Thursday, December 20, 2007

Think Secret Shuts Down

Famed Apple rumor site Think Secret is shutting down after a settlement between it and Apple. If you recall, Apple sued Think Secret over trade secrets and was watched by bloggers everywhere to see if they would be given the same immunity as journalists.

Touch Up Your iPod Classic

Make your gen 5 or 5.5 iPod Classic look a little more like the touch with this hack from iPodHacking.com. Follow the instructions carefully tho!

Monday, December 17, 2007

GPS Coming to iPhone

This is awesome. We have a Garmin GPS for the minivan - the wife can't find her way out of the garage without it. Anyway, one is coming for the iPhone- this would be awesome to have stashed in my briefcase or in the car for when it's needed.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy Birthday C64

Man, I can't believe it has been 25 years. My very first computer, the venerable Commodore 64, began my love of computers. I remember sitting in front of the C64 for countless hours playing games, dialing into BBS's with the 300 baud modem and waiting forever for programs to load on the 1541 5.25 floppy disc drive. (LOAD "*",8,1)

I also remember spending hours with my brother programming Mad Libs in basic.

Everything I learned about computers I learned from the C64.

On Monday 10 December 2007 the C64 will turn 25. There is a ceremony on the Computer History Museum in California. Even the reclusive former CEO and Commodore Founder Jack Tramiel will be there.

On The Edge - The Rise and Fall of Commodore - A fascinating and must-read for any Commodore fan.
Play Free C64 Games @ Gametap
C64.com
The C64 Orchestra

Update: As my brother pointed out in the comments, our first computer was really a Commodore Vic 20. But as far as I recall, all we ever did was play Gorf on it and never used it as a computer. But technically, I stand corrected.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Stacks - The Way It Was

Kuragari.com has a quick blurb about some aspects of how the original Stacks functionality was working in early Leopard betas. Apple, bring this back! I'm one of the seemingly few people that like the Stacks functionality. Does it need help? Yes. Would the way it worked make it better? Definitely.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Last Day for $100


Today's the last day to spend your $100 iPhone credit - so you better get to it!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

20% of 2007 Tech Train Wrecks Attributed to Apple?!

What a crock. You're telling me the admitted yet way overblown debacle that was the iPhone price cut was more of a train wreck than Vista? I'm starting to believe in the Y! Apple-hating rumors.

MiShare MiSongs WithYu

MiShareMiShare connects two iPods together enabling easy file transfers. Neato.

via Boing Boing

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

King of Business

Our hero, who art in Cupertino,
hallowed be thy name.
your vision come,
your influence be done,
on Macs which are like heaven.
Give us today our iPhone, iPods and Macs.
For give us innovations
as we forgive those who use Windows.
Save us from bland and unusable products
and deliver us from Microsoft.
For the electronics & media kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The WOW Stops Here

CNET UK has listed Vista as one of the worst technology products. I will admit that I've only seen Vista from a distance. I use XP nearly everyday for the one application I need for work that won't run in Mac OS X. XP is a fine OS - it works fine, especially since I'm only running one program. XP on my old work's computer was pretty spotty, but I believe it was all the crap the IT guys crammed on it. Otherwise I'm 99.9% in Leopard and love it.

Anyway, Vista is in good company - Sony Rootkit CDs, Atari Jaguar, the Apple "Puck" Mouse (although we always referred to it as the breast implant mouse) and a few others.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Where do I pay? Right here.

Apple stores freshen up for the holidays. Personally, the scanner checkout is a brilliant glimpse of our retail future.

Apple Black Friday deals here. You're running outta daylight.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cool Apple Ad

I'm an avid reader of Engadget and noticed a "ginormous" ad at the top and upper right. Seems Engadget themselves has even commented on it..

Regardless of how you feel about advertising, especially on the web, you have to admit it's pretty clever.

Check it out over at Engadget.com for the next day or so.

Warm Up That Credit Card - Ready, Set, Shop

For the past 5 years or so, Apple has had a 5-10% sale on just about everything on Black Friday online and in-stores. This year is no exception. If you've been thinking about a new Mac, now is the time.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tickle Me Zune

Microsoft is playing the supply-demand game to earn media coverage like this. "Cabbage Patch Doll" my ass.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Go Data-Less With iPhone

AT&T just rolled out a new iPhone plan - phone only. No data. So if you only surf the web, get email and visual voicemail whilst connected to a wi-fi network, you can save $20 a month. Otherwise suck it up and keep payin'.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Leopard 10.5.1 Pounces

Okay, enough already with the damn cat puns. Geez. What am I going to do with you people?

Oh, Leopard 10.5.1 is now available. Just run Software Update.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mac OS X Is Bigger Than Jesus Windows in Japan

According to Japan's Business Computer News, Mac OS X share has risen to over 60% while Microsoft's has collapsed from over 75% to less than 30%.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Touch, Phone Go 1.1.2

With the iPhone going on sale in the UK and Germany today, Apple has released 1.1.2 for the iPod Touch and iPhone. According to sources there is finally an "add to calendar" feature for the iPod Touch. The iPhone is noticeably more responsive but I haven't found any new features yet except for support for international keyboards and the like.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Time Magazine Invention of the Year

Last year it was GooTube, this year it's....you guess it - the iPhone.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Fastest Windows Vista Laptop...

