View Post

How To Set the Default Apps (Email, Browser, RSS) on a Mac the EASIEST Way Possible!

In Apple, Application, Fix It, General, How To, Software, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Using a Mac is pretty darn easy. The “walled garden” experience, much like with an iPhone or iPad, pretty much guarantees this. Until, of course, it isn’t easy. There is one seemingly simple setting on the Mac which is actually a lot more complicated (or even impossible) – that of setting the default application on the Mac. Want to choose Outlook instead of Apple Mail as your default mail client? I wrote a how-to about that. Back in 2014, I did a how-to on setting the default browser (it’s a bit easier to do that process now). But just recently, I discovered a great little app that solves the default application issue in a much easier way!

HighTechDad - How To set a default application on a Mac

There is often a manual way to set some default applications via the Mac Finder. But it is a bit clunky and doesn’t always work exactly the way you want. And, it’s a bit tricky to figure out how to set the default email app, or chose an RSS reader for site feeds, or define what you want to be your default FTP application to be.

Read More


View Post

MyHeritage DNA Lets You Easily Discover Your Ancestral Roots (Giveaway)

In Family, General, Giveaway, Parenting, Sponsored by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I don’t know where my parents are from. Let me rephrase that. I don’t know where my birth parents are from. That’s because I’m adopted. I DO know where the parents who raised me are from, and since I was adopted when I was a baby, I’ve always said my heritage was Irish and Russian. Now, thanks to an easy DNA test by MyHeritage DNA, I now know my background according to my DNA ancestry. (*Disclosure below.)

HTD MyHeritage DNA kit - unopened kit

Ever since I can remember, I have known that I was adopted. It wasn’t hidden away from me or not discussed. But I never knew many details. I believe that my biological mother was a nurse and my father was a teacher. And that their heritage was English and Polish. And that they were just too early on in their lives to properly take care of a child. So, they put me up for adoption.

Read More


View Post

DIY: How To Build Removable Cafe Lighting Posts that Attach to a Deck

In Fix It, General, How To by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

There is nothing better than relaxing outside on a deck at night…unless it’s pitch black and you can’t see the person you are talking to. This is one of the main reasons I decided to figure out a way to hang strings of LED cafe lights around our back deck. The problem was, I didn’t have any way to attach the lights. No walls or trees or posts to make my desire for nighttime ambiance to come true. So I decided to figure out how to do it myself. But I had specific requirements.

HTD DIY Deck Lighting Post - lit deck

The final result of my DIY deck lighting post creation!

For starters, I didn’t want whatever my final design was to be something permanent. I wanted to be able to take it down during the winter rainy season to protect the lights. Also, I wanted a way to easily eliminate a bunch of posts sticking into the air when we didn’t have the lights mounted. That was my primary requirement.

Read More


View Post

Hey Busy Parents! The Tovala Steam Oven & Meals Is Your Automated, Personal Chef (Review)

In Consumer Electronics, Family, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Parenting, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

As a parent of three girls, one of the biggest daily dilemmas my wife and I often face is answering the question “what’s for dinner?” I have to be honest here though, it’s truly my wife who handles the meals – the planning, the shopping, the preparation, and the cooking. Occasionally, on the weekend, I will spend a couple of hours cooking something, but the key word here is “occasionally.” It’s my wife who ensures we all have healthy, balanced meals. And there has been more than one occasion where she simply runs out of ideas or time. So when Tovala (affiliate link) approached me about their connected and automated steam oven AND a healthy meal plan, my ears perked up (and I started salivating). Technology PLUS yummy food? Wow! (*Disclosure below.)

HTD Tovala Steam Oven & Meals Review - meals and oven

I really don’t have many gadgets in the kitchen. A connected speaker or two, a TV, and that’s about it. But now, the Tovala steam oven holds some key real estate on the counter (and it has actually replaced our old toaster oven completely). The Tovala steam oven not only makes toaster ovens look completely outdated, it changes the way you cook.

Read More


View Post

How To Fix Track Changes in Microsoft Word 16 for Mac Reverting to “Author” [VIDEO]

In Apple, Application, Fix It, General, How To, Microsoft, Software, Video by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I must admit, I was a bit stumped by a Microsoft Word for Mac (version 16/Office 365) issue that my stepmom was having. She was under a deadline trying to edit a series of documents sent to her to review. She was NOT the author of the documents, so her comments and edits had to be marked as being from her. The problem was, she was making the edits, and then when she saved the document and reopened it, her name (as the “reviewer”) was simply being shown as “Author” and not as her name. This meant that when another reviewer opened the document, they wouldn’t know my stepmom’s edits from someone else’s. This was not a good thing.

HTD How to Fix Track Changes in Word for Mac reverting to "Author" - the issue

As with most support issues I encounter or am asked, I often turn to Google to see if others had encountered the same or similar issue. But herein lies a problem. Word for Mac and Windows have both evolved over time. And with each new version, there are subtle and not so subtle changes to the features and functionality. And there are platform differences. For example, on Mac, there is no Trust Center. And on top of that, what works on Windows often doesn’t on the Mac versions. So, in filtering and reviewing possible solutions, there are a lot of different types of “solutions” that may have worked in previous versions (or on different platforms) that don’t work in the current versions of Microsoft Word. It was a bit maddening.

Read More


View Post

Next Generation Neighborhood Watch – Share Security Videos via Ring Neighbors

In Application, Family, General, Safety, Security, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

About eight years ago, we had a rash of car break-ins in our neighborhood. Our community is pretty tight and friendly, and we often chat, neighbor to neighbor, as we take out the trash, work in the garden, get the mail, or walk the dog. We also had started a very informal, community email list to share important neighborhood information. The break-ins quickly circulated on this list. And, I checked one of my “new-fangled” security cameras to see if I had caught anyone. In fact, I did. (*Disclosure below.)

Early in the morning, someone came into our driveway and checked our car doors. I was one of the first people to actually have security cameras at my house. And using the night-vision feature of the cameras, I caught the guy in the act. I contacted our local sheriff and gave them a downloaded copy of the video for their records. And I also uploaded the video to YouTube and sent the link out to our neighborhood mailing list. This was the only way I could think of to share this critical content with my friends and neighbors.

HTD Car Break-in

Read More


View Post

Review: Kanex GoPower Watch Stand with Wireless Charging Base Charges 3 Apple Devices At Once

In Apple, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

We all know that waking up in the morning with fully charged devices is critical to a successful day. There is nothing worse than picking up your iPhone or Apple Watch, only to see that you only have a fraction of the battery capacity charged. Part of my nighttime ritual is to charge up my devices so that I’m ready to go in the morning, fully charged. But often that involves remembering to plug everything in every night. The nice thing about the Kanex GoPower Watch Stand with Wireless Charging Baseis that you can juice up three devices through the same charger, your Apple Watch, your iPhone 8 or X, and your Apple AirPods. The GoPower handles all three at once, minimizing the number of cables or charging docks on your nightstand. (*Disclosure below.)

HTD Kanex GoPower Watch Stand with Wireless Charging Base Review - in box

If you have an iPhone that supports wireless charging, that would be the iPhone 8/8Plus and the iPhone X, I would highly recommend making the transition to wireless charging if you haven’t already. With a compatible wireless charger, you simply place your iPhone on the charger and it magically starts charging. I must admit, I now have a few wireless chargers around my home and at work. It eliminates the need to have cables spread throughout the house. And many wireless chargers work with many of the newer smartphones on the market, not just iPhones.

Read More