Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

Who is there right mind would buy TV Shows from Apple?

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

I went cableless just over a month ago, so as you’d expect, I’m looking for new ways to get content. Now we all know there’s no way I’m going to watch SD, so besides OTA HD and Blu-ray Discs via Netflix, I’m looking to fill some gaps.

One of those gaps is a few shows on HD cable that I actually enjoy like Battlestar Galactica and Burn Notice. So like any Apple TV owner I figured I might as well check out the HD show selection. But man, what a rip! I mean $2.99 a show or like over $40 a season. That is a total ripoff. It’s not like I’m going to watch them more than once. No way I’m paying that much, even for one show. Seriously, how backwards is it that you can only rent HD movies and buy HD shows?

The unbelievable part to me is that not only do some actually buy ‘em, but some of the same shows are available for free — and in better quality — via OTA HD. I just don’t get it.

You’ll have to excuse me now while I go load up my favorite torrent program. I figure it’s either that, or wait another 6 months until I can rent the Blu-ray versions on Netflix.

Life is too short to wait for iPhone games to load

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Don’t get me wrong, I love the new iPhone 2.0 software, but the games are terrible. Sure they are fun after you wait 30 seconds for them to load — when they don’t crash — but the entire point of a game on your mobile device is to fill in the gapes in life. To make things worse when you get a call, or for whatever reason need to do something else on your iPhone, you have to wait for them to load all over again, this makes them almost completely useless.

The other really annoying thing is the music. Do these companies really think I want to listen to their generic game music instead of my own? How can there not be a setting that lets me choose to listen to my own music — or an Podcast in my case?

I’m sure some people don’t care about this, but I’m not a big gamer, I just want to enjoy the occasional game of Tetris or solitaire while I wait for the elevator to arrive, sheesh.

The iPhone 3G launch: It was so much better last time

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

I understand why Apple changed the activation process with the 3G iPhone, and if given the choice to wait in line with other Apple Geeks for 4.5 hours or pay $600 for a 16G 3G iPhone, I’d most definitely choose the wait; but man it’s amazing how much faster the line went last time. The good news is I made some great new friends while waiting and without much fuss was out of the Apple store in about 30 minutes.

Anyhoo, although I love the new iPhone, the real killer new feature is the applications, but with only 25% of them free and no trial period, it’s too easy to burn through all your iTunes credits on crap. So here is my list of iPhone applications, highs and lows — Thanks for the idea Richard.

Highs

  1. WeatherBug – Free and easy access to radar maps and weather cameras, but no animated loop. Wouldn’t mind paying for a weather app if it featured animated loops.
  2. eBay – Free, but not super fancy, but still faster than using the web browser.
  3. Remote – Who doesn’t like this?
  4. Tetris – $15, much better than the free Jailbroken version, but takes a long time to load and has crashed on me during games a few times. But very impressive implementation using the touch screen. Definitely worth the money, but I’ll be looking for an update to make it more stable.
  5. SportsTab – Free, very quick access to sports scores, seems easier than espn.go.com, but we’ll really see when football season starts.
  6. vSnax – Free, like YouTube but more useful, because there is actually recent news and other corporate content.
  7. Talking Spanish Phrases – Free, this is a great little phrase utility that includes the pronunciation of spanish phrases as well as to speak them out audibly.

Bad

  1. iLoveControl – Free, even at free, this thing is completly useless and even if I did have a Crestron HA system, it doesn’t look like it’d be that cool of a way to control it.
  2. Super Monkey Ball –  $10, this game is impossible and you have to look down at the iPhone to even play it. Not much fun at all.
  3. Texas Hold ‘em – $5, not a bad deal for $5, but the game is like 150MB and the game play is too slow.
  4. NetNewsWire – Free, I’m a long time NetNewsWire fan, but I have to say that Google’s Web reader for the iPhone is better, much better.

The rest of the apps I tried that were just all right were, Cro-Mag Rally, which isn’t as much fun as Crash’s race game. Blip Solitaire which isn’t bad, but takes too long to load and isn’t as good as the free version I was using on my jailborken iPhone.

