Monday, August 24, 2009

Trying Out BlogPress

I'm trying out an iPhone app called BlogPress. This is my first post with it. I am getting better at typing with the iPhone keyboard. So far I like being able to post from the iPhone. We will see how often I do so.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, August 22, 2009

iPhone Wins Another Convert

Folks that read this blog (both of you) know that I'm pretty much an Apple fanboy. Though I've been known to criticize them for stupid moves, I love their gadgets. I've owned Apple computers since my Apple //e back in the mid-80's, owned my first Mac in the early 90's and even owned a Newton (the handwriting recognition rocked, I don't care what you've heard). So it shouldn't surprise anyone to know that I've been drooling over the iPhone for the last 3 years.
Monday I finally gave into my geeky gadget lust. The story of that purchase is the stuff of another post. Suffice it to say it wasn't the easiest purchase I've ever made.
So I bought an iPhone 3GS, 16gb model, and after a week of using it, I have to say, I LOVE IT. This thing is everything the Newton was and more. The sheer volume of applications, many of them free, is astounding. The speed of loading web pages seems the same whether it's via 3G or Wi-Fi. The voice control works. It's a great iPod. It's a cool machine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to Buy an iPhone - The Hard Way

OK, so I get this check from the government (stimulus money) and decide that I'm going to finally get an iPhone. How hard can that be, right? Harder than you might think.
First, I tried to buy one on Apple's site, but at the point where I chose a billing plan, the system said it couldn't process my request. OK, it's 3am, so maybe they're processing billing or something, right?

Next morning, I try again. Now it tells me that I have to pay $150 deposit (no credit history) and could I please come into the store to do that. Now, I live in Independence, MO, about 25 miles outside of Kansas City, and that means I have to drive all the way into town to the Apple Store.

Next, I know that Walmart is carrying the iPhone also, so I head to their website. They ask for my zip code to test for availability and then tell me that I can't use one in my zip code! What?!

Finally, I think, "There's an AT&T store over here across from the mall, I'll just go over there."
Turns out, they've got 4 people waiting before me, oh and by the way they only have the 32GB model ($100 more), "is that ok?" Well, I decide it's NOT ok, I'm on a limited budget. So I go back to the car. I'm sitting there and realize there's a Best Buy and they're carrying the iPhone, too, I've heard. So I go in there.

Best Buy's cell phone dept. has a nice young geek (not being mean, I'm a geek too), no business, so I plunk myself down in a chair and ask him if he's got any 16GB iPhones. He looks, says that he does, but all he has is black. Perfect, I tell him (I wouldn't be caught dead with white). He writes it up, is pleasant, and has me out of there in 20 minutes after activating the phone and making a point of telling me that I get 20% off iPhone stuff if I buy it with the phone, so I buy a slipcover and a new mic/earphone set for my dad's iPod Touch. In all, he spirits 277 bucks out of my wallet plus the $150 deposit. Good salesman. Brian Maupin @ the Independence Best Buy. If you're out that way, do yourself a favor and see him.

I've never been a huge fan of Best Buy (or Circuit City, when it was a real brick & mortar store) because they have a tendency to be high when it comes to hardware (compared to internet stores). But in this case, I needed someone who knew what he was doing and could sell it to me, and Brian was able to do that. Lately, I've wound up @ Best Buy more and more often. I think their people are stressing customer service more than most businesses, and unless that changes, I'll be shopping there.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Snow Leopard Upgrade Pre-Sale for Recent Buyers

Last week's big news was that was already taking pre-orders for Mac OS X 10.6, codenamed "Snow Leopard." In looking through the Apple site, I stumbled on some information I thought others might want to know.
Basically, if you bought/buy a Mac between June 8 2009 and December 26 2009, you're eligible for an upgrade to Snow Leopard for only $9.95. I ordered it for my new Mac mini, and wanted to alert any other new Mac purchasers that you can get Snow Leopard for 1/3 the price it will sell for.
I kind of hoped they had a program in place for new buyers, since they've often done this in the past. So I will get shipped a copy when they start shipping in September! :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Olbermann Calls Out Folks In Congress Paid By Health Care Industry

Jaw-dropping. Last nite's "Special Comment" from Keith Olbermann, in which he calls out, by name, Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats who have accepted campaign contributions from heath industry interests. Amazing. Must-See TV!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

New Mac Mini!!!

OK, I've posted here as I change (read "upgrade") to newer Macs. This is the icing on the cake, though. New Mac Mini. Say it to yourself 3 times, slowly, sensuously. 2.0 ghz Core 2 Duo. 5 USB ports (I know!). Firewire 800. Superdrive. Mini DVI and Mini Display ports. All in a 2 inch x 6.5 inch x 6.5 inch box of love. Ooooooh.

Hate me yet? That's OK. I have the Mini, and you have your hate. Which of us is better off?

Seriously, this is one fine Mac. It's smaller than the original Mac, smaller than the G4 Cube. Whisper quiet (which I appreciate SO much after the wind tunnel that was the PM G4 MDD). I named this Mac Uniblab, after the robot on the Jetsons. My error sound is Uniblab saying "Back to work, back to work. Everyone work work work."

I really love the new iPhoto, with the face recognition. It's not perfect, but it does a good job of guessing who someone is. Bought iWork too, and an extra GB of memory, so the thing runs like the dickens. I really am happy with it and expect it will last me a good 5-10 years. Then I'll get whatever is hot then!