Overheating iPhone 7 Plus

apple_iphone_7_and_iphone_7_plus_smartphonesOn Wednesday of last week, just before going to sleep, I wanted to watch a few Youtube videos first. Upon playing the first one the audio on the phone was making a loud static noise… almost like a record skipping. At first I thought, being sleepy, that it was just the one video. So I tried another sure thing, it was there as well. I tried audio from the Music app and could hear it, although far less distinctly.

So I stopped by the Apple store first thing in the morning as I did not have an appointment and managed to see someone almost right away. Yet, just like taking a car to the mechanic, everything was fine. They ran all the tests they could think of and everything passed. Sure enough, as I tested my phone for the rest of the day the audio was sounded normal. Except that now, the phone was running hot and the battery draining significantly faster.

I tried the initial basics of hard resetting the phone and clearing out all of the background applications. Initially after that everything was fine, but, as I started to use the phone it heated up again, so it had to be one of the apps. So, why not the one that seemed to cause all the trouble in the first place?

Youtube.

I deleted the application, restarted the phone and then reinstalled Youtube. No more heat problems since. While I would really love to know what the issue was that caused the audio anomaly the phone is working as expected.

The excitement never ends.

Disneyworld/Universal 2016

Taken at the All Star Music resort in Orlando Florida.

Magic in the distance

The following is a tale about Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Hurricanes and a vast difference in customer service.

First. Proof that there are good people. I lost my wallet in Epcot. Noticed after I made it pat the US pavilion. I checked everywhere I had been as I had only made it into the park 30-45 minutes prior. Foolishly all my credit cards were in there, all my identification. Before going to park myself at Lost & Found I wandered into the gift shop, near the US pavilion and there it was. A very nice, kind lady had turned it in. Everything inside.

This trip was my fourth time in Orlando enjoying the parks. As always, more time was spent at Disneyworld than at Universal. However, I decided that I wanted multiple days at Universal this time so that I could say on premises and see The Blueman Group for the first time. Unfortunately, a hurricane named Matthew, had other things to say about that.

Disneyworld and Universal both shut down on Thursday, October 6th at 5PM and for only the 4th time since it opened, Disneyworld was completely closed on Friday, October 7th. My original schedule had me at Universal on the 7th doing the parks and Halloween Horror Nights with the express pass. I managed to get the express pass and more moved to the 8th before things got worse.

Next I come to a prime example of the difference in customer service between Disney and Universal. Disney had people, from a safe location, answering phones on Thursday afternoon and Friday so that guests could know what is going on. They provided regular updates via the website and even put voicemails on guests rooms. Everyones stay was automatically extended beyond check out to keep people safe.

Universal? Late Thursday evening a voicemail was put into place. Across all numbers stating that due to the hurricane and the safety of guests/staff the park is closed and more information will be given soon. The message continued throughout the night and ALL through Friday… No further updates on the website or with that voicemail being changed.

Now I completely, 100% understand wanting to ensure the safety of staff. Completely. But Universal is a big company. They have people on phones in other locations. They have the ability to remotely update voicemail or have people change the website. All people want in a situation like this is just a little bit of information.

It all worked out (minus the Blueman Group part) in the end and I did have a very nice time at Universal/Islands of Adventure and the Halloween Horror Nights.

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Clever sign use. One of the HHH nice touches.

Just a quick tip regarding Halloween Horror Nights in either California or Orlando. Get the express pass or don’t waste your time going. Yes, the express pass is more than $100 on top of what you already paid, but, how valuable is your time? This year Orlando had 10 houses and with the express pass I saw all 10 as well as the Bill & Ted Halloween show. I also had time to relax, get something to eat and do a few rides.

Without the pass you would be lucky to see three houses and don’t plan on doing rides or seeing the shows unless you want to reduce that to two houses. The lines can be long, up to 90 minutes long for a house that will take you 4 minutes to walk through.

Such a rambling post.

A Few iPhone 7 Plus Thoughts

iPhone 7

There is no such thing as magic.

Apple does not, has never, released major innovations every year.

Not everyone buys a new phone every year (like myself) and perhaps this “boring” release is an upgrade to them from a 5 or a 5S?

At the end of the day there is only such much you can do with the form factor of a phone.

The camera on a smartphone is the most important part to me so it’s a major factor in my regular upgrades. I do not want to lug my DLSR around with me on trips anymore and the phone takes the kind of pictures I’m looking for.

Is this a holding pattern year for Apple? Clearly. Next year is the 10th anniversary so if you’re holding out the next one is going to be something special.

Education

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It’s not easy sometimes to keep up with all of the latest technology but I have to for my line of work. Thankfully there is a lot of great, free, tutorials across the Internet. I’m going to post a few here which I’ve shared with colleagues.

Docker

Official Self Paced Training: https://training.docker.com/self-paced-training

Docker Containers: http://containertutorials.com/

Ansible

Free Ansible Webinars & Training: https://www.ansible.com/webinars-training

Ansible Tutorials: https://hackr.io/tutorials/ansible

Another Ansible Tutorial: https://codereviewvideos.com/course/ansible-tutorial

Vagrant

Getting Started: https://www.vagrantup.com/docs/getting-started/

Vagrant & Ubuntu: https://www.howtoforge.com/tutorial/ubuntu-vagrant-install-and-getting-started/

AWS

Now the following link is not free, but I’ve used this site to gain my knowledge of AWS which has helped me a lot in my job and recommend them highly.

https://acloud.guru

Passwords

While I do not believe there is such thing as being “completely secure” on the Internet there are many best practices which can make you safer.

  • Never use the same password for more than one website, etc.
  • Never use an easily guessed password.
  • Use 2-Factor authentication wherever possible.

I’m including a link which goes over the top passwords of 2015. As it states, if you find one of yours in this list it’s time to change it.

