Jul 31, 2008

The new iPhone SHUFFLE!

This might be ancient, but after watching my phone stuck at the Apple logo all day, I appreciated the levity.

Confirmed: Only install apps via iTunes

The guys on MacBreak Weekly back up what I've experienced: Installing
apps via App Store on the iPhone just spells trouble. Do it only
through iTunes.

Keep your surfing secure

This is a tiny but important tip: When you go to Gmail or Yahoo! Mail or any other personal web-based service, you can make your connection less hackable by changing the "http://" to "https://". The "s" stands for "secure," and it means that traffic — the 0s and 1s — between your browser and the online service will be encrypted.

"Using an https: URL indicates that HTTP is to be used, but with a different default TCP port (443) and an additional encryption/authentication layer between the HTTP and TCP. This system was designed by Netscape Communications Corporation to provide authenticationand encrypted communication and is widely used on theWorld Wide Web for security-sensitive communication such as payment transactions and corporate logons."

Getting in this habit is especially important for laptop and mobile users. It's easy to store the https:// in your bookmark. When you use a secure link, you'll see a little lock icon in one corner of your browser window.

Jul 28, 2008


Jerked with Google Apps & Calendar today for an hour. Several
roadblocks, making it basically unusable as a collaborative tool. And
today, Google Calendar just got CalDAV. And it shows up in iCal!
And ... it doesn't sync from iCal to the iPhone, over MobileMe or


I don't want 3rd-party, $$$-eating shareware conduits. I don't want
miscegenatin' web services. I just want to have one calendar that me
and a partner can edit and share.

I'm so sick of this, I can't see straight. (SSX Blur snowboarding on
the Wii might have something to do with that.)


Bra Power: Can Bouncing Breasts Charge an iPod?


This one's for real!

Jul 24, 2008

New product announcement

Apple announced today that it has developed a breast implant that can store and play music. The iTit will cost between $499 to $699,  depending on cup and speaker size. This has been hailed as a major social breakthrough, as women are always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.

Jul 18, 2008

iPhone 3G display: So warm it's cool, because it's not as cool, because...

This from digital-imaging-guru friend Scott, on how the new phone's screen is better for viewing images: iPhone 3G screen commentary

Jul 12, 2008

Original iPhone successfully transformed into iPod touch

I didn't have to jailbreak it, or wipe it, or anything. I just popped out the SIM card (using the ultra-modern, paper clip-emulating Jonathan Ive-designed "extraction tool" supplied with my iPhone 3G), and I've got an iPod touch to give my daughter (and a home remote, and perhaps necessary as a spare lest my 3G suffer a mishap).

Freakin' awesome!

Jul 11, 2008

iPhone Friday: Epic clusterf**k + happy ending

This from the NY Times:

This from "Sluggo":

AT&T sucks... so does Apple for forcing them on us, very un-Apple-like behavior if you ask me.

Yeah, they do suck. I'm nonplussed at how badly today has gone. I mean, I'm comfortable and happy sitting at a restaurant with wifi, but that's blissful ignorance, 'cos I can't receive any phone calls and don't know who might be trying to get ahold of me. The grilled salmon at Luca is helping, too.

I don't guess Apple had much choice but AT&T. Anyone who pays attention to the mobile communications market, and I mean worldwide, knows that a manufacturer has to choose a partner provider, or they can't get a deal anywhere. It's like the guy with the greased hair at the high school dance trying to put his hand on every sophomore girl's ass, and pretty quick he's got no one to dance with.

It's also important to remember that, according to reports, Apple did offer the iPhone deal to Verizon, who said that Apple drove too hard a bargain. I know, you're shocked. So, I'm gonna posit that Verizon is the second best provider in the States to AT&T. Better coverage, slightly more fascistic, about the same level of customer service. Sprint sucks rhino, and T-Mobile rates high in customer support, and terrible in connectivity.

So maybe if you can't get Verizon, you go with AT&T. It's possible, too, that the Verizon deal was itself a myth: AT&T is the only GSM provider worth its weight, and GSM is quickly becoming the world standard. Apple doesn't want to make two iPhone models, one for GSM and one for CDMA, a whole different chipset.

Whether you're a consumer or a manufacturer, whichever provider you marry, bring a jar of Vaseline to the nuptial consummation.

Perhaps Apple couldn't have avoided this fiasco. What carrier on earth is used to thousands of devotées showing up, some a week early, to buy a bloody mobile phone on day of launch? We hoped Apple would have been able put up the infrastructure to handle the traffic. It was iTunes that was reporting the failure, but who knows whose servers were at fault?

Ah well. 6 hours after I got started, I have an new, activated iPhone 3G. 
I was without a connection for maybe 2 hours. 
My voicemail has been deleted, but I did take screenshots just in case. 
My original iPhone remains a wireless iPod, which is awesome. 
I've got GPS, good fast internet, and a bunch of cool apps. 
There are also more cool apps that cost more than I feel like paying. 
I don't have copy & paste. 
I don't need MMS. 
I haven't tried the 3rd-party video recorder. 
I'm still with godawful AT&T, but I have an unlimited-minutes plan at a reasonable price (not more than I was paying before).

