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Brothers in Tech

Author: The MESH

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Do you find yourself serving as the go-to "I.T." person in your family? Or are you someone that tends to call other family members for technical support and would rather learn things on your own? Brothers in Tech is a weekly podcast focusing on home technology and provides help to the “default family IT person”. Hosted by Alan & Brian Jackson, a new topic will be discussed each month (main episode) followed by 3 weekly “deep dive” episodes (the B-sides) with additional information. Whether you are the person who everyone calls for tech support, are the person who is doing the calling, or simply interested in technology…this podcast is for you!
42 Episodes
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Whether you are wondering how technology can help achieve your health and fitness goals, trying to decide which tech equipment/sensors are worth paying for, or just wanting to hear Brian show off to his big brother? This episode is for you! In the first episode of our Health & Fitness series, the Brothers (well…Brian) discuss the benefits and features of wearables, and considerations you should make when purchasing. In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Garmin Instinct Solar ($399) fitness watch. Yes, it is expensive…but this solar powered fitness watch provides GPS, HR, altimeter, compass, accelerometer, temperature, pulse oximeter…and can provide up to 56 days of battery life. Great option for the outdoor fitness enthusiast.Alan’s Pick = Ted Lasso on Apple TV+.  Ummmm…a television show…on a fitness podcast.  In all fairness, the show does focus on soccer (sorry…English football), so I guess that is something. It is a great show though…Brian’s 2nd Pick (to make up for Alan): Wyze Band. Looking for a fitness band that provides a lot of great features (e.g., touch screen, HR, sleep monitoring, water-resistant, Alexa built-in, notifications) at an affordable price ($24.99)? Check this out.  We love what these guys are doing…Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
After listening to the first 3 episodes of our Audio series (which we know you have!), you have lots of ideas of how to obtain and listen to digital music…but maybe you are inspired to create your own? In the final deep-dive into the Audio series, the Brothers discuss what you need to enter the world of digital music creation. Although there is admittedly not a lot of musical talent between them (unless you count playing power chords or making mix tapes), Alan certainly seems to know what he is talking about. Brian is just along for the ride…In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = CDM (Create Digital Music): A great web resource for all of your music creation needs. Reviews of products, apps, and techniques (free website). Alan’s Pick = Focusrite Scarlett Solo: A great introductory USB audio interface. XLR (mic) and ¼” (line instrument) audio inputs ($110). Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Looking for a new home audio system, or wanting to find a way to bring your coveted stereo system into the digital age? This episode is for you! In the 2nd deep-dive of our Audio series, the Brothers discuss solutions for enjoying your digital music at home…with great sound. Plus, you get to hear why Apple’s HomePod reminds Alan of a toddler? Apple lovers might need to listen to the explanation before they send hate mail.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Rocketfish Wireless Rear Speaker Kit: If you are looking for a way to send your music to traditional speakers across the room (or outside) without running the speaker wire, this is a great solution ($120). Alan’s Pick = Apple HomePod: An impressive piece of hardware (with improving software) that provides a great listening experience in a small package ($299).Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Now that you have listened to our first show in the Audio series and are ready to enjoy your new music service…it’s time to look at the options for enjoying your tunes! In the first deep-dive into the world of audio, the Brothers discuss the various methods for personal listening, including an overview of the booming world of headphone technology. From over/in the ear, to noise cancellation/transparency, to Apple’s new spatial technology. And, Tim (Cook), if you are listening…which we know you are…Brian has a suggestion for the audio in your next round of tablets and phones.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Alan’s Pick = HOOXIN Airpods Case & Accessories Set: An inexpensive ($8.99) way of enhancing your Airpod experience, including a charging case cover, silicone headphone covers, and more..Brian’s Pick = Wyze Headphones: Although not out yet (pre-order), we love what this company is doing, and have high hopes for this affordable ($49.99) pair of over-the-ear wireless headphones. Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Audio and Music Services

