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How To Easily Change the iOS iTunes Backup Location to an External Hard Drive & Save Tons of Space

In Apple, Application, Fix It, General, How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

New iOS devices are starting to come with a ton of storage. Take the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max. You can get a configuration up to 512GBs! That’s a lot of storage! And who doesn’t like having a ton of space for videos, photos, music, or movies? Well, if you do local iTunes backups (which is what I recommend doing) — you are making regular backups, right? — you may suddenly discover that there is not enough space on your Mac to do backups anymore. This can be maddening! Luckily, with a little bit of work, you can change that default location for your iTunes backups to an external USB hard drive. And I’m going to show you how to do this easily.

HighTechDad Change iOS Backup Location in iTunes - title

First off, I would recommend having a dedicated (or really big) hard drive that you can use for your future iTunes backups. There are a ton of options available, but I would recommend having at least 1TB just to play it safe. A quick search on Amazon for 1TB USB hard drives has quite a number of options for around $50. For a 2TB external USB drive, you are looking at about still less than $100 for that peace of mind.

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Bring Your Kids To Work Every Day with the Nixplay Iris WiFi Cloud Digital Frame

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

I remember Bring Your Child To Work Day. When my kids were little, packing up their gear and snacks for an “adventure” at Daddy’s office was always fun. I only did it a few times as it’s often hard to keep them occupied all of the time. Also, an hour-long commute is sometimes hard for little legs, feet, and bladders. But now I bring my teenage girls to work every day. Not physically but digitally with the Nixplay Iris WiFi Cloud Digital Frame. (*Disclosure below)

I have reviewed Nixplay before. And since that review, I have come to expand the number of connected digital frames we have. Now my parents have Nixplay frames in their homes, and my wife actually managed them. This is nice because only “approved” photos appear on the grandparents’ frames.

HighTechDad Nixplay Iris Digital WiFi Frame Review - frame

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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