Season of the Technogasm Climaxing Tomorrow!

Well, I’ve been keeping quiet for a while, sitting on the side lines watching this techno gadget porno play out between the big three, Microsoft, Apple and Google. It all comes to a climax tomorrow, with Windows 8 officially becoming available to the masses and Apple opening their doors for the preorder of their newest tablets, the iPad Mini and the refreshed iPad 3 (or what some are calling the 3S). Not to be left behind, Google will make a move with their Nexus 7 next week, by offering a larger capacity Nexus 7 at a lower price. So, what’s to make of all this techno bliss? Let’s reflect on all this.

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It’s Official, Apple Announces the iPhone 5

Well, I took a break from blogging over the summer and what better time to get back into the mix than with yesterday’s announcement of the iPhone 5 by Apple. Those that know me understand that I’m quite a gadget junkie, and even though my addiction began way before the iPhone, in the past few years the iPhone and IOS devices have garnered much of my attention. So, what’s my take on yesterday’s announcement? I can safely say that it’s the best iPhone ever made. But, I don’t think it’s the best smartphone anymore. Let me explain.

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Review: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad2 and New iPad

There are things in life that one can become accustomed to, and for some, tap typing on the screen of an iPad can become one of them. For me, not so much. I can type with some speed, but my accuracy can be poor, and then there are the special characters, which require odd keyboard cycling to find them. Probably the biggest problem is the loss of screen space, since the onscreen keyboard takes up a large portion of the display. For serious work, I need a real keyboard with cursor keys! The trend over the last few years has been to move away from physical keyboards, which I can understand from a pure mobile portability standpoint, but it’s this missing aspect that makes it hard to abandon a real laptop.

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BoxWave EverTouch Capacitive Stylus Review

Anyone who knows me or has followed some of my blog posts know that I’ve always felt the biggest lacking in the Apple IOS lineup  is a good stylus or pen. Fortunately for Apple, there are ingenious companies like BoxWave and Wacom that have created styluses to offer the best pen-like experience to be had on an IOS or Android device. Today, I have in my possession BoxWave‘s latest offering, the BoxWave EverTouch Capacitive Stylus!

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The New iPad Revealed – Dower’s Thoughts on the New iPad

So, the latest generation of the iPad has been officially revealed. Oddly enough, it doesn’t bear the name of “iPad HD” or even “iPad3”. Apple seems to be referring to it as the “New iPad“. I suppose it’s their way of removing the numeral that’s been attached to the device… Although I think that’s a bit silly, since most people will refer to it as the iPad3 anyway. Name asside, what’s important is what the big hubbub about this latest iteration is.  

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IOS 5 Battery Drain, Thoughts of Android Fragmentation, and Windows Mobile

Engadget reported yesterday that an IOS bug was discovered that seems to be responsible for poor battery life found by many iPhone 4S users. Luckily for me though, it seems that I’ve not run into any major battery problems, but I must admit that I’ve not experienced the improved battery life Apple promised in the 4S. Apple has committed to fixing the issue with a software patch in the coming weeks, which is good news. But this bug report isn’t the real reason why I’m writing this blog article.

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Happy Halloween – Excellent Use of iPads for Halloween Costume!

Ah, it’s the time of year for ghastly ghouls and fun featured frights. It’s at this time of year that I’m always taken aback by some of the ingenious things that people come up with, from transformer costumes to stunning remakes of iconic game characters. A buddy of mine sent me this link, and I thought it was too ingenious to not post. A gent named Mark Rober decided to take two iPads and use FaceTime to make a rather funny costume. Take a look for yourself (Thanks to Gizmodo for the original post). 

