bio: "I was born on a far distant planet, which exploded when my father found out. Making my escape in a rented spacecraft, I found my way to Earth where I was raised by Earth parents. Trying to pretend to be a normal Earthling; I went to school, got married, and had three children.
"I am still waiting for my super powers to develop.
"Actually, I have led a rather ordinary life with interests in analog photography, philosophy and using personal computers to pretend to write a best seller while wasting time updating software, fixing disk permissions, and the like. My first computer was an Apple IIc, and I still own (and use) a sage iMac G3 DV. Just recently I have been recycling a Pismo Powerbook G3 and have been thinking about converting my record collection (kids, that's an audio media before cassette tapes and CDs) to AAC files. Anything to avoid writing.
"I am, of course, a promoter of using vintage computers to accomplish simple, ordinary tasks. I blame my father, naturally. My father lived through the Great Depression and, as a result, I lived through it as well. Our first television was given to us - it was the size of a washer or dryer. The screen was about as large as a big paperback book. It had tubes (kids, they used those back in the day when dinosaurs ruled the earth), and I thought my father was going to have a heart attack when the man in the electronics store told me that they no longer made vacuum tubes and that they were being replaced with transistors. My father went out and bought a transistor television (black and white, since 'you don't really need color, you can imagine colors'; which served us into the 1970s when my brother just couldn't align the picture tube anymore. My dad bought a black and white portable.
"Long after my brother and I had left home, my father bought a color wide-screen TV. When I discovered this while visiting, I turned to my wife and said, 'Honey, back the van up to the door, I'm taking that television!'"
- Changes, 2012.10.16. A new job has John Hatchett considered something of an iPad expert.
- In Praise of Optical Viewfinders, 2012.07.30. Although modern digital cameras have digital viewscreens, there's something to be said for the traditional viewfinder.
- The Lion Sleeps (on My MacBook) Tonight, 2012.07.05. Starting with a full backup, a Time Machine Backup, and an OS X 10.7 thumb drive, John Hatchett moved to Lion.
- Everybody Get Skinny!, 2012.07.03. The iPad is thin and light. So is the Retina MacBook Pro, which is almost unupgradable. Time to go back to a Power Mac?
- The First Generation iPad Blues, 2012.06.27. The original iPad has been a great tool, but to use AirPlay or iOS 6, it has to be replaced.
- I Hate It When Apple's Marketing Mavens Are Right, 2012.06.25. After years and years as a PowerBook and MacBook user, John Hatchett finds himself turning more and more to the iPad, although printing frustrates him.
- Mountain Lion Obsoletes the MacBook I Just Bought, 2012.02.24. John Hatchett just got his first Intel Mac, a preowned MacBook, in December, and now it looks like it won't be able to run OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
- Improving Tablets: Why Not a Slider Keyboard?, 2012.02.20. Perhaps the biggest drawback of the iPad and other tablets is lack of a buil-in physical keyboard. Many phones have slider keyboards....
- Which Apple TV Is Right for You?, 2012.02.15. If you own an older TV set, the original Apple TV may be a better choice than Apple's current unit.
- Adventures in Intel Mac Land, Part 2, 2012.01.09. One big advantage of an Intel Mac is the ability to run Google's fast and easy Chrome browser.
- Adventures in Intel Mac Land, Part 1, 2012.01.06. With its dual-core Intel processor, the MacBook rips music and video far faster than a G4 ever could.
- Blackbird MacBook, 2012.01.03. The PowerBook G4 is dead. Time to go with a black 13.3" MacBook and enter the Mac's Intel Age.
- Death of a PowerBook: Time to Go Intel?, 2011.11.29. A broken power port has taken down the PowerBook. Is it time to migrate from PowerPC to Intel?
- iOS 5: Some Wins, Some Losses, 2011.11.08. After updating his iPad and iPod touch to iOS 5, John Hatchett finds some nice features and some drawbacks.
- A Saab Story, 2011.10.12. Reliable technology doesn't just include Apple products. Saab has made some pretty impressive cars over the years.
