October 6, 2011, 1:19 am
I’ve been taking a blogging break this week to get caught up at work, but I wanted to say a few words on the passing of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Those of us who
are lifeless Apple fanboys follow Apple news know that Steve had been very sick for some time now. His passing is not unexpected, but it is still a shock now that it’s happened, and it’s a sad day.
My first experience with an Apple product was using an Apple IIe while I was an undergraduate psychology major. The psych department had a small computer lab with some Apples in it, and I used one to run statistical analyses of an experiment I was doing. I hated the Apple IIe. To me, it was a computer for English and art majors, or perhaps for elementary school children. All those cutesy graphics! And music! Hard-working and self-respecting science nerds such as myself shouldn’t stoop to such devices. But, it was the only machine in…
October 15, 2010, 9:00 am
Here’s some music for the end of the week, straight off the iPhone set to random shuffle:
- Daughters (John Mayer, Heavier Things)
- Custard Pie (Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti)
- Far East Medley (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Live Art)
- Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley, Elvis 30 #1 Hits)
- On Your Shore (Enya, Watermark)
- Treasure of the Broken Land (Mark Heard, High Noon)
- When It’s Good (Ben Harper, Diamonds on the Inside)
- You Send Me (Steve Miller Band, Fly Like an Eagle)
- When Love Comes Around (Alan Jackson, Drive)
- Big Things Too (Veggie Tales, Veggie Tunes 2)
I have to focus this time on the first one in the list, John Mayer’s “Daughters”. People have many different opinions about John Mayer, not all of them good, but I’m a big fan — and mainly because of this song. Mayer has a sort of reputation as a womanizer but his insights on girls and parenting in this song…
August 18, 2010, 8:35 am
Longtime readers will remember that I’ve owned an iPod Touch for a couple of years now, and it’s a marvelous device. The only things that kept it from being the perfect handheld, for me, were the lack of a camera and the lack of a microphone for taking voice memos. For a couple of months, though, other issues came forward. I began to think about how having 3G connectivity to the internet would be nice. I realized that my ages-old Samsung phone was way past its prime. And most seriously, iOS 4 was slowing my iPod Touch down to a crawl. All these things, plus the fact that my college has a discount deal with AT&T, finally pushed me over the edge into iPhone territory.
My wife and I both ordered iPhone 4‘s, mine a 32 GB model (to match the capacity of my iPod Touch) and hers a 16 GB model. The 16 GB model is apparently more popular, because it was put on…
July 29, 2010, 11:39 am
Image from Amazon.com
Update: Here’s an overview video of the new Kindle.
Amazon today unveiled the third generation of its Kindle ebook readers. The new devices, which will ship beginning August 27, will be smaller (21% reduction in size, while keeping the same size screen) and lighter (8.7 ounces) than the current generation of Kindles, with double the storage capacity, improved contrast and fonts, and built-in WiFi. Most importantly is the price point: $189, with a $139 WiFi-only model also being offered.
When Amazon first sold the Kindle, I roundly criticized it (here, here, and here; and then here for the second generation Kindles) as a good idea but lacking several deal-breaking features that should have been obvious, and would have been inexpensive, to include. I also thought the price point –…
July 30, 2008, 5:35 pm
My interest in the new iPhone has never reached critical mass, but after finding out that I can get 15% off AT&T cell phone plans through my work, I started thinking again. The basic family plan, after discount, would be $100 per month, which is more than what we’re paying now ($60/month) but possibly worth it if the iPhone is as great as some say. But my interest tanked again when I saw the coverage map near my house:
The finger on the map is roughly where I live. The orange color indicates “good” coverage, which according to AT&T means that it “should be sufficient for on-street or in-the-open coverage, most in-vehicle coverage and possibly some in-building coverage”. If I stray over to the other side of our subdivision into the yellow, it’s only “moderate”. Most of where I live and work is no better than “good”.
Sorry: But if I’m going to drop $300 on the phone and $1200 per year …
June 10, 2008, 7:03 am
Dear Steve Jobs,
I appreciate your noticing that the iPhone is prohibitively expensive for most some people. Cutting the price to $199 for the basic model is a good step. But: When the phone/data plan for the iPhone still starts at a minimum of $60 per month, cutting the price doesn’t make the thing more affordable. You’re talking about a reduction of $200 or so to a one-time startup price, but keeping the cost of ownership unchanged. Whereas, if the good people at AT&T would cut the price of the plan, you could likely keep the price unchanged and it would be a lot more affordable.
But then again, you are a genius and a rock star all at the same time, so why am I telling you this? Instead, please assert your reality-distortion field on your pals at AT&T to get them to play ball with normal people who like technology but can absolutely live without it if the price is too high. Which it …
January 26, 2008, 7:35 pm
Information design guru Edward Tufte has posted his analysis of the iPhone’s user interface, which includes this video which you simply must see. If that video doesn’t make you want to run out and
venerate buy an iPhone, there’s something wrong with you.
He’s generally very positive about the UI, although he points out some “cartoony” elements here and there (really thick buttons, wasted space in the Weather app, etc.) that I don’t think I would have ever been bothered by until I heard what he had to say.
Some interesting comments in the article about the Weather app, too. I get the feeling there are tons of developers out there (some of whom are likely among the commenters) raring to go once the iPhone opens up to third party apps.
November 11, 2007, 9:45 am
I’m an Apple guy through and through, but I have not shared in the enthusiasm for the iPhone. I almost never talk on the phone more than 100 minutes per month and hardly ever text anybody, and with the unit itself running $400 and the rate plans starting at $60 per month I really can’t justify the expense.
However, this morning I’ve seen a concrete case for owning one. Up until five minutes ago our cable and broadband were out. And we were trying to plan a trip to the Indy Zoo but the weather was iffy. With no TV or computer, we couldn’t check the radar; and with broadband out, we couldn’t even use our Vonage line to call up potential alternate destinations. (But of course having a cell phone solved that last problem.) If I’d had an iPhone, I could have used the 3G capabilities of the phone to bypass our broadband outage and get to Weather Underground to check the radar as well as…