12-inch MacBook Air?

The upcoming 12-inch Air has the fewest amount of ports ever on an Apple computer, as can be seen in the rendition above. On the left side is a standard headphone jack and dual-microphones for input and noise-canceling. On the right side is solely the new USB Type-C port. Yes, Apple is currently planning to ditch standard USB ports, the SD Card slot, and even its Thunderbolt and MagSafe charging standards on this new notebook. We must note that Apple tests several designs of upcoming products, so Apple may choose to ultimately release a new Air that does include the legacy components, though there is very little space on the edges for them.

My first Apple laptop was a 12-inch PowerBook which I loved. My wife wondered why I didn't get the 15-inch or 17-inch which were other options. I said it was something about that 12-inch PowerBook that looked and felt right.

I don't think Apple would ditch the Thunderbolt connection and MagSafe both. Seems like a bit much, but I suppose it's possible. Only time will tell.

Verizon is Watching

"We're able to view just everything that they do," Bill Diggins, U.S. chief for the Verizon Wireless marketing initiative, told an industry conference earlier this year. "And that's really where data is going today. Data is the new oil."

I use Verizon for my 3rd Gen iPad. The LTE is great. I thought about switching to them for our wireless phone service, but this article makes me pause on that idea. They say you can opt out, but I don't know if that's good enough.

The Talk Show Moves Networks

One of my favorite podcasts has unexpectedly moved podcast networks! It was previously on 5by5 but is now on the Mule Radio. I don't know the reason for the change. But people are speculating here and there.

My guess? The 5by5 Network is growing. Gruber, the main person on The Talk Show, probably couldn't work around the scheduling contraints of the growing network. At least I hope it is that simple.

I'll try to give the show a listen. But I'll miss Dan and John talking on the same podcast.

Update 3: I woke up this morning, updated my Instacast and found a 5by5 special waiting for me to listen. Dan explains how it played out for him. Sounds like he was surprised about what happened. It was nice of him to at least put out a brief explanation.

Update 2: Seems the best coverage of this little drama can be found on the chandler blog. I wish a sense of finality could be brought to this subject. It appears from all the comments by those involved, or who are in the know, that it is none of our business why it went down the way it did. Transparency doesn't apply in this matter, I guess.

Update 1: According to a Quora post it seems to have come down to money. Of course the comments are by a person listed as anonymous, so take it for what it's worth.

I did manage to listen to the new Talk Show episode. It is not the same. I'll give it a few more episodes. but I'm pessimestic side of it working out.

Why I Hate Android

All of this backstory knowledge fuels my rage. When I see Google talk about how “open” the platform is, setting it up as the foil to the “closed” (and framed as “evil”) iPhone, I want to scream and rip someone’s head off. It’s not only the most extreme example of being disingenuous that I can ever recall seeing — it’s nuclear bullshit. 

Good read on MG Siegler's tumblr page. I personally haven't used an Android phone. But I think I would get frustrated with the lack of official updates to the phone, knowing updates could and should be available.

The Facebook Resisters

NY Times article on the people who are not on Facebook or have quit Facebook. I am (again) considering decreasing or completely stopping direct Facebook interaction. This seems like a New Year's Resolution type of thing, if you are into that sort of thing.

iPad 2? Not for Me

The iPad 2 was announced last week. It appears to be another cool Apple device, a nice upgrade from the original iPad – which I currently own. Though I love my gadgets, I don'' think the iPad 2 is for me.

My current item of lust is an 11” MacBook Air (128GB with 4GB of RAM of course).  I have to stress that it have 4GB, because unlike the MacBook Pro, aftermarket RAM cannot be added later on.  But why would I choose a MacBook Air over an iPad 2?

I agree with Vicky Beeching's take on the two. It comes down to this:

  • iPad=consumption device
  • MacBook Air=creation device

Now, there are some people who find the current iPad an adequate creation device, but I am not one of them. My primary form of creating is writing, which I find difficult to accomplish on an iPad. I've tried using a bluetooth keyboard with the iPad. I simply find it an awkward to use it in conjunction with the iPad.

