Armen Chakmakjian

Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Evernote vs MS OneNote on my Apple constellation of devices.

In apple, iPad, Random, technology, wow on March 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Woah. I just installed it 2 macs, my iPhone and iPad. editing the same doc open on two different devices with only about 2 second lag between checkboxes and text appearing on each device. This is friggin’ awesome.

The free form editing is great on the iPad and the mac, less useful on the iPhone.

Those two features alone make the sharing notebook experience (I assume once a note is shared between two people rather than two of my devices it does the same thing) way better than anything evernote has created.

Now I do have a lot of content in evernote from over the years, so I’m not going to abandon my current processes for things that I’ve already been working on…but the experience is good enough that new things that are unrelated to existing processes might go into onenote.

Very compelling.

Now the one thing I haven’t seen in OneNote is the ability to talk to a bluetooth stylus on my iPad (like the jotscript  works with penultimate).  That would be really cool and easily eliminate my use of penultimate for casual notetaking.  BTW this is a limitation of evernote also, you have to use penultimate with the jot script, and you can see the note in evernote afterwards, but you can’t edit it in evernote.


Paper -from Facebook

In apple, facebook, iPad, linkedin, Social Media, technology, wow on February 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Ok this smacks of “if apple had created a Facebook app” and from what read, apple expatriates were on the team building this at Facebook.

First, start with the splash screens and the VoiceOver. You see a iPhone 5s in it. Then the simple drag and drop to choose categories…off a wheel. The the simple swipe gestures to open and close an article. It’s brilliant.

Now re-presenting people’s updates in the same metaphor as the links to articles! This creates the option for content creators to blog right from Facebook to their closed circle…because that content is treated as first class content.

I tried linked’s version of this called pulse. Honestly it didn’t make me want to dump the regular LinkedIn app. This kinda makes me flirt with never opening the Facebook app again.

Now if they only came out with the full iPad version of the app, instead of just the phone app.


In and out of phones…

In Apple iCloud, Business & Finance, iPad, Literature, Random, Science Fiction, technology on February 1, 2014 at 8:59 am

It’s fairly interesting to watch google go in and out of the handset part of the business. First the g1, then the nexus, then buying Motorola. I’m sure by holding a bunch of the patents while selling off the design and manufacturing they end up as a handset patent troll. Or, there might be something more basic going on. While android has dominated the handset market for a couple of years as a software platform, this could mean that, yes, apple did win the phone wars with their integrated solution from a brand POV. And the other thing is that palpable is that google wants to be seen as a leader in wearable computing (google glass for example) locking up more patents before there is even a market.

That transition from handset to wearable technology may be where google sees the future. But from a user experience and branding POV, the 800lb gorilla, with the closed ecosystem, with throngs of acolytes and believers, Apple, has yet to enter the fray. Whatever apple does, it will not be clunky but cool technology (Like glass), it will not be open and have 73 version (like android), it will not be “and us too” like chrome books.

The sand in the ointment here is AppleTV. There seem to be a lot of them out there now but of all of apple’s products, it is the most like a google product. It never made the transition to ubiquitous use. Many people use it for getting to Netflix or mirroring their iPad or laptop screens. They use it as a technology rather than central hub. So I had an idea…a while ago…

In my scifi novel (which I wrote in 2007 and published in 2008) I speculated on a technology called a comm pad. It was a large wrist display somewhat like a handset or even a QBs Velcro wrist play book. When entering a room on a ship or in a building there was always a large display on the wall. The characters would often be talking to or tapping on their wrist display and looking up stuff in the field, but in a room their wrist display interacted with the large display on the wall. You could control the large display from your wrist as well as mirror what you saw on your wrist on the the wall. When you interacted with the large display directly, some relevant things would be sent to the wrist device. In some ways my idea was more like a microsoft’s windows 8 ui on the wall and on the wrist. Both devices knew about each other and the users use model and would work together

I think that’s ultimately how all these devices should work together. They act as an integrated experience, like one device that knows about you and puts the relevant information you’ve requested on the display most appropriate for you to consume it on. Look something up on your wrist, it’s a large map, the wall display shows it. Interact with your calendar on the wall, the wrist device reflects the change. For example…

Anyway, just musing over my Saturday morning coffee…

Initial thoughts on Mountain Lion (OSX 10.8)

In Random on July 27, 2012 at 2:09 am

I installed the update yesterday for 19.99. Awesome price. There are a bunch of new features which you can go to any site and get a large list, but here are my favorites and what I consider duds.

