Why I’m Not As Excited As I Was About the iPhone SDK

So the iPhone SDK was announced just a few days ago and on that day I was terribly excited for the coming months, at that time I believed that this could be a fundamental change in the world of mobile computing. Not because no one had done it before, someone had done it before, in fact many had done it before but what they hadn’t done is spark that excitement with people like the iPhone did.

But today I have to let you in on a little secret, unless Apple changes some of the guidelines alongside this SDK it may not be that fundamental change.

“Only one iPhone application can run at a time, and third-party applications never run in the background. This means that when users switch to another application, answer the phone, or check their email, the application they were using quits. It’s important to make sure that users do not experience any negative effects because of this reality. In other words, users should not feel that leaving your iPhone application and returning to it later is any more difficult than switching among applications on a computer.”

This is coming from Apple Human Interface Guidelines for the iPhone. This means that many of the applications that I would be excited to use are practically useless. The first application that always comes to mind when I think of what I would like to see on the iPhone is a Twitter application, if the Twitter application can’t let me know that their are new tweets while I’m browsing the internet using Mobile Safari then it is practically useless to me. One of the applications that was shown off at the announcement will be incredibly effected by this decision, the AIM client for the iPhone will become almost useless to me if it can’t run in the background.

Pirating Software – Mac Edition

want to explain myself before I go on with this post. I feel as though it is important to understand how software piracy works, this isn’t to show how you can pirate software but to show you what software pirates do so that you can either help stop it (if you make software) or realize that it isn’t really worth it and maybe you will pay for software or (as I am doing) use free alternatives.Today I’m specifically talking about software piracy on the Mac.

The website serialz.to (I’m not linking to them, they MAY have pornographic ads and POSSIBLY spyware/viruses, you can’t be too carful) allows you to download an application that read database files that include serials to an assortment of software applications. Just like any other Mac program, you download it and drag it into your applications folder. Then you download the database file, unzip it, and double click on it to open the application. The application then allows you to search through the database finding the serial numbers for the application.

Some of the serial numbers in the application are not up to date and don’t work, soon after a serial is known to the public the application developer will not allow you to download the version that the serial works on and put out a newer version of the application where the serial number does not work (leaving many software pirates frustrated).

At one point in my life there were a few applications that I did pirate, but often times I would download an update to fix a bug I was experiencing with the program and the program would no longer work because the serial was left invalid. I do not condone software piracy at all, I have realized that the hassle involved in pirating software isn’t worth it and the $20 or whatever to purchase the program isn’t really that bad of a deal.

After pirating for a few months I realized all of this and decided to change my ways, it has been quite some time since I’ve pirated software and I feel a lot better about it. I always felt a little guilty about pirating software but as the software upgrades and the searching for new serials for programs went on I felt worse and worse about what I was doing.

I still don’t have a whole lot of extra money to purchase very many applications with so what I decided to do was to start using free applications instead.

I’m not going to go through all of the applications that I am now using on my computer because this post is already long enough, but I do plan to write a post where I will go through all of the applications that you can download and use completely free (some of which are even open source). Look for that post sometime in the near future.

oh, and…

Don’t copy that floppy!

Categorized as Apple, Rants

I Second the Motion, Leopard Makes Me Mad Too

That’s right, Leopard makes me mad! I don’t know exactly if it is Leopards fault but I do know that there isn’t any explanation for what I’m about to tell you, Leopard completely, and I mean completely crashes on me, almost weekly.

Now this isn’t just a kernel panic, where I can hold down the power button to shut off the computer and turn it back on again and everything works fine, oh no no no, this is the kind of crash where one day I decide to turn my computer on and it WILL NOT boot into the desktop.

Like I said before, this happens almost weekly, I fairly sure there is nothing wrong with my hard drive, or my computer because a few times when I reinstalled I used “Archive and Install” and all of my data was intact and worked fine, so the only thing on my hard drive that was screwed up was Leopard itself.

I’ve mentioned the problem before (here), but I figured it was just an isolated incident and that everyone else was just peachy keen with Leopard, than I read “Leopard is the New Vista, and It’s Pissing Me Off.”

Now, Oliver Rist doesn’t seem to have quite the problems that I do with Leopard but it did make me realize that Leopard isn’t really that perfect.

3 or 4 times already I have had to completely reinstall Leopard from the ground up, preforming a format of the hard drive I am using (including writing zeros across the entire disk, just to make sure). Luckily Time Machine had my back and I was able to retain my data (I’m starting to think that this is the reason Time Machine was included in Leopard).

I don’t exactly know what to do though, I don’t know if it is time for a new computer, time for a new hard drive, or time to switch back to Tiger. The problem with switching back to Tiger is that, well, I feel that I won’t back up unless I have Time Machine and that means that if I AM wrong and it IS my hard drive, I could be in for a catastrophic disaster.