The iPad 2 appears to be amazingly fast. It also adds the ability to create more content, having added cameras and other software, which allows you to take photos and videos. You can also edit those photos and videos – a by product of the amazing speed . But I don't think I'd use the iPad 2 for such tasks. That's what I would use the monster iMac to do.

To me, the appeal of the MacBook Air is it size and weight. It would be easy to lug around with the heavy DSLR in tow. It would also be easy to simply take out, write a few thoughts, and plunk it back into the backpack.

Of course, this blog post is not stating I am getting a MacBook Air. I'm just saying if I had a choice, I'd prefer a MacBook Air over a iPad 2 (for like Christmas or my birthday).

I'm just saying.....

Verizon iPhone? Not for Us - Yet

There's been speculation that Verizon will announce the availablity of the iPhone on their network this coming Tuesday. It's great news, since Verizon (supposedly) has a better network. I've had plenty of dropped calls on my iPhone, and plenty of bad connections to the 3G network. I'd love to go to Verizon, but I don't think I will right away.

Why?

  • iPhone 5: Verizon will likely be offering the iPhone 4. While I'm lusting after a new iPhone - I'm using a slightly crippled iPhone 3GS - the iPhone 5 should be coming out in June or July. I can wait a few more months and decide then.
  • The Network: I'm not sure I can give up the ability to talk on the phone and surf the web at the same time, something you can do on a 3G network but not the CDMA network which Verzion has. Is CDMA better than EDGE, which was the network the first iPhone used? If it's the same limitations, then I'm not sure I'd want to be on it.
  • Convincing Others: If I move carriers, so does the rest of the family. I think everyone would be cool getting new phones. But I don't look forward to telling our parents, "Yeah, you need to get a new phone. Why? Well, because, that's why."
  • Costing More: I hear that Verizon phone plans are slightly more expensive on average than AT&T's plans. I'm not sure this is true. But I'm not willing to pay more just yet.

Come June or July a decision will need to be made whether to stick with AT&T or not. I'm sure I won't be the only one weighing whether to go to Verizon, that is of course if Verizon does announce the iPhone this coming Tuesday.

Figuring Things Out with Tomato

Comcast made a lovely announcement last week that they were imposing bandwidth caps for their users. The limit is 250 GB a month. I have no idea how much bandwidth I use. Funny thing is Comcast is not giving users a way to determine how much bandwidth they actually use!

Comcast suggests using one of the "many online tools...to measure [your] consumption." The problem I had was trying to find a tool that could measure all the devices in our household that access the Internet. You would think Internet access is limited to computers, but in this day and age there are many devices that access the Internet for information. We have two laptops, one desktop, two iPhones, an XBox 360 and a Nintendo Wii. I think that covers everything. So what tool would work for all these devices?

Luckily my searches stumbled upon a firmware alternative called Tomato. It did require me to purchase a Linksys WR54GL router, but I lucked out as it was on sale at Fry's. The setup instructions were straightforward. I was up-and-running in less then twenty minutes. I am now set to track how much bandwidth I use.

I'll let you know how it goes at the end of this month.

Another One?


OK, last I heard, Facebook was the new MySpace.   At least that was what I heard.

I then go surfing last night looking for Wordpress themes for my main blog and I stumble upon Virb.  I thought, cool looking site and all, but wasn't sure what it was (plus, I was just looking for Wordpress themes).  I then listen to the Mac Break Weekly and find out it's the Virb that is the new MySpace.  (When is Vox getting into this mix?  Yeah, I suppose they're not after the MySpace crowd, but Vox is pretty cool.)

So, of course I sign up.  Not much there yet, but it's pretty cool and customizable as heck.  Very Web 2.0.  There's a good slant on music, photos and videos there.  The basic design is clean, but like I mentioned, you can customize the style through WYSIWYG interface or through stylesheets and more.  Pretty straightforward stuff.  Give it a twirl.