- Carrying On Steve Jobs' Vision, 2011.10.06. Steve Jobs had a vision to liberate people from IT dictators and human tyrants by freeing us to think outside their constraints.
- A Cloud of My Own, 2011.09.20. With Apple changing MobileMe to iCloud, it makes sense to set up your own cloud server, such as Pogoplug.
- Who Still Buys CDs?, 2011.09.14. CDs not only provide a physical copy of your music, they also include cover art and liner notes.
- PowerBook a Perfect Cabin Computer, 2011.09.01. The cabin has electricity and a phone line, so an old PowerBook with a built-in modem is a sensible solution.
- A Belated Defense of the iPad, 2011.08.16. The iPad can't really replace a laptop, but it does make it possible to work where you can't use a laptop.
- The Times They Are a-Changin', 2011.08.04. OS X 10.7 Lion changes everything. Am I ready to leave my PowerPC software behind?
- R.I.P. Borders, 2011.08.02. Sure, you can buy on the Internet, but bookstores have books to leaf through, people, coffee shops, and free WiFi.
- New Browsing for older Macs, 2011.08.01. If your old G3, G4,or G5 Mac is feeling slow on the Internet and you're running OS X 10.4 or 10.5, TenFourFox will perk things up.
- More Cloudy Thinking, 2011.06.29. Apple's iCloud may be free, but you have to buy apps for your Macs and iDevices. On the other hand, Google's apps are truly free.
- Clouds from Both Sides, 2011.06.15. iOS 5, OS X 10.7 Lion, and iCloud sound great, but Apple is leaving another generation of Mac users behind.
- New Life for Old Lenses, 2011.06.07. With an adapter, Olympus 4/3 cameras can use lenses designed for old Olympus OM film cameras.
- My New Camera, an Olympus Pen E-P1, 2011.06.03. The compact interchangeable lens camera handles nicely and has great resolution.
- Introduction to Camera Lenses, 2011.04.13. Interchangeable lens cameras allow you to choose from a range of sharp lenses including a fast normal, a range of wide-angles and telephotos, and macros for close-up work.
- The iPad May Change Your Laptop Upgrade Plans, 2011.04.08. With a keyboard case, the iPad can become your low-end laptop, and that could have you looking at a larger notebook for Mac work.
- How to Choose Your Next Camera, 2011.04.07. As with computers, you have to determine your needs and find the model that best meets your needs.
- It's Time to Buy Apple Stock, 2011.04.06. The iPad really is for everyone. Also, falling in love with the Olympus EP-2.
- Pages and Photoshop Express on the iPad, 2011.04.01. Pages for the iPad works well but seems to be missing features. Photoshop Express is great for simple image manipulation.
- USB Card Reader Works with iPad, 2011.03.30. The USB card reader makes it easy to import images from the memory cards used in most digital cameras.
- Are CDs and DVDs Necessary Anymore?, 2011.03.28. The iMac eliminated built-in floppies. Is it time for optical drives to follow the same path?
- File Sharing Between Your Mac and Your iPad, 2011.03.25. You can use iTunes to sync your Mac and iPad, but what if you want to transfer just one or two files?
- Using Your iPad as a Writing Tool, 2011.03.22. The onscreen keyboard is adequate for short notes, but a real keyboard is better. Notes is an okay word processor, but there are better options.
- My New iPad: First Impressions, 2011.03.17. A longtime iPod touch user gets his first iPad, migrates his data, and looks at the differences between the two devices.
- My First Car Was a 1966 Volkwagen Van, 2011.03.16. Talk of VW's new Bulli minivan brings back memories of John Hatchett's first vehicle, a 1966 VW panel van.
- Awaiting My First iPad, 2011.03.14. A longtime Mac and iPod touch user decides the iPad 2 announcement makes this the perfect time to buy an iPad.
- Underwhelming iPad 2 Has a Silver Lining, 2011.03.11. The new iPad 2 is more powerful but just as limited as the iPad 1, which is now available for less.
