VIDEO: Back-to-school shopping goes high tech [KDRV Newswatch 12 report]

With Labor Day weekend wrapping up, people are hitting the mall and other retail shops for some last minute back-to-school shopping. Randa Gore, reporter for Medford’s KDRV Newswatch 12, is at Connecting Point with the story.

Take it easy, take it slow…and be careful: Enjoy this Labor Day.

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” — From the U.S. Department of Labor website.

We hope you all have a fun and relaxing Labor Day. And if you have a few moments, duck inside out of the heat and sun to say hello: Connecting Point will be open its regular hours today.

Connecting Point’s ‘Head Back with a Mac Sale’ | Free Canon All-in-One; no-interest 18mo. financing

Connecting Point's 'Head Back with a Mac Sale' - FREE Canon PIXMA All-in-One, plus special financingSummer’s almost gone. Time to head back to school. Head back to work. Time to Get. Stuff. Done.

And the best way to get stuff done? A new Mac from Connecting Point.

And getting one is now both easy and affordable: For a limited time, Connecting Point’s offering special financing and terrific incentives.

Canon PIXMA MX472 All-in-One Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax

Canon PIXMA MX472 All-in-One Wireless inkjet office solution features an Automatic Document Feeder for unattended multi-page scanning and copying, 50-page fax memory, AirPrint support, and up to 4800 x 1200 dpi optimized color printing. Retail price $99.99

Whether you’re upgrading, or switching from Windows, now’s the best time to buy, during Connecting Point’s ‘Head Back with a Mac Sale,’ running from Wednesday, August 27th through Saturday, August 30.

During this sale, buy any Mac and get a FREE Canon Pixma MX472 All-in-One printer / scanner / copier / fax (which normally retails for $99.99).*

Plus get six, 12, or even as much as 18 months interest-free financing, with your good credit.**

But don’t delay: This sale lasts just four days. When we close for the night on Saturday, our ‘Head Back with a Mac Sale’ closes, too!

*Limited to stock on hand.  **NO INTEREST, IF PAID IN FULL WITHIN 6, 12, OR 18 MONTHS on qualifying purchases made with your GE Capital Retail Bank Home Design credit card between May 23rd, 2014 and January 16th, 2015. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional purchase is not paid in full within 6, 12, or 18 months. Offer applies only to single-receipt qualifying purchases. No interest will be charged on the promo purchase if you pay the promo purchase amount in full within 6, 12, or 18 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the promo purchase from the purchase date. Depending on purchase amount, promotion length, and payment allocation, the required minimum monthly payments may or may not pay off purchase by end of promotional period. Regular account terms apply to non-promotional purchases and, after promotion ends, to promotional balance. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%; Minimum Interest Charge is $2. Existing GE Capital cardholders should see their credit card agreement for their applicable terms. Subject to credit approval.

Experiencing battery issues with your iPhone 5? Find out if you qualify for a free replacement.

iPhone 5 battery replacement program launches August 25, 2014UPDATED AUGUST 28: Please read carefully.

Apple Inc. launched an iPhone battery replacement program today. Apparently, a “very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.” Qualifying devices experiencing battery-related issues may have their battery replaced at no charge to you. Here’s how the program works…

STEP #1: To find out if your iPhone 5 qualifies for this program, visit the Apple support site here. Here, you’ll be asked to type in the serial number of your iPhone 5. (Finding the serial number of your iPhone is very simple.)

STEP #2: Once you’ve determined that your phone does indeed qualify, bring it in to either one of our locations. There, Connecting Point SERVICE will run a brief diagnostic to verify your phone is having battery-related issues. PLEASE NOTE: Your iPhone 5 must fail this diagnostic in order for us to replace its battery. Apple has made it clear we cannot supply a replacement unless it meets this condition.

STEP 3: Once we verify your iPhone 5 qualifies for the program, we’ll add you to a growing list of customers also awaiting battery replacements. We currently have a large number of batteries on order, but as of August 28th, none have shipped.

STEP #4: Once your battery arrives, we will immediately contact you to set up a date to bring in your iPhone 5. Unfortunately, this is not a procedure that can be performed while you wait. We will strive for a one-day turnaround, to minimize the time you spend without your iPhone.

In short, we’ll take care of everything, regardless of where you purchased your iPhone. Connecting Point is an Apple Authorized Service Provider, able to work on all Apple products, in or out of warranty. If you have additional questions, give us a call, or contact Connecting Point SERVICE via this handy form.

