Articles by Timothy Butler

Timothy R. Butler is Editor-in-Chief of Open for Business. Tim founded Universal Networks, a technology consulting firm, in 1996. He holds a B.A. (Hons.) in English Literature, Religious Studies and Philosophy from Lindenwood University. In the past, he has done freelance writing for a number of publications. Recently, he contributed to the the Snow Leopard Bible, published by John Wiley & Sons.

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Start Christmas Sentimentally

By Timothy Butler | Nov 29, 2019 at 3:33 PM

A couple of holiday commercials released this week pull all the right levers to make them tear-worthy and, really, almost mini-Christmas specials. If you are looking for a short break from the hustle and bustle this weekend, check out these two instant classics from Comcast and Apple.

The Quiet Liturgy of Mister Rogers

By Timothy Butler | Nov 27, 2019 at 11:32 AM

Ryan J. Pemberton writes:

Enter Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. “We had a director who once said to me, ‘If you take all of the elements that make good television, [and] you do the opposite, you have Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,’” Margaret Whitmer, one of the show’s producers, shares in the 2018 documentary. “Low production value, simple set, unlikely star. Yet, it worked. Because he was saying something really important.”

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is so counter to almost everything we would say a children’s television program — much less TV in general — “should” be. The resurgence of interest over the course of the last two years via last year’s documentary and this year’s Tom Hanks-starring drama show that we often have a pretty poor sense of what “should” be.

Rebble: The Pebble Lives On

By Timothy Butler | Nov 26, 2019 at 11:32 AM

Not many modern, web-connected devices live on for years after their maker goes out of business and shuts down its servers. Fewer still have not only an active repair and support community, but a forward-looking mission. Rebble is a welcoming, open-source, community-minded effort, with a responsible financial model behind it. It’s hard to believe it exists, and feels like some still-raw chunk of 2013 tech optimism that can’t possibly survive into the future.

Except, it might.

I was a Kickstart supporter for the Pebble Time in 2015. While the Apple Watch is superior in most ways, there was a definite charm to the Pebble’s design, its battery life was incredible and it did what most people want most from a smart watch — notifications — nearly as well as watchOS until some of the improvements in watchOS 6. The idea that there might eventually be a full on Rebble Watch, to continue Pebble’s efforts, excites me.

Pixelmator Photo for Free

By Timothy Butler | Nov 26, 2019 at 10:43 AM

In addition, Pixelmator Photo, our incredible photo editor for iPad, is completely free for 24 hours until 9am ET, November 27th. Spread the word!

While I had higher hopes for the “machine learning” of Pixelmator Photo, it’s still a decently powerful tool for making adjustments to photos. For free, you really ought to give it a try.

Tesla Introduces the Cybertruck

By Timothy Butler | Nov 22, 2019 at 11:06 AM

Now entering a new class of strength, speed and versatility—only possible with an all-electric design. The powerful drivetrain and low center of gravity provides extraordinary traction control and torque—enabling acceleration from 0-60 mph in as little as 2.9 seconds and up to 500 miles of range.

I find myself fascinated by Elon Musk. After reflecting all day, I am still not entirely sure what I think of the appearance of Tesla’s long promised truck, but if they are able to produce it with the features and price points they are claiming, this could be huge. A base 4-door Ford F-150 with an AM/FM radio is only $3,000 short of a truck with Autopilot that accelerates 0-60 in six seconds (or an incredible 2.9 seconds if you care to upgrade to the high end model).

The Procrastinator's Last Minute Gift Guide

By Timothy Butler | Dec 24, 2012 at 11:27 AM

So, the time for shopping is quickly coming to an end. Even if you are headed to a Christmas party later in the week, it still may be hard to order something online. Here are some great last minute ideas that you can pick up at many retailers and will not feel very last minute at all.

The Procrastinator's Guide to Gift Giving: Cell Phones

By Timothy Butler | Dec 22, 2012 at 11:03 AM

So, Christmas has snuck up on you and you find yourself heading out to the stores this weekend for one of the most popular electronic gifts of recent years: the smart phone. Cell phones have been a perennial favorite Christmas gift, but with so many good phones that are now “free” with contract, what makes for a good gift cell phone? If you aren’t planning on giving the cellular service too, the best choices are the phone upgrades that, for a bit more than the free phones, will prove far more enjoyable for your recipient. We have two such phones that will be sure to please almost anyone.

Out on a Limb: Romney Will Win

By Timothy Butler | Nov 05, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Here we are on the eve of the election and, like so many recent presidential elections, we are gathered around, watching a handful of swing states that hold the future of the presidency in their collective hands. Though the polls make this race look too close to call, I’m going to call it: Romney wins.

Reformation and Unity

By Timothy Butler | Oct 31, 2012 at 3:06 PM

On Sunday, as I led the church I serve at in prayer, the prayer naturally related to the Reformation. Four hundred and ninety five years ago today, a monk and professor by the name of Martin Luther nailed a list of issues he had with the church up on his local church door and – unbeknownst to him at the time – unleashed what we now call the Reformation. As a Protestant, I view the Reformation as a good thing, yet I also prayed a prayer for unity in the church.

A Little Bargain Hunting Allows Computer New Lease on Life

By Timothy Butler | Oct 05, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Over the last few decades, we have become accustomed to something rather unfortunate: we buy significant pieces of technology that we then discard as essentially useless after only a short time. I decided to set out to revive a nearly ten-year-old computer and see if this (relatively speaking) prehistoric computer could be brought up to a state of usefulness in the modern era.

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