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Archive for October, 2010

Why Apple Is Crazy/Beautiful

October 21st, 2010 2 comments

(This blog post is being cross-posted to my personal blog as well.)

 Why Apple Is Crazy/BeautifulMy cousin’s daughter is 3 years old. As far as I know, her only interaction with Apple, and specifically with an iPad, was during a 30 minute session at a restaurant. I’d given her my iPad and a note-taking/doodling app to play with while we adults ate dinner. I recently saw my cousin a couple weeks ago and he mentioned that he’s going to have to buy an iPad. When I asked him why, he said that he’d been killing time with his daughter at the local Apple store. His daughter was playing an iPad game involving forming letter blocks into words. He hadn’t helped her with it, he hadn’t showed her how to use the app, he hadn’t actually done anything to get her oriented. Yet here she was using the iPad just fine and, more importantly, completely naturally. He said that a few days after that incident, he’d tried to show her a similar game on the computer but she couldn’t get the mouse to do what she wanted. Partly because her fine motor skills are still developing, but mostly because the mouse/keyboard paradigm isn’t natural. So Apple’s lodged another sale and they’ve just started a potentially lifelong relationship with a customer at the impressionable age of three. What’s the lifetime value of such a relationship? Pretty high, I’d bet.

So where am I going with this? Apple has been on a real tear lately. They’re killing it in the phone arena, they’re the defacto music distribution channel, they’ve pretty much redefined the tablet computer arena, and they are feeling out the TV space slowly but steadily. All this has had a halo effect on Mac computers, which are steadily increasing in market share. In short, they’ve become the ultimate consumer electronics company, leaving behind the low margin cutthroat PC industry. And not just any consumer electronics company – a premier company, much in the same vein as Sony and Pioneer used to be. But it wasn’t until their recent “Back to the Mac” event that I realized just how insanely brilliant their vision really is. I’m honestly excited and scared by their implied approach. It radically simplifies the computer experience while at the same time almost guaranteeing their dominance in the space for at least the next five years, an eternity in the PC space. Here’s why.back to the mac Why Apple Is Crazy/Beautiful

The Mac refreshes were minimal – a new Air (which is crazy/sexy, but not germane). The more important thing was their introduction of a Mac App Store. In one stroke, they’ve completely killed the need for a distribution agreement outside of Apple. Small software shops can now compete on equal footing with established companies – the marginal cost of publishing a title drops pretty much to zero. It also considerably simplifies the process of finding, reviewing, and buying software. No more hunting through messageboards. No more trolling the Internet and giving your credit card to small vendors with questionable data security policies. One account controls your music, video, book, and software purchases. Simple, secure, standard. Beautiful.

But speaking as the unofficial tech support member for my family, this approach also greatly simplifies support requests. First of all, I don’t have to tell my dad to go to some funky URL to download some free piece of software that supports itself with all kinds of weird banner and sidescroll ads. I know he won’t screw up by buying stuff from one vetted place. And I know that he and I will be using the exact same version of the exact same software because we’re buying the same thing and we’re updated to the latest version automatically. Can you see how straightforward that makes software recommendations? And how easy it is to troubleshoot potential problems?

The more time I spend in Windows, even Windows 7, the less enamored I am of the whole “flexibility” argument that Microsoft makes when it comes to their view of the OS vs. Apple’s. In the final analysis, Apple’s approach is just fine for at least 75% of the population, who don’t care if they’re running an “open” OS or not. They just want to be able to get stuff when they want it. And they don’t want to worry about rebooting every few days or making sure that all the downloads and patches are installed or accidentally loading a piece of software that completely screws up all their settings because every app wants to control your Windows PC (especially media apps). Of course there will always be a small population of people who want ultimate customization and flexibility – the jailbreak community. In the new MacOS Lion preview, Apple’s trying to straddle the middle ground, providing the tools power users need while presenting the simplicity that most normal users are happy with. I’m really starting to think that Apple’s got the right vision.

So what’s this all got to do with my cousin’s daughter? Well think about it – she’s being conditioned from age three that the Apple way is the right/only way She’s going to probably spend most of her formative years on an iPad, graduate to an iPod when she’s in her pre-tweens, then on to an iPhone in her tweens – by the time she’s able to make independent tech decisions, she’ll be so used to Apple that she’s going to pick a Mac. Customer for life. As far as she’s concerned, the tech war is over. Microsoft is going to have to come up with something pretty freaking amazing to counter this brandwashing, and unfortunately Windows 7 (whether PC-based or phone-based) isn’t it.

