Archives

Jul
31

My Family’s New Love: Facebook

You would think Santa had just brought the household a new puppy on Christmas morning. My family is enamored with Facebook. One good thing about this love affair is I don’t have to clean up doggie “accidents” or deal with chewed up furniture. It’s also highly likely Facebook isn’t going to get hit by a car or develop bad hips.

Needless to say, I’ve been dabbling a bit with the site in an effort to remain the king of my house when it comes to the number of friends each of us has. To help me, I downloaded the Facebook Application onto my iPhone and I’m pretty impressed. It has the most used base communication features of the web version. I’ve found that adding new friends is actually faster than it is with the web version.

If you’re into Facebook and have an iPhone, give the Facebook Application a try.

Jul
31

Gotta Jettison Some Apps

57. That’s the number of additional apps that are on my iPhone right now, not installed by default. When you have 57 apps on your iPhone, it takes over 2 hours to sync those apps in iTunes. That’s two hours more than I have to sync my phone, and so I’m going to be cutting some loose.

Yes, I realize that I hoarded apps like a Survivor contestant winning the reward challenge to Hot Dog Island when he first sees the bucket of weenies, but I bet I don’t have the most amount of apps installed out there.

At any rate, I’ll be making some decisions and posting which apps are expendable, and which ones will receive salvation and a place on the desktop. More to come.

Jul
29

The iTicket, and Moving To the Front of The Line

After calling around to the three Portland area stores I found out that all three had iPhones in stock, and were handing out the ‘golden ticket’ above, to let you know you were going to get a phone–either that day if you wanted to wait, or any other time you came in, and of course, wanted to wait. I snagged a ticket, got in line and proceeded to wait about 45-60 minutes, got prequalified, and then got my iPhone.

An interesting thing happened while I was waiting. I noticed a hip looking, attractive blond gal walk in, ask someone about the line, get a ticket, and them mill around the store a bit. There were still people behind me when I got called up for my phone, so I was surprised to see a few moments later that the ‘lady in pink’ had somehow ended up standing with the guy who was pre-qualifying just a few minutes earlier, iPhone bag in hand, at an activation screen. The same folks waiting were still waiting.

I asked the person helping me if she knew how that lady hopped the line, and she said “I have no idea. It might be a business thing.” I asked another person on my wait out, and she kind of shrugged it off too. But I’m still curious to know if she either a) somehow managed to talk the whole line into letting her skip to the front, or b) had some special business pass at Apple to let her skip the line, or c) simply wooed the Apple dude into letting her skip the line.

Anyone know of an actual Golden Ticket that lets you skip to the front of the line?

Jul
25

iStat Pro 4.7 – Great Monitoring Software

This monitoring widget has received a 4.5 star rating at www.macupdate.com and is effective in allowing users to monitor their computers information. “It features detailed information on CPU, memory, hard drives, IP and external IP, bandwidth, CPU temperature, battery, uptime, temperatures and fans.” The widget itself shows important information about the status of your computer and even gives you a detailed, color-coded example of where your computer is running programs, what space you have available in different areas and an easy click help button that links you to iStat Support for troubleshooting or tutorial related questions.

This summer, I personally value two of the monitoring systems that let me know what temperature each of my systems is running at and the rpm exhaust of my computer’s fan. These keep me mindful when I’m out in the sun with my Mac or on the run, as well as the Battery health and charge status, which includes a percentage of charge and time remaining. This way I know when I need to get home to grab my charger, which I usually forget to bring with me to work.

The latest 4.7 edition fixed bugs where sidebar labels could become stuck after changing skins, bugs that could cause widget to crash in network code and fixed bugs with multi terabyte disk support. On the side of the widget, the activity monitor gives you access to locate and monitor which programs are running and taking up the % CPU, the threads of each program as well as the real and virtual memory. The side bar options also include a settings pop up which allows you to set alert intervals, daily updates and modify the display of the iState widget. You need Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and can click here to download iStat.

Let us know what you think of the iStat Pro 4.7 and post a comment here.

Jul
23

iPhone – The Cabbage Patch Doll of Our Time

When I was just a kid, one of my siblings asked for a Cabbage Patch doll for a gift. I remember my dad running around like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way, trying to find that ugly little thing, and probably aging 5 years in process. I’m catching glimpses of that fiasco every time I call the local AT&T shops and Apple Stores asking about iPhone availability.

I think I’ve finally given in, and let our AT&T business rep order one for me. Expected delivery time: up to 21 days. All because I was camping out, instead of camping out. I honestly would not have expected the 3G iPhone to be a bigger, and quicker seller than the first gen version — many people I knew were planning on NOT upgrading, but apparently many were, and many first time buyers stepped up.

Perhaps the rep will come through with a surprise, otherwise, in about three weeks I’ll do an unboxing….ugh.

Jul
22

Apple Chasing Dell & HP for Market Share

I read this morning that Apple is now the No. 3 PC maker in the U.S. with it’s sites set on Dell and HP.  This seems pretty impressive to me given how huge Dell has been historically.  Reminds me of the days when Apple had only a fraction of 1% of the market in terms of users as well as PC sales.

Jul
18

The iPhone Void Deepens

According to Macworld, we may be in the iPhone void for up to another entire month. “I bet we’ll see these problems for another two to four weeks,” said Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., referring to his estimate of the lead time necessary for Apple to increase orders from its suppliers and restock the depleted iPhone inventory. “Early demand has been more than they expected [because] they knocked it out of the park on the first weekend.”

