Tag Archives: Apple

Tiger vs Leopard vs Microsoft Service Packs


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – There is a fundamental difference between a “service pack” and an Apple update. When Microsoft rolls out its free Service Packs, it generally only addresses security flaws, which were the fault of Microsoft anyway. When Apple releases an update, it costs money. However, these updates are major upgrades to the system’s functionality and features.

While Microsoft issues its Service Packs on a regular basis, it can take quite a while before Apple releases an update to its operating system, OS X. The current version is called Tiger. The new version, due in October, is called Leopard.

Microsoft’s Service Packs are free, yes. As I said above, they pretty much only fix security holes that should have been fixed to begin with. Any major upgrades on a Microsoft O/S are generally left until an entire new operating system is released. Vista – in my mind – still feels very Beta. Will a Service Pack address some of that? I guess we’ll hope for the best, and wait to see.

With Leopard, Apple is unveiling a lot of new features and functionality. It has totally revamped how you find files within the system. It now will work more like iTunes, and have a better interface. There is a very cool new feature called Time Machine. This will allow you to go back to any previous version of a file and re-save it if need be. Let’s say you made some changes to a picture, and saved it with the same name. Two days later, you realize you don’t LIKE those changes. Good news! With the Time Machine, you can access that previous version of the picture. Leopard will also have better parental controls, an integrated virtual desktop, and nifty new ways of organizing your desktop. I’m not going to give everything away here. You can read about them on Apple’s site. I’m definitely looking forward to the new version myself.

What’s your opinion on the differences? Do you like OS X? Are you looking forward to Leopard, or are you happy with Tiger? Do you prefer Vista, and the way Microsoft handles its updates? We always want to hear from you.

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OK… So I LIKE My iPhone


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Yes, I’ll admit it. I love my iPhone. The experience of using it is unparalleled by any other mobile device I’ve ever used. If you’re going to buy an iPhone, don’t do it because of the hype. Do it because it’s well worth it.

Yes, today I eat crow. Back on June 29th, I blogged about the 20 Reasons I would not be buying an iPhone. While those reasons are still valid in my opinion, my outlook has changed dramatically.

Ponzi bought me the iPhone for my birthday a few days ago. She’s right… I wanted it. I didn’t want the hype; I didn’t want to buy into all of that. I thought I couldn’t live with the shortcomings. But I admit… I was curious to try it for myself

The iPhone has blown me away. Today, I wrote out the 20 reasons I LIKE my iPhone. The small things are what impress me the most. For instance, I have tried three separate Windows-based Bluetooth devices in the past. The iPhone is the only one that sends the battery and signal strength to my dashboard where I can actually see it. How cool is that? It’s like my car got an upgrade instead of my phone.

More of the “little things” that have won me over:

  • Email is just easier to read. I was concerned about the functionality with Outlook, but this is just a delight.
  • This is by FAR the easiest mobile device to update I’ve come across. I turned on my iPhone; it asked me if I wanted to update. I told it yes; it updated… it was DONE.
  • I’m finding myself doing things I never did before on a phone. I can easily check the weather, look at stocks, and even pull up a map.
  • Microsoft has been developing operating systems for mobile devices for years. Yet the iPhone makes it look like a snap to open and read a Word document… first edition phone, right out of the gate. Now that is impressive.
  • It’s actually simple to switch between calls!

When you can’t wait to use your phone… you know it’s an experience.

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20 Reasons I'm Happy with the iPhone

Argh! I hate eating crow. I really, really, really do. It doesn’t taste that nice. My original “20 Reasons” I didn’t get an iPhone on the first day are still relatively valid. I didn’t want to wait in line on the first day, I didn’t want to get caught up in the hype, and I really don’t think that most of the first generation’s shortcomings are fixable through software updates.

Unfortunately, Apple has to play by the rules of lame-ass “exclusivity” with wireless partners here in America (and likely abroad as well). It’s what is keeping a lot of people from picking one up for their own use. Should’ve been a WiFi enabled device with the option for EDGE, in my opinion – that would have been truly revolutionary. As it stands, however, the iPhone is a vendor-locked piece of hand candy. Besides, if I wanted to buy into the who “exclusivity” market, I’d just treat myself to a home-spa, but that’s another story…

It’s very imperfect, but I’m still glad that Ponzi provoked the experience. I don’t think I could’ve brought myself to it, otherwise – suffering from the “I’m fine with what I already have” syndrome that many geeks have. I can tell you that it’s much easier to come up with reasons I’m keeping the iPhone than it was thinking of reasons why I didn’t want it on the first day.