Today was a good day.

Jul 10, 2008

It's twoo! It's twoo!

Originally posted last Thursday night, but it didn't go through:

I just put iPhone software 2.0 on my gen 1 phone. I got a bunch of free apps on, and Cro-Mag Rally. So far so good. The Mail app is  
improved nut I don't see much else yet. And I have to reset sync history I think before contacts & calendar are going to work right. But in the meantime... Whoop!

Jul 9, 2008

J2 News: Clarification on Friday's iPhone-a-rama

Please come to Luca anytime between 11am and 4pm, and stay as long as
you want. I'll be discussing and presenting and helping the whole time.

Lunch and beverages of all sorts from Luca's fantastic menu will be
available for purchase.

Don't forget to RSVP! I need to give a head count as soon as I can.

Looking forward to seeing y'all!

As always, check my blog at http://themacwhisperer.blogspot.com/ for
updates and news.

Jul 8, 2008

J2 News: Invitation on iPhone Friday


If you didn't catch footage of an Apple Store on June 29, 2007, that was the sound of a greet-&-cheer line of Apple employees whenever a customer left the store with a new iPhone. It was a geeky good time. One so rarely gets applauded for being a gearhead.

This Friday will see the release of the next generation of iPhones, featuring faster internet (a.k.a. 3G), GPS navigation, and hopefully better reception and longer battery life. All iPhones, new and old, will also get the iPhone App Store, with hundreds of ultra-mega-cool applications that will be available and downloadable straight to your iPhone or iPod touch.

The stores at La Cantera and North Star Mall will open at 8am. History and logic say that you won't need to stand in line. There should be plenty of stock. But plan on it taking a while, as you will have to activate your new iPhone at the store. (AT&T stores will have stock also, but they're not nearly as much fun, and the staff rarely as knowledgeable.)

I think it's gonna be a fun day. Lots to discover. Lots to play with -- have you seen these awesome games coming out? Or this one?

I've been getting calls to help folks get up to speed on their new iPhones, transfer data, update software, activate Mobile Me (which we hope comes out by Friday), and download apps, soooo....


Here's my idea:

Everyone is invited down to the marvelous Luca Ristorante [map] on Friday, starting at 11, and we'll have ourselves an iPhone-syncin', 3G-surfin', GPS-navigatin', me.com-navel-starin', new-fashion' hoedown! 

$15 gets you into the session, and until 4pm, you can ask me about anything related to iPhone or Mobile Me. And if you want to discuss something else, I bet we'll be able to accommodate.

Please RSVP to this email address. Bring a laptop if you can -- there will be wifi -- or be prepared to look over someone's shoulder. 

And pass it on; the more the merrier!



Apple has posted a guide to replacing an original iPhone with an iPhone 3G, and I do encourage everyone to scope it. Most important: 1) Sync your existing iPhone before plugging in your new one! 2) Run Software Update to grab the latest iTunes.

Read the "What to bring" section of this page.

If you're running Leopard, I would recommend updating it to the latest 10.5.4.

If you don't have a hard drive backup of your computer, now is a good time to snag one at the Apple Store.

I'm also hoping this news -- "AT&T says original iPhones can be deactivated and used as WiFi iPods" -- is true about what we can do with our old iPhones.

Q: Should I buy a new iPhone?


J2 Consulting ~ Chicken soup for the Mac ~ 210.367.3420

"The National Weather Service advises you to stay away from Windows."

Jul 2, 2008

LogMeIn available for Mac... um... last year

Oh, man, this is top notch: LogMeIn, probably the leading package that let's you control your computers from afar, finally came out with a Mac controller for their Free package, and ... I guess I'm the last to know about it.


Previously we have been able to control PCs with LogMeIn, because it has been browser-based, and the same company has had Hamachi, a free VPN thing that I always meant to play with, but didn't like that I had to use a 3rd-party app to do it. But now LMI has a plug-in to install on the Mac. Very very sweet.

So, I was talking with a new client who lives a little ways out of San Antonio, and we were discussing the methods I use to provide support, and he said, "Well, you could always connect to me with LogMeIn." 


Sho' 'nuff: About 20 minutes later, I had an account at LogMeIn and was able to access my own computer from afar. I had set up a VPN for this already, but LogMeIn is way easier. I can't believe they released it to beta a year ago, and went 1.0 in December, but anyway I'm glad to have it now!

Now, they don't have their Pro version available for Mac, so you can't grab files or print remotely like you can with a VPN, so that latter option might still be preferable for many folks, perhaps with Hamachi and perhaps with the iVPN solution I mentioned previously. But just being able to get to your screen is huge.

Incidentally, security goes like this: You have a password to log in to your LogMeIn account, and then to control your computer you need to enter the name and password for your user account. 

And what do we learn from this? Pleeeeeeease make sure you have good, strong passwords on all of your accounts, both online and on your computer, and please don't use the same password for every frackin' thing you do!

Log me up, Scotty.