Part 27 of elf's Apple PowerBook G4 Journal
Retail Stores: Apple vs. Sony
Last Sunday's New York Times business section had a story
comparing Sony's retail store experience with the Apple
experience. Since Sony didn't release sales figures for its stores
(Apple announced 21.5M visitors buying US$855M in 180 stores for the
last quarter), the author, Randall Stross, conducted an experiment by
visiting an Apple store and a Sony store in the Stanford Shopping
Center in Palo Alto:
Sony's mall store was long and large— 6,000 square feet...
A group of five young salesmen and saleswomen who stood near the door
when I entered were so engaged in a private, and apparently amusing,
discussion that my imploring presence failed to draw anyone's
attention. The only other customers in the store were at the far
other end, near the PlayStations. I suppose that the employees near
me had become accustomed to busying themselves with their own
A few yards away was the Apple store, which is one of Apple's newer
"mini" stores, introduced in 2004 and only about an eighth the size
of Sony's Stanford store. It was simplicity itself: a rectangular
space with products lining the two sides, laptops placed on a small
table, open space taking up most of the room, and, of course, the
Genius Bar. The store was packed, yet the sales people were alert and
Today, on my way to work, I did my own experiment— at around
11:30AM, before the lunch-crowds appeared, I went to the Apple store
in the Eaton Centre and from outside the entrance, I counted about 30
people: a large group of about 6 teens clustered around the Macs at
the entrance (left side), a few people at the Genius Bar, a couple
lined up at the cashiers, in the back and the rest scattered around
the store (I'm sure some of these "customers" were in fact undercover
Then I went to the SonyStyle store in the basement of the Eaton
Centre. Just as I arrived a middle-aged blonde left the store and a
senior couple entered the store. I counted a total of 10 people, 11
if you count the child in the company of an adult.
The total counts include both staff and customers, since without my
glasses I could not differentiate them. Both stores are roughly the
same size; the Apple store may be a bit bigger.
The journalist then interviewed the senior VP for Sony Retail who
said that their stores get 350K visitors annually and that Sony
stores cannot be compared to Apple stores because a sony store was
designed as a, "fashion boutique for women and children". Um... right.
Update Sat Jun 02 21:08:43 2007: a 2001 BusinessWeek
commentary predicts that Apple
stores will fail.
hardware surface foleo
Blah blah blah Surface from Microsoft and Foleo from Palm. Blah
software screensaver lissart beos
is a BeOS inspired screensaver. It goes well with the Andante of
Mozart's Piano concerto No. 2 (which happened to be playing while I
was mesmerized by the geometry). Each figure begins as a seemingly
random collection of straight lines but slowly materializes into a
beautiful geometric figure with curves.
D-Day: June 29th
hardware iphone ads
It seems that this year, D-Day will be on Friday, June
29th according to three new iPhone ads that were broadcast
on TV, yesterday.
In typical fashion, a release date of "late June" has transformed
into the last possible weekday in June. Why can't they just say "end
We believe over the next two years we might lose
$40 million. We expect up to 70 percent of people will be freeloaders
just listening to the music but around 30 percent will be buying
—Bill Nguyen, founder
You can upload your iTunes tracks to
Lala.com and be a DJ on your personal music station. If you like
a track you're listening to on another station (playlist), you can buy it and
download it to your iPod.
Update Wed Jun 06 13:51:13 2007: Around 1PM, I accessed the
site and selected "Mellow 70s music" playlist from the front
page. "Here comes the Sun" was followed by "I'm sorry" by John
Denver, then the player hung while neither the album cover of
"Jefferson Starship" nor the track played. After a while, I pressed
next track and it continued. The next track was by "The Band", which
I skipped because it was not "mellow" and a Paul McCartney track
followed. I then searched for "Paul McCartney" and the player stopped
playing while the search results displayed. I noticed that a few
tracks from his latest album were available but none of them
played. I gave up. It doesn't help that the site is slow as a
pig. There's also a problem with usability— there are
"play" buttons strewn all over the page rather than being in a single
MacBook Pro Models Updated
Yesterday, Apple announced updated models
of the 15 inch and 17 inch MacBook Pro notebook (I refuse to call
them laptop) computers. The 15 inch model is notable for having an
LED-based LCD backlight and the 17 inch is notable for having an
optional 1920x1200 LCD display. Also, the 15 inch model has a 60Wh
battery giving 6h of usage while the 17 inch model (weighing 1.4lbs
more) has a 68 Wh battery giving 5.75h of usage.