Dictation – I may start writing book 2 at a higher pace. This seems really cool.
Reminders – Shared across iCloud on all my devices. yay
Notification Center – Now this is REALLY useful and shows the convergence of iOS and OSX
iMessage – Way better than iChat, and again convergence. It was so cool today. I was using my phone and my wife was texting me from Costco. rather than futz with the iPhone, i put it back in my pocket (I was using earbuds to talk/listen) walked over to my mac and continued texting on iMessage on my mac with her (she has an iPhone).
New Safari – I really like the search built in (of course they were late to the table on this, but hey). The share directly to twitter or email is cool.
iCloud integrated into iWork applications on the desktop.

The Duds:
Dictation – I say “writing” and initially it came up “rating” I do not have a thick connecticut, massachusetts, NYC or western New York accent. My accent is pretty flat. However, this evening it seemed to figure out that I was saying “Writing” (I just did it). It seems like it needs to be trained (AKA like some artificial intelligence, the user gets trained)
iWork integration into iCloud – it was a little bit disconcerting that when I ha the same document open on both my desktop and my iPhone I didn’t see the changes I was making on one go to the other; it was forcing me to select or merge (BTW I dictated most of this last point and it did ok)
Mail – it didn’t seem like it had a lot of useful upgrades of course Smart mailboxes and the VIP stuff are interesting but I didn’t see a sort of a major upgrading utility or usability for the most common Monday and users (that was supposed to be mundane users…not Monday and users…dictation)
They still haven’t solved the simple issue that I want a network backup to a disk hanging off my airport extreme to be my time machine target, rather than a time capsule. That just pisses me off. That means I have to have a disk hanging off my Thunderbolt which I have to manually Eject each time I leave with my MBAir

Anyway, there’s obviously a lot more, but there are my initial reactions.

IOS5/OSX.7.2/iCloud reactions

In Apple iCloud, Social Media, technology, web 2.0 on October 15, 2011 at 12:44 am

OK so I’ve spent the last day updating my devices and data to the new model.  My overall reaction is Apple once again (just like the .mac to MobileMe transition) is yet to really understand the cloud and the expectation of uptime that each of these transitions requires.  Don’t feel so bad.  Intuit, has gone through the same transition.  The basic fact is that Apple is a device and device software company trying to turn itself into a cloud entity.  It wants to be Amazon or Google by approaching that from its product base which is terminal products (am I dating myself with that terminology?).   Intuit similarly is going through that transition…they have been approaching it from the desktop financial products…adding cloud-ish features and capabilities and hoping the that customers will eventually transition to the cloud versions of their products.  Truly, Microsoft is going through that same transition with OfficeLive.

You have to start somewhere.

That being said, I’m still a bit sore with Apple about a couple of things.  The first being them abandoning the OSX version of the Apple TV.  I’ve got a brick now, that’s the dilemma of the early adopter…it’s the chance I take of course.  I’m also sore that my $99 a year MobileMe subscription will become free, while the thing I’ve paid for (web hosting and syncing of my device settings) will be going away next June for free syncing in the cloud of my secondary information (music and photos).

Anyway, since I’m a technologist and an early adopter, I complain briefly and then enthusiastically try the next thing, adjusting my world view to the new products.

So knowing that October 12 was going to be the day I would get iOS5 on my recently purchased iPhone 4, I spent most of the east coast morning in iTunes hitting “Update” waiting for it to tell me that I was ready to move from 4.2 to 5.0.   Then suddenly the machine told me that I needed to update to iTunes 10.5.  So I did that.

Once that was loaded and installed, about every 15-30 minutes I hit the same button in iTunes and nada, I was at the most recent rev of iOS available.  Then I read a blog post saying that the expected time was 1pm Eastern.  Crap, I had a meeting at 1.  Hit the button once at 1PM (no dice again) and then during a quick bio break at 1:20 came back and this time it began to download.

About 40 minutes later came back to my cube and the update had downloaded and was waiting for me to agree to terms.  Well of course.  Then while the device was updating I hit the “Software Update” on my MacBook Air and noticed that there were updates to Lion (10.7.2) and iPhoto (to support photo streaming)…so I began to load them onto the MBA.

