Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Fastmac’s U-Socket: USB & AC All In One Wall Plate

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

There have been more than a few times when I tried to find a USB power adaptor. I always have a cable for the iPhone, but often don’y have the power adaptor with me. Now we have the U-Socket from Fastmac. It’s a standard dual socket wall outlet, with 2 integrated USB ports! I could see adding these to any office, bedroom, or kitchen. The manufacturer’s site states:

This item is currently waiting on final UL Approval. It is scheduled to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2010.

The normal price shows as $29.95, with a pre-order price of $19.95. I am not sure it’s worth it, but the convenience would be great.

Did The McGraw-Hill CEO Steal The Apple Tablet Thunder? – Updated

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Listen to this CNBC interview with the McGraw-Hill CEO. At around 2:50 in he confirms the Apple Table, along with the fact that it will be based on the iPhone OS. My guess? He might be on Steve Job’s Sh-t list. (Via MacRumors and CNBC)


It get so fun to watch this stuff unfold. Could McGraw-Hill have been pulled from the Apple iPad event because of his comments on CNBC? While I think Apple is more than willing, as it seems they have done in the past to punish someone, McGraw-Hill claims they were not tossed.

iPhone iDroid App Rejected

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

TechCrunch reports that developer Swavv has created an iPhone app called iDroid. Problem is, Apple didn’t like it. The app was apparently rejected by Apple and will not be coming to an App Store near you anytime soon. I can see Apple’s point, since it was basically just an ad for the Verizon Droid. Still, I have been trying to come up with real world, smart ass, analogies and I can’t. I was going to use “That’s like Windows shipping with a Mac OS X Snow Leopard wallpaper”. Problem is, the iPhone wouldn’t ship with iDroid. The consumer would install it, just like a consumer can put a Mac theme over Windows. Then I considered “That’s like buying a Toyota with Porsche emblems”, but again, a consumer can install any emblem they want on their car. Wow, this is hard. I know, “It’s Apple’s store and they can do whatever they want”. I really do want that Google Voice App, but then again I don’t want the Rick Astley virus one. So, I guess Apple can block whatever it wants.

Verizon iDon’t Ad & Other Tech Mistakes

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I recently read a Chicago Sun Time’s Article by their tech writer Andy Ihnatko. It takes a close look at the latest Verizon ad for the Motorola Driod. Great writer and a great article. It got me thinking about the ad. By now, I think most of us have seen the iDon’t Driod ad.

I found the ad irritating the first time I saw it and found myself wondering why. I use an iPhone and love it. Was I irritated because of the attack on the iPhone? Talk about fan boy. I don’t think that was it. The Driod looks ugly in the ads to me. Square and kind of clunky. I have not seen it in person so I could be wrong. I think what irritated me is that I really want the iPhone to have some competition. I think it is better for any geek if Apple is pushed, and then Apple pushes back. We get better toys, and we all love toys. It seemed to me, from the moment the ad ended, that the designers just didn’t get it. iDon’t have this, and iDon’t have that. The ‘iDon’t’ list is pretty long too. But here’s the thing… I don’t care about half the things they list.

I don’t need a physical keyboard. The Pre has a keyboard and it’s crap. Seriously, try it and then picture an ad saying ‘Buy a Pre for the keyboard’. Comedy. A physical keyboard means nothing. A useable keyboard is the claim I want to hear. Blackberry users aside, most people, that give a virtual keyboard the time it takes to learn it, end up likening it. The Driod has a virtual keyboard too, but they were pushing the physical one. Just tell me you have a great keyboard and I don’t care what form it takes.

The ad goes on to mention the iPhone is lacking a 5 megapixel camera. Again I say, so what. It was not long ago I had an actual camera that was 3 MP. I am happy with the camera I have. What do I gain from 5 MP? A larger print. I don’t print my phone photos. More detail? I have an SLR if I need a real image. My phone camera is not for critical images and if it was, the 3 or 5 has nothing to do with it. Tell me you have the greatest image quality ever on a phone and you’ll have my attention. The Driod does have a flash, and that would be cool.

I should say that I have not used the Driod. For that reason I should stop here. I just wish tech companies would listen listen to their customers. I will have a 99 mega-pixel camera soon and that is crazy. Give me 15 megapixels and great low light quality. Give me a cell phone that doesn’t drop calls simply because I was breathing. Let me own the movie or software I ‘buy’ so I can view it, or use it, when and how I want. Don’t tell me you don’t have a “system” for me to block a prank caller, and then tell me you do have a “feature” that costs $8.95 month. Google Voice lets me do it for free. Don’t fight Net-Neutrality with claims it hurts business, and then lobby Washington to pass legislation blocking the FCC from enforcing a neutral internet. AT & T should not be allowed to block me from using my internet connection when it conflicts with another area of their business. This post took a weird turn somewhere. I was going to just point you to the Andy Ihnatko article. I hope the Driod is a good phone, but it has to give me features I want. You sell a product by fulfilling the customers needs. When will they get it?

Apple’s New Magic Mouse – A Quick Review

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

I helped switch my mother-in-law from Windows to Mac this past weekend. She bought a new 21.5 inch iMac. Ooooooo. Ahhhhhhh. Very nice and very fast.

What stuck out in my mind was the new Magic Mouse. I have heard a number of people mention that having a touch surface on a traditional mouse sounded interesting. Of course they also expressed some reservation over it’s practical use.

As soon as I un-boxed this thing it felt cool. It even has an on/off switch to save battery! I was able to use it, without even thinking about it, almost instantly. I want one, now. The scroll, both horizontal and vertical, was very smooth. Flicking is amazing. When scrolling it senses your speed and continues as though you threw the page. If you hold the Control Key while scrolling, the screen zooms in or out. This is a feature that has existed for a while, but which is now being advertised on the product page. The new Mac grandmother will have it much easier. Swiping, using two fingers to move forward or back through web pages and photos, was a bit more difficult to use. You have to use two fingers, moving left and right, while still holding the mouse. It took a while, but once you figure out what works with your hand, it just works.

The Magic mouse was originally only available with a new iMac but, as of today, is shipping as a stand alone product priced at $69. It will require users to have OS 10.6.2, which is not available as of this post, or to install a wireless mouse software update .

I did run into a few issues during the switch. The Windows machine itself was most of the problem, but moving certain types of data did prove problematic. I guess that is the topic of a future post.