- Pismo! Pismo! Pismo!, 2011.03.09. Newer 'Books have more power but a lot less flexibility than the PowerBook Pismo, introduced 11 years ago.
- When Bad Things Happen to Overly Impulsive People, 2011.02.23. You can hack OS X 10.5 Leopard to work with the iSub subwoofer, but then it might not work with other speaker systems.
- The Incredible Shrinking Flash Memory Card, 2011.02.11. John Hatchett ran across an old CompactFlash card the other day and compares it with today's microSD.
- 4G iPod touch a Big Step Forward, 2011.02.03. Over the holidays, John Hatchett replaced his first generation iPod touch with Apple's latest and greatest version.
- Verizon iPhone 4 or an Open Android Smartphone?, 2011.01.31. John Hatchett can finally get an iPhone thanks to Verizon, but he also finds the HTC Desire tempting.
- All I Want for Christmas Is a New iPod touch, 2010.12.08. Why John Hatchett wants a 4G iPod touch, and two gift giving suggestions for iPod and notebook users.
- Tiger Installation and User Migration with Target Disk Mode, 2010.12.01. How to install OS X 10.4 Tiger on a DVD-challenged iMac and migrate user data using FireWire Target Disk Mode.
- 2010 MacBook Air Thoughts: Third Time's a Charm, 2010.11.10. It turns out that you will be able to upgrade the SSD in the MacBook Air, which makes it an even better choice.
- Second Thoughts on the 2010 MacBook Air, 2010.10.29. The new MacBook Air is totally lustworthy, but its design pretty much rules out end-user repairs.
- $999 MacBook Air Can Cost $1,399, 2010.10.22. Tempted by that $999 11.6" MacBook Air? More RAM, a bigger drive, and a faster CPU quickly bump the price higher.
- Pismo Pink Screen of Death: Time to Rethink Things, 2010.09.30. The solution to pink screen: Find a replacement screen. The alternative: Use an external display, keyboard, and mouse with Closed Lid Mode.
- Bringing Back the Pismo, 2010.09.23. Rather than let a perfectly good iSub go to waste simply because it won't work with Leopard, John Hatchett pulled out the old Pismo for use with Tiger and iTunes 9.
- I've Got the PowerPC Blues, 2010.09.16. With new software dropping G3 support or designed only for Intel CPUs, the handwriting is on the wall: PowerPC fans will be left behind.
- Walking in the Clouds: Google vs. MobileMe, 2010.09.15. Apple's $99 per year MobileMe service syncs Macs and iOS devices to the cloud, but Google offers competitive services for free.
- Education Trends: Netbooks and iPads, 2010.09.08. "Two relatively new devices are going to make an impact on computers in education."
- New Feet for Old PowerBooks, 2010.08.16. The Pismo PowerBook was missing its four rubber feet. Replacing them was a very low cost repair.
- MacBook Pros and Cons: Leaving the Past Behind, 2010.07.12. Compared with PowerBooks, the MacBook provides a lot of power, but it leaves behind FireWire and swapping batteries.
- Tiger vs. Leopard: There Is a Clear Winner, 2010.06.16. If your Mac supports it, Leopard has some features that make it a better choice than Tiger.
- Perfect Notebook Accessories, 2010.05.26. A great field bag for carrying your stuff, and a simple, inexpensive cooling stand for your laptop.
- Leopard on a 12" PowerBook, 2010.04.19. The 12-incher was upgraded with 1 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.5 installed, and then user profiles were migrated from the Pismo.
- Touch Typing on the iPad: Possible, But..., 2010.04.12. Although it is possible to touch type on the iPad, it isn't easy. Here's why.
- What's Inside Your Man Bag?, 2010.03.30. A PowerBook, an iPod touch, a PSP 3000, a digital camera, and more - ready at a moment's notice.
- PSP-3000: A Cheap Skype Phone and Portable Web Browser, 2010.03.25. After trading in two PSP-1000s and a bunch of games, the store owed me money.