I've created a separate page with all my book reviews. The
latest review is Robert Baer's “See no Evil”
which I recommend even though I haven't finished reading it.
WWDC 2007 Preview
We realized any app we released based on Tiger was going to look
really pathetic when Leopard came out.
Flickr has a photoset
of the preparations for WWDC 2007, hosted at the Moscone Center in
San Francisco and beginning with Monday's keynote address at 1 PM EST
by Steve Jobs. This year's slogans, "Mac OS X Leopard: Rocket Fuel
for your Apps" and a very long banner with, "Welcome to WWDC 2007:
Expand your universe."
The latest rumour claims that the iMac will come in an aluminum
finish, even though past WWDCs have not seen a consumer-class
computer announced. I predict a 12 inch subnotebook/tablet/iPod with
a multi-touch interface because that's what I want to see next from
Apple. (And I will keep saying this until there is one).
In terms of rumoured new features for Leopard, Wired says
that Core Animation promises to change the face of your desktop (I
want to see windows fold like pieces of paper when I iconify them)
and Sun announced that ZFS (Americans pronounce it "ZEE-eff-ess",
which Canadians mis-hear as "VEE-eff-ess" (VFS) because we tend to
say "ZED-eff-ess") will ship with Leopard (though I don't think it will
be the default OS as it's not a bootable filesystem) and will
probably be used for filesystem snapshots by TimeMachine.
Update Sat Jun 09 08:35:22 2007: Wired blogger
Fred Vogelstein speculates on a possible collaboration between Google
and Apple where Google provides the infrastructure to an improved
.Mac service (with ads, of course).
I'm sure a few more rumours about Apple's plans will emerge before
Monday. Hopefully, Steve Jobs won't dissappoint us. Everything is
possible until it doesn't happen.
The beautiful opening of Martin Amis' article, "Jane's World" in
the Jan. 8, 1996 New Yorker magazine:
Currently, it seems, Jane Austen is hotter than Quentin
Tarantino. But before we try to establish what the Austen phenomenon
is, let us first establish what it is not. About eighteen months ago,
I went to see "Four Weddings and a Funeral" at a North London
cineplex. Very soon, I was filled with a yearning to be doing
something else (standing at a bus stop in the rain, for example); and
under normal circumstances I would have walked out after ten or
fifteen minutes. But these weren't normal circumstances. Beside me
sat Salman Rushdie. For various reasons— various security
reasons— we had to stay. Thus the Ayatollah Khomeini had
condemned me to sit through "Four Weddings and a Funeral"; and no
Iranian torturer could have elicited a greater variety of winces and
flinches, of pleadings and whimperings. One was obliged to submit and
absorb a few social lessons, in agonizing surroundings. It felt like
a reversal of the Charles Addams cartoon: I sat there, throughly
aghast, while everyone about me (save the author of "The Satanic
Verses") giggled and gurgled, hugging themselves with the
deliciousness of it all. The only good bit was when you realized that
the titular funeral was going to feature Simon Callow. I clenched my
fist and said yes. At least one of them was going to
"Well," I said when it was over, "that was bottomlessly
horrible. Why is it so popular?"
"Because," said Salman, "the world has bad taste. Didn't you know
Migrating from HFS+ to ZFS
Migrating to a new filesytem is like moving to a new house—
you have to pack all your belongings up, move them over and then
unpack them again— so this means backing-up all your files,
formatting the drive with the new filesystem and then restoring the
files you backed-up.
If you're clever, however, you can do it another way. Apple has
patented a way to migrate from one filesystem to another without
disturbing the files on the first filesystem.
It is too early in the morning for me to understand the flowchart
that describes the migration process so all I can suggest is to visit
YouTube and search for the first part of the Doctor Who episode
called "Robots of Death" and watch the Doctor explain to Leela how
the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than on the outside.
