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#967: Sand vs. Snow; Data Cloning; HomeKit Weather Sensors

 
     
 

Hello Fellow Technophiles,

I have made it back from Florida safe and sound. I am confused about all of this white stuff on the ground that does not appear to be sand, though. It’s cold, wet, and it’s everywhere. As a lifelong Vermonter, I am not sure that it was wise to experience 75 degree days in February because before this trip I just took winter as something that is inevitable and must be endured. I have heard that after the Civil War a significant number of Union soldiers from Vermont stayed down south, which up hear means anywhere south of the Vermont/Massachusetts border.

I hadn’t flown JetBlue in a while and was pleased to discover that in addition to TVs in every seat, they now also offer free gate-to-gate wifi. It is becoming increasingly rare, even in the wilds of Vermont, to be out of a coverage zone, so it made me happy to be able to stay connected even in the air. I want to assure you, however, that I left my phone in the condo most of the times that I went down to the beach and managed to enjoy the sun and surf without distractions from the outside world.

Thanks for reading!

Mike
michaeld@smalldog.com

 
   
     
  Drag and Drop vs. Cloning  
   
 

The macOS Finder interface has gone through many changes over the years. Some of these have been major, while others are merely cosmetic. One thing that has endured is the ability to drag and drop files and folders. In most cases the easiest way to move or copy a file is to just drag it where you want it and drop it there. However, you may have experienced cases where dragging and dropping large amounts of files hasn’t worked properly.

This can happen when there is a file that is corrupted or damaged in some way that doesn’t allow the file to be copied or moved. When this happen, the Finder cancels the entire transfer even if it has apparently already copied some or even most of the data. The slow way around this is to drag and drop files one-by-one until you discover which item is the problematic one. What if I told you there was a better way?

Here at Small Dog, we use Carbon Copy Cloner to perform most data copying tasks. This program installs a cloning “engine” on your machine and uses this to perform the copy. This engine is smart and will skip over problematic files and copy everything it can. When the task completes, you can open a History window and see which files were skipped, the total amount of data copied and how long the copy took.

Carbon Copy Cloner has a number of other useful features as well. It can be used to create a bootable clone of your entire hard drive, and every Mac can be booted from an external drive, so if your hard drive fails but the computer is otherwise working, a bootable clone can get you back up and running in just the time it takes to boot the machine again. It can also create scheduled clones so you can, for example, create a bootable clone every night so that you always have a recent version to boot from. With the SafetyNet feature enabled you can get a file history, similar to Time Machine, so that you can find older versions of files if needed.

Download a free 30-day trial of Carbon Copy Cloner here!

 
   
     
  Product Review: Elgato Eve  
   
 

I continue to play around with home automation products. As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, it’s ok to take baby steps into home automation. I’ve been slowly adding devices in my home and started with installing outlets around my home that I can use with HomeKit. I’m not sure yet if any of these smart outlets will help to reduce my energy usage in a significant way, but it sure makes me feel better to know my kids are really turning off the lights.

Over the past week I’ve installed and have been playing around with the Elgato Eve wireless weather sensors. Both units measure temperature and humidity. The room sensor adds air quality and the outdoor sensor measures air pressure. Setting these sensors up is quick and easy. Simply download the free app from the App Store, sync them to your phone by verifying a serial number and you’re ready to go!

The Eve wireless weather sensor installed quickly outside. The sensor reports the temperature, humidity, and air pressure with what I would consider fairly high accuracy. I did initially set up the unit inside and one observation on the negative is it took quit some time to accurately report on the outside temperature. It’s also important to note that it’s only water resistant, so you’ll want to install it in a location outside where it’s out of direct contact with the elements. I set up the Eve room in my bedroom. I have some allergies and wondered if I would notice a difference in some of my symptoms based on its air quality readings and humidity. I’ve been making a greater effort to let fresh air circulate through my room, a challenge sometimes in Vermont winters. I have noticed my breathing is better since being able to monitor the air quality closer.

Aside from the ability to simply better monitor weather conditions via HomeKit from anywhere, the Eve app itself provides you with accumulative data. I can look for example and see what my average room humidity has been over the last week specifically in my room. To see this more detailed information you do need to use the Eve app. HomeKit cannot provided the detailed maps and statistics, but the benefit of HomeKit is I can see all of my various HomeKit enabled devices at a glance.

 
   
 

 
   
     
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  Elgato Eve Weather Sensor  
   
 

Elgato Eve Weather Sensor

Starting at $ 39.99

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