  1. Jeez, you can’t deny that Apple raised the bar a zillion miles past any other kind of mobile device experience. Windows Mobile 6 hasn’t even shipped yet and its UI already seems overtly antiquated. [WM6 has shipped, but seemingly to little fanfare – or any kind of direct notification from my provider, AT&T. I actually think I remember hearing it shipped, but that fact slipped my mind when I decided to do this before heading to bed at 5 in the morning.]
  2. IMAP email, despite small hiccups, is finally a joy to access from a mobile device. I do more reading than responding, so this is perfect. Plus, HTML email finally looks like HTML email.
  3. The photo app snaps the shot when you release the button, not when you press it. There’s no lag in this case, and that’s a small touch I wasn’t really expecting.
  4. I don’t really watch the stock market, but it’s never been more fun to do. Seriously, could someone tell me why I keep using this without a seemingly valid reason?
  5. You can get sucked into the Google maps feature for four hours straight without ever finding or bookmarking anything important.
  6. Bluetooth connectivity with my car, barring a few hiccups, is pretty damn sweet. I finally have a phone that displays its signal and battery power on my car’s dashboard. Moreover, I can EASILY switch audio sources without skipping a beat – going from the car’s HandsFree mode to iPhone “regular” to Speaker in a button press.
  7. Managing call waiting is exceedingly simple. Big buttons, no crazy keypresses.
  8. Voicemail is… finally the way it should have been all along.
  9. Despite my many years of using devices that allowed me to install third-party software, I’m somewhat not very disappointed that Apple hasn’t released an SDK for people to potentially mar the elegance presented in this simple package. Web site services are fine for now. Same holds true with the customization options. I’m at the point where I just want something that works (and the iPhone certainly does work much better than the $700 Samsung i700 I purchased from Verizon a few years ago).
  10. Gah. Zooming in and out of anything shouldn’t be this much fun. It’s a crime. Flipping for the sake of flipping is also flipping nutty. Why, WHY does this have to be so… addictive?
  11. I thought I wouldn’t like another touchscreen device, but the iPhone proved me wrong (thus far). The keyboard is a bit crazy, and predictive text could be better handled, but this really is a joy to touch (you have to try it in person – the commercials don’t do it justice).
  12. The cursor zoom feature is another one of those small touches that just impressed the hell out of me. I mean, talk about attention to detail.
  13. Apple has already released a firmware update and… it was mindnumbingly simple to implement. I wanted to cry. I’m not an iTunes fan, but damn they really hit it out of the park with what was previously a very painful experience for ANYBODY.
  14. SMS never made much sense to me before… until it was threaded in a conversational style.
  15. World Clock, Alarm, Stopwatch, Timer… I’m finding myself setting a Timer to set the Alarm for when it’s time to start the Stopwatch to see how many Cities I can add to the World Clock within five minutes.
  16. I kid you not: Word document (email attachments) look better on this Apple device than they ever have on any Microsoft “pocket” device. Ever. EVER.
  17. General web browsing and “tab” management is near perfect.
  18. I don’t want to admit it, but I’d just as soon have this thing with EVDO EDGE than a tricked-out something-else with 3G. Sad, but I find that true (for myself).
  19. YouTube integration is near useless right now, as you can’t get to its entire index (really, then, what’s the POINT to that). However, it’s nice to have community videos at my fingertips without having to go through some insipid wireless provider’s idea of “entertainment.”
  20. The animations and transitions seem natural, as if… that’s just the way God intended them to be.

This wasn’t just a feature-by-feature rundown, folks – Apple has nowhere to go with this thing but up. Rand Fishkin compared the iPhone to Barack Obama last night, but… I’m still not quite sure I followed the reference completely (it was late, and I already had one beer in me). Regardless, it really has me wondering what the hell the rest of the industry has been smoking – and what they’re going to do to even come close to the experience that Apple now provides.

Don’t buy it for the hype – TRY it for the hype, but buy it because you’re tired of the shit everybody else keeps shoving into your pocket.

I’ve made a few small edits to this list, and probably should have waited until I was more awake to post it originally. No matter, if you made a comment pointing out my errors, thank you – it didn’t get moderated. You’re certainly more than welcome to call me crazy for writing this list in the first place!

