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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My new toy...

The perfect storm of some generous 30th birthday gifts in late October and some smart sales by Apple and Apple authorized retailers before thanksgiving I was able to buy my long sought after Apple Computer. I bought the base 13" MacBook. The gorgeous all aluminum one!

As a long time Windows guru and still a Windows enthusiest, I am excited and really enjoy using OS X. The operating system is so simply and elegantly laid out. Necessary configuration items are in one location (System Preferences) and has a simple subset of configurations for my Mac.
The Finder is a combination of Windows Explorer and the Start Button

Finally, the Dock is an enhance version of the windows task bar. It has applications to launch and marks open applications with blue spotlight under a programs icon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Waiting in line for a insanely in-demand product: check

SO I DID IT! And I kinda really only did it because it took no extra effort to do and I always wanted to do it. I am talking about waiting in line and buying the latest iPhone from Apple, iPhone 3G. I went to the Lehigh Valley Apple Retail store to execute my fun. The morning started off sluggish but by around 6:45a Alex was today's early riser. I took him downstairs along with all that I need to head off to the Apple store.

Luckily, Grandmom Salerno (my Grandmom and Alex Great Grandmom) and my Mom are here for the next few days to help out and enjoy twin and Robert time while my wife is in Hawaii. I made my way over the the Apple store via a McDonalds for a coffee and egg McMuffin. I got to the Apple Store by around 7:15a. The line was about 150 people deep by then with the majority having arrived early this morning. The handful at the front of the line started a 6PM on Thursday. Their prized spots in line fetched $100+ before the store even opened.

In line with me was Josh (who didn't end up getting an iPhone), Glen, and a group in from San Diego visiting friends. I took the liberty of downloading and installing the iPhone 2.0 software on my first generation (2G) iPhone last night so was showing off some of the app store. By 7:45 we had our first pep-run from the apple store employees. Also had in-line-served Starbucks coffee from the local Starbucks. Starbucks is always a class act. They also gave out some free water to the line for about the first 2 hours of the opening.

There was no shortage of laptops, iPhone 2Gs and in line upgraders. After the first few waves of iPhone buyers between 0800-1000 eastern the line really began to slow. That's when we first new about the activation woes due to the line's constant following of tech blogs like Engadget and Gizmodo. Myself, I was on and off Twitter reading and posting status alerts. I was one of the early confirmers of the activation issues. Our Apple store manager "Pipe" was a cool fellow and did a great job communicating all the issues and status to the line. He had to "line-inform" from the back mid morning with local press. WFMZ channel 69 was on hand to take some video of the "festivities." It took about 3 seconds for the line to tell her what's going on as opposed to fighting for a never-coming apple employee comment.

Sometime between 1000 and 1100 we all met Phil! Phil was the "line crasher". And by crasher I mean he donted $200 to Josh's pocket and took his spot right in front of me in line. Phil was prepared. With pockets full of the cutest (yes I used that word) Coors light cans he was a guy right out of a Jimmy Buffett concert. Well buzzed and with about 3 hours less of a line he was good to go! WFMZ recorded and broadcast an interview with both Josh and Phil over the line position transaction. Phil was a trip and quite fun to have in line. He did disappear for a good 45 minutes to his car for some food and beers. He kindly offered but I decided to stick with coffee and water.Glen during most of this along with another gentleman and his 14-year old daughter were fighting with their laptops and finishing the activation portion of their iPhone 2G 2.0 software update. The same activation servers that handle the new iPhone 3G's activation also handle the upgrade process for the iPhone 2G 2.0 Software. It was some time we were about 10 people from entering the store that the activation servers came up for them to get their bricked iPhone 2G's working again. The App store is a hit.

The Cali crew were also a trip. There was a short blond in her mid-late 20's along with her brother, a former Marine and his wife. The short blond (I think was Amanda) was a loud chick. She was the mouth of our little group. The most interesting thing I learned in this group is how liked the white iPhone 3G 16GB was. They ate that one up. The Apple Store employees made their rounds in the line with some store demo units. The white one was sharp. I really laughed at it but there are plenty of takers out there for it. Apple Employee Josh sporting the navy blue employee shirt was kind to take our harassment, not answer our privileged info seeking questions and show us some things.