- No Money Down: The Resurrected PowerBook, 2010.03.23. The 12" PowerBook had a dead screen and damaged case, but thanks to donor parts it's now working as it should.
- Taking Apart the 12" PowerBook, 2010.03.17. There are a lot of steps involved in disassembling a 12" PowerBook. Proceed with caution.
- The Apple Patient, 2010.03.15. The used 12" PowerBook has a dead screen, missing key, damaged case, and minimal memory, but it does work.
- Apple's Almost Netbook, 2010.03.08. No, Apple didn't really make a netbook, but the 12" PowerBook G4 certainly came close - and with far less compromises than a real netbook.
- iPad Perfect for Handheld Computing, 2010.02.05. You can hold the iPad in one hand and operate it with the other, giving it real advantages over a laptop computer.
- The iPad Changes the Mobile Game, 2010.01.29. The iPad goes beyond Apple's Newton and iPod touch legacy to create a new and compelling mobile platform.
- SANE Plus Snac: An OS X Scanning Solution for Unsupported Scanners, 2010.01.12. If the manufacturer of your scanner doesn't have drivers for your current version of Mac OS X, these freeware programs might be the solution.
- Through a Scanner, Darkly Indeed, 2010.01.08. Got an old scanner that won't play nice with your Mac? Two scanning software solutions to keep the scanner usable.
- Netbook or Tablet? It's All About the Keyboard, 2010.01.06. The iPhone and iPod touch are wonderful devices, but for writing more than a few lines, you really need a keyboard.
- Market Strategy: Apple vs. Microsoft, 2009.12.15. Apple takes a vertical approach to integrating hardware, software, and operating system. Microsoft takes a horizontal approach to dominating the PC industry.
- To Hackintosh or Not to Hackintosh?, 2009.12.03. Apple doesn't make a netbook, and it would be so cool to have 'Leopard' on one. But is it morally right to put OS X on a Dell?
- Google Calendar with iPhone or iTouch Is Great for Scheduling, 2009.11.24. Web-based Google Calendar allows access and updates from any computing platform, including Mac, Windows, Linux, and iPhone OS.
- Replacing the Hard Drive in a Clamshell iBook, 2009.11.19. Yes, it is one of the most difficult Apple notebooks to disassemble and reassemble, but a 10 GB hard drive just will not do.
- Macintosh Remote Control with Chicken of the VNC, 2009.10.06. Sometimes you want to or need to control another Mac remotely. The free Chicken of the VNC program is a great tool for doing exactly that.
- Upgrading a Pismo PowerBook with a Slot-load Drive Salvaged from an iBook, 2009.10.01. Starting with a spare DVD-ROM module and the SuperDrive from a G4 iBook, the author ended up with a SuperDrive in his Pismo PowerBook.
- Why the 20" iMac Is Perfect for Home or School, 2009.09.29. The aluminum iMac has plenty of power and screen space, yet it's small enough and light enough to tote from place to place.
- Windows Woes: A Lesson from Boot Camp, 2009.09.21. Getting Windows installed, running, and activated is more work than this Mac user bargained for. Learn from his mistakes.
- Yes, iTunes 9 Will (Mostly) Run on G3 Macs, 2009.09.16. Apple says iTunes 9 requires a 1 GHz G4 for standard video, but many iTunes features work just fine on a 500 MHz G3 Mac.
- Kodachrome, the Olympus Pen, and the New 'Digital Pen', 2009.09.14. Kodachrome was the gold standard in slide films, and Olympus Pen SLRs were a great way to shoot it. The new Olympus E-P1 harks back to that legacy.
- Blue Clamshell iBook Ready for Action, 2009.09.03. Introduced nine years ago, the first iBook with FireWire is sturdy, a decent performer, and looks like no other laptop.
- School Year Means Clamshell iBook and Aluminum iMac, 2009.08.24. John Hatchett is getting a brand new 20" iMac at work - but the hand-me-down Clamshell iBook has him really excited.