If any of you out there are having similar problems or are having problems at all with Leopard leave a comment I’d like to know how frustrated Leopard is leaving people.

Why You Should Buy the iPhone And Not The iPod Touch


The iPod Touch was announced last week and a lot of people were thinking, “that is exactly what I wanted!” Well I’m here to tell you that you are wrong and that you do want the iPhone and not the iPod Touch, here is why:

  1. The calendar app can’t add events – Just like the iPods the calendar is just for viewing. That’s right you can’t add events to the calendar on the iPod Touch, who wants that?
  2. No Google Maps – One of the applications that I have found the most useful on the iPhone is the Google Maps application. Well, the iPod Touch doesn’t have the Google Maps app.
  3. No weather app – Of course you can just go to weather.com or some other weather website but why be trapped in Safari all day, the weather widget on the iPhone is super simple and extremely clean, its also not on the iPod Touch.
  4. No Email app – the iPod Touch does not have an email application, just like the weather widget problem you can use Safari to deal with email but (like many others) my favorite email provider is Gmail which doesn’t work at all in mobile Safari.
  5. The iPhone has visual voicemail – some people don’t think that the visual voicemail is that compelling but I’ll tell you what, the first time that you wake up late and have 10 voicemail messages on your phone that you can pick and choose which one to listen to first, you will truly realize why visual voicemail is so cool.
  6. The iPod Touch doesn’t have a camera – Although the iPhones camera isn’t that great it is extremely handy, I find myself taking pictures much more often just because the camera app is so simple to use.
  7. The iPhone has been unlocked! – That means that all of the people who wanted iPod Touch because of not having to tie themselves to AT&T can get themselves an iPhone, unlock it, and use it with any carrier they want.
  8. Microphone built into headphones is great – Yes, I am one of the few that actually uses the headphones that came with the iPhone, not only because they sound good enough to me and fell fine in my ear, but also because I love having the microphone and button built into the headphones, the people I talk to on the phone think it sounds great and the ability to squeeze the button to control the iPod app and answer calls is awesome.
  9. The extra storage is no big deal – Ok, ok, the iPod Touch has twice the capacity, that’s all fine and good until you realize that iTunes is extremely powerful and allowing you to easily choose what you want on the iPhone and what you don’t really need, I have the 8GB iPhone and 3GB of music and 3GB of video is just fine for me, why do people think that they need 500 hours of audio and 50 hours of video in their pocket? You don’t have time to listen/watch all of that content.
  10. YOU CAN’T GET THE IPOD TOUCH YET – You can walk to your local AT&T or iPhone store and pick up an iPhone TODAY, but the iPod Touch doesn’t ship until September 28th. I don’t know about you but I usually don’t want to have to wait for my gadgets.

iPhone Price Drop

I’m not going to talk about any other announcements today because I am to upset about this one. HOW COULD APPLE DO THIS TO ITS CUSTOMERS. I waited outside in the incredibly hot sun for 7:30 hours waiting for this device and a short 2 months later they drop the price by $200! That is unheard of. How could Apple think that the 270,000+ customers that purchased the iPhone already wouldn’t be upset about the price drop, it isn’t like the thing has been out for 6 months, I could understand that, but it has only been out for 2.

Apple made a big mistake dropping the price so early, I’m sure it will make every customer who purchased it early incredibly upset with them, especially since we had to deal with buggy software for the first month or so. Does Apple think that they could just charge us $200 extra so that we have the privilege to beta test their product, that is completely ridiculous.

I hope that every single person that has purchased an iPhone goes to their local AT&T/Apple store and complains until Apple reacts to it, there was no need for Apple to lower the price of the device doing so only upset customers and lowered their profit margins. People didn’t seem to have too much of a problem with paying $599 for the device so why would they go ahead and lower the price of it so quickly.

I want to see a mail in rebate in my mailbox within the next week or I don’t know what I’m going to do (most likely just take it like a man and forget about it).

Back from a Wonderful Weekend

As some of you know I wasn’t home over the weekend. I was actually at a wedding, but that isn’t really technology related. What is is really my lack of what was going on over the weekend on the internet. I was in the wedding so had a few major responsibilities and subsequently wasn’t able to keep up with the large stream of news flowing through the pipes. I was able to come up with a couple of posts for Saturday but when I got back home I found myself with a stock pile of RSS updates to read. Luckily I have friends online who were able to keep up with the news.

When I got home one of the first Twitter updates I did was saying that I didn’t know what all went on over the weekend in the technology news space. Within just a few minutes one of my Twitter friends 4ndr3w said this:

Well.. Seagate might get sold to China, Phat nano, BioShock DRM, Halo 3 gone gold, Google doing it’s own linux, and WGA down.”

Let me just give a small sentence or two about each one so that all you readers will be able to know what I think of each.