Side by Side the 3G iPhone killed the EDGE 2G iPhone in web page loads. It was a joke. Unless your wifi is connected to a strong cable modem, 3G is a total FTW!! The Google Maps, GPS chip and triangulation were very accurate. I also found the location on the iPhone 2G to have improved vastly from just the 1.1.4 firmware. I specifically asked to hear the speakerphone, my #1 bitch about the first iPhone. Unfortunately his Demo enabled phone had no voice service but a video sounded nice and loud.

Pipe let us know due to the iTunes activation portion of the purchasing process being down, that we would be able to buy our iPhones but would have to complete at home with our iTunes just like last year. To the tech savy group around me that was actually a win. The line crawled at least mentally until our admittance into the store around 12:05.

The in-store buying process was somewhat straight forward. The only AT&T issue MANY of us in line had is that if you got a employee discount on your cell phone plan or your cell phone plan was associated with a discounted account (FAN) such as a school or military discount the Apple POS (point of sale) system would error with and IRU account access error message from AT&T. This required a surprisingly fast call to 611, AT&T removed the FAN, the Apple POS completed the sale in realtime and I was off. The removal of the "discount" from almost everyone's affected AT&T account to complete the Apple sale was a non-issue. Everyone with a iPhone 2G already lost all their discounts last year so it was simply procedural. I will all out AT&T and Apple for an epic FAIL here though. They should have known the numbers of those class of customers going to Apple.

The iTunes/iPhone activation servers came back online around 3PM eastern and my activation process after that point was a non-issue. In my short time with the new HW, the Google Maps tracking with the gps trip was awesome. I used it to take a new road to the Pizza joint My Place. It showed me as I drove along Newburg Rd, E. Main and then finally onto Broad St. As I drove up Broad the "beating" blue dot tagged along and was only about 1/4 block behind my movement. Given this small test, I could see a turn by turn gps app for sure!

Given all of the events of today iPhone related for me is was a big success. For Apple/AT&T some of the activation woes signal EPIC FAIL in my book until about 3PM when they got their act together. All in All it should have gone smoother and Apple / AT&T should take some shit for that. For me, this was a great experience and I am very glad that I took the time to "enjoy" the line and buy a launch day iPhone 3G.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Could you do without your electronics??

Folks, If you think for one minute I found this funny you are wrong. I was as scared as the guy here who gave up his electrons for 40 hrs. This was planned for 1 week.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Revision3 blames antipiracy firm for DOS attack

"They saw us as a "distributor" - even though we were using Bittorrent for legitimate reasons. Once we shut them out, their vast network of servers were automatically programmed to implement a scorched earth policy, and shut us down in turn.

Louderback says he called MediaDefender and was told that it had indeed been injecting torrents into the Revision3 network without permission for months, but MediaDefender denied responsibility for the DOS attack.

That quote is from a C|Net news posting on the incident. This I expect to be a BIG deal!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Raging Thunder iPhone game Awesome

The video says it all. Hit up and Games section for the DL.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fring is F'ing Awesome

So I tried out Fring on my jailbroken iPhone. 1 word: Awesome. Get yours at Fring!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Battle of the Geek Chicks

Every geek has suffered. We take undergraduate classes with 85+% male demo. Our only time to break that ratio was an elective with the business school kids. That was 7 years ago for me...and now there is a great selection of content being generated by some very intelligent, competent and professional ladies. Now that they've been complimented, we can objectify slightly: all are pretty damn cute.

I'll leave the lineup to the pros at TechCrunch. My newest favorite is Natali Del Conte of C|Net TV's LOADED podcast.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wal-Mart to only sell Blu-ray. HD-DVD to be "euthanize[d]"

"Since the beginning of the year, when Warner Bros. announced that it was pulling support for HD DVD, the prospects appeared grim. Toshiba and some of the other backers of the format put on a brave face, but most observers were wondering if and when Toshiba would acknowledge Blu-ray's fait accompli and let HD DVD join Betamax in The Place Where Unloved Formats Are Eternally Blessed. That time may be soon, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, which quotes "reliable industry sources" as saying that Toshiba will euthanize HD DVD in the months ahead."

