Category

Apple

Just a Matter of Time…

Today is Apple’s “Spring Forward” event and we all assume that means we will finally get the last details of the Apple Watch as well as the prices. When Apple first announced the Apple Watch I was really intrigued and figured for sure I would run out and get one. Now as the months have passed since then I wonder if I will get one or not? This could be similar to the iPad though were I didn’t intend on getting one on launch day and ended up getting one anyways, which has proven to be a wise investment as I can’t imagine NOT having an iPad now.

But is the Apple Watch a game changing device like the iPad was? Recently while at Aruba Networks Atmosphere 2015 in Vegas I was fortunate to get some time with watches and Stephen Foskett. Now we are not talking about Casio watches, we are talking about some of the finest watches created by highly skilled artisans. As we visited each shop it was clear the watches we were looking at were designed and built by people wanting these to be more about art and showmanship than telling you what time it is. I was amazed at how the store owners/workers would take the time to explain all the ins and outs about the watches, what makes them unique, why they are special, and why some are so highly sought after.

So this leads me back to the Apple Watch. While I think the Apple Watch could be a great day to day watch to enjoy technology in a less obtrusive way I don’t see it replacing my Invicta dress watch. I can’t imagine putting on a fashionable outfit and then accessorizing it with the Apple Watch. I don’t see the Apple Watch displacing a Blancpain, a Jaeger-LeCoultre, or ever a Greubel Forsey. I foresee the Apple Watch Edition being a status symbol, but it isn’t going to be sought after in years to come.

Will you be running out and purchasing one? If so what version? Me, I’m leaning towards the Sport if I can get a dressier band for the occasions I do feel like wearing it with a dressed up outfit.

Apple iPad: Good or Bad?

Apple iPad

Apple announced the iPad today at their keynote after a long period of rumors with some of them coming true, and a lot of key ones not. Being an Apple stockholder I was very interested in seeing what was going to be announced today and so far I’m still on the fence. Really this is just a large iPhone / iPod Touch missing some components.

Let’s look at some of the technical specs that set it apart from the iPhone / iPod Touch:

Size and weight

Height:
9.56 inches (242.8 mm)
Width:
7.47 inches (189.7 mm)
Depth:
0.5 inch (13.4 mm)
Weight:
1.5 pounds (.68 kg) Wi-Fi model;
1.6 pounds (.73 kg) Wi-Fi + 3G model

Display

  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

Capacity

  • 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive

Processor

  • 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip

TV and Video

  • Support for 1024 x 768 with Dock Connector to VGA adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component A/V Cable, 576i and 480i with Apple Composite Cable

Battery and Power

  • Built-in 25Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
  • Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
  • Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system

Let’s talk first about my major cons:

First off, 64GB is the max capacity in this device? A device like this needs at least double that to be useful. I want to be able to have a lot of my music, movies, and TV shows as well as iTunes U material loaded on this device.

Second, where’s the camera?!? A device like this cries out for iChat with Video Conferencing.

Third, no multitasking? The iPod audio player on the iPad at least needs to be enhanced to support Internet Radio sources as well as others such as Pandora so we can stream our music in the background while doing other things on the iPad.

Fourth, no handwriting input mode. This would make a great portable electronic notebook for meetings.

So what do I actually like about the iPad and think will work well?

I like the keyboard dock accessory, I think this is a great step towards an idea of having the old school mainframe computers or a personal “Citrix” like environment. You take the iPad on a trip with you and launch your MobileMe Back to My Mac application (hint hint Apple, develop one!) which connects you to your Apple laptop or desktop running at your house.

I like the Mail, Contacts, and Calendaring applications. As well as the iBooks application. These all show off the benefit of having a much larger screen size. The new iWork applications as well show how this device could be used in the Enterprise world, something that the iPhone / iPod Touch hasn’t completely been able to do yet. What will make the iWork Keynote application killer is a hardware component for the dock connector that can connect to a VGA converter box without wires for a portable presentation machine.

Ultimately will I run out and buy one when it is released in April (WiFi only in March, I would want a 3G capable devie)? Probably not. Not only will the misses kill me if I spend that much on another computer, but I just don’t think I could fully utilize the device for the cost without my cons being fixed. Now if someone were so gracious to send one my way of course I would accept that! For now, I’ll be happy with my iPhone 3Gs and MacBook Pro for mobile computing.

boxee + Asterisk = Caller ID Fun!

