanently damage the screen. If you don’t want to spend the money, at least get a microfiber cloth and just use a small amount of plain water.