When the iOS5 update loaded, I told it to go ahead.  5 times it crapped out just after the backup and just as it started the restore.  Someone else with an iPhone 4 across from me said he blew away his iPhone (hitting the restore to factory settings) and that seem to be the trick.  He warned me to save away my backups…but I am intrepid so I killed the iPhone4 and then when it restored, it brought in iOS5 automagically and yay! I was up.

Well sorta.  Now I needed to update to iCloud and I couldn’t do that until my MBA was updated.  Just about this time the download of 10.7.2 finished and I told it to start.  then another meeting (hey I work for a living).  I came back about an hour later and the machine was asking me whether I wished to reboot and I said yes.  several minutes later, 10.7.2 was running.  I brought up the new iPhoto and it pleaded with me that if I wanted to use PhotoStreaming I needed to move to iCloud.  my phone was complaining about a similar thing.  Both kept complaining that my MobileMe password was failing.  Now I was starting to get concerned.

When I walked through the online iCloud migration it would get to the final screen and then crap out.  Both me and the other guy were seeing the same thing.  We rightly attributed it to the fact that once again, apple the device mfg had failed to have enough capacity to handle the millions of us doing the same thing at the same time.  By about this time, I was ready to go to school.  I went to class that night and went through the iCloud wizard a couple of more times and concluded that until the west coast went to sleep I wasn’t going to get satisfaction.  I did notice that the new reminder app on my phone wasn’t getting any of my MobileMe reminders from iCal.  I tried a couple of more times at midnight.  Still nothing (hey that’s 9:00PM on the west coast).  Went to bed.

Wednesday morning I couldn’t play but I did notice that my phone was still complaining about my MobileMe password failing.  I was using those credentials to log into MobileMe so I attributed this to the aforementioned “not ready for prime time” bugs.   I went to work.  By about 10:30 AM I had tried 3 times to do the iCloud transition and still got errors.  Then suddenly about 11AM voi la! it converted.  Suddenly my mac and my phone were in sync in calendars, reminders and music.  Very nice.  Now the difficult part.  I still had 2 mac’s to go.  My work desktop and my old MacBook Pro.  I figured I do my personal machine first so that evening I updated that to 10.7.2 and I was up.  Then I noticed that some reminders and appointments were duplicated in iCal (Arrgh).  killed a couple and then things seemed to make sense again.

The following day I updated my desktop at work.  This was a bit fraught with peril since I was updating something w/o support.    I was told that I might have active directory problems.  Didn’t happen and the update happened.  Since I had only recently migrated from windows to the mac at work, I had little info on the new machine so the mac osx apps got what I wanted and caused no duplication.

At this point everything is up, things are working and I’m here typing on my MBA and my iPhone 4 is on the desk.   I’m afraid of one thing though…my old AppleTV is downstairs.  I don’t know what’s going to happen when I get to it.  is it going to barf on its iTunes connections?  We’ll see.

So here’s my thumbs ups after the transition

Thumbs up:

  • reminder app and sync across all devices
  • recently purchased on iTunes (music on my machine without syncing with a wire)
  • Photostream (kinda, for new pictures, see thumbs down)
  • iOS5 iWork apps and icloud backups (bought them last night, but see thumbs down)
  • New iOS5 reminders.  This is really nice…except (see td)
  • the drawdown reminder gesture on the regular display on the phone.  Very Nice.
Thumbs down:
  • iWork Desktop apps don’t speak to iCloud (updated thinking they would, my bad)
  • Photostream doesn’t automagically (or even ask) to move MobileMe galleries to photo stream
  • The whole software update process overwhelmed apple backbone
  • reminders on the lock screen don’t drill down automatically (why did I think they would)
  • Since I don’t have an iPhone 4S (and Siri)  the rest of the features were cool but not earth shattering.
Overall I’m happy to move forward. I still have to deal with the iWeb mess and my Apple TV and I wish the desktop iWork would talk to the content created on the phone…I just updated and they’ll charge me 20 bucks more when that comes up no doubt.
Anyway there it is…



AppleTV what should be next…

In Apple iCloud, Random, Social Media, technology, web 2.0 on August 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I was reading a post today that I saw float by on my iPhone on Google+.  Mike Elgan  writes about how Apple is going to kill cable TV.  I agree that if apple turns its eyes to fully try to solve the cable TV problem, it will not be the AppleTV of  yore.  That device (an owner of a 160GB version, I am) was a sharing device.  It took pictures and movies that you made, and tried to deliver them up in the place where collective viewing was done.  It allowed you to all listen to the same music, watch the same trailers in 5.1 6.1 9.1 or whatever your setup.  It was awesome and simultaneously clunky.  you could watch or listen to your favorite podcasts…For an apple product it was half-baked.

