Archive for the ‘Macintosh’ category

Apple’s iPhone: Where are the standard smartphone features?

February 26, 2008

I bought an iPhone the day after they were introduced. I like it a lot. I used to carry a Palm, a mobile phone and and iPod. Now I have the iPhone, and I bring my 60G iPod when I drive.

One thing has been troubling me for a while. When will the iPhone’s software be upgraded to include de rigeur smartphone features like recording movies or voice memos? Voice dial seems like a natural feature for an OS X-based phone, when OS X has voice recognition built in. The web experience is better than any other current phone, but it really isn’t “the whole web” without a Flash plugin.

What about the note pad? I’ve been syncing notes on my Palm for over a decade. Instead I have to use a draft email in an IMAP account as a note pad. Another feature I relied on in my Motorola V180 was “wait during dialing,” where the phone would dial up to a point and wait for me to hit a button to continue. That feature was good for making any call that included an extension number or PIN, and it was great when calling SmartRoutes (a free traffic reporting system with many prompts, and driving-challenged inputs like “*4951” to get information on the northern half of Route 495).

Steve Jobs said there’d be more features to come when he introduced the iPhone. Instead, the software updates have been largely focussed on bug fixes and securing the phone from unlocking. Where are the “new” features that are standard on lesser phones? We’re waiting.

NetNewsWire has made browsing fun again!

February 10, 2008

netnewswire-icon-128.pngIf you’re using two or more Macs that are synchronized with .Mac, and you use Safari to track RSS feeds, this is the tip for you! This thing rocks.

For months, I’ve been limping along with two Macs, Safari RSS, and .Mac, and it was a huge hassle. .Mac is supposed to synchronize the state of your RSS feeds between machines (since OS X 10.4.4, I believe), but it doesn’t. What it does do it corrupt your Syndication database periodically, requiring a Reset Safari to recover.

This is a huge inconvenience, because (until Safari 3.x/OS X 10.4.10) resetting Safari also deleted all saved forms, passwords, and cookies.

This is the beginning of the real online music revolution

April 2, 2007

Today, EMI and Apple announced a first-ever agreement to sell music online with no copy protection (aka DRM, or Digital Rights Management). I am very excited about this, and I’ll certainly be buying far more music online as a result.


Where can I get an original Airport card? (Updated 11/16/06)

June 22, 2006

Original Airport Card New ways to find a wireless card for your favorite, older Mac.


Have a Life? Stay out of Darwinia?!

June 19, 2006

Darwinia screenshot Introversion Software (“The last of the bedroom programmers”) released a hit software game, Darwinia, a few years back. Oh sure, it won a few awards at the International Game Festival, such as for Technical Excellence, or Innovation in Visual Art. And yes, it’s a PC Gamer Magazine “Must Buy”, PC Zone rated it “Essential,” and gave it an Editor’s Choice award. Trust me, if you need to go to a job, if you have people who count on you, or if you can’t stand having too much fun, stay out of Darwinia!! And whatever you do, don’t even think about viewing the dazzling two-minute game-play demo movie–you’ll be irrevocably hooked! PC, Mac, Linux, whatever your favorite flavor, you are in danger of spending many pleasurable hours addicted to this game!!!

All silliness aside…


When will the G5 PowerBooks be available? (Updated 2/11/06)

February 11, 2006

The original answer came straight from an Apple VP. Now we know: never. Instead, how about a nice, dual-core Intel-based MacBook Pro?


What every Airport (or other WiFi) Base Station owner should know about security.

July 26, 2004

Tempting though it is to plug in your wireless network and forget it, there are a few easy steps that can save big problems down the line.


What if my iPod battery does wear out some day?

July 25, 2004

Is it true that iPod batteries can’t be replaced? Nooooo.


iPod a “Life Transforming Device!”

July 24, 2004

MacDailyNews reports on the Boston Globe’s story about the world’s best portable music player.

Read the MacDailyNews overview, or go right to the Boston Globe’s story.

Is my iPod or iPod mini battery OK?

July 23, 2004

A few good Apple articles about iPod batteries.

Temperature graph

I bought my first iPod three years ago, the weekend they first were sold. I bought my second iPod, a 20G model, the first weekend it was sold. I have another that isn’t a year old yet, and Jan has one as well. All of them still work fine, and get about 8 hours’ use from a fresh charge.

Still, I know how to take care of my iPods’ batteries. For instance, don’t leave an iPod in your car when it’s too hot or cold outside. Similarly, don’t leave an iPod connected and mounted on your Mac or PC desktop when you aren’t using it. Why? Batteries normally chemically degrade over their lifetimes, and extreme temperatures hasten the process. Also, use the Hold button whenever your iPod is turned off, to avoid it being turned on accidentally.

Apple has published several good articles which go into a lot more detail. If you want your iPod to last as long as possible, give them a read: Apple – Batteries – iPod, iPod battery frequently asked questions (FAQ) and Tips and tricks to get the most out of your iPod’s battery.