Boxee showing caller id from Asterisk
Boxee showing caller id from Asterisk

While browsing around the PBX In A Flash forums I came across a post about getting incoming call notifications on XBMC and immediately thought this would be great with boxee as well seen as we use that every now and then on our Apple TV. The setup was a little bit on the painful side just trying to figure out how to make the “KaiToast” display how I wanted. Out of the box it works great on XBMC, but needs some tweaking to make it work on boxee.

Check out the How-To after the break!

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Netflix = No More?

ATV

If you remember my last post I was discussing whether or not I was going to cancel cable, well I have decided that I will be once I get around to it. Is Netflix going to be to be the next service I disconnect? Maybe. Amie and I rented “No Reservations” the other day on our Apple TV straight from the TV and it worked flawlessly. We browsed through the rental choices, viewed the trailer, then purchased. Within about 5 minutes or less the Apple TV informed us that our rental was ready to be played. We had one hiccup where it stalled and buffered, but that was right at the beginning so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Overall I have been very pleased with the Apple TV, I just wish it would play Xvid/DivX files seen as 90% of my previously recorded shows with BeyondTV are in that format.

Cable = No More?

I’ve been thinking for awhile now that maybe I could get rid of cable TV and just live off of OTA HD and streaming, well I think it’s finally time to give it a go. I just bought an Apple TV which I’m in the process of converting my previously recorded shows using BeyondTV to formats supported by ATV. The thought process was that we only really care about three or four shows that are broadcasted on the local channels, so why pay for all that extra crap that eats away $60 a month? Obviously I’ll have to give up my Modern Marvels (Amie’s happy I’m sure!) and other Discovery Channel shows that aren’t available via iTunes, but oh well, maybe we’ll spend less time in front of the TV?

I’ll post again in the next few weeks regarding how well it works out for us. Tomorrow I’m going to pick up an antenna while at Best Buy for OTA HD and hopefully in the next week or so the new ATV update will be available and we’ll have access to on-demand movie rentals.

MacHeist Almost Over

The online event known as MacHeist is almost over. Over the past few weeks they have had these online scavenger hunts in a similar manner to where in the world is carmen sandiego and it has come down to the last “heist” soon to be posted. The bundle of great Mac OSX software is available for sale and has raised over $65k USD for charity! If you are a Mac user and have not checked out there software bundle go and do so now, a little over 2 days is left until the bundle will not be available any more.

http://macheist.com/

The Best Wedding Present!

[thumb:1860:l]Amie got me the best wedding present ever, although I question as to why she got it. She always says I spend too much time on a computer so what does she do? She buys me a new one!! She got me a MacBook Pro 2.16ghz, 1gb ram, and 120gb hard drive. I can’t wait to start doing stuff with the iLife 06 suite, especially iPhoto for the wedding books. You may have noticed my post earlier about Apple’s product called Boot Camp, well I have that installed already but I haven’t installed Windows XP, I’m still debating between using Boot Camp or Parallels.

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Apple Boot Camp Beta

[thumb:1856:l] Ever since Apple made the switch to the Intel processors everyone has been wondering whether or not you could run Windows XP natively on the machines and not require the use of Virtual PC, well Apple has released beta software that allows you to do just that. Boot Camp allows you to easily setup a new partition on your drive and installed Windows XP Home SP2 or Pro SP2. Setup was very straightforward, put your Windows XP CD into your Mac and then using Boot Camp Assistant you reboot your computer into setup mode. Once XP was installed it was a snap to get the drivers setup thanks to Apple provided a CD image that you can burn. The only hardware devices that will not work are builtin iSight cameras and the backlit keyboards, but those are not show stoppers by any means.

All the applications I tested ran without problems and ran just as well if not better than they do on my Dell Inspiron & Latitude laptops. This is a big plus as you will no longer need to run a very laggy Virtual PC.

So what does this mean for the future of Apple and their market share? I would much rather pay the $1500.00+ price tag for a MacBook that can run both Windows XP & OS X than pay $1500.00+ for the MacBook and another $600.00+ for a PC laptop. Plus I only need to carry one laptop around.

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