Monday, June 8, 2009
On the way out of the Moscone Center this morning - as streams of people are leaving to get some fresh air and digest all of the announcements from the WWDC 2009 keynote address - I see a familiar face walking towards me. It's Jonathon Ive. I can't friggin' believe it. This guy is design royalty.
But I'm from Los Angeles: we're not afraid to approach the rich of famous in my city. Heck, I produce theatre with lots of famous actors & comedians, so I often have to work with known personalities. This was a rare opportunity and certainly not a time for sudden shyness, so I approached the master designer and introduced myself.
The following is an EXACT transcript of what transpired:
Jonathon: [turns, sees I'm no one he knows] Yes...?
Me: David Koff. Nice to meet you.
Jonathon: Thank you.
Me: May I snap a photo with you?
[beat. he pauses, looks around, unsure of what to say, clearly uncomfortable.]
Me: It's not a big deal. If you'd rather not, it's quite OK.
Jonathon: Well, there are others here who are also deserving of a photo but I can't accommodate them as well, so... how about we just shake hands?
Me: That would be lovely. I'm a great fan of your work.
Jonathon: Thank you, that's very kind.
Me: You're welcome. Keep up the good work.
Jonathon: [looking at me like I'm insane] I'll do that. Thank you.
[He walks off. I wait a moment. I follow calling after him, running and waving my arms wildly as if in a Seth Rogan romantic comedy...]
Me: Godspeed, Jonathon! I love you! Have my babies...!
OK, well maybe that's not how I ended the conversation, but everything before that was accurate. Ive is a notoriously private and quiet individual which is why I was surprised to even see him out and about with the crowd. And which is why I was surprised he even stopped to turn and speak with me.
But that's your dutiful Mac Dweeb, folks. Always willing to find the hard-to-get interviews... even when the interviewee doesn't know they were scheduled to meet me in the first place.
+ rentals and purchasing of movies/tv shows/iTunesU on phone
+ tethering: use your iPhone to connect to the web - wired or wireless
+ AT&T to support tethering...eventually
+ streaming video over http
+ auto-fill (to remember usernames/passwords)
+ support for hebrew, arabic, thai, greek, chinese... over 30 languages supported
+ Find My iPhone feature - use MobileMe to locate your phone with google maps and to send your phone a message and play an audible noise. or.... to remotely WIPE the phone in case of senstive data.
Well, folks: it is nearly 8am and your humble Mac Dweeb has arrived at WWDC, or the World Wide Dweeb Conference for Apple fans. Thousands here already. It's nutty. More dweebs than you can shake a stick at. In fact, I forgot my stick. Left it at the hotel. Damn.
Monday, June 1, 2009
What is absolutely true is that Apple doesn't make flimsy, cheap computers. They never have. For that reason, you won't find a brand new $299 Mac no matter how hard you look. Apple's cheapest Mac is the Mac Mini which starts at $599. And sure, you can buy a Dell Mini for $299, but it won't have the same computing power, features, or accessories as the cheapest Mac portable.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I like a good cup of coffee in the morning, mellow get-togethers with close friends and web browsers that do the one thing they were meant to do - browse the web. Problem is: Safari 4 beta doesn't come close to living up to its advertised awesomeness. Even worse, it kinda sucks ass.
Now look: I'm not a guy in a lab coat and stop watch. I don't have "metrics" or "benchmarks" or "a degree in measuring shit". I'm just a guy who manages a network of 250 Macs and works on at least four different Macs at any given time. So frankly, I think my own experiences are pretty valid. And in EVERY case, on every computer, Safari 4 starts off really fast but then - after a week or so - it breaks down, wears out and slows down to a crawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwl.
And you know what? It seems I'm not alone in discovering this. Not by a long shot.
What can I tell you? I'm a fan of Apple but they produce the occasional turd every now and again. Repeatedly, actually. But hey: every company does. Except for Pixar... but they're a freak of nature. Seriously.
Despite my disappointments with Safari 4 Beta, I acknowledge a simple truth: there's no single browser that's so full of awesomeness that I'll stop using all other browsers. Frankly, I hope that will always be the case. If everyone used the same browser, innovation would stop, competition would falter and we'd all be much worse off than we are right now. Worse, we'd all be using some shitty version of Internet Explorer. Ugh. Kinda makes me shiver.
In the meantime, I'm running Firefox 3.0.11 and enjoying the speed. It's really nice and I'm enjoying the add-ons, especially for delicious, multiple GMail signatures and the ridiculous. I wonder if there's an add-on to thrown darts at Karl Rove...?