To tell you the truth, I haven’t even installed iTunes on my Windows machine – so my contacts and calendar are not on the iPhone yet. I really don’t use Yahoo mail since they burned me with Qwest DSL a few years ago, and there’s no simple way of making an automated, private URL push from Outlook (klutzy third-party apps seldom seem to work well, no matter the price). I really haven’t felt the absolute need to sync this with a computer yet – and Apple’s goal should be to remove the computer connection from the equation altogether, making it equally as simple to update PIM data and media over the air.

I really don’t want to hack my iPhone – but it’s cool to see that some people care enough to do it themselves. Stability is very important in any situation, and I don’t care to introduce unknown variables on any given mobile device. Some people have noted that it takes more clicks to get things done on the iPhone, but if that’s the case – it certainly doesn’t feel half as painful. And to tell you the truth, I really don’t miss the myriad of buttons I used to have, either…

Am I encoding the MP4 videos from my podcast incorrectly? Seems that they’re not working right on my iPhone, and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong (I can see a static thumbnail of the video, hear the audio when it plays, but no actual video playback).

Mac OS X: the Light or Dark Side?

Guess what?

Chris has five Macs in his house: Ponzi’s white MacBook, a Mac Mini that drives the live video stream, a 15″ LED-backlit MacBook Pro (sponsored by Lijit for Gnomedex), a 17″ 1920×1200 MacBook Pro (sponsored by Blue Sky Factory for Gnomedex), and an iMac G5 that he’d likely be willing to sell to the highest bidder.

That’s the response you receive from Pixie (bot) in our chat room – although it seems as though I’ll have to remove the iMac G5 from the list (as we’re giving it to Ponzi’s uncle as a gift for his inner geek). I’ve been scrambling around the Internet, looking for interesting and useful software for OS X again. It’s been a while since I’ve pimped out a Mac, to tell you the truth. I’m gonna have to keep my eye out for specials, discounts, review copies, etc.

The 15″ is really damn nice, as expected. The 17″ has awesome resolution, but its screen clutch doesn’t seem to be as tight as it should be (given its weight). Seems to get quite hot when under duress, but iStat Pro isn’t reporting anything out of the ordinary at the moment. I’ve gotta find some killer Dashboard widgets. Might even install the beta of Leopard on it, too (yes, I’m a member of ADC).

I really didn’t want to have to install iTunes on Windows just to get contacts and calendars synced on the iPhone, but seems there’s no other way. I’m publishing my calendar to a private (not visible?!) URL through Outlook and Microsoft Office online, but there’s no simple way to push it through a qualified iCal client. Hosted Exchange, here I come!

Safari on Windows? Yawn.

Along with friends, I’ve been tuning into the “live” WWDC coverage. MacRumorsLive has been doing the best job out of all the fan sites, even though it’s not a rich experience (so to speak)…

Leopard shipping in October. Basic version, $129. Premium version, $129. Business version, $129, Enterprise version $129. Ultimate version, $129.

How could Apple do this?! I mean, how will users ever understand the differences between Leopard Ultimate and Leopard Basic!? Oh, the humanity – the HUMANITY! 😉 Oh, and Leopard’s new “Quick Look” feature is a total rip-off of what I told the Windows Shell team to do well over a year ago. How dare someone else implement it!

Sarcasm aside, it seems that Apple is opening up a new browser holy war with the release of Safari for Windows. Is it just me, or is this particular announcement about three years too late? It’s difficult enough to get a site to look fine in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera! I’m excited, but I’m also not looking forward to it (and I’m also not very likely to switch from Maxthon).

Downloading Vioxx Online

I seemed to run into font conflicts with Safari for Windows, as I already had a version of Lucida Grande installed on my system. It was “normal” after I removed Safari’s version of Lucida Grande (found in the ‘Safari.resources’ folder). I’ll have to demo ‘er for one of today’s videos. My initial impressions? It’s really only for iPhone widget developers.

'Get a Mac' Ad Videos

Well, it looks like two new “Get a Mac” ad videos have been posted to Apple.com. I do enjoy them, but I still have a bone to pick with their points of PC contention.

Security – Absolutely hilarious, and pretty much spot-on (in respect to Windows Vista’s endless UAC prompts). This is an example of someone in the marketing department understanding a perceived annoyance in the competition’s product. This is an example of a GOOD Mac commercial.

Computer Cart – Funny, but far from completely accurate. This isn’t the first time Apple has used logical fallacies to communicate a message, though. By watching this, the viewer is led to believe that only PCs have cryptic error messages that halt productivity – or that Macs never need the IT department’s attention. Wrong! Microsoft Windows does not have a monopoly on software errors.