Audio and Music Services

2020-09-2501:41:32

Still listening to you 8-track player in basement? Trying to record all of your favorite songs off of the radio? Wait…are you still listening to the radio? It may be time to step up your music game by using a music service. In the first episode of the Audio series, the Brothers discuss (and discuss…) the current state of digital music, and introduce the main music service options. Oh, and Brian has a rant about how today’s youth will never know the pain (and satisfaction) of creating the perfect mix tape for the love of your life…In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Shazam: Recently purchased by Apple, this app (iOS & Android…but will be built-in to iOS 14) allows you to find out the song name and artist of music that is playing around you.Alan’s Pick = TuneIn: Looking for a way of streaming real-time news/sports to your phone? TuneIn (Free w/ads and limited content, $9.99/month for premium access) provides you with channels (and podcasts) to enjoy on the go.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
So, you have listened to our first 3 episodes on digital video and have created some high-quality video clips, right? Well, now it is time to work some magic and turn them into the polished product. Check out the final deep-dive of the digital video series where the Brothers discuss software, process, & tips for video editing. Listen close, as Alan has some nuggets of wisdom that could save you a lot of time and heartache in the process! As always, the world-famous…and Brian’s only real contribution to the podcast.. “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Lumen 5: App that can easily convert “blog info” into video that can grab your social media followers’ attention (Free for 3 videos/month at 720p with a watermark…monthly service of $10 and up for additional features).BONUS = Crop feature in Zoom: Save yourself several steps in the editing and sharing your Zoom meeting videos by using the crop feature directly on the cloud recording.Alan’s Pick = Frame.io: Cloud-based collaboration tool (works with Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and others) that allows you to work on video and images as a team (Free for 2 users, 2GB storage limit).Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Want to take your video to the next level…or simply don’t want to fill your phone with footage? A dedicated camcorder, DSLR, or professional video camera may be the right move for you. In the second deep-dive into the world of digital video, the Brothers discuss the benefits of using a dedicated camera as your video camera as your capture device, and also share some tips for improving that experience. Oh…and Alan learns how to add sound effects to our podcast. You won’t want to miss that.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Deity V-Mic D3 (sold by Moment, $99): a shoe-mounted microphone for DSLR’s or camcorders (although will work with other devices due to 3.5mm jack).BONUS (aka, Alan’s correction to Brian’s BiTs): Rode Microphones…which Alan believes are better!Alan’s Pick = Atomos Ninja V: External storage and playback device (~$600). Record directly to the device (with your own storage added) and playback with the built-in monitor.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Can you create quality videos with your camera phone? Yes! Can you improve the quality of those videos with some additional steps and equipment? Absolutely. In the first deep dive into the world of digital video, the Brothers discuss tips for creating better video with your phone. Listen for some great advice from Alan in this episode…and for Brian to try not to screw it up.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = DJI Osmo Mobile 4 Smartphone Gimbal ($149) - Compact gimbal for mobile video. Trigger control (joystick, zoom, start/stop). **NOTE: B&H has a package where this can be used as a small tripod as well…and you can now find the Osmo Mobile 3 (previous model) for less than $100 if you are looking for a less-expensive option.Alan’s Pick = Filmic Pro ($15.00, iOS & Android) -  Mobile app that allows you to take your mobile video to the next level. Manual control, frame rates, image quality, audio, motion FX - entire ecosystem of other app (logging, film simulation with FirstLight, DoubleTake - two camera multi-cam recording, Remote - iPad control).Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Digital Video

Digital Video

2020-08-2801:30:30

OK…so Brian had his opportunity to show off on the Photography series...now it is Alan’s turn. Whether you are looking to simply capture family memories or create a video work of art, this one is for you! In the first episode of the digital video series, the Brothers (well…Alan) provide an overview of helpful video terminology and formats to get you project started.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = QuickTime (Free): Surprisingly powerful app for recording, playing, and simple editing of video. Although developed by Apple, it is available for (and works well on) Windows machines as well. **Screen recordings are easy to do…and useful for remote asynchronous teaching/presenting.Alan’s Pick = Handbrake (Free): A tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.   Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
So, you have taken some great photos on your camera or DSLR….now what? In the final deep-dive into the topic of digital photography, the Brothers discuss management of your photos/photo library, including:·      Organization·      Storage·      Sharing·      EditingIn addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Photoscape X (Free, Mac or PC). A really nice desktop photo editing app that delivers a lot of features typically available on paid apps (e.g., cut outs, touch-up brushes, etc). **A pro version is available for Windows ($40), but the free version offers most of what you need.Alan’s Pick = Gemini 2. Do you accidentally have multiple copies of files on your computer? Gemini will find duplicates of photos, music, and other files so that you can consolidate. $20 (Mac Only), or available as part of the SetApp subscription.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
If you are interested in jumping into photography more seriously, you may want to consider a DSLR (stand-alone digital camera)...and listen to this episode!  Learn about the types of DSLRs, pros and cons of using a DSLR compared to a mobile device, and the accessories (e.g., lenses) that can help to take your photography to the next level.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Pluto Remote Trigger System. A Bluetooth remote trigger control (flash shoe mount) in order to control from your phone. Cool presets for capturing water droplets, star trails, etc.Alan’s Pick = Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 10 v2.0 Camera Bag. A great minimal camera bag (larger sizes available for longer lenses) for your DSLR.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Want to take great photos, but don’t want to invest a lot in camera equipment? Today’s phones can be used to produce great images, if you know how to use them. In the first deep-dive into the world of photography, the Brothers discuss the ins and outs of mobile photography, and why Alan has given up on the standalone camera.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Moment mobile cases and lenses.  Prepare yourself…these are crazy expensive. But, if you are looking to create high-level images or video from your phone…this may be the gear for you.Alan’s Pick = University Cell Phone Tripod Mount Adaptor. Want to use your phone on a tripod…these clamps will do just that, at a great price.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Digital Photography

