New Stuff

The new iPhone just cannot get here fast enough. My current phone, a Treo 650, is three years old and it is really starting to show. The shift and alt buttons only work about half the time. There is no paint/coloration/coating left on the bezels. The SD card slot is a bit worn and sometimes behaves “funky,” causing the keyboard lock to stay locked (even when I hit the unlock button), requiring me to eject and re-insert the card in order to get past the lock. Fortunately, the screen and battery still seem to be fine.

I’m also wondering if there’s a way to have a new PowerBook (or MacBook Pro, I guess they are called now) in my future. Increasingly, the kinds of stuff I would like to do are getting dependent upon the Intel processor. Video transcoding with the particular tools I use (VisualHub, MacTheRipper, Popcorn) just seem to perform better on an Intel processor (even though nothing in them says they are specifically optimized for better performance on that processor.) I also do a good amount of Linux work and cross-compiler work. While VirtualPC is do-able, it is really, really slow. Dual boots or Parallels would be much more bearable. Unfortunately, with our current debt and savings plan, I am not sure I can really justify the price tag of a MacBook Pro.

Has anyone tried using LaLa.com? It seems to be the new darling in the digital music realm. If you have not yet heard, this is how it works: You can listen, streaming, to complete tracks–not just 30 second previews. You can purchase tracks and albums and they are delivered to you in a non-DRM format. You can upload your own music library into a digital “locker,” then download or listen to it from anywhere on the web. When their client is scanning your music, they check if they already have the file on the server (because someone else has the same album and has already uploaded it), then it skips the upload step altogether and just marks that you own the track. So that is how it is supposed to work. My experience shows that the scan/upload seems to be self-limiting to 5,000 tracks, so I only get a little less than half my music online. The interface is a little weird, consisting of a combination of browser plugin and desktop application. I’m not sure where one begins and the other ends. I have yet to try out the streaming and purchasing. It has promise, I’m just wondering if it will live up to the promise (and if anyone else has had a better experience with it.)

I saw this a year or two ago, but a coworker just reminded me, so I thought I would share: http://www.portlandgasprices.com/

Posted in: Dear Diary Gadgets iPhone Music

3 thoughts on “New Stuff”

  1. Yeah, I feel the same way about the iPhone on one hand…on the other hand I am afraid about battery life and sad that there is no google maps – gps thingy with bluetooth. I currently have a telenav subscription for $10 a month that does point by point navigation.

    Other than that, I full html browser and the ability to read attachments would be justification (to me) to have work pay for some of the $600. The major point of stress is where do you buy it? Will it be at an ATT store or at an Apple Store. If you buy it at an apple store, can you just swap your cingular sim card and whalah! Or do you have to then go to the ATT and sign your life away for another two years and get some f’ed up data and phone plan that is “special” do to the VM and data needs and will cost like $100 a month?

    I spoke to both Apple sales guy and a genius bar guy and both had the same story. “Corporate has told us nothing…nothing about if we will sell the phone, the procedure to activate the phone, how you activate the phone, nothing. We are worried.”

    It sucks that there is enough money in the OC to create a regional sortage. I think that waiting till August might be the least stressful option…hopefully you can just order it through apple’s website…that would be ideal for me.

  2. Personally, I’m not too concerned with the battery (5hr of talk/video time, 16 hr of audio) because it is about the same as I get from my iPod and Treo. I’m not sure what the big deal is with no GPS. Maybe because I’ve never owned a navigational GPS or phone with integrated GPS (just a basic one for hiking), I’m missing out on something wonderful and magical that everyone else takes for granted. Plus, I generally know where I am and where I’m going.

    I can’t find the article that confirms this now, but from what I understand they will be available at both Apple Stores and AT&T/Cingular stores. About the time of WWDC, the Apple Store employees will get the training they need in selling and activating the phones, giving them a couple of weeks until the release date. Somebody official at Apple suggested getting them from your local AT&T/Cingular store, as most people will use the name/brand association and go to the Apple store for one and fewer people will know to go to AT&T. I’m lucky in that both stores are pretty close to work.

  3. When you live in South OC, the GPS is quite handy. I have lived here for about 4 years (Laguna Niguel) and I still have issues finding places in Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo. Streets reminds me of that 80’s movie Labyrinth. Hence, the handiness of the handheld gps. I am sure I can cope with the google maps, but the voice prompts telling me to turn left stupid is good for me cause I am easily distracted.

    I am thinking that buying it at the ATT store would be a better bet than the Apple store. They are usually understaffed as it is at my Apple store, and add to that a new product that requires a process with another vendor and I see a disaster in the works…maybe disaster is a too strong a word, maybe lots o time on hold with ATT when it comes to moving phone numbers / contracts / plan changes / etc. to the new phone (hopefully the SIM card thing works on the iPhone).

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