Ordering New iPhones

For the crazy folks who order iPhones for Day 1 arrival, this most recent ordering process was a bit of a mess. Typically, you can pre-enter your order details in the Apple Store app and then submit it order time. This time, that system failed for 15-20 minutes for many folks, pushing back many people’s ordered by a couple of weeks. This might have been compounded by supply constraints.

So if you’re ordering at that crunch time at 8am when sales start every year, you should try to order thought the Apple Store app, but also through the Apple website. If you have an iPad, try that too at the same time.

For people who were delayed in ordering or forgot this year, you can try to get the iPhones in the Apple store. This is a site that will show you what nearby stores have availability:


And of course, for all the normal people, you can just wait untill November, when iPhones should just be available.


People often ask me what the best and cheapest way is to set up a custom domain email, not just your standard free google.com email. You can of course pay Google, but I’m not a big fan of their interface or snooping on your email to better advertise to you.

I personally use Fastmail. It’s professional, fast, reliable, and has a nice web interface. If you’re interested, my referral code for 10% off your first year is here:


There used to be a few decent free options, but as Google has started charging, so have the others.


Do you ever need to check if a website changes? I use an automated site checker for this such as visualping.io. What’s this useful for?:

  • If you’re watching a product’s availability on a site, for example to buy a hard-to-find item such as a popular game console.
  • If you need to see if data or text changes on sites for your job, for whatever information is contained on those pages; this could be for data analysis or competitive research.
  • If you have your own website and want to see if it goes down for any reason.

There are probably many more reasons to check websites. Visualping and other sites make money by having you pay if you need checks more frequently than every day. There used to be many PC-installed software tools for this purpose, but this has largely moved to the cloud, which I think makes sense for simplicity and ease of use.

Preparing for Theft

Unfortunately, I’ve had several clients who have been robbed. The most recent was when a laptop was stolen from a car. There are some actions that you can take to avoid the worst outcomes if a theft does happen.

  1. Set Up Passwords:
    • Use strong, unique passwords or passcodes for both your device and your accounts.
    • Enable biometric authentication methods like fingerprint or facial recognition if available.
  2. Enable Remote Tracking and Wiping:
    • For smartphones, enable features like Find My iPhone (iOS) or Find My Device (Android). For laptops, use tracking software like Find My Mac (Apple) or Find My Device (Windows).
    • Set up remote wipe options to erase your data if the device is lost or stolen.
  3. Backup Your Data:
    • Regularly back up your device’s data to an external drive or a cloud service. This ensures you can recover your important files even if the device is stolen. Both Apple and Microsoft offer cloud backup services.
  4. Protect your Passwords
    • Especially important today, don’t let people see you type your phone or laptop login password. This “shoulder surfing” is now common before a theft. Once people can log in, they can change your password and actually lock you out of your accounts.

Lutron Caseta Light Switches

I recently finished a Lutron Caseta light switch setup. When people ask about smart light switches, I always steer them toward Caseta. Why? As opposed to Philips Hue or other bulb solutions, Caseta has the smarts in the switch, not the bulb. This makes more sense for many reasons. First, if the tech smarts fail for some reason, the light switch is still a real light switch. Second, you can choose any bulb you’d like, with particular warmth and quality you choose. And third, in my experience Caseta is more dependable and bulletproof than other solutions.

Smart lights aren’t a necessity and many folks won’t find any utility in them. I enjoy being able to hook them up to smart speakers such as HomePod. This makes it easier to turn on and off lights if you’re running around and have your hands full. It’s also easier to set up automations for when you’re out of town. They even can be set up with sensors to automatically turn on. All of these are minor improvements though, so this is still a nice-to-have, not a critical part of your technology.

There are other switch based solutions, but Lutron is a big name that has been doing this for a while. I wholeheartedly recommend them. (Not an ad)