Digital Photography

2020-07-3101:28:51

Interested in photography as a career, hobby…or just hoping for better pics for your social media posts?  We have you covered.  In the first episode of the Digital Photography series, the Brothers discuss the distinctions between mobile and “traditional” (i.e., DSLR) photography, and what factors may make you want to proceed with one over the other.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = B&H Photo & Video: Great site for photography & video equipment (new & used).  **Not mentioned in the episode, but KEH is also highly recommended (and maybe even better for the professional photographers).Alan’s Pick = Manfrotto Monopod: When you don’t want to carry around a full tripod, this monopod is a great way of adding stability to your shots.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
So, you have listened to the episodes regarding email features and technologies…but now you need to get down to work. In the final deep-dive into the world of email, the Brothers discuss the philosophy and workflow strategy of GTD (Getting Things Done), as it applies to email.In addition, the “BiTs” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Alan’s Pick = Getting Things Done: A book (yes…an actual book) by David Allen with strategies/tips for being more efficient in your daily life (e.g., “stress-free productivity”). **Don’t worry…there is a digital version as well**Brian’s Pick = Canary Mail: Although still not Brian’s top pick for email client (which is reserved for Spark & Outlook Mobile), this email program (MacOS, iOS, WatchOS) has some nice features, including read receipts & contact profiles that might be worth checking out (included in the SetApp subscription, or $20 each for the desktop and mobile apps).Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Want to completely change the way you approach email? Or, prefer to burn email to the ground and start new? In this deep-dive into the world of email, the Brothers discuss some unique alternatives that are on the market, and give a peek into the future of digital communications. Alternative services discussed include:·      Hey·      Spike·      SlackIn addition, the “BiTs” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Alan’s Pick = Lunch Train: Slack add-on in which you can choose whether to participate or opt out of scheduling discussions (e.g., if you cannot make the scheduled event).Brian’s Pick = USPS Informed Delivery: All of this talk about digital communication has given “snail mail” a bad rap…but the postal service has stepped up their game a bit by giving you the option of receiving an email showing you the mail you will be receiving that day.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Although all email clients will let you create, view, and reply to emails…there are some exciting features that newer apps are beginning to implement that you might want to give a try. In this deep-dive episode, the Brothers discuss some of the common problems/issues that we have with traditional email, and some of the new features that are working to solve them, including:In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Spark: An email client (iOS, MacOS, Android, **Windows version in development) with some nice features (e.g., smart inbox, calendar, snooze, teams) that you might want to give a look. Alan’s Pick = MailButler: Happy with your current email client…but want some additional features?  This add-on app will add some useful extensions (e.g., email tracking, send later, notes, tasks, snooze) so you can “upgrade” your current client.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Email

Email

2020-07-0301:03:40

Email. You may love it…you may hate it…but you almost certainly have to use it. In the first episode of their new topic, the Brothers discuss the pros, cons, and future of the popular communication medium.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Microsoft Outlook Mobile: You may have experience with Outlook on your computer (which might not have been a pleasant one), but if you haven’t checked out Outlook mobile (iOS & Android)…you should. Alan’s Pick = Apple Mail (MacOS): Really stepped out on a limb here. He is a big fan of Apple’s built-in app…but let’s be honest, he was really excited about back-up strategies.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
After talking about your more traditional computer systems - like Mac and Windows - in previous episodes, the boys turn their attention towards a unique computing platform called the Raspberry Pi. Alan describes some of it's interesting uses and what makes this type of computer very interesting, although not necessarily for everyone.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Alan’s Pick = RiseVision: A digital display platform for spreading messages, images and videos across a network of screens that can use the Raspberry Pi as it's delivery vehicle.Brian’s Pick = CanaKit Raspberry Pi Starter Kit: A great package, including some helpful accessories and adapters, for those interested in starting with the Raspberry Pi.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Megabytes? Gigabytes? Terabytes? The numbers can be daunting. In this deep dive into the world of computers, the Brothers try to make sense of the specifications that you should know if you are looking to purchase a new machine, including:·      Processors·      RAM·      Hard Drive·      PortsIn addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Alan’s Pick = MacTracker: An app (Mac only, free) that will provide you all sorts of cool information about older macs. Pics, specs, and OS capability…pretty cool.Brian’s Pick = DaisyDisk: An app (Mac only, $9.99) that can visually map your hard drive to show you what files are taking up a lot of space, and easily allow you to delete them. **WinDirStat is a good Windows version (free).Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
So you are thinking of buying a new computer? Now that you have learned about the various form-factor options (episode 6.0), now it is time to think about what operating system (OS) is right for you. In the first deep-dive into the world of computers, the Brothers discuss the pros and cons of the major OS options: Windows Mac Chrome Linux In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions): Brian’s Pick = Fantastical: An outstanding calendar app (Apple devices only…Mac, iPhone, iPad) that not only improves the native calendar experience (e.g., natural language input, layout), but brings a useful menu bar calendar to your system. Limited free version (& trial), subscription full version (~$4/month). Alan’s Pick = CleanMyMac: An app (Mac only, obviously) that performs some great maintenance scripts to keep your computer running smooth, as well as provides access to helpful information/tasks in the menu bar. $34.95 (1 license), or part of the SetApp subscription. Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
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