...is a Mac. The MacBook Pro to be exact. Faster than all the others.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Leopard Goodies in NY Times

The New York Times reviews Leopard:

So Apple’s mission in Leopard was to make us aware of needs we never knew we had — something Apple is usually good at.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

They Actually Listened

Apple just sometimes doesn't seem to listen to their customers. Sure, they quietly acknowledge whatever it is someone's bitching about and fix it in the next version of the software or hardware. But on occasion the bitching is so loud that they have to do something fast. It's happened throughout Apple's history. Most recently with the iPhone pricing. But now Apple has heard the cries to open up the iPhone to third-party developers. Why they didn't do this from the start I don't really know. What could make a kick-ass phone like the iPhone even more desirable? Killer applications. Apple announced today that they'll deliver an iPhone SDK (software development kit) by February of next year. It will also enable developers to develop for the iPod touch as well. Sweet. About damn time too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Getting Ready for Leopard

In case you forgot or need to catch up on what all the Leopard hubbub is all about, here's a top ten list for you. Or if you're having trouble sleeping, here's the top 300 list.

Mine is on order of course and due to arrive next Friday. I'll miss out on the free t-shirt that Apple is giving away that day, but thanks to my corporate discount and $100 iPhone credit, it's costing me a whopping $24.

Amazon has a great deal - Leopard for $109.00. If you purchase it along with Parallels you'll get another $20 off. Not a bad deal. Of course if you're purchasing Parallels that means you're running Winblows which sucks for you. Wait, I'm also running Parallels. Bastard! Always one step ahead.

High Quality DRM Free Now Cheaper


Apple officially announced today that they're reducing the price of iTunes Plus to 99 cents from $1.29. Hmmm....I wonder why they did that?

Leopard Pounces on October 26

Pre-order your copy today. Leopard has some kickass features - TimeMachine, Spaces and so much more. And unlike that other operating system, Mac OS X usually improves performance of older Macs instead of making them obsolete.

Menu Bar Items

Here's a great collection of menu bar applications.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Zune Zune Zune

MSFT has unveiled the new Zune. Nothing too exciting: 4, 8, and 80gb models all similarly priced to the iPod line. A few things to note, though:

  • Wireless syncing on your home wi-fi network is a nice touch. As a family with two different generations of iPod, it's annoying to plug in to the wrong cable.
  • Zune Social is an intriguing idea along the lines of iLike. It's a nice way to find new music from sources you trust.
  • DRM-free marketplace. I know iTunes has some as well, but this coupled with Amazon's new marketplace makes it pretty clear to me that this is where it's moving - and iTunes needs to maintain solid relationships with the record industry so they can also move in that direction without falling too far behind.
The Zune will never be an iPod killer. I think the only way the iPod will ever die will be from self-inflicted wounds. Nevertheless, I'm glad a competitor is pushing Apple a bit on some features that are lacking in the iPod line.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

iPod Touch

The iPhone met or exceeded the hype in most instances. After living with the godphone for a few months now, I have very few complaints. I wish it was louder with less distortion. That's about it.

I saw the iPod Touch today and admit it's a sexy device. It's half as thin as the iPhone and noticably lighter. The screen is the same beautiful 3.5 inch the iPhone sports.

So why didn't I buy one? One simple reason. Storage. At 8GB or 16GB I have no need for it. My iPhone covers that space. What I really really wanted was an 80GB iPod touch. For that I would have sold my current 5th Generation 60GB iPod. While the iPod classic is nice - it's lighter, thinner and has more storage - it doesn't really offer much above and beyond what I already have. Sure, battery life is much better, but I don't really need that.

I think Apple really missed the boat on the iPod Touch. Sure, they'll sell a crapload of them, but I think they'd sell a couple craploads if they offered a high-capacity version which is thicker, but has the storage people want.

iPod nano - Insanely Small

Wow. I checked out the nano today at one of my local Apple stores. Wow. Gives a whole new meaning to impossibly small. I was surprised at how much better it looks in person, including color. Images just don't do this wonder justice. The scroll wheel is small, but completely fine even for my fat sausage fingers.

Did I mention this thing is small? Incredible engineering. This thing really has it all - might even be the perfect storm. Decent screen size for movies, insanely small, ridiculous battery life, cover flow, games and more.

If the look was putting you off, seriously give this thing a chance by seeing it in person. I think you'll be surprised.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Deal on 2GB MacBook Memory Sticks

Not sure of the quality of “Transcend” brand memory, but one of the comments says it’s really Micron which I’ve at least heard of.

2GB DDR2 667 (PC2-5300) Notebook Memory - $88.99 each after $5 instant rebate and another $5 with promo code EMC918SYME03

Friday, September 14, 2007

High-Quality Album Art

Josh's iTunes Album Art Grabber goes straight to the source - iTunes itself for album art. What's great is that the album art is up to 1425x1425 pixels - sweet! The downside is that it's one artist & album at a time, and you need both the album and the artist. Sometimes the picture returned will give you a 404 error. If you change the ".jpg" to ".tif" it sometimes will work.

iTop and iStub

Popsci.com iTopPopsci.com is featuring an interesting use for a broken or obsolete iPod: the "iTop" (original by Owen McGarry here.) Very simple actually, it just involves a bit of slicing and hinging and hacking. Have a need? Have a go.