We can attest to the supply and demand in our area. All local AT&T stores have been out of stock all week and are now saying they are only taking orders for delivery in 7-10 business days. After a call to three local Apple stores in the Portland area, one said they had ‘everything in stock,’ so we made a beeline to pick up a couple. Turns out they sold out of the white 16gb model before we could get our hands on one. They did however have the elusive black 16gb model, which is apparently the hot seller. Again from the Macworld article:

“The hardest-to-find iPhone 3G remained the $299 black 16GB model, which is available Thursday in only 18 stores, or 9.6 percent of the outlets. Supplies of the $199 8GB iPhone 3G plummeted in the last 24 hours, according to Apple’s inventory tool: 24 stores reported it as available Thursday (12.8 percent of the 188 in the U.S.) compared to 42 stores that said it was in stock Wednesday (22.3 percent).”

How long will the void actually last? Hard to say. Are you still in an iPhone void?

Jul
16

Apple Sues Mac Clone Maker Psystar…FINALLY

It’s been a long time coming…and I know this isn’t exactly breaking news for anyone following Mac/Apple related news topics, but I had to comment.  I can’t believe how long it’s taken for Psystar to get slapped by Apple for stepping on Apple’s hardware toes.  The interesting thing is, based on what I’m reading, this doesn’t appear to be as much about the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) breach, as about trademark and copyright infringement.  Here’s a link to the initial source we found the news at:

The Gray Blog – “Apple Goes After Clone Maker Psystar”

Personally, I like the idea of Mac clones.  Although I wasn’t a big fan of the clones in the late 80′s, now that we’re on Intel processors, the hardware options become a lot more interesting.  This could end up being a huge boost for the Apple OS and it’s market penetration if they open up licensing at some point.  I’m certainly not saying I don’t like Apple hardware, it rocks.  But I always cringe a bit at the cost of their more robust systems.  Course “cringe a bit” doesn’t prevent me from actually ponying up the bucks to buy a high end system.

Jul
16

Favorite Free iPhone App Of The Day – Shazam!

There are a LOT of free apps in the iTunes App Store — enough to keep a fella busy downloading and trying tons of new stuff each day! All in all, the App Store is a welcome addition to the iPhone life, even if syncing all those apps is a drawn out process each time you hook up.

Complaining aside, here’s the pick for Favorite Free iPhone App of the Day: Shazam!

Shazam bills themself as the ‘amazing music discovery engine,’ and I would say after just a few minutes of monkeying around with the app, that I concur. It is pretty amazing. According to the website, here are the key features and functionality of the application:

Already an industry standard, Shazam fully integrates with and complements the iPhone’s native environment, allowing you to seamlessly discover, buy and share tunes simply by holding your iPhone to music for just a few seconds.

  • Tag music: identify music anywhere – whether it’s on the radio, TV, in a movie or in a store.
  • Build your own soundtrack: see the list grow every time music is tagged.
  • Get the music: go straight to iTunes to preview and buy.
  • Music Videos: see related videos of the track on YouTube.
  • Capture the moment: personalise the tag by taking a photo and adding it to ‘My Tags’.
  • Share the moment: send track details to friends via email.

The Shazam application enables you to tap into a vast database of nearly 5 million tracks giving instant satisfaction for those times when you want to know the tune that is playing, learn more about the artist, buy the song immediately – or simply add it to your playlist.

In initial run through, we were able to play and successfully track songs from Faith Hill, The Eagles, Norah Jones, The Go Go’s and even Tennessee Ernie Ford. Shazam provided links to iTunes tracks available for purchase, and videos on YouTube.

I don’t even want to know how the engine works, I just want to have this magic application continue to provide many more moments of amazement and wonder! Get it FREE, at the iTunes App Store.

Jul
15

Living In The iPhone Void

Last Thursday, July 10…”iPhone Eve,” I tossed my sleeping bag and tent into the ol’ rig and set off to camp out. No, I wasn’t camping out for the iPhone, I was literally camping out — trees, lake, bugs — the whole nine yards. I had a previous commitment that turned out to be on the same weekend as the V2 release, and couldn’t join in on all the hoopla for the new version when it came out.

Last year I was one of the first couple of people in our town to get an iPhone. I brought down my RV and we played Halo and Guitar Hero all night long, got in the local paper, had friends bringing down food and drinks — really made a party out of it. This year, nada. My camp out buddies from last year went down at 5 am the day of, got in a then-short line, and walked out with iPhones.

During a lull in the camp out this year, I headed into a fairly large town around noon, only to find out that this years iPhone was actually a bigger seller than last years. Apple has reported that it’s sold 1 million iPhones over the weekend, whereas last year it took 74 days to accomplish the same goal. I could have told you that…because there are NO phones to be had around here. Checking in daily since I got back from my trip…ugh:

They had black 8gb iPhones available yesterday, but I’m fairly set on the white 16gb model, so here I sit, in an iPhone 3G void. All is not lost though, I have been enjoying the V2 update for the V1 iPhone mentioned in the previous post. I still have the beta version, and I think it’s acting a little funky, but downloading and playing around with stuff from the iPhone App Store is keeping me entertained while I wait.

Anyone else still waiting, waiting, waiting?