Armen Chakmakjian

Posts Tagged ‘AppleTV’

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…


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.

AppleTV and HD movie rental…

In technology on September 20, 2008 at 9:45 pm

I finally rented a movie last night from my AppleTV.   I saw that they had the “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” in HD.   It was great.  It may have been in HD, but of course it was without 21st century special effects.

Actually selecting and starting the movie was so fast I wasn’t sure if I had been charged correctly.   I suppose that one thing I’d change on the UI is that your payment method ought to be shown (aka tell me if I am using apple $$ credits or if it will be going to my credit card…why should I have to go to itunes on a PC to figure this out?)

I think I want to rent the Bourne movies and the Stargate movies since those are also in HD.  The kids enjoyed the movie too, but I had to keep telling them to listen to the dialogue (“hours would seem like days”  “His pattern indicates twodimensional thinking” et cetera).

Anyway, now that I’ve done it, anybody want to give me a gift, an itunes card would be nice 🙂