On a side note, I finally checked out the iPod stub nano at the Apple store today and I have to admit, the pictures and ads do not do it justice. This is a neat little device. For some reason, it feels more out of science fiction or some retro-futurism idea than any other incarnation of the iPod, probably because it's so damned tiny and packs quite a wallop. I still have no need for said device, but get your hands on it and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ringtones Are Live

Apple turned on ringtones in the iTunes store yesterday. I finally had a chance to try it and for the most part, it's pretty cool. As always, Apple has done an exceptional job of making it easy. The hardest part was selecting which part of the songs I wanted to use as the ringtone.

As covered elsewhere, you can only make ringtones of songs you purchased from the iTunes Store. That goes for songs purchased prior to yesterday too.

You cannot make ringtones of songs you already own but did not purchase through iTunes. It's all in the licensing and you have the RIAA to blame for this one. Believe it or not, ringtones are not considered derivative works and record companies can do as they please with them.

My beefs:

1. Your $0.99 purchase price only gets you the portion of the song you select. If you decide later you want a different part of the song, it's another $0.99.

2. One song, Happier by Guster, was indicated in the store as a ringtonable song, but once purchased it was not. Outcome of this pending with iTunes Customer Support. UPDATE: The helpful folks at iTunes support suggested ignoring the missing bell and right-clicking and selecting "Create Ringtone". Duh. That worked. The bell icon should still be showing tho.

3. The little bell icon needs to be added to your view. Go to view options and then select ringtone. Seems Apple would have turned this on by default for iPhone users. Nit-picky I know, but deal with it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Starbucks & iTunes & Apple

Okay - let's dismiss the fact that it's Starbucks. Their coffee truly sucks. If you like it, you really don't like coffee. Bitter and ewww, just yuck. What's truly significant about this.

Let's disect it. You have an iPod touch. You walk into a Starbucks and you're working and listening to the music playing over the loudspeakers. I'd be lieing if I said I never wondered what a song was while I was working at my local Caribou.

Think about it. You're in the coffee shop, and on your iPod it shows you what's playing. Think about the technology to make that happen. Regardless of the fact that it's Starbucks (with coffee that sucks). Think about the integration and the customer ease-of-use. Incredible. This will be popular over the long haul.

iPhone Price Cut

We can certainly debate what it means. Is it that Apple is not selling them as they hoped or as some have suggested that Apple wants in the mobile phone business in a big way and are willing to do the unthinkable (for Apple) and discount their product.

I actually don't care (too much). I love my iPhone and knew while standing in line for 6 hours that I was taking a risk. The same is true with any technology that you buy early.

There are three things that make this particularly frustrating for us reasonable early Apple adopters:

1. Apple doesn't discount. Ever. Well, okay, once a year the day after Thanksgiving, but never like this. A 5%-10% discount maybe, but 30%?

2. Timing. We Apple fans know that within 6-10 months Apple will release new hardware with more features at the same price. In this instance, the same exact product is getting a price reduction instead of the same price for an upgraded product. And this is happening after 2 months? If Apple had released a new 16GB iPhone at $599 and discounted the 8GB to $399 this wouldn't sting so bad. And get ready, there will be a 16GB iPhone in the very near future.

3. Visibilty. When Sony lowers the price on some Blu-Ray player or other electronic item, it's not plastered across the front page of every newspaper. So the people who bought the player earlier don't even know the pain of the lower price. Apple can't do anything nowadays without a bazillion people watching.

Regardless, it's the risk you take with technology. Would I like to see Apple offer something for us loyal early adopters? Sure - who wouldn't. Will I be all pissy and whiny like many out there and threaten to stop buying Apple products? Hell no.

If you purchased your iPhone within the last 14 days from Apple or 30 days from AT&T, you can return it to the store for a credit. If you waited in line for 6 hours and are now pissed that it's cheaper, suck it up and get a life.

R.I.P. iPod Hi-Fi

Yep, that's gone too. No loss. It had great sound, but was a bit bulky especially for Apple.

Pissed About $2 Ringtones?

Well, if you compare with what other carriers are charging for a 30 second or shorter clip of a song, Apple's $2 is either right on par or even slightly lower. I know with Cingular (which AT&T has already screwed up, but that's for another post) musical ring tones were almost $3 and you had no control on what part of the song the ring tone used.

With the new ringtone service from Apple, you get to choose what part of the song is the ringtone.

If you were willing to cough up $3 for a ringtone before, you'll surely cough up $2 and have full control. Damn kids.

But if you're going to be stubborn about it, TUAW has a few ways to get ringtones on the cheap (or less).

UPDATE: TUAW also has a review of the actual iTunes functionality.

R.I.P. 4GB iPhone

Apple unceremoniously killed the 4GB iPhone today due to lack of consumer demand. Can't say I blame them. If you're spending $500 on a phone, you might as well go a step up ($100) and get the most storage you can so it obsolescence comes a tad bit slower.

But if storage isn't an issue and you want a great deal, Apple is selling the remaining stock of 4GB iPhones for $299.

R.I.P. White iPod

A little-noticed item in today's announcements was the death of the white iPod. There are now no iPods in the iconic white. The new iPod Classic comes in Silver or Black. The iPod nano comes in every (might I add "unique") color except white.

While I personally carry a black iPod, there will always be a place in my heart for my first iPod - 5GB of storage, solid state wheel that actually turned, big clunky buttons around the wheel. Ah, memories.