IOS 5 Update Pains

Well, IOS 5 has been out for a few days now, and I’ve made my attempts to upgrade all my devices, and so far, the experience is far from pleasurable. The sentiments are similar with many others who have had various issues performing the upgrade. Here’s the sum of my experience:

  1. Plug in iPhone 4/ iPhone 3G / iPad 1
  2. Get notified that I have an upgrade, Click Download and Update.
  3. Wait for a LONG time for the download to finish
  4. Wait EVEN LONGER for an attempt to backup my device
  5. Get an -50 error saying it couldn’t back it up, and if I continue, I’ll lose everything on the device.
I got that -50 error on every device I’ve tried upgrading so far… It’s pretty consistent too.
So, what happens if I continue? Well, I decided to try on my old 3G, and indeed, it wipes out the device and upgrades to IOS 5. 
So, the upgrade path that I’ve been faced with is this:
  1. Manually BACKUP my device.
  2. Unplug and plugin in the device again.
  3. When prompted to update, do it.
  4. When the error appears, continue on, wiping out the device and performing the update to IOS 5.
  5. Restore the phone from the manual backup.
Not ideal, but it works. The downsides to this method is all my email passwords and voicemail passwords are gone, and some apps which I purchased on my phone were not re-installed during the restore, since they weren’t in my iTunes library. Not the smoothest of updates, and it’s really time consuming; but it did work… I guess I should consider myself lucky, since I’ve heard of people bricking their iPhones during the IOS 5 update process – no fun. But I need to look on the bright side, at least Apple has updates available. I can’t say the same for Android, since I’m at the mercy of the tablet/phone manufacturer, and god knows when HTC will decide to come out with a Honeycomb update for the HTC Flyer.

The Big Day has Arrived – The iPhone 4S Hits Stores Today!

It all comes down to this! Today is the big day, when all the Apple fan folk line up like cows for the slaughter at their favorite retailer to attempt a walk-in purchase of an iPhone 4S. Now, the likelihood of snapping up an iPhone like this, from my experience, has been slim to none, unless you were some of the folks with abundant disposable time to sit outside an Apple store for 10 days. Over at Macrumor’s is a blog post showing some of the lines that are forming from various places around the globe. From a business standpoint, it’s unreal how much insanity comes from an Apple product release, I don’t think any other company in the world can do this but Apple! Most companies get some mild traction, if it’s something interesting, but nothing on this level… But I digress… 

Now, I bet all you readers out there are wondering – What about me? I’m a Apple-Fan-Boy-Wanna-Be. Will I go and stand outside with the rest of these good fan folk? Heck No! This old man did the smart thing, I pre-ordered it from AT&T! It’s coming in the mail tomorrow – Sucka’s! I walked right into my local, standalone store (not the mall one), and spoke to a lovely woman names Shana, and said, “I’d like to pre-order an iPhone 4S”. that’s it, no lines, no camping and no asking people to hold my place while I rummage for a lavatory. So, when it arrives tomorrow, I’ll be sure to have some pretty photos and videos about it, so stay tuned. 

Before I go, I wanted to share this little link, which I think is pretty funny. It’s from PC Magazine’s web site. Samsung, which is currently embroiled in a pissing contest with Apple, can’t be outdone by all this attention, so they’ve decided to try and convert some folks to Android in Sydney. Samsung has setup some temporary Galaxy S stores by the lines outside the Apple store. It’s brilliant, and sad at the same time!

Lastly, CNN’s got an article showing Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, in line for an iPhone 4S! Steve’s been one of my childhood nerd hero’s and I think it’s pretty cool that he’s there!

Tomorrow’s news should be filled with more goodies like this, so stay tuned and I’ll report any interesting shenanigans I find here.

Feel free to share any interesting tidbits with me.

Steve’s Departure, the Day After

It’s hard to believe the reaction the world has had to the passing of Steve Jobs. I knew how much of a legend he was, but the outpour from the world has really been quite astonishing to behold. In some ways, I also didn’t expect it to have as much impact on me either, but I think it might have been more a reaction to some of the really thoughtful things I came across on the web. I suppose for me, I thought back to when some of my favorite icons passed, people such as Jim Hensen, and even James Doohan (Scotty, from Star Trek). I won’t drone on about such things, but here’s a list of a few places that I found interesting today:

I was left pondering today, what an amazing event this was… There aren’t many people that can create such as stir, and especially for someone who, really was a normal citizen. Not royalty or a rock star, but a CEO of a company… I don’t think this type of outpour will occur if Bill Gates were to pass, or even Michael Dell. It is quite fascinating when you think about it.