Because it was half-baked and hackable, all kinds of garage shop operations popped up with ways for you to crack the AppleTV and add Boxee or XBMC or whatever.  They all crash under normal use.

Then Apple dumped us early adopters and created the little hockey puck Apple TV.  That removed the storage and made it an Airport Express for your TV.  With cable hooked up to the TV, and the Apple TV next to it, I’d flip back and forth…but there was one thing that kills the AppleTV that broadcast TV gives you.


What do I mean?  I mean I can turn on CNN or FoxNews or the local TV station and get the news RIGHT NOW.  The earlier AppleTV was one thing if nothing else, it was a replacement for your DVR, not for TV.  Yes yes I know, people record stuff for later use, even the news.  But when world events happen, TV is the IMMEDIATE portal.  People do not crowd around a website (even if you put it up on your 60″ 1080P TV.  People crowd around the TV when news is happening.

Now mind you, the AppleTV (both gen1 and gen2) does allow for streaming YouTube and internet Radio stations…But the truth is, until Apple can solve the immediacy problem, Cable TV (CNN HLN CNBC) will always be able to drag you back in.

Now mind you, many websites now have streaming video.  CNN and WSJ online come to mind at first.  Even our local TV stations have that.  However, to get to the streaming video, you have to go to their web page.

So the real innovation here is to solve the immediacy problem, NOT to create an apple branded DVR that happens to be built into a 55″ TV.  That’d be lame.

No what apple would need to do to kill cable would be to sign agreements with the BBC, CNN, FoxNews, CNBC, ESPN et cetera, and local outlets to provide immediate HD streaming content subscribe-able on the iTunes store.  Yes if you need to, you can mark a broadcast for later viewing, but if you really want to kill cable, you have to kill Live TV, not HBO…at this point, Netflix has already solved that problem.  Kill Live TV over Cable.

Immediacy also extends to shared gaming.  these days when you get on your 360 or Wii, you can be playing and interacting with people all over the world.  Immediately.  and  you are creating your own News (through your characters).    Twitter/Facebook and Google+ already take advantage of this giving you an almost immediate stream of what is happening now to your contacts and friends, and the current broadcast news outlets use them as a secondary point of contact (like Anderson Cooper tweeting while talking).

For apple to really kill cable TV, it doesn’t just need to be itunesy-netflix built into a TV, it needs to be live and immediate…


Kindle vs iPad: My take after the media blitz

In Kindle, Random, Social Media, technology, web 2.0 on January 31, 2010 at 1:59 am

So being that I have to eventually salivate over an iPad, but already have a Kindle 2, I’m going to venture this review based on browsing the web, watching Steve Jobs’s introduction of the product and just my general sense.

1) The iPad will be a big hit.

2) The kindle is already a hit and will not be supplanted by the iPad once people reach the heart of summer and go down to the beach and have the shiny reflective surface blind them mercilessly when then are trying to show it off.

3)Kindle app store…wtf.  With that slow display and limited input capability?  Do you really expect a user to use the toggle switch to traverse practice tests in a textbook and supply answers?

4) The kindle is a dedicated reading device that has and will change how we read books.

5) The iPad is a huge highly capable iPod Touch and will eat into mac computer sales.  I probably will get one after the 3G version comes out so that I always have a backup network to get to in a pinch, but what I probably will do is walk around with my Kindle and my iPad in my backpack and leave my macbook home for doing intensive stuff (like editing video, concentrated writing, et cetera).

6) If the kindle app for the ipod touch works as described (as the other 140,000 app store apps are expected to), why do I care if I’m holding my iPad or my Kindle if they sync the same purchase between the two from Amazon?

