So I’ve started bringing my personal MacBook Pro to work on occasion to use at lunch for personal tasks and also sometimes througought the day in lieu of my work-issued Dell.  The Dell is tiny, underpowered, and has about 30 minutes of battery life before it dies (what’s the point of an ultra-portable notebook when you have to bring the giant power brick with it??).

My Windows laptop automatically locks after 15 minutes away from the keyboard, or with a quick hit of Windows Key + L.  I wanted to do something similar with my Mac but it seemed the only way to do this was to just let the Screen Saver come on, as I require a password when the screen saver is deactivated.

However, this seemed cumbersome.  I’m not a fan of the hot corners.  One way of quickly locking the computer is to drag the actual Screen Saver program into your Dock.  You can do this by opening:


and dragging to the dock.

Another handy way, which in Snow Leopard is slightly different than in Leopard, is to do it from Keychain Access.  Launch Keychain Access from Spotlight (or /Applications/Utilities/).  Then under the Keychain Access menu select Preferences…  From there check “Show Status in Menu Bar”, close the window, and quit Keychain Access.  You will now have a small lock icon in your Menu Bar.  ”Lock Screen” is the first option in the drop down when you select this new icon.

Now I can quickly lock my computer whenever I am at work and need to walk away for a few minutes, without having to sleep the computer or wait for the screen saver to come on.

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs is going to be taking “a medical leave of absence until the end of June.” Below is the text of a letter he sent out to Apple employees today. We wish Jobs a speedy recovery and will welcome him back as CEO in June. Also, best of luck to Tim Cook over the next few months as they probably won’t be the easiest of his life.


I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.

I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.


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The keynote is 1/6/2009 at 9AM Pacific time.  Here are some places to follow the Macworld 2009 Keynote and any liveblogging I could find:


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Rumor: AT&T may finally announce iPhone tethering this week.

For those who don’t know what this is, essentially tethering allows you to hook up your iphone to your computer and use it as a wireless modem–surf the web, play games, etc. through your phone’s 3G/Edge/GPRS signal.  Question though is how much extra will this be?  

14-year old already (first) inline for Macworld 2009 keynote.  

Way to go This Kid.  Blogger, school-skipper, Marriott-sleepr, Mac user.  Hopefully there will be some exciting “booms” for his wait.

Microsoft backed Obama during the 2008 elections.

Surprising, though that still doesn’t mean they make good products.

Norwegian podcast puts entire Beatles catalog online legally.

Sweet!  I know what I’m doing tomorrow at work..

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When it’s cold out during the winter months and you don’t want to take off those gloves for fear of having your fingers go numb… Have no fear, your tongue is here. I’ve discovered through a similar situation that some stuble on the chin won’t get the phone to answer. What I needed was my tongue. Thank you random discovery that probably looked totally crazy to the people in the car next to me.

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So I have two “WTF” factors for this post.  One is Fred, the other is the ZipIt.  There is this YouTube dude called Fred (his YouTube page) (or his home page).  I just don’t get it.  I don’t get it at all.  I stumbled upon his blog post from Videogum, which talks about how Fred is now advertising for some bullshit my-first-Blackberry device called the ZipIt.  Which he now uses in his craptastic videos.

If you haven’t watched anything from Fred, you can try watching Fred talk about his attempt to run for class president:

Now, I don’t usually swear online (hahah), but I really have to classify this in the What The Fuck category.  I just…don’t….get it.  Are 2.5 MILLION other people also viewing this video just for the What The Fuck factor?  Judging by the comments, there are a ton of people who are either lying through their teeth, or genuinely think this kid is funny.

And i very much agree with the author of the Vidoegum post, Gabe, who says:

I think there are definitely a few things that I would totally buy after watching a Fred video, like noise-canceling headphones, or an industrial grade eye-shower, or a gun with one bullet in it.

I’m trying to think back to childhood…I know many of the things I liked growing up were probably stupid and lame and awful and unbearable if I were to watch them now (Pete will tell you that’s SeaQuest but I still stand by it)…but Fred?  Really?  Huh?  Barney is forgivable because 3-year olds just don’t actually know what’s going on.  But 14 year olds should have started to develop some kind of taste for the non-shittastic.

I wonder if Fred will really drive sales of the ZipIt.  It has some “interesting” features.  It’s an “All-in-one WiFi Messenger” which only costs $49.99, plus a $9.99/month service contract.  You can chat with up to 99 friends at the same time. 99?  Damn.  It does “let u chat, control ur IM accounts, and set IM options.”  What is good about it is that they let you send and receive text messages to other cell phones, and your parents will “luv” that there’s never any (why not “ne”??) overage charges or surprise fees.   Built-in mini-SD card for showing off “ur favorite pics” (again, why not “ur fav pics”??).  Interestingly you can listen to music and also stream live internet radio from “ur favorite stations.”  ”How much do you <3 that?”  I <3 that a lot.

So…this is almsot like a glorified pager.  For $50 that’s really not that bad, and I suppose I’d much rather see parents buy this for their kids than an overpriced smartphone.  I don’t really see this taking much market share away from mobile phones though.  Kids are going to want to have gigabytes worth of songs.  They’re going to want to surf the web.  They’re going to want to make phone calls.  They’re going to want to take pictures and send them via MMS.  So while parents will be stuck with a heftier monthly bill, I don’t really see this product taking off, unless it’s with kids who aren’t quite at the point in their social lives where they’re wanting to talk on the phone all the time.  And honestly I don’t think a 12 year old needs a) one of these, b) a mobile phone, or c) anything more than an iPod Shuffle.  