Gizmodo has a fitting tribute to the white iPod.

The Beat Goes On

Summary:
New iPod Shuffle colors including a RED model.
New funky-looking iPod nano with 2” screen, video playback, new colors
New iPod classics with thinner metal enclosures, longer battery life, new UI, 80GB and 160GB storage.
New iPod Touch – basically an iPhone without the phone at 8GB and 16GB, Wi-Fi, YouTube, Safari.
Wi-Fi iTunes Store for iPod Touch and iPhone with lame Starbucks integration.
8GB iPhone Price Drops $200 to $399. No word on 4GB model.
Ringtone Service for iPhone – 99 cents for song and another 99 cents to turn it into a ringtone

Monday, September 03, 2007

NBC Doesn't Trust You

A bit more on NBC's recent idiocy regarding iTunes.

Friday, August 31, 2007

What the hell...

...is this?

NBC Gets Greedy

Apple announced today that it will no longer be selling NBC programs on iTunes despite their popularity. It seems NBC wanted to increase the per episode price from $1.99 to $4.99.

Nice try, greedy bastards.

Friday, August 24, 2007

AT&T Exclusivity is Over

Engadget has claims that iPhoneSIMunlock.com has indeed done it. They've unlocked the iPhone SIM to decouple it from AT&T without a lot of high-tech gadgetry and wizardry. I say kudos. While I've been a happy CINGULAR customer for many years, I am amazed at how quickly it turned to shit once it became AT&T. Fewest dropped calls my ass. Sure, perhaps when it was Cingular that was true, but AT&T within the last few weeks has been absolute shit. Case in point - myself and my good friend Robert were working from a coffee shop sitting directly across from each other. My iPhone? No Service. His iPhone? A full 5 bars.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

$100 off iPhones!

If you really really want an iPhone (and you should) but don't want to spend $499/$599 for it, the price excuse is now gone. While supplies last, get a refurbished iPhone for $100 off, or $399 for the 4GB or $499 for the 8GB version.

I've owned a myriad of Apple refurbished products - iMac, MacBook, iPod - and have never (knock on wood) had any problems whatsoever. So get an awesome product at an unbelievable price.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

$99 iPod Nano

2GB iPod Nano. $99. Refurbished. Good as new. Forget the Shuffle. Buy now. 'nuff said.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New iMacs, New iWorks, New iLife

Well it's about damn time. I've been waiting for a new iLife for way too long. New sexy iMacs were launched this past Tuesday along with iLife and iWorks updates. The new iMacs are significantly thinner, feature a glass glossy screen and upgraded specs. It also sports a new ridiculously thin keyboard in a wired or wireless version. The 17" model is discontinued, but is replaced by a same-priced 20". All around yumminess.

iLife features upgrades to all the suites, along with a new photo sharing enhancement which quite honestly I've not had time to learn much about. iWork upgrades Keynote and Pages, but adds an Excel-killer (come-on, Keynote absolutely makes PowerPoint look like a hack) called "Numbers".

.Mac also received a more-than-much-needed upgrade. Among many other things, it now supports 10 gigs of space instead of 1; supports personal domains and tighter integration with iLife & iWork.

More on this eventually.

Apple Launches MyTunes

Apple seems to finally be embracing web 2.0. MyTunes enables you to post what you've recently purchased, your favorite artists and what you've reviewed. Check out mine in the right navigation. Kinda cool. It'd be even better if it pulled not just what you've purchased in iTunes, but you're entire iTunes library.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Microsoft Office 2008 Delayed....Until 2008

I really don't understand what's the point of naming your software after the year it was released. Do I really want to be reminded that my copy of Word is now over 3 years old? Or my copy of iLife is over a year old. In this day and age of rapid technology advancement why would software vendors name things this way.

Microsoft announced that MS Office 2008 will be delayed until 2008. Don't even get me started about releasing software before the year of its name. Maybe software marketers all came from the automobile industry where model years are all f'd up.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Let The Parodies Begin

Need I say more?

Ohhh a Zepplin!

B&W has this, well, Zepplin-looking iPod speaker system. B&W is known for high-end speaker systems. At $600, I'm sure this thing rocks.

(Via Gizmodo)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New iMacs Next Week?

Apple has sent exclusive invites to select members of the press to a special event next Tuesday August 7 at 10am PDT. New brushed aluminum iMacs have been rumored for weeks so that's anyone's best guess.

3 Billions And Counting

Apple announced today that sales of songs on iTunes has surpassed the 3 billion mark. Kudos. 350 or so songs of which were purchased by yours truly. Wow, that's kinda scary.

iPhone Software Update

VP of iPod Product Marketing Greg Joswiak told analysts this week that an iPhone software update is "coming soon".

A Hint of Things to Come?

Major online retailers have cut the price on the 30 & 80 gig iPods. Amazon has the 30 gig for $10 off and the 80 gig for $27 off. A hint of new iPods on the way? Only time will tell. Otherwise, if you're in the market for a new iPod, now is a good time.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Tones of the Ring

Tired of waiting for official ringtones for your iPhone to be made available via iTunes? Here's a DIY using iTunes' previews. Pretty slick.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Apple Financials

Apple sold 270,000 iPhones in the first 30 hours. AT&T reported a couple days ago that they activated 146,000 phones in the first two days. I may suck at math, but that pretty much means that AT&T screwed up activations on about 124,000 phones. Good job.

