Sunday, June 23, 2019

Streaming to iPads and iPhones

 In spite of my enthusiasm for the iPad and iPhone, there is a problem in that you cannot stream to these devices from Apple’s iCloud.

That is just plain unsatisfactory.

You need a place where you can safely keep files and also stream them.    Ideally you also need a backup place for them away from internet.

Using Amazon music, streaming is fine, but it is complicated to download and keep a backup.

On the other hand, Google offers such a cloud space.

There is also another nice choice.      It turns out that Microsoft's OneDrive can also be used for the purpose.     

On OneDrive you establish a folder called Music, and simply upload to it.      

So both Google and Microsoft offer least cost cloud storage options.

A Cure for Copper Deficiency

 This posting is a little outside the mission of this website, but I believe it is important.

I accidentally came across a cure for copper deficiency, a very serious condition with which I was diagnosed two years ago.

A number of neurologists had failed to identify the condition until a dedicated PennMedicine physician finally nailed it.

After working for an hour to identify all the symptoms, this neurologist asked me to take a short walk with him in the hallway.      He expressed surprise that I had literally no balance whatever, one of the main symptoms. I said tell me about it.

He then asked me to go up and get a blood test immediately.    I asked him what he thought the condition was. He said he was not telling until he saw the result.

The blood test for copper is rarely given to anyone simply because the condition is rare among the general population, in spite of the fact that it may affect as much as 20% of the senior population.

Copper deficiency not only results in loss of balance and loss of muscle, but is also associated with eventual Alzheimer's.     (Nobody knows if it is a major contributor to Alzheimer's because the test is rarely given.)

The condition had been treated experimentally at Mayo Clinic and the University of Pittsburgh with infusion into the bloodstream.   Unfortunately I could not find a doctor willing to do infusion. It can be dangerous.

I resorted to copper supplement pills which never worked over a period of 2 years as symptoms became worse..

Then a strange thing happened.

I happen to love cashews, and spying large can of them in Costco led me to try a can.    I went overboard and finished them off in a few days, after which I coincidentally had my regular copper blood test.

My copper had moved up almost toward the edge of normal.

I don't have a regular doctor, but my nurse practitioner suggested that I explore copper rich sesame seeds.

I bought a $24 blender, two bags of sesame seeds, and started making sesame milkshakes with a quarter of a cup to 1/2 a cup of seeds per day, using almond or cashew milk, plus a little chocolate to make it tasty.    I refrigerate for a day before using.

In 10 weeks my blood test for copper was middle of normal.

My nurse practitioner then sent me out to restore muscles with physical therapy, starting with gradually increasing weights on a mat, and eventually moving on to a variety of exercise machines, mainly to strengthen the weakened core muscles.

I think we had high hopes, but very limited expectations.

However, the machines became easier and easier for me as I increased the weights,  as can be done methodically with exercise machines as opposed to other more limited physical therapy.     Pain subsided.

I am cured of copper deficiency and gaining strength.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Resurrecting an old Tablet

 I recently was given two old 10”  Android tablets. I sold the non-working tablet on eBay for $25 to someone who knew better than I how to fix it.

I then bought a working tablet for the same $25.      It worked, but slowly.

Turns out there is an easy fix.       You hold down start and volume down until you got the choice to clean out the cache, volume down again to select, volume up to confirm.    Fixed.

The old tablets then worked as well as they did the day they were sold for 5 years ago for $400.

They had just gotten bottled up with numerous updates.

I came across two more such tablets at giveaway prices, one at $27, one $35.

While they cannot match an iPad, all these can do most everything except stream CBSN  or Reuters live. They do stream YouTube, but not YouTube TV.

While they cannot run the newer apps, they can usually run an alternative from the browser.     Once a browser shortcut is set up on the home screen, the shortcut performs just like an app.

While a bit slow on Wi-Fi, that shortfall does not show up on email subscriptions to media.

They come into their own mainly as nice big readers for Kindle, Google Play, and library books via Overdrive, plus Gutenbooks. Librivox, and Moon Reader.   Pandora and Spotify and Google Music also run fine.

These can be set up for easy use by anyone.

Tapping brings up choices and searches.

The best browser is often the browser that came with them such an old tablet, but also Opera and Firefox on a few.    

Running the Internet Archive from the browser then opens up an enormous wealth of media of all kinds.    This is a wonderful and underused resource.

So they are still great media machines, even though they are slow in browsing.    

The devices I evaluated were three Asus Eee Pad Transformers and one Samsung.   Despite their age, battery life was still excellent, They all run office apps.

