Apple

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Confirmed: iPhones are fun

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

GigaOm points us to new data from M:Metrics confirming that iPhone users are more likely to browse the web, watch videos, and in general get the most our of their digital life while on the go courtesy of the iPhone’s cutting edge features. From a personal perspective I know I use my iPhone a lot more than other phones due to the well implemented features, and desktop-like browsing experience.

iPhone metrics

The article also points out that the iPhone is far from dominant with only 2.2% of the total US cellphone market, although if you ask me that’s a pretty impressive feat having not been on the market a full year and costing $500. I find it interesting that the iPhone beats out all Windows Mobile phones (none of which even show up in the top 25), and is rapidly gaining on RIM’s Blackberry devices.

Two Union Square by Aperture 2.0

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

I recently discovered Apple Aperture 2.0 and have simply fallen in love with it. It’s hands down the most performant and powerful photo management software out there. Coupled with Adobe Photoshop CS3 (technically the entire Creative Suite) my workflow has been entirely revolutionized. Aperture makes managing a set of 5 photos as easy as managing 10,000. By stacking and grouping photos it’s possible to quickly triage a shoot, find the good shots, and archive the bad shots all with GPU accelerated speed.

Unfortunately I’m come to realize just how unorganized my photos were in iPhoto and am being forced to go on a holy reorganization quest – luckily a not quite as monumental now that I have Aperture to help me out. As a bonus I’m finding lots of old photos that with a little tweaking come out great. It’s like finding rough jewels in a mine, only I don’t have to get all dirty and sweaty – I can just dig away at my desk.

Two Union
A new entry into my series of Two Union Square

AppleTV/Hairspray review

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Yesterday Apple released the AppleTV Take2 software update. Of course upon getting home I immediately installed it and started playing with some of the shiny gooey goodness and I have to say I’m impressed. I really liked the first version of the AppleTV and they really have knocked it out of the park this time.

The entire user experience is re-envisioned to be more flashy – much more fun to use. The fact that the AppleTV can now independently sync podcasts, buy music and TV shows on the iTunes media store, and rent movies makes for a most delectable icing on an already moist and delicious media cake.

For some strange reason I decided upon Hairspray as test of the new HD rental service. The rental experience was a breeze – two clicks of the remote (plus a one-time password entry) and the HD movie was playing with surprisingly good quality within two minutes.

I went into Hairspray with low expectations and came away impressed. The movie is fun, engaging, and oddly thought provoking. Don’t get me wrong – it’s completely campy and over the top, but really well executed. The music and choreography is well thought out and the cinematographer did a great job of showcasing some of the dance moves without distracting the viewer with too much camera movement.

Featuring fantastic performances by John Travolta, Christopher Walken (it had been so long since I’d seen the Weapon of Choice music video I’d almost forgot how good a dancer he is), and new to film actress Nikki Blonsky who leads the film with confidence and flair.

For the record: John Travola in drag is just plain wrong, but wrong in the kind of way that I can get behind. Travolta in drag for President 08!

Launching

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Yesterday brought 12 hours of production issues, troubleshooting, and delayed launches. I hate days like that and really can’t wait for the weekend now (2 days left). We have another busy day of launch activity ahead of us today, but hopefully we will complete everything and be ready for a nice relaxing Friday.

On the plus side I picked up an Airport Extreme to replace my slowly dying Linksys Gigabit-N router. The Airport Extreme has blown my socks off – not only is it drop dead simple to configure, but my Macbook Pro Lanshark connects at 300Mbps and gets 21MB/sec actual throughput at 1.4ms latency. Impressive!

Your Apple ID requires harvesting?!

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Harvesting?!

While at the Leopard launch last night Mike picked up an 8Gb 3rd generation iPod Nano for his daughter. While over at their house this morning I was amused to see he was having trouble registering the Nano. Every time he tries to sign in with his Apple ID he gets the puzzling error “This person record requires harvesting.” (click the image above for a full sized view).

