Remembrances of Reviews Past

I want to bring you up to date and provide new information on some of my past reviews and stories. Too often you’ll read early impressions and rarely hear anything further. With more time first impressions often change, the novelty wears off, and new information comes to light.

Moving from Cable to Streaming

Living with streaming and giving up cable TV continues to be a positive experience with no regrets, and I’d recommend it to most everyone. Shedding the cable company for streaming services is cheaper and offers much more flexibility. All three TVs in our home now have the same interface and functionality using a Roku as our gateway to all of the streaming services. We mostly watch YouTube TV for network and local programs and Netflix and Apple TV for streaming movies and serials. YouTube’s unlimited cloud-based DVR like TiVo allows us to skip through commercials. Whatever favorites are recorded on one TV are available on all the others. While Apple TV has a very limited selection, it did have our top two favorite series: The Morning Show and Ted Lasso.

Superhuman Email

After four months of use I cancelled my subscription. While it did an admirable job in allowing me to prioritize and respond to my important emails, and empty my inbox everyday, I encountered too many limitations in composing new emails with its inflexible formatting options, near total dependency on keystrokes instead of a trackpad, and a few annoying bugs that crept up. I’m back to using Gmail and Apple Mail, both of which have improved. Superhuman, based on Gmail, did teach me a few tricks that I now use with Gmail, such as having an email returned to me at a specific time.

iPhone 12

The reviews are in and generally very positive, It’s the best iPhone series yet, although a small improvement over last year’s models. But many reviewerss have confirmed that 5G reception varies from non-existent to poor to occasionally good if you find a specific small area where it works and don’t move. All agree that it’s not a reason to upgrade. Reviewers rave about the camera on the Pro series, but find the battery life to be no better, and perhaps a little worse, than last year’s models. Probably the most talked about feature is the addition of imbedded magnets on the back of the phone. They allow a charging adapter to “snap” in place, much like the old MagSafe feature on MacBooks. A number of friends I know have chosen to upgrade, not to the 12, but to the 11 series which saves a few hundred dollars.

Face Masks

Everyone seems to be making masks these days.  One of the best designs I’ve come across is from Amy Kuschel, a clothing designer in San Francisco. The cloth masks are made from high quality fabrics, offered in a variety of tasteful designs. They’re available for men, women and children in assorted sizes and patterns.  They utilize a single strap that allows you to adjust it on your ears as well as hang it around your neck when not using it.  I’ve also been using the disposable Pure-MSK mask from Nanoair that claims to be nearly as effective as N95 masks with it’s proprietary nanofiber. It’s very comfortable to wear because of its light weight and a design that allows the mask to sit away from your face.

If price is no object you can get a custom designed and fitted face mask from Glaser Designs. The cost also includes a Zoom conference. Everything they build is done with an attention to design and craftsmanship that’s very rare.



by Phil Baker