WWDC 2007 Live
I'm watching/reading it live on Macrumours.
Fifteen minutes of introductionary presentations including John
Carmack demo'ing his new game engine, before getting to
Leopard— 67% (22M) using Tiger, 23% still using Panther and 10%
using other versions. New Desktop with a 3D-looking dock and "stacks"
of icons/documents behind each dock element, folders in the dock
expand to show their contents. New Finder with an improved sidebar,
looks like iTunes.
1:30PM CoverFlow in the Finder. Spotlight
searches remote computers. [What I want to know is whether the Finder
updates immediately when a new file is created.] QuickLook
allows you to read files without opening the application used to
create it [I assume a pre-rendered PDF is saved somewhere]. Leopard
is 64bit and also runs 32bit apps.
1:40PM Core Animation
1:43 BootCamp is builtin.
1:45 Spaces demo
[Meh. I want the infinite fractal desktop].
1:48 Dashboard and
webclips— "make your own widgets".
1:54 iChat with
Keynote and iPhoto sharing [iChat has bluescreen capabilities (aka
iChat Theater); now, how about a bluescreen plugin for
2:01PM Time Machine with QuickLook. Wireless backup
with a drive plugged into an AirStation [Time to get one of these, I
2:07 Leopard shipping in October. Basic version,
$129. Premium version, $129. Business version, $129, Enterprise
version $129. Ultimate version, $129.
2:11 One more
thing... Safari on Windows (as predicted by someone). [Meh. Who
cares?] 18 Million Safari users with marketshare of 4.9%; IE has 78%;
Firefox 15%; others 2%. Runs some benchmarks. [Safari is fast b/c it
doesn't have any plugins.]
2:15 One last thing... iPhone ships
June 29th at 6:00PM [Good Grief!]. Developers can develop
apps for iPhone— no SDK needed just AJAX and Web2.0 and Safari.
Mon Jun 11 15:41:31 2007: Just moments after I visited apple.com to check out the latest
trailers, the re-designed site went online. The jelly-buttons in the
tabbar have changed to the unified grey look. The accessibility
page features the new synthesized voice: Alex, which is pretty
amazingly natural sounding.
New Kodak Image Sensors
New Kodak image sensors promise better photographs without the need for flash.
The design of almost all color image sensors is based on the "Bayer
Pattern," an arrangement of red, green, and blue pixels that was
first developed by Kodak scientist Dr. Bryce Bayer in 1976. Kodak's
new proprietary technology builds on the existing Bayer Pattern by
adding panchromatic, or "clear" pixels to the red, green, and blue
pixels already on the sensor. Since these pixels are sensitive to
all wavelengths of visible light, they collect a significantly higher
proportion of the light striking the sensor. The remaining red,
green, and blue pixels are then used to record the color information
of the scene. To reconstruct a full color image, Kodak has also
developed new software algorithms specifically designed to work with
the raw data generated from these new image sensors.
2007 MacTech 25
The MacTech 25 honors the most influential people
in the Macintosh community.
Looking through the list,
I recognize only a couple of personalities by name, however the
popularity of either their software (TextMate, NetNewsWire) or their
contributions to the Mac community (MacOSXHints.com,
CocoaDevCentral.com, Daringfireball.com) preceeds them.
Mac Video Guide
TwoADay has a great
article summarizing solutions to watching/converting/transcoding
DVD videos. I like the idea that I can take a 8GB DVD and use
Handbrake to create an H264 .mp4 file that fits onto a single-layer
DVD and then use iDVD to master it. Have to try this.
ATP Toughdrive 1GB USB Key
One things leads to another... I was looking through the Staples
flyer for this month and I noticed that a Sandisk 2GB CF card was on
sale for $60...hmmm, I thought that's pretty cheap, isn't it... so I
decided to check Futureshop and Blacks to see if they were selling it
any cheaper... while at Blacks I stumbled across a 1GB USB key called
the Toughdrive. After
a bit of Googling, I found a review
at ThinkComputers, where the drive is dropped into a Ziploc™ bag
filled with water, then popped into a freezer and frozen solid; later
it's thawed out and tested for data retention.
