Random Trek: "The Catwalk" (ENT) with Katie Floyd

I had the pleasure of joining Scott McNulty this week on his podcast Random Trek, a weekly podcast in which Scott discusses a randomly selected episode of Star Trek with a guest. This week the random number generator selected the Enterprise episode “The Catwalk” for me. 

We spend the first part of the episode discussing a bit about my history as a Star Trek fan, my thoughts on the Enterprise series in general and an analysis of this episode.

Find the episode on The Incomparable Network.

Mac Power Users: 251: DEVONthink

In perhaps one of the most requested episodes of Mac Power Users ever, David and I joined by Gabe Weatherhead (aka MacDrifter) to take a deep dive in to DEVONthink, a powerful document and knowledge management app for the Mac. I am not presently a DEVONthink user myself, but after researching the program for this episode and talking with Gabe, I came away with a number of use cases.

MacBook Pro with Retina display: Do not use palm rest or keycap covers - Apple Support

blogged previously about a palm guard protector I purchased and installed on my MacBook Air. I typically wear a watch and when I type on my MacBook Air for extended periods of time I tend to remove my watch to avoid scratching the palm rest. With the Apple Watch set to arrive later this month, I didn’t want to have to remove my Apple Watch as I do my current watch, so I figured a palm guard would resolve this problem

I received an email from Mac Power Users listener Mark pointing me to this Apple Knowledge Base article warning MacBook Pro with Retina Display users not to use palm rest or keycap covers. The concern is that because Retina MacBook Pro is so thin and the tolerances are so tight, anything between the body and the top of the computer could cause it to rub against the screen. Apple warns this could cause damage to the display and presumably they’re talking about the recent reports of the anti-reflective coating coming off the display.

While I understand Apple’s position, I can’t help but wonder whether there’s more going on with the anti-reflective coating pealing. Nevertheless, I pass along this warning.

Kickstarter: SnapPower Charger: A USB charger in a coverplate

Apparently I’m on a Kickstarter kick because I’ve just backed my fourth project. The SnapPower Charger is already a big hit on the internet, you’ve probably seen it on other sites by now. But it solves a common problem, it gives users an easy way to upgrade a standard electrical outlet to add a USB charging port.

Adding USB charging to electrical ports is not a new thing. I’ve long been a fan of the NewerTech Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlets and reviewed them here last year. But like traditional USB wall outlets on the market, it requires electrical installation that some users may not be comfortable with. (I installed mine in about 10–15 minutes, but I have experience with this type of install.) 

the SnapPower seeks to solve bring USB charging to electrical outlets in an easier way, by allowing users to simply replace the faceplate of a standard electrical outlet. “Power Prongs” inside the cover draw power from screws on the side of the power outlet rather than requiring re-wiring a new outlet. This makes the SnapPower ideal for people who are uncomfortable with electrical work, may need to remove and replace the original outlet, or are just looking for faster installation. Although I already have a few of the NewerTech power outlets installed in my house, I ordered a SnapPower for installation on the power outlet next to my desk at the office, somewhere I’m not comfortable doing electrical work as I would be in my own home.

The SnapPower, in its current form, does have a few downsides. First, there’s only a single USB port for charging, most USB wall outlets provide at least two. Second, the USB charging port provides only 1 Amp of power which will charge most cell phones but it will only slow-charge an iPad. The comments on Kickstarter have overwhelmingly requested modifications to rectify these two shortcomings and given that SnapPower has blown past its initial funding goal, I think it’s likely we could see the product updated as the campaign goes on.