From Ars

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How Apple will Exceed its iPhone Sales goal of 10 Million in year-one...

I've been closely observing "the machine." The machine as I have termed it is the Apple information management system. No its not some fancy enterprise piece of software; its not a Web 2.0 tool; its not even a computer system. It is simply Apple. From the trickle of leaks, one liners, silence, response of all information leading up to the iPhone announcement last year; this years Macbook Air.

It's a little comment made seemingly too soon (Nov: 3G iPhones in 2008). Its the lack of announcement at Macworld (16GB iPhones Feb). It is the silence about the unlocking/jailbreaking crowd. Its about mum on the SDK. Its about inverse buzz.

In the coming weeks, Apple will be in the consiousness of all in the tech industry, mainstream media, blogosphere, and fanboy world. They will release the SDK. Then come Apps. Then come killer Apps. Then....3G, New capability, Price drop (or increased capability/features at current price), then the next thing, and another, and iphone 2, iphone mini, iphone android(??).

The point of the post is to show past examples of the Apple Information Machine at work. Sometimes purring along like a nice economy car and sometimes in the fast lane like a Tesla electric sports car. Constantly in your consciousness.

iPhones can be bought for $399 8GB, $499 16GB at Apple Stores, Apple online and AT&T Corporate Retail stores.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Conservitive in the Tech World

It's not the most common occurrence, a conservative (read: Reagan Conservative) that is also an avid technology world follower. However there are some basic principles that are important to highlight for the new younger generation being biased and manipulated by a far left national media structure.

When I started to write this, I multi-tasked Google for a bullet list of Reagan Conservative points. Only to find this timely blog post that really saved me 4 paragraphs. Hop over to Marks blog and read what Reagan Conservatism is about.

Let me expand this post to the tech world now. Mark G writes "Ronald Reagan embraced economic conservatives because he understood that low taxes, free and fair trade, less government and reasonable regulation were the catalyst that would create great economic growth that would be the best way to create opportunity and prosperity of the American people." It is important to view all the growth in the e-commerce, social, and informational progress of the Internet as a conservative success. Business has been free and unburdened by taxes, excessive legislation and first amendment support on the Internet. Multi-national, cross-national, global websites have brought people from all over the world a little closer. Business opportunities have allowed companies like Google, MySpace, Facebook and Yahoo to prosper. VCs and Start-ups are now back innovating new ways to capitalize on the success of the internet. Concerns of net neutrality have only been conjecture and threats by the minority of data providers have been vapor.

Market forces are pushing individual and corporate investment in national data networks. Verizon is running Fiber optic cable to your Door. Not your street, not your block, not your neighborhood and not your town. Your doorstep. One strand of this fiber Verizon is running can handle, ONE STRAND, every single phone call on mothers day of the entire day at the same instant at the same time. Cable companies are building out similar fiber to the node networks. Satellite providers have expanded capacity for high-definition content; moving to terrestrial wireless technologies to complete their product offerings. Billions and billions of dollars are being bid on prime wireless spectrum. $4.7 Billion dollars have been pledged by Google, a public company, for open access rules on a government auction. The government didn't push that requirement the open marketplace wanted that requirement and they were willing to buy and build said network for billions over the acquisition cost for the spectrum.

So as your are pondering this election season, please think past the one liner, one sentence, one paragraph answer to a question. See into the core philosophy of the candidates and align that with the right way to achieve a goal. Governments must remain out of the marketplace with burdensome and counter productive regulations. Governments should be stewards of the national economy and promote at all costs fair and open competition; the national economic environment from which all business must engage in open competition. Capitalism is an economic theory which stresses that control of the means of producing economic goods in a society should reside in the hands of those who invest the capital for production. Private ownership and free enterprise leads to more efficiency, lower prices, better products. That is the true goal of capitalism and a pillar of the conservative point of view.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why Blu-Ray should win from here on out....