I think I'll pop-into Blacks on the way in to work next week, and
see if they have one in stock; it's only $40.
My boss could probably use one too— every time he gets a
gift freebie drive from a company, he proudly displays it to everyone
and smugly attaches to his keyring. A few days later, the smugness
turns to sheepishness when all remains of the key, is the cap
dangling from his key-ring.
Another Hypothesis for my Theory
I have a theory (first mention
in Oct. 2005) that people who own Macs tend to own foreign cars
(there may be exceptions, but I have not come across any in my
non-statistical sampling). I originally thought that the reason for
this correlation was because of their aesthetic taste— people
who bought Macs tended to have a greater sense of aesthetics and
hence were attracted to the design of foreign cars. When I mentioned
this theory to my boss, who is a domestic car owner, he claimed that
he would be buying a Mac, which would prove that my theory was not
However, a few days ago, I was relieved when he admitted that he
wouldn't be buying a Mac anytime soon; the reason— the annual
maintenance costs in keeping his car running exceed one thousand
dollars annually. Usually a different part needs replacing every year
and he dutifully pays what the dealership mechanic says the
replacement will cost. So he can't really afford to buy anything he
"doesn't really need"— his current Windows/XP desktop, which he
uses to VNC over to his FreeBSD server, is sufficient.
Even though I may have initially correlated Mac ownership to
foreign car ownership as related to a matter of aesthetics, it now
seems possible that the continual cost of keeping a domestic car
running, prevents owners from being to afford a Mac. I need to test
this hypothesis further.
Sun Jun 17 12:48:28 2007: Follow-up from David:
> it now seems possible that the continual cost of keeping a domestic
> car running, prevents owners from being to afford a Mac.
There is a hint of the old stereotype that Macs are more expensive
that non-Macs in this statement. If you're going to buy a system
nowadays there's no reason why it shouldn't be a Mac, as you can also
run non-Apple OSes on it as well if need be.
While there are certainly no "cheap" Macs, similarly spec'd machines
are quite close in price. Whether you actually need the specs of a
Mac is quite another matter (though there's the mini which is
sufficient for most everyday tasks), and a lot of people don't need
anything more than a cheap-o system to do the things they need
(presumably with a suitable OS, which may nor may not be dependable).
While aesthetics may have something to do with these choices, another
factor may be the value judgements of what the purchasers deem as
"quality" or "good enough" or "this is what meets my needs" (if not
wants). There may be a sense of false economy in going with something
that has a lower price, but ends of having a higher cost (one should
always add $100 to the price of a Windows machine for anti-virus
I'm thinking of labelling the following as Magda's Law: Pay now or
pay later. (Though I don't claim to have invented the term.)
I would have to agree about the hint of a stereotype. I sense a
certain reluctance from my boss towards buying a Mac. It seems that
just as he gets close to buying one, there's another excuse ready and
waiting in the wings. In a recent conversation, he said he was
considering buying an embedded Linux system (as his desktop client)
that has an "instant-on" capability because he doesn't want to have
to wait for a computer to wake-up when he needs it. I said that a
Mac takes around 10 seconds to wake-up from a hibernated state and I
proved it to him by hibernating the Mini and waking it up
again— 12s counting verbally.
I sensed indifference after the demonstration. On the other hand,
when I played the Leopard Preview videos he was wowed by the
Coverflow demo playing videos in the Finder and with the iPhoto
feature demo movie (which I downloaded to show my sister later, to
convince her of one of the Mac's capabilities).
Mike Elgan, from Computerworld, wrote a commentary
about Apple's entry into the the web browser arena on XP. He claims
(and I agree) that Apple traditionally doesn't compete with anyone
else because they create their own playing field and dominate it
completely. I would have to take exception, however, with his
Windows users are
forced to use iTunes if they want to play their iPods, which, like
everyone else, they do. But it's a painful, time-consuming and
irritating experience for many who are used to largely standardized
Windows conventions of button, bar and menu placement and
Perhaps I am the only Windows user who didn't have an iPod, but
was introduced to iTunes after buying one for his brother (who taught
with Macs), despite being being a long-time WinAMP user, and
ultimately switched entirely to the Mac because of the enjoyable
iTunes experience. (Though, iTunes has become overly featurefull and
more complicated than it needs to be; the preference settings need to
Apple didn't enter the browser arena to pick a fight with MS and
IE (if it does win a few more switchers, all the better). The intent
was to create an increased developer base for third-party iPhone
applications which run in Safari. The browser was announced at the
Developer Conference, after all.