Apple posted crazy growth . Sales of Macs and iPods were way up, 1.7 million and 9.8 million, respectively. Profits were 818 million. Sweet.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Free Mac Classroom

Once upon a time, Macs dominated the classroom. Unfortunately, dumbass school boards think that saving $300 on a PC equates to an actual cost savings. Add in the anti-virus, dedicated IT administrator, maintenance agreements and more, and they've actually spend $600 more than what they would have spent on those "expensive" Macs.

Regardless, there's a site out there dedicated to cataloging the free software that's out there for the Mac, and there's a ton of great software there. Check it out.

Even God Uses A Mac

Saturday, July 21, 2007

New MacBook Pro Adapter

Not that this is phenominal news or anything, but Apple has a new power adapter for MacBook Pros. This one is nearly 1/2 the size and closer to the size of the MacBook one (the new adapter s on the left, duh). Notable for those of us that have to lug it around with us from job to job.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm a Star!

Well, okay, maybe not. But I did start contributing to MyFirstMac.com with a couple articles....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh yeah, well my 1 year old can beat your 2 year old.

Not to be outdone by a two year old, this 1 year old has figured out the iPhone:

The Apple dPhone

Apple has toyed with telphone technology in the past. Here's a concept from 1983 of a desktop telephone. In one of the pictures, it shows someone writing a check from their phone. No telling if the phone is networked in any way. I'm guessing that the answer's "no" since we're talking about 1983 here, but still. Interesting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mmmmm. Bowling.


Sims Bowling. $4.99 for your 5th generation iPod. Now. Go get it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Finally - Something To Do With A Zune


This is hilarious. Hide your iPod or iPhone inside a Zune to protect it from thieves. Awesome.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Missing Something?

In case you forgot, you can apply cost of the songs you've purchased from an album to complete the purchase of the full album. Now you can complete that album for $7.99 or less.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

OneTrip - iPhone App Review

For some reason this cool little iPhone app seems to be overlooked. OneTrip definitely is the best-looking app yet. It's a nice basic shopping list app. Just click on what you need from various categories. As you place items in your card, just tap the checkbox next to the item. Very slick. The only thing I can think of to make OneTrip better is to be able to add specific quantities of items.

21 iPhone Tips

Some of these are not so "secret", but you may find a gem or three in here.

Yellow Submarine iPod

That sexy stud Way2Poppy at TooPoppy reports on the long-rumored Yellow Submarine iPod. Is there nothing that guy doesn't know? I love him.

incase iPhone Case

Gizmodo reviews the incase iPhone cover. And I agree on all points. I bought a black one the night of the iPhone purchase because my good friend Robert said I'd drop it. And he was right.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

iPhone Disk Usage

Bummed that you can't use your iPhone as portable storage like your iPod? So are a lot of people. The good folks at Ecamm brings you iPhone disk storage.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

iPhone Pet Peeves

TUAW has a list of iPhone gripes. It's been two weeks and the initial euphoria has begun to wear off. I admit to agreeing with some of these, although the 2-3 clicks to get to things i a bit exaggerated I think. Sure, it could be less, but it really doesn't get in the way or really take up that much time. And I'm not sure why people are going into the settings all the time, other than to tinker. Here are my personal pet peeves:


  • No multiple delete function within email

  • EDGE. It's not as bad as I thought, but the iPhone is so much better on wi-fi.

  • Earpiece Sound quality. If the volume is turned up all the way, I get a fair amount of distortion on phone calls. The speakerphone turned up all the way is fine, so I'm guessing the earpiece is just a lower quality component. Not enough to truly impact the experience, but I shouldn't have to hear it for $600.

  • Crashes. Safari crashes on a regular basis as does the mail app. The phone does recover gracefully as it tries to leave things where they were when it crashed, but I'm just not used to crashing apps since I use a Mac for everything I do. At least when the iPhone crashes it continues to work. My Blackberry used to crash all the time and I'd have to do a hard reset each and everytime which usually took about 5 minutes.

  • Slide To Answer. If the phone is locked, and you get a call, you only have one option on screen - to answer the call. You should also be able to decline the call as well. Sure, you can press the standby button once to ignore, and twice to send the call to voicemail, but the instinct is to use the screen.



I'm sure I'll come across a few more over time. It doesn't make me regret my decision in any way. This is a beautiful and elegant phone; both physically and in the software.

This Is Just Oh So Wrong

iPhone App Review: TIPR

I was taken aback about my post about the new iPhone Apps as someone that I didn't personally know actually made a comment! I thought only like 3 people read this blog. I guess we're up to 4 now! Yay! :-)

The comment asked for some feedback about their iPhone application, TIPR. TIPR is a new iPhone application that does what the name suggests - help you calculate tips at a restaurant. Now I personally love this app because I am severly math-challenged. It should be simple enough to calculate a 20% tip, but I constantly screw it up.

The application is the best kind - it does one thing, and it does one thing well. The user interface is simple and elegant - just like the phone it works on. You simply punch in the amount of the check, dial-in the tip percentage (be gracious people) and click submit. It comes back and gives you the tip along with the bill total. Including the total is a nice touch, especially for math-challenged people like me.