The Top 25 Passwords of 2015

Disneyland Tips & Tricks

 

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I have been to Disneyland many times as an adult since 2010 and wanted to write this first post with some tips and tricks that I have picked up over the years. While some of these apply to those travelling with children, the majority are for adults visiting the parks.

Travel

I cannot stress more highly that if you’re able to, avoid flying into LAX (Los Angelas International Airport). Fly into SNA (John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana). It is much smaller, calmer and closer to Disneyland.

However, due to the size of the airport and when you want to arrive/depart you might have to land in LAX. I recommend, given that they are under major construction, to give yourself some extra time to get around.

Transportation

I have almost exclusively used Super Shuttle when traveling to Disneyland from either LAX or SNA. From LAX the ride is $17 and from SNA the ridie is $14. In all of my trips I’ve never waited more than 10-15 minutes for a van to arrive. My rides back to the airport are also with Supershuttle, which sends you a convient text with their estimated arrival time.

There are other options like the ride sharing services (Uber, Lyft, etc), taxies and such, but, the cost and convenience of just using the Super Shuttle van option trumps them all for me. You can either book your Shuttle pass ahead of time or pay the drive upon drop off.

If you are staying at a Disney hotel you can arrange for a shuttle ride from the airport. This, I believe, costs $25 for the one way trip. I have found, however, you can sometimes wait longer, it costs more. Even at Disney hotels I have opted for Super Shuttle instead.

Accommodation

If you are not staying at one of the Disneyland hotels then I recommend staying as close to the main entrance as possible. If you are looking to be more budget concious than the three Disney hotels, I recommend choosing one in this particular area:

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Here you will minimize your walking to and from the park. One of the best things that I started doing in my trips is not spending ALL day at the park and taking some time to relax in the afternoon. The closer your hotel is the better for that.

The Grand Californian

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This was the first Disney hotel that I stayed at and I admit it has really spoiled me for the rest. While it is the most expensive of the three it has some significant advantages as well. The first is the proximity to California Adventure which it shares a private entrance that guests of the hotel can use for magic mornings and on other days an early thirty minute entrance to California Adventure.

Cost per night for a basic room (changes seasonally): $379

Disneyland Hotel

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Expensive, but worth every single penny. It has the most “all encompassing” feel to it that you get in the reports at Disneyworld in Orlando. One of my favourite things about Disneyworld is that you’re completely wrapped in Disney the entire trip. This is difficult to do at Disneyland due to the nature of the hotels or staying off property. With the Disneyland hotel, it has a very Disney feel to it and you walk directly out of the hotel and into Downtown Disney.

Cost per night for a basic room (changes seasonally): $329

Paradise Pier

While some people might consider this to be the “budget” Disney hotel, it cannot be considered as such. You are still looking, depending upon the time of year, a minimum cost of $259 a night for the most basic room. Given the cost I would recommend jumping up to the Disneyland hotel.

The Good Neighbour Hotel Option

The real budget consideration when booking a hotel is to go the Good Neighbour option. These are number of third party hotels which you can book through Disney Travel that have of the perks you will find at the primary Disney hotels. These include a magic morning, free lanyard and pin along with a book of coupons.

Food

Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill

Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill

One of the great things about to food at Disneyland is that you can eat as well, or as horribly as you choose to. I choose to indulge while on vacation so the healthy options will not be discussed here.

A tradition of mine was to have a bacon and egg croissant at the Pacific Wharf Cafe near Paradise Pier in California Adventure. However, when I visited last year in October I found they were no longer offering breakfast. So, if you are looking for breakfast within California Adventure my new favourites are at Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land.

As for Disneyland I recommend taking a wander over to the Tommorowland Terrace which is currently the Season of the Force mode. As a result they offer Star Wars themed breakfasts like the one below, Bantha Blue French Toast.

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As for dinner I recommend at California Adventure to visit the Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, located near Paradise Pier. Simple, consistent and always enjoyable food.

If you are looking for alcohol, you will only find it (unless your lucky enough to get into Club 33) in California Adventure.

My final dining recommendation is actually outside and not Disney related. I discovered it on my first trip in 2010 and it is Bubba Gump. You’ll find it in the Anaheim Garden Walk, a short distance from the main gate of Disneyland. There has not been a single trip that I’ve missed a visit.

The Parks

When it comes to getting a park hopper pass (which allows you visit both parks) it has never been an choice for me. I do not consider California Adventure “another park”, it has always been “more Disneyland”.

Disneyland

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Getting to the park early has many benefits with Disneyland. It tends not to get really busy until around 10:30-12. This is the time which I call the “rush” where the lines outside the gates will seem ridiculously long. My assumption around this time most families have woken up, eaten breakfast and gotten ready.

One of my primary loves is taking photographs at Disneyland and getting there during Magic Morning will provide opportunities you just wont get once the park officially opens.

If you have it, be sure to make full use of a Magic Morning (this allows you into the park 1 hour prior to opening) which grants access to Fantasyland and Tommorowland. Frontier land and Adventureland do not open during magic morning.

California Adventure

One of the major highlights of California Adventure is Cars Land and especially the Racers ride. It can be extremely busy with very, very long lines but there are a few tricks. The first is to make use of the single rider line. Unless you are specifically looking to get a group photo this should always be your ride option. So, grab a fast pass for the group photo and take a spin through the single rider line and save time.

Conclusion

Disneyland is what you make of it. Is it a place to find some amazing thrill rides? Is it a place to find some great shows, fireworks and parades? Do you like to visit the characters, or browse the merchandise? It can really be anything you want it to be.

My biggest piece of advice is to not rush. See what you can in your visit but do not try to see it all in a single visit. I know that I’ll be back so what I don’t see one time I’ll see during another.