Was Apple crazy pursuing this strategy? Absolutely. It could have horribly misfired at any point. But now they’re so big and the approach is so entrenched that it’s almost running on inertia. It’s a beautifully elegant strategy worthy of Sun Tzu. My estimations of Steve Jobs’ brilliance has risen considerably. Bravo, Mr. Jobs, bravo. Well played indeed.

Guess I’ll have to tattoo the Apple logo on the other cheek.

Categories: Electronics Tags:

The New MacBook Air

October 21st, 2010 2 comments

Apple announced yesterday their new MacBook Air which now uses up to 256 GB Flash storage for performance and longer lasting battery life. This means that the laptop boots up in a second just like the iPad or iPhone and has a stand bye period of up to a month. It comes in two models: 13.3″ and 11″.

macbook air 13 The New MacBook Airmacbook air 11 The New MacBook Air

You can now also do FaceTime on the Mac as well. Apple also announced their upcoming Mac App Store.

I’m very tempted to get the MacBook Air 13″ but just concerned with the maximum disk space of up to 256 GB. 512 GB would have been the sweet spot.

What are your thoughts?

Categories: Computers Tags:

How To Convert iPod Touch to iPhone

October 5th, 2010 2 comments
Apple Peel 520 converts iPod touch into iPhone 600x365 How To Convert iPod Touch to iPhone

How To Convert iPod Touch to iPhone

Exciting news for Apple fans as the Apple Peel 520 is rumoured to be coming to the US. The handy peripheral will allow consumers who have shelled out hundreds of pounds on an iPod to convert their favourite musical device into a fully functioning phone. It will also save space in your handbag or pocket.
Designed like a protective case, the Apple Peel 520 comes complete with a dock connector, battery and SIM card and will provide users with five hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby use.
For even the most technologically challenged individuals, the Apple Peel 520 is easy to use. After installing the required software, two apps appear on the iPod Touch home screen: Yosian and YsSMS, which provide voice and text support. When the communication module is switched on, a signal bar and a battery icon will appear in the middle of the iPod Touch’s status bar. To make a call, users simply tap the Yosian app icon which loads the numpad screen.
The device is currently available in China for 520 Yuan but North American distributor, GoSolar USA said that the first demonstrations of the Apple Peel 520 are expected to arrive in America sometime next week.
“We’re obviously very confident that consumer demand is high for the Apple Peel 520, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the first batch,” said GSLO President and CEO Tyson Rohde.
“As soon as they arrive, we’ll begin distributing demonstration models to retail buyers across the country. The amount of interest in this product that we’ve received from distributors has been staggering.”
GoSolar are looking to sell the peripheral in Radio Shack, Best Buy, Walmart and Fry’s Electronics but no details regarding its retail price in the USA have been released as of yet.

The Apple Peel 520 allows you to convert your iPod Touch to an iPhone by installing an add on SIM chip.  The Apple Peel 520 is planning to come the US.   It will convert your favorite portable music device into a fully function iPhone without paying for 3G. You will still have use of WiFi

The Apple Peel 520 is designed like a protective case and comes complete with a dock connector, battery and SIM card. It will provide five hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby use.

The Apple Peel 520 is easy to use after installing the required software. There are two apps that appear on the iPod Touch home screen: Yosian and YsSMS, which provide voice and text support. When the communication module is switched on, a signal bar and a battery icon will appear in the middle of the iPod Touch’s status bar. To make a call, users simply tap the Yosian app icon which loads the numpad screen

The device is currently available in China for 520 Yuan but North American distributor, GoSolar USA said that the first demonstrations of the Apple Peel 520 are expected to arrive in America sometime next week.

“We’re obviously very confident that consumer demand is high for the Apple Peel 520, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the first batch,” said GSLO President and CEO Tyson Rohde.

“As soon as they arrive, we’ll begin distributing demonstration models to retail buyers across the country. The amount of interest in this product that we’ve received from distributors has been staggering.”

GoSolar are looking to sell the peripheral in Radio Shack, Best Buy, Walmart and Fry’s Electronics but no details regarding its retail price in the USA have been released as of yet.

Historic Figures Facebook Status

October 3rd, 2010 1 comment

These are pretty hilarious Facebook status updates from Galileo, the Church, Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Charles Darwin, Isaac newton, God, Adam and Eve, Julius Caesar.  By the way, did anyone go see The Social Network? What did you think?

 Historic Figures Facebook Status
 Historic Figures Facebook Status Historic Figures Facebook Status
 Historic Figures Facebook Status
 Historic Figures Facebook Status
 Historic Figures Facebook Status
 Historic Figures Facebook Status
 Historic Figures Facebook Status