Archive for June, 2011

Five reasons why I’m keeping my iPhone
June 19, 2011

Well, things change quickly. My baby girl ate my Evo a week ago so I took the opportunity to reevaluate my phone choices and wound up buying an iPhone. I almost went with a Nexus S from craigslist but ultimately went with the fruit product. Discounting the savings I get from moving back to a family plan on Att, here are five reasons im keepin the iPhone.

1. Battery life. My Evo had an extended battery and I tried every task killer out there. I kept wifi off and rarely used 4g. And I still usually only got 10 hours from it. The iPhone rocks for a day and a half with wifi on an still has juice. If you have an android phone, this is reason enough.

2. Camera and screen. The camera on the iPhone is better then on the Evo. No, I don’t care about the megapixel count. The iPhone is a better device for taking photos.

3. Auto brightness. This is bit something I expected to care about but it is truly awesome how the iPhone display brightness adjusts to the environment. So it won’t blind you when you’re outside in the dark and it won’t be too dim indoors in the light. Great feature.

4. Speed. The Evo and other android phones boast powerful chips that can do a zillion things at once. That’s great and all, but the iPhone doesn’t lag or lock up or hang up or need rebooting.

5. The apps. The fact that the apple ecosystem is heavily controlled is a GOOD thing as it means that all the apps work correctly. For example, o was never able to write a post on the android wordpress app. This post was as easy as typing an email.

Nevermind that iOS 5 is going to bring a ton of awesome upgrades, it took me less then a week to find five really really good reasons to keep my iPhone. Now I’m simply left asking myself why it took me so long to get one on the first place.

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Well, that didn’t last
June 9, 2011

I now have an iPhone. Not long after posting that I was wedded to android because of the deep gmail integration, my eleven month old daughter did a significant amount of gnawing and drooling on my Evo. Unfortunately, we are a fee months from the Galaxy S2 coming put and most everything else available is sort of old technology.

So I shopped around and came down to buying a Nexus off of craigslist or jumping in to an iPhone. Long story short, I went with the iPhone because I really like the things coming in iOS 5 and because i get a big discount on AT&T service. I also figure the resell value will be highest if I get rid of it in six months; iPhone 3GS still go for over $200 on craigslist.

Anyway, we will see how it goes.

Magic and Method
June 1, 2011

Arthur C. Clarke (or Lex Luther) once said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic.”

Bloggers often site this quote when talking about Apple and their suite of products, partly because Apple uses the word “magic” in its marketing campaigns. But truthfully, there is magic everywhere. The problem, I’ve noticed, is that the magician never gets to appreciate the magic itself.

Years ago, I was in a band that I thought was pretty good. We went in to the studio and spent a lot of time and money making a “record.” We worked hard on the 10 songs we planned to record. We performed take after take after take until it was right. We layered on a wide variety of instruments to accent the sound and really make it great. We even paid Jerry Tubb to master it, which is the process of adjusting the volume, bass, treble, and a thousand other little things until it sounds great. Jerry Tubb has down Mastering work for Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dwight Yoakam, Waylon Jennings….Jerry Tubb knows what he is doing.

Yet from start to finish, it always sounded like something was missing. “Can we make it sound more like the last Wilco record? Can we get the drums to sound a bit more like “Love and Theft?” “Do we need to bring the harmonica up in the mix to make it pop?” We tried every trick in the book to make it sound more like this or more like that. The truth is, it sounded fine. The (few) people that ever listened to the record thought it was pretty good. It captured the sound of our band awfully well, they said. Some of them learned the lyrics and sang along at shows. Some just played it a few times on their car stereo before moving on to something else.

I’m not arrogant enough to call that record “magic”, so let’s use another phrase: our problems with the record came from the fact that we had made the sausage, so it didn’t taste as good when it came time to take a bite.

Before that I worked in government. After a deep love of politics until I graduated from college, I almost immediately quit once I saw the process in place. The magic is awesome. The magicians are intolerable.

Before that i worked at a radio station. The DJs were almost entirely scripted with no control over playlists. The “top requests of the night!” were decided by the programmer manger, not the people calling in to vote. Most of the contests and giveaways were rigged. The magic of driving around late at night listening to the Rolling Stones blaring can’t be matched. The magicians on the other side of the dial are really rather boring.

Lately, I’ve been learning to write computer code. I started with HTML and have moved on to PHP/MySQL with an eye towards Python or Perl next. The more I learn, the more the “magic” of the internet starts to disappear. The more I learn to do with a computer, the more I realize that what goes on under the hood at Facebook and Twitter and Amazon isn’t magic at all, but rather millions and millions of linerally (sp?) executed details.

Most people out there make magic of some sort, only it doesn’t seem like it to them. I recently had a sprinkler system put in my back yard. It would have taken me a month to accomplish what a professional did in two days. It was magic to me, commonplace to him. More and more in life, I find the same thing happening all over the place. The magicians rarely enjoy the magic. The processor doesn’t get to enjoy the taste of the sausage.

I don’t have any suggestions on how to enjoy the magic/sausage you make in your life. The chances are good you are capable of doing something that appears amazing to most people but really seems fairly pedestrian to you. Just keep doing it, I suppose, because the chances are good that someone somewhere thinks its magic, or at least really good sausage.

Why I’ll never own an iPhone
June 1, 2011

Actually, “never” is a long time. But I came to the realization this weekend that my subconscious reason for avoiding Apple’s stellar smartphone wasn’t subconscious at all. I won’t own an iPhone until email is pushed to the device. And once it is, I will own an iPhone immediately.

I receive close to 200 emails each day. About 20 of them are annoying. About 80 of them need to be addressed “eventually”. And about 100 require an answer as fast as I can give it. Would it be possible to engage in my business with a slower response time? Probably, but then things just stack up.

This weekend, my email wasn’t syncing on my EVO (android device). I felt like a drug addict missing his fix – thankfully it wasn’t a weekday or I would have been curled up in a ball crying.

I love my iPad. I’m starting to spend more and more time on my Mac compared to my PC. Frankly, I’m a hair’s breath away from going to the dark-side for good except for that one teeny hangup: slow email loading. I’m sure there are work-arounds. I’m sure there are ways to “make it work.” But that isn’t the experience with Apple that I love. I like Apple products becaue they work the way they are supposed to work 100% of the time. Period, the end. And as soon as the email on the iPhone works the way I need it to work 100% of the time, I’m sold.