What Is VPN?


If you aren’t sure if a VPN is something technical or a rock band, then the following info is for you.

Rather than connect directly to the internet, a  VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a service that allows you to connect to the internet via a server run by a VPN provider. You still have to have an internet service provider, VPN is an extra layer on top of that.

All data traveling between your computer, phone or tablet, and this “VPN server” is securely encrypted. As a result of this setup, VPNs:

  • Provide privacy by hiding your internet activity from your ISP (and government)
  • Allow you to evade censorship (by school, work, your ISP, or government)
  • Allow you to “geo-spoof” your location in order to access services unfairly denied to you based on your geographical location (or when you are on holiday)
  • Protect you against hackers when using a public WiFi hotspot
  • Allow you to P2P download in safety
  • Allow users to securely access a private network and share data remotely through public networks.

VPN services cost between $5 and $10 a month. You can find free providers, but remember you get what you pay for and a service that is free to you is making money somehow.

With VPN your internet provider will not know what you are doing on the internet. It can’t see your data because it is encrypted. It can only see that you are connected to the VPN provider.

Your VPN provider can know what you are up to so it is good practice to pick one that employees technical measures to protect you.

Your internet may slow down – it takes processing power to encrypt and decrypt data. However if you have strong and fast internet, you probably won’t notice a change.

It is legal for US citizens and in most other countries.

When choosing a VPN provider check their reviews.

When you share a VPN connection over a wireless network, every device that is connected to the network is automatically protected by the VPN.

This means there is no need to download and install VPN apps for each one of your devices.

You need:

  • an active VPN account
  • a computer connected to the internet through an ethernet cable or WiF.
  • Wi-Fi switched on on your mobile devices
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Minimalistic Totallee Leather iPhone Case is Classy

Company:  Totallee

URL:  totalleecase.com

Price:  $29

Sizes:  iPhone 6, 6 plus, 7, and 7 plus

Color:  black

Weight:  0.1 oz

Thickness:  0.02 inches

Warranty:  2 years

I really like this case.  It has a sophisticated look and feel.  It will fit with any charging stand you might prefer because of the thinness.  It is a “formed” type of case and yet it is made completely of lambskin leather.

There is just enough fold around the case edges that sit on the front of the case to provide minimal protection to your phone. I tested it on an iPhone 6s.  It turns out that I accidentally tested this protection when I dropped my phone face down on my kitchen floor.  It survived intact.

I will also mention that the packaging is very nice and makes a nice presentation if you want to give this case as a gift.

I personally have a preference for this type of case.  My lifestyle is such that I don’t need a heavy duty case and I do use a stand to charge my phone each night. I’m pleased to be able to use this one.

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Create eMail Templates Using Apple Mail on Your Mac

This tip is for OS X. If you find yourself sending emails with the same content over and over, create a template.

  •  Open Mail, click on New Message and enter the subject.
  • Enter the From email address, and create the message.
  • Don’t include any salutation, but leave a space for it if you plan on using one.

Sample Template

  • Select Save as Stationary from the file menu.
  • A window will open asking you to name your new stationary. It also tells you that your new stationary (template) will be saved to the Custom section of the stationary picker.
  • To use your template, open Mail and select New Message.
  • When a new message opens, click on the Show Stationary button in the top right corner. The stationary options will open.
  • Scroll down to Custom and you will see your template.
  • Click on it and add whatever additional information you wish.
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Correct Saved Spelling Errors

First of all, I hate that I had to go back to work. It really cramps my blogging time, but I do it when I can.

You have a private spelling directory on your Mac into which you can save unusual spellings or words that you use frequently. For instance, I always have to add Gravley to mine because spell check has a tendency to change it to gravely. Spell check uses the New Oxford American Dictionary as its spell check source.

When Spell check thinks a word is misspelled, it will underline it in red.  To add that word to your private directory, just right click and select Learn Spelling.

If you discover that you have saved a word that is incorrectly spelled, you can remove it. Here is how.

In the Finder window select Shift+Command+G.

A small window named Go To Folder will open. In the text field, enter ~/Library/Spelling  and tap the Go button.

This takes you to the Library Spelling Folder.