Left is a page from Crime and Punishment for reading or listening.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Keeping Tabs on Tablets

 The iPad is by far the best suited computer device for seniors.

I say that even though I probably use my iPad only once a month.     That is because I have most of the best alternative devices for any given specific task..

What makes the iPad so appealing is that it can handle almost all those tasks at a price which is impossible to beat.      Other tablets simply do not measure up. The iPad can serve as your only computer.

The only downside is that it's big to lug around---but that does not stop most seniors from doing exactly that..  Many especially love it because of its ability to take pictures and show them to others.

I like to have something that's so small and portable that I scarcely am aware that I am carrying it.      My little iPhone SE even works with my hearing aid.

So what do we do  nowadays with tablets?     A lot more than email and texting.

I have digital subscriptions to newspapers and journals.       I have all my music available, of course. But what's new?

Newly I have added YouTube TV,  which offers all the channels I like,  including the local channels. The benefit is that I can access these channels anywhere, and listen to their live or recorded content at any time.    I can newly control our Roku TV.

I also access to radio stations anywhere.

I do much of my book reading on the small phone,  which will read out loud to me with a downward swipe of two fingers.    I can be reading a number of books at the same time without having to carry them around.   When nearby, I do my reading on the tablet. Or, when I need a larger screen I go to a small Chromebook most frequently, and then even to a PC.

I still occasionally use an old Nexus 7 2013 tablet, still a wonderful tablet.      My wife and daughter prefer theirs over all others. Every once in a while one breaks and needs to be replaced,

With all of them, much of what I do now is done with voice.

If I had to do with one device,  the iPad would certainly suffice.   it wins hands down as the best all around device out there.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Moving Away from Cable

 Three things happened at once to move us from cable TV to streaming media.

Our 10 year-old TV started having problems---we soon discovered that large-screen new sets with excellent picture quality now come at an extremely low price, as low as $230 for a 43-inch set.    Ours is now a 4K Roku TV, enabled for easy navigation of Internet offerings.

Then, our daughter and son-in-law cut off their cable when their cost exceeded $200 per month.   That caught our attention.

Then, Consumer Reports came out with a guide to free internet streaming, listing a wealth of free movies.

We were surprised at the difference in what is NOW available on the internet as compared to cable channels,  even though we had dabbled in Internet long ago with Netflix.

We had moved from a very limited selection of media to an exhaustive encyclopedic availability of things to watch.    Live and on-demand.

It got clear that the world is moving away from cable TV to internet, especially younger folks.     

The abundance of cable TV ads for medicine attests to a primary remaining viewership of seniors.

We installed YouTube TV in order to watch local channels and view whatever and whenever we wanted.    Our internet connection is now direct from ethernet as opposed to Wi-Fi. That gave us the bandwidth we really needed for 4K.

We can now watch anywhere from tablet or smartphone,  even with sound direct to hearing aids.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Delusions About Dementia Care

Tap or Click to Read About Dementia Care

But don't get discouraged.     Dementia will go away, like tuberculosis not that long ago, perhaps as already done in trials with mice, by controlling enzymes and restoring memory.    Research is hot.

Meanwhile, the questions about the viability of memory villages relate to whether they are proven effective, medically accredited, financially feasible, and finally, exposed to, and insured against, major liability.     

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Seniors Lose Out on Nutrition and Exercise

This is bad. Even where the resources are available, seniors fall behind in nutrition, exercise, and physical therapy.

The reasons are many.    Two of these are lack of awareness and lack of access.That happens even in the best of communities.      Here, wellness activity has been dropping, and now physical therapy is falling.    

As for nutrition, awareness was brought home to me when I found that I had two serious deficiencies despite great food.      

How could that happen?

I get all the regular blood tests, but those that show copper and iron deficiency we're not normal tests over the years, until two doctors called for them.

The copper deficiency could not be treated with medicine, but is now responding to nutritional changes, as well the iron deficiency.

My current doctor simply says that nutritional deficiencies are way underestimated in the general population, although the Millennials are much more aware.

Tap or click for more about this...

Anyway, without nutritional changes, I was headed for severe problems, and the community with support costs, as my health deteriorated.   Copper deficiency leads to Alzheimer's.

How many others around me are unaware?

The same lack of awareness applies to wellness:  exercise.

Exercise activity here is falling, and now we also face a drop in physical therapy.     Our local facilities have been largely moved to a different location, and are also aggravated by renovation activity.

So what is the answer?

The most important answer is that awareness must be raised.    Each of us, and the community in which we live, need to proactively reach out to get these concerns addressed.    

That will cut the costs of Medicare!