Plus this device looks huge…definitely not hip and trendy at all.  That being said, I almost want to buy stock in the company, because if even a fraction of Fred’s fans go out and buy this silly device, there’s big money to be made.  Sadly, Fred is probably getting a decent chunk of money for this.  Which is annoying.  Just like the Kev Blaze video featuring Fred.  Who the hell is Kev Blaze?  And more importantly, how did “Fred” manage to get the username “Fred”.  I suppose that means he should get some kind of “props”.  But not from me.

Update:  CNN gives a glimpse of who is behind Fred.  Ending with “it’s really incredible…”  I consider this to be…incredible yes…but I’m glad I haven’t rocketed to stardom this way.

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So today my co-worker brought in her new “iTouch” which she’s purchased for her upcomming extended travels.  She was talking about how she downloaded PacMan, and I was trying to show her some of the games I’ve downloaded.

I thought I’d tell her about Enigmo, which is, according to creator Pangeasoft:

Enigmo is the most unique game that you’ll find for the iPhone or iPod Touch. It is a 3D puzzle game where you manipulate slides, bumpers, and other pieces to control streams of flowing liquid. Liquids (water, oil, and lava) fall from “droppers” and will bounce around the walls of a puzzle. You move and rotate the various puzzle pieces in order to divert the flow of the falling droplets so that they can reach their target. The faster you complete each level, the more bonus you will receive.

It looks somthing like this:


Now, I think this game is pretty fun. But her reply was this:

I don’t know.  It looks kind of like a boy’s game.  Like playing with your peeper.

No joke.  It was hilarious.  Because of this, I’m giving Enigmo my “Game of the Week” rating.  Because it’s almost as much fun as playing with your peeper.

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We’ve installed a new feature here at I and B. Now you’ll be able to follow along with two frustrated Apple iPhone users (2nd generation even) as we drop calls, have apps crash, and have to do hard resets like we are running Windows 95. Speaking of which, check out what Jonathan Golob of ‘The Stranger’ had to say:

The iPhone crashes. A lot.

Calls drop all the time. Safari, the Apple web browser, crashes continually. Woe on you if you navigate a partially-loaded page (fed up with the abysmally slow AT&T network). The mail app creaks when opening, often leaving you with a blank white unresponsive screen. The SMS program occasionally refuses to open.

Owning an iPhone–even the second-generation iPhone–is much like fighting through Internet Explorer 5 or Netscape 3.0 on Windows ’95. When it works, you get a clear sense that this is the new way of doing things. Through the grime of incompetent implementation can be seen glances of what could, and likely will, be.

Apple maintains control over most every aspect of their hardware and they currently have the luxury of telling the unruly kids who don’t want to play by their rules to take a hike. Now, I’m not the Apple expert between the two Jason’s, but I know when a product isn’t living up to the hype, expectations, and reputation the company set for it. Maybe it was the public that brought on this unobtainable level of perfection, but for whatever reason it exists it might be time for Apple to try to fix the problem.

In the time being we’ve put up a new widget that we’ll update for every hard reset we have to do as well as what I call ‘the black screen of death’. Windows users might be familiar with ‘the blue screen of death’. Well, to all those Windows diehards who like to mock Mac users, here you go. When an app fails on the iPhone the first thing that happens is your screen goes black, then anywhere from 1 second to a minute or two your main icons re-appear like an annoying magic trick you can’t avoid.

I, like Jason T, and Jonathan Golob see the great potential in this phone. When the phone works as a phone, and when applications don’t crash it’s pretty much the greatest device out there. However, given the fact that it does crash so much and it drops calls like its going out of style the idea of waiting until the iPhone ’98 platform comes out might not be the worst idea ever. I’m not saying don’t get the iPhone if you want it, but know that you are getting the latest and greatest and there are going to be pitfalls and practical issues that come with it. Now, if Apple, or from what I hear AT&T, could get its act together and focus on fixing these issues we can feel like we are using OS X and not Windows ’95.

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So Arik Hesseldahl may be a bit late to the party of how sweet gaming on the iPhone is.  But in his BusinessWeek article he talks about how the iPhone/iPod Touch is starting to impact the gaming industry.  He talks positively about his experiences playing a variety of games on Apple’s mobile platform, and how well they compare to the Nintendo’s DS.  Furthermore, Apple has a pre-built online distribution channel for new games in the form of the iTunes store.  Not only can I download a game as soon as it is released, I can download it directly to my device while on the go.  And that allows me to pick from more than 1500 games, with more being released daily.  Sure some of them are simple or crappy, but there’s still a vast catalog of games available.  Also in looking at the numbers, the combination of iPhones and iPod Touch devices being sold each year is starting to rival DS sales.  So while it’s not completely an apples to apples (no pun intended) comparison, Apple is able to reach nearly the same size audience as Nintendo. 

It’s unlikely that Apple would be able to unseat Nintendo or Sony purely on the gaming front.  But they’re definitely making an impact with their sales and distribution method, which should spurn the other two into continuing to release new innovative products.

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Short post ’cause it’s late and dinner is ready.  Jason D. is in Cali this week but if he wasn’t I know for sure he’d be posting about the fact that Google released Google Earth today for the iPhone.  I just downloaded it so I’ll give first impressions later.  Pull up the App Store and enjoy!

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