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A Guide to Getting Paid for Your Virtual Classes, Workshops, Art, Performances, and More.

Another day at the office…? Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Chapter 1: A Tale of Two Careers

For decades, I’ve led a strange but successful dual-career in both technology and the Arts. It’s not always been easy and I sometimes get a bit of creative whiplash, but I wouldn’t change my journey for anyone.

In my tech career, I was a “Senior Systems Administrator”. That fancy term just means that I was a well-paid geek. My job was to manage hundreds or thousands of computers and mobile devices for the companies that hired me. …

The Right Reasons to Purchase the Right Gear

Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

The Background

As my readers know, when it comes to my digital life, I tend to focus on matters of security and privacy. I purchase and investigate products and services, take notes, and learn what does (and doesn’t) work best for my technology needs. Then, I spend hours organizing my notes, prioritizing what’s important, and translating difficult technology-speak into plain English.

My goal is to always make sure that everyone who reads my newsletter or my Medium articles can easily understand the products, ideas, and approaches that I feel are important. However, what’s important isn’t always up to me.

Tools to Reclaim Time in Our Digital Lives

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

What The New Year Brings Is…

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how much time I spend online and on all of my devices. As it’s many, many hours each day, I’ve been seeking ways — for years now — to help reduce the time I need to be on any of my devices.

So while I’ll be focusing on different software titles today, make no mistake: what I’m really talking about is:

Saving time.

There’s a good reason why I focus on time: it’s limited, it’s our most precious resource, and it’s the one gift we’re all granted in quantities that we’ll never…

How Apple is Profiteering & How to Avoid Their Marketing Lies

Profits above all else…? Photo by on Unsplash

Many of you either know or have determined that I’m a longtime Apple fan. I use their software and hardware almost exclusively and have since I’ve been 11 years old. That was that age when my folks bought us an Apple II+ computer, forever changing my life. I got so enamored with this new kind of technology — a desktop computer!!! — that I taught myself the BASIC coding language and… never really looked back.

I’ve come to trust Apple because — for the most part — my purchases from them have lasted long, worked well, were always easy to…

1) I'm so very proud of you for taking this leap of faith. Amazing.

2) This breakdown is SPOT on. Word count isn't an accurate indicator of time spent.

3) In many cases, it's the SHORTER pieces that take the most time for me because, honestly, pairing everything down to its simplest, most essential buts and chucking everything else away takes a TON of time and consideration.

All of those things are worth good writers earning a living wage for their work.

Keep up the amazing work, Justin.

What Gear to Buy, How to Set It Up, & How To Look Your Best

It feels like this a lot, doesn’t it?

This piece will provide you with some of the best tools and practices to help anchor your virtual meetings whether you’re a teacher, a manager, a technologist, or just a good worker bee. The goal is to set you up for success and to make you feel like you’ve mastered all of the basics and intermediate skills when it comes to being in front of a computer with a camera. So… let’s dig in!

The technology you own and use matters. So does the way you set it up. So let’s talk about what products you should consider owning AND…

How (and Why) I Spent Many Hundreds of Dollars to Find the Perfect Solution

I won’t be dealing with these anymore… Photo by on Unsplash

The Background

I became a dad in December of 2018. As a human, I was delighted, astounded, and excited to spend time with my son. As a technologist, I wanted to see how I could use tech to simplify my life while being with him. I started with the powerful computer in my pocket: my iPhone 7+.

I wanted an easy way to answer calls and listen to music/podcasts that didn’t include my son getting tangled up in wires, cords, or adding weight around my neck. …

How (and Why) to Remove Yourself From The Internet’s Biggest Data Brokers

Discovering how much of your personal data is actually online can be overwhelming.

The Background

From time to time, we’re told that we should Google ourselves. This is even more true before a job interview or any other important meeting. Why? Simple: it’s best to know what’s publicly available about us on the Internet. If there’s any information that’s embarrassing or damning out there, it’s best to know about it before others do, so we have the chance to edit or delete it.

Even more important: we should ensure that our contact information isn’t easily obtained online. I don’t want anyone in the world to have easy access to my current home address and phone…

Technology and Tools to Help Prevent (or Recover From) a Burglary

If this isn’t a perfect metaphor, I don’t know WHAT is…

The Background

We got burglarized three weeks ago. Right in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown. As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough…

The thieves (we don’t yet know if it was a crew but I’m guessing it was) grabbed two Apple computers from our basement and then fled our home. Three different townhomes in our community were hit, all between the hours of about 2–5am. My wife, our 17-month-old son, and I were all in the house when it happened.

Yeh: scary.

The same pattern played out in the other homes: the robbers broke in, then stole small electronic devices (Apple…

Debunking the Lies, Focusing on the Benefits of this Solid Technology

Photo by Jonathon Young on Unsplash

The Background

First things first: this week — on May 14th, 2020 — The United States Senate voted to allow the FBI to obtain your Internet Browsing History without a search warrant. These powers were part of a larger bill that extended the power of the PATRIOT ACT.

“The legislation hands the government power for warrantless collection of Americans’ web browsing and internet searches, as well as other private information, without having to demonstrate that those Americans have done anything wrong, or even were in contact with anyone suspected of wrongdoing.”

— Senator Ron Wyden, D-Oregon

Therefore, there’s never been a better…

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