Overall I’m happy, but I wish Apple had an RSS feed that would make it easy to keep up with new apps and udpates.

Buying a MBA with a Juniper card paid off

Friday, February 29th, 2008

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I’m a sucker for no interest deals, so bad that sometimes I’m tempted to buy things I don’t even want just so I can shaft some bank out of its money. There’s nothing better than not paying the item off until the very last moment knowing that the bank’s plan has failed, and I enjoyed something on a big corporate bank’s dime for some period of time — so far I’ve yet to pay a cent of interest *knocks on plastic*. So when I bought my MBA I decided to take advantage of the 90 days no interest deal offered to new Juniper Visa Card with iTunes rewards customers. So today when I opened my mailbox I had three card sized envelopes from Juniper and each contained a $25 iTunes gift card. So not only have I not paid for the laptop I’m typing on right now yet, but I have $75 to spend at iTunes. The problem of course is that I generally don’t spend money at the iTunes store and the last time someone gave me a iTunes gift card for $50 (Thanks Stuart) it took me about a year to actually spend it. But I hear you can sell or trade these things nowadays.

I’m a failure as a Mac evangelist

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

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Ever since I bought my first Mac, I’ve shared my love and I’m not sure if it’s me or those around me, but I’ve only been able to get a few people to switch, but the biggest failure hit me today. I’ve worked on getting my wife to use a Mac for almost four years now, and I just can’t break her. I even try to strong arm her — yes, I feel guilty about it — but it didn’t work either. I thought it was OS X — cause like many Windows users, no matter how much better something is, if it’s different it’s a barrier — so I even offered to install Windows XP on it. So today I gave up, and against my better judgement I helped her pick out a pink Sony Vaio. I know Jeremy, I know.

The reason is the funny part — although she loves pink gadgets, I’m sure I could’ve convinced her to send it off to Colorware. No, the problem was one that can’t be fixed, and honestly I completely understand. The problem is there’s no right click button on MacBooks. Yeah, she knows you can can control click, or tap with two fingers or rest two fingers while clicking, she doesn’t care. She likes to click on the buttons and she there’s no way to add it.

So how ’bout it Steve? You lost this one and you know it, why else would you’ve include the right click on the Mighty Mouse and all the MacBook shortcuts, so give in already and add the button? Like we all need a three inch click button or something.

Why the Apple TV still sucks

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

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If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably saw that I’m not happy with the Apple TV 2. While I couldn’t wait to get the Apple TV, I wait with baited breath for every update to see if I will actually get the main feature that I bought the stupid thing for. No it’s not the video, the quality just can’t compare to Blu-ray so I’m not interested, the thing I really wanted, was a way to enjoyable look at my photos on my 60-inch plasma. Sure my TV has a memory card slot, as does my Blu-ray player, but I said enjoyably. This hasn’t been the case for the Apple TV in the past and it’s not the case with that latest update. To sum up my issue with the Apple TV’s photo experience, I’d like to share a little IM chat I had with my friend Tyler from Format War Central.

Tyler: so the apple tv still sucks?
me: I’m just bitter that they didn’t fix my biggest grip about the photos
Tyler: what do you mean?
me: go to photos on your iphone and select an album, you see thumbnails of all your photos right?
Tyler: yeah
me: If you hit play you can watch a slide show right?
me: how often do you watch the slide show and how often do you just thumb through your pics?
Tyler: never watch a slide show
me: well on the ATV, you can only watch a slide show
Tyler: thats retarded
me: so even though you can browse all your movies and tv shows with thumbnails filling the screen, you can’t look at your pictures with that UI
which makes it useless

So how about it Apple? Can we please browse our own photos like we’ve been able to in iPhoto, the original iPod Photo and the iPhone? And just like we can browse movies and TV shows on the Apple tV? Is that really too much to ask?