Seagate might get sold to China – I understand why the federal government would be worried but I also think that they shouldn’t really be worried. There are tons of technology companies in China and you don’t see any problems with Americans buying them. If this sale did happen it would leave Western Digital as the only American disk maker left. I personally have trusted my money with Western Digital and I actually only purchase Western Digital drives. The only hard drive in my house that isn’t made by Western Digital came inside of my MacBook.

Phat Nano – I talked about the “phat nano” here.

BioShock DRM – If you don’t purchase the Steam version of BioShock then when you install it it will also install a program called SecuROM. SecuROM is a copy protection scheme to keep one copy of the game from being installed on separate computers. The issue that I’ve read about causes the game to be either uninstallable or when you uninstall it from one computer you aren’t able to install it on another computer at all. I think this is ridiculous. Whatever happened to just checking for the disk in the drive and making the disk un-copyable, wasn’t that enough? (I can’t believe I’m actually wishing for copy protection at all, but I would at least be relieved to know that as long as I had the disk there would never be a problem.)

Halo 3 gone gold – Here is what I think: cool. Did that sound a little unenthusiastic? Well that is because Halo hasn’t been cool since the first game, even then only on the PC and the single player mode isn’t all that great, I HATE online multiplayer. If I want to play with other people I want to actually know them and have them in the same room. (I also don’t have an XBox 360)

Google doing it’s own linuxI actually wasn’t able to find the source of this story. I couldn’t find anything recent, all of the stories I was finding were just speculation from a few months back. I’m going to direct message 4ndr3w and see if I can get a link to the story. I found the story, it basically just confirms that Google says that they have been fiddling around with making a “Goobuntu” linux distro. I don’t really think it will amount to anything but if this distro does get released to the public it will most likely have all of the Google apps integrated into the operating system. Google Desktop, Google Calendar, Gmail, etc. I think it will be cool but I don’t really see it going anywhere, a stock set up of Ubuntu is already cool enough.

WGA down – I am extremely glad that it finally came back up, I just wonder exactly how many people were affected by this. It is completely rediculous and this is exactly what will happen with all of these terribly inplemented copy protection schemes, THEY MUST BE STOPPED!

So there you have it, it was a long weekend for me (a fun one but it was still long) and seemed to be an eventful tech news weekend as well.

Categorized as Rants

How Would I Change The AppleTV?

Engadget asked a simple question yesterday, I never really gave the question much thought but the problem is, it was hard for me to come up with answers.

“How would you change the AppleTV?”

The first thing that came to mind after a few minutes of thinking was the addition of Joost. Yes I know that there is YouTube in it, but who wants to watch the evolution of dance all day? Not me. Joost doesn’t exactly have the best content either but they do have a great simple to use interface that already works with the Apple remote and at least they have some potential for great content.

I spent quite some time thinking about it after that and the only other thing that I thought of was the ability to download podcasts directly to the AppleTV. When you have an AppleTV you would like to get the highest quality downloads of your podcasts but if you don’t know where you are going to watch it (iPod or AppleTV) you either end up subscribing to two formats of the podcast or only subscribing to the smaller version. I don’t want to watch 640×480 (or smaller) video through my AppleTV, it looks terrible on my HDTV.

Only two things came to mind but I think they are good things. forget everything else, if I can get these two things I would sure be happy.

Regarding Google and the 700Mhz Spectrum

So Google has thrown $4.6 Billion at the 700Mhz spectrum and a lot of people have come up with some theories about what Google is going to do with it. I have read that a lot of people think that Google is going to purchase the spectrum and build a data network throughout the US. I’ll tell you why that isn’t true.

Google isn’t in the telecom business and they are not an ISP. I don’t think that Google wants to deal with that. Google is an advertisement company and all too often people forget that. So Google is throwing money at this to convince the FCC to force whoever gains control of that spectrum to leave it open. It goes back to that whole net neutrality issue, Google is against tiered internet and doesn’t want it to happen, so they are doing all they can to keep things moving free on the internet. Already cellular networks are heavily regulated by their providers and Google doesn’t want this to happen again on the 700Mhz spectrum.

I think that even if Google bids on it it will just be a tactic to convince others bidding to make it how they want it.

Remember that buying this spectrum doesn’t automatically mean that you can use it, there are not only towers that you have to build to be able to use it but you also have to convince consumers that they should buy the devices that would work on this network, that means this spectrum would not make a profit for Google for 5-10 years, of course Google has the money to make it that long but I don’t think that it is a business that they want to get into.

Of course I want Google to buy the spectrum and create a cheap data network using it but it just isn’t going to happen, like I said earlier Google is an internet company not a telecom.

Debating on the iPhone

I took a drive out to the two local AT&T stores in my area. There was not a single person there. This of course makes me want the iPhone more because I would be one of the extremely few people in my area that has an iPhone. I already use AT&T and have added a text messaging and data package for $20. After that would be removed from my plan and the iPhone’s base $20 package was added I wouldn’t be spending any more money on a monthly basis.