The only issue I found with the app is a calculation error for hefty bills. Punch in something like $987 with a 20% tip and it comes back with a $-986 tip for a total bill of $1. Nice if it were true. This is not likely to come up much with average users, but I have personally put a similar business expense on my corporate credit card in the past.

It would be nice if the keyboard defaulted to the numeric keypad when entering the bill amount, but I'm pretty sure that's not something that could be controlled via the Safari browser. Hear that Apple? We're having to sacrifice a superior experience because you won't give developers a true development kit. I hope Apple rethinks their approach. While developers will indeed come up with some outstanding apps, they'd be even better if they could get to the core of the environment.

The only other enhancements I could think of would be a way to access customary tips when traveling outside the US and a way to "split" the bill amongst X number of people in a party. How many times have you been out to dinner/lunch with a group of people and it takes 45 minutes to figure out what everyone owes. However, this might need to be a separate app (with a simple link from TIPR) or something. I wouldn't want to clutter up the simple TIPR interface with a less-common need.

Great job on TIPR guys! Definitely an early must-have iPhone app.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Roll Out Them Apps

While the developer community is generally unhappy with Apple at the moment with the lack of a true SDK for the iPhone, it hasn't stopped them from developing some great Safari-based apps. Gas.app and TIPR are two I've actually used recently, and others I will be exploring soon.

The No B.S. iPhone Review

Gizmodo has the most realistic review of the iPhone I've read to date. It's harsh where it needs to be and gushing where it should. I personally don't care about a lot of the smaller missing features, but I do agree that the sum is greater than the parts. I'm sure Apple will blow us away with the first iPhone update and address many of these things. Of course a software update won't fix any issues with AT&T. But I've been with them for about 3 years or so now and haven't had any issues. I've actually been pleasantly surprised every time I've had to deal with them on some things.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

iPhone Enhancements List

By now you've got some things that you wish the iPhone did. Macenstein is compiling a list - add yours today. I'd agree with most if not all of them so far.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

iPhone Stress Tests

Thank god for the intertubes. I mean where else can you go for this kind of stuff. PCWorld performed all sorts of unthinkable things to a $600 device so you don't have to.

Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone is for sale online

Apple Store - however, expect to wait up until a month before you get it. Now waiting in line 6 hours doesn't seem so crazy now, does it?

I've Got My iPhone!

Yep, it matches the hype. After 6 hours in line, it took less than 15 minutes once 6pm hit and the doors opened.

Words cannot adequatly describe how awesome this thing is. The screen is beautiful, the multi-touch interface is extremely easy and intuitive. The iPod is incredible, the internet is incredible and the phone is incredible. The AT&T network could certainly be faster, but was fine for most tasks except YouTube and the web. But it's faster than you might think.

The virtual keyboard is really a snap. I'm having no problem typing things. There's an occasional fat-fingering of a letter, but it's simple enough to correct or accept the iPhone's spelling suggestion. I've even started typing with two thumbs (blackberry style). I need some more practice for that, but it won't be too long before I master it.

My only issue so far is the headphone jack is a bit deeper than most, and my tape adapter won't work with it. I'm sure someone will come up with an extension, but I really don't plan on using it too much in the car anyway.

This thing is sweet.

Activation was a breeze and took about 2 minutes. They've really thought of everything. Call quality is great, sms is great and email is super easy. If you have your Mac setup with address book and iCal (which I have automatically update from Entourage) and Mail, it just zips everything over. You don't really have to do anything. I was able to get my OneSpring Exchange email with no problem.

The wi-fi is very nice. When the iPhone detects an available wi-fi connection, it asks if you want to connect. If the network is secured, you have the option to enter the password. If the network name is not broadcast, you can set it up to connect. All very simple.

Yep, I'm a dork In Line

Number 35 or so in line at the Apple Store Perimeter Mall in Atlanta, GA. Pretty sure they'll have one when I get into the store in 6 hours.

:-)

Lines Already Beginning to Form

Well, we're about 10 hours away from the moment. I'm heading to the Atlanta Buckhead store today around 12 or so. Hopefully that won't be too late. I want an iPhone, but I really don't want to wait 10 hours in line for it. :-)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Little Over 1 Day And Counting

Can't you just feel the anticipation in the air? No, wait - that's Atlanta air pollution.

iPhone goes on sale TOMORROW at 6pm. Apple has created a very handy iPhone availablity finder to help locate your iPhone.

It looks like we're going to be adventursome and try the Apple store tomorrow, so it should be a geektastic time for all!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

iPhone

Not that this hasn't been covered in 1000 other places but here's the latest....


  • iPhone activation is through iTunes, so no need to wait to have it activated and set up in the store. Should significantly impact lines on Friday for the positive

  • Talk/Data plans are actually affordable - starts at $59.

  • Official reviews are out. iPhone excellent and unparalleled in some areas, sucks in others (especially AT&T's s-l-o-w network). The virtual keyboard seems to require some getting used to, but once you do it's fine. I'll of course post my own review after I get mine setup on Friday. :-)

  • Even Vegas is getting involved....bet on various aspects of the iPhone.

  • iPod functionality won't work without activation & two year AT&T committment.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

iPhone Central

Just in case you weren't getting enough iPhone news, the good folks over at MacWorld have an iPhone-dedicated blog, iPhone Central.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Apple Kicks Amazon's A$$

Apple is now the third largest music retailer after surpassing Amazon.com. Now on to the top two....Best Buy (#2) and Wal*Mart (#1).