7) I now can line up my lightscribe pen, my droid, my kindle 2, an iPad, my apple TV and my MacBook in a row and take a picture just because each one is slightly bigger than the next.

8 ) The reason I think that the iPad will eat into laptop sales rather than Kindle sales is because if iWork on the iPad is for real, you now have a productivity suite in your hands that is desktop quality and capable in a useful form factor.  If you keep docs on or even on your iDisk on you can get to any piece of work, download it and then show or edit it.

9) I was walking around the mall behind my wife today while she went up and down aisles in Filene’s basement in Watertown.  my Kindle 2 was paperback book sized.  An iPad would be TOO BIG to stand around and and act semi-attentive.  Heck my kindle 2 gets looks from people and a kindle dx would be too big also.

10) What I didn’t see (which may be there) is if the Music App on the iPad can broadcast/stream to my apple TV like itunes on my macbook (not the streaming on the appleTV, the reverse where you can tell the macbook to use the appleTV as its speakers).  If it can, I could see how useful (sitting on the couch like Steve Jobs) browsing/reading while my selection of music goes to my Apple TV and my surround system.

That’s my take on it.  Kind of disjoint.  I might get one in 90 days or so when the 3G version comes out…or wait till my birthday in the summer…or wait till Christmas.  Although if I wait till Christmas, I’ll wait until January to see if they do an update at MacWorld or some other venue.

Windows 7 is pretty stable a week into it…here’s how I got there…

In technology on October 31, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I did my upgrade last week from that abysmal Vista 64 to Windows 7 64. First I’d like to recount how long it took. For that, I will show you my tweets from last Friday night/Saturday morning.  Let me say that I started the upgrade at about 10:30 PM on Friday night:

  1. @alexbarnett was stuck in a damn loop that kept saying uninstall logitech, itunes and norton. after the 3rd tim it gave up and started
    • 11:23 PM Oct 23rd from TweetDeck in reply to alexbarnett
  2. @alexbarnett now I’m just waiting for it to do its thing
    • 11:24 PM Oct 23rd from TweetDeck in reply to alexbarnett
  3. This windows 7 Ultimate 64 upgrade is taking FOREVER…this is ridiculous
    • 11:56 PM Oct 23rd from TweetDeck
  4. 1AM and Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit is STILL installing…brutal
    • 12:59 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  5. This is why I use my mac for important things.
    • 1:02 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  6. @jeffmc this may be the last PC I use. Vista 64 was a disaster. Let see if w7 cleans it up…oh btw, still installing…
    • 1:52 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck in reply to jeffmc
  7. OK Windows 7 is up…now I have to go through and get iTunes to install…just uninstalled the logitech driver that was uninstallable for 2y
    • 2:41 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  8. un-uninstallible that is
    • 2:42 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  9. yay! first time I’ve been able to install itunes on the pc since the 8.00 release.thank you windows 7. now can iPod touch can be upgraded?
    • 3:06 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  10. That’s been stuck with rev 1.0 software because I couldn’t install itunes after 8.00
    • 3:07 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  11. O & 1 more windows 7 test. The driver & software 4 my HP allinone printer wld not install on ths PC w/ Vista (crashed). lets see
    • 3:15 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  12. Printer driver up, printer software up…phew
    • 3:34 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  13. The ipod touch upgrade did not go well
    • 4:22 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  14. Done, everything is working now (I think). Touch, printer, itunes, windows, outlook…Yes I did sleep in between
    • 10:25 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck


So I started at 10:30 PM or so, got stuck in loop that took about 10 minutes as it barfed at me that I couldn’t do the install until I uninstalled logitech, itunes and something else that escapes me now.  After the 3rd attempt to boot off the DVD, it relented (like a GPS that finally gives up when you go on a different path) and started installing.

At about 11:30 I started getting impatient.  My upgrade of Tiger to Leopard on my powerbook only took about a hour.  What was this?

At 1:00 (Tweet 4 above) it was still marking and verifying files.  Mind you my machine is a relatively healthy quad 64bit with 4 gig of ram with a 3g clock so it isn’t underpowered.

At about 2:30 Windows 7 was up.  So that was approximately 4 hours to do the upgrade.  Then the fun part started.