So Apple missed the mark with this beta version of Safari. That's OK, it's a beta for crying out loud (just like GMail)
Friday, May 22, 2009
- I will twoot tomorrow
- I am tweeting now
- I twatted yesterday
First, the screen size: 5" x 8.66"
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
- hard drives
- optical drives
- PCI cards
- eSATA cables
Back in the days of OS 9, if your Mac was ever acting strangely, there was a trick you do that was so simple, that anyone – even the motards – could do it and help to maintain their own Macs. Back then, all you needed to do was to rebuild your desktop files and EVERYONE knew how to do that: you just restarted your computer while holding down the option and apple keys. Doing this caused a couple of files that were invisible to be rebuilt which, more often than not, fixed the problem. The upshot? Even if it didn’t fix the problem, rebuilding the desktop files was something that couldn’t cause damage to your Mac. It would ONLY help.
And man: wouldn’t you love to know that there was something like that now for OSX? Well there is and – shock of all shocks – it’s totally FREE. The application is called Applejack and it’s so simple that even a chimp could use it. Maybe not a whale, but come on: whales don’t type well at all, so it’s not a fair thing to expect.
Let’s break it down in five easy steps:
Step One: Head over to sourceforge and download the app to your Mac. Benefits? It’s free and everyone likes free.
Step Two: Install the software. If you want to also check your RAM, choose to do a customized install and also install “MemTest”. Benefits? You’ll get two programs for the price of one.
Step Three: Restart your Mac, hold down the “Command” and the “S” keys to boot into “Single User Mode”. (NOTE: You must use a wired, usb keyboard for this. Wireless keyboards will NOT work) Single User Mode is a fancy term that tells your Mac to “turn off the graphics and boot strictly into text only mode”. Benefits? Seeing your Mac boot into single user mode is seriously cool. In fact, since you’ve probably never SEEN your Mac boot up into plain ‘ole text before, you’ll feel like you’re a computer whiz seeing something rare and forbidden.
Step Four: Type the following “applejack auto restart” and then hit enter. Now go grab a cup of coffee. Benefits? Harvard thinks coffee is healthy.
Step Five: Watch your screen for about five minutes as Applejack runs through five different tasks – running disk utility to repair your internal hard drive, fixing your permissions, cleaning up a series of cache files, validating core preferences and removing all swap files. When it’s finished, your computer will restart auto-magically. Benefits? You’ve just enjoyed an awesome cup of coffee while looking VERY cool to your co-workers.
While this might not fix deeper problems on your Mac, it’s simple, easy and free. Give it a shot and relive your old “rebuild the desktop files” glory days, why don’t’cha?
Monday, May 18, 2009
With Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference ramping up in a few short weeks and with the company having recently abandonned the annual MacWorld conference, most of the tech press has been salivating over “the big question”: is Steve Jobs going to return from his medical leave to give the big keynote presentation…?!? The timing seemed appropriate and with new iPhones, a new OS and a rumored new Mac Tablet device all being prepped by the firm. And who better to announce these new products than the man who helped bring Apple back from the dead?
Reality, however, has a funny way of destroying hopes, rumors…and hearts. Apple announced last week that Phil Schiller – Apple’s own version of the StayPuff Marshmallow Man – would be delivering the keynote and not Steve Jobs. If you were listening carefully last week, you might have actually heard thousands of hearts all over the world simultaneously breaking.
Apple didn’t say that Steve Jobs wouldn’t participate in the keynote address. What they said was “A team of Apple executives, led by Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the keynote.” This, for me, leaves open the possibility of His Royal Steveness making a guest appearance at the keynote address.
A guest appearance makes sense for a variety of reasons. First, Jobs and Schiller are very fond of using iChat in their keynote presentations, often to great humorous effect. Second, a guest appearance via iChat frees Steve to participate in the keynote from anywhere in the world: his sick bed, his living room or an undisclosed location at CENTCOM. Third, by not directing or assembling an entire keynote presentation, Jobs gives his lieutenants and the company time to shine while he focuses on killer product announcements and doing shtick with Phil.
My bet? If a new iPhone model is introduced with a front facing camera, look for Jobs to introduce the iChat app during the first-ever iPhone video call with Schiller. And who knows….? If Jobs’s health is remotely better, perhaps he might even make that call during a guest appearance at the Moscone Center. We’ll find out in just a few short weeks.
Oh, and, “One More Thing”: as long as Apple doesn’t let Bertrand Serlet drone on during the keynote, no one will fall asleep.