hidden gems in the latest Apple event

When Apple presents something, it’s worth to take a second (and a third) look at what’s on stage…

This time I noticed the MacPro’s in two computer racks (and I do think they run a customized in-house version of OS X server, to justify the raw power they can provide and… that incredible and beautiful transparent polycarbonate chassis holding a pile of 5 Mac Mini. Which is not the first time I see in use by Apple.

Did you notice something else?

repairing an overheated Apple Time Capsule

After some years of work without issues, my Time Capsule begun to show some trouble with fan going on at full speed. Then in the last week of August it has suddenly died with a looooooong beep.

In this video it’s been show how-to correctly disassemble an Apple Time Capsule and clean / recondition a faulty fan. From a technical standpoint the entire process is a PITA and to me it’s a real design error the placement of the unique fan and the fact that in the Capsule there’s no opening on the top to facilitate the heat dissipation!

Creative Outlier One – my review

When at the end of November the Creative’s newsletter informed me of the release of their new Bluetooth’s headphones – the Outlier One – I was suddenly interested.

The idea of an iPhone upgrade was in the air, but also my original Apple EarPods headset was beginning to wear out after the mistreatment of the last four months, when I always carried them in a pocket of my jeans or at my ears. Also, some misadventures with 3,5″ jack of cheap / made in Chine products and my MacBook Pro were addressing me to a wireless solution for my next headset

The technical data of this product are appealing: 9.5 hours of listening, sweat and humidity resistance (up to IPX4), microphone and vocal commands support, just 15 grams of weight and the flat cable, useful for avoiding its entanglement. And, like the  Aurvana InEar3 kit I bought years ago, I had the impression that Creative applied really good design and engineering in the making of the audio drivers of the headset.

creative-outlier-one__explodeSo, given also a promotional, discounter price for the launch of the product on the market, I went on the purchase over Creative’s marketplace

I took two kits, one for me and the second as a Christmas present for my brother. A couple of days before Christmas the doorbell rang and here they were!

The packaging is curated. Inside we can find 3 pairs of grommets so to have the best in-ear fitting. This time I am using the smallest one, while in other models – and Aurvana too – I am more comfortable using the medium size. Also we have a practical sachet to place the headset and the short USB cable you’ll have to use for recharging.
More, you have a little nipper to fix the headset to your t-shirt (or shirt) as a security fix and a circular grommet instead of the ‘comma-like’ ones you can see in the photo above. The latter, and the nipper, are a must during your fitness routines…

Creative Outlier One – what you get

Usage impressions

The User’s Manual is … bare minimum. The bluetooth pairing procedure is simply illustrated in the folded printed version you can find inside the package.
I was a bit disappointed in finding you can pair just one device. So when you arrive at your office you can’t simply switch the device for usage with your computer, and then back again with your phone when you’ll go home.
Probably this is the main issue I have with them. I was expecting to have a more ‘clever’ device, given the maker and the regular price tag.

Since we’re at it, another concern is the quality of my voice as listened by my interlocutor during phone calls … most of the times the microphone is a little under or behind my neck, and that distance affects the quality of the audio. This was clearly verifiable coming from months of original Apple headphones usage … less annoying as times goes by. I also have to say that only in a couple of calls in the last weeks my interlocutor asked me to repeat what I was saying, but maybe poor signal was another cause of that!

Where these Outlier One shine, in my opinion, is in music reproduction !

Since December I am using Deezer, with a premium account and the audio quality is set to the max … I find absolutely relevant the involvement and the dynamic range offered, at least equal to that of products with a cost two or three times higher I had the chance to try in these last years.

I find absolutely relevant the involvement and the dynamic range offered by those Outlier One, at least equal to that of products with a cost two or three times higher I had the chance to try in these last years.

And if you can modify the equalization of your music streams, helping the flat sound of modern recordings of the digital/streaming age, you’ll get some WOW moments …

[On a side-note, I am truly finding the music streamed by Deezer somewhat superior to the Spotify Premium account I am accustomed to … and probably later this year I’ll move my subscription. Not to mention the quality of the playlists … but that’s a topic for another post].


With a strong promotional lauch offer (they were put on sale December 13, 2017) the Creative Outlier One will cost you 31,99€ each – against a regular price of 39,99€. Also they have introduced a nice-price you take a kit of two.

Buying the Creative Outlier One with a prior registration to the Creative’s website, you’ll be part of a fidelity program that’ll give you points, and later discounts, for your next purchases on their ecommerce. Of course you’ll be part of a newsletter that I can confirm will get you some promotions days before the mainstream public.

Of course, if I’m here to propose them, my judgment is very positive – especially at the current price.
At the end I’m using them with great satisfaction even if only for music reproduction (at home or when I’m walking around) and I always carry them with me. No other pair of headphones get this result with me!

Keeping ads out of my browsing with Pi-Hole

After discovering this project, I brought a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B from french company Kubii and started configuring it. I’m struggling to make it work, but I fear that the problem is with the wi-fi setting of my Raspbian connection.

Anyway give an eye to the Pi-Hole project

The Pi-hole is an advertising-aware DNS server that prevents ads from being downloaded. Once installed, configure your router to have DHCP clients use the Pi as their DNS server and then any device that connects to your network will have ads blocked without any further configuration. Alternatively, you can manually set each device to use the Raspberry Pi as its DNS server.

fixing the fast Touch-ID

There is only one way to use Touch ID with one hand — the thumb. And so being told to use another finger undermines the beauty of Touch ID: single hand access. Another finger means difficulty in opening the phone on the subway, while carrying a baby, babies, dogs, groceries.

Craig Mod on his Can no longer abide Touch ID → piece over Medium spoke the ultimate words on that crazy Speedy Gonzales behavior of its iteration on the iPhone 6S …