The first thing I needed to know was if I could uninstall software.  Yes, uninstall on my vista 64 bit machine did not work.  I couldn’t take anything off.  It’d tell me that I didn’t have privs.  I’d even run control panel in admin mode and it’d still barf on me.  Drove me nuts.  First to go was logitech for the camera that never worked on this machine (even with the 64 bit driver).  Whap.   then I uninstalled something else can’t remember what now.  Then the real test came.   iTunes.

For over a year I could not upgrade itunes on vista 64 even with the apple vista 64 version of itunes. it would bomb during install and tell me that the windows installer wasn’t installed correctly.  Really?  so since my wife’s ipod touch and my apple TV were primarily used to connect to this machine, I couldn’t take advantage of new functionality (or even download new versions of the ipod touch firmware) because I couldn’t get to itunes 8.02  OR itunes 9.0

So I took a chance there.  I brought up itunes and then asked it to look for an upgrade.  Several minutes later, itunes was up.  YAY!  So at 3:00 I could have stopped and left work till another time…but there was real crime…no not the touch upgrade (which in my sleep deprived mode I was still willing to skip till the morning).  No, we bought a printer last year, an HP 5550c all in one.  But we could not install the drivers or the HP software.  It’d bomb 3/4ths of the way through the install and tell us to try again.  This seemed to be a manifestation of the itunes install issue.  In frustration we figured out how to use the windows photo viewer to do scans and installed the printer driver by hand to get printing working.  But I needed to know.  So I went to the HP site and got the Windows 7 software for this class of printer and Voi La! it installed.  yay…(tweet 12)

Now at this point I could have given up, but I figured since I was up, and I wouldn’t get this much concentrated time ever again, I started to do the iPod touch upgrade.  I paid apple 5 buck for the 3.0 software and hooked up the ipod, it backed itself up and then it started to upgrade.  About 4:00am the upgrade crashed.  Now the ipod touch was stuck looking for something to connect to and would not come up.  The software was wiped out.   I went to the apple site, hit the power and menu buttons simultaneously, cursed in colorful language, ascribed the situation to the scatological nature of all the connected  technologies and their famous steve’s and bill’s…and then I remembered that my macbook was at the other end of the desk.

“Aha!” I said to myself.  “I can to reinstall the old software from my mac, and then reattach it to windows and have it wipe it out…maybe that’d work”

So as I was doing this, about 4:10 am or so, my wife comes downstairs and says “What are you doing? Are you crazy?”   I said, “Look, with my schedule, this is the only way I’d get all this done.  When am i going to have 7 hours of concentrated time to do this?” So she grumbled and went back upstairs.  So I did hook the touch to my mac, put the the 2.2 software back on.  Then I attached it to the windows machine.  The windows machine would make the USB device connected sound, then nada.  I was almost beside myself at this point.  I grabbed the can with the remains of my second diet coke of the evening/morning and said “Damn windows pos…I’ll reboot it.”   So I did a restart of windows (which of course wouldn’t go down on its own, so I finally succumbed holding the power button down for 10 seconds).  I then hooked up the ipod touch, doink sound, itunes came up, recognized that this was a wiped out version of the ipod touch and asked me if I wanted to reinstall my wife’s profile.  YES DAMMIT

So it did, then it reminded me that there was new software needing to be installed for the touch…did I want to do that?  YES DAMMIT

and then it installed. When it reinstalled it shut down all the sync settings for everything…so now I had to figure out what the touch’s sync settings were which took about 10 minutes and several syncs of calendars and music and podcasts et cetera till I got it right and didn’t overflow the 8G of memory.

And at 5:00am I was done.  I was going to tweet that I was done.  In fact the last tweet at 10 am (tweet 14), was actually what I had typed in on tweetdeck on my mac and forgot to hit return.

So the whole thing (remember an upgrade isn’t just installing the OS it is making sure that your machine and all peripherals are functional) too 7hours.