Choose the Local Dictionary folder. This takes you to your Local Dictionary file which is a simple Text Edit document. Check over your words and delete any words (and empty spaces) that need to be removed.

Now you are safe from your own foibles. Until you do it again. Doesn’t hurt to check it once in a while.




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Review: Memory Cleaner X

Review:  Memory Cleaner X, Version 2.0.5

Developer:  Nektony https://nektony.com

Cost:  Free (Available From the Apple Store)

Works With: Mac running OS X 10.8 or greater

What It Does:  Allows user to clear inactive RAM and free up space on your computer.

Rating:  Five out of five stars.

memorycleanerMemory Cleaner X Logo

 I am very impressed with this app. It is made by Nektony which also makes App Uninstaller, an app that I have used for several years.

Memory Cleaner X check for duplicates, junk, very old material, and unused applications. When you give it the go ahead, it cleans it all up with the tap of a key. If you have ever gotten the warning that you are running out of memory you are familiar with the problem.

The following is the image I got the first time I opened the App. Wow. I had almost reached that “full up” problem.


This next image shows my memory usage after I ran the program.


As you can see there is a great deal of improvement.

Two notes of importance – (1) out of 108 reviews on the apple store, 92 reviewers gave it a perfect 5 stars. (2) I have noticed that every time I play a game on my Mac, the application immediately deletes all the junk created by all those games I lost.


Works quickly and efficiently.

Frees up memory on your Mac by deleting old stuff.

Continues to monitor for additional junk to remove.

Has a high approval rating from other users.


None noted.

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Product Review: Bedside LED Table Lamp with Flower Vase

Product: LifeGrip LED Vase/Table Lamp

Location: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6BON7D

Price:  $20.99

Package Contents:  Vase Lamp, Micro USB cable, and small instruction manual.

Size:  4.7 x 4.7 x 5.8 inches.


Touch sensor  control with three options (high light, soft light, and graded light). Built-in rechargeable battery. 11.8 oz (350ml) vase capacity that holds water for live plants. Works for artificial plants as well. Charges with USB cable White shade and base. Vase looks golden when lighted.


This is cute, but practical product. It makes a nice, soft, nightlight or room light. It turns off and off with just a touch. I have used it with live flowers and artificial and it presents no problems for either.  For instance, it does not become too hot for live plants to thrive.

Lamp and Flowers

Lamp and Flowers

It is always dark when I get home from work – always. Prior to acquiring the Vase Lamp I left overhead lights on so that I could see when I came in. I find that the Vase Lamp works just as well in this capacity – and at a lot less cost.

I also think it would be great for a baby’s room. The ability to hold a baby and turn on the lamp with just a touch has to be an asset.

On the practical side, it is rechargeable and will operate 48-hours when fully charged. It is convenient for me to just keep it plugged in, but it is nice to know that should the power go out, I can still quickly have light.

I recommend this. It makes a sweet gift for a new mother or anyone else who would enjoy a “night light” that is decorative.



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Siri – The Administrative Assistant

You remember all those old movies where the boss was always a man and the secretary was always a woman who dressed in suits and high heels? At some point in the movie the boss would always tell the secretary to bring him coffee. Even as a kid I always wanted to tell him to get his own damned coffee. My problem was that the secretary was treated as a servant, not a professional.

Back in the 80’s I was CEO of an institution and had a lovely older woman as my secretary. She was an excellent professional and we worked well together. One day she was out and I was sitting at her desk writing her a note when a salesman came in. He sat on the edge of the desk, winked,  and said: Say, Honey, I don’t have an appointment but could you get me in to see the boss.”

My time had come! I informed him that there was no one working in that office named Honey. I told him I was the boss and then I told him to get off the desk and come back some time when he could behave like a professional. It makes me smile even today to remember that.

So, what you say, does that have to do with Siri and all the things Siri does for us daily. Probably nothing. I just love to tell the story to remind young women that (1) they too can be the CEO, and (2) if they are in a job where they are not respected, they can always find something else.

But, back to Siri. If you are using Siri on your Mac you can tell Siri to lower or mute the volume.  Say “mute the volume” and your sound will instantly be muted.  Proceed that with Hey Siri and you can mute the volume from across the room. Thanks Siri.

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