Much has been made of the HD-DVD vs. Blu Ray format war. There are technical and capability differences in the formats. Consumers really don't care. They both have amazing and virtually equal movie quality. Consumers don't care.

Technical individuals in the computer, gaming, audio and video field whether they are content creators, enthusiasts, journalist or bloggers want a winner and end to this format war.

On the eve of CES 2008, Wanner Brothers movie studio who had been supporting both formats announced that they would be going to Blu Ray exclusively. HD DVD Consortium then canceled a early press event. A tech community wanting a winner, proclaiming a possible winner if not at least the front runner were embolded by the prompt tail-between-the-legs / take-my-ball-and-go-home feeling the HD DVD Consortiums cancellation instilled.

The wanters and waiters in the consumer realm were ecstatic. Here was enough reason to no longer wait and get that PS3 or other Blu ray player for the sole purpose that they wanted to flex that new 1080p HDTV's muscles.

The best bloggers and tech journalists have provided some reasons how blu ray can now clinch this "war". Here are mine in no particular order:
  • Reduce license fees to all blu ray parties (device and studios)
  • Reduce price of stand alone players
  • Strike deals with the biggest retailers to sell ONLY blu ray moives.
  • Release Blu ray blank media and burners for PC's Laptops
  • Advertise as the winner. Americans love to be told what to think.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hopes for Macworld...teech on 2008

It's been in incredibly long time since I sat down or even remotely had the time to write a blog post. Now that there is a slight lul in the action here at the Trif abode, I'll try and make some smart tech sense....

Let me start with the iPhone. I have now been an iPhone user and lover since the first week in July 2007. It is still the best phone I've ever owned. It is also be best mobile computing device (smartphone if you must) as well. I spend endless time on the couch watching TV with my iPhone as my internet surfing device. This is simultaneous to Michelle's usage of her 12" Inspiron laptop during tv watching times. The iPhone represents the richest web browsing experience of any mobile device and one that is on par with full brower clients like IE7, Safari and Firefox.

With my jailbroken (term for installing your own 3rd party apps), it is a fierce smart phone competitor to windows mobile and the blackberry. Some of the things that can be done to make it an even more competitive device or superior device is some of the outcomes I'd like to see from macworld.

This macworld comes a year to the announcement of the iPhone and about 6 months after its release. Some of the early shortcomings must be addressed. These range in technical complexity so I list in no particular order.

1. Copy and Paste
2. MMS (yes i know email is just as easy and free but sometimes you need MMS)
3. 3G (Edge is slow but not terrible as long as you are in metropolitan/suburban areas)
4. 3rd Party Apps (just can't come soon enough)


So the above was typed before Macworld but I simply didn't have time to post it. Now that macworld has happened, some comments:

1. iPhone

Google is freaking the best company every. Location and the usability updated in 1.1.3 has me willing to forgo jailbreak apps of 1.1.2. I had the opportunity to stop at the Apple story and play with it. Worked great in Allentown PA.

WebApp Icons

Nice. I just recently re-organized all my iPhone bookmarks so this can make it easier to hit the most popular sites i goto like Twitter and Facebook.

Icon Re-arrangement. Executed with simplicity and ease that only Apple can bring to a consumer device. Excellent

No 3G. Clearly its not ready. Plenty of wifi available. Really a non issue for me.

2. Macbook Air

Awesome. Expensive. If I can get work to buy one I just may. As for the Trif household. I really see the iMac the way to go as a appliance computer for our downstairs. It will only be used w/o wires with the exception of the power cord.

3. Movie Rentals

This is how I want to watch movies. For 2.99/3.99 SD, I will rent and watch movies on my iPhone through iTunes. The movie industry just made ripping DVDs and encoding for iPhone not woth the work. Sorry Handbrake, you've been released.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Twitter Feed

Check out the twitter feed on the blog at right.