There’s my story…

Apple Time Capsule

In technology on October 23, 2009 at 3:24 am

So as I tweeted tonight, I received my 1TB Apple Time Capsule today and installed it to replace my aging Linksys router and to capture my dream of having a network disk mounted that all my machines could use (and maybe do some backups).  The real reason is that I need to back up all my important data on my Windows vista 64 bit machine that is just not cutting it.  Vista sucks and I have a W7 disk waiting, but I do NOT trust that microsoft with not destroy something (no matter what Walt Mossberg and Steve Ballmer say).  So I have a 24 hour backup going on to get 226G of important information copied to the time capsule and then I will feel safe to do the upgrade.  Why am I doing this?  Well Vista 64 sucks and my wife has an iPod touch that I cannot upgrade to the latest OS because windows vista is so screwed that I can’t upgrade iTunes (trust me I’ve done everyting including a bare metal install of iTunes…I’ve followed every web suggestion to play with the registry and msconfig, I’m done going down that path)

So rather than do the CNet thing and show how I opened the box, I’m going to cut to the chase.

    1. The software loaded flawlessly on my mac
    2. I set up the Time Capsule as both a disk and as a router
    3. I set up both a regular network as well as a guest network, both wpa2 et cetera et cetera
    4. My macbook pro connected to it.
    5. I went to connect my old powerbook (running osx) and it would NOT connect.
    6. I noticed that I had lost my connection on my macbook, and tried to reconnect to no avail (including the airport software that I just used to configure the device.  its scan button did NOTHING.
    7. I could not get the airport utility to see the time capsule anymore.
    8. My wired connection through it was working (my pc is wired to the router)
    9. In frustration I hit the reset button on the time capsule and saw that I was again able to see the time capsule on my macbook
    10. I reset all the stuff I did from steps 2-5 again and again all my machines got dropped.
    11. at this point I was so frustrated that even the reset again and did it again
    12. In desperation I connected my macbook pro to the “guest” network.  voi la a connection.
    13. I then asked to connect to the primary network…voi la again a connection
    14. did the same thing on my powerbook
    15. did the same thing on my G1
    16. did the same thing on my wife’s macbook
    17. What do I mean the same?  I connected to the guest network first then the private network
    18. Being the engineer, I reset the time capsule again, and re-setup the whole thing again and go the same results.
    19. Then I reset the time capsule and set up everything EXCEPT the guest network.
    20. Now everything connected to the private network first time…all 6 wireless devices.  No connection timeouts, nothing went wrong.

Being an Apple promoter, more technical than the average consumer, and persistent because of both an engineering background and Armenian DNA, I kept with it.  My conclusion?

Apple, you blew it with this device.    The fact that it not only dropped all the ancillary devices but the macbookpro with the airport software installed…

Well anyway, its up, i’m backing up my PC onto it AND I’m about to install windows 7-64 on my PC (probably tomorrow night at this point).  I’ve forwent the guest network for now since it just seems to complicate things.

It’s working and doing most of what I expected (including the dual band network for my apple TV to connect to) So I guess I’ll keep it.

OK so I’m a mac guy…

In Random on January 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm

But I’ve used everything before. DOS, ProDos, OS7, OSX, VMS, Windows 3.0, OSF, AIX, Blah Blah Blah…I’ve used their productivity apps…appleworks, office, iWork, DecWrite, Framemaker, EDT, TPU, EMACS, VI, Runoff, nroff, visicalc (ok now I’m dating myself) but have you taken a look at the (beta) ?

If it is what it says it is…it’s damn amazing. I bought the first version of iWork just after buying my first mac in 2005 (on the day I left Teradyne online, literally on my way to farewell drinks). Keynote was always pretty impressive even before bundling in iWork. Pages started off as a cruel substitute for MS publisher, but since then over 3 generations have turned it into an extremely capable word processor/page layout combination. I wrote my book in pages and I love it. Numbers is ok as a spreadsheet, but has a lot of fluff and only slowly catching up to Excel if it ever will (I could not use it for my stats class because it didn’t have any of the data analysis add ons that Excel has).

Evidently, in iWork ’09 they’ve also added cross app sharing of stuff, so you can do mail merges and embed charts by symbolic links to other docs.

All that being said, what they are beta testing now is a step function different than desktop apps. You share your docs from your mac that you’ve developed in iWork, and others can annotate and edit them online and you can sync it back to your original. If they want to download a copy of their own, they can…and since it is in a browser, you can be on windows and download office style versions of the docs (rather than iWork native) if you choose.

Now you may say, so what, Google Docs, Groove and Sharepoint already exist…but they don’t look like this…the presentation of these products is really nice. I’m going to sign up for the beta, not sure what I’ll do with it, but it’ll at least give me the time to figure out what it is.