- Nerd-vana? School Network Means Installing Windows on a MacBook, 2009.08.10. "My son is going off to college this fall. The campus intranet requires Windows as an operating system."
- You Might Be a Computer Geek If..., 2009.06.17. 20 signs that you just might possibly be a computer geek.
- More Power to Go: Snow Leopard, Safari 4, the iPhone, and the Internet, 2009.06.16. Last week's WWDC points to a future that is smaller and leaves behind Apple's legacy PowerPC hardware.
- Salvaging Parts from a Dead iBook, 2009.05.26. With a broken power plug, the iBook was unusable - but the RAM, hard drive, and optical drive can live on.
- Choosing My Next Low-end Desktop Mac, 2009.05.19. The recently deceased iBook G4 was going to take up desktop duty. Now the options are a G4 iMac, 17" PowerBook, Power Mac G4, and Power Mac G5.
- iBook Death, Skype on iTouch, and 3G MacBook Touch Rumors, 2009.05.15. The iBook G4 has reached its end, Skype is now available for the iPod touch, and indicators point to a 10" touchscreen MacBook.
- The AC Power Adapter Blues, 2009.05.11. Between cell phones, notebook computers, and other devices, we're going to bury the world in power adapters.
- The iBook Can't Replace the Hard Drive Blues, 2009.04.28. Replacing the hard drive in a Pismo PowerBook or polycarbonate MacBook is easy. But those iBooks are another thing entirely.
- iBooks on TV, Hard Drive Swaps, and Using an iBook as a Desktop, 2009.02.23. More in using iVoice III with a 1G iPod touch, moving hard drives between 'Books, and why it makes sense to use a notebook as a desktop computer.
- How to Use a 1G iPod touch as a WiFi Phone, 2009.02.18. All you need is a 1G iPod touch with 2.2 software, a microphone for it, the Fring app, and a Skype account.
- What's More Practical, a Netbook or an iPod touch?, 2009.02.12. While the netbook has a larger screen and a real keyboard, those things make it much less likely to be taken everywhere than an iPod touch or iPhone.
- Using New Tech with Old Tech, 2009.02.05. Yes, you can use a 2000 iMac, a Pismo, a G4 iBook, an iPod touch, and several new MacBooks together quite nicely.
- iPod touch and Pismo: Perfect Together, 2009.01.21. With a USB 2.0 card and Tiger, a 9-year-old Pismo PowerBook works beautifully with a new iPod touch.
- Old Macs in the New Economy, 2008.11.25. "We are the kings of making our computers last, last, and last some more."
- Backing Up Your G3 PowerBook Quickly and Easily, 2008.10.27. Who needs Leopard and Time Machine? With an expansion bay hard drive and the right software, you can have a bootable clone ready for use.
- Taking Apart a Tray-Loading iMac, 2008.09.29. There are a few tricks to getting into a tray tray-loading iMac, whether it's to upgrade the computer or strip it for parts.
- Taking Apart a PowerBook G3 (Lombard or Pismo) Battery, 2008.09.24. Step by step instructions for opening up a Lombard/Pismo battery to get to the lithium-ion cells inside.
- Reconfiguring and Repurposing a Power Mac G4, 2008.09.18. These 1999 'Sawtooth' Power Macs would be perfect for the science lab with more RAM, bigger hard drives, and a newer version of Mac OS X.
- There's Still a Place for G3 Macs in the Age of Leopard, 2008.09.09. Whether it's a sage iMac or a Pismo PowerBook, G3 Macs can be very productive with Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger'.
- iPod touch or Cowon A3: What's a Mac User to Choose?, 2008.08.25. For Internet access and integration with the Mac, the iPod touch is the way to go. But for media recording and playback, the Cowon has it all over the iPod.
- Mac Booty Rescued from Davy Jones' Locker, 2008.08.11. New iMacs at school means the older PowerPC Macs get redistributed - and the oldest Macs are abandoned.