Apple History: Original iMac bowed on this date in 1998…and the tide was turned.

Original Apple iMac from 1998, in Bondi blueConsidering how high the company flies today, it’s sobering to recall the lows Apple hit in the 1990’s. Apple spent the bulk of that decade frantically scrambling to come up with a hit, introducing one failed product after another: a digital camera, a portable CD audio player, powered computer speakers, a gaming console (no, really), and a bizarre set-top box for television. CEO John Sculley bet the farm on Apple’s entry into the nascent “personal digital assistant” category, resulting in the Newton – innovative, before its time – and to this day, one of the most spectacular failures in the company’s history. Literally dozens of indistinguishable Mac models were trotted out, with a bewildering alphabet soup of names, numbers, and specifications.

The original iMac went off like a torpedo to the bow of the Good Ship Computer. It looked and operated like nothing the world had seen.

Market share continued to erode, stock prices plummeted, and Microsoft Windows was mopping the floor with Apple. Sculley was succeeded by Michael Spindler, who was superseded by Gil Amelio. In July 1997, a desperate board of directors fired Amelio amidst record-low stock prices and staggering financial losses.

It was arguably Apple’s darkest hour.

Then co-founder Steve Jobs stepped back up as interim CEO (dubbed “iCEO”), drastically pared down the sprawling product line, and began working on a radical new design with Jonathan Ive.

You can see what they came up with in the photo above. The original iMac went off like a torpedo to the bow of the Good Ship Computer. It looked and operated like nothing the world had seen. And it effectively saved the company, selling almost 800,000 units in its first five months.

Jobs and Ive would later collaborate on the iPod and iPhone, among many, many other projects. Apple was on a roll – a roll that has yet to slow.

Connecting Point's own Scott Farmer takes the original Apple iMac for a test drive - August 16, 1998

Photo credit: Bob Pennell, Mail Tribune

Feel like a little more nostalgia? Read an August 16, 1998 Medford Mail Tribune article about the original iMac’s introduction. Connecting Point is prominently featured in the story – along with a face long familiar to our customers.

Deal of the Week | August 15th, 2014: LED Solar Flashlight for $4.99

LED Solar Flashlight for $4.99You are roused from a deep sleep by your spouse, elbowing you in the ribs.

“What the…” you begin to mumble, groggily.

Shhh! I heard a noise downstairs,” your spouse whispers.

At once, you’re wide awake, in a state of hyper-alertness, courtesy evolution and the fight-or-flight reflex it perfected. You reach for the flashlight on your nightstand, flick the switch, and…

Nothing. Darkness. And the noise is moving…closer.

Dead batteries in flashlights result in more U.S. deaths than automobile accidents, lightning strikes, and bathtub slips combined.* Don’t let this happen to you! With this week’s DOTW, you’ll never need worry about flashlight batteries again. Just keep it near a window, and let that bright glowy thing in the daytime sky take care of maintaining a full charge for you.

What is protection from things that go bump in the night worth to you? The answer should be “priceless,” but we’re going to peg it at $4.99. That’s 75% off the regular price, making it affordable enough to buy several and keep them all over the darned place. Because they’re out there. You know they are.

Find out more about our latest Deal of the Week here.

*Not an actual statistic, and also utterly false.

VIDEO: Apple intros two ‘Your Verse’ iPad TV spots, telling new personal stories

The first spot is titled ‘Yaoband’s Verse,’ and follows a Chinese musical group as they scour the countryside and urban streets, harvesting live sounds for their electro-pop compositions. It documents how they use iPad both to make music, and to connect with their fans, in new ways.

The second spot, ‘Jason’s Verse,’ brings it home to the the U.S. – Detroit, to be exact. Resident Jason Hall uses his iPad to help organize a weekly group bike ride through his city. Hall is co-founder of Slow Roll Detroit, and he uses the rides to raise awareness of the revitalization of Detroit from the ground level.

Deal of the Week | August 8th, 2014: Compact Mobile USB Charger for $4.99

Compact Mobile USB Charger for $4.99Here’s a great little 12-volt mobile socket USB charger, small and inexpensive enough to keep in every vehicle.

It’ll charge your smartphone, your MP3 player, and most other small-ish USB devices. It glows blue when plugged in, so you’ll know at a glance when it’s doing its job. It’s normally 20 bucks, but as this week’s DOTW, you can get one (or two or five) for just $4.99 each.

Find out more about our latest Deal of the Week here.