Flashback – Genius, especially for those of us who remember playing in DOS. That said, I’m not so sure that my parents would understand why this is funny. Apple should have concentrated more on the aspect of Microsoft apps being all over the map in terms of usability (not to mention the overwhelming lack of lifestyle software in the OS, itself).

PlayPlay

Today's Blogosphere

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Apple wants to drop DRM blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

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The iPhone is Going to Kill

So, here’s what my brother (who wants to start blogging at some point) had to say about Apple’s iPhone:

This is one of the coolest pieces of technology to come out in a while… it’s like having a mini-laptop in your hands. The ultimate media device. The catch? Cingular has the rights at this point in time (they have the worst wireless phone service). If Apple had any brains, they would get this product in the home of every American family. After 6 months of exclusive rights to Cingular, they should release an iPhone on Verizon, US Cellular, every wireless provider.

If Verizon got this phone, I would find a way to buy it… takes the place of a phone, iPod, portable DVD player, Internet and email station. Oh, let’s not forget the 2 megapixel camera built-in.

What’s next? They are going to have a phone that does all of this – but then you can project an image on a wall and hook up a small keyboard and mouse and use it as a laptop, run Photoshop and Illustrator, or catch up on your spreadsheet work while in a airport.

My brother Adam isn’t a geek – and he’s never written to me about any other device (from Apple or any other manufacturer). It’s not even out yet and I already hate the iPhone… largely because someone else didn’t make it four years ago. Seriously. Apple gets the consumer in ways that no other company ever will. It makes my new Smartphone seem so… ancient.

Microsoft Windows Vista vs. Apple OS X

I was feeling emotional when I suggested that Vista Will Double Apple’s Market Share, but I really don’t think I’ll be that far off. More than anything, I believe Vista will triple Apple’s mindshare – which, in many ways, is a valid predictor of future market share. So, MacDailyNews readers gave the article a nod today. In looking at their list of related links directly below the quoted paragraphs, I found that I’m in good company in respect to my Vista opinions:
Continue reading Microsoft Windows Vista vs. Apple OS X

The Windows Vista Challenge

Charlie Owen has issued a challenge, but I’m not quite sure he understands why I’m complaining so much about the UI oversights found in Vista. Mind you, I haven’t said a word about Windows Vista’s Media Center – I haven’t had a chance to play with it extensively yet. Before I respond, I’d like everybody to read Why Vista will mean the end of the Microsoft monolith:

The Vista saga has two interesting lessons for the computer business. It raises, for example, the question of whether this way of producing software products of this complexity has reached its natural limit. Microsoft is an extremely rich, resourceful company – and yet the task of creating and shipping Vista stretched it to breaking point. A lesser company would have buckled under the strain. And yet while Microsoft engineers were trudging through their death march, the open source community shipped a series of major upgrades to the Linux operating system. How can hackers, scattered across the globe, working for no pay, linked only by the net and shared values, apparently outperform the smartest software company on the planet?

Challenge?! You can operate an XGL desktop perfectly without having to upgrade your video card first. To add insult to injury, XGL sports infinitely better (and reasonably more) eye candy than Aero does. Windows Vista is hardware hungry, no doubt – and I’m challenging Microsoft’s assertion that Aero is a “breakthrough user experience.”

No, it’s not – Vista’s UI is not breakthrough, Charlie. It’s broken. XGL, on the other hand, is breakthrough – and I find myself wondering how long it’s going to take for someone to port that to OS X. Windows Vista is not revolutionary – it’s evolutionary (barely, at that). A recently releaesd Mandriva Linux 2007 RC1 comes bundled XGL and AIGLX with Compiz, by the way.

Vista is already taking a beating, whether by Apple fanboys from InfoWorld, UAC task forces, or old Latvian women. There is no perfect operating system, and I’m certainly not suggesting that Linux and/or OS X are totally teh shiz. What I am saying, however, is that as far as cohesive, compelling user experiences go – I believe that Vista’s Aero fails (on the whole).

I understand that thousands of people poured their blood, sweat, and tears into pushing Windows Vista out the door – but I started to get impatient two years ago, only to be handed an RC that looked more like a early beta (I said “alpha” earlier, but perhaps that was a little harsh on my part). If Linux (with XGL) and Leopard (with UNO) aren’t challenging Microsoft to take UI more seriously, nothing ever will. In this arena, Windows has already been challenged – and remains truly challenged.