- I Want a Mobile Phone, Walkie-Talkie, and VOIP Phone in a Single Device, 2008.08.05. Some cell phones provide two-way radio, Voice over IP is a reality, but so far nothing seems to offer all three services in one device.
- Bumps in the road for G3 Macs, 2008.07.28. MobileMe wouldn't synch with the Pismo, and Skype's software refused to install, but both problems were solved.
- Low end photography in the digital age, 2008.07.09. "If you can repurpose older computers, you can certainly use older cameras in a new universe."
- Wouldn't life be great with an iSlate?, 2008.07.04. PDAs and smartphones are too small for some tasks, full-fledged Tablet PCs are overkill, and ebook readers are too limited. Apple has the tech to own this niche.
- The Mac Future: Snow Leopard, MobileMe, and the iPhone/iPod touch, 2008.07.01. Apple will leave the PowerPC behind with OS X 10.6 while expanding the Mac's presence on the Internet and in your hand.
- Xubuntu on Pismo: It works, but it's not as easy as the Mac OS, 2008.06.16. Linux runs well enough on this old PowerBook G3, but something as simple as switching to another WiFi network can trip you up.
- Getting Xubuntu Linux up and running on your aging Mac, 2008.06.04. It took some doing, but the author's Pismo can now boot into Mac OS 9, OS X, and Xubuntu Linux."
- Tools for getting your vinyl records into iTunes, 2008.05.28. The old LPs longed to be played, but how do you use your old record player with your Mac?
- Up-to-date or low-end, we need technology in our schools, 2008.05.14. Modern computers are great educational tools, but sometimes less distracting options (like no Internet) make more sense.
- A very Pismo Christmas in April, 2008.04.30. Everyone maintaining a vintage Mac should have a parts donor, and sometimes the parts machine may have upgrades for your old Mac.
- Apple QuickTake digicam found, but how can you use it?, 2008.04.10. The old IT guy never threw away anything, the new IT guy found a QuickTake 150 while cleaning, and it won't work with modern Macs.
- Designing a better laptop: Look to the past, 2008.03.27. Modern Apple notebooks have less expansion and upgrade options than G3 PowerBooks from a decade ago.
- Stupid Pismo tricks, 2008 edition, 2008.03.24. Six uses for the weight saving device and how to use the Pismo as a DVD player.
- The Mac vs. PC debate, 2008.03.06. The debate has been raging since 1984, and the simple truth is that both types of computers do the same kind of thing, just a bit differently.
- Power your recycled laptop with a rebuilt battery, 2008.02.20. Old notebook computers usually mean old batteries that may be dead or on their last legs. You can buy a replacement battery, or you can have your old battery rebuilt.
- Recycle old computers by repurposing them, not retiring them, 2008.02.15. Old computers, especially Macs, may have a lot of life in them when we're done using them. What if we reused them for those who otherwise would have no acces to computers?
- Could a wireless dock be in the MacBook Air's future?, 2008.02.11. The MacBook Air is too limited in terms of connectivity, but what if Apple thought outside the box and created a MacBook Dock that connected by WiFi?
- MacBook Air: What do you do when there's no WiFi?, 2008.01.22. Every modern PowerBook had ethernet and a modem, but how do you connect the MacBook Air when there's no WiFi service?
- This old Pismo, 2008.01.08. Tips on upgrading a used Pismo for better performance under Mac OS X.
- It all started with an Apple IIc, 2007.12.19. The first computer was an Apple IIc, followed by some MS-DOS computers - and then discovery of the Macintosh.
- Why I can't buy an iPhone, and what I did about it, 2007.12.07. Thanks to Apple's exclusive iPhone deal with AT&T and no local AT&T wireless coverage, the author had to find a different solution.
- The Swiss Army knife of notebook Macs, 2007.12.06. The 2000 Pismo was the high point of PowerBook design and flexibility with a great keyboard, expandsion bays, two PC Card slots, and a wonderful curvaceous design.
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