kiranlightpaw: kiran_likeshine (Default)
Upgraded the stereo in my truck.



The new head unit is a Clarion CX-501, which has built-in support for Bluetooth audio streaming from my iPhone as well as built-in support for Satellite radio. I figured since I'm probably going to be driving the truck for the foreseeable future, I may as well have a good sound system.

iPhone 4

Jul. 23rd, 2010 11:21 pm
kiranlightpaw: kiran_likeshine (Default)
My iPhone 3G, even though it was only 1.5 years old, was starting to feel a little long in the tooth. So I bought an iPhone 4 this week. Well, I had been on the waiting list for about a week and a half, so they finally got around to fulfilling my order. The Apple store here in Huntsville is still out of them for walk-in orders.

The display is freaking gorgeous. I put a high res movie on there just to test it out and, holy cow, it's amazing. And the apps that have been designed to use the new resolution look so much better than the 3G. Put them beside each other and you can definitely tell the difference.

I also tried a FaceTime call yesterday to a buddy who also has an iPhone 4. When Jobs was premiering it at WWDC as his "One more thing," I was underwhelmed. I was like, "that's it?" and was kinda hoping "One more thing" would be availability on other GSM networks (namely T-Mobile). When I tried it out, I was actually pretty impressed. Setup took a little bit of figuring out (I didn't realize we both had to be on Wifi for it to work), but once we got that sorted out, it was literally just the push of a button and me and a buddy were having a videoconference.

Holy shit, it's the fucking future. No complicated software to install and set up. No accounts to create. No being stuck at my computer. No dealing with stupid ass firewall issues. Once I was on wifi, I pushed a button and saw my friend. It was that fucking easy.

Has it been done before? Yes. You can do it with Skype (and Fring, but I was never able to get it to work right). But what makes this great is how easy it was. It takes no thought, and thats how things like this should work. And best of all, it's all based on open standards. There's absolutely nothing stopping this from being available on any device.

Interesting thing I noticed. I don't have any bumpers or cases or anything like that. Never have for any of my phones ever - I just don't like how it feels with them. Anyways, I have tried over and over, and I simply cannot reproduce the infamous "antenna" issue. I get great signal in my house, and no matter how I hold it (even holding it like they do in the videos) I cannot get it to lose signal. My office is a different matter - weak/no signal at all there, but that's not just me - every cellphone on every carrier has problems in the black hole that is work. What little signal there is to receive, the iPhone 4 seems to get more consistently than my 3G, but that may just be my imagination.

Am I saying there's no issue? No. The videos make it pretty clearly obvious that there are situations where holding it a certain way will cause reception issues. Every phone I have had that's had an internal antenna has had this problem (including my Motorola Razr - if you covered the hinge with your hand, you'd lose about half the signal; discovered that at my old apartment where coverage was shitty). What I'm saying is that, I don't think the "antenna" issue will affect me in any meaningful way.

Now that I've said all this, I'm sure I'm going to have a bunch of Android fanboys jumping all over this. Save your keystrokes. The short of it is, I'm happy with my purchase.
kiranlightpaw: kiran_likeshine (Default)
This weekend Sarah and I were cleaning out the attic. It's the first time I've truly parted with anything major since moving out of home ten years ago - nothing like going through ten years worth of accumulated junk. I kid you not, we took two pickup truck loads worth of junk out - one went to Technology Recycling, and the other is going to Goodwill.

We also built shelves to hold what was still there - sentimental stuff (a few boxes of college and fraternity stuff, and a box of high school stuff), Christmas decorations and stuff we can't store elsewhere in the house due to lack of space. All in all, a productive weekend.

In one of the bins I came across a stack of CDs. I set them aside and started going through them once the work was done. Unsurprisingly, most of them were audio mix CDs. I never burned a lot of data CDs, but in a time before I had an iPod (or an iPhone now), I used to burn CDs to listen to in the car or in a mobile CD player. And there were four or five mix CDs of various stuff I burned while in college.

Full circle from burning them years ago: I went through each one and created a playlist in iTunes to match the CD.

iPhone Fun

Mar. 8th, 2010 12:40 pm
kiranlightpaw: kiran_likeshine (Default)
So this weekend my iPhone decided to commit seppuku.

I had hacked it a few months ago so I could get tethering support. Even before that it had been acting odd - glitching, freezing, and generally being a pain. The jailbreak / unlock seemed to have just made that worse. And is weekend, at the Furry Weekend Atlanta meeting at the Hilton, while tethered, it hard locked. After trying to reboot it, it would just sit on the Apple screen for hours.

I was bummed. I really wasn’t looking forward to getting a new phone. I was wanting to make this one limp through the year until the new ones come out, then get a new one. So, in summery, this is a 1.5 year old iPhone, I never bought Applecare, and it’s hacked to boot. I went to the Apple store at Lenox mall in Atlanta fully expecting them to tell me they won’t help me at all and to buy a new phone (and fully willing to do that).

So imagine my surprise when, after telling him all that, the genius just asked: is your data backed up (between iTunes and MobileMe, it is), and do you care about your jailbreak (no, I need a phone before I drive 4 hours back to Alabama). And then they took my phone, reflashed it and gave it back to me. Just like that. Good as new. No more glitching.

Sure I lost some data - a few pictures. But since I usually send my phone pictures straight to Facebook or Twitter, it was no great loss. All my contacts were in MobileMe, all my mail is IMAP. I lost my text message history, but don’t really care about that. All my apps were safe in iTunes.

So in conclusion, the Apple store doesn’t completely hate jailbreakers apparently. But I still can’t wait for the next iPhone model so I can upgrade.
kiranlightpaw: kiran_likeshine (Default)
When you work across multiple devices and multiple computers on a daily basis, keeping the information you expect to be there the same across all of them used to be a monstrous pain. This is where synchronization comes in.

I have 3 "computers" I use every day: my iMac, my Macbook Pro, and my iPhone. On each of those computers, I have several programs that may need to access the same type of data.

Bookmarks are synchronized using Xmarks. This allows me to sync them across Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox. And because the bookmarks are sync'd to Safari via a background process, I can use Mobileme to sync them to my iPhone. All this happens in the background, without me having to think about it. I just add a bookmark somewhere, and minutes later it's reflected everywhere else.

Email rules, accounts and signatures are synchronized via Mobileme and appear on all my computers and my iPhone. Contacts are sync'd via Mobileme and appear everywhere. Same with calendars, except calendars is the real win. I can make an calendar entry on my iPhone, and it's instantly sync'd to my calendars on my laptop and desktop.

I have some files and programs that I need access to, I sync those with Mobileme across all my devices via iDisk. I can access those everywhere, even on my iPhone. I even created a directory in there called "Scripts;" with a change to my bash path on my Macs, any scripts I write are sync'd too.

And all this stuff happens more or less instantly and completely transparently to me. Via the Internet and over the air for the iPhone. I don't even have to plug anything in. It just happens. I can't believe computers ever worked any other way, and there is no way I can do without it now.

Xmarks is free. Mobileme is $99 a year, but totally worth it simply in the headache I save in not having to deal with disparate data spread over 3 devices.


Jan. 30th, 2010 10:51 pm
kiranlightpaw: kiran_likeshine (Default)
I now possess a hacked (unlocked and jailbroken) iPhone. I didn't want to do this, and I didn't do it by choice. I did it out of necessity. I fucking need tethering support, and I'm tired of AT&T dragging their feet in even giving me the opportunity to pay for it.

I now, finally, have tethering back. Take that, AT&T, you worthless pile of bovine excrement.


kiranlightpaw: kiran_likeshine (Default)
Kiran Lightpaw

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