Safari Beta 3.0.2 Available

If you're having/had troubles with the Safari Beta, version 3.0.2 is out.

iPhone News Summary


  • There's an awesome 25-minute guided tour online.

  • The iPhone web site has been redesigned.

  • Will be sold online via Apple Store.

  • 4 foot iPhone displays have invaded Apple and AT&T stores. Even more pictures.

  • Contract cancellation fee will be $175. (why would you cancel??!!)

  • When the store runs out of iPhones 1 person before you in line, you can order for mail delivery, with delivery in 3-5 days after launch; assuming you didn't beat up the guy who took the last one and are now in jail.

  • 200 field technicians have been secretly testing the iPhone and looking for technical glitches for more than 10 weeks. They say it's ready for prime time.

  • iPhone reads Word, Excel and PDF Files.

  • 2000 temps will be hired for iPhone launch.

  • Too lazy or important to wait in line yourself? Pay someone else to do it.

  • Apple releases Safari Beta 3.0.2 for Mac...oops, wait....this isn't iPhone news...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

New iPhone Specs

Apple announced today the battery life on the iPhone is better than expected - 8 hours of talk time versus 5 hours. The iPhone will also sport an optical-grade glass screen instead of plastic. Both address two of the most common concerns - battery life and scratchability. The news sent Apple's stock soaring today. The only lingering (major) concern is the lack of tactile keyboard.

We'll all know soon. Of course at this point the phone can really never live up to the hype, but if it does - wow.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Get Ready To Camp Out

If you want to be "cool" like me, you'll want to make sure your sleeping bag, beer and munchies are ready for the evening of the 28th / day of the 29th. There will be limited availability for the iPhone in the beginning.

Should you de-frag your Mac?

No.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Apple Doesn't Lie

One of Apple's ads in the UK was recently challenged for truth in advertising. The commercial was "Restarting" where Apple claims Macs don't get viruses and don't crash. The British Advertising Standards team agreed with the ads.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Paul McCartney iPod/iTunes Ad

Check out Apple's new iPod ad - Paul's Dance Tonight. Very cool.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Remove iTunes Plus Watermarks

If you're an uber paranoid type and have to remove the watermarking on iTunes Plus songs, there is a way to do it. You have to do it song by song, but paranoid people won't mind that.

Safari 3.0 Day Two

Okay - here are the problems I've run into so far on the Mac Safari 3.0:

Yahoo Messenger - Conversations reset to the top after every entry. EXTREMELY annoying. Why would Safari affect Yahoo you ask? Well, in addition to the Safari application, Apple updates the entire WebKit architecture which other programs like Yahoo Messenger and Dashboard Widgets rely on.

Blogger - While it works MUCH better than the previous version of Safari, I'm not able to add images to this blog's posts. Back to using Firefox for blog posts.

Others are having more severe issues.

No SDK = No Killer Apps?

Gizmodo makes a case for how Apple is limiting the iPhone potential by not having a true software development kit for the iPhone. At the Keynote yesterday Steve said that no SDK was needed - developers just need to use the built-in Safari browser to deliver distributed apps. The software lives on the web server, not on the phone. However, what is not clear is the availability of things like the built-in address book and other native applications.

I think Gizmodo has very good point and something Steve & Co. should pay very close attention to. Feels like one of those "we won't license the hardware" decisions from 30 years ago. And we all know how that decision played out.

Update: The Motley Fool weighs in with their opinion.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Safari on PC

Wow. If you think the new Safari is fast on the Mac, wait until you see it on the PC! It seems even faster, and blows IE 7 out of the water.

WWDC Announcements

Nothing too earth-shattering today at the Stevenote during the Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC), but cool nonetheless. Here's the roundup:

Leopard - New Desktop, Stacks, New Finder (with Coverflow!) and QuickView were the "secret features" Steve alluded to at Macworld in January. Add this to Spaces, Time Machine, iChat and more, and Leopard will be one kick-ass system. Check out the demos.

Safari - Public beta of version 3.0 was released today. The shocker that no one predicted - Safari's available on Windows now. I'm using 3.0 to type this, and it certainly works faster and better than the old. I used to have to post in Firefox because Safari didn't play nicely with Blogger. I'll be loading it up on my Windows XP virtual machine over in Parallels shortly. Download it.

Games - EA announced they were coming back to the Mac. I didn't even know they left. Id Games showed some incredibly detailed gaming on the Mac as well.

iPhone - Steve revealed that the iPhone will go on sale at 6pm on 29 June. Can't wait.

Apple.com - Not sure if this was discussed during the Keynote, but Apple.com has a new look & feel which is very nice. As a usability professional I especially like the sliders at the top of the pages to select products & services. Nice touch.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fun? Hack?

This from Macenstein just had me rolling on the floor:

Have you ever woken up after a long weekend of partying and you couldn’t remember what day it was? Well, how about whether Jesus died or not? If you’re like me, this has happened more times than you’d care to remember...

Man, if that weren't ever true. If you indeed need to know what era it is, just follow these simple steps.

My New MacBook Pro On The Way

I broke down (like it was hard) and ordered the new 15" MacBook Pro. I recently changed jobs and am doing the independent contracting thing for an awesome Applications Definition company- OneSpring. Am doing a lot of interactive work and need a workhorse. My 1st gen MacBook has actually surprised me and has been an awesome little machine. I just need more screen real estate and processing horsepower.