Coming Clean

Alternate Title:  Simplifying My Social (Networking) Life
 
It looks as if the big web hosting move is done.  I've managed to clean up 1.5 GB of data on the old service, cutting it down to a clean and manageable 512 MB of space on my new web host, TextDrive.  I'll need to manage my space to keep under the 1 GiB.  The limit will keep me clean.
 
Doing the move also made me realize I am so spread out in the social network stuff.  I
enjoy the following sites, as of late, so I think they will stay i the rotation:

  • Flickr - I just love photography, and the social aspect Flickr brings to photography has help me grow.  The users also constantly inspire me to take more photos.

  • Vox - Flickr is to photography as Vox is to blogging, at least to me.  I have been able to read a tremendous amount of talented writing this past month I've been on Vox.  I only wish more of my friends and family would accept invitations I send them.

  • Last.fm - This site and service has opened me up to other music artists that I had not discovered or that I would not enjoy.

  • Yelp - Whenever I'm unsure of where to eat, Yelp has always pointed the way.  I need to contribute more to this site that has given me so many new places to eat.

  • Janella.com - I still will post, though less frequently, to the web site that started it all for me.  I think I'll be trying more HTML / CSS / whatever-language-you-choose on the site, but I don't think I will every abandon the site.

  • Linkedin - You never know when you or someone you know is looking for another job.

What falls by the wayside?

  • Mog - They tried to be a competing service to Last.fm.  But slight slowness and the lack of anything different has left indifferent to their offerings.

  • Yahoo! 360 - The promising power of Yahoo!  But for some reason, follow-up features are lacking.  Adding a RSS feed from Janella.com is the only thing keeping this blog updated.

  • 43 Things - A list of things to do that I never completed. I'm not too good with lists.

  • LiveJournal - Besides keeping up with my friends on LiveJournal, my blog there has only served as a mirroring service to Janella.com.  I think posting the same content to one blog is enough, right?

I'm sure I have signed up for some other services, but I can't remember any of them right now.  I know there is a MySpace, a Friendster, and Multiply account out there some where.  I'm glad they are all free.  Imagine paying for all of those services I don't use.

I’ve Been Vox’d!!!

You heard about //Vox?
 
Well, Vox is the new social networking site from //Six Apart, the creators of Movable Type, TypePad, and LiveJournal - all good blogging platforms.  I’ve tried them all, and one thing is for sure: Six Apart knows their stuff.

Yes, I and everyone else I know is thinking, does the world need another social blogging network?  Well, Vox is sold on its “all about ease of use, privacy control, playing well with other web services, and staying connected to the people you care about.”  It is easy to use, and there are a lot of features in flux.

What I like: I enjoy the ability to easily integrate Flickr, Photobucket, or iStockphoto account.  I also like the ability to selections from YouTube and Amazon items in your blog entries.  The interface to create entries is simple to use as well.  I like the QotD (Question of the Day) which can prompts you to answer via a blog entry.  I also like the idea of neighborhoods - almost like adding a Flickr contact.  You don’t necessarily need to make the a Friend or Family, but you can read your favorite bloggers on Vox by having them in your Neighborhood.  Templates are nice as well.  There is advertising on your page, but it is very subtle.

What needs work: HTML tags can’t be used everywhere, such as My Profile and blog entries.  Since Vox is in Preview status, there is only a limited amount of users on the system, so only members can make comments on blog entries.  They could probably open this up with OpenID or some other method.  I would like to also see the ability to import a blog from another platform, such as LiveJournal, Blogger, or Wordpress.

Overall, it has been a good experience on Vox.  Oh, so you want to see my page? Well you can view //my Vox here.