The only thing keeping me from buying this phone is its price. $600 plus whatever tax and activation fee ($36 activation) I have to spend.

I’m sitting at my desk with my checkbook in front of me and a picture of the iPhone on my screen. I keep going back and forth, I really want the iPhone, but I really enjoy eating food and being able to pay my bills.

On one side I really need a new phone, my old Razr is driving me nuts. On the other side I could eat for 6 months on this amount of money.

What do you readers think I should do?

Here’s a few links to help you answer this question:

Pogue Answers Common iPhone Questions [Mac Rumors]

Steve Jobs to make a rare company-wide speech tomorrow [Engadget]

Gallery: Full-resolution iPhone interface screen shots [Think Secret]

Blockbuster Favors Blu-Ray

According to Pittsburghlive.com, Blockbuster will lay its trust in the hands of Blu-ray over the hi-def war. 1,450 stores will begin stocking Blu-ray discs, not HD-DVD discs.

“This could be the end for HD-DVD” is what many in the blogosphere are saying. Let’s look at it this way, Blockbuster is a huge company but I’m not sure if they have the weight that many people think that they do. Most stores selling movies are selling both, Netflix has both, and most people just want to buy the cheaper player. I am usually on the side of Blu-ray in most of these discussions because I love to play the devils advocate. But, HD-DVD isn’t exactly going to see too many hits from this, there have been many companies who have publicly sided with either HD-DVD or Blu-ray and later on decided to either change their mind or become neutral signing deals with both formats.

People love to have headlines like “Blockbuster sides with Blu-ray, the end for HD-DVD?” but the problem is it is just way too soon to tell which format will end up winning, the thing is, both formats could still “win.” There are plenty of consumers out there to go around and it seems like just as many movies. A dual-format player for $500 or the ability for the consumers to buy and HD-DVD player for $250 and a Blu-ray player for $250 could make this format war mean nothing anymore.

Let’s just all take a deep breath look at what movies you want and the price of the players/discs and just buy something already. I’m tired of everyone getting upset over this. Just buy a player and some movies, without customers neither one will win, do your part by purchasing something and making your “vote” count in this format war.

Palm’s New Laptop-like Device, The Palm Foleo

I know what most of you are thinking this device looks kind of cool but why would I ever want to buy one? Well I’ll tell you right now that I probably won’t ever buy one however if I had the extra money I would. Reason being: it is amazing.

The Palm Foleo is very similar to the Nokia N800 which I also think is a great device. The reason you would buy one is because a lot of your life is online. I personally spend a lot of my free time online (obviously). I don’t use a lot of desktop applications, I use Gmail, Google Reader, Twitter, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, etc. So most of the time I don’t want to have to get out a device with a lot of bloat if I just want to jump on wikipedia and look up something. I also don’t want to carry my hot running MacBook around the house when all I’m going to be doing is surfing Digg or writing some email.

Now I do understand that $599 is a little much for a device like this, its basically a Nokia N800 with a keyboard for $200 more. But I think that if they could find a way to drop the price $100-$200 it would be something that a whole lot more people would be looking at.

What I cannot find anywhere is whether or not this thing has Wifi. I would assume that it does however the only type of wireless systems that I can find anyone talking about is it wirelessly syncing to your Treo, that would most likely be done over Bluetooth. I’m going to assume however that it does have Wifi.

The device will not make it in the market. No one is going to want to buy it at that price. I don’t think it will last more than 6 months. The device just doesn’t have a large enough customer base for enough people to get behind it. Not to mention that fact that so money blogs are already saying that it is a useless device.

Just please, for me, check it out, it is really cool.

Palm Foleo

And here are some places where you can find more pictures of the device:

My First Experience with Dual Monitors

Yesterday I had my first experience using two monitors at once. And I am using two right now as well.

I happen to be cleaning out my junk room (the room where you keep all your junk, everyone has one) and I found the monitor that I had been meaning to give to my girlfriend. Well because I hadn’t used it in so long it was like a new toy to me. I got it out and grabbed my old laptop from my bedroom that had been collecting dust.

I set up the monitor next to the laptop and set them up for spanning accross the two. OMG! I don’t know why I have never done this before. You get so much more work done when you can use two monitors at the same time. More screen real estate equals more productivity. This is obviously going to end though because I do still plan on giving this monitor to my girlfriend and the laptop that I’m using is on its last leg, not to mention I’m too cheap to go out and buy a $12 adapter so that I can connect the monitor to my MacBook with a VGA cable.

All I have to say is if you do a lot of work on a computer and happen to spend a lot of time with many applications open at the same time, do yourself a favor and go buy yourself an extra monitor, yea I know it will cost you like $200-$300 but it is well worth it, trust me.