Same old Google
If you need to know how long it takes to fly from New York to Los
Angeles, don't ask Google, ask Yahoo!.
Google has been around for, I don't know how many years, and we're
still searching for things based on phrases separated by '+' signs,
rather than using questions, concepts or ideas. It's sad, really.
iPhone Frenzy Builds
Don't go to an Apple store. It will be a madhouse
there. People will be lined up around the block, sleeping on the
sidewalk to get one. Go to an AT&T store.
The most hyped consumer electronics device in
years will make its debut on June 29, but Apple Inc.'s iPhone will be
conspicuously absent from Canadian store shelves. Sold out? No– just
not for sale.
—Catherine McLean, Globe and Mail
After Apple announced improved battery specs for the iPhone,
today, its stock price went up by $3. The frenzy continues with two
articles in today's Globe and Mail— one in the Life section and the
other in the Business section, both about a product that will not be
available in Canada for a few months after it's released in the
U.S. on July 29th, at 6 P.M.— just in time for the evening news.
The article in the Life section mentioned celebrities rumoured to
have one (Madonna) and celebrities who are going to have to buy one
just like the rest of the mortals (Steven Colbert, who showed-off his
advanced copy of the final Harry Potter book and demanded his iPhone;
and an unnamed N.Y. celebrity who has bid $10,000 for one).
The article in the Business section dealt with the size of the
Canadian marketplace (Canada has 1/10th of the population of the
U.S.) and according to an analyst, the iPhone would be a niche
product with, "far more admirers than buyers" because of it's high
cost— Canadians are used to getting free, or low-cost, phones
with their service plan.
iPhone Hits & Misses
After seeing a few more details about the iPhone
browser guidelines (including the User Agent), I though I'd grep
through my access logs to see if any pages had been accessed via the
iPhone. I found only one hit, on April 11th (I have masked-out the
first two octets of the IP, which is from a wireless provider in New
00.00.70.179 - - [11/Apr/2007:18:14:15 -0400]
"GET /~elf/hack/3-wise-men.html HTTP/1.1" 200 1648
"Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; XXX XX like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+
(KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A 474a Safari/419.3"
Given the content of the page
accessed, perhaps Dennis Ritchie has an iPhone (at least, someone
at (AT&T) Lucent Bell Labs, which is located in New Jersey, has
one). Compare revision "1A 474a" (April) with the current "1A 538a"
(June) and the "XXX XX" after "iPhone; U;" has now been replaced with
the word "CPU"):
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+
(KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A538a Safari/419.3
Chatting on IRC with someone who spotted a "50+" woman using an
iPhone on the bus (SF Bay area). Her call dropped in the middle of
the conversation (typical for the area and the bus) and when she
re-dialed, the observation was, "it looked like a pain in the a--
when she was dialing. well i think she kept mis-hitting keys on the
I would have assumed that the QA people at Apple would be younger,
but it makes sense to have older people doing QA.
Update Wed Jun 20 07:39:46 2007: Taking the build-numbers
and assuming a sequential increase, 538-474=64. Compare with the
number of days between the access date, April 11, and WWDC2007 on
June 11: 61 days. This gives us one build per day of the iPhone OS
X. The missing 3 days could mean that perhaps the developers got one
day a month off.
Now this is a panorama!
It is a 360° panorama of King's College circle at UofT's
downtown campus. It was generated using Photoshop with a polar
Ordered Medium iPhotobooks
I ordered 3 soft-cover, 30-page medium-sized iPhotobooks (USD$15
each). They should arrive in 5-8 business days. The file-size was
Tue Jun 26 18:16:45 2007 Received an email saying my order
shipped. Estimated delivery June 28 by 5PM, according to FedEx.