Will provide a full review mid-late next week after it arrives.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

New MacBook Pros

These are being covered everywhere, but here's the highlights:

New 15" and 17" MacBook Pros

LED-backlit screens (15" only): lower power consumption=longer batter life. Oh yeah, and it's greener.

Up to 4GB of RAM (previous model was 3GB)

Intel Santa Rosa architecture - 800MHz bus (compared to 667 before)

17" doesn't get the LED screen, but you can get high-res (1080p) screen for $100 more.

Longer battery life - 30 minutes to an hour.

802.11n Wireless (previous cost extra to activate)

Screaming video card - nVidia GeForce 8600M GT

Price stays the same - starting at $1999.

Plus everything else the previous version had - Bluetooth, Firewire 400 & 800, etc.


Can't wait to get mine soon!

It Was 20 30 Years Ago Today

The Apple ][ computer was launched 30 years ago. I'm feeling really old now. But for the record, I was 6 at the time.

It's always interesting to see what the technology was 30 years ago. Get these specs:

Price: $1298 (close to the top-end MacBook or mid-range iMac today)
Processor: 1 MHz MOS processor (minimum on a Mac nowadays is 1.83 GHz)
RAM: 4 KB of RAM - that "K", not "M" (minimum today is 1GB)
Storage: Programs were loaded and stored on the built-in audio cassette interface
Upgrades: A $2638 version was available that had 48 K of RAM.

The Apple II hooked up to a monitor or TV set via a composite video cable, and displayed color for the first time.

OpenOffice Come to Mac OS X - Alpha

It's an alpha version, so if you're looking for some really stable and bug-free software, look elsewhere. My favorite feature currently missing is the ability to print. From an office suite. Get it? :-)

OpenOffice is the open-source office suite that is fully compatible with MS Office. It's available in a stable version for Windows, and in Mac OS X under X11, but this is the first version that you don't have to be an ubergeek to install.

iTunes Plus - Worth The Plus?

http://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifiTunes Plus offers songs at twice the bit rate (256 vs. 128) and sans DRM. The lack of DRM to me provides the value of the 30 extra cents - but does the bit rate?

According to two independent sources, probably not.

The average person can't tell the difference between the two. My ears might be a bit better tuned that the average person, but I don't hear much of a difference either. But storage space being dirt cheap, why not have the higher quality?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

29 June It Is

Boy, when Steve says "late June", he means it. You can't get any later than 29 June (for a weekday). New ads released tonight on TV and on the web proclaim 29 June.

Check out the ads - very cool. Man, I can't WAIT!

Complete Mobile Phone Access

Accessing your mobile phone from your Mac is a frustrating exercise at best. Most of the time all you can do is do some limited syncing of contacts.

Fonelink changes that by giving you full access to your mobile phone. Well, as long as it's supported. Mine isn't, so I couldn't test this for you. VersionTracker gives the software 5 stars, so it can't be that bad.

2010 from 1988

An incredibly boring and dry prediction on what 2010 will bring from Apple - made from 1988.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

DRM-Free Music Identifies Purchaser

New iTunes Plus music shows purchaser details. So F---king what. Don't steal music. Jerk.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

GooTube Videos on AppleTV

Apple announced a new version of AppleTV with a 160GB hard drive (instead of the worthless 40GB in the "basic version") and that you can now stream GooTube videos. Both pretty cool IMHO, although I don't have an AppleTV nor do I have any real need (or want) to get one. I just don't have enough video content in my iTunes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Apple Launches iTunes Plus

From Too Poppy:

Apple launched iTunes Plus today, which features higher-quality DRM-free tracks for only $1.29 rather than the $.99 for regular tunes. I'm not sure I hear a big difference, but I like the option and the fact that you can upgrade previously purchased tracks is tremendously well thought-out. That kind of post-purchase flexibility is what makes the digital format superior over CDs (ever buy a whole album twice because the second version is remastered or features additional tracks?)

As a bonus, Apple took the opportunity to announce that "more than a dozen" of Paul McCartney's catalog is now available in both formats. Excellent, but "more than a dozen?" Why not "all?"

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

One Million Zunes

Zune hits one million.

It's amazing how quickly I can lose respect for one million people.

A Day at the Bar

Mac|Life has an interesting read on what it's like to be an Apple Genius.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sell Your Mac


Here's a very cool site - Mac2Sell.net. Just plug in the particulars on the Mac you want to sell for 17 different countries and voila - up pops a price. I just recently sold my iMac G5 20" on eBay and the price Mac2Sell displayed was right on the money.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Take A Chance on Me

Why don't you swap Shuffles with a friend, colleague or hell, even an enemy. It has to be Shuffles, otherwise you could look through the playlist. You might find something interesting. Or your ears might bleed. Either way, bliss.

Another Reason to Love Apple

It seems that MySpace users are hogging computers and bandwidth at Apple retail stores. In a move that makes me want to buy even more from them Apple has banned MySpace from their stores. That $599 iPhone now just doesn't seem so expensive anymore. MySpace SUCKS!

WiFind 1.1

Here's a cool little app - WiFind 1.1 adds to you Airport menu the ability to see at a glance which networks are secure and which aren't. Handy if you're like me and always trying to find a connection when I'm working remotely.

Try free for 15 days and only $8.00 afterword.