Would you like to get Vox’d?  I might send out invitations to those I know, once I receive them.  Just try it out.  At the least, you can get your name - if it isn’t taken already.

leaping to satellite

i've been wavering on whether to take the plunge to go to satellite tv. cable has been good to me for so long, having it here in california since 1992. but lately i've been looking at the cable bill, which has grown from $43/month to now a whopping $80/month since 1997 with only minor channel upgrades. so when fina and lotte went with satellite and relayed a good experience, plus with farrah's family being on satellite for about five years, i thought i was time to take the plunge.

the experience started off really well. i called saturday to order this dish, which would be installed a week after the coming monday. i received a call just a couple of hours later saying, "hey we can come out today if you'd like to install it." fantastic. ninety minutes later the cable boxes were out and satellite was installed.

i must say the picture is clearer and the movement between channels is much quicker than digital cable. i also got the tivo unit for the bedroom (called directivo) since the tivo saori and doug gave us wasn't 'as compatible' with satellite as cable. the cool thing about the directivo is that you either (1) watch one show while taping another or (2) tape two shows at the same time (but having to watch one of them if you want to watch the tele). cool huh?

so the advantages are so far are:

  • clear picture
  • quicker changing between stations
  • more stations
  • lower monthly cost
  • no monthly equipment fees (e.g. paying for the cable boxes)!
  • minimal startup cost (only had to pay for the directivo unit. everything else was free!)
  • directivo

downsides

  • satellite dish installed on the roof (though it's not noticeable in the backyard)
  • no 'college classes' for telecourses
  • memorizing the new channel scheme (300, 400, 500, etc.)

so far the good outweighs the bad. talk to me during the raining season to see how the dish fares. in the meantime i think it is a wise investment.

building a box part III

well, the box has been built and ran through the burn-in test without error. so now i'm running a sweet p4 3.0gHz machine. i can only see the difference in running some applications, such as image editing, word, and other applications i run at the same time.

the reason i wanted to build a new box was not just to have a new computer but to get ready to scan a ton of images this year. hopefully i'll be able to scan some old negatives and some older pictures. the extra power will come in handy when processing this information.

building a box part II

well, i've just slapped all the pieces together. i was a little worried about putting in the cpu as it can be delicate. you have to put this huge fan on top called a heatsink. you need to 'snap-it' on top of the processor. let's hope that went in right.

'm not going to turn it on until tomorrow. there is supposed to be this 72-hour burn-in period where you run the processor for all it's worth during that timeframe. i guess any problems, such as faulty processor or heat and cooling problems, will show up during that timeframe.

wish me luck.

building a box part I

i decided late last year that i was going to get a new computer system this year. my current system is a p3 733 mHz running winxp and win2k (swap drives). i bought it about 2 1/2 to 3 years ago from micronpc. when i bought it i decided not to get 'top of the line', which i think was the 900mHz, because i heard the difference wasn't too much.

since then the 1gHz came out. then the 2gHz. now the 3gHz! in between that time i built my first computer, which was a present for lotte. that system is an amd system, which i think runs at 1gHz. it's a sweet machine and my first effort at building a system.

well, early this year i got a new work system. i had been running a clunky 400mHz system, while everyone around me was in the 1gHz to 2gHz range. i then got a replacement system: a 2.4gHz system. well, i then saw how much has improved. so it was time to upgrade the home system. now to buy or build?

buying would be easier, but building would be more satisfying - and frustrating. so of course i chose the latter. i set out to do the research, asking knowledgeable friends what they would consider, and then bought the parts that fit my needs. i wanted to be able to surf the web, get email, and the edit photos and video. so i went with the following:

  • p4 3.0gHz 800mHz fsb
  • asus p4c800 deluxe motherboard
  • 512mb ram - setlled for pc2700 for now
  • 150gb maxtor sata hard drive
  • ati 9600 xt video card
  • nd a antec sonata case

you figure i would save some money building a system, but in actuality it?s the slightly more when factoring the cost of software. the difference is you get to choose from a wide variety of parts and build the puppy.

well, i have all those parts. now just need to put it all together.