When I tried laying out the photos in the large (8.5x11) photobook
I was surprised that a single 3.2MP image (taken with my old Canon
S30) placed on a page generated a warning about print-image quality
(that it may not print well). So I switched to the smaller,
Later, I tested a 5MP image (Canon S60) full-page in a 8.5x11
photobook with no complaints from iPhoto.
I had previously ordered
the small photobook and was not impressed with the print-quality.
"Everything I Know About Design I Learned from The Sopranos"
Good tips for designers, but only read it if you're a fan of the
TV show. The best line is, "Designers, however, believe that advanced
technology is our best proof that God exists— and that He lives in
iPhone: T-6 Days
It all started in 1999, when iphone.org was registered...
Macworld starts a dedicated blog, iPhone Central,
exclusively dedicated to the iPhone.
You should be able to buy an iPhone and use it as a widescreen
iPod, without paying AT&T for getting the phone part of it
enabled. By this time next week, we will know for
sure. Update: unfortunately using it as an iPod requires
Yesterday, Apple released a 20 minute video
with tutorials on using the iPhone. First, I found the narrator's
voice slightly annoying and second, I was surprised at the
inconsistent user-interface— to zoom-in photos, you use the
"stretch" stroke with thumb and forefinger, but with to zoom-in to a
map, you double-tap the screen (if I'm remembering this
Umberto Eco on Casablanca
...Casablanca is not just one film. It is many
films, an anthology. Made haphazardly, it probably made itself, if
not actually against the will of its authors and actors, then at
least beyond their control. And this is the reason it works...
Umberto Eco comments
on Casablanca (one of my favourite movies).
I think Kill Bill Vol.1 works for the same reasons—
it's a heap of kung-fu movie clichés cooked together with just
the right mixture of seasoning (Tarantino's knack for picking great
music to fit his scenes).
A promising screensaver called Ignis
Fatui. I'll try it out next week.
Update Mon Jun 25 12:16:21 2007: Very niiiiiiice. It's now
my default screensaver with "direction" set to "up" and "colours" set
Out of the Woods
I took a few pictures of a wooded lot near where I live and
stitched a couple of them together to generate a panorama. The
natural photo looks quite ordinary, but after I pass it through the
Dry Brush filter in Photoshop, I find that it looks more
appealing. Click on the thumbnail for a low-resolution version of the
It needs a bit more tweaking (I haven't signed it)— I think
the left-hand-side is too bright; it should match the shadows on the
right. I want to give the impression that the viewer is a few steps
away from emerging out of a dark wood (it would spoil the magic if I
revealed where I was actually standing). Note how high the sun is in
the sky at 8:00PM in the evening.
iPhone: T-4 Days
Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen
coined the phrase "disruptive innovation" to describe a new product
so advanced and appealing that it displaces the technology that
The Seattle Times plays 20
questions with the iPhone.
The Globe and Mail asks "Will
iPhone change everything, or fall flat?".
Could Apple Inc.'s iPhone, with its vaunted multitouch screen, be the
innovation that pushes aside cellphones, BlackBerrys and even PCs
when it goes on sale later this week? That seems unlikely.
"There has never been a phone like iPhone, and we can't wait to get
this truly magical product into the hands of customers," Apple
chairman Steve Jobs said last week.
AT&T says roughly 40 per cent of people who have shown interest in
the iPhone are customers of competing providers. And Apple and AT&T
are demanding that customers sign a two-year service contract at
about $40 a month.
Update Tue Jun 26 12:23:10 2007: Apple has announced the
plans: USD$60, $80 and $100 for 450, 900 and 1350 minutes with
unlimited data. And it seems iPhone activation is required
to use the iPod features:
Minimum new 2-year wireless service plan and activation fee required
to activate iPhone features, including iPod; plans are subject to
AT&T credit approval.
Someone should ask Jobs why this is so.
First Review: David Pogue
The iPhone is revolutionary; it's
flawed. It's substance; it's style. It does things no phone has ever
done before; it lacks features found even on the most basic
David Pogue reviews
Tracking iPhotobook Shipment
Received an email from Apple saying my iPhotobooks
shipped. Estimated delivery June 28 by 5PM, according to FedEx
tracking. I installed Delivery
Status widget, by Mike Piontek, to track the shipment. It loaded
and so far is working as advertised. Very pretty widget.