Love my MacBook Air

Monday, February 11th, 2008

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I’ve always loved small laptops and as silly as some think it is, the thinner the better. The MacBook Air is my third ultra-portable laptop and so far my favorite for a few reasons that MBA haters will find funny. The battery lasts longer, it is thinner and it runs OS X! The third is the most important of course. The other great thing about the MBA when compared to my older laptops is the keyboard and the screen. Not only does it feature full sized versions of both, but the keys feel good compared to my old um32w and about the same as my m300, but not as cramped. The MBA costs about the same price as my other two as well, but lets hope it lasts longer than my um32w which died after 14 months, with a sporadic power off issue.

The only thing I’m quickly learning to dislike about my MBA is the solo USB port, I’ve already purchased two hubs which will help out, but it would’ve been really nice to have two. So far my favorite thing is the way the MBA looks much thinner than it really is. The thickest part is .76-inches thick, which doesn’t seem much thinner than my um32w which was .8, but when you put them next to each other the MBA sure does look smaller.

In the end I recognize the MBA isn’t for everyone, but it’s for me. I just wish Apple would make a 13-inch MacBook Pro, ’cause I think this would help cut down on the MBA hate, who had their hopes up for a replacement to the 12-inch PowerBook.

Check out all the pictures comparing my um32w to my MacBook Air.

If Apple won’t make a Mac, I’ll do it myself

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Although I grew up on Windows, like most who are on the front of the curve I run OS X now. As much as I love OS X and Apple hardware, I’m very annoyed that Apple doesn’t make a Mac anymore. Sure they have the MacBook Pro, the Mac Pro and the iMac, but what if you want to be able to upgrade your hard drive or video card? Or maybe you want a Blu-ray drive. Apple only has the Mac Pro and while it is an awesome machine, I don’t have much use for a $3k 8 core Xeon powered monster.

I’m sick of compromising portability and power with my MacBook Pro, but now that Apple has the MacBook Air, I can go back to having two computers and rather trying to have one that does it all. This of course means my MBP is gone and I need a good desktop. If I didn’t already have a 20-inch cinema display and the iMac had a eSATA port, I’d just get an 20-inch iMac, but instead I think I’ll build a hackintosh. The funny part is I really don’t want to. While there was a time when I wouldn’t dream of buying a computer that I didn’t build, now I would rather do just about anything than to build a computer myself. I really don’t feel like I have much of a choice and after my MBA is delivered and my MBP is gone, I’ll head down the path. Who knows, maybe I’ll have some fun along the way.

The MacBook Air is perfect for me

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

The funny thing about Apple is although their products are usually very successful, there always seem to be a lot of people disappointed with their announcements. I’m not sure how Apple got to the point where everyone thought they could be everything to everyone, or if those vocal online are just trying to counter all the fanboys, but either way there is plenty of banter going both ways.

My friend Kevin and I have never seen eye to eye on the industry name for Apple’s latest MacBook. Kevin thinks that an Ultra-portable has to be more portable than a laptop can be, and I side with the marketing people in that it’s as portable as a laptop can be. So for me the Air is as close to perfect as any laptop I’ve ever had — and I love ultra-portable laptops. Although I wrote perfect in the subject of this post, I didn’t really mean it — so sue me. It would be perfect if it had more USB ports, built in 3g, and a replaceable battery — oh, and costs half as much, but hey. Despite not being perfect, it’s the closest I’ve seen because it’s super small and light, has a full size keyboard, boasts 5 hour battery, — I’ll believe it when I see it — runs OSX, and more powerful then just about any laptop I’ve had (besides my MacBook Pro). So as you’d expect, I pre-ordered one already. We’ll see if it lives up to my expectations, but so far the only Apple product that didn’t is the Apple TV — and there’s hope for that yet.

Newsgator.com optimized for the iPhone

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Shortly after I fell in love with NetworkNewsWire, I learned to love Newsgator for no other reason than so I don’t have to read the same news twice. The biggest thing I had to give up when I got my iPhone was Newsgator Go! I have been using the mobile version of Newsgator.com on my iPhone and while it’s ok, anyone who has used it knows it doesn’t work that great on the iPhone. Now Newsgator has released a iPhone optimized version and I have to say they’ve done a great job. It’s really nice! Now if I could just get an equivalent to Google’s mail application, all would be right with the iPhone.