While I’m sure it has a valid technical meaning it’s a strange message to show to an end user. It almost makes me wonder – what kind of harvesting is Apple talking about here, a kidney or a crop?

Life’s little pleasures: Leopard, IMAP, and Puzzle Quest

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

The past 24 hours has brought a number of great things into my life. Yesterday night I went to the Bell Square Apple Store for the Leopard launch with Mike and picked myself up a copy of the shiny new version of OS X.

The launch event itself was an interesting experience. Apple really does know how to work a crowd, and the energy and passion it’s employees (retail and engineering alike) bring to work with them makes for a really positive experience for Apple’s customers.

Leopard itself is a neat little upgrade. The upgrade itself actually works really well – I didn’t lose any of my documents, settings, or preferences. Aside from Quicksilver being stuck in my dock (not the menubar where it really belongs) everything works flawlessly on Lanshark – Photoshop even stayed fully activated. Leopard is nothing revolutionary, but it really does add a lot of polish to OS X and makes for a worthwhile upgrade.

For the first time ever I actually kind of like the Finder. Quicklook (the ability to preview just about any document without the overhead of opening it’s parent application) is handy and makes confirmation that you have the document you are looking for brain dead simple. Spotlight is vastly improved featuring much faster searches, operators, and network search abilities.

Aside from the Leopard launch I was also thrilled to find out my Gmail account finally got IMAP enabled. The IMAP implementation is well done, and it makes Gmail’s iPhone experience as slick as their browser experience. Being able to have Mail.app cache my gmail account is handy as well for having my webmail searchable via the OS just like the rest of my personal knowledge store.

The final great thing to enter my life yesterday was Puzzle Quest for the DS. Puzzle Quest is a fun little RPG/Puzzler game that a couple of friends had suggested and it’s quite fun. It offers quick-in, quick-out gameplay – a fun addition to my go bag.

Gutting my baby for the better

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Last night I had the opportunity to experience the joy of Applecare. iChoad finally finished dying so I took him to the Apple Store (again) to drop him off. Unfortunately the University Village Apple Store is closed for renovation so I had to fight traffic up to Lynnwood. Luckily for me it was a reasonably pleasant experience. After a little diagnosis they agreed that the motherboard and video card had issues, and ordered the parts to replace them. I’ve had a few stuck pixels for a while so they also agreed to replace the LCD screen. All in all I should be getting him back early next week, with pretty much every component replaced.

The traffic I faced last night was in stark contrast to my ride in to work this morning. Some asshat scheduled an early morning meeting on a Friday so I was driving in at 7:10 – with practically no traffic. There is something weird about driving at 60mph in the dark on a freeway I rarely get to accelerate past 20 on – it felt forbidden and exhilarating.

Leopard launches tonight. Excitement!

QuickPack

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Wow, simply wow – Quickpack, an elegant fusion of Quicksilver and Backpack. Quicksilver now not only rocks the OS X application management and work flow automation, but now it’s also my key information capture action. With a few keystrokes it’s easy to add a note or list item to any page in your backpack. I run my life out of lists using a semi-GTD approach and being able to add list entries quickly and without effort means I can keep my momentum going on tasks as new ones pop into my head.

Backpack: Get Organized and Collaborate

YAY! My life is better having discovered QuickPack. Go technology!

Say hello to my little Lanshark

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Apple-Macbook-Pro-Santa-Rosa

I am pleased to announce that I am typing this post up from my shiny new workstation. I’ve decided to pretty much go all mobile again so it was time to trade my Marbles the Macbook in for it’s daddy, a nicely equiped 15″ Macbook Pro. I’ve dubbed my new aluminum friend Lanshark – a name inspired by my beloved pit bull Skype (the one and only real land shark.

When Apple announced their Up-to-Date Program that offers recent purchasers of Apple hardware the Leopard update for $10 – normally priced at $129, or included with any new Mac. I worked a little financial magic, confirmed the sale of Marbles for a reasonable price and dropped down to the Apple Store to pick it up.

A few first thoughts on Lanshark:

And now back to your regularly scheduled Portal playing action.

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