VMware Video Contest
VMware is having a video contest where
VMware users can, "tell the
world how virtualization has changed [their] life or the great things
[they] are doing with VMware products". What is notable, is that the 2nd
prize is an iPhone. Does anyone really care about what the 1st prize is?
How much did you say...?
TUAW.com calculated that over the 2-years of ownership, the iPhone
will cost, at minimum, USD$2,241. That's the cost of a notebook
(Macbook or whatever) and if you factor-in Skype, you can make phone
calls from a hotspot with the remaining money. And you have Java, Flash, and a
Update Wed Jun 27 22:02:40 2007: Note that this is not
meant as a criticism of either the cost or the features of the
iPhone. I have never owned a cell phone nor do I plan on owning one
in the forseeable future— there is no one that needs to reach
me at all hours of the day or night. I am prepared to wait until I
get home or to work if I need network connectivity; I have even lived
through a week without connectivity.
A Good Story
I love a good story, especially one that's well told.
WSJ has an interview with Steve Jobs and the AT&T CEO, whose name
nobody will remember when the history books talk about how the face
of telephony changed inevitably, for the better, at 6PM, today.
One of the things we feel is this is the biggest breakthrough in user
interfaces in 23 years. Since the Mac in 1984 brought us the mouse
and bit map displays and folders and icons, there really hasn't been
much except for the evolution of that in the last 23 years. This is a
revolutionary user interface [on the iPhone] -- multi-touch, direct
action. It's pretty remarkable. I'm very excited.
I remember the week before we introduced the Mac. We knew every
computer would work this way once we had the Mac. You couldn't talk
about 'If,' you could debate about 'When.' That's how I feel about
this. I feel this is the direction mobile devices are going to have
to go. I don't think it's a matter of if, it's a matter of when. The
first and most breakthrough one of them is going to be on the market
A few online forums are reporting that AT&T network EDGE
data-rates are averaging 200kbps and better (up from typically
90kbps) in select cities around the U.S. Yesterday, the reason for
selecting EDGE (which the BlackBerry uses) was to give the iPhone,
longer battery life. In the interview, there is an interesting
sentence from the AT&T CEO, "...what you're going to see with the
iPhone is the caching technology that Steve and the Apple guys have
developed here makes the EDGE experience even better". Hmmm.
Medium-sized iPhotobook Review
The books were delivered yesterday, just after noon. When I got
home in the evening, I opened up the large FedEx envelope, and found
that there was a second, smaller FedEx envelope inside, containing the
three medium iPhotobooks. I was surprised how big the books were; I
was expecting something half the size.
Each book comes packaged in a re-sealable transparent plastic
envelope (just like the mini photobooks). The paper is heavy and
glossy (even though the description says semi-glossy). The printing
is excellent (primary colours are vibrant), though there is a very
faint vertical colour banding in some photos— I would say the
reproduction is close to photographic quality. Making the
photobook in iPhoto, doesn't provide a good feel for what the actual
product will look like, especially with respect to font sizes for the
photo captions (I expected the printed font to be smaller).
- Do not bother with two pictures per page— it's just too
much wasted white-space. Instead, choose one of:
full-page photo, three photos per page (one tall and two square) or
four photos per page.
- Photos with more than one subject should be full-page.
- Double-click a photo to zoom in and get closer to the subject in
- The digtial-noise in photos with a high-ISO is very apparent
(even in the two photos per page photos); de-noising them.
Final verdict: I'm happy how they turned out. I would choose this
size in the future; the cost is higher but the quality is better than
the mini iPhotobooks.
iFixit has disassembled an
Update Mon Jul 02 08:40:44 2007: EE
Times also disassembled an iPhone and identified all the
components. The CPU is an ARM variant sold by Samsung S5L8900 (it has
a Java execution engine even though the iPhone does not support
Java). The iPhone shares many components with the iPod including RAM
(Samsung Flash) and the audio codec (Wolfson).
iTune 7.3 Released
iTunes 7.3 was released prior to the iPhone's debut as iPhone
activation and syncing is done via iTunes.